What would you do for Shaman?

Wyrmrest Accord
It's no mystery that Shaman aren't currently the most optimized or exciting of classes. Which makes me personally sad because I love playing and RPing the class. Along with the Paladin, it's the most iconic of Warcraft classes. If you could personally make a suggestion to bliz about how to improve Shaman, what would it be? I'm talking about aesthetic, lore, mechanical, abilities, or anything.

I always thought elemental would be interesting as a pet class, with different elemental types used for different roles.

And make totem drops a thing a again! It's their most iconic ability!
S
In Legion, the fact that playing Enhancement was basically going to the casino was mitigated somewhat by comparatively high Maelstrom generation and the comparatively low cost of Lava Lash making it practical to fish for Stormstrike procs when you got unlucky. They nerfed both of those things in BfA; Maelstrom generation feels a lot lower and Lava Lash costs a lot more, so now instead of fishing with Lava Lash when I got bad RNG, I just sort of...can't play the game. So I'd probably change enhancement to remove or at least lessen the RNG or give much higher Maelstrom generation.

I would also give a second damage cooldown to take the place of Doom Winds. Removing trinkets, in Legion you got a cooldown every minute and a second cooldown every 2 minutes, which lined up nicely with potions, Bloodlust, etc. Now we get one cooldown every 2 minutes (or 90 seconds if you talent into it) that is "fire and forget," ie. it doesn't affect what your character is doing at all. More fun big buttons to press that actually make me feel more powerful like Doom Winds did would be nice.

Movement could also use a rework. You would think, given Ghost Wolf and the fact that we have a sprint that removes roots, our movement would be fine...except you can't DPS in Ghost Wolf and it's on the GCD, making it basically only worth it if you're off the boss and need to move a long distance. You can talent into Feral Lunge, I guess, but then you miss out on a Cheat Death mechanic that is useful in progression.

Also, Lightning Shield being a DPS talent for Enhancement gives me cognitive dissonance.
I concur with making Elemental a pet class, I think that would both fix many of its issues and give it a unique feel to help differentiate it from the other specs.
Please do not make elemental a pet class. That's what hunters and warlocks are for and as we have seen over time, the "no pet for u" talent is usually taken whenever people can manage it. Introducing pets to a class adds weird new complications.

I'd rather just have elemental basically reverted back to what it was in MoP, to be honest.
I also don't quite care for the idea of Elemental being a pet class. I will admit some personal bias as I simply don't care much for pet classes overall. One alternative does come to mind, though. Having Elemental switch element attunements to buff and/or access certain abilities, akin to switching stances or Druid forms; perhaps reminiscent of the GW2 Elementalist. As far as I'm aware the only spec to utilize a comparable mechanic are Druids, and even then not quite to the same effect.

I very much would like it if Enhancement used totems more, like it did before MoP; or at least have their description stop calling them a 'totemic warrior' since it's clearly no longer true. It was always so weird to have the casters in Legion use them more than the spec that specifically mentions them.

Addendum: I would love to speak on the class mechanically but I feel I'm ill-equipped as I don't have BfA at time of writing.
As someone who used to primarily play a Shaman in PvE content:

Enchancement should be totem focused, as stated above, and should focus on enchancing themselves through totems and buffs while having amazing burst through usage of cool downs.

Elemental should focus on empowering themselves by "fusing" or using their bodies as a catalyst for the elements. Fire spells are more ST focused, Lighting more AoE, Earth/Frost more CC.

Resto should focus on the water/spiritual elements of shamans, but to be honest I don't really know what should be done with them flavor-wise other than just combining the first two specs into a more mellowed out version for Resto. Channeling the water elements through themselves while using totems/spirits for healing.

This is all just flavor stuff in my head, anyways. I know nothing about balancing.
09/18/2018 02:09 PMPosted by Baenura
I'd rather just have elemental basically reverted back to what it was in MoP, to be honest.

This but for most classes
Shaman tanks.

Please.
I like the idea of maybe giving them four specs (like druids), representing each of the elements. Earth (tank), water (heals), fire (rdps), and wind (mdps).

And once again, make totems a thing.
When I think 'shaman tank', I think of an all-around elemental master that uses INT as the main point - as it would increase your mitigation (like how more rage meant a bigger absorption for warriors in Legion).

Or depending on your resource (maelstrom), it made effects last longer (like rogue).

The concept seems cool to me, but I'm no game designer, so I can't fathom how it would work in the long run.
What is it with people wanting more tank specs, Blizzard can barely make the ones we have work at an equal level. Don't add more.
Make ascendance baseline again. Put a new talent in the level 100 row. Mastery needs to be redone because it's useless.
There are a few problems shaman has had for a while.

Ages ago: totems. Totems were static and non-interactive. They were boring but useful purely from a buffing standpoint. They provided some strong buffs but you just... stood next to them. This changed over time with changes in later WotLK and Cata and such to make them a little more movement friendly but ultimately I think totems are incredibly outdated and just don't need to exist. If they're purely visual--representing a player-focused buff--that's fine, but stuff centered around the actual totem? Nahhh.

Blizzard has a weird balance to walk with totems because so many players consider them central and iconic to the class, and that's not wrong, but I definitely think they should be moved away from in class design terms. MoP and some other expansions added a bunch of talents that added whole new totems or changes to existing totems, so huge chunks of the shaman class talent library was... all totems, all the time. It got old. I'm glad to see it has changed a lot but I want more done there.

Another thing? Mobility. This isn't as much of an issue for enhancement as it is for ele, but the fact that shaman used to be able to cast lightning bolt on the move was incredibly useful without being overpowered. Warlocks got the same ability with a talent that was incredibly powerful and ultimately that made Blizzard decide that all casting while moving was too strong. Thanks a lot, warlocks. In Legion we got Gust of Wind which was really useful and Blizzard removed it for, uh, reasons. I don't know why. I don't think anyone does. Bring back the turbo fart, blizzard!!!!!

A very vague problem: talent choice. As stated above, in the past a lot of talents were focused around totems which never felt particularly strong, fun, or active. That has changed for the most part in more recent times but ele shaman talents especially often feel a little disjointed. Like most classes there are some talents that are obviously the AoE talent, the single target talent, etc. and create options for multiple builds... but those builds are rarely very solid and middle-of-the-pack or situational at best. It's hard to approach that subject without it sounding like "blizzard make me super strong" but the shaman class is supposed to be versatile and flexible and it feels like we pay for that by usually being underperformers. Where talents are concerned for non-gimmick builds (RIP gambling build) they generally feel kind of lackluster and don't have a real niche or feel like they have an actual impact on gameplay.

The final thing I can think of: mastery. I don't remember when exactly it started (I guess it was always kind of a thing with elemental mastery [the ability, not the stat] back in the day) but Blizzard really started pushing the idea that ele shaman were meant to be lightning bolt turrets. That was fine thematically, but they added lava burst into that mix and then kind of churned everything out with the elemental overload effects. They've really, really pushed that mastery hard the last few expansions and it's not very interactive nor does it feel particularly strong. Damage is balanced around having high mastery so that you get many smaller hits, which can be fun when you see tons of numbers pop up, but it's not always so great for actual DPS or damage done. If another spellcaster class hits for 100k with their main attack, the shaman hits for 30k with the RNG hopefully triggering some overloads to push that number up. But because it's so RNG it's very unreliable even with high mastery.

As we know with outlaw rogues and fire mages, RNG just isn't that fun when it's a core part of your class.
Honestly. Go back and make Shaman exclusive to horde and paladins to alliance. First time I logged on and made a human warrior, made it goldshire and saw a shaman wrecking the place and everyone by himself. Made me switch to the horde.
I don't have a Shaman yet so I can't really talk the specifics of class design.

But I would give them an ability to consume all their totems and make a big totem boi out of them like a power ranger robot made up of small robots that still gives buffs while fighting.
I miss MoP’s Enhancement Ascendance animations. You felt like a god casting surges of lightning like that. The basically invisible wind slices are incredibly underwhelming by comparison.
09/19/2018 08:01 PMPosted by Keelhaul
I miss MoP’s Enhancement Ascendance animations. You felt like a god casting surges of lightning like that. The basically invisible wind slices are incredibly underwhelming by comparison.
The wonderful sound of five chain lightnings hitting your target.
Ideally?

Shamans go back to one-handers and shields for Enhancement and become tanks again.

Earth Totems that increase your armor, help lower the damage of bleeds and DoTs and, when chain-lightning is cast through them, forms your aoe-aggro combo.

Fire Totems a thorn-like effect, high-damage single-target damage and crit-increase in a party or raid buff within 40 feet of the totem.

Wind Totems free from CC effects, increase speed of maelstrom build and deflection bonuses.

Water Totem provides small amount of self-healing either for the Shaman or the party/raid group.

Maelstrom is spent on attacks that provide a small % of stacking sunders or similar effects as well as boosting the power granted by specific totems and calling upon the elements to fortify the Shaman against specific effects, by they physical attacks or magical attacks, and the Shaman has to juggle Totem cooldowns and Maelstrom building to be an effective tank.
09/20/2018 12:55 AMPosted by Phellius
Shamans go back to one-handers and shields

On a tangent, it's always bothered me that literally the only reason Enhancement can't use two-handers is because Lava Lash explicitly uses an off-hand weapon.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum