Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Elemental suggestions, my dear Tesla.

After about two levels as an elemental shaman, I've made several observations. I'll spare most of them, and concentrate on something constructive first.

When soloing, I put down Wrath of Air, Mana Spring and Totem of Wrath, throw 2-3 Lightning Bolts, then use Frost Shock to limit the movement, another Lightning Bolt and then decide to either throw the mob using Thunderstorm and keep lighting them up, or just melee the mob to death. Given at least two crits, most mobs are dead before they reach me.

As I said earlier, I find Frost Shock lacking. Well, it does slow the mobs and deal a fair amount of damage. Further, it's not supposed to be a dps-shock, not least since it generates a lot of threat. But there ought to be at least some talent which improves Frost Shock, since we have talents improving both Earth and Flame Shock.

Storm, Earth and Fire is lacking as well. The reduced cooldown on Chain Lightning is very circuimstancal. The improved dot damage on Flame Shock is good, but nowhere near a 5-point talent. Finally, the increased range on Earth is pretty useful, but nothing major.

Thus, here's some constructive suggestions on how to solve both problems.

First, there's one thing which I really don't see why they haven't done already. The range increase on Earth Shock should apply to Wind Shock as well.

Second, the increased range on Earth Shock should be improved to 2 yards per talent point, for a total of 10 yards increased range, thus 30 yard range. Why not? This is the base of most offensive spells. And Flame Shock still trumphs that, with Lava Flows. I think this'd be a minor, but a good upgrade.

Third, I think there ought to be some improvement to Frost Shock from the talent. This change should be something that can be useful while soloing and PVP, but not nescessarily while doing dps... it should be strictly worse dps-wise than both Flame Shock and Earth Shock. The change should be something circuimstancal as well, not to make the talent overpowered. Here's some suggestions:

  • Improve the snare effect from Frost Shock by 2% per talent, for a total of 10% better snare. That means frost shock will reduce speed by 60%. This will make frost shock a better snare than Hamstring and Wing Clip, worse than Crippling Poison, identical to Frostbolt with Permafrost and Chilled to the Bone, worse than Cone of Cold with both talents, better than any frost mage ability without said talents, and identical to Slow, just to mention a few. I doubt that it'd make it overpowered.

  • Apply the range increase from Earth Shock to Frost Shock as well. Slightly boring, but handy.

  • If you hit a target affected by Frost Shock with your Thuderstorm, the target will be rooted for 2-3 seconds after it's been pushed back. The duration of the root must be small, not to make it overpowered. On the other hand, it mustn't be so small that the global cooldown of Thunderstorm eats it all away. I think this'd be one of the most interesting options for an upgrade.

  • If you hit a target affected by Frost Shock with your Thuderstorm, the effect spreads to all targets affected by thunderstorm, and the duration is refreshened. I like the earlier suggestions better, but I'm just brainstorming here.

  • The two suggestions above could also be triggered by Lava Burst instead of Thunderstorm. As long as it's triggered by something that has an inheret cooldown.

  • Casting frost shock on a target affected by Flame Shock can increase the snare by a total of 20-30%, making it a superior snare, but taking some time to set up. At least 10 seconds with Reverberation.

Another constructive suggestion: Make a Glyph of Thuderstorm that removes the pushback, but adds a small bonus useful for PVE. For example, increases the mana restored by Thunderstorm by 2%, or reduces the cooldown of Thunderstorm by 10 seconds. I guess something similiar could be argued for with other pushback-abilities, such as Blast Wave and Typhoon. The big difference is that both of those classes (Mage and Balance Druid) already have excellent AE, and that both of those abilities cost hefty amounts of mana and thus is less useful in PVE, while Thunderstorm is a button you (almost) want to press every time it's up.

Chances are pretty low that devs read my blog, so I may post it on the official suggestions forum.

Edit: Why did I mix up Tesla, Darwin and Watson?

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