Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Shaman Class Blog Information

Finishing day three of these class blogs, and with two more to go, we have Shamans. The huge change here is that Elemental and Enhancement Shamans will use a resource called "Maelstrom" instead of mana. This new resource will be a pretty big change for both DPS specs.

Totems are also getting changes. Some will target an area now, no longer requiring some extra talent to move them. They'll always have a percentage of your max health, and you can have multiple totems of the same element, which should all work to free up design space with them.


Hey, remember when this was officially Elemental Combat? Memory lane, man.

Most of the same spells are used here, but you'll be generating Maelstrom via Lightning Bolt and Lava Burst, which each give 15. Lava Burst still has Lava Surge as a proc, and it seems to work the same way.

Shock spells no longer have cooldowns, but they now cost Maelstrom.

Flame Shock costs 0 to 20 Maelstrom, and lasts 10-30 seconds based on how much you spend (I'd guess 10+however much Maelstrom you spend seconds)

Earth Shock costs 10 to 100 (which I'd assume is max) Maelstrom and does massive Nature damage.

The old Mastery, Elemental Overload, is back, and the extra strikes will deal 75% damage and produce 75% of the normal Maelstrom.

Sample Talent: Maelstrom Totem:

Summons a totem near the target that repeatedly attacks an enemy within 30 yards for moderate Nature damage, generating 5 maelstrom on each hit.

So it looks like Elemental's going to be about building up Maelstrom charges, making sure to keep Flame Shock active while you get ready for enormous Earth Shocks. Not too far from what we have now, but a little more flexible.


Enhancement seems to be changing a lot more. I believe the Shock gameplay is being left to the Elementals, and instead some new but familiar-sounding abilities will be at the core.

Rockbiter is a 10-yard instant spell that seems to be the primary Maelstrom generator, doing nature damage and giving 15 Maelstrom.

Flametongue is another 10-yard instant spell that deals fire damage and gives your weapon attacks additional fire damage - this looks like a buff you'll have to maintain, but it lasts 16 seconds on a 12 second cooldown, so it shouldn't be too hard.

Windfury seems to work the same, main-hand only.

Lava Lash costs 30 Maelstrom and has no cooldown.

Storm Strike costs 60 Maelstrom and has a 16 second cooldown, but there's a passive called Stormfury that gives your attacks a 2% chance (I think this includes auto-attacks) to reset this cooldown and make it cost 50% less Maelstrom and also not trigger a cooldown.

Maelstrom Weapon now just makes you generate 5 Maelstrom when you deal damage with a melee weapon.

Mastery: Enhanced Elements still has its spell damage buff, but also increases the chance for Stormfury and Windfury to trigger.

Notably, Enhancement no longer uses Lightning Bolt, but Rockbiter and Flametongue both allow for the battle-mage gameplay to continue. Things like Windfury (not sure if it procs Maelstrom Weapon) and Stormfury should make the spec pretty unpredictable.

Sample Talent: Sundering

Basically one of Thrall's Heroes of the Storm moves, this shatters a line of earth before you, dealing physical damage and knocking enemies to the side.


Confession: I don't know if any of this is actually different than on live. They do say they want more single-target healing and less Chain Heal spam, but how that is accomplished? I don't really know.

As a non-healer, Healing Wave, Healing Surge, Chain Heal, Riptide, Healing Rain, Healing Stream Totem, Tidal Waves and Mastery: Deep Healing look the same.

Sample Talent: Wellspring

Basically a cone-effect healing spell on a 12 second cooldown.

Shaman Analysis

Enhancement is finally getting the refinement it has been waiting on for a few expansions. I don't really know what the plan is for AoE, but I actually think these are some good bare bones on which to build with talents and such. Elemental looks like it'll have a similar feel to how it is now, but the Shocks and the "bolt" spells should now feel a little more tied to each other. Again, I really can't say much about Restoration.

Tomorrow, we've got Warriors, Druids and Monks, with Rogues coming on Thursday.

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