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 They are an outdated design and this change has been needed for a long, long time.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.



  1. great info thanks! keep up the good work ^^

  2. Thanks for reading, hope it is useful.

  3. Good analysis. I'm a bit disappointed at the T9 bonus. It seems a step back from T8 in terms of mobile DPS, unless they are intending to build in more mobile dps for us. Good comments on the glyph (lava) and maybe I'll dust out thunderfall totem (which is sitting in my bank) to give it a shot when I have 4 pc T9.

  4. The Thunderfall Totem is only going to be viable if we see some additional changes. Not wanting to delve into analyzing things that haven't been released yet, but the numbers on that t9-4 set will have to be even more than the 20% they have announced to make Thunderfall realistic.

    It looks like it is going to be a battle between Hex and Electrifying Winds to be honest with you.


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