Warlock popularity number crunching

85 Human Warlock
11350
Yeah I don't really care about tanking...I just wanna blow stuff up. Or dotdotdotdrain..
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90 Worgen Warlock
10410
Yeah, one big factor you can't get from just census data and damage parses is exactly how much work goes in to keeping our numbers up with other people.

Well, I suppose you COULD get that information if you gave a spreadsheet of damage SOURCE for each of the classes in the damage comparisons. If most every other class has their damage coming near exclusively from 2 or 3 abilities, and Warlock is sitting around with dozens of abilities all coming out nearly tied for contribution to DPS, that screams about higher complexity in a fight.



There are many days when I do LFR that I see the DPS of the group is decent, so I fire up a show on the other monitor and plummet from top 3 DPS to barely in the top 15. I still keep my dots up, but don't clip them, or really nail the rotations perfectly, don't time out my cooldowns with my boosts, etc.

Haven't got any other toon up to 85 to compare yet, but whenever I am "locked in" and doing my absolute best, I can't help but feel that I am seeing the exact same spell effect from the nearest mage/hunter non-stop, indicative of spamming 1 or 2 buttons, which is easily done while not really watching the screen.
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90 Human Warlock
13995
03/26/2012 10:40 AMPosted by Haayt
Yeah, one big factor you can't get from just census data and damage parses is exactly how much work goes in to keeping our numbers up with other people.


I agree. There are a lot of gaps from census data, and this is one of them.

Even damage sources wouldn't quite tell the right story. You'd have to look at buff uptime, SE spread on adds, things like that. It's possible but requires a lot of heavy lifting.
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14 Worgen Warlock
30
I made a long post in your second article and I might have come across a partial answer.

In short form, the areas where warlocks succeed as a class, as you have noted, are in the highest tiers of the game. IE the areas where you need a dependable, populous and well ordered group of friends to experience. My bet is the warlocks you see are the ones already established in decent guilds or are leveling up with a raid spot or arena team waiting for them at 85.

For those who play this game casually and use BG/dungeon/raid finders as their primary means of playing, warlocks are a grueling experience. What we're noticing with the low population is that a large portion of the playerbase, the ones that aren't in 2200 arenas or heroic raid guilds, will abandon the class early because leveling and the post 85 "random finder" game is simply not suited for the class. Warlock's dependency on other classes to fill it's weaknesses and slow damage mechanics make participation agonizing and requires true dedication if you really feel like succeeding despite the classes weaknesses.

The problem is, they may never see it's strengths if they're not in a arena team or find themselves in PVE encounters that lasts for more than a few minutes. For the casual gamer who tosses a couple hours in LFR or RBGs, you see a lot more Paladins and Druids because their far better suited for Warcraft in those terms.

To put it succinctly: the Warlock class is far too weak and complex with little reward in the largest portion of the game with the largest player base. Hence, your a fool to play one instead of an easier more rewarding class and thus we see this in the numbers.
Edited by Vagary on 3/26/2012 12:28 PM PDT
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85 Gnome Warlock
2945
Agree with the possible explanation..Locks are the "heroic mode class" and that just does not seem to translate to fun for a large swath of the player base. The complexity of the class (work put in) reward the player for the "casual" parts of the game. It is crazy, but if I am on another character and happen to see a warlock in town..really on any of the other servers I play, those warlocks (if 85) are always seem to be wearing really good gear, always enchanted the right way, gemmed the right way. Like, it seems like that if you play one end game you really know what is going on with all the game mechanics.
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14 Worgen Warlock
30
Not so much 'heroic mode' just 'mechanically inferior' in certain places.

It's common knowledge to anyone on this forum that warlock damage in dungeons is sub-par. Trash/bosses die too quickly and we never get a change to shine. This forum is regularly peppered with new warlocks asking why their dps sucks and an assortment of responses saying 'you're not competitive in random dungeons' or worse, "L2P Heroic mode Morchok says we're fine"

The PvP side is the exact same, you see tons of posts from new warlocks complaining that they're mashed to a pulp in RBGs in anything short of full ruthless gear. The forum responses lean to "resilience fixes it" or again, "L2P, warlocks are in all 3v3 2200s comps". The average player is in for a slog of endless afk bgs to get enough gear to hold up.

Now for a new player to WoW or a new player to the class who fits the larger demographic of 'casual players' in this game you have some huge hurdles ahead of you:

First you have to understand the complex and relatively unintuitive play style and it's odd implementation in the sub-80 leveling process. Most locks won't go immediately to Elitist Jerks to figure out their rotation, not that it's even relevant before 85.

In low level dungeons, this means you are under performing because of the class mechanics lack of abilities and general knowledge of how to even operate the class.

Low level PvP is not even remotely viable.

Then, if the player hangs on to 85, he's going to under perform in all aspects of low-end post 85 content as well due largely to the class mechanics.

Only if this new player is in a mighty guild and gets into high end 2200 arena/rated BG brackets or gets in with a competitive raiding team will he really start to see the class shine.

It's no wonder most locks never make it to 85 with that kind of curve and class mechanics issues through 95% of the game. Who in their right mind would stick to a class that is sub-par for months of play until you achieve top end content?

Hence most of the locks you see are either in that top end content, or are mains from the days of yore.
Edited by Vagary on 3/27/2012 12:23 PM PDT
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90 Human Death Knight
10225
I think a lot of you are overlooking weakness in PvP as a cause for low warlock numbers. Our dps has gone up and down over the last few years but one thing that has been consistent is the reduction of lock survivability in patch after patch. Today's warlock population is pretty depressing but this is not the worst its been. One of the worst times I remember is back when SL/SL locks/spriest teams were kicking butt in arena and then soul link was nerfed to death. Not long after, shadow bolt took a huge nerf. After that you could PUG raids for a month without seeing another warlock. I think PvP is as big a factor in warlock decline as PvE mediocrity.
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59 Night Elf Death Knight
150
Not so much 'heroic mode' just 'mechanically inferior' in certain places.

It's common knowledge to anyone on this forum that warlock damage in dungeons is sub-par. Trash/bosses die too quickly and we never get a change to shine. This forum is regularly peppered with new warlocks asking why their dps sucks and an assortment of responses saying 'you're not competitive in random dungeons' or worse, "L2P Heroic mode Morchok says we're fine"

The PvP side is the exact same, you see tons of posts from new warlocks complaining that they're mashed to a pulp in RBGs in anything short of full ruthless gear. The forum responses lean to "resilience fixes it" or again, "L2P, warlocks are in all 3v3 2200s comps". The average player is in for a slog of endless afk bgs to get enough gear to hold up.

Now for a new player to WoW or a new player to the class who fits the larger demographic of 'casual players' in this game you have some huge hurdles ahead of you:

First you have to understand the complex and relatively unintuitive play style and it's odd implementation in the sub-80 leveling process. Most locks won't go immediately to Elitist Jerks to figure out their rotation, not that it's even relevant before 85.

In low level dungeons, this means you are under performing because of the class mechanics lack of abilities and general knowledge of how to even operate the class.

Low level PvP is not even remotely viable.

Then, if the player hangs on to 85, he's going to under perform in all aspects of low-end post 85 content as well due largely to the class mechanics.

Only if this new player is in a mighty guild and gets into high end 2200 arena/rated BG brackets or gets in with a competitive raiding team will he really start to see the class shine.

It's no wonder most locks never make it to 85 with that kind of curve and class mechanics issues through 95% of the game. Who in their right mind would stick to a class that is sub-par for months of play until you achieve top end content?

Hence most of the locks you see are either in that top end content, or are mains from the days of yore.


wow... just wow... well written post
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85 Human Warlock
11350
Not so much 'heroic mode' just 'mechanically inferior' in certain places.

It's common knowledge to anyone on this forum that warlock damage in dungeons is sub-par. Trash/bosses die too quickly and we never get a change to shine. This forum is regularly peppered with new warlocks asking why their dps sucks and an assortment of responses saying 'you're not competitive in random dungeons' or worse, "L2P Heroic mode Morchok says we're fine"

The PvP side is the exact same, you see tons of posts from new warlocks complaining that they're mashed to a pulp in RBGs in anything short of full ruthless gear. The forum responses lean to "resilience fixes it" or again, "L2P, warlocks are in all 3v3 2200s comps". The average player is in for a slog of endless afk bgs to get enough gear to hold up.

Now for a new player to WoW or a new player to the class who fits the larger demographic of 'casual players' in this game you have some huge hurdles ahead of you:

First you have to understand the complex and relatively unintuitive play style and it's odd implementation in the sub-80 leveling process. Most locks won't go immediately to Elitist Jerks to figure out their rotation, not that it's even relevant before 85.

In low level dungeons, this means you are under performing because of the class mechanics lack of abilities and general knowledge of how to even operate the class.

Low level PvP is not even remotely viable.

Then, if the player hangs on to 85, he's going to under perform in all aspects of low-end post 85 content as well due largely to the class mechanics.

Only if this new player is in a mighty guild and gets into high end 2200 arena/rated BG brackets or gets in with a competitive raiding team will he really start to see the class shine.

It's no wonder most locks never make it to 85 with that kind of curve and class mechanics issues through 95% of the game. Who in their right mind would stick to a class that is sub-par for months of play until you achieve top end content?

Hence most of the locks you see are either in that top end content, or are mains from the days of yore.


bravo!
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90 Undead Warlock
9690
Not rocket science. We've had issues for a while...

Locks require a healer to be good in pvp, that's not possible for many people.

We lack 'burst', which as a dps-only class is a big thing missing (sorry, but people like seeing big numbers, and when your pet hits harder than you it's not fun). This also means we suck at trash/adds/burnphases.

We have no 'oh sh&*!' buttons, so we have to just accept our inevitable demise when it happens (we're the only class left w/o one I believe).

We haven't gotten anything legitimately fun... ever. Look at the toys other classes got since BC. The last cool spell we got was Portal, and even that is clunky in every non-arena situation.

... lock have been overdue for a make-over for a LONG time, hence the big Mists changes. TBF, they address most(all?) of the above it seems, which is actually pretty cool.

It's just too bad that they dangled the meta tank thing over our heads only to pull it away and shine a very negative light on what is otherwise shaping up to be a pretty solid re-vamp for us.
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It's just too bad that they dangled the meta tank thing over our heads only to pull it away and shine a very negative light on what is otherwise shaping up to be a pretty solid re-vamp for us.


-weeps in a corner- Indeed.
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90 Undead Warlock
5270
I read both articles and it all hits home for me. Warlock was the first class I made when I bought WoW (few months after release). I made it to 15 or so, then rolled a mage. I had JUST come from Diablo2 and my favorite class all 6 years I played that game was the Necromancer, so a Warlock was an obvious choice for me.

I attempted to level my Warlock all through Vanilla, and then eventually late in BC managed to get her to 70. When WoTLK launched, she sat for months, eventually getting to 80 and again not doing much. When Cata was announced, I decided no matter what she was going to be my main. So I leveled her first, and haven't stopped playing her since.

Leveling is really, really, obnoxious as a Warlock.

Secondly, I pretty much am always subpar DPS in PvE due to the fact I am a clicker for almost everything. I can execute fine on my ele shaman, or even my unholy DK and be competitive. I go on my Warlock and look awful. I know exactly why it is.

So I just PvP with her. That's where I feel most comfortable. I love pet classes, I love evil classes, and refuse to play something else because I can't perform as well as I could on a different toon. PvP works better for me because I have more freedom from a rotation, and is more reactive and premedatative. Quite often I find myself being the only Warlock in BGs. Ones I do see, usually, are terrible. If a Warlock has a blueberry out, it's a free HK FYI. Every now and then, a good one shows up and sticks out. I routinely compete with mages, dks and paladins for KB totals, which is not the norm for the majority of Warlocks in bgs.I imagine I am one of the few casual players that enjoys a Warlock because they aren't in any way shape or form casual friendly. But at this point, I perform very well in PvP and even give my Rogue arena partner a run for his money in duels (he uses full keybindings) which is satisfying.
Edited by Minìon on 3/27/2012 2:02 PM PDT
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85 Goblin Rogue
5745
Is there any way for you to take into account alts? because I know a LOT of alt 85 rogues, it seems 1 of every 3 rogues i see are alt 85s for PvP or just for the legendaries or stealth mechanic. And it doesnt seem to be that way for other classes. Maybe there are just as many lock alts at 85 that just arent played as often as their rogue counterparts?And I am curious as to how you think the introduction of the monk is going to hurt lock numbers past the re-balancing of population simply because there is another class in the averaging?( why are people going to leave their locks for monks?)
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90 Human Warlock
8990
03/26/2012 12:24 PMPosted by Vagary
To put it succinctly: the Warlock class is far too weak and complex with little reward in the largest portion of the game with the largest player base. Hence, your a fool to play one instead of an easier more rewarding class and thus we see this in the numbers.


Again I may be in the minority (odd that I would chose this class) however I like that it takes something to earn damage. If they force us into a 1 or 2 button spam, it would most likely be the end for me.
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90 Human Warlock
9125
There is a difference between one or two button spam and overly "complex".

BC demo raiding was incredibly fun, having to manage both your DoTs, pet health, and micromanage the pet away from AoE and such.

It wasn't easy, but it wasn't clunky either. Petweaving is clunky.
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90 Human Warlock
8990
There is a difference between one or two button spam and overly "complex".BC demo raiding was incredibly fun, having to manage both your DoTs, pet health, and micromanage the pet away from AoE and such. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't clunky either. Petweaving is clunky.


I very much agree with you. It just seems that, if anything changes, it turns out to be a drastic overcorrection. I am very much for keep a little challenge in the class.
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90 Human Warlock
13995
03/27/2012 02:13 PMPosted by Oilypenguin
Is there any way for you to take into account alts?


Unfortunately not. The data I looked at just looked at characters being played recently. There's not really a way to filter out how someone considers their character.

I suspect you're right with respect to Rogues, though. A lot of dedicated Rogue players have been vocally grumpy about all the newcomers who are just in the tier for the legendaries. At the same time, can you fault a raid leader who wants it to go to someone?
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90 Human Warlock
8990
Not so much 'heroic mode' just 'mechanically inferior' in certain places.It's common knowledge to anyone on this forum that warlock damage in dungeons is sub-par. Trash/bosses die too quickly and we never get a change to shine. This forum is regularly peppered with new warlocks asking why their dps sucks and an assortment of responses saying 'you're not competitive in random dungeons' or worse, "L2P Heroic mode Morchok says we're fine"The PvP side is the exact same, you see tons of posts from new warlocks complaining that they're mashed to a pulp in RBGs in anything short of full ruthless gear. The forum responses lean to "resilience fixes it" or again, "L2P, warlocks are in all 3v3 2200s comps". The average player is in for a slog of endless afk bgs to get enough gear to hold up.Now for a new player to WoW or a new player to the class who fits the larger demographic of 'casual players' in this game you have some huge hurdles ahead of you:First you have to understand the complex and relatively unintuitive play style and it's odd implementation in the sub-80 leveling process. Most locks won't go immediately to Elitist Jerks to figure out their rotation, not that it's even relevant before 85.In low level dungeons, this means you are under performing because of the class mechanics lack of abilities and general knowledge of how to even operate the class.Low level PvP is not even remotely viable.Then, if the player hangs on to 85, he's going to under perform in all aspects of low-end post 85 content as well due largely to the class mechanics.Only if this new player is in a mighty guild and gets into high end 2200 arena/rated BG brackets or gets in with a competitive raiding team will he really start to see the class shine.It's no wonder most locks never make it to 85 with that kind of curve and class mechanics issues through 95% of the game. Who in their right mind would stick to a class that is sub-par for months of play until you achieve top end content? Hence most of the locks you see are either in that top end content, or are mains from the days of yore.wow... just wow... well written post


what he said.. or a really dedicated person that likes being punished
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