Previously, I briefly discussed my thoughts on the new talent revamp coming in patch 5.0. This post is a continuation of those thoughts, wherein I look at the proposed healing-centric and totem talent changes more in-depth.
New Healing-esque Talents
Nature’s Guardian hasn’t changed much — except that additional +10% to maximum health! Currently, this talent provides 5% max health for 10 secs. I typically don’t even take this talent, so I’m kinda “meh” about it at this point.
Astral Shift appears that all of the non-dwarf shaman races got jealous of our Stoneform racial ability so now e’rrybody gets it. :> On a serious note, I am looking forward to mashing this cooldown regularly. I currently use Stoneform during specific parts of fights (Rhyolith’s stomp, for instance) as well as my Engineering Grounded Plasma Shield. If I can actively mitigate damage, then that means more of my mana can go to healing my groupmates.
Healing Tide Totem looks to be a replacement for Healing Stream Totem. My Healing Stream Totem currently heals for 998 health every 2 secs to all raid members within 30 yards of the totem (this includes the 2-point Soothing Rains talent and Purification passive ability). As Healing Tide Totem is a straight buff in both output and proximity requirements, I am excited to see how much healing it will produce.
Ancestral Guidance — whooo buddy! This seems similar to the Holy Paladin’s version of Guardian of Ancient Kings, with the exception of this talent is a flat 40% healing amount copied rather than number of heals (or amount of heals during a specific timeframe). I think it’s pretty cool, but I wonder if it’s affected by stats (Spirit, Intellect, Haste) or if haste-affected ticks on Riptide get copied. Only time (or the developers) will tell.
Fortifying Waters adds some mitigation to Healing Rain. I wonder if this will stack with other mitigation abilities (Ancestral Fortitude, if it remains in-game in 5.0) or Spirit Link Totem. I’m glad for damage mitigation since most of my heals are cast rather than HoTs.
Nature’s Swiftness is getting a new aspect in 5.0 — passive Haste buff. I’ll take it!
Echo of the Elements is another talent that provides spell duplication — what an interesting take on being a caster player! Notice that the specific chance of this ability to proc is not listed. I will bet that it’s not listed because it’s not finished. All of this duplication kinda makes you wonder about the upcoming fights in 5.0, doesn’t it?
Elemental Harmony appears to be a quality-of-life talent that I have subconsciously wanted my entire shaman life but never verbalized. We currently have lots of totems, but we can only drop one of each element category. There have been times when I wished I could drop both Windfury AND Wrath of Air totems to benefit a highly-balance group. Looks like we’ll be getting that chance!
Totemic Restoration looks to also be a quality-of-life change that could possibly impact Elemental shamans more than Resto for the sheer fact that Searing Totem can get destroyed before its duration expires. That’s just annoying when you’re questing or farming.
Totemic Projection — OH MY GOODNESS Y’ALL. Yes.. Yes I would like to throw my totems over *there*! I am so excited to see how this works — I’m betting there will be a targeting reticule similar to Healing Rain (and other click-and-place abilities. My little dorf is gonna be so badass! :D I just hope that maybe Blizzard will add in a “and resets their duration timers” to this talent. SO SWEET.