New Shaman Changes Announced!(updated)

Well we talked about it durring the Shaman Q&A recap here. At the time they were talking about revamping the way totems are handled, and well some news has just come up to shed some light and detail on the new design.

Nethaera Chimed in an official blue post:

There comes a time in all shaman’s lives when they must learn to harness the power of nature and wield powerful totems. As they grow in power, so do the opportunities to use these instruments of healing, protection, and destruction. In the upcoming content patch, Call of the Crusade, the shaman will be able to quickly place totems of each element, aiding them in managing these powerful focuses of nature.

We wanted to provide some insight regarding the upcoming shaman-specific interface addition, the Totem Bar. Shaman will be able to utilize this new bar to manage their fire, earth, water, and air totems in a more accessible and convenient way. This bar will appear on the left-hand side above the standard toolbar, similar to warrior stances or druid forms. The bar contains space for four totems of the player’s choice, one of each element. Clicking the respective button will drop that totem. To the right of the four totems is a button for Totemic Call, which we have renamed Call of Earth. To the left of the four totems is a new ability named Call of Fire which will drop all four totems on the bar at once. The mana cost is the same as if the shaman dropped all four of the totems one at a time. However, it takes but a single global cooldown.

Questing shaman will be able to quickly move their totems of choice forward, while a shaman in an instance, Arena, or Battleground will be able to replace their totems if they have to move or if the totems are destroyed.

Shamans will also be able to customize their bar to set Call of Fire to drop less than four totems if they choose. Access to this functionality is made available at the same level as Call of Earth (currently level 30.) At higher levels, Shaman will gain two additional spells, Call of Air and Call of Water. These function exactly the same as Call of Fire, essentially giving the shaman three different sets of totems that can be placed at once. New key bindings will also be made available for all of these slots.

As with all new content under testing, we want to caution players that, as a new part of the interface, there may be additional changes during the period of the PTR until the release of the Call of the Crusade content patch. We look forward to constructive feedback once it is available for testing.

This is FANTASTIC news! First of all it should be noted this is something many many players have been suggesting for a number of years. The “stance” bar for totems should provide a nice, neat way to keep them organized. On top of that not only do we get our promised ability to drop all our totems on one cool down but we get THREE sets. Call of fire, Call of Air and Call of Water. This means we can swap from casting say our standard caster totems, to melee to even PvP.

I’m already making plans for what mine are going to look like if we get them and baring any totem changes. Tentatively I’m looking at the following unless they do revamp all the totems drastically.

Call of fire (caster) Stoneskin Totem, Flametongue Totem, Healing Stream Totem, Wrath of Air

Call of Air (melee) Strength of Earth, Healing Stream Totem, Windfury

Call of Water (utility/pvp) Tremor Totem, Cleansing Totem, Grounding Totem.

I look forward to being able to run in after a tank on a fight like hodir, hit one button and then run like hell out of there and start healing right away!.

Not to be left in behind, Ghost Crawler himself pops up and has a few things to say about Shaman healing as well.


We have changed Healing Way to work better with HW and we have changed Improved Water Shield to also work with CH. We also dropped the cooldown of NS to 2 min so that you can HW more often. We’ll try to make a post of all of the Resto changes soon.

Improved Water Shield procs will not consume Water Shield charges. The tooltip says something like “as if you had consumed an orb.”

Oh my!

Nature’s swiftness dropping a full minute off of its cool down is really huge, Chain Heal causing Improved Water Shield to proc is very nice as well not to mention that Improved Water Shield will not consume an orb. That’s really really good news!

I think this is a step in the right direction. They are beginning to look at our healing and are trying new things to tweak us and bring us up a bit in mana conservation as well as throughput. I’m excited to see these hit the PTR and I look forward to seeing what else they have in store for us!

So, what do you guys think so far? What other changes do you expect?



GC says

We have changed these spells for 3.2. And yes, there are some other changes. The main buff to Chain Heal is likely to come in increasing the jump distance to 10 yards and buffing the amount of healing decrease with subsequent targets to 40% down from 50%. CH, HW and LHW should all be doing bigger numbers when you consider all the talent changes.

We’ll try to get the full notes out soon, but even then remember that this is a major “new tier” patch and is likely to have more iteration due to PTR feedback than the last few patches.

OH BOY! Chain heal going to 10 yards and retaining  only losing 40% of its heal!?!? I’m a happy happy happy shaman with this news.

My fingers are firmly crossed that this happens.

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About Lodur

Lodur is the right hand shaman to Matticus on World of Matticus, and a recruiting officer of Conquest and Co-Host of For the Lore podcast. Read more of his works at WoW Insider.


  1. I don’t know what else to expect that they haven’t already announced to everyone, but I must say that I am completely stoked about all of the shaman changes that have been mentioned.

    Better hp, better totem tools, better healing, lower level ghost wolf – there’s nothing in that list that doesn’t excite me, and there’s nothing in that list that I feel doesn’t belong.
    .-= Psynister´s last blog ..Patch 3.2: New BoA Chests =-.

  2. I’m looking forward to these changes. I just took a shaman out of mothballs and started leveling her, and though she is fun, those totems are really unwieldy! I may be well on my way to 80 when the patch hits, so this won’t help my leveling as much as I would have hoped. It should help me learn my role in groups more easily, since the thought process of looking at all my totems and choosing the right ones will have been done in advance!

    I was going to post on this change, but really, what can I post that you haven’t already? Thanks Lodur 🙂
    .-= Shawndra´s last blog ..Hormones and Healing Naxx =-.

  3. Count me in the extremely happy group. This is going to be awesome 😀

    Also, there’s some updates which have been posted on MMO champion; apparently the jump range is going to 10 yards(I’d like to see the jump range closer to what PoM gets), and Healing Way is getting a boost as well. Good stuff all in all 😀

  4. Excellent changes IMO. One of things that put me off about the Shaman was the billions of hotkeys you ended up having to have to track all of your totems. Nice move from Blizzard.
    .-= We Fly Spitfires – MMORPG Blog´s last blog ..Gods In MMORPGs =-.

  5. I’m totally excited about the totem changes, of course, but the changes to Water Shield are really great too. I don’t know how many times I’ve only noticed my water shield was gone because I’m close to running out of mana in a hectic fight. The more intense the fight, the more likely my water shield is to be gone! This will help save my mana regen.
    .-= Tara´s last blog ..Downed Yogg-Saron! =-.

  6. That makes me incredibly happy. I have decided on my Shaman to be my main PvP character now, and as awesome as all those changes are for PvE raiding, there are some major changes there that could really affect the utility Shamans bring to the arena as well as battlegrounds(pending the revamp is worthwhile).

    I’m quite excited now. Probably about the Water Shield change more than anything else.

  7. Aycaramba says

    Though this is absolutely awesome from an efficiency standpoint I can’t help to feel a little sad every time micro management is removed to further ease up the gameplay. I truly enjoy mastering my class and keeping track of shields and totems while having to actually make choices in my healing as well as positioning myself and my pointy spawns. I’d rather see a buff to our average healing throughput than making our current game less complicated. (Yeah I know, more free GCD’s make for more healing output). Still, thanks blizzard! We’re better now than we were before 🙂

  8. AmIBroken says

    1) Here’s hoping they won’t hesitate putting money where their mouth is.

    2) Obligatory lol at the whole not-being-convinced-shaman-need-help thing. Makes one wonder about Blizzard’s internal analytical tools and testing practices, and how well they reflect the actual state of their own game (the likely answer is ‘poorly’).

  9. Nepharius says

    I’m excited to test the new ‘features’ but worried that it will mean a world of new issues for TotemTimers and Bartender when the new content is released. I know they’re incorporating it into the default frames, but I haven’t used the default frames in three years. We shall see…

  10. Zalandrea says

    I would add flametongue totem to your melee list it will increase the healing stream totem effect.

    On another note the changes are amazing, even though I have not really felt a need for the increase in effectiveness I do believe the totem change was much needed. I am not so sure that our healing needed increases so much as people need to get past the mentality of mashing chain heal. In BC i spent all my time in BT and Sunwell with out ever lifting my finger from my 2 key. Now they made the changes in WOTLK and I think most shamans forgot how to be good healers, so Blizzard is trying to compensate for the surge of really bad shamans they received when BC came out.

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