In the breach for warlocks

spell_shadow_auraofdarknessSo my little lock is leveling…at 63 and counting. In my mind I was already visioning soloing Stratholme at 70 and at 80, attempting to conquer Molten Core and Onyxia on my own. But then a thought stopped me in my tracks and made me furrow my brow…

“Shards stack to 32…and all those level 70 mobs and lower give no shards…people who run low level instances tell me they burn up 10-15 shards per run on pets, healthstones, soulstones and Soul Shatters…OMG!”

So I posted the following in the Suggestions forum. I am opening myself up to a flamewar here, from “Priests don’t use shards” to “Nice Arena ratings” but I am curious. Is there a way around it? Has it been overlooked?

Anyway, here’s a copy of the post. What do you fellow DoTters think?

“Good day!

As the current changes look (and I may have missed a very recent change), the following will occur in 3.1:

* Soul Shards will be limited to 32 in inventory;
* Casting Drain Soul on a mob that grants experience and honor has a chance to generate a Soul Shard, in addition to doing so if the mob dies while channeling Drain Soul.

The issue I can see forming is that with a limit to the stack of 32, helping friends out in lower-level instances or soloing old content will become difficult, as a Warlock will burn through the shards at a (slower than) normal pace, yet will have no option to gain more shards, as the mobs are too low level.

If you do this once, the issue is limited, but repeatedly running a low-level instance (because you know your Warrior friend wants Herod’s axe ^_^) will become impossible as you run out of shards and have to return to Northrend to collect more. Or alternatively, if you can still store them in the bank, you would have to go to a bank, get shards, and then run back (because the summoning stone will not work for you).

All of this is not a call for the discussion on soul shard stacking, removal of the shard cost for Soul Shatter, etc. I would be interested to hear your input about what to do in this specific case.

This may be an unexpected angle to the Soul Shard changes in 3.1, which is why I am posting this in the Suggestion forums.

To counter this issue, a couple of ideas spring to mind. Mind you, that some of these are impractical, diffiicult to implement, or just not applicable because of an oversight I made. I am just spitballing here ^_^. Here’s a list:

* Making Drain Soul have a (small) chance to give shards against lower level mobs as well (possibly only if it dies while channeling).

* Making it possible to use Drain Soul normally on lower-level mobs while inside an Instance (not sure if this is feasible). If some spells were not usable in instances before (such as entangling roots), perhaps it is possible to toggle Drain Soul to remove its limitation on “must give XP or honor to give shards” while inside an instanced location.

* Making the 32 shard limit an option that can be turned on or off in the Interface menu (Standard would be turned on, to implement the feature as Blizzard planned, but it can be toggled off if you are preparing for an all-nighter in Stratholme for the mount).

Here’s to hoping Warlocks won’t be strapped for shards just because they want Baron’s mount too!




6 Responses to “In the breach for warlocks”

  1. Maybe in a raid instance you will use shards up, but if I’m soloing a 5-man / running a buddy though, I don’t use any shards outside of my pet summon.

  2. I think it’s great that you want to come up with suggestions for the soul shard issues. They certainly need to be reworked; however, I’m not really sure how/why a high level warlock (like myself) would burn through that many shards while running lowbies through instances. The times I burn through shards is when I’m in instances with mobs I can get shards from. I don’t think I’ve ever used shatter while running someone through or lost a pet. Hmm. *ponders*

  3. Well, since my lock is in no position to solo stuff, it might be an idea to keep track of how many shards you on average burn through while running stuff. Judging by level, it is mostly the level 58-61 stuff which does not give shards. Which of these are regularly solo’d?

    * Stratholme for rep, mount, set pieces
    * Scholomance for rep, set pieces
    * Molten Core for rep, set pieces, craft materials
    * Zul’gurub for rep, mounts

    Those are the ones I can think of so quickly.

    Also, it is not really a matter that you don’t burn through shards. But when you consider a 32-shard limit, it means that as a Warlock levels, repeated solo’ing of a certain level of lower-level content becomes harder, not easier. Other classes might need reagents, but they are not limited in how many they can carry, and as such can prepare a “goodybag” full of them for when solo’ing lower-level instances repeatedly.

    Up to a certain level you can breeze through with an Imp and Shadowbolt, then there’s a part challenging enough to need a pet and shards, then the next “tier” of dungeons requires a lot of shards but starts granting shards from mobs as well.

    I am just trying to make sense of it at this point.

  4. Honestly, you still should not be blowing through that many shards. If you are, then you need to take a look at your spec, gear, rotation, and strategy. 32 shards will not make it more difficult while leveling up either. I NEVER carried that many until around the time I hit 70. Actually, even now, at 80, I don’t usually carry more than 28. That’s the size of my soul shard bag and sometimes I’ll drain a couple extra.

    As far as I can tell, the limit really might only affect PvP/Arena. I have no issue with the shard limit and have not for the year plus I’ve played my main, my lock. I have issues with lack of good uses for them and the fact they do not stack yet.

  5. Right, that helps alleviate that a bit I guess. I found that while leveling you indeed require very little shards, and these are gained quicker than spent.

    Note that my lock is 64 at this moment, so I haven’t tried soloing anything yet. ^_^

  6. I do hope GC is right when he says they are working on something “cool” with soul shards. It would be nice to give them a more fun function, I think. We’ll have to see, I guess!

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