I just have a question some more advanced raiding warlocks out there. Here is my situation:
I play a Priest in a reletively new raiding guild (Rag down, working on Vael). Recently our active warlocks have been complaining about the lack of heals the recieve in a number of boss encounters. While we as healers have worked out what I believe to be a very strong rotation, it leads to warlocks being low priority targets (other than HOT effects). My gut feeling, as well our druids and paladins, is that tanks and non range DPS get priority over warlocks for heals.
I have never personally played a warlock but my impression from raids is that it is a very powerful class. Its just that once our warlocks burn their mana pools (often early into the encounter) lifetapping leads to quick death. I am assumming are warlocks are of average skill and theres possibly a dynamic that I am not seeing. Other than the heavy use of consumables by the warlock or giving them their own dedicated healer (not possible under most circumstances) what would be the ideal solution?
Our warlocks seems to easily rival our mage and hunter DPS in longer raid encounters but the actual efficiency seems lacking. Does the efficiency get better with gear or will the danger of AOEs/temp aggro draw be a constant threat to warlocks? Maybe theres something I am missing as a dedicated raid healer?
IMO, warlocks should lifetap early and as often as possible in order to maximize the effect of HoTs. By beginning lifetaps early warlocks can also reduce any chances of pulling aggro. Also, going from no mana to low life is NOT efficient and potentially problematic for the raid as a whole.
If you don't get HoTs then as soon as you hit -2000 health you can just bandage.
That said, I really don't see any situation where warlocks would need anything beyond HoTs to maintain their mana pools, barring aggro problems, AE, etc.
Also, a shadowpriest alone can keep my mana up just fine, depending on how long his mana lasts that is.
use your most efficient heals on warlocks. on aoe fights they should be making sure they dont lifetap too low in one shot. But yes they do need heals to dps, and the more they dps the faster things die, meaning the less you have to heal. (common sense i know)
We usually don't have more then 3 in our progression raids. So keeping them up/topped off isn't to big of a problem. A rejuv or a renew is usually all they need, regrowth seems a bit much to me since it cost's so much mana to cast. Also I myself occasionly use like a rank 5 healing wave to keep them topped off. We have pretty aggressive healers, with 14-15 on average per raid. We do like to bring a shaman heavy raid though, with like 6shamans, 5priests, 3/4druids, so chain heal owns for keeping melee up.
HoTs should be more than enough for them. Proper use of consumables and bandaging with HoTs ticking on you should mean you never have any issues with mana, even on fights with environmental damage. That said, do try to keep the HoT love flowing. It helps a lot :)
What encounters are we talking about, exactly?
"They're Dragon Kill Points; not Dragon Feed Points"
I don't know if I qualify as "advanced" (raid experience: ZG/AQ20/Ony/Rag) but unless I'm hellfiring I don't expect anything more than the occasional HoT. As the others said, you lifetap a little bit, then watch for someone to throw a HoT on you and lifetap through it so you end up with decent amounts of both health and mana afterwards. If the HoT never comes or if it isn't enough, you bandage (I go through ridiculous amounts of bandages on some fights). In desperate cases you drain life (not a whole lot of damage compared to shadowbolt spam, but it can keep you from dying...). I don't need anything more than HoTs most of the time - if I do, it's probably because I pulled aggro, which shouldn't be happening anyway, or else something really unusual is going on.
In short, I've never played a healer, but from a warlock perspective it sounds like you and your healers have the right idea and your warlocks need to stock up on bandages ;)
Heal your warlocks.
If your warlocks get heals, they can top the DPS charts in almost every fight you will see for a long while.
If your warlocks aren't going to get heals, don't invite them as they are wasting space.
It's a bit out of date, but here's a link that shows the difference.
At their level, bandages should be a lock's best friend. At better gear healers can afford to throw some more heals on the locks. And melee dps shouldn't be 2nd priority. They're doing smth wrong if they take dmg in a non AoE fight. All dps taking dmg is equal in AoE fights.
In non AoE, locks should be higher than melee, they are forced to lose life, melee isn't maybe. But still, bandages and HoTs ftw.
Imo, locks need to learn how to survive in a fight by themselves before deserving heals. It's a way to learn how to balance Life Tap according to the difficulty of the fight on healers. Played a healer too (5 man stuff) and locks that life tap to 10% during a fight then go all out and take aggro are really annoying, esp if they shout for heals. If you do smth like that you are signing a contract where you agree to die willingly :D
I have never personally played a warlock but my impression from raids is that it is a very powerful class. Its just that once our warlocks burn their mana pools (often early into the encounter) lifetapping leads to quick death.
With my incredibly limited raid warlock experience, I'm throwing this up for community correction as much as anything, but, and absolutely guessing in the dark having not seen your warlocks in action, I would lean towards blaming the human tendancy towards modality. That is, "I'm in SB spam mode, SB to empty!" *gearshift* "I'm in lifetap mode, lifetap to empty." *gearshift* "I'm in SB spam mode..."
To you, experienced and spreadsheet-prone warlocks of this forum, is there a compelling reason for doing more than one lifetap as necessary? Is there something to the optimal DPS cycle of a warlock that makes lifetapping repeatedly optimal?
Even if it's not your issue at hand, I figure I'm sufficently close on question (and also play a raid healer too, so maybe a response will raise my healing sympathies) as to not be stinking up your thread ~
Everybody is your brother until the rent comes due.
We run a warlock/spriest pack often but far from always. Locks come in many flavors and need healing or don't (sacced VW being not so evil sometimes).
The thing in general with healing non-tanks/non-melee is that it goes from "oh god, why did I have to heal XX!" to "the entire raid needs healing, and in different ways" pretty quick in terms of WoW's raid progression. If locks are sucking heals for no good reason (you've got 60 water and you are not pulling, but still tap between pulls) then that's no good. If they are doing the job and dying, that is bad. Meh, no rocket science there.
Dakous, it's not that easy to SBx3, LT, SBx3, LT in the middle of a first kill/attempt. And in the end it still results in low hp :). And yes, for +600 dmg, 1 LT gets me enough mana to SB almost 3 times. Full mana bar => 16 SBs, less if you account for curses/Corruption (40 seconds and oom).
Warlocks just need to use common sense. Can the healers afford to heal you? Can you afford to lose all that hp?
My advice to healers, if you can spare a HoT/small, fast heal to locks, do it, it will up their dps a lot, but keep in mind that LT is not something that kills a warlock; make priorities according to fight, not general ones. And sometimes we need to be taught the hard way how much and how often we can LT so we learn to always go on with the assumption that we will get 0/minimal heals.
Eventually they'll learn in what fights they can rely only on heals, what fights they won't have all the healing they want and what fights they just have to suck it up and use those bandages, HSs, HP pots.