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I am an ilvl 382 Affliction Warlock spec'd 32/3/6. I almost feel guilty queueing as a DPS lately as I'm usually in third place of the DPS individuals in a 5-man heroic or non-heroic run. I have a haste of +15.47%, Hit chance +12.46, crit 8.42% and my gear is fairly decent. Even on bosses where I should be excelling (due to the damage over time spells I have that deal more damage as time progresses), I'm still having a very difficult time topping DPS charts. My spell rotation normally follows something such as the following:

Haunt -> Demon Soul -> Corruption -> Bane of Agony (I use bane of doom on fights that are longer than 15 seconds) -> Unstable affliction -> BOLT -> Shadowflame (rinse repeat). If Soulburn is available I mix that into the rotation with an insta cast Soul Fire. I'm using a felhound for my pet.

I seem to be doing the right things and I'm getting worried that this is just what I'm kind of stuck with. I've read Warlocks can deal massive DPS, but if that requires being an ilvl 403, I'm kind of screwed as I don't have the time to be able to dedicate to the game to be an ivl 403. At the same time, I feel I could be doing better with what I have now. I have the optimized gems/enchants that are provided by askmrrobot. I feel like I've done it all and my DPS is just not there.

Any suggestions on how I can get it up would be most welcome. I'm talking strictly PvE now obviously - I haven't even tried PvP yet (which I'm terrified will be even worse).

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What is your actual DPS? Get a meter, attack a dummy for a minute and let us know. But correct me if I'm wrong, I don't believe Affliction is the top dps spec for warlocks. –  Jared Mar 5 '12 at 22:17

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is somewhat old and written for hunters, but really, the advice it gives is universal.

The short version is, push more buttons. If you're clicking spells, learn to bind them to keys, maximize your GCD's, and always be doing something. The single biggest difference between a bad player and a decent one, is not gear or addons or spell selection, but simple, raw, Global Cooldown usage.

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Another thing worth noting is Warlock DPS tends to stand out more in longer battles. Especially when they are able to keep DoTs goIng. It's been years since I've played, but I don't remember ever seeing a warlock deal very high burst damage in short bouts. –  Fluttershy Mar 3 '12 at 18:01
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A final thought is that affliction warlocks tend to have problems topping meters in trivial fights. They tend to be fine in boss fights, and I'd imagine your problem is that you're waiting for your previous spell to finish casting before you start the next. –  Merus Mar 3 '12 at 18:16
    
@Tristan Common misconception. Warlocks have at several occasions been some of the burstiest mofo's in the game. –  LessPop_MoreFizz Mar 3 '12 at 18:17
    
Im assuming that you are using Recount to check your damage outputs after your fights, one thing I can remind you to do is to reset it before every boss fight and then see how you did after, I know its a fairly simple thing, but if you take into account that all of the smaller battles "average" your damage with what you do in the boss battles, you might be simply be doing far better than you think you are, if you were doing this, then another thing I can recommend would be to go to elitistjerks.com and peruse there databanks on what you "should" be using for any specific class. –  Ravekner Mar 4 '12 at 20:29

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