FEEDBACK: Shaman Class Changes

I really hope Blizzard doesn’t leave Elemental out of the Totem party. With the return of Windfury Totem for Enhancement and Mana Tide Totem for Resto, Elemental is really feeling left out.

I’d love to see the return of Totem of Wrath (giving either a small amount of spell power to party or spell haste to party) or even the return of Stormlash Totem from Mists of Pandaria as a raid cooldown.

Hopefully a change is made soon, I don’t want to see Elemental left out of the returning Totem fun.

I’m also noticing a lack of general good feeling regarding Fulmination. It feels particularly weak compared to the rest of the kit, maybe that’s a tuning issue, but it doesn’t feel like the same epic feeling from Lightning Shield Fulmination when it stacked up to 20. On that note, Elemental Blast consuming Fulmination feels awkward considering it doesn’t replace Earth Shock nor is it instant cast to compete with Earth Shock.

4 Likes

Wrath of Air totem baseline for Ele/Resto? Improves spell damage?

3 Likes

Wanted to also note some of the current issues that Restoration Shaman has in all forms of end-game content in BfA (Raids, Mythic Plus, and PvP) and see if any of the changes coming in Shadowlands have fixed these issues.

Raiding

I touched on this above so I’ll make this short and sweet. TLDR: Resto has too many stacked up AoE tools (long list of them above) and no real way to deal with heavy damage when groups of players are forced to spread out. In raiding scenarios this doesn’t happen too often because you have 20-30 players in a group, however on fights like Fetid Devourer, Il’gynoth, or Restless Cabal there can be serious downsides to bringing a restoration shaman over a different healer. Having a niche is great, but not being the absolute best in that niche or having serious drawbacks when fights dont fill your niche really hurts.
Another side note (also stated above) we have really weak passive damage, and we’re losing Azerite Traits like Igneous Potential that help us do competitive damage to some other healers like disc priest and holy pally.

Shadowlands tools being added to fix these issues:

  • Searing Totem - if this is supposed to bridge the damage gap of other healers, then that is not only extremely boring (press it on CD, dont actually do any damage yourself) but also a ton of tuning would need to be done

  • Mana Tide Totem? This doesn’t solve our issues, but hey at least it’s a reason to think about bringing a Shaman

The covenant abilities are all clumped up AoE healing (and damage), which we certainly dont need more of. Tidal Waves have been nerfed, and even Flame Shock was nerfed to the Elemental version, which lasts for a shorter duration (therefore requiring even more mana to do some passive damage).

Mythic Plus

We’re certainly not the best dungeon healer in the game, but we do bring a lot of great tools to groups, and currently in BfA we have essences like Vitality Conduit and Azerite Traits like Igneous Potential to help shore up some of our weaknesses. In Shadowlands these will both be gone, leaving us to again struggle with heavy single-target healing (like on tanks) whilst having no external cooldown, as well as providing very little damage (especially in AoE).

Shadowlands tools being added to fix these issues:

  • Earth Shield Baseline - this will help tank healing a little bit but it certainly wont make up for the loss of Vitality Conduit

  • Frost Shock?? I’m grasping at straws at this point, you already have earthbind/earthgrab

The covenant abilities could help with AoE damage a bit, but the other classes (like holy pally and disc priest) are even getting additional damage abilities added to their kit - and they get covenant abilities too. Searing Totem will not fix this issue either, unless it is tuned to do absurd amounts of passive damage, which is not healthy for the spec either.

PvP

I am by no means a great PvP player, nor do I have high-level experience in Arena (2k-2200) but there are a few common issues I’ve seen with the spec that other higher rated players have noted as well.

  • Very weak single target healing against heavy damage

  • Heavy reliance on defensive Azerite Traits like Pack Spirit to keep yourself alive

  • No external cooldown (like pain suppression, iron bark, etc) - Spirit Link Totem sort of counts, but other external CD’s reduce damage, while Spirit Link only gives you the 10% DR if you’re inside of the totem when it is placed, not if you run into the totem

Shadowlands tools being added to fix these issues:

  • Earth Shield baseline (and Water/Lightning Shields) - it was a staple talent for pvp, this pretty much gives them another talent choice

  • Frost Shock Baseline

Covenant abilities may have some impact, but probably not enough to negate the loss of Pack Spirit.

11 Likes

Windfury Totem range is entirely too small.

3 Likes

Just a note on Resto Shaman.

Earth Shield feels weak as its basically replacing Vitality Conduit as a Tank heal. Having a instant CD as an “Oh Sh*T” button just for the tank feels huge. Losing out on Vitality Conduit is a huge loss to M+ Resto shaman healing… so with that in mind…

My suggestion… Bake the upfront heal (health realignment) that Vitality Conduit gives into Earth shield. Cut the number of charges on the Shield if necessary to balance it out.

Surge of Earth: Increase the number of charges back to current + what it currently does.

Thematically it already is similar to Spirit Link Totem.

TLDR:: Vitality Conduit is too huge to lose out on for M+. Buff Earth shield or basically give Vitality Conduit reflavored as earth shield.

6 Likes

In an upcoming build of Shadowlands, several changes have been made for both of the DPS Shaman specializations.

One quick note before discussing the specific changes to each spec, Searing Totem is being removed as a baseline button to all Shaman. Searing Totem was brought back in Shadowlands with the intention of Totems being a cool and iconic part of the Shaman class, but without significant redesign to the button to give it mechanical interaction and feeling impactful to press, it wound up feeling like just another cooldown you had to manage that didn’t have any excitement behind it.

Elemental Shaman:

  • Fulmination has been changed to be a guaranteed proc from Lightning Bolt and Lightning Bolt Overload.
  • Chain Lightning has been decoupled from Fulmination entirely, but still grants Seismic Thunder stacks.
  • Earthquake’s base damage has been reduced significantly, but Seismic Thunder now also increases the damage of Earthquake for each stack of Seismic Thunder consumed when cast.
  • Fire Elemental’s previous interaction with bonus Fulmination proc chance has been redesigned. While Fire Elemental is active, the period of Flame Shock is reduced, which increases the DPS of any active Flame Shock debuff and also increases the chance of gaining the Lava Surge effect. Additionally while Fire Elemental is active, any newly cast Flame Shock will have its Duration increased by 100%.
  • Lightning Shield will now grant the Shaman a charge of Fulmination when it deals damage to an enemy.
  • Echo of the Elements no longer grants a second charge of Healing Stream Totem for Elemental Shaman. This is more of a bug fix, but noting here as it is a moderate change to available utility of the Echo of the Elements talent. This talent is unchanged for Restoration.

The changes above should make Elemental Shaman feel quite a bit more control over what will happen as the result of pressing their abilities.

Enhancement Shaman Core Ability Changes:

  • Rockbiter has been removed from the spec.
    ** This is a big change we’re trying out. Rockbiter in Shadowlands basically only serves as a GCD filler. With the removal of Maelstrom, and Flame Shock and Frost Shock becoming class-wide abilities that are also on a short cooldown to fill empty spots, there was a lot of competition in the ~6 sec cooldown space of available buttons. Without Maelstrom, Rockbiter didn’t have any strong interaction with the rest of the Enhancement toolkit, and shock spells are much more iconic to Shaman. This is an experimental change, please try things out in combination with the changes below and let us know how things feel.
  • Lava Lash is now learned at level 11, down from level 22. Base cooldown increased to 18 sec (was 12 sec)
  • Lava Lash now gets upgraded at level 22 to have its cooldown reduced to 12 sec (was 18 sec)
  • Stormstrike’s cooldown has been reduced to 7.5 sec (was 9 sec)
  • Maximum Maelstrom Weapon stacks have been increased from 5 to 10.
  • Each stack of Maelstrom Weapon now grants increased damage and/or healing to the abilities Maelstrom Weapon effects in addition to the cast time reduction.
  • Abilities that are altered by Maelstrom Weapon have had their baseline damage or healing values reduced.
  • Stormbringer no longer causes your next Stormstrike to not incur a cooldown.
  • Feral Spirits now grants one stack of Maelstrom Weapon immediately when pressed, and an additional 5 stacks over the duration of Feral Spirits.
  • Each target that you hit with Chain Lightning now both increases the damage of, and reduces the cooldown of your next Crash Lightning.
  • Windfury Totem radius increased from 12 to 30 yards.
  • Windfury Weapon and Flametongue Weapon no longer require you to click the button, then click a weapon on your character sheet. They automatically apply their effects to an appropriate equipped weapon.
  • Lightning Shield now has a 50% chance to grant you a stack of Maelstrom Weapon when it deals damage to an enemy.
  • Flame Shock and Frost Shock have their cooldowns shortened with your current Haste.

Enhancement Shaman Talent Changes:

  • Boulderfist (talent) has been redesigned and renamed to Lashing Flames (Passive). Lava Lash now increases the damage of your Flame Shock on the target by 100% for 12 sec.
  • Landslide (talent) has been redesigned and renamed to Stormfury (Passive). Each time Windfury Weapon activates, the cooldown of Stormstrike is reduced by 1 sec.
  • Hailstorm (talent) renamed to Cycle of the Elements.
  • Searing Assault (talent) redesigned and renamed to Hailstorm (Passive). Each Stack of Maelstrom Weapon consumed increases the damage of your next Frost Shock by 50%, and causes your next Frost Shock to hit 1 additional target per stack of Maelstrom Weapon consumed. Maximum 5 stacks.
  • Overcharge (talent) redesigned and renamed to Fire Nova. 15 sec cooldown. Cause all of your Flame Shocks to erupt in flames, dealing Fire Damage to up to 6 targets near your Flame Shock Targets.

The above changes to Enhancement Shaman are a lot to take in, but we feel that the combined list of changes will make your abilities feel like they have a purpose and interact with your toolkit in meaningful ways instead of just dealing damage.

48 Likes

PLEASE for the love of god. Can Elemental get a Totem return similar to Windfury and Mana Tide. It’s depressing to see Elemental getting the same treatment that it got all of BC - Warlords, basically feeling like a runner up/after-thought to the other Shaman Specs.

10 Likes

Mana Tide is nothing like windfury, if it was mana spring then sure, but mana tide is a long cooldown, windfury is a set and forget.

10 Likes

It doesn’t matter, the point is Elemental isn’t getting a unique totem added to the spec unlike the other specs. Mana Tide is a HUGE cooldown for healers regardless of it being a cooldown it’s still being added back to Resto.

Elemental, as I’ve said several times in this thread, have many options to return to them. They can give Elemental Totem of Wrath and let it function like Windfury or they can return Stormlash Totem as a cooldown and let it function like Mana Tide. The bottom line is Elemental is being treated as an after thought and it’s extremely frustrating as a Shaman veteran.

1 Like

Any chance that a pass on how squishy Enhancement feels compared to other melee can happen?

I’m not 100% why it feels like that, but Enh has felt really squishy for some time now.

47 Likes

We can debate on the power of mana tide, but sure adding something back for ele could be cool, but I think there’s bigger issues with how the class and the three specs actually PLAY before tools are added.

4 Likes

Tools make classes function better, fixing problems then throwing in new tools just cause larger problems. You add the tools first then fix the problems so that it’s a fluid experience rather than a Class feeling ‘fixed’ then it getting broken again a week later.

1 Like

Adding a cooldown or set and forget totem doesn’t improve how a class actually plays moment to moment.

12 Likes

Adding a cooldown and/or a functional tool to the class increases the classes usability. This was the case many times in BC-Mists where DPS Shamans were brought for their utility not for their damage. The core behind Elemental is fine as it is, they took one of the best iterations of Elemental and added it back and it feels extremely fluid and fun as a spec overall. Tuning is the last thing done and should always be the last thing done.

1 Like

Usability isn’t fluidity.

5 Likes

The spec PLAYS fluidly right now. It was semi-clunky(but still fluid) with the Lightning Bolt Fulmination “chance” that was the only issue with the spec, it played fluidly even without that, it’ll play more fluidly with the change. Saying the spec isn’t fluid is just idiotic at this point, because it’s arguably one of the most fleshed out specs currently in Alpha.

3 Likes

I’m glad - this spell did feel clunky and didn’t really have a use for any of the specs. That being said, Resto shaman lost its only damage ability that was added in Shadowlands. Our Flame Shock has been nerfed (and still has a high mana cost) and we don’t have any way of adding damage through things like Azerite Traits or Essences which helped shore up the HUGE gap between the healers that could output lots of damage and those who couldn’t.

I said this in my post above, but Resto shaman still has a ton of talent issues.

  • Torrent needs a large buff
  • Surge of Earth will never be able to compete with either Deluge or Echo in terms of numbers or playability (echo feels very good for the spec)
  • Downpour needs a healing buff or mana cost nerf (or both)
  • Flash Flood needs to be usable with Healing Surge instead of completely wasting its effect because you’re instead waiting on the GCD

Not to mention all of the other issues the spec has (outlined in my above post). I’m glad Elemental and Enhance got some changes, really hope we see some for Restoration as well, or we’re going to be playing the exact same talents we used for literally all of Battle for Azeroth.

12 Likes

Stormbringer no longer causes your next Stormstrike to not incur a cooldown.

Mehhhh. Not sure how I feel about this. It’s basically our main DPS ability, and even if we spam it, the extra procs give us extra GCDs/damage,etc… and let’s be real, we’re not even close to other DPS anyway for the most part. So I don’t really see why it needs to be taken out. Anticipating some extra awkward waiting if we’re losing more procs.

20 Likes

Bring back searing totem, it actually had use for dead globals while moving for all specs. Remove Primal Strike, it is beyond useless. Shield of the Righteous wasn’t / isn’t being removed from ret / holy paladins even though they don’t use a shield, but Searing Totem actually had value (albeit low value, but even so).

9 Likes

This makes me very, very sad. Having Searing Totem again was one of the major unprunings that I was looking forward to.

If you can’t figure out how to tune it well on its own, then at least bake it into Totem Mastery. That way people who like totems can have their Searing Totem and people who don’t can avoid them entirely.

Unless you’re Enhancement, then you’re stuck dropping Windfury every 2 minutes. I’m honestly confused why Windfury is considered OK but Searing Totem is not, when they both fall under the category of “maintenance buff.”

15 Likes