Compendium of Enhancement Shaman Concerns
These concerns are mainly PvP specific as that is where the majority of our problems lie but they deal with general problems the Specc is having including Clunky mechanics, Mobility etc.
The general idea behind the talent is a good one but it is currently not too appealing or efficient in it's current form. The Searing Flame DoT is a nuisance especially in PvP when it is near impossible to build the stacks necessary to do competitive burst damage. The chances of the Totem being killed, the debuff being dispelled and LoS issues make it take longer than necessary to build up the stacks for our main attack to be a possibility. This is extraordinarily painful for a damage system that takes 5 talent points and one that might be left out of PvP builds if it stays in it's current form.
The devs have admitted that they are working on the AI for this Totem so we look forward to it with fingers crossed. The Enhance rotation(priority system) also apparently has a rather long and awkward pause currently in the Beta/PTR and this could possibly be filled by adding Fire Nova to Searing totem. A fix to this issue is to either make the number of stacks needed for a full power Lava Lash less, or make LL not consume the Searing Flame Stacks.
This is one of the most iconic proccs an Enhance Shaman has but it is currently suffering from similiar pitfalls as the Searing Flame Talent, it simply takes too long to build up the stacks in a PvP environment. Enhance Shammies simply don't have the ability to stay on the target or the haste needed to accrue all 5 charges. This makes it hard for us to have any instant cast heals or CC thereby crippling our survivability to a large extent.
An easy solution as suggested by many other Enhancers is to make Maelstrom Weapon Proc off damage taken thereby greatly increasing PvP viability and to possibly reduce the full charge stacks to 3-4.
Shamanistic Rage + Primal Wisdom
Enhance currently has very large Mana issues with the changes to the Specc, a small number of spells will leave you completely oom and the design of Shamanistic Rage and Primal Wisdom are not alleviating the issue. Firstly Shamanistic Rage does not affect healing spells which is the major issue here, it would ideally be used before a high costing instant Maelstrom heal and right now it just doesn't affect that. Allowing healing spells to be affected by shamanistic Rage would be splendid.
Primal Wisdom is a good idea but the Mana restoration becomes a problem in PvP due to low melee uptime, a better way to go about it would be to slightly increase either the proc chance or the mana restored. Lets say 50% chance to restore 10% mana up from 40% chance to restore 5% mana.
This is still currently our major crutch when it comes to PvP and the fact that it carries all our on-call mobility, healing and stuns is not too pleasing. Removing the stun and movement buff from the wolves and giving them directly to the Shaman would be great, possibly a glyph that adds a 50% stun chance on Stormstrike with an internal cooldown. The movement buff is less meaningful but could still be either baked into another ability or simply given to Enhance, we simply need our tools removed from our Wolves, let the Wolves be a dmg cooldown instead. Reducing the cooldown of the wolves from 3 minutes to 2 minutes would also be a less permanent fix but would go a long way in alleviating PvP balance concerns.
It is great that the devs decided to buff the Attack Power bonus of the Spell but it still has a hidden 3 second Internal Cooldown which is crippling Enhance Burst. We were told Weapon imbues would be made unique allowing for the removal of the Internal Cooldown but this has not happenbed and it is worrying considering how far along the Beta is and how big a change this is. It is hard to argue against this change though, it would be positive and wouldn't affect Resto/Ele as they only use one Weapon Imbue.
We have not had much information on the design intent for this specific shield but the 50% reduced effectiveness came out of left field, we would hope there are higher ranks which quite frankly should be more powerful than older incantations. The Totem just needs a huge buff as it is something Enhance needs to stay alive due to its less than stellar survivability.
The 6 talent points for Improved Shields and Static shock are just not Justifiable for their effect, it's a pretty lackluster mechanic and needs a buff to it's damage before it can become an iconic and useful Enhance ability. Earth Shield is the model for a perfect Shaman Shield that works without a hitch and is extremely effective. In addition to this, the change to Lightning Shield making it only procc off of Stormstrike and Lava Lash might be good for PvP burst but it makes the talent not scale at all with haste which is extremely worrying, this might make it a completely skipped talent at later tiers.
The Enhance tree still suffers from bloat even after the removal of 3 unnecessary points, we could stand to lose a few ranks on Maelstrom Weapon, Static Shock and Searing Flames to allow points for some utility talents. Currently it is a huge toss up for Enhance to take any survivability talents and much more detrimental to our dps in comparison with other speccs.
It is not clear why it was changed from giving +25% nature damage buff to only buffing the crit of a number of lightning attacks by 25%. This will hurt Enhances scaling in a major way even if it is not as apparent at Cata launch.
1 expertise was removed from Unleashed Rage unexpectedly and with the higher ratings needed at 85 this does sting.
It is quite annoying that the Fire & Earth Elementals share a 2 minute cooldown and have the outdated mechanic of being stationary and not moving a great distance from the totem spot. It would help Enhances movement Dps slightly if the Elementals resembled a frost Mages Elemental and simply followed the Shaman for their duration. This I guess is a QoL issue for all Shamans.
There are obviously alot of concerns about the general Totem System but there are others who have covered the issue in great detail with awesome suggestions so I won't go into it.
Summary - TL: DR
I personally believe the design team has done a great job with Enhance PvE in the beta, our rotation is less complicated and less filled up but at the same time is more rewarding. I believe that we can do competitive and even great Dps in Cata.
The PvP outlook is a completely different story, most of our attacks, resources and proccs are coming off of sustained melee uptime on the target which we simply will not have. With our crippling mana issues and our low mobility and even lower survivability we are a little like sitting ducks in BGs.
We are targeted first a majority of the time in BGs and without more effective tools and on demand healing I doubt Enhance representation will be high in Battlegrounds and possibly even arena with the dispersement of BL. I would go as far as to say Enhance is likely to be the least played specc in PvP in Cata and that says a lot. I really hope we do get some sort of fix even if it is not huge, just something to allow us to stay alive long enough to be a real threat in PvP and the more common 1v1 situations in Cata's Battlegrounds.
Thanks for reading and feel free to add any input or agree/disagree. :P
The EU thread is http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread....13234247&sid=1
Feel free to post in the thread on EU forums or post this on the US forums, just give me credit if you do xD