Elemental Makeover Musing
October 21, 2016 9 Comments
One of the things that has been on my mind lately has been “How would I redesign Elemental in a fair & balanced way that would make me seriously consider switching back?”. Thus, this post.
The idea is to give more control over the rotation, clean up some of the complicated but ultimately meaningless choices and make Mastery more important.
- Lava Burst is now the Maelstrom spender. Costs 30 Ms per cast. Still auto-crits with Flame Shock on the target.
- Earth Shock has a fixed damage value (significantly lower DPET than Lightning Bolt) for no maelstrom – intended as the “movement filler”
- Flame Shock has a fixed duration, no maelstrom cost.
- Frost Shock has a fixed damage value (60-80% of DPET of Earth Shock) & slow duration, no maelstrom cost
- Fire Elemental reduced to 30 second duration with 3 minute cooldown
The current Maelstrom spending model feels really weird, more a case of bolting something onto the side of the rotation rather that being a core component of it. Making Lava Burst the spender (without charges or cooldowns) means that the core rotation is simplified a bit (ie: no more split second ES vs LvB choices, nor worrying about not getting LvB off CD as soon as possible), keeps the damage from LB/LvB roughly proportional and simplifies what to do while moving.
Some will say that this generation/spend model feels similar to the Destruction Warlock method for using Chaos Bolt, and to some extent it is. The key difference is that changing how Lava Burst is used means players can start using it for generating Elemental Focus charges, rather than effectively ignoring the buff.
- Earthquake replaced with Lightning Strike: 2 sec cast for AoE damage around target. Costs 30 Ms per cast. Can overload.
The problem with Earthquake is that placing it is somewhat disjointed from the Chain Lightning spam for building Maelstrom, so switching to a target centered spender makes it flow a bit better. Similarly making it an instant cast means there’s no silly additional haste scaling (like with Earthquake) nor a minimum AoE length for it to be worthwhile. Giving it the ability to Overload also helps with Mastery interaction.
- Remove Elemental Fury.
- Overload is now a fixed proc chance (75-100%) with the damage bonus controlled by Mastery. Damage bonus also applies at half rate to shocks and elemental pets. No bonus Maelstrom generation
- Lava Surge now only grants a free Lava Burst cast (ie: no instant component)
- Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning are the only spells that generate Maelstrom.
Removing Fury is a better idea than removing Focus, as Fury causes some issues on the PvP balancing side. This also means that Elemental can move back towards being a Haste/Mastery focused spec where it has been for many expansions.
Shifting Overload from a fixed bonus & mastery based chance to a fixed chance & mastery based bonus is more of a personal preference, but it means that the “feel” of Overload can be retained without resorting to things like giving Elemental a free 20% multistrike chance from Warlords.
Removing the instant cast function from Surge is mostly a movement balancing thing, so that Earth Shock damage doesn’t need to be balanced around the ability to cast Lava Burst on the move.
Still no direct Crit interaction for Lava Burst.
Talents – Rearrange & redesign
- Lava Burst tier
- Elemental Fusion – more free Lava Burst casts
- Echo of the Elements – return to the Mists version: % chance for a duplicate cast to occur
- Path of Flame – Base damage increase (the “beginner friendly” option)
- Cooldown tier
- Ascendance – Lava Burst has no cost. Still has Crit % damage bonus. Since LvB doesn’t generate Ms there’s no resource capping issues here
- Primal Elementalist – Same as current
- Elemental Mastery – Haste and maybe damage bonus. Being on the same tier as Ascendance allows for better balance
- Lightning Rod – tweaked to be a debuff that triggers aoe damage to all targets on nature hits. The basic option again.
- Totem Mastery
- Elemental Blast
- L15 Basic Intro Bonuses, aka “things which work while levelling”
- Earthen Rage
- Ancestral Swiftness
- Aftershock – Short duration aoe ground effect after Lightning Strike
- Liquid Magma – as current
- Storm Elemental – having a second stackable power option on Fire Elemental makes it too powerful
- Icefury – redesigning movement makes this not as important.
- Stormkeeper – direct damage ability. Animation would draw lightning down from the sky as current & then direct it out to the target.
- Power of the Maelstrom – applies to LB/LvB, single bonus overload per cast
- Static Overload – chance for 1 extra overload on CL cast
- Master of the Elements – remove
- Fury of the Storm – replace with chance to summon fire/lightning mini elementals on respective element types
- Volcanic Inferno – short duration volcano after Lightning Strike casts.