Friday, January 9, 2009

Why should I play this class. . .Warlock?

The Warlock. Probably one of the most hotly contested classes since the inception of Warcraft, for the majority of the time the game has been in existance, they have been called overpowered. They are. They are one of the few classes in Warcraft with few weaknesses, although unlike the Paladin, they are restricted to one role only. And they also benefit from a free mount.

Solo:
Strengths: The Warlock has a number of strengths. First of all, they are one of only three classes to employ a pet, which if used correctly allows the user plenty of time to get prepared while the pet takes damage. They offer a number of abilities which reduce downtime being able to drain both health and mana, and can convert their own health into mana. They have multiple fear abilities if situations get too difficult. Lastly they have the ability to store their souls and basically get a free resurrection. The Warlock is undoubtedly one of the most powerful classes in the game in solo play.

Weaknesses: Looking for solo weaknesses in the warlock is like looking for blemishes on a supermodel. They're there, but they're hard to find. They can't AOE as well as a mage and multiple mob pulls could become a problem. They are casters so are restricted to cloth armor and although they normally have the highest stamina of any caster, are squishy compared to the non caster classes.

Group:
Strengths: Soul stone is great for making sure the caster can rez if the group gets killed. They have strong sustained damage and AOE abilities. They also have very strong CC abilities, depending on the mobs being faced and the pet the Warlock is employing.

Weaknesses: Again, few to speak of. Fear if used at inappropriate times can be a nightmare for groups. Can pull aggro if it is not managed effectively. CC may not be usable at all times, depending on mob types.

PvP:
Strengths: DoT, DoT, DoT, DoT, Fear, repeat. It sucks, its cheap, anyone who's ever pvp'd has been hit by it, but it is effective. Oh, and the succubus can charm you. And they have an instant fear that ALSO drains life. Yeah, they're still overpowered in pvp.

Weaknesses: Depending on spec, they lack burst damage. They also are cloth wearers and a few good hits will take them out. If you can resist their fear effects, you can lay the hurt on them.

Specs:
Affliction: This is the main PvP spec for Warlocks. It increases abilities to apply DoTs on targets and drain health. This gives affliction buids very little downtime as they can convert health to mana, then drain the health from mobs (this is what is commonly referred to as "drain tanking"). This build also offers buffs to the already powerful seed of corruption, one of the more powerful AOE spells in the game if used correctly.

Demonology: Strong pets = strong warlock. This spec increases the effectiveness of the warlock's pets. It also offers a unique summon: the felguard. The felguard is like having a DPS warrior duoing with the warlock, except it is under control of the warlock and never rolls for loot. The only drawback of this line is the 51 point talent. Although turning into a demon is cool in concept, the power has a lot of weaknesses and another summon (*cough* Doomguard *cough*) would have been more appropriate.

Destruction: sometimes, you just want to blow sh*t up. For those times, spec destro! Destro locks produce excellent DPS, being slightly more bursty than the other warlock varieties. It is what it is, pure destructive spell damage. Its the "if brute force doesnt work, you're just not using enough" theory of casting. The drawback of this line is that it suffers from slightly more down time than the other two lines.

If you ever thought "I really have no desire to heal or tank, I just want to level and PvP" the warlock is a very solid choice. They are the most durable casters in the game, produce solid DPS in any spec and offer very solid utility in solo PvE, group PvE, and PvP.

6 comments:

Darraxus said...

Obviously you are thinking of early BC Warlock and are stuck in a time machine. Warlocks are terible now. They arent good in PVE or PVP besides summoning people to raids and doing a soulstone. I dont even plan on touching my Warlock for a good long time because of how many kinds of suck they are right now. They are one of the lowest DPS classes and lack survivability in PVP. Hunters are the new warlocks and will be nerfed soon enough.

Anonymous said...

Well, as much as I hate to agree with the last poster, yes the class has some current issues, but in reality, it could be that they are trying to bring them down some. I say if you like a class play it. Yes, the lock has issues now, but Blizz will OP them back up.

I am not even going to start on hunters. Okay maybe a litte. Locks and hunters used to get the titles of least skilled players and easiest to level. Take your pick which one was which. Then the Retidon got buffed and all the huntards quickly jumped for that. Wait though, the DK came out in all it's OP glory and they all have jumped to that. Grumble grumble grumble......

My point is, if you are skilled, you will find a way to play your class, not bitch that it is unfair that they are worthless now.

Ruhtra said...

Well, to be honest there does seem to be some issues with my good old lock, but there is nothing I can do about.

I think the heart of what said was pretty good. Maybe lacking some experience from the new zones, but other than that I agree with the poster who said that you need to play just to play, and if you enjoy a lock that does lower DPS, then play him and mess with the build, maybe there is a build none of the lock community has tried.

This was a good read. Look forward to some of your thoughts on other classes.

krizzlybear said...

I'm really enjoying this series. Balancing issues aside, you certainly hit the nail on the head with regards to the purposes of being a warlock.

Can't wait to see your mage edition :)

Fish said...

Looking at locks in general, the tools are there, their overall abilities haven't changed. Yes, blizz has made some changes making them do not as much damage in general, and they may not be #1 in DPS on a raid, that doesnt make them worthless. They are functionally the same as they were, they just aren't on permanent "easy mode" anymore.

thedoctor said...

I don't know much about locks since wrath, but I do know that we have one in the guild that does about 2300 dps on a single target.

That is saying alot when you take into consideration gear.

just my 2 cents