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Noob Shaman: instancing as Ele
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I finally got my new Ele shaman up to lvl 15 yesterday, and so lined up random low level instances for the experience. I gave up after three of them, due to complete frustration in rotation and threat. This is not my first shammy, but it's been before the previous expac that I played one.
According to all I've read, after the tank picks up the mobs' threat, I should dot them all with Flame Shock on CD while going on the attack with Lightening Bolt. Every time I did hit a mob with FS, I pulled aggro off the tank, and had the mob or two running after me. After about half way thru the tank asked me to quit the FS. I tried Earth Shock, but to the same effect, tank lost that mob's threat and it ran after me. Basically, in three instances, I was basically doing LB spam, as every instance, using either shock pulled threat onto me.
I don't remember shocks having such aggro before!
Also, Searing Totem seems to pull threat, too. I would presume, maybe wrongly, that all three tanks were doing a respectable job keeping threat, and so perhaps I shouldn't lay on a FS/ES? Doesn't seem right...
I'm considering respec'ing to Resto, which also means likely giving up questing, the damage output seems kind of shallow. May seem silly to worry about such low level stuff, but I want to get into the proper habits now, when there are less button to worry about punching.
I never did dungeons at lower levels on my shaman, but you're playing elemental fine so your problems should just go away as you level up. That's probably just due to weirdness with how some of the numbers scale at lower levels.
And having a resto dual spec is definitely nice if you enjoy healing in dungeons since it shares gear with elemental, but it's by no means necessary.
Flame Shock may pull aggro depending on the tank. Earth shock will almost definitely pull aggro unless a capable tank is focused on that target.
I would guess that your tanks were focusing only on one enemy at a time and might have only hit other enemies with one AoE attack if at all.
Searing totem may pull threat on a non-focus target, which isn't a big deal.
Is the healer getting attacked by enemies? The tank's first priority should be to use an ability that hits all the enemies (or tab-targeting through each enemy) to prevent the healer from getting aggro. After that, he should quickly choose a focus target for the DPS to whale on. Of course, it helps to do this before the pull, but for low-level content, it's very uncommon to be organized or methodical.
Many times, the tank can simply use AoE abilities on cooldown while tabbing through targets to hit any that he/she might have missed, and DPS can use their AoE rotations (which includes applying DoTs like Flame Shock to each target).
If they don't, there should be at least one target on which you can apply Flame Shock, though it might not be worth it if it dies too quickly. With the default UI, it should show your threat percentage over an enemy's health bar beside the target portrait. If there is no number there, then you have no threat against that target or it's at less than 1% enemy's current target. However, early during a pull, you can easily go from zero to 200% depending on the actions of other players.
As esplode said, it will probably work itself out as you level.
A big thing to note with really low level dungeons (15- mid 20s) is that most tanks don't have an AoE yet. Paladins don't have hammer of the righteous (iirc), warriors dont have thunder clap. Tanking at that level is very difficult because you have very few attacks and most are on a CD. Once you hit 22-25; they get a LOT easier.
edit: i never played a druid tank so i can't speak to that end
searing totem pulls threat? lol, that's not your fault.
just focus damage on the tank's target for now until they get some more abilities. it will get better.
Thanks, all! Yea, it's getting better already. I've never tanked, so I honestly don't know what a lower level tank can/can't do. I just hate screwing up the tank's job, is all. Anyway, for normal mobs, I've been simply spamming LB, saving the FS for bosses. So even at these low levels and admittedly crappy gear I've been topping the damage.
Part of the problem I know I have, and I see with other people, is when we research our classes, we normally only find high level and raiding tactics. These don't always, or even usually, work very well at lower levels.
At lower levels, tactics hardly apply at all. If you have a group of people who all wear Heirloom gear, most if not all Vanilla content gets vaporized before anything even vaguely resembling a rotation comes up. For BC content it seems to take a little longer to kill trashpacks and bosses, but for Wrath content things can turn for the worse again. A few days ago I had the "pleasure" of tanking Azjol Nerub with a L80 Shammy healer. He was decked out with twinking gear from Pandaria (ilvl409 and the like). He just zerged bosses and trash down before anyone could even run in to attack. Only the Hunter could get a decent amount of damage in.
In general, I'd say instances aren't really too well balanced anymore. The tank only really seems to be an issue when you don't have heirlooms, but as long as everyone keeps attacking and healing, it doesn't really seem to matter who has agro, you'll survive ... if your healer is awake that is.
Instances are horribly balanced, but that's no excuse for a tank not holding aggro off a single dps move.
I recently started leveling a Prot Pally, and they get Avenger's Shield as part of the "prot package" at level 10. Hits 3 targets (at range) and hits them hard. There's no way a single flame shock would pull one of those. At level 20 they get Hammer of the Righteous and Holy Wrath. You should never see another mob near you.
Looks like Warriors and Druids are kinda screwed. Warrior doesn't get it's first AoE move until level 20 (Thunderclap) and Bears at 22 (Swipe).
But, even when they can only single target, you have little responsibility beyond hitting the one they're hitting. It's not hard to see which mob the tank is currently targeting. Target that one, and do your thing.
Anything a tank has hit, should never pull off due to a flameshock cast, let alone searing totem. After being very careful about what you hit. Either you hit something the tank hasn't gotten to yet (your fault) or the tank is doing it wrong (self explanatory).
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