Monday, 10 November 2008

Kam gets some Enhancement

After healing a few instances and some of Karazhan, the recent nerfs to raid difficulty have given Kam the perfect excuse to finally try out the enhancement spec. After some research I've chosen this 8/53/0 spec, but clearly I didn't do enough research because this one looks better, with a full load of Maelstrom Weapon for 4/5 Ancestral Knowledge.

First impressions:

  • Kill speed. Mobs are dying very fast, a shade faster than with elemental, despite Kam's enhancement gear being a lot weaker than his elemental gear.
  • Top tier talent. Feral Spirit wolves are very nice, the 2 controllable spirit wolves almost make you feel like a hunter, except they don't last (shame). By contrast the elemental talent Thunderstorm is just not as cool, or useful in PvE. The knockback and AOE is pretty nice, but it's just not in the same league as your very own spirit wolves.
  • Button mashing. Fighting as enhancement certainly requires more button pressing than elemental; stormstrike, lava lash and earth shock need to be used every time they are off cooldown, not to mention refreshing water shield and using Shamanistic Rage and feral spirit as appropriate. By contrast Kam's tactics for elemental was to pull with a few lightning bolts, then auto attack the mob, pressing flame shock every 12 seconds and occasionally lightning bolt.
  • Taking damage. One bonus of elemental is that Kam generally goes around with a shield, so his armour is quite high and he doesn't take too much damage. Dual wielding means no shield so quite a lot of damage is taken. Luckily Maelstrom Weapon works with healing spells, so we can pop off an instant healing wave when needed. This damage taking is really only an issue when Kam gets jumped by a few mobs, for 1 mob it dies so fast that it doesn't get the chance to do much damage.
  • Other. Another bonus of enhancement is that because a lot of the damage is melee, those pesky nature-immune elementals prove no problem.

An honourable mention must go to the Shock and Awe mod, which displays a handy hint for which spell to use next in a rotation. For an enhancement noob such as myself, its very useful indeed.

I'm not sure whether Kam will stay enhancement for levelling - to build a healing set will require lugging two completely different sets of gear around, whereas in theory elemental gear forms a good basis for a healing set. Except that currently Kam has almost 2 completely different sets of gear; one for healing that prioritises mp5 and one for elemental that prioritises crit. If shaman are to become crit-based healers then a set of gear with crit will do well for both elemental and resto, but I am not yet sold on that. I do however want to heal some instances so I hope the dual-spec feature is not too tardy.

I suppose the early Mail spellpower gear in Wrath will show Blizzard's intent - if it is all spellpower and crit then crit-based will be the only option, but if a lot of spellpower and mp5 stuff starts to appear (or heaven forbid they force us to choose between mp5 and crit for quest rewards), then I'll be horribly confused and have to strike some sort of balance.

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