Check out the earth and water totems after the break!
Posts with tag totem
Check out the earth and water totems after the break!
Every time there is a new update whenever we're waiting for an expansion, it's super hard not to be excited. We'll be getting a flood of information about the expansion soon -- I can feel that in my bones -- but in the meantime, we have had a steady trickle of information, ranging from the talent calculator updates to the recently discovered and discussed list of buffs and debuffs in Mists.
Thursday, though, Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street made a blog post about consolidating buffs and debuffs in Mists of Pandaria. The first thing any shaman will notice is that buff totems have gone the way of Sentry Totem. This shouldn't be that surprising, really, since at BlizzCon 2011, Blizzard stated that this was going to happen. However, it means that raid buffs will be mobile and travel with you at all times -- a great thing for PvP and for PvE utility, but a bad thing for anyone who cares about the flavor of totems.
Last week, we talked about my rekindled love of PvP. Honestly, I love it like it was all new again, and I'm getting a big thrill out of doing organized groups. It's helping fill the hole of raiding until Cataclysm. Prior to that, we talked about surviving in a post-patch, 4.0.1 world. This week, I thought we could talk about some new information gathered from BlizzCon 2010, as well as go over some changes coming with the new beta patch. I'd also like to talk a little bit about what the developers are discussing about healing and mana in Cataclysm.
It has been a full week since patch 4.0.1 has gone live, and in that week there has been a lot of adjustment on everyone's part. Restoration shaman were quite lucky in that for the most part, the way we do things for now has been left unchanged. That is not to say we don't have things that require adjustment or adapting to.
A couple of weeks ago, I answered a series of questions pertaining both to patch 4.0.1 and the upcoming expansion Cataclysm, and back in September, we talked about what to expect when patch 4.0.1 went live. This week, I would like to go over all the changes and compile a list of everything you need to know for survival until the next expansion. I have received a number of reader emails, and I hope this will answer many of the questions I've been receiving. So let's get started!
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.
In April we talked about addons and macros that were focused on restoration shaman. We highlighted some staple addons and some useful macros for a variety of situations. In May, I tipped my hat to Power Auras Classic and pointed out the interaction between Totem Radius and AVR/AVRE. Shortly after that second addon post, news arose that AVR was going to be killed in the next major patch to hit servers. While I've never been one to rely solely on mods, it did make totem placement a lot easier and was pretty useful. In the end, though, it empowered players too much and so must be dealt with.
Since that news dropped, I have been going through reader email about addons and mods as well as combing through all the various choices available. So today, I would like to bring you part 3 of our restoration addon discussion.
Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.
Good news from Kisirani for those who like a little variety in their Shaman classes -- she confirms that Dwarf Shaman will indeed get brand new totems to throw down rather than the Draenei or Tauren models in Cataclysm, and hints that all of the Shaman races, past and future, will get a little differentiation in the sticks they stab into the ground. Unfortunately, she also confirms that Dwarven totems aren't kegs (that right there would have gotten me to reroll as a Dwarven Shammy first thing), but whatever they end up being -- my guess is something rock and/or hammer-esque -- I'm sure Blizzard's artists will make them look cool.
For Trolls, you have to think they're going to go voodoo (they'll probably use the Troll totems already in the game). Orcs, it would have to be something primitive -- maybe leather strung across a bone stand or something like that. And of course Draenei already have their own custom totems, and we don't really have enough of a hold on what the Goblins are like yet (trust me, we don't -- the race I played at BlizzCon was very different from the neutral race we know right now) to think what they'll have.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.
Here's a great video from Arawn of CrusaderAura.com that offers up a first look at the new Shaman totem interface coming in patch 3.2. As expected, you'll soon be able to drop four totems all at the same time, as well as eventually (you'll need to be in the higher levels somewhere) have a few different sets of totems to drop whenever you want. As you can see, you have four slots, one for each type of totem, and then you can switch each of those on each of your Call of Air, Water, and Fire settings. Finally, the last button on the right is Call of Earth, which used to be called Totemic Recall, and will let you call all of the totems back, getting a little mana back for each.
It looks like it works great (save for, of course, the small bug with no cooldown on the elemental totems, but we're sure Shamans won't have a problem with that, right?). The bottom line is that Shamans will only need one button and one cooldown to smack their totems down wherever they want -- you can still light up totems on their own by pressing their buttons, but if you just hit the Call button, then you'll get them all, in the same cooldown with the usual mana cost. It'll be interesting to see what kinds of UI hooks are in this thing as well, and how it might work with addons. But that's for the future -- for now, it looks like Blizzard has done a great thing for Shamans here.
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!
But Ghostcrawler just plain says no. In response to many issues with the totem mechanic, he chooses to focus on mobility, saying the fact that Shaman totems have limited range and must be placed in certain places is intrinsic to the way the class functions. He admits that totem mechanics are being examined (the main issue the OP has is totem health, and indeed, it may be tough for Shamans to keep both their totems and their mana up), but says that mobility is not a change they're planning for: totems are designed to be strategically placed once, and that's the way they'll stay.
Bad news? Not really -- when I played as a Shaman, and for most of the Shamans I know, the totem mechanic is something to be proud of. Sure it's a pain, but a physical manifestation of the spells and buffs we cast is unique to the class. The only issue will be whether Blizzard makes up for that disadvantage in some other way -- so far, it seems most totem-droppers would say they haven't.
You'd probably have to negotiate with her if you wanted something custom made, since these are definitely not coming off of a factory line. But even if you're willing to pay the money for a doll like this, they do look cool. We don't know what it is about Shamans and their little totems that seems to make them perfect for plushie form, but there must be something there. Somehow, we're not sure a plushie Warrior would cause the same fascination. But hey -- be sure to prove us wrong. If you catch any great WoW crafts around the net that we haven't seen yet, drop us a tip.
At the moment, Ghostcrawler is specifically asking for feedback on the following two issues:
- Warlocks, which spells do you never use? Please don't clutter up the thread with extraneous issues. I actually think they did a pretty good job with the Spellstone/Firestone change of getting rid of two previously useless spells; I can't think of many obvious candidates off the top of my head. Eye of Kilrogg maybe, but I wouldn't want to lose that. Shadow Ward is used pretty infrequently.
- Shamans: Totems, totems, totems. Again, please do not talk about extraneous issues in that thread - just talk about totems. They're not going to remove or sideline them, but they are interested in making them "cooler," which is certainly much-needed.
So go on and post your feedback in GC's threads (warlock, shaman). Or feel free to talk about it here, whatever. I do think totems feel clunky, but I can't think of how to fix them exactly - I guess that's why I'm not a game designer.
Long long ago, human beings all around the world (of Earth, not Warcraft) investigated different ways of describing how the world around them worked. Many different cultures found that the materials they encountered seemed divided into four or five separate elements, each with its own properties: earth, fire, water, and air. Space, "void," or "aether" was often noted as the fifth element, or, as in the case of China, the understanding of these elements looked a lot different but in the end produced a similar sort of system.
In Azeroth, however, these ideas about the elements never got swallowed up by modern science and the periodic table of elements. They turned out to be real forces in the world, each with its own set of elemental spirits, which people could communicate and cooperate with.
Shamans are the masters of this magical task, charged with helping to maintain the balance of nature in a very different way from druids. While druids are focused more on nature as a system of energy, life, and growth, shamans focus more on the spirits of the land, flames, waters and skies as they all interact with one another. They gain great wisdom by learning of the different characteristics of these elements, and in turn bring this wisdom to the people they serve.
I'm having a lot of fun playing an Elemental Shaman in the Wrath beta. As Mike described in Skill Mastery: Thunderstorm, we have some fun new talents to play with and I hope we get to keep most of them. The new talent I'm highlighting today is Improved Fire Nova Totem.
To the right you can see the stats for the Fire Nova Totem at level 71 without taking the Improvement talent. However, 20 points into the Elemental talent tree, you can spec Improved Fire Nova Totem. If you take both talent points, you'll slash the time it takes for the totem to activate and you'll add some handy bonuses to the spell.
First, the timing. The unimproved Fire Nova Totem takes 3 seconds to fire, but for each talent point you put into Improved Fire Nova Totem, it procs one second faster. So, if you spec both points, it will only take one second for the Fire Nova to explode after you drop it. With only a 15 second cooldown on the spell, that means you can use this bad-boy several times during a PvE fight.
"Windfury Totem is now a flat 20% melee haste totem. All ranks have been modified."
The up side for shamans is that our own Windfury Weapon ability seems to be unaffected, according to MMO-Champion. In fact, there's no reason that the two efffects couldn't co-exist, meaning that an enhancement shaman could get the benefit of Strength of Earth (with its new strength and agility benefits), Windfury Totem (with the flat melee haste) and Windfury Weapon allowing for the damage of two extra attacks with increased attack power.
We can talk more about the changes inside, shall we?