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Forgive me for being ignorant on lock info, I just broke mine out last night for the first time in about a year and he's only in the late 20s. I've always been impressed with their potential output, but am just really clueless on their actual mechanics.
I know with other DPS classes, there are specs better suited to solo play and other better for grouping.
From my readings here, I get the feeling that Aff is good in groups once you get into kara and beyond since mobs are up longer for dots to tick away, but before that dest is the way to go? For solo it seems like aff or demo is the prefered choice.
How viable is affliction early on for grouping? Will I be one of 'those' locks that finish in overall damage next to the tank? Or can I dot everything in a pull (assuming tank is decent) and stay comparable to mages/rogues?
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Affliction will do quite well in all raids and instances. It is very viable for grouping early as well as late. The general rule is to dot little on mobs that will die quickly, but to load them up on the bosses which is where your dps will shine.
Destro is the endgame raid spec and any deep destro spec is group-oriented. The various percentage modifiers it brings scale very well with gear, while Affliction brings a lot of base damage to the party. If you intend to group CONSTANTLY, picking up 10 points in destruction for ISB and Bane is a good choice for leveling, but this will severely gimp your solo efforts.
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