Not included in my non-analysis are our good friends the Frost Mage, and the Unholy Death Knights.
For this entry I will focus on the “pet” part of the two classes rather than the actual hunter or warlock themselves.
An unfortunate statement I would like to make is that Warlocks do not use “pets”. The Felguards you see running alongside their demonic masters are merely tools. Fodder. They don’t like you, nor do they require your love in any way, shape, or form. A warlock uses this demon to accomplish their own goals, if it dies in the process the Warlock will just call upon it from the nether once more.
A Beast Master hunter has a lot of synergy with their pets. Their main damage dealer “Kill Command” reflects this bond. It’s an “active” skill that you can command your pet to execute wherever you are. Sure, the Warlock can also command their demons towards certain attacks but those are based off of the demon’s own action bars. Hunter pets ALSO have those abilities as well.
For levelling purposes, both classes will do fine, and your pet or demon will be able to hold aggro off of you while you pew down mobs. You will learn to send your pet or demon onto one mob while you dot up the first mob while you go and kill a second mob. It’s a beautiful dance where you can take out entire villages of mobs without even taking a break through alternating between managing your pet and yourself.
When your pet takes damage as a hunter, you can throw on a mend pet and that usually solves your problems. The Mend Pet skill has improved DRAMATICALLY for the Cataclysm expansion. The “old” mend pet would heal your pet for a flat amount, something along the lines of 10K health at level 80. Now it heals your pet for 40% of its health over ten seconds. This can be modified by glyphs and talents, both which I am too lazy to link but just trust me on this. The massive benefit that a hunter has over a warlock is that once he or she uses mend pet they can continue to DPS or manage the situation as this heal works like a druid’s heal over time.
When your demon takes damage as a warlock, your only option is to start channeling Health Funnel which I believe has changed for the expansion as well since it returns a measly amount of health to your demon. It’s still enough to keep it alive but this spell must be channelled and you probably will end up channelling it several times for it to have the same effect as a single cast-it-and-leave-it Mend Pet.
Another huge difference between a hunter and warlock’s aggro versus their pet or demon is that at end levels, your Felguard will probably never be able to keep aggro off of you unless you play it nice and only throw out Dots and weak attacks. In the event that you do steal aggro, warlocks have Soul Shatter on a 2 minute cooldown, which reduce your threat by 90% towards all mobs. Essentially with the way that I play, I would send my Felguard in and maybe use Felstorm. I would use Shadowbolt then Hand of Gul’dan, by the time Hand of Gul’dan hits the aggro is usually on me. The thing is Demonology lacks instant burst so even though we are strong at end game you will still take a few hits before you can kill a mob, unless you blow some cooldowns, which wouldn’t be ideal in a solo/questing situation.
Hunters have absolutely no issues with aggro at end-level. With the glyph of Misdirect, everytime we misdirect our pet, the cooldown of misdirect is instantly refreshed, aka perma-misdirects. Since roughly 40% of our damage is from our pets and Kill Command is part of our “rotation”, once you hit Kill Command the aggro is guaranteed to be on your pet. Throw on a mend pet and the world is yours to command. If you DO manage to pull six or seven or twenty mobs, you can Feign Death, which is on a 30 second cooldown, get back up, misdirect your pet, heal it, and burst down those mobs. You’ll end the fight at full health, and so will your pet.
A warlock takes on a more chaotic style of play. Demonologists using Metamorphosis will have no problem nuking down a dozen or more mobs at equal level at the same time. You’ll end the fight half dead but you also have Soul Siphon on a 30 second cooldown, which returns a large chunk of health. Essentially you’ll run into a group of mobs and try to literally burn them down before they kill you.
A hunter takes on a more controlled style of play. Beast Masters will rely more on their pets and with perma-misdirect you can trick all the mobs that you think your pet can handle onto it and Bestial Wrath them down.
Warlocks have a limited choice amongst pets.
Imp: Ranged, fireball throwing little minion. He’s very squishy.
Voidwalker: Tank. High health, low damage tanking pet. Now the only demon warlock with a taunt and one of the less used pets due to his low damage. I tend to use him only during emergencies where I know even my Felguard will get crushed.
Succubus: Seduces humanoids and has a whip!
Fel Hunter: Also known as the Felpuppy, the perfect anti-caster pet!
Felguard: The Beast! Once you learn Felstorm you’ll see what I mean. For a good while in the game his sheer damage will keep aggro off of you.
Hunters have HUNDREDS of pets that can be tamed straight from the Wilds of Azeroth.
Hunter pets have their own talent trees and there are three types of pets with three different trees.
Ferocity: Ferocity pets have talents that focus on boosting their own raw damage and also the hunter’s damage.
Cunning: Cunning pets come with “utility” type attacks and have talents that boost their damage or battle utility such as movement speed, damage reduction, crit immunity. You can pick and choose to your liking to create a offensive or defensive cunning pet.
Tenacity: Tenacity pets are the “tanking” pets. Their talents focus on survivability such as increasing their health/armor/resistances. They become crit immune when talented and can heal themselves when they growl. Also, there is a talent that increases the effect of heals on them.
Hunters can own up to 25 pets, with 20 stabled pets and five active pets.
Hunters can name and rename their pets to their liking.
If your pet dies, the only way to get them back is to spec into Heart of the Phoenix or spend about ten seconds casting revive pet.
Warlocks can not rename their demonic tools.
If your demon dies, you can instantly summon them back talented. Otherwise, burning a soul shard can also bring back your demon instantly.
Now the decision lies in your hands. Do you like more controlled fights?* Do you tend to be chaotic? Do you feel a need to “bond” to your “pet”, or do you just need a tool to absorb the damages for you? Up to you, try them both out!
True Reason For This Post
This post is actually just a rant about the 4.0.6 Fel Armor changes and how much it SUCKS. It is also a post to state how I refuse to change the playstyle of my warlock just so I can avoid taking damage during fights. I am not a hunter, nor am I a shadow priest. Even with 6% of direct spell damage returned as health, we must be producing 15,000 DPS to match what the old Fel Armor was doing. This assuming you are NOT taking damage. Sadly, you WILL be taking damage, or else this whole issue would be immaterial. If you are taking about 3-5k damage every few seconds, which is normal for Cata mobs, you would probably need to be doing 20,000 DPS. I know I could slow down and just throw hots and use Fel Flame or slowly let my pet whittle a mob’s health away but I refuse! We kill slow already as Demonologists why slow down our killing even more? (Though I have absolutely no problem levelling as Destruction as the burst from Conflagration is just disgusting, mobs die within 3 spells). Perhaps this is only and issue with Demonlogists with our lack of burst? Maybe I should just stfu and start using the Voidwalker?
Truny and Turby the “Pet” Classes