- Removed - Elemental Fury (now a primary skill)
- Removed - Lightning Mastery (integrated into Eye of the Storm)
- Removed - Booming Echos
- Removed - Astral Shift
- Removed - Thunderstorm (Skill learned at level 10 when you spec elemental)
- Removed - Totem of Wrath (replaced by Totemic Wrath)
- Removed - Elemental Devastation (moved to the Enhancement tree)
- Removed - Unrelenting Storm
- Removed - Shamanism (now a primary skill)
- New - Ancestral Knowledge (moved in from the Enhancement tree)
- New - Lava Surge
- New - Totemic Wrath
- New - Earthquake
- New - Fulmination
- New - Rolling Thunder
- New - Ancestral Swiftness (not in the elemental tree, but potentially relevant, removed in build 12539 inadvertently per GC)
- New - Feedback (replaced Shamanism in the talent tree)
- Change - Improved Shields (moved up to tier 1 from tier 2 in the Enhancement tree)
- Change - Elemental Mastery (no longer shares a cooldown with Nature's Swiftness and now also increases your Fire, Frost, and Nature damage by 15% for the duration of the spell.)
- Change - Elemental Weapons (Enhancement talent, but almost certainly in a elemental build. The wording of the talent was changed.)
The original passive Mastery bonuses players were to receive according to how they spent points in each tree are being replaced by the automatic passive bonuses earned when a tree specialization is chosen. These passives are flat percentages and we no longer intend for them to scale with the number of talent points spent. The Mastery bonus that was unique to each tree will now be derived from the Mastery stat, found on high-level items, and Mastery will be a passive skill learned from class trainers around level 75. In most cases, the Mastery stats will be the same as the tree-unique bonuses we announced earlier this year. These stats can be improved by stacking Mastery Rating found on high-level items.
Mastery is affected by the Mastery Rating on your character's gear.
- Grants a 20% chance for Elemental Overload to occur. Elemental Overload causes a Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, or Lava Burst spell you cast to trigger a second, similar spell on the same target at no additional cost that causes 60% of normal damage and no threat. Chance to trigger increased further by mastery rating.
- New - Spiritwalker's Grace
- New - Bind Elemental
- New - Unleash Elements (not specifically an elemental talent but may end up in elemental rotations)
- New - Totem of Tranquil Mind (aka: Concentration Aura)
- Changed - Magma Totem now costs 18% of base mana, down from 27%.
- Changed - Lava Burst damage has been increased by 25%.
- Totem of Wrath now will replace Flametongue Totem for all shaman, and dropping this totem will buff the group's spell power by 4%. Elemental shaman will have a talent that lets all Fire totems provide +10% spell power, allowing them to drop Searing, Magma, or Fire Elemental Totems without losing their spell-damage buff. The 4% and 10% buffs will be exclusive with each other and with the warlock's Demonic Pact, so you can't benefit from all of them at once. We're also considering letting Elemental drop Searing Totem at range. (mentioned in the talent changes)
- Elemental Reach will be simplified so shaman have a more consistent spell range.
- Elemental will have a deep talent that allows Spirit (which will appear on the gear they share with Restoration shaman) to boost their Hit rating. (Elemental Precision)
- We're fine with totem health given how easy totems are to replace. We also think it's fine to have to (sometimes) choose between a buff totem and a non-buff totem given how many different things a shaman can do. However, we are going to increase buff totem range (and possibly other totem range) and we have figured out a way to make Searing Totem attack your target, instead of a random and probably inappropriate target.
- We'd like to downplay Fire Nova in lieu of Earthquake (in addition to Chain Lightning of course). We also agree that Fire Nova should be used for true AE situations and not against single targets.
- Ancestral Knowledge will boost mana pool size, not Intellect. (not specifically elemental, but relevant)
- Cleansing Totem will be removed from the game, as we want dispels to be a decision for players, not something done mindlessly. To that end, all dispels will cost slightly more mana, and you will waste the spell if you cast it when there is nothing to remove. (Currently, the dispel is only cast when there is something to remove, which encourages spamming 'just in case.") We will balance PvE dispelling with this new model in mind. ((not specifically elemental, but relevant)'
- We didn't set out with the goal of change for the sake of change though. Most of the new rotational abilities we've added were to fix problems with the class. Prot warriors for example are going to be hitting the same buttons they hit in LK because we think that works. Elemental is getting Unleashed Weapon (and Earthquake), and beyond that we think you have the right number of buttons to hit, so we're hesitant to cram a new button in there. Nor are we excited about giving you "Super Duper Lightning Bolt" that lets you take Lightning Bolt off your bar just for the sake of having a new button. I'd characterize the Elemental playstyle as closer to a mage, who isn't managing a ton of different nukes, but does have to react to what is happening in terms of procs, short cooldowns and movement. Lava Surge, Elemental Mastery and Unleashed Weapon are examples of those respectively.
We'll definitely take the feedback under advisement though.
- Elemental's range talent needs to affect Unleash Weapon too.
Developer Q&A, July 16th
- Q: With the new implemented Lava Surge, will Chain Lightning become useful for multiple mobs only?
A: It always has had, and will continue to have, some niche use as a gap-filler against single targets when Lava Burst has around a second left on its cooldown. Lava Surge wonâ€™t always proc, but itâ€™s likely to be more of a multi-target ability, yes.
- Q: With Elemental Fury becoming a passive for Elemental shaman, will Enhancement be seeing more physical based damage?
A: Spells like Lava Burst and shocks will always be a big part of Enhancementâ€™s damage, but yes, weâ€™d like weapon attacks like Stormstrike and Lava Lash to be a larger part of Enhancement Shamansâ€™ damage in Cataclysm. N.B.: Mental Quickness is getting a boost to help compensate for the loss of Elemental Fury. (possibly relevant)
- Q: Are there any plans of making totems utility only (e.g. Earthbind, Grounding) and turning buff totems into auras or cast buffs?
A: Not at this time. Weâ€™re aware of the concerns regarding the use of buff totems among some shaman, but the positional aspect is something that we consider inherent to the nature of totems. By increasing totem durations, consolidating some buff totems, and introducing the multi-drop totem spells in Wrath of the Lich King, weâ€™ve attempted to mitigate as much of the inconvenience as possible, while preserving the core gameplay of paying attention to where totems are being dropped.
- Q: Will there be a "hard cap" for Mastery rating (to avoid having 101% chance of getting a critical block, for example)?
A: In the course of finalizing all of the Masteries for the various talent specializations, we will make sure that, in the expected gear a player can acquire from the final Cataclysm raid tiers, the player will not crash into a "hard cap" unless they go out of their way to stack Mastery more than is reasonable. This may require redesigning some of the Masteries as the rest of the class designs are finalized. (generally relevant)
- Q: What is the conversion rate for intellect to spell power for Cataclysm? Will it differ with each class?
A: Each point of intellect grants one point of spell power, excepting the first 10 points. This is vaguely similar to attack power, where each point of strength or agility gives two attack power, excepting the first 10 points.
We realize this slightly reduces the spell power per budget on items, so we also increased the amount of spell power granted by caster weapons, and that increase entirely makes up for the deficit. Those weapons will continue to have spell power as well as intellect, and the amount of spell power will be significantly larger than in 3.3.5. (generally relevant)
- Q: Can you provide some clarity on the 3rd Mastery that is affected item stats?
A: We recognized the earlier implementation of Mastery in the beta was confusing. Mastery is no longer directly associated with a talent tree, but is instead a passive effect learned from a trainer at a later level. That passive effect will now grant the third Mastery bonus you formerly saw in the talent tree pane. The passive effect will have a base value, and then Mastery rating will increase that effect further. The other two Mastery bonuses previously listed at the top of the talent tree pane have been removed, but, in some cases, have been reimplemented as passive specialization bonuses. Currently, in the beta, you cannot see any of the Masteries, as they need to be reimplemented after the talent tree redesign. (generally relevant)
updated for build 12803
-- 10/08/22 Added new elemental talents "Fulmination" and "Rolling Thunder".
updated for build 12759
updated for build 12644
updated for build 12604
-- 10/07/23 Added the armor specialization, just put in the one that applies to elemental shaman and the talent/skill changes. Also changed the "Masteries" section to now be "Primary Skills" to reflect the appropriate terminology.
updated for build 12539
-- 10/07/21 Changed Ancestral Swiftness's blurb since GC says it still exists.
-- 10/07/21 Added talent changes. Collapsed the talent changes into one topic. Haven't removed Ancestral Swiftness yet because it just disappeared without (as far as I know) a statement saying it should be gone.
updated for build 12479
--- 10/07/14 Fixed masteries with the new mastery system and added blurb from blue post explaining.
--- 10/07/16 Added developer chat stuff, not too much for us...clearly they hate us.