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.
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.