The Shaman Tier 10 bonus has been redesigned and will no longer reduces the cooldown of Lava Burst or enables Lava Burst to be guaranteed to critical strike without Flame Shock present. Instead successful Lava Burst casts now increase the duration of Flame Shock on the target by 6 seconds.
Please note this is still a work in progress and we may end up with a different or modified bonus before the patch goes live.
This makes the following post irrelevant and means I need to do some more analysis! However you can see my preliminary thoughts in this post.
Eyonix announced the planned tweak for elemental 4-piece tier 10 yesterday: the bonus will remain unchanged, except that it’ll also cause Lava Burst to crit regardless of whether Flame Shock is on the target.
The reason for this change is because theorycrafters determined a big problem with the present bonus to be the risk of Flame Shock falling off a target while Lava Burst is casting, a risk which would be caused by latency and similar technical issues rather than player skill. The solution was awkward and unpopular: to recast Flame Shock early, clipping its DoT, and thus slightly lowering the DPS of the set bonus.
This change fixes that problem. Everything else about 4t10 remains the same, except that it’s now going to be ridiculously overpowered in a PvP environment. Because of that, I would be very surprised if it remains as it is!
Should we still use Flame Shock with 4t10?
Absolutely yes. Without a doubt. Flame Shock‘s damage-per-cast-time is waaay higher than Lightning Bolt‘s, and in some cases is even higher than Lava Burst‘s! Even unglyphed, Flame Shock‘s DPCT is higher than LB’s. And that means we’ll cast it whether we have the glyph or not, which means that the glyph remains better for our DPS than the other choices – which means nothing will change.
In fact, even if Flame Shock is only going to tick on a target 3 times, it’s still worth casting it! For example, in my gear:
FS hit: 2807 for 1.06 seconds casting
FS DoT: 1455 every 3 seconds, which is 8730 damage over 18s
LB hit (including Overload): 9191 for 1.41 seconds casting
In this example, LB‘s DPCT is 6518 and FS‘s is 10,883! And if only 3 ticks of Flame Shock actually go off, then it’s still 6766 DPCT which is still higher than LB.
Furthermore, Flame Shock will still be a great spell to cast while moving, except we’ll have more reason to use Frost Shock when Flame Shock is still ticking (only while moving, though) as we will never have to worry about FS expiring mid-LvB cast.
What it will mean, if the change goes live, is that we can open with Lava Burst instead of Flame Shock – if we want to. Often we won’t because we’ll be moving into position anyway, and as our Tier 10 totem stacks on FS ticks we’ll want to get those ticks started ASAP.
What’s the DPS value of this change?
This doesn’t significantly affect the damage value of the set bonus. All the previously discussed issues regarding its “fragility” and “situationality” remain. According to SimulationCraft, at best it’ll still be around a hundred DPS in a stand-n-nuke situation with best-in-slot gear. I’ll need to change the way I calculate it in the spreadsheet, though!
We won’t see the change implemented until the next minor content patch, so I guess it’s far from final. Which is just as well because it’s going to be insanely desirable for elemental PvPers. And remember it was PvP that caused the change to 4t9’s bonus, turning it into a DoT instead of up-front damage.
Now, I read through 10 pages of the thread, and there wasn’t a single positive comment. Many people simply didn’t understand the reason for the change as they weren’t aware of the FS clipping problem. Those who did (I particularly recommend reading Ikestorm and Strawberry’s posts, as they’re very smart, reasonable and well-informed folks) tended to express mild satisfaction that the “bug” is being fixed but great dissatisfaction with the poor design of the set bonus in the first place.
My opinion? It’s good they’re paying attention to what’s being said in the elemental community: this was a needed change. But the resulting set bonus is still very weak in PvE and has suddenly become insane for PvP. It doesn’t seem very well thought out, does it? And the way the change was announced wasn’t very good either: “this is what we’re doing” rather than “what if we did this?”; no openness to discussion or feedback. I’d be very surprised if it remained as it is.
I thought you had work to do
I am trying, but I couldn’t really ignore this could I 😦 I blame Blizzard for posting changes while I’m trying to work.