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Posts with tag Enhancement

Totem Talk: What to expect when you're enhancing (in 5.0.4)

Enhancement shaman casts elemental blast
Look up in the sky! Is it a bird-form druid? An engineer in a flying machine? No, it's a wild Josh Myers, returned from summer adventures and bursting with knowledge about DPS shaman in his weekly Totem Talk. This week will focus on enhancement shaman for brevity, but I haven't forgotten my elemental brethren. Next week, you'll have all my attention to yourselves.

Hello again, Totem Talk! I apologize for my disappearing act the last few months, but I started a new job as a summer camp director six weeks before camp began, which requires a phenomenal time investment during the summer. Also, my boyfriend got diagnosed with MS and my mom with uterine cancer, so my life has turned into a frost giant's stress ball. And, because I'm a masochist, I decided to start personal training, because I didn't have enough stresses on my schedule or my body.

But I'm back! Summer is winding down, and with its slumber comes a slightly less hectic work schedule for me, which should mean more time playing and writing about WoW. This is convenient, seeing as patch 5.0.4 releases this Tuesday, and I've left my league of adoring fans, frenemies, and people bored enough to read my articles without any enhancement or elemental guidance for far too long.

A lot of the changes coming in patch 5.0.4 are the very generic ones that we've covered in the past, such as the total overhaul of the talent/glyph systems for every class in the game. For those overarching game changes, you'll want to check out the most recent patch notes we've posted, as well as Anne's 5.0.4 primer. This post will deal more with the actual nitty-gritty of what's changing for enhancement specifically. This post is aimed toward maximizing your level 85 shaman during the month in between 5.0.4 and Mist of Pandaria's actual release, so that you can spend that month learning how to play before release.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Hit rating, expertise, and enhancement in Mists of Pandaria

Raid group takes on the Madness of Deathwing encounter
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Once a lonely tauren shaman in a bad Scarlet Crusade-themed transmog set, Josh Myers is now a female dwarf shaman with pigtails who raids as all three specs on a regular basis. He kept the same transmog set, though.

A long time ago, in a Mulgore far, far away, I was a young tauren shaman who was attempting to gear up as enhancement after hitting level 70 for the first time. Enhancement shaman who have only started playing within the last two years won't remember the confusing beast that was enhancement gearing of yesteryear, but it was an adventure.

First off, we gemmed strength exclusively. Yes, strength. Despite sharing gear with hunters, we got more (read: any) attack power from strength than we did from agility. More importantly, and this is where Mists of Pandaria changes will come into play, the enhancement shaman of The Burning Crusade didn't try for hit rating on their gear. In fact, we avoided it like a bear tank gemming agility avoids sunders on Warmaster Blackhorn. We did like expertise, which made the few items it existed on like Shard of Contempt best in slot, but it was almost never included on items, and there were no expertise gems. As a result, the majority of enhancement shaman ran with nearly zero hit rating and zero expertise.

If you're reading this today, your jaw might have hit the floor. Never, you'll say, while pulling up your character sheet and crying over the whopping 2,284 secondary stat points we need to put into hit rating and expertise. Yes, you read that correctly. We spend 2,284 stat points simply making sure we can actually hit the boss.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancement buffs and debuffs in Mists of Pandaria

A crab holding a sword with a wizard's hat and flavor text.
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Once a lonely tauren shaman in a bad Scarlet Crusade-themed transmog set, Josh Myers
is now a female dwarf shaman with pigtails who raids as all three specs on a regular basis. He kept the same transmog set, though.

I'm doing my best not to be excited for Mists of Pandaria yet. This is partly because we've not even seen a hint of the beta starting yet and thus have a few more months of patch 4.3 to play before MoP comes out. This is also partly due to the fact that my new guild just started heroic Spine of Deathwing attempts, and I'm not sure I'm ever going to look forward to anything ever again. Ever.

Even though I'll never be excited for anything ever again, Blizzard has released some juicy new MoP information over the past two weeks, and a good chunk of it pertains to enhancement shaman. If you still have the ability to be excited for things, this something you want to read. If you're also progressing on heroic Spine of Deathwing, you probably still want to read this ... if only to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Mists of Pandaria

Reader UI of the Week: Go hotkey crazy with Vardelm

Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com.

There are some people who hotkey a few abilities into their interface, relying on the number row and some macros to take care of the brunt of the work when it comes to mashing abilities. Vardelm's UI, however, has taken the notion of "hotkey crazy" to a whole new level. Completely eschewing action bars for an invisible approach to hotkeys, Vardelm makes efficient use of his keyboard while keeping the UI comprehensive and cohesive. Suffice to say, I'm impressed with the hotkeys.

There is still something frightening to me about not having action bars readily available and in plain sight. Maybe they're my safety net while I perform the delicate trapeze of raid tanking, comforting me with their visual presence. Take away the net and I could panic so hard that I'd fall harder than Dick Grayson's parents. The upside would be becoming a rich dude's ward, so I guess that isn't so bad.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Totem Talk: Enhancement's 4.2 shopping list

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. On Saturdays, Josh Myers tackles the hard questions about enhancement. Can we tank? Can we DPS with a two-hander? How does one shot web? The answer to the first two is "no," and roll a hunter for the third!

I love loot. There might be something shameful about admitting it, but I don't care -- I really, really, really love loot. Killing a boss is cool. Spending time with friends is fun. But loot? Loot is something tangible (as tangible as anything in a virtual world can be) and something that is yours. It reminds you of what you have done, the victories you've achieved, as well as the very basic function of making you better. Also, gear makes you look cool.

In a few short weeks, patch 4.2 will hit live servers. To some, this means new content: new quest hubs, a new raid, a billion new skins for hunter pets, etc. To me, it means one thing: new and shiny loot. Be it from valor points, the new Avengers of Hyjal faction, or from Firelands raid bosses, patch 4.2 is coming at us fast with loads of pretty purples to get our hands on, and I couldn't be more excited to preview them in this post.

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

Enhancement shaman itemization and the end boss effect

As you may or may not be aware, I've started gearing up my enhancement shaman and have been having a really good time playing him. I enjoy enhancement for a lot of reasons, including how different it feels from playing a warrior or feral druid, the other two melee classes I'm familiar with.

However, finding weapons can be a bit of a pain. The best weapons for me outside of a raid are the two fist weapons in ZG, which drop from a randomly summoned boss. So you may not even get the boss who drops them, and the off-hand doesn't even drop from the same boss as the main-hand -- and in either case, it means I'm leveling archaeology on a fourth toon because half the time, no one can summon any of them.

As annoying as this is, for raiding, it can get even worse. Getting a 2.6 speed agility main-hand weapon from raiding means killing Nefarian and praying that this week he drops your axe. (You can get an off-hand from trash, but you can't use it in your main hand, meaning you need at least one Neffy axe). Blizzard has come out and said it's fine with this for now.

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Filed under: Shaman, Raiding, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: State of the enhancement shaman address

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. On Saturdays, Josh Myers tackles the hard questions about enhancement. Can we tank? Can we DPS with a two-hander? How does one shot web? The answer to the first two is "no," and roll a hunter for the third!

Despising Blizzard Entertainment is easy. When things go wrong in a raid, when filthy boomkins and surly shadow priests pass over you on the DPS charts, or when buff homogenization leaves you feeling like there is no reason for your raid to bring you to progression content anymore, it is exceptionally easy to point to Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) and say, "This is your fault."

The complaint I most often hear used to demonize Blizzard goes something like this: "Blizzard doesn't care about enhancement shaman. We're the redheaded stepchildren of WoW." Beyond just being offensive to the fiery-follicled and to stepparents everywhere, Blizzard does have a history of dealing with enhancement shaman issues.

So today, we're taking a journey of perspective. The Burning Crusade has long been heralded as the pinnacle of enhancement's glory, at least in terms of PVE. To me, it was enhancement's high school jock years. We may look back with fond remember whens and nostalgic feelings of pride and accomplishment, but the real thing will never measure up to the stories we tell about it.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: Glyphing your leveling enhancement shaman

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. On Saturdays, Josh Myers tackles the hard questions about enhancement. Can we tank? Can we DPS with a two-hander? How does one shoot web? The answer to the first two is "no," and roll a hunter for the third!

For any person who is new to World of Warcraft or starting a new character on another server, glyphs are one of the worst part of the leveling experience. Why? Because they're expensive. With the redesign of inscription that came with Cataclysm, glyphs take more money make and cost way more to buy. This leaves low-level alts and new players boggled as to how they're going to afford that Glyph of Totemic Recall that just went up for 200 gold.

To that end, I'm avoiding making a list of glyphs that you should have by specific levels. Me telling you that your first prime glyph at level 25 should be Glyph of Stormstrike isn't helpful if you don't have the gold to buy it at level 25, and it doesn't take into account the fact that more utility-focused major glyphs might be more useful at that level. To that end, I've come with a list of glyphs based on usefulness, separated them into two categories: top priority and low priority. Any glyphs not in this list aren't really worth getting while leveling. That doesn't make them bad glyphs -- glyphs like Glyph of Water Walking can be very useful, just not mandatory for leveling on a budget.

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

Totem Talk: Understanding your low-level enhancement abilities

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. On Saturdays, Josh Myers tackles the hard questions about enhancement. Can we tank? Can we DPS with a two-hander? How does one shot web? The answer to the first two is "no," and roll a hunter for the third!

I am an unrepentant altaholic. In Wrath of the Lich King, I had seven level-capped characters. When Cataclysm came, I had some strange idea that I would work on those level 80 characters and get them to level 85. Instead of going that practical route, I'm currently in the middle of leveling both a warrior and a hunter ... both of which I already have at level 80. Cataclysm leveling is just that cool.

One of my favorite parts about the revamped old world is that the bosses of instances have been retuned for post-4.0 DPS levels. In previous expansions, boss fights would last mere seconds. This made it a horrible gauge for DPS, as burst specs would always win out and didn't help you learn your rotation. Now that the dungeons have been retuned and fights can last up to a minute, it is worth taking the time to take a look at your priority system for leveling.

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

Totem Talk: Gearing your low-level enhancement shaman

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. On Saturdays, Josh Myers tackles the hard questions about enhancement. Can we tank? Can we DPS with a two-hander? How does one shot web? The answer to the first two is "no," and roll a hunter for the third!

Over the past four months that I've been at WoW Insider, I've spent a lot of time talking about enhancement shaman in World of Warcraft's endgame. From articles on gearing up through heroics, making the most efficient reputation choices, or killing Nefarian, almost all of my articles have dealt with playing at level 85. However, whether it's someone starting the game for the first time or someone who is just starting leveling a tenth alt, there are people out there without enhancement shaman at 85 yet -- shocking and unfortunate, I know!

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

Totem Talk: Enhancement shaman Q&A grab bag

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. On Saturdays, Josh Myers tackles the hard questions about enhancement. Can we tank? Can we DPS with a two-hander? How does one shoot web? The answer to the first two is "no," and I have no idea about the third.

Last week, I asked readers to send in whatever questions they had about enhancement to my email. The two readers I have who are still using email (the archaic form of communication that it is) gave me some pretty awesome questions. For the rest my readers who have decided that email is so two-thousand-and-late, I also asked my Twitter followers to chip in with some questions on what they're struggling to figure out about enhancement. Of the questions asked, I picked four to answer.

As always, if your question wasn't answered (or hasn't been asked yet!), shoot me an email at josh@wowinsider.com or tweet me at twitter.com/elamqt (I prefer Twitter!).

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

Totem Talk: Understanding your stats in Cataclysm

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. On Saturdays, Josh Myers tackles the hard questions about enhancement. Can we tank? Can we DPS with a two-hander? How does one shoot web? The answer to the first two is "no," and I have no idea about the third.

When I was a young shaman, wielding my Vanir's Right Fist of Brutality with pride, I gemmed strength. Bold Crimson Spinels were the order of the expansion, because every point of strength was worth two points of attack power and scaled with Blessing of Kings. Agility gave us absolutely no attack power but did contribute to our melee critical chance. With no attack power gems in existence, Bold strength gems were placed in every available gem slot ever.

Wrath of the Lich King saw a change in our gemming strategy. Out went our plate-wearer style stat formulas; in came agility gear! One agility became equal to one attack power and a small amount of melee crit, while one strength gave us just one attack power. Unfortunately, we still didn't get nearly enough of a bonus from our agility. Attack power gems gave twice the attack power of an equivalent agility gem, and the extra crit wasn't enough to make up for an extra 20 attack power. Later on in the expansion, haste was such a brokenly good stat for us that it eclipsed even attack power. Agility spent a second expansion playing second string.

Now, Cataclysm is here, and it is finally agility's turn to shine. Much like the past two expansions, enhancement shaman gearing in Cataclysm is a very strange beast. This post is here to explain what each stat does for enhancement and where it's valued when you're gearing.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Patch 4.0.6 PTR: Shaman patch notes

I'm sure many of you thought that shaman were not getting much attention in patch 4.0.6 -- I know I was among those who thought we dodged a bullet. The absence of any shaman notes on the first official patch notes list would have seemed to reinforce this. Late last night, however, community manager Zarhym posted a list of shaman changes that are making their way into the latest PTR build by this evening.

Since this is still the PTR, these changes may or may not actually make it to the live game. Still, it is interesting to note exactly the type of things that Blizzard is looking at and the steps it is taking to try and balance the game. Cataclysm really did reshape the world -- not just the aesthetics but the mechanics for pretty much everyone and almost everything. With that big of an upheaval, it is expected that there is going to be a period of balancing relatively early in the expansion's cycle, and at just barely a month in, we're already starting to see some significant changes.

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Filed under: Shaman, News items

Totem Talk: Make the most of enhancement's utility


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Do your likes include bladed weapons, the elements, and fights with little to no movement or target switching? So does Josh Myers, new kid on the block and now host of Totem Talk: Enhancement!

Back when Ulduar was relevant content, there was a very mean boss named General Vezax. General Vezax constantly cast an ability called Searing Flames, and the only way to prevent him from casting Searing Flames was to interrupt it with abilities that locked out his fire school for long periods of time -- Counterspell, Pummel, Mind Freeze. Back in those days of yore, when brains had tentacles and Wind Shear didn't exist, we had to drop Earth Shock from our rotation entirely. Our sole interrupt was also tied to our main DPS shock, and we had to sacrifice damage to avoid screwing up the Kick rotation of classes with better interrupts.

Thankfully, patch 3.2 saw the introduction of Wind Shear into the enhancement shaman's arsenal. No longer were we the DPS class that screwed up interrupt rotations. On fights for which we were the sole interrupter, we no longer had to hold off on DPSing in order to interrupt an important ability. This change would have been totally awesome for PvE ... had Wrath of the Lich King possessed any heroics in which not interrupting an ability would cause a wipe. As it was, a handful of encounters in the rest of the expansion had any relevant interrupting -- Lord Jaraxxus, Faction Champions, Twin Valk'yrs, and Lady Deathwhisper were the only four out of the last 17 raid bosses who actually had interruptible spells.

Thankfully, we're not in Wrath of the Lich King anymore. Cataclysm has come, and the shattering of Azeroth has brought an entirely new style of gameplay into PvE content. It's no longer any DPS player's job to care simply about DPS; interruptible spells from the lowliest of trash mobs can wipe you if you're not careful. Healer mana matters, so avoiding damage is the norm. Luckily for us, enhancement shaman have some of the best utility in the game for making sure your group doesn't wipe.

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Filed under: Shaman

Totem Talk: A Cataclysm 101 guide for enhancement shaman

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. This week, Josh Myers joins us to review the lowdown on playing an enhancement shaman in the Cataclysm era.

As an enhancement shaman, the last time I was afraid of taking on a mob solo was the third grade. With Bloodlusted wolves at my back, Windfury in my hand, and the massive power of instant Greater Healing Waves every 10 or so seconds, soloing was a breeze. Chillmaw? Soloed him daily. Attumen the Huntsman? Weekly. Gamom, level 5 elite neutral tauren? Every chance I got (until Blizzard force fed him "performance" pills).

Going into the Cataclysm beta, if Blizzard wrote a post on its forums warning that solo mobs will actually start threatening my life, I would have written it off as a Public Service Announcement for those pesky mages and rogues who had to worry about things like dying in leveling content. Actually, when Blizzard did write that post on its forums, I wrote it off as a pesky PSA for pures with no self-heals. And then I died. I died quite a bit ... until I stopped trying to AoE grind.

Mobs in a Deathwing-infused world hurt. Moreover, they have a lot of hit points. They're no longer just problems for squishy mages and hardy but heal-less warriors. If you pull too many mobs, don't kill fleeing mobs before they warn their friends, or attempt to play chicken with the Whale Shark, you will die. This post will attempt to help you with surviving the first two. For the third, you're on your own.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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