Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bashes With Wolves: It Begins!

Bashes With Wolves is a semi-regular feature that takes a look at the duel-wielding badassery that is the enhancement shaman: news, tips, reviews and more. Is there something you'd like covered? Feel free to drop me a note. Elements guide you!

Just this morning I happened to check WoW Insider earlier than normal and saw the article stating shaman weapon imbues were going passive---just like I'd suspected they would be. I commented about that on Twitter and shared a post from last summer where I looked at abilities I felt should be considered when trimming button bloat. Looking back at that post, there are some suggestions even I don't agree with anymore, but in a conversation with @unlimitedblack and @mishaweha, I mentioned how I'd like to see shields changed in a way similar to imbues.

Imagine my surprise when four hours later, Community Rep Rygarius confirmed Water Shield was gone:
Well all right then. I noticed quite a few of my fellow shamans in shock at this change. While the shields themselves don't really provide compelling gameplay in my opinion, I can accept the argument that this signals the removal of an iconic shaman ability, though I believe it's a minor one. I think there are ways Blizzard could remove the actual toggling of the ability while still keeping the effects in-game. For instance, make it passively trigger and/or add charges with every critical hit. It wouldn't take long for any of the shaman specs to get their shields up.

But obviously, there's a reason game designers have decided this ability no longer fits into their system, and though what we know now says Water Shield is going away, that could change. Either way, I don't think we have enough of the bigger picture to understand what the removal of Water Shield truly means.

Really though, Water Shield isn't meant to be the subject of this post. It's the fact that these few tidbits mean we can expect to see some sweeping changes to all shaman specs, and soon. Personally, this is a bit of a relief to me, as prior today the patch notes we've seen thus far have left shamans relatively untouched.

I'm eager to see where we go from here.

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