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Posts with tag flame-shock

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.

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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.

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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: Elemental stats and reforging principles in 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Get some Fulmination with your Lightning Bolts! Sort the shocks from the flames with Totem Talk: Elemental, brought to you by Sarah Nichol, otherwise known as Pewter from The 'mental Shaman and the Obscurecast and founding member of TotemSpot.

The lead-up to Cataclysm represents an ideal opportunity to take the time to get re-acquainted with with the new principles around which a class revolves, without the pressures of normal progression raiding or leveling. I've always felt that the puzzle of perfecting a character can be absorbing even if you are not particularly inclined toward numbers and spreadsheets. Knowing the principles also makes it easier to adapt the common knowledge to your personal playstyle and circumstances. The new 31-point talent trees and three-tier glyph system make it much harder to go wrong with a basic spec these days, with glyphs so easy to swap in and swap out. I've found the past few weeks have been stressful, but there has been a wonderful sense of freedom in many of the discussions I've participated in.

In case you can't tell, my maudlin draenei is being supplanted by a very cheerful dwarf shaman with a much more optimistic persona! Despite my grumpiness about Panquakes of Doom, and the lack of aesthetic pay-off for Fulmination, despite the bugs with Reincarnation and the expected stealth nerf of the elemental T10 two-piece bonus, I'm really enjoying this tremor phase of the Cataclysm buildup. The more I investigate and test things, the more I grow to like them. Even Earthquake is starting to look good, albeit in a chocolate chunk kind of way.

Right, I was talking about shaman wasn't I? Ah yes. So there's a lot to cover this week, from reforging, to haste and mastery, to dots and totems and damage modifiers. It seems that the devil is in the details.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Patch 3.3.3 PTR: Shaman changes

Patch 3.3.3 will bring some interesting changes to shamans.

  • Flame Shock: The damage-over-time component of this ability can now produce critical strikes and is affected by spell haste.
  • Talents:
    • Elemental Oath: This ability is now always on as a passive aura.
    • Unleashed Rage: This ability is now always on as a passive aura.
Turning the talents Elemental Oath and Unleashed Rage into passive auras is a bonus for leveling, soloing, and PvP. Instead of waiting a few GCDs or strikes for that first crit, the aura is up for you (and your team in PvP) immediately. In a raid environment these talents tend to be up continuously so the change for raiders is less significant.

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Filed under: Shaman, News items

Two mods for thwarting The Alchemist's Apprentice

Ever since Wrath of the Lich King was in beta, my least favorite daily quest was The Alchemist's Apprentice from Zul'Drak, part of Troll Patrol. I could zoom through all of the other Troll Patrol quests without any stalling or hesitation, but this one would hold me up forever with its stupid Seasoned Cider Sliders and Muddy Mire Maggots. It never kept me long enough for me to fail the Troll Patrol timer, but it kept me long enough to be an extreme annoyance.

At this point I've memorized where all of the weird little ingredients are in Finklestein's lab, but now that I've started reading Flame Shock, a Shaman blog, I realize how silly I've been. I don't use a lot of mods, so I never think to look for mods for very small, very specific things like a single quest, but it turns out I really should have, just like when most everyone was using Ogri'Lazy and I was still typing "blue red red red green red yellow" in /say to myself.

The blogger behind Flame Shock lists two different addons that are worth checking out for this quest: EasySerum and a much less elegantly named "Finklestein daily serum quest helper." Flame Shock has pictures of both in action, with EasySerum listing the location of the item you need in your chatbox and the second mod putting a dot on your minimap, showing the item's location visually. Your days of needing to start the quest because you ran to the wrong side? Over!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Quests

Combat stats and spellpower consolidated on Alpha

You may never look at this window the same way again.Sources are saying that a new Alpha build showed up on the WoTLK Alpha servers yesterday, featuring a few interesting changes. Kalgan's promised spellpower change we have mentioned, and it now appears to be on the Alpha servers. In addition, it looks like the dev team is working on consolidating even more stats. As of the latest build, all instances of haste rating, hit rating, and critical strike rating on gear will now modify both physical attacks and spells at the same time.

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

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