The post on wowhead about resto shaman does a good job of summarizing the state we are currently in. It also does its best to explain what we will be gaining going into SL, but I feel like it leaves out some things about what has made shaman great and fun to play in the past. After legion, we lost a lot of the synergies we had between our spells and bringing some of it back would be great for us gameplay wise.
Since blizz seems to be listening to feedback right now, I feel that this is the best time to be asking for some gameplay changes. I’m obviously not asking blizz to implement everything I’m going to list below, but even bringing back one of them would make the class more engaging to play again.
Make cloudburst great again
In BFA, cloudburst replaces your healing stream totem and is, imo, a shadow of its former self. The possibility of having two charges for it is okay, but it doesn’t solve its issues. Cloudburst used to be a spell you could use to prep for some insane burst healing. In BFA, it’s a simple totem that you place down and don’t really interact with. You don’t have any cooldowns to “manually fill” the cloudburst with. Just spamming healing wave or surge or chain heal to fill it up is not fun per say. This could be changed in two ways:
- Bring back Ancestral Guidance. While I understand that the cooldown was maybe over-tuned when paired with Ascendance, part of the healing duplicated by ancestral guidance was stored in the cloudburst. This was a fun interaction that I personally miss. The removal of Ancestral guidance was probably the change I was most depressed about at the launch of BFA.
- Move Downpour to another talent lane. Downpour is basically what our artifact ability (gift of the queen) was in Legion, and most – if not all – of the healing that was done with it was also stored in the totem. The two cooldowns use to align too, which made the combo intuitive and fun to use. I do not understand why these two talents are on the same lane. They are probably our two talents that have the most synergy and yet, we cannot pick both.
Speaking of talents, it would be great to have Ascendance or echo of the elements as a baseline ability. It would make room to move Downpour to another lane or simply free up a spot for something new.
I wouldn't mind seeing a rework of Deluge also. The talent has a niche but isn't very engaging if compared with the other two talents of the row. Perhaps making it behave like the T21 4P set bonus would make the talent more appealing. It would return the synergy that set piece had with Ascendance and give us another engaging way of filling up cloudburst.
I don't think shaman is the class that currently suffers the most from the GCD changes, especially with the removal of Ancestral Guidance and the change to Ascendance (small burst heal upon activation). However, it would help the class feel better if the GCD was removed from earth shield and from cloudburst.
Earth shield is mainly an issue in mythic+. As a shaman, you will find yourself spamming healing surge and rarely have time to waste a GCD refreshing the earth shield on your tank. You usually refresh it in between packs of mobs but never during an actual pack, and I doubt this is the design philosophy behind the spell.
Cloudburst is already on a half GCD rather than a full one. However, before 7.3, if you dropped the totem at the end of a cast, that cast would feed into the cloudburst. That was a fun interaction that made the half GCD not as punishing as it is now. Even if it's half a GCD, when you drop a cloudburst, you want to feed it healing as fast as possible. Having to wait just makes the spell feel frustrating.
Even thought in terms of raw healing, shaman has consistently been bottom two for the entire expansion, the spec isn't horrible to play. I also don't think having shaman in the top two healers in terms of HPS would be a good thing either – we have a ton of utility that other healers lack. Rather, the complaint I have is that shaman lacks depth compared to the previous iterations we've had of it.
Bringing back some of the spell synergy I've listed above would make shaman resto much more engaging.
Oh and one last request that I believe everyone will agree on. Please don't lock the covenant class abilities behind an arbitrary choice… Vesper totem looks like the most fun thing ever but I really dislike the Kyrian aesthetics 🙁
If you made it this far, kudos to you. And I'd love to hear everyone's opinion on this!
- PTR Windfury Totem doesn’t work, never has.
- Crusher Shaman: Bronze 10 to Classic NA Legend 183
- Totemic Call Needs To Get Nerfed
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