Archive for the ‘PvP Talents’ Category

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.

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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.”

Shamans are getting a “bubble” in Patch 3.1, at the cost of a major glyph slot.

Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem:

Your Stoneclaw Totem also places a damage absorb shield on you, equal to 4 times the strength of the shield it places on your totems.

At level 80, the shield will absorb 4340 damage before it wears off, and since it’s tied to the totem, it will share the totem’s 30-second cooldown.

Along with the change to Toughness — which will now increase stamina by 10% at the cost of five talent points — the glyph is an attempt by the developers to grant more survability to a spec plagued by a level of squishiness unheard of among melee classes. Death Knights and Warriors have the benefit of plate, much larger health pools and the ability to put themselves in enemy’s faces. Paladins have smaller HP pools than Warriors or Death Knights do, but they have their universally-hated bubbles, quick heals and plate to fall back on. Feral Druids can toss a HoT on themselves and switch to Bear form. And Rogues have a variety of mitigation and escape mechanisms that allow them to deal with every type of damage that can be thrown at them.

By contrast, Enhancement Shamans have the smallest health pools of any melee class, poor damage mitigation with mail armor, severely limited mobility and no mitigation talent outside of 15 seconds of Shamanistic Rage. A lot of other players wonder why we’re not constantly topping ourselves off with Maelstrom five-stacks: 1) Because no one has survived long enough to find out whether Maelstrom five-stacks exist in PvP, and 2) because YOU CANNOT DO THAT WHILE STUNNED.

At the risk of sounding overly pessimistic, these changes are certainly a step in the right direction, but the spec is going to need more to change the perception that it’s nothing more than a free HK in battlegrounds and a paper tiger in arenas.