gir Warlock pets are an endless source of both frustration and fun.  Fun, because they can be ok to giggle at (both in combat and out).  Frustration because pet scaling for Warlocks is positively abysmal, and most pets are a worthless pile of poo if you use them for anything at all.  Face it, the only reason I kill my succubus is because there is little else worth while to do with her.

Let us take a brief look at the non-demonology standard Warlock pets (I am afraid I just don’t know enough about Demonology to feel qualified to comment on the Felguard, and I am not going to bother with the Doomguard and the Infernal), and work out exactly what is both wonderful and woeful about them.

 

 

1.  The Imp. 

We get Mr Imp very early in the piece (as early as you can complete the quest basically… I think I was level 5 on Sar when I got him, but I got him at level 2 on my BE warlock).  He likes to complain, and is the grand master champion of QQing.

Pros:

- Excellent Stamina buff.  This will become raid wide in WotLK, but will no longer stack with Commanding Shout (as it will no longer be a buff to stamina, but rather to health).

- Respectable damage output.  Not great, not terrifying, but respectable for something that doesn’t even reach my knee cap, and doesn’t take a shard to summon.

- Did I mention he doesn’t take a shard to summon?

Cons:

- Brings a whole new meaning to the words ‘glass cannon’.  Well… maybe a glass pistol?  Dies so fast you have to have him phase shifted pretty much all the time.  If there is AoE of any description, you can be sure it will hit him.

- While there aren’t any other MAJOR cons, the one above is enough to render him almost useless.

2.  The Voidwalker

The Blueberry is the giant pimp looking guy you see low level warlocks running around with in Westfall.  You get him through a quest chain at level 10.

Pros:

- Has a convenient ‘oh crap’ button where you sacrifice his Big Blue Butt and run the heck out of there.

- Has a taunt, a decent amount of stamina and some armor.

Cons:

- Meant to be a tank.  Fails at tanking – couldn’t hold threat off a spoon.

- Feels like he takes FOREVER to do anything.

- Squishy as a rotten banana when it really comes down to it.  Sure, he isn’t supposed to be able to tank bosses, but more than one mob at a time would be nice!

3.  The Succubus

She gets guy’s hearts racing as soon as they see her.  Generous with her whip and her lip, she is attained through a quest chain (which I distinctly remember as being a pain in the butt… but then, it could be easy) at level 20.

Pros:

- Our only ‘real’ humanoid CC (apart from fear, which many people forget about)

- Only pet with a threat reduction ability

Cons:

-She needs that threat reduction though, since she is like tissue paper

- Chain seducing is the most difficult form of crowd control in the game, as it is channeled (so can not be recast on an already seduced mob), and as the succubus is so fragile.

- Personal peeve – I want the choice of having an incubus as well!

- Damage output is nowhere near what it should be, especially considering her fragility.

4.  The Felhunter

We all know that the Felhunter is by and large my favourite pet.  He’s so cute!  He is so delightfully mean to casters!  Obtained through a quest chain at level 30.

Pros:

- Relatively hardy, especially against casters where he can heal himself using Devour Magic

- From my experience, tanks almost as well as the blueberry (not to say that’s especially well)

- All in all a cute pet!

Cons:

- Tainted Blood is too weak, especially as it is one of our only defences against melee.

- Paranoia seems to rarely work, for me at least!

Remedies

Pets are being changed dramatically in beta.  I don’t wish to go into the changes in great detail, simply because beta is very unstable and things are prone to change.  The biggest, most important change of all that could and should be made?  Better Pet Scaling.  I want pets that do not die as soon as a mob looks at them.  I want a Voidwalker which makes a reasonable soloing tank (similar to the changes in Hunter pets for tanking).  I want chain seducing to be made a little bit easier.  ‘Dumbing things down’? Maybe, but it is tiresome being considered as a second rate class and rejected for 5 mans in favour of more ‘reliable’ CC.   There seems to be an idea that Warlock pets should not be very strong.  I do not know why this is, but it is ridiculous and unfair.  Scale our pets better. Please?

I suspect that this last paragraph is somewhat influenced by me watching the debate – listening to that sort of talking leads to that sort of writing!

10 Responses to “My Minion Malaise”
  1. With the changes to Curse of Recklessness and its effect on chain fearing, a buffed seduction would be a nice replacement for warlock CC. Having seen a warlock fear, seduce, and banish at the same time, I actually think of ‘locks as a better crowd control class than mages these days.

    Zigystardusts last blog post..NaaruRama

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  2. The warlock pets need major upgrades. Their viability is only present for very specific circumstances. Then consider the very nice buffs given to Hunter pets, the equity is not present.

    Add another pet type, and also increase the power of the current pets, so that their is no question that they are useful.

    typhoonandrews last blog post..Outlandish WoW Songs

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  3. I remember fighting some raid boss in World of Warcraft where I had my imp surprise me. I forget the boss’s name but I think it was in Blackwing Lair, maybe the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj. Who knows?

    All warlocks had imps out to add the stamina buff to our respective parties, and they were normally phase-shifted because the only purpose they served was to give that buff. However, we needed some extra dps at the end of the fight, and it was suggested that we set our imps to open-fire to see if it helped.

    It may have helped a bit, but we still were training on the boss and wiped, with debuffs hitting everyone for thousands of personal damage at the end. We regrouped and started setting up for another attempt, which meant summoning our imps back to us.

    I started the process, which involved cursing like a sailor to get the imp to pay any attention to my spell, and eventually my imp begrudgingly turned up by my side. He then promptly exploded and died, much to my surprise!

    I worked out what had happened: as he was attacking the boss his phase-shift wasn’t active and he had been hit by the same debuff as the rest of us, but I had died before the debuff affected him fully. This meant he didn’t die but instead despawned still with the buff on him and when I summoned him he came back as a ticking time bomb.

    I think the little git did it on purpose so that I would have to summon him twice in succesion just to get any useful work out of him. I found it pretty amusing, though.

    Elfs last blog post..Sapphire’s Brewfest Adventure

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  4. Okay I am a tad bias, Wife being a lock and all. but even when she is not on, I will take a lock with me on any outing, Lock rock’s are a great heal me now before I die, and the soul stone is more then a help for the healer against a wipe. I do agree the pet’s need some love. and I hope they get it.

    Hanhars last blog post..Gneighbors

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  5. Very nice post(BTW you have the US debate where you live?). The pets i do not like are the Succu, “Blueberry”, Inferno and Doomguard. Though thankfully Succu, Inferno and Doomguard.Thankfully Succu is better since Seduce can be lowered to be instant cast(good CC now) and Doomguard is always summoned if an mob is killed by CoD. Though Inferno still needs to be changed so its like a guardian and it does not de-summon our current Pet. Hopefully thell do that sooner or later.

    BTW if you give me temporary power to post something i could cover the Felguard, Inferno and Doomguard. I’m, kes cu se(how you say), an expert on those 3 demons. I love Felguard and know quite a lot on the Inferno and Doomguard. Man i hope that they make the Doomguard an acutal summonable pet. IDRC if they make him weak just make him a dam pet! He could be the AoE King of pets cuz he has rain of fire, Warstomp, Dispel and Cripple.

    But i digress. Good post anyways.

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  6. @Zigy I have to admit, nothing made me more full of malevolent glee than being able to solo the demon pulls in Mechanar – Enslave and Banish were wonderful there. Chain fearing going the way of the dodo is fairly frustrating, although it makes managing multiple CC easier!

    @Andrew I agree completely. I quite often feel that with the wave of Sac specced locks Blizzard have completely forgotten that Warlocks are meant to have pets! I wish I had half the synergy with my pets on Sar as I do on my hunter, and things are looking brighter for the hunter every day.

    @Elf Hehehe, that’s hilarious!! You could also do a similar thing if you ran Blackrock Spire and dismissed your pet with the Mother’s Milk (?) debuff on it, netting unsuspecting people everywhere afterwards!

    @Hanhar I have to admit, I do love our soulstones and healthstones. They are wonderful tools for soloing and raiding! I’ll have to get back into the habit once I am levelling of Soulstoning myself again – something I haven’t done in a long time.

    @Rocke The succubus can be useful indeed, although I wish she was more sturdy. The Doomguard only has a chance to proc unfortunately on CoD (I have only had it happen to me once out of maybe 10 deaths caused by CoD). I suppose with the mob you were killing dead, he isn’t especially useful. I suspect it was more of a ‘use this great spell, but be prepared for a possible negative consequence’ type thing.

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  7. There are obvious deficiencies between a Warlock & their pet but in defence of our loving side kicks & (Blizz Dev’s)the Warlock/pet synergy is efficient if specced accordingly.
    I thought I would mention that the Imp although does little damage & is a glass pea shooter has 1 other major advantage, which the mana regeneration is enough to keep the Dark pact lovers topped up with mana, as been written else where this represents a Warlocks own mana battery.

    As a side note I assume your pros & con’s are based from destruction specced point of view? Being Affliction based, the VoidWalker has enough aggro management for 4 DOT’s, by the time the mob comes for the caster they are usually around 20% health.

    With regards to destruction Warlocks, their trade off with having little use with pets is compensated through being able to put out high damage.

    Keep up the blog, very hard to find good Warlock posts.

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  8. Ah yes, if you are specced Demonology then your pets can be useful. Honestly, I would much rather have our pets be useful for all specs, and then have pets be very strong for Demonology (which should be as strong pet wise as BM Hunter spec I believe).

    The pros and cons are very Destruction oriented (as this blog generally is). Thankfully, we have a use for our imp in Wrath, so we get to keep a pet out!

    Thanks for pointing out some of the other advantages of the pets!

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  9. You are a bit harsh on the Voidwalker. Agreed it can’t tank in anything Heroic and above, but it is not a useless tank for soloing (it is quite useful in lower level raids like ZG, UBRS etc as well).
    Normally when soloing I use Imp for Dark Pact and additional hitpoints, but sometimes when there are a lot of mobs around, the Void is more useful.
    For example, the Sunfury Attack plans daily: I send the Void in, round up four or five mobs, dot them up one at a time, and the Void can easily hold their aggro long enough for them all to die before they can hit me.

    Succubus – I agree that she is the weakest thing apart from Level 1 critters, but Sedcuction can be used 3 or 4 times in a row successfully. My advice would be to have her seduce melee rather than casters, because, as you say, the annoying chanelling nature of Seduction means she will inevitably be nuked by any caster once seduction breaks.

    For melee targets, Seduce will work; you can normally get 2 Seduces in before the mob can get within hitting distance of her. When the 2nd Seduce is about to break, try using Deathcoil on her target, and then re-apply Seduce. Unless the mob is immune to Deathcoil, you should have no problems, and by the time the 3rd Seduce breaks, your tank should be able to pick the mob up.

    Compared to Hunter pets,though, in pure dps terms, our demon friends really are pitiful.

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  10. The issue I have with the voidwalker as a tank is that he isn’t useful for EVERY Warlock spec (in fact, most pets aren’t). Admittedly, Destruction locks aren’t supposed to have great synergy with their pets, but I would like to be able to throw more than one shadow bolt before the mob is off him and whacking away at me. I honestly wouldn’t care if he did even less damage, so long as he could hold a bit more aggro and had perhaps a bit more armor.

    As for Seduction, I totally agree that it CAN be used to CC a mob for a great deal of time. The thing is as a form of crowd control it requires a huge amount of micromanagement to do successfully, and many locks find it difficult. It is also difficult for players with a high latency (for example, I run at around 600-700, sometimes higher) to manage well. It can be done, but it is very difficult compared to chain sheeping or trapping for example.

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