the rantings and ravings of a not quite sane cow

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Passion of the Shaman

I've been playing WoW for a while. I was never (and still aren't) a hardcore player. I'm still a shaman nut, though, and I feel it is my civic duty to remind everyone of the shaman awesomeness at every opportunity.

In the beginning, Blizzard created the heavens, and the earth, and many creatures were released upon to the land.

And the shaman kicked ALL their asses.

The ultimate class was restricted to the often less preferred but always infinitely cooler side, the almighty Horde. The orcs had only recently learned shamanism from the tauren. The trolls... wait, why are they shaman? I thought they were more into that voodoo crap. The walking corpses couldn't be shaman, and rightly so, as many shaman consider them to be abominations unto nature.

The noble tauren, the butt of many cow jokes, however, were the true shaman (and they liked being milked).

Some old records say that orcs were shaman on Draenor long before they met the tauren. Yes, the orcs were shaman long before they met the funny walking cows, but they lost their connection to nature for a long time, thanks to their immense love of killing (and a craving for demon blood). Old records said that the mag'har clan of orcs never left Draenor and continued to practice shamanism there, long after most left for Azeroth. While quite possible, the mag'har are considered by most to be an insignificant part of orc history, and of no consequence on Azeroth.

Tauren however, have always remained true to nature and the earth mother. And while that, in itself, doesn't make them hippies, they will only fight when they need to (and since they see the earth mother everywhere, they probably partake in "other" common hippie activities). And they have kept their shamanistic (as well as a bit of druidistic) ways for a long, long time. They don't have much of a written history, so I'll probably get a whipping for this, but please bear with me.

For a while, all was good. Shaman continued to kick ass without question, and pwned paladins at every opportunity. And so, as predictably as the sun rising, the Alliance QQ'd. And Blizzard tried valiantly to soothe their wounds, but shaman continued to rub salt into them, and all continued to be right.

Much of the Alliance's complaining was without reason. Shaman could do everything one would expect an almighty to do; walk on water, resurrect oneself and turn water into DEATH. In response to this sheer awesomeness, the Alliance developed but one talent with which to battle the shaman: the bubble hearth. An act that did nothing more than cement their position as cowards. And so a state suitable to both sides was reached; the Horde killed until their targets fled and were satisfied that they were able to kick ass, and the Alliance lived long enough to have most of their ass kicked.

Then the Burning Legion came unto Azeroth, and with it came the arrival of the Draenei and the Blood Elves. The blood elves concerned themselves not with the affairs of the shaman, as nature could not satiate their lust for magic.

The draenei presented a different problem; they joined the Alliance but knew of shamanism. This was a conundrum for the almighty Blizzard. The pathetic Alliance surely could not handle the pure awesomeness that shaman would bring to the force.

And so Blizzard were forced to make an unfortunate decision: shaman were to be nerfed. And the shaman attracted the wrath of the nerfhammer in an unprecedented show of force never before seen throughout the land. And throughout the land shaman QQ'd, but unlike the Alliance, they did so with reason. And Blizzard heard the complaints, but did nothing to solve them.

Throughout time, patch after patch, the shaman continued to unreasonably attract the attention of the nerfhammer. The great Blizzard seemed deaf to the ears of their complaints. Piece by piece, the shaman community left the loving embrace of the class. Most defected to other classes, a few left the world entirely, for pursuits unknown.

Eventually, the shaman class was whittled down to a few loyalists. Some newbies tryed the shaman, and they liked it. For even when inferior to other classes in terms of damage or survivability, the shaman continued to be fun to play. And so the loyal shaman continued to listen to every word the great Blizzard said, hoping that one day their time would come and they would be restored to their former glory.

During this period, Blizzard tried to appease the shaman, by giving offerings such as a new icon for stormstrike. And while the shaman did not simply laugh in Blizzard's face at such simple attempts to please them, they were most certainly doing so behind its back.

Eventually, when word of the Lich King's approach began to spread, shaman everywhere gained hope. Maybe they would be granted new powers with which to fight the coming evil! This thought stirred in many hearts, and close attention was payed to any announcements made by Blizzard. Soon, bit by bit, good news began to trickle through. Many shaman had their hopes lifted by such news, but some believed they knew better and refused to hope. Many shaman were not sure want to think, and decided to take everything as it came. Debate was fervent: which group would end up being right? Many wished that the group that hoped were right but refused to be part of it.

Discussion was rampant until the Lich King's return to Azeroth, and shaman throughout the land waited with bated breath. Would the shaman be restored to their former glory, or would they continue to wallow in a pit of mediocrity?

Shaman are debating that answer to this day. Many, notably the elementals, considered what they had been given a great boon to their class. Some, such as many of the enhancements, continued to believe that they were still being treated as second class citizens. Much of that group derrided the fact that they were being forced to use the same armour as their fellow hunters, for whom they held much contempt, among other things. And the restoration shaman? They knew their place and that it was safe; they were less concerned with the changes.

That is where this part of the story ends. Many still consider the shaman class to be in a state of disarray. A few loyalists still hold hope that the shaman class will be restored to its former glory someday; others continue to play shaman but do not believe that Blizzard will ever grant them the improvements that they sorely need; much of the rest abandoned the shaman class long ago. What does the future hold for the shaman? That answer falls not upon you or me, but to the great Blizzard, for they and they alone have the ability to shape the future of the shaman class.

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