Elemental Disharmony – When a Rotation is Broken

Leaving utility spells/mechanics aside, the biggest problem for Elemental in terms of competitiveness is how single target damage output is (usually) lower than other specs. The core issue there is that there are four subsets of spells based on their secondary interactions:

  • Overload spells: Affected by Crit/Haste/Mastery in the same way (ie: Lighting Bolt)
  • Non-Overload spells: Affected by Crit/Haste in the same way, no Mastery interaction (ie: Earth Shock)
  • Lava Burst: Affected by Haste/Mastery, no Crit interaction
  • Double Haste Interaction: The DPET (damage per execute time) increases as the GCD decreases and the number of hits per cast increases as an additional haste interaction. Not modified by Mastery. Eg: Flame Shock, Fire Elemental
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An open letter from the Earthshrine Elemental Mods & MVPs to the Class Devs

An open letter from the Earthshrine Elemental Mods & MVPs to the Class Devs

Hello Class Developers,

This is a letter from the Elemental Shaman Mod & MVP team of the Earthshrine Discord Server regarding the current state of Elemental, and the current level of communication. As Battle for Azeroth has progressed through Alpha & Beta there have been a number of detailed forum posts from us that cover current problems, and while there have been some fairly amazing responses on other specs/classes the responses for Shaman have been few & far between.

Currently there are very few of the Earthshrine Mods or MVPs for either spec that currently plan to “main” their Shaman for Battle for Azeroth, and even then they have backup options.

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Binkenstein’s Elemental 8.0 Redesign

My recent writing project has been to put together a base redesign for Elemental in Battle For Azeroth. I haven’t gone as far as having a detailed outline for talents, mostly because they’re secondary to getting the core mechanics sorted. I’ll post a copy of this to the WoW Alpha/Beta forums whenever they go up (assuming I have access, of course). Read more of this post

Arcane Mastery Problems

Mastery effects vary from spec to spec, and I’ve already highlighted the issues around change based masteries like Overload, but there’s another I want to look at: Savant for Arcane Mages. This increases maximum mana and regeneration, as well as increasing the damage bonus from Arcane Charges, but there are some interesting interactions in how the spec is designed. Read more of this post

Uniqueness of Abilities & Mechanics

This started off as the first two sections of a much larger post, but I think the subject is better served with a stand alone article.

Let’s start off by talking about “uniqueness”. Usually in WoW Class design/discussions this is a rough indication of how unique a certain thing is across other specs & classes. The idea is that as an ability becomes more prevalent among a role type the less unique it is, and then class or spec identity suffers as a result. I can agree with the first half of this, but find that linking this to diminishing class/spec identity is ignoring a few key points. Read more of this post

WoW 8.0 Elemental – “Pay Off” Abilities

Following on from the post about Overload, and somewhat related to it, is the subject of “Pay Off Abilities”. This is something that has been mentioned in developer posts on the WoW forums, specifically around how Earth Shock, Lava Burst and Stormkeeper are all “big” moments in the rotation but having three of them diminishes the rotation somewhat. Stormkeeper itself will be relegated to a talent in Battle for Azeroth (at least, it was based on screenshots taken at Blizzcon) so this is mostly about the other two spells.

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WoW 8.0 Elemental – Overloads

After the announcement of Battle for Azeroth over the weekend at Blizzcon it’s probably time to take another look at the current Elemental Shaman design and point out what I think are the problems that need to be resolved.

Overload

Going back to one of my regular subjects for Elemental, and probably one where I feel the strongest but also realize that it’s fairly subjective: Overloads, how they scale with mastery, generate additional maelstrom, and introduce additional variation.

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