Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Leveling Guide: The Early Warlock 1-20

Hey lookie there! A leveling guide.

Now, when you choose to level a Warlock, your first choice is faction. It is generally personal preference. Then you pick your class. Alliance side you can choose Human or Gnome. Horde side you can pick between Orcs and Forsaken. And technically Blood Elves. But who would do that?

Originally, you had to do a little quest to get your imp. However, it is now available at level one from your local Warlock Trainer. He does cost a couple copper to buy, but now you can get him easily by level two, rather than waiting until at least level four, or possibly five or six.

At this point, you have a couple options with regards to your spell rotation.

You can either go with the affliction style of killing, or the destro/demo.

With either method, start by commanding your pet to attack your target. This will generally give him threat, and while you will be able to easily pass him, it will keep them off you for a blow or two, saving you a little bit of down time.

The simpler style is to just shoot the mob with Shadow Bolt until it falls over. The other method is to use your DOTs (Damage Over Time). Hit it with Immolation, Corruption and (once you get it) Curse of Agony.

At low levels, it is not actually efficient to cast CoA, because the mob will die before it gets in more than a tick or two.

Continue nuking your way through to level ten. At this point you get to make a few important decisions. Your first choice is your spec. Destruction is big on the big crits and is very mana intensive and not very good for leveling. When I was leveling as destro, I was able to one or two shot one level mobs, but after two fights, I would have to stop and drink for half a minute. If you do want the big crits, try this spec.

Demonology is not very strong in the early levels when you have weaker pets and have little in the way of resource control. If you want to go Demo, begin with this spec. It increases the capability of your voidwalker (we'll get to that in a minute) to keep threat off you and increases the survivability of you and your minion.

Affliction is one of the most popular leveling specs. It is both mana efficient and fast and you get to play with DOTs. Start off by taking this spec. After you put up your DOTs, use Drain Soul to get back 15% of your mana. However, I would strongly suggest either getting an addon to manage your Soulshards or put a large number of them in your bank. You cannot have more than 32 of them and they do not stack, but at low levels they can really cramp your bags.

Also at level ten, you gain your next pet, affectionately called by many as the Blueberry. You will have to do a quest for your voidwalker, but it is not difficult and is within your starting zone- unlike some other Warlock quests. Once you have this pet, you must choose between it and your imp. The imp does better damage, but cannot survive as much and does not have as much utility as the voidwalker.

As you level to twenty, remember to attack with your pet first, use Life Tap only if you really need it, Drain Soul on a regular basis so you have soulshards when you need them- to summon demons or to create a healthstone.

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