Analytical Feedback on Ele Damage

Shaman
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I'll start off by saying I tend to be optimistic but also rely on data to back up claims, the data I'm showing in this topic is about as unbiased as it gets.

TL:DR This tier is gonna be a short one, tuning needs to happen asap if the game is going to be balanced when it matters. Ele is down in the gutters with a few other specs, struggling to do 75% of the damage a warrior or mage can do. This differential is too great to not be addressed. Along with the fact that Ele has a reputation of being useless, we have the mechanical capabilities to be a great spec, but the tuning just isn't there as of right now.

Now we have a much larger and more realistic set of statistics, primarily logs. I was going to wait until we had a larger number of parses in Mythic to write this but after seeing a guild go 7/7m in one sitting I decided we may not have much time before progression is over for many of us.

On to the statistics, it's hard to gauge if we should be looking at heroic with a larger but less experienced sample size (lots of alts, inexperienced players, etc) or Mythic, with a small but elite sample. Regardless they both tell the same tale.

Heroic: http://imgur.com/a/5QQfu
Out of a total of 24 DPS specs we are clocked in at 23rd, averaging 17.6% less damage than the top spec. 17% isn't terrible but it feels pretty discouraging to get a nice buff and end up slightly lower than we were before the buff. May as well have just given everyone but Demon Hunters a blanket buff because that's pretty much what seems to have happened.

Mythic: http://imgur.com/a/dj1zd
Very few Eles have entered mythic yet, a total of 13 to be exact (me being one of them) and it looks pretty dire. You can assume any players with mythic kills is a very good player right now so these statistics are probably fairly accurate even with the small sample size. Out of 22 specs that have a boss kill in mythic, Ele is 17th, averaging 24% less damage than the top spec, averaging 13% less than exact middle of the pack...

The problem: Currently we have 3 little clusters of specs.
The above average: Arms warriors, spriests, etc
The middle of the pack: Starts with Demo, ends with Arcane
The stragglers: Starts with ele and unholy dk, and ends with specs that have less than 5 total parses.

The middle of the pack is fine as long as the top few are brought down a tad, what needs work is the stragglers.

Are we "viable"? Well, 13 Eles have gotten mythic kills in the first 2 days of mythic being available, so I'd say yes. Is there any reason to bring a shaman? I could come up with reasons, but they would be a stretch. When we are only statistically doing more damage than 1 ranged spec, who also happens to have the ability to go fire and top the charts if needed, it's hard to justify bringing an equally skilled Shaman over any other ranged. I have personally had success with Ele, but I've come to realize after getting another rank 1 parse that it was a bit ridiculous that being 10k above rank 2 ele, I still hardly beat a mage at 40th percentile.

Just to add to my already very long post, the biggest thing that needs to be addressed right now is our mastery.
Other things that should be addressed:
Earthquake damage takes too long to ramp up, basically useless in most raid environments.
Earth Shock damage is incredibly low for the amount of time it requires to produce
Stormkeeper should provide instant damage or decreased cast time for affected spells (opinion)
Flame Shock costing Maelstrom is a big culprit in Earth Shock being so slow to produce, especially when multiple targets are present.

Potential solutions:
Mastery: Now creates overloads (as usual) but also increases Earth Shock/Earthquake damage by x%

Flame Shock: two potential options
1: No longer costs maelstrom and defaults to 30 seconds

2: Same as now, but each tick provides x MS. This would smooth out generation and give incentive to throw more dots out.

Stormkeeper: A few potential options
1: Increases damage of next 3 Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning casts, and makes them instant

2: Increases damage of next 3 Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning casts, and reduces their cast time by 50%

3: Increases damage of next 3 Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning casts, and deals x damage on cast.

4: Take it off the GCD

PS. I know most of this has been said already but it is spread out in various threads, so I wanted it all in one place in case Blizzard needed more incentive to take a look at ele. Some things I left out intentionally since I know a dev has already seen it.
I like the idea of removing the maelstrom cost of flame shock a lot. I also have to say I miss our class trinket from WoD SO MUCH.

I personally think they should ditch the current EQ (Especially the bloody totem part of it) and give us back the hit 3+ targets with CL for an instant + Powered EQ, change it back to 1/2 charges with echo.

Artifact ability NEEDS to be off the GCD. Possibly increased damage or complete rework.
Sham,

While I appreciate the effort you put forth I feel it is a little too late. I feel like when it really mattered we could have put up a united front and maybe had some issues addressed. Instead we had a vocal minority saying things were ok. Well clearly they aren't. Maybe the top 1% are getting by but many others have already had to reroll or flat out lost their spot.

I don't see blizzard doing much of anything for us now after we had some minor buffs. I guess teams that are desperate will take an Ele but with so many other good ranged why would they even bother?
09/29/2016 12:48 AMPosted by Sylveslayne
I don't see blizzard doing much of anything for us now after we had some minor buffs. I guess teams that are desperate will take an Ele but with so many other good ranged why would they even bother?


Mythic only came out 2 days ago, I guarantee more balancing changed will come.

btw if anyone lost a raid spot over a 17% difference and isn't in the top 10 world mythic race, your raid leader is overreacting.
Has yet to be seen in my guild but I've parsed in the top 20 on every H fight so I expect to be in during Mythics this week. However, due to the stigma, I am still concerned that I'll be sat purely due to the fact that Ele is a lower spec and not because I suck at mechanics.
great ideas, i really hope blizz listens. we arent completely useless, but we do still need more help. these kinds of threads NEED to be read by blizz.
Everyone with a brain like this post
Please bring back wod mastery. At least it's better than this garbage.
I like your feedback and suggestions Sham, however I do have my own input to add that will hopefully be seen.

1st. I highly disagree that EQ needs any kind of attention. It will passively be buffed through MS generation if our Mastery is made more valuable or in buffs such as the CL buff this week that gave it 6 maelstrom per target hit.

2nd. Mastery DOES need to be fixed. It is what Elemental Shaman is built around!I think the best iteration of buffing our mastery is through allowing it to proc off our shock spells as well. Overloaded ES would add some necessary spikes to our damage, as well having FS immediately be a 30s duration on some casts.

3rd. Stormkeeper should remain on the GCD, remain an instant cast, but allow our next 3 casts of CL or LB to also be instant. This alone adds some very important burst AoE that's more reliable than hoping we get Static Overlaod procs during out 3 casts of CL.

Moving on to talents:

Ascendance - I suggest the cooldown of this talent be reduced to 2 minutes to better lineup with our Elemental Mastery talent and help bridge the down time between bursts.

Lightning Rod - I suggest the ability have a chance to proc from each jump of Chain Lightning, making it the clear choice for sustained AoE or cleave situations.

Liquid Magma Totem - I suggest this talent be front loaded with a good amount of AoE on a 30s CD for burst AoE situations.

All of these changes...........or even just some, would help put Elemental in a competitive position for this tier, the mid tier, and Nighthold. If you take the time to look at the number of logs from Elemental, you can see that we represent a good number of the player base in comparison to HFC. A ton of people like the way this spec plays. Don't ruin it by making us noncompetitive. And as previously stated by Sham, I can safely say we're not competitive.
09/29/2016 01:04 AMPosted by Falcinz
Has yet to be seen in my guild but I've parsed in the top 20 on every H fight so I expect to be in during Mythics this week. However, due to the stigma, I am still concerned that I'll be sat purely due to the fact that Ele is a lower spec and not because I suck at mechanics.


I'm more than sure I could help with Illy Mythic because of Ascendance burst, but I'm also scared that I'll be sat because of the stigma. However, this is the ONLY fight that I have a remote chance of being in on, simply because of my 1m burst.
09/29/2016 12:48 AMPosted by Sylveslayne
Sham,

While I appreciate the effort you put forth I feel it is a little too late. I feel like when it really mattered we could have put up a united front and maybe had some issues addressed. Instead we had a vocal minority saying things were ok. Well clearly they aren't. Maybe the top 1% are getting by but many others have already had to reroll or flat out lost their spot.

I don't see blizzard doing much of anything for us now after we had some minor buffs. I guess teams that are desperate will take an Ele but with so many other good ranged why would they even bother?


Could we refrain from this type of feedback? This is the exact stuff that Ion said he scrolls past. (that's not word for word)
Thank you for such a good breakdown of our spec. I just came back to my favorite class and although I really enjoy it even in it's current state, it is disheartening to struggle with raw numbers, particularly after maining DH for the first four weeks of the expac and thinking "damn, as fun as this class is to play... my mobility abilities on dh hit harder than earth shock on average and it's just a byproduct of my movement" LOL

Obviously I realize things are being tweaked and I appreciate that, I for one am excited for what this class and spec could become. I will hang in there because if it gets tweaked just right it may not be top but it will be damn fun to play. Cheers and hopefully your ideas get some heads spinnin'.
TLDR: Take current mastery and make it a passive. Create a new mastery that increases damage of all Shocks by X% and also increases Earth Shock's crit chance by 30(+X%). Solves scaling issue, balancing issue for single-target damage, helps make Earth Shock more meaningful because an Earth Shock which doesn't crit feels pretty "meh" (damage barely over Lava Burst). Also makes for interesting gearing choice if Earth Shock crit chance > 100%.


I agree with Sham about Elemental having good mechanics but doing fairly poorly number wise. I think this is also what's stopping Blizzard from simply blindly throwing buffs at us. If they buff a particular ability too much, we might become too good compared to other specs in some very specific situations due to the spec's mechanics.

First of all, I think we can all agree that our spec would feel much better if Stormkeeper was off the GCD. It wouldn't necessarily be too much of a DPS increase, wouldn't have the potential to "break" anything, but it would feel good.

I also think our AoE is quite good. Chain Lightning is an awesome spell who also feels good to cast and Earthquake has amazing utility especially for Mythic+. I would be fine having great AoE capabilities and lower single targe potential.... if other classes wouldn't be better or as good as us in both situations. A Fire Mage, as an example, has great AoE, utility, burst and sustained single target damage. I don't think we want to be Fire mages, but we don't want to have poorer single target damage due to said AoE capabilities, which are good, but nowhere near the best either.

Like Sham said, our Mastery is problematic. It is a very cool concept but this is one aspect where I feel Blizzard doesn't want to buff us too much due to the fact it might potentially be too powerful if it's buffed too much. The issue, obviously, is that it is worth even less than Versatility at the moment. The reason is fairly simple: ideally, the biggest chunks of our damage comes from our Maelstrom spenders, but our Mastery only affect our Maelstrom generators. So while Crit in itself is big pretty big boost to our damage (due to the 250% value), and that Haste makes us cast faster (and Flame Shock ticks faster) which also results in a straight up damage boost, our Mastery's main purpose is to increase Maelstrom generation, with a small damage boost as a secondary effect. I feel like this is too weak to be the scaling point of a whole stat all by itself, so, here's an idea:

Move our current Mastery to a simple passive. Keep the 75% damage intact (or 84% with Master of the Elements), give the spells a static percentage chance to Overload (maybe 40%? or 30%, something along those lines, nothing too crazy for a passive but nothing too weak so that it isn't noticed). Don't change anything else about it. This keep the class fantasy alive, this leave the current functionality of the spell intact and more importantly, give room to a new Mastery.

I don't have any idea for a name, but it could work like this: Increases the damage of your Shock spells by X% (Baseline 0, but with current gear levels, could be around 8, 10, 12%? Not too sure what would be okay stat wise). (This makes our Mastery help scale both our single-target damage, keep Icefury relevant as a talent, and on a lesser level, our multi-dot damage without being on a Shadow Priest level of multi-dotting). Also increase Earth Shock's chance to crit by 30(+X%).

The reasoning for the first part is simple: our Mastery provides a linear scaling to our Maelstrom spenders. This is fine, it helps increase Mastery value and make sure it will stay relevant all expansion long. The second part of it might be a bit more controversial but hear me out!

Elemental Shamans have a natural high crit damage (250%). Due to this, some spells have lower than "normal" damage compared to other class and spec because of this increased crit damage, which I think is fine. As far as I can remember, Lava Burst always had that 100% crit chance on the target with Flame Shock applied. Crit was still a valuable stat for Elemental Shaman though, because other spells didn't have that 100% crit chance that Lava Burst had, and 250% increased damage was pretty important, but crit wasn't as (no pun intended) critical as it is now. Blizzard went one step further in Legion and made Lava Burst scale off of crit during Ascendance. Again, I think this is fine. Crit has been one (if not the) most important for Elemental Shaman for a while. In Legion though, the biggest issue I have is the inconsistency in Earth Shock's damage. Without a crit, it barely breaks 200k damage, but with a crit (and some procs), can reach over 600k damage. Building up a whole bar of Maelstrom and seeing a Earth Shock hitting barely over what a Lava Burst does simply because it didn't crit... it feels bad. It just does. There's no % increase of any spells damage which will ever change that, and Earth Shock is supposed to be our hardest hitting ability. When it barely breaks 200-250k because it didn't crit, it simply feels underwhelming.

This second part of the new Mastery would help reduce that RNG factor on Earth Shock and make sure it is our hardest ability. This could also provide us with some interesting decisions to be made during the gearing process. Mastery would improve the damage of Shocks, sure, but what if your Crit + Mastery goes over 100% (for Earth Shock's crit chance?) Do you still keep adding Mastery? Do you still keep adding Crit? Do you try to always keep a balance so that it is not over 100%?

I'm sure some of you might be thinking that a Mastery change in the middle of an expansion might be something that's too big to be done. But it has been done in the past (e.g. Frost Mages' mastery in MoP). I genuinely think this would solve a whole lot of problem related to scaling, balancing, while adding a layer of complexity to the gearing process.

I know it has been a big wall of text, but if anybody at Blizzard read though all this, well, thank you!
09/29/2016 12:48 AMPosted by Sylveslayne
Maybe the top 1% are getting by but many others have already had to reroll or flat out lost their spot.
With the time it takes to build Artifact Power, switching specs or classes is a serious setback. Given the Artifact design, Blizzard locks the average gamer into one class, one spec. When Blizzard design fails for a spec like they have with Elemental, they greatly devalue the game for those customers. I can start over, but I'd be a month behind my raid group, not good.

Given the Artifact grind commitment, all specs need to be within a reasonable ranged and currently they are not. My interested in the game has greatly diminished.
I agree with a lot of the posts. I do disagree that 17% isn't a big deal. For any kind of balanced game, having a 17% difference in dps is HUGE. Maybe just a few different thoughts:

I think Stormkeeper should just be a flat out AoE damage ability, but good enough to use on ST as well. This is the case for the majority of artifact abilities, so ours shouldn't be lame buff to filler spells. It's just boring as heck as is.

I really doubt it would happen, but would love to see EQ just go away, even if it was just a talent that baked EQ damage into Chain Lightning. If Chain Lightning was our AoE, then it would ramp up the usefulness of mastery and alleviate the slow damage problem that EQ has always had. Some might find the one button AoE boring, but dang was it fun and awesome-looking back in MoP, when that was what we did.

Other than that, just agree on stronger EQ, removing Maelstrom requirement from Flame Shock, etc.
Stormkeeper needs to be taken off the GCD, it never should have been on it in the first place, it just makes using it feel clunky.
09/29/2016 06:52 AMPosted by Luxora
Stormkeeper needs to be taken off the GCD, it never should have been on it in the first place, it just makes using it feel clunky.


Don't say clunky! That hideous blue haired idiot named Celestalon may hear you!
09/29/2016 07:02 AMPosted by Lystaera
09/29/2016 06:52 AMPosted by Luxora
Stormkeeper needs to be taken off the GCD, it never should have been on it in the first place, it just makes using it feel clunky.


Don't say clunky! That hideous blue haired idiot named Celestalon may hear you!


Ahh, perfect balance.
It's honestly just tuning. There is nothing mechanically holding us back.

Storm keeper off the gcd would add an insignificant amount of dps. You're looking at basically 1 extra LB with that.

And I'd say our tuning for the most part is pretty good enough. We are middle of the pack.
As a Business Analyst for Home Depot, I am interested in getting DPS analytics so I can throw them a spread sheet and do some studies.

Where can I find the data?

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