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Posts with tag flametongue

Warlords of Draenor: Changes to Weapon Imbues and Unleash Elements

As part of the most recent Alpha build, shaman weapon imbues (Windfury, Flametongue, Earthliving) have been removed. CM Lore got on the forums and explained exactly what was up, and here's his rundown of the changes.

Lore - Weapon Imbues Shaman
We didn't feel that Weapon Imbues were offering much in the way of gameplay. For many players, they felt like more of an annoyance ("why can't I Unleash... oh") than a buff. They're also prime targets for reducing action bar clutter. For those reasons, we decided to convert each spec's primary imbue(s) to passive effects.

However, while the effects of Windfury and Flametongue are a core part of the Enhancement rotation, Earthliving for Restoration and Flametongue for Elemental are little more than a raw numbers increase. Not really something that we need to clutter up the spellbook with. So, for Resto and Elemental, we decided to remove those effects entirely (and compensate for that when we start numbers tuning). For Enhancement, we merged Windfury and Flametongue into one passive (Enhanced Weapons) that gives the benefits of both effects.

Please be aware that the currently active Alpha build was taken in the middle of a pretty big wave of class changes (for everyone, not just Shaman). We'll be getting a full update to the patch notes out as soon as possible once we've completed that round of changes.


The new passive, Enhanced Weapons, acts as Lore detailed - it basically gives your attacks the chance to have the effects of Windfury or Flametongue without actually having Windfury or Flametongue on them. In addition to this change, Unleash Elements now becomes one of three spec and imbue specific Unleash abilities, Unleash Life for Restoration, Unleash Flame for Elemental and Unleash Elements for Enhancement. Each unleashes as the ability does on live with the proper imbue.

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Totem Talk: Understanding your enhancement weapon imbues

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.

In a recent thread on the shaman forums, I got called out. Not in any terrible "you're the worst enhancement shaman in the world and you hate your mother!" sort of way, but I got told I haven't done a good enough job explaining why we use the weapon imbues that we do. There's some definite truth to that; in the past, I've advocated Flametongue/Flametongue setups over Windfury/Flametongue without ever explaining why they're better, just that they are.

With that in mind, I'm changing things up this week. Part of this is because I want to address a concern brought to me by a reader; part of it is because I've been 11/12 in raid content for over a month and don't want to do a raid strategy guide until we actually kill Nefarian (who is a really, really big jerk). The third part of it is because imbues are one of the most integral parts of playing a shaman and one of our real definitive features as a class. Understanding them is crucial to understanding the class as a whole!

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

Totem Talk: Enhancement 101

Axes, maces, lightning, fire, frost, and wolves, and best of all, Windfury. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy (aka Stoneybaby) loves it and lives it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. And he will be penning the enhance side of Totem Talk.

It seems 101 guides are all the rage these days, which makes enhancement shaman 101 a convenient place to start with my inaugural WoW.com post. Playing an enhancement shaman, and playing it well, means dealing with the most extensive spell rotation in the game, having two caps to hit in gearing, and a dozen cooldowns to track. Not to mention the need to run out of fires, avoid whirlwinds, and generally dodge all that hate on melee. It's safe to say enhance is one of the most complex specs to play. It's also one of the most fun.

My favorite part is that we're right up front making a mess of things with both physical and magical damage–to deadly effect. You want to play enhancement? Let's dive right in to get you started!

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Filed under: (Shaman) Totem Talk

Patch 3.2 PTR: Priest changes in build 10072

A new build for patch 3.2 hit the PTR recently, and all of the related Shadow Priest changes are things that the recent Q&A hinted toward or straight out told us to expect. Let's not waste any time here and dig right into the changes.
  • Vampiric Touch now deals more damage when dispelled. (Max rank deals 1360 damage, previously 680)
Definitely not a surprise here. I've been saying for a long time that this component of the spell needed a significant buff, Ghostcrawler agreed, and doubling its base damage can probably be considered that. We'll still need to see it in action to determine if it's enough. If it's not enough, at least it's closer, and that's something.
  • Devouring Plague cooldown removed, can now only be applied to one target at a time.
This is a change I long expected, and despite Ghostcrawler initially seeming iffy on it in the Shadow Priest Q&A, the simple fact that it was mentioned made me more hopeful that it would happen. And it is happening! So I'm pretty happy about that. There isn't much more to say. It'll make playing a Shadow Priest much less frustrating when it comes to encounters where you're swapping targets a lot. Yogg-Saron, I'm looking at you.

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Filed under: Priest, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

Totem Talk: When things go off the rails


Yesterday, a new PTR patch dropped with changes for shamans. We'll be covering them. But first I wanted to talk about the change to the Windfury Glyph that I've frankly been avoiding discussing for weeks now. I've avoided it because, frankly, I haven't wanted to discuss it until I could come up with something to say that wasn't a lot of cursing. Amazingly this change was so extreme that the highest damage an enhancement shaman can get right now is to use the Torch of Holy Fire in your mainhand and a fast offhand with flametongue on each weapon.

Yes, that's right, a healer/caster weapon is the highest DPS an enhancement shaman can get. This is the sound of me banging my head against the desk. My forehead's got splinters. Honestly, I still don't know what to say about this. When the attack power was taken out of WF glyph they might as well have just removed it from the game.

In the above post Blizzard hightlights their intention for the class (slow MH/slow OH with WF/FT), the problem here is not what they intended but what they did. By reducing the WF glyph and removing the attack power bonus it was giving, the glyph became inferior to double flametongue with a caster MH/fast OH, due to how Flametongue Weapon works.

Right now, the base damage on each Flametongue proc scales with weapon speed, but the percent of spellpower that affects the damage that the imbue does is always a flat 10%, meaning that until 3.1 flametongue does more damage on a faster weapon. The enhancement playstyle that takes advantage of this is an anomaly, in that we know it will be much less effective in 3.1, but as of right now we know that if you are an enhancement shaman, you will do more damage with a caster weapon and a fast offhand.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Buffs, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Breakfast Topic: Your wish

When I was first exploring the Wrath of the Lich King beta, I thought that the Dalaran Wishing Fountain was one of the coolest things ever. I'm an avid angler in WoW, and I'm a huge lore geek. Combining the two is a recipe for success, I think! I really enjoyed the ability to get a little glimpse into the mind of various lore characters, and it was offered up in a pretty interactive way. It's not only the fun quotes, but a sense of discovery accompanies each new coin.

The contents of the fountain has inspired a question that's been making the rounds through the WoW community: If you had a coin in that fountain, what would it say? What wish or musing would be left on it? I posed the question to the WoW Insider team to see what they would come up with, ranging from the silly to the serious, from speaking in-character to speaking as a player. Here's what they (we) had to say...

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Filed under: Fishing, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

WWI '08 Panel: Shaman

Holy moly, Shamans got a ton of stuff they wanted and then some today at the WoW Dev Panel during WWI '08 today.
  • Shaman CC! Hex, previously the domain of NPCs only, was confirmed as a Shaman spell -- it'll have a quick 1.5 second cast, and will turn your enemy into a frog for about 8-10 seconds. The frogged person will still be able to move around, but they won't be able to attack or cast spells. A 1 minute cooldown was mentioned, but that's in opposition to the purpose of the spell, which is supposed to be emergency only, so that may change.
  • The devs mentioned that Shaman were suffering from "Totem spam," so a few totems will be combined -- Strength of Earth and Grace of Air will become the same totem, and the physical school news was re-confirmed.
  • Perhaps the biggest Shaman complaint since launch was answered: Shaman totems will now affect the whole raid, not just the local group. That's a big one.
  • Weapon enchants are being revamped for more utility. Rockbiter is out completely, and Earthliving is replacing it -- it will give a +Healing buff. Flametongue will give spell damage, and Frostbrand will "more reliably snare" opponents.
A lot of Shaman concerns were answered today for sure, though perhaps not in the way players might have wanted. Will a 10 second CC be enough? It's great that totems affect the raid now, but will their range be extended to reach all of those people?

All of this information is still up in the air, of course, but it's awesome to finally see some official news on where classes are headed for Wrath of the Lich King. Stay tuned for more Wrath information, as well as any other WoW news we hear coming out of WWI.

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Raiding, Classes, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

Hybrid Theory: Shaman and the Wrath Alpha


Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

The seedy underbelly of the internet continues to supply the goods. Just in time to follow up on our look at Druids and Shadow Priests, we're supplied with some potential Shaman information. Let's hope Paladin timing will be as convenient, though it seems unlikely.

As usual when discussing Alpha information, it's always wise to remember that much of it will likely change by launch. Stay optimistic, but cautiously so. That way you can get excited without your hopes being crushed later on. Now, with the disclaimer out of the way, let's dig right into the Shaman talents and abilities. A lot of the previous weaknesses of the class are being addressed (much like they were for Shadow Priests) with a few new interesting things tossed in, accompanied by a side of itemization band-aids.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Raiding, Talents, Buffs, Hybrid Theory, Wrath of the Lich King

Kalgan confirms the Life Tap and Flametongue rollbacks, offers up some Arena numbers

Sweet, back to taking over the world. Warlocks rejoice, Kalgan has just officially confirmed that previously mentioned removal of the Lifetap nerf was intentional. While they were originally concerned that Warlocks were still too overly represented in the arenas, he said, a recent downtrend in their numbers convinced them to withdraw the nerfs, at least until the numbers settle down again. He also shared a chart that revealed Blizzard's analysis of the number of a class in each arena type vs. their desired numbers for the 2200+ and 1850 score ranges. The numbers are shown as a percentage by class and team type. A Percentage of 100% means they're at Blizzard's expected representation level. Above that means they outpace it, below means they're below it.

We'll show you the charts here after the break.

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Filed under: Shaman, Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Classes, Forums, Arena

Lifetap and Flametongue changes rolled back on the PTR?

While the PTRs are still down to apply the latest round of changes, World of Raids has already sniffed out a few changes and additions to the latest patch files.

Possibly the most interesting change is the fact that the Warlock Life Tap nerf seems to be currently completely reversed. The spell is restored to its 2.3 status, with the highest rank swapping 580 health for 580 mana at the base value.

In addition, the Mortal Strike debuff appears to have been removed from the description of the Flametongue weapon and totem for Shamans.

Priests will now also be able to dispel up to 10 friendly and 10 hostile targets using Mass Dispel.

Also added this patch were the musical files for the Sunwell, as well as a handful of new effects with names such as "Quest Complete," "Summon Festival Scorchling," and "Guzzle Beer," which look to most involve the seasonal content for the Midsummer Fire Festival.

Welcome to progressive patching, folks. This is an incredible turn of events for sure. Not only is one of the most controversial nerfs in WoW history completely reversed, but it seems that Shamans can't quite celebrate their re-ascension to PvP power just yet. These could be temporary, of course, and we'll see what happens when the dust settles. If Blizzard has simply decided to revert these changes in the short term, how will they tackle the underlying issues of Warlock mana usage and Shaman PvP viability? Will they put it off for another patch, or take a different angle as testing continues? We'll be eager to find out!

Filed under: Priest, Shaman, Warlock, Realm News, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Classes, Buffs

PTR Notes: Class changes from 2/29

Yet another new build went up on the patch 2.4 PTRs last night, and it had a few class changes (as well as item changes; more on those later):
  • [Shaman] Flametongue debuff changed to -25% healing, but stacks twice; duration is still 5 s
  • [Priest] Mass Dispel will now affect up to 10 friendly and 10 enemy targets (source). Is it wrong that I've never used this in PvE?
  • Bloodlust/Heroism will now stack with Icy Veins (source), but will still not stack with the new Power Infusion (source).
As far as I can figure out, the upshot of the Flametongue change (which presumably applies to both the Weapon and the Totem versions of Flametongue) is that if you just hit someone once, they won't get the full -50% effect; you've got to beat on someone continually to keep that up. Will the Mass Dispel change make it more useful in raids? I have no idea. Probably not, what with the 15 yard radius.

[via MMO-Champion]

Filed under: Priest, Shaman, Patches

Is Mortal Strike the new black?


What's up with Mortal Strike? And why is it, when Blizzard feels that a class or spec needs to be made viable in Arenas -- and let's face it, the game is all about Arenas now, isn't it? -- they give them a Mortal Strike-style debuff? When the developers were figuring out how to raise Hunters' representation in Arenas, they changed Aimed Shot in Patch 2.3 to give a heal-gimping debuff similar the the Arms Warrior's bread and butter ability.

Enter Patch 2.4 in the PTRs. When Kalgan finally descended upon the Shaman forums, he said that Shamans were definitely getting buffed just in time to quell the wake of an uproar to the nerfs made to the Elemental spec. Along with the reversal of the Nature's Swiftness and Elemental Mastery shared cooldown, the current iteration of the progressive patch is seeing a change to the Shaman's Flametongue Weapon and Totem, which happens to be -- surprise, surprise -- a Mortal Strike-style debuff. Yawn.

While it's certainly a welcome change, considering that Shamans get so little love, frankly it's getting a little boring. Allie mentioned calls for putting the buff on every class (Mortal Sheep or Mortal Portal for Mages is a classic), so this begs the question... is a Mortal Strike-type ability the only way to make a class or spec viable in the Arenas? Aside from the fact that Mortal Strike Warriors are conceivably the most popular class & spec, healing debuffs are clearly one of the game-breaking abilities in Arenas. With Resilience making crit-based and burst damage specs less and less viable, is there really a need for another Mortal Strike? Can't Blizzard make another buff to make a spec Arena-viable without using the same old trick? What do you guys think? How much more creative can you be?

Filed under: Hunter, Shaman, Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Arena

Mortal Strike for all!


In the wake of the most recent PTR change to Flametongue Weapon applying a -50% healing debuff over 5 seconds and -- it now appears -- the Flametongue totem itself doing the same for others' melee attacks, a number of forum threads have popped up questioning the increasing number of these debuffs in the game. The funniest asks, "Is there some sort of Mortal Strike non-proliferation treaty that stops me from having Mortal Strike on my priest?" (short of Hex of Weakness, I guess). Suggestions include an MS effect on Crusader Strike, "MORTAL SHEEEEEEEEP!", and "Mortal Portal" for mages.

The best argument I've seen is not that Mortal Strike or MS-like effects like Aimed Shot are themselves imbalanced, but they're bound to seem that way if healing is overpowered in PvP. Healing per second is nearly always more efficient than damage per second if you're specced for it, although that's cold comfort to yours truly while resto-specced and under heavy fire in battlegrounds or arena. Nobody knows if the newest version of MS is really going to help Shamans in arena, but between this and the nerf to drinking, it does look more and more as if PvP is increasingly being balanced around the notion of healers staying exposed (and vulnerable) for longer.

Filed under: Hunter, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Classes, Battlegrounds, Arena

PTR Notes: Patch note watch 2/28

As Matt Rossi is analyzing in more detail, the attunement requirement for Karazhan has been removed, although at least one person in the raid does need to have the key to get in the door. How do we know? New patch notes.

Here, in full, is everything that's changed in the latest iteration of Blizzard's official test realm patch notes, brought to you, as always, by the power of diff. Much of this has been covered on WoW Insider already, because Blizzard is slow to update the patch notes; the stuff that looks new to me is in bold (which in this particular case is only that the new Mortal Strike-esque effect on Flametongue Weapon applies to Flametongue Totem as well).
  • Removed: "The benefits of drinking out of combat have been delayed. It will now take five seconds before the full benefit of the mana regeneration will come into effect." (now restricted to arenas only)
  • [Druid] Lifebloom will no longer cause error messages when interacting with Spellsteal or while the Druid is under the effects of a Mind Control.
  • Mage
    • Improved Blink: This talent no longer reduces the mana cost of Blink. Instead, it increases the chance for all attacks to miss the Mage by 25% for 2/4 sec after Blink is cast.
    • Icy Veins no longer stacks with Power Infusion (as well as Bloodlust/Heroism from the last patch notes)
    • Mana Shield: This spell will now get a percentage of the Mage's bonus to spell damage as an additional effect.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, News items

New Flametongue bugged


As predicted, Enhancement Shamans got some nice buffs yesterday, including the addition of a Mortal Strike-like effect of reduced healing to the Flametongue weapon.

But the weapon hasn't quite had the desired effect yet on the PTR. In fact, as World of Raids has posted, it actually does exactly the opposite. As you can see above, Flametongue is actually adding to heals on the target of the attack, not halving them as its now meant to. No doubt this will be fixed before long, but a note to whoever's working on the Shaman class on the PTR: you should have used that minus sign in the code there, not the plus one.

Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Bugs, Blizzard, Humor, Buffs

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