Tomorrow patch 8.1.5 arrives in World of Warcraft, and with it comes the much-anticipated allied races of Kul’Tiran humans and Zandalari trolls (along with a WHOLE bunch of awesome content!) I am beyond excited (as usual) for new WoW content. But I will admit I’m feeling bittersweet.

Since I first learned of the Kul’Tirans being added to the game, I’ve known I wanted to play one. The idea of having a larger sized female model in the game with hips and a butt and a thick waist, who is still strong and powerful was something I couldn’t pass up. I promised myself that if they could be shamans, I would race change my main character to be one. And as luck would have it, shamans were announced at Blizzcon as a class that Kul’Tiran’s can play!

In a way I have been dreading this day for awhile. It sounds melodramatic, but my pandaren shaman was my first toon that I ever really connected with. She has been so good at embodying what I wanted from a character in a game like World of Warcraft. She has been strong, but kind, fierce but lovable. But these aren’t traits that are unique to being a pandaren – they are what I want from a female with curves who isn’t just comic relief or “that fat friend”. So I guess in a way I’m taking this opportunity to make a point.

Maybe it’s stupid to make a statement like this, but right now, for me, it’s important. I need to see a woman in game who kinda looks like me who isn’t a complete mess, who gets up and kicks ass and fights for what she believes in and doesn’t let others’ opinions of her appearance stop her from doing what she wants.

So tomorrow, once I have unlocked the quests, I will log out from my pandaren shaman in the place that made her happiest – her little home at Sunsong Ranch, overlooking the beautiful Valley of the Four Winds.

But for now, it’s time to farewell my pandaren self. Here’s to some amazing moments 🙂

And look, I’m not silly. I know that if I’m too sad not being my pandaren any more, I can always change back. 🙂

Are you creating a new Allied race toon?

Advertisements

It seems the Warcraft development team are back at work, because this week the first official Patch 8.1.5 PTR went up. And there’s a lot of great stuff in there. As usual, Wowhead are going through and presenting us with a peek at what’s to come (and doing a darn good job of it, too!)

The highlight for me, though, is something I’ve been hanging out to see since they were announced – Kul’Tiran shamans! Since being formally revealed at Blizzcon, I’ve been waiting (im)patiently for a peek at what they might look like. Thanks to the PTR going up, I’ve been able to do a bit of exploring!

Kul'Tiran character creation screen on 8.1.5 PTR

After a few dramas (mainly being unable to copy any characters on to the PTR OTHER than my shaman!) I was able to get my hands on a 110 shaman that I race-changed to Kul’Tiran so I could see the new race in action.

First up was taking a look at the Kul’Tiran totems. Comments on Wowhead’s post featuring the totems seems to be a mix of love and hate.

Kul'Tiran shaman with totems

It makes sense that these would feature anchors. Of course there are anchors – the Kul’Tiran are the children of the sea, so of course anchors and other nautical themes feature extremely heavily in every Alliance zone in Kul’Tiras. It’s these themes that made me fall in love with the Kul’Tiran people. It’s fitting that totems follow this theme as well.

Whilst I like the body of the totems, I wasn’t a huge fan of the anchor on the bottom of the totems when I first saw them on wowhead. However when you use them you don’t really see it- it’s just how the totems stick in the ground. Which makes sense, and looks great.

The only thing I’m not thrilled about is the water animation in the water totems. It doesn’t feel “watery” enough – it just seems to behave like blue fire. I’d love to see it have a similar animation to the water effects in the tide sages totems. And I feel the green of the earth totems is just a little too “fel green” for me. But they are really minor things. Overall I think these look great, and I can’t wait to use them on a daily basis!

I played around a bit to see what their casting animations were like – I think I’ll be quite good at capturing many derpy casting faces haha! But I love it. I think she looks fantastic.

For me, 8.1.5 can’t come soon enough! I can’t wait to be a child of the sea! ❤

It’s been 2 lockouts since Realm disbanded. It’s been weird not raiding. I played a whooole lot less. The break was nice in a way, but to be honest one of the main reasons I wasn’t playing as much because there just wasn’t anyone else around. It got very lonely very quickly, and it was seriously bumming me out.

On Thursday (with some help from the lovely Lemon) I changed my status on Wowprogress to “looking for guild” to see what would happen.

I had some decisions already set in stone:

  1. I was staying Alliance. I just dislike the Horde aesthetic so much that I don’t want to go back to it. Also, almost all of my toons are Alliance, and I just don’t want to have to faction change them all just to raid.
  2. I was probably going to have to move to Frostmourne in order to find a team. It’s a very Alliance heavy server with a high population, so lots of Alliance raiding guilds. And all the other servers are far too quiet, so if things didn’t work out I’d be stuck on a server with few options.
  3. I was staying shaman. I’m too attached to my shaman ways.
  4. No increase to raid time – 3 days max of prog raiding. Ideally, 2, but that’s pretty hard to find.
  5. No downgrades – I wanted to find a team within 1 boss prog of myself.
  6. The guild I end up in has to be a good fit people-wise. That’s what made raiding with Realm so amazing – the people. I want to be able to dick around with people and have fun and joke around with each other. And kill bosses.

I got a btag friend request the next morning, and well long story short, I’ve moved servers to Frostmourne and have a trial in a guild. AS ELEMENTAL. Yep, this shaman’s shooting lightning for awhile.

This was a big decision for me. I’ve been a healer for as long as I’ve raided (minus 2 weeks where I tried to be dps back in WoD), so raiding as a full time dps will definitely be a change. But I think it’s going to be a good one. I’ll still always have my healer spec there if I’m ever needed to heal, so that’s not going to go away. There are some changes coming in 8.1 for elemental shamans that I’m hoping will help make the spec a bit better to play… but we can only wait and see.

The thing that really attracted me to this guild was the recruitment person was really lovely, answering all my stupid questions. They also apparently watched some of my streams, which made me feel better because firstly, they know I’m a girl, and secondly, they have seen me play, so they know what they’re in for. They don’t mind me streaming raids, either, which is great. And lastly, something that will either be fantastic, or terrible, their raid times start and finish earlier. I’m a little nervous at the start time being 6:30, as sometimes I haven’t even left work until that time. But if I can get to work earlier and leave earlier, it will be fine. Which means slightly earlier nights, which I think will be good for my tired old self.

I’m obviously terrified. I’m always terrified of putting myself out there, especially knowing people will be watching and scrutinising. I’ve said that they just need to let me know if I’m not cutting it – I’d rather know sooner than dragging it out, because I don’t like letting a team down. But I just have to try my best. It’s all I *can* do. If things don’t work out, at least I gave it a go.

So! Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me that I can actually pull this elemental thing off, and that these guys are a good fit! 🙂

xo

How has it been a month since Battle for Azeroth launched? Holy moly time passes quickly. I suppose a bit part of that is about how completely flat out I’ve been in game. Which leads me in to the topic of this post, and the last Blog Challenge topic (I know I’m late!!) How do you level in Battle for Azeroth?

After raiding, levelling is one of my favourite things to do in game. Seeing new worlds, new NPCs, new secrets and adventures really tickles the explorer in me (and the screenshot nerd!) I love taking my time to follow random paths, hunting down treasures, killing rares, seeing new things and helping out a whole new bunch of people. And this is where we start facing some issues – the time I take to level is not conducive to being raid ready.

Being in a raid team (especially a team that wants to work on mythic bosses) means there are certain expectations. Characters are required to meet a number of requirements in time for going in to raid to make sure we are able to beat dps checks and heal all the damage going out. For our raid team, we expected everyone to have an ilvl of 340 and Azerite neck at 18 before stepping in to Uldir for the first time. (Keep in mind, 340 is the ilvl that drops from mythic 0 dungeons).

I am all for making sure that I’m raid ready. But I’m also not going to sacrifice what I think is important to me about the game. I’m in WoW to have a good time, and new expansions are a really special time for me. So I had to find a happy medium. This is what I did.

night.jpg

1. I levelled alone. Our guild had a few groups of people who were levelling together to help speed up the process. They were also generally in War Mode, which meant they could all help each other stay alive in pvp situations. I didn’t do this for a few reasons, the most important being that I hate feeling beholden to a group. I want to go *my* way, and read all the quest text and stay for all the dialogue and take a million screen shots and visit all the new NPCs in the cities. I want to be able to travel down those random paths and explore every corner of the caves. I also don’t want to hold up a group by doing all those things. I don’t expect anyone else to want to do this (and to be brutally honest, I prefer doing these things on my own).

So solo it was. Levelling solo takes longer, simply because there’s only one of you to kill all the mobs and collect all the things. But I accepted this and knew it would be the case. Which is one of the reasons I took a week of work for the launch. It meant that, even though I would take a lot longer to level up, I’d still have plenty of time to do all the things I needed to make sure I could step in to raid in a strong position.

WoWScrnShot_081518_230829.jpg2. I started in War Mode… but turned it off when I got killed the first time. (For those who don’t know – War Mode turns on world pvp, meaning people can come along and kill you out in the world. It’s not able to be turned on or off no matter what server you’re on, which is pretty awesome!!) The experience gains were too good to ignore, so I tolerated it for awhile. I ended up getting killed in Boralus, though, which made me super mad because that was my home turf! So turned it off shortly after. I managed to make it to about 118 before I turned War Mode off.  Regular readers will know that I am terrible pvp, so it’s no surprise I did this.

3. I picked a zone and stayed until I was done… mostly. I started in Drustvar, and stayed until I finished it. The main reason for starting in Drustvar is that it was suggested as a good place to start if you have mining. Which turned out to be true. My mining got maxed out very quickly indeed, which was great.

WoWScrnShot_090218_131850.jpgAnother reason I stuck around in the zone was because of how dungeons were baked in to Legion – once you finished a zone, there was a dungeon to help wrap that zone up. It helped make the story feel more complete, and gave a much better context for the dungeons overall. This turned out to be the case for Battle for Azeroth as well, with Waycrest Manor being the dungeon at the end of the zone. Knowing the story that took me there really helps me appreciate the dungeon so much more.

WoWScrnShot_090818_115020.jpg

The second zone I went to was Tiragarde Sound. By the time I got here a whole bunch of guildies were already at 120, which started getting me a bit nervous, but I continued on my merry way (though I did miss a couple of side quests in this zone.)

beemountI had about a level and a half left to get to 120, and the pressure was on. Stepping in to Stormsong Valley I made the decision to just do the main storyline so the dungeon would make sense. I dinged before I finished the zone, however kept going so that I could unlock world quests.

Also, all the zones are STUNNING, so of course I wanted to stay as long as I could!!!

Post-levelling

After all that, I think it did alright with my levelling journey. I had a wonderful time levelling, I truly did. I am absolutely adoring the expansion, and being able to take my time with it all, to read all the quests and understand what’s going made the whole experience so much better.

Now, my focus is on raiding. So I’m running dungeons and doing island expeditions and allllll the world quests to get my reputation up and collect azerite for my neck.WoWScrnShot_091318_195635.jpg

I’m honestly having a fabulous time in Battle for Azeroth. I know there are a lot of people out there who are not having the best time, and are unhappy with all the bugs… I’m trying to keep my head down. I don’t want to get weighed down with the negativity. For me, things are great! And the bugs don’t ruin my enjoyment of the game. I’m hoping with a bit of time, peoples’ frustrations will die down.


zcblogchallenge_contributor_rectangle

Last night, the first raid of Battle for Azeroth opened. Uldir is here! It’s a great looking raid. But more on that in a moment.

Before we headed off, I wanted to get a team picture of our starting team for the expansion (and thankfully my GM entertains my annoying screenshot-taking habits!). So we all got together for our first pre-raid pic. 🙂

Realm_Uldir

You might notice that’s a lot of people. Well, you’d be right. One of the biggest challenges that we have as an officer team at the moment is reducing the team numbers down to a more manageable level. Mythic only needs 20, and normal and heroic cap at 30. We have almost 40 people. Thankfully I don’t have a lot to do with really choosing who makes it to mythic and who doesn’t (other than personal observations).

But on to the raid itself!!

WoWScrnShot_090518_194241

Uldir is in Nazmir, on the Horde island of Zandalar. According to Blizz, it was an old Titan facility, where they were experimenting with the void energies that bound the Old Gods. Things did not go well, so they literally shut the door on the place and hoped no-one would notice. Genius!

I tried to get pics of all the bosses, but wasn’t always successful (darn rogues stealthing in front of the bosses!!), but here are some of them.

The overall aesthetic of the place is pretty cool. It has the titan feel that you would want and expect from something that the titans were involved with. It feels massive, but it’s designed in such a way that it doesn’t take a super long time to get from boss A to boss B.

Interestingly, the exit of the Underrot raid is apparently the entrance to this raid, so many of the Underrot aesthics are there, too. Lots of blood and decay. It really looks amazing.

So for our first night, our goal was to at least clear normal with as many people as we could. We managed to do this relatively easily, with the only real challenge being G’huun. That is a chaotic fight that did a bucket load of damage, even on normal. But it was a lot of fun, with some interesting mechanics.

Tonight we go back in to do it all again on heroic. Our goal is to clear out the whole raid on heroic to get Ahead of the Curve by the end of the lock out. I should be do-able… but we’ll see 🙂

Hope those of you stepping in to Uldir this week have a fantastic time. Let me know how you go!

For the past few weeks/months a few people in guild have been trying to get a group together to work on getting The Chosen achievement. For this achievement, you need to complete the Trial of Valor on mythic difficulty without dying. That is, defeating Odyn, Guarm and Helya on mythic, and still being alive at the end of it to tell the tale.

We decided to try this when we outgeared it a fair bit, to give us a better chance of succeeding. Which brings us to today. Tonight was the 3rd night we had tried to complete (my second night, as I missed the first one). Most of the time people died to silly mechanics like orbs on Helya which, even with loads of gear, can one-shot people if they’re not careful.

Tonight, we lost one person to Guarm (I believe they just got a bit too close to the boss and got one-shot), and we lost another to Helya (got hit by an orb that hurt for a bucket load). 18/20 isn’t too bad, though!

TheChosen

From this achievement, we received the title “… the Chosen” and a transmog set. I’m not the biggest fan of the transmog set, to be honest. But you know me and transmog- got to have them all!

WoWScrnShot_032718_210048

For me, it was more about getting that title. I’ve wanted it since I heard it, and am awfully glad to have gotten it. There will be more runs in the future for alts to get the transmog sets on other armour types… I’ve just got to decide which one I want next! 🙂

 

Content from cindersays.net.

~*This post contains pictures and information relating to the Battle for Azeroth Alpha. If you don’t want to know or see anything relating to Alpha, please turn away now~*

EDIT: MArch 16 – a new build went up last night with a couple of changes that will hopefully address some points below, so expect a follow up post in the future! Also, had a lovely reader remind me of the existence of Frost Shock, so I need to look at how I’m incorporating that into the rotation, as that might help with somethings, too.

Battle for Azeroth Alpha has been out for a little while now. I’ve been super lucky to get an invitation to the Alpha, so have been spending the past few weekends slowly making my way through the content, giving feedback and comments and reporting bugs and what not, to try and find all the little things that might need fixing before the game goes live. I’ve been streaming my adventures (you can check out some of the videos over on my twitch channel twitch.tv/cinder_streams). All I can say is BfA is going to kick BUTT. It’s flippin’ STUNNING.

rainbow_edited

THERE’S A RAINBOW!!!!! ❤

Anyways….

So, of course I’ve been doing all of this initial levelling as a pandaren shaman on the Alliance side. I’ve been trying out elemental and a little of restoration. I wanted to write a little bit about the elemental side of things first, because that’s what I’ve been doing most of all.

NOTE: I am absolutely not a theorycrafter. I don’t sim anything, I go by gut, and am not at all an expert on elemental shamans in any way, shape or form. And obviously as this is Alpha, everything I write here today may be completely different tomorrow. 

For the most part, elemental shamans haven’t changed an awful lot. A lot of the same spells and talents are there, just shifted around a bit. (You can see all the spell/talent changes on wowhead here.) There are some spells we have back (welcome back Tremor Totem and Earth Shield!!!), but the overall approach is the same:

Cast spells to generate maelstrom

Cast spells to spend maelstrom

But whilst the approach is the same, getting there is a little different, and it’s lead to a very different, much slower elemental shaman, with very little variance and choice in game play.

Flame Shock

Firstly, Flame Shock is back to having a cooldown of 6 seconds, and is a baseline of 15 seconds on the target with no maelstrom cost. (i.e. It no longer increases duration based on maelstrom spent, as Flame Shock no longer costs maelstrom to cast. It’s worth noting that wowhead currently says that it does change the duration of the dot based on maelstrom, however in game this is not the case.). On the plus side you can cast Flame Shock on the pull (though you could do this in Legion too). The down side is that you can’t multi-dot more than 2 targets anymore. Unfortunately this has sometimes meant that Lava Surge procs have gone to waste on a non-Flame Shocked target, as the target with Flame Shock on them has died before the cooldown on the spell came up again to cast it on a new target, followed by the proc. This might not sound like a big deal, but Lava Burst does almost the same amount of damage as Lightning Bolt does without a crit and only generates 2 more maelstrom for its trouble, so you really want it to crit to make it worth your while.

Essentially this just means that we need to more careful about which targets get Flame Shock on them, making sure they’re going to stay alive for the duration of the spell so that we have a debuffed target to push Lave Surge procs into. The cooldown on Flame Shock also means that we’re getting fewer Lava Surge procs overall, which means getting those crit-buffed hits even more important.

So far, I miss being able to multi-dot adds for the multiple procs of Lava Surge… which is probably the reason they took that ability away. It’s just something I’m going to have to adjust to. I will say, though, that I do miss the ability to control the length of the dot on a target by choosing to spend extra maelstrom on a longer dot. It made me feel like I had some control over my spell choices.

Earth Shock

Earth Shock has also been reverted to an earlier version of itself, with the scaled damage based on maelstrom spent affect no longer in place. Instead, Earth Shock costs 60 maelstrom, and does a flat rate of damage. This has been the hardest adjustment for me. Two things that bother me with this reversion.

Firstly, a personal preference – when a mob is about to die, I would rather cast an instant 10 maelstrom cost earth shock than spend almost 2 seconds casting Lightning Bolt. Lightning Bolt is overkill at that point, and feels like a waste of time. So for me it makes killing mobs slower (especially if they manage to interrupt your cast.)

Secondly, tying in to the set maelstrom cost, sometimes it feels like it takes a REALLY long time to get enough maelstrom generated to use Earth Shock. And what’s worse- it’s extremely underwhelming. When you’re standing there not getting Lava Surge procs and just casting Lightning Bolt for ages, it’s a real slap in the face when you finally get that moment to cast Earth Shock and it hits like a wet noodle. Damage aside, it doesn’t have a satisfying animation or anything associated with it. (This animation has been true for Legion, but at least on live Earth Shock can hit like a truck, so it still feels satisfying).

Overall, Earth Shock is my biggest gripe for the class at the moment, and where I would really like to see some changes made, if possible.

Maelstrom generation

As I mentioned in the Earth Shock section, it can take a long time to generate maelstrom. I find the vast majority of my time is spent casting Lightning Bolt (in between Healing Surges to keep myself alive!) which, to be honest, just gets a bit boring. Part of the issue with lack of Flame Shocks giving Lava Surge procs is that it contributes to this slower maelstrom generation… it’s a vicious cycle. And again, once you spent all this time and effort building your maelstrom, to have the “finisher” be underwhelming just doesn’t make it feel worth it.

The talent Aftershock helps with this – Your spells refund 30% of all Maelstrom spent on them – but it does come at the cost of being in place of Storm Elemental and Liquid Magma Totem, and if we were in a single target fight, we’d be choosing Storm Elemental, because building up to a weak Earth Shock isn’t going to be as strong (though of course this would need to be simmed- getting out a few more Earth Shocks may end up being a damage increase over the damage

Another new talent that has come in, Molten Fury (Lava Surge now also causes Lava Burst to generate 50% more Maelstrom) may also be a nice help, though it would rely on being able to get lots of Lava Surge procs to be useful. Going against this talent most of all, though, is that it’s on the same line now as Elemental Blast, which is so embedded in elemental shaman gameplay it should just be baseline now.  (side note: Elemental Blast is still very satisfying, and at the moment does some nice damage. If this is reduced, however, this talent line will need some thought).

Lastly there is High Voltage, which is most likely the best choice to help generate more maelstrom – Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning can now cause a second Elemental Overload. The downside to this talent is that it’s not consistent, it’s RNG based, so the proc rate will determine how effective this will be (Elemental Overload helping to generate additional maelstrom through the extra hit it does).

It comes down to this: there are now only 2 spells for the spec that cost maelstrom – Earth Shock and Earthquake – there is no variance in their strength based on the maelstrom spent, and it takes a long time to be able to cast them at all, so they really need to be worth it.

AoE

Chain Lightning is everyone’s favourite spell in game (right?), and it’s still beautiful in BfA. But the damage reduction done to it is striking. Currently on live Chain Lightning hits for just a little less than Lightning Bolt. On Alpha, it hits for half the damage of Lightning Bolt, and generates less maelstrom per target hit. What I’ve noticed so far is that if you’ve got 5 mobs or more, this is fine. However anything less and you wonder why you’re there at all, and start cursing your fat panda butt for pulling those extra mobs. (Also, you’re probably dead because you’re so damn squishy).

Then there’s earthquake. Earthquake has had its cost increased to 75 maelstrom, making it pretty expensive to cast. Thankfully (at the moment) it seems to be worth it. But again, because of the high cost, you’re going to want a decent number of mobs (assuming Earth Shock gets some better damage going on).

For the most part, I found it difficult to AoE effectively during levelling unless there were about 5 “normal” health mobs. Chain Lightning + Earthquake was usually enough to get them down reasonably well. However anything from 2-4 mobs, or if there was an elite thrown in there at all, it was actually quite difficult to deal with, and would generally kill me. The maelstrom would take too long to generate so earthquake would take longer to get down, by which time I was pretty damaged myself. (Tell you what, I’ve never used my stun totem so much before!!!). Liquid Magma Totem is still available as a talent, which is nice. Again, though, it’s going to be better with large mob sizes rather than small. So we fine ourselves in this weird place with mobs of 2-4.

Movement

I’ve griped a lot in the past about how much movement really impacts being an elemental shaman. In fights with movement in them, our dps is punished pretty badly. In the past Blizz have done things to help deal with this: we’ve been able to cast Lightning Bolt on the move, or, as in the case of Legion, our Shocks not having cooldowns or maelstrom cost limitations; it wasn’t always ideal to reapply a flame shock dot on a target if it were a lower maelstrom, but it still felt like you were able to do something as you were moving from point A to point B so that was nice.

In Alpha, we have nothing that can be cast on the move unless Earth Shock has been charged up or Flame Shock is off cooldown. Relying on Lava Surge procs is also down given how much harder it is to multi-dot mobs. And to rub salt into the wound, Gust of Wind has been removed as a talent (zomg not my fart talent!!), so we can’t even quickly dash to get to Point B so we can start casting again. For me personally, I can deal with one or two of these things being in place, but it does feel quite punishing having all of these things combined.

There are talents that can help with this a bit, but it does lock us in to them if there’s a big chunk of movement. You could take Spirit Wolf (While transformed into a Ghost Wolf, you gain 5% increased movement speed and 5% damage reduction every 1 sec, stacking up to 4 times). There’s also Stormkeeper, which is the watered down Elemental Shaman artifact replacement talent – Charge yourself with lightning, causing your next 2 Lightning Bolts or Chain Lightnings to be instant cast and trigger an Elemental Overload on every target. If you know damage is coming, Stormkeeper can be pre-cast to assist with this. And whilst this does sound very good and reasonable, the kicker is that it’s on the same talent line as Ascendance, so you loose a big CD to gain essentially 2 casts on the run.

Something has to give here, though. Having to choose movement talents over CDs is a bit of a blow, really.

On being squishy

Oh my goodness the squishiness! To be fair, this is usually an issue when levelling as elemental shamans at the best of times. Except at the moment, because damage is underwhelming, it feels worse because things have the time to actually kill you. It’s extremely frustrating. It does feel like I spend more of my time healing myself than damaging enemies, which makes for very depressing game play. It doesn’t feel satisfying when you defeat a boss; you just feel bloody relieved that it didn’t kill you first. Like I mentioned above, having stun totems are very helpful, for sure, and having Earth Shield is nice, too! But I still die a lot.

Overall thoughts

At the moment, I’m not thrilled. The changes (minor as they may seem) when added together have made the spec feel extremely slow, and very punishing if we need to move. The slow maelstrom generation, and the lack of ability to just ping off the last bit of health on a mob makes the overall gameplay quite stilted- I’m spending far too much of my time casting Lightning Bolt before I’m able to do anything else. And that just gets boring.

When it boils down to it, the changes have made it so that the class no longer has choices to make when playing. I don’t get to choose between, for example, putting a longer dot on a target or doing a big Earth Shock; I don’t get to choose if I’m going to earthquake these 3 mobs or dot them up with Flame Shocks first to try and force some Lava Surge procs; I don’t get to choose if I’m going to drop a little Flame Shock on my target as I move- I’m either going to do nothing at all while we move, or I’m going to stand still and piss my healers off by finishing a cast before moving at all.

What I would to see is some flexibility put back into the spec. I want to think a bit about what I’m doing while I’m playing. I don’t want to feel like I’m spamming ‘1’ all the time for Lightning Bolt. I want to feel strong; I want to feel like my spell choices matter.

Don’t get me wrong, none of this is the end of the world… but it does have me looking at other dps classes kinda seriously for the first time since becoming a shaman, and I really don’t like that.

WoWScrnShot_022318_192201

So darn beautiful

 

So those are my thoughts at the moment on Elemental Shamans. What do you think of the changes? Do they suit you? Or would you like to see some different changes made?

 

We did it! After all the dramas we have gone through as a team over the past couple of months; after losing so many players and recruiting and trialling others, we are finally at a point where, not only have we defeated all the mythic bosses we had killed before, but we have now got down a new boss! Mistress Sassz’ine is DOWN!

Pit_crew_mythic_6_sassypants

Mythic Sassypants (Sassz’ine)

This fight is of the most RNG-heavy, mechanics-intensive fights I think I’ve ever done. It is one of those fights that, even after having done it hundreds of times, you still kinda feel like you don’t really know what’s going on. It is absolute CHAOS. And I freaking loved it!

For our team, we went with 5 healers, but as a result, were told that we also needed to dps as much as possible in order to beat the enrage timer. Because of this, and the fact that this fight has SO much movement in it, I swapped my gear and talents around a little to what I would normally do.

For my legendaries I used Uncertain Reminder. Aside from having some really juicy stats on it, it extends the duration of hero by 75%. That extra time of hero, combined with our restoration artifact trait Sense of Urgency, AND the fact that hero is popped at a time when there is bucket loads of damage going out, means that it’s a really useful legendary to have. So this one was a no brainer.

The second legendary I had been thinking a fair bit about. In the end, once it was confirmed that we needed to be pushing out more dps, the decision was easy. I went with Soul of the Farseer. Again, it has some great stats on it. But the reason I went with this legendary was the fact that it let me run Echo of the Elements AND Cloudburst at the same time, meaning I could cast a lot more on the move (extra Riptides and Healing Stream Totems) and be able to cast more Lava Bursts. I was glad I went with it in the end, because towards the end when I wasn’t dpsing so much, I was able to drop out some more instant heals as I was fleeing for my life from some hungry octopus thing.

For talents, I had Torrent, Graceful Spirit (this is a no brainer – being able to cast on the move more often is essential in this fight), Lightning Surge Totem (which I didn’t use at all), Ancestral Guidance (to beef up my Cloudburst Totems), Ancestral Vigor, Cloudburst Totem AND Echo of the Elements, and lastly Wellspring.

Wellspring was a last minute change. Normally on this line I’ll take High Tide, but swapped over to Wellspring because it just felt stronger here. It was great for topping up loads of people after each Hydra shot. And it looks cool. 😀

My heals overall were pretty crap, but a lot of that is just due to pushing out damage wherever we could, and the sheer amount of movement there is in this fight. The movement also meant that I couldn’t drop healing rain very often at all, and that usually heals for a pretty decent amount.

None the less, we did it. Mythic Mistress Sassypants is sassy no more. Next up… Maiden of Vigilance.

I’ve spent a bit of time this weekend attempting the mage tower artifact challenge yet again. I put in about an hour or 2 each time the tower is up in an attempt to get the artifact appearance that I have been wanting since I first saw it on beta.

This weekend I got the closest I’ve ever been to getting it done – up to the very last boss – before I failed miserably. I’m progressing a little more each time. Truth be told, I was sure I’d get it this weekend. I was able to get through the first stage easily each time I tried yesterday, and everything that I had read and watched for Resto shamans indicated that the first phase was the hardest for us. So I felt really good being able to push through that multiple times.

But such is the way when you’re unwell, I had to stop and rest when I was on a roll yesterday. I figured it would be ok, I’d be able to pick things up again today, (Sunday) and get it done. I felt even more confident about it because I had managed to get my 52nd trait last night, which unlocked the final new Concordance trait (woot!). I also managed to pick up a few great pieces during our heroic farm clear last night, including a tier helm that managed to titanforge AND have a socket! This was really great news because the only gem slots I had in my gear were on a couple of legendaries, meaning I was locked in to having one or 2 set legendaries so I could have the 200+stat gem. But now, I can have that in my tier helm, and can swap through whatever legendaries I like. Huzzah!!

Anyway, given all of that, I had another crack at the challenge this afternoon and I *sucked*. Like, terribly. I don’t know what was going on, but I just couldn’t push through that first phase again. So I’m sitting here sulking and feeling sorry for myself. I only gave it half an hour because I just wasn’t doing any better. I’m just marvelling at how one day I can be doing brilliantly, and the next, sucking super hard. Here’s hoping after dinner I pull my shit together, because we’re onto Mythic Gul’dan progression now! SO exciting!!

WoWScrnShot_050617_203711

Anyways, this was just a bit of a ramble really. Just reflecting a bit on how much my performance can change based on how I’m feeling.

Truth be told, I’ve been feeling pretty lost in WoW lately. No, it’s not from lack of things to do, or not enjoying the game (because there is plenty to do, and I still completely love the game!). Once again it’s how I’m performing in raids. And it’s at the point where I’m seriously at a loss as to what to do, and wondering if I should even bother.

I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong anymore. Previously there would be all manner of excuses as to why my performance as a healer sucked – I didn’t have the right legendaries, group composition really makes a difference, I’m not using the right stats, I just need more gear blah blah blah. But whilst I don’t have all of the legendaries that I want to be using on my resto shaman, I do have some very good legendaries that should do just fine. And I have plenty of gear with the right stats on it (not that stats are supposed to matter all that much any more). I’m working my way to my 51st trait, which isn’t as high as others, but it’s still pretty high overall.

I’ve looked at logs and seen what talents people are using. I do know one big problem is that I don’t use Cloudburst Totem as a talent. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that it makes my framerate drop to 3 (and given my UI settings are already set to 3 in raids, I can’t drop it any lower – I have difficulty seeing some abilities as it is). So I can’t use it without it causing some issues. (I’m really hoping I’ll be able to buy a new PC in the near future!!) Might just have to try again.

I look at logs and I suppose a consolation is that Druids just seem to be kicking ass at the moment. And it also doesn’t help (me) that the other healers are just fucking awesome. I guess my problem is that I don’t know if it’s just me doing the wrong thing, or if it’s my class being lacklustre. It just feel like my heals don’t do a lot unless everyone stays low for an extended period of time. But they all get topped up so quickly, so my mastery doesn’t get a chance to kick in. This expansion was supposed to be about bringing back triage healing, but instead it seems the fights are just unforgiving – if people fuck up they get one shot, rather than just getting really low, allowing us to heal them back up again. It’s just back that old ping pong healer bars again, and as a shaman I just feel useless. I’m back to being a walking CD.

And I’m not writing this to get anyone to “fix” things for me or say things to make me feel better, I just need to get it out of my head. I can’t figure out if it’s going to get any better for me. And if it’s not, what does that mean? Do I just stop healing and go hit things instead? Or do I heal on a different class? What? I really am just feeling awfully lost. I found myself going back to this post where I was hypothetically thinking about what class I’d play if I couldn’t play my main and I landed on druid or mage. But what if it’s not the class? What if it’s just that I’m shit? Do I just stop raiding? I keep coming back to moments like this, and Bume is really lovely and helps me out, but I don’t feel like I’m getting any better. Instead I just feel like a burden.

It makes my brain hurt. And in the meantime I just feel really blah. So instead I’m bumming around levelling up an Alliance priest because their spells are pretty and it makes me feel better.

 

I’ve said quite a few times how wonderful the WoW community can be. From organising fundraisers, to helping each other out, to just being super awesome people. This week I was lucky enough to be the recipient of some generosity from the WoW community.

Coolidge approached me, asking if I’d like him to draw a picture of my character, Cinderstorm. Of course I said yes, please! He was very patient with me, asking what I wanted and if I had any special requests or anything. I just said I wanted FIRE! And boy did he deliver. Check out my cutie!!!!!

Cinderstorm artwork by Coolidge

Cinderstorm artwork by Coolidge

Look at her little fire elemental!!! And her wee little totem! And her transmog! AND ALL HER FIRE!! ❤

I love her so much. She’s absolutely adorable. I am so, so grateful!

THANK YOU a million times over to Coolidge for my gorgeous girl. Go check out more of his amazing artwork at DeviantArt, or go visit his twitter and let him know how awesome he is. 🙂

About 2 weeks ago I managed to pick up a casual job thanks to an old boss and some awesome friends. Getting back to work has been really great – knowing I’ve got money coming in again to pay bills is a big load off my mind! But it does come with the downside of a lot less game time. Even less than last time because I actually care about this job, so I’m not being cheeky writing blog posts and what not during work hours! But even with less time in game, I’ve still had a really successful couple of weeks.

Mythics

We’re doing pretty well with our progression, getting 1 new mythic boss down per week. Since getting Krosus down a couple of weeks ago, we’ve successfully managed to continue getting him down each week, which gives us 4 mythic bosses on farm. From next week we’re stoping the heroic runs altogether and starting mythic from scratch so that we have more time to spend on progression bosses when we get to them, which is great.

We got Spellblade down the week after Krosus, and then last weekend it was Tichondrius’ turn to go down.

We should have had Botanist down tonight as well, but thanks to Easter and WoW server crashes being the attendance boss from hell, our raid night didn’t end up happening at all. Hopefully we’ll get him down on Wednesday so we can start the long slog on Star Augur.

Team wise we’re doing really well. We’ve got the numbers which is awesome, and we’re all really gelling together quite well. There’s tense time of course, but that’s part and parcel of mythic raiding, I think. It’s just about making sure that at the end of the night we’re all still mates. We’ve got a great little healing team as always, though really need a strong swing healer to fill gaps for us when someone is away. But otherwise, things are going really well.

Riding around

I’ve been pretty lucky with some new mounts lately. Firstly, I finally got my fox mount! I do love it so much, though I think my pandaren shaman is a little too big for him, so I think I’ll use him on my night elf toons instead. 🙂

Then after raid last week I was so lucky!! Thor was flying over Azuna and asked me “what’s an Ephemeral Crystal?” I spun around and asked if he’d seen one. I immediately flew to where he saw one, and off I went. (Thor wasn’t really interested in the mount, and he knew how much I wanted it, so I hunted with his blessing!). It only took me about half an hour to find all 5 crystals needed to get this beautiful mount!

Then of course there was a Mind-Riddler’s Worm, which the WoW secrets discord group had been hunting for since Jeremy Feasel sent out a series of cryptic tweets. It was really fun to watch the whole thing unfold. I had joined the server just to follow along – people are amazing!!! I knew they’d figured it out when my notifications for the server started going bonkers. It was such great work on their part! There’s a great guide on how to get this mount for yourself – shouldn’t take too much time, especially if you have some friends with you to help make the old raids part faster. It’s such a funny looking mount, but I had to get it! I loved that when I got the final piece that rewarded me a mount, there were loads of people just hanging around on them, floating on these strange worm things in solidarity. So much fun.

And then lastly there was of course the unlocking of flying on the Broken Isles. And so now I have a whole other level of exploring to do from up in the air! 😀

March of the tadpoles

Another micro-holiday came along. This was one I was really looking forward to – March of the tadpoles! Seriously, is there anything more adorable than baby murlocs?!?! No, I didn’t think so. 🙂

So for this micro-holiday, we were able to go see a whole bunch of the more adorable little baby murlocs running around. And best of all, we got to befriend one for the day! Every single baby murloc that was there had a different name, and it’s very own little personality. I had such an awfully hard time choosing which murloc to adopt – I wanted them all! I didn’t want any of them to feel left out! There were some running around really fast like hooligans, having so much fun; there were others there were just hanging out chatting; there was even one little guy that just kept “fainting”! He was hilarious, and I nearly chose him… but then I thought a lot of people would choose him, so I didn’t. I wanted to choose one that no-one else would. (I blame this song that my Mum used to sing to me as a kid for this whole feeling sorry for the “runt” of the litter thing I have!)

In the end I found a little guy hiding in a corner under water. His name was Bloop, and I loved him straight away! He seemed like me – too shy to hang out with everyone else, but still kind wanting to be a part of things… at least from a safe distance.

We went on some adventures together, and in the end he gave me a little present – a Wet Rock. I’ve kept it in my bank for safe keeping. ❤ It was a wonderful little holiday!

Questing all over the world

The rest of my time has been spent on the Broken Shore and around the Broken Isles in general doing World Quests. I want to do a whole separate post about the Broken Shore world quests, but in the meantime I’ll just say that I love them, and I’ve been having so much fun with them!

As well as the World Quests, I’ve been banging my head against the wall that is the healer’s solo artifact challenge. I’m so determined to get it!!! But no luck so far. In time, in time.

 

So that’s my big catch up post! What have you been up to?

Tonight was a really great raid night. As usual we started off with our normal heroic clear which went quite well (although completely pathetic heroic Krosus kill with most people dead). We got that all done in an hour, so then it was onto mythic.

We were down one of our strongest healers tonight which made things a little tough, but we did just fine and managed to clear 4 mythic bosses tonight, too! We did a few pulls on mythic Spellblade (which we got down for the first time last week) but we really needed the 5th healer to get us through it so we called an early night. So overall it was a really productive night!

But the best thing of all tonight, was that I got the mythic tier chest from Krosus! Between being extremely lucky with other tier pieces and the transmog pieces being available in mythic Emerald Nightmare, I now have the full shaman mythic tier set appearance! When I first saw this set I was in love, and knew I just had to get it.

WoWScrnShot_040517_225537

And because I have the Balance of Power elemental artifact appearance, I can re-live this awesome wallpaper I won from Skog last year (back when this set was just a dream!)

Cinderwallpaper by Skog Designs

Tomorrow night we should get Spellblade down, and then it’s on to prog on Tichondrius. Yay!!

A shameless plug – we’re always on the lookout for more dps, especially a dps with a strong healing off spec (except paladin). If you’re interested in joining, check out our recruitment post on the forums for all the people to talk to. 🙂

 

Like so many other people, I have been running around taking screenshots using the Inky Black Potion. What a wonderful addition to the game that little potion is!! For those of you who haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, it’s a potion you can buy from a vendor at the Darkmoon Faire that will give you a buff for 2hr that makes the world around you SUPER dark. It.is.incredible. So of course after raid last night I went around seeing what the world looked like in the middle of the night.

One of my favourite things about this potion is that it quite literally is making me see Azeroth in a whole new light. Some places really came alive in the darkness. Others just became down right terrifying. Some became so dark you could barely see in front of you. It really was incredible. It also helps me see why Blizzard don’t make night as dark as this. Yes, it’s awesome, but it has a lot of gameplay issues in that some things you quite literally can’t see. Anyone who is even slightly vision impaired would have a really hard time playing at all. So I’m really glad that it’s something we have the ability to try out and toggle on and off as we please. 🙂

I want to go to every continent and raid zone to try it out. In the meantime, here are some of my favourite pics so far:

I also played around with water walking and headed out in the middle of the ocean to use my spells in the dark.

 

 

This week has been absolutely jam packed with stuff to do in WoW. It’s been an absolute blast! But since patch 7.2 Tomb of Sargeras dropped live earlier this week, I’ve been disappointed to see my timeline so full of negativity. There have been waves of anger and complaining coming in at every direction, and it has been making me really cross. It was starting to bring me down. And I could write up a post to whinge about player behaviour (again!) that no-one will read or will think applies to them, but I’m not doing that this time. This time, I’m going to fill your timelines with positivity and all the brilliant things that are in the game at the moment.

But I will say this. For those of you who say the patch is a waste of time, or that there’s nothing to it or that “this, that and the other” is stupid, please remember:

  • You are responsible for how you play the game
  • You are responsible for your own enjoyment of the game
  • Please stop blaming Blizzard for things that you actually have control over.

Get out there and have some fun! And if for any reason you can’t find it please have some consideration for those of us who absolutely love this, and who you are bringing down with constant negativity.

Now, on to the good stuff – a bucket load of screen shots and adventures!

Deliverance Point

Patch 7.2 started for us Aussies on Wednesday morning, and when I logged in Khadgar was there, ready to start the charge to take back the Broken Shore. So off we all went, flying to our doom on the most stunning mount I’ve ever seen!! (I am holding out hope that this mount will be a drop from the Tomb of Sargeras raid. Please, please!!)

WoWScrnShot_032917_104055

Pretty sweet ride to the Broken Shore if you ask me!

It was eerie going back to the Broken Shore. This was the place that so many of our allies fell. This is the place where the leader of the Horde was mortally wounded. This was where we lost our King. When we landed, and the demons were running around without a care, I hated them all over again. I took far too much delight in cutting them down, as we made our way through the shore.

WoWScrnShot_032917_104610

We met our fair share of cocky demons who think they’re tough cookies – I quickly put them in their place. At once point we even got to go up on one of the ships, which was brilliant. The floating fel-green image of Dalaran in the navigation panel made me sick to my stomach, though.

We managed to get ourselves a little settled in Deliverance Point. I actually really love this space. It is exactly what I imagined an impromptu battle station would look like – tents posted in a common area for food, shelter and healing. Guards everywhere to keep the area safe, flight paths to get us around, and the vendors with all the goodies!

But what I absolutely loved best of all about Deliverance Point, is that it was tailored to me as a shaman. (And to you and whatever class you may play). The guards protecting the area are shamans and elementals – the barriers are made with totems. There’s even a healing triage in a healing rain circle that is monitored by Morgl the Oracle (who is very sassy indeed!)

WoWScrnShot_033117_095740

Totemic power ftw!

WoWScrnShot_033117_095841

Elementals to help keep us safe

WoWScrnShot_033117_095904

I absolutely LOVE this banner!! I want it as a toy

WoWScrnShot_033117_100215

Dagg the Ogre is in that pond in the middle!

WoWScrnShot_033017_221612

There he is! Hiding out in the silliest of ways as always 😀 

WoWScrnShot_033117_100302

I really love how busy and purposeful this space feels

WoWScrnShot_033117_100427

Morgl the Oracle and other resto shamans healing people up….

WoWScrnShot_033117_100519

… while the druids over there have a snooze!!

I’m looking forward to seeing the buildings as they are completed. At the moment their are construction sites that in a really nice touch, are as complete as their progress shows on the architecture table! (i.e. the table says the mage tower is 40% complete, and the building itself looks to be about 40% complete)

WoWScrnShot_033117_133701

40% of a mage tower

Stronger Artifact weapons

I spent quite a lot of time exploring the rest of the Broken Shore, but I’ll write about all that in another post. Because one of the other big things that needed to be done before raid that night was to unlock the new artifact weapon traits. I ended up doing both the restoration and elemental quest lines to unlock both of those weapons (my enhance weapon isn’t ready for them yet!)

The restoration quest line sent me off to Bradensbrook where things are going bad. The Legion have been riling up the poor ghosts in the area, and they are hell bent on “protecting” everyone from the “demons” that we are. It was a little tough only because there were quite a lot of mobs around and I had to do it in resto spec for the healing, so my damage was quite low. But I got through it, and watched as the poo head organising it all ran away like a coward. (Though I understand now that these quests are the precursor to the new solo challenges for the artifact skin, so I am PUMPED about that!)

I went back to Khadgar and his crew and they were super grateful. So much so that they made my artifact even stronger, and gave me a whole bunch of new traits to go and get.

WoWScrnShot_032917_140912

It’s a fact that you have to glow when you get more powerful #ItsTheRules

Because my artifact power was previously maxed out, I was able to get my weapon up to 39 traits straight away. Then between all the AP you get from questing and the fact that the questing itself also opens up Artifact Knowledge to give you SO MUCH ARTIFACT POWER I was able to get to trait 40 before raid on Wednesday. It was a good feeling! My goal is to work pretty hard to get all of the brand new traits as soon as I can (which if I’m really lucky and work hard I can maybe get done before raid on Sunday?)

I wasn’t overly thrilled with my new traits initially. The one that has 4 ranks just makes my Spiritwalker’s Grace (which allows me to cast on the move) last 2 seconds longer for each point (making it 8 seconds longer overall). But last night when we were back on mythic Krosus I took the Graceful Spirit talent, which makes the cool down of SWG 60 seconds. With those 4 points going in, it meant I was able to cast on the move for more than half of the fight, which was actually really, really nice (though I do miss my fart talent!!)

I also went off and got going on my elemental artifact empowered. The quest for this one was quite different, and involved a lot more puzzles and mind games than hitting things. One part of the quest line has you trying to figure out which combination of 3 runes you need to activate to “do a thing” (I don’t want to give anything away!). There are books laying around with clues in them, and you have to piece it all together to get the right 3 (and only the right 3!) activated. I will give this tip, though, for anyone who hasn’t done this yet – you need to speak to the guy when you have activated the 3 runes. I got it right the first time, but didn’t speak to the guy because I was expecting something to happen straight away, so I thought I’d done it wrong and started over again. So save yourself some time and talk to him!

WoWScrnShot_032917_170109

See? Glowy and powerful! 

So far I’m really enjoying the patch, and I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds each week! There are already some really awesome world quests, there’s loads of treasures to find and rares to kill, and the new dungeon is really cool! And eventually we’ll open up the Tomb!! Oh my gosh I can’t wait.

Have fun everyone!

 

I have been extremely lucky this evening. For some time now, anyone who has listened to any of the podcasts I do will have heard me whinging like a giant sook about not yet having the hidden appearance for the my restoration shaman weapon. I mean really whinge (I’m a big ol’ baby!) But I wanted it. I really, really wanted it. I went so far as running in there on my own on normal today, killing everything very slowly on my own in the hopes of being able to get it. No luck.

Lately I’d been taking to running the dungeon on heroic at least once per day to increase my chances, racking up the bad luck protection. After raid tonight, I went and queued once more for an attempt. And I hit the motherload. Because not only did I manage to get my hidden artifact appearance, but I ALSO got a legendary FROM THE SAME BOSS!!

legendary_appearance

Hidden appearance AND legendary from the same boss! Talk about extremely lucky!

I was giggling like a maniac. Like, really. I kinda lost it for a bit. I was so, SO excited to get my hidden appearance finally (now I can work on the last tint I need – 200 dungeons using it! *gulp*)

Here we are learning the new appearance:

WoWScrnShot_032217_230822

The only downside is that the appearance doesn’t suit the new transmog that I recently purchased well at all. I’m hoping I’ll have an elemental appearance that will suit it instead! In the meantime, this is what I’ve gone with for my resto set, using the hidden appearance:

WoWScrnShot_032317_001952

I’d like something better, though I don’t have anything in my wardrobe that I like yet – need to get some lucky drops in older raids for what I have in mind.

Then there’s the legendary. WoWScrnShot_032217_225615

To be honest, this wasn’t high on my list of “wants”. I was leaning towards the bracers or gloves being my next preferred legendary (not that you get to choose!) But it seemed RNG-sus had something else in mind for me. Something that might just help us with the boss we are currently progressing on. See, for the last couple of weeks our guild has been bashing our heads against mythic Krosus. We’ve hit enrage quite a few times and just missed out on the kill – our dps just isn’t quite up there yet. We’ve been mighty close, but just missing out. Now these legendary boots certainly aren’t going to help with meeting any dps checks, but given that there are great periods of standing still, and I have my healing rain up for almost the entirety of that fight, these boots are going to come in very handy for helping get some extra healing out on a fight that is really rough with only 3 healers.

The legendary works by healing people standing in my healing rain, 10% increased healing from my healing spells. Obviously this requires people to be standing in my healing rain for it to be useful. Thankfully, on Krosus, we do spend a lot of our time stacked up together in the healing rain, so this could really come in handy.

Tonight I have been exceptionally lucky and got 1 item I wanted, and 1 item I needed. I am extremely grateful. Here’s hoping I get to post again tomorrow night with a Krosus kill shot!

xo

My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each week there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. This week’s topic is “If you couldn’t play your main anymore, what class would you be?”, and you can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here. Z’s post about this topic can be found right here.

Every time there are class changes, there is always a class that feels more put out by them than any other. That’s not to say that their frustrations aren’t valid, it just tends to be how things play out. The latest class to be feeling the class change pinch are hunters, with a LOT of hunters out there extremely frustrated, and some already dropping their class that they’ve played for years in favour of something less “broken”.

It’s a sad time for anyone who feels their class has moved beyond something they can connect with, and I feel for anyone who has to go through it. For me personally, I don’t think I’d stop playing my shaman at all. It’s too much who I am. But you never know what could happen. I think if I had to change my main it would be a really sad day.

First things first – to heal or not to heal?

For those who don’t know, I main restoration shaman and play either spec as off spec (though focus more on elemental these days). I am assuming that whatever changes make me consider changing class are so substantial that I couldn’t play any of the other specs either, and that shamans are completely off the table.

I think the first question I’d have to ask myself if I wasn’t able to play a shaman anymore, would be whether or not I wanted to remain a healer. And I don’t know the answer to that question. I really love healing. A LOT. But I think a lot of that comes down to how well I gel with the restoration shaman class. The only other healing class I have enjoyed so much has been holy paladin. However the Legion changes to holy paladin have really changed that. I miss holy power and Holy Radiance as a spell. So I don’t think I could play holy paladin again for healing spec unless things changed back.

I’ve never been able to get on board with priest healing or druid healing. Which leaves monk heals. I have played a monk healer, and did quite well with it at the time. However I feel monk heals have changed style far too often. I’d be terrified they’d be getting changed yet again. So I don’t think monk would be it for me either.

Unless a new healer class is brought in (PLEASE?!) it looks like I’d probably not heal on another class.

To tank or not to tank?

I’ve not seriously tanked before, so this is a tricky question to answer, but still worthwhile to think about. I have tanked very casually as a Death Knight, and have a tendency to level my monk on a tank spec as well. But otherwise, that’s it.

I think tanking is a high pressure role to play. Don’t get me wrong – healers are high pressure too, but there are fewer tanks, and mistakes are pretty obvious. I think it would probably get a bit boring at times, too… maybe?

I do like the idea of having a tanking off spec available, so I’m going to say maybe to this for now.

Ranged or melee?

This used to be an easy question to answer – always ranged. I’m terrible at melee. I hate having to chase after bosses and it always feels so crowded. But then I played warrior during the Legion invasions, and it was a LOT of fun. And I levelled my paladin entirely as Retribution and I actually really enjoyed it. So in theory a melee class may not be off the cards.

Raiding?

I think this is the bigger question of all, that would impact my choice. Whether or not I’m raiding with this new class would determine whether or not I play a class that I could excel at, or whether I just choose a class because I think it would be fun to play. My biggest difficulty is that I’m not actually great at any class (including my shaman). I try, but it doesn’t seem to matter how hard I do try, it’s never usually enough.

With that in mind, if I were to raid with a new class, I would need to make sure I enjoyed it as well, for those days when I just flat out suck. I’m also not a huge fan of having to min-max all dps specs, which tends to be what happens when raiding with pure dps classes.

The final result?

You know, this is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Shamans just really click with me, so trying to choose a new class is really tough. I was hoping that laying out my thought process above would help make the decision easier, but it kinda really hasn’t…. lol

Ok, I think… I think if I had to change, it would be to either…

Druid

or

Mage

Druid because it gives me the option of any playstyle – tank, healer, melee or ranged. And they have some of the most BEAUTIFUL transmog in the game! I’m quite fond of my druid, I just need to be better at playing her. I play her as Balance, and I enjoy it a lot.

And mage would be another option, too. I always find myself falling back onto playing my mage. She was my first ever toon, so I’m quite attached to her. I find that I usually manage to find a spec that sits well with me eventually each expansion, so I think she’d be a viable choice, too.

Ok, well that ended up being a lot more difficult than anticipated! What about you? If you had to change your class, what would you change it to?

zcbc_contributor_rectangle

Thursday night was our last formal raid night for the year. With most people being unavailable for Christmas/New Years/family time it was our last chance to try and get at least one mythic boss down in Trials of Valor.

We’ve been working on Mythic Odyn for a couple of weeks now, but realistically only had about 2 and a half to 3 full nights on him thanks to doing additional mythic EN clears for more gear and skipping a raid night due to attendance boss (thanks Christmas!). We went in on Wednesday night feeling confident we’d get the kill given the nerfs that had been applied to most aspects of the fight.

Maybe that was our problem… maybe we were a little too confident, who knows. Anyway, we did not succeed on Wednesday night. It was a bit of a blow to our confidence, I think. It sounds cocky and stuck up to say, but we really should have been able to get Odyn down before the nerfs. Having the nerfs applied and still not getting him down was not a great feeling.

We didn’t expect to be raiding on Thursday. There were a few people who had already said they couldn’t make it, so we weren’t holding our breath. By some miracle, we ended up having enough people on to try again on Thursday night. It was another solid night of work on this boss. We were getting frustrated – on our first pull we had 1% left to defeat him, but wiped. It felt so close, but it ended up taking the entire night to get him down. In true Ominous fashion, it happened on the last pull of the night. But we got there!

mythic_odyn

I actually really like this fight, frustrations aside. There are a lot of things that drive me nuts about it. And even though it’s quite a chaotic fight, it’s chaos I can control (unlike Cenarius) so I enjoy it a lot more.

Turns out our enhancement shaman was recording the fight! So if you want to check out how we did, here’s the video:

Healing wise, this fight goes from not a lot to do, to complete burn all you mana and do what you can oh my god we’re all going to die. I’m rolling in crit at the moment and can’t even burn through my mana pool. Even still, I didn’t chain heal my butt off – I was trying to be smart about my chain heals now that I have  Focuser of Jonat, the Elder . It can stack up to 5 times, making my chain heal pretty powerful (especially when combined with other talents.)  I had been doing pretty well for most of our attempts. Of course the on the kill my heals were lower *sigh* But at least I was alive at the end, so I had that going for me.

I have to say I was disappointed at the end. Most people weren’t thrilled with getting the kill. Some people just seemed down right annoyed, and I found that really disappointing. I understand the frustration, I really do, but isn’t half the fun of raiding the excitement and satisfaction of getting those kills for the first time? I love stupid nerd screams – they have so much joy in them. If you’re not feeling that after a defeating a boss, doesn’t it just start to feel like work? I dunno.

Anyway, mythic Odyn is defeated! I hoping we get at least Guam down before Nighthold comes out. Helya would be nice, too! 😀

My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each week there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. This week’s topic is You as an NPC, and you can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here. You can find Z’s post really soon! (It’s not quite ready yet.)

I don’t know about others, but for me the dream is to have an NPC named after me in WoW. I know, so lame, but how awesome would that be?! Getting to see yourself in game – what a treat! But what would an NPC in WoW be like if it were based on me? Now that I had to think about.

This has been a really hard question to answer. I think if I were to have a choice in the matter, I’d probably want the NPC to relate to me in more than just name. Which is the problem – there is just so much that I do in this game, that it’s hard to choose just one thing that I’d want an NPC to do in game. And would I want her to be a quest giver? Or would she ben a vendor or something like that? So I’ve been thinking really hard about this topic this week! And then, it hit me.

One thing that I do more often than not is change my transmog. I hate to think how much gold I’ve spent on changing my transmog in game (I’m really glad there isn’t a way to track in game! I think it would be pretty bad tbh). So I think it would make sense that my NPC has something to do with transmog.

I also want her to be useful or helpful. Whilst it would be interesting to come up with a quest line, I thought of an NPC that I would like in game. Here’s what my NPC would be like.

Firstly, she’d look like my shaman – female panderen – and be named something with Cinder and Storm in it. And what she would do is be an old raid token vendor, for all of the old raid tokens (i.e. any thing that isn’t current). Her inventory would change every time there is a new expansion to add the token from the expansion that just ended (making her bags FULL of stuff haha!)

She would be in a faction neutral zone, such as the space between the 2 shrines in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms in Pandaria so that both factions could visit her (because I’ve played for both sides). She’d be a little bit cheeky and a little sassy, and probably a bit impatient, too (let’s be real here, she is created “in my image”). Maybe she could occasionally throw water on people like any good restoration shaman would!

But, the really awesome thing about my NPC – her transmog changes ALL THE TIME. Like, every 15 minutes, she has a new outfit. And more than that, she’ll have a matching mount and pet to go with whatever she in wearing – JUST LIKE ME! So she’d be useful and stylish all at once!

Because let’s face it, I have a bit of a transmog problem…

…so my NPC probably would as well. 🙂

What would your NPC be like in game?

zcbc_contributor_rectangle

 

The new raid week started for us last night and we absolutely powered through a full heroic clear in no time at all. Then we went in to mythics and cleared Mythic Nythendra on just the second pull. We headed off to spider bird but only managed to get 1 pull in (which we got below 50% before wiping), but then the servers went down so we called it a night. So overall it was a really great raid night. Except I spent most of it in tears.

I have been looking forward to a new raid tier for ages. I only joined my current guild at the end of Hellfire Citadel – once mythics had all bee cleared. And by that point everyone was so much more geared than I was and knew the fights that restoration shaman mastery was kinda useless (who needs stronger heals on low health players when no-one takes any damage?!) That and I was up against priests and pallies… I didn’t really stand a chance. So even though I didn’t feel good not being top of the heals, I just plodded along and made sure I contributed dps where I could, and did mechanics so I wasn’t a burden. And I waited for Legion and new raids where I’d have a chance to show I could do this.

Except now we’re here in Legion and I’m still shit.

Last night I was constantly at the bottom of the heals. There were times when I was in a brilliant rhythm and doing everything I was supposed to do at the right times, and got to do some of my bigger heals in moments where people were at low health. And I’d get excited, thinking surely this was the moment I’d edge up those healing charts. But no. There I am at the bottom. And sometimes below the warrior tank. What.The.Hell. It’s not just in comparison to other healing classes either – when I look at the logs and look at how I do compared to other resto shamans, I’m doing poorly. It’s devastating to the ego. By the time we got to Xavius last night I was bawling my eyes out.

I love my resto shaman so much, I really do. But I’m finding her tough at the moment. There are a lot of my abilities that rely on people to be close-ish together and to actually stand in the things. Abilities like healing rain, spirit link, earthen shield totem, one of my healing trinkets, and of course my artifact ability, can all really shine when people are stacked up (which is why I can do really well on trash pulls!) but no-one is standing stacked up in raids. It feels stupid dropping these abilities on just tanks, or a handful of melee who run out of it anyway (except for maybe the shield totem). I’ve been trying so hard – I’ve been researching the fights and working on gear stats and trying different rotations. And it just all feels like for nothing. I am just shit.

What to do?

Today I’m not feeling a lot better, but Z was kind enough to listen/read my rants this morning and offer some advice that was confirming some changes I was looking at making. Namely, I’m looking at changing my build. For restoration shamans, it’s always mastery mastery mastery. And for good reason – when people are low for a reasonable amount of time, I can physically see my heals bringing up groups of people all at once – it’s great! But in raids (so far) that doesn’t happen enough. I feel weak. I feel like what I do doesn’t make enough of a difference. I mean even healing tide totem doesn’t feel like it’s doing anything anymore.

The build

I’ve spoken of my love for Ask Mr Robot plenty of times before, and I do love the site and what they do. So of course as Emerald Nightmare was coming up I went on to see what my best pieces would be. What it was showing me was really weird – I couldn’t figure out why it was telling me to not wear mastery gear. Then I saw the optimum build was nothing to do with mastery, and everything to do with Critical Strike.

Instead of

Intellect > Mastery > Critical Strike > Haste > Versatility

Ask Mr Robot was giving me

Intellect > Critical Strike > Versatility > Haste > Mastery > Leech

Quite different. In the end I manually built the stat weights in to be the order I thought they needed to be in and went from there. But now, I’m beginning to think I should try the Mr Robot build. The build is called “Sustained HPS” and I’m guessing the theory behind it is that more crits = more mana regen = more heals I can cast and for longer. The versatility will just make my heals a bit better, too. I’m wondering if, with a crit build, I can do more chain heals. It used to be that that’s where a lot of my healing would come from. Right now it’s all coming from riptide (which is unlikely to change) but maybe I can bring up the AoE heals a bit more. The positives and negatives of this are the same – Ask Mr Robot is based on pure math, which in some ways is great because math doesn’t lie. But in other ways it’s not always great because I’m not a machine – I make mistakes and/or make different spell choices based on situation. But I think it’s worth a shot.

The talents

With that in mind, I’m also going to look at changing my talents around. I had tried the Cloudburst build, but I was not great at it. And a lot of the time the damage didn’t line up with the cloudbursting-ness, so it felt wasted. I absolutely love the Wellspring talent – it looks awesome and it feels satisfying, but it’s mana intensive making, it pretty expensive. And there is a better talent choice if I’m looking at chain healing again.

This is what I’m leaning towards as new talent choices (or see this link if you want the interactive version)

new_resto_talents

Torrent is lovely with Echo of the Elements (Echo lets me riptide more often, so I think they work well together) And I do love my fart talent (Gust of wind) but I’m thinking of giving Graceful spirit a go for awhile so that I can cast on the move more often.

The tier 60 talent I’m moving to will be Deluge, which just means I need to start chain heal on a riptided target or someone in my healing rain (which means I need to make my vuhdo frames show me who’s in healing rain!)

I’m sticking with the Earthen Shield totem as I’m finding it a lot more useful the more I remember to use it. And it’s good fun to have for trash. Echo is there of course because I failed at Cloudburst and because Bottomless Depths is only good on low health targets, which we’re not really getting at the moment.

The last line has been the one that hurts my head. As I mentioned, I’ve been using Wellspring, and it has been great and is good when people are quite spread out. Ascendance got taken away as a base line ability and put in as a talent here, but I’m just not feeling it. Again, it requires players to be close by to each other, and because everyone is spread out it wouldn’t get used to its full advantage. High Tide is where I’m going to move to, I think – it will heal an additional target AND the falloff with each bounce is reduced, making my chain heals a bit stronger overall. (Chain heal’s heal drops off each time it hits a target).

To make this build work I need to make sure that I’m actually using chain heal more often. Which will probably need to change when Tier 19 set bonuses come in to play. But that’s not for awhile yet, and right now I’m fighting to keep my place on the team (not that anyone is telling me it’s in jeopardy – I just don’t feel like I’m contributing enough to the heal team right now. I’m letting everyone down).

The patience of a great healing team leader

I’m lucky that my heal leader (Bume) is awesome. I cracked it in healer chat last night just saying I was done with it all because I suck. Bume started whispering me asking what was up and I explained, and he’s offered to go through my logs and help see where some improvements can be made. Which is really lovely. The point is, it makes me feel better, and I appreciate the help. Because right now I’m just so lost.

Let’s see how this goes

So all of the above might be wrong. It might just be shit, and it might make things worse. I won’t do anything for tonight because I won’t have the time to think through the above before raid, but I’ll be making some changes over the weekend to see how it plays out.

Anyway, that’s where things are at the moment. Giant sooky Cinder.

Z and I have been chatting about Legion a fair bit lately, and it came up that we’re both feeling like we’re not blogging enough (well, I sure am not! Z has been doing quite well indeed!) Anyway, we decided to set a challenge where we would both blog about the same topic, to encourage us both to write more.

This challenge is our favourite Legion NPC. You can find Z’s blog post on the same topic right here.

Ok so anyone who has ever read anything I’ve written will know that I’d not very good at favourite lists, because I always want to choose more than 1 option. And that’s no different this time! I have two, but only because they’re both technically not Legion NPCs, so I thought I needed to make up for that.

So without further ado…

**note: there are spoilers in this post about the Shaman class order hall campaign and artifact acquisition. You’ve been warned!**

Stormcaller Mylra

wowscrnshot_091616_223543

Stormcaller Mylra is a follower in the shaman class hall. And she’s a BOSS. We first met Mylra back in Cataclysm. She was in Deepholm on the alliance ship and had us flying around on her gryphon to get some Twilight’s Hammer types. Even then she was wonderfully sassy, joking around about how stupid the Twilight’s Hammer were, and how we needed to kill them all, before changing her mind to capture one as prisoner to “ask him some questions” (which translated to “hold him upside down above a propellor and “accidentally” drop him when we’ve got the information we need”). She’s sassy, but deadly.

And that’s no different in Legion. We first meet Mylra when Dalaran makes its move to the Broken Shore. She flies us to the Maelstrom, which will become our Class Order Hall, and helps us fight some demons who follow us there. Later, it is she who flies us down to Deepholm to chase after a seriously wounded Thrall who is trying to find Doomhammer. Thrall gets pretty mopey down in Deepholm, but Mylra keeps our spirits up with her sassy comments, (“He’s wounded. He’s likely to kill himself down here and I don’t wanna be the one who has to tell his wife!”) even when on the brink of death!

Later on we’re able to have her as a follower for our Order Hall, and even better – as a bodyguard. I took her out with me while I was levelling as healer (argh!) and she was the best bodyguard to have! Not only was she great at hitting the right things and not pulling other stuff, but she was sassy! She’d run around yelling “I’m gonna kick yer butt!” in her dwarf accent and it’s just… it makes it feel like she’s really there with me – that we’re a team.

I just found myself really drawn to her as an NPC because she was strong (I mean she will take you down if you mess with her!), but she’s also funny, smart and genuine. I really love her, and hope that we get to know more about her in the future.

Archmage Khadgar

wowscrnshot_083016_165313

And now you’re seeing why I’m including 2 choices here! So of course Khadgar has been around for quite some time. But as someone who didn’t start playing until Cataclysm, I missed a lot of his earlier involvement in the story. For me I got to know Khadgar during Warlords of Draenor. And even then I didn’t pay a lot of attention to him (other than wondering why on earth he felt my shipyard was an appropriate place to hang around for almost an entire expansion!)

Something happened, though, after I saw the Warcraft movie. Now I know the two Khadgar’s are different, but for me it was an opportunity to see where he came from and to get to know him a bit. And he’s sassy, too! (I’m sensing a theme here!) But it’s not just that. I mean this man is extremely powerful, but he runs around joking with us every day. Why is that? To be honest I think he’s a bit lonely. And also he is one of the few who truly understands what’s happening at the moment. I think power and knowledge like that can be a lonely experience. So we kinda keep him company. Well, it’s what I like to think anyway 🙂

 

So those are my two favourite NPC in Legion so far. There are actually quite a few others I have liked, but i didn’t grab screenshots while I was levelling with them so I didn’t include them here. Maybe when I’ve levelled some alts I’ll come back to this!

Who are your favourites so far?

Regular readers will know that I’ve been ummming and ahhhing about how to level in Legion – do I want to make it as quick as possible by levelling as DPS but potentially causing troubles for my healing artifact? Or do I want to power up my healing artifact from the very beginning but have a boring and slower-feeling levelling experience?

I have been doing some very casual testing on Alpha/Beta to see how it feels to level (early testing can be read about here). It is doable as a restoration shaman, I won’t deny that. But even now, after trying again, it still feels really flat. There’s nothing that you can do to make your spells hit any harder or faster – what you’ve got is it. So when it comes to killing elite mobs it just takes a really, really long time. There’s nothing there to “mix it up”. In addition, something that truly breaks my heart – chain lightening hits like a wet fish. So AoE is slow and boring.

The concern about levelling as restoration has always come down to the artifact weapon, and whether or not levelling as elemental with an elemental artifact weapon would put my healing artifact weapon at a disadvantage. Also of concern was that, until recently, there was a cost applied to changing specialisations. This cost has now been removed, thus eliminating one of the factors causing my indecision.

Dayani to the rescue!!

One of my favourite restoration shamans, Dayani (also known as healiocentric) has put together the numbers in this amazing post. In this post Dayani lays out the cold hard facts and numbers to show just how hard resto shamans hit, how long it takes to level as resto and compares that to elemental damage and levelling. Also, most importantly, she confirms that yes, it is entirely possible to level as resto. I don’t want to spoil her post by reiterating it here, so please go and take the time to read it, because it really is a great read.

One unanswered question I had that was not addressed in the post was about doing dungeons without healer gear/trinkets if I level as elemental. Dayani again came to my rescue:

I’ve seen you talk about healing and WoW in general enough to know that you’ll be quite fine in a leveling dungeon without “spec-appropriate” trinkets, or using your Hellfire Citadel trinkets. The Artifact Weapon isn’t even needed (I’ve done quite a few without a weapon just while I was stuck on phasing issues or other questing bugs). The stats from a HFC weapon will get you through the dungeons just fine.:)

The only healing spec that I wouldn’t do entry-level dungeons in without an artifact weapon is Disc Priest. That’s just because I’m terrible at Disc so I need every advantage I can get.😛

I feel comforted knowing that I’m not going to be too much of a burden going in to heal dungeons with ele trinkets in (or my mythic HFC trinkets), and that it is entirely do-able.

My decision…

…is to level as elemental.

When it all comes down to it, whilst I can level as restoration, that doesn’t mean I should. The psychological side of things weighs very heavily on me. Even though it’s technically not, it feels so much slower to level as restoration. With elemental, I feel like I have choices in what I want to do, and when it comes to elites and rares, I have a bunch of cooldowns that I can use to make me a bit stronger. So overall I feel stronger. And that makes a big difference to me.

I will go in to the Broken Shore scenario as restoration (because this all happens before the artifacts etc. are out). Once Legion hits, I’ll be elemental for awhile to kill all the demons. I’ll be holding on to anything that makes my artifact weapon stronger and keeping them safe until I get my restoration healing artifact weapon at level 102. After that I can continue to level as dps and do dungeons as heals, and push artifact power in to my resto weapon.

(fwiw my parther, Thor, will be shaking his head at this point – he has been telling me exactly this for quite a long time now! As always, he was right! 🙂 I just like seeing the numbers, too.)

 

****If you do not want ANY information about Legion, and don’t want any spoilers about anything at all, please don’t read this blog post! I will be talking about the Restoration Shaman levelling experience (without giving quest details away) and will be sharing some screen shots. Proceed at your own risk!****

 

Regular readers will know that one of the main reasons why I was hoping to get early access to Legion was to test out the levelling experience as a healer. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to do this, as it has really given me something to think about. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do when it comes to levelling my shaman through Legion. So I’m using this post to not only give you guys some insight in to the experience, but to also talk through my thoughts about what I’ll do!

Background (or, why does it matter if you level as dps or healer?)

There are a couple of factors that made deciding whether or not to level as a healer a difficult decision. Firstly, there’s how it plays. Secondly, there’s the artifacts. So I’m going to break this down a bit.

Healer damage

Dps-ing as a healer has always felt weak and slow. And it’s understandable – we are built to heal and care for other people, not destroy enemies. For Legion we have been told that healers will have their damage increased so that they feel more comfortable dps-ing mobs and levelling up. But will it be enough?

The artifact effect

With Legion we are getting artifact weapons. These are superpowered weapons that you can “level up” to grant extra abilities, stronger spells etc. They are spec specific, they have their own quest/scenario experience to obtain and they are quite simply freaking AWESOME.

BUT

We get our artifact immediately after completing the Broken Shore scenario, and are unable to get a second artifact for a different spec until at least level 102 (as per testing on Alpha at the moment). As you level, you get quest rewards to boost the power of your artifact or to give it relics etc. This is where healers are starting to get worried. Is healer damage going to be strong enough to be able to level as a healer and power up our healer artifact? Or do we need to level as dps and then panic about getting our healer artifact later in the game and getting it levelled up in time for raiding?

How does it play out?

I’ve levelled my restoration shaman to about half way through 102. Not very far, but far enough to have spent a reasonable chunk of time out in the world levelling and experiencing quests etc. I’ve also dabbled as a holy paladin doing the Broken Shore scenario and holy paladin artifact scenario, but I’ll focus on the resto shaman here.

The damage

I will be honest – I still feel weak. But worse than that – it’s slow. It still takes a long time to kill mobs as a healer. The longer the mob is up, the more damage I take so I have to heal myself up, and so it takes even longer to get the mob down. There were times it was taking so long to kill a mob that they would respawn almost immediately after killing them. And if you were in a gauntlet style area, you were really in trouble.

It was also really disheartening seeing dps smash through mobs so much faster. It’s to be expected, I know, but it makes you feel bad.

The restoration damage rotation is very basic – flame shock, lava surge, lightning bolt and chain lightning. There are some talents you can take to make life easier – I took:

  • Torrent for the level 15 talent – just makes quick heals on yourself a bit stronger.
  • Gust of Wind for the level 30 talent. It’s bloody brilliant! I love this talent so much! So helpful for getting out of damaging abilities quickly. And you can do it in ghost wolf form, too!!
  • Lightning Surge totem for the level 45 talent – stuns the mobs around you (very helpful if you’re getting overrun) (Voodoo totem can be good too, but it has the same rules as Hex and only works on Humanoids and beasts, which means no demons. And there are a lot of demons!)
  • Earthen Shield totem for the level 75 talent – helps with mobs that are dishing out too much damage. Just helps shield you a bit
  • Echo of the elements for the level 90 talent – gives an extra lava surge which can be nice
  • Wellspring for the level 100 talent because the other 2 are no good when you’re levelling and doing damage (also, it looks cool!!)

Overall, the spells are fine. However I did find it difficult when there was more than 1 mob hitting me. Chain lightning just didn’t feel like enough. If Flame Shock were a little stronger and didn’t have a cooldown, it might help to just dot up all the adds and then chain lightning them all. Maybe?

Zone scaling

WoWScrnShot_040916_123842

Azsuna is absolutely stunning!!

Firstly I just want to say that this is such and amazing feature of Legion. I love that a zone will have purpose and provide a challenge, no matter what level I’m at!

Most of my resto shaman levelling was in Azsuna (which I’m going to share a picture of because holy heck is that place STUNNING!!!) I will say that I felt a shift in my damage when I got to 102. I felt a bit stronger and the mobs dropped a little more easily. Given everything scales to my level I don’t think it really mattered that I was a higher level, but perhaps the way it’s scaled at 102 makes my damage a bit better… I don’t know.

The other thing for me to keep in mind is that I will start with much higher gear than what I’m using on the Alpha at the moment – when making a new 100 on the Alpha you get kitted out with level 680ish gear. I’ll be much closer to 740 at launch so that will make it easier for me. The scaling for the zone is purely based on character level, so if you have higher level gear, life will be easier for you. This will help to a point – eventually the world will catch up and the gear will get replaced. But it will help for some time.

Does the artifact help?

Nope. The restoration shaman artifact has no damage increasing traits on it at all, so doesn’t give you any bonuses at all. Other than the fact that it looks AWESOME.

What do to, what to do?

WoWScrnShot_040916_110226

The way I see it, there are a handful of options here.

1. Level as a healer and suck it up

This a route that a lot of people will take. Having their artifact weapon raid ready is most important to them, so they’ll just level as a healer and deal with any frustrations they may feel. This is one of my personal choices.

The added benefit of this is that I can also go straight in to dungeons as a healer, with a nicely levelled healer artifact.

Also, I feel this is the intended path Blizzard want us to take (which truthfully I appreciate, but isn’t a deciding factor for me).

2. Level as a healer and group up with people

A reasonable approach, but not one that I will take. Levelling for me is one of my favourite things in the game. And I am slooooow. I like to read all of the quest text. I like to stop and take loads of screenshots of the beautiful world around me. I like to go exploring on strange paths. People who are keen to get to max level get really fed up. And I get fed up at being rushed. So this is not an option for me – levelling is always a solo adventure for me!

3. Level as dps and worry about your healing artifact later

A viable approach for some. Levelling as a dps will definitely be faster, giving you more time at max level to sort out the healing artifact and powering it up with world quests etc. However, it’s not something I’ll be doing. Even if I’m dps I’ll still be slow! And I don’t want to worry about my healer artifact being behind, nor do I want the pressure of getting it up to level if I’m starting off behind.

4. Level as dps and change loot specialisation before completing quests to get healer artifact loot

Now this is the real option to think about! While you are levelling you can get artifact power and relics as quest rewards, and sometimes as world drops. From what I’ve experienced so far, the world drops are generally the artifact power (which look to be able to be applied to any artifact, not just the one you have equipped), whereas with quests you can get both the power and relics. However if you change your loot specialisation, the quest rewards (relics etc) will change to suit that spec – not just the artifact you have equipped. Which means that I could level as elemental, with the elemental artifact (that I won’t power up), but keep my loot specialisation set to restoration, giving me restoration artifact rewards. When I am able to get my restoration artifact at level 102, I can immediately boost it with all the stored up relics etc. So in the end I get a faster levelling experience by being dps, and I get a powered up artifact.

I doubt this is what Blizzard has in mind, but again, that’s not a deciding factor for me – being raid ready as a healer is most important (and my sanity).

The downside to this option is that I don’t know for sure if this will be possible in Legion. i.e. will this approach survive alpha/beta? And is this available in all zones, or was I just lucky in Azsuna? This is something I will be doing further testing on in the coming weeks.

Last thoughts

Honestly, my preferred option would be for healer damage to just be stronger so that I could level as a healer. I’d like a “world buff” that makes all my damaging spells 500% stronger when I’m out in the world, so that I can damage things properly without wasting 5 minutes killing a mob of 3. I don’t want to fiddle with work arounds – I’d like it to work as intended.

At the moment the levelling is still slow and frustrating. Perhaps it will be different in other zones (I haven’t levelled healer anywhere else except for a handful of quests in Highmountain).  I’m also mindful of end-game content such as World Quests – I don’t want those to be a burden because of slow damage (hence the buff being a world buff).

BUT

It is better than current healer damage. So if you’ve been ok with your current healer damage and wanted it a little stronger, you will be quite pleased. I have also read comments that Discipline Priests smash through content (surprise surprise!!). (Holy Paladin damage in the Broken Shore scenario was awful, to put it bluntly. But I’ll do a separate post about that later).

So those are my healer damage thoughts so far. Has anyone else seen anything about healer damage? What do you think? Is it viable?

 

****If you do not want ANY information about Legion, and don’t want any spoilers about anything at all, please don’t read this blog post! I will be talking about the Restoration Shaman artifact quest experience (without giving quest details away) and will be sharing some screen shots. Proceed at your own risk!****

 

Today I went and did the Restoration Shaman Artifact quest line for the second time. The first time I did it I forgot to take screen shots! But I also wanted to do it again because the first time I found it quite difficult, and I wanted to see if it had changed at all to be any easier. It hadn’t really, but because I knew what to expect I only died 3 times instead of the double digit deaths I had the first time I did this.

We start at the Maelstrom (which I LOVE!!!!!!)

WoWScrnShot_040916_095102

So, without going in to specific details about the quest content itself, the main point is that we head off to collect the artifact weapon (that has changed names multiple times now! I believe it is currently being called Sharas’dal, Scepter of Tides, but is referred to by different names in the game still – something that will be sorted out by live date). You are accompanied by some other characters who are there to help, and it is your job to keep them alive while you go get the artifact. 

WoWScrnShot_040916_105054

out little band of adventurers

One of the characters in the group is the giant that you see in the screenshot above. He has quite a large health pool. He acts as the tank role and gets hit in the face a LOT. And HARD. When any of the players with you have their health drop too low, they get a debuff that makes them stop attacking until they are healed up again. Because the giant has such a huge health pool, it takes a LOT to get him healed back up again, but it only takes about 4 or 5 hits for him to drop low enough to trigger the debuff. What this means is that you as a healer get all the aggro, and you drop like a tonne of bricks once the mobs start hitting you instead.  Also, when you die and run back, the other players still have their debuff, so they’re just standing there not doing anything, which means the mobs are back on you straight away. You have about 5-10 seconds maximum to try and get at least one of them to have enough health to hit things again. It can be hard to do. But obviously not impossible – just need to be very clever about which cool downs and talents to use. I’ll be putting together a guide for this when it gets closer to release date to help people out (if they are interested).

WoWScrnShot_040916_105035

Heading up to the next level of the zone

There is another section with waves in it that I really struggled with the first time. I was going to struggle this time around, too, until my partner pointed out that I should try doing something a little different – it worked perfectly. The wording for that part of the scenario could be better. The way it is at the moment the wording implied (to me) that I would get control of the giant and would need to move him through the room. This is not the case. I needed to run into the room and try to dodge the waves so that everyone else could just walk straight through (why they couldn’t try to dodge with me is beyond me!) It worked out in the end, but I think some wording that suggests the intended approach might be good there.

The last boss is a fun fight, but I think needs to be a lot more difficult- the trash mobs posed more of a problem than this boss. She has some interesting mechanics, and there’s a scene at the end that makes me laugh a lot. Once she is defeated, the artifact is all yours!

WoWScrnShot_040916_105625

Artifact name changed so many times it’s just “Artifact Shaman Restoration Weapon” now 😉

The weapon itself is quite lovely, and has a really great animation that splashes water about the place when I run that I LOVE. At least I know I’ll be able to find myself out in the world! Just look for the leaking bucket running around!

resto_shaman_artifact_gif

Getting water all over the place! 

 

Overall thoughts

I like that this is difficult. I say fairly often that I think there needs to be difficult content in the game. This borderlines on being a little too difficult though, only because of how hard the mobs hit you when the other players’ health pools get too low. There’s no real catch up ability – once they drop, it’s a vicious cycle of spam healing to get one up enough before you die. It can be quite debilitating – you end up getting completely helpless. The first time around that I was doing this I ended up staying at the res point on my own until all of my cool downs reset so that I had the best chance possible to catch up. I think it would be good if there was a “start over” option here for those who would want it. It still makes the scenario difficult, but not made overly complicated because of the debuff cycle. (Like I said, those mobs hit like a truck!)

I also found it a bit odd that the last “boss” was not difficult. I wanted her to be more of a challenge. In this scenario, the trash mobs pose more of a difficulty than she does, which seemed a bit out of place to me. I would like her difficulty scaled up a bit.

My biggest take away from this, though, is just how addicted I am to my Elvui and Vuhdo addons. I ended up making hover-target healing macros to try and make it easier for me, but I really did miss my ability to click my spells on my raid frames! Hoping that vuhdo will be up in time for the Legion launch so I can use it straight away.

I do love the artifacts, though. I feel a real connection with it because it’s something that I had to go and get on my own, in my own little adventure. I’m looking forward to getting my real one when this is all live, and nurturing it to full strength! 🙂

I’ve been doing some levelling as restoration, and I have to say, the world is so so stunning. I spent some time in Azsuna and it is overwhelmingly beautiful. I don’t want to post any pics because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I did want to show the resto shaman idle pose, which I also really like.

WoWScrnShot_040916_130847

Communing with the waters

So far – loving restoration shaman. Here’s hoping she’s strong in raids in Legion.

 

Well today I finally made a decision about where I want to be in Legion, and have decided to look for a new guild and raid team. I have loved being in Deadline – the people are amazing. We always have a laugh, we know how to have a good time. It has been awesome. But there are some niggling issues that have lead to me wanting to find a new home.

Firstly, a lot of the players in the team have been paying WoW for a long time, and just aren’t interested in spending loads of time in raids trying to get mythic bosses down or doing achievements etc. I thought that this would be something I’d be ok with, but I’m really not, because what it leads to is people disappearing all the time making it impossible to even consider raiding past getting heroics down. Since I started playing WoW I’ve been in raid teams that have done the hard modes. I love how challenging they are, and I love the buzz of working your ass off on a boss and finally getting it down. Unfortunately this isn’t something the guild shares. And that’s ok – we’re just in different places and wanting different things from the game.

Secondly, I loathe being on a pvp server. Particularly this one. I was talking to my partner about this earlier and we’ve been on other pvp servers and it’s never been as bad as it has been on Barth. It’s brutal – groups of opposing faction just ganking relentlessly making it impossible to do what I want to do is not my idea of fun. It makes for a really miserable experience and I just don’t want that anymore. I want to be able to level in Legion without having the fear of looking over my shoulder or hearing that damn rogue sound, warning me of impending doom. So no pvp server.

Lastly, I am an Alliance girl through and through. I’m glad that I’ve spent time on the Horde side to check out the story, but I don’t like it. I don’t like how cranky and rough everyone is. I can’t remember who it was, but someone wrote in to Girls Gone WoW a few weeks ago and made the great point that if you like the Camelot style of stories, Alliance is for you. And that’s how I feel. I like things to look nice. I like to have seats to sit on, damn it! And I like the NPCs being kind. I want to go back to that.

So! I’m now on the hunt for a guild and raid team that I can call home from Legion onwards. I’m looking a team that is:

  • Alliance
  • non-pvp server
  • doing mythic raids in Legion
  • still loving the game!
  • ideally Oceanic server

I’ll be wanting to play my restoration shaman (with elemental off spec). And I do believe that my partner, Thor, will be coming along with me too as a frost/unholy DK (he’s crazy amazeballs).

If you know of any teams that would fit the bill, please let me know! Otherwise, please keep your fingers crossed for me that I can find a new home for Legion.

 

 

 

I am still in a bit of shock as I write this.

This evening I managed to get the “Proven Healer” title for completing 30 waves on endless difficulty in the Proving Grounds. I have been working on this achievement since Mists of Pandaria. This has been about 3 years in the making. And today I finally did it.

I know so many people have done this and found it a piece of cake. Not me. I always had mana issues (in that I had NONE), I had nothing that would keep the tank alive when he was getting wailed on, and it just seemed that the dps would stand in everything in the world and die at the drop of a hat. Today I figured out why. I was always too over geared and the scaling was screwing me over.

Like I said, I’ve been working on this since it was available in Mists. Back then I was trying mostly on my paladin (which should have been a lot easier by default) but could never get it, no matter how hard I tried. I tried for awhile on my shaman as well during Mists but still failed. I tried again in Warlords briefly – still failed. I had looked at guides, I had tried all different stats, gear sets, talents/glyphs etc. Failed every time. I got in the 20s a couple of times but always fell flat. It was a very disheartening feeling, because so many people I knew managed to get the achievement without any troubles at all. Even people who didn’t main a healer. It was demoralising and I felt that I must just be the worst healer. It honestly made me question whether or not I was good enough as a healer to raid at all, and more than once had me on the verge of calling raiding quits.

WoWScrnShot_022816_194754

selfies during the down time between waves 🙂

I was inspired to try again today by this post on reddit from a user who has managed to get endless wave 30 on every single class, on every single spec. Amazing. I figured it had been some time since I’d tried again, so why not? I read through this guy’s advice. The way proving grounds works in Warlords is a bit different to Mists – in Warlords the mobs scale to your gear rather than your gear scaling to the instance. The goal is to get gear as close to about 615 ilvl as possible (some people say you can go as high as 635 – it’s whatever you can get really). In the end I was at 627, which was a bit on the high side, but still worked for me. The other trick is to use your legendary ring (the proc won’t work but the stats should be good) and use 2 great trinkets.

Gear

For most of my gear, I actually ended up using the Shaman set from the Salvage yard. It’s at 610 and suited me just fine. Also, I already had all of it for transmog (except the legs) so that was easy. The rest I either crafted or got from the Auction House. (And of course I transmogged it all, because everyone knows you heal better when you have a new outfit!)

My gear was as follows:

Helm: Streamtalker Coif
Neck: Heirloom – Eternal Horizon Choker (has an on use heal ability, however I didn’t realise this was a shared cooldown with healthstones, which are a stronger self heal, so you may prefer something else here)
Shoulders: Streamtalker Pauldrons
Back: Embroidered Wolfsfur Cloak
Chest: Streamtalker Tunic
Wrists: Streamtalker Armbands
Hands: Streamtalker Gloves
Waist: Streamtalker Belt
Legs: Packrunned Leggaurds of the Fireflash
Boots: Streamtalker Boots
Ring 1: Whispering Blackrock band of the Feverflare
Ring 2: Etheralus, the Eternal Reward (legendary ring)
Trinket 1: Corrupted Egg Shell (from a Timewalking Dungeon. Has an ilvl of 660. Has a mana regen ability)
Trinket 2: Demonic Phylactery (heroic) (Reduces mana cost of all spells)
Weapon: Soultwisting Staff

Talents

I got a bit ahead of myself and started the event before I had changed my talents or eaten any food (silly me!!), so I didn’t get a chance to change my talents. I figured I’d wipe pretty quickly and could change them after so went ahead anyway, but I managed to get this on my first attempt tonight. Here’s what my talents were:

PGtalents

If I were to do it again, I would probably keep most of it, however I’d change the level 100 talent to the Cloudburst Totem, as I was trying to avoid using chain heal as much as possible to save on mana. Elemental Blast is a brilliant talent for this, especially if you have mana shortages. It also helps to buff up some of your other stats for a bit which is nice 🙂

Glyphs

Glyphs weren’t anything special, although the one that I would definitely recommend is Glyph of Healing Wave, which also heals you for 10% of the heal you do on an Ally. Free heals for yourself means you’re spending less mana.

Other stuff

Don’t be a dunce like me and forget to eat – I’m sure it will help! Also, I realised part way through that I (still!!) hadn’t put a Chomp! identifier on my vuhdo bars. I highly recommend doing this as the target with Chomp will take constant damage until they are healed to full. It helps knowing who has that on them as soon as it goes out.

Don’t be afraid to use your cooldowns. People have set times in the fights that they prefer to use them, but I just used them as I needed them. There were times I would have been using a CD when it wasn’t needed if I had have done them at specific times and would have gone to waste. I also threw out my Fire Elemental to help out with DPS to push the wave through quicker.


 

So I just went for it. I managed to get through the first 10 waves no worries at all. Which I thought was a little weird but figured it was only the first difficulty so it would get harder and I’d fail soon. When I was at about wave 17 I thought that I might actually be able to do this. Going in to the 20s and I start getting nervous that I’m so close and I could really get it. And so I did. I started crying when I hit wave 30 (relatively easily in the end, mind you!) and it all fell apart at wave 32 because my eyes were all welled up. But it didn’t matter – I had finally done what I had set out to do so many years ago. And I worked my butt off and I did it.

WoWScrnShot_022816_195937

The end!

I know it’s stupid to be emotional about this, but this has really been playing on my and my confidence as a healer. Tell you what, I’m never taking this title off. Ever.

WoWScrnShot_022816_200631

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week I was a guest on the Girls Gone WoW podcast with the ever lovely ladies, Raven and EJ. As usual, I had a brilliant time. You can check out the episode on their website here (or iTunes, Stitcher etc). The episode was about all things Beta. We talked about our experiences with Betas, how to be a good Beta tester etc. It’s a great show and I highly suggest giving it a listen, especially if you are in a Beta right now.

The main purpose of a Beta is to test, test, test. During the episode we talked about how to give feedback and I gave a (thoroughly entertaining!) analogy of how to give good feedback (it’s all about the detail!) (and it wasn’t that entertaining, but hopefully made sense!)

Since the episode, though, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I would like to see tested in the Beta, and what I would test the crap out of if I were one of the chosen ones for beta testing. Here’s my list:

Can I really level as a healer? Or is it still going to be very slow?

Blizzard have talked about how healers and tanks will be able to put out a lot more damage than what they have been able to previously.

dosomedamage

This, to me, it’s pretty clear that Blizzard expect healers and tanks to level in their respective classes rather than levelling as dps and switching to their support role for raiding. Some people will be really happy about this – they are healers or tanks through and through and don’t like having to figure out a dps rotation just to level. For me, I prefer levelling as elemental. I am a shaman, and whilst my primary purpose is to heal those who face the demons of the world, I recognise that I sometimes need to do that myself. I have command of the elements as a shaman, so it makes sense that I am able to use those to heal or to zap my enemies and generally kick some ass as elemental. But that doesn’t seem to be the intent in Legion, and it looks like I may need to level as restoration.

So an important aspect for me in Legion is how viable it is to level has a healer. Is the dps output strong enough that it doesn’t take 5 minutes to kill a mob?

I will say, I think it’s very important that this is tested by healers or tanks, rather than those who usually play dps specs, as dps will instantly feel weak. The tanks and the healers who are used to mobs taking a long time to die need to be the ones to see if we are feeling stronger, so they’d be better placed to determine whether it’s any faster now. I expect dps as a healer to be slower and lower and that’s totally fine – just how much slower will it be?

Getting more than 1 artifact weapon – when can you do it, and how viable is it to maintain 2 artifacts?

And a whole bunch of other related questions…

(I understand these are probably difficult questions to answer in beta – I’m hoping some can be, though!)

This follows on from my previous point. Like I said, I much prefer levelling as elemental, but I would need my artifact weapon to be raid ready for healing.

This comment was made during one of the Darkmoon Faire interviews at Blizzcon:

2artifact.JPG

Ok, yes we can have 2 artifacts, but they will never be equal. I can absolutely deal with that. It’s the same situation with my legendary ring at the moment – my healer ring has been upgraded every time it could have been; my dps ring hasn’t been upgraded at all. It doesn’t need to be because I level and do dailies only as ele, whereas my healer ring, well that’s where I save lives! I need that to be as strong as possible.

My real question is, if I were to level as elemental with the elemental artifact weapon, would I have enough time to get the resotration artifact weapon and level it up to be raid ready in time for the first raid that opens?

Am I able to get my elemental artifact and my restoration artifact immediately after? (i.e. essentially have both artifacts while I’m levelling?) Or do I have to wait until I’m 110, or some other point in time in the levelling process?

If I can get them at pretty much the same time, am I able to choose which artifact gets the upgrades, or will it default to what spec I am in at the time?

Again, loads of questions and some that are probably tricky to answer, but they do dictate how I’m going to level and play the game overall.

What is group composition like now with all of the class changes that have happened?

In particular, how melee heavy is group make up?

I’m coming at this from a raid leader’s point of view and wondering how much I need to worry about there being too many melee players in a team now. Does it really matter or have things kind of balanced themselves out?

I’m also curious about how the healer changes will affect group composition, too. With holy paladins moving closer to melee range, mistweaver monks coming out and holy priests being somewhere in between, how does that change how the groups are made up? Or does it not make much of a difference?

That one is difficult to test without raid testing having started. Though I am also curious about how the healer changes are playing out in the dungeons that can be tested right now, so there may be some information available.

 

So these are my initial thoughts so far about what I’d like to see tested out. This is in addition to the usual “How have professions changes?” and “oh god how do I play my class again??!” questions.

If you are a Beta tester and any of the above are things you’d be keen to test out, I’d love to hear your feedback! If you’re not a tester, what are you wanting to see tested?

Somebody on twitter reminded me of the Call of the World Shaman quest line from Cataclysm the other day. I did this quest chain once on my paladin but I was so new to the game at the time that it didn’t mean a lot to me then. It was interesting, but I didn’t know all of the characters and the history well enough to full appreciate it. Raid was cancelled again tonight due to not enough players, so I decided to do the quests on my shaman (because she really ought to have done it!) Boy am I glad I did this.

***For those of you who haven’t done this quest chain and want to be surprised by it, I suggest you head off. I have done a bunch of screen shots from the whole quest chain, so you will be spoiled. ***

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The quest can be picked up from your faction’s capital city where all the portals are. It will take you to Hyjal, where you have a chat with Thrall and the Aspects about the dramas with the Twilight’s Hammer, who of course show up to ruin the day. Thrall gets split in to the elements, and Aggra and I have to save him.

First, the air element, and we get to ride in a cyclone in Ulduar.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After that, we headed underwater to the abyss where we saw a few visions of Thrall’s greatest desires. The first one that we see was interesting, actually. It’s between Thrall and Varian Wrynn, and see Thrall kneel before Varian and put down Doomhammer to call peace between the Alliance and the Horde. Knowing that in Legion, enhancement shamans pick up Doomhammer, it makes we wonder if this scene will become a reality?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Next is to Deepholm to battle the earth elements, and get cross with Aggra at Thrall’s demands to be “patient”…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And lastly, to Firelands to battle fire. Another interesting moment where Thrall screams at Gul’dan that he will burn his way through the afterlife to find Gul’dan in whatever hell he’s in. Why he told us to set Gul’dan free in AU Draenor is beyond me. But perhaps this is hinting at an event in Legion, too?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So we set Thrall free and he and Aggra devote their lives to each other, and a whole bunch of important people are there to witness it, which is lovely. Thrall gives you a cloak to say thanks, then everybody cheers and Jaina cries (go figure).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I really enjoyed this quest chain, even more so now that I better understand what is going on. I’m hoping this is similar to what we do in Legion to obtain our artifact weapons – a quest chain that I can do on my own, rich with story and epic screenshot moments 😀

One of the good things about keeping expectations in check is that when you are looking forward to an announcement, if it’s not super exciting, you’re prepared. It’s for this reason that I’m not overly disappointed with the Restoration Shaman changes announced in the Shaman class preview blog shown today. The short, initial reactions from most people is that nothing is changing. Which is true to a degree, but is a bit misleading.

The biggest change for restoration shamans is a change that is applicable to all shamans, and that is totems are changing. In a nutshell:

  • totems of a similar type can be dropped at the same time (e.g. Healing Stream Totem and Healing Tide Totem)
  • totem health is based on a percentage of your own health
  • totems that need to be placed in a specific location can be targeted before placing

All good things!

Where things start to fall a bit flat for some people is that, other than these totem changes, there isn’t a lot else changing for restoration shamans. For some people this is great news – for others they are incredibly disappointed. Personally for me, I don’t mind either way, as long as I am a strong healer for my raid team. The main reason I’ve been frustrated with my resto shaman is that I’ve always felt conflicted about the Shaman Mastery: Deep Healing. Essentially, the lower a player’s health is, the bigger the shaman heals get. Which is brilliant for beginning of raid tiers where people are lower geared and don’t know what they’re doing so they’re taking more damage. But as raids go on, players get stronger and smarter, and shamans start to feel a bit useless. I start to feel like I’m only there for when the huge damage goes out and my healing tide totem is needed.

Having said that, with what was presented in the class preview, the mastery is being buffed quite a lot. I’m hoping that it will be a lot more useful with Disc absorbs being reduced/removed.

Interestingly, all spells seem to be costing a lot less mana than what they currently do. In addition, the cast reduction time from the Tidal Waves passive going from 20% to 40%, which means I need to get a lot better about taking advantage of that passive!! So far there is a pretty large nerf to the chain heal, with the bounce due to be reduced by 30% each jump (currently base spell has this at 10%). But otherwise, very little else has changed (and is still subject to further change).

Sample future restoration talent

Sample future restoration talent

We have a sample talent given to us, which to me sounds like a lot of fun. It’s essentially a Light of Dawn for resto shamans, but I’m hoping it has an actual wave of water flowing from us as the animation. I really like this talent, and I’m looking forward to seeing what other creative talents come through.

But like I said, not much else has changed. This indicates to me that the bulk of new abilities and really anything that will have an impact on the spec will come from the new talents and from the artifact weapon itself. (I don’t expect a lot to come from the minor glyphs) So it just means that I need to wait a bit longer before we know the real impact of changes. Which means it’s really difficult to give any kind of feedback on what we think about this at this stage, other than to say that I like my resto shaman at the moment, I just don’t like my heals being made useless by absorbs – which is something the developers are aware of and are addressing.

There are a few points that I’d personally like a bit of clarification on:

  • The introduction to the shaman class preview mentioned that one of the issues with totems is that they currently drop at the shaman’s feet. However the tooltip for the new Healing Stream Totem says it drops at the shaman’s feet… not sure if this is a typo or intended. It would be nice if it could be positioned.
  • Overall comments about healers in Legion have mentioned that healers will be able to contribute more to fights, and will have reasonable dps abilities. I would like to know whether we still get to have Flame Shock, Lightning Bolt and Lava Surge as restoration shamans. If so will they still be free to cast (especially given we don’t have Maelstrom power to use them…), and will they have similar properties to the elemental version, in that there’s no CD for Flame Shock?
  • The mana cost of spells has been dropped quite considerably – does this mean the mana regen from crit is going away?
  • Do I get to keep my spirit link totem, and will it be able to be placed wherever I want?
  • Do we still have Spiritwalker’s Grace? And Ascendance? (I know these will be answered later, I’m just curious).

There are plenty of other questions but they can wait. For now, those mentioned above are most pressing for me.

The QQ is real, though, and it’s really disappointing. The post on the WoW site itself has a lot of disappointed comments, and the WoW subreddit for the shaman changes topic is already very toxic. I stayed and read some comments for 5 minutes and had to leave, because the number of people saying “this is crap/Blizzard always lets shaman’s down/ Blizzard doesn’t listen to shamans” was overwhelming. I kept looking for suggestions on exactly what was wrong with what had been put up and no-one ever explains why. It was just shit. Which is useless and terrible feedback that is worthless to the developers.

I understand that there is a feeling of disappointment given how “big” the changes for other classes have been. Seeing minor changes to the Shaman classes have been a bit underwhelming. But the complaining is immature, honestly. There is so much more information that is still to come out – this is only the very beginning.

I for one am really looking forward to not having to learn too much about my spec. I really struggle with the changes to specs sometimes (i.e. the changes to mages in WoD made my mage not feel like a mage anymore, and I just don’t play her). But what I’m most looking forward to is seeing what fun talents are available. The way I see it, given the base rotation of restoration hasn’t changed a lot, it means there are going to be interesting talents and artifact weapon enhancements that will spice things up.

So for now, I just wait a bit longer to see what’s coming, and hope that some of my questions above get answered at some point.

Shaman crest

%d bloggers like this: