Monday, June 7, 2010

Elemental vs Balance inequities

I really enjoyed my day of Elemental Shaman PVP yesterday and it’s made me all the more interested in gearing up with better gear. And if anything it’s also given me insight into the class inequities between the Balance Druid and the Elemental Shaman. I say inequities specifically because now that I’ve taken my head out of the sand and started PVPing as Elemental I can already see several instances where Blizzard hasn’t balanced out these two hybrid classes well enough. I survived several fights yesterday as Elemental I know I would have died in as Balance and I’m wearing Hateful/Naax-10 gear on my Shaman and wearing Wrathful/Relentless and a couple pieces of Furious on my Druid’s Balance suit. Being able to drop a rooting earth bind totem, drop a trailing Grounding totem to suck up any spell if necessary, and insta-ghost wolf is pure win. Tremor totem is just the icing on the cake because I can’t even begin to tell you how annoying having a Lock or Priest come in and fear me about until I’m dead. Obviously I can’t avoid all of that but having Tremor totem available in addition to my trinket helps out tremendously.

Druids are more mobile, and travel form break all roots with the exception of two whereas Ghost wolf doesn’t. But Elemental Shaman lose no offensive capabilities when having to heal whereas the Balance Druid does. A Balance Druid has to drop out of Moonkin form in order to heal, losing 5% crit, additional spell power conversion, and armor. Elemental Shaman have much higher burst DPS as well with the synergy between Flameshock and Lavaburst. Balance Druids have to front load their DPS with IS and MF before beginning casts of Wrath hoping for an early Lunar Eclipse. My problem has always been that I don’t normally ever stand around in one place long enough to use Lunar Eclipse. I rarely use Starfire unless I’m in a big group. When I’m on my own or in a small group I’m casting Wrath and moving as much as possible. And all that movement severely restricts access to my Eclipse effects. As no other class’s DPS is boosted to the extent Eclipse does for Balance Druids that requirement for movement impacts them much more than it does Elemental Shaman. Elemental Shaman need only stop, cast Flame Shock then follow up with a Lavaburst before moving on. Casting Lightning bolt or Chain Lightning are incidental really.

There are so many additional factors I could talk about and maybe I’ll do that in a series of posts rather than make this one too long. But I did want to mention just one final factor in this post regarding the differences between Thunderstorm and Typhoon. I’m going to have to check the tooltips, but my observations are that the knockback from Typhoon are more limited than those I see from Thunderstorm. I have absolutely no trouble blowing people off the cliff at the AB lumber mill with Thunderstorm but I do with Typhoon. One of my favorite tactics yesterday was to run with the crowd to the lumber mill and hang back just a little so I can come in behind the scrum around the flag and use Thunderstorm to clear the area. It’s very funny to watch bodies flying through the air off the cliff. Thunderstorm is uni-directional while Typhoon is mono-directional so the least Blizzard could do is fix Typhoon so that it works at least as good as Thunderstorm does.