Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shaman 3.0 Impressions

Holy Space Goats, Batman!

3.0 Shamans are amazing. Dare I say, as Enhancement, I may be a little TOO powerful.

Haddar is level 64, specced full Enhancement, geared in Outland greens, questing in Terokkar. Typical attack rotation is Stormstrike -> Earth Shock -> Lava Lash -> Earth Shock/Lightning Bolt. If anything's alive after that, it's a miracle. Most fights don't even make it that far.

Enhancement Shamans can be summed up in one word: Hybrid. I know, "Aren't all Shamans, Paladins and Droods hybrids?"


Droods as a class are hybrids. They can tank, melee DPS, range DPS and heal. Same with Paladins minus the range and Shamans minus the tanking. Now, that's a CLASS hybrid. I'm looking at it as a GAMEPLAY hybrid. Droods, Paladins, and Ele/Resto Shamans perform one kind of combat. Boomkins and Elemental Shamans aren't going in to melee along with their casting. Healers just heal. Tankadins and Retadins deal melee and holy damage, sure. But most of that is procs, very little actual spellcasting. Enhancement Shamans are the only build in the game that can effectively melee and cast offensive spells. And, damn, it's fun.

The addition of Lava Lash pushes Shamans to use Flametongue on their offhand weapons. This, of course, gives a nice bonus to Spellpower for those Shocks. Also, Flametongue now deals nice damage of its own. Testing at level 70 has shown that dual-Windfury is still the top-DPS until Wrath, I don't care. First of all, I cry every time my offhand steals my Windfury proc. More importantly, Flametongue is just more FUN.

Mana is a non-issue. With the change to Shamanistic Focus, Shamans are much more consistent with their mana usage, since it's no longer crit-based. Water Shield is now trainable at level 20, which is a big win, especially with the glyph. Of course, Shamanistic Rage is still there when you need it.

Ah, but Mana is not the only thing we can regen now! Feral Spirit, in addition to being full of awesome and tons of fun, will regen your health with each attack. Get a couple adds? Summon these babies and it's not a problem.

The one thing that puzzles me about Enhancement is Maelstrom weapon. Don't get me wrong, it's a fun talent. I love launching instant Lightning Bolts. I have to wonder, though, is it a little TOO powerful? This thing is active pretty much all the time. Bliz has said that they balanced it for 2-handed weapons, and they agree it procs a little too often, but they have also said that Shamans are having fun with it, so they're going to leave it as is for now. Now, I'm sure that's dev-speak for "expect a nerf in the future." One must wonder, though: Why would they balance a deep Enhancement talent for 2-handed weapons? Anybody with this talent will be dual-wielding. I'll be keeping a close eye on this talent in the future.

All in all, Shaman was the most fun I've had with any class pre-3.0, and now it's even MORE fun. Anyone who hasn't rolled one yet should give it a try. That pre-40 dead zone is a little more manageable now, it would seem.



About Me

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A part-time player trying to exist in a full-time world. Guild Master of Denarian on the Azjol-Nerub server.


Image courtesy of Nexodyne

Current Goals

  • Haddar - Level 80
  • Tarmr - HERBS!
  • Samodean - Wyrmrest Accord Exalted
  • Samodean - Finish Northrend Quests


  • Watching - Primeval
  • Playing - Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (DS)
  • Watching - Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • Playing - The Last Remnant (360)
  • Playing - Persona 4 (PS2)


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