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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Why Was I So Bad on December 18th?

I’ve recently joined a new guild, because basically I am a scumbag DPS and I need people to carry me through progression (or so my friends have told me…), and last night was my first night. The trial period is going to be a few weeks, and during these few weeks I’ve decided to work through my process for evaluation and improvement in order to mesh with the guild, and put it into words in this series titled “Why Was I So Bad?”. This is mostly going to be a not-that-interesting, stream of consciousness type of look at things, but hopefully it’ll be useful for someone – or maybe it’ll be useful for me, when someone points out something I may have missed.

The title reflects my attitude towards myself when I play video games usually. It’s a little tongue-in-cheek, but I’ve found it’s better to be realistic or pessimistic rather than think that you’re the best and you played well enough.

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Affliction Secondary Stats, SimCraft and Limitations

More than anything else, threads and posts on the Warlock forum on MMO-Champion are created about the value of secondary stats for Affliction and by people looking for suggestions on how to reforge or how to interpret the results given by SimulationCraft. People are perpetually puzzled by what all those numbers mean and consider them as the first source of issues when they are looking to improve their play.

This post is about how all of it is mostly meaningless.

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Evaluating Yourself and Comparing to Top Players

One of the most popular threads on the MMO-Champion Warlock forums is the ‘Fix My DPS’ thread, with over 2000 posts on it since its beginning in 2009. It’s generally a pretty helpful thread, as the players that post asking for help are polite and want to listen and learn, and the players that post to help try to be genuinely helpful and patient. Having been a part of that forum for quite a while now I’ve on occasion put in my two cents to help a fellow Warlock at at times.

There are a few things that continually crop up in that thread though, for example, players not knowing how to maximize procs and what not, and generally being very unsure of where they stand. Now this seems obvious, since they are posting in the ‘Fix my DPS’ thread after all, but I’m going to argue that actually, almost every player that isn’t at the top is sitting in the same position: how do I help myself? How do I improve from where I am? What am I doing wrong? I’m going to write about my perspective on how to improve.

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