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Derp.

April 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Been a while since I could take the time to even touch this page. Fair amount of activity, but just a lack of time to get anything meaningful posted:

12/12 in normal content, FINALLY: Nearly 2 months (from around the time of my last post until now) ago we started on Nefarian. Not a difficult encounter, although for 90% of our attempts, I was resto due to a dearth of healers. Finally, last week we had enough healers I was able to dps, and equipped with my Reverberation talent I alone could lock down one of the P2 adds, thus allowing our other dpsers to go all out on their targets without worrying with interrupts (thus proving that dps shaman are king for this instance of interrupts). Up until last week, our attempts were constantly marred by disconnect after disconnect…and it wasn’t always the same people. Even folks with amazingly good hardware (myself included) would randomly get dropped out, only to come back dead (or worse, alive just before Onyxia respawned, resulting in more dead people if said person couldn’t take a dive in the lava fast enough). Last week, though, we finally overcame all of the garbage disconnects, excuses, and whatnot and made a corpse of Nefarian (again). Video of our first kill can be found here. Shadow priest POV. Also for whatever reason, Al’akir seems 100x easier on 10 man compared to 25.

Flirting with “FOTM”: If you’re looking for yours truly in the above video…look closer to the ground. That’s right, I was a goblin in that video. Feeling a bit bored, I checked out goblin animations and racials and decided to give it a go. Couple of days later, I started noticing a racial I was missing that was really starting to annoy me: Hardiness. Doesn’t sound like much, but I found myself in at least half a dozen instances of “if that stun wore off half a second sooner I could’ve gotten a heal off…” in the 3 days I was a good ol’ gobbie. That, plus I simply flat out started missing being an orc, heh. In fact, the experience has convinced me I should probably convert some of my alts to what I dub “the supreme Horde race”…but that’s an expensive endeavor. Cheaper than a weekend out on the town, I suppose, heh. I refer to goblin as FOTM because nearly half the Horde shaman on my server have race changed to goblin…and the whole feeling of “jumping on the bandwagon” had my skin crawling.

Elemental PVP, oh how I hate thee…: I’ve been moonlighting as resto for PVP for a fair amount of Cata so far. Elemental feels so pathetic for pvp right now that it’s simply frustrating to play. Quit my 2’s team in a fit of rage after losing several games in a row where I felt I could literally do nothing. Despite how frustrating ele PVP is, running around as resto right now reminds me of how god mode it once was late in BC (only surpassed by resto druids, but what didn’t they surpass then?). Rejoined the team, took some chill pills (simply a figure of speech; no drugs were taken during the queueing of arena) and just deal with it for now. Yes, I’m playing ele in 2s…fortunately my friend is a shadow priest, who has a fair amount of CC and peeling capability, which an ele MUST have if they want to do anything in arena now. The one game I went resto with my friend, we won…but it was a 20 minute ordeal vs an affliction lock/resto druid team. We’re not exactly patient with arena; we want games done in 5 mins or less, heh.

ARGH SO CLOSE: In the past 2 months I would slave away on weekends for various Call To Arms for BGs I needed achievements from, and now I stand 1 achievement away from the Battlemaster title I’ve coveted ever since seeing it in game: Arathi Basin Perfection. The infuriating part is I have this achievement on 2 of my alts, and I’m over 150 recorded AB victories on my shaman without a perfect win. I still say it’s a matter of when, not if…but damn, it’s irritating. Repeated efforts to form an organized group for it have fallen through due to folks not being online. Even without Battlemaster, I’ve managed to eek over the 12k achievement point mark, which felt pretty cool. Not sure if I’ll get to 13k, though! 😛

All for now…I’ll try to be a bit more prompt with updating this in the future, though, perhaps my once-a-week-or-two shenanigans, which I think is fair.

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Fire totems: Oh how I love (to hate) thee. Initial raiding impressions

January 10, 2011 Leave a comment

The dust from the holiday shenanigans has settled down, playoff football is upon us, and many guilds such as mine are now kicking off raiding in Cataclysm. I’ve been splitting raiding time between resto and elemental, which doesn’t bother me whatsoever; If my switching to resto for a day means we start a raid on time, then I’m all for it, because I hate wasting time.

I actually find playing resto fun and enjoyable currently. It’s as if shaman have tools for healing any and all situations right now. The new “healing model” for Cataclysm has taken little adjusting to on my end, since my playstyle when healing already fit the framework Blizzard had planned for Cata healing. As far back as BC, I would always load up on MP5 (now spirit) on as many items as possible, for I am always afraid of going OOM. I preferred to gear for long fights, such as heroic LK during WotLK (a fight that could take upwards of 15 minutes for a kill). The resto shaman mastery, Deep Healing, works nicely in my opinion. It’s basically a form of crit that isn’t a chance; it’s somewhat more reliable, although I don’t know how exactly the game determines how much benefit your heals get on a target (something I may research on a slow work day, heh). I won’t advocate stacking mastery, mind you, but if you get some here and there on your gear, it’s not the end of the universe; worst case, you can reforge some mastery into haste/crit/spirit.

From an elemental standpoint, it hasn’t been too bad. In our 25 man runs, when I’ve been dps, I’m usually in the middle of the pack, leaning toward the top. In most cases, I’m within 10-15% of the top dps, which I find acceptable, since part of that can be attributed to level of play, aka me slacking. In non-gimmick fights, I’ve been averaging 15-16k. I suspect this number will go up in weeks to come due to not only acquiring gear, but better dps uptime due to knowing the mechanics of the fights.

One thing as elemental that’s been both a blessing and curse is our fire totems. It is a blessing that we are no longer relegated to having to be a “Totem of Wrath bot”, as I’ve seen it called (albeit with more suggestive language, heh). Now that we can consistently use dps totems instead of a buff totem, it’s pretty sweet…when the totems aren’t retarded. Searing Totem makes me want to strangle kittens at times. On many occasions when there is a target switch (aka one trash mob dead, on to the next one that’s right beside it), the totem won’t acquire the second target. I quickly learned to recall/redrop ST on the Omitron fight, because it’s insistence on hitting a shielded target caused us to wipe.

Then there’s our beloved Fire Elemental Totem. It’s a massive dps increase when compared to Searing Totem, but it would need to be since it’s a 5/10 minute cooldown (depending on whether it’s glyphed or not). FE, though, like it’s searing kin, has a mind of it’s own at times and will attack whatever it fancies, regardless of what mob has my flame shock on it. It also has a leash back in the event a mob gets too far away; this isn’t a big deal for searing totem, since it can simply be placed again. Not the case for FE, since it has a cooldown. FE also has a tendency to get insta-gibbed due to raid damage/mechanics, such as what happened to mine during Twin Dragons attempts in Bastion last night. I’m not sure what exactly gibbed it; there’s a pretty good possibility I plunked it down in a bad spot, or at a bad time, or both.

There’s an ongoing discussion of the fire totem matter in this Totemspot thread. There are a couple of ideas posted there that I find interesting, such as letting Unleash Flame, a spell seldom used as elemental, refresh or extend our flame shock’s DoT duration. A simple yet radical idea floating about is letting elemental shaman use the elemental totems (earth and fire) as permanent pets. The way I envision it, searing totem could be scrapped, thus relegating us to using Flametongue for the spell damage increase, then having the elemental function as a mobile searing totem. One downside is that it would lose it’s aoe DPS, but that spell could work akin to a mage’s blast wave, only without any knockback/daze (if they still have that). Otherwise the elemental turrets flame bolts at our target. The earth ele could simply function as a “tank” pet, which is pretty much what it does now.

Keep in mind the ideas posted here are 1. most likely not original, and 2. purely wishlisting, if you want to call it that. I’m not wishing for these things; if they are added, great, if not, no big deal. I honestly would never expect to have either of our elementals as permanent pets, even for just the elemental spec, since we would be treading dangerously toward being a warlock or hunter. I don’t see any harm in generating ideas, be they practical or ridiculous; any kind of idea could provide fuel for the proverbial fire that is the Blizzard think tank that conjures up the changes that DO take place.

Overall, I’m satisfied with my shaman experience in Cata, but that isn’t to say that it is perfect and is in need of no improvement. I’m seeing things, such as issues mentioned here, that could use some attention, but they aren’t game breaking issues at this point.

Happy Holidays :)

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

May be another 2 weeks or so before I get back around to posting, being that the Christmas and New Year’s holidays are upon us now. That said, it’s a dreadfully slow day at work, so I thought I’d drop some more observations and thoughts here.

I haven’t done much of anything in terms of raiding since my last post here. That said, based on experiences in heroics, I’m looking forward to raiding, whether it’s as elemental or resto (and now that most of our healing core is at 85 and farming heroics with the rest of us, I’ll most likely be back to my old elemental self).

Elemental DPS seems like it will be fine, least to me. One thing I have started to notice as my gear has improved, though, is that Lava Burst isn’t the “burst” that it used to be. Lightning Bolt crits are now hitting almost as hard as my LvB crits, but I think there’s several factors in play; for one, LB will be getting the majority of Clearcasting charges, which on top of cooldowns amplify it a lot. Also, we have to remember that in most cases LvB is guaranteed to be a crit, whereas LB may crit 20-25% of the time. To think “omg LvB barely crits harder than LB so it sucks” would be ridiculous, since LvB gives us the benefit of consistently having CC charges up. This is especially critical since mana usage has gone up significantly; I have had some points where I ran OOM. That brings me to another point…

What meta gem should we be using? Well, once I crafted my engineering goggles, I immediately dropped a chaotic shadowspirit in the meta slot, and gemmed accordingly. Int/spirit or int/hit (depending on how the gem market was at the time) gems in red, blue sockets with mastery/hit, and yellows with just haste. However, after getting pretty much all the gemmable gear I would need going into raiding (barring BoE epics I’m 1-2 items away from being BiS pre-raiding), I swapped my meta to the Int/+2% mana meta, and went back to our old way of gemming: Int in red, int/spi in blue, int/haste in yellow. I do not have conclusive evidence that my DPS has increased, but going by seat-of-the-pants feel, it seems like I’m doing more dps now. Added benefits include a mana pool that increased by almost 8k…this may not seem like a big deal, but I noticed I went from having mana trouble in long fights to cruising through fights retaining most all of my mana barring occasions I had to use Earthquake (which is going to destroy the mana pool no matter what, heh). The meta swap also lets my eng goggles double dip, and by that I mean that I get to use them in my resto set now.

On the resto front, I’ve been throughly enjoying the challenge that we call the new healing model. Hopefully healing won’t return to where it was in late WotLK, where (for heroics at least) I could basically /afk my way through heroics, or if I was feeling really risky I would queue as a healer and instead be in full elemental gear/spec and would DPS…and if I REALLY wanted to be snarky, I would ask the group why the healer was top dps, heh. I only pulled that snarky card if someone in the group was being a douche, though. Now, for the new healing model, I find that I’m mostly using Riptide and Healing Wave, since they are by far the most mana efficient of our spells. Greater Healing Wave comes into play if someone’s trickling down low on health, and combined with our mastery, it provides a considerable chunk of health restored in most cases; nowhere near the levels of throughput we had in WotLK, but we’re not supposed to have such throughput. Healing Surge has taken the place of Chain Heal as our “Oh S***” button, namely when a DPS’s health spikes down, or if the tank starts to take a dive on HP. As for CH…it’s nowhere near the super power it once was. This is probably the biggest change I’ve had to cope with, because like many shaman I had engrained in my brain that “when in doubt, chain heal”. This doesn’t work well anymore, because in a couple of cases I had that thought occur to me, cast a CH, then someone would die. However…couple CH with our new Healing Rain and we’re capable of some absurd amounts of multi-target healing. Again, it’s nothing like what we had before where a CH would basically heal up 3-4 people virtually all their HP, but it’s still a potent combination. HR allows us to smooth out damage done on a group of folks (such as the melee + tank clump on most all boss fights) while healing other targets…it’s a shaman form of Beacon of Light, I suppose.

I also got back into my PVP groove, starting with Tol Barad…and for once I’m going to say “What the fuck, Blizz?” TB is perhaps the biggest PVP blunder they’ve ever introduced in this game, even more so than the countless revamps of AV (should’ve left it alone IMO). For those who have not tried TB, there are 3 bases and 3 towers. The attacking team has to capture all 3 bases in order to win; they can destroy the 3 towers to buy themselves more time if needed. The defending team technically does not have to hold a single base; so long as one of the 3 bases is in the grey and the time expires, the defense wins. This relegates TB to being nothing more than zerg vs. zerg, with the defense being heavily favored. The simplest solution to this would be to require that 2 of the 3 bases be held to win, whether the O or D is holding them. This gives the D more reason to try and defend the towers, and would discourage both sides from running around with one giant zerg. Couple the TB blunder with the MMR/conquest point bugs that cropped up and you have a lot of aggravated PVPers. On top of that, random BG queues are still pretty awful, and it doesn’t help that more often than not I end up in a group that’s…well, bad, to put it nicely. One positive note, though: You can get all of your conquest points for a week by winning 5 arena matches, which when you have next to no rating is pretty easy to accomplish. This is a big saving grace for us Horde here in the US, since we often have to wait 15-20 minutes to get into a random BG. Granted, it’s gonna take about 4 months to get all of my vicious pvp gear at this rate, but it took about that long in BC for my warrior to get full S2 gear, so it’s not that big a deal. Oh, and that time can be reduced simply by increasing one’s rating, whether it’s in arena or in rated BGs.

Also, after juggling several options for a second profession after dropping Leatherworking (since it would cost me a small fortune to buy all the mats I would’ve needed to level it), I opted for Alchemy and became a Potion Master. This has paid off nicely because I can now sell Truegold cooldowns or Living Elements cooldowns. I was aided in this endeavor by my druid alt, who has herbalism and inscription. Put it simply, a tauren druid cannot be beaten when it comes to herbing, period. The tauren Cultivation racial makes the cast time for herb gathering half a second, which has allowed me to snipe herbs from others charging the same herb node as I on many occasions. If I’m not thrilled with Engineering come next content patch, I may very well drop it in favor of picking up herbing on my shaman so that I’m never stuck without a way to level professions unless I bust out an alt. Besides, herbalism now provides a haste CD that maths out to be an average of 80 haste, so it’s pretty baller when compared to mining and skinning. Mining gets on my nerves at this point because everyone, their brother, and their mother is out mining ore. Were I playing in morning times like some of my friends, it probably wouldn’t be so bad, but I’m generally having to play during prime time, so that’s out of the question. Oh, and leveling alchemy from 1-525 cost me about 1/10th the amount it took to get Engineering from 450-525…so for any up and coming raiders undecided on what professions to pick up to help them with raiding, you can always count on herbalism and alchemy to be of solid use, no matter what class/spec you play. Oh, and it can make you some gold, too…that’s always a plus.

Well, it’s approaching the hour I get to leave the office, so happy holidays to those who have read this far, and those who don’t even know this blog exists. 😛

Cataclysm: The First Week

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

A week ago, mayhem ensued as Cataclysm officially kicked off stateside. I happened to log on that morning before heading to work to do the cooking and fishing dailies in Orgrimmar and for kicks and giggles I opened my guild pane only to see 23 people online…at 6:45AM. We weren’t seeing that many people online in our guild unless it was raid time; usually it would be 8-10 people on when there wasn’t a raid going. I purchased Cata via the online upgrade, and having let the download run overnight, I was able to log in that morning without a hitch. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised by such.

That evening, I logged on and my priest friend and I headed to Hyjal. We managed to complete all the quests in the zone that evening in a span of 4 hours, despite the insane amount of people crawling all over the zone doing the same quests. Some quests were more painful than others. The “homage to Joust” quest line, bear chucking quest and the finale with Ragnaros are the highlights of the zone, though.

Afterwards came Deepholm, and with it I replaced every single piece of gear I had from ICC. It may seem odd to some, but I had no problem replacing some of those former BiS ICC epics with greens and occasional blues. I did keep my armor pieces, though, in the event I feel nostalgic and want to toss on my T10 (not to mention it looked pretty good). There’s a reasonable cohesiveness to all the quests in the zone, in that they all piece together the shard(s) used to restore the World Pillar or whatever it’s called in the Temple of Earth so that Azeroth doesn’t turn into a black hole and collapse upon itself or some nonsense. Some of the dailies here are annoying, such as the Pebble rescue, while some are infuriating, aka Glop, Son of Glop, which requires you to speak to the NPC shaman AND kill Glop. Sounds easy, but it takes the NPC a good 10-15 minutes to reset, and if you are in a group and one person talks to her, only that person gets credit. Even more infuriating is that there is an achievement attached to the quest (do it 10 times); I am hoping that some changes will be made to this quest, such as to retrieve an item that Glop would drop on the ground that is lootable by everyone in vicinity for a minute. Also, Deepholm has to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing cavern/underground areas ever since we first flew down into the Caverns of Time (which is still the crown jewel of “really cool cave/underground areas”).

Next came Uldum. The Harrison Jones questline is fairly entertaining (perhaps moreso for Indiana Jones fanboys/girls), but I can only see watching all those cinematics once; ie any alts I level at this point I would hit escape for all of that stuff. The Gnomebliteration quest is up there with the bear chucking quest in Hyjal as the most hilarious/entertaining quest of Cataclysm thus far.

Hit 85 while working over quests in Twilight Highlands, which for Horde players starts off with a pretty fun quest sequence that has you flying in on airship as part of an aerial assault fleet, only to arrive at Dragonmaw Port to lead a mutiny within the ranks of the Dragonmaw Clan, which leads to them assisting the Horde in the battles against the Twilight’s Hammer.

During the weekend I went back to Vashj’ir and wrapped up Loremaster of Cataclysm by clearing that zone, and the atmosphere of the quest line there is pretty neat with the whole “oh shiz we’re screwed” theme that persists through most of the quest line. The final quest line that leads to the Throne of Tides is also rather entertaining, as you run across the ocean floor amidst a huge ongoing battle.

That’s the 80-85 zones in a nutshell, and I’m very certain I’m forgetting a LOT of details there. So on to how things are at 85…it’s the same, yet different. Despite the fact I retained about the same amount of rating for haste/crit/mastery, it’s very noticable that it takes a truckload more rating to attain similar numbers to what we had in ICC gear at 80; numbers that I don’t believe we’ll ever see again. Currently I’m in mostly ilvl 346 gear, with a couple of 333s, and I’m hovering right over 10% haste, 18% crit, and 25% mastery; far cry from the obscene amounts of that I had at 80 (37% haste, 36% crit, 39% mastery), yet dps has gone up a fair amount due to gaining almost 3k spellpower (from just over 3700 with Flametongue on at 80 to right at 6600 now). Not sure how elemental fares compared to other classes/specs, but I think we will be fine come raiding time.

The economy is a shit storm, to say the least, and a major part of that is how during WotLK many of us went with 2 crafting professions, dropping whatever gathering profession we had at the time to gain an advantage when it comes to character performance. I’m guilty of such, for I dropped skinning to pick up engineering. Yesterday I dropped leatherworking to pick up mining in order to recoup some of the 20k gold I spent leveling engineering to 525 and to craft my goggles. It was a painful decision to make, being that the leatherworking-exclusive bracer emboss/enchant is heads and shoulders more powerful than anything an enchanter can provide for bracers. However, being broke as all hell is every bit as painful, and I never EVER want to have to endure this again. Yes, I’ve heard the “use your alts” argument, but I don’t really care to have my main handicapped to the degree he requires the aid of alts with gathering professions just so he is as raid ready as possible. Couple that with the fact that I don’t care to bother with alts at this time nor in the foreseeable future, and that cemented the deal for me. The combo of skinning + leatherworking may be a higher dps combination, but the utility provided by engineering is too invaluable to me. Unless Jeeves and MOLL-E start having a chance to fail when used, I don’t see me dropping engineering any time soon. There is a slim possibility that I may drop mining and level jewelcrafting, but I don’t know if I’ll want to put up with the headache involved or not. Only time will tell.

I’ve dabbled with Archaeology a little as I flew around power leveling mining (1-400 in 2-3 hours of mining isn’t too shabby, btw) and it looks to be even more painful to level than fishing. I didn’t think that such a thing would be possible, but it wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong. The sad thing is I had to google on how exactly surveying worked because no where did I find an indication in game as to how it was supposed to work. It’ll make for a decent time sink, one which I’ll never level on another character barring a main switch, which at this point hell freezing over would be a better bet, heh.

The main draw currently at 85 is heroics…and boy, oh boy, heroics are back to being heroic for a change. Gone are the days of WotLK, and many of us are rejoicing at such, despite the amazing leap in difficulty heroics are over their regular counterparts (and over any WotLK heroics, for that matter). The new healing model + current heroics make for a brutal time, to be honest, and I say this with experience because I’ve spent the majority of my time in heroics as resto, since all of 2-3 of our main spec healers have hit 85 so far (I was the third healing-capable person to hit 85 in our guild iirc). Right now you can’t have enough spirit for mana regen; I’m sitting right under 2400 in combat regen and I’ll go OOM easily if I’m bad with heal selection. Healing Rain, despite it’s obscene mana cost, is an amazing addition to our healing arsenal, and couple with chain heal we’re able to do some massive aoe healing. I don’t see how some bosses are doable without said HR + CH (Rahj in heroic Halls of Origination comes to mind). Despite the at-times frustrating difficulty of some of the heroics, as a whole I find that they are a much needed breath of fresh air, and I honestly hope they are not nerfed, for I think they are all doable currently.

Sunday evening our guild rounded up 10 folks and we gave some of the new raids a try. The Baradin Hold boss (Argaloth, I think?) is basically Brutallus, Round 2; we downed him despite 2 dps being dead and both myself and our druid healer both being OOM at the end. After that we moved over to Blackwing Descent…and the pain began. The trash in raids is no different than that in heroics in that it WILL kick your ass if you are not careful. Aside from that, Magmaw is effin’ brutal; in fact all videos and posts I’ve found seem to indicate the only way that he’s been beaten is due to a bug that lets you hop back on him immediately after he’s out of a pinned down phase. Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal, however, and guilds have downed it already, so I could very well be wrong. Oh, and we were also batshit crazy for trying to 2 heal the fight, heh. A few tries at Omnitron Council (or whatever they’re called) has me believing that it’ll be the first boss encounter we manage to down. We managed to get them to 67ish percent on 2 attempts, and I think given time that fight should become easy to manage.

It’s almost lunch time at this point, and I am hungry, so that’s all on Cata Week 1 for now, but there will be more to come as time goes on.

Cataclysmic Shaman Changes

April 8, 2010 Leave a comment

We were the first, you know…the first to have their preview for Cataclysm revealed.

Full post found here.

    New Spells:


  • Primal Strike: Wait, so it’s no longer LB > LB > Shock > auto attack to level now? Took long enough. 😛
  • Healing Wave: So now there will be lesser, greater, and this as our main single target heals. Think we’ll have to see actual numbers to get a better idea of where this will leave us. I wonder what will happen with Chain Heal, since that’s really our primary heal (or maybe I’m just fail at resto :-P).
  • Unleash Weapon: Judgement of Shamanism. I expect some numbers for this to be tweaked, especially the one for Flametongue. There was enough crying about the original T9 4 piece in pvp, so why they would give us something similar as a baseline, I dunno. Perhaps health pools will increase so much that the added bit of damage to our big burst ability won’t be as noticable.
  • Healing Rain: Heh, I was already referring to Chain Heal as golden showers on the raid, and now we get this? Lulz. Even though we have decent multi-target healing, CH does have it’s weaknesses, such as when everyone’s spread out all over the place.
  • Spiritwalker’s Grace: Now this will be cool as hell, I think. Not the be-all-end-all to our woes of being a turret, but as a situational use ability, this is pretty cool. For whatever reason, though, I suspect it won’t make it live. 😦


  • Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

  • Spirit will replace MP5 as resto’s source of mana regen, and they will actually need to gear for it some instead of foregoing regen in favor of throughput pieces. About time they made spirit a useful stat for shaman
  • Dispel changes: At face value, these changes hurt. A lot. Resto being able to remove magic effects is a good thing, though, but elementals and enhancers are left out in the cold with this new movement to make healers the defensive dispellers rather than have such utility on dps classes. I expect a lot of balancing changes due to this.
  • No more cleansing totem :(: I wonder if we get some other water totem since we lose out on cleansing. Doubtful, but you never know.
  • No more Totem of Wrath…sorta: FINALLY. We get to use dps fire totems and still provide the spell power bonus to our groups, only it will actually scale a la Demonic Pact. Sad that it won’t go in until Cata. I do wonder what will happen to the 3% crit from ToW, though…I suspect we will lose that altogether.
  • I have not played enhancement at end game in any form, but having looked over spreadsheets/forums/etc. to learn a bit about it, they definitely need to thin out all the shit you have to do in order to dps well as enhance. When you need a mod to actually help you do well with the priority system (Shock and Awe), then I think you have a design problem. I am not bashing enhance in any way; in fact, for how painful it can be to pull it off well, I think it should be able to eek out a bit more dps.


  • New Talents and Talent Changes

  • Elemental Reach: With Flame Shock at 40ish yards, LB/CL at 36, shocks at…25, IIRC, Hex and searing totem at 20…yeah, this would be nice.
  • Earthquake: Seriously, did someone at Blizzard attach a probe that delved into my thought process? I remember mentioning on guild vent during Ulduar that Earthquake could be a good elemental AoE…and here it is. I would expect it to work like a mage’s Blizzard, but it could work like Flamestrike, or maybe it will be something weird enough that it is it’s own spell. Looking forward to this for PVE.
  • Spirit Link: Yay, SL is back! I never got to monkey with it during Wrath beta, though. I’d expect it to work akin to Hand of Sacrifice, but cooler since it is a shaman ability. 😛
  • Spirit = Hit: Makes sense, because that allows resto and elemental shaman to share all caster mail.
  • Ancestral Knowledge: Makes sense, I suppose. Lose some scaling with deeper talents as the trees currently stand, though (which most likely won’t be the case come 4.0).
  • No more Enhancing Totems: No more SoE totem knocking down Horn of Winter only to have folks go out of range or the totem destroyed therefore losing the buff.
  • No more “passive bonuses”: Nice to see our talent trees get cleaned up some since mastery can be used to take care of such talents that increase damage/crit/etc.


  • Mastery Passive Bonuses

    These look good overall. Enhance Nature damage one seems a bit bland, though. Resto looks like the prime example of how mastery can work. For elemental, the crit one could do a lot of neat things, such as crit damage modifier, or provide a dot akin to 4 piece T8 or a mage’s ignite. Maybe the latter will be a new talent. 🙂

Overall, looks fairly promising. The whole dispel change announced a day or so before had me really nervous (and still does), but all the upcoming changes quelled my fears of having to change mains due to my current main getting shit on.

Couple of points:

Elemental Mastery: Wonder if it will get buffed to make it more useful. A 10-15% damage increase would be pretty slick, although I wonder if it would make it OP for pvp. Hooray for balancing 2 game aspects that are so incompatible.

Hex: With all the defensive dispelling that will be available, Hex doesn’t look to be too nice now given it’s short range and (the real killer) a 45 second cooldown. A talent to reduce the cooldown would be nice.

Flame Shock: With how often we will get FS dispelled, I wonder if Lava Flows may change. I suspect it won’t since we’re getting so many other methods of increasing damage, but who knows.

Well, back to work I go; figured I would finish this post up real quick during a somewhat slow work day, heh.

The Case for Triple Spec

March 31, 2010 7 comments

It seems like an eternity since the dual talent specialization feature was added to WoW, with eternity (in this case) equating to about a year ago, when patch 3.1 was released. It was a very anticipated patch, with both dual spec and Ulduar going live. I figured dual spec would make my life super simple; I’d have my elemental main spec, and a resto off spec.

A year later, things aren’t so simple. I do way more PVP now than I did a year ago (mainly because getting 2-3 shot by S5 DK heroes wasn’t fun). PVP specs for shaman all vary enough from their PVE spec counterparts that attempting to use a PVE spec to PVP generally results in a painful time, even when well-geared for PVP. Needless to say, as of late I’m running two elemental specs, one for PVE, the other for PVP.

So not a big deal, right? Wrong. On some evenings I will sub in for raiders if someone has to leave/has an emergency/has computer problems/etc., so I’ll hop right into the raid and things are all jolly…then I’m asked to heal.

Well shit.

Now I have to hearth out, head to org, switch to my pvp spec, respec, then run dow to the AH and pick up appropriate glyphs (although my druid almost has everything needed as far as glyphs go…woot). Ok, so it sounds like nothing more than simply a hassle for yours truly. That’s not the case. Keep in mind I had already been invited to the raid, so I’m being swapped in for someone, yet I’m not even ready.

Well, sounds like it’s my fault, eh? Can’t say I can blame myself, of course. I don’t see it being fair for anyone who wants to pvp or use a “different” second spec than the one everyone expects them to have (an example of that different spec would be me having enhance as a second spec).

Of course, based on the title of this entry, you the reader know exactly what I think the answer would be to such a conundrum: Expand dual spec into triple spec. Easier said than done, no doubt. I have no clue as to what the database and/or hardware requirements would be to expand such a feature. I think that since dual spec is already in and working that adding an additional tab for an additional spec shouldn’t be a difficult task.

The reasons I have provided for expanding dual spec into triple spec are mostly self-centered, but to expand on the reasoning, I’m very certain a lot of other shaman players around the world would welcome triple spec warmly. Shaman wouldn’t be the only ones, either; in fact, every class could conceivably utilize such an expansion in a variety of ways.

For a more basic reason, look at how many talent trees each class has. Yeah, 3. Wouldn’t that alone warrant the idea that giving players the capacity to switch to any of these trees without having to dink around reconfiguring bars/macros/etc. isn’t such a bad idea?

For any “old school” WoW players…yes, I played waaay back when you had to respec the old fashioned way, and you didn’t have this fancy dual spec option, and you had to walk backwards to school in the snow going uphill both ways. Back then, and to this day, though, people play a spec of their class as their “main spec”. Well what if we kicked the door down and made it possible for folks to come into raids simply as a class, rather than a spec of a class? It would be very interesting to see players adapt to the full capabilites of their class, rather than having to pigeonhole themselves into a specific role.

Some examples of what I could do were I capable of triple spec:

Shaman: Ele PVE, Ele PVP, Resto; Ele PVE Resto PVE Resto PVP; Ele Resto and Enhance PVE; Lots of combinations possible.

Warrior: Most likely case for me would be Arms PVP, Fury, and Prot. I enjoy all 3 and would love to have that degree of flexibility with my warrior.

Paladin: Ret PVE, Ret PVP, Prot. Triple spec would also get me to entertain the idea of trying Holy out for a change.

Druid: Bear tank, resto PVE, resto PVP. Much like shaman, there are tons of combinations druids could pull off.

Rogue: Oh, what use would a “pure” class need of this? Easy, they could do Mutilate PVE, Combat, then a PVP guild.

Other classes are chock full of possibilities, too. The ones provided are just some I’m a bit more familiar with.

To me, the introduction of dual spec and how it works makes it clear that the whole “respeccing” concept is archaic, clunky, and aggravating. Many of us want to play our class to it’s full potential, but having to respec is a turn off at this point. With the whole “casualization” of WoW, this is one “casual friendly” feature that I believe should be expanded on, unlike the welfare…er badge system. That’s another can of worms for another time, though.

So…why Shaman?

November 9, 2009 Leave a comment

When I started playing WoW, I didn’t even look at the shaman class. My friends had created paladins, so to hang out with them, I had to make an alliance character also. First character I created in WoW was a human warlock. Played him up to level 20 or so, decided I didn’t like the class (warlocks were weaksauce when WoW was new), so I joined the masses playing a NE hunter. Not a good idea, looking back, because literally half our server was NE hunters. Another friend of mine started playing horde on a different server, so my friends went over to that server to join him; I went to a different server to join an online friend, where I made my first paladin, who was also my first 60. It was just my online friend and I for the most part on there, though, so we eventually got bored and decided to reroll Horde with my other friends.

My online friend rerolling with me decided to level a warrior, while my other friends that had already rerolled consisted of warriors and hunters. Noting this, I figured “you know, having someone that could heal would be a good idea”. Seeing that shaman had healing spells, plus they could hurl lightning at foes. I also liked the class from Warcraft 3, especially with that silly Bloodlust spell that made whatever it was cast on bigger and badder…not to mention the hilarious sound effect. Much to my dismay, shaman did not have Bloodlust as a spell at the time, but I was quite content chucking lightning bolts around. I recall leveling up as elemental, which at the time was a bad idea, because there was zero gear itemized well for any caster, let alone a shaman.

I eventually decided to respec, and started using an enhance/resto hybrid that gave me some semi-decent healing capability while letting me kill things within a reasonable time frame. I recall stacking gear with loads of intellect (not a bad idea then since that meant more heals) and spirit (because that would let me regenerate mana faster when not fighting…lol). I also stuck with a 1h/shield combo over using a 2h, although I had spent the talent point to use 2h weapons (Oh, and if you respecced after leveling 2h weapons…grats, you get to do it AGAIN!). Windfury was king at the time (2 bonus attacks with 800 or so extra AP), Flametongue only did extra fire damage on hit (no spell power bonus), and Rockbiter was around to do more threat (rofl shaman tank).

Eventually, all my friends decided to quit playing WoW, since as a small guild comprised of RL friends only, we had no way of doing any major content back then (at this point, people were just starting to farm MC). Around this time, I ended up on a warrior binge, with one finally sticking and becoming the main I did most of my progress on (although most of that was the old PVP grind). I sorta wished I had went back to my shaman instead of sticking it out on my warrior; I miss my old school pvp title (was only Legionnaire, but still). Warriors at that time were a dime a dozen, too; everyone wanted to be “that guy” in a video online running around with 3 healers on his hip smashing through entire groups of the opposition, although the shaman class had a few of it’s own that were just mind blowing (Unbreakable and Ioneye come to mind due to the retarded damage they showed the shaman class capable of). Such videos resulted in nerfs to each class, if you ask me. 😛

Anywho, back on topic. I ended up quitting almost a year before TBC came out, and when it did (and I was lured into playing again by a former coworker), I started anew on warrior (Nobz), but had a shaman alt (Kaz). From there, their history is detailed in the About link.

The whole use of the elements, lightning, fire, ice, all that fun stuff…that’s part of the appeal of shaman. In layman terms, I just wanted to electrocute/fry/ice folks to bits. 😛 This also would explain why I was lured to elemental, even though it was rubbish when the game was new. I briefly played enhance, but that was for leveling, and when I hit Outland for the first time on Kaz way back when, I decided that since there was so much caster gear available, I would go elemental and give that a try. Haven’t looked back since, save for that one time I tried enhance out 8 or so months ago for a Naxx 10 (in which my dps was so fail I immediately went back to elemental).

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😛