Caster MHs Return, Ehnc needs tweaking

85 Dwarf Shaman
AT
11605
Theorycrafting Enhancement Shaman are showing that in Cataclysm using a caster MH weapon may resurface as a DPS increase. Preliminary testing on Beta confirms this and even Shaman testing on live have shown using caster MHs to be a slight DPS increase. Note that current numbers are showing we'd continue to use WF on the MH but would want to use caster weapons. FT/FT doesn't seem to be on the table at this point.

In Cataclysm it is likely that it will be a DPS increase for Enhancement Shaman over using the traditional two melee 1Hers and WF/FT. The reason we're forecasting this is because our Mastery (increases all Elemental damage done) causes the spell damage side our of DPS to scale very well in comparison to our melee damage. We can stack a lot of Mastery giving us a large multiplier on our spell damage while using a caster MH to greatly increase our spell damage. That's the problem in a nut shell. We'll find using a caster MH to be a DPS increase because our spell damage has such a potent modifier.

As far as solutions go; some Shaman have suggested we change our Mastery to allow it to also boost melee damage done. I don't tend to agree with that for several reasons I won't get into unless it comes up in discussion. I don't see our Mastery as the core of the problem. It's doing its job just fine; allowing our spell damage to scale better.

The problem is that while our spell damage has a strong scaling stat in Mastery our melee damage is decidedly lacking in scaling. For melee classes this normally occurs through talents that give a flat boost to melee damage done or as a multiplier on a melee stat like Strength or Agility. Enhancement has neither of these and I believe that is the root of the problem. Our spell damage has good scaling thanks to Mastery while our melee damage has no scaling at all.

To stem the tide of caster MHs looming on the horizon I propose adding some sort of melee damage scaling to one of our talents, Focused Strikes would be a good candidate. Focused Strikes currently doesn't contribute much to Enhancement in terms of a DPS gain. I would suggest adding this to the current talent;

"... and also increases all melee damage done by 5/10/15%"

With an effect like that Enhancement's melee damage would scale better and even out the imbalance between our spell damage scaling (from Mastery) and our melee damage scaling (of which we have none). The exact numbers would likely need to be tweaked, 5/10/15% is just something I came up with off the top of my head. A higher number might be needed. I don't have the data to come up with an exact figure right now.

In summary, because our Mastery allows our spell damage to scale so well Enhancement Shaman using caster MHs is looking like it will be superior to using the traditional double melee 1Hers again. To fix this I believe Enhancement needs some manner of melee damage scaling in their talent tree, of which we currently have none, to even out the scaling of our spell and melee damage.

Edit: Changed some things slightly to reflect that we would want to use a caster mainhand with WF and wouldn't necessarily want to use double FT again. Of course the problem is still there if we want caster weapons though, even if we weren't using double FT along with it.
Edited by Brynmor on 11/9/2010 2:00 PM PST
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85 Dwarf Shaman
AT
11605
Because this is something the developers have had to put a stop to before and have stated they don't want happening again. I'm telling them it will if nothing goes changed. Go troll elsewhere.
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85 Draenei Shaman
6640
so what deal with it prot pally tanks need to use a spell power weapon again and u dont see me crying about it

In the dislike dropdown, you can actually pick "trolling".
I think I like these forums.

Also, tt seems like they are also discussing this in the Unleash Windfury thread.
Edited by Daedalos on 11/9/2010 11:56 AM PST
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85 Dwarf Shaman
5885

@Slyfer
First of all, capitalization, punctuation, spelling and grammar will help get your point across better. I had to read the "sentence" a couple of times to realize what you were even saying.

Second, it wasn't directed to you, it was directed to the developers. They stated they did not want enhancement shamans using dual flametongue and fighting for caster weapons back in the wrath beta. Brynmor is letting them know it is raising its ugly head again so they have time to fix it.
Edited by Majika on 11/9/2010 11:57 AM PST
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85 Dwarf Shaman
AT
11605
so what deal with it prot pally tanks need to use a spell power weapon again and u dont see me crying about it

In the dislike dropdown, you can actually pick "trolling".
I think I like these forums.

Also, tt seems like they are also discussing this in the Unleash Windfury thread.


It's being discussed a lot in various Enhancement threads, I didn't see any on these forums yet. In any case, it's a big enough of an issue to warrant getting its own thread.
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85 Draenei Shaman
6640

It's being discussed a lot in various Enhancement threads, I didn't see any on these forums yet. In any case, it's a big enough of an issue to warrant getting its own thread.


I agree, I was just pointing out that it is in there as well.
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100 Tauren Shaman
13435
I'm still kinda hooked on the idea of changing our Mastery, and thus allow our melee damage to scale with our gear as we get more mastery rating.

But I guess I can see what you mean, with making Mastery TOO good for us. It's already remarkably better than Crit and Haste, and Blizz seems to want three stats as close to equal as possible.

I suppose if they added the boost to either Focused Strikes or into Dual Wield Specialization, then it wouldn't be so bad.


Off-topic: They really need to change the 6% Hit from DWS to affect both melee and spell hit. :(
Edited by Matuk on 11/9/2010 12:25 PM PST
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100 Goblin Shaman
16265
Changing the mastery to melee and nature and making windfury weapon mainhand only is the easiest way to ensure that enhancement sticks to the mechanics that we are meant to follow as relayed to us by the developers. Back in Naxx we had a similar issue and we were told we were meant to run using slow melee weapons in both hands and enchanted with WF/FT.

With the current mastery that won't be the case for very long and we will end up with caster mainhands as our BiS and then at some point before the end of the expansion we will start running FT/FT because it will be more dps.

All I want is the basic assumptions for the spec to hold. Those being dual wielding, agility gear, melee weapons, WF/FT and that the weapons in both hands be as slow as possible. Right now we are unable to make those assumptions and that doesn't bode well for us as a spec and that's what I want fixed.
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85 Dwarf Shaman
AT
11605
Changing the mastery to melee and nature and making windfury weapon mainhand only is the easiest way to ensure that enhancement sticks to the mechanics that we are meant to follow as relayed to us by the developers. Back in Naxx we had a similar issue and we were told we were meant to run using slow melee weapons in both hands and enchanted with WF/FT.

With the current mastery that won't be the case for very long and we will end up with caster mainhands as our BiS and then at some point before the end of the expansion we will start running FT/FT because it will be more dps.

All I want is the basic assumptions for the spec to hold. Those being dual wielding, agility gear, melee weapons, WF/FT and that the weapons in both hands be as slow as possible. Right now we are unable to make those assumptions and that doesn't bode well for us as a spec and that's what I want fixed.


It would be much simpler to give us better melee damage scaling or even nerf the value of our current Mastery stat than to implement an entirely new Mastery benefit. There are balance and itemization issues to be considered with doing something as sweeping as changing our Mastery bonus that I honestly don't think the develops will consider at such a late stage of development. Changing the value of Mastery itself, or even buffing our melee half so it competes better with the spell half is a much easier fix with less ramifications.

To make sure this discussion stays in perspective; something needs to be done. If nothing changes we get into a situation that the developers have stated they don't want us in. We all agree on that. We can argue the merits of particular fixes until we're blue in the face but something needs to change and ultimately the developers will be the ones to decide how to change it. Primarily we just need to bring attention to the issue, offering solutions comes second (by a long shot) to that.
Edited by Brynmor on 11/9/2010 12:42 PM PST
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100 Goblin Shaman
16265
Pretty sure the fact that me and Hothgor were both able to get equivalent performance out of the caster mainhand using either FT/FT or WF/FT should make it pretty clear that there is definitely an issue that could use resolution.

I'm wondering how much better the caster mainhand would be if I had taken the time to reforge for more mastery and glyphed flametongue, stormstrike and lava lash instead of feral spirits, stormstrike and lava lash.
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100 Tauren Shaman
13435
I think even if we did get a percentage boost to our melee damage in either our passive or our Primal Strikes, our Mastery could eventually scale high enough that caster mainhands will be popular.

Yes, they could tweak back our Mastery, but I would see that as a band-aid fix. If the developers go with your suggestion Bryn, any time a new tier of raid content comes out, and the players are able to reach new highs of Mastery, they will have to scale back our Mastery, as players once again turn to the question of caster MHs and FT/FT.

If they change our Mastery to Melee and Nature, the issue will be dealt with ONCE AND FOR ALL, and even into future expansions. That's why I support that right now, as much as I would like to see our melee strikes boosted in our passive.

And if you're worried about the Mastery no longer affecting our only "real" source of AOE (or rather, one and not the other), that's exactly why I'm of the opinion that both Magma Totem and the Fire Nova spell need to simply be removed, and then replaced with Thunder Shock. Then change the talent to improve that spell, as Rouncer has suggested. Then all of our AOE damage is Nature, and we're no longer relying on immobile or passive AOE.

(Hell, even after such a change, a 25% boost to AP or Agility would still be quite welcome, just to keep the melee classes similar to each other insofar as basic design)
Edited by Matuk on 11/9/2010 1:35 PM PST
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100 Human Paladin
18040
so what deal with it prot pally tanks need to use a spell power weapon again and u dont see me crying about it


Apologies for responding to this post, but the information here is incorrect anyway - paladin tanks will be using 1H strength weapons to tank (much like we're using 1H DPS weapons - ideally - now).

As for the actual topic - a similar problem arose (ironically enough) for paladin tanks where Hammer of the Righteous was hitting for more than Crusader Strike single-target, which would actually have led to spellpower weapons being favored slightly, but it was remedied. The same should apply here.
Edited by Lesaberisa on 11/9/2010 1:42 PM PST
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85 Dwarf Shaman
AT
11605


...

Yes, they could tweak back our Mastery, but I would see that as a band-aid fix. If the developers go with your suggestion Bryn, any time a new tier of raid content comes out, and the players are able to reach new highs of Mastery, they will have to scale back our Mastery, as players once again turn to the question of caster MHs and FT/FT.

...



That's not really true. Sure you'll get more Mastery each tier but you also get access to other stats each tier, including Agility. You wouldn't gain Mastery and nothing else. It's a scaling issue. Like I said, if our melee damage scaled such that Agility was better than Mastery it wouldn't be problematic.
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100 Tauren Shaman
13435


...

Yes, they could tweak back our Mastery, but I would see that as a band-aid fix. If the developers go with your suggestion Bryn, any time a new tier of raid content comes out, and the players are able to reach new highs of Mastery, they will have to scale back our Mastery, as players once again turn to the question of caster MHs and FT/FT.

...



That's not really true. Sure you'll get more Mastery each tier but you also get access to other stats each tier, including Agility. You wouldn't gain Mastery and nothing else. It's a scaling issue. Like I said, if our melee damage scaled such that Agility was better than Mastery it wouldn't be problematic.

That is true, yes, but we will be reforging all we can into Mastery... and not every piece will have it, contrary to popular belief. (MMO-Champ has a pretty good list now, in fact).

As you say, it's a scaling issue. And Mastery will always scale too strongly as it is now.
It was discovered previously that Flametongue only partially benefited from Mastery, and then I think only recently changed to gain full benefit (not sure why).

Why do they need to spend so much time tweaking Flametongue Weapon, when they can just solve the problem at it's source, and keep Mastery from improving fire damage?

As it stands, it's because of that Mastery that Lava Lash hits so hard. I have no problem with Lava Lash actually being good, but the roots of our spec is Storm Strike and Shocks...and both are being heavily outshined by Lava Lash.
That's not a style I particularly enjoy.
Edited by Matuk on 11/9/2010 2:10 PM PST
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85 Dwarf Shaman
AT
11605

That is true, yes, but we will be reforging all we can into Mastery... and not every piece will have it, contrary to popular belief. (MMO-Champ has a pretty good list now, in fact).

As you say, it's a scaling issue. And Mastery will always scale too strongly as it is now.
It was discovered previously that Flametongue only partially benefited from Mastery, and then I think only recently changed to gain full benefit (not sure why).

Why do they need to spend so much time tweaking Flametongue Weapon, when they can just solve the problem at it's source, and keep Mastery from improving fire damage?

As it stands, it's because of that Mastery that Lava Lash hits so hard. I have no problem with Lava Lash actually being good, but the roots of our spec is Storm Strike and Shocks...and both are being heavily outshined by Lava Lash.
That's not a style I particularly enjoy.


It doesn't matter how good Mastery stays as long as our melee damage is allowed to scale better. That's all there is to it. Our spell damage scales with gear much better than our melee damage. Mastery is letting our spell damage scale very well. Add something in to make our melee damage scale just as well or better and we're fine to matter how many additional tiers they add.

Flat out changing Mastery would take a lot more additional adjustments than anything else. You'd have to tweak our gear, talents and spells afterward to balance out the number changes that would occur from that. It's far simpler and easier to put something in place so our melee damage scales better than our spell damage. The only change you'd have to make after that would be a damage nerf somewhere to make up for the DPS gain in the melee side of our DPS, and given where Enhancement is at on Beta DPS that might not even be necessary either depending on how large a buff our melee damage received.
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100 Goblin Shaman
16265
Why do they need to spend so much time tweaking Flametongue Weapon, when they can just solve the problem at it's source, and keep Mastery from improving fire damage?
As it stands, it's because of that Mastery that Lava Lash hits so hard. I have no problem with Lava Lash actually being good, but the roots of our spec is Storm Strike and Shocks...and both are being heavily outshined by Lava Lash.
That's not a style I particularly enjoy.

Matuk lately you
keep posting stuff that I like
very confusing

EDIT



It doesn't matter how good Mastery stays as long as our melee damage is allowed to scale better. That's all there is to it. Our spell damage scales with gear much better than our melee damage. Mastery is letting our spell damage scale very well. Add something in to make our melee damage scale just as well or better and we're fine to matter how many additional tiers they add.

Flat out changing Mastery would take a lot more additional adjustments than anything else. You'd have to tweak our gear, talents and spells afterward to balance out the number changes that would occur from that. It's far simpler and easier to put something in place so our melee damage scales better than our spell damage. The only change you'd have to make after that would be a damage nerf somewhere to make up for the DPS gain in the melee side of our DPS, and given where Enhancement is at on Beta DPS that might not even be necessary either depending on how large a buff our melee damage received.


Nope, run the numbers for yourself (and I really would love it if Blizzard would take a minute and do the same). Changing from current mastery to melee and nature is only a 2-3% dps increase at most and that could easily be left alone until final tuning since it wouldn't exactly have us topping meters even at level 85. Nothing else would have to change. Then if we actually ended up too high on the meters they could just do something like drop the base mastery from 20% to 18% and it would neutralize any dps gained from the change.

Great thing being if the mastery was nature and melee that they could do whatever they wanted with tuning that mastery either up or down and it wouldn't change the basic assumptions that we make about how to play the spec.

Lava Lash would still be a very hard hitting attack. Flame Shock would still be a dps boost over just sticking to Earth Shocks. Unleash Elements would still be a very high priority. Our AoE would still suck (please fix that too). We would still run WF/FT, especially if windfury was changed to mainhand only.

The great thing would be that we would always use slow melee weapons no matter how hard or in what direction they turned the tuning knob of mastery. Not sure how agility would compare to mastery but I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up with more value running melee and nature then it has with the current mastery.
Edited by Rouncer on 11/9/2010 2:53 PM PST
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85 Dwarf Shaman
7085
Subtract 6% Hit from DWS and add 10-15% weapon damage, IMO.
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100 Tauren Shaman
13435

Matuk lately you
keep posting stuff that I like
very confusing


I'm confused too, since when did people on these forums ever like anything I post? O.o
Lava Lash would still be a very hard hitting attack. Flame Shock would still be a dps boost over just sticking to Earth Shocks. Unleash Elements would still be a very high priority. Our AoE would still suck (please fix that too). We would still run WF/FT, especially if windfury was changed to mainhand only.

And even if we did reach a point where Flame Shock was slowly scooted out of our rotation, I'm still of the opinion that they could boost it the way they boost Earth Shock for Elemental. I've always seen Earth Shock as the Enhance Shock, and Flame Shock as the Ele Shock... sure, we use both, but that's because of how lovely that DoT damage is.

Then they added Fulmination. Now both specs use both. Nothing wrong with that, but, I'm wondering why we don't have any talents or synergy to specifically encourage it.
Searing Flames totally blind-sided me. I'd expected something of that kind from FS, but not ST. Not entirely unwanted, but I'm still wondering why they don't give us some interesting synergy for using both Shocks, rather than just "MOAR DAMAGE!"

It could be something as simple as adding (or better, changing, we have so many talents already) a talent so that Earth Shock will increase the damage of the next Flame or Frost Shock by 50%, stacking twice. (and look, PvP benefits!)

(Well, okay, we do have the Unleash Flame bonus... that much is true, but it still doesn't seem to be a strong encouragement, as only testing shows us that Unleash Flame does NOT boost Lava Lash, which is weird!)
Edited by Matuk on 11/9/2010 3:11 PM PST
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100 Goblin Shaman
16265
It should need some insanely high value of mastery for earth shock to outperform flame shock since it needed something like 80% when I was playing with it under the old mastery of just nature damage and I'm pretty sure that was before UE_F affected the DoT.
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