- Vesper Totem - This is basically just an extra AoE burst tool that also comes with an extra little bit of controllable off-healing when you commit to casting healing spells without any cost to the damage benefits. There's very little depth to the ability outside of potentially priming it a bit early for windows to save a global, and it does require you to place it properly (though you can move it off the GCD on a short cooldown). The main benefit is that since the rotation can sometimes get very hectic, this slots in without much fuss and will always be useful in any different encounter type, and flexibility is a big selling point. While this took a big hit to its output over the course of the Beta, I still find it a solid ability that fits into the kit with the least hassle.
Elysian Dirge Conduit - This attempts to shore up one of Vesper's biggest weaknesses which is single target, but unfortunately this has been nerfed to such a degree that it doesn't really achieve that anymore. This is a pretty weak conduit, and is inflexible enough that it's not really valuable enough to consider. It is however simply suffering from a tuning problem, and the design intent is one I think is the best for the ability.
- This grants you a Phial of Serenity
which is effectively an extra Healthstone per fight, with the added benefit of also cleansing you of certain debuffs (though what this works on has been increasingly curtailed over the course of Beta in particular with Bleed effects in Castle Nathria). With our self healing being less accessible now but our survival still being weak, this is a flexible choice that is often undervalued and while it's not very flashy, it's always useful.Necrolord
- Primordial Wave - Personally this is still my least favourite of the four options. The lack of flexibility, the higher difficulty to use and the lack of good synergy despite all this makes it feel like it doesn't belong in the Enhancement gameplay loop. While some of the concerns of usability were addressed relative to the original implementation by making it instant, Maelstrom Weapon spenders still aren't that big of a punch to centre around this especially now that the effect doesn't replicate the Stormkeeper buff. It also is the only one of the four that provides no off-healing, and while that's not ultimately the selling point of the ability, it's another mark against it. There's simply no compelling reason to pick this ability over others right now for the extra effort it needs, and no builds or talents that it strongly enables (that includes Fire Nova even though on paper it looks like a good match).
Tumbling Waves Conduit - If there's one thing Enhancement doesn't need more of, it's RNG. After 4 years of being centered around it, we've seen a nice decrease in variance leading into Shadowlands though it's still present between both Stormbringer and Maelstrom Weapon. This conduit takes that and dials it all the way up, making it an all or nothing reset on a 45 second cooldown, and even then the payoff isn't that great either due to the investment to even make use of the buff.
- While on paper more survival tools for Enhancement is appealing, the opportunity cost for a GCD heavy spec vs. the potential rewards for this is really off. Timing the shield to absorb actual danger periods when there's often so much rot damage in a raid isn't going to be consistent, and having to plant yourself to channel it will only lead to heartbreak. I like the intent, but the implementation doesn't mesh well with a fragile melee spec.Night Fae
- Fae Transfusion - This went from a long cooldown 4 target AoE nuke as of the last article, to a single target meteor which, while it has defined itself more against the other AoE options has made it extremely specific in its use cases. It's one of the strongest single abilities you can cast and it even now comes with the advantage of generating Maelstrom Weapon when cast, but the biggest problem that plagued it then still does now: it's a channel. Given that Enhancement has a busy rotation, finding room for it without wasting ability uses isn't easy, and moreover as a fragile melee spec finding time to safely channel this adds an extra wrinkle to our issues that rarely pays off. The saving grace of Night Fae is the soulbinds, but the ability itself is just not a selling point right now. The burst support healing it provides as well is okay, but other easier to use and more flexible options do just as well.
Essential Extraction Conduit - While this does provide quite a large amount of cooldown reduction, it does also come with the problem of increasing the amount of time you need to spend channelling the ability and displacing other important buttons. This being changed from its prior incarnation (reduced channel time + increased damage) was an enormous downgrade for this conduit, and it's a shame they went this way as it leans into the part of Fae Transfusion that makes it so unpleasant to play with as Enhancement.
- As said in the June article, the obvious overlap between this and Ghost Wolf
is pretty clear and that does hurt how big of a deal the ability is to us specifically given that's our primary movement tool. The main selling point is the (since improved) blink which is useful, and definitely has some applications in some encounters but the long cooldown and the downsides of shapeshifting we already know too well didn't make this too enticing then, and not much has changed since.Venthyr
Door of Shadows
- Chain Harvest - There's really not a whole lot to say about this, it's a really simple super-charged mix of Chain Lightning and Chain Heal bundled into one button on a long cooldown. The biggest problem this had throughout the early Beta cycle was almost entirely numerical which has since been changed (though it's fluctuated a lot!) and now it does its job - it's a big AoE nuke button that does a bit of off-healing for free. It's hard to misplay and it's simply a good fire and forget ability to add to our growing AoE toolkit, and all of the components scale directly with Maelstrom Weapon's effects which is important.
Lavish Harvest Conduit - Extremely dull conduit but it's just a simple increase. More Critical Strike for an ability that gains cooldown reduction when it does so, alongside a bit more damage/healing. Not a showstopper at the current numbers though given the long cooldown.
- Enhancement already has access to a lot of movement tools to the extent where we often don't talent into extra options. One thing we don't have though is a targetted instant displacement which this provides, though a cast time is not the kind of thing you usually want to pair with that. This has grown on me over the course of the beta and I can see it getting some use on certain encounters alongside increasing our uptime in some of the larger arenas/dungeons, but it's not a big selling point.