FEEDBACK: Shaman Class Changes

Set of suggested adjustments to make enhance competitive in PvP:

  1. Baseline damage/heal spells restored to 100% strength,
  2. MSW increases damage/healing by 10% and reduces mana cost by 10% per stack,
  3. Nature’s guardian baseline, new talent replacement - earthgrab totem,
  4. Totems get 25% of shaman’s health,
  5. Spectral recovery PvP talent baseline for 10% more move and passive heal,
  6. Root/snare immunity for first 4 sec of spirit walk,
  7. Shamanism and Thundercharge off GCD, Ride the Lightning changed/replaced
  8. WF totem recast/reposition mana free & off GCD like vesper totem,
  9. Astral shift - replaced by sham rage for enhance - 30% DR, 15 sec duration, 1 min CD, useable while stunned, melee attacks generate mana,
  10. Hex - instant cast for 5 MSW stacks (CD, PvP duration adjusted as necessary).
14 Likes

Enhancement from a PvP perspective:
I’m currently a 2800 Enhance in BFA, something that is quite rare so I do have a reasonable understanding of where we stand at decent level PvP gameplay. That understanding of currently being one of the worst melee specs in the game due to a combination of laughably poor defensive capabilities combined with merely moderate sustained damage and limited direct burst damage. A spec that seems to be built to be a Glass Cannon that only has enough damage to be considered a Glass Pistol. While hard to judge with limited 3s in a not so balanced environment, it looks on the surface that we might be in a worse spot than BFA.

Defensively we’re actually in a worse spot than BFA. We’re losing Lucid/Fury of Air healing but gaining Healing Stream. Earth Shield and Nature’s Guardian remain but still are talents that require the sacrifice of their other options and in Earth Shield’s case also requires sacrificing the use of Lightning Shield since shields are back to one at a time. Astral Shift gains a nice 4 seconds to its duration but realistically that isn’t terribly large. We’re losing on demand 2-3 poor offheal spam in emergency situations but gaining a stronger single offheal, though that also requires the stacking of a slow stacking resource that is also a key offensive contributor, the only class other than DKs that have to sacrifice offensive capabilities to use defensive functions. Which leads into the next topic:

Offensively Enhancement feels in a weird state. We don’t have the ramp up from BFA in regards to putting up Flamebrand into Rockbiter into Frostbrand into Fury of Air to THEN be able to start DPS rotations, however starting a fight from nothing in SL feels extremely slow without very lucky Maelstrom stacking. Just like how we’d start fights just using Feral spirits for the Maelstrom, that seems to happen in SL too. When you can effectively stack Maelstrom the rotation feels fun and engaging. Melee into spell coordinated burst feels engaging and if the damage tuning can hit the notes properly then it could be really nice.
The problem lies with Maelstrom generation at range. All Maelstrom generation is from melee hits and so when you’re chasing dual caster teams that can kite and peel effectively, you’re quite literally stuck waddling after them doing nothing other than Purge. In BFA you could use Rockbiter to build your resource so that when you finally made contact you could unleash your melee abilities on them. SS/LL don’t need the resource anymore but the LB combination does and so when you reach your target and you SS/LL once and gain maybe 2 Maelstrom, you have the pleasure of waiting for auto attacks to proc more for the cycle to continue. Fun.

Utility remains useful but also limited. The great unpruning gave us nothing effective. Warriors got amazing things like Shattering Throw and Intervene. We got Windfury Totem. Yay an expensive totem that can proc extra auto attacks that I have to constantly move because it is tied to 30yd range. Thrilling and effective. Hex is still not applied to Maelstrom and so is a hard cast easily dispellable spell by a melee that is almost always considered the kill target. We can’t even effectively use it as an interrupt on teams that can dispel it because we CC ourselves casting and fake casting. We still have to talent our only offensive CD, Ascendance, which used to be baseline back when it was first introduced in MoP. Our totems are still limited to 30yds despite us being the ENHANCING class and we’re the only spec that is punished by this because we’re a melee class with poor mobility that has to chase targets, making it very hard to ahve to backtrack to be in range to support our healer with Grounding/Tremor at 30yds when they’re trying to stay max range for their heals to avoid CCs. We also lost our instant ranged abilities and so supporting your team by being able to kill Psyfiends and Totems is now extremely limited. Purge remains one of the strongest reasons to bring an Enhancement over another melee in 3s, which leads into the next topic:

Mana is a large problem in the extended games that I was able to play in. Purge costs 1k and Healing Surge costs 2k. The spell cost itself is probably ok for these two abilities, but our mana regen is awful. With Maelstrom’d team heals being a primary component of our self heals it is extremely easy to use a couple on yourself or your team, Purge a couple times, and then use your normal abilities which cost mana now and quickly find yourself OOM. We’re punished for using our primary utility tool with the inability to use our already terrible defensive tool. And all of this isn’t even taking into account wanting to potentially use Chain Heals on self/teammates for helping vs cleaves or using Windfury Totem at all in the fight (I kept forgetting since its new and lame). I can only imagine how fast i’d be OOM having to redrop a totem that is easily killed.

So yeah, i’m worried about how viable we’ll be again. Things I would like to see for Enhance to be viable:
-Nature’s Guardian to baseline
This is extremely important for the ability to choose mobility options which in of itself also helps a lot with the Maelstrom generation against ranged, because the shaman can actually have more reliable uptime against ranged.
-Rockbiter to return and deal Nature damage and grant 1 stack of Maelstrom weapon OR have Purge grant 1 stack of Maelstrom weapon on successful dispel (like the tooltip from wowhead’s datamining says it does)
-Unlink the Shock cooldowns
When using Hailstorm it always feels like I can never use Flame Shock because when properly cycling Maelstrom it always feels like not effective to use the CD on Flame Shock, which then also limits the use of Lashing Flames talent
-Change Windfury Totem to apply a timed buff to people in its initial range, not a constant buff for those in it.
This would keep it as a buffing spell but remove the CONSTANT uptime replacement whenever people move.
-Reapply Hex to Maelstrom for instant cast use
Hex is dispellable by so many offensive classes that for the most part this would actually allow it to be used as an interrupt in specific situations and others like a dual melee cleave you don’t have to hard fake two melee to then have the CHANCE to land the spell against a healer that can still just LOS it.
-Allow more than one elemental shield again.
-PvP Talent in a Mortal Strike effect onto Lava Lash
DHs are getting it when they are already powerhouses, so why not finally give Enhancement Shamans the ability to play with casters. It was very fun in BFA S1 to play with the OP casters because both classes had the damage to support it, but without pure damage it just isn’t possible without the utility of a Mortal Strike effect.

More thoughts to come but this is just the core comments from a PvP perspective.

29 Likes

For the Night Fae covenant:

Fae Transfusion seems like it has a fair amount of issues that makes it undesirable. And I’m not talking about a balance perspective.

Fae Transfusion, Chain Harvest, and Vesper Totem all do basically the same thing: aoe damage and heal. Which is fine. But when they all do the same thing, and one of them just feels worse to use that’s an issue.

And Fae Transfusion just feels like the worst to use. Vesper Totem is a drop and forget totem which you can move so you don’t have to worry about targets moving out of the way. Chain harvest is just simply chain lightning/heal combined into one. Simple enough.

But Fae Transfusion is a channel that you have to sit still during, and doesn’t seem to work with spirit walker’s grace for some reason?, and enemies can move out of it. Standing still and channeling is just asking for disaster in near any content because of the possibility of having to get out of the way of mechanics. And that’s something vesper and chain harvest never have to worry about. Having to stop channeling mid cast is a disaster.

And then there’s the variable healing part. Maybe it’s intended to be the strongest pure healing covenant at max targets but for resto shaman in particular, having it heal for different amounts depending on the situation you have to use it seems like a very “this feels bad” situation which the other covenants don’t have.

Finally, while this is more thematic than anything, having a ground effect channel being the covenant ability that hits the fewest targets seems… wrong? Just not what I would expect.

Overall, unless Fae Transfusion gets some quality of life changes such as let you move while channeling it baseline, if in a vacuum you could choose between chain harvest, vesper totem, and Fae Transfusion and they were all equally balanced I do not see many at all taking Fae Transfusion because hard channeling a ground effect spell while you can’t move that has no intrinsic advantage over the others is just going to be frustrating.

As for the variable healing part, Imo, is have fae transfusion actually split damage so it does the same total damage to 1 target as 4 targets. This also could give it a unique niche so it’s not just the 3rd damage+healing fire and forget aoe covenant. Where it could be the single target option.

I’d really, really like to go Night Fae if just because soulshape’s blink is my favorite signature ability. Reminds me of gust of wind but better. But even if Fae Transfusion is balanced on paper I don’t see how I could justify it with how frustrating it will be to use at times.

3 Likes

I like the ability honestly, but I completely agree with the issues.

I want to play Night Fae ideally, but given how strong Kyrian are for shaman at the moment, that’s likely going to be my go to.

However, and I know this ain’t going to happen, but what if they were to change Fae Transfusion to more like an Ascendance ability? It’s somewhat in keeping with the name. You could have it empower your damage and healing abilities, increase your haste, and make all abilities ranged and usable whilst moving. ok ok, that might be a bit too much, but you see where i’m going with this right?

Rather than a channeled ability that has position issues, mechanical issues, and just outright feels bad as a melee, having it BUFF us so that we can continue our normal rotation (i.e., press it and forget) would actually be really good… It would be comparable to Kyrian in that respect, and the better we manage our rotation, the more powerful it becomes (and it would of course scale with gear well).

3 Likes

Oh, I didn’t mention it though I know plenty have, but Necrolord pwave for enhancement just doesn’t work. No amount of tuning will fix it. Idk what needs done but that one I’m worried about.

I’m not that concerned about balance but a covenant just straight up not working is a disaster. And considering how many seem to like pwave for ele (I don’t but others do) but it just not working for enhancement will just feel really bad for anyone who wants to play both dps specs.

1 Like

Hello! We have some updates in this week’s Shadowlands build.

Chain Harvest will now ignore targets that are under crowd control effects that break upon taking damage for the portion of it that deals damage to enemies.

Fae Transfusion has had the number of targets it heals reduced from 8 to 4 to match the number of targets to which the ability deals damage. The damage done by Fae Tranfusion will now be evenly split to, up to 4 targets, and Enhancement Shaman specifically will receive a stack of Maelstrom Weapon for fully channeling the ability.

Primordial Wave has been changed to be an instant cast ability, which should make the ability much easier to use in all situations, and has received a number of bug fixes.

5 Likes

You have got to be joking right? That’s a troll post? Come on, where’s the real change?

Your response to Fae Transfusion being really bad for Enhancement is to nerf it’s healing capability and give us 1 stack of maelstrom? really?

33 Likes

Fantastic to see these changes to covenant abilities and make some QoL changes as well. I see that there is more synergy with the Enhancement spec and not Elemental when it comes to resource management with Maelstrom Weapon stacks while using Chain Harvest or Fae Transfusion. Is there a plan to bring similar synergies to the Elemental spec with Maelstrom generation on Chain Harvest or Fae Transfusion?

13 Likes

As long as Fae Transfusion has a channel it will feel bad to use as enhancement, throwing 1 stack of MSW on the ability doesn’t make it anybetter imo.

Removing the cast time for Pwave also really doesn’t do much for how bad the ability is for enhancement because Lightning Bolt doesn’t deal that much damage even with 5 stacks of MSW.

So basically these changes fix nothing really and both these abilities still feel terrible to use.

28 Likes

Agree! nice idea.

2 Likes

i completely agree, i think anything that is a channeled ability should give something, whether it be a resource or buff an ability like making your next chain lightning instant cast could be interesting

3 Likes

There is still time to change blizzard. Pls fix enh pvp. its sad

26 Likes

Thank you for the updates! The Primordial Wave change in particular looks very interesting.

I have a couple of questions regarding Elemental shaman:

Is there any news on what is happening to the Earth and Sky conduit?

Also, I believe that the loss of Fulmination damage from casting Earth Shock requires a bit of compensation. It is my understanding that the intent with Shadowlands Ele is to have the dps priority revolve around Lava Burst and I am not asking for the focus to shift to Earth Shock. However, Earth Shock damage is simply too low. Can we expect any changes on this front?

4 Likes

Does lightning bolt feel weak even with maelstrom stacks? I mean in the past it felt like it hit harder even on par with stormstrike. Right now just doesn’t feel meaningful damage wise. I know its low gear at the moment but just feels weak comparatively.

6 Likes

I would say it probably depends…
There is a conduit that increases your damage by 4% of maelstrom weapon stack, so if you wait for 10 stacks then your lightning bolt does 40% more damage from that alone, and I think there’s other bonus’ to it.

As far as damage goes, most of my damage comes from melee swings and stormstrike.

As enhancement though, I don’t like having lightning bolt as a source of damage. I’d much prefer maelstrom empowered your stormstrike of windfury instead.

Has that been checked numbers wise? In regards, to the 10 stacks with the conduit. I made a level 60 shaman and saw that conduit and socketed it, when I was able to access the kyrian soulbinds. I did see the extra damage from the stacks. My only question is does that extra stack damage come from your actual stacks or the stacks you consume? We only consume 5 stacks so that’d be 20% on top of the 100% damage.

I haven’t confirmed, but it says something like ‘your next ability is increased by 4% for each stack of maelstrom’.

I assume this means that if I never cast lightning bolt and just stay at 10 stacks permanently then I get a perma 40% dmg bonus to my flame/frost shock and stormstrike, but it actually reduced my damage output, so i’m guessing lightning bolt does hit fairly hard, and my dps is definitely higher letting it get to 10 stacks then using it at 5.

1 Like

Once the beta is back up I’m going to check that with the in game damage numbers and see if there is a difference. If you have to wait for 10 stacks to get the most damage out of lightning bolt, then that is a bad game design. Whats the point of consuming 10 stacks when we’re supposed to consume 5 with maelstrom weapon.

3 Likes

10x Lightning Bolts with no Maelstrom
Max 983 hit, 1893 crit
Min 413 hit, 1893 crit
Average 699 hit, 1893 crit (i only crit once)

With 5 maelstrom stacks
Hit for 2170

With 10 maelstrom stacks
Crit for 4502, 4422
Hit for 2149

So it looks like it’s not based on the number of stacks you have, but rather how many you consume.

Oddly, “focused lightning” gives you a 100% increase to damage once you hit 5 stacks of maelstrom… It’s likely that this is why my hit goes from 600-1000 to ~2100.

Which means that the conduit might not actually be working.

Edit: Hit several more times, and it does the same damage at 5 and 10 maelstrom stacks consistently.

Edit2: Focused lightning is the conduit lol… So I guess it is working.

3 Likes

Normal hit: ~600 damage
Crit normal hit: ~1250 damage
5 stack: ~1250 damage
5 stack crit: ~2500 damage
That’s with no soulbinds or conduits. I can’t finish the first soulbind quest because it keeps phasing on me.