Moadebe's original post:
Good Monday Morning everyone. My name is Moadebe and I am an Enhancement shaman. I have been reading the class previews and there are a few issues that I would like to iterate and possibly discuss with my fellow enhancement shamans. Perhaps I could even get the crab himself in here and we can get a concise and condensed thread for the discussion of these issues so that they will not be so spread out.
That being said, I would like to point out that this is really for Enhancement shaman discussion only, and I implore others to take a little initiative and post constructively and maturely about the issues they might have or any discussions they might be willing to discuss.
My first question is about the Enhancement tree "mastery" bonus that has been decided on "so far." I understand that you answered a portion of this issue with the following statement:
Q: Please make the "nature damage" for the enhance tree "elemental damage" so our bonus for putting points in isn't only affecting our nature damage.
A: We actually went with Nature damage for that reason. We thought all Elemental damage might end up just feeling like "damage."; Since Nature damage is only a portion of your damage, choosing between an item with say haste versus mastery (i.e. Nature damage) might be more interesting. With a lot of mastery, you might actually favor other talents or different spell rotations. All of this just theoretical at this point and the passive talent tree bonuses are likely to see much iteration in beta.
At the moment we only have two abilities that cause nature damage (three with chain lightning but it shares a cooldown with lightning bolt.) Are there any plans to change the number of attacks that cause "nature" damage or are you leaning towards something else and trying to change the disparity between our damage abilities. It just feels a little strange to be worrying about 14 buttons while dpsing and this mastery only really addressing 2 abilities at a time.
I would like to talk about something that was brought up within another classes preview. I am not meaning this as a "So and so class is getting this so why not me?" type of discussion. I am merely talking about it as a "You acknowledge that so and so has this problem in this area, but do you realize that we also have this relative same problem in the same area as well? If you do know then are you planning on addressing our concerns as well?" That being said lets get started.
In the PvP aspect of the game the following comments were made regarding rogues both in their preview and a statement later submitted:
-In PvP, we want to reduce the rogue's dependency on binary cooldowns and "stun-locks," and give them more passive survivability in return. One major change is that we'll put Cheap Shot on the same diminishing return as other stuns. The increase to Armor and Stamina on cloth, leather, and mail gear will help with this goal as well."
On the cooldown issue, another way to consider the problem is how reliant PvP rogues are on Preparation. That's the problem we're really trying to address: you feel invincible when those abilities are available and impotent without them. A rogue with Sprint and Vanish (maybe) feels impossible to lock down, but a rogue with neither feels immobile. We'd rather see a world in which rogues have a deeper bag of tricks, but are not as reliant on any single one of those tricks as they are today. As with all things beta, the cooldowns on the new (and old) abilities are subject to adjustment based on testing and feedback.
The above statements suggest that the issues of rogues relying strictly on cooldowns to be viable in a pvp setting are a concern and are being addressed in Cataclysm. That being said, are there any plans to address the same issue with Enhancement shamans in the same aspect? Currently we have a "IWIN" button in the form of Spirit wolves since they allow us to actually survive for a longer period of time and they allow us the mobility we need to stay on our target. Not to mention they allow us to deal damage comparable to our melee brethren.
The problem I am bringing up is the matter that enhancement relies too much upon this one button. Without this one button we must fall back to a pure support role and become more of a liability to our healers and team mates. Other than this one button we only have one other survival utility button in the form of Shamanistic rage, which is also tied to a core mana regeneration mechanic that is nearly a must also in a pvp setting. You can also say that a glyphed Stoneclaw totem is a survivability button as well (and it is,) but when you have so many abilities that you MUST use in order to be really worth while, a global cooldown can mean make or break.
Of all the classes I have experienced in a PvP setting, playing an enhancement shaman feels like it has the least amount of room for error from both you AND your partners. Not to mention with how spirit wolves are currently working and as big of a tool they are for the Enhancement shaman it almost feels like we are being told that "you must blow everything you have right at the start and burn down your target quickly or you will die." Much like how rogues must kill something within their "stun'lock" period or they die.
For PvE rogues you stated
In PvE, even accounting for active modifiers like Slice and Dice and Envenom, a very large portion of the rogue's damage is attributable to passive sources of damage. Yes, they are using abilities for the entire duration of a fight, but we want to reduce the percentage of rogue damage that comes from auto-attacks and poisons. More of their damage will be coming from active abilities and special attacks.
Are you aware that Enhancement shamans have the same issue and that it feels really frustrating having to press so many buttons to DPS in a boss encounter, yet our auto attacks (white hits) comprise of 50% or more of our damage? Also are you aware that although we are a melee class mobile fights really decreases Enhancement shaman's damage dramatically? If so then what are the possible plans or perhaps is this tied into our "mastery" for Enhancement being "Plus Nature damage?"
In the Death knight preview you announced the following:
Necrotic Strike (level 83): Necrotic Strike is a new attack that deals weapon damage and applies a debuff that absorbs an amount of healing based on the damage done. For context, imagine that the death knight can choose between doing 8,000 damage outright with a certain ability, or dealing 6,000 damage and absorbing 4,000 points in incoming heals with Necrotic Strike -- the burst is smaller, but a larger overall amount of healing would be required to bring the target back to full health.
Now at one point in time you debated about giving Enhancement shamans an "MS effect" by allowing us to talent into one. The problem with it was that too many classes and specs already had the ability and you felt like it was just watering it down. Which I completely understand. The problem though is that we still have a major problem against a healer. We simply cannot provide enough of anything really to kill one ourselves. Is this ability that is in the planning phases for Cataclysm a new mechanic that very well might be a new tool that might address this issue for Enhancement shamans?
I finally have one more concern, and this concern is on the fingertips and lips of ever shaman out there and not just Enhancement shamans.
From the mage preview:
Time Warp (level 83): Grants a passive Haste effect much like Bloodlust or Heroism to party or raid members. It also temporarily increases the mage's own movement speed. Time Warp will be exclusive with Bloodlust and Heroism, meaning you can't benefit from both if you've got the Exhaustion debuff, though the movement-speed increase will still work even when under the effects of Exhaustion.
I am FINE with another class obtaining a Bloodlust/Heroism type effect (perhaps a different class other than mages but...) I understand that Bloodlust is a very good buff for everyone in both PvE and PvP. My question though is this: Are you planning on adding a movement increase mechanic to the shaman's bloodlust/heroism or is this merely a mage mechanic? I am just curious is all since such a mechanic would help enhancement stay on his target better in both PvE and PvP. Especially since we are a melee spec and not ranged.
I would like to thank anyone who took the time to read these issues and an even bigger thanks to anyone who decides to post any feedback or fellow concerns below these.
I implore to everyone. If you plan to post in this thread, please do so constructively and positively.
To the crab if he decides to skitter this direction to enlighten us about the future of this beloved spec, thanks for any and everything that you do provide. You catch a lot of flak on here for simply trying to be involved, but a lot of people do not realize that in a game of this magnitude you simply cannot "flip a switch and see what happens."
Thanks for listening. I am Moadebe, and I am an Enhancement shaman.
Note: I am posting this here in the damage dealing forums because I could not quite figure out solid place to post it and did not want to multi-post. I apologize ahead of time if it is in the wrong spot.
The previews have only been out a short while, and we're not ready to go from there yet to going into a lot of detail on every talent tree. There are some Enhancement mechanics you haven't seen yet.
To deal with two specific concerns....
We agree that Enhancement benefits too much from just auto attacking. This isn't a "nerf shaman" issue. We just think having more yellow damage makes the spec more interesting, a little harder to master (in the sense of letting really good players eek out a little more dps) and ultimately easier to balance.
On the mastery talent tree bonus, it might very well end up as all Elemental damage. We're not really trying to get Enhance to shift from Fire damage to more Lightning Bolts or anything at higher tiers of gear. We didn't go that way initially because it looked odd for Enhancement's bonus to be "Elemental damage" and also because Survival's bonus was also Elemental damage, and we want all 30 to be unique. But there are ways around that, including doing a different one for Survival.
On the broader topic of whether more creative or more passive mastery benefits are more fun, we just need to get players in there in beta and trying them out. The risk of more passive bonuses (like the current Enhancement one) is that it's just a little dry. Since your spell damage tends to scale roughly (roughly) with your gear, it risks just feeling like more damage. On the other hand, bonuses like Shadow and Balance affect gameplay an awful lot and may end up being just one too many things to monitor. We wanted to split the difference for now and see what feels the best. It could be that we spice up some of the passive ones or it could be we tone down some of the crazier ones, or we continue to offer a mix and let players gravitate towards what they like. I can see how the more creative ones might just sound more exciting, but then again getting 12 new abilities might sound exciting too until you're struggling with how to learn the nuance of when to use each one (if that lousy analogy makes sense).