Archive for Talents

Shamanistic Rage Power Aura

Looking through the WowWebStats logs, I could see a flaw in my play style, which was inhibiting Stormshaper’s mana regeneration. Shamans have a talent called ‘Shamanistic Rage’, and when its used, it reduces all damage taken by the shaman by 30%, and, importantly, it gives successful melee attacks a chance to regenerate mana equal to 15% of the shaman’s attack power. The spell lasts for 15 seconds, so that’s 15 seconds of substantial mana regeneration that I’ve been missing out for a good long while.

Ideally, Shamanistic Rage should be up, and kept up for pretty much the entire duration of any fight, and according to WowWebStats, this wasn’t happening because I was only triggering the talent once Stormshaper’s mana dropped to 20%.

To overcome this problem, I’ve written a Power Auras Classic aura which will trigger using the spell cooldown and put a line of text across my character saying “SHAMANISTIC RAGE READY!” any time the talent is available. The logic being as soon as the message appears, I hit my Shamanistic Rage keybind and the job is done.

The aura will only show if I am in combat, as there’s no point in having it showing when I’m out of combat as it would display pretty much all the time.

The Export for this Power Auras Classic string is here:

Version:st3.0.0E; gcd:bofalse; b:nu1; anim1:nu2; g:nu1; optunitn:bofalse; ignoremaj:botrue; stacksLower:nu0; target:bofalse; icon:stInterface\Icons\Spell_Nature_ShamanRage; size:nu0.75; torsion:nu1; r:nu1; y:nu-30; x:nu0; customname:st; groupany:botrue; isAlive:botrue; timerduration:nu0; unitn:st; bufftype:nu15; stacks:nu0; focus:bofalse; raid:bofalse; texture:nu29; alpha:nu0.75; aurastext:stShamanistic Rage Ready Now!; symetrie:nu0; owntex:bofalse; isResting:bofalse; duration:nu0; mine:bofalse; multiids:st; inVehicle:bofalse; speed:nu1; anim2:nu0; spec2:botrue; stacksOperator:st>=; realaura:nu1; InactiveDueToState:botrue; threshold:nu50; exact:bofalse; textaura:botrue; sound:nu0; wowtex:bofalse; groupOrSelf:bofalse; customsound:st; combat:botrue; id:nu13; inParty:nu0; HideRequest:bofalse; Active:bofalse; aurastextfont:nu1; buffname:stShamanistic Rage; inRaid:nu0; tooltipCheck:st; customtex:bofalse; stance:nu10; isSecondary:bofalse; thresholdinvert:bofalse; spec1:botrue; Debug:bofalse; beginSpin:bofalse; Showing:bofalse; UseOldAnimations:bofalse; begin:nu3; off:bofalse; party:bofalse; texmode:nu1; inverse:bofalse; ismounted:bofalse; targetfriend:bofalse; randomcolor:bofalse; finish:nu3; timer.InvertAuraBelow:nu0; timer.dual:botrue; timer.HideLeadingZeros:botrue; timer.h:nu1; timer.ShowOnAuraHide:botrue; timer.UpdatePing:botrue; timer.Texture:stDefault; timer.enabled:botrue; timer.Showing:bofalse; timer.y:nu0; timer.x:nu0; timer.HideRequest:botrue; timer.Transparent:botrue; timer.a:nu1; timer.CustomDuration:nu0;; timer.cents:botrue

The string can also be found on the Power Auras Wiki as well.


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Set Bonus and Talent Rebuild

When Stormshaper got her second piece of her tier 9 DPS set, she triggered the following set bonus.

At this point – it was time for Stormshaper to redo her talent tree specificiation, because while levelling her to 80, I neglected to put any points at all in Static Shock.

This was Stormshaper’s old talent tree:

And here is her new talent tree:

So there are a few subtle differences, which we’ll discuss here.

In the Elemental Tree, she removed the point she had in Elemental Focus as it wasn’t giving her any benefit whatsoever, and put that point into Call of Flame, meaning that she’s maxed that talent. Doing this increases the damage done by her Fire Nova by 5% and Lava Burst by 2%. As she doesn’t use Lava Burst that much, the latter isn’t that relevant, but the increase from Fire Nova is substantial.

In the Enhancement tree, she’s dropped three points from Ancestral Knowledge, meaning her increase in intellect has dropped from 10% to 4%. The three points have instead been moved into Static Shock. This is a nice little bonus to a shaman’s burst damage. With the 2 piece bonus, the chance to trigger Static Shock is increased with an additional 3% taking that up to a 9% chance to trigger.

So, with her two piece set bonus and her talent tree sorted out, Stormshaper is ready to go!

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Have you seen the forum post which offers a little bit more information on the forthcoming “Mastery” system that will come along when Deathwing reappears? Reading through MMO Champion’s BlueTracker system reveals a few more follow up posts from the developers.

Back at the Blizzard DevCon, the developers announced that the talent tree system was going to receive a complete overhaul with some talent selections going away, to be replaced by passive bonuses. This would simplify the talent trees for each class significantly. The passive bonuses would be activated as you spent your talent points in various trees.

Applying these passive bonuses as talent points are spent in each tree would move people away from hybrid talent spreads, where they try to unlock talents from across all three available talent trees. The game has moved on somewhat from when you could do that and remain viable in your chosen role (tank/dps/healer).

One thing it could possibly lead to is all the various classes having pretty much the same talent spread with little or no deviation. I know that they’re bringing in the forging talent to alter stats on gear slightly (not dis-similar to the bonuses available from gems), but will the condensing of the talent trees lead to all healing paladins having spec ‘x’, all Enhancement shamans having spec ‘y’, all unholy death knights having spec ‘z’?

If so, won’t that make the game a little less challenging, and very, very samey?

The developers seem to be really buzzing about this change in the talent system, so I’ll wait and see what’s coming along. For myself, the only caveat I have is that as long as it doesn’t make every player uniformly the same no matter what, with talent spreads only dictated by class balancing then that’s fine. If talent spreads are going to be dictated by alterations on patch day then that’s not really going to be much fun at all.

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Level 80

Hitting level 80 on Stormshaper was easy. No, really, it was simple. Also, she hit 80 despite doing no quests in Zul Drak, Grizzly Hills or Scholozar Basin. So there are still swathes of Northrend for her to explore still. Nor did she do anything in K3, so the enormous Sons of Hodir quest chain is still to come.

At 78, Halls of Stone opens up for you in the random dungeon feature, and Stormshaper did several runs of this dungeon which added a fair bit of XP as well as getting her a few Relics of Ulduar for the Sons of Hodir rep grind. At 79, Halls of Lightning and Utgarde Pinnacle are available, and the random dungeon feature is where your XP gain goes through the roof.

I continued questing in Icecrown and, at queued in the dungeon finder, teleporting into dungeons when the groups were ready, then when complete, returning. Doing this, the XP required to go from 79 to 80 simply vanished.

As soon as Stormshaper reached 80, I tried to queue in the random heroic and was presented with heroic Utgarde Pinnacle (after running it on normal four times previously). The step up between normal and heroic is huge – especially if you’re in blues – but the group I was in were welcoming and didn’t seem phased that this ‘scrub’ (to use the current parlance) was being ‘carried’ through the dungeon. What a nice, refreshing attitude to see.

In the end, I didn’t finish bottom of the DPS meters. I’m not really a fan of those creations, but it was nice to see that Stormshaper could handle her own in a heroic run. Sadly no gear drops at all. Everything that dropped was plate/tank related – but that’s okay. Gear will come for Stormshaper – it’s just a matter of grinding out the heroics, gathering the emblems of frost and triumph and spending them wisely.

I can’t really compare levelling Stormshaper with my other characters. The game, with the addition of the random dungeon feature and nerfed dungeons is considerably easier now than it was when the expansion first came out. And, remember WoTLK 5 man instances are in turn considerably easier than the 5 man runs in Burning Crusade.

In previous times, you really required a guild so that your character could run instances with so that you could get gear and progress. With the random dungeon feature, this is no longer a requirement, and indeed, I levelled Stormshaper all the way to level 80 without ever joining a guild. Being guildless allowed me to focus entirely on levelling Stormshaper and learning about playing the Shaman class. I can say for absolute certainty being guildless definitely helped me level Stormshaper quicker than being in a guild and having to contend with the myriad distractions that gives you.

I’m not saying being in a guild is bad – it absolutely isn’t – but they can present you with distractions, especially if you join a “social” guild or a guild that’s “fun”. Invariably this means the guild is packed with low level characters who want a “boost” from higher characters. Nothing in it for the higher character, the lower character runs along behind you, as you kill everything before them. You don’t need any of the drops, so they fill their bags with low level greens, cloth and food and they get the boss drops.

I’m all for helping people, but in World of Warcraft today, you don’t need to “boost” anyone. As long as they meet the requirements of the dungeon, they can queue in the random dungeon finder and find a group in next to no time. Sadly, in my experience this isn’t the case. People don’t want to quest to get to level 16 and start running Dead Mines, Blackfathom Deeps, Shadowfang Keep or Wailing Caverns. They want to be dragged through at level 10. This will continue all the way through their levelling process, until you either level them all the way up to an acceptable level, and they then leave the guild, or, they leave the guild as they don’t get their own way.

Stormshaper didn’t have any of these issues to contend with. I basically played a zone until I had done all the quests available, and moved on to the next zone and the next, and the next. The random dungeon feature ensured that I played all the dungeons at the right level. I had some dreadful experiences, but I also had some good laughs.

Now Stormshaper is 80, and I basically have to learn how to play the class all over again.

I have subscribed to a number of shaman forums, blogs and various other sources of valid information so that I can learn from other people’s experiences. I have checked out Stormshaper’s talent trees, and already I can see some things that need to be adjusted, but bearing in mind I was selecting her talents without any reference, I don’t think I did too badly.

This is Stormshaper’s current talent tree spread (16/55/0):

I’m going to adjust the talent tree slightly so that this will be the new talent spread (8/58/0):

Once I’ve run a couple of heroics with the new talent build, I’ll get a better feel for how much it has increased Stormshaper’s DPS.

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As I’ve been levelling Stormshaper, I’ve not paid too much attention to the patch notes that accompany patch 3.3, but now, as she’s approaching 80 – albeit at a very leisurely pace, there are some new things to consider.

For the shaman class as a whole, there are two subtle changes coming, and both of them could make the class even more powerful and more raid-party friendly than ever.

  • Flame Shock: The damage-over-time component of this ability can now produce critical strikes and is affected by spell haste.
  • Talents:
    • Elemental Combat
      • Elemental Oath: This ability is now always on as a passive aura.
    • Enhancement:

    As Stormshaper is an Enhancement shaman, putting Unleashed Rage as a passive aura is a great buff for anyone who is partied with the shaman. The crits from Stormshaper’s melee attacks will have a chance to increase all party and raid members’ attack power by 10% for 10 seconds as long as they are within 45 yards of the shaman.

    This is a substantial party wide/raid wide DPS gain. Go shamans!

    The change to Flame Shock will probably mean the end of the Glyph of Flame Shock, as the change basically makes the glyph as it is today, completely redundant. The Shaman Tier 8 armour set had a two piece set bonus that made the same change to the Flame Shock talent, but this change will be a positive boost to anyone levelling a shaman. Will the tier 8 armour set bonus be adjusted though? Or will people not even bother with that, and just save up emblems to buy Tier 9 gear right off the bat?

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Maelstrom Weapon and Power Auras

Stormshaper reached level 56 last night. At level 55, I was able to select the Maelstrom Weapon talent, that requires 45 points in the Enhancement talent tree.

When you deal damage with a melee weapon you have a chance to reduce the cast time of your next Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Lesser Healing Wave, Chain Heal or Hex by 20%. The Maelstrom weapon proc stacks up to five times, meaning that on the fifth stack, whatever spell you choose becomes instant cast.

According to the tooltip, dealing damage causes Maelstrom Weapon to proc. That’s it. If you’re swinging away and hitting things, then you’re due to see Maelstrom Weapon proc sooner or later. It’s not a case of more damage causing more procs, you simply have to be dealing damage full stop. The more points you stack in the talent the more frequent the trigger.

Simple, and effective.

Initially, with the one talent point, I was killing mobs and only saw it stack to five times once. Once Stormshaper hit 56 and I could put two points into the talent, the amount of times I saw five stacks went up enormously. Easily more than double. When I hit five stacks, I could cast a Lightning Bolt instantly, which was a good DPS increase, or, if I was running low on health, instantly cast a Lesser Healing Wave. Basically, any time I had stacks of Maelstrom Weapon up, I would cast *something* to make use of it, as I didn’t want it to go to waste.

With having to watch the amount of Maelstrom Weapon procs, I decided that I’d investigate and see what other Shamans do to monitor their Maelstrom Weapons. Two addons come to the fore; Shock And Awe and Power Auras Classic. As I have Power Auras Classic on my other characters and I am familiar with it, I decided to go with that. I know Shock And Awe is Shaman-specific, and it’s probably a cracking addon, but I like to re-use what I already have, so Power Auras Classic it is.

I could go through a step by step guide to setting up Power Auras Classic to monitor your Maelstrom Weapon procs, but there’s already a superb guide on this very subject on You Tube which is miles better than anything I could do.

My advice is to watch this movie a couple of times, and follow the steps he shows you and before too long, you’ll have your own Maelstrom Weapon procs appearing around your character.

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Stormshaper has reached level 54 thanks to a few quests around Western Plaguelands, some other quests in Felwood, and killing enough corrupted Furbolgs to gain neutral with Timbermaw Hold, so she can traverse the underground cavern through to Winterspring.

Winterspring was a good area to quest on my hunter thanks to the leather farming available there, not to mention the Wintersaber reputation grind. However, Stormshaper isn’t going to quest there at all. Plaguelands is where she will be based mostly as we head towards 58. The reason for this is, I really like the Argent Dawn faction, and I like the old style reputation gathering that emerged in Plaguelands. Stormshaper wears her Ensignia trinket with pride as she shocks and stabs and fires and freezes undead and skeletal warriors in and around the ruined enclave of Andorhal.

Plus, with the lore around Arthas and the Litch King and the scourge, the Plaguelands make me feel closer somehow to the battles being waged currently in Northrend.

Of course, as soon as she hits 58, she will leave the poisoned plaguelands behind and step through the dark portal and back onto her ruined home world of Draenor. So there is a reason to hurry through the last four levels of old world Azeroth.

In random dungeon news, a couple of trips to Blackrock. Never yet completed it. If you hit a wipe, people leave instantly. The further into those dungeons you go, the harder it is to get new players who can come to you directly – unless you have a warlock in your party, and there doesn’t seem to be many warlocks around currently. So, if we lose a party member, that’s it, dungeon over. Frustrating really, but the current slew of players don’t have a lot of fortitude and seem to react badly the second anything goes even slightly wrong.

In other news, Stormshaper’s gear is improving – slowly. The rewards from completing random dungeons have dried up as completing the dungeons isn’t happening, but the last seven times I’ve completed a dungeon, I’ve received a pair of mail boots. That’s it. Of course, as soon as I get them, I sell them, but really, the random number generator isn’t being kind at all.

I did manage to get a couple of BOE items for very little gold out of the Auction House, Bindings of Elements and Gauntlets of Elements. These drop in Blackrock Spire and Scholomance and there seem to be an abundance of people running these instances for achievements, so any players levelling a character like Stormshaper can get quite a decent gear upgrade for very little outlay if they’re lucky. Both items cost me less than 10g, so it was a no-brainer as far as I could see. Both offered significant upgrades over leather items, and it sets Stormshaper off on the road to her first set bonus. With a bit of luck, a couple more items will drop before she passes through the Dark Portal at 58.

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