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Blessings>Totems in Raids


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#1 EgaL

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 02:30 PM

My suggestion is that totems should work for the whole raid instead of only the group (perhaps auras should work for the whole raid too to compensate)

Overall the shaman buff in raid situations would be huge, but paladin blessings are pretty imbalanced atm and thats the only way of fixing this imbalance imo.

Perhaps there should be a "greater totem" which affects the whole raid and costs significantly more mana. The aura fix would equalize the situations after the totem buff even without greater totems (and their higher mana costs) I think.

I know the offical blizzard response to this suggestion would be: "Nice idea but the encounters were designed with auras and totems working as they do now"

But thats no point imo because the buff for horde is needed.

I thought about this when I read this topic: Thread in R&D Forum

#2 Praetorian

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 02:39 PM

This has been proposed at length in various settings, and I don't think it's the way to go. First off, it would be horribly unwieldy. I drop a Tranquil Air totem for DPS. But I don't want the tank to get the effect. How would that work?

As a raid leader and a shaman, I really like the way group composition for Horde is much more intricate than it is for Alliance, and many fights see me swapping groups around on the fly to move shamans around as needed so their abilities can be best utilized by those who need them. Dumbing that down would not be an improvement.

Rather than make totems raidwide, my proposal would be:
1) Give most of them a much larger radius. 20 yards is nothing in a room the size of Sartura's, let alone Ouro's.
2) Instead of requiring constant proximity to the totem to keep a buff in effect, let the totem "pulse" the buff for a 20-30sec duration, the way LG Andronov pulses Aura of Command in the Rajaxx fight. So you can run around, as long as you visit the totem's area every 30 seconds or so, and still get the benefit.
3) Make most totems last much longer; give shamans an ability to "dismiss" a totem without having to drop a new one.
4) Add some new totems entirely. Give us a fire totem that increases spell damage, for example.

Don't destroy the totem mechanic -- it's not a bad one -- just buff the PvE aspect of totems to bring them back into balance with raidwide persistent blessings.

#3 EgaL

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 02:46 PM

I dint think of buffs you dont wanna have for the whole raid, thanks for this point.

You would have to take care where you place your tranquil air totem, in many encounters you wouldnt be able to put it down at all because tanks and meleedps are packed to close together.

Perhaps this could be fixed with a smaller radius or something like that.

Another possible fix would be the ability to "click the buff away", so that the Tanks would have to dismiss the tranquil air totem buff each time a shaman throws one out.

3) Make most totems last much longer; give shamans an ability to "dismiss" a totem without having to drop a new one.
4) Add some new totems entirely. Give us a fire totem that increases spell damage, for example.


These two points should be implemented anyways.

#4 Ghostz

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 03:03 PM

As an alliance player looking in (as in no experience with totems in raids), I think the pulsing sounds like a really good idea. They already have the mechanics for it (see Earthbind) and I don't think having the totems pulse every 10-15s and give a 1minute buff will be unfair in any way. This will probably go hand in hand with increasing the duration of totems.

AQ seems to be pretty equal in terms of Shaman/Paladin ability balances if you exclude the Twin Emps bug that doesn't let you put down totems. My views may be skewed but it seems that Alliance have it a little easier on Huhuran and maybe the emps. Horde have it a little easier on Lord Kri and a lot easier on Viscidus (or maybe we're just not doing the fight right :P).

I can't really see any balance issues on Ouro, and we haven't put too much time in on C'Thun so I can't really comment on that.

#5 Wodin

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 05:21 PM

Totems are worthless on Sartura too, and Skeram if you're not Really Careful™ with positioning because Skeram proxing on a totem is bad news(though usually recoverable).

#6 jubelio

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 06:53 PM

I dint think of buffs you dont wanna have for the whole raid, thanks for this point.

You would have to take care where you place your tranquil air totem, in many encounters you wouldnt be able to put it down at all because tanks and meleedps are packed to close together.

Perhaps this could be fixed with a smaller radius or something like that.

Another possible fix would be the ability to "click the buff away", so that the Tanks would have to dismiss the tranquil air totem buff each time a shaman throws one out.

Giving any totem a smaller radius is a bad idea, as is forcing tanks to click off buffs. Raid wide totems discourage grouping strategy and complexity, as Gurg said. Also, I dont think some shaman would appreciate the fact that a raid would only then require 2 or 3 shaman at the maximum except for the razorgore fight. As it is now, a balanced raid requires at least about 4 shaman, more being preferable.

#7 Wodin

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 06:56 PM

Lands, proxes the totem instead of the warrior, and earthshocks him. It's only really an issue when there are multiple images on one platform.

#8 Hamlet

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 07:07 PM

Some of the things Praetorian suggested to make totems less unwieldy would be great for Horde (akin to giving Pallies the 15min class buffs). An overall change to the party-buff idea isn't warranted though.

Everyone on R&D uses the same basic argument: "Every Alliance raid member gets to have every Blessing they want, whereas a Horde raid member gets 1 or 2 buffs, and that's if they're in a party with a Shaman (which is maybe 25 people)."

I don't know how, though, you make the jump from those facts to the conclusion that something is imbalanced. At the risk of jumping into a generalized Paladin vs. Shaman brawl, Paladins are simply more of a support class. Without really powerful buffs that make the other 35 raid members noticably more useful, you'd be hard-pressed to bring more than 2 or 3 to a serious raid. Shamans have more utility outside of their buffs; most importantly, they are more powerful healers. They can even output much more useful raid DPS if that's necessary (which makes a difference on, say, Nef). Paladins are bringing to the table: serious buffing ability (not only Blessings even, but Auras and Judgements), healing that's useful but not full-powered, plate armor (with no aggro-holding capability to go with it), and a few tricks like LoH. It's a different style of class, and homogenizing them would be a lot less fun.

Also, note that, until the Paladin review, you could not have 4 Blessings up on each raid member. You theoretically could, and Horde still complained the same way, but 5-minute single-target buffs made that impossible in practice. It seems entirely possible that the Shaman review will somehow make totems more useful in practice, without increasing the power level of the buffs on paper.

#9 jubelio

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 07:15 PM

Shamans have more utility outside of their buffs; most importantly, they are more powerful healers.

I was under the impression that properly geared paladins could heal for indefinate amounts of time while shaman may heal for more, but go out of mana much faster.

#10 Hamlet

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 07:16 PM

Shamans have more utility outside of their buffs; most importantly, they are more powerful healers.

I was under the impression that properly geared paladins could heal for indefinate amounts of time while shaman may heal for more, but go out of mana much faster.

That may well be true--Pallies tend to be rather mana-efficient. They do not have a huge amount of power in fighting spike damage, though.

#11 jubelio

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 07:18 PM

That may well be true--Pallies tend to be rather mana-efficient. They do not have a huge amount of power in fighting spike damage, though.

Compared to either druids or priests, shaman have pretty awful ability to do that as well.

#12 Praetorian

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 07:18 PM

Yeah, paladins are much better are patch healing and keeping up with sustained DPS over a long period of time.

When your tank eats a 7k Unbalancing+Thrash to the face from Vek'nilash, though, there's no question you'd much rather have two shamans than two paladins helping out the priests/druids on him.

#13 Praetorian

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 07:21 PM

That may well be true--Pallies tend to be rather mana-efficient. They do not have a huge amount of power in fighting spike damage, though.

Compared to either druids or priests, shaman have pretty awful ability to do that as well.

:w-hat:

Disagree heavily there. Shamans combine some of the best of both classes when it comes to dealing with spikes. Burst healing is a shaman's strong suit.

NS is better than PW:S in responding to an emergency bad spike. Obviously PW:S is better for anticipated spikes like shadow flame and such, and you can only NS so often, but if your tank is dropping dangerously low "often," you're in trouble.

Druid NS+HT is better than Shaman NS+HW because of sheer volume of course, but when NS is down, a druid can't do shit about spike damage, whereas I basically have Flash Heal.

#14 jubelio

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 07:29 PM

Yeah, I see what you're saying. For some reason when I think spike damage I think large amounts of damage. Shamans dont have the hps that druids and priests have. but for shadow flames or other such things where you just need average heals quickly, shaman are really good at that.

#15 Graham

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 07:32 PM

Eh, to me the simplest change is the following:

Offensive totems (searing, fire nova, earthbind) remain unchanged.
Buff totems have range increased by about 20%, and instead of buffing players in the shaman's party, they buff the shaman with something that lasts 10 seconds and then reapplys. The shaman buff then, 1 second after landing on the shaman, buffs all party members within 20-30 yards of the shaman, including the shaman, with the actual original totem buff.

This would make the totem buffs mobile but not in infinite directions at once, which seems to be the biggest concern.

#16 Zellyn

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 08:24 PM

Eh, to me the simplest change is the following:

Offensive totems (searing, fire nova, earthbind) remain unchanged.
Buff totems have range increased by about 20%, and instead of buffing players in the shaman's party, they buff the shaman with something that lasts 10 seconds and then reapplys. The shaman buff then, 1 second after landing on the shaman, buffs all party members within 20-30 yards of the shaman, including the shaman, with the actual original totem buff.

This would make the totem buffs mobile but not in infinite directions at once, which seems to be the biggest concern.

In that case you're either adding one step too many (applying a buff to the shaman before it going to the raid) or you're negating the whole purpose of totems. The totem is supposed to be the source of power, by having the shaman have to run around spreading the buff (which is what would happen if they were the source of the buff) you'd also be seriously hampering their utility as spot-healers by forcing them to concentrate of where they need to be in order to correctly buff whomever.

I was going to say that having the totems buff everyone would be insane (rogues with Windfury, Tranquil Air, and GoA), but I didn't know that Greater Blesings could be stacked. Almost makes me want to play my alliance rogue again. Too bad he's a night elf.
<08-07-09 02:09>[Velth] This is the behavior of a benefactor of the EJ forums?

#17 Graham

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 08:46 PM

you'd also be seriously hampering their utility as spot-healers by forcing them to concentrate of where they need to be in order to correctly buff whomever.

I don't see the real difference there between makign the shaman be within range of everyone once every 10 seconds vs making everyone be within range of the shaman at all times.

#18 Praetorian

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 08:51 PM

you'd also be seriously hampering their utility as spot-healers by forcing them to concentrate of where they need to be in order to correctly buff whomever.

I don't see the real difference there between makign the shaman be within range of everyone once every 10 seconds vs making everyone be within range of the shaman at all times.

Neither makes any sense in light of the class. Paladins have auras, not shamans.

Re-read my original proposal above where players can refresh their buffs by moving back near a long-lasting totem. It fits the class much better and is far, far simpler.

#19 Yuckie

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 10:12 PM

A warrior in my guild (our MT) made an addon that makes it literally impossible to bless him with Salvation, it auto cancels the buff once he receives it. Same could be done for tranquil air, however I agree with gurg that they should just expand a little of the versatility of totems, rather than screwing up a already tested / decent system. A complete overhaul would probably make shamans feel like paladins after they removed the strike system.

#20 Torael_7

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 10:56 PM

A warrior in my guild (our MT) made an addon that makes it literally impossible to bless him with Salvation, it auto cancels the buff once he receives it. Same could be done for tranquil air, however I agree with gurg that they should just expand a little of the versatility of totems, rather than screwing up a already tested / decent system. A complete overhaul would probably make shamans feel like paladins after they removed the strike system.

This can't be done with totem buffs, though.




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