Echo and the Missing Charge


In the initial 7.1.5 PTR Echo of the Elements was changed to 3 charges.

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In the latest build it was reduced to 2 charges, which disappointed a number of people. Read more of this post

Elemental Makeover Musing


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. Read more of this post

Fixing Elemental


To be perfectly honest, fixing Elemental will probably require more work than there is available time for before Legion. Here’s a few things that I think would improve underlying Elemental mechanics so that there’s fewer negative issues, more options for increasing the required skill cap and reducing the need to switch talents for every boss while also trying to avoid cookie cutter builds (although a few talents will favour others). Read more of this post

The Main Swap


Aka “Why Bink is going to raid on a Mage in Legion rather than his Elemental Shaman”

Part One: Damage Meters

For as long as I can remember Elemental output has been somewhat behind the curve pretty much all the time, unless you look at specific AoE or Cleave boss fights like Hellfire Assault or Iskar. The times where I do well comparatively to everyone else I keep wondering that had I been on a different class that is “more popular” would I have performed significantly better? Read more of this post

Niche Design is for the Birds


One of the design approaches we’ve seen over the years in WoW is the “niche design” approach, where each class or spec has a specific thing that they’re good at. This applies to all roles, so that some healers may be better at tank healing than raid healing, some tanks may be better at quick movement, but the biggest area is how this is applied to DPS specs. Read more of this post

A Maelstrom of a Problem


As you may have seen, there’s a blog post on upcoming Legion changes for Shaman. The big problem I see with this is that Maelstrom generation will be too high, and rotation priorities will end up causing conflicts between strong spells.

Read more of this post

Outlandish Ideas for Shaman Stuff in Legion


Class Hall

A few days ago there was a tweet from Craig Amai (one of the WoW Game Designers) about Class Hall ideas. This got me thinking about it, and I spammed Craig a little with some ideas, but I thought I’d write them down (Me? Write down stuff? Perish the thought!) and expand on them a bit.

All we know about it so far is that it’s a “cave overlooking the Maelstrom”. My first thought on this was the Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde but this is just a small town built under an existing cliff. My second thought went back to a novel series by Anne McCaffrey named Dragonriders of Pern, which is one of my favourite series from when I would devour books as a teen. In this series human settlements are either in existing cave systems or carved from rock, and the oldest are mysteriously smooth and not hand carved. There are Science Fictiony reasons for that, but given the fact that Shaman have control over the elements & elementals, it makes sense that any underground rooms build by Shaman would actually be built by Earth Elementals instead. Because of this it would mean flawless walls, architecture that would be impossible to reproduce by mortal hands, but also a lack of sharp edges & corners. Extending that logically, anything removed from the rocky spires surrounding the Maelstrom while making the rooms & corridors inside would be re-used outside for terraces & bridges, which again would be inhumanly crafted.

Lighting would also be an important factor to get right. Where possible there would be large skylights covered by the most perfect glass possible, as it was made by Earth & Fire Elementals, but in other areas the light would be provided by small Fire Elementals (the size of battle pets) on small platforms or recesses along the walls.

Moving around different levels is also something that can be done differently. No long staircases or elevators for the Shaman Hall, but rather vertical shafts where we can fly up or down with the help of air elementals similar to how you move in the Throne of the Four Winds after Al’Akir’s platform is destroyed.

The complex would need to be divided into different areas, with sections for the four Elements & a high powered Elemental in each one (an “official representative” of each elemental plane). The element sections would be themed appropriately, so the Air “quarter” would be towards the top of a spire with balcony’s, skylights and open spaces; Earth would be the lowest area in a natural cave with stalagmites/stalactites; Fire would obviously contain a lot of burning stuff & lava (maybe actually being a dormant volcano?); and Water would obviously be underwater with either a dome similar to the last room in Throne of Tides, or just be water held back by the power of Water Elementals (and since part of it would be the ocean floor, obviously there would be coral etc there). Given that Shaman have a Spiritual component too, it makes sense that there would be some “Hall of the Ancestors” type room, inhabited by the spirits of various famous Shaman that have died.

All said, I think that the Shaman Class Hall is going to be awesome.

Artifacts

The only “confirmed” artifact we know of is that Enhancement will get Doomhammer (poor Thrall), and wield some sort of conjured duplicate in their other hand. While Doomhammer is cool, it’s Thralls weapon and if he doesn’t have it then it almost feels like he’s less than what he used to be. I also think that the three Shaman specs should get something more elemental-ish than Doomhammer.

Enhancement: As Enhancement is all about Stormstrike & Lava Lash I had the thought of forging new fist weapons for them, from the still beating hearts of Al’Akir and Ragnaros. This way there’s no “fake Doomhammer” in your offhand, and I imagine the art team would be able to come up with some pretty cool stuff for both.

Elemental: If any of the three specs were to take Doomhammer, my pick would have been Elemental (and no, it’s not because I’m biased) but again, Doomhammer is cool because it’s Thralls weapon and without Thrall it doesn’t have the same impact. Continuing with the elementaly theme from above, a suitable mace/shield combo could be sourced from the titan engine of Lei Shen for a lightning mace, while the shield could be carved from a smouldering scale from Deathwing (for the lava/fire side).

Restoration: Resto is a little easier for a mace/shield combo, because I imagine that both of these could be sourced from Water & Earth Elementals. Earth would provide something from Therazane the Earthmother, but given Neptulon’s “disappearance” during Cataclysm I’m not entirely sure where the Water side would come from. Either element could provide a shield, as Earth is obviously solid & strong, but a whirling water shield would also look pretty cool.

And there you have it, a brain dump of ideas for Legion stuff