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4.2: Return to Fotm…er Form; oh, and T12!

May 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Some potentially sexy buffs are coming elemental shaman’s way:

May 10 4.2 PTR notes:

– Lava Flows now grants a 30/60/90% haste buff when a Flame Shock effect is dispelled, up from 10/20/30%.

– Thunderstorm now reduces the movement speed of players it knocks back by 40% for 5 seconds.

– Unleash Elements is now in the Nature school, and thus can no longer be used if a shaman’s Nature school has been locked out.

– The 4-piece Elemental shaman PvP set bonus (Gladiator’s Thunderfist set) has been redesigned. It now causes Lightning Shield to generate an extra charge, rather than consuming one, when it is triggered by receiving damage, up to a maximum of 3 (9 with the Rolling Thunder talent).

– Lightning Shield and Water Shield can no longer be dispelled.

– Glyph of Unleashed Lightning (new Prime glyph) allows Lightning Bolt to be cast while moving.

The main concern amongst the pvp community now is our mana (in)efficiency, which may or may not be resolved by the Unleashed Lightning glyph, since it will allow us to cast more lightning bolts. There’s also the manner of a defensive cd; yes, we can glyph EM, but what other class would have to use their dps cooldown in order to reduce damage they are taking? Only idea I can scrape off the top of my head at the moment would be to re-introduce Astral Shift, but have it be an ele-only defensive cd of some flavor.

As OP as some of these changes look on paper…well, they’re needed. Ele is extremely vulnerable in pvp due to the fact that 90% of our damage occurs when we plant our feet and turret spells into enemies…which happens for all of 1 second tops against half decent pvpers. Any time my friends and I encounter an ele shaman, I’m yelling at them to simply tunnel the shaman, which results in said shaman being dead fairly quickly.

Amongst the raiding community, there seems to be a large amount of “meh” regarding these changes, namely the new glyph. I’m honestly surprised at the lack of enthusiasm about a solution to one of our biggest weaknesses (damage while moving). Oh, boo hoo, we have to debate over which glyph to swap at this point…and on that note, who’s to say they don’t simply make our current LB glyph do exactly what this new one does, then bake in the 4% damage increase by default, or if we’re incredibly lucky, they bake it in as a 5-6% increase. I don’t expect this to happen, but all of this is on PTR, and things there are subject to change, such as the new legendary staff, as shown here.

Needless to say, I’m hoping these changes make it through PTR intact (at the very least) and to live. Speaking of PTR, our T12 has made it’s debut, and I’ll go ahead and say we are 12 for 12 in terms of having reasonably decent looking tier sets:

Shaman T12 on males

Shaman T12 on females

Preview video courtesy of MMO-Champion:

4.0.6 Elemental Shaman cliff notes

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Tremor Totem: Basically becomes a 6 second aoe fear ward on a 1 min CD.
Purge: Effectively cut in half.
Spiritwalker’s Grace: 50% duration increase, from 10 to 15 seconds
Lava Burst: 10% damage increase
Earthquake: 10% damage increase on top of benefitting from Clearcasting
Rolling Thunder: Charges are now generated by Lightning Overload procced LBs and CLs.
Hex: PVP duration down to 8 seconds, glyph reduces CD by 10 seconds instead of 15

Several pvp-oriented nerfs that were more aimed at our other specs, but still hurt nonetheless. The buffs we’re getting are fairly nice, but my main concern at this point is mobile dps. I find myself moving around quite a bit on most of these encounters, and being the turret casters that we are, it hurts dps fairly bad.

From a pvp perspective, the most annoying thing I run into is going OOM…and that’s without doing any off healing or using earthquake (which is borderline useless, but I like it for knocking people down in smoke bombs). Couple of arena games I was in last night had me hitting lava burst or LB keys and nothing happened…looked up and was like “wtf, I’m OOM”. I thought I read somewhere that Blizzard didn’t care to have caster DPS worrying about going OOM and that it’s more for healers to worry with.

It’s ok, though, because I’ll be able to see my Elementium Stormshield on my back and I’ll no longer look like I’m the ball sack of my mount whenever I use my Volcanic Stone Drake. O.o

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.

Upcoming set models in Cata, and a nice welcome back

November 4, 2010 2 comments

Despite having been away for a bit, I happened to catch glimpse of some of the upcoming gear sets in Cataclysm, notably Tier 11 and Season 9 gear:

Tier 11

Season 9

Not the most visually impressive shaman sets IMO, but one thing to keep in mind is they are being modeled on a human, so the proportions and what not aren’t accurate for most of the races that can wear the gear. I find shaman gear to be more visually impressive on an orc, anyhow; just a small touch of bias there, nothing more. 🙂

For the T11, I’m liking the color scheme on the right as being the default one, and I would suspect the purple one being the heroic version (if they stick to that formula to differentiate the sets). The green looks much like something you’d expect to see on a druid. With the S9 gear, I see either the top or bottom color schemes being used; I think I’m leaning toward the bottom (blue) set since it would be more of a visual contrast to the T11 colors shown. Of course, all of this is merely my opinion on the matter, so I could be totally wrong on all of it. Wouldn’t be the first time, nor last. 😀

This week marks the first full week of raiding I’ve attended since I stopped playing, and I’ve gotten pretty lucky. This past Sunday, I picked up the Split Shape Belt, which was the last item from Halion 25 normal mode. Tuesday, I went into full on loot whore mode, scoring the Bulwark of Smouldering Steel, Necrophotic Greaves, and Belt of the Blood Nova. The shield was a definite highlight, for I had been using the regular version seemingly forever (I want to say I got it in February). Strange how some slots tend to go months and months between upgrades; the shield slot is one of such. With the stat changes going into Cata (mp5 converted to spirit, which is converted to hit for elemental), perhaps this won’t be as problematic.

Last, but not least: A wonderful note from the upcoming beta build.

Elemental

* Elemental Reach now also increases the range of Searing Totem by 7/15 yards.

This will put searing totem’s range at 35 yards, and we don’t know currently if totemic reach in the enhance tree applies to searing totem. Based on the wording of the talent, it would, so we could be looking at a potential 41 yard range on searing totem. I think I may opt to pass on totemic reach, though, if this range increase via elemental reach does make it live (and I think it will) in favor of reverberation, most likely. As I previously noted, though, it’s really nice having some options available in the talent tree.

4.0.1 First Impressions

October 27, 2010 Leave a comment

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.

New Beta Build 9/1: New glyphs! More talent changes! GF aggro…wait, what?!

September 2, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve been relatively quiet on the posting front here, lately due to the acquisition of a new girlfriend which has taken away from some of my wow time (but she’s totally worth it). I noticed that the beta servers were down the past day or so, and having seen the 12857 “Ninja Patch” or whatever MMO-Champion called it, so I figured something was in the works, especially being the servers were down.

Big change in this patch: Glyphs. According to blue posts, shaman glyphs are one of two that are mostly complete, the other being rogues. Here is what we have to work with:

* Chain Heal – Increases healing done by your Chain Heal spell to targets beyond the first by 15%, but decreases the amount received by the initial target by 10%. (Your Chain Heal heals 1 additional target.)
* Earthliving Weapon – Increases the effectiveness of your Earthliving weapon’s periodic healing by 20%. (Increases the chance for your Earthliving weapon to trigger by 5%.)
* Elemental Mastery – While your Elemental Mastery ability is active, you take 20% less damage from all sources. (Reduces the cooldown of your Elemental Mastery ability by 30 sec.)
* Fire Nova – Increases the radius of your Fire Nova spell by 5 yards. (Reduces the cooldown of your Fire Nova spell by 3 seconds.)
* Ghost Wolf – Your Ghost Wolf form grants an additional 10% movement speed.
* Healing Stream Totem – Your Healing Stream Totem also increases the Fire, Frost, and Nature resistance of party and raid members within 30 yards by 150. (Your Healing Stream Totem heals for an additional 20%.)
* Hex – Reduces the cooldown of your Hex spell by 15 sec. (Increases the damage your Hex target can take before the Hex effect is removed by 20%.)
* Lava Burst – Your Lava Burst spell deals 10% more damage. (Your Lava Burst spell gains an additional 10% of your spellpower.)
* Totemic Recall *New* – Causes your Totemic Recall ability to return an additional 50% of the mana cost of any recalled totems.
* Lightning Shield – Your Lightning Shield can no longer drop below 3 charges from dealing damage to attackers.
* Grounding Totem *New* – When your Grounding Totem absorbs a spell, it attempts to reflect that spell on its caster, but the cooldown of your Grounding Totem is increased by 45 sec.
* Arctic Wolf *New* – Alters the appearance of your Ghost Wolf transformation, causing it to resemble an arctic wolf.
* Shamanistic Rage *New* – Activating your Shamanistic Rage ability also cleanses you of all dispellable Magic debuffs.
* Water Shield – Increases the passive mana regeneration of your Water Shield spell by 50%. (Up from 30%)

Not too shabby so far. I’m not sure which glyphs are which in terms of which one’s a prime/major/minor (although I could take guesses at them, but what’s the point). Glyphs that have my interest are Elemental Mastery, Healing Stream Totem, Ghost Wolf, Lava Burst, Lightning Shield, and Hex. The wording with the Lightning Shield glyph seems a little vague; my initial interpetation is if someone/something hits me, I won’t drop below 3 LS charges ever unless they are dispelled. This pretty much guarantees our primary source of mana regen during combat won’t drop off, barring dispels. Also: What of my beloved “no reagent” minor glyphs for Water Walking, Water Breathing, and Reincarnation? Hopefully those stick around; if not, for the love of all that’s holy remove the reagent requirements from Water Walking and Water Breathing. We don’t care to have to go farm level 30 or whatever mobs just to be able to use those spells.

Not all is golden on Elemental Isle, though: We will lose a whopping 2 yards range on our beloved Thunderstorm’s radius. OH NOES!

Also, talent changes: No more Improved Fire Nova for elemental, thus sealing the deal that Blizzard wants elemental shaman using Earthquake as their AoE of choice. Makes sense to want us to use our end tree spell quite often over a near-5 year old totem that has to be dropped in melee range. I’m still not a fan of the Lava Surge mechanic, but I have not tested it out in boss fights or such. Perhaps a trip to the target dummies is in order. Lastly…Acuity? I’d rather see Reverberation take it’s place location-wise in the tree (because reduced CD on all shocks/shears can be of value to all shaman), but I have no idea what could be put in elemental tier 2 at that point. Acuity flies in the face of what all they’ve done with talent trees as a whole, with the removing of all the “boring” talents, such as +crit talents. As of now, I’m looking at a really nice 32/9/0 setup for my elemental needs; now I need to give the resto tree a good look-over and see how I will construct a resto build (since it will be my second spec of choice come Cata).

Now, if only I could log onto the beta…wait, I’m at work now. Also, the gf is texting me…argh! 😛