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From Dubiosity (my other blog)

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My sole purpose in posting today is to brag.

I got my Kalu'ak reputation up to Exalted today, and finally got the most awesome fishing pole in the game, the Mastercraft Kalu'ak Fishing Pole. Sure, there's one pole that'll give you a higher Fishing bonus, but it doesn't look nearly as cool (nor is it as easy to get). While I was there, I also picked up the baby penguin pet, and a new mace.

But all of that isn't nearly as cool as what else I got today: a Green Proto-Drake mount. You get it from the Mysterious Egg sold by the Oracles at Revered. The egg takes a week to hatch, and WoWhead says it only has a 4% chance of dropping this mount. I got it on my first try. And man, it looks REALLY cool! The texture is beautiful, and the animation is amazing. It may be the best-looking mount in the game, with the X-51 Nether-Rocket X-TREME (which I would kill for) being the one possible exception.

Just gotta get me a Traveler's Tundra Mammoth and a Mechano-Hog and I officially win WoW.
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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 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!




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.


Talent Changes

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.



WoWScrnShot_120608_184046I respecced. To Enhancement.

I know, I've made my reputation on being the foremost expert on the Elemental tree in the game (HA HA HA), but I felt the need to try something different.

And it is pretty fun, even though I run out of mana every 3 kills. And I have rather sad gear. And I'm using two daggers. And I have no Strength. And I'm still using Elemental glyphs. And the way I'm specced will probably cause a lot of experienced Enhancement players to cringe.

The good news is that I'm doing pretty well with it. I kill stuff quickly, and the downtime isn't too bad.

Spirit Wolves are fun, although I wish they also restored mana when you use them. In fact, they're so fun that I wish they were a baseline ability for the entire shaman class.

Yea, this spec definitely has major mana issues (Elemental seems fine...better than fine, in fact). I ignored the recommendations of many players and took Static Shock. It's a fun talent, but unfortunately it looks like Enhance shamans need to have Water Shield up almost constantly. Maybe it's good for PvP, or maybe this is something Blizz needs to fix.

I definitely need to get a couple slow weapons, so I can get bigger numbers out of Stormstrike and Lava Lash. I've heard that a lot of players don't like LL, especially since it necessitates using WF/FT instead of the popular WF/WF, but I wanted to try everything this spec has to offer. If you can't get comparable DPS when using LL, that's obviously another thing Blizz needs to fix.

I'm not going to stick with Enhancement forever, but I'll definitely give it a few weeks to try all the ins and outs.


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I, like everyone else who bought WLK, recently made a Death Knight (named Pareidolius, from the word "pareidolia"). And I, like everyone else, was dismayed to find that trade skills start at ZERO. So now, I've gotta run all across old-world Azeroth picking low-level flowers so I can make low-level crap that I'll vendor (fortunately, low-level Glyphs are desirable for everyone, so it's not a complete waste) so I can pick higher-level flowers so I can make higher-level crap...well, you know how it goes.

The biggest mistake Blizzard made in this expansion (besides allowing gnomes to be DKs) was setting tradeskills at base level for new Death Knights. They're basically saying "here, go waste your time on something we could've easily fixed". How? Easy. Since Death Knights enter the "real world" at lvl. 58 (and immediately head to Outland), they should automatically start their new trade skills with 290 skill points. They should walk through the Dark Portal, get to a profession trainer, have Master-level crafting available to them to train, and be given 290 points right then and there.

Another way to fix this problem, and the skill point system in general (including weapons, defense, etc.) would be to give all players the option to go to a trainer and train up to the appropriate level, or pretty close to it. It's not fun to have to go and "grind" up your skill on something. Who wants to run around collecting materials, or even worse: buying them off the AH? Who wants to go stand in one place and get beat on to level their defense skill? On Baluki, I've been using nothing but daggers for a VERY long time. If I decided to respec to Enhancement (and I've been collecting gear for it, partly because I don't have a choice (WTF BLIZZARD? DID YOU FORGET THAT ELEMENTALS EXIST?!?) and partly to try it out) I would have to go wail on some low-level creatures to get my skill up so I can be effective in combat.

I'm sure Blizzard knew about this problem, but for some reason they chose not to address it. I hope they do some day, but it'll be too late for my Death Knight, because he's going to get his Herbalism and Inscription skills to 275 before he hits Outland. And he's going to hate every minute of it.

I sure am glad I have podcasts and audiobooks.