Enh Shaman AoE: Designed to Fail?

90 Orc Shaman
18460
I wish they had gone another path with our AE. Instead of adding and additional ability to our rotation just for AE, if they had replaced a primary single target ability.

Something like the following as a replacement for Fire Nova

Thunderstrike
8 second cooldown (shared with Stormstrike)
Requires Melee Weapon
Instantly strike all enemies withing 8 yards with both weapons, dealing 200% weapon damage and granting you an additional 25% chance to critically strike those enemies with your Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Lightning Shield, and Earth Shock spells for 15 sec.

Then during Ascendance it would change to

Thunderblast
8 second cooldown (shared with Stormstrike)
Requires Melee Weapon
Hurl lightning at all enemies within 15 yards, dealing Nature damage equal to 200% weapon damage and granting you an additional 25% chance to critically strike those enemies with your Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Lightning Shield, and Earth Shock spells for 15 sec.

They could still keep the Flame Shock spread mechanic on Lava Lash as supplemental damage for cleave/AoE situations but that would become our primary form of AE. It being a melee attack would also let us stack MW that much faster such that during AE phases we would be able to instantly cast CL on cooldown and it would do significantly more damage as everything it would be hitting would have already been debuffed by the Thunderstrike.

All that said, if they just want to patch up Fire Nova there are plenty of ways to do it but the problem seems to be getting them to realize the need to address our AE mechanics in the first place. No other spec has an AE that is as un-fun as ours. No other spec has an AE that is as likely to fail as ours. It's very frustrating to me that the developers haven't already seen the issue and stepped in to address it in some form between when the mechanic was first introduced as a band-aid on a miserably broken form of AE and now halfway through an expansion when so many things were reworked at it's inception.
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90 Pandaren Shaman
13975
I like the idea, but I think that spread should be tied to fire nova on its own, then allowing stormstrike to have the AoE button instead. An AoE shock would be perfect for finishing this idea.
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90 Orc Shaman
18460
I like the idea, but I think that spread should be tied to fire nova on its own, then allowing stormstrike to have the AoE button instead. An AoE shock would be perfect for finishing this idea.


The idea was to replace fire nova with thunderstrike. The spread of flame shock associated with lava lash would just be for additional cleave/AE damage since we are very weak in that department anyway.

If they implemented something like thunderstrike our AE would consist of that, chain lightning, flameshock dot damage spread through lava lash, and magma totem/fire elemental totem.
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90 Pandaren Shaman
13975
I guess it helps for burst but it still keeps that lingering issue of having your AoE potentially fail because you aren't holding on to lava lash though.

Considering a good deal of my AoE spread damage tends to be the flame shock DoT, though I guess under your model it would get toned down to be more of a support and less of the star of the show
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90 Orc Shaman
18460
I guess it helps for burst but it still keeps that lingering issue of having your AoE potentially fail because you aren't holding on to lava lash though.

Considering a good deal of my AoE spread damage tends to be the flame shock DoT, though I guess under your model it would get toned down to be more of a support and less of the star of the show


That's exactly why I like that sort of model. Right now if we screw up the spread we lose about 80-85% of our AE potential damage and it is way too easy to screw up that spread. With something like Thunderstrike we would lose maybe 25% of our AE potential damage if we screwed up the spread.

Basically it spreads around the points of failure. Screw up positioning when hitting Thunderstrike or hit Stormstrike by accident when the AE starts and that's maybe ~45% of your AE potential. Screw up the spread and that's another ~25%, leaving ~20% for CL and another ~10% for magma totem (especially if it applied searing flames so was actually worth dropping at 3 targets instead of only worth it at 7-8).

edit:
It's just a thought exercise. I just don't get why our AE has to be such a complicated thing with such an incredibly nasty point of failure. The spec is all about hitting the right button at the right time and having a lot of buttons that could be pressed. MW fed into that concept perfectly and really opened the spec up. Fire Nova isn't anything like that as more often then not when you press the button all you get is an error message.

Elemental shaman love spamming CL so their AE/cleave this expansion works really well for them. I love hitting buttons and having things happen without worrying about anything other then if it's off cooldown and whether or not I am in range to make it happen, which is why fire nova just doesn't work for me. It would be like as if fan of knives had been made as a long channeled immobile ability like blizzard or rain of fire or hurricane for rogues. It just wouldn't fit with the way the class feels like it is meant to work and that's how fire nova feels to me.
Edited by Rouncer on 5/2/2013 7:09 PM PDT
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90 Pandaren Shaman
13975
I see, yeah I can probably get behind that, or at least give it a shot.

Id like magma to be more useful as well, but I dont think it can by its design.

EDIT:Fire nova, in its current design, is half good.

the reason I pitch the whole chain explosion FLS spread idea with it is that I'd like for it to be a melee ability with a spell effect. Ideally it would be a lava charged weapon strike on it's own CD that makes fire nova fire off its current target, hitting and igniting fire nova on any subsequent targets, and leaving flame shock on them.
Edited by Zerovii on 5/2/2013 7:25 PM PDT
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I just want a spam melee ability that generates mw charges and puts single-target abilities on cooldown. Then we can spend mw on chain lightning.

Or something. I don't get why rogues and mages are allowed to have new talents put in mid-expansion but enhance gets stuck with the same awful aoe...
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90 Orc Shaman
18460
I just want a spam melee ability that generates mw charges and puts single-target abilities on cooldown. Then we can spend mw on chain lightning.

Or something. I don't get why rogues and mages are allowed to have new talents put in mid-expansion but enhance gets stuck with the same awful aoe...


I'd love something like that. Something nice and simple yet interesting and engaging. Maybe something like an AE melee strike that did 100% weapon damage on a 4 second cooldown shared with stormstrike. Short cooldown and it being melee means it would generate MW stack such that we could fire instant chain lightnings on cooldown when used on multiple targets. I'd love something like that as a fire nova replacement. Keep the spread on lava lash but remove the target cap and then we would have real fun AE mechanics instead of the jumbled frustrating mess we have be afflicted with so far.

Edit - it's not just raiding or questing where our AE puts us at a disadvantage. I've been doing challenge modes and have to say that if it wasn't me being the one getting carried through the instances by good friends, I'd never willingly bring an enhancement shaman along. Way too much on-demand AE that the spec just can't provide.
Edited by Rouncer on 5/4/2013 11:03 PM PDT
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90 Draenei Mage
17090
Sounds a bit like fire, in fact it sounds a bit like fire from last expansion. I wouldn't wish that upon anyone.
Edited by Kolzi on 5/5/2013 7:11 AM PDT
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Yeah, taking enhance for challenge modes just makes it much harder. Elemental is far and away a superior spec, as is resto. I am fortunate that I discovered I actually love elemental this expansion (for the first time ever! seriously, chain lightning spam is literally the best thing in this game) so I'll be doing that for challenge modes. Enhancement just can't really do good aoe, and even its single-target mechanics make it less useful because stuff dies too quickly.
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90 Draenei Shaman
4790
Elemental is very fun to play, but its single-target damage is unfortunately not remotely competitive with most other specs. It just needs buffs.

Enhance single-target is decent (and getting buffs in 5.3) but its AE is frustrating and non-rewarding.
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90 Pandaren Shaman
13975
Elemental is very fun to play, but its single-target damage is unfortunately not remotely competitive with most other specs. It just needs buffs.Enhance single-target is decent (and getting buffs in 5.3) but its AE is frustrating and non-rewarding.


Pretty much this. Though ele was fun it seems like it wasn't rewarding outside the AoE.
Likewise, enh is fun, but it isn't fun to AoE, and sometimes not even rewarding to.
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90 Draenei Shaman
5475
Changes I would suggest:

1. If Lava Lash kills its target, it still spreads Flame Shock if there are eligible nearby targets.

2. If a Flame Shocked enemy dies, Flame Shock will automatically jump to another nearby target if one is available (excluding targets that are CC'd or not hostile to the shaman) with the duration it had remaining on the old target.

3. Fire nova also emanates from you, and your fire elemental if it is up. This gives you a minimum of one fire nova (two during FE), even if you can't apply or spread flame shocks effectively in the current situation. This would create a fallback AOE style of alternating between FN (from yourself) and hardcast CL if everything is too weak to make the regular "apply and spread FS" style practical.

4. If those aren't enough to make aoe less frustrating, then they could try some new spells. E.g. Cyclone Strike, a weapon-damage-based AOE around yourself that shares CD with Stormstrike. Or Thunder Shock, a shock that deals nature damage to the target and all enemies within X yards of the target. (To be used after you have already applied and spread flame shock, or if the mobs are so weak that you're not going to bother trying.) The shared CDs could keep them from being used in single target (if the numbers are right) while still allowing them to be used for MOP weenie packs and possibly cleave type situations.
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90 Pandaren Shaman
13975
They can't make the AoE go off of us, because they don't want it to get into our single target, the only way that works is with CD sharing like rouncer's thunderstrike idea or just having fire nova pop off the current target and having it chain react off every mob in range.

A big note is if the CD is shared, the shared CD should be lower. If you do use thunderstrike, it should put both on a 4-6s CD, not a full 8s.
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90 Orc Shaman
18460
Akatia, that's a great idea about the spreading on death thing. Maybe just expand it from spreading to one target to doing a normal lava lash type spread when the target dies. Could always easily put a cap on total number of active flame shocks if the developers are worried about it's potential. Then at least the ability would stop failing on us through no fault of our own.

    Flame Shock
    6 sec cooldown
    Requires Shaman
    Instantly sears the target with fire, causing 34 (+ 44.9% of SpellPower) Fire damage immediately and 90 (+ 21% of SpellPower) Fire damage over 30 sec.

    Enhancement
    If the target dies your Flame Shock spreads to up to 4 targets within 12 yards.
Edited by Rouncer on 5/7/2013 12:25 PM PDT
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90 Pandaren Shaman
13975
05/07/2013 12:24 PMPosted by Rouncer
Could always easily put a cap on total number of active flame shocks if the developers are worried about it's potential.


Can I talk about this idea?
Our AoE is seriously based on being on every target already, outside of being probably the best sustained AoE over long periods of time (Or PE on wind lord is really broken). I don't think we'll really ever need a cap on the current version of our AoE, but fixing spread issues would do a lot to help us out, such as that flame shock idea.
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90 Orc Shaman
18460
05/07/2013 12:51 PMPosted by Zerovii
Could always easily put a cap on total number of active flame shocks if the developers are worried about it's potential.


Can I talk about this idea?
Our AoE is seriously based on being on every target already, outside of being probably the best sustained AoE over long periods of time (Or PE on wind lord is really broken). I don't think we'll really ever need a cap on the current version of our AoE, but fixing spread issues would do a lot to help us out, such as that flame shock idea.


Our AE isn't based on FS being on every single available target. It's based on a maximum of 5 targets for the first 10 seconds of AE, a maximum of 9 targets for the second 10 seconds and a maximum of 13 targets for the next 10 seconds of AE. After that it is meant to cycle between 9 and 13 total targets and then only under the most ideal of circumstances. Most likely they balanced our AE around 7 or 8 targets which is why we feel weak most of the time along with feeling frustrated by the mechanics of that spread.

If they allowed spread on target death then the potential is a lot higher as there wouldn't be any cooldown limitation in place. Which is why a definitive cap (say 8 targets) might be a good option to keep the developers comfortable.
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90 Pandaren Shaman
13975
You're missing something though, even when it's 4-5 targets like most trash is, our damage is on par with everyone elses.
Yes, it's balanced around that, but generally that's what is in the game. I don't think they often use 13+ target trash pulls in the game.

I think we're just arguing semantics at this point.

Besides I rather they lower it and let us hit everything instead of capping it. Personal preference I guess. That might weaken our already weak cleave though..
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90 Draenei Shaman
4790
I rather they lower it and let us hit everything instead of capping it. Personal preference I guess. That might weaken our already weak cleave though..

Lets say that the devs want enhance to deal X damage per AE target. There are several ways to hit that goal.

1) Long 13s ramp-up to X damage per target with 8 targets. Poor damage on <5 targets, and long ramp-up means AE is ineffective on low health targets. In rare situations with >8 targets with high health, scale up extremely well to 2X or even 3X damage per target.

2) Short ~4.5s (3 GCD) ramp-up to X damage per target with 4 targets. Number of Flame Shock targets capped at 4, so with >4 targets, you still deal X damage per target.

Enhance AE currently works like number one. I would greatly prefer #2. Capping is better.
Edited by Slant on 5/7/2013 3:04 PM PDT
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90 Pandaren Shaman
13975
Enhance AE currently works like number one. I would greatly prefer #2. Capping is better.


Yeah I'm not entirely against number 2, would be stronger for cleave as well.
Just saying there's not often packs that exceed our current uncapped numbers. I can only think of huge chain pulls of gara's trash in HoF or the vizier trash in HoF.
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