Lilac, Warlocks

Whar’s ma DPS? (Part IV)

{Epic voice over} Follow the heart wrenching ongoing struggles of a Warlock on her epic quest to not suck.

*sigh* Yes, I’m here again. Ok, I’m 80 and I’m starting to collect my pre-Naxx gear. I’m making good progress. I think I only need 2-3 more pieces to be ready for Naxx-10 (which is scheduled for Tuesday). I’m running Heroics.. and I’m noticing an uncomfortable trend. My DPS sucks. *sigh* Again.

The issues is that everything dies too quickly (10-12 seconds). I don’t have a chance to put up any of my dots. I totally expected this.. but since they nerfed the damage of Shadow Bolt.. I’m only able to get ~700-900 DPS on trash. Less if I cast more.

So I’m bumping along at 700-900 dps. Except on boss fights. There I’m hitting 1400 dps easily.

The forums and Elitist Jerks are less helpful than usual. They say “no one looks at your DPS on trash”. Well, maybe when you get into raids.. but right now, in 5-mans, trash is half the fight. So when someone looks down at Recount they see me bumping along at 870 dps.. below the tank and wonder “so why’d we bring her again?”

What I’m doing:
One-shot trash (the little undeads in the Culling of Strat): Searing Pain
Fast dying trash: Shadow Bolt spam changing to Drain Soul @ 25% (~900 dps)
Slow dying trash: Haunt, Unstable Affliction, Immolate, then Shadow Bolt spam changing to Drain Soul @ 25% (~1100 dps)
Boss: CoEl (if more than 3 ppl benefit), Shadow Bolt, Haunt, Unstable Affliction, Immolate, CoA(if not CoEl), Corruption, Siphon Life. Refresh as necessary, fill with Shadow Bolt changing to Drain Soul @25%. (~1400 dps)

My Felhunter is bumping along at ~100 dps. That seems.. tiny. Seriously. I could sneeze hard and get more dps than the fel hunter is getting. I want him to be more than just a mana battery. It seems silly to spend point bulking up his DPS when his DPS is so tiny.

Last night I was out-dps’d by at level 77 hunter+pet. This is embarrassing.

Current Spec: 55/11/5 Deep affliction with a reduced cast time on Shadow bolt/Immolate and a nice dusting of non-squishiness from Demonology.
Toying with a spec thought: 56/0/15. Deep Affliction with more +dps destruction (would probably want to get more crit to make this worth while).

11 thoughts on “Whar’s ma DPS? (Part IV)

  1. Question, Is everything getting aoe’d down or is everyone you group with geared well enough that heroic trash is nothing, because it might be time to start spamming that seed to work with those aoe encounters to bump up that dps

    Mister Ks last blog post..Looking for Upgrades

  2. Are your groups using CC or AoE tanking everything?

    If you’re AoE tanking, you could try dotting up all the mobs, and maybe using a little more AoE, rather than using SB on a single target. Tanks should be able to hold threat against you these days.

    (Heh, the captcha for me is “dotdot”.)

  3. I’ve been following you struggles for some time now since I levled 70-77 as affliction (Haunt + Destro-talents, about the same you are going for now i guess) and sucked on thrash… I also had a lot of problems keeping my dps up on bosses, it’s a tricky rotation.
    Now I’m 0/52/17 ( and bumped my dps on thrash to about 1000-1100 and around 1500 on bosses sometimes (still as 78!). Metamorphosis is awesome for AOE (Immolation Aura + Hellfire / Rain of Fire) and pumps up the dps somewhat when its up.

  4. Aren’t you using AoE on most trash?

    But really, the answer is trash doesn’t count. Meters are worthless for comparing dps on anything but bosses. They can be a decent tool to see who is screwing around, but are otherwise irrelevent.

  5. If we’re killing more than 3 mobs in a pull (and I trust the tank) I’ll spam Seed of Corruption. With less than 3 mobs it’s just not worth it.

    If I just use my instant cast dots (Corruption, CoA, Siphon Life) it take 4.5 seconds to cast (but I can run around during those 4.5 seconds) and generates ~600 dps over 24 seconds. Of the three, corruption is the most efficient. Siphon Life is just not that good for dps.. but nice if I need the health. CoA sucks -alot- if the mob dies before the 24 second mark. So instant cast dots are the most volatile. If they get clipped I can easily end up at ~400 dps for the dots instead of 600 dps.

    If I just use my cast time dots (Haunt, Unstable Affliction, Immolate) it takes 4.5 seconds to cast (standing still) and generates ~600 dps. Haunt is sucky for DPS but buffs the other two and returns health. UA/Immo both have a 15 second duration. This had the benefit of being short duration dps cycle. So less chance of getting clipped by death. This + SB/DS filler is generally about 1100 dps.

    Generally if we’re doing a trash fight, and I have to move, I’ll throw instant dots (favoring corruption first) on the mobs while I’m positioning. Then I’ll stand still, cast the three cast-time dots. Then do filler until the mob dies. If the mob lives long enough that I should have refreshed the dots.. then I know that I should have cast a full regiment of all 6 dots on it instead of just the 3 cast-time dots.

    I think another contributor to my problem is that I’m often 5-manning with a ret paladin and a hunter as my DPS partners.. and they’re both blowing me totally out of the water.

  6. I’ve always been an affliction lock, but since the xpack I’ve been running with a 5x/1x demo/dest build, and I must say it is AWESOME. I do have some mana issues occasionally, and although I can drain life and tap the health gained, it hurts my dps quite a bit. But for the most part, it’s really good dps…just Corr>CoA>SB spam. Another slight problem that I’m noticing is that people (especially healers) keep wanting me to run with my felhunter instead of felguard for the inteligence buff. Demonic pact seems to be up just as often as with the felguard, but like you said the felhunter’s dps is just plain sad. They really need to add some sort of a static melee-related buff for the felguard that is like blood pact or fel inteligence so when ppl say “use your felpup please for the buff” I can say — “Felguard has a just as good buff, and it helps my dps alot…sorry”. Maybe like a mini devotion aura, so it’s helping the healers passively by providing some dmg mitigation. Just needs something because as it stands now, felguard only helps my dps and doesn’t provide any other buff beyond demonic pact which the felhunter can also provide.

  7. Hey Nibuca,

    I feel your pain and have been puzzling the same thing the last few days. I’m usually running around 1100dps for an entire run with spikes up to 15-1600 on bosses in probably the same level gear and spec as you (Gohanam on Proudmoore).

    The thing I found that helped me find a little more dps on trash mobs was just loading up every mob in the pull with corruption and then going back to the main target and working through them from that point on. A single corruption won’t do enough damage initially to take agro from the tank, but it will be on long enough to do full damage by the time the mob is being taken down. Given my corruption is doing ~1100 a tick atm that damage will add up on the trash over a run.

    For bosses I run Haunt, UA, Corruption, CoA, SL, SB, Immo, Haunt and then SB spam mixed with refreshing dots…CoE only really gets pulled out on raid bosses.

    In terms of the little trash mobs in places like CoT:S, if there is a mage or paladin in the group then don’t even try to compete again AE or Cons, otherwise just go round and randomly hit SoC on mobs and let it do the work for you.

    I’ve also taken to turning firebolt back on to autocast for my imp and found it’s added a little bit to my dps but haven’t bothered parsing that yet so can’t say if it’s +/- compared to felhunter, so it could be something for you to try as well.

  8. Hmm.. Admittedly I haven’t leveled my warlock (see Tastysnack) quite yet, but I could talk to the warlock Claes in my guild; he raids Naxx25 with us regularly.

    Does it say who wrote up the warlock thread on the EJ forum? I may be able to get in contact with them.

    And honestly, it also depends on what sort of tank you bring. All the druid, paladin, and DK tanks I’ve healed thus far have out-dps’d most, if not all, of our DPS. And as for hunters, well – they’re broken in a way that completely and utterly benefits them. Looking at our raid stats, hunters have out-DPSd rogues and warlocks alike. Their only real contenders? DKs. They have a LOT of self-buffs now that really give them great numbers – so I wouldn’t sweat it over the 77 hunter, to be honest.

  9. Disregard my first comment.

    I will, however, speak with our current raiding warlocks and see what they have to say about trash and dps. But I would not sweat it about the 77 hunter! We’ve discovered during Naxx25 that they are broken in a way which completely and utterly does nothing but make them smash MORE face than they probably should; rogues and warlocks are both hurting in that hunters are completely untouchable when it comes to dps.

  10. As knyte mentioned, use corruption. A LOT. There are about 5 or 6 different talents out there that buff corruption. Not to mention the glyph. Corruption is our bread and butter and needs to be top priority, Blizz has made that clear by design. I usually follow it up with a haunt and SB spam for short living things. Maybe mix a UA or SL in there depending one what is going on (how long it lives). It’s still not the greatest, but if you grab the glyph and have nightfall filled in, you get a lot of procs and the instant s-bolts can really help out.

    What we really need is probably an instant cast immolate-like spell…something with direct damage and DoT components that is a clear “start here” spell. Sort of like shadowflame, but better and with more range since we don’t want to be all up in the fight. Or maybe a DoT that does the reverse of CoA and decreases over time. I don’t know, but there is definitely has been an issue with warlock trash DPS.

    I know, I know. It’s just trash! But like you said, right now that’s half the battle. No want wants to suck half the time!

  11. @Fulguralis

    Shadowflame can be included in the rotation but you would have to learn to master your Demonic Circle techniques. Running in and Shadowflaming everything and teleporting back out of danger. It may not be mana efficient and it may not even be an increase in dps, but I rather use the stupid spell since we seem to be stuck with it.


    At my current gear level the Felguard/Ember spec 0/41/30 is giving very good results due to the lost of most of my gear based crit.

    I’m currently as 56/0/15, and I’m also still getting used to it. I would also agree with most that for trash we need to keep it simple. What bothers me is how my dps to this point is rather close to what I was dishing out on my SL/FG farming build which should be way lower on the dps side of things.

    As for affliction rotation. Always cast UA and Immo together and “glyphed” CoA and SL together, this keeps refreshing dots a hell of a lot simpler. Corruption will take care of itself with your Haunt/SB filler.

    One spec I’ve been planning to try out is the SM/SnF 30/0/40 (+1) build. This would be an attempt at making shadow bolt spamming more interesting with multiple dot usage and hard hitting nukes. Eraditcion would most probably be the best place for the last point.

    Anyone tried this build yet?

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