Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Shaman Changes Thoughts

I believe I can fly...

The Shaman changes preview notes were released today and I am giddy with excitement.  All specs are going to be benefitting, some more than others.  I'll be going from most changed to least.  Of course, we'll start with the general changes before the specifics, and I won't be giving the details, but my perspective on them.

Unleash Weapon is going to be a new spell for all Shamans that will do different effects depending upon what the Shaman's weapon imbues are.  I'm excited to see how this will increase Shaman flexibility.  Spiritwalker's Grace is a new spell (10 sec duration, 2 min cooldown) that will let the Shaman cast while moving.  This is going to be a great boon to all Shamans in PVE and PVP.

Restoration Shamans will be getting a new AOE spell in the form of Healing Rain.  It targets an area, has a 2 second cast time, a 10 second duration, and a 10 second cooldown.  So you spend 2 seconds casting it, and it will keep raining healing on the area for 10 seconds.  This will give the Shaman time to fill in the gap with other heals (Chain Heals?).  Mostly, I just hope that the animation for this effect is awesome.  I'd love a cute little shower to heal my friends.  Furthermore, we'll be able to precast this spell in anticipation of AOE damage (like Gluth).

Also, Blizzard is going to be playing with the idea of Spirit Link again, which will take the damage that the target takes and redirect some of it to nearby targets (numbers subject to balance, cooldown, etc).  This was something in the Wrath beta that was cut for various reasons and now Blizzard is going to take another stab at it.  This will give Restoration Shamans a defensive cooldown, like Holy and Discipline Priests have.

Healing Wave will become Greater Healing Wave and a new Healing Wave will be joining us.  Healing Wave is going to be our staple heal, with Lesser and Greater being situational.  Whatever.

Then there is the whole dispelling changes.  Also whatever.

Elemental Shamans will be adding a +10% spell power buff to all of his/her Fire totems, finally letting Elementals use fire totems other than Totem of Wrath.  THANK GOD!  This, plus finally getting a decent AOE spell in Earthquake will make Elemental be far less frustrating and have fewer scaling issues.  I just hope that the optimal AOE method will be to run in w/ Magma Totem and run out while using Earthquake to fill in the gaps between Fire Novas.  I've loved the AOE damage that Shamans have been doing since 3.3.

Enhancement Shamans are hardly getting anything yet.  Primal Strike will make it easier for them to level, but will be replaced by the Stormstrike  talent.  The aforementioned Unleash Weapon and Spiritwaler's Grace will also affect them, but that's really it.

The Enhancement Shaman's Mastery bonus isn't really interesting either, +Nature Damage, LAME.  Seriously, not much cool here.

We must, however, mourn some losses.  All Shamans will be losing our beloved Cleansing and Sentry Totems.  Requiescat in pace, friends.  (EDIT: Sarah saw the preceding sentence and thought I had a stroke all over my keyboard. LOL)