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Filed under: Shaman

Class tuning hotfixes

Yes, turns out they're still at work adjusting class tuning before we go into Warlords of Draenor. Some classes saw buffs, other classes saw another round of savage nerfs. Death knights and balance druids saw some buffs, as did elemental shamans, while mages saw a 20% nerf to frostbolt's damage (rolling back a buff from October 17th) and warriors got pummeled.

A complete list of the class changes will be posted after the jump.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Death Knight, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Alpha: Updated patch notes for June 13th

Well, it's another update to the Warlords of Draenor Alpha and its patch notes. What's new, what's changed, what's going on with the Alpha? Here's a few highlights:
  • There's a new section called Secondary Stat Attunement that basically comes right out and tells you what stat you're expected to want for each specialization. Fury warriors, you'll notice it's still crit. Fire mages? Same thing. We're still angry and hot. We both still love crit. We should totally form a band.
  • Other new sections include the Self-Sustainability section (which explains how your ability to not die has been changed) and the Tooltip Clarity section, which explains why they've made changes to various tooltips. Of extra import is the mention that, just because the tooltip has changed, that doesn't mean the ability has, unless the patch notes say it has. So keep that in mind.
  • There have been several changes to the Ability Pruning section - Death Knights lose Blood Strike and Necrotic Strike, druids see a mountain of changes (seriously, if you're a druid, go check that out, it's crazy) - paladins, priests, rogues and especially shamans have gotten some significant pruning as well (I'd put shamans just behind druids).
Head on over to the official patch notes and take a look for yourselves. If you're playing a class like a shaman or druid that just saw a lot of change it's especially a good idea to read up on the current state of affairs.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Changes to Weapon Imbues and Unleash Elements

As part of the most recent Alpha build, shaman weapon imbues (Windfury, Flametongue, Earthliving) have been removed. CM Lore got on the forums and explained exactly what was up, and here's his rundown of the changes.

Lore - Weapon Imbues Shaman
We didn't feel that Weapon Imbues were offering much in the way of gameplay. For many players, they felt like more of an annoyance ("why can't I Unleash... oh") than a buff. They're also prime targets for reducing action bar clutter. For those reasons, we decided to convert each spec's primary imbue(s) to passive effects.

However, while the effects of Windfury and Flametongue are a core part of the Enhancement rotation, Earthliving for Restoration and Flametongue for Elemental are little more than a raw numbers increase. Not really something that we need to clutter up the spellbook with. So, for Resto and Elemental, we decided to remove those effects entirely (and compensate for that when we start numbers tuning). For Enhancement, we merged Windfury and Flametongue into one passive (Enhanced Weapons) that gives the benefits of both effects.

Please be aware that the currently active Alpha build was taken in the middle of a pretty big wave of class changes (for everyone, not just Shaman). We'll be getting a full update to the patch notes out as soon as possible once we've completed that round of changes.


The new passive, Enhanced Weapons, acts as Lore detailed - it basically gives your attacks the chance to have the effects of Windfury or Flametongue without actually having Windfury or Flametongue on them. In addition to this change, Unleash Elements now becomes one of three spec and imbue specific Unleash abilities, Unleash Life for Restoration, Unleash Flame for Elemental and Unleash Elements for Enhancement. Each unleashes as the ability does on live with the proper imbue.

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Alpha: Feral Spirit and Ghost Wolf changes

I was reading the various Blizzard press sites (as you do) when I came across this article from Alexandra Meurling about shaman ghost wolf form. I decided I needed to check that bad boy out, and soon discovered that yes, it's absolutely true, and it's not just limited to ghost wolf either. Also affected is the shaman ability Feral Spirit. You can see the upgraded wolves above. I'm not entirely sure why my shaman felt the need to sniff the dirt in every single screenshot I got of him, but yes, both the Ghost Wolf and Feral Spirit wolves are definitely a big upgrade.

I'm definitely interested in running around on my shaman for Warlords, I can tell you that.

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Watcher on health and healing changes in Warlords of Draenor

If you remember after the last Dev Watercooler, there was a flurry of activity on Twitter as Celestalon and Holinka answered questions. This time Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has taken to social media to answer questions and explain what's up. We're collecting his tweets here, to give folks a chance to see what he's got to say about the big changes coming to health and healing mechanics in Warlords. There's more after the jump.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, News items, Monk, Warlords of Draenor

Totem Talk: The best healing advice ever

Old Lodur
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Totem talk for the shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

So, I've been playing this game for a long time. I mean, since before the game actually went to retail. I'm an old man at this point, at least in game terms. I've been around for the good times and the bad times, the highs and the lows and everything in between.

For officially four of those many years, I've been writing here at WoW Insider. A dream job for me for sure, and one I'm very grateful to have landed. Over the course of that time though, both in terms of just game time and of writing blog posts, I've dolled out and received a ton of advice. As always it came with the caveat that your mileage may vary, but I like to think it's been good more often than not over that time. But, in all my years of playing and writing, there has been one bit of advice that I received that has been by far the best advice I've ever received, and the best I can ever give.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Falling in love with PVP Healing

Lodur in AV tunnel
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Totem talk for the shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

With the end of season 14 announced, and the imminent arrival of Patch 5.4.7, I thought I would take some time and get involved in some PVP action. I've always had a fondness for PVP, but raiding always took so much of my time in game, that between out of game things and raiding I just didn't have the time to invest into any amount of PVP. That's changed with a new guild, a new raiding schedule and a new work schedule out of game, so when a friend of mine asked if I wanted to start PVPing again, well I jumped at the chance.

While I'm not nearly as well versed in PVP as my fellow shaman of awesomeness Oliva Grace, I still manage to have a lot of fun in both Arenas and Battle Grounds. That said, I've been away from the PVP scene for a while, not setting foot in an arena since the middle of Cataclysm. I thought I would share my experiences and thoughts from this past week.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Healer representation in Mists of Pandaria


Dedralie at Healiocentric has started a series examining how the 6 healer specs fared in Mists of Pandaria, and the first installment starts with a look at representation in raids. It's a fascinating article on the rise, fall, and sometimes stagnation of class fortunes, and toward the end there's a pretty cogent prediction on what mythic raids in Warlords of Draenor are probably going to look like if current trends continue.

This is a quick summary, but I'll provide more details past the cut. As Dedralie writes, while we're not really talking about healer balance or throughput here, there are a few obvious trends you can track from the Mists launch in September 2012 all the way to heroic Garrosh kills in January 2014:
  • Discipline priests and holy paladins ruled the expansion.
  • The absorption effects brought by these two healers is a huge advantage in heroic content (even more so in 10-man), and it may be too valuable as a mechanic.
  • Tier 15 (Throne of Thunder) was the most balanced with respect to representation. Tier 14 saw significant gulfs between class popularity that unfortunately returned with a vengeance in Tier 16 (Siege of Orgrimmar).
  • While monks and holy priests are still struggling for representation, it's instructive to look at the fights where they were significantly more popular.
  • Mythics will probably look like the "under-healed" heroics of MoP, which will prejudice heal teams toward synergies between absorption healers and those with strong throughput-based cooldowns.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Monk

Totem Talk: Resto fashion through Mists

Shaman Tier Gear MoP
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Totem talk for the shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

Something that I've always loved over the years has been the aesthetic of shaman armor and tier sets. Over the years we've had some really killer tier sets that have showcased our connection to the elements. From the magma, water and planet armor from Burning Crusade, to frozen tusk armor of Wrath of the Lich King. We've had some really killer sets with some really awesome particle effects over the years.

I feel though, that with transmog, we've sort of moved away from looking at our gear sets in favor of using our older sets of gear. With that, I think that this past expansion has produced some of the greatest shaman armor we've had, arguably since the very beginning of the World of Warcraft. I thought it would be nice to take a look at the tier sets from the aesthetic perspective that we've received over the course of the Mists expansion.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Why do you play a resto shaman?

Shaman in Nagrand
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Totem talk for the shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

It was a question asked of me the middle of last week by a friend over drinks. We Have been playing video games together, and in particular World of Warcraft, for close to the full decade of it's existence. He has always been more of the DPS type, and never really took to healing as any class, and since I've always been the healer, he was intrigued by what my answer could possibly be.

It seems like a simple question at first. Why do we play any class at all really? But there are a miriad of factors that can be cited as the reason we do. Lore, aesthetics, mechanics, armor. The list can be quite a long one. I sat back and I thought about exactly why I played a restoration shaman for so long, and thought that I would share.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Resto Shaman's Year in Review

Shamansar
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Totem talk for the shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

I like looking back and seeing how the past year has been for us, the dedicated water healers we are. I don't know about you, but at least for me I enjoy looking back over some of my favorite moments from the year prior.

2013 was certainly a bit of a roller coaster ride for restoration shaman, both in terms of how we performed and dealt with healing in a group and the changes we had to endure between tiers of content. It was filled with many good changes and things that made this a very good year for resto shaman.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: For the Love of Healing set bonuses in Siege of Orgrimmar

Mecha Lodur
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Totem talk for the shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

When it was first announced, the tier 16 set bonuses were something that I was initially pretty excited about. Both the tier 16 2-piece and 4-piece bonus seemed to be things that would fit well into our repertoire and gives us a little bit of a boost. Some healers weren't too convinced that these would ultimately be any good for us. It's a debate that happens pretty much every time we get a new tier of content and gear.

So, we've been in Siege of Orgrimmar for a bit now, and a fair number of healing shaman have either obtained their pieces of tier gear from the various raid difficulties, or are starting to now. So then the question of the quantum second is ultimately whether or not they are any good. I figured I would share my own observations on the matter.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Restoration between now and Warlords of Draenor

Panda in Outland
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem talk for the shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

Well, I don't know about you but I'm still very excited about the announcement of Warlords of Draenor. I mean, it was honestly the big news from BlizzCon 2013 and the feeling is still quite electric from almost everyone in regards to it. For some, The Burning Crusade and going to Outlands was one of the greatest things to ever happen in the World of Wacraft. For restoration shaman in particular, BC was that point in time where everything was awesome and shaman were the top of the food chain for healing.

This week though, I'm not here to talk about the glory days of shaman healing. No, that will be an article for another week. This week I wanted to talk about the time between now and the next expansion. It is always a topic to think about what to do in that time where you're waiting for the next expansion to even enter beta phase. The good news is Mists of Pandaria offers so many more options than any other expansion before. I thought I would share how I'm spending my time between now and Warlords of Draenor.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: What's Next for Restoration?

Spirit Lodur
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem talk for the shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

BlizzCon has come and gone and it has left us, as it usually does, with a very small glimpse of what is yet to come. It seems like every expansion restoraiton gets shifted one direction or another. Whether it is focus on stats or our role in the healing team of a raid. No matter what way you look at it, excitement or fear, change is coming.

While the expansion, Warlords of Draenor, has just been announced and system changes are still being developed but it is never too early to start taking a look into what we can start to expect. Whether it's from gear, to stats, to spells and ability well... I'd rather start taking a gander now and not be blindsided later. That said, right now it's all speculation, since the game isn't even in beta yet.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Resto Faces Another Sha, and Ganks a Dragon

looking over the vale
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem talk for the shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

You've made it this far, and you're almost through the opening act in the Siege of Orgirmmar. You are getting ever so much closer to facing down Garrosh. The next two bosses that stand in your way are both pretty straight forward, but also have the potential to be infinitely annoying.

The good news, at least for Restoration shaman, is that both of these upcoming fights have amazing opportunity to make use all of our group healing spells and abilities. The mechanics aren't too terribly hard, but they are certainly worth going over so you can know what to expect.

This is not a comprehensive boss guide, but is instead tips and tricks I have learned through my own personal experiences.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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