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Legion Class Preview Series: Shaman

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Legion Class Preview Series

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Legion Class Preview Series: Shaman

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Welcome to our World of Warcraft: Legion class preview series. In this entry, weâre exploring the Shamanâto find out whatâs in store for a different class, check out the overview.

We continue our early look at class and specialization design with the Shaman. In these blogs, weâll be exploring class identity, discussing Legionâs new designs, and presenting core combat abilities for each specializationâlaying out the foundation upon which talents and Artifacts will build further. With that in mind, letâs delve into what it means to be a Shaman in World of Warcraft.

For millennia, since the primitive tribal cultures of Azeroth and Draenor, the natural elements of the physical universe have been celebrated, feared, and even worshipped. Mystics sought communion with the earth, air, fire, and water, and learned to tap into their raw power. In time, these spiritual guides came to understand that natureâs elemental forces arenât wholly benevolent, but have, in fact, been locked in an unending conflict of chaos and primal fury that once consumed the physical realm. So began the calling of the Shaman, to bring balance to these volatile energies, leveraging their intensity to mend wounds . . . or inflict them.

The use of totems is integral to the Shaman archetype, and weâre addressing some persistent issues with their mechanics. For a long time there have been significant constraints associated with totems, like the fact that they can only be dropped at the Shamanâs feet, or that they only have 5 health, or that no more than one of the same elemental type can be active at one time. While these constraints were intended to ensure that totems felt unique, they ultimately drove us to creating strange tools to allow the Shaman to bypass such constraints, such as Totemic Projection or Totemic Persistence. In Legion, weâre eliminating this awkwardness and simply removing the constraints.

Totems of the same nature type can now be summoned together, allowing you to have Healing Stream Totem and Healing Tide Totem up at the same time. Elementals are no longer tied to totems, but are guardians that follow and assist you. Totemsâ maximum health will always equal a percentage of your maximum health. In addition, totems that need to be placed at a specific location will be directly placed using a targeting reticle. If you want to place Earthgrab Totem in the middle of a big pack of nasty orcs, you can do that without having to run into that nastiness or use a separate spell to throw the totem there. In general, totem mechanics are concentrated around temporary effects (either beneficial or hostile) in a localized area, as opposed to âmaintenance buffâ cooldowns you need to make sure are up at all times.

Finally, weâre bringing needed clarity to Shaman resources, particularly to move away from disguising a couple key resources as buffs. Lightning Shield charges for Elemental Shaman, Maelstrom Weapon charges for Enhancement Shaman, and Mana have all been replaced for Elemental and Enhancement with a new resource: Maelstrom. Mana is a fitting Restoration Shaman resource and will remain for that spec.

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Elemental

Certain shaman have dedicated themselves above all else to forging a deep bond with the elements. They have peered beyond the Elemental Plane, gleaning visions of an ancient past where manifestations of volatile energies once raged unimpeded across primordial Azeroth. Through careful study and dedication, the elemental shaman is able to channel such power into destructive magical surges. Through the body of the shaman flows bolts of lightning, as if from storm, and bursts of fire, as if from molten earth. They manipulate the land itself and summon spirits of earth, fire, and storm to their aid. To battle an elemental shaman is to taunt the very forces of nature.

"Through the body of the shaman flows bolts of lightning, as if from storm, and bursts of fire, as if from molten earth"

Gameplay

Elemental Shaman already have a strong, thematic ability repertoire. Weâre retaining much of that existing gameplay in Legion, while smoothing the rough edges. The previously mentioned switch to Maelstrom as a resource is most significant. Elemental Shaman will build Maelstrom through their Lightning Bolt, Lava Burst, and Chain Lightning, and spend it on abilities like Shocks and Earthquake. This change also allows us to remove the cooldown on Shocks, since they instead compete for resources. Shock usage is now more flexible for Elemental Shaman, such as using more of their Maelstrom on Flame Shock to DoT multiple targets. Another notable change is the return of Elemental Overload as their Mastery; Molten Earth never lived up to our hopes, being too non-interactive and confusing.

To give you an idea of the Elemental Shaman in action, hereâs a basic look at their core combat abilities:

  • Lightning Bolt

    • 40 yd range, 2 sec cast
    • Fires a bolt of lightning at the target, dealing moderate Nature damage, and generating 15 Maelstrom.
  • Lava Burst

    • 40 yd range, 2 sec cast, 8 sec cooldown
    • Hurl molten lava at the target, dealing strong Fire damage. If your Flame Shock is on the target, Lava Burst will deal 50% additional damage. Generates 15 Maelstom.
  • Flame Shock

    • 0 to 20 Maelstrom, 45 yd range, Instant
    • Sears the target with fire, causing minor Fire damage and then an additional minor Fire damage every 2 sec. Lasts 10 to 30 sec based on Maelstrom spent.
  • Earth Shock

    • 10 to 100 Maelstrom, 45 yd range, Instant
    • Instantly shocks the target with concussive force, causing massive Nature damage, based on Maelstrom spent.
  • Lava Surge

    • Passive
    • Your Flame Shock damage over time has a chance to reset the cooldown of Lava Burst and cause your next Lava Burst to be instant.
  • Mastery: Elemental Overload

    • Grants a 40% (with Mastery from typical gear) chance for Elemental Overload to occur. Elemental Overload causes a Lightning Bolt, Chain lightning, or Lava Burst spell you cast to trigger a second, similar spell on the same target that causes 75% of normal damage and Maelstrom generation, and no threat.

Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, hereâs one example of an Elemental-specific talent:

  • Maelstrom Totem

    • 40 yd range, Instant, 30 sec cooldown
    • Summons a Maelstrom Totem near the target for 15 sec that repeatedly attacks an enemy within 30 yards for moderate Nature damage. Every time the Maelstrom Totem attacks, it will generate 5 Maelstrom for you.

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Enhancement

Intense communion with fire, earth, air, and water isnât exclusive to the elemental shaman. In many ways, enhancement shaman similarly bond with nature and leverage its power on the battlefield. What distinguishes them in their trainingâand in their connection with the elementsâis their combat methodology. These shaman favor empowering their physical attacks with elemental energies and facing their adversaries up close. They donât shy from the frontlines, wielding magically augmented weapons, potent elemental attacks, and totems that shape the tide of battle.

"These shaman favor empowering their physical attacks with elemental energies and facing their adversaries up close"

Gameplay

The identity of the Enhancement Shaman is cool, but we donât feel that the mechanics do well to establish that. We want this spec to be more than a melee-range Elemental Shaman, while having a distinct âBattle Mageâ feel. Enhancementâs niche focuses on dishing out devastating spells and punishing strikes at melee range to destroy their enemy. Rather than leaving you with a multitude of buttons, many of which are inconsequential, weâre emphasizing empowering your weapons and allies in the fray. Enhancement Shaman become increasingly deadly as they build their power through Maelstrom generation. They must be careful not to let it overflow, while maintaining enough to utilize their most dominant attacks at critical moments.

To give you an idea of the Enhancement Shaman in action, hereâs a basic look at their core combat abilities:

  • Rockbiter

    • 10 yd range, Instant
    • Assault your target with earthen power, dealing moderate Nature damage, and generating 15 Maelstrom.
  • Flametongue

    • 10 yd range, Instant, 12 sec cooldown
    • Scorch your target with fiery power, dealing moderate Fire damage, and enhancing your weapons.
    • Each of your weapon attacks cause up to minor additional Fire damage, based on weapon speed. Lasts 16 sec.
  • Windfury

    • Passive
    • Each of your main-hand attacks has a 7% chance of triggering three extra attacks, dealing minor Physical damage.
  • Lava Lash

    • 30 Maelstrom, Melee Range, Instant
    • Charge your off-hand weapon with lava and strike your target, dealing strong Fire damage.
  • Stormstrike

    • 60 Maelstrom, Melee Range, Instant, 16 sec cooldown
    • Energize your weapons with lightning and deliver a massive blow to your target, dealing heavy Physical damage.
  • Maelstrom Weapon

    • Passive
    • When you deal damage with a melee weapon, you generate 5 Maelstrom.
  • Stormfury

    • Passive
    • Each of your attacks has a 2% chance to cause Stormfury, resetting the cooldown on Stormstrike, and causing your next Stormstrike to cost 50% less Maelstrom and to trigger no cooldown.
  • Mastery: Enhanced Elements

    • Increases the chance for Stormfury and Windfury to trigger by 5% (with Mastery from typical gear), and increases all Fire and Nature damage done by 40% (with Mastery from typical gear).

Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, hereâs one example of an Enhancement-specific talent:

  • Sundering

    • 60 Maelstrom, Instant, 20 sec cooldown
    • Shatter a line of earth before you, causing strong Physical damage and knocking enemies to the side.

LCPS03.jpg

Restoration

Some shaman find a serene affinity for the restorative properties of water. These shaman do not necessarily seek the Light or turn to the divine, yet they feel a profound spiritual connection with the source from which all mortal life took root. So strong is their connection with water that the shaman is able to restore life and heal afflictions. They balance this with a command of the other elements, finding harmony in nature and purifying their allies as a tidal surge washes across a sandy shore.

"Restoration shaman feel a profound spiritual connection with the source from which all mortal life took root"

Gameplay

Restoration mechanics are informed well by the themes of the spec, and we want to avoid disrupting what healers already like about it. What has changed has primarily been in terms of tweaking their gameplay in more fun directions. Thereâs now slightly more emphasis on targeted healing, and slightly less on Chain Heal spam. Weâve also significantly improved their talents, offering more impactful and varied options. Additionally, Restoration gains the most from the removal of totem restrictions.

To give you an idea of the Restoration Shaman in action, hereâs a basic look at their core combat abilities:

  • Healing Wave

    • 2.1% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
    • A slow but efficient wave of healing energy that restores a moderate amount of a friendly targetâs health.
  • Healing Surge

    • 4.1% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
    • A quick but expensive surge of healing energy that restores a moderate amount of a friendly targetâs health.
  • Chain Heal

    • 5.6% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
    • Heals the friendly target for a moderate amount, then jumps to heal the most injured nearby party or raid members. Healing is reduced by 30% after each jump. Heals 4 total targets.
  • Riptide

    • 1.5% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 6 sec cooldown
    • Restorative waters wash over a friendly target, healing them for a moderate amount and an additional moderate amount over 18 sec.
  • Healing Rain

    • 4.3% Mana, 40 yd range, 2 sec cast, 10 sec cooldown
    • Blanket the target area in healing rains, restoring a moderate amount of health to up to 6 allies in the area over 10 sec.
  • Healing Stream Totem

    • 1.7% Mana, Instant, 30 sec cooldown
    • Summons a Water Totem at the feet of the Shaman that heals an injured party or raid member within 40 yards for a minor amount every 2 sec. Lasts 15 sec.
  • Tidal Waves

    • Passive
    • When you cast Chain Heal or Riptide, you gain the Tidal Waves effect, which reduces the cast time of your next Healing Wave by 40% or increases the critical effect chance of your next Healing Surge by 40%. Stacks up to 2 times.
  • Mastery: Deep Healing

    • Increases the potency of your healing spells by up to 60% (with Mastery from typical gear), based on the current health level of your target (lower health targets are healed for more).

Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, hereâs one example of a Restoration-specific talent:

  • Wellspring

    • 2.4% Mana, 30 yd range, 1.5 sec cast, 12 sec cooldown
    • Create a surge of water that flows forward, healing all friendly targets in a wide arc in front of you for a strong amount.

We hope youâve enjoyed this early preview of our approach to class and specialization design in World of Warcraft: Legion. Weâll continue our review tomorrow with a look at Warriors, Monks, and Druids.

Blue Tweets

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character / Items

Also, will fist weapons be visible when sheathed now? Because that's the one downside to Fists as a caster

We have some special-handling in mind for sheathing for things like the fist weapons. They won't be invisible (craig_amai)

I remain afraid of how Sheilun actually looks on a Monk

What are you fearful of? Bell or cloth physics? Or how it plays with monk sheathing? (craig_amai)

Monk sheating!

Ah, definitely. Don't worry, we're already on it =) (craig_amai)

The shadowpriest weapon looks .. underwhelming. Will there be an offhand or anything?

Yeah, it has an off-hand. It's also very present in gameplay through some of its abilities. (craig_amai)

The feedback on first impressions is very appreciated though. Daggers have a way of feeling underwhelming very easily. (craig_amai)

Is the Balance druid artifact Scythe of Elune the same item as the Worgen starting quest item of the same name?

Yes! (DaveKosak)

PvP

In Legion, will there be different spec templates for the various PvP venues (e.g. duels, 2s, 3s, 5s, bgs, rbgs, wPvP)?

No (holinka)

Lore

These Pillars of Creation are interesting, but where's Brann Bronzebeard in all of this? Will he get his hands dirty in Legion?

you'll see Brann. (Abrosiabi)

One great mystic question! Why could Horde + Alliance play together? Why must I make a choice for a fraction?

We always thought having 2 factions was key part of the Warcraft experience. Wherever you go, the other guys are out there... (DaveKosak)

Happy for Sylvanas fans & that there's progress for her but I wonder about Vol'jin in Legion, is he getting something to do too?

Of course! He's the Warchief!! (DaveKosak)

is the entire zone of Gilneas plagued, or just cities and towns mainly, slowly spreading overtime? (rp purposes)

Much of the zone is still plagued, but there are pockets of safety for careful travelers! (DaveKosak)

Tyrande involvement Alex?

Seems like a reasonable expectation. (Abrosiabi)

UI / Addons

Through out the years WoW has gone through many various changes, but yet the quest dialog has remained unchanged. Any plans?

It was combined with the map, and we added chapter headings for the zones, but yeah, the main dialogue hasn't changed much. (craig_amai)

We've talked about it several times. The appeal of the familiar vs. various improvements. Hard to say, maybe someday(craig_amai)

Reputation / Questing

how will Broken Shore scenario work after launch when less people there?

New grouping functionality lets us create an experience for both solo players and groups by adding NPC allies. (WarcraftDevs)

I hope this new zone leveling tech is put in place for all zones in game! This has been needed for a long time!

We agree with you that it's a cool idea. We'll see what we can do down the road sometime. (WarcraftDevs)

scale the world, not the player, will we see that tech applied to pre legion overworld content at some point?

That could be a possibility, however, there are no plans to do it at this time. (WarcraftDevs)

Blizzcon

Do you know why there are some discussion panels not available for Virtual Ticket holders for #BlizzCon ?

Lots of smaller, more informal events have been created in the last couple of weeks for people at the convention. (DaveKosak)

Misc

When you are a designer, it is incredibly inspiring to see players enjoying something you made. Makes you want to do more, and to do better! (hwoome)

View the full article

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Mahlstrom anstatt Mana? Erinnert mich an den Jäger von Wotlk zu Cataclysm...

Damals hab ich dann meinen Maincharwechsel aufgrund dessen vollzogen (zu dumm und zu stur sich an neue Dinge zu gewöhnen, komme halt vom Land)

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Wenn's nur so einfach wäre! Aber neben dem Namen, ändert sich allgemein auch die ganze Handhabung:

Vorher: Mana - man benutzt alles was man kann, was am meisten reinknallt natürlich zuerst

Bald: Mahlstrom - baue so und soviel Mahlstrom auf, um gewisse Fähigkeiten nutzen zu können

Quasi ein Krieger-Wut-Balken ab dann.

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Damit bist du nicht allein, dass geht ab sofort fast allen Klassen defacto so. Sie wollen halt weg von den Megaburstern, die halt im PvP und im Progress vielen anderen den Erfolg und die Plätze einfach verbauen.

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Wenn's nur so einfach wäre! Aber neben dem Namen, ändert sich allgemein auch die ganze Handhabung:

Vorher: Mana - man benutzt alles was man kann, was am meisten reinknallt natürlich zuerst

Bald: Mahlstrom - baue so und soviel Mahlstrom auf, um gewisse Fähigkeiten nutzen zu können

Quasi ein Krieger-Wut-Balken ab dann.

Dann seht ihr auch mal wie das ist :gash:!

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Hab die Änderungen am Schamanen noch mal genau gelesen, eigentlich ändert sich für den Eleschami so gut wie nichts, ganz im Gegenteil .. Schocks ohne CD find ich eigentlich sogar einen Vorteil in der Spielweise

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Du nicht falsch verstehen Hello, so negativ meine ich das auch nicht:

Allgemein ändert sich an den Fähigkeiten fast gar nichts. Positiv (aber auch nur auf den ersten Blick):

- das nervige Feuertotem fällt weg

- CD von den Schocks fällt weg

ABER:

- das nervige Feuertotem wird durch ein noch viel nervigeres ersetzt! Totem des Mahlstroms! Muss man alle 30 Sek. stellen, regeneriert Mahlstrom und fügt dem Gegner Schaden zu. Hat eine 30 Meter Reichweite. Ist ja nicht so, dass der Ele eh schon nur 35 Meter Reichweite hat (find so Camps toll, wenn wir uns auf MaxRange stellen müssen, ich ein Stück weiter vorne stehe und im TS ertönt: "Wer meint da wieder er muss nicht im CAMP stehen?!" -.-) Ich würde es zwar immer erklären, aber ich habe ja bereits in jedem Content versucht Erdbeben zu erklären ("Macht keinen AE, ihr sollt Fokus machen!") und bis heute hat sich's keiner gemerkt. Fand ich ja beim ersten mythischen Boss so toll... Lange Rede kurzer Sinn: Entweder der Ele ist dann euer neuer Campsammelpunkt, oder ihr steckt ihn zu den Melees (wollte ich schonmal drum bitten)

- CD von den Schocks fällt weg, wird vieles erleichtern, aber nicht so toll sein wie man denkt. Mahlstrom ist ja nicht unendlich da. Also wird es zwangsläufig passieren, dass du während des Dottens mit Blitzschlag regenerieren musst. Ist nichts anderes wie der Mist aktuell. So spielt man auch jetzt, wenn man gerade wartet das der CD abläuft.

Was aber allgemein die Spreu vom Weizen trennen wird, ist einfach die Umstellung (habs ja schonmal mit dem Hunter erlebt). Es macht einen Riesenunterschied, ob man einfach seine CDs nur abklappert und ansonsten uneingeschränkt ist, oder ob man ein Ressourcenmanagement handhaben muss. Immer genug Mahlstrom haben um seine Fähigkeiten ja nicht zu verpassen. Macht die Spielweise schwieriger, man hat ja heutzutage schon gesehen, dass die meisten das Schockmanagement nicht hinbekommen und dadurch stark abfallen. Ich trau mich vorauszusagen, dass diese Leute noch mehr Probleme bekommen werden.

Wobei: Viele Elementarschamanen wird es nicht mehr geben, dank des Meleebuffs und der Tatsache, dass der Enhancer Doomhammer tragen darf. Der Ele kriegt ja eine Faustwaffe (von Ra-Den, mit Schild) Da specc ich aber auch sofort um =)

bearbeitet von Eanór

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Das Totem des Mahlstroms wirst du nicht in der Phase so verwenden, sondern eher wie Jäger den Schnellschuß oder Magier die Arkane Macht ... großen Vorteil sehe ich v.a. in den Änderungen an der Lavalampe, die jetzt kein garantierter Krit mehr ist, sondern X% mehr Schaden macht, wenn Flammendot drauf ist - Sprich Crit hat für den Ele wieder Wert (bei den kurzen Casts durchaus sinnvoll). Ebenfalls dass man Flammenschock ohne Mahlstrom für 10 Sek. setzen kann find ich für das schnelle Wechseln auf ein Add (das ja kaum länger lebt) eine sehr positive Änderung. Einzig, dass man sich nicht aussuchen kann, ob man den Dot kurz oder lange möchte sehe ich als kleinen Krux in der Geschichte. Alles in Allem scheint der Schami aber gut unterwegs zu sein.

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Naja das Totem hat nen 30 Sek. CD und macht 15 Sek. Schaden auf den Boss. Also stellt man's auf CD, wäre ansonsten Blödsinn. Das hat dann genau das Rangeproblem wie sein Vorgänger (ist bei Archimonde zB immer sehr toll -.-) Allerdings hat man mehr Spielraum um zu "failen". So alá "OMG ich hab mein Totem vergessen zu stellen! Ach... macht ja nichts, hat ja noch CD..."

- 50% mehr Schaden, sofern Flammenschock drauf ist, verursacht Lavaeruption jetzt schon (Crit ist ja jetzt schon ein starker Wert fürn Ele). Die Änderung ist schon länger her (war entweder zum WoD-Prepatch, oder kurz danach)

- Bei der Dotlänge hast du Recht, wird zwar immer wieder kritisiert, aber nicht geändert. Dafür haben sie ja das Klassentrinket dann dementsprechend gestaltet (verlängert die Dauer von Flammeschock, erhöht dessen Schaden).

Ob der Schami gut unterwegs sein wird, wird man sehen. Ist ja schlecht vorherzusagen momentan. Soll mir aber auch egal sein.

ABER: Er soll angeblich den stärksten Hardhitter (Erdschock) erhalten, zusammen mit dem von der Eule (keine Ahnung wie der heißt).

bearbeitet von Eanór

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