Friday, December 7, 2007

Blizzard: Class Feedback Requested

Blizzard has posted on all of the class-specific forums asking where each class is most in need of improvement - both in general and for specific spells, abilities and talents. They've asked responders to limit themselves to three general comments (of one to two sentences) and five specific abilities, and also specifically asked for responders to not provide suggestions. If you're interested, please take a moment to respond on either the American or European forum. Of course a good portion of the posts I've read have completely ignored these requests, but reading comprehension was never a strong suit on the official forums anyhow.

From my perspective, the major issues with the shaman class are:

  • Totems: The totem system is a mess right now - it requires too much micro-management and too much time reapplying, especially in light of how much mobility is required in the game at present. Although the basic premise is great, they need a little more sustainability (both in terms of health for PvP and length of benefit for PvE) and better general utility.
  • Talents: With the exception of Enhancement and Elemental shaman taking points in Restoration and arena players taking skills in the second tiers of Enh/Elem, there's very little synergy between the talent trees. In addition, there are many underwhelming talents at the low end, with a preponderence of strong middle-tier and then weaker top-tier talents.
  • Inability to dictate the flow of battle in PvP: Without a reliable form of crowd control (something I personally don't feel we need) or way to escape CC (and close quickly, in the case of enhancement shaman), the pace of a PvP battle is largely controlled by the opponent. It certainly doesn't help that the majority of our abilities are reactive (Purge, Earth Shock) or are dependent on lengthy pulses (Poison Cleansing Totem, Tremor Totem).
As for specific abilities that need reevaluation, I think my choices would be:
  • Windfury: The mechanics of this ability strongly need to be reconsidered for dual-wielders — uncommon-quality weapons shouldn't out-DPS epics simply because of the difference in swing speed.
  • Totemic Mastery: The increased movement required in post-BC fights and PvP makes this an almost "must have" for all specs and should be reconsidered as a base totem range.
  • Totem of Wrath/Shamanistic Rage/Earth Shield: Although fairly strong abilities, all three are too easily invalidated in PvP (through 5 points of damage of dispelling). 41 pt talents shouldn't be that vulnerable.


Eruith said...

I'd love to just Ctrl-C tab Ctrl-V this entire article to the forums. Thank you for a well thought out site!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the totem problems, however, I would add that the benefits of the totems, specifically the mana spring and mana tide, should have the same range as the shadow priest’s vampiric embrace. Also, we are most desperate for an insta-cast HoT (or change the healing stream totem to an earth totem, with extended range and duration). I would rank an insta-cast HoT as my #1 want by a HUGE margin.

Goeben said...

Playing a level 70 Tauren resto shaman and currently leveling a Draenei, I will agree that a HoT makes a big difference. Gift of the Naaru is a powerful addition to a shaman's healing repertory, even though it takes 1.5 sec to cast. Based on my experience, I think giving all shamans an instant HoT would probably be overpowered, unless it were on a farily long cooldown (at least 3 minutes, maybe 10).

I would definitely put totems at the top of the list for improvement, not only because of the existing problems that have been under discussion for some time now, but because totems are the most unique feature of the class -- the aspect that should set us apart from other classes. For that reason, I would prefer seeing an improved Healing Stream Totem (as well as improvement to other totems of course) rather than a new HoT.

One possibility that comes to mind would be to substantially ramp up the talents that improve totems. For example, give the Restorative Totems talent a really substantial boost to Healing Stream/Mana Spring Totems' output, range, longevity, and perhaps durability.

Asirae said...

Yeah. It's a little crazy to find what weapon works well for a shaman class spec.

I tried a few times to come up w/ enhancement shaman weapons list.

Take a look here and let me know if I'm close or wayyyy off base.

- Asirae

Neal said...

I only have a low level shaman at the moment, I'm looking forward to leveling it a little as soon as my girlfriend can get some time.

Still I have an idea.

What if certain totems work more like blessings at least the ones that provide buffs, last about 10 minutes, and you can still only cast one per element of course. However you cast them on a party member, and the member that is the target gets the full application of the buff or perhaps more, while the members of the party still get it but get a little less.

Granted some of them would still have to be dropped, can't exactly have someone be a walking Earthbind totem.

I'm no expert, just running this by you all to see what you think.

Patje said...

Well a totem improvement would be stackable totembuffs in my opinion. i tried once with the totem of wrath. this totem stacks but all others don't. well i'm respeccing healing soon. indeed the healing stream and mana spring/tide totem should be considered different atleast for restoration

Anonymous said...

A big problem I see is the global cooldown for each tote i drop. In pvp if you're laying down four it's a very large chunk of time considering the battle may move out of 20 yard range in a matter of seconds.

Anonymous said...

Well it would be tough, in my opinion, to improve totems without making shamans even more powered than they are. One thing I support greatly is the fact that totems are useless now a days because there is so much movement in todays game like he said in the blog.

Everquest Accounts said...

This is a very nice posting I must say. I would also agree with the totem problems. I would also like some tips on find what weapon works well for a shaman class spec.