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What is a Shaman?Follow

#1 Mar 29 2011 at 11:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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Please note that this is a work in progress in answer to our lack of stickies, I know that there are large parts still missing and I will update it when I get the time and enthusiasm. I started writing this some months ago then got bored so it is also highly likely that some (if not all) of the information is out of date / incorrect / misleading, but this is a hazard that I will let you decide about for yourself ;p

What is a Shaman?

How Blizzard sees Shaman:

Shaman are the spiritual leaders of their tribes and clans. They are masters of the elements, using spells and totems that heal or enhance their allies in battle while unleashing the fury of the elements upon their foes. Shamans can wear medium armor, and even wield massive two-handed weapons in combat. They are a versatile class that can wade into battle, restoring their allies while hurling elemental bolts of lightning at their enemies.

How we see Shaman

What roles can Shaman perform?

If you go and sit listening to trade chat in any major city you will read some variations on the following:

Need Tank and Healer for BoT Trash Farming
LFM 1 rDPS BD must have 359 iLvl
LFM BH need 2 tanks, 1 theal, 2 rheal, 3 rDPS, 1 mDPS full on DKs


After you work out what all the groups of letters mean you will have learned a number of things:

1. There is some muppet out there who thinks that iLevel is a valid measure of a players skill rather than just an indication that they have managed to earn lots of Justice and Valour Points,
2. There is a Death Knight who wants to be carried through Baradin Hold,
3. People are looking for different roles for their raids and parties.

Going back to the trade chat above, you can see that the roles that people need for their groups are Tanks, Healers (Tank – tHeal or Raid – rHeal) and Damage Dealers (Melee – mDPS or Ranged – rDPS), so which of those roles can your average everyday shaman fill?

Tank – No :(
tHeal – Yes
rHeal – Yes
mDPS – Yes
rDPS – Yes

You can see straight away that a Shaman can fill most of the roles required in the game. Some people might argue that because Shaman can use shields they can tank and at times in the history of WoW that might have been true but nowadays not so much due, if nothing else, to a lack of threat generating abilities.



Edited, Mar 29th 2011 2:07pm by Karheim
#2 Mar 29 2011 at 11:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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What makes Shaman stand out from other classes?

Totems

Shaman have the ability to drop Totems to provide buffs for themselves and other players, to summon elementals or to inflict damage to an enemy.

There are four types of totem – Air, Earth, Fire and Water; a Shaman can drop up to four totems at any time but only one of each type.

Totems do not take up space in bags and are learnable from Shaman trainers.

A more in depth discussion of Totems is presented in a later post.

Bloodlust / Heroism

Bloodlust (for Horde) or Heroism (for Alliance) used to be the main reason that Shaman were invited into parties or raids, this is not so much the case now. A similar effect Time Warp is available to Mages at level 85 and a hunter’s Core Hound pet can use Ancient Hysteria.

Bloodlust / Heroism increases melee, ranged, and spell casting speed by 30% for all party and raid members for a period of 40 seconds. Party or raid members receiving this effect will become Exhausted and be unable to benefit from Bloodlust / Heroism, Time Warp or Ancient Hysteria again for 10 min.

Bloodlust / Heroism, Time Warp and Ancient Hysteria will typically be used when extra damage or healing is needed at a specific time in certain encounters.

Ghost Wolf

Shaman are one the only class apart from Druids that can change their form to that of an animal, in our case a Ghost Wolf which gives extra movement speed and can be used both indoors and outside.

There are two Glyphs which affect Ghost Wolf:

Glyph of Ghost Wolf (Major) – increases movement speed by 5%
Glyph of the Arctic Wolf (Minor) – changes the appearance of Ghost Wolf to be an Arctic Ghost Wolf (cosmetic only)

Reincarnation

In World of Warcraft dieing is not permanent (at least not for players or Death Knights amongst others).

When you die any one of the four healer classes can resurrect you, engineers have gadgets that can also resurrect you, you can resurrect yourself at a Spirit Healer or you can ghost walk back to your body and resurrect. The one thing that all these methods have in common is that they can only take place out of combat.

If someone dies and needs to be resurrected in combat there are four ways to achieve this: Druids can cast rebirth (known as battle res or bres), Warlocks can use a soulstone before the combat starts so that the person on whom it is placed can resurrect, Death Knights can raise a fallen ally as a ghoul (this is only temporary and you die again afterwards) and Shaman can reincarnate.

Reincarnate allows you to resurrect yourself upon death with 20% health and mana and has a 30 minute cooldown.

Blizzard is planning on letting Warlocks and Death Knights use resurrection abilities in the same was as a Druid, but no class other than Shaman will be able to reincarnate.


Edited, Mar 29th 2011 1:52pm by Karheim
#3 Mar 29 2011 at 11:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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95 posts
So who can be a Shaman?

The first thing that you have to decide is whether to play a noble member of the Alliance or a depraved and despicable member of the Horde (note that depending upon personal belief system and what you know about the actions of the Alliance in the Southern Barrens this can be read as noble member of the Horde or depraved and despicable member of the Alliance).

Then you have to decide which of the races in your chosen faction to play, remembering that not all the races of Azeroth can be Shamen, and those that can have different racial abilities which may help you to decide what race to play.

For most people at the end of the day the choice of race comes down to what you want to see in front of you on the screen while you play.

Alliance

Draenai

Gemcutting – Jewelcrafting skill increased by 10
Gift of the Naaru – Heal over time, no cost and 3 minute cooldown
Heroic Presence – Increase your chance to hit with all spells and attacks by 1%
Shadow Resistance – Increases your resistance to harmful Shadow effects

Dwarf

Explorer - You find additional fragments when looting archaeological finds and you can survey faster than normal archaeologists
Frost Resistance – Increases your resistance to harmful Frost effects
Gun Specialisation – Your chance to critically hit with Guns is increased by 1% (Note that Shaman cannot use guns)
Mace Specialisation – Expertise with Maces and Two-Handed Maces increased by 3
Stoneform – Removes all poison, disease and bleed effects and increases your armour by 10% for 8 sec

Horde

Goblin

Best Deals Anywhere – Always receive the best possible gold discount, regardless of faction
Better Living Through Chemistry – Alchemy skill increased by 15
Pack Hobgoblin – Calls in your friend, Gobber, allowing you bank access for 1 min
Rocket Barrage – Launches rockets from your belt at an enemy
Rocket Jump – Activates your rocket belt to jump forward
Time is Money – Cash in on a 1% increase to attack and casting speed

Orc

Axe Specialisation – Expertise with Fist Weapons, Axes and Two-Handed Axes increased by 3
Blood Fury – Increases melee attack power and your spell damage for 15 seconds
Command – Damage dealt by Death Knight, Hunter and Warlock pets increased by 5% (Not much use to a Shaman)
Hardiness – Duration of Stun effects reduced by an additional 15% (Can be useful in PVE but more for PVP)

Tauren

Cultivation – Herbalism skill increased by 15 and you gather herbs faster than normal herbalists
Endurance – Base Health increased by 5%
Nature Resistance – Increases your resistance to harmful Nature effects by 1
War Stomp – Stuns up to 5 enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds (While not an exact conversion, this is roughly equivalent to 8 metres)

Troll

Beast Slaying – Damage dealt versus Beasts increased by 5%
Berserking – Increases your attack and casting speed by 20% for 10 seconds
Bow Specialisation – Your chance to critically hit with Bows is increased by 1% (Note that Shaman cannot use guns)
Da Voodoo Shuffle – Reduces the duration of all movement impairing effects by 15% (Can be useful in PVE but more for PVP)
Regeneration – Health regeneration rate increased by 10%, this regeneration may continue during combat
Throwing Specialisation – Your chance to critically hit with Throwing Weapons is increased by 1% (Note that Shaman cannot use guns)


Edited, Mar 29th 2011 1:54pm by Karheim
#4 Mar 29 2011 at 11:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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How do you want to design your Shaman?

Progressing through the game you gain levels and as you gain levels you become more powerful in two main ways; firstly you will get more and varied spells to cast and secondly you will gain talent points with which to customise your Shaman. Spells will be discussed in the next section while talents are discussed here.

Shaman have 3 talent trees:

  • Elemental (Magic or Ranged DPS)
  • Enhancement (Combat or Melee DPS)
  • Restoration (Healing and support).

  • Up until level 9 there is no need to decide which of the talent trees to specialise in, but at level 10 you gain your first talent point and should choose which of the 3 talent trees to spend it in.

    Once you choose which talent tree to use you must keep putting your talent points in that tree until you have spent 31 points and then you will be able to choose to put your remaining points into any of the three trees up to a total maximum of 41 talent points at level 85.

    There are however two ways to change how you have spent your talent points; firstly you can go to your trainer at any time and pay to have your talents reset and then you can choose again which talent tree to follow, and secondly you can buy the use of a second talent set (Dual Talent Specialisation) at level 30 for 10 gold.

    If you have dual talent specialisation and decide to pay your trainer to reset your talents then only the currently active talent set will be reset.

    Each talent tree has a number of ‘Primary Talents’ that are only available by making that talent tree your primary specialisation. There are then further talents that can be learnt with Talent Points, and in many cases these talents allow for 2 or 3 talent points to be spent to increase the effect of the talent. The talents in each tree are arranged in seven tiers and it is only possible to learn talents in ‘deeper’ tiers by spending a minimum number of talent points in earlier tiers.


    Edited, Mar 29th 2011 1:57pm by Karheim
    #5 Mar 29 2011 at 11:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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    Elemental Talents

    Primary Talents

    Thunderstorm; You call down a bolt of lightning, energizing you and damaging nearby enemies within 10 yards. Restores 8% mana to you and deals damage to all nearby enemies, knocking them back 20 yards, is usable while stunned
    Elemental Fury; Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Searing and Magma Totems and your Fire, Frost, and Nature spells by 100%
    Shamanism; Your Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, and Lava Burst spells gain an additional 20% benefit from your spell power, and their casting time is reduced by 0.5 seconds
    Mastery: Elemental Overload

    Tier 1

    Acuity (3); Increases your critical strike chance with all spells and attacks by 1% / 2% / 3%
    Convection (2); Reduces the mana cost of your damaging offensive spells by 5% / 10%
    Concussion (3); Increases the damage done by your Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Thunderstorm, Lava Burst and Shock spells by 2% / 4% / 6%

    Tier 2

    Call of Flame (2); Increases damage done by Fire Totems and Fire Nova by 10% / 20%, and damage done by your Lave Burst by 5% / 10%
    Elemental Warding (3); Reduces magical damage taken by 45 / 8% / 12%
    Reverberation (2); Reduces the cooldown of your Shock spells and Wind Shear by 0.5 Seconds / 1 second
    Elemental Precision (3); Increases your Fire, Frost and Nature damage by 1% / 2% / 3% and grants you spell hit rating equal to 33% / 66% / 100% of any Spirit gained from items or effects

    Tier 3

    Rolling Thunder (2); When you deal damage with Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning while your Lightning Shield ability is active, you have a 30% / 60% chance to recover 2% of your mana and to generate an additional Lightning Shield charge, up to a maximum of 9 charges
    Elemental Focus
    Elemental Reach (2)

    Tier 4

    Elemental Oath (2); While Clearcasting from Elemental Focus is active, you deal 5% / 10% more spell damage. In addition, party and raid members within 100 yards receive a 3% / 5% bonus to their critical strike chance
    Lava Flows (3); Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Lava Burst spell by an additional 6% / 12% / 24% and the periodic damage of your Flame Shock by 20% / 40% / 60%. In addition, when your Flame Shock is dispelled you gain 10% / 20% / 30% spell haste for 6 seconds

    Tier 5

    Fulmination; When you have more than 3 Lightning Shield charges active, your Earth Shock spell will consume any surplus charges, instantly dealing their total damage to the enemy target (Requires 2 points in Rolling Thunder)
    Elemental Mastery
    Earth’s Grasp (2)
    Totemic Wrath; Causes your Fire totems to increase the spell power of party and raid members within 100 yards by 10%

    Tier 6

    Feedback (3)
    Lava Surge (2); Gives your Flame Shock periodic damage ticks a 10% / 20% chance to reset the cooldown of your Lava Burst spell

    Tier 7

    Earthquake; You cause the earth at the target location to tremble and break, dealing 460 Physical damage every 1 second to enemies in an 8 yard radius, with a 10% chance of knocking down affected targets, lasts 8 seconds

    Talent Builds

    Edited, Mar 29th 2011 2:04pm by Karheim
    #6 Mar 29 2011 at 11:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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    Enhancement Talents

    Primary Talents

    Lava Lash
    Mental Quickness
    Dual Wield
    Primal Wisdom
    Mastery: Enhanced Elements

    Tier 1

    Tier 2

    Tier 3

    Tier 4

    Tier 5

    Tier 6

    Tier 7


    Edited, Mar 29th 2011 2:03pm by Karheim
    #7 Mar 29 2011 at 11:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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    Restoration Talents

    Primary Talents

    Earth Shield
    Purification
    Meditation
    Mastery: Deep Healing

    Tier 1

    Tier 2

    Tier 3

    Tier 4

    Tier 5

    Tier 6

    Tier 7



    Edited, Mar 29th 2011 2:02pm by Karheim
    #8 Mar 29 2011 at 11:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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    Spells and Abilities

    Elemental

    Enhancement

    Restoration

    Interrupting


    Edited, Mar 29th 2011 2:02pm by Karheim
    #9 Mar 29 2011 at 11:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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    And now it's Party time, but what to wear?

    Stats

    As you get more experience and gain levels you gain new talents and abilities, at the same time your base stats also increase.

    As a Shaman the base stats that are useful depend on the talent tree that you have chosen:

    Elemental

  • Intellect (Increases your mana pool and your spellpower)
  • Stamina (Increases your health)

  • Enhancement

  • Agility (Increases your Attack Power which in turn increases the damage that you do)
  • Intellect
  • Stamina

  • It should be noted that strength also increases Attack Power but Agility is preferred for a Shaman due to also increasing avoidance

    Restoration

  • Intellect
  • Stamina
  • Spirit (Increases the rate at which your mana and health regenerate)

  • There are also several secondary stats that have varying degrees of importance:

  • Hit Rating
  • Crit Rating
  • Haste
  • Mastery

  • There are a number of ways to increase your stats apart from the natural gains from levelling:

    Gear

    Gems

    Enchantments

    Buffs

    Reforging

    Sometimes your gear doesn't have quit the stats that you want, in this case it is possible to reforge a secondary stat on the gear to another stat.

    Edited, Mar 30th 2011 3:44am by Karheim
    #10 Mar 29 2011 at 11:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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    Choosing your gear

    Armour

    1-39 Cloth, Leather

    40+ Mail

    Weapons, shields and offhands

    Relics

    Consumables

    Gems / Enchants

    Glyphs

    Edited, Mar 29th 2011 2:05pm by Karheim
    #11 Mar 29 2011 at 11:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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    Totems

    Air

    Earth

    Fire

    Water

    What totem to use and when?



    Edited, Mar 29th 2011 1:59pm by Karheim
    #12 Mar 29 2011 at 11:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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    What Professions are good for a Shaman?

    Edited, Mar 29th 2011 1:58pm by Karheim
    #13 Mar 29 2011 at 11:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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    Reincarnation in raids

    In combat resurrection allows for one combat resurrection per fight in a 10 man raid and three combat resurrections in a 25 man raid

    Druids can cast Rebirth which can be used on any dead member of the raid and has a 10 minute cooldown.

    Warlocks can place a soulstone on any member of the raid before the encounter starts and for the next 15 minutes that person can resurrect if they die, this has a 15 minute cooldown and Blizzard is considering making it castable on any dead raid member.

    Shamen can Reincarnate themselves only, this has a 30 minute cooldown.

    You could be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that Shamen have the worst deal.

    Reincarnation when soloing or in a 5 man party is not affected by the in combat raid resurrection limitations.


    Edited, Mar 29th 2011 1:58pm by Karheim
    #14 Mar 29 2011 at 11:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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    PVP

    Some Shamen do PVP.

    At the moment I don't have anything else to say about PVP.

    Edited, Mar 29th 2011 1:52pm by Karheim
    #15 Mar 29 2011 at 11:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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    Further Reading
    #16 Mar 29 2011 at 11:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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    Reserved for updates
    #17 Mar 29 2011 at 11:49 AM Rating: Excellent
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    Also reserved for updates

    Edited, Mar 29th 2011 2:06pm by Karheim
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    #18 Mar 29 2011 at 2:58 PM Rating: Good
    Just swinging by 'cause I'm looking at starting up a goblin shaman. Wouldn't it be worth mentioning spirit as an elemental stat considering all the hybrids get spirit = hit talents?
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    #19 Mar 30 2011 at 1:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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    PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
    Just swinging by 'cause I'm looking at starting up a goblin shaman. Wouldn't it be worth mentioning spirit as an elemental stat considering all the hybrids get spirit = hit talents?


    Yep, I was planning on mentioning that as an explanation of why we need hit rating and how to get it, I'll have a think about how I want to write that section and since there is basically no mail caster gear with hit I might add Spirit as a primary stat.

    Edited, Mar 30th 2011 3:46am by Karheim
    #20 Mar 30 2011 at 2:43 PM Rating: Good
    Yeah, there isn't any hit on caster leather gear either. =x It's still pretty easy to get hit capped regardless though. There's plenty of hit on the different accessories and weapons, and of course the spirit = hit thing helps a lot too.
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    #21 Apr 01 2011 at 3:00 AM Rating: Good
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    Quote:
    It should be noted that strength also increases Attack Power but Agility is preferred for a Shaman due to also increasing avoidance


    Str gives 1 AP, Agi gives 2 AP and some crit/dodge for rogues, hunters and shammies; druids get 2 AP from Str/Agi with Agi also giving crit/dodge thus making it better for them as well. I could be wrong but pretty sure that is how it works these days.

    Also take Int out of the Enhancement gear sections as it is never on the gear they should be using.

    As for Reincarnation, I full expect that when they change Soulstones to function like b-rez they will add that option for shammies. Otherwise they will get the shaft.

    Nice work so far. Keep it up.

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    #22 Apr 04 2011 at 2:20 PM Rating: Decent
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    Good work <3
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