Friday, February 8, 2008

How to Improve Shaman in PVP

The biggest problem enhancement Shaman have in PVP is not our ability to deal damage, it isn't even really the ability to take damage. Its a lack of escapability and therefore a lack of survivability.

All other classes have ways to escape encounters, some from a single target others from multiple targets.

Paladin - The mighty bubble
Priest - Shield and Fear
Mage - Iceblock, dropping some frost and blinking.
Rogue - too many to count, vanish, gouge-n-run, sprint, CoS.
Hunter - Traps, Feign death fake-out
Druid - form switch / travel form
Warrior - Fear, switch target - intercept escape
Lock - Fear for days
Shaman - Frost shock / Earthbind totem?

I didn't include sheep or cyclone intentionally. While they can help you get out of a situation I just look at them differently than a "Holy Sh!t! Run away!" ability. For the arguements sake you can lump them in there as well though.

So Shaman basically have Frostshock and Earthbind. Earthbind totem can be nuked by whoever's killing you and they can be back on you without blinking an eye. Frostshock is good, provided you can put distance between yourself and the person(s) killing you before you're worm food. From experience in fighting those with equal gear to me I lose that fight a whole lot.

So I have a couple of suggestions on how to fix this. I don't think Shaman should have CC. (at least before the expansion) I do think we need some escapability / survivabilty as soon as possible, especially enhancement shaman.

1 - Shamanistic rage (This has been suggested elsewhere) should be non-dispellable and remove various debuffs ala CoS or druid shapeshifting. At first glance it may seem overpowered but considering this buff is useless in PVP right now due to it being gone from one click by an opponent and the fact that other classes have similar abilities in addition to other forms of survivabilty it really isn't all that bad.

2 - Add a spell - Blast of Air - 150 - 250 damage. (Less even if need be). Between a 30 sec - 1 min cooldown. Instant cast. Hits any opponent in a 5 yard radius with a blast of air, knocking them back 10 yards and taking minimal damage. (A dazed or slowed effect would be nice here but I think it could be a bit much)

Pro's - gives A shaman the chance to put distance between himself and opponents and therefore gives time to either get a heal off, cast frostshock and run, or generally do more than get burned down instantly.

Cons - People might worry about the knockback in places like the AV bridge or in EoTS at the flag. However the same type of problem exists with Priest MC, as a target can be MC'd and forced to jump off of whatever precipice the priest chooses.

Personally I think those dangers only add to the game, it would make opponents have to think about how to deal with shaman differently. Fighting a shaman in the arena on the bridge in BEM might be tricky if you get blown off and are now out of LoS to either heal or be healed. In AV it would actually take some smart folks to focus fire the shaman on the bridge before running across.

The hilarity of running in to the turtle at IBGY and watching bodies flying in the air would be priceless.

Hopefully my 6 readers check this out, I'd love to get some thoughts on this. I may even consider posting this on the cesspool that are the WoW forums.


gamedame said...

OOOoooOOoo... I like the Blast of Air idea! Brilliant! It's unique, helpful, and a way cool idea. Heck, I'd give up a totem for that bad-boy. I think the cooldown should be comparable to other class's CC cooldowns. I mean, for a great spell like that, I'd take a longer cooldown, but it can't be so long as to not be useful in a fight. Maybe it could be similar to the Elemental Precision cooldown?

Goeben said...

Excellent ideas.

I haven't played high level Enhancement since before 2.0 (generally Resto or sometimes Ele/Resto) and I doubt that making Enhancement more viable for PvP would entice me to play Enhancement much.

However, I would strongly favor a non-spec related CC or CC-escape mechanism for Shammies. The element of Air is rather poorly represented, and I like your idea. Another possibility would be an additional Earth totem (though there are probably enough earth totems already), or perhaps an improvement to an existing Earth totem. That way you would have to choose between Earthbind and the new thing.

One idea that came to mind for me would be to make Stoneclaw's stun effect apply to the shaman as well. In other words, if someone hits you or the totem, they have a chance to be stunned. Stoneclaw could still have the weak taunt for PvE, but the stun effect would be useful in both PvE and PvP. The relative power could easily be adjusted by tweaking the chance to proc and the length of the stun.

I must admit, however, that my #1 concern is the dispellability of Earthshield, especially by Arcane Shot.

Dajay said...

The Blast of Air idea could be definitly fun. But after the experience of Unstoppable Force (the exalted lvl 60 Alterac mace pre-BC used by warrior) and all the exploit done with it, I highly doubt that Blizzard will re-introduce anytime soon in the game a knock-back utility to the game.

Honors Code said...

You left out Ghost Wolf as a possible escape mechanism, especially when improved with talents.

All my precious Bubble means is I die 12 seconds later.

Ashuna said...

Dajay - You bring up a valid point. Its just that I tried to think of an escape mechanism that hasn't been done before. In al honesty in keeping with the shaman theme I would think cyclone for elemental shaman would be a good fit. (never happen though)

Honors - very true. But at least its 12 more seconds than we get, and provided there isn't a mass dispeller around, you can heal yourself back up or try to get close to those that could help you. Shammies get hit, keep getting hit, and die. Enhancement moreso than Resto of course.

I tried posting this in the suggestion forums - laugh - It got 4 views and dropped on to the second page in less than 15 minutes. I considered bumping but what's the point?

Chihio said...

In some ways I think asking for CC for Shammys is asking for to much, already we have melee, healing and spells + buff totems.

In some ways I accept that I will be healing in BG, and acting to delay a zerg long enough to notify the rest of the group.

For that earthbind, tremor and grounding really do the trick as it delays the attack long enough for me to notify others in EotS and AB that the node will fall.

Also dont underestimate the power of earth elemental to nerf pets (many a hunter and lock attack has been nerfed by the appearance of my earth elemental pulling the pet off me) and the fire elemental has helped me capture many a tower in AV while I stood back away from the attack and healed the ele.

N. E. Miller said...

LOL. I'm going to dream of turtle-blasting AV tonight. That blast of air would be fun, and I am looking forward to the day I have some revenge on other classes as a shaman!

Babygorn said...

As I am sure you all know, shammys are getting cc in the expansion. I CANT WAIT to hex those freakin rogues! LOL
Rock ON!

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