3.0.8 Elemental Shaman changes – First impression

21 01 2009

 

Mah Lazors, let me show them to you. Apologies, Space Chikken.

Mah Lazors, let me show them to you. Apologies, Space Chikken.

After a long wait, 3.0.8 is finally upon us, and if you happen to be an Elemental spec – things are looking great! While a lot of classes and specs were tweaked (some for the better, some worse), Elemental is one spec that very definitely saw an increase. Added today (spec relevant, among the notes):

  • Elemental Oath: In addition to existing effects, now increases spell damage done by the Shaman by 5/10% while Elemental Focus Clearcasting is active.
  • Elemental Mastery: Redesigned. Now increases the Shaman’s critical strike chance by 20% for 30 seconds. Cooldown remains at 3 minutes.
  • Elemental Shields: This talent has been removed. It has now been merged with Elemental Warding.
  • Elemental Warding: Now reduces all damage taken by 2/4/6%. Changed from only reducing Nature, Fire and Frost by 4/7/10%.
  • New Talent: Shamanism-Your Lightning Bolt spell gains an additional 2/4/6/8/10% and your Lava Burst gains an additional 4/8/12/16/20% of your bonus damage effects.
  • Storm, Earth and Fire: This talent has been moved up in the tree, and it’s talent points have been reduced to 3 down from 5. Wind Shock is also included in the range increase (with Earth Shock). The damage bonus to Flame Shock has been increased, up from 10/20/30/40/50 to 20/40/60.
  • Unrelenting Storm: point cost reduced to 3, down from 5. Now does 4/8/12%
  • Fixed a bug where Thunderstorm (Elemental) was knocking back 15 yards, instead of 20. It should now roughly knockback the correct length of 20 yards.
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  So, what does it all mean? In a nutshell, you’ll be hitting a lot harder. I’ve been Raiding as an Elemental spec a lot lately, as group makeups have included distinct Healers and my flexibility to the spec suits the 10-man composition better for most fights. Still, despite some pretty decent gear, I’ve been very disappointed with my DPS numbers – frequently last (or next to it) among non-Healers for the whole event. I know that my rotations are good, and that I’m executing the fights correctly, and I’ve been responsible about food buffs and pots – but the numbers just haven’t been there like I want. I’m typically running anywhere between 1650-1800 DPS for the overall Raid lately. It’s a letdown.

  So now, the new talents and buffs to existing ones have been deployed. Where is this going to impact you the most? Elemental Oath, Elemental Mastery and Shamanism.

  Shamanism is the easiest one to quantify, as you’ll be able to notice the higher damage numbers pretty readily. I used to crit my Lava Bursts for anywhere between about 5900-7200 without any Raid buffs; Today, I was noticing that they were going for anywhere between about 6500-8200 in a limited sample size. Lightning Bolt was nominally less noticeable, except for the critical strikes which looked to be greatly improved and regularly landed in excess of 5400 points.

  Elemental Mastery is significantly more useful in its current form. the old way was a guaranteed critical strike every 3 minutes at no mana cost. I’d argue that this represents minimal value to most Elemental Shammies, because a) we crit a lot anyhow, so what’s one more every 3 minutes, and b) free mana means almost nothing given the ridiculous mana regeneration Elementals are already seeing. Now, it’s a usable buff that gives a pretty significant +crit for a sizable duration. Couple that with, say, Bloodlust and watch your numbers go bananas for short fights.

  The critical strike bonus also has some synergy with the change to Elemental Oath. Basically, as long as you can crit 1 in 3 on average, it’s another 10% to your damage. It’s more than that, though as Elemental Fury is doubling your critical strike damage. Thus, between 10% here and 10 (or 20)% from Shamanism, you’ll see some crushing shots.

  I ran a PuG VoA-25 today in the short time that I had to play, and it was interesting to test it out. I suppose it’s a fairly good measuring stick for a fight, as there are no crazy Thaddius / Loatheb multipliers in play, and the fight requires a little bit of movement, but not too much. Anyways, I ran it with no potion or food buff (in part because it’s so fast and kind of a waste, and in part because I forgot). Additionally, I’d submit that the closer you get to the weekly maintenance update, the stronger your VoA runs as most people are getting it out of the way early and the later ones are watered down.

  *so*

  We wind up with a quick, clean and easy one-shot. Damage meters posted after the fight – and I’m 9th out of 18 DPS, clocking in at 2229 for the fight. For frame of reference, #8 on the list was a Hunter from my guild who ran Naxx with me last week. he beat me by about 20 DPS on Archevon, but in Naxx he slaughtered me by about 400-500 DPS – and his VoA numbers were pretty consistent with his Naxx WWS numbers.

  I know it’s a small sample size. I know one fight is just a small window into what may or may not happen over the course of an entire Raid… but suffice to say, I’m pretty damn excited to test drive Naxx with these new toys. Now, I need to get a Totem of Hex…

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