Shaman changes in Cataclysm

 

Sorry about the delay in posting, this is actually the 3rd time I am writing this post.  I ran into a few troubles along the way and it got deleted twice.  After the 2nd time I didn’t have the patience to sit through it all again.  I have finally got it written out without running into some kind of problem, so here you are:

The Shaman changes are up and let me tell you, they are amazing!  I will post them along with my comments:  

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we’ll be making lots of changes and additions to class talents and abilities across the board. In this preview, you’ll get an early look at some of the changes in store for the shaman class, including a rundown of some of the new spells, abilities, and talents, and an overview of how the new Mastery system will work with the different talent specs.New Shaman Spells  

Primal Strike (available at level 3): Primal Strike is a new weapon-based attack that every shaman will learn very early in the game. Our goal with this ability is to make leveling as Enhancement rather than as Elemental more viable, since many key Enhancement talents become available at fairly high levels. 

This is a great change to leveling up as an enhancement shaman.  I can officially say that come Cataclysm I will be rolling a horde enhancement shaman and this blog will then be able to be a shaman blog, not just an exclusive Elemental blog. 

Healing Wave (level 4): While the shaman already has an ability called Healing Wave, we’re adding another spell to the class’s direct-healing arsenal and giving it a familiar name. The current Healing Wave will be renamed Greater Healing Wave, and the intent is for the ‘new” Healing Wave to be the shaman’s go-to heal. Lesser Healing Wave and Greater Healing Wave will be used on a more situational basis.  

This should help out Resto’s a bit.  I know from personal experience that sometimes healing wave it’s too much but lesser isn’t enough.  As I re-read this bit I hope that the scale Healing wave aka Greater Healing wave so it heals more then it does now, if you look at the ratio between Prayer of healing and Greater Prayer of Healing, its pretty big.   

Unleash Weapon (level 81): Unleashes the power of your weapon enchants for additional effects (see below). A dual-wielding Enhancement shaman will activate the effects of both of their weapon enchants. Instant cast. 30-yard range. 15-second cooldown. Undispellable. 

Here are a few examples of effects we’re considering for this ability: 

  • Windfury Weapon – Hurls a spectral version of your weapon at a target, dealing 50% weapon damage and increasing the shaman’s Haste for the next five swings.
  • Flametongue Weapon – Deals instant Fire damage and buffs the shaman’s next Fire attack by 20%.
  • Earthliving Weapon – Heals the target slightly and buffs the shaman’s next healing spell by 20%.

I am excited for this, I can’t wait to see a spectral epic from ICC flying across my screen. 

Healing Rain (level 83): An area-effect heal-over-time (HoT) spell that calls down rain in a selected area, healing all players within it. There is no limit to the number of players who can potentially be affected; however, there are diminishing returns when healing a large number of targets, much like the diminishing returns associated with AoE damage spells. This should give Restoration shaman another healing tool that improves their group-healing and heal-over-time capabilities. 2-second cast time. 30-yard range. 10-second duration. 10-second cooldown.

 Finally we get this spell!  In the upper spire of ICC when the Val’kyr spawn our souls that we need to kill, mine always casts replenishing rain.  It’s about time we get a spell like this.

Spiritwalker’s Grace (level 85): When this self-targeted buff is active, your spells are no longer interrupted by movement and possibly even by your own attacks. This will give shaman of all three specs another way to heal or do damage when it’s necessary to move in both PvE and PvP. Instant cast. 10-second duration. 2-minute cooldown.  

My opinion on this spell?  Can I have it now!?!?!?  This would be perfect for dodging Malleable goo among other abilities.  I can already picture the PvE and PvP applications of this spell.

 Changes to Abilities and Mechanics  

In addition to adding new spells, we’re planning to make changes to some of the other abilities and mechanics you’re familiar with. This list and the summary of talent changes below it are by no means comprehensive, but they should give you a good sense of what we intend for each spec.  

  • Restoration shaman and other healing classes will need to pay attention to mana more than they’ve had to during Wrath of the Lich King. Spirit will be the Restoration shaman’s primary mana-regeneration stat.

 

No big surprise there.  Blizzard already stated that this was going to be coming into effect in Cataclysm.  

  • We’re making changes to which classes and specs are able to dispel magic, diseases, curses, and poison, largely for PvP purposes. Shaman will have Cleanse Spirit as a baseline ability, but it will only remove curses. Restoration shaman will have a talent that will improve Cleanse Spirit so that it also removes magic. Shaman will no longer be able to remove poison.

 

This ticked me off a little when I heard this.  Not just from a mechanic stand point but more over for a lore stand point.  Shamans are Medicine (Wo)Men, taking away cure poisons just doesn’t sit right with me. I guess I could let this side with all the other spells we’re receiving.

  • Cleansing Totem will be removed from the game, as we want dispels to be a decision for players, not something done mindlessly. To that end, all dispels will cost slightly more mana, and you will waste the spell if you cast it when there is nothing to remove. (Currently, the dispel is only cast when there is something to remove, which encourages spamming ‘just in case.”) We will balance PvE dispelling with this new model in mind.

 

I never really used Cleansing totem.  I also am guilty of spamming cleanse on some people. . . you know just to make sure it really is cleansed.Update
Just to clarify a few things:
  

  • Totem of Wrath now will replace Flametongue Totem for all shaman, and dropping this totem will buff the group’s spell power by 4%. Elemental shaman will have a talent that lets all Fire totems provide +10% spell power, allowing them to drop Searing, Magma, or Fire Elemental Totems without losing their spell-damage buff. The 4% and 10% buffs will be exclusive with each other and with the warlock’s Demonic Pact, so you can’t benefit from all of them at once. We’re also considering letting Elemental drop Searing Totem at range.

 

 I love this change!   The only thing I can suggest is that they change the totem from Searing to magma.  That way was can be an AoE machine.

  • We want to free up Enhancement global cooldowns to make the spec more dynamic to play. We’re considering, for example, increasing the cooldown of Lava Lash so shaman have time to work other interesting abilities into their rotation.

New Talents and Talent Changes

 

  • Elemental Reach will be simplified so shaman have a more consistent spell range.

 

 Glad that Blizzard has noticed this and put in a fix to it.

  • We plan to add Earthquake as a deep Elemental talent for targeted and persistent AoE.

 

. . . !  is all I can say.  If you guys are followers of the Cataclysm forum on Blizzards site you may have come across my post on Earthquake among other spells I would like to implement into the game for us shamans. 

 

  • Spirit Link will likely be worked back into deep Restoration in some form. The idea is that you will be able to link targets together so they share damage. When we had previously tried to implement Spirit Link, it was hard to balance and a little confusing. However, we really liked the concept — and so did players — so we are trying to bring it back.

I guess with all the blood linking done in ICC they found a way to make it fit into the game.

  • Elemental will have a deep talent that allows Spirit (which will appear on the gear they share with Restoration shaman) to boost their Hit rating.

I felt a little uneasy when I first heard about this.  This means we will be rolling against other class / spec’s for gear.  This maybe because I’m spoiled in my raid group, being the only shaman means I get all the caster mail gear.  Our hunter doesn’t want to roll on spirit / spell power gear and our paladins stick to plate gear.  Even when agility and stamina mail drops and Kestrel (our hunter) doesn’t want it I get to use it for my 3rd spec. Yeah I know I get it easy.

  • Ancestral Knowledge will boost mana pool size, not Intellect.

Making things simpler, I approve.

  • Enhancing Totems will be replaced with Focused Strikes, which will improve the damage of the new spell Primal Strike and Stormstrike.

Good buff to enhancement shamans.  Hope they enjoy it.

  • With the Mastery system, we’re also considering removing a number of talents that grant passive bonuses, such as Mental Quickness, Improved Windfury Totem, Mental Dexterity, Call of Thunder, Tidal Mastery, Purification, Nature’s Blessing, and others, to allow players more freedom to choose more interesting talents.

This is FANTASIC! I can’t wait to free up some talent points so I can spec into some survivability talents.  That is actually on my to-do list for Cataclysm.  While leveling up I don’t think the horde are going to just stand by and let me take their mobs.

 

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses 

   Elemental

  • Spell damage
  • Spell Crit
  • Elemental Overload

Making our critical strikes come more often and hit harder.  I like it!

 

Elemental Overload: Your direct-damage spells have a chance to proc a less powerful ‘bonus” version of the spell. This will work much like the current Lightning Overload talent, but would also apply to Lava Burst.

 A 2nd Lava Burst. I can’t even find the proper words to explain what I’m feeling right now.

 Enhancement

  • Melee damage
  • Melee Haste
  • Nature Damage

Hit harder and faster, looks nice.

  Nature Damage: This will provide a passive bonus to the Nature damage dealt by the Enhancement shaman.

  Restoration

  • Healing
  • Meditation
  • Deep Healing

Deep Healing: Your direct heals will do more healing when the target’s health is lower. This will scale to damage (e.g. someone at 29% health would receive more healing than someone at 30%) rather than have arbitrary break points.

I like the change they did to healing.  This makes me actually want to grab some healing gear for Cataclysm.  Don’t let my guild know, they might make me heal in our raids.

We hope you enjoyed this preview, and we’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on these additions and changes. Please keep in mind that this information represents a work in progress and is subject to change as development on Cataclysm continues.  

    I know I did and I hope they don’t change too much.

Update
Just to clarify a few things:  

Meditation – the amount of mana you regenerate in combat as a function of your Spirit.  

Also of note, you only get one set of passive talent tree bonuses: the tree in which you’ve spent the most points. Sub-speccing in another tree will not net you those bonuses in addition.  

Last but not least, it’s the intention of Primal Strike to let shaman play as an Enhancement at low levels. Currently when leveling in this spec, you end up just using Lightning Bolt a lot so you feel like an Elemental shaman instead. At a higher level, Primal Strike gets replaced by Storm Strike. They share a cooldown so Enhancement just won’t ever use Primal Strike after that, in the same way that Prot warriors don’t use Sunder Armor once they have Devastate or Feral druids don’t use Claw once they get Mangle.  

 I like how they bridged together low level Enhancement with its high level counterpart.  It was really hard to level up knowing that your only actual enhancement move comes at level 40.  As I stated before come Cataclysm I will be rolling a Horde shaman (Tauren vs Goblin).

Thanks for being patient with me and thanks for reading.  I’ll have the Q&A up a little bit later.

-Anslym

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~ by Anslym on April 8, 2010.

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