ShamWoW: Problems of a Totemic Scale

Massively has another post on Shamans.  This time, they are talking about revamping totem mechanics.  One of the major issues, Massively points out, is about mobility.

I currently like the Shaman class a lot.  I think the patch that combined Curse with disease, Mana Spring with Healing Stream, and increased Chain Lightning’s max targets from 3 to 4 were all wise changes.  It was sensible to cut down on the overall amount of totems a Shaman could get.  It was getting out of hand, in my opinion.  Combining an HP regen with an MP regen made sense, and especially combining Curse with Disease(I thought it was a major annoyance).

The last patch 3.1 made things even easier which I could take or leave.  None of the changes bothered me(they were all basically making things easier).

I’m not sure about this issue of making totems mobile.  I see a few reasons for it, all that aren’t really needed.  Positioning the totems, and timing when to lay them are all strategy that I’ve adapted to without too much trouble.

I think one of the major attractions of the Shaman class is how different it is than any other class.  This issue of making them mobile and in some player’s own words “More like other classe’s buffs” will cause a major loss of distinction between Shamans and other classes.  That doesn’t mean I’d be a stickler about it.

I just think if they are changed to some way incorporate mobility it should still have that alien feel to it, that made the Shaman what it was, when first introduced to WoW.

I could see a new form of unique trainable pet being incorporated as a good idea.  Maybe a take on a chameleon.  Instead of the “chameleon” changing colors, it changes its magical essence(basically the way you can only lay down so many totems at once, complete with combination restrictions).

You could translate the totem’s current distance requirements into a magical tether of how far the pet could travel from you.  Maybe even with other distance requiring effects like fire breathing(I.E. The pet can travel a certain distance from you and it has breathe effects that have distance requirements as well).

What I first would propose is a seperate pet actionbar that would be smaller and limited in hotkey holders(similar to how Necromancer’s in Vanguard have a separate pet actionbar).  You could summon and dismiss the pet with one of the hotkeys.  Once summoned you’d use the abilities the same way they’re used now(positioned on one of the players actionbars).  After the pet is summoned, you’d activate the abilities, in the pet, the same way you currently lay totems on the ground.  The pet would follow you as you moved around.  As ability times expire, they would simply “disappear” from the pet and in the case he didn’t have any abilities active, he’d simply return to stand next to you until you either dismiss him or activate another ability.

Let’s take a look at some Totems and their current abilities.

I just took text from WoWWiki.

Fire Nova:

  • The totem immediately draws aggro from mobs once it is put on the ground, causing them to attack and destroy often before it does any damage. Patch 3.0.8 will remove this threat generation.
  • In addition to increased damage, the Improved Fire Nova Totem talent will give it a 50 or 100% chance to stun mobs damaged by its blast for 2 seconds.
  • Useless against high Fire resistant players/mobs.
  • Second longest cooldown for a totem (if we exclude the Mana Tide Totem talent spell).

Fire Nova has a range of 10 yards, which could be the radius, around character, that the pet could travel within.

This is just using one of the Shaman’s offensive damage dealing spells to give an example.  There are groups of totems that do offensive buffs as well.

  • Earth Totems: The first totem received by the Shaman. It allows the Shaman to use totems which do things like enhance defense/offense, slow enemies, and taunt them.
  • Fire Totems: The second totem received in the Shaman’s development. This totem is primarily used to deal damage.
  • Water Totems: The third totem received in the Shaman’s development. This totem is used for restoration-type effects.
  • Air Totems: The final totem received in the Shaman’s development. Like the Earth Totem counterpart, it allows totems to enhance certain defensive/offensive aspects.

I think one of the great curse/blessings of this, is you’ll have the pet running around you using an AI type system that will run up to different distances away-while following you if your on the move, attack specific mobs, or stick directly beside you, depending on the type and combination of buffs you’ve “turned on”.

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