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From Dubiosity (my other blog)


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It's hard being an Elemental shaman. REALLY hard.

For starters, it's really hard to find a group. Everybody knows that your standard dungeon party has one tank, one healer, and 3 DPS, and there's always plenty of people available for DPS. And to make matters worse, now that most people are doing Heroic dungeons, nobody wants you if you don't have any crowd control. People would rather take a lousy hunter over an excellent Elemental (or Enhancement) shaman (not that I'm saying that I'm excellent).

Ever since 2.3 was released, I haven't been able to get into a group. I've been invited to Kara a few times, but I don't even have my key yet. Getting into Black Morass has been very hard, and now nobody is doing it in Normal mode (I'm just one full clear away from my CoT key) and nobody would take me even if I COULD do it in Heroic.

So instead, I've decided to try PvP a bit. I'm not normally a big PvP fan, but I need better gear, and this is the only way I can do it (and non-PvP Elemental itemization is lousy anyway). But PvP just makes me angry and frustrated, and I really hate it. Every Alliance character I see starts to look like they're mocking me, and I start taking it personally and thinking that every Alliance player is an asshole. And of course all my teammates are complete idiots, or so it seems.

And Elemental shamans just aren't any good in PvP (or at least in Battlegrounds). I can hide in the bushes launching lightning bolts and do some decent damage, but as soon as anyone sees me I basically have to run away or die. All I can do is shoot lightning bolts and a shock every 6 seconds. I don't have any pushback resistance or anti-stunlock. Against hunters, I'm worthless. Against warlocks, I'm just feared forever while they DoT me up. I don't even bother fighting back against rogues anymore. I don't have any CC, I barely have any anti-CC. How am I supposed to deal with this?


Well, today I finally had enough. I can't do what I want to do with Elemental. Just don't bother with it until Blizzard wises up.

I went Resto. God dammit.

I really don't want to be Resto. I was Resto back in my raiding days, back before BC was released. After going through Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Ahn'Qiraj, and halfway through Naxx, I burned out on healing. I don't like being the one whom the success of the group hinges upon. But what choice do I have? I could continue with a spec that I like but doesn't work, or I could go back to doing something I don't really enjoy that is in high demand.

My healing gear is pretty crappy, but at least I'll get into groups. And if I let my groups know ahead of time, I should be able to continue building on my Elem set while I'm healing. I don't really know how long I'll stay Resto, but it may be until WLK comes out.

I'm really starting to consider just giving up on my shaman completely, for the first time in 3 years. The Elemental tree just doesn't work very well in the game as it is right now. There are still serious, deep flaws and overall design problems that keep it trapped in the pre-BC game (not that it was ever very good then, either).

My Hunter is 67, but I'm probably not going to bother trying to do dungeons with him; there are already too goddamn many hunters out there. Same with my 50 warlock, although I'll probably PvP with her at 70 out of revenge, and also because they're basically unstoppable. My next highest is a 44 Prot Paladin, which may become my new "Main" but I just don't know right now. I don't think I like the other classes enough to make any of them my new main. Switching to a Death Knight when WLK comes out sounds damn tempting at this point.

Here's hoping that Blizzard gives Elemental some REAL attention in WLK, and hopefully before then too. The changes in 2.3 were nice, but Elem just isn't viable in its current state.

EDIT: I should point out that I'm not talking about Raiding or Arenas. Just 5-man dungeoning and Battlegrounds.

EDIT 2: I also should point out that this post should be taken with a grain of salt. It's mostly just frustrated complaining (which is why it's in the "Bitching" category). Things are certainly better than I make them sound, though that's not to say that there aren't still problems.

Horns said...

Sun Nov 25, 08:34:00 AM 2007

And Elemental shamans just aren't any good in PvP (or at least in Battlegrounds). I can hide in the bushes launching lightning bolts and do some decent damage, but as soon as anyone sees me I basically have to run away or die. All I can do is shoot lightning bolts and a shock every 6 seconds. I don't have any pushback resistance or anti-stunlock. Against hunters, I'm worthless. Against warlocks, I'm just feared forever while they DoT me up. I don't even bother fighting back against rogues anymore. I don't have any CC, I barely have any anti-CC. How am I supposed to deal with this?

I've seen some pretty mighty shamans out there, and while there are definately classes which they have a hard time beating, they are far from useless in PvP.

First of all, get resilience, at least 300. It will help A LOT versus rogues, as you won't be stunlocked to death anymore since it will take them a lot more time to kill you.
If you don't already have it, get Medallion of the Horde/Alliance - it's an absolute must for any class.

Against hunters, well I don't know tbh. I guess BM huntards are causing you most problems, but you should be able to nuke the shit out of others. Throw in a couple of heals maybe.

Vs. warlocks, don't bother :)
If they're SL/Sl specced you will have a hard time nuking them in time. You shouldn't get feared much (although you will get feared, eventually) - tremor totem is a must. It will probably be destroyed by lock's pet, but most of the warlocks won't bother so drop it anyway. Try to Earth Shock fears, place grounding totem when you expect fear/coil, l2fakecast heals for wasted spell locks etc. And always purge. Use Stoneclaw totem to lure the warlock into attacking it.

Bevans said...

Sun Nov 25, 02:44:00 PM 2007

Yes, I definitely need to work on my resilience. Unfortunately, my PvP gear set sucks even more than my dungeon set.

And it's hardest just getting the gear that'll let you be competitive. I guess you've gotta go into it knowing that you're going to get constantly crushed by the people that've been PvPing longer than you have.

As for the trinket, I do need to get that, but I'd rather spend my points on the gear I need. In a way, I think the whole concept behind the trinket is a bad idea; they shouldn't be using gear to solve class problems.

I'll definitely work on your suggestions though. Actually, it's more likely that I just won't PvP anymore. :)

Jehan said...

Tue Nov 27, 12:40:00 PM 2007

thanks, ur rant and comments were actually very helpful, as i am a lowly lvl 55 tauren shammy at a point wondering which way to turn, elemental or resto. Like you, i hate doing the resto thing, and like you rarely get invited to dungeons...my goal in the game is to get the ten storms armour kit, which i know is a long journey from where i a now...
off to bg...live fast, die faster...hopefully get better armour and trinkets...thanks

Mandrax said...

Wed Dec 12, 11:46:00 AM 2007

Hola Baluki.
I have a lvl70 elemental shaman that just began raiding Kara, and has already mastered most heroics in a badge-farming fashion. I truly understand your comments and rants about the elemental tree BUT there is light at the end of the tunnel.
My shaman is elemental all the way to Elemental Mastery and resto all the way to Nature's Swiftness. No ToW (sorry raiders I need the resto stuff to be a viable option).
The reasons why I'm always invited to heroics/Kara are:
1. I'm a DPS machine (over 500 in any meter) and won't run oom. No single class can out-dps me consistently, I've been beaten by a killer dps warr and 2-3 locks ONLY.
2. I can decently off-heal. If healer goes down in heroic and aggro is on tank I can perfectly keep up the healing until the pull is over. In Kara a well timed 2.5k instant heal (Nature's Swiftness ftw) is just priceless (double points if it crits 4k+).
3. Caster efficiency: Mana Spring + Wrath of Air
4. Survivavility. Need to run? Earthbind and flee, auto-instant-self-heal ftw. Need to kite? Frost shock / Earthbind combo ftw. Finish off a boss? Bloodlust / Freddy Flame (he's my Fire Elemental) ftw.
I hope I gave your love of the elemental tree some hope for your upcoming gaming.
Mandrax-Nordrassil

Bevans said...

Wed Dec 12, 12:59:00 PM 2007

Yea, I'd love to get into Kara, but I haven't been able to get my key completed. Even when I respecced Resto, I just couldn't find a regular BM group to finish the last step. And since there's nothing else to do except stand around waiting, I've been playing my alts instead. I'm thinking about switching to my Tankadin completely as soon as she's up to 70. At least I know that tanks are always in demand.

I've been resto for a couple weeks now, and I've only been signing on to do the daily cooking quest. Meanwhile, my Pally is up to 55 and almost ready to hit Outland.

Here's hoping for real changes in WLK for shamans.

Jabari said...

Fri Dec 14, 10:24:00 AM 2007

At least I know that tanks are always in demand.

And so is competent DPS. There's a big difference between that and "the plenty of people available for DPS" - the former is much harder to find.

I run an Enhancer instead of an Elemental, but the same principles apply. Know your class, inside and out. Don't pull aggro. Off-heal when needed. 100% totem uptime, with the correct totems. Keep up your reputation.

It only takes a single run with a good performance to get repeatedly invited back into groups.

Shaman are fine - they're indispensible for 25-man raids, in all three talent trees. Don't get discouraged!