Everyone seems to be rolling a Warlock these days. I can't blame them. It's a fantastic and very fun class to play solo or in a group setting. So I understand the influx, really, and when I get asked questions about the Warlock class, I'm usually very quick to answer, even when they are quite simplistic.
One such question I get asked repeatedly is "Which is better? An Undead or Blood Elf Warlock?" Personally, I believe the answer is simple. Undead. No question about it. The Blood Elf racials are nice and all, and can be somewhat useful in many situations, but the Undead racials are so much more complimentary to the Warlock class. To see why that's the case, consider each racial trait as if it were a trinket (easier for some to understand the concept this way), and how useful that trinket would be to 'locks in general.
First, lets consider the Undead and their Cannibalize and Will of the Forsaken abilities. Cannibalize can be used on humanoids and undead targets, and regens 7% of your total health every 2 seconds for 10 seconds, with a reasonably short two minute cooldown. Will of the Forsaken breaks and makes the you immune to Fear, Sleep, and Charm effects for 5 seconds. Would these abilities make for a good Warlock trinket? Very much so! Cannibalize compliments the Warlock-defining Life Tap spell VERY well, and minimizes downtime and increases efficiency in many different situations. And WotF, well, any trinket effect that restores control to your character is an immeasurably great trinket, for obvious reasons. =)
Now lets consider Blood Elves and their Mana Tap and Arcane Torrent. Mana Tap reduces your targets mana by a set amount, stacking 3 times, and scaling with level. Arcane Torrent silences nearby (read "very nearby") enemies for 2 secs and increases your mana by a set amount based on level and the number of Mana Taps you have stacked. Now, if all this mana goodness came on a trinket, do you think it would be considered a 'lock trinket? Warlocks stack Stamina which indirectly affects their mana regen through Life Tap. They need not worry about buffing mana regen directly. The answer is no.
Sorry, Blood Elves. At least you look good though. ;)
Hmm, but aren't we forgetting something? Orcs can roll Warlocks as well, and a much better question, although asked much less often, is whether an Orc Warlock should be considered.
Orcs have Blood Fury, which increases spell damage by an amount that scales with level (up to +150 @ Lvl 60, for example) for 15 seconds, with a 2 minute cooldown. Hardiness increases resistance to stun effects by 15%, and Command increases pet melee damage by 5%. Good qualities for a Warlock? You betcha. Warlocks stack Spell Damage. Stun resistance would come in handy against Rogues, Warriors, and other stunning classes. Extra pet melee damage, while probably not all that important for a Warlock (maybe for Demonology?), is still kinda nice, but it's more of a passive thing than something that's too be depended on (kinda like the Shadow Resistance of the Forsaken and +5 global resists of Blood Elves, which I didn't even mention before).
So which would be better? A trinket that increases spell damage for a short time and stun resists, or one that restores control to your character and offers quick health regen? Which would you pick up as a Warlock?
For me, the extra spell damage would definitely be enticing, and the stun resists would be nice. But when it comes down to it, both of those aren't as concrete as the Forsaken racial abilities. Neither Will of the Forsaken or Cannibalize are limited by chance or an "up to" mechanism. They will always perform at a specific level, and can always be depended on. And being able to break another Fear, Sleep, or Charm spell means that I can go back to doing damage and CC'ing myself. An extra amount of spell damage is useless if you can't use it, after all. Forsaken ftw, imho.
That being said, Orcs still make very good Warlocks and better 'locks than Blood Elves for sure. However, we're seeing huge numbers of BE 'locks being rolled, and at the same time, very few Orc 'locks. For example, even though Tichondrius has been around since the dawn of WoW, there are more than twice as many Blood Elf Warlocks on the server than there are Orc Warlocks. On Alex, the numbers are even more pronounced, with almost 3x as many BE 'locks as there are Orc 'locks.
Obviously, for many, it comes down to the way their character looks over how it will perform. I must admit though, there is something inherently awkward about a bestial Orc wearing fine cloth. And yes, they are ugly as hell. Given that's the case, I guess their superior stats just can't compete with the sexy, and no matter how much I think they should, I'd probably roll a BE over an Orc too.
Hmm, not taking my own advice. That doesn't really bode well for my character. Whatever. At least I look good. =P