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Posts with tag enhancement-shaman

Totem Talk: Tier 12 through an enhancement shaman's eyes

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!

Enhancement is a spec that has struggled with its tier bonuses in the past. Back in The Burning Crusade, we had such gems as tier 5's Your melee attacks have a chance to reduce the cast time of your next Healing Surge by 1.5 seconds, a bonus that provided absolutely no benefit to DPS beyond allowing us to live through a sticky situation. In Wrath of the Lich King, tier 8 gave us one of our best bonuses of all time: Increases the frequency of Maelstrom Weapon being triggered by your melee attacks by 20%. A patch later, tier 9 saw us unfortunately dropping that bonus for the overly boring and terribly mediocre An additional 3% chance to proc your Static Shock talent.

Cataclysm hasn't been significantly better so far. On the one hand, our current two-piece bonus is amazing. It gives us a 10% increase to Lava Lash, our hardest-hitting and highest-priority ability, as well as slightly buffing Stormstrike. At the same time, our four-piece bonus is 10% critical strike chance to just Lightning Bolt. This bonus isn't terrible in and of itself, but it's coupled with terrible itemization on both the legs and the chestpieces and bad itemization on the gloves. Most enhancement shaman will find best in slot is heroic tier 11 helm and shoulders, Heroic Tunic of Failed Experiments, Twilight Scale Leggings, and Heroic Proto-Handler's Gauntlets. Four-piece tier 11 need not apply.

Wednesday night, set bonuses for tier 12 were discovered on the 4.2 Public Test Realm. In an awesome twist, Blizzard themed all of the set bonuses around the raid they will drop in, the Firelands. Classes like death knights that don't already have fire spells to work with receive passive bonuses like Your critical strikes with melee abilities deal 15% additional damage as Fire damage over 4 sec. Specs like elemental, which already have fiery moves to work with, get set bonuses like Your offensive spells have a chance to reset the remaining cooldown on your Fire Elemental Totem, seamlessly weaving the theme of the raid with the class' abilities. Enhancement, which uses a surprising number of fire abilities itself, falls under this second category.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk, 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: 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: The enhancement shaman guide to Nefarian

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.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the first three bosses of Blackwing Descent from an enhancement perspective. I was planning on using this post to continue that trend, detailing Chimaeron, Atramedes, and Nefarian from an enhancement viewpoint. However, things didn't work out as planned. I started writing about Nefarian first, knowing his post would be the longest. I didn't realize what a beast of a fight Nefarian was, though, and Chimaeron and Atramedes' budgeted space was quickly consumed by the Nefarian post that was growing as quickly as a Defile with a disconnected player in it.

As a result, look for Atramedes and Chimaeron in an upcoming post, possibly tagging along with Conclave of Wind. For now, sit back and focus on the undead dragon Lord Victor Nefarius.

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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: Changes for enhancement shaman in 4.0.6


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 posted a view of the first three bosses of Blackwing Descent from an enhancement perspective. My plan was to continue that trend this week and look at Chimaeron, Atramedes, and Nefarian. However, our long-anticipated patch 4.0.6 was released this week, and along with it came a slew of buffs! At least, to fury warriors.

For our part, enhancement shaman didn't receive the short end of the stick in PvE. For PvP, we saw some huge hits: Purge was removed from Mental Quickness and now only removes one buff from the target, glyphed Hex's cooldown is 5 seconds longer and its duration is 2 seconds shorter, and Tremor Totem has received an entire design overhaul. Oh, and Bloodlust was removed from the entire arena game. I don't PvP at anywhere near a competitive enough level to offer opinion on these changes, so I'm just reporting them as fact.

To move into an area I do know, we're going to take a look at the positive changes for PvE enhancement shaman that came in patch 4.0.6. More after the break!

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

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: Choosing your enhancement shaman's race as of 4.0.6


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!

Few things in Azeroth spawn more debate than racial choices. Some sides argue that if you don't min-max your racial choices, you're the reason your guild hasn't downed heroic Lich King, while the other side maintains that if you're playing a character for three hours a day, it should at least look appealing to you. Personally, my view is that everyone should be a tauren, but I'm an outlier in the great race debates. This issue of Totem Talk will be focusing on racials as used by enhancement shaman, using the redesigned racials in patch 4.0.6. This is purely for information purposes; I don't want anyone loading in to Azeroth feeling ashamed at their racial choice. Unless they chose male draenei.

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Filed under: Shaman

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: Post-patch enhancement shaman still waiting for buffs

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shamans. Rich Maloy lives and breathes enhancement: his main spec is enhance, his off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance and leads the guild Big Crits (Season 2 Ep 06 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

We're now two full weeks into patch 4.0.1 with our new and improved enhancement spec. Improved? Actually, no. Our DPS is only marginally improved over the previous incarnation, while our fellow melee brethren were buffed to the teeth. My rough analysis shows the difference between us and top melee DPS, usually warrior and death knight, has widened significantly since the patch.

I'm going to preface all of this analysis by saying that I am not the top enhancement shaman, by far. I play well, I study my class, I optimize my spec, gems, forging, gear and rotations. I don't die to stupid stuff -- well, at least not often! In other words, I try to push my damage without sacrificing myself. Be forewarned that some of these numbers I'm embarrassed to post in such a public manner, and while I'm hardly the benchmark for DPS, I can at least provide a baseline of what your average progression raider's numbers look like.

On average across eight of 12 hard-mode fights in ICC (excluding the gimmick fights Gunship, VDW and BQL, and excluding H-LK because we're just now working on him), the top melee DPS was doing 50 percent more damage than me pre-patch and 64 percent more post-patch. I could narrow that gap down to about 15 percent on a standstill fight such as Deathbringer Saurfang, but on high-movement fights such as Sindy, the top melee would do as much as 80 percent more damage than me overall.

As much as it pains me to say this, as a raid leader I have to ask the question: Am I dead weight in raids right now? Will level 85 with Unleash Elements bring better output?

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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