1. #1

    Question What is the character of the class of Shaman in Warcraft really?

    For the longest time I only thought of "Totems"; I didn't give it much thought and I wasn't playing it; but I wonder what's the gameplay philosophy of it that makes it unique among the classes and irreplaceable among the others (if it is irreplaceable).

    Is it its ability to do complex synergies; is it a blunt combo of melee and spells; or is it just "totems"?

  2. #2
    The original vanilla design intent of shaman was to fully embody "jack of all trades, master of none". I know I read that phrase explicitly somewhere in a vanilla-era official class description somewhere.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazy Gecko View Post
    The original vanilla design intent of shaman was to fully embody "jack of all trades, master of none". I know I read that phrase explicitly somewhere in a vanilla-era official class description somewhere.
    Wasn't it druid though?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Sentynel View Post
    Wasn't it druid though?
    You'd think so, but the whole philosophy of "hybrid tax" they had then was not equally applied. Any one thing the shaman could do, another class could do it more effectively (which is why they also had threat generating spells and totems for the bare minimum of tanking) for the game's early life span, which is not something you could really say as much for druids.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazy Gecko View Post
    You'd think so, but the whole philosophy of "hybrid tax" they had then was not equally applied. Any one thing the shaman could do, another class could do it more effectively (which is why they also had threat generating spells and totems for the bare minimum of tanking) for the game's early life span, which is not something you could really say as much for druids.
    What other class could give windfury?

  6. #6
    The Lightbringer vian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baraden View Post
    What other class could give windfury?
    Windfuryman
    Quote Originally Posted by bizzy View Post
    yeh but lava is just very hot water

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Baraden View Post
    What other class could give windfury?
    Speaking more generally in terms of the damage/healing/tanking roles here. Of course there was Windfury Totem and later Bloodlust as unique support buffs for a time. Oh, and water walking (until death knights came along and brought a better group version I think?).

  8. #8
    Shaman was a Support character originally. Tons of utility through those totems.

    Today, they're just another class. I mean, what reason is there to play any class these days? It's different flavours of the same Tanking, DPS or Healer roles we've all played over and over again. The reasons are subjective, and mostly superficial depending on what you're looking for.

  9. #9
    The Undying Teriz's Avatar
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    Enhancement is still my favorite melee spec in the game. It does a rather excellent job of offering "battlemage" gameplay, and maelstrom weapon is probably one of the best mechanics in WoW. Still a brilliant design all these years later.

  10. #10
    I've always loved the depiction of how they are masters of the elements, how they use that power. It's fundamentally different from the look and feel of other classes that use the "elements." They used to have totems built into how they tap into power, but that was changed a little. And of the classes that do use the elements, they are the only ones with a melee spec, and IMO have the best visuals, by far.

  11. #11
    Same as it always has been.

    To be the red-headed step child of blizz devs.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazy Gecko View Post
    You'd think so, but the whole philosophy of "hybrid tax" they had then was not equally applied. Any one thing the shaman could do, another class could do it more effectively (which is why they also had threat generating spells and totems for the bare minimum of tanking) for the game's early life span, which is not something you could really say as much for druids.
    You absolutely could say it for druids. Druid tanks were second tier tanks except for unlike paladins we didn't have the AOE threat advantage. No sunder armor was a huge issue. No block was also a huge issue. This was supposed to be countered by higher armor but the problem is for raiding what kills tanks isn't too high of sustained damage. It's being unexpectedly 100 to 0'd instantly or faster than healers can react and being able to push crushing blows off the hit table was huge for this even if warriors took more damage over the fight. It's part of why Stagger was so busted for Brewmaster's. Taking more damage overall didn't matter if it meant you avoided lethal more often. And even on the 1 boss a tier that didn't have crushing blows the higher armor that was supposed to offset no block basically made druids .01% better for one fight and worse on all the rest. With TBC they added more "bonus armor" pieces. Problem is every single one of them was a random questing blue or green leaving our BiS as questing blues/greens until full T5 until a patch addressed the concern.

    Mangle was gutted for a lot of the early TBC because it was admittedly busted during the pre-patch and our new expansion ability lacerate didn't work against 90% of what was in karazhan temporarily nuking one of Druids only benefits which was high single target threat.

    Not to mention using a significant number of items/things that had to be right clicked used to force us to shift you of all forms. Shouldn't have to say why that's bad. Although admittedly some fun I had was kiting bosses/mobs in raids and 5 mans trying to shift and toss out emergency roots or innervates. But it was fun because you had to overcome the downsides.

    Cat DPS was terrible/shaking until Wrath, many important raid mobs/bosses were not bleed able which crippled DPS in a way that even being poison immune didn't for rogues if we were even allowed to put them up thanks to the debuff, and for Vanilla at least Bear and Cat suffered big time because we got zero benefit from weapon DPS even though that's a big part of the stat budget. AoE in cat form didn't exist until TBC and was largely mediocre while single target did see a bit of a boost with the addition of feral attack power on some weapons, which helped bear a bit too. Can't speak to moonkin specifics as well but the most decked out moonkin wasn't ever touching a comparably geared mage, warlock, rogue, hunter, or warrior on DPS. The only times I ever really saw a cat dps, myself included, were mostly because my other tanks sucked at their DPS specs or they just refused to. Or because our guild's rogue really really wanted Leader of the Pack to pad his meters.

    For vanilla especially the only truly not gimped druid spec was Resto. And even then Resto or not you were mostly brought to innervate one of the better healing classes. While I don't recall Vanilla as well Shaman's chain healing was absolutely crucial for a lot of fights in TBC like Twins in Sunwell.


    And to poke directly at you Shaman Druids had to suffer with you mail users stealing our gear. I lost count of the number of Cursed Vision of Sargares that I had a hunter, and enh shaman, use DKP or roll against me for in my guild and eventually the pugs I participated in despite them already having a better mail helm than myself I had in leather. And I was one of three MTs as well as a warrior and paladin for most of TBC. Was super fun watching classes mail/plate get dusted as hunters/shaman wearing leather because it was .5% better than the mail piece as leather upgrades got snaked from rogues druids.


    Long story short Shaman definitely suffered from the hybrix tax. But to say that druids weren't in the same realm as Shaman you had to have been drunk, high, or just have zero clue about druids to not notice that we were right there with you struggling. This is just the stuff I recall off the top of my head and there was for sure more. I only dodged a lot of it because the sheer shortage quality tanks were in short supply and I was better than most forced people to say fuck it guess we'll take the druid and give me a shot. But until wrath I saw a lot of groups specifically avoid me for a warrior tank.
    Last edited by shimerra; 2024-05-30 at 06:02 PM.
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