Archive for the ‘Enhancement Shaman PvP’ Category

Who will benefit most from Cataclysm’s revamped Stamina system? Some say casters will dominate, others say healers stand to gain the most, but one poster put it best: “Anyone who’s not a Warrior, DK or Paladin.”

In other words, if your class doesn’t wear plate, you’ll see a marked improvement in Stamina balance. And that includes Enhancement Shamans.

Enhancement Shaman Stamina: Improved in Cataclysm?

Stamina Man runs, like Enhancement Shamans do when they see splash damage!

It’s still early, and many questions remain about the overall statistical rehaul, but Eyonix offered the most comprehensive information to date when he detailed the changes back in March.

And while Eyonix was quick to point out special considerations will be made for Balance Druids and Elemental Shamans, who often share gear with healers, curiously absent was any mention of Enhancement’s unique situation: It is the only melee spec in the game forced to share gear with a ranged class.

Along with Enhancement’s other itemization woes — which typically involve using gear made-to-order for Hunters — the melee-spec-with-ranged-gear problem has been a big one in this expansion. Every semi-serious Enhancement player has dealt with it: Some boss abilities, especially in heroic modes, can one-shot Enhancement Shamans, while leaving other melee still standing. This is a particularly frustrating issue for players because it has nothing to do with the much-discussed “skill” involved in raiding.

It’s simple math: If you have 30k raid-buffed HP, and the other melee have 10k more than you, you are going to die more easily and more frequently.

Not only does that effect player perception (a death is a death, and players of other classes aren’t thinking about our criminally low HP pools), it also creates some absurd situations: In my guild, there are ranged classes and healers who have higher unbuffed HP than my Tauren Shaman.

Blizzard hasn’t addressed those concerns in Wrath of the Lich King, let alone Cataclysm. It seems unfathomable that an entire expansion can pass by with such a glaring imbalance left intact, but it’s less surprising when you consider the dev team’s track record when it comes things like this — it’s been obvious for a very long time that class designers do not play the Enhancement spec.

So while there will be a complete rehaul of the stat system and Stamina balance in Cataclysm, there’s been nothing to suggest Enhancement won’t again share gear with Hunters. If that remains the case — and we should assume it will — what does that mean for Enhancement’s health pool relative to other melee classes? Will our joy at a more balanced Stamina system be tempered with disappointment because we’re, once again, limited by stat weights optimized for Hunters?

Stomstrike — and Enhancement players — will be watching Blizzard closely in the coming weeks and months.

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I found this gem while browsing the Shaman section of the official forums today:

ok this shaman got a 8k lava burst on me non crit today and then a 5k frost shock. thats 14k damage. i cant even do that much and im a pure class. im kinda new but i shouldnt be beat like that from a shaman to say the least. it seems like mage cant even same amount of damage that shaman can do sometimes.

An Elemental Shaman killed a Mage who was wearing 205 resilience. We can’t be having that, see. A hybrid killing a pure class? Unthinkable. A Mage in all greens should be able to nuke down an Elemental Shaman, no problemo. Why? ‘Cause he’s pure, of course!

A few thousand more posts like this, and Ghostcrawler might begin to regret his choice of words.

One of the things I wanted to do when I launched Stormstrike was get some interviews going — from high-powered Enhancement PvP players, to add-on developers and writers of other blogs.

I’m pleased to announce the first few interviews are coming together, and will be featured on this blog regularly, starting with an interesting interview with a popular add-on developer who’s had arguably the biggest impact on in-game behavior in recent memory. Who is he? Stay tuned to find out.

In the meantime, here’s to hoping that new Shaman Tier 10 set shows up sometime before Icecrown…

The PTR patch notes were released a few days ago, and while there is only one spec-specific tweak for melee Shaman, it looks like all three specs will see some significant changes:

* A customizable totem bar will now be available for shamans allowing the storing of 4 different totems. These totems can be placed on the ground at once in one global cooldown for the combined mana cost of all 4 totems.
* All Shocks now have a default range of 25 yards, up from 20 yards.
* Base health increased by approximately 7% to correct for shamans having lower health than other classes.
* Chain Heal: Jump distance increased to 10 yards. In addition, the amount of healing now decreases by 40% as it jumps to each new target, instead of 50%.
* Ghost Wolf: Can now be learned at level 16. While in this form, snaring effects may not bring the shaman below base normal run speed.
* Talents
o Enhancement
+ Shamanistic Rage: Cooldown is now 1 minute, down from 2 minutes. Successful melee attacks now have a chance to generate mana equal to 15% of the shaman’s attack power, down from 30%.
o Restoration
+ Ancestral Healing: The buff from this ability now reduces the physical damage taken by the target by 3/7/10% instead of increasing the target’s armor.
+ Cure Poison and Cure Disease: Combined into a single spell, Cure Toxins.
+ Earth Shield: Dispel effects will now remove charges of Earth Shield rather than the entire aura.
+ Healing Way: Redesigned. Rather than providing a chance of increasing Healing Wave spells on a friendly target, this talent now innately increases the effectiveness of the shaman’s Healing Wave by 8/16/25%.
+ Mana Tide Totem: Totem health now equal to 10% of the shaman’s health.
+ Nature’s Guardian: Redesigned. Now has a fixed 100% proc rate, has a 30-second internal cooldown and increases the shaman’s maximum health by 3/6/9/12/15% for 10 seconds.
+ Nature’s Swiftness: Cooldown is now 2 minutes, down from 3 minutes.
+ Tidal Waves: No longer reduces the cast time of Lesser Healing Wave by 30%. It instead now provides +25% critical strike chance to Lesser Healing Wave, along with the previous 30% cast time benefit to Healing Wave.
+ Improved Water Shield: This talent now has a 10/20/30% chance to be triggered by Chain Heal, and the charges of Water Shield are no longer consumed by this talent.

The immediate reaction among the player base has been generally positive, although the consensus remains that the singular change to the Enhancement tree will not have a major impact on PvP viability — while the spec will get a measure of increased survivability with the change to Shamanistic Rage, ultimately it’s just another cooldown-dependent ability in a spec already at the mercy of global cooldowns and RNG.

Resto is the beneficiary of the biggest overhaul out of the three specs and will remain the most viable in an arena setting. It remains to be seen whether the changes will put Resto on par with Paladins, Druids and Priests as the preeminent PvP healing classes, and questions about the impact won’t be completely answered until the patch goes live.

In the meantime, we’ll revisit the PTR notes this week for a more in-depth look at the new tweaks, and what they might mean for both PvP and PvE raid settings.

What if Ghost Wolf reduced damage taken, Shamanistic Rage regenerated health for every incoming stun, and crucial DPS talents were slimmed down to two or three ranks? Burrock, the rare alt who apparently doesn’t exist to troll, proposes those changes and many more with a detailed post on how he’d redesign the talent tree.

He’s effectively raising the hit cap and lowering weapon damage with his tweaks to the percentages, but there’s no math on whether the consolidation of existing talents — plus the addition of new talents — would equal or surpass the DPS lost by the reduced percentages.

The highlight of his redesigned tree is a 51-point talent that allows a single Spirit Wolf to act as a permanent pet, with the overall cooldown on Feral Spirit reduced by 120 seconds. I’m not sure one Spirit Wolf would be much different, code-wise, in the grand scheme of things. I was under the impression that graphically we’re looking at two wolves, and the difference between having one wolf and two wolves up is negligible. I know in beta and 3.0 there was a “master wolf” who had to stay alive if you wanted to use the Feral Spirit abilities, but I haven’t lost the pet bar due to the death of one wolf so far in WotLK. If the wolves die, it’s usually because of AoE damage, and in those cases both of ’em drop together.

If our 51-point talent grants a permanent Spirit Wolf pet, and Feral Spirit is on a 60-second cooldown, you’d also have to consider the fact that we’re essentially getting an instant Revive Pet in some situations. I’d imagine the Hunter QQ would be enormous, and we know the developers have qualms about giving us “iconic abilities” unique to other classes.

Let’s not forget that the devs consider the other two specs when they overhaul talents. To make this work they’d have to be very careful not to allow Elemental or Resto to get certain talents, and players always find creative ways to exploit things before Blizzard clamps down and the cookie-cutter specs emerge. Before WotLK dropped, clever players were already figuring out how to make beastly Elemental/Enhancement hybrids by exploiting unrefined talents and the merging of melee/spell hit and crit.

When you look at it from that angle, the single biggest developer rationale for the bloat in our tree is the prevention of Elemental and Resto from getting our crucial talents. Ghostcrawler might not show up on the official forums and say as much, but it’s the only thing that makes sense when streamlining talent tree bloat seems otherwise so simple.

Edit: Just to make sure I’m clear about where I stand here, I very much agree that bloat is a problem and a lot of things could be streamlined. The linked post has some awesome ideas for that, but when I read it I was playing devil’s advocate in my head and tried to think about things from the developer perspective. The biggest challenge on the development side is chopping away at the bloat without accidentally giving the other two specs incentive to form freak builds that break the game’s design.

MMO-Champion’s got a preview of the new Season 6 arena gear, sans Druid:

season6pvpsets_hd

As a general rule, armor looks approximately 300% more badass on a Tauren compared to a human male. Thankfully Blizzard never forced Human Shamans on us, but if the new armor set looks lackluster, we can still look forward to seeing these models on Horde races before making a complete evaluation.

Also on MMO-Champion is a thread where posters are exchanging ideas on possible 3.1 Enhancement builds. As suspected, the side-benefit to the new Improved Stormstrike is more a result of the overall-nerfed mana regen than any fine-tuning that might be aimed specifically at Enhancement. Poster Hexaholic confirms this:

After raiding and downing several bosses on the PTR, I will be taking Imp SS.  With the mana regen changes and what not going down, I noticed that I was seeing issues with mana in the longer fights.

Looks like Shamanistic Rage is no longer going to cut it, narrowing choices for those who were considering moving talent points elsewhere.

This thread over on the official forums is getting more than a few good replies from Enhancement players who are sticking it out in PvP.

Windtotem, who’s on the Arena Tournament realm, has some impressive numbers: more than 3k AP and more than 30% crit in full PvP gear. Here’s what he had to say in response to the OP’s questions about stats and itemization:

The big thing i learned in the arena tournament was agility is worth over twice as much as AP. That chance to dodge and Armor is a life saver and you really don’t sacrifice that much AP for it. Plus you make up most of the damage lose from the extra melee crit you get from the agi. I think got more than an additional 5% to dodge from agi, tack on the 3% from anticipation and that’s over 8%. Then all the extra armor mitigation from agi and altogether you are mitigating about 10% of all melee damage. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

He’s got points in both Toughness and Anticipation, as well as Earthen Power. Surprisingly, he’s also got maxed Unleashed Rage. I’m sure Windtotem — and players with similar builds — will be happy to have two extra talent points to play with once UR’s brought down from a total of five talent points to three. Many will be putting those points into Frozen Power in a bid to free themselves from the chains of RNG.

And in case you were thinking of trying out those 3.1 changes in PvE gear, Taterzz of Alter of Storms warns against it. While other classes may have the luxury of getting by with high-damage, zero-resilience PvE items equipped in some slots, Shamans don’t have that luxury: You WILL get focused, especially in 2s, you can count on that.”