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Zagam

Zagam going Destruction

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As you guys know, I've put an extensive amount of effort and research into Affliction. With the notes from Ghostcrawler and other developers hinting that Affliction is going to be nerfed and Destruction brought up a bit, I'm going to dive back into playing Destruction, even though it is a slight DPS loss. I'm going to play it on every fight to force myself to learn everything about it so I can give Destruction the same love I gave Affliction in terms of theorycrafting and spell explanations.

Also, I know the PTR is unstable, but there is one thing confirmed: GREEN FIRE! Can't see that as Affliction and to be honest, I'm rather bored playing the same spec all the time. I'm switching it up unless a heroic progression fight requires Affliction (likely Will of the Emperors).

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Very interesting man. I know there's other successful Destro 'locks out there, but they have never put out nearly the lovin into play/spell/gear/stat breakdowns that you have for Affliction. Since Vanilla, I primarily played Druid or Warrior. I was simply unable to find a raiding spot anywhere as a Resto Druid at 90, but feeling capable of my ability to play anything, I asked a half-decent guild what class they'd want if they could choose anything. So here I am. It was only after the fact that a friend and I realized we'd never actually played with a quality 'lock.

Anyway... while I doubt I'll follow you in raiding as Destruction, I'll certainly be interested in your findings in all aspects about the spec. Maybe I'll consider it for my off-spec cause... yeah... green fire. :) I'm hoping maybe Grasp/Drain Soul will be tinged green. From the icons spoiled on MMO-champ, it would seem possible.

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Warlocks were extremely rare...they are more common now, and as such, the quality of player has gone down significantly. I still see so many Warlocks on the WoW forums asking how to be less shitty, and I'm not sure how these guys can even show their face when they link logs when they don't even apply Unstable Affliction because 'it doesn't seem worth it.' I kid you not. I have to stay away from those forums...I think it's causing me high blood pressure. I just need a new pace. It'll be a lot more fun to me, at least for a moment. We're 4/16H, so I'm sure some fights will show how necessary Affliction is, but perhaps not. ALL IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE AND EXPERIMENTATION!

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Zagam, thanks for the work you put into being a lock, It has really helped me. I just switched from Destro to Aff based on suggestions here. I was wondering where it was you saw Ghostcrawler making these comments, because instead of just leeching off all of your excellent work I would like to add my own efforts to the improvement of warlocks. Cheers

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Your comments concerning the official forums is no joke. I never go there when researching how to improve myself (or a friend). Too much garbage to sift through. Even here in my short time of monitoring this forum I've noticed similar questions arise of which answers can be found in the stickies. Some of the information in seperate stickies should probably be condensed somehow. Maybe a FAQ: READ THIS FIRST BEFORE POSTING type sticky. <shrug>

The only problem I forsee involving your "science project" is reforging/gemming and gear itemization in the event you need Affliction for your heroic progress. Whereas you can get away going Demo with your Affliction setup, you really can't when it comes to Destro with Haste on the bottom of the food chain.

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Zagam, thanks for the work you put into being a lock, It has really helped me. I just switched from Destro to Aff based on suggestions here. I was wondering where it was you saw Ghostcrawler making these comments, because instead of just leeching off all of your excellent work I would like to add my own efforts to the improvement of warlocks. Cheers

Ghost does a lot of stuff on Twitter now. I haven't seen anything directly saying that they'll nerf Affliction beyond the Grimore: Sacrifice nerf, he has mentioned that Destro's lower DPS shouldn't be held up by a talent everyone is taking. Here's the comments:

Point in fact, Destro less than a 1% spread for 3 Grim, yet nerfed Sac for them. Aff Sac is ~6.5% ahead, only nerfed by 1.7%.

Last I looked, 90% of Affliction and Destro had Sac in PvE and 90% of Destro had Sac in PvP. That doesn't feel like a choice.

Even with Sac,Destro was bottom of lock DPS. So regardless of intent, it's a nerf to our worst spec.

Destro is good on some fights. Regardless, having a mandatory talent prop up a low dps spec isn't good design.

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I'm really confused on the actual set up for Destruction. Simcraft has Mastery at 1.75, Crit at 1.70, and Haste at 1.65 yet in their 496 build, they have 6900 haste rating, 2900 crit rating, and 2400 mastery rating after hit capping. In their 509 profile, they have 2200 haste rating, 5500 crit rating, 5900 mastery rating, and hit capping. That makes no sense to me if the stat weights are so close. I personally prefer casting faster, so I'll likely keep my Aff build of 6637 haste and pure mastery after that for Destruction. If the stat weights are truly correct, then the overall DPS difference MAYBE will reach 1k.

The other thing I have to mess around with is I keep seeing Essence of Terror being used over Light of the Cosmos. My initial reaction is 'damn' but then I think, well if the stat weights for Destruction are so low with Intellect being so high, maybe the pure Intellect is better than the Intellect proc that is used for Affliction's stat extension. I'll play around with it all weekend and the next couple of weeks raiding. Affliction definitely has a ton of micro management, so at least the next couple of weeks of spamming Incinerate will be a step down in the amount of care I need to give. =)

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I'm really confused on the actual set up for Destruction. Simcraft has Mastery at 1.75, Crit at 1.70, and Haste at 1.65 yet in their 496 build, they have 6900 haste rating, 2900 crit rating, and 2400 mastery rating after hit capping. In their 509 profile, they have 2200 haste rating, 5500 crit rating, 5900 mastery rating, and hit capping. That makes no sense to me if the stat weights are so close. I personally prefer casting faster, so I'll likely keep my Aff build of 6637 haste and pure mastery after that for Destruction. If the stat weights are truly correct, then the overall DPS difference MAYBE will reach 1k.

The other thing I have to mess around with is I keep seeing Essence of Terror being used over Light of the Cosmos. My initial reaction is 'damn' but then I think, well if the stat weights for Destruction are so low with Intellect being so high, maybe the pure Intellect is better than the Intellect proc that is used for Affliction's stat extension. I'll play around with it all weekend and the next couple of weeks raiding. Affliction definitely has a ton of micro management, so at least the next couple of weeks of spamming Incinerate will be a step down in the amount of care I need to give. =)

The thing that burns me is the reforging priorities are so different that you have to optimize your gear for one or the other, realistically.

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I refuse to play Destro, Even with green fire i simply can't like the spec.

If affli be nerfed to oblivion at 5.2 i go Demonology like Cata.

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Destro is really easy to play. It's the LOL spec of Warlocks atm, but I'm sure it can be played well. I'm looking at WoL parses of a very good Destro lock slapping my Affliction numbers around. He's got 9 item levels on me, but I can run with it. He actually gets rid of Haste, so maybe I'll do the same tonight. I'll just load up Mastery to the max and default to Crit afterwards. Should have some MAJOR big Chaos Bolt hits. I don't think Aff will get nerfed to oblivion...we'll have to wait until we see the balancing that Blizzard does with numbers. I'm just bored of Affliction to be honest.

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This is pretty cool, I've been waiting for you to jump into another spec ever since I fell in love with your affliction guides/theorycrafting here. I've dabbled in the other two specs but have not had time (I main changed to lock only recently, so even affliction from a heroic progression perspective is still fairly novel) to really learn them thoroughly.

Good luck and have fun with the change if you do decide to take it on. I'm sure I'll follow along in some capacity but I'm more than likely to stick with affliction unless they nerf it into oblivion. Might even appreciate the challenge of not being near the theoretical top again too (one of the reasons I loved locking in Cata :D)

-A

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Yeah, I did two LFR's as Destruction last night and was thoroughly unimpressed with my performance...until I realized I didn't have my pet summoned nor sacrificed. Repeated LFR (I hate LFR, btw, so that should be noted in my persistance record) and did MUCH better. There are a lot of little quirks that Destro can get away with...for example putting Bane of Havoc on something at high life (Garalon's body) and using 3 Shadowburn's on a sub 20% leg to get essentially 3 200% Shadowburn's on the body. I scoured through a lot of skilled Destruction Warlock's profiles and noticed a lot of them not pushing for Crit, but instead just stacking the crap out of Mastery, keeping about 4500 haste, and hit capping. I also have to explore this Rain of Fire thing and Destro's optimal opening. I have a feeling once I'm in my group with timed Skull Banner, Bloodlust, potions, flask, and food things will be pretty sweet.

In reality, I'll probably be back Affliction in 3 weeks. I've noticed a HUGE difference in single target, but I completely blame my mastering of Affliction over my relatively lack of high end experience as Destruction. I still don't think I can make up the difference. The reason Affliction is amazing is due to how you can extend buffs through snapshotting DoTs...Destruction can't do that. You either get your Chaos Bolt during DS:Instability, or you don't. If you don't, you lose DPS.

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Another exchange in relation to Affliction/Destruction:

_____________________________________

Appreciate the update Ghostcrawler, but still waiting on news of a buff for Destro single target damage.

As I said above, it makes more sense for us to implement mechanics changes before we tune all the numbers. Otherwise, you throw out all the tuning work every time you make another mechanics change. I will post when we've finished our 5.2 tuning pass so you guys have a chance to offer feedback.

We think Destro may be a little behind, but it's not much. Affliction PvE damage is too high, which causes many warlocks to go Affliction on every fight rather than considering options. That creates a big sampling bias effect on sites like World of Logs and Raidbots. The lower performing DPS specs appear even lower than they actually are because the only players generating those logs are uninformed (which also tends to mean undergeared) or just messing around. To get a more accurate test, you need to see a player try every spec under similar circumstances (gear, skill, etc.), and those data are much more rare.

Edited by Kaboozey

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I guess I'm playing right into Ghostcrawler's hands. I'll post logs right beside my Affliction logs in my raiding guides for comparitive looks. I guess I'll have to be Destruction for a while to see any worthwhile data. Any other skilled Affliction Warlocks up for taking the Destruction challenge should talk to me here in this forum so we can combine our efforts.

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Not a bad idea. You might want to come up with a framework for testing, or you'll end up comparing oranges to apples. Example: A lot of us are gemmed for Mastery rather than Int. As a JC, you seem to be gemmed half and half on your armory. Beyond stat weights, also might want a general idea of opener & rotation to follow.

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Yeah, I like gemming for Hit. It's purely a mental thing because Hit is not a 'fun' stat for me. I try to bury it in the gemming process so I don't have to reforge out of my DPS stats for it, even though I know in the big picture I'm doing that. Don't make fun of me, ok?

Because Mastery is so good for both Destruction and Affliction, I feel plugging in Int/Mastery or Int/Hit in Red/Blue sockets while putting Mastery/Hit in yellow sockets because I'm also OCD and can't avoid socket bonuses. I did reforge out of Haste into Hit and some Mastery in places. My only testing ground was LFR where I basically ignore mechanics and dealt with things. Here's some things I'm thinking about going into Heroic MSV as Destro...

Stone Guards - two targets taking damage, so it'll be important to keep Immolate up on both, Rain of Fire if they'll be in it for the full time for ember generation, and maximum use of Havoc. What I'll need to research is for Havoc's purposes, should I use 3 Incinerates on both or one Chaos Bolt? Two target fights used to be heaven for Destruction's old Havoc....I miss that.

Feng - Single target rotation is so easy for Destruction that it'll alleviate a lot of micro management for myself. However, on non-stunned and non-Nullficiation Barrier purposes, I can't do any DPS whereas as Affliction, I could land a Drain Soul channel before Epicenter and keep the channel the entire time. The Shield adds will be MUCH easier to handle as Destruction than Affliction. Fire and Brimstone Conflagrate for an AoE snare, Shadowfury, Rain of Fire, and non-clunky AoE mechanics should increase my throughput here. And when they all get low, I can finish all of them off with Shadowburn while putting Havoc on Feng for mega executes.

Gara'jal - I don't think Destruction will perform as well as Affliction here, but I can still push enough damage to handle it. Fire and Brimstone Immolate, non-channeled Rain of Fires, and Shadowburn executes to replenish embers will go a long way. No issues perceived here.

Elegon - I think I'll have to take Mannoroth's Fury. Timing a Fire and Brimstone Immolate when the charges appear SHOULD put Immo on all the sparks. If I take MF, I should also be able to get some Incinerates off on all of them as well as putting down some Rain of Fires. I know my AoE on the add phases before phase 1 should be much higher with the higher mobility and damage that AoE Destruction brings.

Just some mental theorycrafting for now...I'll put it all in play on Tuesday.

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Hello Going Destro thread,

I was getting off-topic in the Aff tips thread Posted Image

Zagam,

I understand the reasons for why you're taking the challenge of destro on. My concern is that it appears to be more than a slight DPS loss. I don't see how Destro catches up enough to be a main spec in theory. A novelty offspec at best at least for normal content as far as I can tell. Nothing in the patch notes indicates more than a few percentage points nerf for Aff with Destro getting a similar cut. I only check out logs/rankings for normals since that is the information that's pertinent to me having just started with progression so I'm fairly uninformed for heroic rankings and logs and maybe the gap is much closer there.

Maybe if you get a chance during your experiments you could run normal content in tuned down gear (Exclude ToES gear or forgo a set bonus? Just spitballing) to give people at my stage of progression a feel for the spec and your thoughts on it's viability that would be awesome! It seems like with a lower crit-rating at lower ilvl gear players could be more ember-starved than the better geared players whereas in Affliction the gear doesn't affect basic mechanics and the rotation since nightfall is a % chance to proc as a baseline where-as improved ember generation is aided by crits.

It might seem irrelevant and I understand if you want to keep your experiments tuned to heroic content and gear level, but the majority of people that will be taking your advice are likely to be people around my level Posted Image .

Good luck and I look forward to hopefully seeing you advise us to use Destro for fights over Affliction!

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Which tier 5 talent are you using? And if it's not GoSac, which pet are you using? I've heard GoSup is best with the Observer, but I'm skeptical.

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Just outts curiosity with the upcomming nerf to affliction,besides trying out Destro why not try out Demo or is the overall dps not a big enough differance between the two specs that trying out both,would be more of a waste of time,OR do you not just like Demo enough to give it it's due and yes im bias...lol

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Which tier 5 talent are you using? And if it's not GoSac, which pet are you using? I've heard GoSup is best with the Observer, but I'm skeptical.

I'll be using Grimoire of Sacrifice on every single fight. Grimoire of Supremacy is competitive with sims coming up about 500-700 DPS different, but I feel everyone only looks at the damage mechanic of Grim of Sacrifice and neglects the real bonuses.

1) You don't have to manage a pet on fights where target switching is required. Think Stone Guard, Feng, Gara'jal, Elegon...etc. Nearly every fight except for Spirit Kings, Zor'lok, Blade Lord, and Lei Shi requires a target switch which would make your pet's travel time essentially a DPS loss. Even if you just leave your pet on something while you hit something else, you're still not putting 100% of your potential power into your current target.

2) Grim of Sacrifice heals you 2% every 5 seconds. This usually is my 2nd best heal and rarely has any overhealing component in fights where I'm constantly taking moderate amounts of damage. On fights that don't require Dark Bargain, Soul Link can be used to gain more HP and more effective healing since the percentage based heal scales with HP.

We will see what happens when they fire out the number changes with 5.2. They've already said they intend to buff Supremacy to compete more with Sacrifice, but I think it'll have to be close to 1% theoretically higher DPS with Supremacy before I consider giving up Sacrifice.

Just outts curiosity with the upcomming nerf to affliction,besides trying out Destro why not try out Demo or is the overall dps not a big enough differance between the two specs that trying out both,would be more of a waste of time,OR do you not just like Demo enough to give it it's due and yes im bias...lol

Not sure how significant the nerfs will be. They keep saying we are too high, but who knows how they will change that. The 5% nerf to Grim of Sacrifice just means other options will change. Unfortunately, that means a playstyle change, but we'll deal with it. I'm anticipating some sort of overall scaling nerf such as the amount of mastery we get per point or something just so I have to go back and rework everything I've done...but I hope I'm wrong.

I played Demonology from Tier 8 all the way through Tier 13. I love Demonology, but I find it takes the least amount of skill to master. I think in terms of complexity, it goes Affliction > Destruction > Demonology, and there's not really a lot of ways to increase your DPS on fights as Demo outside of doing the proper priority. The other thing that I feel holds Demo back is the target switching I mentioned above. In AoE situations, Demo takes the cake, and believe me, there are fights where I'd love to be Demonology if Blizz would give me my tri-spec I've been asking for.

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Any idea on the crit scaling on Chaos Bolt? I'm having trouble locating a hard number.

Trying to theorycraft if something like Jade Magistrate Figurine even has a chance. Upgraded to 497 and with a 1 min CD, you could use it every single Dark Soul (4 piece tier) for 8.39% crit between just those 2 CDs. I'm not Engineer at the moment, so I'm looking at on-use trinkets that feel like they would benefit Destro more than the Affliction ICD ones since I'd want to use in concert with Chaos Bolt. Relic of Yu'lon is basically the defacto other trinket.

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What I've done is create a spell alert when Light of the Cosmos goes off. I don't fire a Chaos Bolt unless it's modified by some sort of buff. I really try to wait until LotC is up or Dark Soul, but if I'm close to capping, I'll fire one off just so I don't cap.

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Yeah, that's obviously another way to do it. I'm still curious how much crit scaled Chaos Bolt though. Dark Soul/Crit for Destruction is similar to Haste for Affliction: The more ya have, the better it is. The difference is in the diminishing returns: Crit simply isn't going to fall off the way Haste does. I'd go for the 2021 Haste soft cap +1 tick for Immolate and call it a day. I should be able to hit that easily with the rest of my gear.

However, if it doesn't scale enough with the burst amount of crit provided by the on-use trinket, then yeah, strap up LotC and let WeakAuras be your guiding light. It's basically a comparison of 8.39% crit vs 2324 SP + .91% crit. Which sims better?

Edit: Kinda wish I had Mithril Wristwatch to toy with. Static Crit with a small 10 second int window proc. It's a LOT of int though. Sadly, it's the only Crit/Int Proc that's been available at 90. The lower ilvl is sad too.

Edited by Kaboozey

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There's a 489 trinket available from Shado-Pan that has almost 1100 base Intellect with 3500 crit on use, just like the BoP trash trinket drops. Snow Blossom or some sort? Anyways, Intellect is VERY solid for Destruction...in fact, Destruction's stat weights make it so you SHOULD be pushing full Intellect everywhere. I leave Mastery + Hit gems in my gear because I'm at 15.02% hit and don't want to mess with it and Mastery is solid. Mastery is also solid for Affliction, should I need to go to it for heroic progression kills (trying Blade Lord Ta'yak again tonight, and the ticking DoTs during his Bladestorm might be a huge advantage over Destruction).

The horrible thing about crit based classes is it is the least beneficial stat per point of rating in the game. I think it takes like 350 Mastery rating per point of Mastery (different for all classes) while it takes 425 Haste per percentage of Haste, but it takes about 700 crit rating to gain a percentage point of crit. Right now, I'm playing with the amount of haste that gives me 1.0 second Incinerates during Bloodlust (I think 0.8 with Backdraft, but during BL, I'm popping off CBs anyways).

The other thing to keep note of is how close the stat weights are for Destruction.

Intellect = 4.1

SP = 3.33

Hit = 2.81

Mastery = 1.75

Crit = 1.70

Haste = 1.65

By taking Haste of Crit, I make Destruction more fun to play (fast casts) without relying on the RNG of crits or spending way too much rating to get a noticable increase in Crit. A 0.05 stat weight difference means if you had 10000 Haste rating, you'd gain 16500 DPS via Haste whereas you'd get 17000 DPS if you had 10000 Crit rating for a whopping difference of 500 DPS. When stat weights are this close, you can just play the way you want to, and I like casting stuff fast.

Compare that to Affliction's stat weights...

Intellect = 4.53

SP = 3.71

Mastery = 2.82

Haste = 2.57

Hit = 2.15

Crit = 1.78

You can see why Affliction's DPS is higher...it gains more DPS per point of secondary stat. Notice the drasticly higher weight for Mastery here, but for the sake of comparing apples to apples, let's look at Crit vs Haste here.

10000 Haste = 25700 DPS

10000 Crit = 17800 DPS

Now we're looking at an 8000 DPS difference which simply cannot be ignored.

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