2. Keybind and learn to mouse turn.
Those weren't the only addons I missed, either. Despite its only being Raid Finder and my familiarity with all the Dragon Soul fights, not having the Deadly Boss Mods timers threw me for a loop and caused me to make simple errors like blowing DPS cooldowns right before Morchok's Earthen Vortex. And finally, I missed Recount, because while I knew I was playing sloppily, I had no actual way to gauge how much it was affecting me.
I'm not saying that not using addons will make you an awful player, but it can definitely contribute.
When I was a young restoration shaman who had just hit level 70 for the first time, I was a keyboard turner and a mousepad user. I had a few keybinds, mainly Chain Heal
ranks 1 through 4, and I was bad. My first raid was a PUG Karazhan, where we wiped at least once on every single encounter, including chess. This is not an exaggeration; this was my first raiding experience.
Just as with addons, there will be people who swear that they're able to play just as well as everyone else without keybind anything other than their 1-= buttons and while keyboard turning. I'm sure that could work, particularly in easier content like the RF, but as you get into harder forms of PVE content, this just won't cut it.
The point of keybinding and mouse turning is that it makes your reactions faster. If you suddenly find yourself caught in the middle of Blackhorn's Shockwave
with a flame patch on either side of you and you need to Shamanistic Rage
to survive it, chances are you will die in the time it takes you to mouse over and click it. By binding keybinds to areas that are accessible with your non-mouse hand or using a gaming mouse with multiple bind buttons like the Razer Naga
, your reaction times will become considerably better and you'll survive longer. And, as we'll talk about later, surviving is a really big deal in DPS.
3. Do your research.
I feel like this one goes without saying, and people who are regular readers of Totem Talk already likely do this already, but you absolutely need to do your research to win at World of Warcraft
. I honestly don't expect people to put the same amount of time into researching their class that I do, and I know that everyone has a life outside of WoW
that can prohibit their time spent metagaming. That's totally cool, and as I said, I don't expect people to sim every possible iteration of their gear to maximize their DPS like I do.
But you should know the basics. Going into any raid encounter, you should know what your basic spec should be; for enhancement, it's this
, and for elemental, it's something like this
. You should know that enhancement only wants agility mail gear
, and that hit to 1,741, expertise to 542, and mastery are our three secondary stat priorities. You should know that elemental wants intellect mail gear, the same amount of hit, and then either haste or mastery, depending on your current gear
. (Elemental is somewhat tricky and does generally require some simming to get perfectly right for you.)
You also should know your rotation
and the no-nos that come along with it. Elemental almost never uses Unleash Weapon
, particularly when glyphed with Unleashed Lightning
, as the increase to subsequent Lava Bursts
isn't worth the GCD loss. Enhancement should not be hard casting Lava Burst at all this patch, as casting keeps you from meleeing and makes you miss out on weapon imbue procs and other beneficial things.
I try to keep Totem Talk readers up to date on everything they need to know about their spec, but if you feel anything is missing, you can also check Totem Spot
and Elitist Jerks
. Also, you can always, always, always send me either an email at email@example.com
or tweet me at @Elamqt
if you have a question. (Twitter is hands down the best place to reach me, as I always have my phone with me and tend to check Twitter on bus rides, at the doctor's office, out on dates ... pretty much anywhere.)
4. Stay alive.
There's an age-old WoW
adage that says dead DPS is no DPS, and this really is the rule to live by when DPSing. Even in an age where nearly every raid has at least one battle rez available, and even though you have Reincarnation
, losing your raid buffs and valuable time on target because you stood in fire is a DPS loss. It doesn't matter the numbers you can put out if you're spending every Blackhorn attempt on the floor because you got Charged, and so situational awareness is what you really need to focus on. This is particularly important for Blackhorn, which definitely is the fight most designed to kill tunnel-visioning DPSers this tier, but it's relevant on other fights as well.
Beyond that, know what you can use to stop damage coming at you. Stoneclaw Totem
can be glyphed for both DPS specs, and enhancement has Shamanistic Rage. Also, do remember that you are a hybrid class and as a result, you do actually have healing spells. This is most pertinent for enhancement, who lose only a small amount of damage healing themselves with an instant Greater Healing Wave
, but an elemental shaman who accidently outranges their healer can benefit from a Healing Surge
cast on themselves. Yes, you'll lose a small amount of DPS, but dying will result in a drastic dip that you do not want.
Also, you should always have basic knowledge of the fight you're doing before you do it. Always. The main thing that differentiates good raiders from bad raiders is time and practice, and raiders who have the time to make multiple attempts on encounters per night start to get a feel for what they're supposed to be doing at all times. Knowing what you're supposed to be doing before you see the fight for the first time is an extension of this and will really give you a leg up on the competition for progression. It also doesn't hurt (and is recommended) to run boss timer addons to enhance your situational awareness.
Show your totemic mastery by reading Totem Talk: Enhancement every week. We've got enhancement-specific advice on the latest gear and tier gear set bonuses, and we'll help you dig in and learn to level the enhancement way.