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Shamanistic suggestions

Chris Jahosky

Shamans are a fun and engaging class that combine a strong, complex array of totems with various spells used to inflict damage or to heal. As if that wasn't enough, they also are able to wear shields and mail, making them a very durable combat caster and earning them the ire of the other casting classes. If properly specced, they can even venture into melee range and smash faces. By all accounts, they are a powerful class.

But there are some downsides. Shamans have complained for a long time about the vulnerability of their totems in PvP encounters, they've become extremely vocal about their lack of CC, and some would like more options when it comes to casting shocks. They are weaknesses, to be sure. But do they cripple the class? More of a hindrance, in my opinion.

These are some of the most common complaints I've seen lately:

  • Totems need a buff, because they are an easy target in a PvP encounter; suggestions for fixing this range from increasing the health of totems to removing the health entirely and just requiring 2 or 3 direct hits from an enemy.
  • Every class has a CC ability but us, and we have only 2 snares, one of which is a totem and is easily destroyed.
  • Buff our shocks! Take earth shock off global cooldown, increase the duration of frost shock, etc.

It seems unfair that totems should get a buff in PvP -- especially when many classes have to deal with having their own buffs purged or dispelled off. And while it's true that every other class has some form of CC, they're not always useful or usable at all times. Regarding shocks... well, Earth Shock is one of the best interrupts in the game, and definitely the one on the shortest cooldown.

I have other concerns about the class that I think should receive more focus, such as mana regeneration and getting some kind of anti-kite ability. But what do you other shamans out there think?

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