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  1. #1

    Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    This is a compilation of the Cataclysm-related information released this week, including the official previews and important blue posts. I do realize that some of the class forums already have sticky topics, this topic is merely here to discuss this week's preview and changes and will eventually fall into the abyss of the class forums.

    Official Class Preview
    Originally Posted by Nethaera (Blue Tracker)

    In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we'll be making lots of changes and additions to class talents and abilities across the board. In this preview, you'll get an early look at some of the changes in store for the shaman class, including a rundown of some of the new spells, abilities, and talents, and an overview of how the new Mastery system will work with the different talent specs.

    New Shaman Spells

    Primal Strike (available at level 3): Primal Strike is a new weapon-based attack that every shaman will learn very early in the game. Our goal with this ability is to make leveling as Enhancement rather than as Elemental more viable, since many key Enhancement talents become available at fairly high levels.

    Healing Wave (level 4): While the shaman already has an ability called Healing Wave, we're adding another spell to the class's direct-healing arsenal and giving it a familiar name. The current Healing Wave will be renamed Greater Healing Wave, and the intent is for the 'new" Healing Wave to be the shaman's go-to heal. Lesser Healing Wave and Greater Healing Wave will be used on a more situational basis.

    Unleash Weapon (level 81): Unleashes the power of your weapon enchants for additional effects (see below). A dual-wielding Enhancement shaman will activate the effects of both of their weapon enchants. Instant cast. 30-yard range. 15-second cooldown. Undispellable.

    Here are a few examples of effects we're considering for this ability:

    • Windfury Weapon – Hurls a spectral version of your weapon at a target, dealing 50% weapon damage and increasing the shaman's Haste for the next five swings.
    • Flametongue Weapon – Deals instant Fire damage and buffs the shaman's next Fire attack by 20%.
    • Earthliving Weapon – Heals the target slightly and buffs the shaman's next healing spell by 20%.

    Healing Rain (level 83): An area-effect heal-over-time (HoT) spell that calls down rain in a selected area, healing all players within it. There is no limit to the number of players who can potentially be affected; however, there are diminishing returns when healing a large number of targets, much like the diminishing returns associated with AoE damage spells. This should give Restoration shaman another healing tool that improves their group-healing and heal-over-time capabilities. 2-second cast time. 30-yard range. 10-second duration. 10-second cooldown.

    Spiritwalker's Grace (level 85): When this self-targeted buff is active, your spells are no longer interrupted by movement and possibly even by your own attacks. This will give shaman of all three specs another way to heal or do damage when it’s necessary to move in both PvE and PvP. Instant cast. 10-second duration. 2-minute cooldown.


    Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

    In addition to adding new spells, we're planning to make changes to some of the other abilities and mechanics you're familiar with. This list and the summary of talent changes below it are by no means comprehensive, but they should give you a good sense of what we intend for each spec.

    • Restoration shaman and other healing classes will need to pay attention to mana more than they've had to during Wrath of the Lich King. Spirit will be the Restoration shaman's primary mana-regeneration stat.

    • We're making changes to which classes and specs are able to dispel magic, diseases, curses, and poison, largely for PvP purposes. Shaman will have Cleanse Spirit as a baseline ability, but it will only remove curses. Restoration shaman will have a talent that will improve Cleanse Spirit so that it also removes magic. Shaman will no longer be able to remove poison.

    • Cleansing Totem will be removed from the game, as we want dispels to be a decision for players, not something done mindlessly. To that end, all dispels will cost slightly more mana, and you will waste the spell if you cast it when there is nothing to remove. (Currently, the dispel is only cast when there is something to remove, which encourages spamming 'just in case.") We will balance PvE dispelling with this new model in mind.

    • Totem of Wrath now will replace Flametongue Totem for all shaman, and dropping this totem will buff the group's spell power by 4%. Elemental shaman will have a talent that lets all Fire totems provide +10% spell power, allowing them to drop Searing, Magma, or Fire Elemental Totems without losing their spell-damage buff. The 4% and 10% buffs will be exclusive with each other and with the warlock's Demonic Pact, so you can't benefit from all of them at once. We're also considering letting Elemental drop Searing Totem at range.

    • We want to free up Enhancement global cooldowns to make the spec more dynamic to play. We're considering, for example, increasing the cooldown of Lava Lash so shaman have time to work other interesting abilities into their rotation.


    New Talents and Talent Changes

    • Elemental Reach will be simplified so shaman have a more consistent spell range.

    • We plan to add Earthquake as a deep Elemental talent for targeted and persistent AoE.

    • Spirit Link will likely be worked back into deep Restoration in some form. The idea is that you will be able to link targets together so they share damage. When we had previously tried to implement Spirit Link, it was hard to balance and a little confusing. However, we really liked the concept -- and so did players -- so we are trying to bring it back.

    • Elemental will have a deep talent that allows Spirit (which will appear on the gear they share with Restoration shaman) to boost their Hit rating.

    • Ancestral Knowledge will boost mana pool size, not Intellect.

    • Enhancing Totems will be replaced with Focused Strikes, which will improve the damage of the new spell Primal Strike and Stormstrike.

    • With the Mastery system, we're also considering removing a number of talents that grant passive bonuses, such as Mental Quickness, Improved Windfury Totem, Mental Dexterity, Call of Thunder, Tidal Mastery, Purification, Nature's Blessing, and others, to allow players more freedom to choose more interesting talents.


    Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses

    Elemental
    • Spell damage
    • Spell Crit
    • Elemental Overload

    Enhancement
    • Melee damage
    • Melee Haste
    • Nature Damage

    Restoration
    • Healing
    • Meditation (The amount of mana you regenerate in combat as a function of your Spirit)
    • Deep Healing

    Elemental Overload: Your direct-damage spells have a chance to proc a less powerful 'bonus" version of the spell. This will work much like the current Lightning Overload talent, but would also apply to Lava Burst.

    Nature Damage: This will provide a passive bonus to the Nature damage dealt by the Enhancement shaman.

    Deep Healing: Your direct heals will do more healing when the target's health is lower. This will scale to damage (e.g. someone at 29% health would receive more healing than someone at 30%) rather than have arbitrary break points.

    We hope you enjoyed this preview, and we're looking forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on these additions and changes. Please keep in mind that this information represents a work in progress and is subject to change as development on Cataclysm continues.
    Additional Information
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

    Primal Strike
    It's the intention of Primal Strike to let shaman play as an Enhancement at low levels. Currently when leveling in this spec, you end up just using Lightning Bolt a lot so you feel like an Elemental shaman instead. At a higher level, Primal Strike gets replaced by Storm Strike. They share a cooldown so Enhancement just won’t ever use Primal Strike after that, in the same way that Prot warriors don’t use Sunder Armor once they have Devastate or Feral druids don’t use Claw once they get Mangle. (Source)

    Shamans and new dispell mechanics
    This is something we’re still working on. We will still have abilities that remove 2 effects. One design is that all shaman have Cleanse Spirit (curse) and Purge (magic on enemies), and then Restoration can talent to allow Cleanse Spirit to also remove magic. Another is that shaman have one button that does all the dispelling to free up key-binds. The point we were trying to clarify above is that the ability to remove curses is a base shaman ability. (Source)

    Totems
    You may be the first player I've seen who likes talents that buff buffs. I'm not going to apologize much for our killing Enhancing Totems.

    The reason I wanted to address this though was there seems to be a reaction among some players who are expecting new character levels to just bring "more" of what their character is about. Clearly an expansion must bring new totems. Clearly an expansion must bring new demons. Maybe we even add new warrior stances or new druid forms. But does a better game necessarily result from just more "stuff"? If it's stuff to do, well sure. New zones, dungeons and BGs are exciting and refreshing. But how many more buttons on your bar do you really need? A few new spells is fun, don't get me wrong, especially if it means buying space by pulling some of the older spells that didn't get much use and didn't seem like they had much of a purpose.

    This is our third expansion now and we're layering a lot of extra content into an already big game. It would be easy, perhaps even lazy, to queue up the newest totem for every new expansion that comes down. But does that really make the shaman class more fun? You already have some dependable and some situational totems. Adding more totems in more and more refined and situational niches seems more aggravating to manage than anything. One of our design maxims is concentrated coolness. We'd rather have a few awesome things that a whole lot of bland things. We've all probably played RPGs (talking mostly single-player ones here) with hundreds of spells per character, but how memorable are any of those really individually?

    I also disagree that all totems are just buffs at this point. We've actually done a reasonable job, IMO, of bringing the dps fire totems back to life, and we're going to continue to do so in Cataclysm. Tremor Totem is still around and virtually unique in its ability. You have Mana Tide, elementals and Earthbind.

    I can understand why you might miss Cleansing Totem, because it was original and quite powerful -- too powerful in fact, in a world where we're trying to make dispelling more of a tactical decision and not something that just happens anytime you're around. (Source)

    Shaman Preview Q&A
    Q: Will Maelstrom Weapon include Lava Burst?
    A: That’s the plan currently.

    Q: How can Elemental Overload proc Lava Burst when Lava Burst already hits so hard in PvP?
    A: We’re going to change almost every number in Cataclysm to adjust for everything from single ranks of spells to larger health pools to new combat ratings. With much higher health pools, hopefully burst damage will go back to being a tool and not the only way to win matches.

    Q: What happens to the Lightning Overload talent?
    A: It provides a bonus to Elemental Overload.

    Q: Elemental doesn’t want to drop Searing Totem at range. We want to drop Magma Totem.
    A: Searing Totem needs to so more single-target damage than Magma. That said, if we’re happy with the ability to occasionally place totems at range there is no reason it couldn’t apply to any totem. Imagine, “After using this spell, the next totem you drop will appear at the feet of your target.”

    Q: Will Elemental have to spend talent points just to get the Spirit to hit conversion?
    A: It will be bundled with another attractive talent, such as Elemental Precision.

    Q: Will Unleash Weapon work with Frostbrand?
    A: Yes. We just provided some examples.

    Q: Is Healing Rain channeled?
    A: No, it's not a channeled spell.

    Q: Is Earthquake channeled?
    A: Probably, but we’ll see.

    Q: Will Unleashed Weapon consume your enchants?
    A: No.

    Q: Does the 10% spell power buff from Elemental scale with the shaman or the target’s spell power?
    A: It will scale with the target the same as Demonic Pact and other buffs that bring the same benefit.

    Q: Are you supporting two-handed weapons for Enhancement?
    A: Once you start to get into the dual-wield talents, then Enhancement is a dual-wield tree.

    Q: You didn’t address Enhancement survivability or mobility or X and Y!
    A: This was just a preview and is not a comprehensive list of every change. Much more will be revealed in beta and much will change during beta.

    Q: You didn’t answer the most important shaman question! What about Sentry Totem?
    A: The Cataclysm is a time of great upheaval. Deathwing’s return to Azeroth tore a hole in the fabric of the universe that tragically resulted in the ultimate and irrevocable destruction of all Sentry Totems. Level designers are contemplating a shrine for the Sentry Totem near that of Uther the Lightbringer. We know shaman players will greet this news with grief, but as with all class changes we’ll have to get into beta before anything is final.

    Q: Please make the "nature damage" for the enhance tree "elemental damage" so our bonus for putting points in isn't only affecting our nature damage.
    A: We actually went with Nature damage for that reason. We thought all Elemental damage might end up just feeling like “damage.”; Since Nature damage is only a portion of your damage, choosing between an item with say haste versus mastery (i.e. Nature damage) might be more interesting. With a lot of mastery, you might actually favor other talents or different spell rotations. All of this just theoretical at this point and the passive talent tree bonuses are likely to see much iteration in beta.


  2. #2
    Mechagnome frozenpatato's Avatar
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    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Thanks for putting this out Boubouille!

    I seriously love all the changes they're going to do

  3. #3

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Get out mi forum bibi!

  4. #4

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Great changes, great compilation!
    Thanks!
    Never look into the eyes of a horse.
    Your soul will forever be lost in the void of a horse.

  5. #5

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearroc
    Get out mi forum bibi!
    You didn't enjoy his hug?

  6. #6

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    thanks for the overview

    not lookin too great for the ele shamans thou

    will have to wait till beta to see how it feels.

  7. #7

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Ok, so Enhancement shaman will still be the worst dpser in wow, will have hp like ranged mages have, wont get anything what can boost our speed (other melee classes got) and probably in t11 you will have another great idea to again make shamanistic rage an offensive spell so we wont have any good defending spell. Just great...


    Oh i forgot, blizz will again say we can heal, we can heal so hard, we are raid savers. Hmm, i thought retri pala is also using mana and get procs to instant healing spells, but he is doing good dps as other melees do.

  8. #8

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    I dont play ele on my shaman, i play enha. but still even if magma and searing totem would do same singletarget dps. ele will prolly want to drop magma in most fights anyway. and as a caster the moving part is not fun, not at all:/. Casue the baseline remains: as a dps, you want to do dps, and lots of it.

    In my opinion, since they also said they want to "loose up the globals for enhancement" why not just increase magma totems duration to searing totems duration? to help both speccs. sure we want to use fire elemental. but you dont use it at every fight. just a thought, hoping for some feedback from you other shammies out there, especially ele's

  9. #9

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Thanks for posting this here.

    Im still in love with quite a few of the changes.

    Still waiting excited to hear more about how Spirit link is gonna work !

  10. #10

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    I love the changes I'm seeing baby! A bit downed that we still haven't got many survivability buffs for Enhancement PvP.

    I can't wait to try out Spirit Link either, I ustue make RPG maps with the Warcraft 3 editor. I always had a Shaman in them and this was the first spell that had been implemented. It's a great spell, I just hope we can control who we link.

    Also glad that we have some better damage attacks pre-40. I always felt when I was leveling that all I use is Flame/Earth Shock and auto-attack, at 30 I just used that and relied on Windfury. Now it'll be a bit more interesting, not a big change to the ramp-up time but it'll help nonetheless.

    Spirit Walkers grace looks pretty sweet, it would be awesome if we had a speed bonus such as Blazing Speed like the Fire Mages get also.

    The only thing I'm a bit iffy about is Healing Rain. Does Circle of Healing or Holy Nova have Diminishing Returns? If so, then Healing Rain shouldn't be a problem. If not well... we'll see I guess.

    “After using this spell, the next totem you drop will appear at the feet of your target.”
    That would be one awesome way to plant totems. Like a 2-choice proc every 30 seconds where you can switch between Searing and Magma. but that's if that is ever actually considered. Which hopefully it is.


    Great preview Blizzard. I can't wait until Cataclysm.
    Vojka: You've got to tank a set amount of mobs everytime.
    Maskara: I'm Prot, I can do whatever. If Arms can do it, Prot can do it better. Nuff said. /thread
    Vojka: Lol, cept damage.
    Maskara: Basically.

  11. #11
    The Patient galimim's Avatar
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    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Great! I cant wait for school ending so i can start playing my shammy again. Healing will be fun once again!
    Delu čast in oblast!
    Praise the work and give it power!

  12. #12

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Quote Originally Posted by Hots
    I dont play ele on my shaman, i play enha. but still even if magma and searing totem would do same singletarget dps. ele will prolly want to drop magma in most fights anyway. and as a caster the moving part is not fun, not at all:/. Casue the baseline remains: as a dps, you want to do dps, and lots of it.

    In my opinion, since they also said they want to "loose up the globals for enhancement" why not just increase magma totems duration to searing totems duration? to help both speccs. sure we want to use fire elemental. but you dont use it at every fight. just a thought, hoping for some feedback from you other shammies out there, especially ele's
    They said they want seeing to be the single target totem so...
    And did you not see the lava burst msw reply?

    Rip sentry totem. Your better screen shots will ne missed
    Pondering returning.
    Nikoll - Retribution Paladin

  13. #13

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    is it just me. or does it look like blizz has put little to no effort into fixxing the major problems with enhance shaman.

  14. #14

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Im perplexed as to the logic behind "we went with nature damage because we felt that elemental damage would feel too much like damage" when they gave hunters a bonus to ELEMENTAL DAMAGE. Blizzard just likes to F*** with people.
    Definition of useless -

    Q. Any plans for an untalented spell to help warlocks deal with stuns?
    A. Possibly. It’s also possible we may take a look at stuns in general. But overall stuns will feel less impacting in an environment where players have significantly more health than they do today.

  15. #15

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    I am curious wether we shamans were as enthusiastic as now when we have heared about new class changes when wotlk came out or not.
    I felt turned down flat when lvl 80 hits.

  16. #16

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    I want boubouilles babies!!!!!! :-*


    Thanks btw, we need posts like this. Sticky perhaps?
    Quote Originally Posted by fizikz View Post
    TOXOPLASMA PARASITES ARE RUINING THE GAME!!!!!!
    Blizz needs to stop nerfing the game based on people wiith toxoplasma parasites!!!

  17. #17

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    it´s good to see blizzard responed to our 3rd mastery so fast.
    it´s not so good they weren´t convinced by the massive rejection.

    survival hunters get elemental damage, why not us, the masters of the elements...

    and making it nature only to make gear desicions even harder... we already have one of the hardest itemisation issues ( along with good gerformance difficulty and other things, like low base hp ( which will be remain on the same level of what mages have )).

    please, learn from your armor-pen mistake, and make mastery an good stat for us, not a "when-i-equip this item now, nature will start to be better so i have to make massive changes in my priority list and gear choices" stat.

    edit: and if spell damage, which is still only a fraction of our damage ( like survivals explosive shot and serpent sting ) is to plain for you, then make it completely different, like a chance to have a 3rd windfury attack when it procs or something ( would be sweet for pvp burst as well).
    Quote Originally Posted by Angoth
    I'm sorry that Blizzard won't just gift wrap awesome in a cup and let you drink your fill.

  18. #18

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Quote Originally Posted by Omanley
    it´s good to see blizzard responed to our 3rd mastery so fast.
    it´s not so good they weren´t convinced by the massive rejection.

    survival hunters get elemental damage, why not us, the masters of the elements...

    and making it nature only to make gear desicions even harder... we already have one of the hardest itemisation issues ( along with good gerformance difficulty and other things, like low base hp ( which will be remain on the same level of what mages have )).

    please, learn from your armor-pen mistake, and make mastery an good stat for us, not a "when-i-equip this item now, nature will start to be better so i have to make massive changes in my priority list and gear choices" stat.

    edit: and if spell damage, which is still only a fraction of our damage ( like survivals explosive shot and serpent sting ) is to plain for you, then make it completely different, like a chance to have a 3rd windfury attack when it procs or something ( would be sweet for pvp burst as well).
    Well that's the thing, they want us to be nature. Not fire or frost. Survival has like 4 different abilities in their rotation that use a different damage type, which is why they need elemental.

    Although i do think they should change it for the better. I like the extra WF proc, or better yet, give our imbues an increased % chance to proc. For flametongue, perhaps increase its damage per attack a bit?
    Quote Originally Posted by fizikz View Post
    TOXOPLASMA PARASITES ARE RUINING THE GAME!!!!!!
    Blizz needs to stop nerfing the game based on people wiith toxoplasma parasites!!!

  19. #19

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    quite puzzled about the poor choice for the third enh. mastery stat... that kind of weak joke makes me (once again) wonder if they actually play the game.

    quite puzzled about the removal of Enh. totems and Imp. WF as well... we need to know more about cataclysm templates before we can actually judge this class preview.
    10 years ago we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash. Now we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

  20. #20

    Re: Shaman - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    I was hoping for some whirl windish attack that does weapon/nature damage. It could eat up Stormstrike procs and stuff. :-D That bring some flair to the mix. I'm also still prayin since Lava burst might come back to enhance taht Storm Strike might do ele damage for it's buff vs. just nature. That would rock.

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