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Since Kull and I were talking about it...

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...I'm still not in Beta, so I have to just watch for videos and keep up on the forums for Ele Sham. Someone had asked what they were like, so I posted the quoted sections below in the WoW Forums. There's really three prominent players/theorycrafters: Gistwiki, Binklestein and Tickletotem. Gistwiki responded to my post. It's an interesting read about the State of Elemental Shamans.

To explain a bit further, only Haste and Multistrike are our go to stats. It's similar to the way our core playstyle has been. The gear, as usual, isn't tuned with that concept. With the change to Mastery (as Multistrike WAS our Mastery), so that we have an Auto Attack now that also increases the power of Earthquake. This is to help compensate for the lack of movement, as the auto attack will continue over a few seconds while you reposition your location to go back to turret mode. This is additionally awkward, because you're going to have to have tanks ensure that they sit things in Earthquake and not move for its duration. Realistically, this isn't something that you can really expect a tank to consider in their performance. If they need to move or move things, they're going to do it... and for better reasons than helping you get more DPS.

People hate Earthquake. Which is sad, because I really like the graphic. And people hate the graphic too. But it's a long cast time spell, has a targeting reticle, and also has a cool down. It seems that most reticle spells are instants and most spells with long cast times don't have cool downs. Earthquake seems to embody the worst of all these things. The opposite end of the spectrum spell is Rain of Fire for Warlocks, which is instant and has no cool down.

In regards to Lightning Bolt crits hitting harder than Lava Burst, there's numbers to support that. However, as Gistwiki indicates, nobody is saying that's a viable build for more DPS. It's just one of those awkward things when our biggest damage spell can be outdone by a crit of our filler spell. Crit is still by far, garbage for Elemental Shamans.

Sims are hard to really know how well they are doing, but it seems that Ele Shams are pretty low on the DPS list. (And for PvP, they've been gutted so hard that it will be pretty unplayable except in niche RBG comps.) Ele Shams are worried about their raid spots because all their healing has been gutted to be unusable, thus they bring very little utility.


The one thing Gist didn't comment on in my post:

The Molten talent is pretty cool; however, if you have to recast Searing Totem it cancels its duration and can waste the proc. It doesn't always proc off Fire Elemental Totem. And if you use Totemic Projection to move a fire totem with the Molten Lava, then it cancels the Molten lava proc (because it's like placing a new totem.)
It's still something that's being worked out. The level 100 talents are pretty lackluster for Shamans. Liquid Magma (which is the name of the Molten Fury talent) is the coolest of the three. But it has some awkwardness that if it hits the Fire Elemental Totem, the totem may be out of range. And I'm not sure they fixed the issue where it wasn't proc'ing from Fire Elemental Totem. (Or maybe it was the Greater Fire Elemental Totem, I wasn't paying too much attention to that figuring it needed a bug fix and would get corrected.)

Storm Elemental seems to really only be good with Greater Elementals, and seems to be more about the healing for Elemental Shamans. The last talent, Elemental Fusion, seems to do no significant DPS increases even when you try to maximize that talent. A lot of Shamans are grumbling... which, honestly, seems to be a norm for Shamans in general. They seem a very grumbly community. In trying to understand this, it seems that since Vanilla, Shamans have never really gotten any overhaul in design like other classes have. The only thing that happens is that they decide Totems are way too powerful and keep gutting them.

The other comment that seems to come from a lot of people that I've read is this: Blizzard in their efforts in ability pruning and reducing button bloat for Elemental Shamans, have turned a very simple rotation with a very small subset of buttons compared to other classes into a larger set of timing critical buttons that make less sense and adds unneeded complexity. In other words, it went from smooth to clunky.


Here's the Gistwiki responses to my post:

Echo of the Elements still has an awkward interaction with Lava Surge procs.
The only awkward interaction that I've found with Lava Burst/Echo is that if you:

1) Already have an Echo proc
2) Begin hard-casting Lava Burst and
3) Have a Lava Surge proc mid-Lava Burst cast

that the 2nd Lava Burst that on live consumes the Surge will consume both Surge and Echo. Beyond that one all the other awkward interactions between Lava Burst/Echo are gone. That particular interaction is very rare, and would impact maybe 1-2 echoes per fight (mostly at the end of an Ascendance.) That's not the reason you don't want to take Echo though. At 100 Echo's just straight up undertuned is all.

Earthquake is here to stay, but it's not being well received. It's partially due to the fact that it's a targeted reticle, not an instant cast, causes diminishing returns on tank stuns, and movement can ruin its damage. But if stars align, it should provide us with amazing AoE.
If they could drop EQ by .5s it'd feel a lot better. It's not actually that bad to use on live with as much haste as we're able to gather, but there's a problem with how hard it hits a single target. There's a threshold right now of haste/mastery that causes us to use it on single-target which we'll be at at level 90 but will be unobtainable at 100 because multistrike increases the thresholds we have to reach and Mastery will be our #3 level 100 stat ahead of Versatility & Crit.

Lightning Bolt crits have the potential to be more damage than Lava Burst when Flame Shock is on the target (i.e. auto crit).
If there's a patch where people looked at proc-heavy Lightning Bolt and a procless LvB and said that Lava Burst was weaker than Lightning Bolt I can't remember it. I haven't actually seen any logs that support that particular bit.

I've also read a fair bit about people being concerned about mobility, but my stance in Cata pre-LB on the move was that mobility issues were little more than PEBKAC issues and I haven't seen anything that causes me to rethink that as of yet. I'll reserve final judgement for live though.

@ OP - The major playstyle changes you'll notice are:

1) No Lightning Bolt on the move
2) Early on the lack of Mastery, but once you hit 100 and get some Multistrike you'll begin to feel back to normal again on this score
3) Earthquake is once again a part of our AoE
4) If you take Elemental Fusion or Liquid Magma they'll change how you handle single target (Fusion) or AoE (Magma) a bit. Magma's just an extra button, where Fusion actually changes your priority a bit.

The core of elemental PvE actually still feels pretty similar to me from a single-target standpoint, and while I enjoyed being a sith lord throwing in Earthquakes isn't going to be the end of the world.

Updated 10-09-2014 at 11:54 AM by Shaylana

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  1. Shaylana's Avatar
    This was from Celestion:
    First, I'd like to comment on the nerfs today. Nerfs can be troubling, I get that. But this is beta, and these nerfs are just number changes. They are not a bad thing. They're simple number reductions because your DPS was too high. DPS tuning will happen, and this is the first step in that. Especially on beta, it can be very hard to have a good sense of how you compare to other specs. And with the squish changing how numbers are perceived in general, most of you probably had no clue that you were a little overpowered, and that's fine. Let me reiterate that the goal here is for you to be on par with all of the DPS. You should be equal with everyone, from the Arcane Mage to the Destruction Warlock.
    This caused backlash because nobody saw numbers that were too high, but this was likely due to the fact that Elemental Shamans couldn't get the full Damage ability from Earthquake due to movement.

    As he continues to comment:
    And finally, skill. Here's where we get into why it has all of those so-called "QoL problems". It may be hard to see this vision, because AoE DPS tuning hasn't happened yet, but here's our vision for Earthquake: You won't be able to use it in every situation. It'll take a lot of skill and planning to use effectively. It may even require some cooperation from your tank, depending upon the situation. When all of those criteria aren't met, it's fine, you still have Chain Lightning to fall back on, and you'll still do totally solid DPS that way, and it's incredibly easy to use, in virtually any situation. But when all of those pieces *do* line up, the payoff should be extremely strong.[i] It's an additional bonus [i]on top of your expected AoE DPS.
    So basically, we should look godly if the gods allow all the forces to line up. There hasn't been a single Shaman in the raid testing environment that has indicated these forces will ever line up for us.
  2. Shaylana's Avatar
    Lastly, since I didn't know what PEBKAC was, I had to look it up:
    A user error is an error made by the human user of a complex system, usually a computer system, in interacting with it. Although the term is sometimes used by human–computer interaction practitioners, the more formal human error term is used in the context of human reliability.

    Related terms such as PEBCAK (Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard), ID-10T error (idiot error), and other similar phrases are also used as slang in technical circles with potentially derogatory meaning.[1][2] This usage implies a lack of computer savvy, asserting that problems arising when using a device are the fault of the user. Critics of the term argue that the problems are caused instead by a device that doesn't take into account human limitations and is thus designed in a way that induces errors.


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