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Posts with tag enhancement-shaman-dps

Totem Talk: An enhancement guide to Shannox and Baleroc

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once only tackled the hard questions about enhancement but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all shaman DPS specs. (And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.)

Every fight in Firelands has its positives and negatives for enhancement shaman. Rhyolith takes reduced damage for 60% of the fight, but he goes molten at 25%, and you need to burn him before he burns you. Beth'tilac spends the first 3 minutes making you run around like a confused wildebeest while you try to avoid scary fire on the ground, but then he gives you a nice, long burn phase at the end.

This seems to be the Firelands model, at least in the first four fights. Every fight has periods of low damage to the boss followed by intense DPS phases. Shannox, the Hagrid of Firelands, is no different. His first phase will either make you want to rip your movement keys off your keyboard or make you want to reroll an arcane mage, while his second will just make you want to roll arcane.

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Filed under: Shaman, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm, Raid Guides

Totem Talk: Why enhancement hates haste

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!

The era of Icecrown Citadel was a strange time for enhancement shaman. After spending 2/3 of the expansion gemming primarily attack power, haste rating became our king. I still remember the odd whispers I got from concerned guild members as they saw all yellow gems lighting up my gear, and how my go-to jewelcrafter was always certain to ask "are you sure" every time I asked him to cut a Quick King's Amber.

The enhancement of ICC breathed haste. It sped up our white attacks, which in turn increased Flametongue procs, Static Shock procs, and the then all-important Maelstrom Weapon procs. This wasn't necessarily a good thing, because nearly every other melee at the time was scaling with armor penetration, a non-linearly scaling stat that absolutely murdered its victims. While other melee classes and hunters saw their damage climb steeply, the graph of enhancement shaman's damage plodded on in a straight line.

Cataclysm brought about a change for enhancement shaman and their old wingman, haste rating. With Maelstrom Weapon being lowered in the priority list, Static Shock being tied into our weapon abilities, and having our actual abilities hit for more damage, haste rating went from being our best friend to our worst enemy. It's like high school, but for stat ratings.

To understand why haste is so bad for us now, it's necessary to first understand what makes it so good for other classes. Up first, HOT and DOT classes.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: Last call for enhancement buffs

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!

Patch 4.2 was barely a week away, and things were looking bleak for enhance shaman everywhere. Enhancement shaman were watching their calendars in much the same way normal people watch Fox Van Allen and Tyler Caraway interact on Twitter; with much trepidation and little hope for the future of mankind. Fortunately for enhancement shaman everywhere, on the Thursday before (rumored) Patch Day, Blizzard came through for enhancement like a last minute visit from Santa Claus and gifted us with two tasty buffs. Unfortunately, neither Blizzard or Santa Claus can do anything for Fox and Tyler's Twitter followers.
Patch 4.2 Public Test Realm Guide - [Updated 6/16]
Unleash Wind now deals 175% weapon damage, up from 125%.

Stormstrike now deals 225% weapon damage, up from 125%.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: Why enhancement AOE doesn't work

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 making the best of a terrible situation. When life gives me lemons, I make a cake. When I'm at the gym in the morning and the only thing on the television is Rachael Ray's talk show, I focus hard on committing delicious recipes to memory. And, when Blizzard hands us the worst area of effect ability in the game, I write a post about how to maximize its limited potential. I'm moving away from that line of thinking today. Instead, this post is dedicated to diagnosing why Fire Nova is so bad and what Blizzard can do to change it.

To begin, I'd like to say that I actually enjoy our AOE at its most basic level. Fire Nova erupting from Flame Shock to me really fits enhancement, which is a spec defined by its use of shocks and other instant-cast spells. I think the actual feel of the spell works and fits with the overall theme of enhancement, and the problem lies in the actual implementation of the ability.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: Enhancing your AoE damage

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!

Area of effect damage has long been a thorn in the side of enhancement shaman. Through all of The Burning Crusade, we had no Maelstrom Weapon. Any Chain Lightnings we wanted to use had to be hard cast, which also meant giving up our auto-attacks for 1.5 seconds. Magma Totem was our premiere form of AOE damage, even though it was a stationary totem that ticked for extremely lackluster damage over 20 seconds.

To make things worse, until Wrath of the Lich King's patch 3.2, our Fire Nova ability was actually Fire Nova Totem. This was a totem you dropped that waited 5 seconds and then exploded and despawned. The only time this was ever not a DPS loss was if you dropped it 4 seconds before adds reached you and it exploded as they got into range. Magma Totem was higher damage per second during those 5 seconds than Fire Nova Totem, but it still rendered us the lowest area of effect damage-dealer in the game.

When patch 3.2 hit, we got Fire Nova. With a talented 6-second cooldown and the ability to be activated off any of our fire totems, it seemed to be the answer to our prayers. Unfortunately, it had pathetic damage. This was mainly due to its being used as a single-target DPS spell and an AOE DPS ability; since we used it anytime everything else was on the global cooldown on single-target fights, Blizzard couldn't buff the damage to be competitive in AOE fights. As a result, enhancement AOE spent the first three expansions of World of Warcraft being as mediocre as Fox Van Allen's writing ability.

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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: How to use macros to maximize your enhancement utility

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 first started playing during The Burning Crusade, I had no idea what a macro was. I'd love to pretend that this was because World of Warcraft was simpler back then and that a good player could get away with never using a macro. Unfortunately, that isn't the case; I just wasn't a very good player in my shaman's youth.

The truth is that macros are something that any serious raider or PvPer should never be without. They fulfill a variety of roles, from cast sequence shock macros saving you some bar space to using your Feral Spirits' Bash ability on a focused healer to interrupt their Tranquility cast. In a raiding game where the ability to interrupt a target you're not DPSing is a huge asset, learning to manage your abilities through macros is a huge benefit for you and for your raid group (as well as for your arena team).

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

Totem Talk: How to use addons to perfect enhancement shaman priorities

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.

I love priority systems, and that's the naked truth. I identify as an altaholic, having had seven out of 10 classes level capped by the end of Wrath of the Lich King and the other three all at varying stages of Northrend progression. While leveling up these characters, I almost always have the intent of either tanking or healing (provided I'm on a hybrid). I tell myself that this class will be the "one," the hybrid class I get to level cap where I'll resist the lure of playing DPS and finally have a queue time shorter than twice my age.

It never works out. I'm addicted to DPS. Just last week, I made the mistake of respeccing my blood death knight tank to unholy DPS. Within a day, he went from 83 to 85 ... and started queuing for heroics as DPS. I have an unhealthy fascination with putting the hurt on bosses, and a lot of my draw to playing any DPS spec is mastering its priority system.

Priority systems are awesome. They're the basic building blocks of proper DPS; there is nothing more pivotal or simple for maximizing your DPS as learning to manage your priority correctly. Some classes, like the 3.3.6 marksman hunter, have such mind-numbing priority systems that you wonder how people can bear playing them. Others, like the Wrath of the Lich King feral druid, had such complicated priority systems that good feral druids were as rare as a holographic Charizard card.

Enhancement is normally considered to fall under the "hard" section of priority systems. With one proc based attack, a DoT that needs to be buffed before casting, two melee strikes, a pyromaniac stick that hates attacking your target, and a single-target shock spell for use when everything else is on cooldown, we have a lot to monitor. Luckily for us, addons exist. If you're struggling with perfecting your priority, here are some of the mods you should look for.

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Filed under: Shaman, Add-Ons, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: How to manage your elemental totems

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.

Elemental totems are one of those weird aspects of our class that are never as likable as they're intended to be. In Wrath of the Lich King, Fire Elemental Totem was a welcome DPS increase, but his 10-minute cooldown made him incredibly frustrating to plan fights around. By comparison, our Earth Elemental Totem has never had much of a part in our raiding game.

Cataclysm has changed all that. Not only has it removed the shared cooldown between the totems (making it so you can drop both elementals at once), but we've also seen changes to our basic functionality that impacts our totem usage. Learning how to use these totems correctly is a vital part of maximizing our DPS.

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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

Totem Talk: Epicly gearing your enhancement shaman

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!

I remember my first epic very well. It was Shard of the Virtuous, which dropped off Maiden of Virtue during the first raid of my life. We went on to set a bunch of world records, wiping to Shade of Aran four times because our restoration shaman couldn't run out of Arcane Explosion and hitting the 10-minute enrage timer on Terestian Illhoof. Finally, we called the raid for the week after wiping on the Chess Event. This was the week after patch 2.3 was released, and Karazhan had been farm content for over a year.

I didn't care about any of these slight defeats, however. I didn't care that the protection warrior tank called me the worst player ever. I barely noticed that our hunter went AFK on every trash pull and did the least DPS on every boss. After six months of grinding, 12 levels of gaining experience through only running Burning Crusade dungeons before the dungeon finder was released, and getting side tracked by PvPing for weeks at every single bracket, I finally had an epic item to show for it.

Purple gear is cool. The later patches of Wrath of the Lich King did some damage to the prestige that purps once had, but Cataclysm has done great things to remind us that epic gear is supposed to actually be epic. A month ago, I wrote a pre-raid gearing guide, as writing a guide to epic gearing made little sense when the majority of WoW's population wasn't seeing any raids. It has now been over a month and a half since Cataclysm hit store shelves, and some players are only starting to see their first epics now. As a result, I can now happily release a guide to enhancement shaman epic gear.

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Filed under: Shaman

Totem Talk: Understanding the enhancement shaman priority system

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!

When multiple people are on the brink of death in a raid encounter, healers have a very tough job. They have to assess the number of people who need healing, how close to dying they are, and what their role in the raid is and how important they are to raid success. Once they have all these factors, they need to make intelligent decisions. Sometimes, they'll make the wrong decision and save a DPSer just in time to watch the tank die. Other times, they'll manage to pull off a glorious combo of heals, shields, and damage cooldowns that allows everyone to scrape through in one piece. And they have to make these decisions in seconds.

The idea behind a DPS priority system is similar to healing, with much less punishment if you make the wrong choice. Healers need to make split-second decisions regarding who to keep alive. DPS need to make split-second decisions about which ability to use. Unlike healers, the wrong choice will rarely directly mean your raid wiping. However, continually making the wrong choice will take a toll on your DPS, and your raid could end up hitting the enrage timer.

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Filed under: Shaman

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