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Ask a Beta Tester: Everybody loves Warlocks edition


There are apparently some classes we haven't been paying a lot of attention to lately, as several commenters have pointed out. Today, a little about Warlocks, and tomorrow a little about Rogues. See any classes we haven't been talking about yet? Then ask your questions about them -- we can only answer 'em if you ask 'em!

alx1231 wants to know....

I haven't heard much on the state of Warlocks in Wrath. Is there anything cool that I should be looking forward to?

Though I'm not the expert (my days of raiding as a Warlock are long behind me), I'd have to say that Warlocks have a lot to look forward to -- enough that I'm considering dusting mine off. My favorite new spell has to be Metamorphosis, a high-end Demonology talent that turns your Warlock into a demon for a brief period of time. But don't take my word for it! Michael did a thorough rundown of the Warlock Wrath patch notes when they initially came out if you want the full details, and V'ming discussed the implications of Wrath on every Warlock's wishlist.

For more of your questions -- and our answers! -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.

ironblade asked....

Have they changed the XP rate of 60-70 as they did for 20-60?

Yes! So if you're planning on leveling any alts... well, that push to 70 will be easier after Wrath's launch.

venumus asked....

As a Retribution Paladin, I rely on both spell crit and melee crit. Now that they are essentially one ability, does intellect and agility add together for one crit percentage?

Not quite. While spell crit and melee crit as they currently exist on gear have been changed to a single critical strike rating stat, the critical strike you gain from stats seems to remain the same. So intellect will still improve your spell crit and agility will still improve your melee crit -- it's just gear with critical strike rating that will affect both. (This is currently reflected in the mouseover tooltip for intellect on your character sheet, which specifies "sepll critical strike." The mouseover tooltip for agility only specifies "critical strike," but improved agility does not presently improve your critical strike chance with spells.) Check your talents -- though some talents (like Paladin's Conviction) now help with both spell and melee crit, not all crit talents are multi-faceted!

Doc asked....

I was wondering: what does Unholy spec do for Death Knights? Does it have some handy DPS or is it for PvP or soloing?

As is the norm with Death Knight questions, I turned to our local expert, Daniel. He had this to say:

First I should say that there is no "point" to any tree. Blizzard's stated goal is that each tree is to be able to stand on their own for each role, more or less. Unholy is a very good DPS tree. It does, as I mentioned before [see yesterday's edition of Ask a Beta Tester], a good amount of AE DPS. It is also the only tree that can have 4 diseases up at once, and it does most of its damage via those diseases or with strikes (such as Blood-Caked Strike and Obliterate) that interact with diseases. It actually seems to have more damage potential than Blood, with Blood's main draw being that it is a little less buggy, and it's harder to die with it because of all the health return talents.

The other trees aren't as focused on diseases. Also, they can only have 2 diseases up at once, Frost Fever and Blood Plague. But you'll be using those diseases no matter which tree you're in. Frost, especially, has a lot of extra ways to apply Frost Fever.

Unholy's also turning out to be a popular PvP tree because of anti-magic zone, the ability to control Ghouls, and Desecrate, in part. But yeah, Unholy is more disease oriented, and has 2 diseases, Ebon Plague and Unholy Blight, that the other trees don't get.

evestraw asked....

How does Wandering Plague do in Alterac Valley or PvP flagged players in major cities? Is it like Zul'Gurub's plague?

Again, courtesy of DK expert Daniel:

Wandering Plague doesn't actually spread a disease, It just does disease damage to targets surrounding the target that procc'd Wandering Plague. So no Zul'gurub plague situation because there's no disease debuff being spread, just the damage being done in a small area. Pestilence does spread diseases, but it is an ability that costs a Blood Rune.

Alex asked....

I was wondering do Death Knights have access to their races racial ability, more specifically how does the Blood Elf's racial, arcane torrent, work on a Death Knight?

All Death Knights have access to racial abilities based on their choice of race -- so choose wisely! Arcane Torrent has been updated to provide a Death Knight with Runic Power.

PBoy227 asked...

I have a question regarding the lore behind Death Knights and Draenei. From what I hear, the starting zone of the Death Knight takes place quite a long time ago...

Not quite the case. Best we can tell, the Death Knight starting zone happens slightly in the past -- but by the time you leave it, you're in present-day Azeroth again. The starting quest chain does not seem to indicate a passing of months or years, but hours or days, at most.

Lionhearte asked....

I heard somewhere that they may be introducing siege vehicles into other aspects of the game, such as AV and world PvP, so my question is have you seen any other place where siege vehicles are usable besides Wintergrasp and Strand of the Ancients?

I can't speak for PvP, but I can say that siege vehicles have found their way into other parts of Northrend. A Horde quest in Borean Tundra allows you to take a siege tank you've repaired into battle against the Scourge. (This, I'd say, is Wrath's "fun-equivallent" of BC's bombing run quests. I could drive around in my siege tank for hours mowing down Scourge a dozen at a time!) For this quest -- and I imagine any others like it -- you are limited to a specific parcel of land in which you can use your tank. Wander too far and you'll be booted out.

Bakuryu asked....

What do we know about phylacteries? Can they only be used by Liches? And what do they do? Are they any soul-containing object?

A phylactery can be any sort of container, but when we're talking about a Lich, a phylactery is specifically a container meant to hold the Lich's soul. Says Wowwiki, "As long as a Lich's phylactery remains intact and undamaged, the Lich will eventually regenerate its body and return to life." This explains why Kel'thuzad is with us in Northrend despite his death in Naxxramas (back when it lived over the Eastern Plaguelands). Daniel notes that, "Araj the Summoner, Naberius, and Ras Frostwhisper are all Liches already in game who have quests to destroy their Phlacteries." So there are a few Liches, at least, who are gone for good.

ashley wheat wanted to know....

I need to know whether Badges of Justice will be used in WotLK.

So far, I haven't run into any places in Northrend where they're interested in Badges of Justice -- but there's a lot of Northrend not yet implemented, especially raid dungeons and high-end content. Personally, I doubt they'll be using Badges of Justice for precisely the reason ashley is asking: because if they did continue to use the same type of badge, people would stockpile them to pick up phat new loots when the expansion releases -- all without the trouble of killing anything. With crafting materials, Blizzard has taken care to keep Azeroth materials seperate from Outland materials seperate from Northrend materials -- new types of ore, new types of gems, new types of cloth. It makes sense that we'd have a new type of badge, as well.

The Wrath of the Lich King beta is in full swing, and the WoW Insider crew is here to sate your curiosity with Ask a Beta Tester! Leave your beta questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer 'em! And if you can't get enough Wrath, don't forget to check WoW Insider's Wrath Roundup page for anything we haven't answered here!

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