Elemental in 8.1

#1 - Sept. 10, 2018, 5:49 p.m.
Blizzard Post
Hey all, so I’ve heard many people talking about how they’re really hopeful for the changes coming to ele in 8.1. As such, I wanted to start a thread and discuss what kinds of things people are looking for - what is it that you feel the current Elemental is missing?

Just to start it off, here’s my own list of changes I’d like to see. Note that I don’t think current ele really needs a massive redesign, just some fine tuning to make it as fun as it has been in the past.

Core Rotation
Just for a quick summary of what I’d like to see with the core rotation is: Make Lava Burst a fundamental part of the Ele toolkit – move echo baseline and make LvB directly interact with other abilities in your rotation. Additionally, add Lava Burst into the AoE rotation to create some more interesting gameplay.

1) Echo of the Elements going baseline: Lava Burst is one of the most iconic abilities of the spec (the only thing that could really compete with it is Chain Lightning). Pretty much all of my suggestions here will be focused around Lava Burst, and as such I think it is really time to make the ability have the modern design that having two stacks of an ability gives.

2) Master of the Elements going baseline and fire spells added (nature, frost, or fire): This would introduce the idea of “lava burst weaving”. That is, we’ll want to try our best to cast lava burst before every high priority spell (earthquake, earth shock, flame shock). Obviously, that won’t always be possible, but it would introduce some high-level gameplay for stronger players to min-max.
Master of the Elements would be very similar in design to the old Elemental Focus, but would some distinct advantages:
  • You only gain one stack instead of two – forcing the player to really think about what the best spell to buff would be whenever LvB is up.
  • You gain the buff on-cast, instead of on-hit. With a lot of our highest priority spells being instant casted, this is an important difference that improves playability.
Note: There’s also currently a bug with MotE where it does not work with Earthquake, despite it being a Nature school spell.

3) Introduce Lava Burst to the AoE rotation: Our current AoE rotation is a very dull build/spend rotation between CL and EQ – losing Lightning Rod removed an interesting proc that I think needs to be compensated for. Introducing Lava Burst to AoE would add a ton of new mechanics to play around, by bringing them over from single target. We’d get to play with lava surge procs, get to weave with master of the elements, and mastery scaling would benefit from adding a new builder that could scale in a more linear fashion (compared to Chain Lightning, where you get a new overload chance with each new target).
To do this, I’d suggest something like the following: Lava Burst explodes upon hitting its target, hitting all nearby targets for 60%(?) damage and maelstrom gain.

4) Remove the Flame Shock Dependency for LvB's Guaranteed Crit: Flame Shock is already plenty high priority to stand on its own, between the damage and it triggering lava surge. Removing the crit allows us to Lava Burst targets that do not have flame shock on them, which would help the spec feel better when swapping targets. We’d then be able to decide whether or not to apply this DoT based on how long we expect the target to live, instead of it acting as a barrier for even casting LvB (e.g. if the target will survive about 5 seconds, it probably isn’t worth it, but if it will survive closer to 12 opening with a flame shock would be great – because flame shock already is a good ability).
This was already a change we had expected to get in BfA, because it was there for almost the entirety of beta. It feels good to have, and hopefully we can get it reintroduced.
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Game Designer
#50 - Sept. 18, 2018, 9:59 p.m.
Blizzard Post
As the patch 8.1.0 information starts to comes out, we wanted to share the current plans of what is being changed for Elemental Shaman.

Core Ability Changes:
  • Shifted some damage from Earth Shock to Lightning Bolt.Elemental Shaman is the only lightning based spell caster. However, over time, Lightning Bolt has gone from being a significant portion of your total damage to one of your least damaging abilities. It should be a powerful and effective spell for you to cast, and not something that feels like a burden to your rotation. Earth Shock will still be your hardest hitting spell, but Lightning Bolt should feel a bit better as part of your rotation.

  • Lava Burst has had its functionality changed behind the scenes to allow an in-flight Lava Burst to gain a guaranteed critical strike from a Flame Shock cast after the Lava Burst has been cast.This change should help your initial spells cast against a monster, boss, enemy player, or whatever else feel much better. You can cast Lava Burst before combat, and when it finishes, cast Flame Shock, and the Lava Burst will gain the critical strike benefit from your Flame Shock.

    Talent Changes:
  • The level 15 talent Elemental Blast will now always pick a different secondary stat buff when causing an Elemental Overload.
  • The level 30 talent Master of the Elements can now also benefit a Physical damage spell, allowing it to increase the damage of an Earthquake.
  • The level 100 talent Stormkeeper now also increases the damage of your next two Lightning Bolts by 250% in addition to its existing effects. This damage bonus will also apply to the Elemental Overloads of Lightning Bolt from Stormkeeper.The Master of the Elements and Stormkeeper changes are primarily to help keep balance between single target damage and area damage of the talent rows. Master of the Elements will now affect your next Earthquake spell to keep the talent more competitive when dealing area damage, and Stormkeeper will grant you two really powerful Lightning Bolts that also cause Elemental Overloads when fighting just a single target.

  • The level 15 talent Exposed Elements has been removed, and the level 90 talent Earthen Rage has taken its place
  • The level 60 talent High Voltage has been removed.
  • New talent in the level 60 row: Call the Thunder
  • New talent in the level 90 row: Surge of PowerWhen looking at the whole sum of changes made to Elemental Shaman this expansion, we feel that some of the passive talent choices weren’t holding up well, and had no interaction with how you played the game at all. We’re adding some experimental new talents that should allow some additional decision making on how you choose to use some of your abilities. Please keep in mind that both of these new talents, as well as all of the other changes, are still under iteration and may change entirely throughout the patch 8.1.0 PTR cycle.
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    Community Manager
    #147 - Sept. 19, 2018, 12:40 a.m.
    Blizzard Post
    Just as a quick update, here's the current version of the experimental new talents that will be hitting the PTR soon. Reminder that these are experimental, the PTR is for testing, we'll probably iterate on or completely replace these designs, etc.

    Call the Thunder - Your maximum Maelstrom is increased by 30, and the Maelstrom cost of Earth Shock and Earthquake is reduced by 10.

    Surge of Power - Earth Shock also enhances your next spell:
    • Flame Shock: The next cast does not incur a cooldown.
    • Lightning Bolt: Your next 3 casts will cause an additional Elemental Overload.
    • Lava Burst: Reduces the cooldown of your Fire (or Storm) Elemental by 6 sec.
    • Frost Shock: Roots the target in place for 6 sec.