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Shaman > WoWJun 24, 2015 7:00 pm CT

Totem Talk: Patch 6.2 Shaman changes

Patch day has come and gone and with it all of the changes we’ve either been anticipating or dreading with the coming of patch 6.2 are here and live. I thought it would be a good time to talk about the patch 6.2 shaman changes that actually made it to live, as well as some things you can look forward to. Truth be told, the only two specs that received an update are restoration and elemental, which aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Funnily enough, it tends to be a pattern that seems to be repeated almost every expansion where both specs wind up getting tweaks right at the last raid tier release. While some may not like it, it’s a far better fate than being forgotten and left to rot.

So what were the final changes? Well for restoration, the Chain Heal changes went through as expected. The base healing was increased by 25% and Riptide no longer boosts Chain Heal. It was more a quality of life change than anything else, but it certainly is something note. It puts a lot more emphasis and power on chain heal, pushing us back into the role of raid or group healer. While I would have loved to have seen something to address the lack of tank healing cooldown in our repertoire, I realistically don’t think we’ll see that until we start talking about the next expansion.

For elemental shaman, Elemental Overload now only increases multistrike damage by 20% instead of 35%, but with a trade off of giving us 10% additional multistrike from all sources, up from 5%. I’m still not entirely sold on this, theoretically if the multistrike value on the gear is high enough, we’ll gain enough to make up for the 15% damage nerf. If there’s not enough multistrike damage showing up, we’ll feel it pretty quickly. The only other change was to Lava Surge, where it will now last for 10 seconds, up from 6 seconds. This should not average out to more free Lava Bursts over the course of an average fight, but would rather help to avoid situations where the buff would expire at inopportune moments. Overall nothing that should have come as a surprise, and nothing that has really changed all that much over the course of the PTR too violently.

patch-6.2-tanaan-jungle-green-mountain-620What to do in Patch 6.2

With patch 6.2 comes the inevitable dive into the Tanaan Jungle to battle the fel forces of the Iron Horde. Questing and defeating rares and digging for treasures await you in the jungle, and as an elemental shaman you’re going to be making short work of any elites you come across. It is really truly awesome how much burst damage we can put out in an opening salvo. While there you can pick up baleful gear, either by purchasing it for apexis crystals from Dawn-Seeker Krisek or Ravenspeaker Thelnaas, or by finding treasures hidden around the jungle or on the bodies of rare mobs.

These are actually pretty nifty if you don’t do a lot of raiding or have a gear gap to make up. When you obtain them, they will activate into a piece of gear appropriate for your loot spec or current spec. These are armor pieces for every slot as well as weapons and trinkets. When you use them, the turn into ilvl 650 blues pieces, but the real fun is if you can buy the upgrade token. Available for 20,000 apexis crystals, you can upgrade these blues into ilvl 695 epics using Empowered Apexis Fragment. If you’ve been doing your apexis dailies all long and have had nothing to spend it on, you certainly do now.

If you’re not really in to the whole jungle adventure thing, there is also a plethora of group content to take part in. Timewalker Dungeon events are weekend long events that bring back classic dungeons from The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. You can actually go into these dungeons and you will be scaled down to the content. Yes it’s content from previous expansions, but at the time these were very challenging and rewarding dungeons. They also had quite a large number of unique and fun item models. One of the cool things about the Timewalker Dungeon events is that it has some pretty awesome rewards — you can actually earn loot from these dungeons that will then scale up to the current level after the dungeon. It should offer interesting challenges to both restoration shaman and elemental shaman as we’ll retain all of our abilities, but just be scaled to the content. Personally, I’m hoping that I can break out Val’anyr and have it be relevant again.

netherfist pet battle

If old content isn’t your thing, you may want to try your hand at Mythic Dungeons. This is a new difficulty level to Draenor dungeons that is designed for those seeking that extra challenge, but in smaller groups. Yes, it’s like Mythic Raiding for dungeons, and if you really want to test your mettle as a healer or DPS this is a good place to do it. The smaller group means that every bit of DPS you squeeze out, every ounce of healing you do, matters that much more. It’s a great test of your abilities and the fights are really scaled to be challenging but not impossible. On the PTR I was using them as a way to push myself as far as learning how to DPS more and more, and I plan on doing the same now that it is live. The rewards are solid as well, rewarding ilvl 685 gear with a chance at receiving ilvl 705 Warforged gear. Not a bad bonus for some hard work.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be talking about all of this content and experiencing it as restoration and as elemental, there are a ton of things to do and quite a number of new challenges to undertake — and some old ones as well. Should be a fun time ahead of us.

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