10 (Simple) Suggestions for Enhance Shaman

85 Tauren Shaman
7515
I can think of DKs and diseases which are necessary for DPS and rogues and combo points which stack up much faster than searing flames and aren't a dot. I don't think ferals have anything to transfer bleeds not that they need it. Warlocks can't transfer DoTs which makes sense. Fire can't transfer dots but they don't need it. Warriors can't transfer bleeds.

I dunno the only classes that i see that have gotten upgrades that come close to what you're saying is DKs and Rogues. DKs need diseases to do DPS period so i don't think that's comparable. I know rogues depend on combo points much like searing flames but combo points are not a DoT so they're not moving around 5 stacks of damage where ever they want.

Personally I like the DoT/bolt combination though i haven't gotten as much time to test it out in as many situations as i would like to it seems to be working as intended. Restarting ramp-up on a new target is only a problem if without that big DPS hit we won't have the DPS to damage the target OR if everyone else is able to out DPS us on that target and doesn't suffer from ramp-up issues. From the sounds of things at 85 neither will be a problem.

I don't want you to feel like i'm hard head and against your changes i just feel like so many people are casting Searing Totem aside because it doesn't work the way they want it to but a lot of evidence points to that not impacting our DPS significantly so it just feels like it can't be that big of a problem.
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85 Dwarf Shaman
5885
@ Bepo
With all due respect, the totem DOESN'T work reliably. It only works as intended if its AI doesn't have to make a decision with regard to target selection. The more times it has to make that decision and the more targets available to choose from, the more our dps falls.

I am pretty well geared, but my guild does not do hardmodes. Even so, I can register hits with searing + LL without any raid buffs well over 20K. Without the searing debuff, my LL hits are like 2k. That's a good 18k damage I am losing each time it stacks a target that I am not attacking. That is not counting the damage of the totem itself, which actually hits relatively hard. In fights with burn phases or dps races, that is critical.

With the reduction in my dps post-patch I've been spending my time mount-farming BC heroic instances with this toon, and most of those have lots of adds. I've been doing this for weeks with a side goal of trying to predict what the totem will attack in multi-target scenarios. If there is some way to determine reliably what it will attack in any given circumstance, you can plan for it. The only thing I can say so far, is if there is more than one target present for the totem to choose from, it may or may not attack the target you selected and I still can't predict which one it WILL attack.

I know: It doesn't reliably attack the first thing you target; it doesn't reliably attack things with stormstrike or flame shock on them; it doesn't reliably attack the closest target; it doesn't reliably attack the furthest target; it sometimes doesn't attack at all. That is not an indicator of a mechanic that "works".

There is no simple indicator as to what it attacks any time there is more than one eligible target. Re-dropping the totem does not help with that. All it does is go through the faulty target selection process again and it still may not attack the correct target. You shouldn't have to re-drop a totem multiple times just to have good odds of it attacking the correct target.

If they can't fix the AI, I really wish they would just slave it to our current target or let us set a focus target for it. At least that way it would be predictable. Right now, in target-rich enviornments, it costs us a lot of dps with its unreliable targeting.
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85 Tauren Shaman
7515
I don't know if the hyperbole is intended but LL shouldn't be hitting for 2k without SF in raids. Mine hits for about 10-12K when my own buffs are going strong and i'm soloing content. That aside still think you're exaggerating. Again i haven't done as much testing as i would like to but I just ran Halls of Relefection and dropped searing totem during the last add phase when the LK was chasing you and it successfully switched targets as each mob i was on was killed without needing to redrop it. So it switch about 3-4 times no problem.

Is it perfect? No. Unreliable? Sometimes. But it's not nearly the big deal you and others are making it out to be. I understand the desire to have a 100% functioning mechanic like this but right now it seems ok on target switch for Enh (targets in melee range), it doesn't attack CC'd targets, it's pretty fast on the switch and to stack the dot. There's a certain point here where you're just doomsaying...
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100 Tauren Shaman
11935
I do believe Affliction Warlocks can also transfer their DoTs.

I would just like to completely avoid the problem of having to rely on debuffs to make our best hit actually be our best hit. It really does not feel natural to have a DoT apply a DoT that our instant strike depends on.

I would rather they just increased the Searing Totem damage by enough to make it so it's guaranteed to be better than Magma Totem on boss fights, and then had the Lava Lash increase be a buff on the Shaman so that if, say, on Putricide, we already have a 5-stack on him and the slimes spawn.... we can switch to the slime and still hit for a 40k LL crit, without forcing the ST to retarget.
It would be even better if this ramp-up didn't depend on the totem, but the part that's ruining it for me is that it's a debuff.
Edited by Matuk on 11/18/2010 12:06 PM PST
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100 Goblin Shaman
16845
@ Bepo
I am pretty well geared, but my guild does not do hardmodes. Even so, I can register hits with searing + LL without any raid buffs well over 20K. Without the searing debuff, my LL hits are like 2k. That's a good 18k damage I am losing each time it stacks a target that I am not attacking. That is not counting the damage of the totem itself, which actually hits relatively hard. In fights with burn phases or dps races, that is critical.


This is the formula for how Lava Lash works.

Damage = Base Damage * (200% + SF) * (Glyph + Talent) * (Flametongue) * (Mastery)

Notice that searing flames stacks are applied additively to the 200% portion, that means it adds about 50% additional damage so if your hits are 20k when eating a 5 stack then they are doing about 13k without any stacks.


Edit@Matuk
They don't want it easy to transfer those stacks and they don't want it to be easy to get the 5 stack in the first place. That's the whole idea behind using a stacking mechanic in the first place. They also want us to like our totems and to want to use them and searing was listed BY US as one of the totems that we actually liked so they are putting that feedback to work.

My only issue with searing flames is that I want the mechanic to apply from any fire totem so there is some overlap in function instead of it just being searing for single and magma for AoE with the fire elemental being a bizarre dps long cooldown that is only a dps upgrade in an incredibly narrow range of circumstances.

I'd much rather have the option to throw down a magma totem and sacrifice some single target damage to gain quicker target swaps when the circumstances would reward that behavior. Which was why my first suggestion for a change to searing flames and imp lava lash (after Ashunera stunned me with the suggestion of linking the cooldowns of fire nova and lava lash) was to have searing flames stack from damage from any totem and for both lava lash and fire nova be able to consume those stacks for a damage buff (with fire nova being a PBAoE as the cherry on that cake). I still like that concept the best out of anything that has been brought up since but I guess the developers don't. So I keep throwing out other suggestions in the hope that something will resonate since just about anything would be better then the %*@@ sandwich we have now.
Edited by Rouncer on 11/18/2010 3:05 PM PST
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100 Tauren Shaman
11935
Edit@Matuk
They don't want it easy to transfer those stacks and they don't want it to be easy to get the 5 stack in the first place. That's the whole idea behind using a stacking mechanic in the first place. They also want us to like our totems and to want to use them and searing was listed BY US as one of the totems that we actually liked so they are putting that feedback to work.

My only issue with searing flames is that I want the mechanic to apply from any fire totem so there is some overlap in function instead of it just being searing for single and magma for AoE with the fire elemental being a bizarre dps long cooldown that is only a dps upgrade in an incredibly narrow range of circumstances.

I'd much rather have the option to throw down a magma totem and sacrifice some single target damage to gain quicker target swaps when the circumstances would reward that behavior. Which was why my first suggestion for a change to searing flames and imp lava lash (after Ashunera stunned me with the suggestion of linking the cooldowns of fire nova and lava lash) was to have searing flames stack from damage from any totem and for both lava lash and fire nova be able to consume those stacks for a damage buff (with fire nova being a PBAoE as the cherry on that cake). I still like that concept the best out of anything that has been brought up since but I guess the developers don't. So I keep throwing out other suggestions in the hope that something will resonate since just about anything would be better then the %*@@ sandwich we have now.

But then Enhancement is still limited in the sense that we cannot drop Flametongue Totem, or else we will lose a great amount of DPS. Granted, we're not the only class/spec that brings it, but there can be raid comps where we ARE, and such a comp would hurt us greatly.

I would personally like to see Searing, Magma, and Fire Elemental changed to simply be caused from any fire totem...
Of course, in that situation, we only have one fire totem left, which is probably bad. :|
Edited by Matuk on 11/18/2010 4:10 PM PST
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100 Goblin Shaman
16845
But then Enhancement is still limited in the sense that we cannot drop Flametongue Totem, or else we will lose a great amount of DPS. Granted, we're not the only class/spec that brings it, but there can be raid comps where we ARE, and such a comp would hurt us greatly.

I would personally like to see Searing, Magma, and Fire Elemental changed to simply be caused from any fire totem...
Of course, in that situation, we only have one fire totem left, which is probably bad. :|


We are also melee so aren't really meant to be providing that buff anyway. Us providing that buff is like a mage providing the AP buff so it's utility we aren't meant to be able to provide. Which is why dropping flametongue instead of searing costs us close to 20% of our dps.

How many casters would you have to be buffing with 6% spellpower to make up that much dps? I'm thinking it would take at least 5 and more likely 6 of them. So basically there should never be a time where you dropping flametongue totem instead of one of your fire damage totems would end up being an overall increase in raid dps.
Edited by Rouncer on 11/18/2010 4:54 PM PST
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85 Draenei Shaman
9805
Enhancement's never going to drop Flametongue. Won't be worth it in a 10m and someone else will have it in a 25m. And yes, Enhancement dropping it is magnitudes worse than when Elemental had to drop ToW, but I guess it's ok because they know Enhancement wouldn't do it. Which leads you to question why GC listed it as a choice back in that epic 74 page thread, but whatever.

Basically, it's there to provide a Fire totem for Restoration to drop. That's pretty much it.
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49 Human Warlock
700
I like Searing Totem/Flames for PVE. It works well in most cases, and redropping it when switching targets is not too big a deal.

For PVP it's not reliable yet. The one benefit is that it still ticks while you are stunned or CC'd. But it's range is very poor, and you have to redrop when you switch new targets.

Out of all the possible sources for SF I'm not sure why they picked Searing Totem....considering it would be the most difficult to get to work reliably and effectively. I hope some of that AI is being put to Fire Elemental.

My big problem with it is how much it makes our other 2 active fire totems, magma and fire elemental, seem so weak. I feel like they could have made Searing Totem a stronger and more preferable choice without taking away some of the spark from Fire elemental and magma totem. Fire Elem is pretty useless now, you cannot even control where the aoe damage is going and it's inferior for single target dps. Magma only for 5+ targets, and has our clunky AOE tied to it making it more frustrating.....only benefit being it's controllable.
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100 Goblin Shaman
16845
Magma only for 5+ targets, and has our clunky AOE tied to it making it more frustrating.....only benefit being it's controllable.


Actually magma totem and fire nova beats searing totem at 3 or more targets*. Which is probably why they are keeping the two of them linked that way. It's why I suggested nerfing magma totem to pulsing every 3 seconds as trained and then changing the Imp Fire Nova talent to Imp Magma Totem and having it reduce the pulse rate by 1 second per talent point.

Magma pulsing every second would only make it a better option then searing totem at 3 targets freeing them to just get rid of fire nova completely or to replace it with something unlinked from our totems but linked to one of our single target abilities instead (an AoE shock perhaps).


*http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=27607455315&postId=276049628709&sid=1#31
Edited by Rouncer on 11/19/2010 8:24 AM PST
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85 Draenei Shaman
9805
I can think of DKs and diseases which are necessary for DPS and rogues and combo points which stack up much faster than searing flames and aren't a dot. I don't think ferals have anything to transfer bleeds not that they need it. Warlocks can't transfer DoTs which makes sense. Fire can't transfer dots but they don't need it. Warriors can't transfer bleeds.


Wrong on 2 counts - Warlocks can transfer their DoTs, though not to multiple targets. Fire can't "transfer" DoTs per se, but the new Impact mechanic spreads them around. Doesn't really matter for Fire though, because they don't depend on their DoTs to interact with any other abilities.

As for Death Knights, they actually control their diseases fully, and thank god they do because they'd be absolutely screwed if an AI did it for them.
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100 Tauren Shaman
11935
As for Death Knights, they actually control their diseases fully, and thank god they do because they'd be absolutely screwed if an AI did it for them.

You mean like us?
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85 Dwarf Shaman
5885
@ Bepo

I am starting to think that was a bad example I gave. I can't replicate the 2k LL hit. The lowest I get is 5.6k. The 2k might have had a resist of some sort.

With regard to the Searing Totem, here is what I observed soloing Heroic Magister's Terrace.
Pull 1 - (2 mobs) - Flameshock Pull - Totem attacks non-FS debuffed target. Mob attacks and destroys totem.
Pull 2 - (2 mobs) - FS pull, totem dropped after FS. Totem attacks non-FS target. Mob destroys totem.
Pull 3 - (5 mobs) - Chain Lightning pull mob on the right+ Flame shock mob on the right. Totem attacks unengaged mob on the left. Mob destroys totem.
Pull 4 - (6 mobs) - CL pull + FS. Totem attacks non CL, non FS mob. Totem lives (Yay!)
Pull 5 (2 mobs) - CL pull + FS. Totem attacks mob without FS.
Pull 6 (6 mobs) - CL pull +FS. Totem attacks mob without FS or CL. Mob destroys totem. Totem re-dropped. Totem acquires correct target.
Pull 7 (6 mobs) - CL pull + FS. Totem doesn't attack any mob. Once first mob is down, totem correctly retargets to the mob I am engaging.
Pull 8 (Priestess Dalrissa) - FS pull on warlock. Totem attacks different target (naga warrior), pulls aggro and mob destroys totem.

My run though Sethekk halls was much the same. The pulls were largely pairs. The totem attacked the correct mob more often although that could be due to smaller mob packs and thus greater odds of it randomly picking the correct target, I can't really be sure. I also noted one more instance where the totem didn't attack anything at all. I also tried one face pull and used stormstrike on a 2 mob pull, and the totem again attacked the incorrect target.

This has been typical of my experience with the searing totem in ICC as well.
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90 Pandaren Shaman
14370
EDIT - although to be honest I actually like the option raised in the other thread better then shifting our mastery to melee and nature since it doesn't increase our passive damage, in fact it actually gives us more active damage.

That suggestion was to nerf mastery to 2% per point and then increase stormstrike to 200% weapon damage and buff focused strikes to 60% for the 3 talent points. Overall dps changes would be neutral but it would completely kill off caster mainhands and that would remove FT/FT from consideration. I also really like the idea of a hard hitting Stormstrike doing around 10% of our direct damage and those buffs would get it there.

Of all the suggestions offered so far, this is probably the one I support the most, pretty much for all of the reasons you already stated.
Edited by Purge on 11/19/2010 6:14 PM PST
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49 Human Warlock
700


That suggestion was to nerf mastery to 2% per point and then increase stormstrike to 200% weapon damage and buff focused strikes to 60% for the 3 talent points.

Of all the suggestions offered so far, this is probably the one I support the most, pretty much for all of the reasons you already stated.


Yea, this would be the quickest and easiest way to go about it for now. It would be buffing SS, which is the only main source of Active damage that isn't scaling with Mastery. They will probably need to tone down scaling on FT too, so that WF >> FT now and at later gear levels.



This has been typical of my experience with the searing totem in ICC as well.


Yea, it's not quite reliable yet. They are going for some "hunter's mark" type thing to keep the totem fixated on your Flame Shock or Searing totem. The one good thing is it doesn't break CC or target random mobs. I'm not sure why they can't have some hidden "pet attack" button that gets macroed each time we use an ability to keep it constantly fixated on our target....or rather just stay on the same target until our target switches. I'm sure it's more complicated then that tho.
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49 Human Warlock
700
Bump.
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91 Tauren Shaman
10155
Although it is fun to play Developer, posting suggestions in the DD forums is not very useful for getting developers focused on what is ailing the class.

We would be better served talking about what doesn't feel right and leaving the the game design to the professionals.

Searing Totem AI is #1 on my list of problems with the class. It really only works in a predictable way on single target fights. On multi-mob pulls, what it attacks after the first mob seems totally random, and frequently it will attack nothing. ;(

Prior to the patch, the shorter the fight, the higher the DPS I could pump out. This was a side effect of being GCD locked. I always had something to unload.

After the patch, there are long stretches where I am waiting spell CDs with nothing to do. This is great when there are utility things to do, like Hex or Purge or restomp a totem. But for the most part it has husrt ability to deliver damage on demand. This is especially noticeable during target switches.

Maybe our Level 81 talent will be an adequate gap filler. But I can only go by what I can do now.

Mastery feeding excessively into spell damage is really threatening to fuel the return of perverse spell-focused builds, like Fire Knives or Fire Hammers, where players stock up on caster gear and weapons. Right now, I can pump out the equivalent DPS with FT/FT as with WF/FT with a slight reworking of my gear, talent glyphs and rotation. With access to raid-level gear and weapons, who knows what is possible. NOW is the time for the developers to look hard at this issue.
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85 Draenei Shaman
9805
Although it is fun to play Developer, posting suggestions in the DD forums is not very useful for getting developers focused on what is ailing the class.

We would be better served talking about what doesn't feel right and leaving the the game design to the professionals.

Searing Totem AI is #1 on my list of problems with the class. It really only works in a predictable way on single target fights. On multi-mob pulls, what it attacks after the first mob seems totally random, and frequently it will attack nothing. ;(

Prior to the patch, the shorter the fight, the higher the DPS I could pump out. This was a side effect of being GCD locked. I always had something to unload.

After the patch, there are long stretches where I am waiting spell CDs with nothing to do. This is great when there are utility things to do, like Hex or Purge or restomp a totem. But for the most part it has husrt ability to deliver damage on demand. This is especially noticeable during target switches.

Maybe our Level 81 talent will be an adequate gap filler. But I can only go by what I can do now.

Mastery feeding excessively into spell damage is really threatening to fuel the return of perverse spell-focused builds, like Fire Knives or Fire Hammers, where players stock up on caster gear and weapons. Right now, I can pump out the equivalent DPS with FT/FT as with WF/FT with a slight reworking of my gear, talent glyphs and rotation. With access to raid-level gear and weapons, who knows what is possible. NOW is the time for the developers to look hard at this issue.


Posting solutions is fine.

It's when people take themselves too seriously and post long, drawn out revamps that solutions become meaningless.

I tend to think the developers use potential solutions as a reverse engineering technique, and as a perspective technique. It may help them get a new angle on the issue, or it may open an avenue of investigation they haven't considered yet.

Besides, if you've been following along at all these past weeks, you know that "what doesn't feel right" has been hashed out a bazillion times.
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90 Pandaren Shaman
14370
I'd say a lack of AOE would be pretty high on my list. I've never had a problem controlling searing totem so I can't comment on that.
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85 Orc Shaman
5995
bump
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