Melee Caster doesn't seem to be viable?
So, I played an enh shaman for over a decade (same character the entire time never had an alt have multiple years in the /played category). I have completed all content up to Pandaria and played off and on after that (far more off then on TBF). I can say I'm quite familiar with the mechanics of an enhance shaman.
I started playing a few months ago but took a break as I learned the new season would be out soon(ish). So now I'm back, I decided as the server has a lot of things that are new to me, I would try something I'm familiar with and branch out. I learned windfury is nerfed here. I understand why as every melee character would take it as it was though it annoys me as it is a core component of damage for the shaman class, and here I am trying to make a shaman to learn right off the bat. So far I've learned the least played class in core WoW is nerfed here... alright then I guess. My other big issue is straight out I could put every point into the enh shaman tree and still not be as good as I am in the core game. Considering most of the "classes" people are playing are powered up due to the ability to take talents from multiple trees the fact that the core class I want to play is weaker bothers me. Don't get me wrong there's some talents in there that look great but the core of the enhance shaman doesn't fit together anymore.
I've come to this conclusion after having built using the builder multiple times trying to make a class based around maelstrom, crit fishing, and windfury as per the normal game. There appears to have been made a conscious decision to split imbues into windfury and flametongue and built extra support for flametongue while not doing the same for windfury (I'm not against this but this causes issues as just trying to unite them again to a useable point there isn't enough points available for the talent tree). They've gone from both being something used to support a whole to one being unused and the other being niche.
In Vanilla and BC WoW a shaman was double windfury imbued. Post BC a shaman was windfury/flametongue imbued to gain the cast bonuses from FT on their instant cast spells. They've boosted FT on the server to the point where I've been told repeatedly not to use WF (due to the nerfs done, though having played with it a bit I'm not sure people have done appropriate testing and are just going the easy route here) and the boosts to FT make things that much harder. FT I think would be amazing for most general casters and WF is (ok?) for melee but the ability to make a class in the middle seems to have been taken away due to the obvious split they've done.
A few points if I may
In vanilla WoW Shaman use a priority qeue to fight and always have it's one of the reasons they are so rare everyone they are fun to play but really hard to master as there is a lot to track.
Mana was always an issue for enh shaman as they have a tiny mana pool (not as much of an issue here though shocks and such are still expensive comparatively). That's why mana cost reduction spells were a requirement and shamanistic rage were requirements. Rotating all available mana producing CDs would keep you in the game otherwise you were oom in the first two minutes of a ten minute fight and in fact this was common during raids before the shaman got geared. They were also VERY gear dependent (which is why I think a lot of people haven't tested WF properly, it's easy to write off something as crappy if you don't get it's gains until later).
A few suggestions and comments
Maybe put some buffs for windfury spread throughout the tree so people who want to play a shaman still can but people who want to take it just because would have to spend more talents to do so?
If you don't want a class that's a melee caster maybe change the name/split the tree/ move things around to other trees.
Shaman is the perfect class for most people to cherry pick specific talents and skills from, so I understand some of the changes but it's not in a state where it's playable on its own merits anymore which isn't the case for any other class I've looked over (granted having not played many alts I don't have a lot of experience in that area).
Melee attack speed is a requirement for maelstrom weapon to proc (more hits is faster procs) it's why haste was so important to shaman as the game progressed.
They've split melee and casting in the tree while not accounting for mana regen, while there is more access to MP5 regens there aren't many that are viable as they add a specific amounts (1% every second over 30 seconds for instance). Taking Maelstrom into account for example you need to proc multiple attacks to get a single instant cast off, the ability has had several spells removed from it (lesser healing wave, healing wave, chain heal, hex) and two added (fireball, frost bolt) there's no reason to cast anything except LB or CL in most cases given the choices of spells. The cost of the spell still has to be paid and the amount of mana available to an Agi based class is rough hence the mana reductions and regens available in the tree (which you can't get due to lack of points and an increase in talent pts costs to them).
Honestly without the experience it's hard to understand what I'm trying to say but you can look around in game and see how few people are playing with totems, playing with unrelenting rage, playing with maelstrom, playing with windfury, playing with any of the enhance shaman spells and you can see it's not viable people aren't even generally cherry picking what they want from the tree.
I'm going to say every, because it feels like every, but it's probably not. Every portion of the enhance tree has been nerfed from splitting the skills up to attempting to force the use of lesser used shocks (frost shock is still just PVP and I doubt anybody uses it much there either). It's been done to prevent other classes from cherry picking the skills and I get that but in doing so it's ripped apart enhance shaman.
It appears if I want to play an enhance shaman I can play in one of two ways, either as a FT wielding shaman trying to get MS to proc with a fast weapon like a dagger which sounds awful as I want to actually attack and do damage. Or I can play like an old school vanilla Enh Shaman stacking STR which means I will not be raiding or doing anything endgame as they weren't capable of doing it in Vanilla as people aren't going to want to carry.
Having talked to a lot of people in the game I'm seeing a lot of people pushing the same builds and while running a lot of dungeons I'm seeing the same builds and hearing the same complaints about lack of specific skills (for instance all melee want charge and complain if they don't get it) the number of skills required to make enh shaman work is already large there are some skills that can get changed out but you still need access to pre-reqs. A shaman combat queue is built like a pyramid you need the bottom to build up and the bottom appears to have been removed >.<
TBH I'm not sure how to fix it, I know Eldritch Knight fixes some of the mana specific issues, but you only get one legendary ability and being forced to take this one really limits any other builds.
On a side note, can somebody explain the changes to Shamanistic Rage to me??
It was -30% dmg taken +chance of mana regen = 30% of AP 2m CD usable while stunned
It is chance of mana regen = 15% of AP 1m CD usable while stunned
Why would I ever use it while stunned now as it doesn't increase my defense anymore? Otherwise, it's identical to the old one, I don't understand this change it's yet another nerf and on something that really only existed before to allow shaman in PVE to continue to fight in raid fights longer than 2min (which is unaffected) or as an "Oh crap" button if the tank died or something and allow them to have some survivability in PVP. They've removed the PVP portion (which I don't personally care about as there are other skills for those who want them) and made no change to the PVE portion except to double the number of World CDs anybody using this needs to have. This is a nerf and honestly a nonsensical one.
Overall I have a few ideas on how to fix the tree but not without scraping what currently exists. Splitting up abilities between multiple talents (while not adding more things people need to spend on to get the same use from, the nerf to shamanistic focus for instance changing from a 1pt to 3pts) stops people from cherry picking but doesn't stop people from specializing for instance.
If there was a talent that tied mana costs to AP or regened mana for number of attacks for instance.
Splitting attack speed from casting spells needs to be fixed or having the ability to get big hits needs to be changed. Currently either you get big hits (by investing heavily outside the tree) or you get to cast spells (by investing heavily in the tree), both are viable options but the later is hamstrung by mana costs/regen and cast times and lack of support.
It really seems like a lot of little nerfs to prevent the cherry picking simply made an entire class build unviable. I've talked to a lot of people who have tried to build a shaman and was told the same thing "It's a lot of fun but not viable for any sort of endgame and it requires very specific things" such as Eldritch Knight. If it's super niche and hard to do why not make it a little more viable? It also feels like somebody who either didn't play the class or didn't play it well made the changes to it. Specifically, I remember people arguing back in the day for dagger wielding enhance shaman using FT to proc stuff. There's a reason they eventually disappeared, and a lot of the changes here feel like somebody trying to force that to exist again, which I don't mind but don't yuck my yum just to pigeonhole my build.
I'd really like to get some other thoughts on this and maybe I'm missing something. I recognize for instance I haven't gone into mystic enchants as they can have a large effect on the game as well but from what I saw in the last season they provided abilities to make niche builds more viable what I have here is a core build that's not viable anymore (IMO).
So I have very minimal time with this game but love theory crafting in any game so I've thought about this too. In this game it feels like if you try to play 100% purely leaning into one class you won't play as effectively as they would in WoW just due to all the changes.
That said it seems like there are enough synergies to make it work like one class but by taking other talents, skills, or even getting specific mystic enchants.
The game feels more like Path of Exile than it does Diablo (what WoW is closer to) where you're really not making a class but more a specialization of the "Hero" class.
For example currently I've got a main focus on Shadow damage with instant cast dots from lock and shadow priest but I use lightning bolt mixed with a legendary mystic that gives me Water Nova (and changes frostbolt to waterbolt, I dont have FB tho) that douses enemies and amplifies my lightning bolt (and any other lightning).
That plus Hemorrhage and Recuperate allows me to be mostly a caster but apply a dot and get some healing and follow with Frost + Water nova as I get distance.
I saw a few enchants that enhanced spells based on if they were ruptured or not (I think). Overall with my limited time it definitely feels like a Melee Caster could be viable, there just might have to be more experimenting with other class mixes before getting it to where you want it.
In regards to your point of mana.
mana is not a issue on ascencion, just stack ap trough the roof pick Shamm Rage and fill your bar every time you use it. If ur still lacking you can pick up mana gems/seal of wisdom and never have to worry about it ever agin thus mana cost reduction talents are meh.
Windfury just isnt worth it for builds that arent stacking %physical mods to like 130%/TG haste becuse it just doesnt do enough damage to justify using it.
why would you use windfury when it procs less then Flametounge and does less damage? i seen windfury procs do like 3-4k hits with low proc chance and with a 35% pvp mod makes them hit for less then auto attacks in pvp. but i seen flametounge doing around 4-6k hits in pve with proc chance being super high on that ability its not even a comparision.
I said "were" about the mana issues. I did not say they are an issue on this server with this setup, I've since had time to play a lot more with my build working through it and 8 prestiges towards my build I have yet to pull all the required skills (arg RNGesus). Though obviously I will keep trying this being my baby build.
As for your comments regarding windfury that's literally the point I was making they've buffed all the other imbuement skills while not doing anything for windfury. That's essentially a nerf. Added to that that WF itself scales with better gear people at lower levels are taking easier things that look bigger at lower levels (poisons, flametongue, etc) because they are personally only going that far into it.
I also pointed out that I do not believe proper testing has been done on WF. In Classic and BC it was very gear dependent. As you state it requires decent gear and I believe players have been seeing the same thing your describing "Blank does better so why not use it" but (using your example) Flametongue may not always be better quite likely (as in the OG) it's quite gear dependent and will get better as the player gets access to better gear.
This actually plays towards something I've been seeing in game. When I originally started on the server I used Strength of Earth totem, Windfury totem, Unleashed Rage. Doing some checking with a buddy I was adding roughly 1/5 to his agi and str with the first, 10% melee haste with the second, and 6% ap to each party member. Running heroics with randos I often got complained at for not doing as much DPS as other people regardless of the fact that I was adding more then 20% to each DPS and Tanks damages that scales up the better they are doing (and obviously the inverse being true as well).
I am of the belief that a large portion of the server is simply making snap judgments based on "what they've seen" compared to what they've done. People do not seem interested in actually doing well as a group here and far more interested in personal achievements.
@PromNightFetus My apologies for being tardy getting back to you, I've been very sick (7 wks after covid and I still can't talk) and haven't felt like doing anything but derping.
To your point on the one class I agree and disagree, from what I've been experiencing you pick a legendary and lean into it this essentially makes it a class based game anyway IMO just not with traditional WoW names
For me personally I was aiming for something more traditional with instant cast spells via maelstrom weapon (such as lightning bolt, chain lighting, or lava bolt) but after only a few casts (generally 2-4 depending on which spell) I was OOM and usually that would be 1-2 pulls. That being said I was unable to get my hands on shamanistic rage which I do believe would be a game changer. Entirely to many of the core enh shaman skills are rare >.< I would happily never get a legendary skill to get a few more rares LOL I've since started to build a build based around lightning shield though I worry it's more of a tank build. What I really want to do is build a support build.
My current worry (which may come to nothing I won't know until I either get to talk to somebody who's done it or more likely experience it myself) is that single target DPS is completely outdone on boss fights (and I'm not referring to the current EZmode heroics and instances out currently). In world chat today for instance I saw somebody asking if Serpent form was any good (IMO yes, it's cool, fun and thematic) and the general response was no because it's single target. I understand that in the current rush rush mentality going on AOE is going to be king, but my hope is that come mythics the challenge will be back in the game and people will actually have to try with control spells (sap, polymorph, sleep, etc.) and single target. If AOE remains king through single target raid bosses, I'm not likely to be around long enough to bother theorycrafting.
The current player base seems to be rushing to burn out and get a lot of instant gratification and I worry for the longevity of portions of it. Great for the server's population and great for making $ off impulse buyers (of which I am most definitely one) but not so great for keeping players interested you know? I do hope they buff the WREs as well though, many are underperforming from what I've seen/experienced (I have all the legendary ones, most of the epic, and even a few that do not currently exist in game due to drop list issues). They are supposed to be build defining and hard to get. They just aren't played up as very interesting or rare for legendries imo.
Try a "Lava Sweep" build, it's pretty close to top tier dps and is VERY enhancement shaman, more-so than actual enhancement shaman ever was.
AoE is not king in raids, I'm not really sure where that is coming from to be honest but high single target is now and has always been important for raiding at any difficulty level. Most builds that have huge aoe damage either have mediocre single target damage or have strings attached that make them function worse under certain circumstances. I am currently playing Warden of Demonreach for example. It has pretty good single target and the AoE is monstrous under ideal conditions, but all of its biggest damage comes from long cast times which makes it useless against any enemies that don't stay alive for a while. (cone of cold and shadowflame become your best friend very quickly despite only being a fraction of the damage of the overall build)
In terms of community, join a guild that matches your playstyle. It sounds like you are associating with sweatlords and there are certainly plenty of them floating around. There are plenty of more relaxed guilds that are chipping away at content at their own pace. I am currently in such a guild tackling heroic and mythic MC. We managed to to clear most of Mythic MC. (got walled by Magmadar though)
@Obeliske you wrote pretty big post about something you didnt test to its fullest.
I had the same idea as you, wanted to build a old school 2 hand windfury enh shaman.
And I managed to do it, got the exact same feeling and playstyle.
What I build WAs actually a melee hunter (deadly bite RE) + maelstrom, ftost shock, Windfury + seal of command(very important combo).
Also used fireball for maelstorm, since I had wing clip and frost shock already.
Geared in hunter gear int / agi / stam / atk power.
Then I swithched to more warrior oriented play style, removed maelstorm, frost shock and fireball and went for dmg buffs instead for even bigger RnG WF and earth shock, heroic leap.
So far I really enjoy it, really plays like old school vaniila enh shaman, especially with big weapon, crusader ench and big tauren.
@Obeliske I agree on your last point.
Had very very big expectations for syndicate shot and range stealth rogue ( ranger) fantasy. Sadly its very bad, cool for the fantasy but super bad in pvp, may be good for 5 point opener with preparation. Overall not a big change for compound hunter.
@Emeril I'd love to see the build you went with; I've been trying on and off since day one of this season and it keeps coming up lacking significantly. I'd appreciate if you didn't accuse me of testing though because at least one guildy has mentioned how obsessed I am with my pet build. I played an enhance shaman throughout Vanilla, BC, and Wrath for retail before switching to Ele for Cata, Mists, and Warlords. I've never had an alt and I played daily so I am very familiar with both what I'm looking for and how I expect/want it to feel.
@OffMetaGamer I think your opinion is valid but also not fair to state. I played a shaman for a very very long time I know how they feel to me, and I know what I am looking for. I get the feeling that that specific build does what you want and that's good enough for you in your mind. I have a guildy running consecrated strikes aoe build and he's pulling more dps then a lot of our guild with less gear. I'm currently running Arcane Thunder with single target I pull the most on my guild and still get chewed out in instances for not pulling enough aoe on trash (due to the ramp up of the build). From what I've been told (and experienced) Warden of Demon Reach has been nerfed twice already and still pulling far more DPS than (almost) any other build. I've unlocked it and it doesn't interest me to play. I currently run my own guild, we've cleared ZG and MC on heroic and will continue to push forward. I'm not interested in pulling the best DPS I'm interested in doing a specific build and having fun doing it.
I'm not sitting here to argue with people, I will absolutely take and suggestions that people have and check them out but telling me "You're wrong" and offering no alternatives or support is for your argument is unhelpful. If you have thoughts, then please share but if you have nothing to add...
@Obeliske my build is pvp focused, altough I see a way to modify it for pve at some point.
Also its far from complete, but it does pretty good so far as melee builds are lacking.
I see new meta being born right now, melee tank builds do very good.
I WAs going after tauren hunter fantasy, but it turned more into enh shaman playstyle because of "must have" abilities.
I will post the build in-game in few days.
Its agility based, counter attack and black arrow (modified to black widow strike) and raptor strike are your main abilities outside of WF.
I combined WF with Seal of Command and warrior talent for Xtra attack + trinket for Xtra attack for RnG burst.
Maelstrom procs with fireball once jn a while + frost shock and arcane shot for range abilities.
Hunter talents give you a lot of attack power for your abilities.
Avatar and Pain suppresion for defensive CD AND dmg boost.
Mark of the wild epic Re for atk power buff
And you can pick flurry for faster attack or the talent from warrior tree for armor penetration.
With everything combined you are looking at 400-800 ability crits, WF around 1. 2 non crit proc.
If you are blessed by RnGeesus, you can go UP to 2.5k WF + Seal of Comm proc, not including auto attack dmg.
This WAs my build couple weeks ago, I changed it quiet a lot since then to fit the melee hunter fantasy.
Now its almost pure physical dmg with a bunch of CC where I can lock somebody for solid 10 seconds and get the edge in the fight.
In the end you have to remember you are a melee and everyone has a way to kite you, but you still make them shit their pants once in melee range.