While Jas has been Miss Popularity in raiding circles and Grimm has been our soft and cuddly front man, I've been working the numbers and the gear to be all I can be. Now, I might be blowing smoke here, but I really think that coming within a few percentage points of our GM's fire mage is reason to believe that I might just be able to hold my own in a raid. Our only other raiding warlock usually comes in far below her on the charts, so if I can manage to stay alive (A feat he rarely manages), then maybe I have a chance in raids.
Of course, that means I would have to actually, you know, raid. Jasra's got that slot all sewed up at the moment. Our GM's making noise about getting her priest up to raiding speed, though, so we're trying to come up with some sort of DPS plan.
Grimm does love his BM spec, but without the end-all BM pet (Spirit Beast), BM is pretty gimped. He has as of yet resisted shifting to Survival, and thus is self-gimping. Additionally, his to-hit is pretty ugly compared to mine due to gearing. This is not deliberate, but as luck (i.e. the RNG) would have it, Grimm's gotten little of the good gear compared to what I have at this point.
What it comes down to is who gets to fly the Clan Grimmtooth flag if Jasra isn't in the raid. Our emotional decision is that we find a way to gear Grimm up and find a way to get past the BM gimping, such as dual spec. The pragmatic decision is that I go in for the team since I'm closest to ready for the venue. Right now that is the direction that we are all leaning, at least until our other raiding Hunter quits coming.
So. Let's talk theory.
Currently I'm running Dual Spec with Demon / Emberstorm as my main and Destro as my alternate. Demon/Ember basically is a fire spec, and feeds on the synthesis of Immolate + Incinerate with Decimate kicking in at 30% on the mob's health. Heroic-buffed that means I see close to 7K crits on my main nuke and 11K on the heavies.
I have heard a lot about Demon / Meta, and seen evidence of what a T7 geared 'lock can achieve when Decimate kicks in. I am at this point sorely tempted to chuck Destro as my secondary and replace it with Demon/Meta so I can play around with it a bit. The raw numbers say I should see another 10% improvement which translates to close to 3K DPS in heroics, without a single scrap of Naxx gear, if theorycraft translates to reality.
This is one of those moral quandaries that Warlocks hate. On the one hand, our old raiding favorite, Destruction, is slowly being walked out to the old folks' home. On the other hand, our most favorite spec of all, Demonology, now offers two effective specs for raiding.
I've had worse decisions to make in my life.
Further research is clearly indicated.