Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Enhancement versus Elemental

So I've been on a bit of a leveling binge lately. Got some of the raiding bug out of my system last week and back to a full fledged case of altoholism. I spent a little bit of additional time leveling my shaman last week and managed to get him from level 28 to level 31. It's really raised some questions in my mind about the best spec to be using for leveling a Shaman. It's odd really, because for almost every other class, their seems to be one fairly clear spec that's most effective for leveling, and that spec works well throughout the entire process, but I'm not sure that's the case for Shaman.

I had been leveling exclusively as enhancement, but particularly in the late 20's was finding it to be somewhat frustrating, particularly in situations where I was pulling multiple mobs. I've seen a lot of articles that seemed to suggest that leveling enhancement doesn't truly come into its own until dual wield becomes available at level 40.

However, particularly early on, trying to level as elemental was very frustrating because it was extremely mana intensive.

What I've been toying with is a rather odd method of switching back and forth, but that I think might provide the most effective leveling path for relatively low level shaman. You start out your toon leveling as enhancement. This involves keeping lightning shield up, keeping either frostbrand or flametongue on your weapon and pulling with lightning bolt, then bashing away till they're dead. I was also throwing in an occasional frost shock just for the slowing ability.

At level 20, once water shield becomes available, respec and switch to elemental. At that point, your rotation changes and you want to keep water shield up and your basically spamming lightning bolt with an occasional flame shock for good measure. Water shield keeps your mana replenished so you don't have to stop and drink after every fight.

At level 40, I think it will be effective to switch back to elemental with dual wield, or you could alwyas continue to level as elemental - your choice at that point. We'll see how it goes.

I've also continued to focus a lot on my paladin, and have managed to get him to level 64 as of the end of the day yesterday. He's almost done with Zangarmash and ready to head on to Terrokar forest. Leveling as a ret paladin continues to be a lot of fun and ridiculously easy. So many weapons in your arsenal to make lots of things very dead very fast.

I also got my priest up to level 30, my mage up to level 28 and my rogue up to level 12. I know I said I wasn't going to mess with the rogue, but my levels per day have increased with my increased focus, so that I'm now more comfortable that I'll be able to get him to 80 as well before the Cataclysm release date. So I'm throwing him back into the rotation.

So here's where we currently sit, besides my four existing level 80's: my warlock, death knight, druid and hunter...

Cador - Ret Paladin - level 64
Mograwn - Elemental (for now) Shaman - level 31
Zinjar - Shadow Priest - level 30
Vindoria - Frost Mage - level 28
Rukai - Combat Rogue - level 12

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