Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gone (Ele)Mental

I may have gone insane. Exelus went Elemental last night. This (somewhat) calculated move happened for a few reasons:
  • Level 75 brings Lava Burst, unfortunately not part of the Enhancement rotation
  • Incoming Elemental buffs are making the spec more and more attractive
  • My old level 70 Enhancement epics are being slowly replaced by quest gear anyway
  • An eventual Elemental/Resto dual spec is likely to have more synergy than Enhancement/Resto, both in playstyle and gear
  • If Exelus has ranged DPS and heals covered by dual-spec'ing, then my DK can cover melee DPS and tanking - all bases covered by two toons!
So after a quick visit to the trainer in Exodar, I found myself staring at the talent screen, totally clueless. :)

Talent Selection
Here was my initial talent selection at 75, which is very likely to change. Sure insta-cast Ghost Wolf is nice, but maybe not at the expense of other pew-pew talents in Elemental. Also I didn't notice too much in the way of mana issues, so I will likely let go of Shamanistic Focus - and I'm not sure if Elemental Weapons is worth it at this point. TBD. I do like Thundering Strikes still though, since Elemental seems to be such a crit-heavy build.

Probably tonight I will re-do it all so I can get Thunderstorm - seems like a very nice talent for soloing multi-mob encounters (and PvP?) after the loss of my favorite two emergency buttons.

DPS Rotation
After some trolling at Elitist Jerks it seems that the Elemental rotation is more of a priority system:
  1. Keep Flame Shock ticking (the glyph is mandatory for Elemental)
  2. Lava Burst when it's up
  3. Chain Lightning when it's up
  4. Lightning Bolt spam to fill time
Here's how I distilled that down to two macros, bound to my "2" and "3" keys:

2) /castsequence reset=6 Flame Shock, Lava Burst, Lava Burst
3) /castsequence Chain Lightning, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Bolt

These spells are all bound to other keys as well, but these macros let me mostly alternate between just two keys which reset themselves upon Flame Shock and Chain Lightning cooldowns.

When soloing, I tend to open combat with a regular LB since it has "flight time," then immediately hit 2 twice, then 3 a few times and close with an Earth Shock kill shot ("4" key). In groups, it's similar (usually without Earth Shock), but I keep more of an eye on cooldowns and the overall situation (offhealing, interrupts, etc).

General Impressions
After killing a few hapless mobs in Dragonblight to get my rotation down, I went off to UK and then OK with some guildies and had a great time. It was kinda weird to stand in the back, but there are some advantages - better view of the overall battle, etc.

My gear is pretty lame at the moment, mustering just over 900 spell damage, but I still managed to stay roughly on-par with other DPS while spot-offhealing. Mana didn't seem to be too much of an issue, which was a nice suprise.

I will likely contine this experiment for a while... the 4k Lava Burst crits are sweet, and it's fun to try something new. :)


Aaron J said...

I switched from Enhance to Ele at 75 as well, and I'd recommend something like this at the moment:

Putting your next few points in either Elemental Weapons or Unrelenting Storm as you see fit.

Your build didn't include Elemental Mastery or Elemental Oath! Those are key! :) Thunderstorm is a great mana recharge and method of mob control. Improved Shields is fairly worthless to a Ele Shaman, mana issues aren't a problem due to other talents, so you don't need the small boost to Water Shield, you don't have Earth Shield, and you shouldn't use Lightning Shield.

Hope this helps a bit.

Exelus said...

Thanks Aaron, great feedback! I had the feeling while I was picking talents that I was missing some key things, but I just took a blind noobish stab at it. Heh. :) This will be a learning process, for sure!

Aaron J said...

No prob, hope it helps a bit...heck I'm still new to it, but having a blast for sure!

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog during a bored lunch-break. I too have a druid (was main), spriest (first alt), and shaman (enhance, level fun during the death of raids pre-wrath). Shaman hit 80 because enhance was so much fun. I'm by no means expert, and have gone resto with my was_ret_now_prot_pally level buddy to make the instance grind a tad easier, but when I do enhance I've got almost 15 points in elemental and I do use flame shock and lavaburst in my rotation. I'll try to comment again next time Valkure is enhance.

Yay hybrid love! The bear is now boomchicken and the spriest went discipline. Go figure.

Exelus said...

Hey Val, funny that we have the same toons! I found myself doing much of the same spec flipping as you did - Druid was feral, then balance, then resto for raiding. Priest was shadow until outland, then went disc/holy hybrid for heals. :)

Regarding Lava Burst, at one point in beta LvB was insta-castable via Maelstrom Weapon, so it most defintely was part of the Enh rotation... but sadly they removed it before going live. :(

After doing some research on Elitist Jerks, it looked like they figured out that taking time to ensure FS was ticking and the 1.5 sec cast time of LvB (with potential for pushback) resulted in a net loss in DPS. That's how I arrived at the insta-LB > SS > ES > LL priority system.