Sep 022015

Sorcerer Vs. Warlock

This is not my topic actually, but rather, was suggested in the DDO chat channel by chat user HatsuZ. Except HatsuZ suggested that I write about which one is better, sorcerer or warlock. Which I cannot do, because really, I have no idea.

No, that is not quite right. I do have an idea. Several, actually, but I don’t know which is better. I can only go by gut feel. To know, I would need to play them both, probably more than once, since the various sorcerer savants differ significantly and the various types of warlock even more so.

I do have a sorcerer that I’ve played up to cap, but she is really a hagglebot, with sorcerer as a side benefit (thus the tagline “Hagglebot with Benefits“). I don’t feel that she is an adequate representative of the class as a whole. I mean, she has the Negotiator feat. And not one, but two different kinds of Haggle skill focus feats; any one of those feats really ought to disqualify her from any further top-shelf sorcerer discussion. I have a warlock too, but she is a mixed melee bard/warlock, probably not an adequate representative either. Plus I’ve only played her up to 13th level.

I’m sorry HatsuZ, but I don’t know which is better.

Having said all that, “better” can be tough to quantify even when one is thoroughly informed on the topic. Better at what? “Better for your party”? I would argue that neither is better for your party, they are essentially the same. Projecting damage at a distance, limited or no party support, full-on DPS. As far as filling your party goes they may as well be one class.

But we can start a pros and cons list. Maybe that will help?

Sorcerer Warlock
  • Cast any arcane spell
  • Limited spell selection
  • Very fast cast time
  • Lots of low-cost DPS via Spell-Like Abilities
  • Two different DoT spells for bosses
  • Crowd control spells require a variety of DCs
  • Cast any arcane spell
  • Even more limited spell selection
  • Slower casting time but eldritch blasts cast faster than any spells
  • Free DPS via eldritch blast
  • Can access DoTs but probably won’t
  • Crowd control via Everard’s Black Tentacles

So far, I think Warlock is winning. And that makes sense; traditionally, when a new class is introduced, it seems that they are built to be stronger than existing classes. Maybe it is feared we won’t all want to play it otherwise? And I suppose, we probably wouldn’t. Why sink Turbine Points into something lesser than what you already have?

Yet this is only generalization. And what I suspect HatsuZ is really asking about is nuking, the ability to project DPS at a distance. It is the one thing that the two classes have the most in common. And it is also the one thing about which I am least qualified to comment, having played exactly zero characters of either class that are optimized for nuking.

So I will instead throw it out there for votes. Crowdsourcing works; we’ve used it before, and always to good effect. So … which is better? Warlock or Sorcerer?

Don’t be shy, vote! Crowdsourcing answers only works when there is a crowd. So get on it!

Crowd away!

🙂 😀 🙂

  9 Responses to “Sorcerer Vs. Warlock”

Comments (9)
  1. Not really being into DC-based casting, I definitely prefer warlock – lots of fun pewpews & bursty stuff, dark dispersal is fun & hey, it has tentacles!

    *note, do not use tentacles while fighting succubi, there may be unfortunate implications

  2. That question is a bit more complicated than the poll answers allow. Savant sorcs, properly built, do have higher burst DPS; however, in the long run, the warlock pulls ahead through innate near-infinite sustainability. If going Charisma based, both can easily wind up with more UMD than they need, although that task is easier for the warlock. Crowd control, for the most part, winds up landing in the sorc’s court, as it’s pact-specific for the warlock and limited to only one spell – Evard’s Black Tentacles are bloody murder, but so is the cooldown, and it only lasts ten seconds.

    I guess the point I’m rambling to is they’re *different.* Sure, both are arcane, but saying which is “better” is like asking someone whether a paladin or wizard is better.. the question’s simply more complex than that.

  3. Utterdark blast + eledritch/spirit burst with a pact spellpower item and a sage’s skullcap makes the warlock a room clearer that surpasses just about anything else I’ve seen, much less played.

  4. Hey, thanks for mentioning me in your article! I hope you get lots of votes!

    I have a few issues with your comparisons, though…

    1) The only arcane spells that warlocks have access to are all from the (very large) subset of the list that doesn’t include damage spells. It’s all debuffs, buffs and crowd control.

    2) Warlocks have a DoT enhancement called “Consume” which does chaotic damage over time, and stacks up to 3 times. However, this ability doesn’t scale with caster level, but is increased by taking other enhancements in the Souleater tree. If the enhancement “Taint the Aura” is also taken, then the warlock can give a -10 penalty to the target’s PRR, MRR and Spell Resistance. Having negative PRR and MRR has the same effect as having stacks of “Vulnerability”, so no matter what kind of warlock build you have, this DoT is useful and gives you lots of lovely purple damage numbers. Also, “Greater Hunger” from the fifth tier of the Souleater tree causes targets under the effect of “Consume” to take extra chaotic damage from any attack the caster of “Consume” makes.

    3) One thing you didn’t mention was a comparison of which saves sorcerers and warlocks rely on. Most sorcerer burst DPS relies on reflex saves, regardless of which elements a sorcerer chooses (except for those few no-save spells). Warlocks, on the other hand, can choose which kind of save Eldritch Blast has when they choose their pact (Will, Reflex or Fortitude).

    4) Oh yes, regardless of which pact a warlock takes, a large portion of Eldritch Blast is force damage, which very few enemies resist. It’s a lot more dangerous than the force spells that sorcerers have access to. Also, warlocks can take enhancements in the Tainted Scholar tree to change E.B. force damage to evil or piercing damage, for those foes that are resistant to others. I think warlocks have the advantage is damage types.

    I’m running a caster warlock right now, with most of my points in Tainted Scholar and Souleater. The synergy between the two is something to see. Having increased spell critical *damage* on the rapid-fire eldritch blast (and all damage-dealing enhancements and SLAs!)is something to see.

  5. Great to see my old guildie HatsuZ(Lazerbeam/Naaulsuul) get a shout out! Very interesting topic, I can’t comment since I’ve left DDO for greener pastures. HatsuZ is an awesome dood though! Miss the ddochat crew as well! Keep up the great work everybody!(GoRaptors/Gobluejays). Cheers! :P! :)! :D!

  6. I have never played either class, but from observation in pugs, Warlock is the most potent class that I have seen in all the time I have played DDO (since before expansions). In last couple of weeks, seen experienced players on warlock slay whole rooms in single bursts at level, and played with a new player first life whose L14 warlock was clearly more powerful than me on a reasonably well powered L16 melee (though admittedly he was dying a bit more often). Back when sorcs were much more common, I certainly ran in the wake of some pretty effective nukers, but they tended to be skilled vets.

  7. Bah. I’m a tank. I let things hit me for fun, cause I like to laugh when they bounce off with nary a scratch.

    All in all, I will give Warlock that it’s more versatile, especially since our group has a 1900 hp Warlock tank that can buff up to just shy of 3000, and still lead the kill counts.

What do you think?

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