Shaman: The First Ten Levels

You might recall, gentle reader, how I sought a new place and a new race. My desire to explore Horde content is not abated by Scourge invasions and fireworks – I have a new class to learn!

My new character is Stibbins, on Eitrigg. He is a shaman, or shammy, in the parlance of our times. I had very little knowledge of this class. I knew that a) they drop totems and b) they enrage the Alliance.

I did zero research. I want the shammy to show me what it can do, not some loudmouth in the forums.

So far, so good. My main is a mage, and I was never satisfied with the lack of survivability inherent in that class – one wrong move, and you’re just so much ground Gnome meat. Sure, that’s part of the fun of the class, but after 53 levels of it, I need a break.

The Shaman is just what the Foreman ordered.

See, I have spells that do instant damage, like the much-vaunted * Shock school (my current favorite being Earth Shock). I have spells that do damage over time. I even have a good old mageish Lightning Bolt.

But I also have a heal spell! Just one right now, but it’s enough.

And, to make the pot a little sweeter, I have totems! I recall the Earthbind totem well from Warsong Gulch (viewed from the other side, of course). They act as a constant AOE buff or debuff, but they can also act very Imp-like with the Scorching Totem, which spits little fireballs at enemies within range. I don’t see a very constant use for totems as I solo grind the levels, since the mob density appears to be rather low, even in the hard-scrabble Horde areas.

But the melee capabilities of the Shaman class are what keep me playing one. I get some cool buffs, like Rockbiter (which adds an Attack bonus to my melee weapon) and Lightning Shield (which acts as a limited-capacity Thorns spell), and I can wear leather armor!

It’s really rather nice to be able to play a character with the same (or at least similar) damage-dealing abilities of a mage and yet doesn’t die within the first few melee blows. And with little bits of other classes thrown in for good measure, I see Stibbins and I getting along smashingly.

Next time, I’ll discuss more of the Horde content itself, and how I think it compares to the Alliance side.

3 Comments so far

  1. Peebers (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 6:09 am

    Nice. I’ll stay tuned. I want to know if anybody else finds the horde stories way more noble than the alliance.

  2. 5000! (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

    Can I say for the record that I HATE the term “shammy?” It’s not even shorthand. It’s the same god damn number of letters and since people are typing it rather than speaking it there’s no point. Ugh. Anway…

    What race did you settle on? I really wanted to try both a Tauren and a Troll, and I played one of each up to about fifth level before the faux-Native American or faux-Jamaican crap drove me to abandon them. But you’re making me interested in trying out a Shaman for a bit.

  3. GPF (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 7:44 am

    I have had two level 60 mages (Horde & Alliance, Elementalist & Frost/Arcane). I rolled a Shaman for the exact same reasons. I wanted to enjoy the game with some survivability. I love my mages, but you can not be relaxed while playing one. The Shaman is the perfect balance. I rarely pound on my keyboard and freak out about timing like a mage must.

    I chose to use a 2h weapon and Windfury, which has been a ton of fun. As for the totems, when I first got them I did not see a use. But I realized they can make a large difference in solo combat. Drop a Stoneskin & Healing totem and you will find a single mele mob’s damage cut down to ΒΌ of what they usually do. This allows you to take on 2-3 mobs at a time. If you are in a group just magnify this by all the members handling mele mobs.

    I rarely use my fire totems since I save my mana for my shocks and Stormstrike, but air totems are fun when you get them. Allow your warrior friends to enjoy Windfury, or boost everyone’s agility. How about just negate a spell? You don’t have to even time it right, you just put a totem down and bam… spell is cancelled.

    I will never leave my mage, the sheer burst damage is too much to walk away from. But when I just want to enjoy the game, I prefer the shaman.

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