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Enhancement Shaman Review - Battle for Azeroth Class Community Opinions
23.07.2018 в 02:20
Throughout the pre-patch, we'll be launching a community opinions article for every class and spec. We're continuing our Battle for Azeroth State of the Class and in this post, we'll be taking a look at the state of Enhancement Shamans. See if this spec appeals to you in Battle for Azeroth!
We reached out to the Enhancement Shaman community to give their thoughts and opinions on the changes and current state of the spec.
If this spec appeals to you after reading this article, check out our
Battle for Azeroth Enhancement Shaman Guide
This is compiled by Enhancement theorycrafters as representatives for the Shaman discord
they contribute to.
- Theorycrafter, SimC dev.
- Long time theorycrafter
- Guide Writer & theorycrafter.
Between Legion and Battle for Azeroth not a great deal has really changed, outside of losing a lot of passive effects and mechanics that were core to the balance of the rotation that were locked up within the
. If you played it in Legion, then you’ll likely feel at home here, just a bit weaker and with a less focused toolkit than you were used to. Due to some of the more serious problems that aren’t strictly tuning issues, this post won’t be particularly positive. Instead we’re going to be covering the major problem points and explain exactly why we feel there are some core things that are going to need to change to make the spec work.
Maelstrom & Rotation
Going into BfA Enhancement’s rotation has been seriously impacted by the maximum Maelstrom reduction to 100 in tandem with the increased number of generation talents put into the tree that are dominant. Right now, overflow is really common and unavoidable in some situations which feels like a noticeable downgrade to players old and new from my experience, waste is never a good thing if it’s out of your hands & has no counterplay. Maelstrom management itself becoming obsolete, in that it is so unimportant while still being bolstered by a number of abilities and effects.
In its current iteration,
free creates situations where our most valuable button causes excessive amounts of Maelstrom waste that can’t be spent without resorting to lower priority buttons. Combining this with new talent tiers in BfA focused on maelstrom generation makes bleeding off this excessive resource impossible. Overall Maelstrom waste with good management has increased from 4-5% in Legion to 25-30% in BfA.
As a result of this unmitigatable resource overflow it creates an extremely tight GCD locked playstyle. We run into issues where immediately after a chain of
s, we need to choose between maintaining buffs, high priority abilities and spending our capped Maelstrom, exacerbating this problem of qualifying the value of our resource. Being GCD locked also pushes out any potential talents that may have a reduced GCD efficiency. This makes talents that trade GCDs for Maelstrom gains far weaker since we’re already wasting resource so the gain is lost and there’s already no waiting time to fit them into the rotation. This applies in particular to
Additionally, the ratio of our abilities costs to our Maelstrom cap makes balancing spending with generation more difficult with how large the ratio of passive sources is to active ones. At the moment, roughly 25% of our resource comes from actively pressing
which makes the small resource cap very stifling when it comes to decision making between spending resource and using free higher priority abilities. This perception is crucial to the average player, because resource waste is a visceral and noticeable consequence and understanding whether or not that is a mistake or not isn’t immediately clear without external resources.
To fix these issues, Maelstrom generation from passive sources needs to come down significantly,
needs to revert back to a half cost reduction and our resource cap should be increased to 120 or 150. This would require players to carefully plan their
usage similar to the Legion playstyle so that enough resource is always available for higher priority resource spending abilities, while also attempting to mitigate waste.
- Completely antithetical to the way the rotation currently operates. The damage increase blurs the line between it being a generator and a filler - one that is dangerously close to being a reality already - and also clutters the rotation with a talent that is difficult to capitalise on when the rotation picks up the pace due to RNG chains.
also has the problem of requiring additional GCDs to take advantage of the maelstrom generation, removing opportunities to spend the additional resource on damaging GCDs when we’re currently in a locked playstyle thanks to already excessive maelstrom generation. A better implementation would just deal generate more maelstrom per
use instead of requiring more uses.
- This plays into the Maelstrom issue. With having such an easy to cap Maelstrom ceiling, it results in play that creates potential situations where players will use our generator for 0 resource, just to gamble on the strength of the effect.
- Not impactful enough for even the minor additional maintenance required. It needs to provide more or, alternatively, not have a 100% uptime effect and buffed drastically to wallow us to really lean into its power with situational play.
- Tuned way too low for the opportunity cost that it requires. Maintaining this buff displaces various casts throughout an encounter (namely
) and is currently not able to make up the difference.
- An indirect cast replacement for
, currently too weak to use. Also has a distinct impact on the rotation, requiring a management factor that neither talent alternative do, alongside feeling weak compared to our hardest hitting tools even despite requiring heavy Maelstrom investment and being limited by a fixed cooldown.
- design space is way too similar to
as a sustained AoE source. It doesn’t impact the Maelstrom-to-damage conversion enough to fix that problem and doesn’t feel impactful or engaging. This needs to have a more defined niche, but the concept of Maelstrom drain in the situation we are in is VERY appealing and should be used going forward both here and elsewhere in the kit and talents.
- Overall this tier is close to balanced with
being the only straggler but not by much. The easiest tweak here would be to increase the damage that it does itself by 50% or more, aiming for equivalent on hit damage to an unbuffed
Defense, AoE & M+
Just like in Legion, defensive tools are weak. We are fragile, we lack ways to proactively reduce damage that don’t severely hamper us, and have a lot of issues dealing with high single hit effects. This basically relegates us to being a glass cannon which in the world of Mythic+, makes us a really volatile pick (and one that few - if any - are interested in investing in). When you couple this with the way our AoE operates, requiring us to stay in close melee range for sustained AoE via
, having no reliable way to fend off high hits outside of being extremely careful (or lucky), makes for a high risk, low reward experience.
On the other hand,
finally working effectively as the tool it was supposed to, shoring up our lack of AoE burst is one of the few tangible positives Battle for Azeroth has given us. The tuning point for this feels fairly on point, and if the other two are brought up to this level within their own given niches, that would finally give us ways of tailoring our AoE output to different dungeon damage profile requirements.
is also a great addition to add in there as a consistent source of extra AoE making
a more punchy button press, so within the talent tree there has been some effort to fix one of the longest lasting issues of Enhancement during Legion M+.
Generally speaking we had a very rough time during the Beta losing a lot of the effects that the artifact provided. Two of the important traits in
being baked in was very helpful at the end of the cycle and did a lot to shore up two of the most important impacts to our gameplay it provided. This allowed us to maintain the ability to funnel AoE damage into single target, and future proofed the value of
. However, losing
as a short cooldown, high burst window is definitely noticeable to our priority target burst which is no longer a niche we can fulfill reliably. Some smaller effects such as
in some iteration (perhaps with a bit less RNG than the Legion implementation) that had a bit of extra power built in as a proc could have made it into the talent tree to mix up gameplay.
To conclude everything said then, the spec right now is struggling from a lack of a hook or direction to state “that is what Enhancement is”. This is caused by a lot of fundamental problems that are diluting the identity of many abilities and make the rotation feel very by-the-numbers without very much coherent decision making or punishment for mistakes. The problems don’t stop making pressing buttons like
feel good just like in Legion, it’s just a shame to see the supporting cast relegated to the background and lack anything really distinct about any of them.
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