Thanks to MMO-Champion for giving us the first look at the entire Tier 8 Enhancement set.
It’s not better — or worse — than the current Valorous set. It’s more fair to say it’s different. Our Tier 7.5 set makes pieces like the shoulders and chest virtually impossible to replace, because they’re significant sources of expertise. Since Hunters get no benefit from Expertise, it isn’t a stat found on non-set pieces, with the odd exception.
What this set will allow Shamans to do — particularly those who have full Tier 7.5 sets — is swap out certain sub-optimal pieces for the 10-man Tier 8 equivalent, without having to give up so much of a crucial stat like Expertise. If the stat allocations between 10- and 25-man versions of tier sets continue, Tier 8.5 will have the same stat combinations as Tier 8, only in greater quantities.
A number-crunching Theorycrafter I am not, but the set bonuses look like a drastic improvement over Tier 7/7.5:
- (2) Set: Increases the damage done by Stormstrike and Lava Lash by 20%.
- (4) Set: Increases the frequency of Maelstrom Weapon being triggered by your melee attacks by 20%.
The four-set is the big one, equating to two more Maelstrom procs per minute before Haste, Windfury Totem, Flurry and Bloodlust are taken into consideration. My guess is 5-stacks will be near-instant while Bloodlust is ticking.