Shaman Changes for Cataclysm
After spending the day hitting F5 on the blue tracker page of MMO-Champion, the promised shaman changes for Cataclysm have been released. Please note that we’re still a long way off Cataclysm’s release and these will all be subject to change. You can find the original blue post here.
New Shaman Spells
- Available at level 3
This is a new weapon based attack designed to make levelling as enhancement more appealing (tackling the complaint that many of the key enhancement talents come very late in the tree)
- Available at level 4
This is an entirely new healing spell being added to the restoration shaman’s arsenal. The intention is for this spell to become our core, single target healing spell. Due to this change, our current healing wave will be renamed to greater healing wave. As such, we will have Lesser Healing Wave, Healing Wave and Greater Healing Wave. The lesser and greater varieties are deemed to be more situational.
- Available at level 81
- Instant cast
- 30 yard range
- 15 second cooldown
“Unleashes the power of your weapon enchants for additional effects.” A dual-wielding enhancement shaman will activate the effects of both their weapon enchants.
A few of the effects under consideration for this spell are as follows:-
- Flametongue Weapon – Deals instant fire damage and buffs the shaman’s next fire attack by 20%
- Windfury Weapon – Hurls a spectral version of your weapon at the target, dealing 50% weapon damage and increasing the shaman’s haste for the next 5 swings
- Earthliving Weapon – Heals the target slightly and buffs the shaman’s next heal by 20%
- Available at level 83
- Two second cast time
- 30 yard range
- 10 second duration
- 10 second cool down
An area of effect, heal over time spell that calls down rain, healing all players within the selected area. There is no limit to the number of players that can be effected by this heal but you can expect a diminishing returns mechanic like with many AoEs.
- Available at level 85
- 10 second duration
- 2 minute cooldown
When this self-targeted buff is active, your spells are no longer interrupted by movement and possibly even by your own attacks. This will give shaman of all three specs another way to heal or do damage when it’s necessary to move in both PvE and PvP.
Changes to Existing Abilities, Spells, Mechanics and Totems
- Shaman’s will no longer be able to remove poison effects
- Totem of Wrath will replace Flametongue totem for all shaman specs
- The newly designed Totem of Wrath will now buff spell power by 4%
- Cleanse Spirit will be available to all shaman specs but only remove curse effects
- Cleansing Totem will be removed as part of the changes being made to the dispelling system
- Mana usage will require more attention in Cataclysm than it has in Wrath of the Lich King. This will apply to all healers and not just the restoration shamans.
- Spirit will be the restoration shaman’s mana regeneration stat
Cleanse Spirit will become a baseline spell for all shamans, however, it will only remove curses. Restoration shaman’s will have the option of taking an improved cleanse spirit that will also remove magic effects
Elemental shaman will have a talent that lets all fire totems provide +10% spell power, allowing them to drop searing, magma, or fire elemental totems without losing their spell-damage buff.
- The 4% and 10% buffs will be exclusive with each other and with the warlock’s demonic pact, so you can’t benefit from all of them at once.
- There may be the ability to drop searing totem at range*
*Note:- By this I presume they are considering drastically increasing the range on searing totem to stop us having to move so close for it to be effective.
We want to free up enhancement global cooldowns to make the spec more dynamic to play. We’re considering, for example, increasing the cooldown of lava lash so shaman have time to work other interesting abilities into their rotation.
Shaman Talents and Talent Changes
- Elemental Reach will be simplified so shaman have a more consistent spell range.
- We plan to add Earthquake as a deep Elemental talent for targeted and persistent AoE.
Spirit Link will likely be worked back into deep Restoration in some form. The idea is that you will be able to link targets together so they share damage. When we had previously tried to implement Spirit Link, it was hard to balance and a little confusing. However, we really liked the concept — and so did players — so we are trying to bring it back.
- Elemental will have a deep talent that allows Spirit (which will appear on the gear they share with Restoration shaman) to boost their Hit rating.
- Ancestral Knowledge will boost mana pool size, not Intellect.
- Enhancing Totems will be replaced with Focused Strikes, which will improve the damage of the new spell Primal Strike and Stormstrike.
With the Mastery system, we’re also considering removing a number of talents that grant passive bonuses, such as Mental Quickness, Improved Windfury Totem, Mental Dexterity, Call of Thunder, Tidal Mastery, Purification, Nature’s Blessing, and others, to allow players more freedom to choose more interesting talents.
- Spell damage
- Spell Crit
- Elemental Overload*
Elemental Overload: Your direct-damage spells have a chance to proc a less powerful ‘bonus” version of the spell. This will work much like the current lightning overload talent, but would also apply to lava burst.
- Melee damage
- Melee Haste
- Nature Damage*
*Nature Damage: This will provide a passive bonus to the nature damage dealt by the enhancement shaman.
- Deep Healing*
*Deep Healing: Your direct heals will do more healing when the target’s health is lower. This will scale to damage (e.g. someone at 29% health would receive more healing than someone at 30%) rather than have arbitrary break points.
Shaman Changes Q&A
Q: Will Maelstrom Weapon include lava burst?
- A: That’s the plan currently.
Q: How can elemental overload proc lava burst when lava burst already hits so hard in PvP?
- A: It provides a bonus to elemental overload.
A: Searing totem needs to so more single-target damage than magma. That said, if we’re happy with the ability to occasionally place totems at range there is no reason it couldn’t apply to any totem. Imagine, “After using this spell, the next totem you drop will appear at the feet of your target.”
- A: It will be bundled with another attractive talent, such as elemental precision.
- A: Yes. We just provided some examples.
- A: No, it’s not a channeled spell.
- A: Probably, but we’ll see.
- A: No.
- A: It will scale with the target the same as demonic pact and other buffs that bring the same benefit.
- A: Once you start to get into the dual-wield talents, then enhancement is a dual-wield tree.
- A: This was just a preview and is not a comprehensive list of every change. Much more will be revealed in beta and much will change during beta.
- A: The Cataclysm is a time of great upheaval. Deathwing’s return to Azeroth tore a hole in the fabric of the universe that tragically resulted in the ultimate and irrevocable destruction of all sentry totems. Level designers are contemplating a shrine for the sentry totem near that of Uther the Lightbringer. We know shaman players will greet this news with grief, but as with all class changes we’ll have to get into beta before anything is final.
A: We’re going to change almost every number in Cataclysm to adjust for everything from single ranks of spells to larger health pools to new combat ratings. With much higher health pools, hopefully burst damage will go back to being a tool and not the only way to win matches.
Q: What happens to the lightning overload talent?
Q: Elemental doesn’t want to drop searing totem at range. We want to drop magma totem.
Q: Will elemental have to spend talent points just to get the spirit to hit conversion?
Q: Will unleash weapon work with frostbrand?
Q: Is Healing Rain channelled?
Q: Is earthquake channelled?
Q: Will unleashed weapon consume your enchants?
Q: Does the 10% spell power buff from elemental scale with the shaman or the target’s spell power?
Q: Are you supporting two-handed weapons for enhancement?
Q: You didn’t address enhancement survivability or mobility or X and Y!
Q: You didn’t answer the most important shaman question! What about sentry totem?