Advice for all three warlocks by Dominic Hobbs, Blood Pact
So we have an unholy trinity of 'locks and one of each flavor -- a Neapolitan warlock block. I've put together a level 20 build for each and tried to focus, at this stage, on distinguishing between them. The talent points I selected are far from the only options, but I feel they bring out the essence of the spec and so best embody the readers' votes.
Matthew Rossi as Andrenorton
- Yakkowakko For Yakkowakko's destruction build, I have gone for making the most of those Shadow Bolts. You'll be able to get those bolts out faster and they'll hit harder than the other 'locks, which will give you some fast kills and be very effective on dungeon trash. Mana will probably be an issue, so I suggested the Shadow Bolt glyph (cheaper than three points in Cataclysm). I went with Shadowburn over Ruin, as you will have things running towards you and it's nice to detonate them just before they get there. Remember to pack food, drink and bandages to keep those resources up. Pack an imp for extra firepower; the void will only be good for keeping other mobs at bay, and the imp can do that too.
- Sahko Sahko's demonology build was tough; the spec doesn't really come into its own until later levels. What I've aimed for is an uber-tank voidwalker. You should be able to throw this guy up against most things and he'll be ok. You can also take a hit as well with a stamina boost and Soul Link. Mostly this will mean grabbing as many mobs as the void can handle and then throwing DoTs and bolts around the lot. Health Funnel is there to make sure he can survive the tougher pulls and your deep health pool will help you avoid OOM (remember bandages). This isn't going to be much use in groups except to help a struggling tank on trash.
- Selfloathius Selfloathius is also going to have a hard time on dungeon trash, as most of it will be dead before his specialty does its thing, but bosses should be fine. What we have is a build that is based around a "never stop" grinding ethos. Essentially, you are looking to grab mobs with the void, DoT them up without ever taking aggro and then move on even before they die. You recover some mana by applying Drain Soul to the one that's about to get snuffed next and Life Tap as required. Feel free to throw in some Shadow Bolts if you like, but not if there are DoTs to cast. Bandage if you need to, but while there are mobs about, you should never need to break combat; simply send the void to another target and start again while the previous mobs slowly die a horrible death. I felt this was the closest embodiment of a warlock playstyle in that it was DoT-heavy, required high pet and resource management, and basically used as many buttons as possible. If you can keep moving, barely have time to loot and the mob breaks from the void just in time for you to Drain Soul and die at your feet, then you have it right.
Progress report: I was laboring under a mistaken idea. I assumed mages were subtle manipulators of arcane energy, clever, intelligent, precise. This was a huge, huge mistake. At least at the levels I'm playing at now, mages are crazed lunatics whose approach to every problem is "How much magic can I pour on this until it is dead?" and who have the personal courage of whatever those bugs are that scurry the second you turn on a light. Adjusting my tactics accordingly, I managed to gain some levels.
Upon reaching the Barrens, I discovered that yet, all the quests still involve either collecting random body parts (beakless Plainstriders, headless Raptors, hoofless Zhevra -- I've seen it all in the horrible post-mutation nightmare land of the Barrens) or killing a pile of something, be it quillboars, raptors or centaurs. Luckily, as a mage, my tried and true "kill everything with as much magic as you can and stop to drink constantly when not killing everything" approach to life suits these ravaged lands. ... These huge, wide-open, nothing-for-miles, desolate, blasted, horrific nightmare lands that we fight to keep for the Horde. Seriously, why do we even want this place? There's nothing here but animals lacking vital body parts and angry pig men.
Well, okay, there are pretty gazelles. Attached is a picture of me running next to one on my way to wipe out yet another pocket of quillboar culture. I'm like the Black Death and Great Fire rolled into one when it comes to these things. Everywhere I go, the smell of simultaneously burned and frozen bacon assaults my nostrils. On the upside, I got Arcane Explosion
. So I can jump up and down while exploding, then freeze a lot of them in place. It's fun, if you like that kind of thing.
Christian Belt as Selfloathius, the blood elf warlock
Selfloathius had always been ... troubled.
He was born with severe bruising about his head. It baffled the midwife. "It's as if ... as if he's been punching himself in the face while in the womb!" she whispered wonderingly at the new mother.
At 5, he began drinking heavily and listening to a lot of Morrissey.
By the time he was 12, he had broken every bone in his body at least once and had gotten himself expelled from magic school for bullying ... himself. He had been taking his own lunch money for weeks, giving himself atomic wedgies and had once played a self-inflicted game of "stop hitting yourself" for a full hour.
His parents, a pair of successful mages, were at a loss. "The boy hates himself," his mother said. "The boy's an idiot," replied his father.
When he turned 18, he dyed his hair, began wearing lots of makeup and dark clothing, changed his name to "Selfloathius," and announced that he was becoming a warlock. "I'm moving to Sunstrider Isle," he said sulkily. "Give me a ride in the minivan, Mom."
People from all around came to see the train wreck. When Selfloathius arrived on Sunstrider Isle, he found a crowd waiting for him, cheering him on. It was the most entertaining mess they'd seen since the last episode of Celebrity Rehab
Selfloathius did some quests. He killed a few cats and some trees with his favorite spell, Shadowbolt. It looked like a Frostbolt, only uglier. He learned how to summon an imp named Gelnip. Selfloathius liked Gelnip, because Gelnip hated Selfloathius almost as much as Selfloathius hated Selfloathius. Also, the imp's voice was so annoying it made Selfloathius's ears bleed, which was a sensation the warlock actually quite enjoyed.
When it came time for Selfloathius to complete a quest to slay an elf on top of a massive structure called Falthrien Academy, he saw his chance. He killed the elf, then announced to the gathered onlookers, "It's time I threw myself from someplace tall." If there was anything Selfloathius liked better than hurting himself, it was hurting himself in front of an audience. A hunter named Imber announced that she would jump with him. They counted to three, then Selfloathius leapt.
Imber, however, did not.
He heard her laughing as he plummeted. He failed to see the humor in it. He landed with a splat, warlockian blood spreading in a pool below him. "Don't worry," he gurgled, "the ramp broke my fall."
He made his lonely way back to his corpse, wallowing in self-pity. After resurrecting, he realized he actually didn't feel bad. He felt good! A sullen smile spread across his pale face. He knew this would be the first of many corpse runs, and the thought filled him with a black sense of glee.
"My time here is done," he said to no one in particular, and marched off toward a place called Falconwing Square.