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Do warlocks bring too much utility to a raid?

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Over the years Blizzard has created more and more overlap between certain aspects of different classes so as to allow more flexibility in choosing who you bring to a raid. For example, as a long-time druid raider, it still makes me an itty bitty bit sad every time I see a paladin overwrite my Mark of the Wild with Blessing of Kings. I remember the days when those were different buffs, dangit! On Twitter, players have been venting their frustration at Ghostcrawler about just this kind of thing:
Now, that's an interesting response, and it got us at WoW Insider thinking. Do warlocks really bring too much utility? In my 10-man raid team, our guild leader nearly always plays his warlock, and there are certainly a number of perks to that. Summoning is very nice, and saves us a run back out the instance if we need to bring in a different toon halfway through. Soulstones have brought me back to life on a number of occasions, the raid constantly asks for Healthstones, and both warlocks themselves and their minions bring various buffs and forms of crowd control that always come in handy. And portals! Portals make many, many things much more convenient.

Of course, other classes bring some similar abilities to raid as well. Druids and death knights can resurrect other players in battle, and buffs can be gotten from nearly every other class, particularly various hunter pets. Priests do have the ability to place a Lightwell, which has a similar thrust behind it as Healthstones, but let's face it: a Healthstone is superior in terms of immediate useability and convenience. As for portals and the summoning ... there aren't any real other equivalents to either of those. Summoning has been a defining trait of the warlock class for a very long time now, since way back in WoW's original incarnation.

Our own Matticus told us about how his guild used to have a warlock deployed at each of the world dragon spawn points, for (relatively) quick raid assemblage if needed. Curses used to be arranged differently, too. For example, Curse of Tongues was removed and its function rolled into into Curse of Enfeeblement, instead. Once upon a time Mortal Coil was called Death Coil, and added a self-heal as well. And Healthstones! Healthstones used to be a multi-point talent, and would heal for different amounts depending on the number of points put into the talent, for up to three different Healthstone sizes. It wasn't uncommon for three warlocks in a guild to each talent differently, so every raid member could have a Healthstone of each size. Nowadays you get one Healthstone with three charges, of course.

I can see what Ghostcrawler means by saying that warlocks may bring too much utility to raids, but, at the same time, I like all the stuff they bring and really wouldn't want to give up Healthstones, or Soulstones, or portals or anything like that. What about you? Do you (as I do) love your raid warlock and want only the best for them? Or would you like to see some more warlock utility go by the wayside so you can play a different toon, or bring a different toon to your raid? Do you not care about them in PvE but just hate their guts in PvP? Tell us all about it!

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

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