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.
– 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.