Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag fire-nova

Totem Talk: Choosing to play an enhancement shaman

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.)

Any seasoned video game veteran is used to the idea of choices. In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, you made choices that determined your character's alignment. In Pokemon, you chose between Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Charmander, and that choice determined your rival's team for the rest of the game. In World of Warcraft, character creation is a system of choices: What race will you be? What gender will you be? What faction will you choose? And, of course, the most important choice: What class will you be?

If you're reading, this, I assume you made the right choice and chose a shaman. You spent the first 10 levels in an awkward, liminal space where you weren't quite sure whether or not you were supposed to melee mobs or cast at them. Maybe you did both, casting Lightning Bolts in between your Primal Strike and Earth Shock cooldowns. If you're stuck in this in-between area, where you're not quite sure what you're supposed to be doing or what the purpose and playstyle of the two DPS specs for shaman are, this is the right place. Today, I'll discuss enhancement.

Read more →

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

Totem Talk: Crit vs. mastery for enhancement shaman

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.)

I spend a lot of time talking about gear. In the past, I've made loot lists for upcoming content, wrote a guide to enhance stats in Cataclysm, and devoted an entire post to talking about why haste is such a terrible, terrible stat for us. Gear is our only physical (as much as pixels on a screen can be physical) reminder of the boss we killed, and it's the only way for our characters to grow once they meet max level.

In my talks about gear, I've paid a lot of attention to how horrible haste is. Unfortunately, while I've mentioned in brief tidbits that mastery is our best secondary stat, the hot fudge on the ice cream sundae of our gearing, I've gone into little detail on why it's so good. Even worse, I've totally neglected discussion critical hit rating and why it isn't as good. To fully understand enhancement gearing, this is stuff you need to know.

Read more →

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.

Read more →

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.

Read more →

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

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

How not to aggro your tank with AoE

Reader UnstØppable writes in with a question I thought would benefit others: "Does the Bladestorm aggro problem ever get better? What I mean is, I've seen it countless times, the arms warrior enters the dungeon, the tank lets out a sigh (sometimes it's me), we pull the first group and everything goes fine, until he hits that Bladestorm button. That's when somehow he manages to pull aggro from every mob and their mom and makes both the healer's and the tank's lives hell or usually ends up dying within seconds."

Part of the problem here is that certain classes/specs have no aggro dump or reduction ability and as a result their big DPS moves generate a lot of threat. Arms warriors, most DPS death knights (at least the blood and unholy specs I've used) and retribution paladins have limited aggro reduction at best (pallies at least have Hand of Salvation but that's a band aid at best) and while tanking threat (especially AoE tanking threat) requires ramp up time, it's very easy to hit the Divine Storm, Death and Decay, Pestilence, Whirlwind or Bladestorm buttons. (Enhancement shamans with Spirit Weapons seem to be okay, I rarely pull aggro even when I go nuts with Fire Nova.)

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight

Patch 3.3 PTR: Shamans


Trust those sneaky folks at Blizzard to hit us with patch 3.3's PTR notes late in the day. So what do shamans have to look forward to? It's one change, essentially, but its a fairly big one.

Shamans

  • Fire Nova Totem: This totem has been replaced with a new spell, Fire Nova, which is available at the same ranks as the old Fire Nova Totem. Existing characters will automatically learn this new spell in place of the totem. With a Fire Totem active, shamans will be able to use Fire Nova (fire magic) to emit the same area-of-effect damage as the old Fire Nova Totem from the active Fire Totem, not consuming the totem in the process. Fire Nova will activate a 1.5-second global cooldown when used and has a 10-second spell cooldown. The caster must be within 30 yards of the totem to use this ability, but does not need to be within line of sight of the totem.
  • Talents
    • Elemental Combat
      • Improved Fire Nova Totem: Renamed Improved Fire Nova. This talent now provides an additional 10/20% damage to the spell and reduces the cooldown by 2/4 seconds.
Basically, what we're looking at here is the long debated, long desired castable AoE shamans (especially caster shamans) have been looking for. With this change, not only will shamans be able to cast a pulsing AoE without sacrificing Flametongue Totem. But there's also some general changes that will have an impact on new shamans in the future.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Skill Mastery: Improved Fire Nova Totem



I'm having a lot of fun playing an Elemental Shaman in the Wrath beta. As Mike described in Skill Mastery: Thunderstorm, we have some fun new talents to play with and I hope we get to keep most of them. The new talent I'm highlighting today is Improved Fire Nova Totem.

To the right you can see the stats for the Fire Nova Totem at level 71 without taking the Improvement talent. However, 20 points into the Elemental talent tree, you can spec Improved Fire Nova Totem. If you take both talent points, you'll slash the time it takes for the totem to activate and you'll add some handy bonuses to the spell.

First, the timing. The unimproved Fire Nova Totem takes 3 seconds to fire, but for each talent point you put into Improved Fire Nova Totem, it procs one second faster. So, if you spec both points, it will only take one second for the Fire Nova to explode after you drop it. With only a 15 second cooldown on the spell, that means you can use this bad-boy several times during a PvE fight.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories