Monday, May 19, 2008

Meet Haelus

World (of Warcraft), meet Haelus - my latest WoW project. He's very young yet - still learning his way around Lightning Bolts and Rockbiter Weapon. Picked up Herbalism and Alchemy just 'cause.

As mentioned in my prior post, he's an Elemental Shaman with Resto aspirations, hence the name. The famous mispelling of "heal" ("hael meh!") combined with my ever-unimaginative "us" name-ending. :)

There's actually a funny story about my main Exelus and the whole "us" suffix, btw... but first a bit of backstory. Since starting WoW I've tended to name my characters things like Magus (obviously a Mage), Lockus (you guessed it, Warlock) and Ciribrus (StarCraft reference). So when I rolled Exelus I thought, "he's a Draenei Shaman... so maybe Shamus? No. Dranus? Cool."

That's right. Dranus.

I didn't realize until my mid-20s that I had made a grave error. I started getting tells in-game from teenagers, "cool name, doc. lol." Oy. I eventually reported myself and a sympathetic GM let me change the name. He became Ardus for a while, but when I moved him over to Eonar I combined one of my first characters names with the omnipresent "us" suffix: Exemel with a "us" ending = Exelus. Muuuch better.

So anyway, back to Haelus. Kek.

There's a few playstyle differences that I'm already becoming aware of... spamming ~3 lightning bolts before melee'ing the final 25% or so, using Stoneclaw as a means to keep a mob busy while I sling bolts, etc. Made myself a macro that starts auto-attack, since it's fairly obvious that LB will become a primary pull/attack - I wanted an automatic hunter-style (ezmode) switch between ranged and melee action:

#showTooltip Lightning Bolt
/cast Lightning Bolt

Teamed-up with some lowbies around the isle and practiced healing and aggro management, even down-ranked Healing Wave for practice and to get in the habit. Learning to watch the Quartz cast bar for optimizing LB casts. Making extensive use of Clique to fling heals while still targeting the mob. Lots of new techniques, but not so foreign that I feel like I'm starting completely over. :)

Could be a fun experiment, and look forward to reporting on his progress here!


Goeben said...

Grats on the new character! I had a draenei Elemental shammy for a while, but just couldn't get into playing Alliance. If I decide to start another shammy, I will go with an orc.

I love that macro; I use it for all 5 offensive spells (bolts and shocks) on my Resto shammy. That way I don't have to worry about starting melee in any fight and can concentrate on dropping totems, shocks, etc.

I have a few tips for early level (1-30ish) elemental shammies, based on my experience: It sounds like you are on the right track, though, and don't need much advice!

One tip for experienced shammies like you: I got into my 10s and 20s, I found it most efficient to go with a big 2 hander with Flametongue or Frostbrand (against runners), at least for fighting single mobs my level or lower, because melee damage was still a considerable part of the package. By the time I got to about 30 and melee damage had dropped off, I started using a shield and 1h more. (For less experienced players, I generally recommend using a shield even at low levels, for more survivability.)

Exelus said...

Awesome, thanks for the tips and great article on your blog! Do you have any tips for spell rotations? (Groups vs Soloing, etc.?)

Also considering putting Fiery on a low level white weapon (dagger? 2H axe?), just to make the early levels go by a bit faster. :)

Goeben said...

Twinking a low level weapon is supposedly helpful, but I've never tried it myself. Give it a try! Does Firey scale with weapon speed? If so, it doesn't matter what you put it on. If not, put it on the fastest weapon you can find.

I didn't group much while playing Elemental, just occasional PuGs for group quests. In my experience, chain nuking with bolts while in a group usually pulled a lot of agro, though I was generally grouping with characters that seemed less experienced, so it may not have been a fair test.

Soloing, I generally open at max range with two bolts, then drop a fire totem, then Flameshock. I usually don't start with three bolts because most of the time the mob would reach me before the final bolt cast, and I would get pushback. It seemed to me more effective to get the fire totem and DoT going, and the shock cooldown started. That way Earthshock and Frostshock can be available when necessary.

Oh, and with totems, I generally drop the 2 minute totems (Healing Stream, Mana Spring, etc.) before agroing a mob, but wait to drop shorter lived totems after nuking. I follow this general rule of thumb on any caster shammy. With really short totems, like Stoneclaw or Magma, every second counts. With Searing, I like it to last as long as possible so I don't have to recast it for a second or third mob.

Exelus said...

Excellent tips, especially the bit about the rotation: 2 bolts, flameshock, searing (if even necessary?), then melee. Sounds like win.

And yes, I did notice a tendency to easily pull aggro with LB spam, but waiting a second or two before letting loose seemed to make a big difference. Of course, these little quest groups in my teens won't play-out the same at 70, but am trying to develop good habits early. :)