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Posts with tag windfury

Warlords of Draenor: Changes to Weapon Imbues and Unleash Elements

As part of the most recent Alpha build, shaman weapon imbues (Windfury, Flametongue, Earthliving) have been removed. CM Lore got on the forums and explained exactly what was up, and here's his rundown of the changes.

Lore - Weapon Imbues Shaman
We didn't feel that Weapon Imbues were offering much in the way of gameplay. For many players, they felt like more of an annoyance ("why can't I Unleash... oh") than a buff. They're also prime targets for reducing action bar clutter. For those reasons, we decided to convert each spec's primary imbue(s) to passive effects.

However, while the effects of Windfury and Flametongue are a core part of the Enhancement rotation, Earthliving for Restoration and Flametongue for Elemental are little more than a raw numbers increase. Not really something that we need to clutter up the spellbook with. So, for Resto and Elemental, we decided to remove those effects entirely (and compensate for that when we start numbers tuning). For Enhancement, we merged Windfury and Flametongue into one passive (Enhanced Weapons) that gives the benefits of both effects.

Please be aware that the currently active Alpha build was taken in the middle of a pretty big wave of class changes (for everyone, not just Shaman). We'll be getting a full update to the patch notes out as soon as possible once we've completed that round of changes.

The new passive, Enhanced Weapons, acts as Lore detailed - it basically gives your attacks the chance to have the effects of Windfury or Flametongue without actually having Windfury or Flametongue on them. In addition to this change, Unleash Elements now becomes one of three spec and imbue specific Unleash abilities, Unleash Life for Restoration, Unleash Flame for Elemental and Unleash Elements for Enhancement. Each unleashes as the ability does on live with the proper imbue.

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Totem Talk: Understanding your enhancement weapon imbues

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.

In a recent thread on the shaman forums, I got called out. Not in any terrible "you're the worst enhancement shaman in the world and you hate your mother!" sort of way, but I got told I haven't done a good enough job explaining why we use the weapon imbues that we do. There's some definite truth to that; in the past, I've advocated Flametongue/Flametongue setups over Windfury/Flametongue without ever explaining why they're better, just that they are.

With that in mind, I'm changing things up this week. Part of this is because I want to address a concern brought to me by a reader; part of it is because I've been 11/12 in raid content for over a month and don't want to do a raid strategy guide until we actually kill Nefarian (who is a really, really big jerk). The third part of it is because imbues are one of the most integral parts of playing a shaman and one of our real definitive features as a class. Understanding them is crucial to understanding the class as a whole!

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: Enhancement 101

Axes, maces, lightning, fire, frost, and wolves, and best of all, Windfury. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy (aka Stoneybaby) loves it and lives it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. And he will be penning the enhance side of Totem Talk.

It seems 101 guides are all the rage these days, which makes enhancement shaman 101 a convenient place to start with my inaugural post. Playing an enhancement shaman, and playing it well, means dealing with the most extensive spell rotation in the game, having two caps to hit in gearing, and a dozen cooldowns to track. Not to mention the need to run out of fires, avoid whirlwinds, and generally dodge all that hate on melee. It's safe to say enhance is one of the most complex specs to play. It's also one of the most fun.

My favorite part is that we're right up front making a mess of things with both physical and magical damage–to deadly effect. You want to play enhancement? Let's dive right in to get you started!

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Filed under: (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: When things go off the rails

Yesterday, a new PTR patch dropped with changes for shamans. We'll be covering them. But first I wanted to talk about the change to the Windfury Glyph that I've frankly been avoiding discussing for weeks now. I've avoided it because, frankly, I haven't wanted to discuss it until I could come up with something to say that wasn't a lot of cursing. Amazingly this change was so extreme that the highest damage an enhancement shaman can get right now is to use the Torch of Holy Fire in your mainhand and a fast offhand with flametongue on each weapon.

Yes, that's right, a healer/caster weapon is the highest DPS an enhancement shaman can get. This is the sound of me banging my head against the desk. My forehead's got splinters. Honestly, I still don't know what to say about this. When the attack power was taken out of WF glyph they might as well have just removed it from the game.

In the above post Blizzard hightlights their intention for the class (slow MH/slow OH with WF/FT), the problem here is not what they intended but what they did. By reducing the WF glyph and removing the attack power bonus it was giving, the glyph became inferior to double flametongue with a caster MH/fast OH, due to how Flametongue Weapon works.

Right now, the base damage on each Flametongue proc scales with weapon speed, but the percent of spellpower that affects the damage that the imbue does is always a flat 10%, meaning that until 3.1 flametongue does more damage on a faster weapon. The enhancement playstyle that takes advantage of this is an anomaly, in that we know it will be much less effective in 3.1, but as of right now we know that if you are an enhancement shaman, you will do more damage with a caster weapon and a fast offhand.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Buffs, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Several hotfixes now live

I caught this a bit late, but Bornakk wrote into the Service Status forums Wednesday night to provide a list of hotfixes concerning Jewelcrafting, Shamans, Rogues, and Death Knights that have been applied to the live realms:

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Filed under: Rogue, Shaman, Bugs, News items, Jewelcrafting, Classes, Death Knight

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)

Ask a Beta Tester: Shaman, Engineers, and Feral Druids

Welcome back to Ask a Beta Tester, where for one glorious day, we don't have any passenger mount questions! But I know, deep down, there are a thousand more on the horizon.

Elmo asked...

How are Enhancement Shamans shaping up? I heard silly things like Elemental gear is great for them or 2x fast weapons with Flametongue. Are we really gonna make that much of a turn around? In other words, is my hard earned gear all worthless? Not just the epic gems and Strength enchants.

Enhancement Shaman did hit a weird point where that was true, but I don't think it was ever intended that the 'final product' would look that way. There were some Windfury bugs and wonky unfinished tuning that caused that, but as another reader mentioned, the devs are working on getting everything fixed and proper. Things will be a little different from Burning Crusade, but not so much so that Enhancement Shaman are wearing Elemental gear to melee.

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Filed under: Druid, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Oh, the cleverness of me!

I'm not in the beta. I'm kind of uncomfortable with the notion of spoiling myself completely, and I'm a terrible leveler. I have the lurking feeling that leveling my main to 80 before Wrath actually went live would wreck a leveling pace that might otherwise have been driven by exploration and discovery. I want Wrath to be a fantastic new experience that will recapture the sense of wonder I felt leveling my first toon in a strange new world. Also I never got a key, but the other reasons are more important and influential.

Yeah, even I don't believe me.

While I'm certain I'll never make a Death Knight my main, I'm sure I'll enjoy leveling one. I'm sure I'm not going to enjoy trying to level one alongside 50,000 other people and their cousins and their friends and their friends' dogs and their friends' dogs' fleas leveling a Death Knight. So it's occurred to me that, OK as I am with the notion of waiting a few months to get started on my bouncing baby bundle of risen-corpsified merriment, I can capitalize on the coming rush of Death Knights in a completely different fashion simply by exercising a little foresight. All Death Knights are melee, right? None of them can really heal, right? People are already noticing un peu problem in the beta in this vein, right? And I can't level an alt worth beans, right right? Right. What's the one buff that makes all melee salivate, provided by an excellent healing class, during a time in which healers will never have to worry about finding a group or a tank?

Bingo. I'm getting a resto Shaman to 58 and parking him in Eastern Plaguelands to twiddle his thumbs in anticipation of the descent of the Death Knight legion come Wrath's release. See you there!

Filed under: Shaman, Tips, Expansions, Humor, Leveling, Classes, Alts, Death Knight

Itemization and the plight of the bear tank in Wrath of the Lich King

One of the biggest concepts coming with Wrath of the Lich King is gear consolidation. Stat are being folded into each other and classes are being changed even on very basic levels so that fewer gear types can work for more classes and specs. Feral Druids have seen this happen as well, with talents such as Survival of the Fittest and Heart of the Wild tweaked so that they can get more benefits from Rogue gear.

Unfortunately, this hasn't worked out that well for bear tanks.

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Filed under: Druid, Rogue, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Finding motivation to level or grind

Arrowd of the US Cairne server has a question: How do you keep leveling without getting bored, abandoning a character, or rerolling? She says that she's had around 14 characters, and she's never managed to stick with one past about level 45. She always gets bored, and she wonders if there is a way to avoid it.

Now as I've mentioned before, I've leveled a lot of characters myself, and have a few 70s, but even I can sometimes get a little bit tired of the grind, and sometimes even I need to make up goals to keep myself focused. Sometimes I even need it for my level 70s if I'm running low on gold or raiding supplies. In that way, I can definitely feel where she's coming from, but I do (usually) manage to keep myself motivated.

Sometimes, for me, the Motivation is pretty simple. For example, on that Shaman I'm leveling, what keeps me going is the prospect of getting some sweet Dual Wield action going. I'm actually having a lot of fun with her, so I don't need to focus on it too hard, but the idea of imagining her with 2 axes enchanted with Windfury is a mental picture that is too awesome to put into words. I mean, we're talking cover of a Dragonforce album awesome.

So now I turn the question over to the rest of you. Whether it be leveling on a lowbie or grinding on a 70, how do you keep yourself motivation when the going gets tough and you get tired out? Is it the promise of a new skill? A new piece of gear? What keeps you charged up and logged in?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Making money, Alts

Hybrid Theory: Is it too much?

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.

Here on Hybrid Theory, we've done a lot of glorifying the group utility that Hybrids provide. It's one of their strongest points, and the factor that could make or break their raid spot in a setting of pure recruitment. Recently, I discussed the direction this concept of utility is going with a few raidmates of mine, and some interesting points were made.

The synergy between classes in The Burning Crusade is powerful, but moving in a direction in which the classes and specs become too reliant on one another, or you have to decide which hybrid is more important to you than another hybrid in the same role. Some class/spec combinations simply can't perform in a raid setting without a specific hybrid class alongside them. Some hybrid classes can't perform without other hybrids in their group. This poses a problem for the pure classes, and even though we don't know the exact details of the Death Knight, adding another class may only make things harder.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Paladin, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Hybrid Theory, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Epic weaponsmithing weapons no longer unique

MMO Champion has pointed out something that should make Warrior and Shaman weaponsmiths rather happy: all one-handed epic weaponsmithing weapons will be non-unique as of 2.4.2. Combine this with the fact that the Main Hand designation is being taken off of most weapons as well, and you can see where this is going. Dual-wielded Dragonmaws, anybody?

If you can scrape together the mats, 2.4.2 should be a very good time to be a dual-wielding weaponsmith of the non-Rogue variety. The 2.7 speed on the mace and axe weapons means that your Windfury and Whirlwind will be very happy. All you have to do now is hope you have enough badges, gold, or pull with your raid leader to get all the Primal Nethers and Nether Vortexes ready to go.

Filed under: Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Blacksmithing, Patches, Items, News items

Breakfast Topic: One-shots

You know how it is: you're just running a long, minding your own business in a battleground, when suddenly some enemy mage hiding in a bush casts Pyroblast on you, and crits you for more damage than you can count. "Whaa?!" is you can say as you drop dead before you even knew what was going on.

They're called "one-shots." I'm not talking about Massively's snazzy screenshot feature -- I'm talking about any player being able to kill another player in effectively one hit, from maximum health all the way down to zero. In a forum post by "Deathanddecay," there's apparently a big argument among himself and some friends as to what exactly counts as a "one-shot." Does it have to be like a Pyroblast critical strike? Or can a three-in-one windfury proc count?

For my part, the distinction seems unimportant. Either way, you're dead before you have any chance to react and defend yourself. This sort of thing used to occur all the time before The Burning Crusade came out, but since then players' stamina has increased faster than their damage, so one-shots tend to happen a lot less. Now that the expansion's been out a year, however, if one player is in the best gear while another just hit 70, it could definitely happen quite a bit. What's your experience with one-shots? Do you prance around gleefully decimating your helpless opposition without effort? Do you dread going to battlegrounds for fear that you'll just die without being able to contribute anything? Or do you find that everyone is more or less balanced and one shots don't happen much anymore?

Filed under: Mage, Shaman, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Battlegrounds, Arena

Eyonix shaking things up for Shamans

Eyonix is still running around causing havok on the forums (should we expect this regularly now?), and he's making a lot of noise in the Shaman forums specifically, always a welcome sign for Shamans like myself.

Where should we start? Mana tide trainable for all Shamans? Fat chance. The Spirit Weapons buff (from 15% to 30% threat reduction) will be a big help on uncontrollable burst damage like Windfury procs. And not only does he share some of his character stats (sounds like his right below where I'm at), but he's got a list of concerns that are being passed on to the devs.

And my own pet issue, the various "Shields" that we've got, are due to get some love as well. Along with the 2.3 Mana whoops, Water Shield buff* (it'll be free to cast), both Earth Shield and Lightning Shield could use a buff as well. A HoT on the Earth Shield? A Lightning Shield proc that passes off damage like Chain Lightning? We can only hope.

Shamans aren't a broken class-- I don't believe any class in the game is truly broken. I love my Shaman. But there are a lot of exciting days ahead for Shaman, I promise you.

* As Baluki points out in the comments below, Water Shield has other good stuff happening in 2.3, too-- not only does it give more mana, but at the end of a minute, it cashes out everything for you. Very nice.

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Forums

Totem Talk: Two Fists of Fury! (or axes or maces)

Totem Talk this week is about beating your enemies to death, or hacking them up. It's time for our Shamans to call the wind down upon their weapons and deliver death up close and personal, with the help of some theorycrafting and a smile. Matthew Rossi plays resto a lot, but he's always down with a few well-placed Stormstrikes.

Before I even start talking this week, I figured I'd link this excellent compilation of theorycrafting for Enhancement Shamans from Elitist Jerks. I significantly improved my currently level 62 Draenei's DPS by making use of it and went through several group quests solo by dint of the damage increase. The shaman's combination of DPS and emergency heals (especially a Draenei's Gift of the Naaru) makes these quests a lot easier for my Shammy than they were for my warriors coming up. What also helps is an addon in the WoWAce suite called Enhancer that keeps track of the hidden Windfury cooldown that's at the heart of why my DPS was lower before I read that thread.

Basically, the issue is that Windfury weapon has a cooldown that, if you don't compensate for it by selecting the proper main and off hand weapons, will end up lowering your DPS considerably.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Guides, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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