I just started getting back into WoW and I decided to play a Worgen Warlock.

It has been about a year since I last played so much has changed and I have the Cataclysm expansion also.

I was wondering if all of the changes the classes what the best talent tree would be if I want high damage output but also want to survive in long fights. Right now I am affliction spec. I like it but I wish I could hit a little harder because I tend to forget to refresh my curses and banes.

I was thinking demonology but I just wanted to get some input from people that might actually have a clue.

Also on side note, do I ever recapture Gilneas? Or once I fail in the level 1-15 time is it lost as a city forever?

  • 1
    "Also on side note, do I ever recapture Gilneas? Or once I fail in the level 1-15 time is it lost as a city forever?" Ruins of Gilnaes becomes part of Horde's Silverpine Forest quest area in the main part of the game. Having said that, there's a Battle for Gilnaes Battleground. But... no, you never regain it.
    – user2974
    Jan 27, 2011 at 0:08
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    lame, I was hoping it became more than just a battleground and a dead zone. Jan 27, 2011 at 0:23
  • Refreshing curses? I never do that on ordinary mobs (I'm affliction). Sounds like you're going after orange mobs; try killing green mobs (or other mobs that require only one set of dots). Your xp per mob might be lower, but you'll be killing much faster so your xp per hour will be higher.
    – Sjoerd
    Jan 28, 2011 at 2:15
  • Duel spec, available at level 40, is very cheap nowadays. So you could pick one spec for nice dps, and another one for long fights. Or any other two specs you prefer (I use a pve and a pvp spec)
    – Sjoerd
    Jan 28, 2011 at 2:32

4 Answers 4


Short answer: Destruction.

Long answer: Given your desire to hit harder and your problems with remembering to cast curses, I would argue that rules out both affliction and demonology. Destruction is going to give you the best DPS output generated from your toon in single hits, which seems to be for what you are yearning. With demonology, your DPS will be split between you and your pet.

If you're the kind of person who likes sheer numbers, you should check out this thread on Elitist Jerks. After running some simulations with SimulationCraft, the following was observed:

  • Affliction currently puts out the most DPS, followed by Destruction, then Demonology. This is true for pre-raid or post-raid.
  • Destruction outpaces affliction in fights with heavy movement.
  • Taking into account the coming PTR changes, it looks like Destruction will outpace Affliction in Tier 11 gear overall.
  • Well I am only level 25, so teir 11 is not really a concern. Jan 27, 2011 at 1:06
  • Ok so destruction will allow me to put numbers on the board in dungeons but still allow me solo as I level? Jan 27, 2011 at 1:08
  • You can solo as any of the three specs, especially with your void walker tanking for you. However, yes, destruction will get you the DPS results for which you are looking.
    – Shaun
    Jan 27, 2011 at 1:11
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    As an affliction warlock, I regard myself as the tank for the dps pet. Using the voidwalker will slow me down as its dps is low and I don't want to wait for it to get aggro.
    – Sjoerd
    Jan 28, 2011 at 2:20

All three trees are capable of doing nice dmg and can be used to quickly level. Blizzard tries to keep them on par with each other, so it doesn't matter which one is better now: the difference will be small and might swing the other way next month.

Affliction kills by casting dots, and includes lots of self-healing to survive till the mobs drop down from the dots. As it takes much longer to kill a single mob, you'll be better off fighting multiple mobs at the same time. Don't use the voidwalker to tank the mobs; you'll heal enough to overcome a few hits. The succubus is, I think, the best dps pet. [EDIT: the felhunter is the best affliction pet]

Demology puts more emphasis on the demon pet. I don't have much experience with this, but it seems to be the best one if you want to solo elite mobs and other group quest bosses. Felguard is the special demon for this tree, and it rocks!

Destruction is about the big nukes, and plays more like a mage.

Pick the one you like the most. After all, it's just a game ;)

  • BTW, I've been playing an affliction warlock since the beta six years ago. I could add more details on the affliction style if anyone is interested.
    – Sjoerd
    Jan 28, 2011 at 2:28
  • hmm Demonology sounds like it might be worth trying out, I forgot about the felguard. Jan 28, 2011 at 3:22

Ignoring that you have problems playing a warlock with its damage overtime spells, which i am sure you will overcome if you want to play a warlock and not a mage.

Affliction, and some sort of a training wheels priority hint warlock addon (no matter what spec you choose) that suits your ui.

once you have mastered soul swap, get to the level where haunt / fel flame mob transitions are pretty simple and on questing mobs a simple macro will do all the 'remember' stuff for you until its muscle memory.

  • Well my last toon was a Warrior, I got to WotLK endgame content, up until ICC came out that is about the time I quit. So I think if I can just get the DoT cycle down I will do ok. Jan 28, 2011 at 3:20
  • @Solignis: Have a look at the "DoTimer" add-on. It will show bars for each dot that is ticking, and you can easily see when one is about to expire.
    – Sjoerd
    Jan 28, 2011 at 16:38
  • @Sjoerd: I will take a look at that. Sounds like it might be nice. Jan 31, 2011 at 4:06

Affliction you will be finding yourself casting the same spells in no specific order. meaning corruption and unstable affliction will can be reapplied at random. its not like a rotation where its corruption and UA. also hit rating is MAJOR because I tried the target dummy and I have medium hit rating and i missed casting haunt twice in a row and UA several times in a row (maybe its just my luck)

Demonology is amazing if you can get the rotation down. keep corruption and immolate on at all times, refresh immolate with hand of Gul'dan if you have the cremation talent. and shadowbolt filler until either decimation or molten core pops. if molten core pops use count out 3 incinerates (keeping corruption and immo up) and just spam the brains out of soul fire when decimation procs.

Destruction is my personal favourite. CoE immolation CB conflagration incineration (filler), restart when your chaos bolt has about 2-3 seconds left on CD. The Cooldowns addon helps a lot. It displays a number on your spell icon on your action bar. This makes low movement fights easier so u can focus on your action bars. (unless you keybind in raiding)

For all of these is suggest a soulburn soulfire macro for example:

/cast Soulburn   
/cast Soulfire 

Only click it when the global cooldown is up and it should work perfectly. with 1 click. if not 2 clicks wont hurt. I've played the same warlock for 5 years so if you have any questions ask me.

I have decent gear for a level 83 warlock and I'm horrible at affliction rotation but I do about 6k. With demo I can go about 8-9k single target and 10-13k AoE (with meta and what not). I prefer destro because it's about the same damage as demo but its easier to play.

  • Those are the boss-fight, single target 'rotations'. During levelling and farming other tactics are better.
    – Sjoerd
    Feb 12, 2011 at 3:46

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