As I trudged over to the Timeless Yawn to do my penance for having enjoyed the game in a previous life1, I started to notice something odd.

I was blowing stuff up. I mean, 60 to 80% better than any of my other 90s that frequent the Isle, including those that far outgear me.  Wattup?

I laid awake that night pondering two things.  (1) Did somebody screw up the label on that decaf diet soda I had drank, and (2) how in the world can an undergeared Warlock outdo a less undergeared Hunter or Shadow Priest? 

In answer to (1), I was pretty certain they had, as this was the second time I had been unable to sleep easily after sampling its contents.  (2) was a bit more difficult to answer.

I’ve always held that my first best calling in this game has been in the form of a BM Hunter. I fell in love with that spec when BRK was telling us how to use Doctor Boom to gauge our DPS in a game that offered no target dummies.

Shortly after that, I became enamored with the Demonology Warlock spec; I spent almost as much time raiding as a Warlock as a Hunter during BC. Those two classes and specs have been my favorites ever since.

DPSer CollageSo few choices, so little DPS

But some drastic changes took place with the BM spec – and I’m not talking about the shift from Mana to Focus.  The whole playstyle changed. Back in the day, BM was a lot more proactive rather than reactive. You had to plan your shots out so that you got the most of each. There were flaws, yes, but that’s not the point. The point is that it changed, possibly to something other than BM.

Meanwhile, Demonology had a lot of similarity to BM at the time, which is probably why I liked it so much.  But, though great change took place (looking at YOU, mandatory demon form), Demo retained its quintessential feel, the sense of engagement.

Let’s put this another way.  You know how in a video game, pressing a button sometimes has a visceral feel to it. You feel like there are, I dunno, big-assed levers attached to that button, that go off and actuate many things that then cause green death to erupt from the ground around your adversary.

Demonology has that. It has that feeling that if you try just a little more, put a little more heart into it, you’ll do better.  Jong famously said it best for me: as a belf retadin, the best approach for  maxdps was to get up in the boss’ face, rip your shirt off, howl and the moon, and fucking flip out.

In Warlock terms, this means you let this guy do the driving.

palpatine

Not ripping his shirt off, and we’re good with that.

That blog entry of Jong’s was a long time ago2, but to this day it still rings true.  To really do well as a Warlock, channel your spite, your hate, your bad attitude at the bus driver this morning, your angst over the rising cost of Lite Soy Double Chociato Mochas at your corner beanery, your despair at the Pizza Hut online ordering system. Channel it all through your hands, into the keyboard, and into that avatar on the screen. Turn your hate into pain. Turn that pain into victory.

/wipes chin

Anyhoo.

Where this all goes for me is that while I Hunter because I still haven’t given up, and I Priest because I’m a team player, my jam is right here in the Demonology Warlock corner of the universe.  I think I do better in this class because it just works for me in a way that no other  class does.

There’s an unintended side-effect.

On the Pointless Isle, I usually have to set a goal for my toon to even get engaged in anything. But on my Warlock, I find myself reluctant to close the game client at bed time. I find myself hunting down more things to slaughter. I get giddy watching those big crits float by.

For a brief moment, even that Lightforsaken place is fun.


  1. Or something. []
  2. We miss you, Jong! []
8 Responses to “That’s my Jam”
  1. koalabear21 says:

    To me, that island was created for warlocks.

    • Floramel says:

      So, I’m seeing some sort of bias then? Groovy.

      • koalabear21 says:

        Everyone who I’ve talked to, who has taken a warlock to that island, who has had problems with other classes, has changed their mindset on how they view the island.

        It is no longer a struggle to kill mobs. They can actually farm everything there and have no issues.

        Even my friend, who is primarily a shadow priest, was surprised at how easy everything was for her boosted warlock.

        We definitely got the love here. :)

        • Floramel says:

          That’s interesting! I would have thought that my Hunter would have felt the love as well, seeing they have similar mechanics for mob aggro, but I constantly end up wearing mobs when I play the hunter. I definately had to work hard on the sPriest, and I’ve given up for now with the frost mage. It was just so sad.

          • koalabear21 says:

            I think it might have something to do with the self healing that warlocks have.

            My fiance has a hunter alt that he takes to the island and a priest main. He does a lot better (obviously) on the hunter than the priest. He took my warlock out there and just had a blast. He was killing stuff faster than his hunter and surviving larger pulls.

            A good warlock is damn hard to kill.

          • Floramel says:

            That definitely tracks with my experience. Warlocks are just awesome like that, I guess.

  2. Saga says:

    Warlocks definitely do really well in the general killing of things. I never really had any issues on mine, while various other classes have taken repeated beatings – both on and off the isle!

    The hunter is probably the most similar to the warlock, in that it has its pet. But the warlock pet, to me, seems just a tiny bit sturdier.. and we just have a few more utility spells I think. Then again, my warlock was already a bit better geared when the isle came out, so she never had to struggle there as a newer 90. So it’s difficult for me to compare.

    Naturally though, I just want to think that the warlock is the best :P

    • Floramel says:

      A fundamental difference between Hunter pets and Warlock demons is the “use special ability” button. This addition to the Warlock class lets you only need one button to control WHATEVER your demon’s special ability is – the whirlwind attack for the Felguard, or the interrupt of the Voidwalker. Hunters lack this. It is something that should be addressed.

      The VW, especially, seems to have a lot more utility in aggro generation – I think he has three aggro abilities, including AE, to a hunter’s tanking pet. So if it seems like it is easier to pull off a hunter pet, this could be related.

      One thing hunters have over warlocks is that the pet heal is an indirect HoT, not the channeled spell that warlocks have. That plus a couple of other abilities (esp in the BM toolbox) would lead one to think that the Hunter would have the edge. But I think you’re right and it really does come down to the pet’s inherent durability, and the VW (or VL) appears to be made out of bricks.

      After upgrading the enchants and gems, and reforging, I noticed last night my damage had fallen off. I lost a lot of haste and crit to hit and expertise. I think I may undo some of that since I doubt I’ll see the inside of a raid instance for a while.

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