One quick note before discussing the specific changes to each spec, Searing Totem is being removed as a baseline button to all Shaman. Searing Totem was brought back in Shadowlands with the intention of Totems being a cool and iconic part of the Shaman class, but without significant redesign to the button to give it mechanical interaction and feeling impactful to press, it wound up feeling like just another cooldown you had to manage that didn’t have any excitement behind it.
- Fulmination has been changed to be a guaranteed proc from Lightning Bolt and Lightning Bolt Overload.
- Chain Lightning has been decoupled from Fulmination entirely, but still grants Seismic Thunder stacks.
- Earthquake’s base damage has been reduced significantly, but Seismic Thunder now also increases the damage of Earthquake for each stack of Seismic Thunder consumed when cast.
- Fire Elemental’s previous interaction with bonus Fulmination proc chance has been redesigned. While Fire Elemental is active, the period of Flame Shock is reduced, which increases the DPS of any active Flame Shock debuff and also increases the chance of gaining the Lava Surge effect. Additionally while Fire Elemental is active, any newly cast Flame Shock will have its Duration increased by 100%.
- Lightning Shield will now grant the Shaman a charge of Fulmination when it deals damage to an enemy.
- Echo of the Elements no longer grants a second charge of Healing Stream Totem for Elemental Shaman. This is more of a bug fix, but noting here as it is a moderate change to available utility of the Echo of the Elements talent. This talent is unchanged for Restoration.
The changes above should make Elemental Shaman feel quite a bit more control over what will happen as the result of pressing their abilities.
Enhancement Shaman Core Ability Changes:
- Rockbiter has been removed from the spec.
** This is a big change we’re trying out. Rockbiter in Shadowlands basically only serves as a GCD filler. With the removal of Maelstrom, and Flame Shock and Frost Shock becoming class-wide abilities that are also on a short cooldown to fill empty spots, there was a lot of competition in the ~6 sec cooldown space of available buttons. Without Maelstrom, Rockbiter didn’t have any strong interaction with the rest of the Enhancement toolkit, and shock spells are much more iconic to Shaman. This is an experimental change, please try things out in combination with the changes below and let us know how things feel.
- Lava Lash is now learned at level 11, down from level 22. Base cooldown increased to 18 sec (was 12 sec)
- Lava Lash now gets upgraded at level 22 to have its cooldown reduced to 12 sec (was 18 sec)
- Stormstrike’s cooldown has been reduced to 7.5 sec (was 9 sec)
- Maximum Maelstrom Weapon stacks have been increased from 5 to 10.
- Each stack of Maelstrom Weapon now grants increased damage and/or healing to the abilities Maelstrom Weapon effects in addition to the cast time reduction.
- Abilities that are altered by Maelstrom Weapon have had their baseline damage or healing values reduced.
- Stormbringer no longer causes your next Stormstrike to not incur a cooldown.
- Feral Spirits now grants one stack of Maelstrom Weapon immediately when pressed, and an additional 5 stacks over the duration of Feral Spirits.
- Each target that you hit with Chain Lightning now both increases the damage of, and reduces the cooldown of your next Crash Lightning.
- Windfury Totem radius increased from 12 to 30 yards.
- Windfury Weapon and Flametongue Weapon no longer require you to click the button, then click a weapon on your character sheet. They automatically apply their effects to an appropriate equipped weapon.
- Lightning Shield now has a 50% chance to grant you a stack of Maelstrom Weapon when it deals damage to an enemy.
- Flame Shock and Frost Shock have their cooldowns shortened with your current Haste.
Enhancement Shaman Talent Changes:
- Boulderfist (talent) has been redesigned and renamed to Lashing Flames (Passive). Lava Lash now increases the damage of your Flame Shock on the target by 100% for 12 sec.
- Landslide (talent) has been redesigned and renamed to Stormfury (Passive). Each time Windfury Weapon activates, the cooldown of Stormstrike is reduced by 1 sec.
- Hailstorm (talent) renamed to Cycle of the Elements.
- Searing Assault (talent) redesigned and renamed to Hailstorm (Passive). Each Stack of Maelstrom Weapon consumed increases the damage of your next Frost Shock by 50%, and causes your next Frost Shock to hit 1 additional target per stack of Maelstrom Weapon consumed. Maximum 5 stacks.
- Overcharge (talent) redesigned and renamed to Fire Nova. 15 sec cooldown. Cause all of your Flame Shocks to erupt in flames, dealing Fire Damage to up to 6 targets near your Flame Shock Targets.
The above changes to Enhancement Shaman are a lot to take in, but we feel that the combined list of changes will make your abilities feel like they have a purpose and interact with your toolkit in meaningful ways instead of just dealing damage.
Shadowlands – Death Knight Class Changes
Death Knight will see a couple of abilities tweaked in this Alpha update, based on feedback received. We think these should help their usability going forward. Thank you very much for your continued feedback.
- Rune Tap global cooldown removed.
- Developers’ notes: Rune Tap was made baseline in Shadowlands, but also had a GCD added, which was not present in Battle for Azeroth. We’re reverting this change to bring it back to its current functionality.
- Outbreak duration of Virulent Plague increased to 28 seconds (was 21 seconds).
- Outbreak AoE range increased to 10 (was 8).
- Developers’ notes: We changed how Virulent Plague functions in Shadowlands. To compensate for the loss of uptime of Virulent Plague, we’ve increased its duration and increased the initial AoE application, so it doesn’t require such tight grouping to maximize the targets hit.
Shadowlands – Mage Class Changes
Thank you for all of your continued feedback on Mage changes in Shadowlands. Below, you’ll find the latest changes in the Alpha, which includes reverting Shimmer to 2 charges, further talent tuning, and the removal of the short lived Frost and Fire Ward.
There has a been a lot of great discussion in this thread and we hope to see it continue!
- Shimmer charge count increased to 2.
- Shimmer cooldown Increased to 25 seconds (was 20 seconds).
- Developers’ notes: After listening to feedback and more playtesting, we are returning both charges of Shimmer at a slightly higher cooldown cost. Our goal with the change was to bring more it inline with the other talents on the row, but in doing so, Shimmer lost a lot of its identity. If the other talents on the tier continue to underperform, we’ll look at ways we can enhance them to be more attractive options while up against Shimmer.
- Focus Magic now also grants the caster 1% Intellect, stacking up to 8 times when their Focus Magic target critically strikes.
- Developers’ notes: We’d like for Focus Magic to reward the caster a bit more for taking an ally friendly talent.
- Frost and Fire Ward removed from all specs.
- Developers’ notes: Compared to some of the other abilities, these two landed a little flat and overlapped a bit too much with each of the Barriers.
- Alexstrasza’s Fury now also makes your next Pyroblast or Flamestrike deal 35% increased damage.
- Developers’ notes: We’re looking to make this more competitive with the Flame On and the future Phoenix Flames replacement.
FEEDBACK: Warlock Class Changes
In this build of the Shadowlands Alpha, we’ve made some changes to Affliction Warlocks, based on your feedback. We want to address concerns with pet summoning, Curse of Doom, and Affliction’s single target rotation, among other things.
Thank you for all your posts!
- Fel Domination is now a baseline ability, learned at level 34, with a 3 minute cooldown. Fel Domination reduces summoning cast time by 5.5 seconds.
- Summoning your pet shouldn’t be always easy, but sometimes you need a new pet in a pinch.
- Curse of Doom removed for Affliction and Destruction.
- Curse of Exhaustion is learned at level 58 for all three specializations.
- Curse of Exhaustion slows the target by 50% for 8 seconds.
- Developers’ notes: We love Curse of Doom, but it wasn’t working out well at a 60-second period. Also, we feel that Curse of Exhaustion will provide interesting choices when deciding which Curse to use.
- Shadow Embrace is now baseline as a part of Shadow Bolt (Rank 2), learned at level 52 for Affliction.
- Developers’ notes: Shadow Bolt for Affliction was falling by the wayside in the rotation. This should encourage Warlocks to use it more often, and provide more gameplay while fighting a single target.
- Unstable Affliction no longer has a limit of 1, and no longer amplifies damage on your target.
- Unstable Affliction’s damage backlash on dispel increased substantially.
- At level 56, Unstable Affliction is ranked up to gain an additional 5 seconds of duration.
- Developers’ notes: This is a more of an experimental change than the rest, but we feel that Unstable Affliction is not meeting player expectations at a limit of 1. This change allows Affliction to focus more on spreading dots to many targets at once.
- Corruption now ranks up at level 54 to gain an initial period, dealing .12 coefficient damage instantly.
- Writhe in Agony now also causes Agony to start at 4 stacks, in addition to increasing its maximum stacks to 18.
- New Talent: Inevitable Demise. Damaging an enemy with Agony increases the damage of your next Drain Life by 5%. This effect stacks up to 50 times.
- Nightfall now activates slightly more often as Corruption spreads to more targets.
- Developers’ notes: Previously, Nightfall was not occurring more often as you spread Corruption to multiple targets. This felt counter-intuitive, so we added functionality to increase its rate with multiple Corruptions. Similar to Agony, its increase is not linear, but you will see more Nightfalls multi-target.
- Deathbolt is now a PvP talent.
- Developers’ notes: With Unstable Affliction stacking gone, the instant burst single target damage from this felt more appropriate as a PvP talent, to act as a finisher.
- Tongue Tied Removed. Replaced with–
- Howl of Terror: Fears 5 targets within 10 yards for 20 seconds. Has a 1.5 second cast time and 40 second cooldown.
- New talent: Dark Caller (in place of Shadow Embrace). Reduces the cooldown of Summon Darkglare by 1 minute.
- Developers’ notes: This talent should allow Warlocks to specialize further into keeping lots of dots on many targets at once, and give them more room to use Malefic Rapture in that window.
- Soulshatter removes all active Corruptions, dealing 10% of their maximum HP and grants 10% Haste, stacking 5 times. Lasts 15 seconds, and is magic dispellable.
- Developers’ notes: This talent was very under-utilized due to the heavy cost of removing all dots, so it now removes Corruption instead, and no longer generates soul shards.
- Deathbolt now deals 60% damage equal to remaining duration of your dots, has a 0.5 second cast time, and a 45 second cooldown. Deathbolt missile is slower and more apparent.
- Amplify Curse now affects Curse of Exhaustion, causing it to slow the target by 70%.
- Curse of Doom reverted to Doom, with damage increased.