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Silence of the Totems

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By now, most of you will have seen the single, solitary 5.1 patch note for Shaman, and the anger surrounding it.

All totems are now considered spells, and summoning totems can be prevented by silencing effects. Searing Totem, Magma Totem, and Fire Elemental totems fall into the Fire school, while all other totems fall under the Nature school.
For those that haven’t been playing for long, or have horrible memories, totems used to be spells, but were changed to physical actions sometime during WotLK if I’m not mistaken. Now that they’re changing back, players are getting a bit vocal on the issue. Most of the concerns are based on the PvP impact, but I don’t think that the change is bad.

It’s all about consistency.

When any other caster gets silenced, they don’t have anything they can do. It’s like a stun except you can still move. In the case of Mages & Warlocks, a simple spell-school lockout will shut them down completely, while Druids, Monks, Priests and Shaman will be heavily restricted in what they can do. With a full silence, all casters will be unable to do anything (with the exception of a few minor abilities). Well, everyone except Shaman that is, who can still drop totems.

Previously, totems were more buff-like than they are now. With the changes to most totems so that everything is a short term effect on a cooldown, leaving totems as a physical action means that silence effects aren’t actually doing what they should be. Without the change, you can still heal (via Healing Stream or Tide Totems), protect yourself (with Grounding or Stone Bulwark) or act aggressively (Searing, Earth Elemental, Fire Elemental, Capacitor) all while silenced.

So you see, the change so that totems can’t be cast while silenced or locked out of a spell-school is so that silencing actions have the same effect on Shaman as other classes. You might think the change is unfair on you, but without the change it’s unfair on others.

How (Not) To Provide Feedback
One of the reasons against the totem change given by players is that it will “nerf” Shaman in PvP. There may actually be valid concerns about how the class, or at least Elemental & Enhancement as Restoration seems to be well represented in most Arena brackets, function in PvP. The catch is that you can’t correct for overall problems when you have unintended effects giving you a leg up, so to speak.

However, the most frequent way of giving feedback to the developers has been to insult Ghostcrawler, insinuating that it’s all his fault, he’s not being professional, or that he’s just plain bad at his job. If anyone took that sort of attitude with me about my WoW related activities, they’d get blocked/banned at the very least, if not receive a scathing response in return.

If there is a problem with Elemental or Enhancement in PvP, and I’m not saying there isn’t one, then the better way to approach this is to say something like “Elemental suffers in PvP because blahblahblah”, and go on to explain what & how this occurs. Then you can offer a suggestion or two, but only if it’s short & not overpowered.

I’ve made numerous pieces of feedback. Some have been listened to, others haven’t. Some were “this would be cool” posts, others were “Umm this might be an issue” and one or two were even “Houston, we have a problem”. I never expect that these posts will be implemented exactly as I wrote them, as I don’t know what the designers/developers intend, have planned, or are working on.

All I can do is trust that they’re doing the best they can with the rather difficult job of balancing 34 different specializations, and if there is really something not working that they’ll fix it. Maybe you should try to trust them too.

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  1. Unregistered's Avatar
    I don't know why you're intimating that this change isn't a nerf. Blizzard and/or Ghostcrawler have admitted that it is a nerf.
  2. Binkenstein's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    I don't know why you're intimating that this change isn't a nerf. Blizzard and/or Ghostcrawler have admitted that it is a nerf.
    Oh, it is, but it's not the "ZOMG GC HATES SHAMAN!!!11!!11oneoneone" nerf everyone is making it out to be.


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