Saturday, November 7, 2009

The problem with shamans.

Shamans have a few problems, just like everybody else. Sure, ours don't include homicidal tendencies(deathknights) or an affinity for shooting things in the face for funnsies(hunters), but we do have our problems. Shamans are, by nature, a very versatile class. We can heal very effectively, and have two methods of dealing massive amounts of damage. However, our problem comes from the way we do all of these things. Shamans, unlike most hybrid classes that heal, dps, or even tank, have a small amount of spells to do each of these tasks. For example, hunters have multiple shots that they use depending on the fight, they have traps, their pets etc. A shamans dps rotation consists of four spells, almost always the same no matter the encounter. A priest has many,many spells to use in different healing encounters. They have instant AoE spells, party only healing spells, and damage mitigation spells. A shaman has four spells for healing, with one of them rarely used these days. As of right now, it sounds like all I am doing is complaining, "Oh boohoo, us poor shamans are so hated". But that isn't the case, I'm merely laying the foundation so that we can explore possible solutions.

DPS Solution #1- This solution is actually already in the making, with the introduction of the new Fire Nova spell coming in patch 3.3. The solution is this: Provide shamans more variety and freedom with the spells they are using by taking off the element specific nature of enhancement dps. Stormstrike is arguably the most important spell in a shamans rotation. If provides a significant buff to our nature spells, and hits relatively hard. Unfortunately, this nature specific buff pigeon holes enhancement shamans into use Earth Shock, and not being able to pursue other styles of dps. It would also be a welcome change in tactics if the Maelstrom Weapon effect actually affected Lava Burst. To make this solution viable, a good amount of re-working would have to go in to ensure that shamans dps did not dip, or skyrocket to the point of unfairness.

Healing Solution #1- A good way to remedy the problem at hand, would be to add new spells to a shamans healing repertoire. With the other healing classes with their own, very class defining spells, this solution runs the risk of further homogenization. However, I think that blizzard has put shamans the on right track to a specific, different style of healing. With the way shamans heal, targets have to be bunched up to receive a Chain Heal, and our other spells have a high enough mana cost that it sometimes isn't wise to use anything else other than Chain Heal. One remedy that I thought of was something on the lines of a hybrid of a priest lightwell and a druids tranquility. An on cooldown, placeable totem that would heal the targets party members for X% over lets say six seconds. So to clarify, if I was in group two, and my target was in group one, I would place a totem either on the ground, on the targets back or something along those lines and it would heal the target and this party members for a set amount of healing as a HoT.

Those are only two of the various possible solutions that blizzard could introduce to provide shamans with more variety in all aspects of the game. Of course, most other classes would need a rework of there spells, as pigeon-holing and lack of variety is a plague effecting almost every class.

Ok so this has nothing to do with what I said above, but it needs to be said for all shamans out there. When in a raid, during a boss battle, in the heat of combat, WE DONT FUCKING LOOK AT OUR RAID CHAT TO SEE YOU CRYING FOR HEROISM!!!!!!!!! For fucks sakes, if I have to see, "lol we didn't even use hero... fail shaman nub" one more time I might just have a psychotic break and go on a killing spree. It isn't even the fact that you asked for heroism or that we might have killed the boss with it, it's the fact that you expect me, the person making sure you live through the encounter, TO BE LOOKING AT A LITTLE BOX OF TEXT WHILE PEOPLE ARE DYING. My solution to these problem is to design a program that comes with every chat addon, that will give someone a 50,000 volt shock through their keyboard every time, "AMAGAWD HERO" or something stupid like that is said in raid chat. Or you could just say that if hero isn't called for in vent you won't pop it, but I like my idea better.

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