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Topdps

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  1. warlock guide

    Yes it's true that SM/DS talent, DMF buff, CoS, Shadow Weaving and ISB doesn't affect this comparison at all, my bad. But this makes Shadowburn even better than I made it out to be. The reason I added mana cost to the calculation was because the only argument against using Shadowburn would be because of its higher mana/dmg cost. But we can exclude that from the calculation for the sake of simplicity (this also benefits Shadowburn even more) I don't understand how you made your calculation, assuming we exclude mana cost from the equation (and the bonus of having Shadowburn off CD) it's a very simple one. Shadow Bolt takes 2,5s to cast and Shadowburn takes 1,5s to cast. For Shadowburn to be worth it it needs to do at least 1,5/2,5 = 0,60 = 60% of the damage of Shadow Bolt. The damage difference between Shadow Bolt and Shadowburn gets higher and higher the better gear you get, and it's not until Shadowburn only does 60% of Shadow Bolt damage that it's a worse dps spell than Shadow Bolt. Since 1/2 of your spell power is then 40% of your Shadow Bolt damage it means that the base damage of your Shadow Bolts has to be as low as 20% of your total Shadow Bolt damage 100-(40*2) for it to be better dps than Shadowburn. For 20% of your overall damage to come from the Base Damage you need to do 5x as much damage than the base damage, meaning that your non-crit Shadow Bolts has to do 510x5=2550 damage (excluding any percentual modifiers like CoS as you mentioned). For a non-crit Shadow Bolt to do 2550 damage you need a ridiculous amount of Spell Power in the 2000s. Since it's impossible to have that much Spell Power Shadowburn is always a damage increase compared to Shadow Bolt. The reason I brought up the increased mana cost is because it's not really a 1,5s vs 2,5s comparison, the mana you have costs time to get so the cast time ratio shouldnt be 3 to 5 between these spells but more like 2 to 3 (as i said before, 2s vs 3s). In that case the break limit between Shadow Bolt and Shadowburn shouldn't be over 2000 Spell Power but more like as I said 1160. In short: Shadowburn is a 1,5s cast spell, Shadow Bolt is a 2,5s cast spell, for Shadowbolt to be better it has to do almost twice as much damage as it takes almost twice as long to cast. Since the base damage of the spells are very similar you need a ton of Spell Power to make a difference in damage between the spells to make the extra second of cast time worth it. Casting 3 Shadow Bolts (3x2,5=7,5s) takes as long time as casting 5 Shadowburns (5x1,5=7,5s), so the damage of Shadow Bolts has to be much higher. At 40 Spell Power Shadowburn does 477 + (40*3/7) = 494 damage and Shadow Bolt does 510 + (40*6/7) = 544 damage. 5x494 = 2470 damage and 3x544 = 1632 so it's very clear that Shadowburn is a better spell to use than Shadow Bolt at 40 Spell Power. Agreeable?
  2. warlock guide

    The Nightfall talent on Feenix was bugged for many years and actually gave you a 16% (!) chance on Corruption tick to get an instant shadow-bolt, not 4%, so SM/Ruin was the funnier/more skillful spec to play there. But of course, on a server with correctly working Nightfall talent I'd also prefer DS/Ruin. You're right about this, CoA is the better debuff to keep up as it's a higher damage increase (and therefore more efficient usage of a debuff slot) than Corruption. But it's different for SM/Ruin Warlocks since a Nightfall Proc saves them 1 second of cast time on a Shadow-bolt, and those can only come from Corruption and not CoA. On Feenix the 16% chance of an instant Shadowbolt per Corruption tick as I mentioned made Corruption superior but on other servers for DS/Ruin-specced Warlocks it might not be. I'm a little worried about Ignite though, I assume CoA has a higher debuff priority than Corruption and might therefore more easily push out Ignite or other important debuffs? It's very hard to find information about how the debuff slots works so I can't tell for sure. I don't see how Shadowburn isn't a damage increase unless you are very highly geared with flask; Depending on how long the fight is (and your maximum mana) the amount of Life Taps per Shadow Bolt differs. But let's say the average mana needed for a Shadow Bolt or a Shadowburn (~400mana) takes 0,5sec to get from Life Tap. That means that Shadow Bolt takes 3 sec to cast and Shadowburn takes 2 sec to cast. For Shadowburn to be worth using it then needs to do at least 66% of the damage of a Shadow Bolt. The base damage of a Shadow Bolt / Shadowburn is ~500 damage which needs to make up at least 1/3 of the overall damage for Shadow Bolt to outweigh Shadowburn as Shadowburn only benefits half as much from +Spell Power. Your average (non-crit) Shadow Bolt then needs to do >1500 damage to beat Shadowburn in effective DPS. For your Shadowbolts to do 1500 damage on average you need 1000 / 6/7 = around 1160 Spell Power. With talents and DMF World buff you need less than that and it's not impossible to reach 1000 Spell Power with Flask. But you probably won't unless you're very high geared. I think what I initially wrote was reasonable: at AQ/Naxx level you probably shouldn't use Shadowburn anymore as it's not a damage increase anymore (and you lose the advantage of having it off-cd in case you need to move). But before AQ it's most likely a good idea to fill out your rotation with Shadowburns, especially in instances like MC/BWL where there's so many spell pushback mechanics that doesn't affect instant cast spells. Maybe we both agree with this, I just wanted to be clear. I'd argue that the value from ISB and the extra mana is as much of an advantage as the Crit damage, so there's more to take into account when calculating the value of Int. But yeah it's not the most important discussion in the world. We had the same problem on Feenix with mages pulling aggro with Ignite so who knows, maybe it's intended. I do too, sometimes more than actually playing the game itself. Happy New Years!
  3. If Orc Blood Fury includes attack power from str/agi from gear like it does on servers like Feenix, Kronos and Nostalrius then Orc > Troll by far. The Human Racial is slightly better than the Orc one. Alliance has Blessing of Kings, Blessings of Might and Blessing of Salvation while Horde has Windfury Totem and Strength of Earth Totem. I haven't done the math so I'm not sure which faction is superior for Rogues but if I had to pick one I'd put my money on Alliance.
  4. Mage is a very fun class to play, it's newbie friendly but also has a very high skill cap, both for PvP and PvE. Mages make up around 13% of the population while Warlocks make up around 10% on the Kronos servers according to their website. It's one of the more played classes but it's not at all an overpopulated class, the only overpopulated class on 1.12 servers is the Warrior, anything else is fine. If you pick Mage you shouldn't worry about getting a raid spot.
  5. Warlock, SM/Ruin is a top PvE and top PvP spec. It's pretty hard to find a great mage spec that works well in both PvP and PvE, but if you are willing to play with Winter's Chill in MC/BWL-raids (you need at least 1 WC-specced mage every raid) you could play something like this: http://db.vanillagaming.org/?talent#of0y0ofZZVAMcofzVo even though it's not optimal. Mage, by far
  6. Hi Fruitsalad, If your spell "misses" the target you will get the text "Resist". If your target resists your spell you will also get a "Resist". However, hit/miss and resist/nonresist has nothing to do with each other, they are two separate mechanics. If you spend 5 talent points into Shadow Focus you will increase your chance to hit your opponent with 10%, but the talent won't have any effect on your target's resistances. Resistances are taken into account after the spell is already determined to be a hit. The only way to stop your opponent from resisting your spell is to wear an item that says "Decreases the magical resistances of your target by X" which removes the resistance of your opponent. But it doesn't increase your chance to hit the spell in the first place. And any "Increases your chance to hit with spells by X %"-items (or the Shadow Focus talent) increases your chance to hit the spell at first, but doesn't affect any resistances your target might have. It's two different things calculated after each other. So to answer your question if it's a good idea to spec into Shadow Focus to combat possible resistances on mobs then no, Shadow Focus will have no effect on any Shadow Resistance you will face. But it will increase your chance to hit the spell before resistances are calculated. The chance to hit a mob the same level as you is 96%, 1 level above 95%, 2 levels above 94% and the chance to hit a mob 3 levels above you is 83%. Meaning you benefit from having up to 3, 4, 5 or 16 +Hit% depending on the level of your target (the last 1% will always be a miss, you can never get more than 99% chance to hit). I don't know much about Spriest leveling specs so I don't know whether Shadow Focus is an important leveling talent or not, but it's not a resistance-related talent point, it's simply a talent point giving you +Spellhit (even if it might not look like it).
  7. warlock guide

    Sure, if you can link any of these +Shadow damage-items I'll add them to the list of preraid gear.
  8. warlock guide

    Hi Oxyda, thanks for the feedback. Imp in MT group is incredibly important, 460hp+ extra for the tanks and everybody in the tank group is a game-changer and matters more than 5% extra damage from 1 Warlock will ever do. You will always use SM/Ruin Warlocks as you need the Blood Pact for the tank group, it's even arguable to have several SM/Ruin Warlocks just for the Blood Pact for other groups as well, 460 x 5 = 2300 overall raid hp which will most certainly help the raid more than ~50 extra raid DPS. I agree though, having a player with backup Improved Blood Pact is better than a completely useless Succubus talent, but I can't ever see how it will matter anyway as anytime the raid needs extra Blood Pact it's just better to have Warlocks respec SM/Ruin instead of not sacrifice their succubus (so they only lose 5% dps, not 15%). Good point, I used Cataclysm spec for a while when supression room was hard and for AQ40 trash. But I'm not sure about how it's going to work on Crestfall. On Feenix it was 26% stun chance per tick but I've heard many people say it's supposed to be 26% per Hellfire/RoF spell cast making it almost useless. If it's 26% per tick it's a good idea to spec into it for trash but if it's 26% per spell cast it's never worth the talent points. I did the math as I got unsure about this when you mentioned it and came to the conclusion that Corruption and CoA does about the same DPS if you are at ~500 Spell Power, anything less CoA is better and anything more Corruption is better. The advantage to CoA is that it only needs to be applied every 24 seconds instead of 18, but on the other hand you don't benefit from the 4% Nightfall proc from using CoA. For SM/Ruin Warlocks this evens out perfectly but for DS/Ruin Warlocks CoA has an advantage as it's less cast time spent on DoTs. I guess it all depends on your gear, I edited the guide and made a more concise explanation on debuff slots. You are correct about this, I probably forgot the reason why I didn't use Shadowburn on CD and assumed it was because of damage loss. The real reason was because I wanted to utilize the 6/8 T3 bonus and because of the short range of Shadowburn. It's also smart to keep Shadowburn off cooldown if you know that you might have to move your character during a boss fight as it's instant cast and can be used while running. But yes, unless you are absolute top gear with personal PI Priest and Flask you'll probably benefit from using Shadowburn when you can. I agree totally, was I unclear about this somewhere? It's possible that 1 intellect would represent around 0,3 spell power in late AQ gear, but what I talked about was "close to BiS Naxxramas gear" where 2 Intellect beats 1 Spell Power. Not only because of the Crit and the value of ISB but also because of the max mana gain. I'm too rusty to do the math and the difference between these two bracers are minimal (and they both gets beaten by Gothik bracers anyway) so I won't go more into detail about this but I stand by that with top gear your raid will benefit more from the BWL bracers than the Rockfury ones. EDIT: I removed the part where I compared them as it's a pretty useless comparison anyway. The way Spell Power worked on Feenix was that your dot damage would be calculated the moment they do damage, not when they are applied, so the best time to use the trinkets was after using all your DoTs (right after your first shadowbolt). Should it work differently, should the overall DoT damage be calculated from your Spell Power the moment they are applied instead? About T2.5 Head vs Mish'Undare: Mish gives you 2 Spell Power and 1 Crit instead of the 12 Stamina and 1 Hit from T2.5. Assuming we rate Crit higher than Hit (ISB value) the only reason to use T2.5 head if you have Nef head would be because of the extra HP. It's perfectly reasonable to prioritize survivability but overall I wouldn't rate T2.5 higher as it gives you less DPS. If Vek'lor keeps his debuffs after the switch then CoD is insane to use as 3200+ instant aggro is gamechanging. I doubt this will be the case on CF though? Thanks for the additions, Oxyda, I appreciate it and will edit the guide accordingly.
  9. Just like we have a "Classes & Mechanics"-forum for the different Classes we should also have a "Professions"-forum for the different Professions.
  10. Any excess tanks on a bossfight will have to use Nightfall as there's not much else they can do so yes it's used. I think the main problem with having Arms Warriors in the raid lies in that Mortal Strike uses a debuff slot. I'm not sure what debuff priority MS is at, maybe when there's only 8 debuff slots there's no problem as the high-priority debuffs like Curses, Sunder Armor etc. aren't easily overwritten. But in Ignite instances (AQ/Naxx) I would guess that MS debuff is one of the debuffs that runs the risk of overwriting Ignite depending on how many other medium-prio debuffs are used, and at that point it might harm Mage DPS or force Warlocks to use less Corruptions. But I'm not sure about MS debuff priority which I guess is a factor in how useful Arms-specced Warriors are. It's actually a useful debuff on bosses that heal themselves like Gluth or the Twin Emperors but those are very few and not really worth bringing an Arms Warrior for.
  11. You usually have offtanks using Nightfall on bosses so if you take up a raid slot as a Nightfall Arms Warrior then you'll actually contribute with something, so it could work in MC/BWL Raids where people don't tryhard as much. But don't expect to get to equip Ashkandi or other weapons unless the guild is very chilled out about having offspec people in their raids. Maybe crack a few jokes or tell some good stories in Mumble and you'll become liked enough that it's worth having you in raids despite losing out on some dps. It all depends on the guild, but personally I wouldn't have anything against a dedicated Arms warrior as long as he used Nightfall.
  12. warlock guide

    Hi again. I read your post many times and agreed with your way to calculate Hit vs Spell Power and couldn't wrap my head around why you disagreed with me considering I don't see any problems with what you said. Then I looked at my post and realized how I reached the 14.5 spell power, it was simply by multiplying 12.5 with 7/6 without modifying the number with Hit% and Crit% like I did with the +Hit and reached 14,5. Oh well, I got sloppy towards the end of the night and messed it up. I edited the post and also removed the mentions of Crit in the comparison as there's no reason to confuse people with irrelevant information. Thanks for the correction.
  13. warlock guide

    You can calculate the value of the Improved Shadow Bolt debuff assuming no overwriting, that's correct. However, there is no 40-man fight where you can assume there's no overwriting from other debuffs so any theorycrafting about this becomes virtually useless. The amount of Warlocks (and several other classes) in the raid and their exact Hit & Crit Chances as well as the amount of debuff slots used all decide if the Improved Shadow Bolt debuff will be used before it's overwritten or not. Do we understand each other or did I miss something? I'm afraid I don't understand this part of your post but I'm always open ears on changing the guide for the better. Why does Shadow Bolt base damage matter?
  14. warlock guide

    Thanks for the heads-up. I looked it up and it seems like Ban'Thok Sash, Spritecaster Cape, Skyshroud Leggings and Briarwood Reed will be changed. I might modify my list later to accomodate for this. 300 Tailoring gives you the Bloodvine setbonus (+2% crit chance) making the set irreplaceable until Naxxramas and enchanting is also good since you can make Brilliant Wizard Oil. Tailoring/Enchanting is a good combo both for yourself and to bring in some extra cash, and Tailoring is almost mandatory in TBC. Otherwise I'd say Herbalism/Alchemy is good for making your own elixirs and potions (and flasks) and getting rich. EDIT: For future readers who are choosing professions for their Warlock I'd like to mention that professions in Vanilla WoW aren't as important as in later expansions. 99% of crafted items/consumables in 1.12 are usable for everybody (not just for people with a certain profession) so the main reason to level a profession should always be to just make money from it. If you enjoy Mining and Blacksmithing more than the professions I mentioned above then you shouldn't be discouraged from leveling it just because your Warlock can't use mail/plate. Sure, while leveling it can be nice to craft equipment that you can use but at level 60 there's almost no advantages of having a certain profession over another. If you are a Warlock with Mining/Blacksmithing then you can just mine and forge a Nightfall axe, sell it on the AH and then buy Felcloth or Bloodvine gear from the money you earned. The only profession that's "needed" is Engineering, and that's only for PvP, as you need it for Iron Grenades, Rocket Helmets, Reflectors etc. 300 Tailoring gives your Bloodvine Set a 2% crit bonus but that's it, in PvE you can go with anything. My next WoW-character will be a Rogue and I'm planning on not leveling any profession simply because pickpocketing in BRD makes me the most gold/hour. Professions matter in later expansions, but not in Vanilla.
  15. Intro Warlocks are mainly brought to raids for its damage output and the class is arguably the most competitive dps class in late 1.12 content. On top of that they bring a ton of utility to the raid; Soulstones, Curses, Blood Pact and top AoE abilities. I raided every instance in Vanilla wow in a hardcore setting for a long time and decided to share what I learnt so far. This guide is meant for players who are new to the Warlock class and wants to understand the different playstyles and talent builds the class has to offer in PvE. The guide includes a list of pre-raid BiS gear as well as potential upgrades in raids and discussions/explanations on which stats to prioritize and why. At the end of the post there is also a guide for how to tank the Twin Emperors in AQ40. Overview Race choice Talents and Playstyles Raid Consumables Warlock Stats A note on Trinkets and Cooldowns in general Preraid BiS Gear Enchants Items to look out for from Molten Core and Onyxia Itemization in Blackwing Lair and beyond Tanking Twin Emperors 1. Race choice Before I get into talent specs and gear choice I'd like to quickly talk about Race choice. The playable Warlock Races are Human, Gnome, Undead and Orc where Gnome is the only Race with a racial that benefits Warlocks in PvE. "Expansive Mind" gives you 5% increased intellect which ends up being ~1% extra damage in a normal raid setting. The big differences between the races are mainly PvP-based; Stun resist (Orc), Wotf (Undead), Escape Artist (Gnome) and Perception (Human). Since this is a PvE guide I won't waste your time discussing them but simply state that the Race you choose to play has minimal impact on your performance in a Raid. 2. Talents and Playstyles Talent build 1: Shadow Mastery + Ruin (SM/Ruin, 30/0/21) (The Curse of Exhaustion skill is only useful on Kel'Thuzad and Curse of Agony and Amplify Curse are very situational as you start raiding so you are free to move those talents around. The rest is pretty much mandatory, though). The spec above is very good for starting out when you're a newly dinged level 60 player. It uses Imp as a pet which brings extra stamina for your party, and it boosts the damage/hit chance of your damage over time abilities which are good in 5-man and 10-man instances. Immolate, Corruption and Curse of Agony are all spells that increases your damage dealt compared to just Shadow Bolting as long as the mob doesn't die long before the dot runs out. The only reason we spec into Siphon Life is to reach the "Shadow Mastery"-talent, it's a very inefficient spell overall so don't use it just because you spent a talent point on it. In World of Warcraft there are a limited amount of debuff slots on bosses which means that there is a limited amount of dots you can put on a raid boss before they start to overwrite/delete each other. DoTs are overall good to use to increase your damage, but when you are raiding with 39 other people who has to share a certain amount of debuff slots the raid has to prioritize the important debuffs and there are usually more important ones than the average Warlock DoT. Warlocks in TBC are usually referred to as "Shadow Bolt-bots" since spamming only Shadow Bolt can be the most effective way to do damage, but the reason Warlocks in 1.12 doesn't use many DoTs is because there just aren't enough debuff slots for them. The spec above is very useful while playing in smaller groups where there are room for Curse of Agony, Corruption and Immolate, but in larger raids there is a more effective talent build: Talent build 2: Demonic Sacrifice + Ruin (DS/Ruin, 7/21/23) ("Improved Voidwalker", "Improved Succubus" and "Fel Stamina" in the Demonology tree are filler talents that aren't important for the overall build) As a DS/Ruin Warlock you sacrifice your Succubus with the spell "Demonic Sacrifice" to gain a 15% increased Shadow damage buff. In many 40-man raids you are not allowed to use many DoTs on bosses and that's where this talent spec excels. 15% increased damage from "Demonic Sacrifice" beats 10% increased damage from "Shadow Mastery" making this a more effective damage output build when only using Shadow Bolt. In raids, however, there are need for both these talent specs: DS/Ruin doesn't use an Imp so you need at least one SM/Ruin specced Warlock to provide Blood Pact for the tank group. Depending on the raid (and depending on if the debuff slot limit is 8 or 16) there might still be room for Warlock debuffs. Which ones are going to be used is something you and your guild members has to discuss. Curse of Recklessness (CoR), Curse of Shadows (CoS) and Curse of Elements (CoE) are all mandatory to the point where you usually have three Warlocks individually dedicated to these spells to make sure they are always up on important targets. If there is still room for more debuffs on the boss then DoTs like Corruption and Curse of Agony could be used in moderation. In later instances like AQ40 or Naxxramas where Mages are fire-specced it's very important that there is debuff room for Ignite. Ignite is a huge dps boost for Mages and no Warlock DoTs that run the risk of overwriting Ignite should not be used. In instances where Mages are frost-specced (MC/BWL) people are usually more liberal with who can use what DoTs but later on there is a very strict amount of Warlock DoTs that is allowed to be used. In my old guild we used CoR, CoS and CoE and allowed three Warlocks to use Corruption. If we added a fourth player to use Corruption we risked Ignite being overwritten. Before you start raiding the spec I'd recommend is the SM/Ruin spec. In 40-man-raids there is a limit to how many SM/Ruin Warlocks that is optimal to use, so which one to play is something you have to discuss with your Class Leader. There are no other good talent builds for Warlocks to use in PvE. A 30/21/0 talent build lacks "Improved Shadow Bolt", "Bane" and "Ruin" which are all very important talents. And since there is no spammable fire spells in 1.12 you can't spec full Destruction either. Regardless of what talents you choose, the most efficient spell rotation is always to mash Shadow Bolt (and use DoTs if you are allowed to). Even if you would spend all your talent points in the Destruction tree you would still lose dps using Immolate/Conflagrate compared to just Shadow Bolt spamming, so there is no reason to spec into any other spells. The only possible PvE build that's not SM/Ruin or DS/Ruin would be MD/Ruin (0/30/21) with a Succubus, but that's also a sub-optimal build. I also want to talk about the spell "Shadowburn" which shares the same characteristics as a Shadow Bolt except for that it's shorter range, instant cast, has a cooldown and uses a Soul Shard. Normally while leveling you'd only use this spell as a finisher as you don't get the Soul Shard back unless the enemy dies from it, but in raids you can increase your overall damage by using it every cooldown despite losing a Shard every time you do so. You should make sure to fill your Shard bag while fighting trash so you have the ability to spam Shadowburn on bosses. One important thing to notice which isn't very apparent, however, is that Shadowburn doesn't benefit as much from your +Spell Power stat as Shadow Bolt does (3/7 instead of 6/7). So if you are low geared you will see Shadowburn doing about the same damage as Shadow Bolt, but the better geared you get the more effective Shadow Bolt will become while Shadowburn will lag behind. It's always a damage-increase though considering it only takes 1,5sec of your time, and it's especially useful if you need to move around as Instant-cast spells don't require you to stand still. Make sure to hand out Healthstones to people who need them and put some effort into Soulstoning healers or other important people. And as an SM/Ruin Warlock focus on positioning your Imp correctly so the tank gets the Blood Pact buff, that's (one of the) main reasons you are in the raid in the first place. 3. Raid Consumables Elixir of Shadow Power Greater Arcane Elixir Brilliant Wizard Oil (Not in the game until ZG is out) Limited Invulnerability Potion (LIP) (Use if you pull aggro, very important potion) Fire/Frost/Shadow/Arcane/Nature Protection Potions (Depending on Instance) Doing it right^ 4. Warlock Stats The three important stats for Warlocks are +Hit%, +Crit% and +Spell damage (this includes +Shadow damage as we almost always use Shadow spells). Intellect increases your Maximum Mana (and to some extent increases your Crit chance) but Warlocks aren't very mana-dependent because of Lifetap so it's not a very important stat overall. Usually Warlocks doesn't have problems with their HP Pool either (like Mages do) so Stamina isn't very important either. There is also a stat called "Decreases the magical resistances of your spell targets by XX", but in PvE that's mostly a useless stat. Curse of Shadows reduces the Shadow Resistances of the target by 75 and since no boss in the game has more than 75 Shadow Resistance there is no reason to get items that reduces the targets Resistances. So when you compare items for PvE you should almost exclusively look at the +Hit%, +Crit% and +Spell damage. The traditional base stats is of much less importance and should very rarely impact which item you choose over another. So how much is each of the important stats worth in comparison to each other? A Warlock starts off with an 83% chance to Hit with a spell. The maximum amount of Hit is 99% (the last percent is always going to be a miss) so the Hit Cap is 16% (99% - 83% = 16%), any more Hit than that is wasted. If you Crit you deal twice the amount of damage you normally would (assuming you talented into "Ruin"). However, according to Darkrasp in another thread you cannot Crit a missed spell. So if you are at 90% Hit chance then 10% of your Crits are going to be wasted on a missed spell. This means that an item with the stat +1% Hit Chance increases your overall damage with slightly more than 1% (depending on your current Hit chance) while an item with the stat +1% Crit chance increases your overall damage with slightly less than 1% (also depending on your Hit chance). So +Hit% is always better than the same amount of +Crit% then? No. Crit is actually a better stat for Warlocks than Hit because of the "Improved Shadow Bolt" talent in the Destruction talent tree. If your Shadow Bolt Crits a target it doesn't only do extra damage, it also increases the damage done by the next four direct Shadow damage spells made against it by 20% each. So while you feel good about Critting a spell you are only about halfways through the real value of that Crit. For example, if the next four Shadow Bolts done to the target are hits, that means that you didn't only do your Shadow Bolt damage times 2, but 2,8 (2 + 0,20 + 0,20 + 0,20 + 0,20) which is a lot of extra damage. The Improved Shadow Bolt debuff is dependant on not getting a Crit right after another (the new Improved Shadow Bolt debuff overwrites the old one) and because there are other debuffs that might overwrite it you can't calculate the exact value of Crit. In a Raid setting I'd say that +1% Crit is 1.5 times as good as +1% Hit, but it could be anywhere from ~0.75 to 2 times as good. And note that the other Warlocks in the raid shares the same Improved Shadow Bolt debuff, so if you Crit the boss you probably won't benefit from the debuff because the other Warlocks already used up the charges. But you will obviously benefit from their Crits, so it evens out. For personal DPS in raid you could argue that +Hit% is slightly better than +Crit% but for the overall raid +Crit% is a much more important stat. But how much Spell Power is 1% Hit worth? It all depends on your stats. Shadow Bolt gains damage from 6/7 of your existing Spell Power, meaning that if you have an item giving you 7 Spell Power your Shadow Bolt will on average do 6 Damage more. So if you for example have 90% Hit Chance and enough Spell Power to do on average 1000 damage per non-crit Shadow Bolt your average Shadow Bolt cast does 1000 x 0,90 = 900 damage (excluding Crit as it's not relevant for the comparison). Improving your Hit Chance by 1% will bring you to 91% Hit Chance which would lead to the average Shadow Bolt cast doing 910 damage, a 10 damage difference. To reach that amount of damage from Spell Power you'd need 10/0,90 divided by 6/7 which equals ~13 Spell Power. In this situation 13 Spell Power increases your damage as much as +1% Hit Chance. When you start out playing your Shadow Bolts won't do 1000 damage meaning that it's more reasonable to value +1% Hit less than at 13 Spell Power. Maybe it's worth 8 Spell power, or 10. When you are Raiding Naxxramas in Tier 3 it might be worth as much as 30 Spell power. An easy way to calculate this is to look at your average non-crit Shadow Bolt damage and divide that number by 100 and add ~25%, and that's how much Spell Power any +1% Hit is worth. And if you use Corruption or Curse of Agony in raids (which are DoTs and doesn't benefit from +Hit% or +Crit%) then you might only add ~15% instead. Use your own judgement. It's also important to note that when you miss a spell it says "Resist". If your target would have resisted your spell with actual Shadow Resistance it also says "Resist". So you can't know for sure if they resisted because you lacked Hit% or Resistance Penetration, but in most PvE situations it's most likely just a "miss". I'd also like to mention that there is no "needed" Hit Chance for raiding. You shouldn't value "having a certain amount of Hit", you should simply go for the highest average damage stat. If that means that you won't have any +Hit% from gear at all then so be it. Be smart. 5. A note on Trinkets and Cooldowns in general On-use-Trinkets are often times very underrated compared to the ones passively giving stats. The reason for this is that it's very comfortable to calculate Trinket damage in a vacuum. For example: The MC Trinket "Talisman of Ephemeral Power" gives you an extra 175 Spell power for 15 seconds, and has a 1,5 minute cooldown. One way to calculate the overall worth of this item is to see that this trinket is active 1/6th of the time and gives 175 Spell Power so all you have to do to understand the usefulness of this Trinket is to divide 175 by 6. 175/6 = 29 Spell Power. So it's as good as the Trinket "Briarwood Reed" then, since it also gives 29 Spell Power? That's not a realistic way to calculate the value of an On-Use Trinket. There are two main reasons for this: 1. The trinket will most likely be on cooldown even after the fight ends. If we take the MC Trinket I mentioned above as an example again, any time the fight is not exactly (N * 90s) you will get more DPS out of the trinket than you "should". For example, if the fight is 2 minutes long you get to use the trinket twice over a 120 second period. 120/30 = 1/4. 1/4 multiplied by 175 is 43,75. That makes the Trinket a clear upgrade from the Briarwood Reed 29 Spell Power Trinket. And if the fight is only 15 seconds long the Trinket gave you 175 Spell Power flat over the entire fight. Any cooldown left on your Trinket when the fight is over is a DPS increase. 2. When you fight a boss you don't cast Shadow Bolt the entire time. You move around, you hide, you Life Tap or alt tab to check out some girl on Instagram. Assuming you are a decent player you only use the Trinket when you know the next 15 or 20 seconds will be spent Shadowbolting the boss so when you later have to run to the other side of the room your Trinket is ticking down. If you play an encounter like the Four Horsemen where you dps a boss maybe half of the time then your on-use Trinkets becomes twice as effective since you use them twice as much per second that you are actually dpsing. This way, your trinket becomes more effective the smarter you use it. Don't treat Active Trinket-effects as if they were in a vacuum. There are very few times you shouldn't have an on-use-Trinket equipped assuming you looted Talisman of Ephemeral Power or the Zul'Gurub trinket Zandalarian Hero Charm. 6. Preraid BiS Gear Preraid BiS stands for the "Best in Slot" items which are available pre-Raid (from quests or non-raid-instances). Some items like the Bloodvine Set isn't available until Zul'Gurub is out which makes it tricky to make a definitive list of items to farm before entering your first raid. I'll try to give you alternatives and maybe update the guide when later instances are out: Head: Spellweaver's Turban (General Drakkisath, UBRS) Alternatives: Crimson Felt Hat (Magistrate Barthilas, Stratholme) or Deathmist Mask (T0,5, Dungeon set quest chain) Neck: Diana's Pearl Necklace (Cannon Master Willey, Stratholme Living) Alternatives: Dark Advisor's Pendant (Vectus, Scholomance) or Arcane Crystal Pendant (Winterspring Quest) Shoulders: Felcloth Shoulders (Tailoring BoE, Recipe is too random to farm) Alternative: Burial Shawl (Several bosses in Scholomance) Back: Amplifying Cloak (Magister Kalendris, Dire Maul West) Alternatives: Stormpike Sage's Cloak/Frostwolf Advisor's Cloak (Alterac Valley Reward) or Spritecaster Cape (Houndmaster Grebmar, BRD) Chest: Bloodvine Vest (Tailoring BoE, Pattern is Zul'Gurub Reputation Reward) assuming Zul'Gurub is out, otherwise Robe of the Void (Tailoring BoP, Pattern drops from Darkmaster Gandling, Scholomance) or Robe of Winter Night (Tailoring BoE, Pattern drops from Winterspring Elites). Wrist: Rockfury Bracers (Extremely long quest in Silithus which also requires Revered reputation with Cenarion Circle, also requires Patch 1.8, not recommended) Alternatives: Any version of Dryad's Wrist Bindings depending on your Warsong Gulch Reputation, Sublime Wristguards (Guard Slip'kik, Guard Mol'dar, Dire Maul North) or in worst case scenario Deathmist Bracers (T0,5, Dungeon set quest chain) Hands: Felcloth Gloves (Tailoring BoE, Recipe is too rare to farm) Alternative: Deathmist Wraps (T0,5, Dungeon set quest chain) Waist: Ban'thok Sash (Blackrock Depths Arena drop) Alternatives: Frostwolf Cloth Belt/Stormpike Cloth Girdle (Alterac Valley Reputation Reward), Tier 0,5 Belt (T0 Belt + Dungeon Set Quest), Thuzadin Sash (Nerub'Enkan, Stratholme) or Dustfeather Sash (Solakar Flamewreath, UBRS) Legs: Bloodvine Leggings (Tailoring BoE, Pattern is Zul'Gurub Reputation Reward) assuming Zul'Gurub is out, otherwise Flarecore Leggings (Tailoring BoE, Recipe requires Revered Reputation with Thorium Brotherhood), Leggings of Torment (Lord Valthalak, UBRS, part of T0,5 quest chain) or Skyshroud Leggings (Highlord Omokk, LBRS) Feet: Bloodvine Boots (Tailoring BoE, Pattern is Zul'Gurub Reputation Reward) assuming Zul'Gurub is out, otherwise Maleki's Footwraps (Maleki the Pallid, Stratholme) or Omnicast Boots (Golem Lord Argelmach, BRD) Rings: Rune Band of Wizardry (Lord Valthalak, UBRS, part of T0,5 quest chain) and Don Mauricio's Band of Dominion (Darkmaster Gandling, Scholomance) Alternatives: Underworld Band (BoE world drop), Maiden's Circle (Non-unique BoE world drop) or Songstone of Ironforge/Eye of Orgrimmar (BRD Quest) Trinkets: Briarwood Reed (Jed Runewatcher, Rare spawn in UBRS), Eye of the Beast (UBRS quest), Royal Seal of Eldre'Thalas (Dire Maul "drop") and/or Draconic Infused Emblem (General Drakkisath, UBRS) Wand: Skul's Ghastly Touch (Skul, Stratholme, if you can catch him), Bonecreeper Stylus (Darkmaster Gandling, Scholomance), Ritssyn's Wand of Bad Mojo (Baron Rivendare, Stratholme) or any green random attribute wand with a lot of +Shadow damage 2h Weapons: Lord Valthalak's Staff of Command (Lord Valthalak, UBRS, Part of T0,5 quest chain) or Soul Harvester (Warlock quest in Felwood) Main hand weapons: The Lost Kris of Zedd (Random drop in Silithus/AQ20) assuming AQ is out, otherwise Sageblade (Blacksmithing BoE, Recipe drops in raid instances) Offhand weapons: Scepter of Interminable Focus (Sothos and Jarien, Stratholme Living, part of T0,5 quest chain) or Tome of Shadow Force/Therazane's Touch (Alterac Valley Exalted Reward) Some of the R7/R8/R10 and R12/R13 PvP pieces are better than the gear mentioned above, in case you feel like ranking. And if you find another alternative then go for it, just look for +Spell Power or +Shadow Damage items and you'll probably find something that works well. The Bloodvine set is good and it's even better if you have 300 Tailoring which unlocks the +2% Crit set bonus. It scales well with gear and you might use one, two or all three set-pieces as late as in Naxxramas. 7. Enchants Head and Legs: +8 Spell Power until you can get the ZG Idol (+18 Spell Power / +10 Stamina) Shoulders: The only two Shoulder enchants that exists are the Zul'Gurub Exalted Enchant (+18 Spell Power) and the Sapphiron Enchant (+15 Spell Power and +1% Crit). Cloak: Subtlety as soon as AQ is out Chest: +100 Mana / +4 Stats (+Stats is better in high gear, +Mana is better in low gear) Bracers: +7 Intellect or +9 Stamina Gloves: +20 Shadow Power as soon as AQ is out Boots: Minor Speed (8% speed increase) Weapon Enchant: +30 Spell Power 8. Items to look out for from Molten Core and Onyxia Choker of the Fire Lord from Ragnaros won't be replaced until Twin Emperors in AQ40. Mana Igniting Cord from Golemagg, Magmadar, Garr and Baron Geddon won't be replaced until C'Thun or Naxxramas. Sash of Whispered Secrets from Flamewaker mobs is also an upgrade. If Bloodvine Leggings aren't obtainable yet then Nemesis Leggings might be an upgrade for you. Azuresong Mageblade dropping from Golemagg. And Talisman of Ephemeral Power, the most important item of them all, drops from Golemagg, Magmadar, Garr and Baron Geddon and is a great trinket which won't be replaced until the end of Naxxramas. The Tier 1 pieces aren't anything to look forward to, they have lots of stats but not the important ones. Molten Core isn't known for it's great caster gear, but there will be more to get in BWL or the 20-man Raids. Other than the Onyxia Scale Cloak the only half useful drop Onyxia has to offer is the Tier 2 Headpiece Nemesis Skullcap which only shines if you use it for setbonuses. 9. Itemization in Blackwing Lair and beyond When you've come this far you should think for yourself what loot you want and don't want. I won't list every upgrade in every instance but I'll give some pointers: The Tier 2 setpieces are not bad but rarely the best items around, especially not as soon as ZG is out. That said, they can still be decent pickups and the set bonuses can justify using a few pieces. The 3/8 bonus can mitigate the lack of important stats on the individual pieces, and if you have crap tanks and like to collect sets why not go full 8/8. Bracers of Arcane Accuracy from Broodlord Lashlayer are on par with Rockfury Bracers (less +sp but more Int) and will be used for a long time. Also, Nefarian drops Neltharion's Tear which is the best trinket (or in some scenarios #2) in the game meaning you will use it forever. The Nefarian staff and headpiece are very good items, and the Ebony Flame Gloves from Ebonroc is a big upgrade. None of the off-set BWL belts (neither Firemaw's Clutch nor Angelista's Grasp) are as good as Mana Igniting Cord from MC or the T2 Belt. Zul'Gurub (20-man) is a great instance for catching up if you are late to the party. The instance itself doesn't have the best boss drops ever, however, the rep rewards from the Zandalar Tribe faction are godlike. Not far from when ZG is released you will see Bloodvine Vest, Bloodvine Boots and Bloodvine Leggings on the auction house, get them ASAP. If you are exalted with Zandalar Tribe you also get the Spell Power shoulder enchant which is BiS until Sapphiron. And the Idol Enchants, which drops from Jin'do the Hexxer and Bloodlord Mandokir are superb. If you haven't looted Talisman of Ephemeral Power yet then make sure you get the Spell Power Trinket from Heart of Hakkar (drops every time from the last boss). Turning the heart in buffs every nearby player with a +15% all stats buff for 2 hours so tell your guild to show up before you do so. Hakkar also drops the third best cloak in the game: Cloak of Consumption. The Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj (20-man) is also a great comeback instance with a few important drops. The last boss drops Staff of the Ruins as well as the second best pants in-game Leggings of the Black Blizzard which aren't replaced until Naxxramas. The set pieces of AQ20 are good but since it takes so long to farm the rep it's arguably not worth it unless you were going to grind Rockfury Bracers anyway. The set ring, however, only requires Honored reputation and scales extremely well with gear (It's possibly the #2 ring in the game if your gear is good enough). The Class books Grimoire of Shadow Bolt X, Grimoire of Immolate VIII, and Grimoire of Corruption VII are key pickups but will most likely also appear on the AH. And of course, make sure to enchant your gloves with +20 Shadow Power as soon as AQ is out. The Temple of Ahn'Qiraj brings a lot of new gear to the table, however the Tier 2.5 set isn't better than the pieces you have from earlier with exception of the Shoulderpads. Sharpened Silithid Femur and Royal Scepter of Vek'lor dropping from Fankriss/Vek'lor is a strong combo or if you prefer staffs then Blessed Qiraji Acolyte Staff dropping from multiple bosses in the form of Imperial Qiraji Regalia is an upgrade. BiS Gloves and BiS Belt in the game drops from C'Thun. Beware though, if you are going for the (very good) threat-reduction set bonus from Naxxramas you will replace both the gloves and the belt for Tier 3 items. Ring of the Fallen God (Eye of C'Thun) is one of the best rings in the game. With the exception of a Finger and Trinket slot you will eventually fill the rest of your Character Pane with only Naxxramas items. My recommendation is to get Leggings of Polarity and one of the three good bracers that exists (Rockfury Bracers, Bracers of Arcane Accuracy or the best ones The Soul Harvester's Bindings), skip Tier 3 Bracers, Legs and Ring (which are only good for PvP) and go for the Tier 3 6/9 set bonus which is extremely useful. Or if you looted the C'Thun Gloves and Belt I mentioned earlier then 4/9 T3 (Only Tier 3 Head, Shoulders, Chest and Boots) is an alternative (and then you might find Eye of Diminution useful). And if you don't get to collect Splinters of Atiesh then aim for Wraith Blade and Sapphiron's Left Eye or another great staff Brimstone Staff. Best Ring in the game drops from the Four Horsemen. Sapphiron provides the Sapphiron enchant (replacing your ZG shoulder enchant), he also drops the best cloak, best offhand and the best on-use-Trinket in the game: The Restrained Essence of Sapphiron. Kel'Thuzad loot consists of the best Wand, the best Neck and a great passive anti-Undead Trinket to use on static Undead bosses like Patchwerk and others. 10. Tanking Twin Emperors There is a specific encounter in The Temple of Ahn'Qiraj called the Twin Emperors. The bossfight consists of two bosses; Emperor Vek'lor and Emperor Vek'nilash. Vek'Nilash is immune to all spell damage and Vek'lor is immune to all melee damage which means that a "normal" tank cannot tank Vek'lor, you have to have a spellcaster doing it. Vek'lor casts Shadow Bolts on its target so a lot of Shadow Resistance is needed for the caster tank, and since Warlocks has an easy time resisting Shadow damage and causing threat it's the best class choice for that role. The one tricky part with this encounter is that the two bosses cannot be close to each other during the fight since they heal very quickly if they are within a certain distance of each other. The second tricky part is that they switch positions every 30 seconds. Vek'lor teleports to Vek'nilash's position and the other way around. This means that you need to have a Warrior tank and a Warlock tank on each side (so 4 tanks in total, two of them Warlocks). Before I explain the fight in detail I'll go through the gear needed for it. The Shadow resistance cap is 315 and it's highly recommended to reach it for this boss as all the damage done by the spellcasting boss is by Shadow Bolts. With the help of Mark of the Wild, Prayer of Shadow Protection and Demon armor you already have ~100 Shadow resistance so you need up to 215 Shadow Resistance from gear. Optional: You can also respec into MD/Ruin (0/30/21) and summon a Felhunter which passively gives you +60 to all resistances. Below I listed the best Twin tanking gear. If you get them all you will probably end up with more SR than 315 which isn't needed, so prioritize the ones you can get and use your best damage gear for the other slots as damage is obviously also important for keeping threat. Head: Nemesis Skullcap, Neck: Eidolon Talisman, Shoulderpads: Tier 1 or Argent Shoulders, Back: Juno's Shadow or preferably Cloak of Untold Secrets dropping from Fankriss. Chest: Garb of Royal Ascension (AQ40 trash drop), Bracers: Funeral Cuffs, Gloves: Rank 7 or Rank 12 PvP gloves are extremely useful and highly recommended to use. Belt: Runed Stygian Belt or Tier 2, Legs: Runed Stygian Leggings, Boots: Runed Stygian Boots, Rings: Anything with +Shadow Resistance, search the AH as good as you can. Jasper Link rings are usually useful. Trinkets: Any on-use Spell Power Trinket will be very effective this fight so the Zul'Gurub or the MC on-use Trinkets are recommended. On the other Trinket slot you should fit Ultra-Flash Shadow Reflector (Engineer only) or Ward of the Elements (from the Onyxia attunement quest). Wand: Serpentine Skuller Weapons: The best weapon(s) you have. Bring any +Stamina consumables you can and pre-pop a Greater Frost Protection Potion (against the blizzards). If you are the one pulling the boss then just run up to Vek'lor, pop Shadow Ward, cast Corruption and spam Searing Pain until the bosses switch positions. Avoid Blizzards as best you can, they do a lot of damage so if you get targeted by one don't just keep casting. After that keep track of the timers. Every 30 seconds the caster and the melee boss switches sides, so you have to be ready to pick up the caster boss (if he'll be on your side) as soon as the teleport happens. Right before the switch stand as close to the melee boss as you can (right below him). Instantly after the switch you Shadowburn the boss and start to run away from him while dotting him with Corruption and/or Curse of Agony. When you are ~25 yards away from the boss you start spamming Searing Pain on the boss to create as much threat as possible. Keep spamming and make sure you avoid any blizzards. Do this until your 30 seconds of fame is over and the melee boss appears on your side instead. Now take your time to Life Tap to full mana and use Shadow Ward until the next teleport, and then do the same thing again. Repeat until the boss is dead. Remember that if the bosses are awkwardly positioned it is not your job to move them. Since the caster boss has a long range spellcast it's very hard to move the boss to where you want it and it's usually much better to just keep aggro until the switch happens and let the Warrior tank move the boss to where it should be standing. Practice makes perfect, this is a boss fight that's hard to explain on paper so you have to do it yourself a couple times to actually understand what's going on. But I hope I gave you enough information about the encounter to make you ready to try it. If you are still unsure on some aspects of the fight just ask me in the thread and I'll explain it better for you.