Trust those sneaky folks at Blizzard to hit us with patch 3.3's PTR notes late in the day. So what do shamans have to look forward to? It's one change, essentially, but its a fairly big one.
- Fire Nova Totem: This totem has been replaced with a new spell, Fire Nova, which is available at the same ranks as the old Fire Nova Totem. Existing characters will automatically learn this new spell in place of the totem. With a Fire Totem active, shamans will be able to use Fire Nova (fire magic) to emit the same area-of-effect damage as the old Fire Nova Totem from the active Fire Totem, not consuming the totem in the process. Fire Nova will activate a 1.5-second global cooldown when used and has a 10-second spell cooldown. The caster must be within 30 yards of the totem to use this ability, but does not need to be within line of sight of the totem.
- Elemental Combat
- Improved Fire Nova Totem: Renamed Improved Fire Nova. This talent now provides an additional 10/20% damage to the spell and reduces the cooldown by 2/4 seconds.
What changes, you may ask? I'm glad you did.
- Default Equipment: Starting weapons are now more uniform. Rogues now start with a pair of daggers equipped. All other classes except shamans start with a 2-handed weapon equipped and the required skill already known. Shamans start with a 1-handed weapon and a shield, as they benefit more from the shield than they would from a 2-handed weapon.
- Health and Mana Regeneration: These regeneration rates have been increased by up to 200% for low level characters. As a player's level increases, the regeneration rates gradually reduce, returning to normal rates at level 15.
- Spell Mana Costs: These costs have been reduced for almost all lower level spell ranks. In general, if a spell decreased in cost with a higher level rank in patch 3.2.0, that spell now has the decreased cost at all ranks. In addition, spells learned before level 20 with reduced cast times and/or durations have even further reduced mana costs, proportionate to their reduction in cast time or damage.
It's pretty clear this is the patch aimed at softening leveling up in order to get as many people into endgame as possible with the time we have left in Wrath. On the whole, just having the option to do real AoE without losing your totem buffs in the process would be a nice change for all shamans, especially our elemental brothers. Adding the leveling improvements in and we have a solid if small positive change all told.