Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Patch 4.3 Changes

Disclaimer: This is all tentative right now, and things good change a lot before the actual patch hits.

So we got the first glimpses at what 4.3 might bring us. First and foremost, a buff to melee. Maybe now those mages won't be the top of recount every night. ...Right.

The Shaman changes seem standard for right now...
1) Flametongue Weapon no longer increases spell damage. It now increases all non-physical damage done by the wielder by 5%.  
2) Lightning Bolt has a new spell effect.  
3) Wind Shear now has a 25-second base cooldown, up from 6 seconds.
    ...except. OH SWEET BABY THRALL. My wind shear!!! 19 extra seconds?! Kill me now. Looking at this rationally (which I'd rather not), I can see why they did it, as elemental shaman currently had a big one-up on all the other ranged interrupts. BUT we don't play elemental shaman now do we? Thus as of this moment enhancement are the only melee without a reliable, 10second interrupt. And at this moment I will swear to you 80% of my raid utility is because of that interrupt. Buffing melee should help some of that, but still all melee classes get a buff, but only one (read: US) loose their interrupt. Harsh..."

    Edit, based on 4.3 Changes Explained: "We made changes to Wind Shear to restrict the short cooldown version to the DPS shaman (who have the Reverberation talent) and make Restoration less potent at interrupting. We think Restoration is currently too useful in PvP relative to other healers because of a potent, ranged interrupt. We don’t think this nerf will have major PvE ramifications." So, is Ghost Crawler telling me that Reverberation will talent it back down to 6? Otherwise his "major PvE ramifications" prediction is about to be WAAAY off. Also, apparently elemental shammy can have interrupts, just not resto. Who knew. 

    I thought I'd tackle each Enhance change one-by-one.

     1) Improved Lava Lash now causes Lava Lash to spread a Flame Shock debuff from the target to up to 4 nearby targets. This excludes crowd-controlled targets and those who already have a Flame Shock debuff from the shaman.
    Hello AOE! Am I ever glad to see you. This brings the fire nova button mashing party down to just three. Instead of six or so. Sure it still takes more thought than "durr-cleave-durr," but it's an improvement to be sure.  

    2) Improved Lava Lash no longer increases base Lava Lash damage by 15/30%. This increase has been rolled into the base Lava Lash skill.So did we loose that talent completely? If the talent buff goes into the skill, what replaces it? 

    3) Mental Quickness has been redesigned. Instead of granting the shaman spell power, Mental Quickness now causes Enhancement shaman spells to behave as though the shaman has spell power equal to 55% of attack power. Enhancement shaman spells no longer benefit from spell power from other sources.Take that Eye of Purification, and take that all you spellpower-enhance theory crafters. I cling to my beautiful, beautiful attack power and agility-based weapons, and, you know what, so does Blizzard. Mwahaha.  (Remember what I said about being rational...) Edit: Straight from the man himself: "We changed Mental Quickness and Flametongue Weapon to hopefully put a nail in the coffin of Enhancement shaman using spellpower weapons. We want Enhancement using melee weapons."

    That's it for now. I'm sure there will be much tweaking in the weeks to come.  Now if you excuse me, I have to go sob uncontrollably about the wind shear nerf.


    1. This wind shear change is upsetting. So sick of the way pvp trods all over "pve ramifications."

      The only way this wouldn't affect our raid roster would be if they were to stop making interrupts such huge elements in some raid encounters, which I highly doubt they will be doing. There is so little uniqueness in utility left to recommend shamans for raiding now with totem buffs and heroism being supplied by other classes, that this is just one more reason why your raid doesn't NEED a shaman, so why bring one.... *cough world first heroic rag cough*

    2. I completely agree, I think they've kind of backed themselves into a "we said we'd never separate PvP and PvE corner" and won't let go of it.

      I like the idea of the "bring the player, not the class" but I don't think it works well in reality. Sure if you don't have a warrior dps you can have a pally and be fine or, even better, a DK. But at this point, without wind shear, I feel like my raid would actually be harmed by bringing me. I have nothing to offer that another class couldn't do. It doesn't matter if I were a good player or not. If it's a good enhance shaman vs. a good warrior, I bet the warrior would always win...in the world of these proposed changes anyway.

      Of course this is being slightly dramatic. I'm still going to raid with Kaez no matter what. It might just make my raid leader cry. Or it could be that shaman AOE becomes super competitive and so we're still worth taking. We'll see :S