[Legion] Spirit Link Totem targeting/positioning

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    • #2369

      Hello boys and girls!

      It’s been a several weeks now since our beloved SLT has been changed significantly on alpha. As most of you already knows, this spell now works in a way that instead of putting the totem instantly at your left feet, it now requires you to make an additional action and specifically target the location on the ground where you want the totem to be placed – similar to how Totemic Projection works.

      While I did not like this change at all (and I still don’t), I’ve tried to somewhat cope with the change. I did 2 raid tests already with this version of SLT and I strongly disliked how the new version works. The extra click feels rather clunky, acts as a distraction to my mouseover healing and most importantly prolongs the “whole process” of putting down the totem.

      I like to think about SLT as of a cooldown which can really turn the tides of the battle. I like to use it when it’s absolutelly needed, as much as I can though – when I feel that one more tick of Feast of Souls can cause several deaths, etc.  – you got my point. In this way, the one extra click feels like it’s just too many.

      The devs’ idea behind this change is clear – “new players will no longer struggle with SLT placement and experienced players will for sure welcome this as a quality-of-life change”. Let me tell you one thing. I’ve been playing shaman for just a few months now, however, I managed to master my positioning (so my SLT’s are always on the right spot, always exactly on time, even without TP) during my first farm raid. Sure, in Legion, with TP gone, this might actually be a quality-of-life improvement. But would not it be easier to stop the prune and keep TP, and perhaps making it baseline?

      I’ve tried to contact WarcraftDevs multiple times about this matter, but I guess they have more important (prune)job to do now. So I thought I might adress the shaman audience in the meantime.

      What do you guys think? Do you like the change? Or would you rather see the change reverted back? Perhaps a minor glyph which would make SLT act like it does now would make perfect sense? Finally, what would you say if Totemic Projection would be made baseline?

    • #2371

      I get where you are coming from! To recap the changes for wandering readers: you can’t spec into double charges of SLT anymore (so no more using SLT twice in the first three minutes), you have to place the totem on the ground somewhere (in a 40-yard radius), you can place SLT via projection which is built into the totem, you can’t adjust the position of the totem anymore (like we can now with totemic projection).

      Losing the double charges is something I think most of us can get over rather quickly. It would be boring to have the same thing/style/kit every single expansion. Out with the old, bring in something new. The projection system however is where stuff gets interesting. There’s one great thing: the new projection style looks / feels great. It is smooth. However: as you mentioned as well, you have to position it now. This involves anticipating the placement, hovering in the position, pressing your key bind for the SLT and clicking to place it.

      Additionally, after we have placed it, we can’t move it anymore. Now I was also concerned about having to ‘place’ the SLT at first, like you expressed as well. But the fact of the matter is, we are used to those kind of task executions. I cast riptide by scrolling down on a person in a raid frame. In order to do that I have to preposition my mouse on that target – not much different from positioning the SLT in the new situation.

      The thing I’m most upset by is the inability to adjust the SLT. It does not have to be baseline. But having the ability was like a cherry on top. If I felt like I could achieve that little bit extra by readjusting, then I had the freedom to do so. With the pruning on (shaman) abilities and the disappearance of a bunch of totems – I’m a little bit sad. I love abilities that give me the option to go the extra mile.

      TLDR: I think Blizzard designed something functional and smooth with the new projection system. However, I will be sad to let go the option of fine tuning your SLT.

    • #2372

      Haven’t been able to experience the new totem system yet but I can imagine it feels clunky at start. I just wish WoW had an option to “smartcast” abilities (autocast it to where your mouse pointer is) for all targeted abilities, to eliminate the extra clicks.

    • #2373

      The fact that you have to place it on the ground before summoning it makes it less reactive and intuitive to use as I see it. Spirit Link is one of the strongest (if not the strongest) cooldown available and being able to use it on the spot as damage is inbound only underlines this.

      To me personally it’s a massive loss not being able to just drop it at your feet while still paying full attention to health bars and their fluctuation. It will move more towards the proactive design where I am a massive fan of the reactive part (which I feel is the current model for SLT). One way to get around this would be to make a macro function to drop it at your feet if you want to, and then simply have modifiers to determine if you need to place it at a distance or drop it at your feet.
      I can’t count the amount of times, where I’ve instinctively dropped the totem after an unexpected hit and saved either a fellow healer, a tank or a dps from sudden death. This where I feel it will lose impact/value.

      I am going to miss the ability to ‘double-dip’ from this ability too. I have enjoyed abusing it by first equalizing the range and then secondly the melee group, or using it on two marks for mythic Archimonde. It will straight up lose value to me because of TP being scrapped from the game.

      Due to this I find it difficult to see this change in particular, as anything near quality-of-life. Not only will are we limited to a single spot for SLT, but we will also lose the ability to relocate all other totems as well.
      The only scenario where this will be a ‘step-up’ is when you are in range with nobody around, (as in no beneficial effect of dropping SLT on you) but you have to drop it on tanks/melee to give damage reduction or save tanks.

      I don’t mind scrapping some of the useless spells (looking at you shields) but I hate to see something like this go, it added finesse to all totems.

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