Enh Shaman AoE: Designed to Fail?

100 Orc Shaman
16410
My aoe is hard to depend on for things like tortos adds, horriodon adds, galleon adds, councile when there grouped up

its like on council, the guy that rolls around will roll back to you right after you LL, then roll away right when LL is ready

My AOE is broken, its to hard, i dont like it, it sucks, you beleave me, Blizz plz fix
-Twopopachop, you dont know me...but i OWN people IRL
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100 Draenei Shaman
5190
05/07/2013 03:02 PMPosted by Slant
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.

Reading through this later on, I would actually cap the number of Fire Novas at 4 per cast, not the number of Flame Shocks. Otherwise you'd be basically screwed if one of the 4 targets with Flame Shock dies first in an extended AE situation.
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100 Goblin Shaman
16845
05/08/2013 04:44 AMPosted by Slant
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.

Reading through this later on, I would actually cap the number of Fire Novas at 4 per cast, not the number of Flame Shocks. Otherwise you'd be basically screwed if one of the 4 targets with Flame Shock dies first in an extended AE situation.


Unless they made it so that flame shock spread on death for enhancement shaman. Then capping the number of flame shocks would work perfectly in that situation as the one that died would be spreading it to additional targets.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11760
FN used to increase the duration of FS on all targets, so you didnt have to spam it and you feasibly could get it on a ton of high health targets. To me, taking that away screwed enhance.
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100 Goblin Shaman
16845
FN used to increase the duration of FS on all targets, so you didnt have to spam it and you feasibly could get it on a ton of high health targets. To me, taking that away screwed enhance.


It really didn't. The whole fire nova system has been what has been screwing enhancement. Back then it was a multi-dotting system which was very difficult to accomplish when in melee range. Currently it's an auto-spread from a melee ability but that melee ability has a decent length cooldown making it very difficult to get any sort of burst AE unless you are keeping that ability ready, which destroys your single target dps.

We need the spread made much more reliable or we need to get away from this system of AE altogether. I really don't get why they haven't done anything about it before now. Someone at blizzard has had to have leveled an enhancement shaman or tried to do any of the dailies with AE mobs (that one for the celestial dragon faction with the fairies comes to mind) and been annoyed when the mechanics simply failed on them. Someone over there has to have raided as enhancement and been frustrated with trying to get burst AE dps on add spawns.
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100 Draenei Shaman
5190
My feeling is that whichever dev came up with the idea just fell in love with it. And to be honest, it is a cool idea, and it's extremely gratifying when you manage to get flame shock rolling on 9 targets, fire nova, and the whole screen turns red.

The problem is the way it's currently implemented, on multiple abilities with different cooldowns, spreading flame shock at current duration rather than maximum duration, and the very high ramp-up time, makes it frustrating to actually use.

The situations where enhance AE is awesome (large numbers of high-health targets) are extremely rare/nonexistant while the situations where enhance AE sucks (large numbers of low-health targets or small numbers of high-health targets) are very common.
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100 Goblin Shaman
16845

The situations where enhance AE is awesome (large numbers of high-health targets) are extremely rare/nonexistant while the situations where enhance AE sucks (large numbers of low-health targets or small numbers of high-health targets) are very common.


It's not only large numbers of high-health targets, it's large numbers of high health targets all being tanked in one pile. Moment the raid brings in multiple tanks and starts spreading the mobs between the tanks our AE goes back to being garbage.
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100 Draenei Shaman
5190
Sure, but nobody other than monks can effectively damage separate groups. That's WW's niche. When tanks separate AE groups, everybody else complains.
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100 Goblin Shaman
16845
Sure, but nobody other than monks can effectively damage separate groups. That's WW's niche. When tanks separate AE groups, everybody else complains.


heh, that's not what I was saying. What I meant is that we have an AE that excels in a conditional state that basically never occurs, ie large group of very high hp mobs tanked in one enormous pile. It's mediocre to bad in the type of AE that normally occurs during raiding (<5 mobs per tank if high HP and >5 mobs per tank if low HP) and it's absolutely awful during the type of AE that occurs in small group and solo conditions
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100 Goblin Shaman
16845
https://twitter.com/Ghostcrawler/status/332563116317630464
And we agree that the AE rotation doesn't live up to the single target rotation.
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100 Tauren Shaman
18770
Good deal. Here's to hoping they clean it up a bit.
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100 Draenei Shaman
6150
They can't make the AoE go off of us, because they don't want it to get into our single target


The damage for one nova hitting one mob wouldn't be worth the GCD, would it? Even compared to a hardcast partial-MW LB (ie the lowest priority filler there is), it seems like it would be lacking in punch.

Novaing from yourself would be really useful for very-low-HP mobs, but wouldn't really add that much on mobs that can live long enough to apply and spread FS.

Part of the problem may be that LL and shocks already *are* in our single target -- so if the trash pops up at the wrong time, you may have to wait a few seconds before you get everything off CD to do FS>LL>FN. This is one reason the "FN spreads FS" idea keeps coming up -- it would mean that switching from single target to AOE didn't depend on LL being off CD. As long as you have FS on your preexisting target you can FN it any time you weren't already AOEing (since FN doesn't share CD with any single-target rotational abilities) and then you'd have multiple flame shocks running right away.
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100 Draenei Shaman
5190
05/09/2013 01:15 PMPosted by Akatia
The damage for one nova hitting one mob wouldn't be worth the GCD, would it?

Enhance sims at an 18.5% wait time at T15H gear level. Even at a 1.5s GCD (which is high since enhance uses a lot of spells) that's 1.24 free GCDs every 10s. So yeah, we would indeed use it on single targets.

Edit: Didn't see your bit about low Maelstrom Weapon stack LB filler. Yeah, someone would need to do the math to compare damage. Simcraft doesn't record LB damage by number of MW stacks so it's not completely trivial, and you can't just flat-out compare their individual damage since slam-casting LB suspends your autoattack timer (or resets it, at 0 stacks of MW).

That's why most player suggestions in threads like this one involve either making the current AE priority suck somewhat less or rebuilding from the ground up with abilities that share cooldowns with stormstrike, lava lash, unleash, and shocks.

Personally, I feel that assassination and ret have the best AE priorities in the game right now, because they were designed to use all their resources. They can both generate and spend combo points/holy power via AE abilities.

Enhance is one of very few specs in the game to not have a meaningful resource at all, so there's not a lot you can do until that's fixed (hopefully in 6.0, but I said the same thing back in 4.0) beyond creating AE abilities that share cooldowns with single-target abilities.
Edited by Slant on 5/9/2013 1:41 PM PDT
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100 Goblin Shaman
16845
05/09/2013 01:15 PMPosted by Akatia
They can't make the AoE go off of us, because they don't want it to get into our single target


The damage for one nova hitting one mob wouldn't be worth the GCD, would it? Even compared to a hardcast partial-MW LB (ie the lowest priority filler there is), it seems like it would be lacking in punch.

Novaing from yourself would be really useful for very-low-HP mobs, but wouldn't really add that much on mobs that can live long enough to apply and spread FS.

Part of the problem may be that LL and shocks already *are* in our single target -- so if the trash pops up at the wrong time, you may have to wait a few seconds before you get everything off CD to do FS>LL>FN. This is one reason the "FN spreads FS" idea keeps coming up -- it would mean that switching from single target to AOE didn't depend on LL being off CD. As long as you have FS on your preexisting target you can FN it any time you weren't already AOEing (since FN doesn't share CD with any single-target rotational abilities) and then you'd have multiple flame shocks running right away.


Hardcast partial MW is costing dps in that it clips melee swings while you are casting and yet it is still worth doing. Adding another instant will just crowd our GCD because it would be worth using when you didn't have at least 3-4 stacks of MW and everything else was on cooldown.

If just trying to make sure that there is at least one fire nova available even when LL is on cooldown there is another way. Just have fire nova emanate from your target as well as all your flame shocks (so if your target has a flame shock then it would create two novas). Accomplishes the same thing but keeps it out of our single target.

I still think the best idea I've heard/read so far to make these specific AE mechanics work is to have flame shock do a spread when the target dies. Then if the target dies too quickly to spread with a lava lash, fire nova would still work because the death would have spread flame shock around instead. Removing one of the major points of failure of the mechanic.

Adding that spread on death mechanic to flame shock could come in the form of a major glyph (Glyph of Eternal Flame maybe) or could be a mechanic specific to enhancement's flame shock. Similar to how unholy/frost DKs have abilities that function differently depending on spec.

edit - one other thing I'd like to see if they are going to stick to this mechanic. I wish it was easier to tell which mobs were affected by our flame shock to make it easier to know when it is worth hitting fire nova. Horridon HM being a great example of an encounter where that seems like it would be helpful.

edit 2 - Which again brings it back to why this isn't a great AE model for a melee spec. Melee should be focused on our positioning in relation to the mob to make sure that our melee attacks are hitting. We shouldn't be spending so much effort making sure that our dot has spread onto all possible targets or that the pile of targets are close enough to each other for it to be worth using the AE ability.

It's one of the reasons it seems like doing something with MW so that CL could be used on cooldown when in a melee AE situation seems like it would be so perfect. Give us a melee range AE ability that shares a cooldown with stormstrike but with a shorter cooldown (4 seconds being optimal) that can generate MW stacks. Hits a lot of mobs then we have a full stack going every time it gets hit so then we get to fire off CL every 3-4 seconds. Then it's just a question of balancing the damage.
Edited by Rouncer on 5/9/2013 2:03 PM PDT
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100 Draenei Shaman
5190
It shouldn't be implemented through a glyph because that glyph would be mandatory. If anything, a minor glyph to turn that behavior off would make sense-- added to the glyph of Lava Lash, perhaps.

It would have to be renamed. I suggest "Glyph of You can't AE but at least you won't break CC".
Edited by Slant on 5/9/2013 1:53 PM PDT
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100 Goblin Shaman
16845
It shouldn't be implemented through a glyph because that glyph would be mandatory. If anything, a minor glyph to turn that behavior off would make sense-- added to the glyph of Lava Lash, perhaps.

It would have to be renamed. I suggest "Glyph of You can't AE but at least you won't break CC".


Why would it be mandatory? Major glyphs are pretty strong so it would be a sacrifice to use one for that functionality. Also if fighting one mob it would have no value. Fighting a pack that all have similar health pools and are being AEed down enmasse, it would have little to no value. Solo it would have a lot of value for certain encounters. PvP it wouldn't have much value.

Agree completely though that if they added it to enhancement as a baseline spec change to flame shock that they should also add cancelling that spread to the functionality of the lava lash minor glyph.
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100 Draenei Shaman
5190
We're talking about fixing something that's broken. The fix should be baseline. Alternate behaviors should be glyphs.

If it was a glyph, serious progression players would trade it out situationally on fights without AE components. Beyond that, it would be in most players' default set.
Edited by Slant on 5/9/2013 2:15 PM PDT
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100 Tauren Shaman
6905
I just don't understand how this issue wasn't seen from the get go.

The ramp up time is insane compared to ALL the other classes. I cannot think of any class that has an AOE as complex except maybe Affliction. (and if one more person says ret....)

It is very rewarding, but Enhancement AOE is ultimately too much of a pain for the reward. When I watch the Monk press one button and burst for 100k AOE DPS i have to wonder why my class feels so .... ignored.

The only ability that is even a melee ability for Shaman AOE is Lava Lash, and it's only use is to spread flame shock. Why don't we have an alterate melee AOE ability like Ret Dk, Warriors or Rogues.

I don't understand why they don't just crack up Magma totem and make it the one that spreads Flame Shock. That way we aren't holding back a single target ability for AOE.

I really want them to re tool our AOE because it just feels bad. When I AOE on my arms/Fury warrior/ DK or Rogue I feel really strong and really good. When I have to AOE on my shaman I sigh and just want us to get through the pack as fast as possible.
Edited by Steelhorn on 5/9/2013 2:19 PM PDT
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100 Draenei Shaman
5190
I just don't understand how this issue wasn't seen from the get go.

Oh, it was. This is a bit of ancient history now, but when I put up a ruckus on the 4.3 PTR forums, I didn't get any support from other shamans and it was allowed to go live. They said it would work better in the live game.

Why would they do something so silly? Well, Enhance AE was completely redesigned two separate times in Cataclysm. The current 4.3 enhance AE is a huuuuuuge improvement over the previous version (changed in 4.1), and the 4.1 version was a moderate improvement over the previous implementation (changed in 3.3). That's right, enhance AE was completely redesigned 3 separate times over the past 2 expansions, and it was all done mid-expansion. Yowzers.

Seriously. Enhance AE is the best it's ever been, right now. Hopefully that gives you some feeling about how bad it was before. Nobody wanted to complain because they were terrified the devs would roll back the changes.

Anyway, it's been a year and a half since the current implementation went live, and players' gratitude that it sucks "so much less" is starting to die down. They play other specs and realize that the grass isn't just greener, it's like the Wizard of Oz going from black and white to living color.

Also Rouncer came back, tweeted GC, and GC recognized his name. So hopefully something will be done.
Edited by Slant on 5/9/2013 2:43 PM PDT
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100 Goblin Shaman
16845
Well said, Slant. Realized something on way home. I don't want them to fix fire nova. I want them to replace it. Enhancement's core (going back to vanilla) was stormstrike, windfury, and shocks. That was it. We had totems, we had heals, but those three things were all enhance really needed to be fun.

MW is an awesome extension on shocks. Lava lash is an extension on stormstrike. What is fire nova? It's an ability that doesn't fit. I want to hit things and blast instant cast spells at them. I want to work to stay in melee range for WF to go off and give me big numbers. I don't want to dot things and spread those dots.

Want to know what would make me cackle with glee like an elemental shaman spamming chain lightning? Hitting a button to smash everything in melee range followed up with an instant cast chain lightning. I can only speak for me but that sounds like a lot more fun then what we are dealing with now, no matter how many numbers a fire nova throws up on the screen. Seeing what we are hitting, seeing what we are "shocking", that's the core of enhancement. If we wanted to dot things up we would have rolled a warlock. If we wanted to spread dots around from melee range we would have rolled a DK.

Enhancement's single target is the best it's been since I started playing mine. It's as good as it is because it's still true to the expectations I had when I first rolled mine. Can't say the same about our AE mechanics and that's why it doesn't come close to being anywhere near as good as our single target rotation.
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