I said before that I would do it, and finally I have. The Life Tap debate has been going on for as long as I have been a lock… perhaps even longer! Does Life Tap generate threat? Is Life Tapping during a fight the ultimate sin? Should Warlocks even be able to Life Tap? Never fear, friends, all will be revealed (or at least some!)
For starters: Life Tap absolutely, totally does NOT pull aggro. I discovered this through a series of tests using my friendly neighbourhood druid, Kalf, as a stick to be beaten upon while I experimented. We ventured out to SMV, and played around with some nasty boars (you know, the level 68 ones who hang around Wildhammer). I didn’t want a mob which would be too hazardous to our delicate little tree’s branches, after all!
The method used was simple. I got Kalf to shift to tree and flail madly at piggies, this being one of the lowest threat generators I could think of. Seriously, I manage to pull easily off epic geared tanks, I should be able to pull off a plant! While he was doing this, I carefully watched Omen and Life Tapped my little heart out. What did I see?
Nothing. Zip, zilch zero. OK, I figured this may not be reliable since I didn’t touch the mob, so test number 2 – lets throw a DoT up on the mob and see how much aggro it generates.
My Corruption ranged between 250-300 TPS on a level 68 Boar. It was unfortunately enough to pull off Mr Broccoli, so I had him actually try to hold the mob while we did it again. The TPS was still the same. So then, I put Corruption on a mob, had Kalf hold it, and tapped away. There was NO noticable difference between my TPS with Life Tapping, and without. Clearly the numbers might have varied very slightly – the nature of DoTs means that it changes incredibly fast, and it’s really hard to keep track!
Conclusion: Life Tap does not generate threat. If it doesn’t generate threat, you can not pull aggro doing it. Life Tap at will! Well, with the following caveats:
Good Warlocks always establish their healers preference regarding Life Tap. I generally find Druids and Priests don’t have any problems with it, since they can HoT a Warlock who is tapping. Paladins have a bit of a tougher time, so I try to be more conservative. Shaman… well, I don’t 5 man with Shaman much, but I guess chain heal could help cover it? If your healer is having difficulty dealing with the extra healing, use anything you have at your disposal to reduce the need to tap, or heal yourself after tapping. Drain Life is especially good for this (unless you are fighting mechanicals, because I am 99.9% sure they are immune). Bandages can help if you are in a pinch, or a Healthstone.
In raid situations, I generally tap as much as I like. The healers can cover my small amount of damage taken, and it is my responsibility to push out the biggest numbers I can possibly manage. If I have to drain or bandage, I am wasting valuable DPS. However, I also eat/drink during down times (locks who tap when healers are trying to mana up are just plain rude), and carry mana pots for boss fights (where I pot and tap at the same time – more bang for your buck!)
As for the gripes that warlocks have ‘endless mana pools and it isn’t fair!’, well…
My dear, I don’t give a damn.Tags: Life Tap, Threat, Warlock