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Shaylana

Shamans are, by far, the Whiniest Community

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It's sometimes hard to not be caught up in it. It's partially because Elemental, especially, cry out and get active about giving feedback, but you just can't shake what you've been told in the past. "it's just Beta, they're going to do numbers tuning, just relax and it's not the end of the world" just feels like someone getting to you sleep in your grave before they kill you. So I just need to vent a bit. But thankfully, people like Taka and Zul are great cheerleaders to keep me in good spirits.

Back in the day Celestion said in WoD Beta on a Shaman Nerf:

First, I'd like to comment on the nerfs today. Nerfs can be troubling, I get that. But this is beta, and these nerfs are just number changes. They are not a bad thing. They're simple number reductions because your DPS was too high. DPS tuning will happen, and this is the first step in that. Especially on beta, it can be very hard to have a good sense of how you compare to other specs. And with the squish changing how numbers are perceived in general, most of you probably had no clue that you were a little overpowered, and that's fine. Let me reiterate that the goal here is for you to be on par with all of the DPS. You should be equal with everyone, from the Arcane Mage to the Destruction Warlock.
We're middle of the pack. Now that's okay, but being on Par doesn't feel like the goal. It's just tough, because you have to struggle to be in the middle. It just feels bad, and even worse, when I appear in the top 10 of our raid, I feel ELATED. Because I worked my ass off to be mediocre. That's just what it feels like.

Simply put, we want Elemental Shamans to be brought for their strong DPS, not their poor DPS and strong offheals. We're reducing *everyone*'s offhealing capabilities, and Shamans had some of the most of anyone.
I pop Ancestral Guidance all the time. I don't think anyone notices. People aren't bringing Elemental Shamans for strong DPS. In fact, the Elemental Shamans that didn't class change are either really good, have a guild that won't turn them away, or aren't in guilds that refuse them because they're not progression minded. I kinda feel lucky that Kull hasn't kicked me to the curb, because there are days where I've contemplated kicking myself to the curb for him.

(in regards to level 100 talents) (Enchanced Shocks) A. Won't be bad. Needs tuning. (Storm Elemental Totem) B. Won't be bad. Needs tuning. (Liquid Magma) C. Will continue being not bad, and the bug where it doesn't work with Fire Elemental will be fixed.
A. Enhanced Shocks isn't bad, but you really need it on Fire Shock. But due to multistrikes, you end up wasting a lot of charges on Earth Shock. Or you have to juggle or delay Fulmination which can net a DPS loss. It wasn't until 6.1 with the change to Echoes did it become really manageable.

B. Storm Elemental Totem. per 6.1: 30% buff to damage and healing. Now you gotta understand, in BETA "won't be bad needs tuning" turns into "we will tune this via hotfix a whole patch later rather than in beta when you brought the issue to our attention." Wouldn't that make you angry? We told you, and it took you a long time to listen.

C. Liquid Magma. They did fix the bug. They did NOT fix the issue where it doesn't hit those that are CC'd. They did fix the issue where it won't hit things not in combat, but if you are fighting something near my Liquid Magma, it will attack creatures I didn't tag. So it's still not perfect.
OK. Earthquake is a big topic, so lets go for it. Earthquake has been around for a long time, but it's been almost as long since it's actually been used significantly. And Elemental has one of the most fun, visceral, cool AoE spells in the game: Chain Lightning. So why are we trying to force Earthquake into the rotation now, instead of just cutting it? That's a totally fair question.

There are a few reasons. Chain Lightning is great, but it can also get monotonous, spamming a single button for all AoE situations, and basically nothing else. We want to add a *little* spice to that. The vast vast majority of your AoE/cleaving should still be Chain Lightning spam, and we don't want to step on that. But we think that adding one different spell every ~10sec or so adds a fine bit of texture rotation.

Another reason is that we feel like we've failed on fulfilling one aspect of the Elemental fantasy: the elements. Fire (check). Air (check, lightning falls under this). Water (that's more of Resto's thing). And Earth. Where was the Earth? Ele shamans were feeling too much like the "Fire+Lightning Wizard", and not enough of the "Master of the Elements". That led us to including Earthquake, and adding Molten Earth.

And finally, skill. Here's where we get into why it has all of those so-called "QoL problems". It may be hard to see this vision, because AoE DPS tuning hasn't happened yet, but here's our vision for Earthquake: You won't be able to use it in every situation. It'll take a lot of skill and planning to use effectively. It may even require some cooperation from your tank, depending upon the situation. When all of those criteria aren't met, it's fine, you still have Chain Lightning to fall back on, and you'll still do totally solid DPS that way, and it's incredibly easy to use, in virtually any situation. But when all of those pieces *do* line up, the payoff should be extremely strong.[i] It's an additional bonus [i]on top of your expected AoE DPS.

Don't think of it as "that spell I'm forced to use and is so hard-to-use". Think of it as "that niche spell that I sometimes get to use skillfully for great gains".
Thankfully, Earthquake can now be seen, isn't a "niche" spell, and is the #1 spell of our AoE rotation. In 6.1, yes we had to wait until 6.1, hitting 3 targets with Chain Lightning makes your Earthquake an instant cast. You still have the reticle and the cool down, but you now have something to hit on the move or a global where you can to stutter step. The "niche for great gains" design intent was thankfully thrown out the window.

(Echoes of the Elements) Yes, it's primarily for Lava Burst (single target) and Earthquake (AoE) in PvE. We tried having it on several other abilities, but the downsides outweighed the upsides, we found (ie, you accidentally use it on Earth Shock, when you wanted to use it on Lava Burst).
The 6.1 Change to EotE was immensively awesome! It fixed so many issues with the ability to manage your priority rotation. But here's the thing.... it's so easy to think, "YEAH! Blizzard is helping us! This is amazing, and it will help immensely. Thank you!" But the reality is, "WHY DID YOU WAIT TO DO DESIGN WORK AFTER YOU RELEASED WARLORDS?" Echo issues were documented in Beta, and it was the talent that nobody used when WoD released.

(Molten Earth Mastery) Tuning will happen. I don't think it's far off from right, currently, though. I think it's a little weak, but not much.
I don't know if it's weak or strong, tuned well or not. It's just that nobody really cares and Mastery scores just above Versatility in the stat priority. I think the design idea is that when we're moving, it's supposed to compensate us for the loss of DPS. But they can't program it to figure out when to proc when we're moving or not, so it just adds a flat number. But you can't just buff that to buff us, or it could change our stat weights completely. It's just something we don't even think about.

--I won't go into the Level 45 Shaman Talents. Blizzard admitted that it has issues and needs redesign. We're happy they admitted it, and have stopped grumbling about it. It's funny how complaints stop when Blizzard admits it needs work.


Basically, the long and short of it all, is that Shamans are whiny. We documented all these issues, and they had to buff Elemental Shaman through 6.0 and had to do design work for 6.1. If you have to focus your efforts on us after a patch drops despite our feedback, that means you weren't ready for it, or even worse, didn't care. I just hope it was the former.

And the cautionary tale is not to accept that we're NOW fine, it's that we shouldn't forget that the Elemental Shaman community told Blizzard all of this would happen and it did.

Updated 04-14-2015 at 02:39 AM by Shaylana

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  1. Fendo's Avatar
    Great write-up Shaylana!
    Now that Blizzard's had about 8 months of actual live feedback, the verdict on Elemental is in.

    This video, written by a pretty knowledgeable raider, pretty much sums up what's wrong with Elemental, and why it can't really be fixed without a huge rework. RIP

    https://youtu.be/zrI-vL0eb8g?t=1112 --it's timestamped
  2. Aerro's Avatar
    Buff Shamanism!

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