Thursday, 3 December 2009


To my readers,

I regret to inform there will be no more Puut'n It Down for a short time. Unfortunately real life issues are getting the better of me and even though I have tried, I realized that I simply do not have enough hours in the day to maintain the blog at the level I would like to. I am about to enter a couple of weeks of finals and, this being my senior year of college, I cannot treat these commitments lightly. My personal WoW experience has already taken a substantial hit (my raid attendance has dropped some 35% in the last 2 months); and when I am barely able to make my raiding schedule it makes it near impossible to maintain this blog as well.

However, I am more pleased to say that this will only be a short break. I plan to pick it up again in early/mid January over my winter break when I have gotten myself back into the game and community again.

The page will still be here for you to still have access to the gear guides and such, but I will not be performing updates during this time.

I encourage you to all return in January and rekindle your readership. I thank all of you for your support over this time and for making this blog as overwhelmingly successful as it has been. When I started I thought a couple hundred views would be amazing, and in the 7 months the site has been up it has generated over 50,000 hits.

If you need to contact me, I am still always available at Other than that, enjoy the release of Icecrown (as I am fairly sure it will be released in this down period) and I look forward to writing for you all again in the near future.

Best of luck,


Monday, 16 November 2009

Tier 10 Models & Name, No Set Bonus Update

About a week ago the first images of the Shaman Tier 10 models were released on MMO-Champion, I have attached them here. Although I was hoping to see how they look on a race that can actually use them; it doesn't look like it is coming any time soon. My initial thoughts are positive, the look is very different to what we have been exposed to recently. The whole outfit seems like a druid/warlock hybrid to me; dark and menacing with the nature theme creeping in. The shoulder animation looks interesting too, it will be good when we can see animations. Thoughts on the new look?

It was quietly mentioned at some point a while back, but the name of the set is the "Frost Witch's Regalia". Again, not exactly 'shaman-y' as we are used to it. Perhaps this new theme is a permanent revision to our image.

I was hoping to have more information on the changes to the setbonus that was being alluded to a while back. As it officially stands (to the best of my knowledge) the 2-set bonus is still a 2 second reduction to Elemental Mastery with every Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning, although it looked as if it was being reduced to 1 second. I will continue to follow this and post as soon as any changes are made official.


Sunday, 8 November 2009

Recent Updates

I have been reluctant to post lately as the big upcoming news will be regarding the tier 10 set. Unfortunately this keeps getting delayed as they are making changes to what was believed to be our 'official' set bonuses. Also, we still have not had our t10 models released although every other class has.

I have gotten wind that there may be more changes/released information in the next week so hopefully this is the case and I will be able to have it out to you very soon. Until then, continue to hold your breath in patient anticipation and hope we get lucky with awesome looking models and major buffs to our bonuses.

Hopefully you'll hear from me soon,


Thursday, 22 October 2009

Trial of the Crusader 25 Man Gear Guide

Following on from the 10 man version, here is the 25 man version of the gear guide. I have made some more adjustments to the styling, so please comment on your thoughts regarding these. These changes include adding notable mp5 or spirit gear, colour coordinating the items to show as red and blue (for Horde and Alliance versions) rather than purple for epics (Note: They are ALL of epic quality).

Northrend Beasts:

Lord Jaraxxus:

Faction Champions:

Twins Val'kyr:


Tribute Chest (Heroic Only):



Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Trial of the Crusader 10 Man Gear Guide

My usual approach to gear guides has had to change due to the new format of raiding with heroic versions of loot and the fact that Horde and Alliance no longer use the same loot. As such, the table is arranged by bosses, then Alliance Version (and heroic equivalent) / Horde Version (and heroic equivalent).

Northrend Beasts:

Lord Jaraxxus:

Faction Champions:


Tribute Chest (Heroic Versions Only):

I have been FAR less lenient on what I put in this time; absolutely nothing with Spirit or mp5 made the list. Only purely useful stats were permitted, so keep eyes open for Resto shammy gear that may be an upgrade still.

I hope the new format is easy enough to understand. 25-Man version incoming...


Friday, 16 October 2009

New Totem for 3.3; Reincarnation Changes

Back on tuesday MMO-Champion released the new totem slot items that will be available in 3.3, along with the Death Knight, Paladin and Druid equivalents. It has become commonplace to release a new totem for each spec every major patch for Blizzard since Wrath's release.

The new totem, which as I write this appears to still be unnamed, was initially announced to have the following attribute:

Your Earth Shock, Flame Shock, and Frost Shock spells grant 73 critical strike rating for 15 sec. Stacks up to 3 times.

This was jumped on quickly by the online community, due to the fact that as it stood it was going to be near useless for us and overshadowed by the previously released totems of WotLK. A thread was soon put up on the Damage Dealing forums and, to my surprise, got a very quick response from Ghostcrawler who stated it would be haste rather than crit and the time would be extended to 30 seconds.

This changes things quite a bit. It took it from being awful to being slightly better than our current best in slot, the Totem of Electrifying Wind. We will have an almost constant 219 haste, although the stacking time will factor in slightly. It may become habitual (depending if there is an internal cooldown) to spam a couple of extra shocks on cooldown at the start of bossfights to build up your stack. The 30 second timer is a nice addition as well in that it gives us a little more lenience in movement intensive fights that is currently given by Electrifying Wind. Overall it looks to be the new BiS, but not by much. Like a deluxe version of what we are already using; few more bells and whistles but essentially the same thing.

The other change that has sprung up was the reduction in cooldown on our Reincarnate spell. It currently stands at 60 minutes, although it can be talented to reduce by 20 minutes via the Resto tree which we don't spec into. The PTR patch notes showed it being reduced to 50 minutes, and GC came out saying they are considering dropping this to 30 instead. This is to keep it fair with the buffs to other 'back from the dead' abilities like Druid's Rebirth and Warlock's Soul Stones, which had their cooldowns halved also. I will update on this once it is confirmed but I expect this to be the case.

Due to a hectic week I didn't get the ToC 10 Gear Guide out but I will be working on it every chance I get. The 25 man version should follow shortly thereafter.


Thursday, 8 October 2009

Tier 10 Announced

It is that time again! With a new major patch comes new tier and subsequently new tier bonuses. I don't need to explain to most of you how dramatic these announcements are; they tend to unleash a sea of complaining and arguing over which are good and which are bad, which need nerfing and which need buffs.

As I write this these are now offical.

Elemental Shaman Tier 10 Set Bonuses:

2-Set: Your Lightning Bolt spell reduces the remaining cooldown on your Elemental Mastery talent by 1 sec.
4-Set: The cooldown on your Lava Burst ability is reduced by 1.5 sec.

There was announced ones earlier that were seemingly incorrect and most people assumed they were 'placeholders' until Blizz finalized the changes. These has the 4-set bonus listed as a 15 second reduction, which was illogical considering it only has a 8 second CD initially.

I will leave the floor open for discussion at the moment, and will post my thoughts later. This announcement made me realized how behind I am on talking about tier 9, so expect to see a Trial of the Crusader gear guide and tier 9 analysis to be posted soon.


Monday, 5 October 2009

Chain Lightning; Patch 3.3

I know what you are all thinking: How is the new totem models for Dwarves, Trolls and Orcs not the headline for this post? Thanks to MMO-Champion as always for the screenshots.

A bit over a week ago there was a conversation floating around the Damage Dealing forums regarding Chain Lightning. Due to the 3.2 change to Shamanism (that allowed it to now recieve the Spell Power benefits that previously only went to Lightning Bolt), Chain Lightning was made considerably more powerful even in single target situations. Binkenstein over at Elitist Jerks, who does a lot of theorycrafting and is generally seen as one of the major authorities in such issues, claimed that integrating CL into a single target rotation was now viable and the DPS increase was forseeably worth the additional mana. Liax, a well known figure amongst eles on the official forums presented this finding on the DD forum in this thread, questioning if this was intended or if it was an attempt at making CL a more competitive form of AoE that produced this as an unforeseen result. Ghostcrawler responded quickly but didn't seem to confront the issue comprehensively, basically claiming CL is not intended to be a single target spell but if it works for you then go for it. You can read the succinct version through MMO-Champ's Blue Tracker here, just including the two posts mentioned.

Now, I honestly haven't done the numbers to the level I am sure Bink has, but generally conclusions coming out of Bink and EJ's shaman forums are pretty reliable. I still use 4 set tier 8 so the effect will be a little less in my case, but what these results show and what GC was trying to express (at least how I am reading it) is that using CL sparingly is going to be a good thing, and a smart player will use CL to complete a rotation more smoothly in situations where due to moving or not a 'neat' amount of haste rating may not give you time to get a full LB cast off. Whether you choose to subscribe to the CL spamming every chance it is available is up to you, I haven't tested it to be able to verify Bink's claims. If any of you come to a conclusion feel free to post a comment and let us know.

The other news recently is the excitement building over patch 3.3, the release of Icecrown and what will probably be the last major patch of this expansion. It seems like it is going so fast, doesn't it? The PTRs are already in full swing and a few rounds of patch notes have already been released. Unsurprisingly, due to the large changes in 3.2.2 we are not getting a huge overhaul, but the primary change announced is interesting:

Fire Nova Totem: This totem has been replaced with a new spell, Fire Nova, which is available at the same ranks as the old Fire Nova Totem. Existing characters will automatically learn this new spell in place of the totem. With a Fire Totem active, shamans will be able to use Fire Nova (fire magic) to emit the same area-of-effect damage as the old Fire Nova Totem from the active Fire Totem, not consuming the totem in the process. Fire Nova will activate a 1.5-second global cooldown when used and has a 10-second spell cooldown. The caster must be within 30 yards of the totem to use this ability, but does not need to be within line of sight of the totem.

Those of us willing to spec for it in the elemental tree will also get:

Improved Fire Nova Totem: Renamed Improved Fire Nova. This talent now provides an additional 10/20% damage to the spell and reduces the cooldown by 2/4 seconds.

I am unsure of what this means for us. At the moment, I am only seeing it being useful in PvP or for enhancement specs. It still means we are limited to running in and out when wanting to AoE, but until the patch goes live it is tough to know the extent of its use.


Friday, 25 September 2009

Alts: A Love/Hate Story

After a string of hard-hitting, breaking-news posts regarding the changes that have been taking place recently I have decided to tone it down a little with a more casual discussion-y entry. I haven't heard from you guys in a while, and I know you are still reading (I have had recent spikes in readership numbers actually, so welcome to all you new readers!) so feel free to get back into posting comments and sending emails! It really helps me in shaping what to post and knowing what you guys are looking to read and discuss about.

Recently my guild has decided to allow members of the raiding core to start bringing along their alts to farm content such as the Ulduar 25 runs that we still integrate into our raiding schedule. It has been jumped on and a good portion of the raiders have signed up their alt to bring along for the WoW equivalent of Christmas where they can get a ton of free loot for not much effort. Sure, the guild has some conditions that say they will not gear fresh 80's from scratch (you have to have at least mostly epics from heroics and Naxx) but they are pretty forgiving from what I have seen so far.

I haven't signed up my alt, Tilc. I know I don't talk about him much; he is a Draenei Holy Pally that I started levelling for kicks back in The Burning Crusade because I was simply in awe of how good pally tanks were at the time. By the time I had levelled him Wrath was already in the swing of things and tanks were a lot easier to come by so I took to healing instead. I hardly ever play him, especially since my move to Bladestorm about 6 months back.

So I put it out to you guys. Do you agree with my guild allowing alts to come to farm raiding, or do you think it takes away from the raid schedule? Do you think I should sign up Tilc to join the farming frenzy, or stick to a one-character arrangement? What are your alt situations? Are you a lover or hater of them?

Also, I get it a lot and I am posting so everyone knows. I am more than willing to help people out with gearing situations or specific game questions (such as raiding things and alike). However, if the content is readily available and easy to find (i.e.: one wowwiki search away) then I am not going to spoon feed you answers. I will point you in the direction but you will have to take the initiative yourselves. There is a search function on the blog for a reason! Other than that, shoot me emails and I will try to get back asap.

Till next time,

-Puut (and Tilc?)

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Upcoming Changes: More of the Same?

Firstly, I will state that out of fear of appearing ungrateful, I am happy that our spec is getting the significant planned changes to improve our situation. I feel my critique of the upcoming changes may come across as showing a lack of appreciation and at some point reading this you may feel that I need to smile, give my appreciation to Blizzard, murmur a prayer to the almighty buff Gods and move on with it. I only make this post because I am looking back at the big picture and I am not getting the same feelings of joy that I might if I were focusing solely on the PTR patch notes and the buffs at hand.

The upcoming changes are obviously in response to the large push of complaints about where we stand at the moment. I am not playing mind reader by stating this: all of GC's comments about the planned updates have been made on one of Strawberry's* threads. I will say, however, that the cause was certainly helped by the fact that now Warlock's have entered the fray over this Totem of Wrath vs. Demonic Pact argument. This spiked the popularity of the issue and, at least in my opinion, helped get the ball rolling on the elemental changes. I mean, Strawberry and numerous other great posters have been making valid, logical comments about the state of our spec for the last 4 months without response; I think it is unlikely Ghostcrawler simply 'saw the light' and decided to jump on the issue.

Another telling sign lies with a post put up on MMO Champ's site a while back. On September 7th, this post went up showing the world first Anub'arak 25-man Heroic kill by Paragon of EU Lightning's Blade (congratulations to them, by the way). They also posted the DPS meter for the Anub'arak kill and armory links to all the raid members involved (the meter is seen attached to this post, taken from MMO-Champion). The elemental shaman, Lazei, who was extremely well geared as all the raid participants were finished dead last on the meters with 5830DPS. The hunter was almost identical (5831DPS), but it was later revealed the hunter was the only one pulling ice down. Anyone who has done this fight knows that this is a chore that essentially renders that raid member preoccupied for a major percentage of the fight. The next closest, an Enhancement Shaman, was some 800DPS clear with 6637; and the next closest caster (Shadow Priest, who is also a hybrid class I might add) was sitting over 7300, a massive 1500DPS more than the elemental. The caster core was scattered throughout the 7-8k DPS region. Now of course, this is one example and cannot be evidence enough to prove claims about the entire spec. However, this difference is telling and not uncommon amongst top end raiding guilds. Elemental Shaman were the ones bringing up the rear on the DPS meters across the board in high-end cutting-edge content, and it was suddenly in the spotlight for every other class to see.

This outlines my first concern: the developers didn't recognize a problem with our DPS until other classes were thrown into the mix: the Warlocks being bought in to our ToW argument, and the top end guilds posting their DPS meters. Even GC's quote about how they don't believe our ability was as low as many ele's seemed to believe (you can read it in this previous posting) shows that he (still?) doesn't grasp how far behind we actually are.

My second (and less wordy) concern is with the actual changes. The thing that pleasantly surprised me, at least about the Flame Shock and Glyph changes, was that it was dynamic. It was different and innovative. It showed some thought. Not much mind you, as all they were doing was freeing up the existing Glyph of Flame Shock which up until now was considered an absolute must; but at least it was something better than the Lightning Overload chance increase or the Shamanism percentage hikes.

The issue I have is this: they didn't make the changes we were asking for. I am not saying 'they didn't give me absolutely everything I wanted, so therefore I am not satisfied'. The changes they made were not the ones that the community was suggesting. A viable AoE? More practical fire totems (like the better ranged, assist-targeting Searing Totem concept)? The Totem of Wrath buff given as an aura to all fire totems? None of these were put into affect. The developers didn't work with the community, but instead buffed us with what they assumed we needed and threw it to us expecting complete satisfaction. This worries me because at the end of the day it shows we are still not getting heard. We are making enough noise to prick up their ears, with the help of some outside factors. But they are not actively working with the community in making changes. This makes me question the longevity of the cooperation and if the understanding is there, or if it is just another quick-and-slick buff bonanza that will keep us all happy and quiet for a few more patches.

In summary, the changes are a good thing. It is good that Blizzard recognized that we need a change to become more competitive. However, at this point it feels like just another band-aid to me. Although more elaborate and thought-out, it is still just a short term fix rather than the repair we actually need. Maybe I will be proved wrong; there will almost definitely be more changes in the ToW vs. DP saga that is still going on. Maybe they will listen to the suggestions and add the "aura" ability to all our fire totems so we are not stuck planting Wrath every fight. That would indicate to me they are recognizing the work being done by the community and acting in conjunction with rather in spite of it. At the moment I still have my concerns; but hell, I am going to enjoy being the buff recipients for once. God knows it doesn't come around as often as anyone would like.


* If you do not know, Strawberry is a poster on the official forums who has done an extremely large amount of work trying to get ele's problems under the nose of GC and the development team and is one of the best at fighting for our cause. I pay particular interest to Strawberry's postings.

I also apologize on the delays with this posting, with the stream of changes I kept being forced to rewrite and change the structure.

Saturday, 19 September 2009


Today is Pirates Day! Go get your achievement down at the scenic Booty Bay! It is for today only, so you'd better hurry...

Friday, 18 September 2009

Totem of Wrath Under the Dev's Hammer

I keep wanting to do an opinionated post regarding the changes going on, but before I get the chance more news comes out. The latest batch, regarding ToW vs. Demonic Pact (both by Ghostcrawler, by the way):

September 15th:
"Strawberry makes great posts, as usual.

We want to solve the discrepancy between ToW and DP before Cataclysm.

Demonology needs to be brought because it does competitive dps, not because it has an awesome buff. Or even better, you should want the Demo lock because the player playing it is someone you want to play with. Nobody should get brought because they have an awesome buff but are otherwise a liability. You should be able to get most of the buffs and debuffs you really need in a number of different raid configurations, and ideally even taking two players of the exact same spec won't feel like a mistake. The game should be in defeating the boss, not assembling the group."

Then, the next day on the same thread:

September 16th:
"I said ToW vs. DP is a problem that we want to fix...

...We don't think Elemental (or Shadow for that matter) are as low as a lot of players of those respective specs seem to believe, but both received small buffs. While it wasn't necessarily our intention, both of those tweaks happen to be relatively tricky to theorycraft out, so the jury is still out on what kind of buff they will provide or if they will be considered "enough." Some posters then tried to justify Demos's low dps because of their great buffs, but that isn't the way we actually want the game to work.

All classes should have buffs. All damage specs should do competitive dps, with the exception that the four pure classes should do slightly higher dps. Different versions of the same buff should not feel wildly different with regard to talent expenditure, personal dps loss, up time, duration or scaling. We will continue to work to improve all of those issues. However, in almost all cases, individual skill, gear and group coordination will have a larger effect on your performance than anything we can do to buff your class.

P.S. I feel the need to reinforce that "should not feel wildly different" does not mean "identical." We generally don't like things between classes that are identical."

From the looks of things, ToW has finally caught the attention of GC and the rest of the Development Team. More changes are coming, and this patch looks to be the biggest for Elementals in quite a while...



Saturday, 12 September 2009

Buffs on the Horizon...

If you have been following the latest PTR patch notes (they are posted on MMO Champion) you will have no doubt noticed that there has been major action on the shaman front. Unlike with 3.2, we have been in the spotlight so far and the outlook is mighty good...

Firstly, here are the announced changes released so far for Elemental Shaman:
  • Flame Shock now deals 834 fire damage over 18 sec at max rank (up from 556 fire damage over 12 sec). Lower ranks increased accordingly.
  • Lava Burst no longer consumes Flame Shock.
  • Glyph of Flame Shock: The periodic damage dealt by your Flame Shock can now be critical strikes (Old - Increases the duration of your Flame Shock ability by 6 sec and it is not consumed by casting Lava Burst).
  • Shamanism: Your Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning spells gain an additional 3/6/9/12/15% and your Lava Burst gains an additional 4/8/12/16/20% of your bonus damage effects.

The two changes essentially revolve around the removal of Glyph of Flame Shock, an elemental staple, and the implement of the tier 8 2-set bonus as the 'new' version of the forementioned. The less notable change, only release a couple of days ago, was the addition of an extra 5% to the Spell Power bonus to Lightning spells from Shamanism. These changes are all going to result in a boost to DPS which first and foremost is the most important thing and what you should all be getting excited about.

The additional GCDs that are going to be freed up with not having to refresh our Flame Shocks as often will be small, but valuable. Every 36 seconds we will have an additional GCD up our sleeve and when paired with the 2-set tier 9 (which increases the duration of FS by 9 seconds)we will have an eternity before having to refresh; a massive 27 seconds. Less refreshing = more time doing other stuff, primarily more DPS.

The other key change will be the freeing of what was previously a must-have glyph. Especially at the moment where the majority of regular raiding elementals will be using the 2-set t8; this will make it completely obsolete. Depending on when this patch is made live this will be less of a factor as more of us move to tier 9; but expect to see a lot of people being in this situation of having a redundant glyph. If this is the case, the logical move is to switch to the Glyph of Lava. The majority of us will move to Lightning, Lava and Totem of Wrath Glyphs when this patch is put into effect. This change is convenient as it will prevent the trade off between ToW and Lava that most of us were forecasting when the t9 4-set is obtained.

The final change is far less interesting and looks to be another bit of juice they are providing to us with the additional 5% to our Lightning spells. Unlike before, this now encompasses Chain Lightning which will help out in AoE and trash a bit. Not nearly as dynamic as the other changes, but who is going to complain? A buff is a buff and when we were faced with such a dismal outlook after 3.2, anything seems pretty good at this point.

Actual release date for the patch is still unknown, but it is reportedly confirmed as NOT tomorrow. My estimate is it will be at least 3 weeks, but at the moment it is up in the air and your guess is as good as mine. One thing is for sure though: Expect to be pulling some pretty DPS numbers in the near future, my friends.


Friday, 4 September 2009

Gemming Guide

My first resource that I have posted in a while. This was originally intended to be posted some time ago but I figured I should wait until the release of 3.2, and consequently epic gems, so I wouldn't have to rewrite it to cover the new content.

A good place to start I feel is to give a layman's overview of gemming and jewelcrafting in general. Jewelcrafting was the new profession added with The Burning Crusade expansion (similar to Inscription in Wrath); a new profession that was widely considered the single best profession at the time. Not much has changed in fact: after numerous nerfs (including in 3.2) it is still extremely valuable for the bonuses it gives as well as the fact that it can be extremely lucrative in regards to making money off of it. Gems can be of 3 pure color types (Red, Blue and Yellow) and 3 hybrid color types (Purple, Green and Orange). The pure types offer benefits to a single stat, whereas the hybrids offer lesser benefits from the two color classes they draw from (eg: Orange, a mix of Yellow and Red, will provide a combination of the benefits from both a Red and a Yellow gem). Gems are installed in 'sockets' in gear, which also have a color designation of either Red, Blue and Yellow. Most sockets provide a 'socket bonus', a benefit you will receive for matching the gem and socket colors. For example, inserting a Blue gem in the commonly used [Wyrmrest Necklace of Power] would benefit you with the +5 Spell Power socket bonus, which a Red or Yellow gem would not provide.

I get asked about gemming quite a bit, which is surprising for me. Gemming is a relatively simple process for casters in general and we are no exception. Stacking our most valuable stat, Spell Power, is what the whole gemming process comes down to. For this, the [Runed Cardinal Ruby] is optimal; a Red, purely Spell Power based gem. Most of your gear should be studded with these if you are a serious raiding elemental shaman.

The other key consideration is our Meta socket. These sockets are located in head pieces. All tiers sets now have Meta sockets in their head slots as well as most epic quality level 80 head pieces. For us, the best Meta gem is the [Chaotic Skyflare Diamond] (there is no epic quality meta gems as yet, even going back to TBC-era). People have questioned this, as the [Ember Skyflare Diamond]'s +25 Spell Power would subscribe more to our theory of SP stacking. However, the bonus to Critical Strike damage is far, far more beneficial than the +2% Intellect as we should never be mana-starved and in need of the additional intellect. Additionally, the crit damage is a huge factor as we should be critting upwards of 35% of the time in a raid situation. 3% Increase to 35% (or, in most cases, more) of our damage simply trumps the benefits offered by the Spell Power over the Critical Strike Rating.

The issue with this conclusion is that the Chaotic Skyflare requires 2 Blue gems to 'activate' (i.e.: to provide its benefits). This doesn't support our stacking the Red SP gems, so we unfortunately have to go against our policy and add a couple of Blues in the most optimal fashion we can. The Blue gem you choose to use is fairly open. Luckily, the hybrid color gems that feature Blue traits (i.e.: Green and Purple) also work to activate the Meta so we can at least get some Spell Power benefit from these less optimal gems. The general consensus is to go with SP/Stamina combination gems, [Glowing Dreadstone] would be the best option here. However, I have seen good elementals elect for SP/Spell Penetration ([Mysterious Dreadstone]) or SP/mp5 ([Royal Dreadstone]) also. Basically, as long as it is has Spell Power it is reasonable and we accept that there will be little to no benefit gained from the gem's other stat.

A factor I see many shaman failing to recognize is the placement of the Blue gems. Most accept that these B-grade gems have to be there so they slap them in the first two places they see. If you search for a place where it can be used to also activate a socket bonus (either by itself or teamed with one of our Red gems) it gives at least slightly more benefit then it would otherwise. For example, my two Blue Gems are in my t8.5 [Conqueror's Worldbreaker Headpiece] and my [Lightning Grounded Boots]. This way, I integrate the gems in and can still activate their two socket bonuses giving an additional +16 Spell Power. Being aware of small opportunities such as this do add up in the long run and help you get the absolute most out of your DPS ability. Keep your eyes open for things like this in all facets of your gear orchestration; do not completely ignore socket bonuses.

I hope this has made the topic of gemming a little easier for you all to wrap your head around. Best of luck, and happy hunting.


Tuesday, 1 September 2009


Just a quick reminder: a lot of you have been posting very specific questions on the comments section in posts. If it is general enough I will answer it there, or let some of the experienced readers handle it. However, for more detailed questions I ask that you send them directly to me via email (puutnitdown[at] This allows me to deal with your question more specifically to your personal situation and not have to try and give a broad answer to make it applicable to everyone.

I should note this includes "Can you take a look at my gear/spec/enchants..." questions. I get quite a few of these and I have absolutely no problem taking a look over your armory page, but you need to email because I don't think it is best to critique your character over public-viewable comments.

More posts on the way soon including a guide to gemming, a public discussion post and later down the track a gear guide for the new raids and an analysis of the tier-9 sets.


Friday, 28 August 2009

Totem of Electrifying Wind

Since last post, which I apologize for being a considerable amount of time ago, I have not been playing as much as I would have liked. My beloved laptop that has served me well over the past 4 years was finally showing its age and the lacking framerate was taking to great of a toll on my performance (at times I was averaging a mere 6-8fps during raids). I took the hint and made the decision to build a new computer which I had not done before and was rather daunted by the thought of. I am pleased to say it was a success however, and I am now playing on a beastly new machine that makes the game look completely different. Who knew you could see the Mine from the Lumber Mill in AB? Maybe you all did and I have been the one missing out all this time, if so forgive my childlike facination. I am yet to raid with the new setup, but I am excited to see the difference in a 25-man environment.

With my reduced playtime over the last two weeks I have not been regularly collecting Emblem of Triumph tokens (*tisk tisk*, I know...) and, as such, have not been able to purchase any of the token gear. Not that there is exactly a plethora of selection for us, but I am leaving the spiteful comments behind with the last post; I appreciate your feedback on that by the way. Yesterday I was finally fortunate enough to have saved enough to get a hold of the new totem slot item, the Totem of Electrifying Wind. By this point most of the more hardcore readers would have already seen the conclusions/done their own research but I still feel I should post about it because that is what this blog is all about.

From the PTR studies prior to 3.2, it showed the totem to have an extremely high percentage of uptime but for a long period no one confirmed these numbers once the patch was live. Well, now the numbers are all verified and the totem has a proc chance (i.e.: chance to activate) of 70% and an internal cooldown (or 'ICD', time delay after activation before it can activate again) of 6 seconds.

These numbers are very kind to us. Essentially this means it likes proccing and, because the buff lasts 12 seconds but can refresh after only 6, it will refresh itself a good percentage of time. Conclusion? Very high uptime.

I grabbed my new totem after the daily yesterday and took it to do some of my own testing. On pure Lightning Bolt spamming I never lost the buff once it first activated in 3 tests from full mana to OOM. When performing my rotation (i.e.: inclusion of Flame Shock and Lava Bursts), in a stand-and-deliver situation it still had a very high uptime, well over 90% for the vast majority of the testing.

From my own number punching (using my personal stats and such) I found this to be around a 155-165 DPS boost. Haste is unfortunately a difficult stat to come to rock-solid conclusions on, however, because there are certain points where a little extra haste will allow you to complete your rotation and integrate an extra spell cast. Not to make this post about stat comparisons, but basically there is points where haste can outweigh spellpower, although not on a regular basis. This means the benefit will be slightly different for your particular situations, but this is a reasonable ballpark estimate.

So how does this compare to our existing BiS, the Totem of Hex? I am happy to say that we have finally found an upgrade, as Hex only equated to roughly a 95-100 DPS increase. The immense uptime of Electrifying Wind makes it a practically constant buff which I am sure many of you will be thankful for.

I have not had a chance to try it out on high-movement bosses in a raid situation as yet which may be the times where the buff does fall off for short periods but I doubt it will be too much of a factor. I am sure the situations where you have trinket procs and bloodlust/heroism going in conjunction with the totem buff will make you forget about those momentary lapses.

In summary: The Totem of Electrifying Winds is a great little upgrade from our previous best-in-slot; and only takes a few days of raiding and running daily heroics to get your hands on. Enjoy!


Monday, 17 August 2009

Frustrations with the Developers

At what point does community feedback sink in? When is the tipping point where the Blizzard developers go “Okay, I can see the point these guys are making, let’s take a look into it”? I am understanding of limitations of the development team to cater to everyone playing every class at every skill and gear level, but there has to be enough of a movement to prick up some ears at the Blizzard HQ at a certain threshold.

There is a reason I bring this up. Recently there was a post by everyone’s favourite designer, Ghostcrawler, which grazed a nerve for me (the post I refer to can be found here). Now, this was not aimed at elemental shaman by any stretch. It is a general message posted in the Damage Dealing forums as a ‘sign-on-the-wall’ style notice to let everyone know that being annoying and kicking up enough dirt is not going to get Blizzard to succumb.

I took particular aversion to this because I believe that, for the most part, us elemental shaman have done most everything right. Obviously, like every other spec in this game, there are those who act inappropriately and think that they deserve something bestowed on them for whatever reason. Some classes/specs (*cough* mages *cough*) more than others, but it is certainly present to some extent across the board. However, for the most part we have been very cooperative with the manner we have conducted our complaints in. My particular focus fell on this paragraph:

"Here is how the process should ideally work: If you have an issue, bring it up. See if other players agree with you. If they disagree, don't shut them out. Once you've explored the issue a little bit, you've done your job. You don't need to keep starting new topics on the same issue nor bumping those already so long that no reasonable person is going to read them (though I try to)."

There are some genuinely great players that have put forward well constructed, technically sound ideas about changes that can be made to our spec. I will not name these people for the fear of retribution from the ones I will inevitably forget to name, but those who frequent the official forums on a regular basis are familiar with them and their work. These ideas have been presented to the community. They have been agreed upon, as a general consensus. They have been analyzed, debated over, tweaked and finalized until they are a polished suggestion that, if instituted, could genuinely improve our class.

And they are ignored.

Now, this claim may be a bit unfair. I cannot claim that Blizz ‘ignored’ them. The developers may have read them and even given some consideration. However, Blizzard has chosen not to respond to them. Not even acknowledge them for the most part. The latest patch with our grand total of zero spec specific changes proved that pretty boldly.

I am aware that elemental is not the biggest spec around. I am aware that we do not hold a lot of weight in the grand scheme of WoW, simply because our population just isn't there. We are a small, relatively menial class. The “forgotten casters”. But does that really justify us being the hotfix junkies? Because we aren’t popular we can't earn a dynamic change?

Our DPS by comparison is slipping at the cutting-edge levels, our population is declining and there are still no changes in sight. Magma totem is still our viable AoE. Totem of Wrath is still our unique selling point. We are still the only caster with absolutely no scaling ability from our base stats. Our itemization is still laughable.

The shaman forums are a barren land in regards to blue activity. To the developer’s defence, they have stated they will not post in class forums for the most part. That said, even our Damage Dealing forum posts are without blue contributions. It has been 6 months since GC’s posts here and here. This is a thread where GC’s first post commends the quality of the thread; (I quote) “We could use many more posts like this in this forum. Thanks!” and he himself goes on to agree with and list these issues which even back then had been known for a long time. His appreciation? Yes. Actively following up on his points and answering to the community? Still patiently waiting.

Ghostcrawler needs to stop lecturing on how he ‘ideally’ wants us to contribute. Instead, start commending those who are doing the right thing and actively contributing. If not, there hardly seems inclination to do otherwise. The proof is staring right at them and has been for a long time.


Edit: As a follow up, I would like to draw attention to this thread that is currently active in the DD forums. GC has given this thread recognition by posting in it (twice), and in the second post he says "Good data make stronger argument than opinions or anecdotal observation..." when discussing how to make an impact in the community. Funny, coming from a thread that starts with an intellectual gem like this.

Monday, 10 August 2009

3.2 Elemental Shaman Initial (Belated) Impressions

Being an avid follower of a number of WoW blogs I have noticed there exists an unwritten code regarding an ‘initial reaction to the new patch’ post. As this is the first major patch I have been blogging during the release of I am feeling obliged to comply before I go about my rebellious posting ways in the future.

My playtime in this patch release week has been pretty low. As I previously mentioned, I moved into a new place and had to wait for internet to be connected which took the better part of the week. As such I missed out on a lot of the initial release stuff; by the time I first got in on the Thursday it was already old news. I haven’t had a chance to raid the new place yet (apparently the guild cleared the first boss in very little time on the first night, so I will have to wait until Tuesday). I have seen both the regular and heroic 5 man instances, which provides little to talk about as it is rather easy and the mounted combat is really the only notable highlight.

The obvious discussion point is regarding the new totem bars. I have been configurating my personal setup which, for raiding purposes, is pretty easy (Totem of Wrath, Healing, Wrath of Air and no earth totem). I initially removed all my totems from the bars and went to just using the new UI, but realized whilst running heroics how often you go to those other utility totems such as Tremor or Cleansing. Having to reconfigure every time one of these alternate totems is required is a paining process and I have found I am resorting back to having a nearly full bar of totems for easy access in those ‘just in case’ situations. I am not complaining, as I am still enjoying the fact that I can drop my standard three at once thoroughly. I imagine I will learn to take this for granted quite soon as it will make raiding (at least in my prior experiences) a lot smoother. If you are interested, I am open to possible suggestions to totem makeups.

I am also looking forward to getting into the arena as I am sure the feature will be more influential there. I have crafted my anti-gank rogue setup already (Earthbind, Fire Nova and Cleansing all in the one) which, teamed up with the new Ghost Wolf (again, yet to really experiment with) should help avoid the perils of stunlock. I will have to do some reading to work out how to get ‘good’ with these new abilities, or a lot of trial-and-error.

My final comment is regarding itemization. I know we should be used to it, but it is kind of disappointing to not see any items bar the new totem available from the Emblem of Triumph vendor. Hopefully there will be more of a relevant selection with the future vendors, but based on the track record I would guess it is going to be more of the same. The one item we do have, the Totem of Electrifying Winds, is likely to replace the Totem of Hex we have been using for a long time now but this is dependent on what the actual uptime of the proc is. On the PTRs it was having an extremely large uptime but no results are out yet (and I am FAR from having enough emblems for it to test myself on account of missing out on so much of this week) on what actually made it to the release. If anyone gets info send me an email and let me know.


Tuesday, 4 August 2009

3.2 Live Today

As the title says, 3.2 is confirmed to be going live today. You can check out the latest news updates at MMO-Champion. Unfortunately out hopes of more Elemental changes were not realized; we will have to see where we stand in the coming weeks.

In more personal news, this blog just hit 10,000 views a couple of days ago which I am really happy about. Just another chance to thank all of you for taking the time to read this and support me, I really appreciate it and I hope you will keep reading.

I have moved into a new apartment this past weekend and will not have reliable internet until Thursday. As such I will be missing out on seeing the new patch today but I am sure I will make up for lost time this weekend. If I am taking a while to respond to your emails this is why. I will catch up as soon as I can.

Enjoy the patch,


Thursday, 30 July 2009

Bloodlust/Heroism; Too much of a deciding factor?

Recently I was on one of my many ventures through the official WoW forums ( and I was directed by someone in the Shaman forum to the Damage Dealing forum where a heated discussion was taking place regarding Bloodlust/Heroism (for the purposes of this article I will be shortening this to ‘BL/H’). It was an extremely hot topic for a while there and even provoked a couple of comments out of Ghostcrawler (You can find the thread I am referring to, now locked because of post limit, here). Now, when you read the official forums you learn to turn on a bit of a filter because there is a lot of bad posts and bad players out there, not to mention all the trolls. However, this thread had a few really good posts and the general themes of the arguments being made by both side were thought provoking; for me at least.

To summarize, the discussion came down to this: Blizzard’s new policy for WotLK has been ‘bring the player, not the class’. It is a push to make individual classes/specs less beneficial to a raid composition by making their buffs/abilities available to multiple groups. As a relatable example: if you want the 3% hit debuff to be placed on raid bosses you either have the option of bringing a Shadow Priest (providing Misery) or a Balance Druid (providing Improved Faerie Fire). The desire behind this is to prevent what was occurring more and more later into BC with ‘stacking’ certain classes and excluding others. The idea is good in theory in that it does not hinder anyone’s gaming experience simply because they did not choose to play the latest best class that people want to bring to the raids. However, Shaman have the advantage of still being the only class to provide providing BL/H which, in many player’s opinions, is too influential to an encounter.

The argument coming from the other camp is that there has to be limits to the homogenization that occurs in the game. What is the point of even having classes if there is no uniqueness to them? If everyone provides exactly the same thing the game will be walking a slippery slope to becoming too bland which leads to a boring, generic experience. BL/H is seen as an iconic shaman ability should not be shared with anyone else. (On a side note, I was surprised to find how a large number of people sharing this belief were non-shaman who just liked the uniqueness of the ability.)

Ghostcrawler came out saying that they did not design any of the hard modes around BL/H and that they do not believe that any 10 man hard mode encounter in unable to be accomplished without it. 25 man content is a different story, he continued, and thought that although the inclusion of a shaman in 25s was considered necessary it was not unreasonable; a point to which I have to agree. One shaman in a 25 man raid is hardly a big ask. Hell, I am lucky if I cast it once a raid because we roll with 3-5 shaman every night (1 Ele, 1 Enhance and up to 3 Resto).

Both sides of the argument carry pretty valid points and I am actually on the fence to some extent. BL/H is an extremely powerful benefit to the raid and can, without a doubt, decide the outcome of a fight. A personal example I have would be the XT hard mode (both 10 and 25). First times I did this fight we needed the BL/H when the Heart dropped just to be able to kill it in time and activate Hard Mode. A couple of weeks later, however, we did not. Better gear and some experience with the fight makes up for the gap and we were killing it with time to spare without the aid of BL/H. This is, of course, just one particular example. The point I am trying to convey with it is how although at first it may seem like an unquestionable necessity, but as you improve it may no longer be the case. That is why I have to side with GC on this one, because I believe that he is probably right when he says no 10 man Hard Mode encounter needs heroism. Does it make it more difficult? Without a doubt. Necessity? No.

The other point is that it is not like it is hard to fit a shaman into a raid. GC hinted on this when saying quote: “If you needed 3 or 4 shamans then I could see the point. If only Enhancement shamans brought Bloodlust, then it might cross the line”. By the fact that any of the three specs can provide this benefit, it makes it a whole lot more viable and reasonable. We can fit into a ranged DPS, melee DPS or healing role, it is not like we are difficult to manufacture a role for. If you really feel BL/H is a necessity, then you should probably stop complaining and just look for a shaman. Otherwise accept the fact that the fight is going to be a little more difficult and keep working at it.

As for the homogenization issue, I personally believe it is a good thing if Blizzard is careful with how they handle it. I was not in a top-end guild at the end of BC and was only halfway through Black Temple when WotLK dropped. As such I did not see the class stacking that was going on through Sunwell and only heard the stories, but from the sounds of it it was pretty extreme in how limiting it made the raid compositions. It is pretty clear we do not want to see that stuff again and this homogenization movement has thus far been a success in preventing it from occurring in Wrath.

Bloodlust and Heroism are an ability that I believe are unique to shaman and should remain so, but the day Blizzard makes a fight that is unbeatable without it then it becomes unfair. Until that day I am going to keep on enjoying this weapon that only we carry in our arsenal.

- Puut

Monday, 27 July 2009

One Light Down...

After a bit of a lull, my guild and I took down Yogg with 3 keepers (not sure whether Yogg +3 or Yogg -1 is the correct phrasing, but you understand). This was server second so we are pretty happy with our efforts. Hopefully this is the beginning of that progression push I forcast last post. I am currently working on a couple of opinionated posts at the moment in lieu of a few things I have been seeing/hearing around the ways recently. Should have it polished and up by mid-week for you.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

New Armor Set Models, General Updates

Couple of little bits and pieces for you all, seeing as how there hasn't been one in a week.

New Armor Sets

I'm not sure how many of you adamantly follow MMO Champion; it is understandable as they tend to post about a million times a day. However, they are one of the best sources out there for news and information as soon as it becomes available and are generally very accurate. Before I digress any further, they have recently posted the "finalized" armor sets coming with the release of 3.2. I use the term with some caution because they have released what we think will be the final version a couple of times now, but this one seems to be the most promising.

There has been a bit of a twist with the new tier set. In a bit of a stray from the norm, they have now given each faction a different model for their classes. As such, us Draenei's won't be looking similar to our Horde counterparts as we will both be sporting individualized gear. However, they have made all armor-similar classes wear the same model with differentiation in color schemes. That's right: although we will not look like our factioned counterparts, we will ALL look like hunters. I don't know how I feel about this, I think I would rather be associated with a Horde than a huntard...

Regardless of my opinions, you can check out the sets for Alliance here and Horde here. Give me your opinion, what would you prefer? Do you like the looks of your set? Be sure to specify which faction's you are commenting on.

It seems they are keeping the Arena gear homogenized across factions, which you can see here (both factions included in the link).

All rights to the images are courtesy of MMO Champion (

Earth/Wind Shock Changes

Due to the glaring redundancy that was created when Wind Shock was first added to the Shaman arsenal, the developers have decided to make a couple of changes. Wind Shock is now becoming 'Wind Shear' and remaining, for all intents and purposes, pretty much the same. The major change is it is now off of the cooldown shared by our other shocks, so we will have a much better ability to interrupt enemy spellcasts. This is a real perk for PvP where we will no longer be faced with an either/or situation for our Flame Shocks and interrupting the enemy.

Earth Shock is being reinvented. It is, as of the latest PTR build, a debuff that will reduce the enemy's melee attack speed by 10% for 8 seconds. It was previously 2 seconds which hardly seems worth the cast. Even with the change, I am wondering how useful it will be. It is obviously another attempt to increase our PvP viability and prevent melee from tearing us up as soon as they get within range, but is 10% really going to be a game-changer? Another mystery that the patch will withhold.


On a personal note, my guild and I are really beginning to push the hardmode buck after a period of relative lacking recently. As I have previously mentioned, we got the FL+4 a couple of weeks back which was long overdue. We also got Freya+1 but neither seemed to screenshot worthy and had a feeling of 'finally' to them. We are seriously working on Assembly of Iron Hard mode (and have been for a good 4 weeks on-and-off, this is what has been slowing our progress a lot); additionally we have started work on Thorim hard and Yogg 3 Keepers. If we can get the right mix of raiders I believe we can achieve all 3 of these in the next 2 weeks.

Hopefully more kill pics will be on the way soon.

Monday, 13 July 2009

No News is Good News?

The upcoming patch is shaping to be a rather major one. With the class Q&A sessions all underway and the new changes the developers have introduced independent of user feedback, it looks like this will be a shakeup for almost every spec in the game.

That is, except for elementals.

I have already posted on how the Q&A session left us feeling a bit left out in the cold. Sure, we scored with some of the class-wide changes but getting excited over them feels like salivating over the scraps of someone else's feast. Sure, the totem changes will be nice and a little extra stam couldn't hurt, but not one spec-specific change?

Now by this stage you are probably all wondering what rock I have been living under for the last few years to not realize we always get left out in the cold when they are handing out buffs. I am anything but a overzealous optimist; that said, I honestly thought we might get some more of the spotlight this patch.

Why now you ask?

Because since 3.1 there has been considerably more buzz regarding us then what we usually hear. In our case the 'usual buzz' would be silence; and by silence I mean like deep space without a spacesuit, several million miles away from anything remotely resembling anything notable kind of silence.

If you hadn't noticed, that was me getting carried away in an analogy tide. But think about it: There was the Lava Burst 'Stealth Nerf' which, whether it happened or not did get a couple of blue posts which happens less frequently than the similarly colored moon. Potentially in response, we then got the Lightning Overload buff because it was noted by developers that as a whole our spec was lacking.

Finally, our close brethren in the 'forgotten casters' category, Balance Druids or 'Moonkins', have undergone a number of changes integrating spirit to be a scaling stat for them to make them more viable at the cutting-edge endgame content. I was foolish to believe that this could mean we would see similar attention being thrown our way seeing the issue was at least showing up on Blizz's radars. One would have thought this topic would have at least been mentioned in the Shaman Q&A seeing there was a number of well-constructed posts regarding it. Unfortunately though, there was nothing. Not in the Q&A feedback, and not in the 3.2 build up. There was nothing in regards to elemental shaman at all.

Now, just this weekend I have seen that Wind Shock is being changed to be off the cooldown of the other shocks and that Earth Shock is being changed. I can't see I didn't see this coming because having the two was a little redundant to say the least (I think Blizz thought Wind Shock was going to be a DPS shaman's aggro dump, turns out it wasn't nearly as effective as they thought. Plus we already have one in Resurrection, don't we?). But again, I am back to the point that these are class wide changes and not exactly 'rocking the shaman world' at that.

I remain as skeptical as myself and every other long-term elemental shaman always is about the future of our class, but I can't say I am not wishfully thinking something will emerge before the patch. You can't blame me for that, can you?


PS: I have gone back over some of the comments in the previous posts and responded. I am sorry I did not do this sooner. If you left a comment that didn't have me responding to it you should go back and check it now.

Feel free to leave comments or emails. I always find them useful and it helps me in posting things more relative to you all.

Monday, 6 July 2009

3.2: Totems and Tier

The upcoming 3.2 patch holds a lot of promise, not only for elementals but all shamans and pretty much every other class. A lot of changes to class dynamics are planned and the class Q&A session is a good indication of how Blizz is looking to meet the player's wants and needs for the first time in a long time, definitely since WotLK has been released.

Totem Mechanic

So far the most major things related to our spec that have been announced is the change to our totem mechanics, plus our new spec-specific gear. I announced a while ago when the totem mechanic changed was announced (here) but did not give an opinion on the topic. Unfortunately I am not going to change my position, but I am going to open up discussion a little. The ability to drop 4 totems concurrently is a deliberate attempt to increase our ease of use of totems and make them more viable for how the game works now. They are an outdated design and this change has been needed for a long, long time. It will provide benefits on both the PvE and PvP sides of the spectrum. How much? Well, that is to be seen.

I do not understand those who claim it will act to our detriment. This simply does not make sense. If you want to treat it like it is now and drop individual totems then you still can as I understand. You can, if you so desired, act like nothing has changed at all. Although I don't see the point of not utilizing the new design, the option will be there to act like it is non-existent. These naysayers not only annoy me but mislead the less experienced players into believing their personal opinions as fact. There may be teething problems, the mechanic may be awkward and almost non-functioning in the worst-possible circumstance but it will not ever be a downgrade from what is here now because it is simply an addition to the existing. I hate to vent, but sometimes the ignorance of the stubborn frustrates me.


To answer a few of you, I am not on the PTR. I do not tend to joint the PTRs in that there is still a lot that could happen before the patch and I find preaching about what is happening on the test realms will inevitably end up making you look foolish later when things you have been complaining about are not implemented. I would rather judge the end product when it hits with the patches then worry about things that *might* occur.

Tier 9

The new tier set bonuses have been announced, and ours is as follows:

2-set bonus: Increases the duration of your Flame Shock spell by 9 seconds.
4-set bonus: Increases the damage done by your Lava Burst spell by 20%.

These set bonuses, although rather plain in comparison to our t8, should prove rather powerful. The 2-set extends out DoT time on FS from the 18 seconds (assuming you have it glyphed, which you probably do) to 27 seconds. This means in the time we currently have to cast 3 Flame shocks we will not only have to cast 2, giving us as spare GCD once every 54 (27 + 27) seconds. May not seem like too much but that little extra window of time should prove useful.

The 4-set is fairly notable. A pretty sturdy 20% slap on top of our Lava Burst will be nice. It may alter our glyph setup back to including Lava (which most shaman dropped in favour of ToW in 3.1) and potentially the inclusion of the seemingly useless [Thunderfall Totem], our spec's designated totem in Ulduar which has been making more use as a bank slot decoration. This is highly doubtful though, as [Totem of Hex] still provides beneficial for so much more of our damage so unless they magically buff up Lava Burst damage on top of this set bonus I can see that bank slot being filled for a long time to come.

New Totem Slot

All this talk of Thunderfall vs. Hex is a nice lead-in to our new totem for 3.2: Totem of Electrifying Wind. Now, the talk on the forums is that this baby has practically no cooldown and an uptime of close to 100%. This is good, because it would have to be close to this to beat out Hex. They keep pushing this haste-proccing totem idea for some ungodly reason; both our last 2 badge reward totems ([Totem of the Elemental Plane] and [Skycall Totem]) have been the same concept.

I have been holding off doing my totem comaprisons until 3.2 to see just how good the final Electrifying Wind product turns out. For now we will just have to wait in eager anticipation of just how good this thing turns out to be. As I said before, I rather judge the end product and not what is being seen on the PTRs.


Thursday, 2 July 2009


Just a few quick points today:

  • No screenshot, but Bladestorm killed Flame Leviathan +4 Towers on Tuesday night (finally). We have been so focused on our XT and Assembly of Iron hard modes that we kind of forgot about FL, even after being the server first with +2.
  • Have neatened up the Ulduar 10-man Gear Guide. Go check it out, list of changes is at the bottom.
  • You can email me directly now at puutnitdown(at)gmail(dot)com. No more need to roll alts on Moonrunner when you want to talk to me.
  • The layout of the page has changed slightly, making some of the content areas larger.
  • I have added the ability to subscribe via RSS feed in the top of the right hand toolbar.

You may have noticed the frequency of posting increase recently. I have an internship this summer where I am given very little work to do and am highly unsupervised; maintaining the blog is keeping me sane from the periods of boredom. I have nothing in the works at the moment (giving myself a little bit of a break after a couple of pretty substantial posts in the last week) but at a guess I am thinking my next major post will be on speccing.


Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Reaching the Hit Cap

After a suggestion from one of the readers I have made a hit cap helper. I explain hit earlier in this blog's history so we are all aware of what our cap is (if not go read up on that first), but I didn't really enlighten on how to achieve those kind of hit numbers.

When you start out it will be hard to reach the cap. As you get better gear and start entering deeper endgame content you will find it becomes much easier to acquire hit and you will end up regulating hit rather than striving for it.


The absolute best place to start is with your trinket. At every stage of progression there is a hit trinket available that carries large quantities that I recommend getting. In order of increasing difficulty to get, they are as follows:
  • [Rune of Infinite Power] - From a pretty fun quest called Mystery of the Infinite, Redux where you help a version on yourself in the past. The original quest you get help from your future self, so you end up going full circle. Anyways, this is a good trinket to kick you off in the right direction hit-wise.
  • [Figurine - Twilight Serpent] - This one is for the Jewelcrafters only. Requires JC lvl 400, its materials are here.
  • [Mark of the War Prisoner] - This is the first hit trinket I used at 80, and it is a good one. In fact, I used this most of the way through Naxx 10 and well into Naxx 25. Drops from Cyanigosa in Heroic Violet Hold.
  • [Dying Curse] - When you get into Naxx 25 regularly this becomes the upgrade from the War Prisoner. Has a shared loot table (it can drop off of multiple bosses) and has a very nice proc.
  • [Elemental Focus Stone] - Drops off of Auriaya in 10-man Ulduar. Huge amounts of hit, but the proc is worse than Dying Curse for most casters.
  • [Living Flame] - Drops off of Razorscale in Ulduar 25. A ton of hit and a usable proc that is much more competitive with Dying Curse than that of the Elemental Focus Stone.


There are a couple of enchants that give hit. I am only putting the best available versions of the enchantment (i.e. there are less effective versions of the ones given) but I am choosing not to include these. In order of increasing amount of hit:

  • [Enchant Boots - Icewalker] - +12 Hit (as well as +12 Crit). Most casters tend to roll with this enchant because it is one of the only caster boot chants available (I opt for this one instead, but that discussion is for another post...)
  • [Enchant Gloves - Precision] - +20 Hit. The other option for enchanting your gloves is +28 Spell Power, but for a cheap enchant the 20 hit is nice.
  • [Enchant Weapon - Accuracy] - +25 Hit (as well as +25 Crit). This is an extremely expensive enchant that I would not recommend getting unless you plan on keeping the weapon a long time and are really struggling to reach your cap. You can also get a Titanium Weapon Chain put on your weapon; although the disarm resist won't help you the +3 hit will, and it is considerably cheaper.


The most simple way to make small adjustments to your hit rating is via gemming. Here is a list of gems with hit that are available, as before there is lesser quality versions of those posted:

  • [Rigid Autumn's Glow] - +16 hit. This is the only pure hit gem available (Jewelcrafters have [Rigid Dragon's Eye] available to them, but we will disregard it for our purposes).
  • [Veiled Monarch Topaz] - +9 Spell Power, +8 Hit.
  • [Vivid Forest Emerald] - +8 Hit Rating, +12 Stamina. In my opinion this is the best gem to put in a blue socket if you are under cap and looking to get a socket bonus or keep a meta socket running (this is applicable to elemental shaman only, other casters who may be reading this will tend to get more benefit from the 'Shining' equivalent below).
  • [Tense Forest Emerald] - +8 Hit, +10 Spell Penetration.
  • [Shining Forest Emerald] - +8 Hit Rating, +8 Spirit.
  • [Lambent Forest Emerald] - +8 Hit Rating, +3 mana every 5 seconds.

Note: Make sure you keep an eye on sockets for any with hit rating also. These can be freebies for that extra little bit to keep you over cap. Although stacking Spell Power gems is the trend at endgame, being ignorant of socket bonuses can cause you to miss out on benefits. Being a smart raider is more than just moving out of void zones you know...

I hope these recommendations help you in reaching that elusive hit cap if you are just starting work on your gear, or shows you a way to get that little tweak to be able to stay capped with your recent upgrade.

- Puut

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