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 Shamanonramen.com. If you have me linked/bookmarked/anything, you might want to update them there!

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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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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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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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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

Elam.

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