Home > Cataclysm Talent Trees > New Beta Build Brings Shaman Changes

New Beta Build Brings Shaman Changes

(Image courtesy of MMO Champion.)

A new beta build went live over night and brought many talent changes to all classes. For the shaman, these are primarily “reshuffling” type changes. The new shaman talent calculator can be found here.

The primary changes that we’re looking at are as follows:-

The first two changes make sense. Elemental Devastation was an enhancement talent purely forcing those players to dip into the elemental tree. Ancestral Knowledge was the same concept for us. The removal of Ancestral Swiftness is a loss for us and I doubt that I’m alone in being sorely disappointed that Blizzard chose to cut this talent. Moving Improved Shields to tier one of the enhancement tree keeps it within reach of elemental shaman dipping into the tree (moving Ancestral Knowledge would have made it otherwise impossible for us to reach this talent.)

As anyone who read my last post regarding potential talent builds, I had been keen on taking Ancestral Swiftness. This brings about the question, where will the remaining points go?

Personally, I will probably be looking at a build resembling this. The obvious core talents in elemental remain the same. You could easily switch between points in Improved Fire Nova and Reverberation.

This build dips into restoration and takes Ancestral Resolve which in addition to Elemental Warding will increase our survivability.

It leaves five points left over and there are some interesting choices to be made here. We can take both Improved Fire Nova and Reverberation where needed. We can take Improved Shields if we want the additional mana regeneration from water shield. We could even look at taking Spark of Life. Slightly reminiscent of a warlock’s Demon Armor could offer an additional 5% healing received and again, increases our survivability a great deal. This build also doesn’t account for Elemental Reach. I’m still hoping on news regarding new mechanics for our fire DPS totems before committing to this talent. We’re currently so inhibited by the range on our offensive fire totems that to gain additional range on our spells is a situational gain. Many elemental shaman will position themselves closer to the boss than most ranged casters to ensure their searing totem has range. Until those totems either gain more range or have another mechanic added to allow us to place them at the feet of a boss, added range on our main offensive spells isn’t a huge gain.

In conclusion, we’ve lost Ancestral Swiftness. If the shaman round table podcast was anything to go by, many elemental players were really excited about this talent if ghost wolf remained usable indoors. However, we do still have some interesting choices remaining. Some of our talents have been shuffled around to a more logical position.

  1. July 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Shuuwiki posted an interesting comment on the topic of totem mechanics over here, it’s the first comment. That’s a piece of optimistic speculation that I hope comes true, as it would go a long way to fixing totem AI

  2. July 21, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I’ll still be picking up Elemental Reach, but part of that is mainly for pvp; that extra bit of range is invaluable, especially against hunters and other casters (who will have 35+ yard range on their abilities). I will agree, though, that there are few things more irritating than a brain dead Searing Totem that sits there and doesn’t attack anything due to being 1-2 yards out of range.

    Regarding Ancestral Swiftness, I’m thinking the insta-cast Ghost Wolf portion of the talent will return, either being baseline or via a glyph (maybe as one of the new “medium” major glyphs). For the point investment involved, that talent was extremely powerful.

  3. July 21, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    I’m glad you’re mostly positive about the changes. I got so hung up about ghost wolf I didn’t pay attention to some of the good changes to the flow of the trees.

  4. Vingilote
    July 21, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    I think one of the most important talents were missing still is a cast time reduction on our spells. Right now, we still have a 2.5s cast lightning bolt and a 2s lava burst.

    Unless these changes are present simply to keep us stacking haste and challenge us to try and find a good spell weaving for lava burst…

    • July 21, 2010 at 8:39 pm

      That’s a very fair point and one that I had completely failed to consider. If the talent trees were to go live in their current state, everything would feel very weird with the lack of cast time reduction.

      I’d totally over looked that and it’s a very good point.

      • Vingilote
        July 21, 2010 at 9:02 pm

        So there are several notable changes I think they need to make to the elemental tree.

        1. Too many mana talents. Ancesteral knowledge, unrelenting storm, convection… thats 8 points dealing with mana conception, pool or regeneration, on top of our specialization spell for thunderstorm. I know we shouldn’t worry about mana, but this is dumb.

        2. Cast reduction talent, the balance druid has one in tier one, why don’t we have it ANYWHERE in our tree?

        3. Shamanism should be baked into our specialization. Its a boring talent in an already bloated tree.

        The speed talent was not removed, its still in enhancement.

        Improved Shields is wasted on us. Again, more talents for mana regen, which doesn’t even really apply to us. Its fine for resto, they need it for their regen, but we do not. Move elemental devastation down in the enhancement tree a tier and move ancestral knowledge back to there, for the casters.

  5. July 22, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Well, I think the point is that we can chose WHICH regen talent we want. We don’t have to take all of them, as there are other options involving survivability, interrupting, or aoe power.

  6. July 22, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Regarding casting times, I’m fairly certain Blizzard has mentioned that haste will firmly remain a priority stat for casters. I personally like having to stack it and it feels like someone has hit the fast-forward button when heroism/bl goes off.

    In the past, including other games (yes, they exist), I’ve always gone for mobile classes – instant casts basically. Shaman has a different playstyle, requires more planning, better positioning – I like that. I’d like the trade off to be that our spells hit harder relative to cast times, even when stacking haste, compared to instant cast classes.

    • Vingilote
      July 23, 2010 at 9:25 pm

      Shaman actually have quite a few instants now that Unleash Elemental Weapon exists, we have that, flame shock, frost shock and thunderstorm as damage spells, then water shield.

      Blizzard has stated they created Spirit Walker’s Grace with elemental shaman in mind, so that was rather nice of them. Its on a 2m cooldown thus far, but still, great spell for high mobile phases and pvp.

  7. July 26, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    It’s worth noting that Eye of the Storm is now a a primary skill like Elemental Fury and and Thunderstorm.

    In addition to it’s push back reduction as seen on live, it also has a cast time reduction component.

    It’s reading as:-

    Reduces the cast time of your Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, and Lava Burst spells by 0.5 sec, and the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting those spells by 70%.

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