Sep 9th 2011 8:44AM My first character was a night elf, and I joined a guild called Teldrasil Defenders that was recruiting. I was around level 12 and the guild leader was 23 or so. He announced that he was going to take all of the low level characters on an expedition to Ironforge. Having never been out of Darkshore before, I agreed and we set out. After taking the boat to Menethil, he led us out of the harbor and into the Wetlands. I still remember him telling us to stay close unless we wanted to get killed -- the world felt so wild and dangerous!
We traveled through Dun Algaz to Loc Modan, and we were awed as he felled the orcs in our path. When we arrived at the lake, we stopped at Thelsamar and looked out over the lake for a few minutes before continuing to the south gate.
I still remember the chills I felt when we finally arrived in Ironforge. He brought us over a snow-capped cliff and we looked out at the city above. It was breathtaking. I was completely hooked from that point on. And though my sense of wonder for the game world never quite reached that high again, I still remember how amazing that first journey was.
Jun 28th 2011 11:22AM How about: "TOO SOON! YOU PATCHED ME TOO SOON, EXECUTUS!"
Jun 6th 2011 11:16AM Good piece, Josh. I hope you go more into the current issues with enhancement in future columns, however, because there are many.
I'll always hold enhancement as my true love. It's an amazingly rich class with lots of cool abilities. But as a high end raider, I've retired my shaman of 5 years in favor of my freshly rolled warlock.
To highlight some of enhancement's weaknesses for those looking for more information, I'll use the example of my swap to my warlock. My guild was working on Sinestra, which requires intense burst AOE dps and a very high single target requirement. For 3 minutes of the fight, each player receives a 100% haste buff/unlimited mana buff as well.
Firstly, haste as we know is awful for enhancement now. So single target, I was scaling the worst out of any class in the raid. The other effect of that buff is it provides every other class with unlimited resources - mages have infinite mana and can just AB spam, ferals and hunters have super regenerative energy, warriors have nearly infinite rage. Enhancement? Our resource (mana) is already available in unlimited reserves - we're never capped by it, so we have nothing to gain by getting more of it. As a result, we gain nothing there in the fight as well.
TLDR: my enh DPS on Sinestra was pitiful compared to the rest of my guild. I'm no slouch either - my shaman has a 367 ilvl and I'd like to think I'm fairly skilled, holding top 10 DPS ranks on almost every fight in this tier at one point or another. Yet the night I swapped to my warlock I shot from doing 27k DPS over our best attempts ~6 minutes, to doing 38k DPS on our kill. My warlock did identical single target damage as my shaman, and I was the top damage done to the aoe packs of whelps. My warlock was 353 ilvl at the time.
So yes, there are a number of serious issues with shaman at the moment. Perhaps Sinestra isn't the best fight to use as an example due to the buff mechanic, but it does illustrate some key problems (no resource managment, continually poor cooldowns, poor scaling with stats).
Apr 1st 2011 12:44PM Great work, Josh. It's wonderful that wowinsider actually has a great enhancement writer for a change.
Another one I like:
/castsequence lightning shield, water shield
I use that one for turning my LS off when electron's damage shield goes active, and turning it back on in one easy click.
Aug 25th 2010 3:21PM Uggg... another winning Maloy article. This guy's totally mailing these in at this point. The commenters have provided infinitely more valuable information than he did in this recap of what you can find on wowhead in 10 minutes.
Aug 8th 2010 11:27AM These are great improvements and we'll see some nicer scaling out of them than we have in WotLK. Being able to stack both haste and mastery will be huge.
Also, with improved fire nova moving up the ele tree, a viable aoe offspec is going to be difficult to achieve too.
The main problem we still have, though, is cooldowns. Both feral spirit and fire elemental do not currently scale well with end game shaman. The reason: Neither benefit from haste, our primary stat. If our CDs are going to be as effective as other classes in cata, we need to see feral spirit benefit in some way from both haste and mastery. Fire elemental will benefit from mastery, but not haste. So this issue needs to be resolved, or we're going to end up in the same situation towards the end of cata: Other classes will scale better with gear, and enhancement shaman will get pushed out of raids.
Aug 1st 2010 5:57PM You might be misreading the stats, then, Rich. The script logs the values by fight and breaks each of those down by spec. On some fights, enhancement ends up as high as the middle of the pack out of effective specs. On many others, it falls far to the bottom. Now we can discuss the whys and hows of this quite a bit (that would be a great topic for a post, btw). But the fact is (and it sadly is a fact) enhancement at the top end of current content is scaling the worst with gear than any other role, with the possible (arguable) exception of DKs. The main difference is DKs come with a litany of survivability features that shamans do not have. This is part of the reason many top end guilds choose to run a frost DK over an enhancement shaman. There's much more on the subject here -- http://dkdeathgoddess.blogspot.com/2010/05/dps-scaling-in-icc-numbers-are-in.html
Anyhow, I came off way ruder than I should have -- my apologies on that. I think what you're doing at Big Crits is outstanding, and has the potential to change the way people look at the game. But that I also think as one of the leading voices in the enhsham community, you could be touching on much more important topics with the column. How many enhancement 101 articles has WoW.com put up? How many have you written? I've seen a ton of them, and it's just tired at this point. This person you're writing about may be fairly new to enhancement, but he/she is obviously not clueless about the game if the guild is passing down heroic KSs and BBs to his/her offspec. I'm sure this person knows what EJ is and how to parse it. And they're probably familiar with EnhSim too. Why not raise the level of discourse a little bit higher as opposed to recapping what's already out there in 5-6 different places at the moment? Taken in another direction, this column could've been about how to properly use EnhSim, it's importance to the community, and why it's probably going to be going bye bye in Cata. Or the right way to utilize target dummies (as a tool for mastering rotation and situational combat, not to gauge DPS).
Anyhow, got to split. Please keep it up, Rich.
Aug 1st 2010 12:08PM Not to be negative, but there are some glaring problems with this article. For one, Rich makes an effort to say that enhancement shaman scale well with gear. This is flat out false. We're the absolute worst-scaling active spec inside ICC (discounting specs like Arms and Frost (mage) which no self-respecting DPS play as). For more on this, shammies, check out: http://www.stratfu.com/kamigami/N_Lord_Marrowgar.html
RIch follows up his claim with some well though-out proof: "damage will increase as the gear gets better." What a profound statement.
But most interestingly, during the open letter to Rich, the writer says that he is having trouble pulling more than 6-6.5k on a heroic dummy. If Rich was paying more attention, he might have suggested to the shaman that those numbers are actually fairly good for a heroic dummy. The idea that dummies are in place to test DPS is silly. Every class scales differently with raid buffs. Enhancement shaman in particular require just about every raid buff/debuff out there in order to do their maximum potential DPS. Because of this, there's absolutely no way for one to accurately test DPS on a dummy unless they have their entire raid with them.
6-6.5k on a dummy is actually pretty good for an enhancement shaman. In my gear (less than 6 items away from absolute BiS), I could sit on a dummy and do just over 7. Yet in ICC, that's translating to 17k on stand up fights.
There are some very good things Rich mentions, such as weening off of Shock and Awe (add ons like this that decide what you should do next for you just hurt you in the long run). Also, running EnhSim to test your DPS is an absolute must for any serious enhancement shaman.
Unfortunately, the sum of this piece is little more than a glossed-over review of what information is already out there on sites like Elitist Jerks. Sorry, Rich, I'm usually a fan. But you might need to spend a little more thought on these pieces instead of trying to keep the freaks in check over at Big Crits.
Morninglory, Enhancement Shaman for Life
Jun 4th 2010 11:50AM Naxx may not have been lazy or out too long, but it was simply uninspired and a major step back in terms of imagination from raids that we'd long been used to. The article mentioned that Naxx was the most advanced and well-designed raid in vanilla, but I disagree there too. While it was certainly harder than Ahn'Qiraj, it was no where near as interesting, alive, and (most of all) fun.
I'm sorry to add another gripe, but it needs to be said: What is the deal with wow bloggers and the phrase "Your mileage may vary." Please, let's let this old cliche die, OK? It means nothing but "That's my opinion." It's obvious and unnecessary, and slightly annoying!
Mar 27th 2009 9:34AM I also play WoW with an Xbox 360 controller currently. I'm a druid, and I basically have buttons 1-10 mapped out on the controller, plus a modifier button to do CTRL 1-10. With multiple forms (I'm feral) that gives me in the range of 60 buttons to play with, which is more than enough. And since I've been doing it since level 10 or so, I have everything completely memorized now. Any class with a stance or a form shift would be great for this - my shaman is a little bit more difficult to use, but I just make some totem macros and off I go.