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Posts with tag stormstrike

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: Last call for enhancement buffs

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 shot web? The answer to the first two is "no," and roll a hunter for the third!

Patch 4.2 was barely a week away, and things were looking bleak for enhance shaman everywhere. Enhancement shaman were watching their calendars in much the same way normal people watch Fox Van Allen and Tyler Caraway interact on Twitter; with much trepidation and little hope for the future of mankind. Fortunately for enhancement shaman everywhere, on the Thursday before (rumored) Patch Day, Blizzard came through for enhancement like a last minute visit from Santa Claus and gifted us with two tasty buffs. Unfortunately, neither Blizzard or Santa Claus can do anything for Fox and Tyler's Twitter followers.
Patch 4.2 Public Test Realm Guide - [Updated 6/16]
Unleash Wind now deals 175% weapon damage, up from 125%.

Stormstrike now deals 225% weapon damage, up from 125%.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

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 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

The Queue: Now or later


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

It's been awhile since I've done listening music for The Queue. It's a lot of fun to do, but we do it so often here on WoW.com that it's starting to get a little stale. I've started to miss doing it though, so here you go. Today's listening music is some fantastic Rhett and Link, who you probably have never heard on the radio. Which is a shame.

YimmyZ asked...

"Is there any lore related to Emblems/badges? Something like the people need so many badges to draw magic from to imbue items or some such?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Cataclysm

The Daily Quest: Keepin' the Clouds Away

We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Filed under: Druid, The Daily Quest

Ghostcrawler: Death Knight dual wielding to get a makeover soon

Good news to all you Dual Wield Death Knight Diehards: Ghostcrawler recently popped up on the forums with a simple answer to your woes: "Next Major Patch."

Apparently, the next major patch (I'm guess it will be patch 3.2) will be seeing more tweaks to Death Knights, at the least to get dual wielding viable again. There's no word on what form this tweaking will take, which is to be expected. Balancing Dual Wielding and Two handed weapons has always been a tricky to near-impossible for other classes, so the skeptical part of me still wonders if it's possible.

Of course, it could also be the two-handed weapon partisan in me speaking as well. Any basic solution such as creating a two-weapon strike seems like it could leave two-handed Death Knights out in the cold, at least for DPS. Still, we have that earlier mention of possible dual-wield dedicated tree, so who knows how extensively they'll revamp whichever one they choose to allow dual wield optimization. We do already have some 3.2 feature announcements, though, so who knows, maybe class change information is up next. We'll keep you posted.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight

Patch 3.1 PTR build 9637 Shaman changes


So, my fellow shamans, we come to yet another PTR build. What changes are in store for shamans? Well, if you're elemental or resto... not much as yet. What's in store is two changes for enhancement shamans.
  • Stormstrike now lasts 12 sec (Up from 10 sec), cooldown lowered to 8 sec (Down from 10 sec)
  • Unleashed Rage now properly increases the expertise by 3/6/9 instead of the agility.
The Stormstrike changes are just plain buffs: more time to use the debuff properly and less time waiting for it to cool down. The only concern will be in fitting it properly into a rotation with Lava Lash, which has a six second cooldown. Frankly, it won't be that big a deal, it's still better to have access to it quicker.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Shaman changes

Well, there's some interesting new stuff happening in the latest patch notes for the 3.1 PTR. Like what, you ask? Well, here's a sample from what's coming for enhancement:
  • New Talent: Frozen Power: Increases the damage done by your Frostbrand Weapon if it is enchanted on your main-hand weapon by 10/20%, and your Frost Shock has a 50/100% chance to root the target in Ice for 5 sec. when used on targets at or further than 15 yards from you.
  • Spirit Weapons: Now reduces all threat generated by 30%, not just physical attacks.
  • Stormstrike charges have been increased by 2, and cooldown reduced by 2 sec.
And that's hardly all, folks. Let's take a look at the complete list of changes and discuss them behind the jump.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Talents

Totem Talk: Back to Enhancement


Before last week, I had assumed that folks were tired of hearing me talk about enhancement as a spec. I've been focusing more on elemental because in the past I've seen a lot of comments complaining that elemental was getting short shrift from me, and also because I found the way it had been released with Wrath to be worth discussing. Frankly, elemental now is a lot more fun and pushes more DPS than it had pre-3.0.8 and I was enjoying playing with the spec.

Well, in the comments to last weeks post you informed me that, in fact, I haven't been talking about enhancement enough. At this point I put my head down and I began silently to weep. Then great, wracking sobs, followed by a scream to the heavens. Enhancement, enhancement, why have you forsaken me!?

I didn't, dumbass, I'm still right over here, you even have all the gear in your bags, just respec and we can go stormstrike things to death.

So yeah, I've respecced enhancement on my draenei. Never fear, orc boosters, I've started leveling my orc again and I'm aiming him at resto/elemental when dual specs come out. Since that bloody fist weapon in CoT won't drop for me, I had my warrior make up a Titansteel Bonecrusher for the MH and we're off to the races. Well, okay, these particular races involve hitting things in the back and setting them on fire a lot.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Classes, Talents, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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

Insider Trader: Armorsmiths vs. weaponsmiths part two

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Last week, I began the column by answering a reader's question regarding the two specializations of blacksmithing. The player had been considering switching, and I discussed his reasons for doing so.

I also began to compare the armorsmithing items to their non-crafted counterparts, to showcase how strong they really are. This week, I'm finishing up that analysis as well as giving weaponsmithing the same treatment.

Each item from either specialization tends to surpass its tier 5 counterpart, and strongly rival the tier 6, Black Temple pieces. Unfortunately, if the itemization is exactly right for your class, race and spec, the cost and effort spent to make any given piece is probably not worth it.

Still, for players who may never see the Black Temple, for whatever reason, can still work towards a strong epic piece to complement their PvP, dungeon and/or raiding gear.

It is also important to note the difference between blacksmithing and other gear-crafting professions, tailoring and leatherworking. Blacksmith specialists essentially create one piece, or in the case of dual wielders, two pieces, that are roughly tier 6 equivalent.

The other two professions can make more pieces, but the quality ranges from tier 4 to tier 5, although any gear choice is subject to individual circumstances and preference.

These pieces are bind on pick-up and cannot be sent to alts, so keep that in mind when you choose. There are many other blacksmithing patterns and drops that are BoE, but the specialty items, as with tailoring and leatherworking, can only be worn by the crafter.

In addition, should you make, for example, a sword and then switch to armorsmithing, you will no longer be able to wield the sword, as doing so requires that you have the correct specialization.

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Filed under: Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Insider Trader (Professions)

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

Build Shop: Shaman 0/45/16


Every Tuesday, Chris Jahosky contributes Build Shop, which takes a look into one of the many talent specs available to players.

It's been a long while since there was a Shaman build featured on Build Shop, and I think it's time that changed. I'm looking at an Enhancement build this week that's built for raid damage yet provides a good amount of utility and group buffs. As expected, the majority of the points go into the Enhancement tree, but instead of putting the remaining points into Elemental to buff personal DPS, this build places them in Restoration in order to provide stronger utility for the raid and additional hit chance for you.

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Filed under: Shaman, Build Shop

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