Firstly, I must say that I am very excited to know that Blizzard really is thinking about shamans! Long blue post means lots of thoughtful stuff, right? XP Now that I've had the opportunity to sit and actually read it, (yes, I was just so excited to see some blue about shamans that I robotically reposted it to spread the news) here are my thoughts on the Cataclysmic plans for shamans... Pun fully intended. And just a tiny reminder: This opinion is coming from an enhancement/off resto shaman who hasn't healed anything since Kara, and hasn't experienced the Ele tree in her entire Azerothian life.
New SpellsPrimal Strike (lvl 3) - I'm happy to hear about this one since it will introduce the melee way to play way earlier on in the game.
Healing Wave (lvl 4) - I am curious about the specifics of this one since its a new addition, not just a change (with the current Healing Wave changing into Greater Healing Wave). The two existing "Waves" are a no brainer depending on your situation, so I hope the new addition doesn't just confuse the hell outa me.
Unleash Weapon (lvl 81) - sounds like tons of fun for everyone! I know nobody uses it, but I still think its funny that Blizzard didn't mention anything about Rockbiter Weapon.. lol.
Healing Rain (lvl 83) - Sounds to me like it's gonna be the OP, OMG-nerf-our heals-NAO kinda spell even WITH the diminishing returns (OMG, it just hit me, especially with Spiritwalker's Grace, the next new spell, or Natures Swiftness). But, it really depends on how much the HoT ticks for, so I guess we'll know of its effectiveness when it goes live.
Spiritwalker's Grace (lvl 85) - It's macro time!
/cast Spiritwalker's Grace
/cast Astral RecallAnd continue running the hell away! I can pretend I'm a pally... kinda sorta. Lol. I'm excited about this spell not only cuz I'm a chicken, but for the major improvement it will provide for Elemental and Resto shamans. Flame Wall anyone? I can't see this spell being very much of a benefit for enhancement, but maybe something will hit me later.. other than running away from PvP like a little girl. XP
Changes to Abilities and MechanicsI'll just go down Vaneras' bulletted list with my commentary. (Please refer to the blizz post for what they actually said.
- Resto nerf regarding mana.. unless resto shamans always stacked Spirit and I'm just way out of the loop. But Blizzard's already been planning to get rid of MP5, SP, and AP on gear, so maybe this is a result of making up for that stat change? I dunno. Have resto shamans always relied on MP5 more than spirit? Because I'm an ignorant healer and I thought spirit was always the main mana-regen stat. Maybe I'm just too used to watching my husband heal sh*t on his druid.
- The addition of Cleanse Spirit (even if it is remove-curse only) as a baseline ability = nice. No more removing poisons = nerf. :(
- No more Cleansing Totem?! HUGE NERF FOR PvE!!! "We will balance PvE dispelling with this new model in mind." Good luck with that.
- So long Flametongue Totem. /wave I will miss your pretty little snake head icon on my action bar. Yay for percentages instead of flat numbers. And wow.. Maybe I should just respec elemental? Searing Totem at range?! WOOT! (as in the, "I Want One Of Those" kind of woot.) What a fun addition for Ele's if it goes live!
- Increasing CD on Lava Lash = nerf until I know more about Primal Strikes and all the other cool abilities Blizz wants to "free up Enhancement global cooldowns" for. The fact that the person who wrote this post used the word "rotation" in regards to Enhancement kinda makes me worried if he or she even knows what they're talking about. (Side note: Nethaera, if I'm remembering the name right, posted the same exact text about the Shaman class changes on the US WoW forums, so I'm not personally saying anything about Vaneras nor Nethaera.. just sayin'.. enhance don't rotate! We prioritize. Haha, but then again, I'm most likely just being way too anal about specific language use...*rolls eyes at herself* Moving on!
New Talents and ChangesEarthquake sounds pretty cool, and may make AoE leveling the way to go when the talent becomes available to a player. Spirit Link will be a literal lifesaver. ^_^ And the plans for a new Elemental talent to buff Hit Rating with Spirit will be nice for dual spec'd ele/resto shamans since Spirit will be the stat to look for on gear for both. I'm kinda sad about the planned change for Ancestral Knowledge (changing it from boosting intellect to straight mana), because that may be a huge nerf for enhancement since as it is now, Intellect can be talented to boost our AP. But maybe the switch of the talent Enhancing Totems to Focused Strikes will make up in dps for the AP loss? I haven't read up on the new Mastery System and how it wil work yet, but regarding the passive bonuses: the fact that they're considering removing of some of those passive-bonus-providing talents will be a relief IMO! I always have a hard time deciding how to spend my talents, so I'm looking forward to not only having more talents to spend on other cool/new stuff, but also being able to make the decision more easily without resorting to searching the internet for "the best build".
In general, I believe that Blizzard is taking a huge step in making the shaman class a helluvalot more fun to play, not that it isn't already!