4.0.1 First Impressions

So the process of shaking off the rust is ongoing, and so far it’s going quite well. First order of the day was to sort my UI out, which after loading my addons I commonly use (I had wiped WoW off my PC completely, so all of this was from scratch) it created a mess on my screen. I don’t run a whole lot of UI mods; biggest 2 I’ve stuck with over the years are X-Perl unit frames and CTmod.

After tinkering with UI mods for what seemed an eternity, I went over my spec. This is what I have so far: http://wowtal.com/#k=lGLRZt1.a6q.shaman. At 85 it will resemble this: http://wowtal.com/#k=l1klEQBw.a6q.shaman.

I view the spec as a balance between pve and pvp; I can adjust my playstyle around changing glyphs rather than changing specs. That is one thing I love about the whole new glyph/talent setup. Sadly, the one thing I miss desperately is Ancestral Swiftness; can’t wait to get to 83 so that I have that maxed out once again. PVPing without it makes me feel naked. Another equally-as-big loss for pvp was Ancestral Shift; this is doubly noticable due to the ungodly dps increase amongst most everyone with the 4.0 patch.

Anywho, back to my talent set up. I’m sure it’s bound to garner some strange looks, namely due to having Earth’s Grasp and (eventually) Totemic Reach. As of now, I’m having zero mana problems so long as I’m not spamming Earthquake. Earth’s Grasp is a more pvp-oriented talent, but I’m pretty certain I will encounter times when having a root/snare effect will come in handy in pve situations. I could opt to toss the points in Totemic Reach elsewhere, but I figure the extra range for a tremor totem pulse or earthbind snare could come in handy. Ancestral Resolve is looking mighty fine, as well as Reverberation…and if mana is a problem at 85, I can pick up Convection. To think we didn’t have much in choice with the new talent system, heh; I see each of these as viable options with the last 2 points. There are other combinations available, too, that would require the loss of Earth’s Grasp, but they are still options nonetheless. I would be hard pressed to choose such options, but I’m not the be-all-end-all of elemental shaman, either.

After dialing in my spec, I remembered that reforging is available now, so off I went to Org. I happened to have gathered that the hit requirements for raiding are substantially higher since I last played (from 289 to 446). Sounds daunting, but with the new spirit to hit mechanic of Elemental Precision, it’s practically a joke to get to the hit cap. Afterwards, after looking at what my Mastery is (Elemental Overload) I decided to reforge any crit rating I could spare into mastery after having reached the hit cap. Later I found that the head and shoulder enchants that featured MP5 were now spirit, so I swapped out to acquire those enchants, then I swapped my leg enchant to drop stam in favor of spirit. For a moment it almost felt sacreligious loading up my gear with spirit, being that it has been a nigh-worthless stat on shaman gear for all of 5 years, but it’s a really REALLY nice change. For those of us shaman who decide to utilize a resto spec as our second spec, we can easily get away with using some (if not all) of our elemental gear for resto; while not “ideal”, it would work sufficiently enough, I believe.

Afterwards, I spent some time at the target dummies and quickly realized I needed some manner of alert to when Fulmination and Lava Surge would occur. Fortunately, I was able to ninja some Power Auras settings from the fine folks at Totemspot to assist with that. A quick romp through a heroic showcased how ridiculous DPS has gotten with the patch, with bosses dying in the 12-13 second range consistently. Later, after winning Wintergrasp I stepped into my first raid in since logging back in, and I was actually nervous because I had no idea how much dps I would do being that I was still getting the hang of the new changes. Not only that, but a couple of friends and former guildies were in the group, so I didn’t want to faceplant in front of all of them, heh. On we proceeded to Toravon, and after making mincemeat out of him, I had one of my friends whisper me damage meters (since I was too dumb to remember to load Recount).

1. Kazgrel 13.7k

…wut? The best I had ever done on that fight pre-4.0 was 10-10.5k, and I think I had a flask on for those times whereas last night I did not. While most people will see the 13.7k and think “Hey, that’s pretty damn good”, I actually felt like I have some serious room for improvement in terms of adapting to Lava Surge procs and Fulmination. It’s exciting yet scary at the same time.

One thing that’s been made ridiculous with 4.0: The T10 4 piece bonus, aka Never-ending Flame Shock. So long as I’m on the spot picking up Lava Surge procs, my Flame SHock dot will pretty much never fall off of a target, much like how shadow priests keep their Shadow Word Pain refreshed constantly with Mind Flay (which could be changed with 4.0 now for all I know; I am not a priest expert). I almost wish the bonus would go in as a talent, or maybe (preferrably) a glyph, perhaps replacing the current Flame Shock glyph.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the changes. I’m satisfied with my shaman being my only toon at this point. Hopefully we won’t run into scaling issues come level 85 like we did when we first hit 80; I don’t think we will.

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