Totem Talk is the column for shamans. Matthew Rossi has spent a lot of time healing inside Scarlet Monastery this week, which he didn't think he'd ever be able to say again. He got a nice couple of rings from the Horseman. Sorry that this intro is kind of dull, if it makes it any more exciting for you keep in mind that he's typing while a cat chews on his toes. Okay, that's not really any more exciting.
This week Totem Talk jumps from topic to topic like some kind of deranged frog that somehow manages to jump onto something intangible. No, I don't know how the frog does it. Maybe he's from Zul'Aman or something.
First up is news from the PTR, where I have been playing with changes to healing gear, with an elemental spec, and with good ol' enhancement and the new changes. So far, on my resto-geared shaman, the bonus to spell damage and the ability to put all of my points in resto and still use a 2h weapon has made grinding interesting, but I think that change is more aimed at someone who wants to use spells and shocks more than I do. I generally have a full enhancement set of gear that I switch to when I'm grinding or soloing and my playstyle hasn't changed dramatically just because I don't need any points in enhance to use a 2 hander, it just means I can grab even more resto talents if I want to or slap some points into elemental instead.
Since I lack a really dedicated elemental set of gear, my testing on the PTR is not conclusive, but people I've discussed it with there tell me that they are seeing a slight DPS decrease in the short term. The one ZA run I got in on my shaman also had an elemental and enhancement shaman on it, and the elemental shaman told me he wasn't entirely happy with where his DPS was. We all noticed good mana efficiency, though. The new version of Water Shield is incredibly nice. Instant cast, no mana cost to cast it, and if you don't get hit while you have it on you get back 600 mana (by the tooltip - I think it might be affected by gear, because I seemed to get close to a thousand mana back from it) so you can basically guarantee a 600 mana return every minute just by keeping water shield up. No matter what your spec, water shield just got a lot more attractive, as it's basically 50 mp5 free.