The first couple levels until about 93, Ele felt really weak. Now that I have a few more perks and some better gear, Ele is feeling great for levelling. Soloing some of the tougher 3-man quests is super simple with earth elemental and ele pew pew. The not being able to move with lightning bolt is a downer, but the mastery actually helps a fair bit, especially for those enemies where you would normally have to spool up another LB to kill, but now you can just let the mastery finish them off.
I have not played beta at all yet, never invited. However, I'm positive I'll level my ele shammy 1st, possibly alongside my affliction 'lock (my 'second main'). I didn't begin playing WoW until the week Cata was released, and while my first toon was a ret pally (which recently became my 7th lvl 90) and my first 85 in Cata was a mage, ele shammies are honestly my favorite spec/class. I do, however, intend to dual-spec more often and give enh more time (I'm just not a melee type of player...). I do hate the loss of lightning bolt while moving - part of why I enjoy being an ele shammy is mobility vis-a-vis other casters and that is decreasing (though, admit it, we're still pretty good; spiritwalker's grace, lava burst procs and instant shocks). I don't think it will be that bad; it didn't exist early in Cata. Beyond that, it does fit with the idea of shaman as turret surrounded by totems (the very notion of totems seems to imply low mobility, honestly, and the fact that shaman wear mail, while not so significant now, does indicate that the idea of shaman as damage absorbing turrets does fit). With chain lighting, good range, ghost wolf, shocks... I'm guessing once numbers are tuned and the specs are smoothed out ele shaman will be quite effective, as always. Just... make sure we do have stronger heals again...
(On a side note: I am still a bit worried about class design overall in WoD. With 7 90s, and playing dual spec on several, I know a lot of class specs and I think across the board players are unhappy with the whole concept of 'ability pruning' which the community 'sorta, kinda' wanted in an ambiguous way and developers seem to have latched on as the key principle of class design for WoD. I personally do think it has gone too far, for virtually all classes and specs, not just us shammies. It seems far too simplified now and the whole "the number of choices don't matter, the quality of choices matter" that has become the mantra repeated over and over by Blizzard is just too narrow-sighted (and honestly, illogical) at this point. Ability pruning? Cut Eye of Kilrogg for 'locks, far sight for shammy, bake in unleash elements... but too many core abilities are disappearing leaving rotations too boring. There is no customization - they need to find ways to allow for players to have complex or simple rotations based on many 'meaningful' choices allowing plenty of character PLAYSTYLE customization....)
Enhancement for sure, nothing beats the fun Enhancement spec give's to me.
I'm leveling as Enhancement if I never get the BoA weapon for resto/ele. As it stands, my only BoA is for Enhancement because I forgot to change my role one week and got thrown a 1h Axe. I've been leveling as Elemental on the beta, and it seemed incredibly easy at my gear level (585). I haven't gone too far, but at least at 92 the gear from quests is incredibly low (like 512 IL).
Currently as Elemental, killing mobs is as easy as Flame Shock - Lava Burst - Lightning Bolt. I'm sure Enhancement is just as easy. I can do the group quests at 92 incredibly easily. I usually kill the Elite Mob before Ascendance comes close to running out. Not to mention that my health without using ANYTHING at the end is always above 90%. Healing Surge for Elemental also heals for 100% when used on yourself, if you somehow managed to get close to dying...
Enhancement is the best leveling spec, mainly because of maelstrom weapon because of the ability for instant heal.
I will level as Enhancement as that is what I always play, but as it will be easier to manage an offspec I will sometimes try to have some fun as Elemental.
Everything that is, is alive.
Agaor - Enhancement Shaman
Enhance is my main spec and enhance is what I shall level as! I'm going to be using my free 90 on my lvl 85 (yeah, I'm a lazy fuck but she has 600 tailoring and enchanting) druid though and level her as balance to try the caster side of leveling.
Meow meow meow meow, meow meow meow meow, meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow!
I wish they had human shamans. I can't look at dwarves all day.
Probably Elemental as always, despite the massive (moronic) changes to the spec.
Amazing sig, done by mighty Lokann