the rantings and ravings of a not quite sane cow

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shaman Changes In 3.1 or: How I Learned To Quit Complaining and Accept My Fate

My notes are in italics, for those who care (how many people have mental illnesses, anyway?)

  • Bloodlust/Heroism: Cooldown reduced to 5 minutes, but Sated and Exhausted now last 10 minutes.
    This is bad - soloing it's not going to make much of a difference, as you'll still only be able to use it once every 10 minutes (although if you die you can use it sooner, but that's about it). In groups however, if you have more than one shaman you'll only be able to use it half as often.

  • Earth Elemental Totem: The summoned Earth Elemental should now have significantly more health and slightly more armor.
    Huzzah - now reduce the cooldown so I'm not always saving it for "when I need it".

  • Fire Elemental Totem: The summoned Fire Elemental should now have moderately more health and mana, and its damage scaling has been increased. In addition, the Fire Elemental's spells now cost less mana.
    Great, it'll survive a little longer. Soloing this won't make much difference, as by the time it's done either all your enemies are dead or you are. Might help a little in a group, for when you need a little extra kick or just feel like showing off.

  • Flametongue Weapon: Bonus damage from spell power now based on weapon speed. Slower weapons will benefit more from spell power.
    Well at least now you're finally recognising that you want us to use slow off hands as Enhancement, or probably some nice staves for our Elemental brethren. I'll stick to Windfury for now though...

  • Frostbrand Weapon: Damage increased by approximately 20%.
    Making this 20% more useful make it about... 20% useful. In slightly more seriousness, though, any more damage is good.

  • Mana Spring Totem: This totem has been redesigned. It now provides the same mana benefit as Blessing of Wisdom to the entire party or raid, but is exclusive with that effect.
    Great, so you're giving the small group a benefit (as BoW does give you slightly more mana), but screwing over the large group. You want us to use Healing Stream... just admit it.

  • Poison Cleansing Totem and Disease Cleansing Totem have been merged into Cleansing Totem. Cleansing Totem pulses every 3 seconds, down from 5.
    Less totems are good when they merge the effects, but I wasn't using either of these unless the situation called for it, and it's going to stay that way.
  • Earthen Power redesigned: Your Earthbind Totem has a 50/100% chance to also remove all snare effects and make you and nearby friendly targets immune to them for 5 seconds when it pulses.
    Okay, this is a buff, I'll admit that. I disagree on principle though... this is clearly a PvP buff, and I don't want Enhancement to become a strictly PvP spec.

  • Flurry: Now provides 5/10/15/20/25% haste instead of 10/15/20/25/30%.
    Last change was a buff. It was also a mostly useless buff for me. This is clearly a nerf, which will hit me (and all Enhance shammies) hard. Well, maybe not hard, but still a hit.

  • New Talent: Frozen Power: Increases the damage done by your Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Lava Lash and Shock spells by 5/10% on targets afflicted by your Frostbrand Attack effect, and your Frost Shock has a 50/100% chance to root the target in Ice for 5 seconds when used on targets at or further than 15 yards from you.
    Didn't I just make myself clear on PvP changes? Frostbrand is mostly useless in PvE, and this isn't likely to change that. It's almost like they want us to ignore Windfury and go Frostbrand/Flametounge though. Seriously, WTF?

  • Lava Lash now has a new icon.
    Sorry, Blizz. Nobody cared when it came to Stormstrike, nobody cares about this. Is the new Stormstrike icon nice? Yeah it is. Would I rather you actually fix the class? HELL YES!

  • Spirit Weapons: Now reduces all threat generated by 30%, not just physical attacks.
    Introducing: the change that should have been introduced in 3.0.2 . Seriously, you make us stack intellect, you give us Maelstrom Weapon with which to cast more spells, and you don't help us reduce our spell threat? Well you do now, but that's beside the point...

  • Stormstrike charges have been increased by 2, and cooldown reduced by 2 seconds.
    Finally, something I can't really complain about. I could complain about lack of originality if I wanted (and I do), so couldn't you give us something more than just folding Improved Stormstrike into the base talent?

  • Improved Stormstrike redesigned: When you Stormstrike, you have a 50/100% chance to immediately grant you 20% of your base mana.
    Look at the Spirit Weapons change. We either needed this or a reduced cooldown on Shamanistic Rage, preferably both. Again, a buff, but it's like breaking your leg then putting it in a cast... sure it'll heal eventually, but it'll never be as good as it was.

  • Toughness: No longer increases your armor. Instead, this talent now increases your total stamina by 2/4/6/8/10%.
    More useful. Still mainly a PvP talent. You know how I feel about that.

  • Unleashed Rage: Reduced to 3 points, down from 5. No longer increases agility, but instead increases your total expertise by 3/6/9.
    This is just brilliant here, where the class is being taken. Burst damage used to be a Shaman's bread and butter, we couldn't be beaten. It was (among the other things that made us so awesome), what made us unique. But you keep picking away at our burst damage. Sure, our average DPS remains about the same, and we'll probably be more likely to make friends of the local tanks. But it just doesn't feel the same.
  • New Talent: Booming Echoes: Reduces the cooldown of your Flame Shock and Frost Shock spells by an additional 1/2 seconds, and increases the direct damage done by your Flame Shock and Frost Shock spells by an additional 10/20%.
    This is a buff. But why should Elemental get all the fun?

  • Elemental Mastery redesigned: When activated, your next Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning or Lava Burst spell becomes an instant cast spell. In addition, your Fire, Frost and Nature damage spells have a 15% increased critical strike chance for 15 seconds. Elemental Mastery now shares a cooldown with Nature's Swiftness.
    Again, sacrificing burst damage for consistent damge. It all evens out in the long run, but it's just not as fun.

  • Elemental Reach: Now also increases the range of your Flame Shock spell by 5/10/15 yards.
    If, considering the next change, this hadn't been done, there'd be rioting in the streets of Dalaran, and I'd join them. Not that I'm Elemental... I just like rioting.

  • Lava Flows: No longer increases the range of your Flame Shock spell, but now increases your casting speed by 10/20/30% when your Flame Shock spell is dispelled for 6 seconds.
    There's a trend towards casting speed lately - why? Not that I'm complaining... a buff is a buff (which, again, PvE Elementals get to enjoy), I'd just like to know. I for one would prefer massive hits to fast ones. What am I, a mage?

  • Lightning Overload: Reduced to 3 points (7/14/20%), down from 5.
    Can't introduce a new talent without giving you some points to spend on it, and as long as it ends up the same I don't particularly care one way or the other. Well, I care if the new talent is cool.

  • Storm, Earth and Fire: No longer increases the range of your Earth Shock or Wind Shock spells, but now also causes your Earthbind Totem to have a 33/66/100% chance to root all nearby enemies for 5 seconds when initially cast.
    Oh crap, not even Elemental is immune from the PvP-oriented changes (read: nerfs). RUN FOR THE HILLS!

  • Thunderstorm can now be cast while stunned.
    Well hot dog. And that's what someone will be if they think they're safe while you're stunned. A buff with no negative side effects, what could go wrong?
  • Ancestral Awakening: This talent now accounts for your ineffective healing, rather than effective.
    Another buff... that Enhancement doesn't get. I'm not going to start overhealing like there's no tomorrow just because I can get Ancestral Awakening from it. But it might make the difference between a Lesser Healing Wave and a regular Healing Wave.

  • Ancestral Healing and Healing Grace have swapped places in the Restoration talent tree.
    Meh? Restoration isn't exactly a hugely popular leveling spec (might be used a little bit more thanks to dual specs), but at low levels like that it's not going to make any difference.

  • Cleanse Spirit now has a new icon.
    Restoration: The New Enhancement.

  • Mana Tide Totem: This spell no longer costs mana.
    Irony 101... wait, that was it costing mana in the first place, never mind. Again, a nice buff.

  • Restorative Totems: Reduced to 3 points, down from 5. Increases the effect of your Mana Spring Totem by 7/12/20%, and increases the amount healed by your Healing Stream Totem by 15/30/45%.
    For those of you playing at home, that's a slight nerf (5%) to Mana Spring and a decent buff (20%) to Healing Stream. I use Healing Stream more so I'm calling this a win, you may not feel the same way.

  • Riptide: This spell has a new icon.
    Riptide: The New Cleanse Spirit.

  • Tidal Force: Now has a new spell effect.
    Slightly more effort than a new icon, I'll give them that much. Should that mean I have to like it? Yes. Do I like it? Not in principle... I haven't seen the effect but it'd have to be pretty awesome to make me think it's worth taking the place of an actual change.
I'd like to make it clear that I will neither quit complaining or accept my fate, but it makes for a good title.

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