Elemental Discussions - 7.2.5 Part 2

Class Development
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Apart of all the ES vs EQ debate (and i really apreciate and respect it, since i would love to see ele as top tier in ToS) i want to seize the opportunity to bring a discussion about our defensive state atm. Ele is one of the most weak classes rn, since we dont have any panic buttons - AMS, corpse shield, disperse, bubble, turtle, iceblock, nether ward - nor significative instant healings. I'd like to propose some implementations (and of course leave the topic open for suggestions of the fellow shamans):

>Buff Astral Shift to 50% dmg reduction for 10 secs, and make it usable while stunned. Can even increase the coodown.
>Make Shamanistic healing trait work as a percentage of your max HP, like 5%, 10... till 20% (maybe making it work as the old Nature's guardian from MOP)
>Maybe bring Lightning Shield back as an honor talent or even as a permanent passive.
06/07/2017 11:00 AMPosted by Risnik
06/07/2017 10:54 AMPosted by Lucagray
Elemental complaining about having the best AoE in the game. I've seen it all.


Except, we don't ...and with the changes to earthquake and our lackluster set bonus, there's a lot to be concerned about .


It's like you've never seen a good elemental shaman constantly burst 4mil on trash in m+....
06/07/2017 11:23 AMPosted by Kegstand
06/07/2017 10:54 AMPosted by Lucagray
Elemental complaining about having the best AoE in the game. I've seen it all.
Someone that's killed Mythic Gul'dan hiding on an alt to act like a petulant child. I've seen it all.


I'm not hiding. I post on this character because of the name. It's for continuity in my class forum. As for elemental shaman, aoe is the last thing you need help on. But oh well, everyone is entitled to complain for buffs I guess. Good luck.
With all the 5789435983453 suggestions people gave for the 43895743 problems elemental has, blizzard comes and say they will nerf our AoE to make our ST better (and EVENTUALLY be tuned). Just that. COMPLETELY IGNORED all of the other problems.

That god awful T20 bonus, the laughable ST damage, the ZERO DAMAGE in movement (where 85%+ of the fights requires constant movement), RNG fiesta. All of that was totally ignored in name of a nerf to AoE, where we suppose to excel. And you're here debating how to deal with the EQ vs. ES problem. Seriously.

As I said in a post on the other topic, there's still time to swap mains. My 880 BM is doing almost the same ST DPS as my 904 ele (who has BiS trinkets).
I suggest you all to just let your elemental goes for the good. It was a good time but blizzard has proven that they REALLY don't care about our "fundamental problems" which they even said that don't exist. rofl
Earth Shock Instantly shocks the target with concussive force, causing up to (920%1100% of Spell power) Nature damage based on Maelstrom spent.

This is not enough. It barely touches the bad ST we have still. This doesn't even come close to putting us in a ST position that isn't still bottom of the pack. Not to mention T20 only giving a 1.3% bump as it currently is. Come on
06/07/2017 11:42 AMPosted by Umeshoryu
2. Scaling of secondary stats.

The real problem of the EQ/haste interaction change you propose is that while you might be able to tune the damages to look similar to the current live, what happens at the end of 7.2.5? What happens when players are Heroic geared at 920+, trying to push Mythic Tomb? We already have concerned about Elemental's scaling with higher secondary stats, this change terrifies us.

As mentioned before, the value of critical strike is a paradox. Yes, we want it due to Elemental Focus and Fury, but it does nothing for lava burst. So it sits at this uncomfortable place. I truly believe removing Elemental Focus and Fury would go a long way to help both you and us in this situation.

Mastery is a even worse problem child, due to the hard cap some of us already experience with current Item Level. The fact that it does nothing past 100% is really, really concerning comes 7.3. So I hope you understand that something HAS to happen between now and then.

So once again, I beg you to consider reworking our mastery in a way that allows scaling.


Just let Lava Burst scale with crit in some way or another and ta-da.

Crit scaling fixed.

Removing things like Ele Fury and Ele focus do nothing really, because something has to enter in their place.
@ Sigma
1. Unnecessary complications.

I think the biggest culprits for the tuning difficulties plaguing the current iteration of Elemental are automatic critical strike of lava burst on flame shock targets, Elemental Focus, and Elemental Fury. Due to the synergy among all three of these, the baseline Lava Burst and the value of critical strike tanks.

While it sounds cool that our lava burst always crit, the problem is that you tune us assuming every lava burst crits. Therefore it feels like none of the lava bursts crit. It would be different if you tune lava burst without assuming it will always crit and bump up its damage, but you can't.

And the worst part about it is that it is literally unnecessary. You absolutely have the capability of removing all three and save yourselves the headaches of going through the hoops on a simple tuning pass. Elemental Focus and Fury adds nothing to the spec, because you tune us with them in consideration. The result being that Elemental Fury doesn't feel like extra damage at all. It's just part of the package.

So for the next major mechanical rework patch, I beg you to strongly consider removing these three things so that you have an easier time tuning us and the value and more importantly the scaling of critical strike will rise.

I agree about Elemental Fury, but disagree about Elemental Focus. Elemental Fury is simply a buff to crits and we can do nothing to control it or play around it. Elemental Focus is a proc which we can both control and play around. I use Icefury and I love weaving Lava Bursts in between Frost Shocks to make sure they are empowered with Elemental Focus. Especially with the T19 set bonus, this makes a big difference in dps. It's how I often parse 90%+ on Star Augur for my item level, because I pay attention to Elemental Focus and game it. I consider this fun and rewarding gameplay, and honestly I wish the new 7.2 traits had improved Elemental Focus instead of Elemental Fury.

But with Earth Shock buffs and the new T20 set bonuses, I might have to put Icefury away for good which would be really sad. Or go Enhancement since that's looking much better.

@ Sigma
2. Scaling of secondary stats.

The real problem of the EQ/haste interaction change you propose is that while you might be able to tune the damages to look similar to the current live, what happens at the end of 7.2.5? What happens when players are Heroic geared at 920+, trying to push Mythic Tomb? We already have concerned about Elemental's scaling with higher secondary stats, this change terrifies us.

As mentioned before, the value of critical strike is a paradox. Yes, we want it due to Elemental Focus and Fury, but it does nothing for lava burst. So it sits at this uncomfortable place. I truly believe removing Elemental Focus and Fury would go a long way to help both you and us in this situation.

Mastery is a even worse problem child, due to the hard cap some of us already experience with current Item Level. The fact that it does nothing past 100% is really, really concerning comes 7.3. So I hope you understand that something HAS to happen between now and then.

So once again, I beg you to consider reworking our mastery in a way that allows scaling.

Couldn't agree more about mastery. I'd love to see it scale past 100% so I don't have to swap out 3+ pieces of gear every upgrade so that I'm not hitting the cap.
Brief aside on scaling, since it's getting a lot of discussion in this thread. Slightly technical.

Elemental's scaling with crit doesn't pose any major problems that we know of. Yes, crit doesn't improve Lava Burst, but improves everything else by more than the standard amount due to Elemental Fury and Elemental Focus. This is intended to make crit's total value balanced for Elemental, and as far as we know it's in a good place. A quick glance at community-made guides etc. would indicate that players have the same valuation (crit is far from the bottom stat). The fact that distribution of crit's benefit is not uniform on all spells is in many ways a good thing--it give the stats more texture. It's something that would probably be good to have more of across the specs (as is common with mastery and haste).

Haste improves Earth Shock and Earthquake by virtue of casting them more often (in addition to reducing cast/GCD time, although the former is more important). Imagine a simplified world where 3 Chain Lightnings build enough resource for 1 Earthquake. The entire cast sequence of CL-CL-CL-EQ gets compressed by whatever your haste percentage is, improving your DPS by that amount. The Earthquake doesn't have to do more damage per cast with haste (in the same way that the Chain Lightning doesn't do more damage per cast, and nobody questions that).
@Kaz
Ok maybe I wasn't clear enough about Ele fury. I agree that removing it does nothing, because it means it currently does nothing anyway. I am hoping what they replace it with is higher baseline damage and streamlined, therefore tighter, tuning.

Currently ele fury contributes to the RNG swing of ele, because it further polarizes the results of crit vs none crit. I think it actually harms the spec more than it helps. This would help the developers out as well, since I think tuning would be easier if ele works with normal crit damage and higher base damage.

@Seiga

I apologize that I did not consider Icefury playstyle. I don't play it personally. After reading what you wrote, I changed my mind about Focus. If it does contribute to the fun you have with our spec, I would not take that from you. But I am glad we agree on other points.
06/07/2017 01:11 PMPosted by Sigma
Brief aside on scaling, since it's getting a lot of discussion in this thread. Slightly technical.

Elemental's scaling with crit doesn't pose any major problems that we know of. Yes, crit doesn't improve Lava Burst, but improves everything else by more than the standard amount due to Elemental Fury and Elemental Focus. This is intended to make crit's total value balanced for Elemental, and as far as we know it's in a good place. A quick glance at community-made guides etc. would indicate that players have the same valuation (crit is far from the bottom stat). The fact that distribution of crit's benefit is not uniform on all spells is in many ways a good thing--it give the stats more texture. It's something that would probably be good to have more of across the specs (as is common with mastery and haste).

Haste improves Earth Shock and Earthquake by virtue of casting them more often (in addition to reducing cast/GCD time, although the former is more important). Imagine a simplified world where 3 Chain Lightnings build enough resource for 1 Earthquake. The entire cast sequence of CL-CL-CL-EQ gets compressed by whatever your haste percentage is, improving your DPS by that amount. The Earthquake doesn't have to do more damage per cast with haste (in the same way that the Chain Lightning doesn't do more damage per cast, and nobody questions that).


I do agree with crit scaling. I think it is fine that lava burst remains unaffected by crit. You bring up a valid point with Elemental Fury affecting crit abilities more than for other classes. Also worth not just glazing over is the fact that when TOS comes out BIS relic slots will improve Elemental Fury further. Adding a +1 in the new trait Elemental Destabilization (Storm relic granting this drops from first boss in TOS).

The problem, as some others have stated, with Lava burst, and other skills lies in how easy it is to cap mastery. This might be worth looking into as higher ilvl gear will provide players with more overall mastery. I believe the correct move might be to shift that mastery cap in some way so that we don't have to constantly be juggling gear to not overcap. This will have the adverse affect of a secondary being useless, not just bad, but useless. It will make gearing in TOS a pain in the !@# early on and will slow down DPS gains for the class as a whole, as you clearly can't control what mail pieces drop for your raid, and surely some mastery ones would drop.

With that in mind, if you still think Elementals will scale with secondaries into tomb, then by all means we are at your mercy. But even still, you have to admit that after this 2% or ~15k-20k DPS buff to single target, we are still going to be lagging behind by nearly 20% in single target to the hardest hitters. This will also be compounded by the fact that our T20 was nerfed into the ground, therefore scaling into this tier will make it even worse.

Thanks for your time
I just want to know why the focus on eq and not St??
06/07/2017 01:11 PMPosted by Sigma
Brief aside on scaling, since it's getting a lot of discussion in this thread. Slightly technical.

Elemental's scaling with crit doesn't pose any major problems that we know of. Yes, crit doesn't improve Lava Burst, but improves everything else by more than the standard amount due to Elemental Fury and Elemental Focus. This is intended to make crit's total value balanced for Elemental, and as far as we know it's in a good place. A quick glance at community-made guides etc. would indicate that players have the same valuation (crit is far from the bottom stat). The fact that distribution of crit's benefit is not uniform on all spells is in many ways a good thing--it give the stats more texture. It's something that would probably be good to have more of across the specs (as is common with mastery and haste).

Haste improves Earth Shock and Earthquake by virtue of casting them more often (in addition to reducing cast/GCD time, although the former is more important). Imagine a simplified world where 3 Chain Lightnings build enough resource for 1 Earthquake. The entire cast sequence of CL-CL-CL-EQ gets compressed by whatever your haste percentage is, improving your DPS by that amount. The Earthquake doesn't have to do more damage per cast with haste (in the same way that the Chain Lightning doesn't do more damage per cast, and nobody questions that).


I have a odd question. What if you allowed shocks to use mastery again. It would buff ES, FS and FrS for more ST damage(which we need) without the need to tweak numbers due to high RNG spikes. Mastery is a reliable way to control our burst since it's flat scaling thus going to 100% would net a specific amount of damage. If not could you go into why?
Mobility: Revert to WoD and make Lightning Bolt able to cast on the move. Or, give us a spell that is instant cast, no CD and straight up damage.

Our single target needs so much help that instead of trying to prop it up to do at least mediocre damage I chose to focus on my AoE damage as much as possible, but that's only effective on a few bosses in NH, well, and the trash.

Now it appears that you're nerfing our AoE? Why?

I've gone from subbing for a year, to my last re-up being for a month. All due to how badly class development has gone for Shaman - Elemental spec in particular. That's the bottom line for WoW and should tell you how unhappy I am with developers for this class. Some of us prefer to play shaman and I don't think we should be penalized for it, as we have been with the lack of real action on the issues as outlined by the elemental shaman in these forums.

My last raid, I thought, why the heck are you paying to play a game that makes you feel bad because the class you chose to play was the wrong one. Not because of my game play but because of my class/spec choice.

I stand with my fellow elemental shaman in a united front to ask that the developers in charge of fixing this, please listen to the community. We aren't asking for the moon, (maybe a couple of stars), but respectfully we ask that you heed our suggestions and fix the glaring issues.

I'm shocked! Oops, no, I shock!

@Sigma

Texture? I'll take improved damage over “texture” every raid of the week.
06/07/2017 01:40 PMPosted by Applefriter
06/07/2017 01:11 PMPosted by Sigma
Brief aside on scaling, since it's getting a lot of discussion in this thread. Slightly technical.

Elemental's scaling with crit doesn't pose any major problems that we know of. Yes, crit doesn't improve Lava Burst, but improves everything else by more than the standard amount due to Elemental Fury and Elemental Focus. This is intended to make crit's total value balanced for Elemental, and as far as we know it's in a good place. A quick glance at community-made guides etc. would indicate that players have the same valuation (crit is far from the bottom stat). The fact that distribution of crit's benefit is not uniform on all spells is in many ways a good thing--it give the stats more texture. It's something that would probably be good to have more of across the specs (as is common with mastery and haste).

Haste improves Earth Shock and Earthquake by virtue of casting them more often (in addition to reducing cast/GCD time, although the former is more important). Imagine a simplified world where 3 Chain Lightnings build enough resource for 1 Earthquake. The entire cast sequence of CL-CL-CL-EQ gets compressed by whatever your haste percentage is, improving your DPS by that amount. The Earthquake doesn't have to do more damage per cast with haste (in the same way that the Chain Lightning doesn't do more damage per cast, and nobody questions that).


I have a odd question. What if you allowed shocks to use mastery again. It would buff ES, FS and FrS for more ST damage(which we need) without the need to tweak numbers due to high RNG spikes. Mastery is a reliable way to control our burst since it's flat scaling thus going to 100% would net a specific amount of damage. If not could you go into why?


Well technically shocks benefit from mastery since overloads give maelstrom. The question is if it is enough benefit.

Honestly the problem with our shocks is that, even with high crit im talking 40% which is possible now, you can have streaks of non crit which really hurts since they are not cast often and require maelstrom. Yes aftershock help you cast more earthshock but anyone that has tried it knows how much of an opportunity cost it comes with.

Oh and don't even get me started on the difference between an icefury no overload or crit and an icefury which overloads and both critting. The difference is just too much.
06/07/2017 01:11 PMPosted by Sigma
Elemental's scaling with crit doesn't pose any major problems that we know of. Yes, crit doesn't improve Lava Burst,


Unless we go Icefury (which has mayor scaling problems) the mayority of our single target damage IS Lava Burst. Unless there are plans to fix the problems with mastery (namely its hardcap that no other mastery in the game has, which is entirely reachable with current gear), Ele will constantly have single target problems when our main source of damage has scaling problems and only scales with haste and mastery (and haste is comparatively awful for single target outside the meme earthquake 33 build).

06/07/2017 01:11 PMPosted by Sigma
Haste improves Earth Shock and Earthquake by virtue of casting them more often (in addition to reducing cast/GCD time, although the former is more important).


Haste still underperforms for single target (outside of the memequake 33% build, which is a problem with Earthshock being too weak, not Earthquake being too strong) so no one will ever get meaningful quantities for single target as long as Earth Shock has the power level needed (this includes not exclusing earth shock from things like Seismic Storms because it only serves to devaluate it).

It doesnt matter that haste allows to cast Earth Shock more often when crit and mastery do much more for our single target throughput. Not to mention that even with the buffs, Earth Shock feels less like a meaninful spender and more like resource dump that we cast before capping out with no real player throughput.

As for Earthquake, I still dont see the point of removing haste scaling and keeping its power the same when we will keep stacking haste for aoe*, because as you mentioned, it increases our generation to pump out those earthquakes anyways, something that mastery doesnt compare thanks to mastery doing nothing for Static Overload (which haste lets us fish more proccs of).

I am going to repeat what everyone has been saying here: If there is mechanical work and tuning focus to be done in the Earthquake vs Earthshock issue, its on Earthshock's side. Removing Earthquake haste scaling is more of a problematic band-aid that really solving the problem.

The real problem is that Earthshock feels meh and its scaling is simply bad, and Seismic Storm only made it even more glaring of an issue. Our single target spenders are all currently underperforming, and that is a problem of how badly they scale compared to the rest of our damage sources (namely our generators). Their indirect mastery and haste scalings are simply not enough to make feel and perform like actual spenders.

Removing Earthquake haste scaling also means that the issue will be kicked down from Earthshock vs Earthquake to Chain Lighting vs Earthquake. There was already a point where Earthquake was almost not worth to cast over spamming chain lighting because of the several gcd spend casting EQ, before Seismic Storm was added.

TL;DR: Most of the Ele shaman community thinks that the solution is working on earth shock to buff it, because removing haste scaling and/or nerfing earthquake will open another set of can of worms.
The Earthquake doesn't have to do more damage per cast with haste (in the same way that the Chain Lightning doesn't do more damage per cast, and nobody questions that).


This is patently false. If we were any other class, I'd agree with you, but CL most definitely scales well with haste. On paper, no, it doesn't really, but in reality mobs only live for a certain amount of time, and the mobs we use CL on typically don't live for very long. So the more haste we have, the more casts we can get off, and thereby the more chances to proc both Overload and Static Overload. And the more overloads, the more EQs we get... but after EQ stops scaling with haste, we might not even use it unless there's a lot of targets because of how crazy CL can get with overload procs when there's 4-5 targets.

But that's only if we get lucky with procs. With little-to-none, our AoE builder does substantially less than other classes', and that also means less maelstrom to use on our spender which will be doing far less than it does currently. Again, this is all leading back to how hard we scale with good overload RNG rather than how we scale with haste or crit, which you seem to believe are the culprits. And notably, our AoE is affected much more by overload RNG than our ST is - and AoE is the only thing we're sometimes good at. Hmmm... curious, no?

You seem to want more classes' spells to have variance in how they're affected by secondary stats. But perhaps the fact that we're the only one whose stats do do that are why we're so difficult to tune? Like how Crit is apparently a big thing for us since we have two passives built around it and a trait that increases its crit damage, but have a spell that doesn't use it. Or how Mastery doesn't directly benefit our spenders but has a huge impact on our builders. And how haste (currently) affects our AoE far more than the other stats, but is fairly lackluster on ST. I'm not even going to bother with the dead fish that is Vers, though.

And let's not forget that we've waiting for the entire expansion for a blue post because our damage has been fairly underwhelming and has only gotten worse as ilvl increases. And when do we finally get some blues? The week before a major patch releases (that previously had literally no change of value to our spec) with a nerf to our AoE and at best a 2% buff to our ST. Not to mention it's a change that none of us expected, and was only an issue because Earthshock was already so underwhelming of a spell with low damage and very poor scaling - not because EQ was too strong.
The ES buff is just so god damn small

like

You could have just buffed earthshock and not ruined us in m+
06/07/2017 01:11 PMPosted by Sigma
Brief aside on scaling, since it's getting a lot of discussion in this thread. Slightly technical.

Elemental's scaling with crit doesn't pose any major problems that we know of. Yes, crit doesn't improve Lava Burst, but improves everything else by more than the standard amount due to Elemental Fury and Elemental Focus. This is intended to make crit's total value balanced for Elemental, and as far as we know it's in a good place. A quick glance at community-made guides etc. would indicate that players have the same valuation (crit is far from the bottom stat). The fact that distribution of crit's benefit is not uniform on all spells is in many ways a good thing--it give the stats more texture. It's something that would probably be good to have more of across the specs (as is common with mastery and haste).

Haste improves Earth Shock and Earthquake by virtue of casting them more often (in addition to reducing cast/GCD time, although the former is more important). Imagine a simplified world where 3 Chain Lightnings build enough resource for 1 Earthquake. The entire cast sequence of CL-CL-CL-EQ gets compressed by whatever your haste percentage is, improving your DPS by that amount. The Earthquake doesn't have to do more damage per cast with haste (in the same way that the Chain Lightning doesn't do more damage per cast, and nobody questions that).


We get that, but, its not that we're OP with EQ being how it is, are we? We just want you to leave EQ and our AOE in general alone, since its the only thing we excel right now, but we desperately need ST buffs, and this change wont help that. Instead, this will only hurt our AOE too, so, why cant you simply focus on ES buffs/changes and leave EQ alone? If you look on previous post in this thread you'll find tons of suggestions on how you could fix this ES/EQ issue without nerfing us even more.
Also worth mentionion that this entire earthquake vs earthshock problem is because of the steps that the dev team has taken to shoehorn Ele into an AoE niche, which means you guys kinda maybe have been priming Earthquake at the cost of Earthshock.

When all you guys do is focus on our AoE at the cost of our ST, is it really a surprise when our AoE spender that gets a golden trait and better trait scaling displaces our ST spender that has almost nothing going for it?

An earthquake exclusive golden trait when we already had an Earth Shock buff patches before because of Earth shock being too weak was literally a terrible idea and the real source of this problem.
One of the things that seems to be a major issue with Ele this expac is that the devs all hear us saying: "The gameplay is fun!" but then make the incorrect assumption that we're talking about something outside of the core rotation and usage of our abilities.

Things like Elemental Blast and Lava Surge, and even to some extent LR on AoE are what make the gameplay fun. Interesting and engaging decisions in our base rotation is what makes it fun for me, and I think Blizzard has delivered on that in a big way. Balance issues aside, I think that choice between our level 100 talents was one of the most interesting choice I've got to make playing this class. We had a simple, moderate, and complex rotation available to us. That is why the Elemental playstyle is fun!

Things like our gold traits, especially Volcanic Inferno, don't contribute to that at all. I don't have fun playing the spec because I have a chance to summon an bad looking volcano. Our gold traits are great ways for Blizzard to tune us, because none of them have a real impact on the rotation. (save for PotM which can in certain situations impact the rotation)

I just wanted to clear up that the part of the gameplay that is fun are things like Elemental Blast, not things like Volcanic Inferno and if those things could be used to either tune our DPS or provide some more interesting decision making I know I would be much happier with the spec over all.

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