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.



  1. Hi

    Remeber chain lighting is also beeing buffed. CL did not have any damage increase from shamanism like it is now. Now it will be buffed with 15% and LB is buffed with 5%

  2. Good point, I should probably have clarified that more. The 'Lightning Spells' was a little broad. I will make an edit later.



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