Patch 4.1 Fire Nova Preview

In patches by Myrddin22 Comments

This week Blizzard introduced a new build to the PTR, with Patch 4.1. One of the things Blizzard wants to lok at is to bring AoE damage of classes closer together. Hence the first new changes are basically a bit improved healing for Restoration Shamans and redesigned AoE for Elemental & Enhancement Shamans. Lets have a look at that.

 

Patch Notes 4.1 Preview

Lets take a look at the official Patch Notes at first:

[…] To start, we want to do a better job of balancing the AoE power of the different damage-dealing specs. You can expect to see some changes to this end made throughout the testing process.
[…]

Shaman

  • Fire Nova has been redesigned and decoupled from shaman Fire totems. Instead, it now pulses the Fire Nova effect from each target that is afflicted by the shaman’s own Flame Shock debuff. It now damages all enemies except the target hit by Flame Shock. The ability’s cooldown has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 10.
  • Magma Totem now lasts for 60 seconds, up from 21.
  • Stoneclaw Totem’s area-of-effect threat pulse no longer affects critters.

Talent Specializations

Elemental Combat

  • Earthquake is no longer a channeled spell. It now has a 2-second cast time, lasts for 10 seconds, and has a 10-second cooldown. Its damage has been reduced by 40% from its channeled version.

Enhancement

  • Improved Fire Nova has been redesigned and replaced by a talent called Seasoned Winds. When an enemy spell cast is successfully prevented with Wind Shear or Grounding Totem, the shaman gains magical resistance (in an amount equal to what a protection totem/aura would grant, stacking with such buffs) to the spell school(s) of the interrupted spell (except for Holy spells), lasting 10 seconds.

In a Nutshell

After casting a Flame Shocks at a target we can detonate the Flame Shock to all other targets in a 10y (15 y, glyphed) radius. If you use Flame Shock on multiple targets, each one of them will detonate to all other targets in Range.

Glyphed Flame Shock will become quite nice, it should be possible to get up to 4 – 5 Flame Shocks up and then get massive AoE damage this way – since you will be able to get 4-5 Fire Novas off each hitting all other targets. Also it is very nice to no longer having to pay so much attention to Magma Totem.

The Fire Nova damage itself seems to be a bit lower, but I guess that is the price for its 4 second cooldown.

Video

I have put up a Video on YouTube since it is always nice to see this kind of changes in action:

[youtube width=”640″ height=”385″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvrMoT8PVsU[/embed]

It is probably a bit early to judge too much from all this and the displayed numbers are probably bound to change, since 4.1 is in a very early change. It is a copy of Myrddin (average Itemlevel 362).

Comments

  1. I don’t see how dropping one magma totem near a pack of mobs is more difficult than tabbing from mob to mob applying a flame shock. it seems a clumsy process to do aoe dmg. Most trash will be dead or near death by the time you flame shock all of them and detonate, no?

    for me it’s a piece of cake to drop magma totem near a pack of mobs and go to town on them casting fire nova every 6 seconds.

    I know this is off topic, but can you explain unleash elements further? How is this best used? is it worth including in your rotation and when and how is the best order for its use.

    Thanks for all the work you do here. i’m really have fun playing my enhancement shaman again. I just don’t know how all the changes affect this class. You have done a lot to help me understand my character better.

    1. Author

      @Moose
      Look at maloriak hc for example and the little adds in black phase. By the time you’d cast your second fire nova right now they’d be out of range of the Fire Nova. Now the detonator moves with the mobs. The magma totem itself is jsut a nice bonus, the real damage comes from dotting up multiple targets and having them detonate … just look at the damage … 4k on 10 seconds right now or 3.2k each 4 sec on PTR .. on 1 target … ~ 8k … that alone is a buff by 100% … now you take in a second target … 200% …. third target 300% …. that is after 15 seconds and the add phase takes quite a bit longer, close to 2 minutes. Atm we suck so much that we stay fulltime on boss (the 2 enhancement shamans), so this will be quite a nice buff.

  2. Ah! I was unaware that you are still dropping magma totem while applying Flame Shock. That is a nice extra bonus and worth the time to apply Flame Shocks on multiple mobs. How do you “detonate” or idoes it tick on its own? Is Fire Nova the ability that you cast to detonate?

    Does Magma Totem replace Searing Totem on boss fights? I have been using Magma on trash and Searing on boss, but recently tried going with Searing throughout the whole dungeon. I still seem to do pretty good on trash with Searing Totem.

    1. Author

      @Moose
      Atm we have pathetic multi target damage. We do really good at single target damage, though. Hence do what we are good at and focus on single target … that is what I am doing and it seems to work ok.
      Fire Nova will detonate the Flame Shocks to nearby targets, meaning you have to trigger it. Applying more flame shocks will result in multiple detonations per cast as seen in the video.

  3. Okay… I think I’m down with the new Flame Shocks.

    I was doing just fine on trash with Fire Nova and Magma Totem, but pulling aggro all the time and always nearly dead after every fight. I found myself using trying to stay alive more than doing dps. Ha!

    So last nght I went with a single-target Searing Totem rotation and was surprised that I was doing slightly better dps. I still pull aggro though, even after waiting a few seconds before hitting anything. And when I pull off the tank on boss fights, I’m taking 20-40k dmg. It gets so bad I’m seriously thinking of including Windshear in into my normal rotation as a “filler” spell.

    My gear score is around 333 and I’m doing 15k on boss fights in Reg. Dungeons. Should I be doing better? I’m also curious where you’re at gear-wise and what kind of dps you’re doing.

  4. I just realized something.

    Would we need to pick up the Improved Fire Nova talent and Call of Flame?

    I’ve decide to drop those talents since I was going for a single target build instead.

    1. Author

      @Moose
      I am using windshear in my rotation on fights that do not require interrupting, best example is chimaeron. If you don’t want to die when tanks have died and rogues/hunters drop their threat then using wind shear is your only option. Won dps on that fight last reset and had 29% threat before p2.
      Call of Flame is useful even now, if you don’t have it you should take it. Improved Fire Nova gets removed.

  5. Okay… I have Wind Shear worked into my rotation too now, and it definitely helps. Why didn’t I think of it sooner?

    Hmm… I went with Reverberation, which I was initially opposed to. but since I was going for a single target build, it made since to me to pick up Reverberation to tighten up my rotation. I hate NOT having something to cast because everything is on CD.

    I attempted my first heroic last night – Dead Mines. I have to say I kicked butt! More than 4k above the closest dps on bosses. Unfortunately, things unraveled on Foe Reaper 5000 and the group was disbanded. Gonna try again the first chance I get. It was a lot of fun.

  6. Got 2 full heroics under my belt before my internet went down over the weekend. In fact it’s still down and I’m having to post this from work. Anyway, I had warrior tanks both times and they both placed Vigi on me, which was nice since I kept pulling aggro. I was doing 13k-15k, and the next closest dps to me was doing 10k-11k.

    So, consistent numbers on both heroics at 13k-15k, but I’m still not certain if I’m doing well in comparison with other enhancement shamans. I think I’ll ask for a guild run with a fellow enhancement shaman to see how I stack up against him. He is better geared than me which is fine – I like the challenge.

  7. Hey there, a little off-topic, but a major question has been trotting my mind of late :

    – Is the 4-piece tier bonus REALLY worth it? or are the heroic Halfus gloves + Leggings of Lethal Force (Magmaw) + Tunic of the Failed Experiments (Maloriak) a better option?

    Is having that 10% crit on LB really worth sacrificing that much Mastery for a partially useless stat such as crit and haste?

    1. Author

      @Night
      Most top geared enhancement Shamans seem to skip the bonus, myself included. Considering you already get +35% spellcrit, just from stormstrike another 10% doesn’t seem so attractive, especially since we are the only caster class that does not have -100% spellcrit damage, but only +50%.

  8. Just as I thought, and realised at my own cost (of DKP + wasted Valor) to buy the tier tokens such as chest and gloves… It did seem attractive though to get above 50% crit on LB to upkeep Flurry / Elemental Devastation.

    Thanks for the reply anyhow.

  9. Question about Lava Lash:

    Can you consume the stacks of Searing Flames when you cast Lava Lash and miss? I swear there are times where I see it consumed, but I don’t see the BIG numbers popup.

    1. Author

      @Moose
      Nope, not that I know. But yep, at times we have so many numbers on one mob, that it may not be displayed I think. Checking the combatlog at these occasions will make you notice that Lava Lash was successful, maybe not a crit and thus scrolled out fast.

  10. Good to hear. I thought maybe I needed to increase my +hit which is currently sitting at 9.60% according to the Armory.

    I love seeing those 40k Lava Lash crits. I’m sure they’ll look even better as my gear improves.

  11. Hey back again nice updat on the site slant thumbs up for that was waiting for it ;). Thx for the nice vid and info setup real usefull as always.

    1. Author

      @Brovie
      Thanks! Too bad there is not much to report these days. hopefully that changes with 4.2 😀 Meanwhile enjoy Fire Nova … in Heroics it kind of sucks … Mobs die too fast and then you are without any aoe at all. But I guess in raids, e.g. Maloriak it will be kind of nice.

  12. Fire Nova is just… wrong now. It has its place in raids… maybe… but 95% of the rest of the life of your character it is utterly useless. A Flame Shock “dot” every 6 seconds in order to activate Fire Nova for a melee class is excruciatingly, painfully clumsy.

    Honestly, an ability that offers decent utility in only a handful of raid encounters?

    Fire Nova prior to 4.1 may not have been perfect, but I got A LOT of use out of it. Now, it’s just broken. Just broken.

    And now there is no REAL aoe option for the rest of the game.

    1. Author

      @Moose
      That is sadly true. Especially in heroics it is kind of awkward to use and if the Flame shock target dies you don’t have an option at all anymore. Basically it is only at encoutners like maloriak where it has any use.

  13. Okay… maybe I spoke too soon.

    One nice feature is that you can Flame Shock 1 target, and that target now acts as your fire totem to activate Fire Nova while at the same time I can still have Searing Totem out; AND I can activate Fire Nova every 4 seconds, down from 10 seconds.

  14. Well. I tried. I tried really hard to like Fire Nova decoupled from a fire totem, but it just doesn’t work. Blizz decoupled it from the totem only to then couple it to a spell? How off is that?! It’s like the devs didn’t even test drive it before implementing.

    It wasn’t so hard to drop a magma totem and activate Fire Nova, and at least magma pulsed for a little aor dmg too.

    Fire Nova as it currently stands is simply useless now.

    I’ve been reading the forums, and people have come up with really great ideas for a melee-type aoe for us enhancement shamans that I hope gains some traction. I would love to see a Fire Nova attack like Stormstrike that would spread Wildfire or an aoe wind attack like Breaking Wind.

    Anywho… makes things simple now I guess. No more Fire Nova cd to watch.

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