Totem Talk: Sharas’dal, Scepter of Tides
The Legion alpha is still moving forward and we are inching ever so much closer to the beta phase and then release. I’m not sure about you, but I can’t wait. In the meantime, I’ve had to content myself with pouring over all of the news and updates that have been coming out.
Now since we’re still in the alpha phase, as one would expect, things have been changing rather frequently. Talents get moved around, spells removed or added and even major items like Artifacts get renamed. I expect them to keep changing, but that won’t stop me from talking about some of the cool things we’re seeing, especially with our newly renamed artifact Sharas’dal, Scepter of Tides.
I’ve gushed about it a few times, but I’m really pleased that the Restoration Shaman artifact got renamed. The Scepter of Azshara just didn’t seem to fit, but the new name is ripe with possibility as to where it comes from and who wielded it before. That’s better than I could have expected. Now, while I expect that the abilities granted by our artifact are going to get some name changes as well in the future, that doesn’t change the fact that we can look at them now and see the direction in which the key abilities are heading.
Gift of the Queen, an ability that I again suspect will get a new name, has been around since the artifact was first revealed. It hasn’t changed at all, and still serves the same function of consuming Healing Rain to heal all allies in it for a large amount. I’m hoping that the effect sticks around, because I still see value in this. How many times have you set a healing rain only to have the group you put it under have to move because of a fight mechanic? If you’re like me, that tends to be quite often. Being able to consume what’s left into a quick heal and then lay it somewhere else at least lets me feel like we’re not wasting the mana on an useless heal with no one standing in it.
Tidal Pools was an artifact ability that was incredibly vague the first time we encountered it. Now though, we finally have some more information regarding what it actually does. Instead of leaving a pool, it will leave a Tidal Totem at the feet of whoever the ability triggers on. The totem will then go ahead and do some healing until the spell duration runs out. The amount healed, at least in the tool-tip, says it heals for a flat value, and it doesn’t say if it has a duration. No matter what, I think it’s a cool little ability and hey, more totems!
Cumulative Upkeep is something else we’ve seen already, and it remains unchanged. It continues to give a stacking buff that increases the healing received from Healing Tide Totem on those that are affected by our tide. There still hasn’t been any mention of anything that synergizes with it quite yet. I personally would like to see some more interactions here, while the artifact trait is potentially powerful on its own, having things that increase the number of targets affected or increase the totem’s duration would make it that much more potent and that much more attractive as a trait.
Decree of the Queen is new, and a little interesting. Yet another trait I suspect will be getting a rename, it augments Healing Stream Totem, which has been a staple ability for a long time. When a target gets healed by our totem, they also get a heal over time effect. While it would be nice to control things like that, at the very least we get another HoT. This also has some potentially cool synergies when it comes in terms of talents and minor artifact traits.
Rushing Streams lets healing stream totem affect two targets at once, while Echo of the Elements lets you have additional chargers for healing stream totem increasing the amount of time you can have the totem active. Wavecrash, a minor artifact trait increases the rate at which healing stream totem heals, and can be pumped up quite a few times to hit a 30% increased rate of healing. Rolled all together that is a high potential for a lot of healing in its own right, and makes Decree of the Queen incredibly attractive.
This might be the trait that I’m the most excited about seeing, more because of the synergies that can spin off of it more than the sheer power of it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate pure healing power and I think we should grab it whenever we can, but seeing a string of abilities that can be woven together to make something cool happen is where it’s at. It’s also something that seems very shamanistic to me, having several things working together to make something greater just fits in to what the shaman fantasy is to me.
I’m hoping that as the alpha moves into the beta, and as we get closer to the release, we will see more talents, abilities and traits working together in this fashion. It also potentially gives us some options to play around with and decide how we define our healing, which is something that I think we have been missing for a long time.
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