3.2.2 and you! (Lol rhymes. :x)

The happiest day of the month (or most dreaded, dependent on who you are) is finally here, bringing with it a sleu of nerfstoenhancepvpD: minor-yet-fun changes to Enhancement PVE, as well as the return of a lovable-yet-diabolical dragon with a bad attitude (and no basis in lore! :P) Now, on to the meaty stuff: Shaman changes in 3.2.2

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Disregard Everything I Say

I feel a little bit guilty. In https://shamanonramen.wordpress.com/2009/08/19/no-blizzard-doesnt-suck-at-enhance-you-do/, I spent quite a bit of time, words, and math showing how the Elemental t9 totem was better for Enhancement that the actual Enhancement one, and how I thought that was a good idea and intended by Blizzard. It seems I may have been wrong.

If you head over to the front page of mmo-champion, you’ll see this little tidbit of news:

Totem of Quaking Earth now gives 400 attack power for 18 sec each time you use your Lava Lash ability. (Up from 200 Attack Power)

Now, this makes sense. If you compare that totem with the death knight and paladin relics and understand itemization, you’d know that 200 Strength =/= 200 Attack Power, so the Totem of the Quaking Earth was not incredibly well itemized for it’s tier. 400 Attack Power makes a lot more sense for an iLevel 245 item.

(For some quick math, 400 AP that is up 100% of the time-with an assumed Trueshot aura/Unleashed Rage/Aboms might-is a static 440 EP.  Haste, on the other hand, shifts ep with each few points of haste you add on, so it’s nearly impossible to develop a static ep value for the entire 200 you’d get from Electrifying wind. It’s -possible- that you EP haste at like 2.7, which I saw on the shaman forums today, where Electrifying Wind might still be better. For the most part though, the 85%ish uptime and around 2.0 EPs will mean that Quaking Earth remains on top.)

I’m not annoyed about this change. I’m glad that Blizzard listened to Enhancement shaman who were annoyed by the lackluster totem. However, I’m not a fan of how it effects those of us who already spent our first 25 emblems of triumph on the elemental totem having to spend another 25 on the next totem. I don’t feel we should get reimbursed for our totem- giving Shaman 25 free Emblems of Triumph is unfair to other classes. I do feel that the best response would be to refresh the item sellback time on all totems, so that when we log in after 3.2.2 we have 2 hours played time to trade the totem in.

No, Blizzard Doesn’t Suck at Enhance- You Do.

Since it appeared last month on the Public Test Realms, Totem of Quaking Earth (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=47667) has been underwhelming shaman across the forums, inciting nerd rage and massive amounts of qq whereever it goes. It’s not that it’s a bad totem, per se- it’s a direct uprade from the Gladiator’s totems of indomitability (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=42608), albeit with a few differences: Gladiator’s is a ten second buff duration, but is guaranteed to proc every lava lash; Totem of Quaking Earth is an 18 second buff, but only an 80% chance to proc on an ability with a 6 second cooldown. I’m not an expert on probability, but when you have three 80% chances happening during the time the buff is up, the chance of it proccing again and keeping a relatively high uptime seems pretty high. (If anyone could show me how to calculate this, I’d love them forever.) So, we’ve got a totem with a near-100% uptime that provides 200 attack power- not amazing (especially considering the Death Knight/Ret Paladin relics each give 200 Strength, a stat with a much higher ep that scales with buffs. 200 agility would be much more desirable, but the point is moot.), but seemingly worthwhile. Until, that is, you see the “Elemental Totem.”

Totem of the Electrifying Wind (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=47666) is somewhat comparable to quaking earth in that A) It provides a 200 pt bonus to one stat. B) Assuming 60 PPM (I sim at 61 due to gemming haste with the t8 4pc. Other people’s PPMs might be lower, but I assumed 60 for ease, because it means one proc per second, and for the purpose of napkin math I’m saying this is one static proc per second- no more, no less), you should be firing off an instant lightning bolt every 5-6 seconds, comparable to the 6 second cooldown on lava lash.  C) It has a high proc chance, albeit slightly less than Quaking Earth’s- 70%. It also has a shorter buff duration- 12 seconds, to Quaking Earth’s 18.

The difference with Electrifying Wind is that it has a 6 Second Internal Cooldown, which means assuming a lightning bolt every five-six seconds will result in your first lightning bolt not being able to renew the buff. This leaves you with one lightning bolt that CAN renew the buff before it falls off, at a 70% chance to proc. Your next chance to proc the buff would be at 15 seconds, also at a 70% chance to proc. Because it has such a high proc chance, my best guess is that you’d rarely go anymore than three-eight seconds without a proc, and at times would keep the buff up consistently. (Once again, this is assuming you had a static proc per second of maelstrom weapon- you will be seeing more and less than that at different times.)

However, this slight drop off in buff uptime can be counteracted by the fact that the buff is 200 haste, rather than 200 attack power. Assuming Unleashed Rage/Aboms Might/trueshot aura being up 100% of the time, the maximum EP you’re going to get over a 36 (Least Common Denominator FTW) second period for Quaking Earth is a static 220. I’ve seen Haste EPs of between 1.7-2.3- I’m going to assume 2 for simplicity. This means that if you get super lucky with your 2nd lightning bolt always renewing the buff, you’re going to see 400 EP from Electrifying Wind. If you get somewhat unlucky and you miss out on renewing the buff before it falls off and instead proc it at 15 seconds every time, you’re going to see an EP of 400X30(12 seconds + 3w/o + 12 seconds +3 w/o +6 seconds to the end of test uptime)/36(test length)= 333.33 EP. Still, 113.33 more than Quaking Earth. Assuming RNG hates your guts and you only proc it on your fourth lightning bolt every time, you’re still going to see an EP of 400X24 (12 sec + 8 w/o +12 sec +4 w/o)/36=266.66 EP. Even with the RNG Gods hating you (and I don’t think there’s much of a chance of you going longer than 8 seconds without seeing a proc refresh), you’re looking at a totem that packs a serious punch. (Note: On fights with a lot of AOE where you’ll be using chain lightning most of the time, Quaking Earth may be a better choice.)

Now, the irony about me writing an as-of-right-now 660+ word post about these totems is that you can read the front page of the shaman forums and see Enhancement Shaman being told to grab the Totem of Electrifying Wind. It’s easily accessible information. What is also accessible, however, is the rampant trash talking that has gone on about blizzard since this information has gone live. And, honestly, it both shocks and appalls me. I’ve heard everything from “Blizzard is lazy” to “Blizzard has no idea about how enhancement shaman work” (this one always gets me- they can make sure that pve dps for nearly every class is where they want it to be, but they don’t understand how the classes work? Dear stupids, stop saying stuff like this. <3) to “Blizzard is intentionally trying to nerf enhancement by giving it a subpar totem.

And honestly, the best thing I can say to this is “stop and think.” Please, for the sake of the mental health of everyone around you, stop being a turd and ask yourself a few questions. What is the chance of Blizzard not realizing that haste is an incredibly desired stat for enhancement, a spec that uses lightning bolt as it’s single hardest hitting ability? I’d say slim to none. Despite the fact that lightning bolt is in the elemental tree and lava lash is enhancement, and the fact that the totems respective spells on wowhead’s database say “t9 enhancement or elemental relic,” is there anything about these totems that say “limited to enhancement or elemental shaman only?”  The answer to that one is “nothing.”

Last question: In a game where half the player base is already complaining that content is “too easy,” why do we want our gear choices to be easy to choose and dictated by the fact that it “looks” like it belongs to our spec? Personally, I find that “I-don’t-want-to-have-to-think-about-my-gear-choices” mindset is pretty lame, as might be evident by this blog post. To me, the fact that Blizzard was able to design a totem that is highly desirable by both enhancement and elemental, made it ottainable through emblems rather than a competitive random raid drop, and then gave us another totem that screamed “enhancement” to fake out the shaman who don’t want to do the work to remain on top makes me applaud them. I applaud them a lot. /applaud!

Also, go go nearly-1100 word blog posts. I should be an English Maj–oh wait.

Haste, Enhancement, and Why We’re Breaking Up.

I considered making my first post some long, rambling, introductory post about myself. However, considering the circumstances (e.g.: I just wrote a long, rambling, introductory page that you can click on and be all like “S^ ELAM NICE INFO), I decided it wasn’t needed. So, instead, I’ll get right into the meat of why I made this blog: to talk about Enhancement Shaman.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, a grave in the Sepulcher, or an abandoned area in hell known as “anywhere that is not internet accessible,” you’ve probably realized by now that the t8 Enhancement 4Set bonus (http://www.wowhead.com/?itemset=-72) is pretty much the coolest thing since me. It’s pretty common knowledge that, since Maelstrom Weapon already scales with haste, Haste Rating becomes a gemmable/enchantable option for Enhancement shaman seeking to improve their DPS. This is because EnhSim EPs rate Haste at values above 2.0, and it assumes Attack Power as 1.0. So, any +20 rating gem that sims above 2.0 is going to up your dps more than a +40 Attack Power gem. (2.1X20=42, which means that gem has an EP of 42, for example.)  It gets more convoluted then this- there are certain high and low points in which gemming haste is a VERY GOOD THING (right now, my EP for haste is 2.43, and other points) where haste is only attractive if you’re very, very drunk.

And I have to say, I hate it. Haste and I had a good run- we’ve been together a month, maybe a month and a half, and I did notice an increase in dps afterward. (However, as soon as I hit 4Pc t8 I regemmed for haste, so it’s impossible to say how much of my DPS increase can be attributed to gemming haste.) But, like Pokemon, Pogs, and Beanie Babies, my love affair with this fad of a stat has come to an end. And it’s not me, it’s Haste.

Haste just feels like RNG to me. Everytime I have windfury totem down, bloodlust up, flurry going, and a potion of speed popped and I STILL don’t see a 5 stack of maelstrom weapons every five to six seconds, I want to kill a kitten. Since I’m a dog person, this is not that much of a problem, but it’s still quite annoying. I understand quite well that Maelstrom Weapon is a ppm that scales with haste. I know that haste has other potential benefits- an increase in white damage, more Static Shock procs, more flametongue weapons going off, but I can’t help but feel that stacking haste adds more RNG to a spec that is already pretty RNG dependent. Attack Power, on the other hand, provides a static bonus to every attack, but we would lose the chance at more procs that haste does afford. And, +40 AP gems just look so.damn.sexy.

This is not to suggest that haste does not have it’s positive sides- When the RNG gods favor you, and with everything popped/procced you’re proccing 5stacks every 2-3 seconds, it’s simply -amazing.- It makes you happy to be playing enhancement. Attack Power doesn’t induce any reaction like that- I don’t know the last time I was like “WOAH LOOK AT THAT FIVE MORE WHITE DAMAGE PER ATTACK.”  Unfortunately, no one likes relying on RNG to make or break an extra hundred or so dps. If Haste ever starts EPing at numbers like 3.0 or so, I won’t be able to deny it’s usefulness. Until then, when it’s only making a few dps difference, I’m not subjecting myself to RNG. So, in conclusion:

Dear Haste,

We’re over. It’s not me, it’s you. Since you are quite useful around the cave, you’ll remain gemmed until I get Trial of the Crusader iLevel replacements, but after that it’s 40 AP or bust. Please don’t call, write, text, twitter, or leave embarassing facebook comments. Ty qt. </3


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