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.


  1. Good to see an elemental blog. Have you seen the crazy DPS trinkets in the new content?


  2. Many shamans feel the same way. I've posted quite a few entries in the Damage Dealing Forum, highlightning the elemental issues, namely the lacklustre of TOW, the poor mobile dps of ele, poor itemization, and lack of spellpower derivation from stat. All these add up to the end result of ele shamans having lower than normal DPS. Hopefully folks reading this will continue to bump threads on the DPS forum to highlight our plight.

  3. I believe Shaman could get some more surprise changes. Buffing ghost wolf the way they are and separating Wind Shear (shock) from the other shock cooldowns, along with the quicker totems is such a massive buff to PvP when it's really looked at. Also a plethora of new gear will be arriving. I think they don't want to over-buff the Elemental Shaman, make it a FOTM, just to nerf it and make more people upset and quit again. I am fairly satisfied with the moves so far, at least assuming that if there's still problems they'll be addressed :)

  4. I agree that not having spirit contributing to our dps in some way, shape, or form is unsettling that we get left in the dust. The itemization is also horrendous and i am sad that, even though i am able to, i am taking gear from clothies because its BiS for me. Tier is okay, but it was always nice looking forward to a drop from a boss if its specifically mail spell dps oriented. Oh well, i hope they make a mechanic that converts mp5 to hit for us so we can steal resto gear : )

  5. I like Tauren and I want to play a caster. I have a Feral Druid (L73) and an Elemental Shaman (L62). However, instead of playing the Elemental Shaman, I spent 1000g to dual spec the druid as Feral/Boomkin.

    As a Balance Druid at L73, I have wrath, starfire, moonfire, roots, swarm, hurricane, cyclone, starfall. I feel very in control of most situations and I like the casting variety.

    As an Elemental Shaman at L62, I have lightning bolt and flame shock. In PvE, dropping totems seems like a waste of mana. The damage of Searing Totem is pathetic and sometimes the fight is nearly over before it figures out there's a target. I've rarely had a fire nova totem survive to go off. Does Thunderstorm even work? So I do FS, LB, LB, LB, LB, (yawn). And I die a lot in Outland. I cannot handle multiple mobs. I have trouble finding gear.

    I'm not even sure what I have to look forward to...L66 Earth Elemental Totem, L68 Fire Elemental Totem...each lasts 2 minutes had have 20 minute (!) cool downs? The mage's Water Elemental lasts for 45 secs with a 3 minute cooldown. DKs have ghouls. Warlocks have demons. Lava Burst at L75?

    Blizzard has said that they intended elemental shamans to fight with 1H and shield but all the good +spell is on 2H staves.

    Can someone give me a pep talk? Tell me what I'm doing wrong? Is there hope for Elemental Shamans in casual PvE?

  6. I've just bumped the threads mentioned by Stormlocke. We all need to do what we can guys 3.2 will be hear before we know it, and we are going to get even further left behind if no other changes come in.


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