Welcome to another article by elemental shaman specialist Matt Sampson, otherwise known as Binkenstein. By day, he's a geek; by night, he's also a geek, but with spreadsheets. He'd also like you to go and vote in a poll he is running. Go on, you know you want to.
As you may be aware, last Saturday there was another developer chat on Twitter. If you're anything like me, you would have searched through it for the elemental-specific questions and ignored the rest. (OK, so I did look at the druid ones as well, just to keep up with what's happening for my alt.)
Obviously, this means that nothing is finished or finalized yet, so any serious analysis would be premature (not that some of us won't be doing it anyway). It also means that this is a good opportunity for a bit of feedback.
We know that our third mastery is Overload, which most likely will not change from the previewed version. Just to recap, Lightning Overload has been renamed to Overload and now applies to Lava Burst as well. The Overload damage will still be half the damage of a normal spell, and the proc chance will be a base figure plus an additional percentage from the new mastery rating, rather than our previous 20 percent at max rank. Some initial screenshots have shown a 25% proc chance, but it's too early to look at any numbers with Overload yet.
Aside from the passive crit bonuses, the only talents that were removed completely were Booming Echoes and Astral Shift. I don't expect either of these to make an appearance as a glyph, since the Astral Shift-esque talents were removed across the board with the stated intent of not having anything like these present. Booming Echoes, on the other hand, duplicates the function of Reverberation with a passive damage bonus, which seems a bit excessive for a glyph, as they're almost all single-ability change/buff effects rather than two at once. We'll also expect to see Glyph of Totem of Wrath changed or removed, since the flat spellpower buff has been changed to a percentage.
On the Prime/Major/Minor glyph breakdown, most of the glyphs we currently have could go either way. However, I'm thinking that glyphs like Elemental Mastery, Fire Elemental, Shocking, Thunder and the like will stay as major glyphs, whereas Lightning Bolt, Lava, Flametongue, etc. will become prime glyphs. This is because doing things like decreasing cooldowns is nice, but nobody will take them them over a glyph that increases Lightning Bolt damage by four percent.
Hopefully, this implies that if Lava Surge is really awkward and painful to use, it'll get changed and/or replaced. It will change the normal rotation/priority system most certainly; it's just a question of whether Lava Surge becomes the thing you watch for with tunnel vision and hope like hell you can either use a /stopcast macro on Lightning Bolt to get the next Burst out as quickly as possible, or that it's an "awesome" moment when it procs. Just as an aside, I have put together some comparative analysis between the current version and another, based on a suggestion by Santux on Planet of the Hats where it uses the Lock & Load mechanic of making the next cast not trigger the cooldown.
In short, less spellpower initially, but weapons will have an increased amount of spellpower compared to how things work at the moment. Nothing particularly exciting, but it's worth including in here anyway.
Again, a fairly straightforward answer.
So, in summary we know the following:
- Talents aren't all done yet.
- Tree/Mastery bonuses are coming.
- Glyphs are being redone, and we're not likely to see any removed talents become glyphs.
- Rotations will be interesting, fun, but not so complicated that they become "not very fun."
- Intellect to spellpower conversion is one-to-one, excluding the first 10 points in intellect. Weapons will have proportionally more spellpower.
- Chain Lightning will still be used as a gap-filler in normal rotations (or not, as you so choose).
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