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Posts with tag maelstrom-weapon

Totem Talk: Solving the problem of Maelstrom Weapon

The default Blizzard power aura for Maelstrom Weapon
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Once a lonely tauren shaman in a bad Scarlet Crusade-themed transmog set, Josh Myers is now a female dwarf shaman with pigtails who raids using all three specs on a regular basis. He kept the same transmog set, though.

When I try to think of what enhancement's most iconic ability is, a few come to mind. Windfury Weapon is a definite contender, and three or four years ago it would have been my default response. Seriously, though, what is Windfury other than a glorified auto-attack with an attack power bonus and a lower chance to miss? Likewise, Stormstrike could be iconic, but it's essentially a melee attack with both weapons with an electric graphic and a debuff. It's enhancement's Mutilate or Obliterate.

To me, Maelstrom Weapon is the answer. If there's one ability that encapsulates what enhancement is -- a brutal melee class that weaves instant spellcasts between their weapon strikes to harm their opponent or heal themselves -- I believe it's Maelstrom Weapon. It's enhancement's Death Strike, Arcane Blast, Chakra, or Raging Blow -- abilities that, at a glance, offer an insight into what makes the spec different from other specs in their role.

There's a problem here, though. If Maelstrom Weapon is enhancement's iconic ability, why is it currently so awful?

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

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

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.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Save yourself

Axes, maces, lightning, fire, frost, and 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 and pens the enhance side of Totem Talk.

A dead DPS does no DPS. It's as simple as that. Whether in a raid, an arena, or out soloing and leveling, staying alive is priority number one. This is as true for enhancement shamans as it is for any class. Thankfully as enhancement we have a few more options than most DPS classes including our saving-throw talent: Maelstrom Weapon.

I consider it an absolutely essential duty to toss out MW4/5 heals in a damage-intensive environment, especially if the fight is new progression for your guild or you're in a tough match in PvP. I remember working on Tidewalker in Serpentshrine Cavern, I'd throw MW5-Healing Waves on the tank constantly. The damage was so intense on our main tanks and their health so spiky that at 4 procs of Maelstrom Weapon he'd be at full health then a split second later when I had 5 procs he was dangerously close to dying. My Healing Waves rarely over-healed when we learned that fight it appears my memory is failing me as MW did not exist when SSC was progression content. I do distinctly recall tossing out Lesser Healing Waves to help top off the tank when the MT healers were Watery Graved.

Tossing heals on the main tank in the Tidewalker fight was the exception, for the most part when using MW for healing it's a matter of keeping yourself alive. Read on to live to fight another phase.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancement 201, spell selection

Rich Maloy is currently working on a distributed processing application called SimIt!@HOME which will calculate all possible enhancement shaman spell rotations for any possible situation given any gear combination. The application will also have an option to calculate all potential scenarios in which "sim it" is a half-a** answer but you should say it anyway.

If I told you the enhancement shaman basic spell rotation was: SR, FE, SW, MW5_LB, MT(0), LS(1), ES_SS, SS, FS, ES, LL, FN would you run away screaming?

What if I told you that was just for single target boss encounters and there's a different priority for boss fights that require changing targets, another priority for boss fights with heavy adds, and yet another priority for trash mobs. Scared yet?

It's OK. Please come back. This is what we Enhancers have bouncing around in our head. I'll make everything alright by breaking it down into a few easy-to-remember chunks. Because we all like chunks.

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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.)

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

The Queue: I'm sick of pandas

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

I'm bored of hearing about Pandas and Pandaren, so I am declaring today 'pandas aren't real' day. If you think about pandas at any point throughout the day, you must throw yourself out of a window. No, I'm not going to defenestrate myself for writing this, because I made the holiday so I make the rules. However, I will not think about pandas starting.... now!

Kevin Gass

Is there a way (be it a mod or not) to alert me whenever a cooldown is done. For example, as a Shaman whenever Maelstrom is ready, a bright and noticeable pop up says it's ready. I would love something to tell me whenever Ghost Wolf and Shamanistic Rage are ready. I would use them more often! Thanks in advance!

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Filed under: The Queue

Shaman changes in patch 3.0.3

The elders spoke of a day when great, sweeping changes would come to us Shamans. A day when our command of the elements would become unsurpassed and we would harness power like never seen on Azeroth (kind of like Retadins). Today, my friends, is not that day. In fact, today may well be any other day for Shamans because Patch 3.0.3 is about as underwhelming as it gets with regards to changes to the class.

Let's see... we have a Lava Burst damage increase, which means jack to us because we only train for the spell at Level 75. Speaking of which, Storm Reach was renamed to Elemental Reach because it now affects... Lava Burst. Also in the Elemental tree, Improved Fire Nova totem was reworked to increase the damage done by Fire Nova Totem by 20% instead of a quicker detonation and now stuns opponents caught in the blast for 2 seconds instead of ensnaring them.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents

Maelstrom Weapon, Predatory Instincts tooltips incorrect

I was browsing through Blizzard's updated patch notes for 3.0.2 today, and noticed that apparently two talents that have been patched in don't do what they say. Under "Known Issues," the notes list that the tooltips for the Enhancement Shaman talent Maelstrom Weapon and the Feral Druid talent Predatory Instincts are incorrect. I'll talk about them one at a time.

As far as Predatory Instincts goes, the patch notes say "The tooltip for Predatory Instincts is currently incorrect. This no longer works on Bear Form or Dire Bear Form and now reduces damage by 10/20/30%." I'm going to assume that it still just works on AoE, instead of reducing all damage taken by 10/20/30%, because that would be insanely OP, as much as I'd enjoy my cat form having plate-level mitigation. And I'm not actually surprised they took bear form off of it, because I'm told bear tanking was simply too good in the beta. It does mean there's no use taking it for tanking, though. More points for Infected Wounds or something, I suppose.

On to Maelstrom Weapon. This is actually something that was changed in the beta a while back, and the tooltip just took some time to get updated: Lava Burst is no longer affected by Maelstrom charges (this won't affect us for now, since the first rank of Lava Burst is at level 75). So it looks like you'll be limited to Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning for your instant-cast damage spells, clearly a PvE nerf. Chase actually sees this as a buff for PvP, though - now you can Flame Shock, crit Lava Burst, and instant Lightning Bolt for some serious burst damage.

Filed under: Druid, Shaman, Patches

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