Monday, December 29, 2008

My Kingdom for an Axe

Dovetailing off my last post looking for expertise, I wanted to comment on the availability or lack there of, of One-handed Axes in Wrath.
Here is a link to Wowhead of all the epic level 80 1H axes in the game. Nine axes. Not so bad you might say. Well 8 of them are Arena axes. Deadly costs 3150 arena points and require a 2030 rating. I'm not a PvPer. Unless I switch my focus to that, a 2030 rating is not within my reach. I'm cool with that. However give me a PvE alternative. How about that ninth Axe. Last Laugh 171.6 dps, that's nice. 1.6 speed. Acceptable for an offhand, not for a main hand. 24 hit is nice as well, but High Str, Stam, parry, and defense? That is a tanking weapon my friends. Alas what is an orc Shaman to do? Wield one of the 17 Maces, 25 Daggers, or 14 Fist Weapons I guess, and just forget we even have Axe Specialization That 5 expertise wouldn't come in handy at all. :/

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

WTB Expertise

So with getting rid of all my Sunwell T6 gear, I've found that I'm woefully short on Expertise. Of course I went to Wowhead and did a search for mail armour with expertise. This list is a bit ugly. 6 items. 4 are the T7 chest and shoulders in both 10 and 25 man versions. the 5th is Cult's Chestguard which I already have. The last is Helmet of the Shrine from heroic Gundrak. If they want Shamans to wear mail maybe they should put one of our best stats on a few more pieces. Sure its no good to hunters, but Enhancements need 214 rating to cap for dodge. I see 117 maximum on my armor.

Well lets look at other spots
Rings. Aha here we have 7 choices. We are saved. But wait. 6 of them have Str on them. Str is now one of our worst stats these days. The only one with out wasted budget is Hemorrhaging Circle which also drops in Heroic Gundrak. There are 3 cloaks, 2 of which are tanking items. 2 necks, 1 is for tanks. 1 Trinket.

So really its not looking good. Looks like I need to grab some leather, or stock up on Precise Scarlet Rubies, eat more Rhinolicious Wyrmsteak, and drink lots of Elixir of Expertise

Obsidion Sanctum

Last official raid before the holiday break last night. We went for Sarth plus 2 drakes. We had some issues. Raid comp wasn't ideal. Now 25 man Sarth is easy peasy. if you clear all 3 drakes. Watch out for the flame waves and that's about it. Even if you ear a wave or two its not that big of a deal. However leaving drakes up make is a lot tougher. There are more adds, there are void portals that one shot you.

Now I'm not claiming that Enhancement DPS is hard. Its not. It does require that attention needs to be paid to your cool downs. It also requires you to stay on target. Sarth with 2 drakes sucks. The hit box on the drakes is tiny. They have flappy wings that block your view. I'm not sure why but the range for Stormstrike and Lava Lash is closer than for autoattack. Watching my cooldowns, watching for lave wave, watching for the void zones amidst Hurricanes, death and decay, and consecrates is a royal pain. My computer is having issues and my fps was dropping into single digits. So I was sucking. We needed to get another tank in so I volunteered to sit if needed. We still had issues and so with an hour left in the raid they decided to just go for 1 drake. That went much easier. T7 gloves dropped. They got sharded. :(

As there was still time left we put together 3 groups for 10 man OS. My group gave 1 drake several tries, but we couldn't manage all the adds, and the dragon. So we just downed him alone. Protector dropped, so I did get the T7.1 Gloves. I also got enough badges for Mirror of Truth. Along with Boots of the Great Construct which I picked up Sunday, I've finally replaced all my prewrath gear save for my Cursed Vision. Malygos did drop the Blue Aspect helm Sunday, but I'd blown my dkp on the boots.

However with all my Sunwell gear gone, I'm really hurting for Expertise. That brings us to my next post....

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ghostcrawler on Shaman changes or lack there of.

A player asked at Blizzcon if we would consider removing the internal cooldown on Windfury. We honored that request and did consider it, but we concluded Enhancement dps would shoot throught the roof. So I'm sorry, but we aren't going to make that change at this time. We might consider it in the future as part of a series of changes that would nerf Enhancement dps in other ways to justify the WF change. (Source)

Elemental changes
Shamanism wasn't intended to increase Elemental's damage as much as it was damage scaling. You probably won't notice a big difference unless you are in a lot of Naxx 25 level gear.

Elemental Oath, Elemental Mastery and the Lightning Bolt glyph were intended to increase Elemental dps however. Don't discount the clearcasting portion of Elemental Oath.

We're looking at Flame Shock. Keep in mind that even if it doesn't compete with Lightning spam against static targets like Patch (and we're not even convinced that is the case), there are very few fights like Patch and anytime you need to shoot and scoot, Flame Shock looks like a pretty nice button. (Source)

Upcoming Elemental changes
Unrelenting Storm and Storm Earth and Fire will both become three point talents, so that should free up a few talent points for you. The new talent will improve damage on lightning bolt and lava burst, so it's one you'll want to take as an elemental shaman. You should be able to grab that talent and still place 14-pnts in enhancement. I'm curious where else in elemental you're spending your talents. (Source)

Monday, December 15, 2008

PTR Data

All from MMO-Champion

Shaman (Skills List / Talent + Glyph Calc.)
Elemental Shaman changes (Source)
Hopefully this won't get buried here. Here is what we are thinking about to try on the PTR for Elemental:

Elemental Oath -- In addition to existing effects, now increases spell damage done by the Shaman by 5/10% while Elemental Focus Clearcasting is active.
Elemental Mastery -- Overhauled. Now increases the Shaman’s critical strike chance by 20% for 30 seconds. Cooldown remains 3 minutes. We recognize this might be a slight nerf in certain PvP situations where players relied on the shaman to nuke an injured person to death. Still, I'm betting most shamans will prefer the new design.
Glyph of Lightning Bolt -- No longer affects cost. Now increases damage by 4%

Glyph used to fix Lightning Bolt
We didn't make the change for that reason. We looked at what specs were getting out of their glyphs and it turns out that some specs were getting a decent dps increase while Elemental was not. No matter what we did to other talents and spells, this imabalnce would continue to keep Elemental dps lower than what we wanted. (Source)

Reasons behind the changes to Water Shield
This was the issue. It wasn't a healer niche problem at all. Shamans were just abandoning Healing Wave to cast Lesser Healing Wave since it was more efficient for procing Improved Water Shield, which felt weird. (Source)
More Shaman (Skills List / Talent Calc. (9095))

Mental Quickness now increases your spell power by an amount equal to 23/46/70% of your agility. (Old - 10/20/30% of your attack power, this is temporary and it will be reverted to attack power according to this post)


Healing Way doesn't stack up to 3 times anymore and now increases the effect of subsequent Healing Wave spells on the target by 18%. (Up from 6%)
Improved Water Shield has been changed to - You have a 33/66/100% chance to instantly consume a Water Shield Orb when you gain a critical effect from your Healing Wave or Riptide spells, and a 19.8/39.6/60% chance when you gain a critical effect from your Lesser Healing Wave spell.


Glyph of Windfury Weapon - Increases the chance per swing for Windfury Weapon to trigger by 5%. (Old - The attack power bonus on the additional attacks granted by Windfury Weapon is increased by 40%.)
Glyph of Fire Nova Totem - Reduces the cooldown of your Fire Nova Totem by 3 seconds. (Old - Increases the radius of Fire Nova Totem's effect by 2 yards.)
Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem - Reduces the cooldown of your Fire Elemental Totem by 10 min. (Up from 4 minutes)
Glyph of Astral Recall - Cooldown of your Astral Recall spell reduced by 7.5 min. (Up from 2.5 min)
Glyph of Renewed Life - Your Reincarnation spell no longer requires a reagent. (Old - All stats increased by 5% for 1 min when you Reincarnate.)

More info on Mental Quickness

Shaman (Skills List / Talent Calc. (9095))
Mental Quickness
Mental Quickness was a talent designed to let a spec without a lot of spellpower (Enhancement) get a little more. As sometimes happens with talents like this, it looked very attractive to a spec with A LOT of spellpower (Elemental) as a way to get A LOT more. We had a very similar problem with Holy paladins wanting a Ret talent.

This is one of the reasons why you can't directly compare talents across the board. What is a small buff for one character can be a huge, huge buff to another.

While some amount of venturing into other trees is a good thing, in this case it was basically Elemental abandoning their own tree and able to do more damage playing as an Elemental (meaning casting spells) with someone else's tree, all because of one talent. This was not because the Elemental tree has bad talents. It was because Mental Quickness was not intended for characters with a lot of spellpower. Unfortunately in this case, we couldn't push the talent deep enough to prevent caster shamans from reaching it. While we do want to juice Elemental's dps, we don't want to do it this way.

Enhancement dps has been competitive overall. There are a lot of AP buffs in the game, so with this change unbuffed shamans will do a little more damage and buffed shamans might do a little less. It's also possible dps could actually go up in the long term depending on just how good Agility is for Enhancement with this change. It might change e.g. how you want to socket your gear.

EDIT: Deep down in this post I announced that we are reverting this change. Mental Quickness will still use AP to convert to spellpower.

[...] After looking at the numbers some more, we're not convinced we can inflate the Agility bonus to get Enhancement back to where it was before this change without leading to some pretty weird situations where Agility was valued above all else. We also hate losing the synergy with Mental Dexterity's AP boost.

Long story short, after reading your feedback and thinking about it some more, we no longer like this change and are going to revert it.

We will likely swap the positions of Mental Quickness and Static Shock as some of you have suggested.

Bottom line: Mental Quickness will still convert attack power to spell power. (Source)

Earlier Data

Tremor Totem now lasts 5 minutes.
Magma Totem damage has been increased and no longer generate threat. (From 172 to 371 damage for Rank 7)


Elemental Warding now reduces all damage taken by 2/4/6%. (Old - Reduces Fire/Frost/Nature damage by 4/7/10%)
Unrelenting Storm changed from 5 to 3 points. Now Regenerate mana equal to 4/8/12% of your Intellect every 5 sec, even while casting. (Old - 2/4/6/8/10%)
Elemental Shields has been removed.
Storm, Earth and Fire This talent has been moved up in the tree, and it’s talent points have been reduced to 3 down from 5. Wind Shock is also included in the range increase (with Earth Shock). The damage bonus to Flame Shock has been increased, up from 10/20/30/40/50 to 20/40/60.
*NEW TALENT* Shamanism - Your Lightning Bolt spell gains an additional 2/4/6/8/10% and your Lava Burst gains an additional 4/8/12/16/20% of your bonus damage effects.

Lots of changes. More damage from Magma totem is nice. We still are terrible on trash right now. The glyph changes are going to take some looking at to determine what to take now. LB glyph looks appealing especailly with ES glyph still bugged. I dont use Lava Lash enough to get a lot out of that glyph. Is 5% more WF proc chance better than 40% ap bonus? I'll let the EJ crowd figure that out for me.
5 minute Tremor Totem is ok as well. Most of the other changes are more impactful on Elemental or Resto.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I made a quick spreadsheet to melee dps gems. Its kinda handy to see what gems are avaialble, so you dont spend 15 minutes searching the AH for a Expertise/Crit gem.

Also got another upgrade last night
Belt of the Tortured. I've been sticking with mostly mail these days, but this was too big of an upgrade to pass on. But I'm now way over the spell hit cap. WTB Expertise! Missed out on the T7 shoulders by 1 DKP. Teaches me to pass to the Tank the first time they dropped :p

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Last night we went to kill Malygos, it was going pretty well, we got him down to the low teens when we had some people DC during wipe recovery. That was bad. Then one person was AFK for about 10 minutes, came back and had to leave because he was ill. Then the only hunter who showed up last night perma dc'ed. We were already melee heavy and we had no ranged to replace him with. In theory we have plenty of people, but we are hurting on ranged DPS at the moment. Our attendence has been pretty shaky by a lot of folks lately. One of out mages has been ill, another is working late, 2 Warlocks rerolled DK, our Elemental Shammy rerolled DK as well. One hunter has family issues and has been absent, Our Shadow Preist is going to grad school and is dropping out of raiding. So we ended up having to cancel the raid which was Ugly.

So I took a break for a bit and watched some MNF which I dont get to see often. I came back and did mu Hodir dailys and then we went and did 25 man Archavon.
Boy we need to farm him everyweek. He's the new loot reaver. Four epics for 10 minutes work. He dropped Valorous Earthshatter War Kilt, which was great beacuse my pants were, well pants, a medicore quest reward. Huge upgrade there. The 2 emblems of valor got me to 25 as well so I bought Ring of Invincibiltyas I was usuing a quest reward there as well. So amidst the Bad and the Ugly, there was some Good.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


< Fire and Blood > Had their first official 25 man Wrath raid last night. We had done a few 10 mans Clearing Naxx and Obsidian Sanctum, but we decided that we had enough 80's to resume our normal 25 man schedule. Went a bit slow being our first time there, but we cleared the Spider and Plague Quarters and the first 2 bosses in the Construct Quarter. The place is a bit of a loot pinata with 3-4 drops per boss.

I upgraded both of my weapons getting a pair of maces in Angry Dread and Split Greathammer Now I just need to level my Enchanting high enough to get Beserking. Of course Abyss Crystals are not all the plentiful yet, so maybe I'll stick with 50 AP or 26 Agi for a bit.