Why It's Not All Doom & Gloom For Elemental
by, 05-05-2013 at 11:16 PM (10572 Views)
If you’re reading Shaman forums lately, be it the official ones or fan sites (like this one), you’ll have noticed a number of threads that boil down to stating that Elemental is performing poorly (yet again) in Throne of Thunder. Technically speaking they’re correct, but not in the way that everyone is talking about.
So what’s the big issue? Most will refer to RaidBots and argue that this proves that the spec is not up to scratch. There are cries of “Ele is low on every fight”, which seems to ignore the obvious outlier of Heroic Durumu, and ignores a number of other things.
Fight Comparison: Horridon 25H
Firstly, lets take a look at some of the fights where we’d expect Elemental to perform well, Horridon for example. Thanks to Chain Lightning (with the glyph) we should be able to clean up on the adds, and we do. The problem is that when you factor in the stacking damage debuff on the boss you get a different story. For example, if we take one of the top ranked Elementals in 25, Yamelit, we see that they had 63.7% of their damage on Horridon with a 11:29 fight length. Television, a Shadow Priest, had 77.9% against Horridon on a 9:43 long fight. Both did fairly similar damage, 218.9m vs 226.4m, so the fight length difference made a major difference in overall DPS, as did the increased amount of time that Television was attacking Horridon.
What does this mean? The fact that Elemental is very good at cleaving down smaller groups of adds, as found on this fight, means that there’s less time taking advantage of the damage increase debuff. The end result is that we won’t end up topping the meters because we’re doing a job that we’re ideally suited to which prevents it.
Fight Comparison: Ji-Kun
We can see a similar disparity on Ji-Kun as well. Compare the hatchling damage from Rommance with that from Kuznam, along with the 2 minute fight difference, and you can see why there is such a DPS difference. It’s also worth noting that Method has an Elemental Shaman, Leeds, who is also behind Kuznam on damage, but this can be explained by the fact that uptime of Primal Nutriment is very different. Kuznam had a 247 second uptime vs Leeds 30 seconds, so that’s a 77% vs 9.3% uptime.
I’ll put a short note in here on Primordius as well. The random stats/crit/haste/mastery buffs make it a bit hit & miss as to how well you’ll do, as the crit & haste buffs will have a reduced impact on your performance. Crit is somewhat obvious, as Lava Burst isn’t affected by it, while the issue with Haste is that long standing scaling issue I’ve talked about previously. Because of these reduced effectiveness buffs, unless you get all stats/mastery buffs you’ll get less out of them compared with other classes, which explains why we’ll fall behind on this fight.
One of the other, more commonly missed advantages for Elemental is that we can move about with minimal cost to our output. This is useful in those not-really-significant-to-dps situations where you can move around to keep more than X yards from nearby raid members. There have been a few times where I’ve moved from one side of the room to another for better spacing, stopping along the way to throw out an Elemental Blast or a non-proc Lava Burst. Other classes don’t have that, but most Elementals take it for granted these days.
Perception vs Reality
One of the things that is often said when evaluating healers is “the meters don’t matter”. Oddly enough this can also be applied in a more limited sense to DPS as well. This is because while doing more DPS is important, it’s secondary to Doing Your Job. It just so happens that Elemental tends to do more of these jobs, or pull the short straw when it comes to fights that suit the spec.
Nothing is ever as simple as a graph on a website.
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