July 27, 2015 8 Comments
The Change List
- Move Unleash Flame into Unleashed Fury
- Remove Lava Surge
- Give Lava Burst charges by default (3)
- Give Shocks 2 charges
- Earth Shock doesn’t consume charges if used with zero Lightning Shield charges up
- Molten Earth becomes a spell cast proc, dealing X% of the damage of the spell (like the MoP Overload, but with the change/damage stuff reversed)
- Chain Lightning target count is 5 baseline, remove the glyph
- Earthquake is instant cast by default, high damage to start and then reduces as the effect expires
- Lightning Shield charges are only generated from Nature spells (Chain Lightning, Elemental Blast & Lightning Bolt)
- Reduce the bonus to Lava Burst from Flame Shock to 20%, increase Lava Burst damage by 25% to compensate
- Remove Searing Totem
- Change Elemental pet totems to be 30 sec/3 min CD pets
- Revert Shamanistic Rage to Enhancement only
The idea here is not to change much, because the rotation mostly works as is. Removing Lava Burst as a source of Lightning Shield charges removes that awkward ES20 during Ascendance situation, which is exacerbated at the moment via T18 2pc.
The removal of Lava Surge is to allow more changes for mobile DPS, but also to make Lava Burst more of a managed resource than a “hit button now” ability. This will also make Elemental Fusion a bit more engaging as we’ll be able to directly manage it. The charge refresh rate for Lava Burst could be reduced from 8 to 6-7 seconds to balance out the Surge removal too.
Changing Molten Earth to be a direct spell proc rather than a “ranged auto attack” means that it’s a direct % increase to virtually all spells, and will scale reasonably well with all other stats rather than being something we want to avoid. It would trigger from all direct damage casts, and also increase Earthquake damage by the same percentage. The only things it wouldn’t trigger from would be Flame Shock ticks, Fulmination procs and Chain Lighting secondary hits. It would also repeat crits & multistrikes without having its own change to independently generate these.
With 2 shock charges you can decide how to use them. Should a priority target come up it’ll allow us to go FS -> LvB -> ES15 if we so wish. Reducing the bonus Lava Burst damage off Flame Shock also means that it’s not quite optimal to use Lava Burst without Flame Shock on the target, rather than being very un-optimal, while still leaving some spell interaction there.
AoE & Cleave
We’re mostly fine here, although I’d remove Echo so that Earthquake wasn’t quite so abusable, but change the damage mechanic so it hit hard at the start & decreases over time in a similar manner to Execution Sentence. The CL glyph would be removed mostly because it’s good sometimes and bad in others. CL jump range would be increased a bit so that it’s easier to cleave.
Here’s where the big changes are. First off, Molten Earth is now a proc directly off casts, not a ranged “auto attack”. To fill the void, Earth Shock won’t consume charges if it doesn’t trigger Fulmination, so there is an easy to use mobile filler to use. This would return some of the “difficulty factor” back to Shock management, but only in the case where if you need to move without SWG you’ll need to be prepared & manage shock charges for it.
There are many changes needed here, but I’ll only cover some of the tiers.
L45: Make Totemic Projection a component of totems that require it, otherwise remove all three talents. In their place have 3 centered around Ghost Wolf: One makes it twice as fast but on a short duration/cooldown to effectively cover the same distance on average, second allows instant cast spells (not weapon based abilities) while in Ghost Wolf, third is a low level movement speed passive.
L60/90/100: Re-arrange & remove some of these.
- Cooldowns: Elemental Mastery, Primal Elementalist, Storm Elemental
- Rotation Changes: Elemental Blast, Elemental Fusion
- Passive Enhancements: Ancestral Swiftness (maybe put this as the passive/easy option for Rotation Changes?)
- Remove: Echo of the Elements, Liquid Magma
This would make some of the choices less definitive, and allow some basic assumptions to be made.
Rotation Changes: Elemental Blast would be changed to be the same damage/effects as Lightning Bolt with 2 charges. The primary reason for the spell would be the buff it generates, but as the buff would last for 10 seconds and charges would refresh every 15, you’d only be able to keep it up for ~2/3rds of the time. Acts as a heal/healing buff for Restoration. It’s kind of merging the behaviour of Elemental Blast & Unleashed Fury together, but since Unleash Flame is being removed keeping Unleashed Fury doesn’t quite make sense.
Having this on the same level as Elemental Fusion also makes sense, as with the changes to Lava Burst you’ll be adjusting your rotation somehow to account for it.
Cooldowns: Making EM, PE & SE all part of the same level means you either get a short self buff, a better pet cooldown, or a second pet cooldown. Would also remove the need for utility interaction between PE & SE as you won’t be able to have both at once (and tbh, Primal Storm Elemental has virtually no advantages & some potential downsides).
I’d argue that most totems need to go, and some of the abilities converted to being centred around the player.
Remaining as totems: Capacitor, Earthbind
Converted to self abilities: Stone Bulwark, Grounding
Removed: Healing Stream, Tremor
With the new “self ability” versions, Stone Bulwark would just be a self buff that generates shields in a similar manner to how it works now, but hopefully in a way that scales properly as other shields do. Grounding, on the other hand, would allow you to redirect a spell to yourself (or act as a spell reflect with a major glyph), which you could combine with Stoneskin (one of the new abilities mentioned below) to absorb/immune rather than taking the damage.
Stoneskin: completely absorbs damaging attacks, but breaks after taking X damage. Assuming immunity type abilities remain, like Ice Block, this will be the Elemental answer. Can absorb one massive hit, or lots of little ones before breaking. The cooldown would be a bit longer than Shamanistic Rage, perhaps 2-3 minutes, with a 10-15 second duration. It won’t be able to prevent you from being debuffed or completely nullify damaging abilities like other abilities can, so the cooldown can be a little lower without being too overpowered.
Earthen Grasp: Replacing Hex, this would be a molten hand that rises from the ground, grasping the target and acting as a CC. It’d be in a similar category to Polymorph for PvP purposes, and be able to affect any enemy type in PvP. No cooldown, breaks when taking damage, only one target at a time. The idea here is to add more “earthy” stuff in (while removing voodoo/spirit stuff that doesn’t quite fit the Elemental theme) while also making Elemental CC a bit more practical for PvE.
There are areas I haven’t covered, like the L15/30/75 talents, mostly because I’m not entirely sure what to change there, if anything needs changing. I’d say that L75 needs to be completely removed, or the talents mixed into other levels so that you have a choice between throughput or a bit of off-healing, but balancing that may be moderately impossible.
In general I don’t think Elemental needs a massive overhaul, but rather just a few tweaks to make what we currently have better, while retaining most of the challenging factors in the rotation.
Also posted to the US forums: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/18300115836#1