The Value of a Soul Shard

The Warlock community has always had an excellent group of theorycrafters, partly because the community could always count on SimulationCraft to do a lot of heavy lifting, and Zakalwe, a Warlock, is a very active SimCraft developer. Since MoP, however, the changes to Warlock mechanics made it so that SimCraft has struggled to provide comprehensive answers about optimal Warlock play. A large part of this is the introduction of Pandemic, making DoT refreshing more of an art than a science; the other part of this is because Warlocks are an ‘actual’ resource based class for the first time – Affliction has Soul Shards, Demonology has Demonic Fury, and Destruction has Burning Embers.

To compound the problem, these resources aren’t like the other resources in MoP – the build up for them is fairly long and slow, and the proper use of these resources dictates that they should be pooled. So while Hunters can calculate the marginal value of a point of focus just by looking at the DPS of a rotational ability like Arcane Shot, figuring the marginal value of a Soul Shard is not quite as simple.

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Learning Demonology: Part 1

This blog, in general, is about Warlock topics – well, it says it is in the corner – but up to this point it would be more accurate to say it’s a blog about Affliction Warlock topics. The reason for that is simple – I play Affliction, and I don’t play anything else. I played 4.3 Destruction and it is still probably my favorite spec (but keep in mind, I’m a Cata baby), and I played Demonology for Spine, but for the entirety of MoP I’ve played Affliction and only Affliction.

This choice to only play one spec hasn’t come to haunt (ha ha ha) me yet, but it’s always nice to have another specs or all specs available to you because each specialization actually does have its own unique strengths – or least that’s the case for Warlocks. As my current guild is constituted there’s no need for Demonology on any fight  we’ve done – on Will of the Emperor Heroic our current comp nukes down grouped Emperor’s Rages quickly enough, and on Wind Lord Mel’jarak Affliction is every bit as strong as Demonology, but is there a compelling case to play Demo on Sha of Fear Heroic? There seems to be, so I’ll be writing about my process and experience as I learn this spec.

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