Making changes to classes in World of Warcraft is always a delicate affair. Players of the venerable MMORPG have a habit of discovering hitherto unthought of talent combinations that completely break the entire experience. Such is the case with Shamans on the Dragonflight alpha servers, where the increased flexibility and customisability of the new talent system has allowed players to create previously impossible combos. As such, Blizzard are making a suite of changes designed to nerf the defensive and mobility capabilities of the class. You can find the full details on Kaivax’s blue post on the WoW forums, but we’ll run through the most notable changes.
The bulk of the changes this time are coming to Elemental Shamans, the spec dedicated to ranged DPSing. The changes are focused on improving Primordial Wave, to make it more valuable in different situations, and improve pathing for lightning-focused builds.
Flames of the Firelord will be removed and its effects merged with Flames of the Cauldron; Icefury will have its buff duration increased; and Electrified Shocks will now make Frost Shock hit only three additional targets, down from four, though the debuff duration will increase by two seconds. Magma Chamber will have its damage bonus increased a little; Tumbling Waves will be replaced by Rolling Magma, which causes Lava Burst to reduce the cooldown of Primordial Wave; and Splintered Elements increases its Haste bonus by 4%, up to 10% per stack. Finally, Fire Elemental will once again increase the duration of Flame Shock while active.
Not yet implemented, but soon to come is Heat Wave, which will cause casting Primordial Wave to trigger Lava Surge immediately. There have also been numerous pathing adjustments in the Elemental Tree, with Aftershock/Flow of Power, Eye of the Storm, Power of the Maelstrom, Master of the Elements, Magma Chamber and Searing Flames moving location. A new talent will also appear on the tree – Flow of Power, which increases Maelstrom generated by Lightning Bolt, Lava Burst, and their Overloads.
Restoration changes are also coming, albeit less extensive ones. The primary changes are to the structure of the tree, intended to improve access to damage and utility talents without needing to misspend talent points. Deluge, Healing Rain, Ancestral Wolf Affinity/Stormkeeper, Water Shield, Call of Thunder, Tidal Waves, Overflowing Shores, Ancestral Vigor, Resurgence, Ancestral Reach/Flow of the Tides, Wavespeaker’s Blessing and Lava Surge have all moved locations, and various rows have been restructure or had nodes removed.