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Shaman Community Top Ten Issues
as of 1 May, 2006

Selected and Prioritized by Polling at The Spirit Realm

Issue No. 1: Upgrade Shaman Cannibalization AA Line

The Cannibalization AA ability was astonishingly powerful when introduced with the Luclin expansion, and also quite dicey: it took a lot of typical shamans' health bars, and as a result there were situations in which it could be used only at significant risk. In return it provided huge amounts of mana relative to the casting demands of the day. Naturally, spell mana costs have only risen with subsequent expansions and level increases, as have the hp pools of the shaman using this ability. Cannibalization, scaled for the level 60 player and spellbook, has fallen behind; it presently is simply an average work tool, returning a modest amount of mana for a modest cost of hp.

Question to Devs, July 2006: What is the possibility of the next set of AAs including an add-on, either granting a faster refresh or a bigger bite for conversion?

No comment from Devs as of late August, 2006. Note: This is likely due to a desire to see what the impacts of the newly announced downtime changes, to be introduced with the SS expansion.

Post TSS Update: The Shaman Class has been given the following AA:

Frenzied Cannibalization: decrease hitpoints by 4057, increase mana by 2248

Many Shamans consider this issue to have been addressed now. ISSUE RESOLVED - /cheer


Issue No. 2: Continue with Resist Modifiers to Shaman Damage Over Time Spells

Shaman DoTs (except for Nectar of Pain, PoR spell) are penalized with no resist modifiers due to our ability to debuff; yet other dotting classes can debuff just as well, if not better, suffer no such limitations. Our dots are our most effective and efficient way of dealing damage, and in modern game play we lose out heavily due to having to cast Malos to have them reliably land. By the time we cast a DoT, efficiency is lost because the MoB is already ~70% and our DoT will not see its full duration, or anything close to it. More detail is available at http://samanna.net/sham.issues/debuffs.jan06.shtml

Question to Devs, August 2006: Can we expect to continue to have negative resist checks on our DoT spells in the future?

Comment from Prathun, August 2006: I haven't planned on providing an upgrade to Nectar of Pain in the upcoming expansion, but I will keep in mind this Shaman feedback when designing spells. There are also other ways to lower the resistances of the NPCs, that effectively accomplishes the same goal.

Post TSS Update: Some spells have, at ranks II and III, resist modifiers. Issue addressed, to some extent.


Issue No. 3: Upgrade Shaman Malos Spell Line

Recast delay is unmanageable for the amount debuffed with this single-target spell. Like many core Shaman abilities, it was tuned for a level 65 endgame. Therefore, we propose a new unresistable resist debuff spell in the line, with the standard 2.25 second recast.

Post TSS Update: The Shaman Class has been given the following spells:

Malis (L75) unresistable -66/69/72 (Ranks I/II/III) FR/CR/MR/PR

Many Shamans consider this issue to have been addressed now. ISSUE RESOLVED - /cheer


Issue No. 4: Allow Healing Focus Items and AAs to affect the amount healed per tick on Heal-over-Time Spells

Damage-over-Time spells cause a base amount of damage per tick; the actual amount of damage each tick is then calculated by adding in any bonuses for both (a) Burning Affliction and similar effects (X Anger/ Fury/ Rage/ Vengeance/ Anguish/ Dragon), and (b) crits.

By comparison, Blast Heal spells cause a base amount of healing; the actual amount of healing is then calculated by adding in bonusses for both (a) healing focus items and aa, and (b) crits.

Heal-over-time spells (HoTs) are the central tool in the shaman healing model, making their power a big concern for the shaman community. A problem we've observed is that HoTs do not get the same progressive power increase as their direct-heal counterparts as characters advance, because they're not as well supported by Alternate Advancement and focus effects. Shaman who have worked hard to gain improved healing aa and items end up not improving this vital aspect of their class. Damage over time spells and direct damage spells don't have this same disparity, because they're boosted by the same foci.

To bring the power progression of HoTs in line with other spells, we'd like current direct healing focus effects to boost heal-over-time spells just like direct damage foci boost damage-over-time spells.

Question to Devs, June 2006: Please explain (and relieve!) the disparity whereupon Detrimental Impact Improvement Focus Effects work on both Direct and Over-Time spells, while Beneficial (Healing) Impact Improvement Focus Effects only work on Direct, but not Over-Time spells.

Comment from Rashere, June 2006: When the effects were created, it wasn't possible to do them on HoT spells. We can consider adding them, but have to be careful since the newer spells were built with the knowledge that they can't be focused so a focus could be a significant improvement above where the spell is meant to be.

Comment from Shamans, June 2006: Earlier (since revoked) ability of Blessing of the Pious to modify the per-tick healing of HoT spells apparently notwithstanding...

Post TSS Update: No change. Some belief that the net effect would be less powerful HoTs, if the spells are 'balanced' around no focus.


Issue No. 5: Shaman Recast Delays are Too Long

The standard recast delay on most spells is 2.25 seconds. There are a number of spells with considerably longer delays, however. Probably most of these delays were originally set to prevent an overpowered situation from the spell being chain cast. As the game has progressed, however, the situations that might make chain casting these spells overpowering seems in many cases to have become obsolete.

Some spells -- the cannibalize line, for example -- probably need to keep recast delays.

Some spells -- slows in particular -- need to have their recast delays reconsidered. The existence of the Time's Antithesis means that some shamans are casting slow with zero recast delay (not even 2.25 seconds of cool down), while others are facing a 6 second recast delay. While an argument might be made that a "it would be overpowering" for a shaman to be able to slow 4 mobs in under 15 seconds, that situation already exists: a shaman with a TA can slow 4 mobs in 9 seconds.

There remain many spells where having additional recast delay, beyond the standard 2.25 seconds, seems to serve no useful purpose. Among those spells:

Talisman of the Tribunal (the Druid and Enchanter parallel resist buffs have standard recast delay)
Malo and Malos (the Enchanter parallel debuff is very fast casting and has standard recast delay, and the 5 second cast time is delay enough!)
Avatar / Champion (the Druid and Shaman parallel strength and dmg buffs have standard recast delays)
Curse spells (the Druid parallel MR DoT line has standard recast delay)
Pet spells (Beastlord, Magician, and Necromancer pet spell lines all have standard recast delays (with a couple of exceptions))
Spirit of Cheetah (a level 21 spell with a 10 minute recast!)

We would request that developers consider this list, and reset the recast delays on these spells to the standard 2.25 seconds.

Post TSS Update: No change.


Issue No. 6: Upgrade Shaman Group Movement Spell

Shamans are the first class to get SoW (level 9); yet first druids and then rangers get spells that equal and then surpass our ability to buff movement speed. Spirit of Bih'li is the last upgrade to movement buffs we have received: at level 36. Note that this spell would be a comparable alternative to Flight of Eagles in many situations.

As a potential solution, we propose the following new spell:

New Spell
1: See Invisible(2)
2: Increase Movement by 65%
3: Water Breathing(2)
4: Ultravision
6: Increase ATK by 25

Duration: 1 hour(s)
Location: ANY
Target Type: Group v2

Any amount of mana, any level

Post TSS Update: No change.


Issue No. 7: Give us a consolidation Slow, with the benefits of both Balance and Turgur's spells

Short duration and long recast make the Balance spells (Nihil and Discord) not viable independantly; Shaman players either mem both or carry a TA in multi-mob settings because of recast times. Turgur's Insects lacks the resist modifiers needed to land it without a prior resist debuff. Please combine these into one usable, TA-retiring slow.

Post TSS Update: No change.


Issue No. 8: Improve Shaman Survivability

The current Ancestral Guard AA is less effective because (1) its short duration means it pretty much has to be clicked at a very precise reactive moment to be effective; (2) as a rune it caps the damage mitigated, instead of (like a discipline) mitigating all damage received during its duration; (3) there is no provision for it to improve as the shaman moves up to harder encounters.

Post TSS Update: With Ancestral Guard AA, Union of Spirits AA, Dodge cap increase, Shield Block AA, and Second Life, we have ways of surviving unexpected agro. ISSUE RESOLVED - /cheer


Issue No. 9: Improve Shaman Healing

In http://web.archive.org/web/20050316125622/http://eqlive.station.sony.com/community/dev_view.jsp?id=64032 (formerly http://eqlive.station.sony.com/community/dev_view.jsp?id=64032 ) SOE Developers wrote:

...we are looking to increase your healing ability
so you can function better as main healer in groups.

While Ghost of Renewal is very helpful in healing groups of AE damage, Shamans still lack the fast blast healing required to be the main healer in leading edge content.

Post TSS Update: Nice upgrade to our single-target HoT; underehelming new single target direct heal.


Issue No. 10: Spirit Idol (Idol of Mal*) Issues

The Idol effect has no duration and drops off the mobs as soon as they move out of range or we destroy the Idol. That's not how it's supposed to work; in http://eqforums.station.sony.com/eq/board/message?board.id=spellsbeta&message.id=1217&view=by_date_ascending&page=4 Rytan (Spell Dev) wrote:

In answer to your questions, the range is 60 feet, the duration is an extra 30 seconds after the NPC has left the area of the aura, the resist debuff is unresitable, and yes there is a menu button that will allow you to destroy the trap should you need to before it's duration runs out. The Idol itself will last 2 minutes after being placed.

Also, the Idol comes up (usually first) with the use of keys mapped to the functions of target nearest NPC and cycle NPCs, causing it to be banned on raids by some raiding guilds.

Comment from Rashere, March 2006 (at the Summit): The request to remove our Idols from the target/cycle NPC functionality is on the List of Things to Do.

Question to Devs, August 2006: At the recent Summit, you said getting the Shaman Idols off of the "F8" or Target/Cycle NPC functionality was on "the list of things to do". How's that coming along?

Comment from Rashere, August 2006: It is still on the list of things to do.

Post TSS Update: No change.

This is the May 06 list.

The Feb 06 list can be found here.

The Sep 05 list can be found here.

The historical record can be found in this thread at the SOE boards.

The post "Class Issues" will have the list of questions asked and answers given.