Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. I've been playing WLK constantly since it came out, and it's been a friggin' blast. I just hit 77 about 5 minutes ago.
Before the news, I've just gotta say...you might've read a few Blue Posts on the forums that claimed that elemental shaman DPS wasn't poor before lvl. 75 (when you get Lava Burst). That's definitely not true. Pre-Lava Burst, I was firing off several Lightning Bolts, a couple Chain Lightnings, a Thunderstorm when available, and a Fire Nova Totem or two just to kill a single creature. After I got Lava Burst, I'm down to 2 or 3 LBs, a Flame Shock, and a Lava Burst. Holy crap, Lava Burst hits hard. It's certainly possible to level 70-74 even with poor DPS, but I'm doing much better now that I have Lava. Mmmm.
Anyway, on to the news: WE'RE GETTING BUFFED!
UPDATE (12/15/08): WE'RE GETTING BUFFED EVEN MORE!
Well, Blizzard's verdict on Shaman AOE is in, and the news is pretty good, though I was kinda hoping for a new spell. What they're actually doing is removing threat from Fire Nova and Magma Totems. Which is great, because I'm tired of losing them when I try to use them against something I haven't damaged yet. Also, they're boosting the damage done by Magma Totem, which is quite welcome.
Some players have complained that we still have to run up to a target to do damage. That's an issue (though we still have Chain Lightning) but it's not that big of a deal. After all, Mages and Warlocks need to get up close for Arcane Explosion and Hellfire. If you're trying to AOE something you can't get close to (like a boss), you're probably doing something wrong. That's why we have Flametongue Totem and Totem of Wrath, or you could also use Searing Totem.
I still think we need to get our damage-dealing totems off the same element as our buffing totems though. It sounds like Blizz is still trying to improve totems, so maybe we'll see something in the future.
Here's the stuff that makes me squeal with glee. Well, not really. I don't actually squeal, and I doubt I'm capable of feeling glee. But anyway...
Unrelenting Storm will only cost 3 points (down from 5) and its effect goes up to 12% (from 10%). Sweet.
Elemental Warding and Elemental Shields are being combined, so the talent just reduces ALL damage taken by 6%. That makes it a much better talent, and puts it on par with the mage version. I'm still not going to get it, but it's now a matter of preference, not lack of quality.
Storm, Earth, & Fire will only cost 3 points (down from 5) for the same effect. Well, not exactly. They're BUFFING it so it increases Flame Shock by 60% now (from 50%). And it's being moved to where Elemental Shields used to be.
NEW TALENT! "Shamanism". Pretty non-specific name, isn't it? A 5-pointer in Tier 8, which will give Lightning Bolt an extra 10% of our spell power (finally making up for the coefficient nerf from back when they changed LB's base casting time) and Lava Burst an extra 20%. (Numbers subject to change.)
All in all, this is a great patch for Elemental shamans. Which is a first.
UPDATES! Dec. 15, 2008
Whoa, Blizzard isn't done buffing us, apparently.
Elemental Oath will now cause Clearcasting (aka Elemental Focus) to boost our damage by 5/10% while active. If you've got enough crit (33% or so, I'd say) you're going to see a DPS increase of about 10%. Nice! (Note: that's only OUR damage, not the group's.)
Elemental Mastery has been changed, and it's about time! Now, it'll increase crit chance by 20% for 30 seconds (cooldown is still 3 minutes). I'll miss the old version somewhat (I have it macroed into Thunderstorm so it does a ton of damage when I use it, which is probably why they changed it) but this new version is definitely a buff. Makes Glyph of Elemental Mastery much more appealing too.
Glyph of Lightning Bolt will increase LB damage by 4% instead of decreasing its mana by 10%. Sounds good to me, since I was thinking about getting rid of the LB glyph anyway. Mana hasn't been much of an issue for me, but damage has.
Glyph of Fire Nova Totem reduces FNT's cooldown by 3 seconds, instead of increasing its radius. I'm not sure what to think about that. If it's decreasing the "detonation" cooldown (like Imp. FNT used to), it's awesome. If it's decreasing the 15-second cooldown between uses, it's kinda lame. I think it's probably the second one.
Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem will now reduce the totem's cooldown by 10 minutes, up from 4. That's...huge. Does that mean it'll be usable in Arenas?
There are some other non-elemental Shaman updates, but they're not nearly as interesting. In general, you should just keep MMO Champion on your news reader at all times.