State of PvE Enhancement - Eve of 4.3

100 Dwarf Shaman
14725
With Patch 4.3 less than a month away, there's a lot to consider for what's in store for Enhancement Shamans over the next few months.....particularly the changes we didn't want, and the changes we never saw. Wall of text INC!
Current patch notes - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/3608419#shaman

Wind Shear nerf - A change to counter its "potent" use by Resto in PvP, but what of the implications to Enhance? (and Ele to some degree) To attain in 4.3 what we have now in 4.2, we'll now have to reallocate 2 precious talent points. Illogical solution? Lack of oversight? Great discussion at this link: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3581198300

Improved Lava Lash change - Admittedly a nice quality-of-life change to help our AoE, long overdue and pretty straightforward.

Mental Quickness redesign - Seems that Blizz has finally put the nails in the coffin. No more spell power weapons for us, and it only took how many patches? Most agree that it just makes more sense, but we're now waving goodbye to a very unique niche that gave shamans a much-needed edge. Satisfied with this change? Or do you wish there was follow-up or compensation for the indirect nerf?

+10% to AP auras - A nice buff, and it's comforting to see GC recognize how most melee fall behind in current fights. Was this the "easy" way out for Blizz or should we avoid over-complicating our analysis?

Tier 13 - http://ptr.wowhead.com/itemset=1071
What do you think of the bonuses? While the damage gains are still being discussed and analyzed, there's also discussion surrounding the concepts. Do you think it's a good idea that both are centered around a proc? Is it really going to be fun having to keep up with MW x5 every couple seconds?


What I would have liked to see - Dudes, we're going to be playing 4.3 for a looong time, and it would have been nice to see changes like these:

Rotation Improvement - Ahh our current rotation aka priority system. Challenging? Deep? Overly complicated? This argument is nitpicking, but currently we add in filler spells in an attempt to maximize our damage, yet the payoff is barely there. When appropriate, a MW x 4 or even MW x 3 shows up on our priority list, yeah that's not quirky at all.

Ability Improvements - Many of our cooldowns, like Feral Spirit, need some love. Maybe the class has become too complicated over the years, and developers can't put the time in.

Stat Value buff - Haste and Crit should not be this terrible for us. Yes this has been addressed by Blizz, but we shouldn't have to wait for another expansion.

We'll address it in 5.0
Totems, health, elementals, stat values, the list goes on. It all needs attention, but not right now. No no, not even a little bit in 4.3, they don't want to overload us. Instead they are perfectly fine with problems persisting through an entire expansion. When did this become OK with anyone?

Conclusion
Overall I believe shamans are generally content with the 4.3 changes. But there's a bigger picture here: the notion that now, more then ever, many of our mechanics risk becoming outdated, clunky, or untouched. The solutions come at some point, but they seem to come more reluctantly and with varying reception. Is it becoming too difficult for Blizz to balance one shaman spec without negatively affecting the others? (notably PvE vs PvP) Does that speak to an even broader argument that this game is becoming so complex that "big" changes are needed more and more to address class/balance issues, and those changes be reserved for future expansions? Am I crazy to suggest that Blizzard's balance philosophy seems increasingly reactive instead of proactive?
Edited by Bromance on 11/15/2011 8:09 AM PST
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90 Pandaren Shaman
13005
Probably going to be the best patch for Enhancement this whole crappy expansion. PvE wise we're pretty solid. PvP wise - well what has been done right in PvP this expansion?
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90 Pandaren Shaman
13975
11/13/2011 09:37 PMPosted by Yaycookies
Probably going to be the best patch for Enhancement this whole crappy expansion. PvE wise we're pretty solid. PvP wise - well what has been done right in PvP this expansion?


Came in to post this, but let's go into detail anyway.

Improved Lava Lash change - Admittedly a nice quality-of-life change to help our AoE, long overdue and pretty straightforward.


Yep, good bandaid, probably the first good bandaid for AoE for shamans ever. As long as they remember to attach it to another ability in 5.0 it'll probably be perfect.

Mental Quickness redesign - Seems that Blizz has finally put the nails in the coffin. No more spell power weapons for us, and it only took how many patches? Most agree that it just makes more sense, but we're now waving goodbye to a very unique niche that gave shamans a much-needed edge. Satisfied with this change? Or do you wish there was follow-up or compensation for the indirect nerf?


IIRC there was another change that made up for it, so we'll be right on par with the caster enh setup, if/when rouncer posts in this topic he'll probably provide the math and logic for it.
It was only a 1k difference anyway.

Tier 13 - http://ptr.wowhead.com/itemset=1071
What do you think of the bonuses? While the damage gains are still being discussed and analyzed, there's also discussion surrounding the concepts. Do you think it's a good idea that both are centered around a proc? Is it really going to be fun having to keep up with MW x5 every couple seconds?


I like the idea, but I think the 4p is rather weak still because a lot of the procs will be munched. The 2p is cool though. I'm not sure if they made some under the hood adjustments to the 4p lately to help that issue though.


PVP wise, Im guessing they're testing the waters of MW buffing heals with the pve 2p to make sure it isnt too broken, validas used to suggest that one a ton and it would really help us out but they need to avoid the issue they had with ret paladins spamming WoG in pvp.

Totem health will probably get addressed once they're done with cata stuff, considering they will all be effect totems I can't seem them keeping 5 health. Hopefully they'll scale so we don't have to see "Totem health increased by 5k" every patch or something.

Stat weights, they can't really change because of how enh's max dps is balanced around so much passive haste and crit right now. In 5.0 they can shift things around and probably raise haste's value a bit (Along with making MW a resource mechanic)

Also still rejoicing for malestrom procs on absorbs!
Edited by Zerovii on 11/13/2011 10:03 PM PST
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100 Dwarf Shaman
14725
IIRC there was another change that made up for it, so we'll be right on par with the caster enh setup, if/when rouncer posts in this topic he'll probably provide the math and logic for it.
It was only a 1k difference anyway.


I'd be curious to see that, haven't heard anything
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100 Goblin Shaman
16495
IIRC there was another change that made up for it, so we'll be right on par with the caster enh setup, if/when rouncer posts in this topic he'll probably provide the math and logic for it.
It was only a 1k difference anyway.


I'd be curious to see that, haven't heard anything


PTR flametongue's 7% spell damage affects lava lash and flametongue damage while the 1k spellpower of the live flametongue buff does not.


edit - the only thing wrong with enhancement in 4.3 is that we have to sacrifice dps if we want to keep the ability to interrupt effectively. Speccing into reverberation will be a clear and significant dps loss. Leaving us to make a choice between taking the dps hit, running with two PvE specs, or accepting that we will no longer be able to interrupt effectively forcing the other melee (as well as any elemental shaman present) to make up for it.

Personally, I won't be speccing reverbation. It's too much dps. Hopefully I won't miss the utility too much, although that seems doubtful.
Edited by Rouncer on 11/14/2011 9:37 AM PST
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100 Draenei Shaman
4895
I don't realistically see PvE enhance shamans speccing into reverberation. Enhance will just have a 15s interrupt for 4.3, that's all. We're moving from having the best interrupts in the game to the worst. That's a bummer, but I don't believe any of the dragon soul encounters are interrupt fights, so I can deal. Obviously this will hurt enhance shamans in 5mans and PvP. This is not going to change before 4.3.

From what I've read, PvP resto shamans plan on getting reverberation anyway. Hopefully the devs will notice that the change isn't having their desired effect and take positive action in 4.3.1.
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85 Orc Shaman
10010
Nice to see someone making another Enhance post. Been a long time.

I have two points that come in my mind when I see your post.

1. Don't touch our rotation. I'll be honest with you all and say I'm a wrath baby. I wasn't there for the old days of BC totem swapping, or the Vanilla 2-handed Windfury. But I was there in Wrath, I was in ICC.

I remember our rotation was not only awful and terribly hard, but also not rewarding. Using 11-12 spells in a rotation for almost no DPS was just very bad. Our rotation right now is very close to perfect. I love to see how you can deal with it, manage 5-6 spells, and still be kinda good on the damage meters. (I'm talking about my 10-man.) Please, our rotation is fine. It needs some tuning, yes; it's hard, yes, but it's not "overly complicated".

2. Our cooldowns? Nothin against you really, but at the moment, it's a misnomer to call them cooldowns. Although I agree with you that our "cooldowns" need some love, right now, we need another cooldown more than tweaks to our unique one. Feral Spirit is our only Enhancement cooldown. You can get Blood Fury if you're an Orc and a tinker if you're eng, but besides that, all we have is Feral Spirit, plus the usual trinket and potions. 1 cooldown for a DPS spec is simply not enough. Hell, the DPS increase of it is so little that a single Lava Lash crit beats it. 10-sec ability better than a 2-min cooldown? There's a problem.

Finally, you made your post in a brilliant way when you ask for people opinion. Well, here's mine.

I think most of these little issues will be fixed in 5.0 TBH. I know many Enhancement shamans used to QQ A LOT about everything, and frankly, they were right, they had the reasons to do it. But these days are gone. Blizzard fixed our "overly complicated" rotation we had in Wrath, in Cata. Blizzard is working to change our AoE and make it better, one thing they never did before, now they just changed it 3 times in 3 patches, how is that not an improvement? Blizzard just fixed our dependence on Spellpower weapons. And they gave us Maelstrom procs on absorbs.

Really? How you can you not be happy with that? Well, because they are still some problems left.

As you said, we need Crit and Haste to be better. We need another cooldown. And we need our brainless stick to have a brain! This will all be fixed in 5.0.

To your "question" on why things persist for a whole expansion, here's my answer: Blizzard can't change mechanics mid-expansion. Honestly, have you ever seen Blizzard add a resource system mid-expansion? Add a cooldown to a class in a content patch? No. All they can do is change minor things that does change the way we play, yet it doesn't add another mechanic. They tweak numbers, they fix bugs, but big changes come in expansions. Our AoE might be an exception, but as you can see, it's like a minor change every patch. We're getting close to a viable one.

Lastly (and ironically) I have a problem saying "problems persisting an entire expansion". For me a problem = something that bugs you, something you need to fix ASAP, because it is a "problem." AoE is a problem, they're changing it right now, the rest aren't real problems. They're just small issues, I can live with them. :)

P.S.: I don't know why your post got reported.... really?
Edited by Stand on 11/14/2011 11:04 AM PST
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100 Dwarf Shaman
14725
Reported? O.o
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90 Draenei Shaman
11905
I'm personally ok with respecing for 1 interrupt fight a week as long as it's not too much more than that. Many classes respec for an individual fight, and that's ok during progression fights if you ask me.

If Blizz somehow managed to increase wolves' damage output and give us at least one other non-worthless secondary stat (either crit or haste) I would be a very happy camper. However, both are pretty unlikely at this stage.
Edited by Zheta on 11/14/2011 9:12 PM PST
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85 Worgen Druid
8735
why in blazes would anyone report this?
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90 Pandaren Shaman
13975
11/14/2011 10:57 AMPosted by Stand
I remember our rotation was not only awful and terribly hard, but also not rewarding. Using 11-12 spells in a rotation for almost no DPS was just very bad. Our rotation right now is very close to perfect. I love to see how you can deal with it, manage 5-6 spells, and still be kinda good on the damage meters. (I'm talking about my 10-man.) Please, our rotation is fine. It needs some tuning, yes; it's hard, yes, but it's not "overly complicated".


On one hand, I do agree that after using a SP weapon with lava burst, I wouldn't mind some sort of filler strike after everything is on CD, as rare as that might be sometimes. I just don't like lava burst with a cast time as it though because it feels like that could just be lightning bolt's job for enhancement.

But the current priority really isn't that hard, which isn't a bad thing because I like the idea that your dps is based more on how you adjust in a fight, not how many times you press your filler strike button. I'm still for rouncer's idea for an execute though (Shocks making lava burst insta cast at x% of enemy's health)

Also don't sticky requests pop up as "This thread has been reported" still?
Edited by Zerovii on 11/14/2011 9:56 PM PST
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85 Goblin Shaman
5365
I've played a lot of classes at max level for a time... and I finally settled upon shaman BECAUSE their rotation was so easy. SS>LL>MWX5>FS>UE>ES... something like that I think. Really simple! Wasn't the dot watching nightmare affliction or unholy was. But I've learned to macro and keybind better since the days of BC and Wrath so maybe that made up for it. Or maybe I just !@#$ing suck...

Yeah, it's going to suck losing such a great, quick interrupt (especially in PVP) but as an engineer I have a bolt gun to make up for it. In PVE... well let's just say if 9 or 24 other people fail to interrupt something, I wouldn't beat myself up too much over it. I'll miss being THAT GUY to handle everything though, even if I know the weight of the world doesn't rest on my shoulders alone. Plenty of other classes will still have far worse interrupts than us so if they're still getting by, I'll be fine. Plus I remember them saying they were re-thinking the nerf to WindShear... at least cutting the time in half for the CD... so we'll see what we get.

I'm glad that they removed the benifit to using a spellpower weapon. It really didn't seem that it should have been considered in the first place. I mean why were people using an INT weapon anyway? For LL crits right? To me that really shouldn't define a melee dpser... ONE SPELL. Besides, it was just too confusing.

I'm glad we have an AoE now I guess? That's cool. I wish they'd just remove magma totem and combine it with fire nova so it's like a pulsing big damage thing similar to hurricane or earthquake or DnD or what the old hunter Volley Used to be.

umm that's just my opinion, doesn't really matter
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85 Tauren Shaman
7345
Stand pretty much covered everything I was going to say, though I'll add to the CD discussion by saying FET and GET would be greatly benefited by being entirely redesigned, preferably as smaller DPS abilities with shorter cooldowns.

Crit and haste itemization is really awkward and bad, but I'm fine waiting on MOP for that, as enhancement needs some spec-defining changes to fix our stat problems. (Though, I do wish Blizzard itemized mastery on ever DS drop to compensate. :|)

On a side note-

11/13/2011 07:09 PMPosted by Bromance
Seems that Blizz has finally put the nails in the coffin. No more spell power weapons for us, and it only took how many patches?


is a quote that gets used too often, and is really a weak premise, since it can be uses on every patch change in the game. Fury 5% nerf? We've waited patches for that. Pyroblast buff? Waited patches for that. Looking for raid/transmogging/void storage?, why weren't those introduced in WoTLK? Etc. etc. Also, Blizzard's stated design philosophy has almost always been small changes per content patch, and the MQ change is actually a really big one.

On another note, and this isn't directed at the OP, since he wasn't the one who said it- Can we please, please, please, please, PLEASE, stop referring to every single buff in a patch as a "bandaid" fix? Just because it's not the change you wanted or perceived as needed does not mean it's a "bandaid fix." "Bandaid fix" as a term is like the word "hipster;" used as an insult by so many people and in so many ways that the phrase itself is diluted into impotency.
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85 Orc Shaman
3480
I'm with Zheta in that we need a real dps cooldown or two as well as perhaps an execute mechanic because let's face it, during burn phases as an enhancement shaman there's nothing we can really do that's vastly different from our standard rotation, wolves + fury might net 700-1k dps tops on a 2 minute cooldown....that's weak.

Also with such !@#$ty stat scaling from crit and haste, I wonder why would Blizz in their right minds have atleast 2 of the tier pieces for enhance itemized for a useless secondary as well as our viable 1H agi weapons..Gahhh..
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100 Goblin Shaman
16495
11/14/2011 11:55 PMPosted by Elamqt
Stand pretty much covered everything I was going to say, though I'll add to the CD discussion by saying FET and GET would be greatly benefited by being entirely redesigned, preferably as smaller DPS abilities with shorter cooldowns.


I'm still hopeful that Blizzard will use them to replace those awful previewed level 90 talents. Make them into a Pet Tier, along with Feral Spirits. Shouldn't be hard to make them attractive for shaman of all specs.

Think of them all as Guardian Pets with pet bars when summoned and the elementals untied from their totems. Give them all the same uptime percentage, reducing the cooldown of the elementals to 2 or 3 minutes tops. Standardize their single target dps and then differentiate them through their utility.

I was thinking that the Feral Spirits would keep their current abilities pretty much unchanged except that their heal from damage would apply to the lowest party/raid member within 20 yards instead of just to the shaman. Earth Elemental would gain an AE heal that would scale with the shaman's spellpower, a controllable "taunt" on a short cooldown, and a ranged stun. Fire Elemental would keep it's ability to AE as it's only utility.

Either that or they should just turn the Fire Elemental Totem into a guardian pet for elemental and the Earth Elemental Totem into a guardian pet for resto. Unattached from their totems, shorter cooldowns, and with pet bars to limit the derp.
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85 Orc Shaman
10010
On one hand, I do agree that after using a SP weapon with lava burst, I wouldn't mind some sort of filler strike after everything is on CD, as rare as that might be sometimes. I just don't like lava burst with a cast time as it though because it feels like that could just be lightning bolt's job for enhancement.

But the current priority really isn't that hard, which isn't a bad thing because I like the idea that your dps is based more on how you adjust in a fight, not how many times you press your filler strike button. I'm still for rouncer's idea for an execute though (Shocks making lava burst insta cast at x% of enemy's health)


Basically what I thought to be honest. Didn't want to "offend" Bromance by saying "Dude our rotation is easy, !@#$." So I just mitigated the situation. IMO, our rotation is mid-hard and fun. An execute would be awesome.



I was thinking that the Feral Spirits would keep their current abilities pretty much unchanged except that their heal from damage would apply to the lowest party/raid member within 20 yards instead of just to the shaman. Earth Elemental would gain an AE heal that would scale with the shaman's spellpower, a controllable "taunt" on a short cooldown, and a ranged stun. Fire Elemental would keep it's ability to AE as it's only utility.

Either that or they should just turn the Fire Elemental Totem into a guardian pet for elemental and the Earth Elemental Totem into a guardian pet for resto. Unattached from their totems, shorter cooldowns, and with pet bars to limit the derp.


Gotta love ya Rouncer for all good your ideas are! All 3 ideas are very nice. I think it'd be cool to see Wolves more as a situational cooldown. That's what Blizzard wants anyway: make us take choices. So Wolves would be a great emergency cooldown, would help our survivability in PvP.

Then maybe add a spec-specific cooldown for Enhance (not tied into the talents) so we can do something more when there's a burst phase! Really like the idea of a boosted Earth Elemental, because honestly, I haven't used that totem since Wrath!


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90 Orc Shaman
13750
Gimme a decent cooldown and I'd be happy.
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90 Draenei Shaman
6405
11/15/2011 08:40 AMPosted by Hyjinx
Gimme a decent cooldown and I'd be happy.
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
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90 Pandaren Shaman
13005
Personally, I won't be spec'ing Reverb, but I think Blizz should make it more attractive if/when we have interrupt fights. I think they should double the lock out time along wiht the reduction in cooldown - to make us the true best interrupters in game since now we have to sacrifice to become that.
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90 Draenei Shaman
8365
A Summoning/Cooldown Tier for the new talents would be interesting. Although I don't know which tier I would give up. Maybe the EM/NS/Echo's tier and give them all as spec abilities to Ele/Resto/Enh respectively.

I would propose something like this for that kind of tier:
Elemental Totem
Feral Spirits
Protect Spirit Totem

The Elemental Totem would summon an Elemental according to your spec. Fire for Elemental, Wind for Enhancement and Water for Restoration, with every elemental adding something to what your spec needs: Direct damage for Fire, Buff/Damage for Wind and raid healing for Water.

Wolves would be used for direct damage and healing the lowest health target, just like Rouncer suggested. I quite like that idea. Damage would be mostly magical for Ele, mostly physical for Enh and Resto wolves would heal for far more, all tied to the shaman spec.

The Protect Spirit Totem would be an Earth Elemental that would trigger a Cheat Death/Battle Rez effect, sacrificing itself. Which is great for all three specs, depending on role and raid composition.

But yeah, shamans as a whole are in a decent place right now. The Wind Shear nerf sucks, but that can be changed come next patch/expansion. They do want for Enh to have a short CD interrupt, if I remember correctly.

Secondary stats... well, at least we know what do we want. There are other specs - ferals and rets come to mind - that sometimes are not even sure what is better for them and they have to sim everything. "Maybe a bit more haste? Or crit? That mastery over there might be useful. Here, let me open a spreadsheet", which, as far as I remember, is something Blizzard is not that much OK with.

The rotation is great. Everything is on cooldown? You surely have at least MW2, so cast a LB. By the end of the cast, something is off CD and you restart without problem. I really really hope they don't mess with the rotation for Enh, as I believe it is one of the best in the game. Little to no RNG, hard-hitting, not reliant on CDs - which can be horrible; just look at Ret -, the order of things can be swapped around a little according to the fight without risking losing too much DPS - let an Energy spec try that - and pretty straight-forward and easy to figure out, something not all specs have - I'm looking at you, Ferals and Rets . It's also not overly complicated, nor is it dead simple. I bore myself to death with something like DKFrost or Mut, but Demo is a PITA that I wouldn't like to play consistently.

As a whole, I really like where Enh stands right now. There is certainly room for improvement, but as a whole I feel Enh is a quite polished utility melee and maybe the best at that role. Now, if there was a place for our utility in PvP... ;P
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