Thursday, 16 October 2008

Enh Shamans in 3.02

Is it a Elf! is it a plane! Nooo it a enhancement shaman in 3.02 (after a minor transporter accident).

I still have no intention of playing WoW any great amount of time until new PvE content opens up.But the recent patch has me intrigued enough to fire up the orc & log on.
The enh tree has seen allot of its more useless talent from the day when it was a offtank spec slowly pruned away & i think 3.02 is finally the day where all the deadwood is gone, but as always the most important talent in our spec isn't even in the same tree.
For Enhancement Shamans this patch is about two things:
1. The unification of spell & melee crit rating & the affect this has on elemental devastation
2. The move to towards sharing gear (& stat weights with hunters)
These changes have transformed Enh Shamans into perhaps the closest thing wow has to a true caster/melee hybrid, & finally made the way the class plays feel closer to Badass masters of the elements that they are in WoW's Lore.

Click to Read how 3.02 has brought more PewPew & less QQ
Pre 3.02 a Enh shaman would typically have around 5% spell crit at maximum, which made the talent close to useless. After the patch 25% or so will probably be the norm for a well geared shaman which makes it into a essential.

The enh Dps rotation has changed completely as well, with totem twisting gone things were looking pretty unexciting, Maelstrom weapons & Lava lash however have achieved a nice balance of increased versatility & performance.

Static shock has so far decidedly been decidedly unimpressive for me, when i've tried it, in particular since water shield becomes far more vital with the vastly increased hunger of the spec for mana.

This is my current spec
PvE dps Enhancement

3.02 also introduced target dummies, hapless sacks of digital straw for player to shock, chop & zap to their hearts content.
But to get a true like for like test apart from dragging myself off to Brut or Terron (which ain't gonna happen) the only thing usable are good old
Servants of Razelikh.So off i wonder to pound one of the immortal little guys until he wished he really could just die

Note: All tests done self buffed pre 3.02 best on these mobs 1450-1500

well as you can see that's quite a increase, this wasn't unexpected but its still nice to see.
However what is the most significant change is how the damage is done:

Before the patch a Enh Shaman would likely run a Flame shock, Earth shock rotation & between them they would add 6-10% of his dmg. Now more dps comes from spell dmg attack than there does from Windfury & Stormstrike.
The main change this requires from enh shamans is that we need to start thinking of ourselves as true hybrids when it come to stat stacking. The unification of +crit & +hit spell & has more impact on us than perhaps any other class, in particular the loss of natures guidence means + hit from gear is now far more desirable.
Its not just + hit however, basically any stat which affects both spell & physical dmg is good.

Exact weights are hard to calculate atm & tbh quite pointless until we hit 80
but roughly id say the stats a Enh Shaman will want to stack now are (in order of priority), expertise, hit, agility, crit, attackpower.Intellect is a good stat too but as far as item budgets are concerned its better to go with the others.

Overall this has been a great patch for PvE Enhancement Shamans future although i have some serious worries about our DPS being threat capped now that even more of our DPS is not affected by spirit weapons 30% threat reduction to melee attacks.

It still isn't enough to get me playing the game again until wrath especially as PvP in WoW has basically been totally screwed over by the huge boost to DPS but lack of equivalent boost to survivability(insta gibbing is the order of the day), but it bodes well for Wotlk that allot of shamans fundamental problems with the Enh spec have been fixed.