10 (Simple) Suggestions for Enhance Shaman

90 Tauren Shaman
12690
All they need to do is the following:
1. Change our Mastery to Fury of the Storm - it boosts Melee and Nature damage by the amount our current Mastery does.
2. Change Searing Flames so that it applies from Flametongue, but not as a DoT debuff on the target - but as a stacking buff, on the Shaman, to his next Lava Lash. MW Mark 2.
3. Remove Magma Totem. Trust me, you won't miss it.
4. Replace Fire Nova with Thunder Shock - a Nature damage spell that deals damage to all targets within 8 yards of our target. Tied to the Shock cooldown, standard Shock range.


Four easy changes as opposed to 10, and it doesn't buff our DPS by so much that they will have a hard time balancing us - If they need to buff or nerf us, they can always tweak our Mastery up or down, or even buff specific spell coefficients.


One and Four I like a lot (go figure) but not so thrilled about two or three.

Totems are meant to be a large part of the class and when they finally got one of them to a point where we care about it, your suggestion is pushing it back into obscurity. On top of that you are asking them to remove Magma totem, a totem I happen to really like.

Also what would searing flames be buffing if it was a stacking buff on the shaman? If it is buffing fire damage then there is always the concern that it could bring FT/FT back into the picture and we are already getting a buff to fire damage with UE_FT even if it is one that won't work with lava lash. I guess it could just be a buff directly to lava lash with a percentage chance to proc on every flametongue hit (33/66/100%) with Improved Lava Lash just being the 30% increased damage. That's not too bad.

Back to the totems. What if instead of removing magma totem they nerfed it and then made it even better in the enhancement tree. Not damage but in another way. What if they nerfed it to tick once every 3 seconds as trained but the same damage and coefficient per tick as current. That's a pretty heavy nerf so elemental could still use it but they would only want to if they were already in melee range since it wouldn't be worth the movement time. Then for enhancement, replace Imp Fire Nova with Imp Magma Totem reducing the time between ticks by 2 seconds for 2 points (so it would tick once per second). Effectively doubling it's current dps and making it a much more responsive totem. Napkin math has searing totem + searing flames + imp lava lash's boost beating out an improved magma totem on 2 targets but talented magma would beat out searing on 3 or more.

So then AoE shock replaces Fire Nova. Magma totem gets a general nerf along with talented options to give it a very nice buff just for enhancement and our mastery shifts to melee and nature. Killing off all our issues and giving us some interesting dynamics along the way.

Eh, I don't really care if they keep Magma Totem or not. It just seems to me that they've always had a problem with making absolutely sure we want to use Searing Totem on boss fights, Magma on AoE only, and they never have had a niche for Fire Elemental beyond "LOL BIG COOLDOWN!"
If they find a way to make sure all three totems have their use in raiding, (and especially, make sure that Fire Elemental actually provides a worthy DPS boost), then I don't really care. I was just going for the simplest fix of all.

The Searing Flames suggestion would, yes, be only about buffing our next Lava Lash. They could even buff how much it improves Lava Lash, if they *really* want to keep it hitting for 40k+ on crits, since our Mastery would no longer boost Fire.
Plenty of classes have procs that only effect one ability - Rend ticks making it so you can use Overpower comes to mind.
My problem with the current Searing Flames set-up is that it's tied not just to a totem, but also to a debuff. I still feel that the only reason they made SF come from our totem is because they were trying to FORCE us to use ST on bosses instead of MT. It looks like a band-aid fix to me.

If they buffed how hard ST itself actually hits, and then just made it so Magma was still worth using on AoE pulls (your suggestion is good, but they would need to heavily boost ST's numbers...maybe have it also reduce ST's cast-time?), then that would fix it just as well... so what would we do about SF? Put it onto FT imbue, and that makes sure that it's completely up to the Shaman whether or not we even get to use it - it's still passive, and we should be auto-attacking anyways, but at least it's the Shaman doing it.

Changing Searing Flames to come from Flametongue would be, for me, a big step in the right direction to making sure we CAN use any fire totem we want, without taking a big hit in our DPS. Imagine if we're in a 10-man, and we're the only class (somehow) that has the SP buff?
BOY WILL THAT SUCK!
Edited by Matuk on 11/17/2010 11:40 AM PST
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49 Human Warlock
700
My problem with the current Searing Flames set-up is that it's tied not just to a totem, but also to a debuff. I still feel that the only reason they made SF come from our totem is because they were trying to FORCE us to use ST on bosses instead of MT. It looks like a band-aid fix to me.


Yes, it definitely was. It was one of those "lets kill two birds with one stone" deals, where they gave us a reason to use Searing totem over magma, and removed FN from our single target rotation in favor of a stronger LL.

I like the idea of FT or Flame Shock applying the buff, or debuff instead.....the problem is always the transition from pve to pvp. We use frostbrand instead of flametongue, and frost shock instead of flame shock. The only thing that technically stays the same is our Searing totem....which is why I think they decided on that.

Searing totem and SF works fine in PVE, but it's just not very reliable/mobile/consistent enough for PVP. It's fine for melee but very tough to use on ranged/kiters and switching targets. We will still end up redropping it as much as we did magma before.

More AI improvements as well as a 30yd base range on the totem would help alot. Or perhaps just have it based off your offhand attacks similar to FT suggestion, but regardless of imbue.
Edited by Lunescar on 11/17/2010 11:41 AM PST
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90 Orc Shaman
17765
Just feels like too much floating around and I'm trying to lock it down to talents and tooltips and it's just not working well in my head.

I like searing flames and the interplay between the totem and lava lash. I like magma totem as our AoE totem. I just hate fire nova, caster mainhands as BiS and FT/FT threatening to come back into the picture. I also want Stormstrike to be higher on our priority list with direct damage that garners respect and not just as something we use for it's debuff.

EDIT - also I don't think they want us generating those huge lava lash hits/crits while AoEing. Even if we can survive a hit or two we are sure to piss off the tank when it keeps happening and 45k lava lashes are sure to make it happen.
Edited by Rouncer on 11/17/2010 11:47 AM PST
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90 Tauren Shaman
12690
Just feels like too much floating around and I'm trying to lock it down to talents and tooltips and it's just not working well in my head.

I like searing flames and the interplay between the totem and lava lash. I like magma totem as our AoE totem. I just hate fire nova, caster mainhands as BiS and FT/FT threatening to come back into the picture. I also want Stormstrike to be higher on our priority list with direct damage that garners respect and not just as something we use for it's debuff.

EDIT - also I don't think they want us generating those huge lava lash hits/crits while AoEing. Even if we can survive a hit or two we are sure to piss off the tank when it keeps happening and 45k lava lashes are sure to make it happen.

*shrug* the nerf to our Mastery should handle that. I personally would be perfectly happy if Lava Lash didn't hit for oodles of damage, so long as it still wasn't a wet noodle.

I personally hate how Lava Lash depends so heavily on Searing Totem. I don't like it in PvE because it doesn't promote target-swapping, even though they gave every other melee class easy methods of target-swapping for their ramp-up (hell, they gave Rogues the ability to transfer Combo Points!).

I don't like it in PvP because, sooner or later, people will catch on, and they will stomp our Searing Totem every time we drop it. You can't stomp Druid, Pally, Warrior, Rogue, or DK ramp-up in PvP. And they hit harder than we do. So why does ours get so easily stomped?

Of course, the problem of using Frostbrand in PvP is easily fixed - we just need a glyph or talent (Frozen Power) that makes it so Lava Lash can use Flametongue for it's 40% damage boost, as well as having FB stack up some Frost-themed form of Searing Flames. Perhaps even morph Lava Lash into some for of Frost attack so it all fits together nicely.
Even without Searing Flames coming from our imbue instead of our totem, I feel we need something like this for the sake of using FB as our PvP imbue.


Ret Pallies hate Seal of Truth for much the same reason I hate Searing Flames - using a DoT for your ramp-up isn't a good design.
Edited by Matuk on 11/17/2010 12:12 PM PST
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90 Orc Shaman
17765
Deal with damage shields killing our searing for free and then it becomes a fair exchange. They get to kill our totem by manually targeting it and using an ability or waiting on an auto attack and while they are doing that we aren't being hit by that ability or auto attack. Damage shields being the fly in that ointment and the thing that really needs fixing.

Kill off Totemic Reach and bring back Totemic Vigor.
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90 Tauren Shaman
12690
Deal with damage shields killing our searing for free and then it becomes a fair exchange. They get to kill our totem by manually targeting it and using an ability or waiting on an auto attack and while they are doing that we aren't being hit by that ability or auto attack. Damage shields being the fly in that ointment and the thing that really needs fixing.

Kill off Totemic Reach and bring back Totemic Vigor.

/cast [@mouseover] Pet Attack

Or however that's supposed to work. Your particular situation is really only good in the case of Warriors, Rogues, and Paladins!

And we still have to deal with the target-swapping problems in both PvE and PvP, regardless!
Edited by Matuk on 11/17/2010 12:37 PM PST
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85 Dwarf Shaman
5885
Deal with damage shields killing our searing for free and then it becomes a fair exchange. They get to kill our totem by manually targeting it and using an ability or waiting on an auto attack and while they are doing that we aren't being hit by that ability or auto attack. Damage shields being the fly in that ointment and the thing that really needs fixing.

Kill off Totemic Reach and bring back Totemic Vigor.


I'm not sure that damage shields like Lightning Shield kill the totem. Spell reflect-type effects absolutely do.
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85 Dwarf Shaman
5885
My problem with the current Searing Flames set-up is that it's tied not just to a totem, but also to a debuff. I still feel that the only reason they made SF come from our totem is because they were trying to FORCE us to use ST on bosses instead of MT. It looks like a band-aid fix to me.


Yes, it definitely was. It was one of those "lets kill two birds with one stone" deals, where they gave us a reason to use Searing totem over magma, and removed FN from our single target rotation in favor of a stronger LL.

I like the idea of FT or Flame Shock applying the buff, or debuff instead.....the problem is always the transition from pve to pvp. We use frostbrand instead of flametongue, and frost shock instead of flame shock. The only thing that technically stays the same is our Searing totem....which is why I think they decided on that.

Searing totem and SF works fine in PVE, but it's just not very reliable/mobile/consistent enough for PVP. It's fine for melee but very tough to use on ranged/kiters and switching targets. We will still end up redropping it as much as we did magma before.

More AI improvements as well as a 30yd base range on the totem would help alot. Or perhaps just have it based off your offhand attacks similar to FT suggestion, but regardless of imbue.


The range isn't really a huge problem for us. I'm also not sure it is as short as the tooltip says it is. It seemed to aquire and shoot at targets which were quite far away sometimes.

Honestly, one two simple things that would help us out:
1) Let stormstrike benefit from the searing flames debuff (think of it as melted armor);
2) Let searing flames stack on the shaman not on the target, that way the poor targeting is less painful - as long as it is hitting something you get the benefit.
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90 Orc Shaman
17765

Honestly, one two simple things that would help us out:
1) Let stormstrike benefit from the searing flames debuff (think of it as melted armor);
2) Let searing flames stack on the shaman not on the target, that way the poor targeting is less painful - as long as it is hitting something you get the benefit.


I'd rather they just nerf mastery and straight buff stormstrike instead of making that rely on a stacking mechanic too.
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85 Draenei Shaman
6640

Honestly, one two simple things that would help us out:
1) Let stormstrike benefit from the searing flames debuff (think of it as melted armor);
2) Let searing flames stack on the shaman not on the target, that way the poor targeting is less painful - as long as it is hitting something you get the benefit.


Please no more stacking debuffs in PVP. Its hard enough to stack SF currently. I'd much rather have SS just do better damage (200% SS, 60% strikes).
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85 Draenei Shaman
4450
I really have never liked the dot/debuff from Searing Flames, it seems that it is a bit silly to have a DOT from a DOT. I think it would be better for us to get a Lava Surge mechanic from it, where a % chance from damage of searing totem to reset our LL cooldown. Same idea with searing totem and LL damage connection but less bugged, it adds a bit more complexity back into the class since there is really no point of caring about the stacks as it makes no difference in the rotation.

For the AoE problem, I think they messed up on having the Elemental tree’s active ability being Thunder Storm. IMO it should have been Fire Elemental (makes since right? you going Elemental your get an Elemental) and Thunder Storm as a Shaman baseline ability. That way Fire Elementals can get a pet bar, Enhance gets a self cast AoE and Resto would have the mana cd. It would help in PvP and PvE for all the specs.

Just a couple of thoughts
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85 Draenei Shaman
6640
I really have never liked the dot/debuff from Searing Flames, it seems that it is a bit silly to have a DOT from a DOT. I think it would be better for us to get a Lava Surge mechanic from it, where a % chance from damage of searing totem to reset our LL cooldown. Same idea with searing totem and LL damage connection but less bugged, it adds a bit more complexity back into the class since there is really no point of caring about the stacks as it makes no difference in the rotation.


Agree. It doesn't seem to add any more complexity to the priority other than 'make sure searing totem is always down', since the cooldown on LL always lines up with 5 stacks. I'd much rather have some kind of buff stack on us, from some other type of mechanic, like flametongue damage from hits or something. Each flametongue hit could stack searing flames on us, that we could then unleash with lavalash@5 stacks, or something like that. Maybe there could be a similar mechanic for frostbrand for a pvp focus.

I'm sure some other class already has something like that anyway.
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85 Dwarf Shaman
5885
I really have never liked the dot/debuff from Searing Flames, it seems that it is a bit silly to have a DOT from a DOT. I think it would be better for us to get a Lava Surge mechanic from it, where a % chance from damage of searing totem to reset our LL cooldown. Same idea with searing totem and LL damage connection but less bugged, it adds a bit more complexity back into the class since there is really no point of caring about the stacks as it makes no difference in the rotation.


Now that you mention it, I thought that was what it was supposed to be way back.
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90 Tauren Shaman
12690
I really have never liked the dot/debuff from Searing Flames, it seems that it is a bit silly to have a DOT from a DOT. I think it would be better for us to get a Lava Surge mechanic from it, where a % chance from damage of searing totem to reset our LL cooldown. Same idea with searing totem and LL damage connection but less bugged, it adds a bit more complexity back into the class since there is really no point of caring about the stacks as it makes no difference in the rotation.

Precisely why I hate the SF mechanics.

As I've said and will continue to say, Searing Flames was a band-aid fix to stopping us from using Magma Totem in single-target rotations.

We don't even think about the DoT. We have no reason to, it automatically gets to 5 stacks about 2 GCDs before LL comes off cooldown.
I don't necessarily think that resetting the LL cooldown is the only way to go (it would be nice, but our rotation is already looking a bit... full, once we get UE), but I dislike having to rely on a DoT applying a DoT, preventing me from swapping targets halfway through my ramp-up. They didn't fully think through the addition of SF, imo. I'm pretty sure it came down to "How do we make sure they use Searing Totem?" and did not consider the consequences of the mechanics they put in.
Edited by Matuk on 11/17/2010 2:09 PM PST
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85 Tauren Shaman
7515
I haven't had that many problems from searing totem. It's not the smartest thing in the world but on live i find that it switches targets appropriately and seems pretty fast on the up take. During PP i managed to keep SF an FS on the boss during all the slime fighting phases without worrying about it switching off. I know it's not perfect but it's a lot better from where it was and it's not abysmal now....
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85 Draenei Shaman
6640


As I've said and will continue to say, Searing Flames was a band-aid fix to stopping us from using Magma Totem in single-target rotations.


That seems like a very poorly thought out solution for the devs. Why they wouldn't have just made searing totem do MORE damage than magma in single target situations is beyond me. That seems like it would have been a much simpler fix than this new mechanic.
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85 Dwarf Shaman
5885
@Bepo

That's a simple fight for its AI. It's basically a tank-and spank with a little bit of target-switching. Once you get the totem on Putricide it will stay on him, even during the stuns, as long as he doesn't outrange it. The adds aren't around long enough to confuse it.

It is completely unreliable in half of the Ulduar fights: Yogg, Freya, Thorim, Auraya, XT Razorscale for example. It's difficult in the LK fight because it doesn't necessarily attack the valks, nor does it necessarily attack the correct add in the add-burn phases. It also doesn't switch reliably during the Blood Princes fight. It is also dodgy in ToC on faction champs as it may or may not attack the current target.

Basically, any fight where you need to switch targets and there is more than one option available to the totem, it may not attack the correct target. Sometimes it will switch with you, sometimes it doesn't.
Edited by Majika on 11/17/2010 2:49 PM PST
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90 Tauren Shaman
12690
@Bepo

That's a simple fight for its AI. It's basically a tank-and spank with a little bit of target-switching. Once you get the totem on Putricide it will stay on him, even during the stuns, as long as he doesn't outrange it. The adds aren't around long enough to confuse it.

It is completely unreliable in half of the Ulduar fights: Yogg, Freya, Thorim, Auraya, XT Razorscale for example. It's difficult in the LK fight because it doesn't necessarily attack the valks, nor does it necessarily attack the correct add in the add-burn phases. It also doesn't switch reliably during the Blood Princes fight. It is also dodgy in ToC on faction champs as it may or may not attack the current target.

Basically, any fight where you need to switch targets and there is more than one option available to the totem, it may not attack the correct target. Sometimes it will switch with you, sometimes it doesn't.

Plus we have a situation where it won't attack the Ice Tombs on Sindy at all.

We don't necessarily need it to attack Ice Tombs, but how many more raid fights could this possibly cause problems on in Cata, hrm?
Instead of taking the time to play with a buggy totem AI, they should try to make sure we don't rely on it so heavily.
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85 Tauren Shaman
7515
@Bepo

That's a simple fight for its AI. It's basically a tank-and spank with a little bit of target-switching. Once you get the totem on Putricide it will stay on him, even during the stuns, as long as he doesn't outrange it. The adds aren't around long enough to confuse it.

It is completely unreliable in half of the Ulduar fights: Yogg, Freya, Thorim, Auraya, XT Razorscale for example. It's difficult in the LK fight because it doesn't necessarily attack the valks, nor does it necessarily attack the correct add in the add-burn phases. It also doesn't switch reliably during the Blood Princes fight. It is also dodgy in ToC on faction champs as it may or may not attack the current target.

Basically, any fight where you need to switch targets and there is more than one option available to the totem, it may not attack the correct target. Sometimes it will switch with you, sometimes it doesn't.


Yogg p1 and p3 i could see because there's a lot of add management involved.
Same for Phase p1 of Freya to an extent. Unreliable but not useless that's for sure.
Thorim i'm not getting unless your talking about the gauntlet which is basically trash.
Auraya has adds as well which could complicate things but no more than PP and his oozes
I expect to redrop it when we switch princes during Blood Princes and will the GCDs to spare that is not an issue, i was redropping magma totem a lot more before on that fight.
Faction Champs is a ton of guys so i can see complications.
LK Valkys i don't have a problem with, simply redrop the totem.

Really i only see a weakness in situations where you have a lot of adds that need on demand burst attention. Most of those problems you mentioned could easily be solved by redropping the totem which last a fairly long time compared to magma. When i was first getting used to the new playstyle i found myself refreshing it unnecessarily on every open GCD. I don't know if that is the developers intentions or how that will change when we have Unleashed Elements to throw into the mix but i do know that redropping the totem shouldn't be a big deal for any Enh Shaman who raided in WotLK and dealt with MT.

I think making the dot last longer would go a long way. That way we wouldn't feel penalized for moving the totem around to where ever it's necessary because we risk stacks falling off. Though Unleashed Elements could also be the answer for that on demand burst we need during add fights. I don't have a problem with leaving ST/SF on the boss while i'm away as long as i know it still have enough on demand DPS to burn down whatever is needed and i think at 85 we'll have that and i don't think it's a big deal right now.

Overall i recognize that Searing Totem isn't perfect but it seems to work. There are a lot of add fights in cata so far and the reports are that Enh DPS is in a good place from both the players and the developers. Obviously it has weakness in a multi-target situation but as long as we have other tools to make up for that weakness i don't see a problem with it.
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90 Tauren Shaman
12690
@Bepo

That's a simple fight for its AI. It's basically a tank-and spank with a little bit of target-switching. Once you get the totem on Putricide it will stay on him, even during the stuns, as long as he doesn't outrange it. The adds aren't around long enough to confuse it.

It is completely unreliable in half of the Ulduar fights: Yogg, Freya, Thorim, Auraya, XT Razorscale for example. It's difficult in the LK fight because it doesn't necessarily attack the valks, nor does it necessarily attack the correct add in the add-burn phases. It also doesn't switch reliably during the Blood Princes fight. It is also dodgy in ToC on faction champs as it may or may not attack the current target.

Basically, any fight where you need to switch targets and there is more than one option available to the totem, it may not attack the correct target. Sometimes it will switch with you, sometimes it doesn't.


Yogg p1 and p3 i could see because there's a lot of add management involved.
Same for Phase p1 of Freya to an extent. Unreliable but not useless that's for sure.
Thorim i'm not getting unless your talking about the gauntlet which is basically trash.
Auraya has adds as well which could complicate things but no more than PP and his oozes
I expect to redrop it when we switch princes during Blood Princes and will the GCDs to spare that is not an issue, i was redropping magma totem a lot more before on that fight.
Faction Champs is a ton of guys so i can see complications.
LK Valkys i don't have a problem with, simply redrop the totem.

Really i only see a weakness in situations where you have a lot of adds that need on demand burst attention. Most of those problems you mentioned could easily be solved by redropping the totem which last a fairly long time compared to magma. When i was first getting used to the new playstyle i found myself refreshing it unnecessarily on every open GCD. I don't know if that is the developers intentions or how that will change when we have Unleashed Elements to throw into the mix but i do know that redropping the totem shouldn't be a big deal for any Enh Shaman who raided in WotLK and dealt with MT.

I think making the dot last longer would go a long way. That way we wouldn't feel penalized for moving the totem around to where ever it's necessary because we risk stacks falling off. Though Unleashed Elements could also be the answer for that on demand burst we need during add fights. I don't have a problem with leaving ST/SF on the boss while i'm away as long as i know it still have enough on demand DPS to burn down whatever is needed and i think at 85 we'll have that and i don't think it's a big deal right now.

Overall i recognize that Searing Totem isn't perfect but it seems to work. There are a lot of add fights in cata so far and the reports are that Enh DPS is in a good place from both the players and the developers. Obviously it has weakness in a multi-target situation but as long as we have other tools to make up for that weakness i don't see a problem with it.

The weakness is not so much the targeting of the Searing Totem, but that the ramp-up is tied to a debuff. We have to restart our ramp-up on every new target. Many classes got improvements to their ramp-up to help promote more target-switching, while we were given a new mechanic that discourages us from switching to a new target.

Ret Pallies are upset over Seal of Truth for exactly the same reason.

I seriously don't think it would be game-breaking if they changed Searing Flames to at least, even if it still comes from the totem, to stack up as a buff on the Shaman, and thus it doesn't even matter what it's actually hitting.
Edited by Matuk on 11/17/2010 5:39 PM PST
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