Friday, 9 November 2007

Do I feel endangered?


This post on The Endangered Shaman over at WoW Insider got me thinking - is there actually a problem, or is it just the usual whinging?

Although I don't PvP, I'm glad the diminishing returns on earth shock change has been reversed. It seems bad that you'd actually ruin things for your team mates by interrupting an enemy caster in an arena.

On the PvE side things seem just fine though - or at least the same as they ever were. Shaman are the least played class, but I'm assuming that is due in a large part to people prefering blood elves to alien blue space squid (as the other formerly-single-faction class, paladins are the second least played).

As some people point out on that WoW Insider thread, levelling a shaman can be slow at times. However I found a paladin at least as problematic. My (now deleted) dwarf paladin I found to be slow and unappealing to level. When I tried again with a blood elf more recently I found things easier, partly due to more experience with the game mechanics. However he's currently retired at level 22, having found the Boulderslide Ravine troggs to be just too much trouble. Shamans have both a ranged pull and a ranged interrupt from low levels - paladin's don't.

When it comes to the end game, a lot of shamans complain about there being only one wanted spec - Restoration. There are two shortcomings to this argument.

In a casual guild like mine it matters more who you are than what spec you have - our two Kara teams have one of each spec between them. On the other hand we're just finishing with Kara and moving on to Gruul.

In a progression guild however only restoration shamans will be wanted, with perhaps an outside chance of an enhancement shaman getting in to buff a melee dps group. This was always the case though, and is true for other classes too. Pre-BC if you wanted to raid as a shaman you'd better be resto, and in that spec were far less viable as a main-healer for a 5 man group or for PvP than is the case post-BC. As with for shamans, a progression guild will want a say how you spec for any other class - a maximum dps spec will be wanted for example, and even though this is less of an issue as you can still farm, your guild is still telling you how to spec.

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