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Ryoushii

[Enhancement] 4.3 PTR - Spellpower deprived

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4.3 PTR notes are up on MMO-Champion.

Some of the more important changes in the notes so far:

- Mental Quickness now prevents us from gaining spell power from any other sources than our attack power. This would rid us of having spellpower weapons be viable options.

- Wind Shear is now 25 seconds base with Reverb taking it back down to 5 seconds. I guess this is the PvP change to shear that the blues had been mentioning for a while.

- Call of Flames' increases to duration on Flame Shocks has been removed entirely.

- Flametongue Weapon now grants a straight 5% increase to magic damage, probably so we can still benefit from it while having Mental Quickness.

- Improved Lava Lash now spreads our Flame Shocks to four other targets.

At least in my opinion, we get a lot of added convenience so far with this patch. No more trying to juggle Flame Shocks to get the most out of our Fire Novas as Imp. Lava Lash takes care of spreading it for us for the most part. This also gives us a bit more burst AE since we'll have a 5-shock nova within three globals, 4 with UE. Still takes some setup time, but definitely an improvement to what we currently have. Not having to deal with spellpower weapons will also make our general TC a whole lot easier as well, which I'm thankful for personally. A concern utility-wise is the large CD on Wind Shear now. Reverb is going to be required for us if we're needed for any sort of interrupting in the 4.3 raid.

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Relevant patch notes from first 4.3 PTR build:

  • Classes: General
    • All raid and party buffs which grant group members 10% increased attack power have been changed slightly. They continue to provide 10% increased ranged attack power, but now provide 20% increased melee attack power.

    [*]Shaman

    • Flametongue Weapon no longer increases spell damage. It now increases all non-physical damage done by the wielder by 5%.
    • Lightning Bolt has a new spell effect.
    • Wind Shear now has a 25-second base cooldown, up from 6 seconds.
    • Elemental
      • Call of Flame no longer causes Fire Nova to extend the duration of Flame Shock.
      • Reverberation now reduces the cooldown of Wind Shear by 10/20 seconds, up from 0.5/1 second.

      [*]Enhancement

      • Improved Lava Lash now causes Lava Lash to spread a Flame Shock debuff from the target to up to 4 nearby targets. This excludes crowd-controlled targets and those who already have a Flame Shock debuff from the shaman.
      • Improved Lava Lash no longer increases base Lava Lash damage by 15/30%. This increase has been rolled into the base Lava Lash skill.
      • Mental Quickness has been redesigned. Instead of granting the shaman spell power, Mental Quickness now causes Enhancement shaman spells to behave as though the shaman has spell power equal to 55% of attack power. Enhancement shaman spells no longer benefit from spell power from other sources.

The changes have a clear message in terms of our AoE. We will now be able to spread Flame Shock from our current target to four surrounding targets (12yrds) every 10 seconds, allowing us to use Fire Nova for acceptable AoE damage after only two GCDs, with further increase over time when there are more targets around. Elemental on the other hand gets a cooldown free Chain Lightning and a 75% stronger Earth Quake, which turns Fire Nova into a spell primarily designed for Enhancement.

Another major change is the complete annihilation for any use of spellpower for us. This will not only make spellpower weapons completly useless for us, it will also remove the benefit from any kind of spellpower buff, which most likely is the reason for the now higher conversion rate of 55%.

The only downside of those changes are the ones around Wind Shear. Reverberation is now a must have for us in fights where we need to interrupt, while more points in Elemental Precision would still be the better choice in all other fights, prompting us to respec from fight to fight or use two Enhancements specs.

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25 second base cooldown for Wind Shear seems unreasonable, considering that every.single.other melee dps class (that I can think of) has a 10 second interrupt without having to use two talent points. Feels unfair considering how important having that 10 second cd (or the lower WS CD) in the case of fights like Alysrazor has been in 10 man, or other fights I can think of in the previous tier like Halfus/Maloriak/Nef. It would make more sense to have the Reverberation talent baked into one of the Enhancement tree talents that we would normally take, to put Enh shaman on an even footing with other melee classes, and to make Ele Shamans more like other ranged classes that can interrupt (mage for example).

I am excited that we are getting a buff to our aoe. The current Flame Shock/Fire Nova mechanic has felt clunky and way too slow-building to be of use in most fights where aoe is required.

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every.single.other melee dps class (that I can think of) has a 10 second interrupt without having to use two talent points.

Feral spends two talent points to get a 10 second interrupt. The major difference is that ferals spend points in their own talent tree to get it (and it's out of reach of the caster/healer specs).

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Ferals also don't have to sacrifice DPS to choose that talent, they have a number of utility talents to pick from.

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Depending on the encounters, I'm slightly worried that there may be times that we might not want to hit lava lash for fear of cleaving when only single target dps is required. Flame shock does not hit for much, so it may not really matter, but I would have rather have had them tie in the flame shock cleave to an ability like chain lighting so there would be no unintentional cleaving in our spec. Overall, I'm very pleased with all of their changes save the windshear nerf. Either way, I'll just plan to run 2 enhance specs, 1 with reverb, and the other with elemental precision.

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I'm not sure if the blues have a good idea of where to go with Enhancement. They were pretty adamant about keeping spell power weapons a viable alternative just 1 patch ago, they've done a complete 180. Reverb seems a bit clunky. PVP players will obviously pick it up at the expense of a small amount of damage, so it's more a PVE change than anything. It's good that they're finally addressing a lot of the issues currently plaguing Enhancement though, especially the slow Flame-Shock-Fire-Nova idea of AoE so overall I'll see a lot changing for the better.

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Seasoned Winds seemed like a perfect place to implement the cooldown reduction for Wind Shear for Enhancement. We would sacrifice some damage on Lightning Shield and get the added interrupt and resistance utility from that that mechanic. Its also a bit easier to deal with on our PvP builds as well. The current implementation destroys some of the better used spec setups.

That being said, they really, REALLY need to have the long cooldown be a Restoration only affair. They obviously have the tech to do so (looking at the Warlock tier 13 set bonus here). They could also have used this opportunity to 'unify' our interrupt with other classes by making Wind Shear a 4/10 interrupt. Fortunately, there is still time for things to be changed.

Edit: Some notes from the PTR:

New LB looks cool as hell.

I didn't notice an appreciable difference in damage output from live to ptr when using melee weapons.

The LL-FS spread function does not work on dummies.

The LL-FS spread spreads the CURRENT duration of your FS to 4 additional targets

Obviously, both are bugs, but I feel that the spread function is working exactly like Pestilence and should therefor apply a full dot duration to the spread targets. As it stands, you basically change your current rotation from using ES to using FS every cast to maintain maximum FS dot uptime on the most targets possible for AoE. Perhaps this is intended, perhaps not.

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The spread works exactly like the Fire mage Impact proc. It spreads the current duration of your fire dots to nearby targets, so I'm guessing LL's FS spread is as intended and not a bug.

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Great changes in my opinion. Finnally some sort of cleave and I saw in the blue post that in case a target is Cc'ed it doenst get affacted by FS cleave.

I agree with Hothgor, Seasoned winds is a better candidate for reducing the cooldown of wind shear, where we could spend the points instead of imp. shields, that way not being forced in opting out of Call of flame ou Elem. Precision.

The problem is it becomes unreachable for Elem. Maybe they could change it to also become a extra effect of Elemental Reach instead of reverb but we would have 2 talents with same effect.

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I like the most ideas behind these changes.

- easier and more competitive AE - however FS should be applied on the targets with full dot duration. Everything else would maybe result in a strange rotation. I wonder if you can spread FS to up to 8 targets.

- Searing Totem Stacks dont affect lava lash dmg as much as before, so this benefits fights with changing targets/PVP.

- Stormstrike Crit is not a target debuff, but a buff, so this benefits also changing targets/PVP

- Flametongue scales with gear - good thing, however this results in a dps loss for the moment.

- Reverb: I dont like how windshear has been changed here as we dont spec it normally. Enhancer is known for kick utility which we dont necessarily have anymore. They either need to change elemental precision (so wen dont want it anymore) or integrate wind shear also to an enhancement skill.

I think the class specific changes result in a dps loss overall, even with no spelldmg weapon equipped.

If the dps obviously looks the same on the PTR, dont forget the AP increase by 10% which buffs all melee classes.

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A few things on top of my mind:

-I wonder if enhance will still benefit from the % spellpower raid buff from mages elementals and demo locks.

-lava lash is now 260% instead of 200% baseline multiplied by 30% from improved LL talent, besides leveling shammies I don't see how this affects anyone.

-I was hoping for some kind of buff to lava lash to make it hit harder on targets without searing stacks and remain unchanged on targets with it.

-I wonder if having FT/FT enchanted would stack the sp buff, might be useful in aoe situations.

-All pvp specs going deep resto for focused insight/ nature's guardian are gutted

-Orcs no longer double dip on blood fury

-Seasoned winds is still underwhelming in both pve and pvp.

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A few things on top of my mind:

-I wonder if enhance will still benefit from the % spellpower raid buff from mages elementals and demo locks.

-lava lash is now 260% instead of 200% baseline multiplied by 30% from improved LL talent, besides leveling shammies I don't see how this affects anyone.

-I was hoping for some kind of buff to lava lash to make it hit harder on targets without searing stacks and remain unchanged on targets with it.

-I wonder if having FT/FT enchanted would stack the sp buff, might be useful in aoe situations.

-All pvp specs going deep resto for focused insight/ nature's guardian are gutted

-Orcs no longer double dip on blood fury

-Seasoned winds is still underwhelming in both pve and pvp.

- No scaling with external buffs.

- 30% change only affects leveling

- From what i understand this is a buff. Instead of hitting for 200% on targets with no Searing Flames Debuff, it hits for 260% - however targets with Searing Flames debuff (5) get 310% dmg. This makes it less annoying with different assist targets.

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These are big and exciting changes, and since this is the PTR we might get further changes. Be careful to stay focused on discussing the theory and mechanics of the changes that have actually been made, though.

Things that are fine:

  • I tested mechanic X on the PTR, and here is how it works.
  • Here is what change X will do to mechanic Y, and here's how it will affect us.
  • I like change X, because of Y.
  • I don't like change X, because of Y.

Things that are not fine:

  • Whining (I don't like change X because it makes me sad.)
  • Wishlisting (Here is how Blizzard should have made change X.)
  • Speculation (Blizzard is/isn't going to keep change X, because Y.)
  • Begging (I can't/don't want to download the PTR, can someone else test change X for me?)

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- No scaling with external buffs.

- 30% change only affects leveling

- From what i understand this is a buff. Instead of hitting for 200% on targets with no Searing Flames Debuff, it hits for 260% - however targets with Searing Flames debuff (5) get 310% dmg. This makes it less annoying with different assist targets.

No, Improved Lava Lash will still increase the damage with 20% per stack at rank 2, just the passive 30% bonus from the talent will be baked in the ability itself. Which changes absolutely nothing from the current situation unless you don't take the talent.

On the other hand Ghostcrawler wrote this:

We also tried to improve Enhancement’s AE. In this case, the DPS was fairly competitive, but applying the AE was a headache with having to tab through multiple targets to spread Flame Shocks. Enhance can now use Lava Lash to spread Flame Shock (and the bonus granted from Improved Lava Lash has been baked into the base Lava Lash ability, so Enhance should not suffer any DPS loss as a consequence).

This implies that the change somehow improves our dps, but i don't see how.

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Taken from a blue post:

We also tried to improve Enhancement’s AE. In this case, the DPS was fairly competitive, but applying the AE was a headache with having to tab through multiple targets to spread Flame Shocks. Enhance can now use Lava Lash to spread Flame Shock (and the bonus granted from Improved Lava Lash has been baked into the base Lava Lash ability, so Enhance should not suffer any DPS loss as a consequence)

The bold part is what's confusing me, only explanation i can think of is there is a change to reduce reliance on searing flame stacks that wasn't announced yet.

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Taken from a blue post:

We also tried to improve Enhancement’s AE. In this case, the DPS was fairly competitive, but applying the AE was a headache with having to tab through multiple targets to spread Flame Shocks. Enhance can now use Lava Lash to spread Flame Shock (and the bonus granted from Improved Lava Lash has been baked into the base Lava Lash ability, so Enhance should not suffer any DPS loss as a consequence)

The bold part is what's confusing me, only explanation i can think of is there is a change to reduce reliance on searing flame stacks that wasn't announced yet.

I think you're missing that there were two bonuses getting applied to LL with Imp. LL: one which just straight upped the damage of LL just by taking the talent and the other which further increases it based on SF stacks. The former is the one that was taken off the talent and put into base LL, but the latter is still in the talent and unchanged. This is the change GC is referring to.

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Not sure if I'm reading this right, but we're gaining 5% more SP from AP (MQ buff) plus an additional 5.5% from the 10% AP buff...but losing 6% SP from the mage buff and 10% SP from the ele shaman buff together with 2% from having to spec into reverb instead of precision...overall nerf? Or do the mage/ele buffs not stack? (I'm assuming SP debuffs like CoE etc. are unaffected as they're on the target not us)

Great changes in my opinion. Finnally some sort of cleave and I saw in the blue post that in case a target is Cc'ed it doenst get affacted by FS cleave.

I agree with Hothgor, Seasoned winds is a better candidate for reducing the cooldown of wind shear, where we could spend the points instead of imp. shields, that way not being forced in opting out of Call of flame ou Elem. Precision.

The problem is it becomes unreachable for Elem. Maybe they could change it to also become a extra effect of Elemental Reach instead of reverb but we would have 2 talents with same effect.

The solution they should've used is to leave the CD at 6 secs (and reverb at -1 secs) but add a 20 sec increase to the CD when you take resto as your main tree...just like your mastery gets reduced by 6 when you take the frost tree as a mage. (this ofc would prevent resto from choosing between 5 sec WS and instant GW...but wasn't the intention to stop resto using short-cooldown WS?)

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Edit: Some notes from the PTR:

New LB looks cool as hell.

I didn't notice an appreciable difference in damage output from live to ptr when using melee weapons.

The LL-FS spread function does not work on dummies.

The LL-FS spread spreads the CURRENT duration of your FS to 4 additional targets

Obviously, both are bugs, but I feel that the spread function is working exactly like Pestilence and should therefor apply a full dot duration to the spread targets. As it stands, you basically change your current rotation from using ES to using FS every cast to maintain maximum FS dot uptime on the most targets possible for AoE. Perhaps this is intended, perhaps not.

Played with it this morning. Spread worked fine with the dummies. Spread a flame shock with exactly the same remaining duration as the one on the lava lash target. Searing totem seemed to stay on the initial flame shock target as well following a spread, even if I was attacking a target that the flame shock had been spread to. Spread did not refresh flame shock timer so lava lashing with only a couple of seconds left on the flame shock meant that it fell off the spread targets. I would be happier if it spread an 18 second flame shock no matter the remaining duration on the LL target and whether or not we were using the Flame Shock glyph but the behavior does seem to be working as intended.

12 yards for the spread seems accurate, could always spread to dummies in range of unglyphed fire nova but could not spread between targets that glyphed fire nova could just barely hit.

Seems like multi-dotting will still be the best way to optimize performance but won't be anywhere near as required. Flame shock glyph also seems like something with only limited utility since it would require 12 or more targets that were going to persist for more then 20 seconds to have value.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the AE changes. I'm more concerned with the MQ changes but considering their successes in balancing single target I'm content to wait and see what SimulationCraft has to say about overall spec balance.

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Taken from a blue post:

We also tried to improve Enhancement’s AE. In this case, the DPS was fairly competitive, but applying the AE was a headache with having to tab through multiple targets to spread Flame Shocks. Enhance can now use Lava Lash to spread Flame Shock (and the bonus granted from Improved Lava Lash has been baked into the base Lava Lash ability, so Enhance should not suffer any DPS loss as a consequence)

The bold part is what's confusing me, only explanation i can think of is there is a change to reduce reliance on searing flame stacks that wasn't announced yet.

They are just saying that even though the effect was removed from the talent won't reduce the effect of the skill since the 60% offered by the talent is now baked into the base spell.

As far as raid buff changes they buffed MQ from 50% to 55%. That 5% is exactly equal to the buff we would have gotten if we still scaled with the 10% SP raid buff (0.5 * 0.1 = 0.05).

Also it seems we are likely losing contributions from our natural int and the direct kings int but that amounts to less than 200 SP (for my character) . This should in part be mitigated by the FT change.

So yes it's looking like at least a net 0 change to overall DPS (with several quality of life changes).

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Big question for anyone willing to do some testing while I am stuck at work is how that Flametongue 5% boost to non-physical damage interacts with Lava Lash. Considering we were able to double dip on Flametongue's spellpower it seems likely that this bonus would also stack* so running a low damage grey/white vender weapon in the offhand and seeing if there is a damage difference between lava lashes when running WF/FT and when running FT/FT should clear that up.

* checking that by seeing if there is any difference in flame shock direct damage when running WF/FT and FT/FT would also be helpful.

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The new FT buff (7% when talented) also increases the damage of Lava Lash and Flametongue itself, so this also helps to regain any "lost" damage. Also not needing the SP buff can be an advantage in PvP and 10m raiding, where it may not always be around.

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The new FT buff (7% when talented) also increases the damage of Lava Lash and Flametongue itself, so this also helps to regain any "lost" damage. Also not needing the SP buff can be an advantage in PvP and 10m raiding, where it may not always be around.

Have you confirmed that on the PTR or is that supposition?

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Have you confirmed that on the PTR or is that supposition?

1797 with FT on OffHand and WF MainHand

1922 with FT on OffHand and MainHand

FS direct dmg:

No FT: 2839

1 FT: 3038

2 FT: 3250

For FS ticks it is +7% dmg too

LL:

No FT: 2544

FT on MH: 2724

It is a 7% dmg increase per FT on FS, FT dmg, LL (With Elementals weapons 2/2)

[Edit] it is working with searing flames and fire totem too

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I went home for lunch so did some testing myself with the same results. There is one other thing though that has to be a bug. The ICD for FT is no longer there and it's actually proccing more often then it should. I had 4 procs from a single sideways Stormstrike and I was getting double procs from some Lava Lashes as well. Seems like it might be proccing whenever we gain Primal Wisdom but in any case it has to be a bug.

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