Everyone has been going “yay lava surge” for making the rotation “more interesting”. I don’t think it is. I found it a bit awkward getting my next lava burst off when I wasn’t expecting it, especially due to the spell queue system. There were a few run-ins with Earth Shock as well, and I’m not looking forward to adding Flame Shock into the mix every 27 seconds or so verses the start-of-the-fight behaviour we have now, never mind the fact we get another cooldown spell to deal with.
My problem with it still comes down to the twitchy, need to watch it constantly behaviour on what would normally be an 8 second cooldown. Having it as a different behaviour where it generates a non reactive proc like overload or lock n load would still preserve some of the fun factor while making it easier to use. (The “Hey cool” factor with Moonkin and their Eclipse procs is more fun/distinct/lasting every 20-25 seconds or so than the minute feeling you get when your burst cooldown gets a few seconds shaved off it).
From a maths point of view, at 80 without the T10 set bonuses and using Earth Shock at 8 shield charges, Lava Surge gains me roughly 90 dps. With the T10 bonuses it’s 175. I can’t say anything about 85 yet as my model needs some work to handle it, but I’m not completely convinced that it will be much different.
I’d have to say that this, plus the current Searing Totem targeting/range issues (seriously, just make it a pet with a range bonus via Elemental Reach and it’ll be fine) will be the two critical irritation factors with playing Elemental in this new 4.X world. So much so that I remain to be irritated I’ll end up changing spec/class to go back to something that’s more enjoyable, or just quitting the game again.