Posted by: Makakai | October 12, 2011

/Inspect Shaman

Earth and ShieldThis week I took a closer look at the Shaman Class Feedback Forum, which is brought to you by ‘Not the Earth Shield You are Looking For’. Going through the shaman responses was like reading John Milton, you’ll understand that reference if you’re a shaman player.

This sample of shaman posts were drawn from a semi-random sample of 3 pages on the forum in which healing was mentioned. The 30 posts I looked at contained 14 posters claiming at least some PvP experience and all posters claiming PvE experience. One (1) of these posters did indicate that they had very little healing experience or that healing was a secondary spec or play style for them. None of the posts I reviewed were by a player that was a strictly PvP player.

Water Shield was the most frequently cited quality of life issue throughout the forum. Over 36% of the posts indicated that water shield was difficult to keep up throughout a fight. Most of these posts indicated that a glyph similar to the one for Lightning shield should be added for water shield.

The other quality of life issue was that while totems are a unique and desired play style for shamans, the mechanics and functioning of them are a problem. Six (6) posts indicated duration and range problems, six (6) posts indicated problems with active totems replacing passive totems when dropped, four (4) posts indicated problems with Elemental totem control, and three (3) posts indicated problems with constantly moving totems during fights. An additional problem mentioned was 2 posts on the limitations of Spirit Link Totem, including range and throughput issues. It seemed that these problems led to more interest in changing the underlying mechanics of the various totems. One example would be to create Elemental totems associated with each spec. For example, Elemental spec gets a fire elemental, Enhancement a wind elemental, and Restoration a water elemental. Additionally, a change to Spirit Link Totem to make situational use more in line with a raid or tank saving cooldown.

Additional issues mentioned included, limitations with AoE healing (4 posts) and healing throughput/cooldowns (5 posts). Improvements to these issues were on the top of most (36%) Shaman post wish lists. Including such creative suggestions as changes to Chain Heal. “If it hits less then 4, the ‘wasted’ jumps spread riptide on random injured raid members. So if your chain heal heals just 1 target, 3 riptides on random injured raid members are applied”. Another creative suggestion was associated with a potential ‘Water Elemental’ which would have a “passive ability similar to what the Ancestral Awakening talent does, healing frindly targets for a small portion of your direct heals, critical or not”.

A total of 28 different abilites were mentioned as being unused spells including Unleash Elements (9 posts), Healing Surge (9 posts), Rockbiter Weapon (7 posts), and Chain Heal (5 posts). At least with Unleash Elements and Rockbiter Weapon, they have very situational uses. The reduced use of Healing Surge and Chain Heal are another problem similar to what I’ve found mentioned for Druids and Preists. I bet even the Paladin feedback will mention problems with Flash of Light and Divine Light!

Happy Healing!

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