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This is a consolidated list of the most frequent questions asked about warlock PVE. There have been a ton of threads with the same information over the past few months, all of them with some very good answers. I am going to try and summarize the best answers here.
If you feel that some of these answers are off, please let me know so I can change them.
Q1. My DPS is too low, what am I doing wrong?
A. The most common issue is that your character's gear is not optimized according to your stat priority. There have been several threads where a warlock comes to the forums asking advice because they are only pulling 40k DPS. Upon checking their profile none of their gear is gemmed, enchanted, or reforged properly - if at all. Before asking what's wrong with your DPS, fix your gear. Get enchanted, gemmed, and reforged. This will go a long way to improving your DPS. If this is not your issue, see question 7.
Q2. What is the stat priority for my spec?
A. This varies depending on your gear level and spec, all of your gear should have Int on it, and your weapon should always have Spellpower, these are left out of the priorities to save space, but as a general rule, Int > SP > Everything else.
A1. Affliction: Hit (12% heroics, 15% LFR and normal Raids) > Haste (3043 or 4717 - whichever you can achieve without sacrificing too much mastery/hit) >= Mastery > Crit
*Note: In the source thread they say that keeping haste and mastery ratings nearly equal is beneficial. I want to clarify a bit what they are talking about. If you have 3043 haste rating, they are suggesting you also have as close to 3043 mastery rating as well, I suggest reading the entire thread to gain a better understanding of what they are talking about. When I sim my character I only see a difference of about 150 dps (which is statistically insignificant) when aiming for 4717 haste (4840 haste) and stacking mastery beyond that (5812) compared to stacking Haste (5377) and Mastery (5308) equally. This may scale better at higher gear levels though.
A2. Demo: Hit (12% Heroics, 15% LFR and normal raids) > Mastery >= Crit >= Haste.
A3. Destro: Hit (12% Heroics, 15% LFR and normal raids) > Mastery >= Crit >Haste
Q3. Simcraft says Hit rating is a DPS loss for me (Affliction), why are you insisting that I aim for the hit cap(s)?
A. Min-Maxing is important to world/realm first players. These players were progressing into heroic modes in 463 blues while the majority of us were still wiping on stone guards or trying to figure out how to start the quests in Dread Wastes at 89. Facing that content at such a low gear level they needed to use every advantage they could to beat the enrage timers or deal with these mechanics. It is not unheard of for these players to switch specs/gear sets/reforges or even hopping on another toon to down a boss as fast as possible. While hit rating is a DPS loss when trying to maximize your DPS, for the majority of players it is actually more beneficial to be hit capped while you learn the spec and encounters, and the majority of warlocks on these forums would agree.
Hit cap: The theoretical gain of not going for full hit is probably not worth it
Q4. What are the haste soft caps?
A1. For Demo and Destro there are no specific caps to haste that you need to aim for as haste remains beneficial even after you surpass the attainable soft caps, however there are points where haste becomes less beneficial than the stat priorities listed in question 2 above (like when you pass a haste threshold). Use simcraft to find out the weights for your gear level. If you are still curious where these Haste Thresholds are, the spreadsheet I linked below has these values.
A2a. For Affliction there are several, the ratings apply to all races except for goblins who have a racial that gives them 3% spell haste - for goblins check the google spreadsheet for the rating you need. The first attainable rating is 3043 (12.52%). At this rating with a 5% spell haste buff, you will add 1 additional tick to UA and corruption, and 2 additional ticks to Agony.
A2b. The 2nd attainable rating is 4198. This rating will give you an extra 4 ticks to UA when heroism/blood lust is popped, and will also give you the extra 4 ticks of UA every time you hit Dark Soul: Misery while not under the effects of heroism.
A2c. The 3rd attainable rating for affliction is 4717 (16.65%). This rating will give you 2 additional ticks of corruption.
There are several other breakpoints you should be aware of for affliction, for a complete list visit the following sites:
Q5. Expertise on Locks? Really?
A. When MoP was launched, the hit/expertise caps for melee changed. The hit required to cap was reduced from 8% to 7.5%, and expertise required to soft cap was changed to 7.5%. To solve the problem of paladins and enh shamans who needed to also be spell hit capped spell hit was added as a 1% melee exp = 1% spell hit and 1% melee hit = 1% spell hit. As a result all casters can benefit from expertise for spell hit. It is also worth noting that Int+Hit gems are Purple (red/blue socket bonus), and Mastery/Crit/Haste+Expertise are Orange (red/yellow sockets).
Q6. Where can I find guides on how to play my class?
The following guides I am posting in lieu of the sticky threads in this forum because A.) they are maintained better/more often, and B.) they actually have stickies in the MMO-Champion Warlock forums.
A1. Affliction: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1179309-MoP-Affliction-Warlock-Guide-and-First-Week-Gear-List
A2. Demo: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1248982-5-1-Demonology-Warlock-Guide
A3. Destro: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1179320-MoP-Destruction-Warlock-Guide-and-First-Week-Gear-List - it has been pointed out that this thread is a bit dated, the guide below was provided by Methalos
Q7. My DPS sucks, what should I do?
A. First, see question 1. If this is not your issue (or you were sent here from question 1) read on. Upload a parse of a LFR or normal raid you have recently done to World of Logs than post that along with any specific questions you have in either a new thread on these forums or in the MMO-Champion "Fix My DPS" thread found here: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/671130-Help-Me!-The-quot-Fix-My-DPS-quot-Thread-(Read-first-post-before-posting)
I would suggest that going to MMO-Champion may be more beneficial because they have quite a few Warlocks that frequent that thread that are top 100 locks and you are less likely to get misleading information (although it is still possible).
Q8. Everyone keeps telling me to run Simcraft, how?
A. This guide is not very comprehensive, and is a bit dated (over a year old) however it has all of the pertinent information you need to simulate your character (*Note, he says use simcqt.exe - you will not find this file in the windows version any longer, it is now called SimulationCraft.exe, and the overrides for extra iterations is no longer needed as those have been added to the global options drop down (100k iterations still needs an override, but 50k iterations was added)): http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/826823-SimCraft-Andromalia-s-Howto-SimulationCraft-Thread
Q9. Pandemic means we can keep our dots up 100% so whats the point in reaching haste thresholds for additional ticks if the dot never drops off? We will never see that additional tick will we?
A. This was an extreme example of how pandemic and haste work with each other. TL;DR - haste increases the FREQUENCY of the ticks (how often each each dot ticks)
Think of it this way, a boss has an ability, lets call it Rain of Blades. This ability does 45,000 damage to all raid members every 0.5 seconds, and lasts 6 seconds (hitting 12 times), this is a total of 540,000 damage over 6 seconds. Lets assume this boss just stands there and casts nothing but Rain of Blades for 5 minutes and has Pandemic meaning this dot never falls off. Over the course of 5 minutes, this ability will tick 600 times, meaning the boss does 27 million damage to every raid member with this ability.
Now when you are just below a haste threshold where getting a bit more would add an additional tick, you should also note the duration of the dot, as this becomes important when multi-dotting or on fights like Feng where timing refreshes becomes important because of mechanics like Epicenter. Take for example Corruption. At 2302 haste rating (non-goblin without the +5% spell haste), corruption only lasts 17.07 seconds. At 2373 (closest I could get to the 2367 threshold) it lasts 18.94 seconds. So not only did I gain an extra tick of corruption by adding 71 haste, I also increased the time corruption would be up with pandemic by 2.8 seconds, which is substantial. The same thing happens at 4700 and 4717 haste rating with a 5% spell haste buff. You gain nearly 3 seconds on corruption just by gaining 17 haste.
I can't think of any other questions to add at the moment, as this covers the majority of the questions I have seen in regards to PVE. If anyone wants to add anything to this, just reply with the question and answer, a source for the answer is not required, but it may add a bit more weight to the validity of your answer.
Updated stat priority for Destro, added Methalos' guide for destro.
Edited by Whyzlock on 2/1/2013 4:06 PM PST
Destro Stat priority is not Haste>=Crit>Mast
Even if you are just giving someone general advice without considering their specific gear it should be: Mast>=Crit>Haste
In truth, Destro has the most delicate stat priority in the game, where to maximize DPS requires one to have the perfect amount of Mana Regen, Ember Generation, and Damage bonus.
The guide is sketchy on Aff too. Not only does mastery tend to be better than haste even when you're close to thresholds (you should obviously hit the thresholds if you can), but mastery is often more important than int. Guides are good, but things tend to rarely be so concrete for warlocks, especially for Destro when the stat prio can change completely depending on your gear or even what talents you choose.
Destro Stat priority is not Haste>=Crit>Mast
Is there a better destro guide than the one I linked? The one I linked looks like it hasn't been updated since beta, also fixed.
Mastery is only more important than int when it comes to gemming because you get double the amount of mastery in a gem than you would intellect. In all other cases, Int is always > Mastery. As far as the stat priority for affliction, once you cross the 4717 haste soft cap, mastery and haste tend to be nearly equal (at least in everything I have read/simmed), although this tends to change with every new piece of gear I get, so I pose the same question I did to Methalos, is there a better guide I can link than the MMO-Champion one?
Edited by Whyzlock on 2/1/2013 3:15 PM PST
There aren't really any great guide sites. There are collections of guides and tips and stuff on this site which will point you in a better direction than any outside site imo.
If I found a new piece of gear and it had +200 mastery but I had to lose 50 int for it, I'd take the mastery. It's not just about gemming, gemming is just where it comes into play the most.
Here is a Destro Guide I made a while back, covering basics for newer players and getting into a bit more detail for intermediate Locks.
Yeah, I agree, getting a piece with +200 mastery but losing 50 int and no other stats is definitely an upgrade. However I haven't seen a piece of gear that had +200 mastery without losing other stats that were weighted almost equal. Granted if you were well above the hit cap, and a piece had hit and crit on it, it might be an upgrade - but personally I've never seen it.
I don't know about Destro, but Haste caps are absolutely huge for Demo. 8097 gives an extra tick of Doom during Lust, 8064 gives a real extra tick of HoG, with 6805 giving an extra tick of HoG during Lust. 4717 also gives an extra tick of Corruption, which actually affects your playstyle.
Getting "extra ticks" generally aren't literal. Any Haste, even before a threshold, decreases the tick time on dots. The thresholds (except HoG) only increase the duration of the dot, causing you to spend less GCD's on dotting over the course of a fight.
At 4716 Haste, Agony will tick 291 times over the course of a 500 second encounter. But, it will have a duration of 17.14 second, so you will need to cast it 29.17 times.
At 4717 Haste, Agony will tick 291 times over the course of a 500 second encounter. But, it will have a duration of 18.86 seconds, so you only need to cast it 26.5 times.
Add about 100 Haste and you'll get 292 ticks over the course of a 500 second encounter, but the duration of the dot will continue to go down until you hit the next threshold.
Ok, Now except for the 4717 haste cap which is almost out of reach for most demo locks (who main demo), with stat weights being Mastery >= Haste >= Crit, how is someone in tier 14 going to even think of getting 6800-8100 haste? Are these numbers even possible? And are these numbers even worth aiming for in demo? On most encounters I have done, they either blow hero at the start of the fight, or at the end of the fight (sub 20%). In either case, you are sacrificing so much crit and mastery, just to gain 3 ticks of doom over the course of at the most, 2 minutes and 10 seconds (assuming a 1 minute duration+30 seconds from pandemic, you cast doom within the first second of Hero/BL/TW for the duration of the 40 second, and cast doom again within the last second of the heroism buff).
Edited by Whyzlock on 2/2/2013 2:17 PM PST
Haste simmed as MUCH better than Mastery or Crit up to 4717. Unless you're playing with FRG, I'd always recommend going for that.
1) Looking at sims or charts
3) Probably not. I haven't checked how much the loss of Mastery hurts, but Haste does definitely scale MUCH better around the next thresholds. But, you are getting literally extra ticks on HoG (MAJOR) and likely two extra (non-literal) Dark Soul Doom. And it's not like Haste is too terrible on its own.
You're also gaining ticks over the course of the fight (ticking every 12 seconds, rather than 12.8 seconds, outside lust), the benefit of the Doom threshold is that you save a global over the course of the encounter, and get an extra tick of whatever buffs you have during lust (should be a lot). As well as the other benefits of Haste (more Corr ticks, more Shadowbolts, more ToC inside a Dark Soul (someone should look for the thresholds in there)).
Why are you listing hit as always being better than haste/mastery until cap for Affliction?
As for whether that much haste is actually worth getting for demo, probably not.
Edited by Vreivai on 2/6/2013 12:55 PM PST
Why are you listing hit as always being better than haste/mastery until cap for Affliction?how is someone in tier 14 going to even think of getting 6800-8100 haste?
You logged out in PVP gear, and neither of your specs are Demo /wave.
And I am listing hit as always being better than haste/mastery until cap for affliction because that's what the general consensus has been for quite a while (even though simcraft says otherwise).
No, the general consensus actually hasn't been that.
And yes, I know I logged out in my PvP gear. That should be fixed now.
What does that have to do with anything that I said?
It actually is. It's better to hit cap for most people. Especially the kind of people who tend to come here asking beginner questions, they will get more benefit from hit capping and getting the rotation down than worrying about reapplication and missing haunts. Not hit capping is for people with solid control of the spec, not for most people.
Further, there are only certain situations where anyone would want to go to 12% hit versus 15% hit. SimC shows that on average, your DPS will be higher sacrificing the hit for more mastery if played PERFECTLY. However, most fights and for most progression you would rather have consistency (15% hit) than potentially higher (or lower) numbers. The only time you would want to drop the hit and up the mastery is in a case like Garalon, wiping at 2% or needing to push Elegon faster by a couple seconds. You then, if played perfectly, will have the likelihood after a bunch of pulls to get one where your luck is good and your numbers are higher than normal, and you can get the kill.
In this tier, consistency is generally better than potential, and most people asking for help on the forums aren't playing Affliction so perfectly that they would see higher numbers anyway. So yes, in most cases hit cap is better than not.
Context FTW. Sure an Affliction warlock can hit 6800+ easily. They aren't worried about crit rating, and if they wanted too they could even ignore hit. It is a bit harder though when you have 3 stats and hit cap to worry about, and haste is generally not the strongest of the 3 for demo.
Yeah, and as I said later in my post, no, it's probably not a good idea for a demo lock to get that much haste that could be put in other stats. I was merely stating that it was possible.
Edited by Vreivai on 2/6/2013 2:43 PM PST
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