So I've gone ahead and started researching some of the new talents for Warlocks. So far I've focused on Affliction because I'm interested in specing back to it, to see if they've really made improvements to it's damage output.
This is the affliction build I would use. No Mal because we're going for the best damage possible and destructive reach was moved down in the destruction tree, so it's hard to hit it before 70. I have 2 points in suppression, to move down the tree, but those 2 points can be put in improved drains if that's your preference.
I'm not on Beta, so this is purely speculation. This build may not even be possible anymore but it's what's up on the ptr. Talents change frequently so this is subject to change.
This is my preferred outfit when running lowbie friends through lowbie dungeons. No chest piece, Voidheart Crown, and whatever else you're wearing at the time. The weird purple face and nice bod just scream "badass".
Due to real life issues, I've been away from raiding for a couple of weeks. My guild has gone on without me, the other officers taking over raid leading. Like many other guilds, we're experiencing a slump in attendance. Many of our raiders were absent this week, and last night, when I was finally able to be on and raid, we were short about ten people. People are busy with school, work, and end of summer vacations, or they're just bored and waiting on Wrath. We are, however, joining up with a "sister" guild to take down Vashj Sunday, if all goes as planned.
Now that Wrath is just a couple of months away, and I suppose because I've been away from the game, I've been doing some reflection. I've been thinking about the goals I've accomplished with my guild as a raid leader, and of the times we struggled. It feels as if I've had a long raiding career, and I can only hope not to repeat the mistakes I made in BC so my guild continues to accomplish and grow.
The guild leader of my guild created the guild with the intention at first of being small, and just a group of friends. But as they started to progress easily through Karazhan, they started to focus more on casual raiding, and that was when I was recruited. I had come from a small Kara guild where I was an officer, but I ended up leaving my original guild due to the immaturity of the other officers, and other issues. I clicked instantly with my current guild, and easily transitioned into another officer position.
As with my previous guild, I began initiating and leading Kara runs. The other guildies didn't mind at all, and even seemed to welcome it. By that time, I had raided Kara so many times, I could do the entire place with my eyes closed. But as we began to recruit more and more people, and more wanted to start raiding 25-mans, some difficulties began to arise. For one, I had never done a 25-man raid, and it's kind of difficult to lead people through something you do not know. Two, I didn't even raid before BC, so dealing with so many people at once was a bit overwhelming. I lacked confidence as a raid leader, and because I was leading the Kara raids, I felt under pressure to continue leading them.
As I became more familiar with the raids, the compositions we required, and whatnot, we experienced other difficulties. As a casual raiding guild, we only devote three nights a week to raiding, but for months we devoted two of those nights to Kara. Obviously, it's extremely difficult to progress through 25-man content, and as a guild, if you're only raiding them one night a week. If you're not progressing through content, it's also very difficult to successfully recruit. This was probably the biggest mistake we made as a guild, and one that gave me the most stress. We had too many people wanting to continue Kara, to get every single piece of gear they needed out of there, and then we had people who wanted to take their alts through, after they completely geared their main. And then there was a patched released, you know, the one that implemented badge drops, and that made it even more difficult for me to push the guild in the right direction.
We also had difficulties defining casual, and what it meant to us as a guild. We experienced attendance problems because most people wouldn't utilize our signup sheets, lacking a dkp system, there were no consequences. Many of our guildies, the guild leader, and officers had come from dkp system guilds, and were adamant about not enforcing one on our guild. So instead, we enforced no roll policies, no signup = no roll, and we started to use a mod, group calendar, so there was no excuse for forgetting to sign up. Lacking a dkp system, we also experienced some minor loot issues, and went from a free roll guild to more of a loot council, the other leaders and I having the final say on who got to roll on loot. Being a close guild, composed mainly of friends, we also failed to recruit often enough, unwilling to replace our friends who stopped showing up in hopes that they would return.
Then there's the problem of finding the balance between farm content and new content. Gearing up 25 people can be a bit tricky, you have to continue to progress while keeping gear flowing into the guild. Like Kara, we focused too much on continuing to kill certain bosses for gear, and some of those desiring more progression left. You have to accept that you'll not be able to get all the gear your guildies desire off of a boss, and continue pushing them on, so better gear starts flowing in. If you continue to do the same boss over and over again, people will get bored, leave, or not even show up. But then, if you don't do the boss enough, people will be lacking the gear needed to take the next down.
As I continue to write this, I can see where someone reading this would get the impression that my guild was plagued with problems, but we weren't, we were just learning to grow together. Transitioning from 10-man content to 25 man-content is just more difficult than it seems, and more people equal more problems. But we did work our problems out, and it was quite a journey along the way. We were a "late start" guild, we didn't start seriously raiding 25-man content until this spring, and I think we've progressed well as a guild, if not through content. These past few months we've recruited, gained some great guildies, lost a few not so great, and worked our way into SSC, TK, and Hyjal. We've taken advantage of other guilds who have stopped raiding completely, and picked up more of our friends.
And most of all, with the accomplishments we've made these past three months or so, I think many of my guildies have gained more confidence. We're friends who have fun together, but we also work well as a team, kicking boss butt, and taking their loot. Because we've done well despite our attendance issues recently, many of us have great plans for Wrath. And I think and hope, as a guild, many of us will stay together, and we'll be raiding our way more easily come the next expansion. Even with all the problems of bigger raids, I actually prefer them, I just can't fit all my Wow friends into 10 spots.
I finally got around to downloading and copying my priest and lock over to the ptr, to check out some of the new features in the next patch coming up. The first thing I noticed was that my lock's face looks very odd. It seems human females are missing some color.
Mounts: It took me about five minutes to figure out how to mount, you have to learn your mounts and then they appear in a new tab on your character sheet. The problem, though, was when I first logged on my lock, my mount spells were no longer in my spellbook, and I didn't have the tab. So, after about five minutes of blondness and looking around, I "learned" my NetherRay and the tab appeared.
Pets: Pets are also learnable now, and they appear under the new tab "Pets" with your mounts. Learning your pets and mounts does not currently remove them from your inventory, so they're still a waste of space.
Tokens and Honor: There is also a new tokens tab that displays your various dungeon and pvp tokens, as well as your honor.
Achievements: Yes, Achievements are coming out with the next patch, and will give many of us something to do before the next expansion comes out. However, I felt a little short on my achievements, and many things I have done I was not getting credit for. For example, the recent Summer Festival fire quests, I completed all the quests for that event, even had the rewards such as the helmet, but I did not receive credit. There are also exploration awards, such as visit all of Eastern Kingdoms, and I only had partial credit for that as well.
Barbershops: The Barbershops are in place, and for a few gold you can change your hair style and color. The new choices are very limited, and I was left wanting more.
Talents: The new 51 point talents are in place, as well as other changes to the talent trees. This I feel Blizzard should have held off on. There are many of us that are still enjoying the game, such as pvping, arena, and raids, and changing all these talents around on us just makes it more difficult. Personally, my raiding spec is completely gone now, sacrifice was removed from the demo tree. If these talent changes go through with the next patch I'll have to respec, and possibly even relearn how to play my lock in a raid enviroment. No more lazy shadowbolt spamming, sucky.
Syndri posted in the Customer Service forums that more Beta invites are scheduled to go out later this week. If you haven't gotten into Beta, and are still waiting to check new things out, I highly suggest copying over to the Ptr.
My warlock is my baby, I just love her to death, regardless of the frustrations I feel when trying to pvp with her. She wasn't my first toon, in fact, I attempted to start as a priest, but quickly gave up as I was unable to solo at level 10 (everything was kicking my butt). Next, I leveled a mage, all the way up to level 40 before I gave up on her as well, got quite sick of drinking. I originally wanted to roll a Warlock when I first started playing Wow over two years ago, but a friend of mine, another girl, was already lockin it up and God forbid I copy after her.
After switching servers, I gave into my desire, and switched to the dark side. Maybe because deep down inside, I'm a sadistic witch, but I've always had the most fun and giggles while playing my lock. There's just something about fearing a mob, watching it run away, then throwing up CoR to make it run back, then throwing up CoA so it runs away again that provides endless hours of amusement.
However, I probably would of never made it past level 30 if it wasn't for the Warlock's Den. Still very much a newb, I used Thottbot for everything, but by the time it came for my succubus quest, I was quite confused. Persuing Google, I managed to come across the Den, which has guides for all the warlock quests, and even more helpful, they provide pictures.
After reaching 70, I learned how to gear up by reading the suggestions and guides by other members on their forums, and that neat fear trick also came from there. Now I'm a rather nasty lock for my gear and raiding level, over 1300 shadow damage, 25%+ crit, max spellhit, and destruction spec'd.
So if you have a Warlock, and you haven't already checked it out, head over to the Warlock's Den at http://wowmb.net/
The Expansion date has just been officially announced and now it's time to prepare for it. I had a feeling Wrath was going to be announced for November, so I've already gone ahead and started dumping items I won't need.
It's doubtful Badges of Justice will be useful as you level to 70, and they're talking about implementing new types of badges for the new dungeons. If you've been saving up for a new piece of gear, you probably want to invest your badges into Epic Gems or Vortexes instead. That new purple might be nice now, but it's going to be obsolete two months from now, the gold, however, will be useful. On my server, Vortexes are going for around 200g now, but cut epic gems are going for 250+.
One complaint I heard quite frequently from my Guild Leader was about his 50 or so worthless Nexus Crystals. Don't be him! If you have excess mats, you'll want to keep on hand what you'll need to get your first few points in your profession and sell the rest off before they drop in price. This can be a little tricky, though, because at the start of the expansion many gathering mats will go up as everyone levels, then drop off as they become useless to high level characters. The new profession Inscription uses herbs, it may be a good idea to start stocking up on them to meet the demand they'll have.
If you run a Guild Bank, I highly recommend selling off all those Vortexes, Hearts of Darkness, Patterns, Sunmotes, and Epic Gems now, before they start flooding the market because no one needs them.