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Posts with tag searing-totem

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

Ask the Devs 10: DPS answers revealed

The ill-fated Ask the Devs series continues to limp forward, this time fielding a number of questions on the topic of "damage dealing." The development team chose to answer 12 queries dealing with issues specific to DPS classes, from DPS warrior/DK threat, to shadow priests' ramp up ability, to the devs' basic philosophy for deciding when a buff or nerf to a DPS ability is needed. Enhancement shaman get a lot of a love in particular -- three enhance-specific questions were answered.

The full Q&A is available on the EU and US forums -- and, of course, right here at WoW Insider just after the break.

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Totem Talk: Totem tweaks keep elemental shaman on course for Cataclysm


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.

This has been an authenticatorless week. I do not recommend weeks like this. Now that I have access to Azeroth again, however, I am reminded that the lack of substantial updates to the elemental spec implies that the developers are mostly finished with us and have been for some time. For the majority of elemental shaman, we are watching and waiting for the final Cataclysm itemization and profession details, although we certainly aren't the only class in this situation. Luckily, this latest beta build has given us a few minor details to mull over. My enforced break from the game has also coincided with my first reader emails and questions, so after I've covered the consequences of the tweaks, I'll be answering some questions.

Now, as for the small changes, I am happy to see Searing Totem finally get some love. I suspect many elemental shaman will be grinding their teeth in annoyance as I mention the shaman sweet spot on the Blood Queen Lana'thel encounter, or the frustrating positioning for Blood Prince Council, or even the erratic totem behavior on Sindragosa! The totem's low range has caused many shaman to question the value of the current Elemental Reach talent. Why pick up a talent that increases your max range to 40 yards, if you have to continually refresh a Searing Totem at a mere 20 yards? The full change and a Ghostcrawler post on the topic is after the jump.

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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.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Scattered Shots: Space


Scattered Shots + reader eyeballs = hunter infos input to brains.

Lots of classes are very much "point-and-click" when it comes to battle -- you just pick your target and start using special abilities. The artistry of playing your class usually has to do more with the particular order you use these abilities in than it does with actual positioning and usage of the space around you (with the exception of raiding boss battles which require people to be standing in the right place at the right time).

More than any other class, however, hunters use space itself as a weapon. For us, the usage of space is so much more than just "getting in close" or "keeping a safe distance." Our traps, combined with our totally different abilities depending on how close we are, mean that our strategy completely changes depending on the spacial circumstances we help to create.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

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