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Posts with tag shaman-enhancement-totem-talk

Totem Talk: How to use addons to perfect enhancement shaman priorities

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.

I love priority systems, and that's the naked truth. I identify as an altaholic, having had seven out of 10 classes level capped by the end of Wrath of the Lich King and the other three all at varying stages of Northrend progression. While leveling up these characters, I almost always have the intent of either tanking or healing (provided I'm on a hybrid). I tell myself that this class will be the "one," the hybrid class I get to level cap where I'll resist the lure of playing DPS and finally have a queue time shorter than twice my age.

It never works out. I'm addicted to DPS. Just last week, I made the mistake of respeccing my blood death knight tank to unholy DPS. Within a day, he went from 83 to 85 ... and started queuing for heroics as DPS. I have an unhealthy fascination with putting the hurt on bosses, and a lot of my draw to playing any DPS spec is mastering its priority system.

Priority systems are awesome. They're the basic building blocks of proper DPS; there is nothing more pivotal or simple for maximizing your DPS as learning to manage your priority correctly. Some classes, like the 3.3.6 marksman hunter, have such mind-numbing priority systems that you wonder how people can bear playing them. Others, like the Wrath of the Lich King feral druid, had such complicated priority systems that good feral druids were as rare as a holographic Charizard card.

Enhancement is normally considered to fall under the "hard" section of priority systems. With one proc based attack, a DoT that needs to be buffed before casting, two melee strikes, a pyromaniac stick that hates attacking your target, and a single-target shock spell for use when everything else is on cooldown, we have a lot to monitor. Luckily for us, addons exist. If you're struggling with perfecting your priority, here are some of the mods you should look for.

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Filed under: Shaman, Add-Ons, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: Gearing an enhancement shaman in Cataclysm heroics


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Do your likes include bladed weapons, the elements, and fights with little to no movement/target switching? So does Josh Myers, new kid on the block and now host of Totem Talk: Enhancement!

When I was a young enhancement shaman, barely out of my teens, I had an obsession with gear. "Elam," my friends would say, "why are you in Wailing Caverns for the eighth time? You should be leveling. That gear will be replaced by Thousand Needles, anyway." Their disdain for my overwhelming need to complete my Armor of the Fang set was great, but my desire for the shiny blues was greater. I leveled my first 70 primarily through 5-mans and hit Karazhan raid-ready. As for my friends, the joke was on them -- given my obsession with gear, it was all replaced in Razorfen Downs, not Thousand Needles.

As a direct side result of my love for all things blue and purple, I've spent the better part of my flight time scouring loot tables on AtlasLoot Enhanced for the past week and a half, looking for the absolute best pieces of gear to come out of heroics for enhancement shaman. Like Fox Van Allen with shadow priests and Christian Belt with mages, I've made a list of which gear is optimal for enhancement in the pre-raid Cataclysm scene. Last week, I talked about reputations. This week, I'll be covering which heroics to queue for and which justice point rewards to prioritize.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancement shaman guide to Cataclysm reputation gear

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Do your likes include bladed weapons, the elements, and fights with little to no movement/target switching? So does Josh Myers, new kid on the block and now host of Totem Talk: Enhancement!

From Timbermaw Hold to the Dragonmaw Clan, who you know has always been an important part of the World of Warcraft. When Deathwing smashed the World Pillar, toppled the Stonewrought Dam, and went Death Star on Stormwind's Park District, he made a whole lot of enemies. From angry earth elementals to druidic defenders of those with "wet little noses," the Cataclysm of Azeroth has brought about an assortment of new factions for grinding friendship with.

This is WoW Insider's guide to plotting your enhancement shaman's reputation progression in the most practical manner possible.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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: A feast of enhancement macros

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Rich Maloy lives and breathes enhancement; his main spec is enhance, and his off spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance and leads the guild Big Crits (Season 2 Ep 05 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

This week, I was hoping to provide a thorough analysis of the new and questionably improved (though most definitely changed) enhancement shaman DPS in patch 4.0.1. Unfortunately, I ended up missing raid on Tuesday and so missed our 11/12 ICC hard mode power clear and have very limited data to analyze.

I know you're right there with me when I say it is quite disconcerting to have gaps in our normal frenzied button mashing activities. The long, lonely periods of two or three global cooldowns where we have nothing to do but hope for that fifth Maelstrom Weapon proc, while idly staring at our keys with the strange feeling that we're doing something wrong. Fret not, young shammy. It is the way of the enhancement right now; we will have periods of non-mashing where we can take a deep breath and enjoy the forthcoming five-stack of searing enabled Lava Lash crit.

In last week's article I alluded to a macro that combines Magma Totem and Fire Nova into one button, and there were some comments about it. I'm a big macro user; in fact, I have all my macro slots filled up on Stoney and my druid, Finn. I think it's about time I divulged the treasure trove of macros I've accumulated over the years.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancement post-patch theory

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 04 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

This patch hit me hard, harder than any patch before it, and I know I wasn't the only was one to be drastically affected by it. Other than the usual spate of patch-related addon issues, I was struggling to keep the downloader connected. After turning off all anti-virus, firewall and other sorts of computer safety monitoring programs, I finally got into game on Friday night. Mostly, though, I just lacked time to log in this week. Once in game, I was faced with just as many challenges getting Stoney in order and raid-ready as I was trying to get online. This patch was more disruptive in game than any patch before.

A far an enhancement goes, there's so much that still needs to be tested and refined. The greater enhancement community is working hard at the theorycrafting, but even the simulations are not fully refined for level 80 testing; the latest alpha of EnhSim is tuned to level 85 right now. The decisions I made in game are based on the best available data as well as some things I want to test out for myself. There was a lot to accomplish in-game including, respeccing, retraining, regemming, reforging, readjusting and refining.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancement's path to victory in patch 4.0.1

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 03 now out!)as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Are you ready? Charge up your Maelstrom Weapons and dust off your Searing Totems -- Patch 4.0.1 is nearly upon us! Not sure what to do on your enhancement shaman? The quick-hit guide to enhancement in the cataclysmic world is below.

What's not changing

Let's start with some things that are not changing. Slow/slow is the way to go (for your weapons, I mean). Your weapons shouldn't be faster than 2.00 and ideally should be between 2.50 to 2.70 speed. Be wary of any weapon with a speed below 2.00; most likely it's been touched by a rogue and still has some residual poison on it meant to cripple your Windfuries and Flametongues.

We're also staying with the same imbues: Windfury on the main hand and Flametongue on the off hand. With this patch (as with every patch, it seems), there was a little bit of banter about going full spellpower, with fast/fast and a caster weapon main hand along with FT/FT, reforging spirit, and otherwise doing crazy things like looking for the next Torch of Holy Fire. Don't do it. Stay slow/slow, with WF/FT. We're meant to be melee doing primarily melee damage.

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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

Totem Talk: Enhancement beta 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 13 now live!)as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

It's been a few weeks since my last beta post. I feel like I'm back in grammar school at good ol' St. Louise de Marillac, "forgive me readers, it's been four weeks since my last beta post. Since then I've been mean to my guild, and I tried to kill my own priest." In game priest, in game! I can't wait to read the letters to the editor about that slip up. Oh well, at least I didn't use the word "casual."

Moving right along to important topics that everyone cares about: beta changes for enhancement shamans! Well, I suppose "everyone" excludes people that are not interested in beta spoilers. Great, two paragraphs in and I've already offended Catholics, priests, and people not interested in beta spoilers. Look on the bright side: at least I didn't use an offensive font this week!

If you are interested in the latest beta changes as they relate to enhancement shamans then please read on. Please note that beyond this point, this post will not further offend your good, wholesome middle Azerothian sensibilities.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancing your gear in only four dungeons

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 12 now out!)as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Holy Stormstrikes! I'm going to refrain from using the term casual in a post ever again. Wait, I just used it there. Ah well, rack that promise up with "I'll never drink again" and "I'll never die to cutters again." Lies, all of them, lies.

We all have different definitions of the term and judging by the comments in the last post, others' definition of casual is more severe than mine. I'll get into casual vs. hardcore and the ridiculousness of those classifications in another post. For now, I hear you loud and clear, so let's refrain from diving into that now.

I digress. As I was writing last week's article I had this sneaking suspicion that I already wrote several articles on gearing your non-end game enhancement shaman. In fact I had written articles many moons ago, and they are all on my neglected blog, Big Hit Box. Time for a revisit.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Gearing your casual or alt enhancement shaman

gearing your enhancement shaman alt
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 12 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Casual raider? Or not fortunate enough to play a shaman as your main, but instead stuck on another, lesser class? This article is for you. If you need to go out and gear up your shaman from guild alt runs, PUG raids and mucking about in daily dungeons for your two frost emblems, then read on for your gear choices.

From the applications we received over the past few months at Big Crits, it seems that guilds and PUGs alike had a hard time getting past Deathbringer Saurfang -- that is, until the bigger ICC buff hit. Now the breaking point is 6/12 ICC, with kills on Festergut and Rotface being commonplace but little experience beyond that available. Taking into consideration how far casual guilds or alt runs can realistically get into ICC, I've listed the loot in order of progression, from easy to hard.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhanced moves with Halion

enhanced moves with halion
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 10 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

The last patch of an expansion feels like the last gift of Christmas; you want it to be the most epic and the most incredible gift of them all, the one gift by which you'll remember this time forever. But instead, you're at your in-laws' doing the family gag gift exchange with a price limit of 20 bucks and a penchant for As Seen on TV products. In some ways, Ruby Sanctum is like that; it's not huge, it's not epic, it's not expensive, but it does have some potential. Maybe Ruby Sanctum is the Slap Chop of this expansion. None of this has anything to do with the article today. Except that I'm talking about Halion.

Halion, the Twilight Destroyer. Three phases, good loot and a huge scale-up in difficulty on heroic mode. It's a good fight that requires paying attention throughout the entire 8-minute enrage timer, in which one death can mean a wipe, especially on heroic. There's no 30 percent buff incoming, so you either learn it and beat it, or you don't and fail. For our part, as enhancement shaman, there are a few tricks we have up our sleeves.

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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: Enhance me

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 8 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Two weeks ago a fellow enhancement shaman contacted me on Twitter asking how to improve his damage output. He was kind enough to let me use his email as the topic for the weekly enhancement shaman column here on WoW.com. Because he was brave (crazy?) enough to face the public scrutiny that comes from being in the spotlight here, show him the high level of respect our fellow enhancement brother deserves. Here's his email:

I just switched to enhance for raiding a couple of weeks ago and I still feel like my DPS is lower than what it could be. I'm using Shock and Awe and still depending more or less on the priority frame, which I hope to ween off of soon. I'm still not 100% sure if I have the priorities set up correctly at this point. They are set at:
  • SR
  • MT
  • LS
  • MW5 LB
  • SS
  • ES if SS
  • FS
  • LL
  • FN
I also use Wolves every time they are up and also Fire Elemental when off CD. With just my buffs at the heroic dummy I seem to be maxing out around 6-6.5k. Again, seems a little low to me. If you would like to look at my armory, the name is Alyssian on Durotan. We use WoL, too, and my guild is Chi Cerca Trova.

PS - Any tips for helping me get off of the SAA priority window? I'm mainly concerned with keeping the shock rotation going, I think I can handle the rest.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Dual-wielding topics

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 as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

This week I'm dual wielding topics. Neither one was enough to keep you entertained, my lovely and intelligent readers, for a full week's worth of enhancement, but combined together I think we can accomplish something. Consider a Stormstrike post with fire elemental mechanics in one hand and Cataclysm changes in the other.

If you're firmly in the "don't tell me anything about Cataclysm" camp, then just read the first section and skip the rest, though all I'm talking about are the recent changes to the shaman talent trees. If you don't mind a sneak peek at enhancement 4.0 as it stands now, then enjoy!

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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