What to expect when you’re enhancing in 7.0

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The Legion pre-patch is out, and after almost a year, we have something new to do!  However, if trade chat is any indication, very few people bother to read patch notes, or keep up with various class previews from the beta, and thus there are a lot of people confused as hell as to what exactly happened.

This is especially true for anyone who plays a spec that got a substantial rework, and while enhance didn’t get changed as much as, say, survival hunters, it still got a pretty solid changing up.  Thus, here’s the rundown of what’s different, as well as an uncustomary brief overview of what you should take care not to miss before the expansion launches on August 30th.  In a followup post, I’ll go deeper into the pre-expansion events and their rewards, as well as other things to do to keep yourself preoccupied.

Enhance in 7.0

You may recall that, even after the Warlords ability pruning, there were still a lot of abilities in your spellbook.  Three or four pages devoted to abilities, some with situational use, some you’d use all the time, some just for fun (ahh, Far Sight).

The first time you sign into WoW in 7.0 and open your spellbook, you will probably experience some shell shock.  Pun slightly intended, as shocks are gone from enhance.

Without including talents, enhance currently has a total of 21 spells at level 100.  Compared to the 40 or so we had just a week ago, that can feel pretty weird, but I’ve gotten used to it pretty quickly.  A brief overview of what we no longer have:

  • As I mentioned above, shocks are no longer spells for enhance.  Elemental has all three of them now, while resto has Flame Shock to help them play solo.
  • Chain Lightning is also exclusive to elemental now.
  • Speaking of elemental, our elementals are also gone.  Elemental has those exclusively now.  Elemental elemental elemental.
  • Unleash Elements has finally been killed off.  Rejoice!
  • Fire Nova has gone away.  Our AoE with the potential to be tremendously overpowered is no more.  But that’s not too bad, which I’ll go into in a bit.
  • Totems are by and large gone from enhance.  On the plus side, no more Searing Totem.  On the minus, no more Tremor, Capacitor, Earthbind, and other such useful totems.  You can get up to two through talents, but again, that comes later.
  • Ascendance is now a level 100 talent, no longer baseline.
  • Healing Rain is exclusive to resto now, but a level 30 talent combines it and the old Conductivity talent into something a little better, if you wish to get it back.
  • Shamanistic Rage has been removed, replaced by the old Astral Shift talent as a baseline spell.

A lot has been pruned or moved to other specs, but there are still plenty of buttons to press.  But before we get into that, let’s start with our new resource.

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Maelstrom

Way back in the day, mana was important to enhance.  If you burned through your mana, you’d activate Shamanistic Rage to make your abilities free for a time, letting you regen mana by the time it was finished.  From Cata on, however, mana was hardly worth thinking about.  Melee specs that used mana had small mana pools but quick regen, so quick that you’d never run out unless you were spamming heals.  Thus, our primary resource was cooldowns, hitting the best ability available that was off cooldown.

Legion has changed this up substantially, giving enhance (and elemental, but who cares) a new resource called Maelstrom.  It’s more or less a blue reskin of a warrior’s Rage, in that it starts at 0, gets built up through auto attacks and some abilities, gets spent by other abilities, and decays back to 0 when out of combat.  Auto attacks and Windfury attacks will each generate 5 Maelstrom.  Maelstrom is capped at 150, and powers some of your abilities, primarily your melee attacks and AoE.

We do still have a mana bar, which is used for Healing Surge, Cleanse Spirit, and Purge.  This way, we don’t have to generate Maelstrom in order to use some of our spells, while also keeping a limit on how many times we can use them.  For Healing Surge, that means about five in a row before you’ll start running dry.

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Core rotation

In place of shocks, enhance now uses new spells which share the names of the old shaman weapon imbues, which does bring a bit of nostalgia for me!  These spells all have a 10-yard range, so you’ll need to be pretty close to an enemy to use them.  They are:

  • Rockbiter:  Deals moderate nature damage, generates 15 Maelstrom.  No cooldown, so you can spam it as much as you like to generate Maelstrom.
  • Flametongue:  Deals moderate fire damage, enhances your weapon with fire for 16 seconds, causing attacks to deal additional fire damage.  Twelve second cooldown, lowered by haste.
  • Frostbrand:  Deals mild frost damage, enhances your weapon with frost for 16 seconds, causing attacks to slow your target’s movement speed by 50% for three seconds.  Costs 20 Maelstrom.

Without getting into talents (that comes later), you will be using Rockbiter and Flametongue constantly, while Frostbrand won’t be too useful unless you need to debuff an enemy’s speed.

What about melee attacks?  Well, both Stormstrike and Lava Lash are still around, with some slight tweaks:

  • Stormstrike:  Attack with both weapons, dealing substantial physical damage.  Costs 40 Maelstrom, sixteen second cooldown, lowered by haste.
  • Lava Lash:  Off-hand attack, dealing strong fire damage.  Costs 30 Maelstrom, no cooldown.

Thus, you’ll want to use Stormstrike whenever possible, and use Lava Lash to burn off excess Maelstrom so you don’t run into the cap.

A general pattern can be seen through these core abilities.  You will use Rockbiter to build up Maelstrom, while using Stormstrike and Lava Lash to burn it off, keeping yourself buffed with Flametongue (and Frostbrand).  These four (or five) abilities are the core of your toolkit, the buttons you’ll be pressing more than any other.

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Passives

Now that we have the primary abilities laid out, let’s talk about passives and how they work.  Some should be familiar, others are new.

  • Windfury:  Basically unchanged.  Each of your main hand attacks has a 5% chance to trigger two additional attacks for 80% damage each.
  • Maelstrom Weapon:  This is just the spellbook informing you of what I mentioned above, how auto attacks and Windfury attacks generate 5 Maelstrom each.
  • Reincarnation:  Same as before, resurrect yourself on death with 20% health and mana, with a 30-minute cooldown.  Helpfully, this now comes with a debuff when you die that lets combat-rezzing classes know that you can get yourself up!
  • Stormbringer:  A new passive.  Each of your main hand attacks has a 5% chance to reset the remaining cooldown on Stormstrike, and cause your next Stormstrike to cost 50% less Maelstrom (so, 20) and incur no cooldown.  Effectively, this means you can immediately use Stormstrike twice in a row, provided you have 60 Maelstrom saved up.  Very fun to have this pop up.
  • Stormlash:  A new passive, though not as powerful as Stormlash Totem was in Mists.  While your weapons are enhanced, your attacks have a chance to grant Stormlash to 2 party or raid members, causing their attacks to deal additional nature damage.  Always good to bring more damage to a fight.
  • Mastery: Enhanced Elements:  In addition to having the same fire/frost/nature damage boost as before (baseline 16% more damage), our mastery now has a second effect, giving a baseline 1% increased chance to trigger Windfury or Stormbringer.  As an example of how these values scale, at 41.33% mastery, my shaman had a 2.59% increased chance for my passives to trigger, so it’s about 6% of your mastery.

Stormbringer is similar to the Flame Shock perk from Warlords, except it affects Stormstrike instead of Lava Lash.  And I’d imagine raid groups will like to have you around for your Stormlash effect.

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AoE

As anyone who played enhance in Warlords knows, we were designed into a niche during this past expansion, that niche being fantastic (some might say OP) AoE at the expense of great single target damage.  Unfortunately, that was not a niche most of us wanted to play, as there were very few fights where we could really shine (Tectus comes to mind, but I’ll be damned if I can remember another).  Thus, it could be a challenge to prove that it was worthwhile to take you along.

Our AoE is much simpler now, and while it’s not quite as strong, it’s still pretty good.  A new spell, Crash Lightning, is your only baseline AoE spell, costing 20 Maelstrom and with a six second cooldown (lowered by haste).  It electrocutes all enemies in front of you, dealing a mild amount of nature damage to each one.  However, if you hit two or more enemies with the spell, you’ll gain another enhancement, which causes Stormstrike and Lava Lash to do an identical amount of damage to all enemies nearby, letting you continue to pump out AoE as long as you have Maelstrom to spend.

The spell does take a bit of getting used to, but the benefit is that our AoE is much simpler now.  A single button press and you can continue your rotation, which also keeps your AoE going!  The only downside is that it takes substantial amounts of Maelstrom to sustain our AoE.

The Icy Veins guide for enhance seemed to suggest you should use this even on single target fights, but I’m not sure it’s worthwhile.  I suppose if you use it and it happens to hit a second enemy you might not have seen, that will definitely mean additional damage you might have missed out on, but if you’re sure you’re only fighting one target, I don’t see much point.  Even Frostbrand will deal more damage for the same amount of Maelstrom.

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Other abilities

With all of those short range abilities, you might be wondering how we’re supposed to pull something from a distance.  Well, the answer comes in Lightning Bolt, which has been slightly reworked.  It no longer has a cooldown and has a 40-yard range, but on the downside it deals a pitiful amount of damage.  But that’s not a big deal when all you’re trying to do is pull something.  It also works great for blowing up mobs in old content!  I went out to farm up some Essences of Water for the Azeroth enchant illusion book, and it was quite a blast nuking every water elemental instantly from so far away, only limited by the GCD.  The people I grouped up with were happy too.

For cooldowns, Feral Spirits are still around, but slightly reworked.  They only last fifteen seconds on a two minute cooldown, and they no longer heal you when they attack.  Instead, they generate 5 Maelstrom with each attack, so they’re still a pretty good damage cooldown.  Bloodlust/Heroism remains unchanged.

For healing, we still have our old standby of Healing Surge.  It costs mana and heals for a mild amount, but if you have 20 Maelstrom, it becomes an instant cast.  Thus, we can still instant-heal in combat, and do so repeatedly!  The downside, as mentioned before, is that consuming Maelstrom does not lower the mana cost, so you only get about five casts off before you have to wait for your mana to regen.  Cleanse Spirit continues to remove all curses on an eight second cooldown.  Ancestral Spirit now resurrects players without them having to wait for a spawn timer if they’ve been dying a lot recently.

Our sole defensive cooldown is Astral Shift, letting you take 40% less damage for eight seconds, on a 1.5 minute cooldown.  Farewell, Shamanistic Rage, you will be missed.

For movement, Ghost Wolf remains the same, letting you move 30% faster until you switch back.  It also has two old glyphs baked into the spell now:  you can’t be reduced below 100% movement speed while in wolf form, and you can use it while dead!  Spirit Walk gives the same 60% increased speed (that can stack with Ghost Wolf) and removal of movement impairing effects on a one minute cooldown, but it now only lasts for eight seconds, as opposed to the previous fifteen.  Kind of a bummer.

Wind Shear is the same as before, interrupting and silencing that school of magic for three seconds, twelve second cooldown.  Purge is also identical, letting you remove a magic effect from an enemy.

Hex has a shorter cooldown of 30 seconds, and still incapacitates an enemy for a minute.  You can also pick up several cosmetic variants of Hex, if you want to transform your target into other creatures.  If you were using the Glyph of the Compy before and want that Hex variant back, speak to Elementalist Sharvak at the Throne of the Elements in Outland’s Nagrand, where you can purchase a book teaching you the spell, as well as toys that mimic other old minor glyphs!  Other Hex variants will likely be available in Legion.

Finally, for miscellaneous spells, Water Walking, Astral Shift, and Far Sight are all still in our spellbook, and are all unchanged, aside from the Glyph of Far Sight now being baked into the spell, meaning you can use it indoors and outdoors by default!

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Talents

One of the other major changes to class design comes in how talents are designed.  Specs now have a lot less overlap with regards to talents, and many specs have most of their talents unique to themselves.  All three shaman specs, for example, only share the tier 45 talents and Ascendance.  By and large, each spec now has its own set of unique talents.

The massive ability prune/reshuffle also means that there’s more room in talents to fit in more active abilities.  In fact, every row except the level 75 row has an active ability choice in it, if you want more buttons to press, and one of the level 75 talents even adds another button into your rotation, so you can make your playstyle as active or passive as you want.

As a point of reference, you no longer need the old Tomes of the Clear Mind to change talents around.  If you’re in any area that gives rested XP (inns, cities, your garrison, your order hall in Legion), you can freely swap talents as you wish.  If you’re out in the field and need to change talents, you will need to get some items from a scribe to help out.  The new Tome of the Clear Mind will grant you a minute of talent changing, while the Codex of the Clear Mind can be deployed to do the same for nearby players as well.

So what talents should you pick?  I’ll give my recommendations here, but feel free to make your own choices and come up with a build that suits you.

First, if you just want a cheat sheet to get you started, here are my recommendations:

  • Level 15:  Boulderfist
  • Level 30:  Feral Lunge if solo, Wind Rush Totem for groups
  • Level 45:  Situational, but Lightning Surge Totem is a good default
  • Level 60:  Hailstorm
  • Level 75:  Tempest if solo, Empowered Stormlash for groups
  • Level 90:  Crashing Storm
  • Level 100:  Landslide by default, Ascendance if you need a cooldown or distance damage

Now let’s go in-depth and explore all the options.

Level 15

Level 15 talents give some modifications to your basic rotation:

  • Windsong:  A short range spell like your others, deals substantial nature damage and enhances your weapons with wind, increasing attack speed by 35% for 20 seconds.  45 second cooldown.
  • Hot Hand:  Passive.  Melee attacks enhanced by Flametongue have a chance to make your next Lava Lash cost no Maelstrom and deal double damage.
  • Boulderfist:  Replaces Rockbiter.  A stronger spell that deals more nature damage than Rockbiter, and also enhances your weapons for 10 seconds, increasing crit chance by 5% and all damage by 5%.  Generates 25 Maelstrom.  Two charges, six second recharge, lowered by haste.

My personal pick is Boulderfist.  It’s easy to use, the extra Maelstrom generated offsets the loss of not being able to spam Rockbiter, and the buffs are pretty great.  Hot Hand is a little underwhelming, it doesn’t proc often enough to make it feel worthwhile, so it doesn’t really replicate the feeling of the Flame Shock Draenor perk.  Windsong is an alright spell, but I don’t feel like adding another short cooldown to my rotation.

Level 30

Level 30 talents provide a variety of utility spells:

  • Rainfall:  Drops a healing rain at a targeted location, restoring health to up to six allies over 10 seconds.  Stormstrike and Lava Lash extend its duration by three seconds, up to 30.  Ten second cooldown.
  • Feral Lunge:  Charge at an enemy as a wolf, dealing moderate damage.  8-25 yard range, 30 second cooldown.
  • Wind Rush Totem:  Summons a totem at a targeted location for 15 seconds, granting allies who pass within ten yards of it 60% increased speed for five seconds.  Two minute cooldown.

When it comes to group content, Wind Rush Totem will likely be your talent of choice.  It can even be useful solo, letting you get two sprints back to back with Spirit Walk and the totem.  However, I really like Feral Lunge when playing solo.  It’s nice to have a gap closer!  Rainfall is another talent that’s okay, but not too exciting.  You might help out your healers some, but it doesn’t seem all that useful, particularly in movement-heavy fights.

Level 45

Level 45 talents give you a choice between three totems that provide AoE crowd control:

  • Lightning Surge Totem:  Summons a totem at a targeted location which explodes after two seconds to stun all enemies within eight yards for five seconds.  Basically an updated Capacitor Totem.  45 second cooldown.
  • Earthgrab Totem:  Relatively unchanged.  Summons a totem at a targeted location for 20 seconds.  It pulses every two seconds, rooting all enemies within ten yards for five seconds.  Previously rooted enemies are instead slowed 50%.  30 second cooldown.
  • Voodoo Totem:  Replaces Hex.  Summons a totem at a targeted location for ten seconds.  The totem will hex all enemies within eight yards, but if the enemy leaves the area, they can break the hex.  30 second cooldown.

By default, I would pick Lightning Surge Totem, as an AoE stun is usually more useful than an AoE root/slow, and Voodoo Totem reduces your total CC options by replacing Hex.  I haven’t tested this yet, but it seems as though the Voodoo Totem does still let the enemy have control of movement, which would allow them to free themselves.  I’ll need to try it out before laying down a final verdict, but for now, stick with Lightning Surge.

Level 60

Level 60 talents don’t have much of a theme, but all increase your throughput in some way:

  • Lightning Shield:  The classic shaman spell, with a slight twist.  Now, it not only triggers when hit by a melee attack, but also when you deal melee damage, hitting for mild nature damage.  Lasts for an hour.
  • Ancestral Swiftness:  Gives you 10% more haste.
  • Hailstorm:  Adds another enhancement to your Frostbrand attack, causing your weapon attacks to deal a decent amount of frost damage, much more than Flametongue does.

According to Icy Veins, haste has diminishing returns after about 17%, so Ancestral Swiftness might not be as good as it would have been a week ago.  Not a bad choice necessarily, but maybe not as great.  Hailstorm is a better choice if you have 17% haste from gear, adding more damage to every attack you do.  Lightning Shield is at least a little more interesting than it was before, but not interesting enough to recommend.

Level 75

Level 75 talents don’t have a theme either, but they’re all passives that change things up a bit:

  • Tempest:  Stormbringer now affects the next two Stormstrikes.
  • Overcharge:  You can now consume up to 60 Maelstrom and cast Lightning Bolt for up to 1500% increased damage, but it gains a nine second cooldown.
  • Empowered Stormlash:  Stormlash now spreads to an additional target (three total) and deals 20% more damage.

If you want to bring back the “MW5+LB” part of our old rotation, you can take Overcharge.  I personally wouldn’t as I find having the ability to tag on demand is much more useful, plus it’s just another button to press.  It also uses a lot of Maelstrom.  Tempest and Empowered Stormlash are both excellent choices, Tempest being especially good for solo play.  I’d imagine most raid groups will probably want you to take Empowered Stormlash, but it’s up to you.

Level 90

Level 90 talents affect your ability to AoE:

  • Crashing Storm:  Crash Lightning leaves an electrified field behind, damaging enemies within for a moderate amount of nature damage over six seconds.
  • Fury of Air:  Creates a vortex eight yards around you, dealing moderate damage every second to enemies within and slowing their movement by 30% for three seconds.  Costs 5 Maelstrom to activate, plus 5 per second.
  • Sundering:  Shatters a line of earth in front of you, dealing substantial damage and knocking enemies to the side.  Costs 60 Maelstrom, 40 second cooldown.

Crashing Storm is the easiest option to use, and the damage fields it leaves behind will help you keep ticking away at enemies.  Fury of Air requires you to be up close, which may not work well if the enemies are damaging you in some way, but it provides a sustained option that you can pretty much keep going constantly.  Sundering just feels awkward, and it might mess up your tank’s positioning, which they wouldn’t be thrilled with.

Level 100

Level 100 talents are three different flavors of increasing your throughput:

  • Ascendance:  Basically the same as the ability from before, except you generate 10 Maelstrom per second while transformed.  15 second duration, 3 minute cooldown.
  • Landslide:  Rockbiter (or Boulderfist, if you chose that talent) now also enhances your weapon, giving 8% increased agility for 10 seconds.
  • Earthen Spike:  Summons a spike under an enemy, dealing substantial damage and increasing the physical and nature damage you do to the target by 10% for 10 seconds.  Costs 30 Maelstrom, 20 second cooldown.

Landslide is a very solid default choice.  The long duration on the buff means that even if you pick Boulderfist, you can always have the buff active, so it’s effectively 8% increased agility at all times, which makes all your attacks more powerful.  Earthen Spike is an alright talent, though the duration of the debuff and cooldown means that you’ll only have it up half the time, and it’s another button you’ll have to add to your rotation.  Ascendance has its uses, either if you want another cooldown for burst damage or you’re engaging in a fight that requires some distance attacking.

I would definitely say that there aren’t really any bad talents per se.  Some may be a little underwhelming, but none are outright bad.  Do some experimentation and find what works for you!

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How does it play?

When I learned that enhance would be undergoing a major rework in Legion, I was a bit worried.  Would the spec still feel like the enhance I’ve come to know and love?  Would I be turned off from ever playing my favorite spec again?  Would I actually main another spec, another class?

My fears have been quelled, for the most part.

While it does feel a little different, by and large enhance still has enough of the same feel to make you instantly recognize the spec’s identity:  a spellcaster/brawler hybrid.  The loss of some of our ranged ability is felt at times, but with Lightning Bolt being both instant cast and 40-yard range, at least tagging isn’t an issue.

At its core, enhance is about slinging the elements at your enemies before walloping them with your weapons in a flurry of rapid attacks, and it certainly remains so.  The pace of combat can be pretty frenetic, particularly when Stormbringer triggers and you’re firing off one Stormstrike after another.  And if you keep getting Stormbringer procs, even more so.  While our AoE is no longer as magnificent as it was, our single target throughput will likely be on par with other classes now, and we should hopefully no longer be relegated to niche fights.

I also enjoy that Blizzard has brought back, well, enhancement.  Enhancement used to mean both buffing yourself and others with your abilities (I secured a raid spot in Wrath thanks to my slightly better strength/agility buff, and because I knew when to hit Bloodlust), but that flavor has been lost along the way.  Now, your spells enhance your melee attacks, while your melee attacks enhance your party.  It’s pretty nice, I have to admit.

Soloing is more or less the same, minus some negatives.  On the positive side, going up against bosses is pretty much the same as ever, though our burst potential is now more RNG.  If you get a bunch of Stormbringer procs in a row (particularly Tempest-enhanced procs), you’ll blow up a boss in no time at all.  Barring that, it will take you a little longer to down a boss than it did before; the loss of one of our cooldowns (Fire Elemental) and the shortening of another (Feral Spirits) really lowers our burst potential.  By and large, soloing is not affected too seriously.

The biggest QoL update for soloing comes from our AoE changes.  One of the hardest parts about killing trash before was not killing an enemy with Flame Shock before you could spread it to others.  And sometimes hitting Lava Lash would trigger your autoattack first, killing the mob without spreading Flame Shock.  You could always use Magma Totem to whittle down trash, but then you’d get no loot.  Crash Lightning solves these problems by letting you press one button (two, if you need to generate a bit of Maelstrom) and destroy trash with ease.  And of course, you get loot credit!  Trash farming is now an absolute breeze for enhance.

For negatives, I will say that I miss having elementals.  I was sad in Cata when I had to stop using my Fire Elemental thanks to the introduction of Searing Flames (meaning any other fire totem besides Searing was a DPS loss, even our big elemental cooldown), and was ecstatic to have it back again in Mists.  To lose it seemingly permanently now unless I go elemental (ha, as if) is kind of a bummer.  I also miss losing so many totems.  Now we only have one totem by default thanks to our level 45 talents, and can only have up to two.  They go through all the trouble of making totem mechanics smarter, then they remove them all!  You just can’t win.

There’s also a bit of a survivability issue when it comes to soloing.  Previously, I was able to handle 10-man Mists raids with relative ease, and could solo ToT up to Durumu (I’d kinda quit there because I had to be damn lucky to get past him).  After the patch, I went to ToES to try to get one of the new enchant illusion transmogs, only to find I couldn’t get past the first boss, and that was on normal!  Obviously these raids won’t be a problem at 110, but it does kind of suck to lose some of my soloing ability like that, particularly when the new transmog system is begging to be completed.

The main issue here comes from a reduction in our healing/damage reduction toolkit.  For one, the removal of Draenor perks means that instant Healing Surges are no longer doubled in effectiveness.  So, while we can spam heals like crazy if we have enough Maelstrom to do so, the high mana cost and small mana pool means that we can only heal about half our health at most before going OOM, assuming no crits.  And Feral Spirits no longer heal on attack, causing us to lose another source of heals.  Even the minor benefit we would have gotten from a Healing Stream Totem is no more.

We’ve also lost a damage reduction cooldown in Shamanistic Rage, and have only Astral Shift to provide some assistance there.  This means we can’t choose to stagger damage reductions for a sustained period of lower damage, nor can we stack them for a short period of high damage reduction.  I also miss the self-clear of magic debuffs from the Shamanistic Rage glyph, as well as the Flame Shock glyph which basically took care of healing for me in a lot of old raids.

It seems to me as though, like many other specs, enhance may require some leech in order to have the survivability to solo effectively.  It’s just a shame that they nerfed the Kazzak leech trinket so it doesn’t provide nearly so much.

Naturally, these problems aren’t an issue in very old content, and anything from Cata and back is still a cakewalk.  But I’ll have to see at 110 how easy or hard it is to tackle Mists soloing, and maybe try some Warlords as well.  Maybe these quirks will be patched up with Doomhammer talents.

Overall, though, enhance feels like enhance, and that’s what I care about most.  The rest can come in time.

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Glyphs

In case you hadn’t noticed the missing tab in your talents window, or if you haven’t bothered to read the patch notes, major glyphs are gone.  I’m not entirely sure why Blizzard went this route, but I’d wager it could be one of two things, or perhaps both.  First, perhaps they didn’t want to continue trying to keep every glyph relevant, and second, maybe they wanted to make it clear that every, say, enhancement shaman could be expected to have the same toolkit.  I haven’t seen anything where they laid out their reasoning, but I suppose it doesn’t matter either way.

As mentioned above, some glyphs have been baked into their respective spells; for example, Far Sight can now always be used indoors, and Ghost Wolf will keep you at or above 100% movement speed at all times and can be used while dead.  Others are gone completely.

Minor glyphs still exist, however.  Instead of only being able to choose from three at a time, though, you can now activate as many glyphs as you want to customize the appearance of your character’s abilities.  To use glyphs, right click on the glyph and your spellbook will open, then click on the highlighted spell to modify it.

Minor glyphs for shaman that can be obtained now are:

  • Deluge:  Gives Chain Heal a watery appearance.  Resto only.
  • Lingering Ancestors:  Resurrecting someone with Ancestral Spirit causes a ghostly ancestor to follow them for a short time.
  • Spirit Raptors:  Your spirit wolves are replaced with spirit raptors.  Enhance only.
  • Spectral Wolf:  Alters your Ghost Wolf transformation to resemble a blue spectral wolf.

Ones you will have to wait for Legion’s release are:

  • Critterhex:  Your Hex on critters lasts for one day and can be cast on multiple critters.  Recipe purchased from K’huta in the Dalaran sewers (new Dalaran, not old, of course).
  • Flickering:  Reduces the size of your Fire Elemental by 15%.  Elemental only.  Recipe purchased from Elementalist Sharvak at the Throne of the Elements in Outland’s Nagrand (recipe can be purchased now, but requires Legion inks).
  • Pebbles:  Reduces the size of your Earth Elemental by 15%.  Elemental only.  Recipe is apparently a world drop, likely only on the Broken Isles.
  • Spectral Raptor:  Alters your Ghost Wolf transformation to resemble a blue spectral raptor.  Recipe purchased from Jang Quillpaw in Dalaran (again, new Dalaran).

In addition, various toys and tomes can also be used to bring back other minor glyphs which granted you abilities.  These are:

  • Raging Elemental Stone:  Summons a random Pandaren elemental familiar to follow you, duplicating the old Glyph of Elemental Familiars.  Purchased from Elementalist Sharvak at the Throne of the Elements in Outland’s Nagrand, or if you don’t feel like taking the trip, Flamesmith Lanying in your order hall will also sell it in Legion.
  • Tadpole Cloudseeder:  Summons a rain of frogs at a target location, duplicating the old Glyph of Rain of Frogs.  Purchased from the same sources as above.
  • Vol’jin’s Serpent Totem:  Summons one of Vol’jin’s Serpent Wards at your feet, which pelts critters within 25 yards with fireballs.  Somewhat duplicates the old Glyph of Serpent Ward.  Purchased from the same sources as above.
  • Waterspeaker’s Totem:  Summons a water shield around you for one hour, duplicating the old Water Shield ability (which got the axe).  Can only be used while in resto spec.  Purchased from the same sources as above.
  • Tome of Hex: Compy:  Visual variant of Hex, transforming your target into a compy (baby raptor) instead of a frog, duplicating the old Glyph of the Compy.  Purchased from the same sources as above.
  • Tome of Hex: Cockroach:  Visual variant of Hex, transforming your target into a cockroach.  Purchased from Cravitz Lorent, a vendor that rarely spawns in old Dalaran’s sewers, possibly new Dalaran’s as well.  He’s a rare spawn but he stays up for a while, with reports of him staying spawned for about an hour once he finally does.   He sells a couple of other toys for other classes as well.
  • Tome of Hex: Snake, Tome of Hex: Spider:  Visual variants of Hex, transforming your target into a snake and spider respectively.  Locations for these are currently unknown.

I’m not really missing major glyphs too much (apart from the Flame Shock glyph, made soloing super easy), and I’m glad that there are still minor glyphs to give you some customization.  Hopefully, Blizzard will continue to come up with creative minor glyphs for players to use in the future.

What to do?

I’ve decided to split the “here’s everything else” section into another post, but as a preview of what to expect, here are some suggestions for stuff to do until Legion drops in just under three weeks:

  • Go fill out your transmog collection and come up with outfits even easier than before.
  • Level a demon hunter (if you’ve prepurchased Legion).
  • Sail to the Broken Shore to take the fight to the Legion.
  • Tackle questlines that take you to Dalaran, Karazhan, and Ulduar.
  • Kill dozens upon dozens of demons that are invading various zones, loot tons of gear.
  • Run post-nerf Hellfire Citadel for last-minute leveling gear.
  • Take advantage of the new tag system to farm tons of things without breaking a sweat.
  • Level your cooking (and first aid) on the cheap.
  • Collect pamphlets.
  • Farm dreadlords.
  • Become a dreadlord.
  • Speculate that Jaina is a dreadlord.

For the full details, see my next post.


So there you have it!  A (relatively) brief survival guide for returning enhance players, as well as a preview of my next article!

I’m going to try to get back into the swing of things with writing blog posts again.  I’ve been wanting to write about the Legion beta for months now, but I literally only just got in right before the pre-patch, and between the pre-patch and life things, I haven’t had the time to mess around on the beta servers beyond getting my artifact and opening my order hall.  So it goes.  I may not end up playing much of the beta at all, since I’m pretty sure I’m not going to find any bugs in the next month and I’d just be replaying everything in a month anyway.  If I do play enough to warrant a blog post, I’ll write something, but don’t count on it.  I probably won’t get much farther than exploring what’s new in Legion’s Dalaran, or a preview of the shaman order hall at the Maelstrom.

Also, my soloing guides are now incredibly out of date.  I’ll have to go back and rewrite those with our new abilities in mind, but it may be a while before I decide to tackle that beast.  Maybe not until after I hit 110.  Suffice it to say that nothing from Classic through Cata poses a challenge, and while your health might actually dip below 100%, it’s nothing you can’t deal with.

I may also start writing about other topics on this blog as well, but I’ll clearly mark those as off-topic if I do.  This is an enhance blog first and foremost, and I won’t ever change that.  But sometimes I may feel the need to go off on a tangent or something.  Rest assured, these tangents would be restricted to topics like books or shows or movies I enjoy and other generally nerdy things like that.  We’ll see!

That about does it for now though.  Until next time, keep on enhancing!

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