Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag enhancement

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?

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancement post-patch theory

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 04 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

This patch hit me hard, harder than any patch before it, and I know I wasn't the only was one to be drastically affected by it. Other than the usual spate of patch-related addon issues, I was struggling to keep the downloader connected. After turning off all anti-virus, firewall and other sorts of computer safety monitoring programs, I finally got into game on Friday night. Mostly, though, I just lacked time to log in this week. Once in game, I was faced with just as many challenges getting Stoney in order and raid-ready as I was trying to get online. This patch was more disruptive in game than any patch before.

A far an enhancement goes, there's so much that still needs to be tested and refined. The greater enhancement community is working hard at the theorycrafting, but even the simulations are not fully refined for level 80 testing; the latest alpha of EnhSim is tuned to level 85 right now. The decisions I made in game are based on the best available data as well as some things I want to test out for myself. There was a lot to accomplish in-game including, respeccing, retraining, regemming, reforging, readjusting and refining.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancement's path to victory in patch 4.0.1

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 03 now out!)as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Are you ready? Charge up your Maelstrom Weapons and dust off your Searing Totems -- Patch 4.0.1 is nearly upon us! Not sure what to do on your enhancement shaman? The quick-hit guide to enhancement in the cataclysmic world is below.

What's not changing

Let's start with some things that are not changing. Slow/slow is the way to go (for your weapons, I mean). Your weapons shouldn't be faster than 2.00 and ideally should be between 2.50 to 2.70 speed. Be wary of any weapon with a speed below 2.00; most likely it's been touched by a rogue and still has some residual poison on it meant to cripple your Windfuries and Flametongues.

We're also staying with the same imbues: Windfury on the main hand and Flametongue on the off hand. With this patch (as with every patch, it seems), there was a little bit of banter about going full spellpower, with fast/fast and a caster weapon main hand along with FT/FT, reforging spirit, and otherwise doing crazy things like looking for the next Torch of Holy Fire. Don't do it. Stay slow/slow, with WF/FT. We're meant to be melee doing primarily melee damage.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancement shaman changes for patch 4.0.1

Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury and wolves. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. 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, Episode 1 now out!) as enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

I can't wait for the new talent trees to kick in with patch 4.0.1. The game designers truly streamlined talent trees, including Enhancement. They've even gone so far as to make Primal Wisdom, our mana regen talent, into a base ability, and they've taken one point out of Unleashed Rage. This frees up two talent points right away and gave us some very viable specs to use right out of the gate of 4.0.1 for our last hurrah at level 80.

I see two different possibilities for level 80 specs for enhancement: Fire Nova or Improved Shields. First, an Improved Fire Nova spec of 5/31/0. Not only did this talent get moved to the enhancement tree, but it got dropped down deep, out of reach for elemental. The unfortunate part is that come Cataclysm, Fire Nova will require a Magma, Fire Elemental or Flametongue Totem and will not work off our new and improved Searing Totem. To further confound matters, the improved nova is right beside Searing Flames, the Searing Totem special kicker.

The improved novas make a big difference in fights requiring both boss and AoE damage, such as heroic Halion-25. Outside of that fight (or any future fights like it), Improved Fire Nova is a waste; better to put the points in Improved Shields. My main spec at 80 will be 5/31/0. Just moving those points isn't going to push your DPS up significantly, but with the changes to Lightning Shield, making it effectively a 10-minute, non-depletable buff (when glyphed), those two points are well spent there at 80.

Dipping into the elemental tree, after our requisite 31 points in enhancement, three points in Acuity are a must-have, especially as we start to level again. The last two points going into Concussion will pack an extra punch.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancement beta update

Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury and wolves. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. 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 (Week 13 now live!)as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

It's been a few weeks since my last beta post. I feel like I'm back in grammar school at good ol' St. Louise de Marillac, "forgive me readers, it's been four weeks since my last beta post. Since then I've been mean to my guild, and I tried to kill my own priest." In game priest, in game! I can't wait to read the letters to the editor about that slip up. Oh well, at least I didn't use the word "casual."

Moving right along to important topics that everyone cares about: beta changes for enhancement shamans! Well, I suppose "everyone" excludes people that are not interested in beta spoilers. Great, two paragraphs in and I've already offended Catholics, priests, and people not interested in beta spoilers. Look on the bright side: at least I didn't use an offensive font this week!

If you are interested in the latest beta changes as they relate to enhancement shamans then please read on. Please note that beyond this point, this post will not further offend your good, wholesome middle Azerothian sensibilities.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancing your gear in only four dungeons

Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury and wolves. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. 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 (Week 12 now out!)as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Holy Stormstrikes! I'm going to refrain from using the term casual in a post ever again. Wait, I just used it there. Ah well, rack that promise up with "I'll never drink again" and "I'll never die to cutters again." Lies, all of them, lies.

We all have different definitions of the term and judging by the comments in the last post, others' definition of casual is more severe than mine. I'll get into casual vs. hardcore and the ridiculousness of those classifications in another post. For now, I hear you loud and clear, so let's refrain from diving into that now.

I digress. As I was writing last week's article I had this sneaking suspicion that I already wrote several articles on gearing your non-end game enhancement shaman. In fact I had written articles many moons ago, and they are all on my neglected blog, Big Hit Box. Time for a revisit.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Gearing your casual or alt enhancement shaman

gearing your enhancement shaman alt
Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury and wolves. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. 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 (Week 12 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Casual raider? Or not fortunate enough to play a shaman as your main, but instead stuck on another, lesser class? This article is for you. If you need to go out and gear up your shaman from guild alt runs, PUG raids and mucking about in daily dungeons for your two frost emblems, then read on for your gear choices.

From the applications we received over the past few months at Big Crits, it seems that guilds and PUGs alike had a hard time getting past Deathbringer Saurfang -- that is, until the bigger ICC buff hit. Now the breaking point is 6/12 ICC, with kills on Festergut and Rotface being commonplace but little experience beyond that available. Taking into consideration how far casual guilds or alt runs can realistically get into ICC, I've listed the loot in order of progression, from easy to hard.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhanced moves with Halion

enhanced moves with halion
Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury and wolves. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. 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 (Week 10 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

The last patch of an expansion feels like the last gift of Christmas; you want it to be the most epic and the most incredible gift of them all, the one gift by which you'll remember this time forever. But instead, you're at your in-laws' doing the family gag gift exchange with a price limit of 20 bucks and a penchant for As Seen on TV products. In some ways, Ruby Sanctum is like that; it's not huge, it's not epic, it's not expensive, but it does have some potential. Maybe Ruby Sanctum is the Slap Chop of this expansion. None of this has anything to do with the article today. Except that I'm talking about Halion.

Halion, the Twilight Destroyer. Three phases, good loot and a huge scale-up in difficulty on heroic mode. It's a good fight that requires paying attention throughout the entire 8-minute enrage timer, in which one death can mean a wipe, especially on heroic. There's no 30 percent buff incoming, so you either learn it and beat it, or you don't and fail. For our part, as enhancement shaman, there are a few tricks we have up our sleeves.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancement Cataclysm update


Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury, and wolves. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. 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 (Week 9 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

With such a lame title, you'd never guess we have so much to talk about this week! Mastery bonus is all elemental damage, not just nature! Smarter Searing Totems! Four Ghostcrawler replies (11 paragraphs!) about Shamans, with four paragraphs solely about Enhancement! Longer Hex! New crit-increasing talents! Increased totem ranges! Well, okay, maybe that last one isn't as exciting as the first few. But there's so much news out there for us enhancers, I don't even know where to begin.

The logical place to start is with the biggest news: Enhancement Mastery bonus "increases all elemental damage done by 20%. Damage increased further by mastery rating." This is a change from the first Cataclysm build that included mastery; previously our bonus was only increasing our nature damage. The nature-only mastery was great for our core spell, Lightning Bolt (LB), but with Maelstrom Weapon (MW) now including Lava Burst (LvB) we would not benefit from our Mastery bonus with LvB. This was a problem for two reasons: first LvB does more damage than LB, and second, LvB could be used to keep Elemental Devastation up. Lava Burst will automatically crit when Flame Shock (FS) is on a target, making it a smart choice to used to keep Elemental Devastation active.

That choice changed. Mastery now affects all elemental damage, which includes Lava Burst. Hence, Lava Burst plus Flame Shock plus mastery equals happy enhancer. This is a great buff for us. Because LvB has an 8 second cooldown and LB has none, we'll still keep LB handy for when LvB is on cooldown.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhance me

Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury, and wolves. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. 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 (Week 8 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Two weeks ago a fellow enhancement shaman contacted me on Twitter asking how to improve his damage output. He was kind enough to let me use his email as the topic for the weekly enhancement shaman column here on WoW.com. Because he was brave (crazy?) enough to face the public scrutiny that comes from being in the spotlight here, show him the high level of respect our fellow enhancement brother deserves. Here's his email:

I just switched to enhance for raiding a couple of weeks ago and I still feel like my DPS is lower than what it could be. I'm using Shock and Awe and still depending more or less on the priority frame, which I hope to ween off of soon. I'm still not 100% sure if I have the priorities set up correctly at this point. They are set at:
  • SR
  • MT
  • LS
  • MW5 LB
  • SS
  • ES if SS
  • FS
  • LL
  • FN
I also use Wolves every time they are up and also Fire Elemental when off CD. With just my buffs at the heroic dummy I seem to be maxing out around 6-6.5k. Again, seems a little low to me. If you would like to look at my armory, the name is Alyssian on Durotan. We use WoL, too, and my guild is Chi Cerca Trova.

PS - Any tips for helping me get off of the SAA priority window? I'm mainly concerned with keeping the shock rotation going, I think I can handle the rest.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Dual-wielding topics

Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury and wolves. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. 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 as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

This week I'm dual wielding topics. Neither one was enough to keep you entertained, my lovely and intelligent readers, for a full week's worth of enhancement, but combined together I think we can accomplish something. Consider a Stormstrike post with fire elemental mechanics in one hand and Cataclysm changes in the other.

If you're firmly in the "don't tell me anything about Cataclysm" camp, then just read the first section and skip the rest, though all I'm talking about are the recent changes to the shaman talent trees. If you don't mind a sneak peek at enhancement 4.0 as it stands now, then enjoy!

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhance DPS on the move

Rich Maloy, master of the turn-around-Frost-Shock, nerd-rager of the Big Crits (week 7 coming next week), and blogger of the enhancement variety prides himself on keeping the pressure on the boss at all times. He encourages you to work on your turn-around jump shot this week.

I love being melee. I love being up in the middle of the fray right on the boss' heel, breathing in the fumes of battle and mashing my abilities as fast as global cooldowns will allow. But the cost of being in the heart of the action are cleaves. And whirlwinds. And tail swipes, dragon breaths, shock vortexes, running around the room chasing ads, and oh yeah, dodging cleaves. Did I mention whirlwinds yet?

Granted, there's not as much hate on melee in Wrath as there was in The Burning Crusade, but our DPS is still limited by time on target. We are after all, melee. Yet the great thing about enhance is when we're not in melee range, we can still lob some spells and drop some fire bombs all while running around dodging those whirlwinds.

It was Sindragosa's Permeating Chill that first got me thinking about maximizing my damage output while I'm not doing melee attacks. Also, her Blistering Cold got me wondering about ways to keep damage on boss even while running in the complete opposite direction. What follows are some of my simple strategies for maximizing time on target and keeping the damage pumping even while running around.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Ruby Sanctum loot for enhancement

Rich Maloy subsists solely on enhancement air. He experiences shortness of breath when offered spellpower gear and is easily confused by spirit and MP5. You can ask him anything about enhance at the Totem Recall roundtable or watch his WoW reality series, Big Crits.

In case you missed it in all the news about the Cataclysm beta, Ruby Sanctum was released into the wild on Tuesday. With a new instance out everyone is asking, "What's in it for me?" But my question is, "What's in it for enhancement?"

The short answer is ArP. For a stat that's going away in a few months, we're seeing a lot of it in Ruby Sanctum gear from both the 10- and 25-man versions of the raid. Armor penetration (ArP) is not the ideal stat for enhancement. Not ideal, but definitely usable. There are some definite winners among the RS loot -- on both 10 and 25.

I've created a new enhance gear spreadsheet on Google Docs including the new loot. It's read-only, so either make a copy to your Google Docs file or save a copy to your desktop as an Excel file. I've also included some sample EP values for different levels of play, including EP values derived from the latest Elitist Jerks BiS gear, setup and rotation.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Cooldown management in ICC part 2


Rich Maloy lives and loves enhancement. Enhance is his main spec, his off spec, and his off-off spec. The other trees are there purely for his amusement. Whatever your shaman's spec, get your questions ready for the Totem Recall shaman roundtable on Raid Warning coming July 13. Send your questions in now to be answered by the top shaman from around Azeroth.

Last week we covered the Lower Spire of ICC and how enhancement shaman (or any damage-dealing class, for that matter) can maximize their cooldown usage. This week we'll use the 25% buff and power-clear the rest of the instance.

Rotface

Regular and Heroic Another fight where Heroism off the start is the best way to go. The oozes come out faster the lower his health gets, so my theory is to get as much damage on target early on. At the end, things are hectic and too much damage is lost as too many people are running around or dead. You can pre-pot here to have another Potion of Speed available to use later on in combat. An early Hero makes cooldown management easy; use at the beginning and then again at every opportunity.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Cooldown management in the Lower Spire


Axes, maces, lightning, fire, frost, wolves, and best of all, Windfury. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance at Big Hit Box, pens the enhance side of Totem Talk, and leads the guild/reality-show Big Crits as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby. (pic: grats Saltycracker on Big Crits' first Shadowmourne!)

This article originally started as an enhancement shaman's guide to cooldown usage in ICC but given that cooldown management is universal to all damage dealers I've expanded the scope of the article. Actually, "expanded the scope" is a bit grandiose; it's more accurate to say I just changed the wording from enhance-specific spells to using the generic 3-min, 2-min and 1-min cooldowns.

In some cases I kept the enhancement abilities because they bring other abilities in addition to just straight damage. Here's a quick rundown of our major cooldowns for the unenhanced:
  • 10 min – Bloodlust/Heroism – you know it and love it
  • 10 min – Fire Ele (5 min with glyph) – yeah he's dumb but what do you expect, his brains are on fire
  • 3 min – Berserk & Bloodfury – Troll & Orc racials, respectively
  • 3 min – Feral Spirit – two wolves who do damage and heal you simultaneously. Rad.
  • 2 min – on-use Trinkets – Currently my trinkets are not on-use but I take them into account in case yours are
  • 1 min – Shamanistic Rage with t10 2pc – normally this is a mana-regeneration and damage-reduction spell but with 2pc t10 it increases damage.
I still talk about using Bloodlust/Heroism, Fire Ele, and Shammy Rage because they have their own unique aspects to deal with in raid. Namely, BL/Hero helps everyone, the Fire Ele is dumb as hell, and Shammy Rage mitigates damage.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events

Event Date
WoW's 10th Anniversary 11/21 - 1/5
Pilgrim's Bounty 11/24 - 12/1
Darkmoon Faire 12/7 - 12/14
Feast of Winter Veil 12/16 - 1/2

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Pandamonium
The gaming artwork of Jessica Dinh
Mists of Pandaria Raid DPS Analysis
Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition
Death Knight plague epidemic
Mega Bloks: Goblin Zeppelin Ambush
Mists of Pandaria Beta: Ruins beneath Scarlet Halls
Mists of Pandaria: New warlock pets
Female Pandaren Customization

 

Categories