Back in vanilla WoW, if you were an enhancement shaman you rolled around with a 2h weapon with windfury attached to it. Even as elemental or Restoration, you used windfury on your 1h because before the epic nerf, it did good dmg for those specs as well.
Then in Burning Crusade, Enhancement was changed up to promote a dual-wield playstyle. Windfury was made to benefit only enhancement shaman really, as flametongue I believe at this point was changed to add bonus spellpower.
Now when I first heard about Shaman being able to dual-wield, I was restoration at the time. I was very excited for this news, and ended up spending all my dkp in Molten Core for two aurastone hammers. I was planning to make a dual-wielding restoration spec, simply because I thought it would make for an interesting niche to play as. However, the same day the dual-wielding talent went live, all healing/caster weapons seemed to become main hand only. I was disappointed.
Fast forward to Wrath of the Lich King. At the beginning of the expansion, elemental shaman claimed to be at a very bad place for PVE dps. Their dps was lagging behind others, and they requires a few patches of talent adjustments to effectively bring their dps up to date. But now, come Cataclysm, Blizzard is effectively trying to trim talent trees and provide their abilities through the new mastery/passive buff system.
Going back to my first paragraph...Shaman were the only class capable of using a 2h weapon that needed to spec for it, whereas other 2h classes were able to simply use them without needed pts. After months of clamoring to make it a baseline ability it was.
Now we sit with dual-wielding...a necessary talent to dps as Enhancement, whereas warriors, rogues, dks, and hunters (who only use dual-wielding as a way to stack stats and enchantments) get this ability as baseline.
My main point is...why not add dual-wielding as baseline ability for all shaman. Would the extra spellpower from another flametongue and caster weapon have been enough to have kept elemental's PVE dps on par with others at the beginning of Wrath? Would it have been impossible to balance resto PVE around being able to have another earthliving and caster weapon?
In Warcraft 3, all shamans dual-weilded. It is in my opinion a core staple of the class that should be granted to all specs, and made useful for all three of them.
But then comes the PVP aspect, and the ability to use a shield for survivability issues. Talents could be reworked in the elemental and restoration tree that added a certain amount of spellpower IF the shaman was wielding a shield, to make up for any potential loss offered by losing dual-wielding.
The only real downside I could see to this at all, would be that for PVE then, only Paladins would really require spellpower shields...but these already exist in limited supply, and could be provided through badge gear.
What are your thoughts?
tl:dr --- Balance all specs of shaman around dual-wielding, reworking talents to add bonus spellpower to resto/elemental using shields in pvp. Dual-wielding should become baseline ability learned at lvl 40 for all shaman.
tl:dr x 2 --- I want a dual-wielding caster class.