Post by Gnostik
If it's reliance on crowd control like Fear that turns you off, then you probably won't like either one. Any cloth-wearing character is going to be dependent on crowd control to create distance and stay alive.
The Warlock has three specs that all play differently. But while Demonology can be a lot of fun, it doesn't do anything better than the other two specs, so I won't address it here.
As for Destruction and Affliction, you're probably aware that they play quite differently; in fact it's really night and day. Destruction has incredible burst, as well as Shadowfury
which is a fantastic spell. Destruction looks to end fights quickly, and can burn through mana quite fast if not careful.
Affliction favors longer fights and is, of course, focused on DoTs. But just because Affliction and Shadow both emphasize DoTs, don't assume the two classes play similarly. Here are some key differences between Affliction Locks and Shadow Priests.
1. Spammable CC. The Lock has Fear while the Priest has no spammable CC. Instead the Priest relies on a 24-second instant AoE fear
. (The Lock also has an instant AoE fear, but with about twice the cooldown.)
2. Burst. The Priest has better burst options than the Warlock. Mind Blast
-> Shadow Word: Death
-> Mind Flay
is a reliable combo that can add significant pressure on top of DoT ticks. Meanwhile the Warlock is reliant on Nightfall
procs or a slow-casting Shadow Bolt.
3. Dispel Protection. Dispelling Unstable Affliction
is much more devastating than dispelling Vampiric Touch
. However, because of Shadow Affinity
it's not too detrimental for the Shadow Priest to just keep re-applying VT. However, this requires the Priest to stand still and cast for 1.5s while maintaining line of sight. The upshot is that the Shadow Priest is slightly less mobile than the Warlock, in addition to having worse dispel cover.
4. Healing. Both classes have passive self-healing built in to their spells (all shadow damage for the Priest, just Corruption for the Warlock). But the Priest can always drop out of Shadow Form and cast direct heals. Having a sense of when it is a good time to do this is one of the things that sets the really good Shadow Priests apart. However, if you do it too much you may run into mana issues.
5. Mana. Siphon Life
and Life Tap
together mean the Warlock has basically unlimited mana. And while the Priest has powerful abilities like Shadowfiend
to get back mana, in the end your gear and playstyle must take into account the possibility that you may run out of mana and lose matches because of it. The Warlock doesn't really have this concern.
There are others I could mention but I think this post is long enough. Hopefully you get the idea that while they are both "DoT classes", in practice they play quite differently.