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Posts with tag Elemental-Mastery

Totem Talk: Elemental shaman changes for patch 4.0.1

Get some Fulmination with your Lightning Bolts! Sort the shocks from the flames with Totem Talk: Elemental, brought to you by Sarah Nichol, otherwise known as Pewter. She can also be seen pottering around TotemSpot, trailing a pet dalek behind her.

My name is Sarah, and I have a problem. The diagnosis is farsightedness, a result of focusing on Cataclysm to the exclusion of all else. The quests, the new casting priorities, the shiny surroundings, and the fact that I get to be a dwarf instead of a draenei ... So much to think over, so much to explore! There is nothing cuter that a dwarf shaman, except maybe those new armadillos. Where was I, again?

Now, patch 4.0.1 is on the PTR, dragging in new talent trees and new hit numbers to consider and the removal of Sentry Totem. Time to start paying attention. We must not let the sacrifice of Sentry Totem be in vain! There should be no expectations of balance at this point, as all these new level 80 shiny things are developed with level 85 in mind. There are still questions pending on some of the details, so whether our flames are bright or storm clouds are on the horizon for elemental is up for debate. From hit caps to casting priorities, we've got a bit to get through in my inaugural Totem Talk, so sit tight, make sure you know where your towel is and everything will be just fine. I hope.

Now, where to start? Oh, yes. Hit.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Spiritual Guidance: The greatest Shadowfiend nerf (or maybe buff) of all time

The race to represent the Spiritual Guidance column is turning into a nail-biter. Dawn Moore, writer of the Sunday version, took an early lead due to her natural dual constituencies, holy and disc. Recently, though, Fox Van Allen, the shadow-specced author of the Wednesday column, has taken a statistically insignificant 46-44 percent lead over his rival in the polls. Some credit Fox's well-written, intelligent columns. Others point to the recent discovery of yet five more Shadowfiend-bite-riddled corpses; Dawn supporters all. "Yes we can" is so 2008 -- "... or else" is the new catchphrase for a new decade!

Ladies and gentlemen of the shadow priesting jury, I am outraged. Or possibly thrilled. You see, just this past week, Blizzard has done something totally unconscionable. Or possibly ground-breakingly awesome.

Of all the tools at the disposal of the shadow priest, there's one I hold in higher regard than most the others: my Shadowfiend. You see, spells like Mind Flay and Vampiric Touch -- they're all just spells. My shadowfiend is more than that. He's a pet. A friend. When I was sick and alone this past week, it was my shadowfiend who brought me a box of tissues and a remote. It was my shadowfiend that brought me a bowl of gnome noodle soup. It was my shadowfiend who rode across yellow- and blue-colored waves of sound to fight the evil dust empire that exists under my coffee table when I look down there and cross my eyes a little so things get blurry.

Granted, most of that may have just been a fevered dream or cough-syrup-induced hallucination. The key point stands, however: You don't mess with my shadowfiend.

This week's problem: Blizzard's been messing with our shadowfiend. Maybe. I mean, it's possible that Blizzard's been buffing it. I am incensed. Or possibly elated. We'll try out some funky, back-of-an-envelope math after the break to try and sort through exactly what's happening with our beloved shadowfiend and figure out whether or not this is cause for alarm ... or the best thing to have happened to shadow priests in the history of ever.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Cataclysm

Elemental Shaman Tier 10 bug causes 7-day lockout

A nasty bug with the 2-piece Tier 10 bonus for Elemental Shamans reared its ugly head recently when a player attempted to use Elemental Mastery. The bonus, which is supposed to reduce the cooldown on Elemental Mastery by 2 seconds each time Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning is used, instead puts the 31-point Elemental talent on a whopping seven day cooldown. This is akin to the bug found with the Hunter ability Call Stabled Pet, which puts the ability on an even more staggering 25-day cooldown.

Ghostcrawler immediately responded to the concern as raised on the official forums, stating that the problem happens only in cross-server instances and that raiding shouldn't be affected. Elemental Shamans sporting two pieces from the Frost Witch's Regalia would probably do well not to activate Elemental Mastery while in a dungeon using the Dungeon Finder until a fix is found. Ghostcrawler stated that Blizzard is working on the issue.

Filed under: Shaman, Bugs, Odds and ends

Is Mortal Strike the new black?

What's up with Mortal Strike? And why is it, when Blizzard feels that a class or spec needs to be made viable in Arenas -- and let's face it, the game is all about Arenas now, isn't it? -- they give them a Mortal Strike-style debuff? When the developers were figuring out how to raise Hunters' representation in Arenas, they changed Aimed Shot in Patch 2.3 to give a heal-gimping debuff similar the the Arms Warrior's bread and butter ability.

Enter Patch 2.4 in the PTRs. When Kalgan finally descended upon the Shaman forums, he said that Shamans were definitely getting buffed just in time to quell the wake of an uproar to the nerfs made to the Elemental spec. Along with the reversal of the Nature's Swiftness and Elemental Mastery shared cooldown, the current iteration of the progressive patch is seeing a change to the Shaman's Flametongue Weapon and Totem, which happens to be -- surprise, surprise -- a Mortal Strike-style debuff. Yawn.

While it's certainly a welcome change, considering that Shamans get so little love, frankly it's getting a little boring. Allie mentioned calls for putting the buff on every class (Mortal Sheep or Mortal Portal for Mages is a classic), so this begs the question... is a Mortal Strike-type ability the only way to make a class or spec viable in the Arenas? Aside from the fact that Mortal Strike Warriors are conceivably the most popular class & spec, healing debuffs are clearly one of the game-breaking abilities in Arenas. With Resilience making crit-based and burst damage specs less and less viable, is there really a need for another Mortal Strike? Can't Blizzard make another buff to make a spec Arena-viable without using the same old trick? What do you guys think? How much more creative can you be?

Filed under: Hunter, Shaman, Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Arena

NS and EM cooldown reverted on the PTR

In the interests of full coverage, we'll mention this one, but don't keep your hopes up: the latest build on the PTR has reverted the Nature's Swiftness and Elemental Mastery sharing a cooldown change, so Elemental Shamans will once again be able to crank out an instant Chain Lightning or Lightning Bolt crit. Unfortunately, they shouldn't count on it, as lots of changes have gone back and forth on the PTR. It could be that the next time the PTR comes up with a new patch, this change will be right back in.

But it does serve as a reminder that no matter how bad some PTR nerfs may seem, nothing is finalized until it hits the live realms. The Test Realm is for testing, so we shouldn't be surprised when Blizzard does exactly that with it.

Thanks, Giusepe!

Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Talents, Buffs

Is Blizzard properly separating PvP and PvE nerfs?

I like this arena. Can we get rid of Blade's Edge please? The promised class changes just keep on coming, some of them well received, some of them not so well received. Certainly the dust has far from settled, with Kalgan himself promising that more is to come only this evening, but there's already questions to ask. One that springs to mind seems especially pertinent in light of the upcoming 3v3 Tournament and Rob Pardo's talk about changing PvP into an E-sport: Are the recent class changes focusing on PvP at the cost of PvE? Druids and Shamans seem to be asking this especially, and we'll look at some of their changes after the break.

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Filed under: Druid, Priest, Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Raiding, Classes, Talents, Buffs, Battlegrounds, Arena

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