Thursday, March 5, 2009

Totem? Darn Near Killed 'em

As I alluded to in my first post, I'm pretty new to shamaning and shamaninity in general. I never really "got" the class in the same way I did the others. That has changed. At least for enhancement, and I think I have a grip on the other specs as well. Not that I feel like I can explain it coherently, but after grappling with it, it fits snugly in the brain in the same way calculus was difficult to grasp until it just snapped in place one day.

Shamalamabam is now flying through the levels faster than any other character I've had, not counting the granted levels I admitted to in the aforementioned first post. She is able to solo mobs I haven't been able to with other classes ("Hello, Drillmaster! Goodbye, Drillmaster!") at the same levels, and is doubling my XP/hour rate that I had achieved with my first couple of characters. Not that this is terribly difficult, but still....

To me, as a levelling shaman, the secret is that the shaman truly is the jack of all trades, master of none. I don't need to be master of any, though. Wearing mail, I can take a beating better than most other classes. Drop a magma totem and throw out the odd chain lightning, and I'm an AoE class. Smack me too hard, I can toss out the heals. Add in 5 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon and my heals are instant-cast but full-strength. So I can't take a beating like a warrior, can't AoE like a paladin or mage, heal like a holy or resto character, or DPS like a rogue or warlock. Who cares? Having the whole bag of tools is sometimes better than having the world's best hammer, or saw, or whatever.

I now ride around, pull mobs like my paladin did, and ask them to gather round while I slow fry them with my magma totem. With windfury on one weapon and flametongue on the offhand, I start smacking the biggest mob, or the caster. Whenever I get my stack of Maelstrom, I check my health. If it's getting too low, I cast a heal on myself. The fact that it's instant keeps it from getting interrupted, and allows me to move while healing if necessary. If I don't need a heal, I'll use it for an instant chain lightning. Most mobs go down in a few seconds, and I switch to the next mob that looks like the most trouble. Drop another magma totem as necessary, and four or five mobs are gone in 30-40 seconds. Not as good as my paladin, who can handle 5 or 10 pretty easily, but a heckuva lot faster.

All in all, the process feels much like it did with my paladin - the higher my level, the more interesting the levelling. I can't wait to see what it's like for me in Northrend.

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