We've looked at various builds as we progress through the levels and also discussed how all three trees can be very effective for leveling. They each have their own play-styles so it's purely a matter of choice -- which one do you like the look of? At level 60 you have the opportunity to reach right the way down to the last talent in one of the trees, opening a new spell to use.
Affliction - Haunt
Nicely in touch with the affliction play-style this spell does damage as well as increasing the damage done by your DoTs, refreshing Corruption (with Everlasting Affliction) and healing you. This is ideal for the 'never stop' method of grinding that affliction is so good at.
Demonology - Metamorphosis
Never mind summoning a demon, become one! Much like Illidan, you become infused by a demon and take on their form. This doesn't stop you doing all the normal things you can do but it gives you many extras:
- Huge armor bonus - handy if you suddenly have a load of mobs beating on you. Might be just me but that seems to happen a lot when leveling.
- Damage done increased - pure damage boost, great for a quick clean-up of a sticky situation.
- Less chance of being crit by melee - sure, you would rather not be getting hit by things, but if you do then this is great.
- Reduces the effect of CC on you - dazed or pinned? Not for so long when you let out the demon-within.
- Immolation Aura - An AoE spell centered on you that burns those around you. Sounds similar to Hellfire but this does not need channeling and doesn't even have a GCD!
- Demon Charge - Want to get to a mob or group of mobs quickly so you can use that aura? Now you can!
- Challenging Howl - Not the most useful trick up your sleeve to be honest, but if you're leveling with a healer then this might come in handy.
- Shadow Cleave - erm... No idea why this is here. I guess at some point it was thought that 'demon form' would be 'melee form' but well, no. Use it if you do charge in but don't go out of your way.
Destruction - Chaos Bolt
As you might expect for demo, this is a nuke. There's not a lot to distinguish it from other direct cast spells; it has a cast time, it has a cool-down, it does fire damage (though it is green). The big difference with Chaos Bolt is that it will ignore certain effects on the target, namely absorption and resistances. The finer details of the spell are of great interest in PvP but for PvE leveling it just has a better chance of doing its full damage on stuff.
- Level 62 - Fel Armor - A triple-whammy of awesomeness.
- Spell power boost of 50 to 180 (depending on rank).
- Any spirit you have on gear suddenly becomes useful.
- 2% of your health regenerates every 5 seconds.
- Level 64 - Incinerate - Not only is this going to be you're main nuke as destro, it's also crept into the demo rotation as well thanks to Molten Core.
- Level 66 - Soulshatter - If you play solo then this will help you keep any aggro on your minion. If you play in groups then it keeps it on the tank. Many a lock's life saved by sacrificing someone's soul.
- Level 68 - Ritual of Souls - Normally it's one shard per Healthstone but if you have this and two other party members then you can have 25 for the same price. Everyone loves a bargain.
- Level 70 - Seed of Corruption - If you have found Hellfire too limiting and Rain of Fire too slow then you're gonna love this. The only thing I found that dulled the edge of this spell's greatness was spamming it for months in Mount Hyjal. Be careful though, if you were to design a spell specifically aimed to annoy the hell out of tanks, this is probably what you would end up with.
- Level 75 - Shadowflame - On paper this is a fairly nice spell but I just can't get excited about it. Best use to my mind is for a quick finish if something almost dead is about to bite you.
- Level 80 - Demonic Circle:Summon/Teleport - The limitations on this spell are somewhat frustrating but the sheer number of uses it can be put to is immense. One problem, you typically realize what they were a few seconds after you should have used them. Nice spell though.
Ring of Bood
- Battle Mage's Baton
This is a group-5 quest but you can probably do it with less (or tap a friendly 80 to help). The quest line will net you a ton of experience as well as a decent haul of gold and potions. Don't be put off by the name of the staff, it doesn't matter whose it was, it's yours now. Requires level 65 to complete.
's line - Tourmaline Crown
Fun little line with an Ackbar reference part way through. Again, this calls for a group but if you are over-level you can probably do without. Grab an 80 guildie for quick completion. Requires level 65 to complete.
Teron Gorefiend - Evoker's Helmet of Second Sight
This line was intended to gear players up for entering the level 70 endgame so it's very easy to skip it and move right on into Northrend. Nothing wrong with doing that but the three sockets in this head item make it very nice and probably worth the side trip. Once again, with group quests you are going to find it easier to have a group. Requires level 67 to complete.
Never mind the quest reward here, the quest is its own reward (that, and all the XP). Awesome quest-line with cinematic that means so much more having seen the rest of the Icecrown Citadel story progress.
Ring of Anguish
- Chilly Slobberknocker
As with the Nagrand ring this is a 5 man XP-fest with a nice (if stupidly named) staff as a reward. Requires level 75 to complete.
You've made it past the leveling game and into the gearing game. Time to get yourself a nice new purple outfit.
Blood Pact is a weekly column detailing DoTs, demons, and all the dastardly deeds done by Warlocks. If you're curious about what's new with Locks since the last patch, check out WoW.com's guide to patch 3.3 or find out what's upcoming in Cataclysm from the BlizzCon 2009: Class Discussion Panel.