Shields Up!, a Resto Shaman blog, has a post up titled, “Why 3.1 Mana Spring Totem change doesn’t kill kittens.”

Surprisingly, Resto players don’t seem to mind that Mana Spring will be remade into a carbon copy of Blessing of Wisdom, the drawback being that the two buffs won’t stack.

I’m not upset and I don’t even think it is a bad change. This is a nerf to all shamans, yes, but it’s not the nerf bat hitting us because our mana regen was totally out of line. It was a change that comes in the line of many we have seen over the last few months, letting every class provide more raid wide buffs and reduce group based spells/buffs. And a pretty powerful Mana spring Totem that even stacked with additional manaregen Totems is just not ok with the path blizzard wants to take.

For Resto, the main concern is that they’ll still have to put talent points into Restorative Totems to get to Mana Tide. Restorative Totems has been streamlined from five points down to three, but that’s still bloat and not much consolation for having to waste three points that could better be spent elsewhere.

Of course, this isn’t a Resto Shaman blog, so you might be wondering why I’m writing about it. Put simply, this is another totem we will no longer be able to drop, one more tiny bit of utility taken away in favor of class homogenization. As it stands now, Mana Spring stacks. I often find myself dropping only Mana Spring and Magma Totem in my guild’s 25-man raids, because our Death Knights provide both Horn of Winter and Icy Talons. Neither may be as good as the fully-talented Shaman versions, but on fights like Grobbulus and Heigan, a buff with constant uptime is a better choice over an immobile totem.

And let’s face it — there isn’t massive QQ out of the Enhancement Shaman community because fewer totems to drop means more global cooldowns to use for our own personal DPS. But as each small piece of utility is stripped away, you’ve gotta wonder how much actual enhancement remains in Enhancement.

  1. drug says:

    The problem is that we are far away from the point where the discussion of being hybrid = doing inferior dmg but bringing fantastic buffs is still valid. Blizzard has chosen another path a long time ago: more or less equal damage output of all classes and homogenization of all important group buffs. We shamans are no longer a supporting class that pushes the dps of our fellow raiders, we’re a dps class amongst many.

    For blizzard this brings a lot of simplifications: pvp and arena balancing is easier. Group compositions for raids are nearly a non-issue and thus we’ll soon be really able to bring the player not the class, especially with dual spec on the horizon.

    I won’t be suprised if we’ll see drastic changes to the totem system this year that will be different from the static totem dropping we’re used to. Just to bring us shamans in line with other classes. And I wouldn’t be suprised if another class will soon be able to provide bloodlust/heroism.

    Do I like all that? No, I sure don’t. I’d still trade around 50% of my totems just to get the old windfury totem back to provide a really unique and fun buff to the raid. But blizzard has other plans and we’re in the same boat as any other class is.

    • stormstrike says:

      Thanks for the comment, drug.

      I agree with your point about homogenization, and I think in PvE it’s largely paid off, for us at least. If you play an Enhancement Shaman, and you know what you’re doing, you can top the meters in raids. More importantly, you can top the meters on boss fights, which is something a lot of other classes — even some of the “pures” — can’t claim. All that, despite the “5% hybrid penalty” on damage. (I thought that was something that had been abandoned until GC acknowledged it in a few recent posts.)

      But the other aspects haven’t paid off. As you say, the totem system needs an overhaul. What hurts most about buffs that replicate totem buffs is the fact that they’re often superior just by virtue of being mobile. And Enhancement PvP remains miserable. To reference another GC comment, DKs, Warriors, Rogues, Feral Druids and Enhancement Shamans are supposed to be capable of performing equally in PvP. But DKs and Rogues are gods in PvP, and we remain gimped. If the development team is going to take away unique buffs and totems, they’ve gotta give a few things in return. They’ve done an amazing job on the PvE aspects — credit where credit is due — but still have a lot of work to do elsewhere.

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