Feedback: Shaman Updates

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Community Manager
#1 - April 18, 2024, 9:04 p.m.
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In this thread, we’ll be testing and talking about Shamans in The War Within. Look here for posts from the development team as adjustments and bugfixes are made throughout the testing period.

Please note that off-topic or inappropriate posts will be strictly removed.

Thank You

Before we continue testing The War Within, we’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who read and responded to the Hero Talent previews we posted over the last few months.

Looking to the Alpha

In this first Alpha build, every single class has at least one new Hero Talent tree available for testing, with the rest coming in the following weeks. We’re asking testers to initially keep several things in mind:

  • There are UI elements on the talent panel that are placeholder, including things like talent icons, text, or final UI art.
  • Some talents may not be functioning yet, or may be marked as not yet implemented (NYI)
  • New spell visuals and audio for several new Hero Talent trees are still a work in progress. Many trees are using placeholder assets for now that will be updated over the course of Alpha.
  • There are some talents that are not fully tuned yet. This is expected, and we will implement tuning adjustments throughout testing.

The combat design team has two big areas of focus right now that we are prioritizing over other concerns such as tuning or generic class updates/maintenance:

  • Finish building the remainder of the Hero Talent trees that are not yet available.
  • Fix bugs that are blocking testing of new talents.

With the Alpha build being playable and all of the discussion that will occur around the flood of data, we wanted to reiterate that the responses to our blog previews were highly valuable. The feedback we received allowed us to make some early improvements or revisions while we didn’t yet have a public test environment. It allowed us to take some big early swings on certain trees, and then react to early feedback quickly.

Going forward, we aren’t planning to publish any additional Hero Talent previews in blog form, since we’ll add the remaining classes to the Alpha as soon as they reach their ready-to-test state.

Working from Feedback

Several Hero Talent trees have received changes after reading feedback to the blog posts. Some of these were tuning changes to ensure that the Hero Talent tree felt competitive, while others were significant design changes. The feedback thus far has been of great benefit to us.

Going into Alpha, we feel good about the shape of the Hero Talent tree designs. Keeping a consistent number of utility and defensives nodes across all trees, having parity between number of choice nodes, and the overall structure of the trees are things we’re confident in.

We’re also working on tweaking some core class designs as well. In some cases, it was necessary to make adjustments to the class or specialization talent trees before significant work was done on a Hero Talent tree. In other cases, we did work seeking to improve base class talent tree designs.

Alpha Feedback

Now that we’re in Alpha, we’re looking for feedback on how it feels to playtest these trees. We’re specifically curious about:

  • Hero Talents that you feel are “required” for your spec in a type of content, such as raiding or Mythic+, or that push you towards picking a specific tree.
  • Hero Talents that create frustrating or unsatisfying gameplay or rotations for your spec.
  • Hero Talents whose functionality is confusing, unclear, or difficult to track during gameplay.

Throughput comparisons of Hero Talent trees are helpful, but we’re more interested in gameplay, feel, and choice feedback at this stage. Also, when possible, we appreciate it when you focus posts or articles on a single spec and Hero Talent tree, rather than combining feedback about multiple issues.

Again, Thank You

We greatly appreciate all your feedback on Hero Talent trees and are very excited for you to see everything else we’re working on. Thank you!

The World of Warcraft Combat Design Team

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Community Manager
#2 - April 22, 2024, 7:22 p.m.
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At this time, we’re working on the designs for Shamans’ two remaining Hero Talent trees: Totemic and Stormbringer.

We’re pleased with the direction we have planned for them and expect to make these trees available for testing and feedback in the coming weeks.

For Totemic, our plan is to make your existing totems, and perhaps a new one or two, feel more impactful and do some unique things when they’re dropped.

For Stormbringer, we’re working on emphasizing the uniqueness of being the sole lightning caster as much as possible.

Thank you for all of your feedback thus far!

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Community Manager
#3 - May 9, 2024, 8:16 p.m.
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The Stormbringer Hero Talent tree has been implemented in today’s Alpha build.

The Stormbringer is all about the celebration of being the only lightning caster across all classes. Our goal is to to push that fantasy forward with enhancements to your existing lightning spells as well as access to a new spell, Tempest, that occasionally replaces your Lightning Bolt.

Known issues:

  • Tuning, sound, and visuals are not final.
  • The Conductive Energy talent is currently marked NYI and is not functional
  • The final talent, Awakening Storms, has issues with Lightning Bolt overloads while playing Elemental Shaman.

We’re excited for you to try this out and send feedback our way. Thanks!

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Community Manager
#4 - May 14, 2024, 10:07 p.m.
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Salutations, Shamans!

This week we’re unveiling the Totemic Hero talent tree.

Totemic is centered around a replacement spell for Healing Rain and Windfury Totem called Surging Totem. The goal with this totem was to create an option that alleviates some maintenance in your rotation without adding extra abilities as well as having a meaningful new totem to pay attention to.

As you’d expect, the rest of the tree has improvements to totems in various ways and for Enhance, some extra totem summons. For this week, half of the talents have their tooltips in place but are not yet working. The keystone and capstone are fully functional for you to test.

We look forward to your feedback!