Alpha: General Gameplay Notes

These are my feedback notes for Alpha testing. I’ll come back and edit/expand these as testing continues. Cross posted to Alpha Forums

Feb 13th: Mostly re-written after recent Alpha changes.
Feb 15th: More notes in italics.
Mar 3rd: New notes in italics, mostly on Artifact stuff

Overall Impression

A few people have been asking for generic “thoughts” about Elemental on Alpha so I’ll post an overall impression. First off, stuff is still changing, so what may be accurate now may be out of date after the next build.

I think Elemental is doing okay so far. The rotation (single & AoE) are fairly close to the existing Warlords design, so the only “real” changes are in talents and artifacts. Maelstrom is a direct replacement for Lightning Shield charges, and as far as Earth Shock spending or generation in general everything is the same. Unlinking the shock cooldown is good, and the variable Flame Shock length will take some getting used to (and probably Weak Auras to manage correctly).

Single Target

  • Maelstrom. Generation and spending looks a lot better now, with the only “problem” area being Flame Shock Ms spending on short lived targets but this is a minor quibble.
  • Flame Shock refreshes seem solid now. Max of 130% of the new casts duration.
  • Still concerned about Lava Burst vs Lightning Bolt power, not so much base levels but the various modifiers for LB that can make its DPET much higher than LvB.

Multi Target

  • Chain Lightning has a hidden divisor for Overload. Likely to be 1/3 as it was in Mists of Pandaria


  • Level 15
    Totem Mastery & Molten Earth seem really good here now, but Path of Flame’s Flame Shock spread on Lava Burst hit is a big crutch for the L75 talent Magnitude. It’s also worth noting that Totem Mastery has an Overload function on a L15 talent where we don’t get Overload until L78. Possibly needs a re-tweak for leveling reasons?
  • Level 30
    Gust of Wind vs Fleet of Foot will always be an individual choice, but Wind Rush Totem seems out of place as a “raid-ish” cooldown as a talent. Likely to see cheesing at some point.
  • Level 45
    All seem okay here.
  • Level 60
    The choices here seem good, although for myself personally I would really love to have both Echo and Elemental Blast at the same time.
  • Level 75
    Here I have some issues. Given the current designs I don’t think anyone will choose anything other than Primal Elementalist

    • Elemental Fusion still has that bad interaction with the Control of Lava talent from PvP
    • Primal Elementalist vs Magnitude is a Burst vs AoE choice
    • Magnitude effectively requires Path of Flame at L15 to be practical
  • Level 90
    Random AoE proc vs Cooldown buff vs Movement/Single Target

    • I don’t think Lightning Rod is a good idea, even if it is a on use CD or a proc, unless stacking damage bonuses for Lightning Bolt are reduced/removed
  • Level 100
    Cooldown vs Movement vs AoE. I guess it’s not a bad way to go, but to make the choices a bit clearer I’d recommend removing Lava Beam from Ascendance

    • Icefury should be an instant cast so that casting it doesn’t need to be planned out before moving. Also makes Frost Shock a more efficient use of Maelestrom than Earth Shock *and* gives it higher average damage than Lightning Bolt. Bonus should probably be reduced to 300% to prevent its use in the stationary rotation.
    • Power of the Maelstrom procs during Ascendance really suck.


  • Stormkeeper as a cast feels “wrong”, but not requiring Maelstrom is good.
  • Stormkeeper’s buff seems a bit short. Have managed to run out of time to use them all if I try weaving in Lava Burst casts for Focus charges. May need increased duration especially as I have had a single charge expire a few times while leveling thanks to shock use, lava surge procs and the odd self-heal.
  • Fury of the Storms is a better option now than previously.
  • Overall feeling good about Artifact traits.
  • Power of the Maelstrom (weapon proc) has been removed pending changes.
  • Master of the Elements (short haste buff on Overload procs) has a maximum stack of 10 (for 50% bonus haste) and with enough Mastery could be a semi-permanent buff. Needs to be toned down somewhat.
  • Volcanic Inferno probably needs to be replaced, as it’s a very short radius AoE effect that will really only effect single target (unless tied in with Path of Flame & Magnitude, and even then I expect it will be better just to stick with the “standard” AoE rotation). Perhaps upgrade Static Overload to the “Gold” trait and put another normal passive in.

Set Bonuses

These set bonuses have a somewhat obvious synergy but will either have a negligible impact on the overall rotation *or* be something that skilled players can “game” for a damage increase (probably in the 5-10% range but need SimCraft to confirm). The 4pc bonus is something that I would prefer seeing as a talent choice rather than a set bonus given the benefit that can be returned from intelligent play.



About binkenstein
I'm a geek, living in Christchurch, New Zealand.

6 Responses to Alpha: General Gameplay Notes

  1. Moose says:

    I don’t understand Blizzard’s attachment to the maelstrom resource for Elemental Shaman.
    – Flame shock would be better off not using Maelstrom
    – Earth shock will be hard to use at “60-75” Maelstrom w/o addons because it’s harder to see than “15 stacks” and this would basically be the only ability using that goofy resource at this point anyway….
    – With nothing left using maelstrom, we can drop it forever and move on with development.

  2. Windraist says:

    Are you entirely sure that Liquid Magma Totem is still random AoE? The tooltip for it on for the current alpha build reads as it hitting “all enemies within 0 yards every 3 sec for 15 sec.” Seems like the random targets and splash parts were removed.

    • Windraist says:

      Wait. Nevermind me! I read your comments for the level 90 row when I thought I was reading the level 100 row comments.

  3. I really like Icefury. I wish there were more Frost themed talents. I want to be able to use it all the time, I don’t want it to be garbage in low movement fights.

  4. Windraist says:

    Seems to me like it’ll be good for single target fights too; at least, from a damage per maelstrom spent perspective.

  5. Coldfire989 says:

    It is meant to be for movement I would be surprised if it stays as is. Something like what Bink has suggest is probable what will happen and I hope it does.

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