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Totem of Wrath vs. Demonic Pact

Sunday, December 6, 2009 | posted in , | 2 comments

In a recent blue post Blizzard has admitted they would like to fix ToW vs. DP.  They would like to try and fix this before Cataclysm even tho they are not promising anything.  I think they have plenty of time to fix the problem.  I would be a very happy shaman if I didn't need to drop ToW and was able to use some of my fire totems instead. 

Since totems are such a class defining mechanic it makes no sense that we cannot use any of our fire totems except ToW without hurting the raid by not providing a buff.  I would really like blizzard remove the Totem of Wrath and make the talent a castable buff.  I think that it is naive to believe the only reason a Elemental Shaman is brought to a raid is the fact they provide this buff.  Yes it is true an elemental shaman will not be able to produce as much dps as a pure dps class.  But when someone knows their class and how to play they will produce some very respectable dps numbers.  I have been in a fair amount of raids where mages and rogues are way behind the elementals in dps.  A lot of how a class performs depends on the player at the keyboard and mouse.  It is true some classes are easier to play and produce decent dps but it really is the player.

If Blizzard removed the totem/talent from Elementals and left in Demonic Pact I think it would be the correct move on their part.  Most shamans would be happy they get to use a fire totem that will up their dps and warlocks keep the buff.  With the introduction of Fire Nova in 3.3 I am pretty sure this is the direction Blizzard is going. 

You can read the Blue's response below.

Yes, we want to fix the discrepancy. We'd like to get it done before Cataclysm. I'm not going to promise we're going to be able to for the reasons I can't and don't ever promise anything. You can see how many shaman have even hung on to my saying "we'd like to fix it by Cataclysm." I think in the future I'm going to have to be even more careful about saying stuff like that. Sad

I'm pretty sure you all know the issue, but for the record (and being brief to the point of being flippant):

  • Some shaman are convinced they won't be brought if ToW doesn't compete with or trump DP.
  • Some Demo locks are convinced they won't be brought if DP doesn't complete with or trump DP. I'm slightly more sympathetic with the locks here, because shaman do have other desirable buffs. I realize this is somewhat subjective though.
  • Many shaman don't want to have to drop ToW at all. They tend to be happier when a Demo lock comes too. It all depends on how secure they feel with their slot in the raid. In my experience, most players obsess way too much over getting sat. If they are getting sat, it might be a personal performance problem. If their personal performance is good, it might be that their raid leader is misinformed and puts way too much emphasis on a spellpower and crit buff when it's possible to improve their dps by much more in other (more L2P) ways. At the very high end, eeking out a 2 or 3% dps buff can be huge. But even in those guilds, I still see plenty of Elemental and Demonology. My slightly unrelated advice is you'll be happier playing the game if you find a guild less focused on constantly replacing their players.
  • We are really trying to move away from the "I get a slot because of my awesome buff." Some days I think we'd be better off with none at all and players just got brought because they were good players. (We're not going to do this, but it would certainly chill out a lot of the raid utility anxiety.)

[...] The problem, once again, is that many shaman are happy not to have to drop ToW anyway, and Elemental shaman without ToW are probably a lot more attractive than Demo locks without DP, and possibly even if the two were identical. It's going to take a lot of changes to get things more where we want them and if only get in part of the changes, we'll probably be in a worse state than today. As I've said, it's definitely a priority to get it fixed, but we have a very long list of stuff we want to get fixed. (Source)

2 Responses So far
on December 6, 2009 at 3:07 PM  

You know, I read this (and the other posts in the thread) as his way of saying "you won't see a fix for this before Cataclysm".

As a 10-man raider, I personally would hate to see ToW's effects removed from elemental because it would basically mean I wouldn't have those buffs in a raid. And the ToW buffs are worth a LOT of DPS to us - at least as much as using a fire DPS totem.

Also, GC's said that they want characters who provide buffs to have to sacrifice something to do so. If anything we're likely to see a move away from "free" effects like DP, Earth & Moon, Improved Shadowbolt et al and towards costly effects like Totem of Wrath, Curse of the Elements, and Sunder Armor.

on December 21, 2009 at 5:45 AM  

I personally do not raid with people (or so far, have even come across anyone) who has noticed me constantly dropping my ToW out of the raid for magma totem, in aoe dps situations you can easily hit 13k dps.(2750 sp)

Dont get me wrong, I know that in a boss fight for instance (single target) subing in a searing totem would be killing your raid dmg and your damage too. The only way to max your dps is to have 2 ele shamans, with you making use of damage totems. If not, then do yourself and the raid a favor and keep on casting with ToW up. After playing a shaman for quite some time now I know they have the potential to place extremly high numbers on your recount and at the same time so does almost every other class WITHOUT ToW, so like the Blue said don't bother worrying about people complaining over a virtual stat buff, tell them to roll their own ele sham :D

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