Black Sheep

Zardoz of Armory Datamine commented on my last post. He observed that according to his data, Warlocks are now the least played class. Less played than even Shamen, the traditional low-man.

Wow.. Ok.. well let me state up front.. I love my lock. I occasionally miss my Pally.. but there is no other toon that I’ve ever gotten the sustained urge to play to the level cap. There’s some hint that warlocks got a nerf in WotLK. I think that’s somewhat justified but not across the board.

Raiding Destruction got a nerf.. but really you’d have to be blind and dumb to not see that coming. Succy Sacrific Shadow Bolt spamming locks had to have known their days were numbered.

Raiding Affliction got a buff. At the end of BC raiding afflocks were starting to put up reasonable numbers. I was starting to show up in the top 2-3 in a raid. I was working my ass off. I was consistently beat out by Destruction Warlocks.. and Beast Master Hunters.

Warlock PVP got a HUGE nerf. Once upon a time Warlocks were the cackling nemesis of PVP. Then everyone and his brother was given 3 was to sundy to break out of fear.. and fear was put on dimishing returns. Then in Wrath Blizz condensed down the gear sets.. so suddenly Warlocks weren’t able to find gear with as much stamina and we’re getting int.. or goodness help us.. spirit. Wrath changed PVP into a Burst game.. and Warlocks are -not- a burst class. We don’t have the survivability the get through the burst.. and we didn’t have the burst to burst them down first.

What’s wrong:

– Affliction rotation is very complex and hard to manage (3.1 they’re simplifying the rotation)
– Destruction rotation is almost as complex as Affliction and possibly more fiddly (I don’t know if there’s a fix for this.. I don’t normally play Dest so I hadn’t really looked)
– Affliction is dependent on dots and therefore has poor dps on trash mobs or adds (I don’t currently see a fix for this)
– Pets need to be micro managed but bring very little benefit (poor dps, easily replaced buffs, low survivability)

IN PVP: (Caveat: I don’t pvp.. so all this info is second hand)
– Fear is almost dead. It’s no longer a game winner. It’s broken possibly to the point of never being relevant again.
– Blizz (or at least GC) has said he wants Warlocks to have more survivability. I -think- Blizz is trying to move PVP away from the “Burst game”. Rather than giving Warlocks more burst it looks like they’re tuning us towards being less squishy.

Now, I’m not beating my chest and threatening to quit the game. I don’t think Blizz hates warlocks. In the long run I do think Blizz wants Warlocks (and other pure DPS classes) to be competitive. So knowing that change is inevitable.. I can only watch the changes that I see coming from Blizz and try to predict where it’s all headed.

6 thoughts on “Black Sheep

  1. Greetings,

    I remember the days on my old PVP server that when you saw a warlock coming you up and ran. I guess I still have that fear and resentment when I see them in Wintergrasp.

    Since as you know, my main is a class that has always been the underdog(shaman) I have had this disdain for people who jump on classes because they are “uber” at the moment. I can see that is not the case for you.

    So, welcome to the minority. You can at least say you are not trendy, and when Blizz gets to your class again in a positive way you can tell everyone that you were a lock when locks weren’t cool.


  2. I think you hit the nail on the head here, though I’m hesitant to see if Affliction plays out as an actual buff. Sure they simplified the rotation, but they also basically removed two dots from a standard rotation. How is that going to play out on the DPS boards? Is the simplification and buffing to crits going to offset the loss of DoTs?

    I think one of the big PvP problems is giving people at LEAST 3 ways to break fear. As pretty much our only defense method, why do this? (Because ppl QQ’ed, but I’m not gonna go there). I agree with giving them A (singular) method to counter our fears, but we only have three ways to apply fear. One with a long cast time (should be fair game), one instant AoE, and one very short “get off me” type spell. I could see countering the “get off me” or saving that cooldown for if we get a long cast time off, but nto all of the above. Where is the strategy there if you can’t out think someone because they have more weapons than you do?


    I do like being part of the minority though, as it leaves dedicated people who love the class. I would hate to have locktards.:-)

  3. before wrath was launched the Warlock was the unchallenged king of the arenas and spouted a magical single button rotation to decimate in PvE.

    The warlocks of today are just as effective if not more (our top dps is a Warlock who can break 7k dps) but it requires more than spamming shadow bolt. This taking away of an easymode class made a lot of the people who hop ship to the most overpowered class leave.

    You must also keep in mind how percentages will change with the introduction of a new class. You’d have to look at absolute number deltas to see if there really has been a drop off in Warlocks.

    Tristans last blog post..Loot Council, it isn’t Difficult

  4. @Niburca
    First of all, thank you for not giving up on warlocks. I’ve seen several other lock bloggers give up on the class and re-roll death knights which I have no problems with since thats their choice.

    As for the subject at hand, I can’t complain about the diminishing population of warlocks because once the dust has settled what will be left are the players that are trully dedicated to the class.

    I’m really enjoying the fact that I’m getting to play with my pets instead of sacrificing them, and I welcome any changes that blizzard find necessary to the class since it allows me to re-discover the class all over again.

  5. Lock pride!

    I love the mechanics of the class. I love the lore of the class. I love the class. I’m not changing that, despite having high level toons of all of the “flavor of the month” classes. We need some love right now, and we’re getting it, but it’s still a remarkably entertaining class to play.

    I love joking that when Blizz finally makes Locks OP again, and all those fairweather players come back to their abandoned toons…I’ll be the only well-geared lock on the server. >:D

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