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Shamans in Beta build 8885

Matthew Rossi

Well, since I think we're all pretty aware at this point what a spoiler is, and how reading this post is going to create some for you, I'm not going to try and obfuscate too much in this header paragraph. There are good things, bad things, and still quite a few buggy things held over from the previous build in build 8885. For instance, weapon imbues like Windfury Weapon can be applied to weapons from Northrend again! That's good.

Ancestral Spirit
, the shaman's res spell, can no longer be cast on dead targets. That's bad. (And it's a bug, based on the comments I did not make this clear. My apologies if I scared anyone.) Purification works (good) but Healing Way doesn't (bad). And none of this even covers the changes, just the bugs that have and haven't been addressed. Also, I'm pretty sure we didn't get any Frogurt but that's just as well, as it might well have been cursed.

Well, let's go on to the choice of toppings... er, I mean talents and skill changes. You can scroll down here for some patch note goodness, and I'll be discussing the changes after the jump.

The jump does not contain monosodium glutamate.

First up, totem ranges are changed to the new, wider range, except where (you guessed it) they don't seem to be working. New skills include Wind Shock (that doesn't seem to be the correct tooltip) which lowers your threat on the target that it is cast upon as well as acting as a spell interrupt along the lines of Earth Shock, which seems like it might be intended as the low mana solution to downranked ES casts being gone.

The days of stacking shamans to chain cast Bloodlust or Heroism are gone. A new debuff (variously called Sated or Exhausted for Horde or Alliance, respectively) will now prevent the haste effect of either ability for five minutes after it's cast. The shaman won't be able to cast it, and if another shaman tries to cast it on folks who have the debuff, they won't get the effects. On the plus side, there's a new rank of Water Shield available at level 75.

Totem of Wrath has been changed. The tooltip now indicates that the totem increases the damage doesn by 100% by all spells and effects cast by party and raid members while also increasing the critical strike chance of spells and effects used on enemies within 40 yards of the totem by 3%, lasting 2 minutes. I'm not sure if, since this is applied against the targets and not as a buff to the players, if it stacks with other abilities that directly raise party and raid critical strike chance, but that would seem to be what the wording implies. Elemental Oath is changed to state that spell critical hits grant a party or raid Elemental Oath,w hich increases critical strike chance by 3%. Hopefully this stacks with the new Totem of Wrath; it lasts for 15 seconds. No stacking, no mana cost reduction, overall weaker now and even weaker still since it won't stack with Moonkin Form.

On the Enhancement side, Guardian Totems now works with the new Stoneskin mechanic, granting armor (increasing the armor granted by Stoneskin Totem by 10/20% instead of just reducing damage). Anticipation now only has three ranks, increasing chance to dodge by up to 3% and reducing all Disarm effect durations by 16/25/50%, not stacking with any other such effect.

Resto, in addition to the Water Shield rank at 75, got a tooltip clarification on Tidal Force that tells you it last 20 seconds. While that's nice, I don't think it makes up for not actually being able to res dead people anymore. Something about trying to cast Ancestral Spirit on someone and getting a "That target is dead" message seems... counter intuitive. Yes, he's dead, that's why I want to cast a spell on him that raises the dead. Work with me here, program.

Finally, it appears that all shaman PvP and Tier sets that had strength on them now have the strength as pure AP, and that AP is converted at the old formula, 37 str becoming 74 AP instead of the 37 AP it would be if it remained as str. This is a nice change, because it means I can wear my epic hat again. I just need to regem the heck out of it. I wouldn't say I'm upset, but I'm not jumping around thrilled either.

I saw no new glyphs, but I'll look again later.

So there you have it. Purifcation and weapon imbues working again, a whole slew of bugs not fixed, and some changes that can baffle, irritate or perhaps bafflerate you. (I just made that up, it felt pretty good.)

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