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WoD Ele Sham Speculation

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So the big thing about WoD is that we're losing Lightning Bolt on the move. Now for me, I was leveling and started raiding Elemental in ToT. So it's been what I've been known. It's really forgiving to be able to move and cast. It's really punishing when you can't.

There's a couple of reasons for this:

1.) Our casts are longer. We don't have the 1 second casts without haste buffs going, so we could easily be interrupting our casts if it requires movement right that minute.

2.) We take Echoes of Elements and have Mastery procs that duplicate our cast. Interrupted cast or no casting = big loss of DPS. If our DPS was strong as say, Chaos Bolt and those were duplicating, then having those periods of no casting would make sense. Having Chaos Bolts or other big nukes and still doing a low DPS rotation when moving (Scorch and KJC) still puts us behind.

3.) Lack of movement abilities. Ghost Wolf is a smaller movement increase (30%) and it basically silences us because we can't cast in that form. Even Shadow Priests have Feathers / Body & Soul / Mind Flay Glyph to move faster than us. We basically have to sacrifice any up time and don't have DoT damage to compensate.

So the devs have said something like, "don't worry, Ele Shams, we'll make sure you're fine!" And they decided to give us a perk that unlinked Frost Shock. Now Frost Shock does 25K damage by current standards. We have Unleash Elements which just buffs the next Fire Spell you cast (which you're moving, not casting), but you could use it to make Flame Shock do 22K + the new 40%, so 30K.... and I don't think the ticks get buffed but I could be wrong there. We can use Fulmination with at least 3 stacks (since that will hit harder than Lightning Bolt). Either Shock will put the other on a 6 second cool down, so it's one or the other. Then there's the refresh of Searing Totem. Searing Totem doesn't fire right away (because it has to figure out the target), so it's just using a global to be able to save a global later. So that's just kinda a rob peter to pay paul kinda thing.

The thing we really hope for, is the short 6 second Lava Surge proc. We're trained to use these as quickly as possible, because if it procs again (and it can), then you've lost a big nuke cast. So we really need these for any type of movement fight.

For WoD, they've already back pedaled on the Frost Shock. So now, Unleash Elements will provide a 30% movement bonuses. It's a 15 second cool down, which then leaves us with a Shock cast and Refreshing Searing Totem. And if you use Earth Shock (Fulmination) or Frost Shock, neither is buffed as it's not a Fire Spell. So again, we gotta hope for the Lava Burst Proc. But wait, speed boosts stack right? We can go into Ghost Wolf, and thereby stop us from casting anything in that form, and move 60% instead. Still slower than an Angelic Feather, but faster than 3 stacks of the Mind Flay Glyph. And well, Shadow Priests can still cast....

It really goes to show that they haven't figured out any real solution to the Elemental Movement problem. There's also two more things to note:

1.) They're adding a glyph which reduces Spirit Walker's Grace to half its cool down for half its duration.
2.) It's likely that readiness will reduce the cool down on Spirit Walker's Grace.

So it may be that Elemental Shamans are going to covet Readiness for that reason. It's mostly used during Ascendance to guarantee you can not lose any DPS during the best cool down. I have two versions, one with and one without, so I can always just ignore SWG when I can just turret. Which isn't often. So it could be really punishing if you had to use it for raid mechanic, and then delay Ascendance until it's up again.

There's also something I am really curious about. Multistrike will make DoTs tick a second time. I asked Celestion via twitter if it would proc effects. He didn't answer, but I did see someone else asking that indirectly. He said that it's a case by case basis. So if Multistrike works on the Lava Burst proc, then for sure it will be our go to stat out of Readiness, Accuracy, and Multistrike.

So who knows... so many Shamans are complaining and the biggest retort is, "The numbers aren't balanced yet." Which is a silly response. If they're changing perks that have to do with movement for us, it's clear... the devs aren't sure of the design yet. From reading about other things in the past, it just seems that Ele Shams just get damage buffs throughout the entire patch until they're decent enough. But with our removal of utility, Healing Tide Totem and a nerfed Ascentral Guidance, if nothing changes I'm expecting to see gross increases to our damage. I called the LB buff before hand... so why not call this one?

Sure, it's still early. And no, it doesn't make Elemental Shamans unplayable. All I really feel is that the developers are unsure how to address us when they mentioned in the water cooler that we would be taken care of. It's like telling your child in May if they're really good they'll get that extravagant gift for Xmas, and hoping your child forgets.

Updated 05-17-2014 at 01:56 PM by Shaylana (used it's instead of its... pet peeve of mine!)

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