Hopefully the short attention span people were filtered out by the subject title.
The toon I am going with for BFA release and initial push is going to be my human, tailor/enchanter warlock. As per the factions thread, there seems to be a lot of value to unlock, and that means I probably want a human that can solo well and maximize rep gains. For me that is the warlock. In this post I will go into some of the decision points I am going with for solo faction grinding. This is not a good raid build- I have other 110s that I can push up for that later. This guy’s goal is to hit exalted on all 6 factions by running quest lines and world quests.
Which spec? When I think of warlock, I think the gameplay that stands out is pets + mobile DoTs. You can play mage and do cast times and roots, and destruction warlock seems pointless and redundant.
That leaves demonology and affliction. Now Demonology has a cool sort of zookeeper like feel now where you can summon armies of imps and other demons to swarm things. But I have problems with that as is. One typical frustration for me questing is being stuck in combat because some pet has wandered off someplace and is still chewing on something. I can not heal, I can not mount up, I just have to walk until combat drops. I think this sort of problem will get much worse in BFA with the zookeeper build, with more imps to wander off and fall into those kind of problem areas. Since your entire DPS for Demonology is now pet based, dealing with pet AI issues can be a frustration.
So that leaves me with affliction. The tier 6 ability, Grimoire of Sacrifice, may actually turn that stuck pet into a bonus upon sacrifice and give me some more control in areas where sloppy pets are problematic. The pet for affliction is a perk- void walker if you need a tank; succubus if you need crowd control; imp if you want hassle free dps; fell hunter if you need an interrupt. Even with the better dps option, the imp, the fraction of DPS it grants is small, so dumping pets in affliction is no real hardship.
So affliction it is. Now for the rest of the talents.
T1- Nightfall, Drain Soul, or Deathbolt. Oh I went around and around on this one. If you use seed of corruption to spread a bunch of corruption to many targets, Nightfall should go off like popcorn, giving you free Shadow Bolts. But that is pretty much an overpull situation that will likely kill you for WQs, so I think it is of lower use. Drain soul is a channel that replaces 2s cast shadow bolt, does increased damage below 20%, and generates a shard if you use it to kill the foe. I like channels, particularly this one because this one starts at 0% mana, and ticks up in cost the longer you channel, so I can get a few tics in and move without damage loss. If you have to move and cancel that Shadow Bolt, you lose all of that cast time you had invested before. So a channel I think like this is a better move if you like mobility, as you can do it as long as you need, and you are free to break off at any time without much penalty. But beyond that you get the shard fishing function, which lets you lay down more shard consumers like UA or Seed. The final option is Deathbolt. It is up every 30s, and is insta cast, so it is a longish CD. It does big damage if you have fully loaded the target up with DoTs, but if you start delaying it, you can cut your DPS. So there is some finesse to using it, and I think the routine functionality of Drain Soul is a better pick.
T2- Writhe in Agony, Absolute Corruption, Siphon Life. I go round and round on these. Writhe is good for boss kills where you can build the full 15 stacks of agony. For trash and questing, it is largely useless. Siphon life is another GCD insta DoT which can impact things that scale off of number of DoTs, and if you religiously light up everything with it, you get a decent health return. Absolute corruption means you never need to refresh corruption, and you are doing damage even if you are over there somewhere looting a quest item. But if you tag an evade bugged mob with it, you are stuck in combat. Overall I tend to like Absolute corruption. My pattern for groups is to seed, agony, corrupt, drain pop the seed, then apply agony by tabs to everything, then drain snipe back shards. If you turn on nameplates, you can see which guy to snipe next, and overall this is very satisfying. For a string of singles, I just double dot- Agony and corruption, and keep moving. The pet deals with them as they die in my wake. So yeah absolute corruption it is. But there is some joy in the triple DoT and run strategy of siphon.
T3- Demon Skin, Burning Rush, Dark Pact. Soul leech normally knocks off 10% of the damage you take, and Demon Skin ups this to 15%. It might be the edge in one shot mechanics, but is for the most part not going to be useful. Dark Pact is a 1min CD defensive that is powered by 20% of your life and lets you break CC. Good for PVP, not really good else. Burning Rush is my go to here as so many times I want to move fast and this is the only real option short of gates for Warlock. If you have siphon, you can triple dot and burning rush while questing and still have life.
T4-Sow the Seeds, Phantom Singularity, Vile Taint. Sow is not as good as it was in legion. The DD component of the explosion is 24% of spell power, which is small. The main advantage is greater corruption spreading, and better kill of light large crowds of trash. It is passive, so it is easy. Phantom Singularity is a 45s CD target based insta cast AOE, which hits hard (144% of SP over 16s), gives another DoT for anything that scales by DoTs, and has a 25% heal. Pretty decent return, think you have to manage its usage and not macro it. Vile Taint is a ground targeted soul shard consuming AO on a 20s CD with a 30% snare and moderate DD (75% of SP). I think either you take Sow the Seeds for simplicity, or you go with Phantom. Still undecided here. I think what I am going to do is try out Singularity in a GSE2 macro for both (UA and Seed). This keeps it off of the routine corruption and agony casts, but if I am going to bother seeding or unstable afflicting, I will try Singularity. Ideally the GSE2 macro will have /cast Singularity in the Key Release section so I can open with the cast and as that completes add in Singularity.
T5-Darkfury, Mortal Coil, Demonic Circle. Darkfury makes your 1.5s cast AOE 8yd stun have a 45s CD. Mortal Coil is a single target 45s horror for 3s that heals you for 20%. Demonic Circle is the gate thing warlocks use in raids to move the whole raid between points. I think for questing Demonic Circle is pretty bad unless you want a quick getaway. I do not really use the AOE stun for solo, since if you need AOE stun, having to endure interrupts for 1.5s of the cast stinks, so this is more of a move for Mythics. I think the best pick here is Mortal Coil. Macro it with your health stone, and mash that button- stone down, well you get relief for 3s and some life back from Mortal Coil. Also horror is a really hard effect from a PvP standpoint to negate.
T6- Shadow Embrace, Haunt, Grimoire of Sacrifice. Shadow Embrace will make drain soul debuff thetarget to take 3% more dmg for 10s per stack, limit 3 stacks. Passive modest damage buff linked to your anytime. Haunt is slight dmg upfront (55% SP) with a 15s 10% dmg debuff on a 15s CD that gets refunded if it dies. Grimoire of Sacrifice lets you use your pet command demon ability after you sac the pet. I tried Haunt. It felt like a bunch of micromanagement on routine dotting, and just slowed me down. So shadow embrace for more DPS and less pet control, or Grimoire of Sacrifice if pets are annoying.
T7-Soul Conduit, Creeping Death, and Dark Soul:Misery. Soul Conduit is a passive 15% chance for shard refund on use. This matters more for builds not using drain soul, or if you are power mashing a Gnome Sequence macro to stay up on shard generation. Not good for me in this build. Creeping death is just faster kills, which is a huge plus for solo content, and the default choice. Dark Misery is a haste buff for 20s on a 2min CD. More burst. If bosses are a huge problem, go with the burst, else go with Creeping Death.
War Mode- Not bothering unless it is a guild PVP enabled event. My experience is the 10% xp gain from it is not worth the 20% downtime from being griefed. Would take adaptation to offset long CC automatically. I would go with Endless Affliction, Rot and Decay, and Essence Drain as my other 3.
Singles- Weak targets get agony, corruption, then drain sniped, with me tabbing after applying first 2. Pick up some quest item while DoTs do the work. Stronger targets get UA on the open, then agony, corruption, and UA as many times as needed before I drain it out with drain soul. Drain life, mortal coil, warlock candy for life return.
Bosses- Open with UA, agony, corruption, then UA til close to dry keeping agony up, then drop Darkglare and drain soul. Heal self or pet as needed. Eventually it runs out of life.
Crowds- Seed 1 or 2 times depending on size and distance, agony, corruption, drain soul and pop the seed spreading corruption. Once popped, apply agony, then drain soul snipe/dump more seeds as needed. Typically void walker goes in with macro to apply seed, and it clusters them before I do any damage.
Lots of people overcamping an area- use burning rush to zip around, dumping perma corruption on everything and let other players be my pets doing all the tedious work of DPSing that stuff down.
All of my attacks are macroed in this form
So the voidwalker goes and chews on the new target when I use that spell. As you run around dotting things, the voidwalker will have agro on them one at a time then collectively, and they tend to cluster on him. I think I want that legendary that snares targets with corruption. Note that the petdefensive command means it goes after anything that has agro on me, and will defauth to attacking my present target.
My mount macro is something like this
/use [flyable] WarlockClassMount
/use [swimming] Sea Turtle
/use [noflyable] Water Strider
I forget the name of the class hall mount for Warlock, but use that. Turtle goes underwater. Dismounts me if I am mounted. Puts pet on passive. Useful as a combat recall of your pet, just hit the mount macro and your pet comes back, even though you can not mount up again
Gear- well I am not putting much into gear right now. Just whatever is an upgrade, I use. My legendaries are not even upgraded. At some point they will be discarded.
Buffs- got the item that buffs you from Broken SHore, am using legion haste food, I conjure warlock candy and soulstone myself. Haste/intellect are the gems/enchants to go for. I use the scavenge cloth shoulder enchant.
Pets- mostly use Voidwalker for carefree, agro free life