Re-build the Shaman Class from the Ground Up

90 Troll Shaman
11395
---This post is in another thread, however, it was suggested to me by a few others that I make my own thread based around this idea---

Shaman need to be rebuilt as a class.

Restoration has proven to be too powerful time and time again due to mastery, totem cooldown alignment, and having access to purge, windshear, and a cleansing mechanic. Its mastery allows a restoration shaman to be able to bring someone sitting at 10% health to 90% health in a single cast.

Elemental has proven time and time again to be quite possibly the worst pvp spec out of any dps spec in the game. It is limited by a HARD CASTING toolkit, and has horrible mobility. It has only ever received bandage fixes (unleashed lightning, lolquake, spiritwalker's grace), or fixes that apply to moves that are not shared with enhancement as those moves would then tip Enhancement's balance out of line (Remember the days of only buffing shamanism or Lava Flows?). This is also an issue in pve as well since both Elemental and Enhancement share Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Earth Shock, and Flame Shock for their dps. Therefore, we've very rarely seen any changes of fixes to Elemental shaman dps coming to anything other than Lava Burst. Furthermore, in regards to PvP, Elemental is the only caster spec that has no baseline defensive cooldown that is unique to the spec.

Enhancement has proven time and time again to be one of the worst melee pvp specs, relying on gimmick specs like beastcleave with heroism to be carried to the top ratings. Its dps is tied to a 5 hp totem, and is built on sustained dmg that requires you to cast lightning bolt on MWx5, yet you absolutely must be using those to heal if you want to stay alive. And much like Elemental, the damage issue cannot be fixed through shared abilites with Elemental, because that upsets Elemental's balance. This is also the case in PvE due to the shared skillset. Furthermore, Enhance is one of the few melee who's most powerful asset is simply uptime. Yes, that's correct. Ask any enhancement shaman to post their recount, and up in the number 1 slot for dmg done is MELEE WHITE SWINGS. This is an issue, as the most dmg from the spec is coming from a passive source (auto-attack).

Shaman need to be reworked. Our totem mechanic is no longer our defining class mechanic, as we give the buffs by ourselves now. Totems, despite "being more meaningful" are actually super lackluster unless you are in Restoration for lolwut no one dies spirit link totem/healing tide totem syncing. Especially in pvp, Enhancement shaman use one totem, and its super boring set and forget, not meaningful at all.

Enhancement is the only melee spec with no secondary resource to watch, as well as having the clunkiest AoE (all melee have a 1 button spam, Enhancement must do up to 6 moves in order to just START aoe dpsing effectively (( flame shock, lava lash the target, place down magma totem, unleash elements, fire nova, chain lightning --- as compared to cleave, whirlwind, FoK, etc. )). Furthermore, Enhancement is the only melee class that can't go toe to toe with other melee. We take too much dmg, and must play more like our caster specs relying on a cooldown that essentially turns us into a caster to deal damage while kiting.

We are still the only class in the game with an unreliable stun, which most recently having already been subject to 5 hp AND a 5 second timer(3 sec if we decide to waste a glyph spot that is needed on other spells) before going off, can now be prevented by silencing us.

The fact of the matter is, Shaman have no design intent anymore, and have become a hodgepodge of band-aid fixes and knee-jerk reactions to deeply rooted issues that would have been addressed had Blizzard simply taken the time to do, like they have so many other classes.

TL:DR

Stop giving knee-jerk reaction fixes and band-aid fixes to the Shaman class, and give us the overhaul that we have needed for years.
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90 Orc Shaman
11440
From a PvP perspective, I agree.

This class is a blast to play right up until people realize you exist, and then it is CC-nuke city. We are far too vulnerable in so many ways. Our biggest strength (having ranged attacks as melee) is shared by other classes to some degree, and they have viable defenses (ret pallies, DKs) and better mobility. Well, pallies do at least. Not sure about DKs.
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90 Tauren Shaman
0
Agree with everything.

At a minimum, they could afford us the courtesy of telling us we will never be supported as DPS in PvP so we can stop wasting our time on Elemental and Enhancement gear and I'm not trying to be cynical, I just want to know, so I can pick one of my other alts to play. Is that really too much to ask?
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1 Draenei Hunter
0
Patch 6.0 will fix it.

We need to be fighting for small fixes. Unlinked Shocks for Elemental is always mentioned, and a defensive mechanic to Lightning Shield would help the dps specs without buffing Resto.
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1 Blood Elf Rogue
0
Rebuilt from the ground up? They'll never do that.. and there's really no need to either (nevermind that all of your complaints are small scale, not fundamental).

Honestly if you're so displeased with your shaman that you want them to fundamentally redesign the class... you probably shouldn't be playing Shaman in the first place.
Edited by Aureus on 12/6/2012 10:06 PM PST
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90 Undead Priest
0
I agree. Maybe not from the ground up, but our original play style has been lost in the expansions and we should go back to, and focus on, the things that made us once a reliable class.

We used to be very anti CC with awesome kite skills in pvp.

Sadly, cc in this game has greatly increase and we received no more anti-CC since vanilla (except for making totems usable while silenced which they just removed…). Instead, we got a horrible CC, hex, to compensate I guess. To me, giving us a CC was a horrible decision on the Devs part since anti-CC spells (like tremor totem, earthshock/windsear, and grounding totem) is what made dps shamans a challenge against casters. Basically, as casters chain cast their "cheap spells," we could counter it, forcing them to play an honest game. That was (and should still be) our play style but it has been lost and we have never been as good since.

Same deal goes for the kiting. Melee has received numerous ways to remove roots and snares and not much has been added on our end. Also, most melee has big heals which means searing totem and frost shock kiting in between storm strikes/ lightning bolts/ lesser healing wave will never kill a player like it use to.

The two things, in my mind, that made us very viable in pvp have been lost. I say remove hex and gives us more anti-cc… it should be really REALLY hard to cc a dps shaman and not extremely easy like it is now. And gives us a way to kite (at least enough time to get off a guaranteed hard cast) while doing enough damage so that a dps can't out heal it.

Maybe I am too old school, but that's my 2 cents
Edited by Voodookie on 12/6/2012 11:29 PM PST
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90 Pandaren Monk
18100
From a PvP perspective, I agree.

This class is a blast to play right up until people realize you exist, and then it is CC-nuke city. We are far too vulnerable in so many ways. Our biggest strength (having ranged attacks as melee) is shared by other classes to some degree, and they have viable defenses (ret pallies, DKs) and better mobility. Well, pallies do at least. Not sure about DKs.


Pretty much described monks as well only without grounding totem or a ranged interrupt. All but one of our defensive CD's are shut out by a silence and that just leaves Fort Brew.
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90 Orc Shaman
9400
I dont like the pandaria style of totems being CDs
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90 Pandaren Shaman
13975
12/06/2012 11:31 PMPosted by Okris
I dont like the pandaria style of totems being CDs


I prefer it to buff totems, and I honestly like it. Outside of a lot of leftovers, they certainly do feel more powerful and less fire-and-forget.
Edited by Zerovii on 12/6/2012 11:42 PM PST
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90 Troll Shaman
11395


I prefer it to buff totems, and I honestly like it. Outside of a lot of leftovers, they certainly do feel more powerful and less fire-and-forget.


Please elaborate on how they feel more powerful and less fire-and-forget. There are literally 2 new totems. Stormlash, which is a dps cooldown and Healing Tide Totem.

Windwall Totem is Earthen Power, except in a form that works.

Capacitor Totem is old talented Fire Nova, except now it doesn't do any damage.

Earthgrab Totem is old, just before it was only available to Elemental.

Stone bulwark totem is just Stoneclaw totem, except now its on a 1 minute cooldown as opposed to 15 seconds, and costs a talent slot instead of being a glyph.

Healing Stream totem is the only totem that was changed in how it worked, and now, instead of doing a small steady heal, its just a short burst. And furthermore, if you need it to make a difference, you're most likely spec'd into Healing Tide Totem anyway.

All other totems work exactly the same as before:

Searing totem
Magma Totem
Tremor Totem
Earthbind Totem
Grounding Totem
Earth Elemental Totem
Fire Elemental Totem
Spirit Link Totem
Mana Tide Totem

I'm not sure if I'm missing any, but seriously, the new totem system isn't new at all. All they did was make our buffs passive from ourselves instead of sticks in the ground.
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90 Troll Shaman
11395
From a PvP perspective, I agree.

This class is a blast to play right up until people realize you exist, and then it is CC-nuke city. We are far too vulnerable in so many ways. Our biggest strength (having ranged attacks as melee) is shared by other classes to some degree, and they have viable defenses (ret pallies, DKs) and better mobility. Well, pallies do at least. Not sure about DKs.


Pretty much described monks as well only without grounding totem or a ranged interrupt. All but one of our defensive CD's are shut out by a silence and that just leaves Fort Brew.


Chi Torpedo says hello in a big way.

Although thats not to disregard the fact that monks are in a bad way for pvp also. Just point of this thread is shaman discussion.
Edited by Ursinine on 12/7/2012 12:33 AM PST
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90 Pandaren Monk
18100
My point is more so that its not one class, its not two, most classes look like trash right now due to imbalances. Also Chi Torpedo costs us our major CD. That's like saying you can drop a Healing Stream totem while silenced if you give up ascendance.
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90 Troll Shaman
11395
12/07/2012 12:41 AMPosted by Kallìk
My point is more so that its not one class, its not two, most classes look like trash right now due to imbalances. Also Chi Torpedo costs us our major CD. That's like saying you can drop a Healing Stream totem while silenced if you give up ascendance.


Im not following. Are you saying Roll is your major cooldown? Please explain more about Chi Torpedo, because I am was under the impression that this replaced roll.

I am not talking about Chi Wave, here.
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90 Pandaren Monk
18100
I understand what you're saying, but to talent into Chi Torpedo, it removes our only CD, Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger. Other than that, we have no offensive CD's.

OT though, I think ret / enh / ww will be decent once warriors and mages are finally toned back a bit. If they won't nerf them, then we really don't have a hope for being buffed.
Edited by Kallìk on 12/7/2012 12:55 AM PST
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90 Undead Priest
8795
Easy fixes could do a lot:

Elemental - have the spec lower the cast time of lighting bolt while "moving" to 1 second.

Create a "lightening focus" talent - your flame shock ticks have a xx% chance to process a free lightening bolt. This is increased by 50% while moving.

Remove totems as spells.
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90 Draenei Shaman
14415
Weren't many rets and hunters unhappy with their redesign at the start of cata? A redesign doesn't necessarily mean a better class. Plus, outside of dps shaman survivability, I don't think we're that bad.
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90 Goblin Warlock
16125
Bring back old astral shift baseline for elemental and enh and change the name of the garbage version that exists now. Maybe put a 10 sec ICD or something to make it not ridiculously strong.

Otherwise, I completely disagree about the whole elemental being too much tied to hardcasting. Destro is one of the most complained about specs yet it is just as casty as elemental is.
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90 Human Paladin
8315
I'd like to see Maelstrom weapon turned into an actual resource, or at least gain a better UI element.
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90 Pandaren Monk
10245
Yes. That makes sense. Lets devote a complete rebuild of shamans due to just pvp issues.

Yes. lots of sense.

Do you see the sarcasm? My old Enh had one of the most exciting rotations of all the classes. Maybe spells power can be tweaked but it doesn't need to be re-worked. Chill.
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90 Pandaren Monk
10245
12/07/2012 05:21 AMPosted by Arieus
I'd like to see Maelstrom weapon turned into an actual resource, or at least gain a better UI element.


Why? It's a talent, and not a resource, and it has a HUGE LIGHTNING BOLT IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR SCREEN when it's ready.
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