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.



  1. one comment I would like to make is something I have noticed and it depends on if there are other shaman as well in the group. When I am resto I like to have the healing totem because as the resto shaman I get a boost to healing totem. So if you and the other shaman are in range of each other in placement I would have resto drop healing and I would drop mana or cleansing. whichever is needed since healing totem is a small amount over time The extra you get from resto would be good. as for that I am always having trouble deciding what totems to drop especially when there are other shaman in the group.

  2. Alex, if it's a heroic a resto shaman will want to put down mana totem to get more mana back, besides that healing totem for the most part won't be reaching the tank, so let the enhancement or elemental shaman who will be closer drop the healing stream.

    As for why the elemental shaman would be closer to a fight then the resto shaman, most aoe battles the elemental shaman should be putting down magma totem.

    For pvp, if you're not doing a pvp spec, then earthbind, cleansing, fire nova, and grounding totem would be best (grounding incase they have a caster with them). Alternatively, you could have healing stream instead of cleansing, and have the one setup to also deal with ret pallies and cat druids.

    If you are going to do a pvp spec, Stoneclaw Totem glyph, would make you use stoneclaw totem instead of earthbind, and just drop earthbind after you get out of stun.

  3. Alex, healing streams will stack in party, and as long as you have more than 1 pally in the group, you will probably not need to worry about mana spring.

    Puut, that might be a good call on the disease cleansing totem. I have been keeping it out and just doing earth bind and fire nova, but I normally have to keep an eye on my range from my original disease cleansing totem, which you can out distance without trying normally.

    I'm sure I've only seen the information that you have from the ptr's: no internal cd, almost 100% uptime, etc... if this remains true, this is going to be an awesome totem. I almost have enough emblems to go for it, but until I hear word from someone else that it's unchanged from the ptr I'm just gonna save em for T9.

  4. "and no earth totem" You really should be putting a Stoneskin or SoE depending if you have a pally or a DK providing those buffs already.

    As for the new boss in ToC 10 man, its a joke. The instance looks plain and simple, something that took few hours to put together. I only hope the last boss is epic enough to make it worthwhile.
    As for ele shammans I am really dissapointed to see no changes made for us in 3.2. Atleast allow us to use magma/searing totem instead of being on ToW. Like what are the odds of having a demo lock in the raid to spare the effort of placing the totem instead of something that could improve our dps. And yes I know ToW provides more raid dps which is greater than a personal dps gain. Still I wanted to see some changes.

    As for missing out on the patch. Go do the dailies its the best way to get the new gear

  5. As a general rule I let the resto shaman take care of mana totems as they provide a more powerful one than mine. If I am in a 5 man I am a little more flexible and put whatever I believe would benefit the party more.

    Thanks for the glyph suggestion pangoria, I appreciate it. I don't PvP much but I do go through phases when I find a good arena team.

    B-Rab, I have been keeping an eye out on EJ and other similar sources but am yet to see anyone confirm the totem. When I do I will let you know.

    Juicy, I usually raid with an enhancement and 2 Restos in my 25 man so that is why I generally don't have an earth totem in my standard arrangement. And the ToC 25 man is pretty simple, I did the 25 man last night and 2-shotted the first boss, 3-shotted the second (new) boss. Hopefully it will scale up. Plus, there is still the hardmode versions. I guess we will see.

  6. So far there is only 1 test rabbit that I have seen word from on the new totem, but it was a short test comprised of only lightning bolt(I think it was 128sec, can't check at work). The one consolation to this was that the person said it only dropped off for 2 seconds during the test.

    He also mentioned that there might be a slight cooldown since he never had procs within approx 6sec of each other, but I think I'll be taking most of this with a grain of salt until someone steps up, purchases this totem, and does some real lengthy tests.



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