Posted Mon, Apr 23, 2012 by Messiah
With players streaming into the Mists of Pandaria beta a lot of information about the class changes is being learned. Right from the start most players focused on the big changes to the game, but really in the end the changes that will effect you the most are the changes made to the class you play. After all we have all seen drastic changes to the game many times in the past, sure it is different but it is different for everyone equally. Changes to classes affect you much more directly as it is your class specifically.
One class that is seeing quite a few changes is the Warlock class. The changes that I want to look at in this article are the changes made to the Warlock pets since they are quite different from the pets that they had in Cataclysm. Also Warlocks now essentially have double the number of pets available due to a very interesting and powerful talent that we will talk about a bit later.
So go ahead and read on to learn all about the changes coming to Warlock pets in WoW.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Keep in mind that we are still very early in the Mists of Pandaria Beta and almost everything could completely change before it is released.
The first of the big changes to warlock pets is a standardization of the damage that they cause. Previously each pet caused different amounts of base damage, where as now they all cause roughly the same amount. These numbers will obviously fluctuate based on the type of fight and target, however against a single target like a target dummy they are all very close to the same damage. This means that you no longer need to choose a pet based on the damage it causes, but instead pick which one to use by the buffs or special abilities it provides.
The second big change to Warlock pets is the addition of the talent Grimoir of Supremacy which upgrades all of your demon pets to bigger and better versions that have additional abilities and inflict 10% more damage than their normal versions.
Knowing that each pet now essentially comes in two different versions, let's look at the various pets.
The basic Warlock pet stays fairly close to what it was before with the addition of a few nice abilities.
The Imp is the basic form and deals its damage by throwing firebolts at it's target from a distance. This is the first pet you will learn to summon and is a good pet when in a group and dealing damage from a distance.
The Grimiore of Supremacy upgraded version is the Fel Imp which retains the same abilities, but two get upgraded as follows.
The Imp is meant to be a ranged DPS pet in either normal or upgraded form and the standard Warlock pet.
The Void Walker is the Warlock classes own private tank. This is the pet to use most times when you are soloing content and not able to burn through the targets quickly enough that you are not in danger. The basic Void Walker has the following abilities.
The Grimiore of Supremacy upgraded version is the Void Lord which retains all of the same abilities, but two of them are upgraded as follows.
As you can see the Void Walker / Void Lord gains significant lasting ability with the Shadow Bulwark and Shadow Shield abilities. While it doesn't have any additional damage abilities, it will be able to keep threat on itself rather than you and live through it.
The Felhunter is a pet that has evolved a lot over time, to the point it was in Cataclysm where it was the go to Affliction pet and a great PVP pet due to its anti-magic ability. This role continues pretty much unchanged in Mists of Pandaria due to the abilities listed below.
The Grimiore of Supremacy upgraded version is the Felhunter is one of the biggest upgrades since it completely changes the look of the felhunter. Instead of a little demon dog pet you get your very own Beholder type creature called an Observer. The observer gets two very good ability upgrades that help out in it's anti-magic role.
As you can see this pet is useful when having to deal with enemies that are caster based. This should make it a favorite in PVP combat for shutting down enemy healers or casters.
The Succubus is definitely the best looking demon in your arsenal, after all who can turn down a sexy demoness in a g-string. Ok, not very child friendly, but for all the teen and adult males out there the view isn't a negative. The Succubus is a DPS demon that also has some stealth and CC abilities. So if your group is a little short on crowd control the Succubus could be your best choice. The basic Succubus has the abilities that follow.
The Grimiore of Supremacy upgraded version is the Succubus is to the Shivarra a mighty four armed version of the demon. While the demon itself is cool, and the ability upgrades are good, I have a serious issue with one of the abilities as described below.
This demon is good for both DPS and CC making it a great option for both PVE and PVP content. The ability to crowd control an opponent is great in either situation and the damage that the demons special abilities can generate are not something to ignore.
The Felguard is a demon only available to Demonology Warlocks that specializes in AOE damage while still being able to tank for short periods of time. The only downside is that its use is limited since only one of the three specs has access to it. The Felguards abilities are as follows.
The Grimiore of Supremacy upgraded version is the Felguard is an even bigger badder version called the Wrathguard. While most of the abilities stay the same, a few do see upgrades.
The Felguard offers a great hybrid melee DPS / Tank pet. Even better it can put out some huge DPS numbers when there is a group of enemies all close together. The only downside is that you have to be a Demonology Warlock to gain access to it.
While many of the pets have stayed fairly similar to their previous versions, they have become slightly more powerful and more balanced between them, all while becoming more useful. Having the damage between pets standardized from basic attacks makes choosing a pet more about the situational needs of the pets abilities rather than a question of pure damage.
In addition some of the abilities have now gotten much smarter in their auto cast usage, meaning that they will target enemies that make sense rather than their current target. A great example of this is the Shivarra's mesmerize that will be used against targets that can stun, fear, or silence over any other target. This makes many of the pets special abilities much more user friendly that previously where you had to micro manage them. The only down side is that it doesn't allow a skilled player to clearly outclass an average player since they can no longer gain as big an advantage through pet micro management.
The most interesting thing however is the upgrades that the Grimoire of Supremacy provides to all the pets. As well as the flat DPS increase it provides your pets, it also grants several very good ability upgrades. The only issue I have with the Grimoire of Supremacy is that is seems like the obvious choice over the other two talents at the same level since it provides the most benefit. Hopefully the other two talents will see slight buffs to even them out as I really don't want this one to change.
Overall I really like the changes to the Warlock pets as they stand now in the Mists of Pandaria beta. It is still early so obviously there is a lot of time for things to change, but so far things look good.
How do you feel about the changes coming to Warlock pets in Mists of Pandaria? Do you feel they are positive or negative? Do you want more or less user interaction with your pets? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.