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BlizzCon > WoWOct 27, 2015 5:00 pm CT

Totem Talk: Shaman’s BlizzCon wish list

The time of year has come for one of the most anticipated event of the year for Blizzard Entertainment fans, BlizzCon. A multiple day event where we get to share in our love of all things Blizzard Entertainment, while at the same time hitting panels to learn every bit of news there is to have about our favorite games.

If you’re anything like me, you’re eagerly awaiting every bit of news that is going to trickle out from Anaheim. Perhaps you’re even looking forward to seeing if any of the predictions you have made over the course of the last couple of months have been correct. Maybe you’re making a list and hoping that you’ll get to hear more about your most desired features.

I am definitely in the list camp, and I have a series of Shaman-centric items that I am looking forward to hearing about.


Class rebalancing and reconfiguration

This may seem like a no brainer, but class rebalancing is something that I’m keenly interested in. I’m always curious about this process because it always comes at a time where there is a ton of data to sift through from the previous expansion. Right now we’ve had nearly a full year of Warlords, with a volume of logs, parses, and data that can be deciphered, evaluated, and then judged with the judgiest of faces. But with change on the horizon, this is a hopeful and scary time, especially for Shaman.

That space between current expansion and the beta for the next expansion is a bit nebulous and can either be a perfect space to really make positive changes or lead to overcorrecting that can cause a class to overperform or be underwhelming. Balance is, after all, innately tricky when you have now five healing-capable classes to work with.

I’m hopeful that we will hear more about the class rebalancing in a positive way, and I suspect it will have a lot to do with the attempt to recapture the fantasy of the class. With additions or reconfigurations that revolve around the class fantasy, we have a chance to fill in some gaps that we are sorely missing. For healers this may be the lack of a single target cooldown. While our raid cooldowns are stellar as healers, we still very much lack in the department of tank love when it comes to cooldowns. I’m hoping that somewhere in this balancing act we may get a way to trade out one for the other with a glyph, talent, or maybe even something to do with artifact weapons. Then there is the question of encounter design based off of any class changes that do occur.

Regardless of the actual outcome, I expect that there is going to be a lot of time spent class balancing and upcoming changes that I selfishly hope Shaman take up a large chunk of that time. We are after all amazing and should be afforded all time necessary to further that amazingness. Maybe the ability to ride lightning or summon destructive storms could be appropriately grand.

Class halls

I’ve made it publicly clear through multiple mediums that I did not like the end results of garrisons in Warlords of Draenor. I think that it fell short of the potential it had as a feature, and the players and game suffered a bit for it. That is not to take anything away from players who enjoy their garrisons, it is after all just my opinion and only one among millions of voices.

But class halls seem different to me. They seem like they have the potential for awesome storytelling for each class. I know there are quite a large number of people that are excited about class halls, and I expect we’re going to be finding quite a bit of information about them from BlizzCon.

My hope here is that we’re going to get glimmers of quests or NPCs that will show up in the class halls that will advance the class narrative. What I mean by this is something akin to class quests. Shaman used to have some of the earliest and most awesome class quests where we had to commune with the elements to earn the right to call upon them with our totems. It fit the class perfectly and was awesome.

To say I miss that flavor of questing and story involvement may be an understatement. I find myself hoping that we’ll get news of essentially what are class quests that add to the story, and by extension the fantasy, of the class. I think we need more Shaman goodness in this game!


Artifact weapons

Another seemingly no brainer, but one that is at the top of my list. Over the years Warcraft has had a number of features announced that never made it into the live game. This includes such gems as aerial combat, the Ddnce studio, the Azshara Crater, and my personal favorite the Path of the Titans. The path was a way for you to continue character progression after reaching max level by allowing you to customize and kit out your character with different benefits that were not necessarily class specific.

Artifact weapons seem like not only a reincarnation of this idea, but have the potential to even better it. We already know that this is going to be the only weapon we get, and that we are going to level it up and power it up as we progress, but we know precious little than that currently. What I’m looking forward to is more in-depth discussion about what artifact weapons will mean to us and what choices we’ll potentially have. Will they just offer flat bonuses or will they give us the ability to change and transform abilities to better suit our needs?

The concept of a weapon that allows you a certain amount of character customization is enticing to me, and I desperately want more information about this than anything else. We know that our Enhancement friends are getting to wield Doomhammer, but we don’t know what we’re getting yet for Elemental or Restoration. I really hope we’ll get to see what the plan is for these specs. Beyond that I would be interested to see how, if at all, this would potentially change encounter design in terms of the usefulness of Shaman.

There is so much potential and so much information just waiting to be delivered to our waiting eyes and ears, and as the day of the convention looms ever closer I find myself bursting with anticipation like a kid before Christmas waiting to see what presents are waiting for us.

Okay, that’s a bit cliche, so let us just say that I’m incredibly excited.

So that is my list of the things I’m the most eager to hear about at BlizzCon, what are you looking forward to the most? What is the one thing that you want to hear about regarding elemental or restoration shaman? Any predictions for what news about our futures will unfold at the con?

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