Low on Warlocks? I've got 2 or 3 right here :)
I first noticed it with Cynwise talking about the Decline and Fall of Warlocks in Cataclysm - now a 6 part series! When I first read it, I thought "Nah, my guild has 2 high end raiding warlocks, and 1 more casual raiding warlock, all of whom are a different spec." And that hasn't really changed over time. We have had a lot of warlocks come and go, but those 3 have stayed the same. And Sev and Aza are still members of the heroic raiding team, though Sev prefers to be a backup these days and Aza occupying the main raid spot.
Then WoWInsider's Matt Rossi wrote about some interesting statistics about people raiding heroic Dragon Soul whose iLvL was >400 and they pulled this up (all graphs courtesy of WoWInsider):
Well, that explains why Aza can be the Warlock with the highest iLvl on the server when he puts on his PvP gear. That's because there aren't that many around!
And of course, I have been listening to Warlock woes for a while now - the affliction kind. Sev and I have had great difficulty this expansion in arena because of changes that we used to rely on heavily - Sev used to be able to do a good drain mana but he can't do that anymore, his felpuppy used to do eat more buffs off our enemies and now it feels like it hardly does it anymore. I won't even mention my ability to break out of cc, which was now limited to tree form. We used to be the team that would play 45 minute games as our norm because no other team could last as long as us, because we were always weak at burst and good at endurance. But that changed and we found we struggled for a while, but we eventually settled into the changes, that we had almost forgotten what it was like. But I can see that for someone who got sick of their warlock would just go play a different character. I still remember when Sev and I could not beat a single disc priest. He was so angry I thought he would burst an aneurysm, and he ranted about his class for a few minutes before he decided he should go to bed.
These graphs of course, are all just numbers. Does anyone even consider that some of these people are just unlucky with drops? And if you look at these numbers, the greatest number of healers goes paladins > shamans > disc priests > resto druids > holy priests. Now that's interesting too. And if you look at druids, they are quite evenly distributed too.
Anyway, I was supposed to be talking about Warlocks. I have read Cynwise's 6 posts many times, trying to figure out why, if warlocks are still as powerful as they say, why there are less of them. I myself don't really notice much outside of my own guild's raid, and our warlocks are consistently high on the charts - depending on the fight. Sure, on Spine this dot business with ramp up time is a bit rubbish when it's a burst damage thing, but on things with multiple targets they do well.
We're not one of those guilds that stacks a group and makes people play certain things because of buffs. We do LIKE to balance buffs, and we bring lots of dot classes to Heroic spine which other groups don't. And in the day where 25s are dying, and everyone is playing 10s, we see people being brought for the buffs and things they can bring to the raid. Remember when there used to be soulstone and Battle Rez? I thought maybe one of reasons warlocks aren't around that much is because of the buffs that they used to bring aren't that special anymore. Cynwise said with Have Group Will Travel, we don't need lock summoning TVs anymore. And look at what the other classes bring! Shadow priests bring Fort and haste. Mages bring timewarp, arcane brilliance. Boomkins bring a battle rez and haste; Elemental shamans bring spell power, bloodlust, haste... lots of yummy things. So the poor lock has become a bit left out (though I think they bring great things like DI) when you have to pick and choose to stack a 10 man.
But I'm only speculating. I still see the same amount of warlocks around as I always did, because I never look beyond my circle of friends. I would think that DKs are hardly around these days! We only have 1! And he is thinking of going priest come Mists of Pandaria.
So I have decided when Mists comes out, I will level a Warlock (wish I could do a Panda but there are no warlock pandas as they are supposed to be such peaceful zen creatures) then I will be there to support the supposed dying Warlock population since I have two of the best warlocks from which to learn from right here under my nose.
So why don't you do the right thing and level a warlock today? Save the Warlocks from extinction! :D