I've been on a Warlock blog kick lately and I like what I've read so far. It's good to know that there are smart Locks out there that don't give us a bad name. For the most part we're considered selfish (No CoE for joo magez!) and the Mage class already hates us for having a better AoE in Seed of Corruption but a lot of other players don't see us as a viable CC option.
I'll give you an example.
Our guild has 3 Warlocks. Myself, and 2 Destruction spec cookie-cutter raid Locks. When asked about using your Succubus for CC the other two would respond something like "lolwut? I sac my Succubus for the buff." I, however, am totally comfortable using Seduce in any situation. Most locks are so concerned about their own personal DPS that they'd rather screw the group over for their own personal gain.
CC > DPS
On the Horde side, I normally ran with 2 Rogues as the other DPS which left me as the only viable form of in-combat CC. I got used to chain fearing, banishing, enslaving and, most importantly, seducing.
Seduce is an odd creature that takes some time to master due to it's inability to be reapplied before it breaks (much like all Lock CC). Downloading some form of timer add-on and creating a focus macro helps a ton but it's not required. After awhile you'll start to remember when the CC is about to break by timing it with your cast rotation. Once you seduce, see how many shadowbolts it takes before it breaks and plan accordingly. I'd rather just play it safe and use a timer myself but I know not everyone likes to use addons.
Another issue I have with the Warlock community is the "my spec is better" attitude. Most Warlocks are dead-set in their ways and REFUSE to accept that the other specs are viable at all in PVE regardless of the amount of WWS, math and spreadsheets you put in front of them.
"Shadowbolt > DoTs"
I'm sick of it.
Every spec is viable if the person behind the keyboard is not a total douchebag and the raid make-up is there.
Fire can actually pull of better DPS than a Shadowbolt spamming assclown IF (and only IF) you are in a raid with a Fire Mage that is on his A-game and doesn't let his Improved Scorch debuff fall off, you sac your Imp and use Curse of Elements.
Immolate -> Incinerate x6
There is your cast rotation. Run with it.
Demonology can put out more DPS than any spec but is the most gear dependent spec of them all. Having 2 pieces of T5 for the set bonus as well as the Void Star Talisman trinket from Solarian is a MUST. You also need a Shadowpriest in your group for VE/VT. VE is needed to keep your Felguards mana up and keep Cleave going off every cooldown.
If your Felguard dies you lose a huge chunk of your survivability and DPS. Have a "Dismiss pet" macro handy so if he's about to take a dirt nap you can dismiss him fast and save his buffs. If he dies you need to fully rebuff him and will, again, lose a huge chunk of DPS. The general spec is 5/5 Imp Corruption, 5/5 Imp Shadow Bolt, 5/5 Bane, Shadowburn and the rest in Demonology all the way down to the Felguard. Also ask another Warlock to keep CoS up.
CoA -> Immolate -> Corruption -> Shadowbolt x3
Keep the DoTs refreshed between Shadowbolt spams. Run with it.
Affliction is a great support spec and still has potential to close in on the top of the DPS meter due to it's increase in damage for Seed of Corruption. It's a little harder to keep up with higher burst-DPS specs during trash mobs but who cares about trash? A raid full of Ret Paladins can clear trash. It's the boss encounters that count. If you're stuck on CoS/CoE duty, 3/3 Malediction is a must and having Dark Pact is just icing on the cake. Another huge advantage that Affliction Warlocks get is 5/5 Suppression for 10% spell hit on Affliction spells which lets you pack more +damage gems instead of Veiled Noble Topaz. You'll still want some spell hit since you'll be using Shadowbolt in your rotation a bit but not nearly as much as you would need with the other specs.
It's up to you to put that last point in Unstable Affliction or move over to Ruin. Ruin will help with your burst dps but Unstable Affliction will give you 100% consistant DPS instead of relying on lucky crits.
Curse -> Siphon Life -> UA -> Immolate-> Corruption -> Shadowbolt
Refresh DoTs as they fall and spam Shadowbolt anytime you aren't refreshing. For AoE you only want to use Seed of Corruption unless the mobs are immune to shadow. For trash you do not want to waste mana on DoTs.
Curse of Shadow -> Shadowbolt
Thats it. Nothing more, nothing less. It doesn't matter if you're Affliction, Demo or Destruction. Trash mobs die way to fast for any dot to do much damage at all. The only exception would be if you are Fire specced then always use Immolate. If you can afford the mana, use Conflagrate as a finisher.
So there you have it. How to maximize your DPS through cast rotations. I'll go more in dept with each spec in a later post and maybe have another post about starting a Warlock for you noobsauces.