Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Back in Pact

Nibuca mentioned it last week over at the MC, but I wanted to make a service announcement of my own.  Dark Pact is back.  Where did it go?  You may ask...

Well, back in the day (/hikesupbritches), all Aff'locks used Dark Pact.  It essentially made your pet a mana-battery, which at the time was mostly what pets were good for.  Additionally, it didn't have the potential to put you in dangerous health situations. 

This was also before the Glyph of Life Tap was introduced.  Once it was, though, the DPS benefits outweighed the risks, plus Life Tap was slightly reworked so that it made a lot of sense to use.  Thus, we all specced out of Dark Pact and started tap, tap, tapping again. 

Now darkness has reclaimed it's rightful throne.  Dark Pact has been made to trigger the Glyph of Life Tap, so that difference goes away, and the scaling has been reworked such that you should be getting more mana back per use when compared with Life Tap (even improved Life Tap).  Nibs linked the pertinent EJ article here, but I trust her judgment (and cannot view EJ at work).  Feel free to explore the nitty gritty. 

The bottom line here is that if you're a raiding Affliction Warlock, you should give some serious thought to speccing back into Dark Pact and replacing Life Tap with it in your dark castings.  After our ICC run last night, I went and did this myself.  I basically took the one "wtf-do-I-do-with-this" point I had stashed in Grim Reach and plopped it in Dark Pact, so I didn't really have to sacrifice anything spec-wise.  If you're one of those folks that had specced into Improve Life Tap, you could probably take a point from there. 

ICC in particular, but raiding in general has seen AoE raid damage increase a lot.  I presume the effort is to get us to have to move around while also giving healers something to worry about.  The side effect is that it can make Life Tapping somewhat dangerous and downright annoying for healers.  Normally, I wouldn't care if I'm being annoying to healers (case in point: our druid healer once asked, "Why do you always get hit at the start of battle?"  To which I replied, "Many Life Taps, handle it!"), but I also like to live, so it's a good move in my book.  The less I have to worry about cutting myself at the wrong time, the better, and it's not like Felpups are having mana issues right now with their redesign in earlier patches.

I haven't had a chance to see how it plays yet, but I did test the Glyph functionality and it works as advertised.  So hop on the good foot and do the Dark Pact.  Or something.


  1. I'm not convinced yet. The EJ article still has Life Tap as using a spirit conversion, not a spellpower conversion, and yet people keep using this article as the proof that DP >= LT. I'm also not really convinced by "the simcraft says so!" answers. It feels like number-waving. =/

  2. what the what... I wrote something in between those little dashes. Comment box HAXXXXXXXX

  3. @Poneria - I'm not completely sold either, only a chance to actually run with it in a raid situation will convince me. Then I can properly judge if I'm having to tap more or less (by feel and not by numbers, which is more important to me). But if the feel matches the maths, then Dark Pact is the way to go, IMO.

    @Havoca - It probably got swallowed by the html monster.

  4. It's back to being a required affliction raiding talent, IMO. It works very well indeed. With Imp. Felhunter, the puppy never runs out of mana, and gives comparable amounts to LT. With all the various DoT auras in ICC, a DP over an LT can be a life-preserver.

  5. That's there I'm leaning, but I haven't actually run with it yet.

  6. I just spec'd into Dark Pact on my PVP spec (so I wouldn't burn health). Use a nice little macro so it will cast Dark Pact if I have a pet, and LT when I don't. Guess it's time to respec my pve build also...