Warlock Training, Part 1 – Abilities, Roles and Limits

January 29, 2008 at 3:15 pm (1)

One of the services your humble officers wish to present to you, other than well-timed sarcastic jabs at misspelled chat text, is our experience in playing particular classes.  Whether you’re starting a class for the first time as a main or alt, or whether you’ve (like me) played a class in the past but had the sneaking suspicion that you’re not quite playing it to its full potential, it’s never a bad idea to do your homework and learn from others (like I have) who’ve played these classes into the ground.

I’ve always loved the warlock class in WoW — one of the two pet classes, warlocks seem to buck the standard trend of the game.  Having lots of health good?  Locks sacrifice their health repeatedly to gain mana, hurt others and heal our pets.  Cloth-wearing classes fragile?  Locks can, and have, stamina and staying power that rival tanks at times.   Crits and big flashy numbers the be-all, end-all of the DPS game?  Locks cherish the even bigger numbers of the gradual flesh-eating DOT spells.  Heck, unlike hunters, our pets don’t even like us — we bend them to our will and make them our cannon fodder.

As a more-or-less pure DPS class — meaning that we’ll never be called upon to tank (except for the very rare VW/Felguard offtank situation) or heal — a warlock’s job is to learn how to do the most damage that he or she can possibly do, and also to be as asset to the team.  In this article, I want to outline what we can do (abilities), what we should do (roles), and what we can’t do (limits), for anyone considering rolling a lock.

ABILITIES

  • We’re the only class that carries with them, at all times, a full assortment of pets that can be called out in any order to deal with a variety of situations.
  • Given a fight that lasts over 30 seconds, a well-geared and well-skilled lock can (and should) out-dps most any other class in combat.
  • All of our talent trees are raid- and solo-viable, and all are geared toward DPS.
  • Free mount at level 40 that takes up no bag space.  Quest-gained epic mount at 60.
  • Lifetap + bandages/drain life = never having to sit down and drink/eat.
  • DOTs last even after you die, which is always fun when PvP opponents whine about dying after killing you.

ROLES

  • In all raids and most 5-man groups, locks should pull out their buff-friendly imp to help boost the whole team’s defense and damage.
  • Healthstones and soul wells are invaluable to teammates in providing them with a “free” health potion that’s on a separate timer than normal potions.
  • In-a-pinch crowd control vs. humanoids (succubus’ seduce), elementals (banish) and demons (banish).  Also fun?  Fear.  Also stupid most of the time in dungeon settings?  Fear.
  • Soulstones protect the healer and give the group a chance for less painful wipe recovery.
  • Soul shatter and a demonologist’s talents can lower our threat while letting us DPS without worry of stealing aggro.

LIMITS

  • We’re not that great at burst damage (unless destruction specced), and mages routinely beat us at AOE damage.
  • Even with high stamina and soul link, etc, our cloth armor means that if we draw undue attention to ourselves (instead of party or pet), we’re dead in a few blows.
  • Non-demo specs have more aggro issues and a smaller pet selection.
  • DPS classes/specs are a dime a dozen, and we have to prove why we’re more valuable in a group that a ret pally or a huntard.
  • People really love to hate the warlock class (a year later and we’re still “OP”, apparently) — prepare to have nobody like you for the class you play.
  • Pet skills, namely seduce and spell lock, require a lot of micro-management to effectively use in a group setting.
  • DOTs aren’t “flashy” like other attacks or spells.
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1 Comment

  1. Vick said,

    Oh #$&% great! Now everybody will want one!
    Locks aren’t that interesting, move along. Nothing to see here.

    Hehe, here’s a couple additional items..
    Other utility pet roles:

    Felhound: devour magic from friendly or hostile, stealth detection and spell-lock (with interrupt)
    Voidwalker: solo levelling tank (like hunter pets), Sacrifice (think priest bubble for pet owner)
    Felguard: Intercept with 3 second Stun (like warriors – very handy for pvp)

    There are some other talent specific abilities but in general,
    Great synopsis Syp(nopsis) : P

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