Cataclysm Shaman changes are out, at least the first batch. Enjoy the read, sit back and sip your tea. It’s definitely not final but it’s interesting enough to speculate!
In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we’ll be making lots of changes and additions to class talents and abilities across the board. In this preview, you’ll get an early look at some of the changes in store for the shaman class, including a rundown of some of the new spells, abilities, and talents, and an overview of how the new Mastery system will work with the different talent specs.
New Shaman Spells
Primal Strike (available at level 3): Primal Strike is a new weapon-based attack that every shaman will learn very early in the game. Our goal with this ability is to make leveling as Enhancement rather than as Elemental more viable, since many key Enhancement talents become available at fairly high levels.
Healing Wave (level 4): While the shaman already has an ability called Healing Wave, we’re adding another spell to the class’s direct-healing arsenal and giving it a familiar name. The current Healing Wave will be renamed Greater Healing Wave, and the intent is for the ‘new” Healing Wave to be the shaman’s go-to heal. Lesser Healing Wave and Greater Healing Wave will be used on a more situational basis.
Unleash Weapon (level 81): Unleashes the power of your weapon enchants for additional effects (see below). A dual-wielding Enhancement shaman will activate the effects of both of their weapon enchants. Instant cast. 30-yard range. 15-second cooldown. Undispellable.
Here are a few examples of effects we’re considering for this ability:
- Windfury Weapon – Hurls a spectral version of your weapon at a target, dealing 50% weapon damage and increasing the shaman’s Haste for the next five swings.
- Flametongue Weapon – Deals instant Fire damage and buffs the shaman’s next Fire attack by 20%.
- Earthliving Weapon – Heals the target slightly and buffs the shaman’s next healing spell by 20%.
Healing Rain (level 83): An area-effect heal-over-time (HoT) spell that calls down rain in a selected area, healing all players within it. There is no limit to the number of players who can potentially be affected; however, there are diminishing returns when healing a large number of targets, much like the diminishing returns associated with AoE damage spells. This should give Restoration shaman another healing tool that improves their group-healing and heal-over-time capabilities. 2-second cast time. 30-yard range. 10-second duration. 10-second cooldown.
Spiritwalker’s Grace (level 85): 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. Instant cast. 10-second duration. 2-minute cooldown.
Changes to Abilities and Mechanics
In addition to adding new spells, we’re planning to make changes to some of the other abilities and mechanics you’re familiar with. This list and the summary of talent changes below it are by no means comprehensive, but they should give you a good sense of what we intend for each spec.
- Restoration shaman and other healing classes will need to pay attention to mana more than they’ve had to during Wrath of the Lich King. Spirit will be the Restoration shaman’s primary mana-regeneration stat.
- We’re making changes to which classes and specs are able to dispel magic, diseases, curses, and poison, largely for PvP purposes. Shaman will have Cleanse Spirit as a baseline ability, but it will only remove curses. Restoration shaman will have a talent that will improve Cleanse Spirit so that it also removes magic. Shaman will no longer be able to remove poison.
- Cleansing Totem will be removed from the game, as we want dispels to be a decision for players, not something done mindlessly. To that end, all dispels will cost slightly more mana, and you will waste the spell if you cast it when there is nothing to remove. (Currently, the dispel is only cast when there is something to remove, which encourages spamming ‘just in case.”) We will balance PvE dispelling with this new model in mind.
- Totem of Wrath now will replace Flametongue Totem for all shaman, and dropping this totem will buff the group’s spell power by 4%. 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. We’re also considering letting Elemental drop Searing Totem at range.
- 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.
New 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.
Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses
- 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.
We hope you enjoyed this preview, and we’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on these additions and changes. Please keep in mind that this information represents a work in progress and is subject to change as development on Cataclysm continues.
Primal strike is awesome. Seriously, after two expansions someone finally noticed that leveling as “melee” spec of our class is pretty much autoattack, earthshocking and the odd lighting bolt here and there. Great way to finally make enhancement a more fun spec. It’s only one button to push, but it’s great button. Especially if it’s strike as it will give you something to add to ES cooldown on finishing a mob before it runs to the hills and pulls the rest of his very deadly level 20 naga / bristleback / gnoll / skeleton buddies.
Fire totem changes – we are all getting a totem that scales with gear. Yay go us! Let’s hope it will increase it by % of the target’s spellpower, not % of the casters. Then we are pretty much in the same situation as retadins were at the start of Wrath of the Lich King when we retadins in big raids had to compare our attack power values and take major buffs with highest uptime into consideration when deciding who will do Judgement of Light. Great point for Elemental shamans in providing 10% spell power on any fire totem – I know how much our elemental shammy whines not being able to pop any other totem just to secure group buff. In Cataclysm, he will be!
Enhancement shaman global cooldown cleanup. Don’t you say. That is totally welcome change, especially if you won’t be punished by not sticking countless spells in the created gaps and it will give you more time to actually lead the raid.
*random daily full of retards took place here. Swearing and a little note to Crushridge players will be place at the bottom
Healing related changes
Okay, we get once again the meme about dispel mechanics changes and that healing itself will change in Cataclysm. Healing change is definitely something we are all as healers looking for, dispel mechanics change is no world breaker, especially if they will make magic the only (mainly) used spell mechanic of Cataclysm boss fights.
Healing Wave (the new one) – a healing spell we are supposed to go to? So are they removing Chain Heal or something? Okay, seriously though, spell I go to nowadays is overhasted LHW. I guess with the new healing changes and healthpool shifts, this new Healing Wave will supply the % healing of current LHW, whereas LHW will be just short snipe heal to streamline and top raid in leisure time.
Unleash Weapon – another short time boost cooldown. So far it looks to me like what Riptide with 2T10 does now, well sort of. Once in 15 seconds we are able to waster our global cooldown for heal of unknown amount (my guess is that the direct portion will be equivalent to what Riptide can do on direct heal in T10 content). Fancy stuff that will most likely be worked into our rotations in order to make it more interesting!
Healing Rain – Ahem. Short cooldown for rather awesome spell. Wonder where the catch is. Presuming it will cost not load, but truckload of mana. Something like your mana bar plus all your mana you took into the fight on the cart you drag behind you. Or it will heal for some ridiculously amount. Or both. But sure, tranquility looks cool enough to pop such spell just for sheer fun.
Spiritwalker’s Grace – Oh my god yes! Yes yes yes! We got a mobility healing. Cooldown only, a longer cooldown only spell, but definitely a huuuuge improvement. I’d kill for having that on Firefighter progress when last phase just got wildly out of hands. This is something I am looking forward to really really much and I think we will soon get spoiled by this spell to the point when we will demand it to move out of cooldown, out of global cooldown and to cost no mana. You katanow, a reasonable demands.
Spirit Link – the very old timer and classic shaman healing spell is having a come back. Not sure what form and how useful it will be in the end, but it’s definitely something that brings the “shaman” back to shamaning. Or something. I gotta admit I never played with Spirit Link, Rahana is quite fresh and new Shaman when it comes to that, but I’ve heard the tales. I would love to see it and try it out.
Ancestral Knowledge – not increasing Intellect but mana pool size is quite logical and the only possible change that could come with the rework of stats for Cataclysm. So it’s no big surprise. Or is it? Is it? No, it isn’t. Muhai.
So, the three masteries were revealed and we can look at those:
- Deep Healing
Healing: A passive increase of healing. This will pretty much be the base mastery of all healing classes and specs in my opinion, nothing to see here, move along.
Meditation: Hm. Strange name. I guess it will have something to do with mana returns or interrupt prevention, what do you think?
Deep Healing: Our direct healing will do more healing to targets low on health, which is kinda nice. Will make us for great tank healers pulling off saves when targets are on low health. As well, imagine the outburst of Chain Heal on low health targets. For example, you know you’d love this on Stinky. However, it would have to be imba boosting to healing as final tier of masteries.
Well kids, that’s it at first glance. Wonder how many of these things will get a total revamp for Cataclysm, what will get boosted and nerfed and what will end up. So, how do you like these changes? Excited? Bored? Pissed off?
Random dungeon shout outs!
Seriously, I don’t know what is up with EU-Crushridge realm and I am sorry to any people who are actualy normal and play there, but every single moron I met in PUG on my Deathknight came from Crushridge. Tanks dropping group mid first pull with “lolnoob”, healers absolutely not capable of anything, one or two of the fail hunters, all from there. And well, fuck the fact they were failing their play. But they were acting like absolute and total jackasses. Seriously, I am scared anytime I see a Crushridger in my group now. Once again sorry to those who play there and know what they are doing, or are at least polite and intelligent beings.
Second shout out goes to Löládin from Dunemaul who tanked Old Kingdom for me. It was the very first tank that cleared full instance, not even thinking about skipping anything. So kudos, it’s rare thing to see in PUG!