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Damage numbers

I just downloaded a damage add-on and was disheartened by what it showed. I wad doing second-to-last or worst damage for my first dungeon even though I was a couple levels higher than most people in the party. This is my first character (warlock) and so I clearly have plenty to learn but are there other factors?

Is warlock not super strong early levels and gets better late? Do some classes/specs start a bit stronger than others? Do heirloom items that others have have an impact?

Even if the answer to all of those questions is no, let me down easily.

7 comments
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It's your first dungeon. Relax, Warlocks, especially affliction warlocks, are not about the huge burst of damage. Your specialty is sustained damage over time and survivability, with life tap and drain life a healer should never have to even look at you freeing his focus for the tank. Also in lower levels mobs don't have enough health to live through your dots so your damage numbers are going to be low. Also don't worry about level differences, with the scaling system level difference means very little as far as damage output.

After you get a few talents you will be doing consistent damage. If you want burst you can switch to destruction but I wouldn't recommend it until after level 70. I just hit 90 on my first retail warlock and it's been smooth sailing all the way through. You can switch your specialty anytime for free out of combat so experiment with them. Lock one stop shop is a good resource to look at the differences between specs. Just keep in mind that the overviews are mostly endgame oriented but there are some good guides for leveling specs there as well.

2 points · 8 days ago

Make sure you have your rotation down but if you're playing affliction, you're playing a DOT class (damage over time) so if things are dying quickly, you can't get the damage to match what others are doing.

2 points · 8 days ago

Yes, heirlooms make a huge difference, also affliction is a dot-bases class, so if the fights are short you simply don't have the time to do good damage.

If I where you, I'd stop looking at dps numbers untill you get to max levlel, it'll be much more enjoyable for you.

You are comparing yourself to players wearing full heirloom gear which will be a lot better than yours and they likely have played the game for a decade longer than you so chances are they are just better than you.

The other comments cover most of it. Just wanted to add two things - the scaling in dungeons has done weird things to meters until everyone is max level, so do not automatically assume that the damage meter is correct.

And secondly, heirloom gear makes a HUGE difference. I out-dps people who are 6-10 levels higher than me (according to my untrustworthy meter) as a disc priest in full heirlooms.

Instead of focusing on numbers, which don't much matter in lowbie dungeons, focus on perfecting your rotation (which you can't do until you have all of your spells and talents, really, but focus on the parts of it you do have, such as maintaining dots) and avoiding damaging mechanics (even if they won't kill you, don't make it a habit to stand in shit).

1 point · 8 days ago · edited 7 days ago

This is my first character (warlock) and so I clearly have plenty to learn but are there other factors?

Low level damage output is dependent on:

  • 60% or so class design: if you get your key abilities at level 70, 85, or 110, obviously the husk of your class that you have without them will not be competitive.

  • 40% gear: if you don't have it, you won't be dealing damage.
    ~0% skill: it really does not take much of it to navigate the 2 and a half spells you have at level 15.

What spec are you playing? Affliction is not competitive at low levels because everything dies too fast. Demo is not competitive at low levels because it's about 30-40% complete without your artifact, which you essentially get at 110.

On top of that, balance is an absolute mess at low levels. For instance, before level 90 or so rain of fire is ridiculously overtuned for destro compared to your other spells. At level 110 it's very low impact and only used on large numbers of targets that will be up for a long time. Tanks used to deal 2-3 times as much damage as most DPS specs at low levels, they probably still do. Nobody really cares about it either way.

Original Poster1 point · 7 days ago

I was playing demo and switched to dest which has been going a LOT smoother. Been leading dps most dungeons now and I think I'm getting the hang of the rotation. Level 30 so clearly don't have all spells but I have a pretty good grasp on the ones I do have. Thanks for the advice!

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