This page is an index and table of contents for The Decline and Fall of Warlocks in Cataclysm, my series of posts on the declining popularity of the Warlock class in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. The posts were written between March and May of 2012, during the first months of the beta test for the next expansion, Mists of Pandaria.
The entire series is collected on a single HTML page for your convenience. A collection of eReader formats is also available, though with the caveat that some formats didn’t translate all the graphs as well as I would have liked. The HTML version is complete.
Where Have All The Warlocks Gone in Cataclysm? – An analysis of WoW census data to determine the extent of decline in the Warlock population in various activities in the game.
Leveling Data on Warlocks is Worse than I Thought – Revisiting the data specific to leveling with a different methodology highlights the problems of players trying to level the class to the level cap of 85.
The Decline and Fall of Warlocks in Cataclysm – A look at the game design philosophy which drove Warlocks to becoming a niche class, the introduction of the Simplicity Tax, and why niche classes are good design but bad for business.
Warlock Complexity and the Magic Number – An examination of the increase in rotational complexity between Wrath and Cataclysm using theories of cognitive limits and “task chunking,” which leads to the unsurprising conclusion that Warlocks really did get harder to play in Cataclysm.
The Care and Feeding of Baby Warlocks – A look at the leveling game and how inelegant ability and talent flow created a poor training environment for new Warlocks, thereby reducing the number of potential new players of the class.
The Loss of the Warlock’s Soul – The question of theme and fulfilling the fantasy of each spec is addressed here. Did the Warlock class live up to player’s expectations in Cataclysm?
Out of the Mists: Reclaiming Warlocks in Pandaria – A look at Warlocks the Mists of Pandaria beta to answer if the class changes address the issues of Cataclysm, or will they further the decline of the Warlock population?
Appendix A: Warlock Spell Changes in Cataclysm – A detailed look at some of the spell changes that happened in Cataclysm and the effect they had on the Warlock class.
Appendix B: The Problem of Evil – The perennial problem of Warlocks is that they’re the bad guys and gals of Warcraft. Unfortunately, looking harder at the data we have really just shows us the limitations of that data set.
Appendix C: Haste and the Butterfly Effect – Small changes to how Haste interacted with Damage over Time spells in Cataclysm improved their DPCT, resulting in making them too good not to cast for all Warlock specs and contributing to the rise of non-thematic complexity.
Class Distribution in Cataclysm Patch 4.3.3 – Class popularity numbers in 4.3.3, with some references back to 3.3.5.
Ranged DPS Complexity in 4.3.3 – Overview of different spec rotations in 4.3.3.
Here’s to hoping that Mists brings improvement to this class.