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World of Warcraft Beta: The Pandaria Shaman Changes - Ascendance and Spell Overhauls
The New Shaman
Along with the new talents as will be outlined below, Ascendance is a spell that will change your play dramatically. This three minute cool down turns you into an elemental ascendant based on your spec: Fire for Elemental, Water for Healing, and Air for Enhancement.
But what does Ascendance DO?
As stated before, this is a 3 minute CD with a 15 minute duration.
While in the form of a Flame Ascendant, Lava Burst has no cooldown and Chain Lightning is empowered to become Lava Beam.
- Lava Beam, shoots through 5 targets and doesn't seem to decrease in power like Chain Lightning. Enough said? Lava Burst having no CD is really awesome as well.
While in form of an Air Ascendant, auto-attacks and Stormstrike deal pure Nature damage and have a 30-yard range.
-30 yards?! Wow...
While in the form of a Water Ascendant, all healing done is duplicated and distributed evenly among nearby allies.
- AoE healer's dream, am I right?
A Whole New Talent System
In Pandaria, Blizzard decided to get rid of the annoying +1% to ___, which made you feel like you were wasting a talent point. I did not like having to look up an optimal set of talents to get that extra percent that I may be missing and Blizzard felt that you should have a wider range of things to choose from. This means that talents are more "How do I play?" rather than "What is the best DPS/HPS?" However this doesn't mean its totally different because there are sometimes certain sets on certain tiers. For instance the first tier is "How do you like to mitigate damage?" giving you healing, blocking via totem, or astral shift (which I prefer).
My Elemental Talent Choices:
I mainly play as an Elemental Shaman, so I decided to give a quick preview of what that entails. Above is the location on the tree and here are the talents which I chose, in greater detail. There was not much choice in the matter, as other talents were PvP or for a different specialization, but it gives a good example of the changes. Echo of Elements pictured below, and Elemental Mastery were interchangeable based on play style.
Lvl 90 Talents!
Level 90 has a nice set of talents as seen below. For an elemental shaman I think the best talent would be Primal Elementalist because we use our elementals so much. In all fairness, I could see how Elemental Blast may work into Elemental rotations, but as I cannot get to 90 on the Beta yet it is inconclusive.
Conclusions about Shaman in MoP:
Having played a Shaman for about 6-7 years now, I am glad of some of the changes: I do not feel much different from before, but I do have some extra tools that make me feel better about my class. Ascendance feels like a good cool down that will replace a few that I happened to lose on the way, and some of the talents make me feel like I am actually doing something with my talents rather than a generic % here or there.