Elemental 8.1 Rework and Direction.

Shaman
Most of you have already reached 120 and gotten some gear by now and have realized that Elemental is really slow and must be feeling frustrated and confused as to why Elemental is playing like it is currently. Here is just a few points explaining the shift from Legion to BFA and what caused the issue.

1. Ancestral Swiftness has been removed. Originally this was the go to talent at the start of every expansion, it gave us flat 6% haste which at the start of a new expansion and with basic gear was enough to put a player at a good 16-20% Haste without much gear investment. Allowed for cast times to start at roughly 1.75 and get lower over time as we got geared.

2. Azerite Helm, Shoulder, Chest no longer providing Secondary stats. The shift of power in gear from secondary stats to main stats heavily affected Elemental. Elemental was one of the few specs where having a set amount of secondary stats allowed the spec to feel fluid, even if you didn't hard. With reduced gains to secondary stats, we are unable to reach those fluid marks of haste/mastery/crit. Thus even though our damage is mathematically good, it does not feel good.

3. Talent's requiring secondary stats to function.. High Voltage, Unlimited Power. These talents are extremely unhealthy in the current BFA gear design route. They scale 100% off of mastery, this means the lower your mastery the less likely the talent is to work which makes us the only ranged class in the game whose talents are tied to secondary stats. Balance Druids and Destruction Warlocks have similar talents that do not require secondary stats to proc them.

4. For those who don't remember. In 7.1.0 Elemental shaman got the best buff ever received. Our Base Mastery was buffed to an amount that effectively allowed us to Hard Cap Mastery at 65% with elemental blast + totem mastery giving a pseudo 100% Mastery. This buff allowed Shaman's to finally pursue good levels of crit and haste without having to sacrifice the core gameplay of shaman which is the overloads. Unfortunately there were people who lacked foresight and complained about the Mastery hardcap (You know who you are!) and thus blizzard removed their kind gift and triple nerfed Elemental Blast, Totem Mastery and Elemental Overload.

Long story short, in BFA currently, our Mastery is still under the penalty of Legion's secondary stat inflation and on top the maelstrom generation was again nerfed from 75% to 50%, so we are at a point where it takes us a long time to cast and we have a reduced chance of that long cast overloading, ontop of that if it does overload it only generates 50% of the maelstrom and because due to the lack of secondary stats when we finally spend said maelstrom our crit rating is so low that Earth Shock feels really bad for the time investment.

Speculation: For 8.1 the major fixes that need to happen involve...

1. Baseline cast reduction passives, Elemental does not have any way to reduce cast times innately built into the spec, requires it to be talented, requires high levels of mastery for consistent uptime and competes with actual gameplay altering lv.100 talents.

2. Maelstrom Spender's need a 3rd way to increase in strength, Elemental is the only ranged resource using class that is unable to buff its spender through its mastery.

3. Reworked Talents that make sense with current theme of Elemental. Earthen Rage has been a wayward talent for couple years now and was from an old failed mastery, Molten Earth, that somehow has not received a rework and has been taking up a precious talent slot.

Conclusion: I don't mind waiting, for 8.1, but for the sake and sanity of both Developers and people who play Elemental Shaman, there must be big changes. Many thing's are at stake here.

Edit: Elemental Shaman is the only spec and class for me, I'll be playing through thick and thin, but it also doesn't mean I won't fight for the spec I enjoy to feel good and give me the magic that I had felt back in the days.
Yeah I agree mostly.

I'm seeing earthshocks line up for 40k+. Sometimes... and other times like sub 10k? It's definitely unsatisfying to get the maelstrom ready and then mash that button, only to get a fizzle.

Admittedly, better buff tracking/etc would help manage expectations, but it doesn't solve the inconsistency problem. That's a pretty big difference.

I like LB where it is. Its auto-crit single-target dmg is probably right where it needs to be, and if mastery was inflated much I think it would become a bit overpowered.

On the other hand, you're right when it comes to lightning.

As you pointed out, it's early days in the expansion. I think later on, with better gear, we'll be in a good place with the current build.

Maybe an ancestral-swiftness-like artifact trait would help ease the early game?
Fear not comrades!

Elemental shamans will be top #3 DPS for the remainder of the expansion. Why you ask?

We deserve it.
maelstrom generation: add 3 maelstrom per tick on flameshock

cd reduction and sustain dps: every meatball cast reduces fire ele by 2 seconds

mastery fix: fixed overload chance(maybe like a 40% chance), mastery increases
overload dmg proc. talents adjust overload chance to a higher fixed rate.

lightning bolt: this is a generator that needs to be like a steady shot or something on the lines of, its not a mages frost bolt or a warlocks shadow bolt where it builds mechanic and is actually feasible to cast in their rotation, this should have been stamped with "this is a generator lets make it feel like one". all you gotta do is slap that cast while moving like it was in MoP.

all in all maelstrom is kinda like a bad version of rage. a ranged warrior but with meatballs instead of mortal strikes. oh and bring back the old earth shock and flame shock when dispelled!

looks like ele has to rely on warlock again for 3v3 !@# comps to cover flame shock dispells.
Get the right Azerite traits, no where do you mention traits being why azerite armor has no stats due to traits.

I always go for the secondary stat traits and reguarly have 60% mastery rolling when it matters.

Just sayin

Ele blast for example sims the lowest for me and generates no maelstrom, it feels terrible to press until you have 3 pieces with nature's harmony and suddenly you instantly get ~10 - 20% of each stat

Options are there just adapt, i doubt 8.1 is going to be a floor down rework. At best the spec is "unfinished" and it will get polished imo.

I was crying a lot before but I'm competitive at all current available content at 334 iLvL
I'd be happy with starting encounters with 60 maelstrom.

There are certain things that could be fixed, like Flame Shock Cooldown, Mobility, spells feeling meaningful, but I don't really have a lot of complaints other than having to build up maelstrom to cast Earthquake to deal competitive AoE DPS feels really bad right now outside of stormkeeper. Being tied to stormkeeper talent to deal burst AoE would be fine, if it remained a great single target CD, but it's really bad now compared to Legion.
I'd like to add that it's not fun doing !@#$ damage until Earthshock is available. Stop front loading all of elementals damage into Earthshock. Lava Burst and Chain lightning has and always will be the main reason to play Elemental.
+1, thank you for the explanation for why this feels so sluggish, didn't realize it was so many parts.
The inconsistency of Earth shock is brutal. Feels bad when you spend all that time building maelstrom only to have your big spender tickle your target. Sometimes I wonder if the cast even went off given how bad it can be.
how is ele not in a good position atm? i destroy everyone in mythics except broken arms warriors and outlaw rogues @332 ilvl.

ele feels perfectly fine and no other classes even come close to us on single target boss fights in mythics.
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08/21/2018 06:41 AMPosted by Hekksqt
how is ele not in a good position atm? i destroy everyone in mythics except broken arms warriors and outlaw rogues @332 ilvl.

ele feels perfectly fine and no other classes even come close to us on single target boss fights in mythics.


I can't remember the exact ilvl they gave us on beta when I tested norm and heroic Uldir. But ele felt fine and did some very good damage and never felt clunky like when you level up , not top of the meter but it doesnt need to be number 1 to feel good .

People tend to complain a lot about the state of the class in the part of the game that classes are simply not balanced for .

But unless something drastically changed since beta in July , ele in raid gear is pretty nasty

So idk if anything tune the rate at which the spells scale in low 120 gear and below so it doesnt take 350 ilvl to start feeling good but idk like the portion of the expansion you'll spend below 350-360 ilvl is very minimal
Wish Earth Shock had a cool animation.

08/21/2018 06:41 AMPosted by Hekksqt
how is ele not in a good position atm? i destroy everyone in mythics except broken arms warriors and outlaw rogues @332 ilvl.

ele feels perfectly fine and no other classes even come close to us on single target boss fights in mythics.


Because there is more to the game than mythics? Have you tried doing quests? Our build-up is so slow. It's not that Ele doesn't have good damage in dungeons, it's that it is an absolute chore to play solo or in pvp.

I look at my warrior - auto attacks generate rage, charge generates rage, getting hit generates rage, talents increase rage generation, many instant cast cd abilities generate rage. I'm popping Rampage all the time.

With my shaman - only 3 abilities generate maelstrom, and they all have a cast time.
My personal recommendations are as follows:

Remove Elemental Fury and buff base damages to compensate. Something like 10% increase to base damages. That way our damage won’t be such a big gap and it’ll make it a little easier to adjust us. We don’t need to crit for 250%.

Increase Maelstrom generation: I don’t mean on flame shock either, making it a more important ability isn’t good for pvp as it’s already dispel priority number one. Up the maelstrom generation of the spells in general, or give us passive maelstrom gen in combat.

Remove Primal Elementalist or buff the rest of that tier to compensate. Primal Elementalist is the best in that tier by a large margin. That said it polarizes our damage around that cooldown.

Remove flame shock cooldown, or give it some dispel protection and make lava burst always crit. Target swapping is really bad with a 6 second cooldown in PvE. In pvp one dispel gimps a large amount of our damage. So either make it have no cooldown to fix both, or make lava burst not need flame shock to deal damage and give us something back on a dispel. Like 30 maelstrom, a haste buff, or some portion of its overall damage.

Add another maelstrom dump: This one is more of an aesthetic change than anything. A flick of the wrist shouldn’t be our big finish. Earth shock is just not exciting as an ability. I wouldn’t hate making it our maim/kidney shot alternative. Instead of a stun, make it knock down like Earthquake, but give us another ability that feels powerful, like a baseline Elemental Blast that’s a big nuke.

For pvp movement: If we don’t want to give us snap movement ie gust of wind, our peel needs to be better. We can start with a reduced thunderstorm cooldown. It’s our unique ability that wouldn’t interfere with “class fantasy” (despite air being one of the elements we are supposed to be able to manipulate). Give us something akin to lightning shield, etc on it, or anything really because with the exception of enhance and ret pally thunderstorm currently is either negated with cloak/ams, or gap closed immediately. Anti-movement is generally much worse than movement when you’re on the defensive so we need to compensate for that.
For dungeons ele is really good though.

Our single target is pretty garbage, but our aoe is awesome as usual. Also the earthquake stun is amazing. There is so much interrupt potential and interrupts matter a ton in these dungeons.

For Uldir from what I've seen so far ele will be very competitive on 3 of the 7 fights. The fights where you have to blow up multiple adds on a regular basis mother, zek'voz and zul. Possibly g'hun if you can stack the adds though from what I saw this wasn't the case. Other than that you wont be that great.
Here are a few complaints I have about Elemental.

It takes WAY too long to build maelstrom to kill a lowish health mob. A mob where you don't want to pop Fire Ele.

Lightning bolt is not worth the risk/reward in pvp. 2 seconds of casting for a spell that does less damage than a simple melee rotation, PLUS it can be kicked because all kicks are not on the GCD.

No casted spell of ours is "threatening/scary" in PvP. Lava burst/lightning bolt damage is laughable, Elemental blast is one of the riskiest spells to cast, Ice Fury is decent. Only spell that is "threatening/scary" is earthshock, and that is assuming we can get up to 60 Maelstrom to cast it.

Flame Shock duration seems quite low as there are many moments where I am unsure if my next Lava Burst's get off, or FS falls off. Feels very weird constantly having to worry about it falling off.

Target swapping while Flameshock is on cooldown. Frost shock spam and wait till Flame Shock is off cooldown? Lightning bolt?
they already know what they are going to do to elemental nothing anyone suggests will change anything thats already being worked on right now.if anything enhance needs a re work as well.
08/21/2018 06:41 AMPosted by Hekksqt
how is ele not in a good position atm? i destroy everyone in mythics except broken arms warriors and outlaw rogues @332 ilvl.

ele feels perfectly fine and no other classes even come close to us on single target boss fights in mythics.


anecdotal evidence, is anecdotal.
also, good job assuming all anyone ever does is run Mythic+, champ.

feels good for YOU =/= feels good for EVERONE
why are people saying "ELEMENTALS ARE GOOD IN DUNGEONS!!!!" ?

THIS LITERALLY has happened in recent expansions, elementals are good in dungeons because fights dont last long enough, so you pop ascendance and ayyyy look at that you look like a boss on dps meters. then you join raids, and since fights are longer and you're dog !@#$ while out of ascendance then you start seeing everybody complaining like its something new.
The cast time on stormkeeper with its new effects is dumb. It should be like a .5 second cast if anything...

As it is you basically cast a chainlightning to get 2 instant guranteed overload chainlightnings. With the GCD you basically spend the same time as casting 2 chain lightnings anyway!
08/21/2018 09:58 PMPosted by Daylytt
why are people saying "ELEMENTALS ARE GOOD IN DUNGEONS!!!!" ?

THIS LITERALLY has happened in recent expansions, elementals are good in dungeons because fights dont last long enough, so you pop ascendance and ayyyy look at that you look like a boss on dps meters. then you join raids, and since fights are longer and you're dog !@#$ while out of ascendance then you start seeing everybody complaining like its something new.


Ele was the lowest represented M+ spec for Legion. So they're kind of lying. It wasn't good overall. It wasn't exactly demanded in raids either.

And now it's worse. Things bode poorly.

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