Weighing in on the Purification buff and future cooldowns

Shaman healing has been a bit… rough for most people. Our numbers haven’t been much in the way of competition compared to holy priests, holy paladins and now disc priests along side druids. We’ve got a lot of tools, but were lacking some necessary power when compared to other classes. As I’ve proven you can post good numbers and be competitive in certain environments, but it’s a lot of hard work and takes a lot of coordination. The devs over at Blizzard have definitely noticed this and have issued a response.

Shaman

We are also applying a hot-fix for Purification for the Restoration shaman passive from 10% to 25%. We think that shaman healing per second is not as competitive with other healers and while we hoped to bring down Holy priest and Holy paladins (in particular) in 4.0.6, which we did, shaman still appear to be behind. In this case, it is simply easier to buff Restoration shaman rather than nerf everyone else or re-balance the encounters.

In Addition – Restoration Druids and Restoration Shaman

We agree with the sentiment among some players that Restoration druids and Restoration shaman are lacking in the healing cooldown department. The shaman buff and Power Word: Shield adjustment above should bring all healers reasonably close in terms of throughput. The decision on who to bring then might end up being dictated by the strong cooldowns offered by paladins or priests. This isn’t the kind of thing we can address via a hot-fix, but it is something we are looking at for the next major content patch.

As always, we appreciate your continued constructive feedback and will do our best to keep you informed of ongoing developments.

First off all, the buff to purification is more than I could have hoped for. Some napkin math shows that the 15% increase, pushing it to 25% will give us a large and much needed throughput boost. This boost, if my math is right, will make us competitive with those pesky priests and paladins. While shaman everywhere (including myself) are rejoicing at this change which will be implemented in a HOT FIX (that’s right folks we really don’t have to wait for a content update for this), this isn’t the best of the news.

So if you’ve been reading anything I’ve written for the last year, you know that I’ve had this sort of strange addiction to a spell that went away back in the days of early Wrath beta, Spirit Link. The devs talked about bringing it back for Cataclysm, but sadly it was was scrapped, and I shed a long and lonely tear for the death of my beloved. That however did not keep me from bringing up almost a year ago that we quite possibly needed a defensive cooldown. It would seem that this time around, Blizzard agrees. They’ve already stated that they are looking for this in the next major content patch. To me this seems to smack of the fact that it is likely we will actually get that cooldown. So, on the off chance that Blizzard reads this, I’d like to offer once again some ideas on how to make it work.

First of all, Riptide should likely be removed as a talent. Every, single, restoration shaman takes the talent. With it being that, well for lack of  a better word here, required shouldn’t it be made a base-line bonus for choosing restoration? At least two of the three other healing classes have similar spells as baseline spells, so why should ours require the use of a talent point? I suggest making the new top tier resto talent a cooldown. Here’s some ideas on that

Spirit Link

20% of base mana 40 yd range

3 min cooldown

The shaman calls upon the spirits of their ancestors to watch over their companions and help ease their burdens and suffering

30% of all damage taken by party members within 40 yards is redirected to the Shaman (up to a maximum of 50% of the Shaman’s health times the number of party members).  Damage which reduces the Shaman below 20% health will break the effect.  Lasts 15 sec.

I still really like this idea. It’s like a hand of sacrifice, and it plays to the whole idiom of shaman being about the group healing, and in this case group mitigation. Big cooldown, big cost.

Ancestral Guidance

8% of base mana 40 yard range

3 min cooldown

Calls upon the spirits of the targets ancestors  to watch over and guide the friendly target. The guardian increases the healing received by the target by 30%, and also prevents the target from dying by sacrificing itself. This sacrifice terminates the effect but heals the target of 50% of their maximum health. Lasts 10 sec.

Very similar to Guardian Spirit, but again right up the shaman’s alley. Think about it, shaman are the spiritual stewards of their communities. Often communing with the deceased for guidance, luck, a good harvest or safety. In the real world, in times of war there are accounts of shaman calling forth the spirits of their ancestors to inhabit their body for a short time, giving their actions and abilities that supernatural edge that only the departed could grant. They could also bestow this gift upon others. So this could fit as well.

Embrace of the Earth

10% of base mana 40 yd range

3 min cooldown

The shaman calls forth the spirits of the earth to imbue the target with a supernatural resilience, reducing all damage taken by 50% for 8 sec.

This one is a lot like Pain Supression, slightly elevated mana cost, slightly more damage reduction, without the threat reduction. It fits with our lore, calls forth the element of earth which is traditionally the element we call on for survival.

Aegis of the Tempest

15% of base mana 40 yd range

3 min cooldown

The shaman summons the spirits of the very air to protect a friendly target in the form of circling cyclones. Increases dodge rate by 80% and reduces incoming damage by 50% for 10 seconds.

Air is the one element that is wildly under represented in our arsenal. We get Wind Shear, and a few air totems but that’s really it. This cooldown could be a great way to work that into the game for us. A cooldown that allows us to use the air to protect the tank, seems pretty fitting. I’m thinking something like a deterrence for the tank we can pop on them would work pretty well, just can’t make it a 100%.

Now, these aren’t perfect. Not by any means really, but it’s a start. I actually have a notebook full of ideas. I mean, it’s no surprise I’m addicted to shaman in and out of game, so I’ve been jotting down ideas for well over 2 years now.

So while I’m excited at the idea of getting a cooldown and my mind is all aflutter with ideas, I’m curious as to what you would want for a cooldown. What type of cooldown would you like? damage reduction? instant save from death?

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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.

Comments

  1. Idea for a tank oh-crap button: Earthen Life, instantly consumes all Earth Shield charges on the shielded target and increases healing received for N seconds thereafter.

  2. Redirecting raid dmg to a single person isn’t great, it would take alot of healing coordination for you to get more than 80% of your health redirected before breaking the effect (it worked for prot pallies in wrath because they could bubble and not actually lose health, as well as reducing all dmg by 20% at the same time). I think a better was to deal with Spirit Link is redirect dmg from a single person (tank) onto everyone in the raid. While you wouldn’t want to do this during an AOE dmg phase, trading burst tank dmg into small AOE raid dmg can save a tank and be easy for the healing brigade to deal with.

    I feel if we get a tank CD it will be tied to supercharging Earth Shield in someway, but it would be a very Shammy thing to get a new Elemental we can summon to do either some AOE heals (Water) or just protect ppl from dmg (Air).

    4.1 will be interesting as the healer CD’s will likely be looked at similar to how tank CD’s were balanced off mid-Wrath. In that regard hopefully we can be the prot pally, though really I’d be happy with some balance.

  3. The original design behind Spirit Link was a percentage of the targets incoming damage was redirected to 3 other raid members if I recall correctly. A reverse Divine Sacrifice basically.

    All of the suggestions you provided are excellent ideas, however I would really, really like to see Spirit Link introduced. I have died a little inside everytime Blizz hints at it and then revokes it.

  4. The Cooldown should be a Totem called Water Guardian Totem:

    Summons an elemental totem that calls forth a guardian elemental to protect your target from harm (Reduces Damage by x%). Lasts 10 Seconds or until 5 charges are used.

    The elemntal could look like Ichoron from violet hold and use a Spell like his Protective Bubble.

  5. Honestly I like the idea of the Aegis of the Cyclone spell. It buffs a talent that generally gets under utilized (dodge) when it comes to cooldowns. Also, it is very unique. I think the shaman cooldown should be different than that of the other healers. That will not only discourage class stacking, but it means every healer will bring something unique to the raid. It will sort of be like when priests had different abilities depending on their race, but will let the entire healing community partake in the fun.

    As for riptide, it very well may be made baseline. Blizzard seems to want this cooldown to be for resto only, so they will need to replace one talent in our tree. Why not riptide?

  6. Probably will need better wording, but here is my ideas for a shaman tank and raid cooldown

    Earthen Armor (Tank CD)

    20% of Base Mana, 3 min CD

    Target takes the form of an Earth Elemental gaining an additional 25% (maybe 30-40%) armor and increases resistance to all magic by 500. Lasts 6 sec.

    ——————

    Healing Tide (Raid CD)

    30% of base mana, 3min CD

    Drops a water totem that will heal 25% of max health of friendly raid members over 6 sec. Affects up to 7 party or raid members with lowest percentage health within 40 yards.

  7. Tons of ideas on this one, I will start off on your thoughts, and I am better at lore than numbers.

    Spirit Link I think is a good idea, and has a lot of merits, my first piece of thought on it is trading the damage across multiple sources like linking it to the Shaman and another source.
    Ancestral guidance GREAT Idea, it fits to a Shaman better than Guardian Spirit, to a priest since when do Priests commune with the dead? In any lore there are few Priests who would speak to the dead, let alone call on them for assistance..
    Embrace of the Earth, the theory makes sense, but it just has a clunky kind of description. I think it might be the reference to Resilience in my head which just instantly scream PvP.
    Aegis of the Tempest, I agree completely on the lacking of Air anywhere in the shaman arsenal, I would think this could almost look like the WF proc on a target that stays up for the appropriate duration.
    Being the spiritual guardians of a people Shaman lore would seem to need more, of an option
    Additional thoughts:
    Please note my spell writing abilities kinda suck.
    Shaman do not have elementals for Water or Air. Using either of these to randomly make a bubble type proc on targets could be an idea. A water bubble much like the ones that are used randomly in Lost city or the one from SSC, the model is already in the game.
    Based on the lack of air noted above:
    Spirit of the Ancients:
    20% of base mana, 2 min CD
    Summons the spirits of the targets ancestors protecting the party/raid from 50% of damage for 10 seconds.

  8. Totembiter says:

    Of your ideas, I liked Aegis of the Tempest the most. I agree 100% that wind is rather under represented in the game and would love to see something like this on live. Not to keen on the carbon copies of the two priest cooldowns though. A new shaman cooldown should be something unique. My idea –

    Ancestral Empowerment – The shaman calls upon the spirits of his ancestors to empower his healing spells, increasing his critical strike chance with shaman healing spells by 30% for 20 seconds. In addition, for the duration of the effect the targets of the shaman’s direct heals gain Preservation, increasing their healing received from all sources by 10% for 8 seconds. Stacks up to 3 times.

    For PvP –

    Glyph of Ancestral Empowerment: Reduces the duration of Ancestral Empowerment by 5 seconds and makes all shaman healing spells uninterpretable for the duration of the effect.

    In PvE, I’d like to see Ancestral Awakening refresh Preservation stacks as well as direct heals, to give the whole cooldown some synergy and to allow a skilled healer to roll a 3 stack on more than just 4 or 5 targets.

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