So basically, a great patch, unless your a raider, in which case Blizzard has carefuly and neatly avoided every single comment made over the past 6 months. Healing buffs are great, but mana tide still being 31 points, only a 5 yard increase on totems with a talent point, etc. etc. just seems a huge oversight.
We've recently completed an extensive review of the Shaman class, plugging in many changes for the next major content patch.
One of the first thing we reviewed was the mana cost for each Shaman spell and ability. The following list of spells will see a reduction in mana cost upon the release of the next patch.
# Searing Totem - Mana cost reduced.
# Mana Spring Totem - Mana cost reduced.
# Healing Stream Totem - Mana cost reduced.
# Rockbiter, Frostbrand, Flametongue and Windfury Weapon - Mana costs reduced.
# Lightning Bolt - Mana cost reduced.
Next we took a took a pass at the duration for each Shaman spell and ability. This next list outlines spells which will see an increase to spell duration for patch 1.11.
# Disease Cleansing Totem - Duration increased.
# Fire Resistance Totem - Duration increased.
# Flametongue Totem - Duration increased.
# Frost Resistance Totem - Duration increased.
# Grace of Air Totem - Duration of ranks 1 and 2 increased.
# Nature Resistance Totem - Duration increased.
# Poison Cleansing Totem - Duration increased.
# Stoneskin Totem - Duration increased.
# Strength of Earth Totem - Duration of ranks 1 through 4 increased.
# Tremor Totem - Duration increased.
# Windfury Totem - Duration increased.
# Windwall Totem - Duration increased.
Players should also be happy to know that skill levels gained with two weapons when specced with the "Two-Handed Axes/Maces Enhancement Talent" will now be retained should a player unspend this talent point and return to it later.
Since we're on the topic of talents, I thought I'd give you some insight to a number of upcoming changes specifically affecting talents for the next patch. A full preview will be available through the interactive talent calculator, which should go live sometime in the next couple of days. Please note when reviewing these changes that it isn't necessarily comprehensive of every change, and that all numbers provided are based upon maximum rank investment.
Starting with the first tier, you'll immediately notice that Convection has replaced Improved Lightning Bolt. Only now the passive effect of Convection will reduce the mana cost of Shock, Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning spells by 10%. Similarly, you'll notice that the Concussion will now improve damage done by Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning by 5%, in addition to Shock spells.
Moving along to the second tier, you'll notice Earth's Grasp, a talent that increases the health of the Stoneclaw Totem by 50% and the radius of the Earthbind Totem by 20%, for a mere two points. This is a significant improvement over the current Improved Stoneclaw Totem talent.
Call of Flame will now increase damage done by Fire Totems by 15% for 3 points, rather than 10% for 5 points.
The final tier 2 talent available is completely new -- Elemental Warding. For three points this talent will reduce damage taken from Fire, Frost and Nature effects by 10%.
Outside of the fact that there is no longer a prerequisite for Reverberation there are no changes to the tier 3 Elemental talents.
The fourth tier now has a few more options available beyond just Improved Fire Nova Totem -- which is now named Improved Fire Totems, and now decreases the threat generated by the Magma Totem by 50%, in addition to the two second reduction to the delay before the Fire Nova Totem activates. Those new options are:
Eye of the Storm (3 points): Gives you a 100% chance to gain the Focused Casting effect that lasts for 6 sec after being the victim of a melee or ranged critical strike. The Focused Casting effect prevents you from losing casting time when taking damage.
Storm Reach (2 points): Increase the range of your Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning Bolt spells by 6 yards.
Deeper into the tree, at tier 5 you'll notice another new talent -- Elemental Devastation. For three points, your offensive spell crits will increase your chance to get a critical strike with melee attacks by 9% for 10 seconds.
Competing with this talent is Elemental Fury, left unchanged.
The second to final talent in this tree is Lightning Mastery, while left unchanged now requires Call of Thunder.
Toping off this tree, the 31-point talent, Elemental Mastery will now reduce the mana cost of the next spell by 100%, in addition to giving your next Fire, Frost or Nature spell a 100% critical strike chance. Also, the cooldown has been reduced to 3 minutes, from 5.
The only change to the first tier of talent in this tree affects Shield Specialization, which now offers a 25% increase to the amount of damage blocked by shields, in addition to improving block chance by 5%.
Moving onto tier 2 talents, you'll also notice only a single change. Guardian Totems, which replaces the Improved Stoneskin Totem talent, reduces the cooldown of the Grounding Totem by 2 seconds and increases the effect of both the Stoneskin Totem and Windwall Totem by 20%.
Upon reaching tier 3, players will notice that the Improved Strength of Earth Totem talent has been replaced with Enhancing Totems which increases the effect of Earth and Grace of Air Totems by 15%.
Flurry and Toughness will now be the tier 4 options, both left unchanged.
Competing with Parry, at tier 5 will be two new talents:
Improved Weapon Totems (2 points): Increases the melee attack power bonus of your Windfury Totem by 30% and the damage of your Flametongue Totem by 12%.
Elemental Weapons (3 points): Increases attack power bonus of Rockbiter by 20%, Windfury by 40% and damage of Flametongue/Frostbrand by 15%.
Weapon Mastery, now the new 26 point talent increases the damage you deal with all weapons by 10%.
Lastly, Stormstrike, now the only 31-point talent option in this tree has had it's mana cost reduced and the cooldown shortened to 20 seconds.
The first changes to this tree start at the 2nd tier. Improved Reincarnation will now resurrect the Shaman with 20% more health and mana, in addition to the 20 cooldown minute reduction. Ancestral Healing will provide the same benefit for only 3-points, and Totemic Focus will now reduce the mana cost of totems by 15% at max rank.
Four new talents are now available as tier 3 options.
Nature's Guidance (3 points): Increases chance to hit with melee and spells by 3%.
Healing Focus (5 points): Gives you a 70% chance to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting any healing spell.
Totemic Mastery (1 point): Increase radius of totems that affect friendly targets by 5 yards.
Healing Grace (3 points): Reduces threat caused by healing spells by 15%.
Combat Endurance, Eventide and Improved Lesser Healing Wave have been removed from the game completely, keeping Captain Placeholder company.
At tier 4, replacing the Improved Healing Stream Talent is Restorative Totems. A talent that increases the effect of the Mana Spring and Healing Stream Totems by 25%.
You'll notice two things at tier 5. Nature's Swiftness no longer has a prerequisite, and another brand new talent:
Healing Way (3 point): Healing Wave spells cast on the target cause an effect that increases the effectiveness of any Healing Wave spell cast on that target by 6% for 15 seconds. This effect will stack of to three times.
The last change to this tree affects the 31-point talent, Mana Tide Totem. Mana regen has been increased for all ranks.
Other notable changes, you should be aware of include:
# Windfury Weapon - Attack power bonus reduced. (This spell's effectiveness will now be more in line with other weapon enchantments).
# Flame Tongue Weapon - Damage increased.
# Rockbiter Weapon - Attack Power increased slightly.
# Flame Shock - Damage over time portion of all ranks slightly increased. Mana cost of ranks 3 through 5 decreased.
# Flame Shock - A new rank is available (rank 6) from Upper Blackrock Spire.
# Elemental Fury: Tooltip now indicates it increases the critical damage for Searing Totem, Magma Totem, and Fire Nova Totem.
# Fire Nova Totem: This totem now receives increased damage from effects that increase the Shaman's spell damage.
# Grounding Totem: This totem will no longer reflect the Mage talent Combustion back onto the Mage.
# Healing Wave Totem: This totem now receives increased damage from effects that increase the Shaman's spell damage.
# Magma Totem: This totem now receives increased damage from effects that increase the Shaman's spell damage.
# Searing Totem: This totem now receives increased damage from effects that increase the Shaman's spell damage.
# Windwall Totem: Greatly improved damage reduced by this totem.
Anyone got the feeling that both the reviews for this patch were a bit rushed?