They buff because they care.

There is an oft-repeated maxim  on the shaman forums that Enhance shaman scale with every raid buff/debuff that exists. For the most part, this is true- I’m personally not positive what I’m getting from Divine Spirit, but other than that I’d agree. However, what we don’t tend to talk about is how much we scale with these raid buffs, and what raid buffs do we absolutely need to see in a raid.

I felt that it would be a fun project to see exactly how much we do benefit from each debuff, so I opened up my handy dandy enh simulator and simmed my DPS five times, averaging out to 7347DPS with .05% Out of Mana time. I then went and systematically removed buffs/debuffs and recorded the damage lost. For simming unleashed rage, I did one sim without changing my expertise to emulate not taking the talent, but having another 10% ap buff (abom might/trueshot), and another sim without changing my expertise and not having another 10% ap buff. For 3% spell hit, I dropped my hit rating down to 368 as I’m spell hit capped in my current gear. I also looked at the difference between using regular and improved versions of the buffs I remembered to.

Something important to keep in mind here is that these numbers are based on my own individual gear, and that they will probably differ from your own values. Beyond that, buffs and debuffs play with each other, so in order to figure out the exact data you’d probably have to do tons of combinations of sims. So, take these as they are: a basic idea of what you’ll get from different buffs and debuffs. Without further ado, this is the raw data I collected:

No Flask: 7232 DPS. Loss of 115 DPS.
No Potion of Speed: 7316 DPS. Loss of 31 DPS.
No Fish Feast: 7265 DPS. Loss of 82 DPS.
No Replenisment: 7323 DPS. Loss of 24 DPS. .85% OOM time.
No Blessing of Wisdom: 7343 DPS. Loss of 4 DPS. .20% OOM time.
No Judgement of Wisdom: 7345 DPS. Loss of 2 DPS. .11% OOM time
No Arcane Brilliance: 7291 DPS. Loss of 56 DPS.
No Imp SoE: 6995 DPS. Loss of 352 DPS.
Horn of Winter Instead of Imp. SoE: 7297 DPS. Loss of 50 DPS.
No Gift of the Wild: 7204 DPS. Loss of 143 DPS.
No Blessing of Kings: 7135 DPS. Loss of 212 DPS.
Loss of Totem of Wrath/Heart of the Crusader Crit Portion: 7158 DPS. Loss of 189 DPS.
Loss of Ferocious Ins/Sanctified Ret: 7144 DPS. Loss of 203 DPS.
Loss of Mookin/Ret Aura Haste: 7207 DPS. Loss of 140 DPS.
Loss of 3% Spell Hit. (I dropped my hit down to 368/14% for the purpose of this test, as I was spell hit capped in my gear.) 7248 DPS. Loss of 99 DPS.
Loss of 280 Spellpower: 7155 DPS.  Loss of 192 DPS.
144 SP (Flt Totem vs. ToW): 7256 dps. Loss of 91 DPS.
Loss of 13% Spell Damage debuff: 7008 dps. Loss of 339 DPS.
Loss of 5% Spell Crit Debuff: 7218 dps. Loss of 129 dps.
Loss of 5% Spell Crit Buff: 7213 dps. Loss of 134 dps.
Loss of 5% spell haste Totem: 7322 dps. Loss of 15 DPS.
Loss of 10% AP. (Changed expertise to 216 to not reflect loss of expertise in date.): 6916 DPS. Loss 431 DPS.
Loss of 10%AP+9 Expertise. (0/0 UR.) 6797 DPS. Loss of 550 DPS.
Loss of Imp might/BS- 687 AP. 6892 DPS. Loss of 455 DPS.
Loss of Imp Might, using regular might- 550 AP. 7258 dps. Loss of 89 dps.
Loss of 5% Crit- LoTP/Rampage. 7168 DPS. Loss of 269 dps.
Loss of 20%melee haste. 6692 DPS. Loss of 655 DPS.
Loss of 4% melee haste- no imp wf. 7213 DPS. Loss of 134 DPS.
Loss of 4% physical damage- 7191 DPS. Loss of 156 DPS.
Loss of 5% armor reduc- 7288 DPS. Loss of 59 DPS.
Loss of 20% Armor reduc: 7070 DPS. Loss of 277 DPS.

So, with the raw data behind us, let’s take a look at what this means. First off, let’s look at the buffs you bring to yourself in a raid: One Enhancement Shaman, specced into Cookie Cutter Imp. SoE/Imp. WF/Unleashed Rage (Relying on other for FT in favor of using magma): 1557 DPS. By not dropping your totems or speccing into unleashed rage, you gimp yourself out of 1,557 dps. So, don’t be lazy and drop your totems. That said, if you’re the type of person looking to play better by reading information on blogs, I doubt you’re doing something as silly as not dropping totems. 😛

Now, let’s look at something that a lot of people DO do- try to skip out on improving their own totems to gain talent points elsewhere. The rationale of “oh, the other enhance shaman brings imp. soe” or “the frost dk has imp. icy talons” might work…until they die. And once they die, and you’re left not specced into these abilities and this is the case: One Enhancement Shaman using untalented Imp. WF/Imp Soe/16% Melee Haste= 184 DPS. You gain 184 DPS just by speccing into these talents.

Some of the more important things to look at: Imp. BS/Imp. Might are the best possible buff for us, at 455 dps. Regular might is fine, but we lose 89 dps from not getting the improved version.

Finally, here are some of the best combinations of classes for us (assuming no one else in the raid can provide all their buffs. This is rarely the case- you might not have a moonkin, but your ret paladin will be supplying 3% haste. Or something.):

Boomkin give: 13%Spell Damage, 5% Armor Reduc, 3% Spellhit, 3% Haste 5% Spell Crit/Gift of the Wild: One Boomkin=914 DPS.
One Elemental Shaman: 5%Spell Haste, 5% Spell Crit, 3% Crit, 280 Spellpower: 530 DPS loss.
One Fury Warrior: 20% ArP, 5% Melee Crit, Imp BS: 1001 DPS.
One Arms Warrior: 20% ArP, 4% Physical Damage, Reg BS: 799 DPS.
One Combat Rogue: 4% Physical Damage, 20% ArP: 433 DPS.
One Feral Druid: 5%ArP, 5% crit. 328 DPS.
One Ret Paladin: Imp Might, 3%Crit, 3% Haste, Sanctified Ret: 987 DPS loss.

The kind of really striking thing to me was that the fury warrior ended up giving more dps than the boomkin, proving my own hypothesis wrong. D:

So, there you have it. These are the way debuffs play out for me, and I’d imagine most people would see numbers within a few standard deviations. Hope this helped!

As a reminder, my blog has moved. This is one of the few posts that will be published here before I permanently leave for If you have me linked/bookmarked/anything, you might want to update them there!

I have officially gone self hosted!

As anyone who will visit might be able to see, I have officially gone self-hosted!! As anyone else visiting might also be able to see, the appearance of that blog is extradordinarily bland, but it’s 4:00 AM and I’m not going to bother making myself crazy prettifying it tonight!

This is a huge step for me- somewhat warranted by the fact that I’ve been able to maintain a steady 3-400 views per day for nearly a week now, but also just because it seemed like all the cool kids were doing it. And it just seemed fun.

I am planning, for the next few weeks or so, to continue posting blogs on both my original wordpress account and this blog to try and ease people into this new place. (I’ll probably include a little note at the end of the blog, reminding people to come hither!) After a little while, though, I will just abandon that blog in favor of the one I’m paying to have. xD (also, if anyone is linking to me- could you please update your links to reflect the blog change? :D)

This is a really awesome transition for me, and thanks everyone for the views and support. ❤

And again, it is 😀

Enhance Your Game-Sim it!

“Enhance Your Game” is my attempt at a weekly (or bi-weekly) blog column. In it, I’ll be covering integral programs/addons that I feel benefit my playstyle, the melee playstyle, and playing an Enhancement Shaman. This is my first attempt at an actual stable column (small, clouded in mystery aside- this might not be my only column starting in the near future. :o), so bear with me! This week’s “Enhance Your Game” will be covering one of the most integral addons of Enhancement Raiding- the Enhancement Damage Simulator.

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Beating the Beasts.

By this point in the patch, the majority of us have probably taken our firsts steps into Heroic Northrend Beasts, be it on 10 or 25 man. This means that a large number of you probably know the basics of the fight: It’s a DPS race, as the bosses are released on a timer. There are no drastically different additions are changes to the fight, other than the scaling up of boss damage/hit points and the fact that Icehowl no longer gives you a sprint buff when he charges. Rather than talk about the general fight, here are some of the specifics of the fight itself as it pertains to Enhancement Shaman, as well as my perspectives and tips on not dissappointing your fellow raiders like they’re Taylor Swift and you’re Kanye West.

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On using “On Use.”

I just found out that Talon King Ikiss from Sethekk Halls in BC did not enrage if you used an on-use trinket. I was told on my first run there that he did, and had subsequently spent an entire expansion of heroics AND leveled like 4 characters through outlands thinking I could not use trinkets on him without wiping the group. I’m pretty amazing.

Now, with that awkward vignette out of the way, you shoud click below this shiny line to read my ramblings about why On Use trinkets are underrated additions to your enhance arsenal. (Also, that sentance ending was LIKE assonance, but not. >:()

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The Art of War/Maelstrom Weapon Cage Match. No, it isn’t pretty.

Hilary Duff style, I need to come clean. I’ve been leveling a paladin. I’ve been leveling a RETRIBUTION paladin. Moreover, my fatty cow, wanna-be leprechauns, and desperately-needing-dentist brethren, I’ve been leveling an ALLIANCE RETRIBUTION PALADIN. Dun dun dun. (This is the part where the shaman community revolts and flays the skin from my bones with their sharp fist thingies and wolves of doom.)

No, this is not to reroll. No, it’s not because I’ve “grown disillusioned by the utter crap that is the shaman class” like the thousand other people who have yet to realize that they’re not nearly as amazing as they think they are. Actually, what it is for is to gank my guildmates and friends since it is on my home server is a few reasons. A)I’ve only played tauren melee dps at 80, and a small part of me worries that the gigantic cow in the front of my screen is affecting my performance in some way, mainly dpsing from behind on human sized mobs that I can barely see past my fatty self. If it does seem to be better on the small side, I might consider race-changing Failam to orc when it’s released. (No, the OP racials have nothing to do with it- they’re jsut a nice benefit.) B) I’m leveling the ret to learn.

Ideally, I’d like to have every melee dps at level 80 within the next few months- ret paladin (who is pretty close) rogue, feral, and warrior are all that are left for me, I believe. I’m of the opinion that focusing on one character is a bad idea- first off, you become overly aware of that one classes problems, and take for granted their benefits. I feel playing a single character restrains a large number of people from seeing WoW as a whole, and rather they focus entirely on what makes them better without regard to class balance. (I swear, if I see another person post “It’s Our turn to be OP,” I’m going American History X and curb stomping them. Srsly.) Second, I just find it useful to understand how other classes gear /work/dps, and learning different ways, as this game is constantly changing, and class A mechanics you may have a handle on today might be entirely overhauled in Patch x.y to be more akin to class B, etc. Oh, and, Outland is fun. This post, however, is no longer about my qt baby retadin, even though she’s fabulous.

I’m not sure if it’s in the water or something, but I’ve been reading a lot of whining from a large number of people who have no idea what they’re talking about (Also known as the shaman forums) in regards to the Retribtion talent The Art of War. ( For those of you who don’t know about this talent, it’s the Retribution answer to Maelstrom Weapn- a chance on melee critical strike for them to be able to cast an instant flash of light or exorcism. To hear it said by quite a few players, it’s ridiculous- they don’t have to stack their instant cast, and it only requires a two talent point investment to reach. So, I’d like to spam purge on some of this QQ and provide a nice, neat, comparison between the two talents.

1) Maelstrom Weapon lightning bolts are our single hardest hitting on command ability. (Windfury can hit harder, but we have no control over it.) We prioritize MW5 Lightning Bolts over sex while raiding, both because it hits hard and because each second gone by not hitting it means we’re missing more potential MW procs. By comparison, instant excorcisms are a Paladins LAST priority- where we would refresh shields/totems, they’re hitting exorcism. Even consecration is more highly valued on Ret Priority than exorcism.

2) Exorcism has a 15 second cooldown. MW doesn’t have a cooldown. This means that while we might be firing off an instant lightning bolt every 5 seconds, Retribution Paladins who don’t need the instant flash of light are letting their Art of War just sit there for 10-12 seconds at a time waiting for that exorcism to be up again. I know that when I’m dpsing, I tend to have a near 100% uptime on art of war, since it does proc quite frequently- but most of that uptime is spent waiting for the cooldown  to be up, and then, when the cooldown IS up, making sure there is nothing else on my priority list that needs to be done before using it.

3) Maelstrom Weapon provides more versatility. Single target dps fight? That’s cool, I’ll use lightning bolt. Mimiron Phase 4? Chain Lightning and I are bffs. Learning Hardmode XT Deconstructor for the first time? Sure, I’ll use some instant chain heals on the melee during tantrums. OH SHIT I’M DYING? Instant Healing Wave ftw! Wait, what? Trash exists somewhere that needs to be CCed and is currently eating our wild-growth spam sapling’s face? W/e man, he’s now a frog. Instantly.

Switch to my qt femret. Single target dps fight? That’s cool, I’ll use exorcism. Mimiron phase 4? Still here, still hitting exorcism. Learning Hardmode XT for the first time? Oh shit son, I just flash of lighted myself for 3k. Pity that rogue next to me died though. These healers need to lrn2play. OH SHIT I’M DYING. Nice, instant flash of light. That almost brings me out of killsho–you cannot do that while dead? Wait, what? Trash exists somewhere that needs to be CCed and is currently eating our wild-growth spam sapling’s face? Fuck excorcism. /cast Divine Storm!

4) Maelstrom Weapon has a chance to proc off melee hits. The Art of War has a chance to proc off melee critical hits. On any target that is standing still but has a lot of resilience in pvp (not done very much, I know), you’d have a better chance of proccing MW than the Art of War.

5) That said, the Art of War does not need to stack, so you can fire off instant underwhelming abilities fairly often in pvp, while the shaman needs to stick on top of something to try and fire off a more powerful attack.

6) The Art of War provides a base damage increase to a few abilities, which is a nice benefit to taking the talent.

7) The Art of War is only a two talent point investmentm, while MW is five.

The last three, in my mind, are beneficial for The Art of War’s cause, but not enough to counteract the amazingness of Maelstrom Weapon. For Ret, the Art of War is a nice free damage bonus, much like our lava lash. For Enhance, Maelstrom Weapon is spec-defining in it’s glory. There is absolutely no reason to QQ about TAoW.

3.2 And You: How to not Be Bad

So, it’s pretty common knowledge that I’ve been massively procrastinating reediting my 3.2.2 version of “Totem Eclipse of the Heart,” the shaman forum Enhancement DPS sticky. This is due to a large number of issues- my 22nd birthday, a crazy work week, 3 nights of 25 man raiding, 2 nights of 10 man raiding a week, wanting to have this blog finished with a good fiveish posts so that I could link to it, and a large number of minor-yet-annoying happenstances have led to me putting off updating the 3.2 version with the edits people gave me. However, due to todays upswing in productiveness, I have released a new, updated version of A Totem Eclipse of the Hear. The link is at the end!

First, though, here is a brief preview of the 3.2 post- to me, they’re the highlights. Enjoy!

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