Ensuring Elemental's Place in ToS

Edit: Slander has made a forum post here discussing a similar last push for Elemental changes: http://ift.tt/2sifWkt just gone through yet another PTR cycle with no changes to the Elemental spec and another round of nerfs to our Tier 20 bonuses. As the patch is coming up very closely, I thought I’d try and make a post outlining some of our fundamental problems in the hopes of addressing our problems before the patch hits. We haven’t been sitting on our hands, the storm, earth, and lava team (as well as plenty of other fine members of the Elemental community) have made plenty of posts hoping to get some problems addressed since the PTR went live:Falc’s thread: http://ift.tt/2rITfsB (Omajarn) Posts within the discussion thread: http://ift.tt/2siyktt EU post: http://ift.tt/2rIQI1x, here’s what I would consider the most fundamental problems that Elemental will have going into next patch, if we were to focus our attention into some specific spots:Static Overload: As a trait, this is one of those things that is incredibly feast-or-famine. If you are able to get a proc within your stormkeeper, you’ll jump many millions of damage and if not, your damage will struggle. This brings up one of the big Elemental problems: inconsistency. If we are meant to fulfil a role within a raid (in this case, 4-5 target burst AoE), then a raid group will, very reasonably, prefer specs that are able to reliably do the same thing every pull.I would love to see this trait completely removed and replaced, which would both (slightly) increase mastery’s value on AoE as well as increase consistency. Alongside this trait’s removal, Stormkeeper could receive a slight buff to ensure we still have the ability to do burst AoE every minute. In the trait’s place, a common suggestion I’ve seen is to allow our shock abilities to overload, perhaps at reduced damage.Now obviously, completely replacing the trait is probably not feasible within the next few weeks, so an alternative suggestion would be you add some slight consistency. To do so, you could remove the trait’s ability to proc on the first two casts within stormkeeper (normal mastery would still be possible), but force it to proc on the third.Earthquake vs Earth Shock: Because these two abilities are competing for the same resources, it’s obviously very easy to get into situations where one might be over the other. In this case, the addition of the Seismic Storm trait combined with increasing haste levels (as well as haste procs) has made it where earthquake is usable as a single-target spender. I consider that a pretty fundamental design problem that should likely be addressed.To fix this problem, just go all out and give earth shock the massive buff it deserves as our single target spender. That could be done as just a flat 30-50% buff, or (even better) by going more of the chaos bolt route of guaranteed crits that scale in damage with critical strike.Single Target Damage: Obviously a problem for a number of specs, but one particularly bad for Elemental – especially as we go into a tier that will have large amounts of movement-heavy and single-target fights.There isn’t really much to say here, and even if we don’t go live in the best state, this is an easy enough thing to change in the tuning passes within the first few weeks.Tier 20 Bonuses: The big one that is really just hitting everyone hard right now. This has been poorly designed from the start, shoving damage into two mostly passive, over time effects (flame shock and fire elemental). It’s an inversatile bonus that, for some reason, has been repeatedly nerfed.I can see the reasoning for adding an ICD onto the 4pc (note that it might be a good idea to bump the ICD to 0.75 to make it less likely that we'll actually have a single flame shock ticking faster than the ICD under heavy haste), obviously we could have gotten into some funny situations where we might have multiple fire elementals out if we had enough flame shocks out. But, the accompanying reduction to the 2pc just seems to be from nowhere.My suggestions for what could be done with the tier to bring it up into a more reasonable level (removing the possibility of a complete rework at this point):2PC: Remove the guaranteed crit from the 2pc, but bump the flame shock damage increase back up to a more respectable value.4PC: Make the 4pc no longer require flame shock crits, and simply work off of flame shock ticks instead (keeping the ICD). Additionally, this bonus should not effect storm elemental at half effectiveness - while the ability does have half of the cooldown of fire elemental, it also has half of the duration (and as such has equivalent uptime).Those are just the fundamental issues I see as we go into the next tier, and I do urge people to read into the posts mentioned at the top if you want a deeper dive into the spec. I hope we still have the time to look into these and make way for a nice spec as we move into the next tier.Thanks for reading! (A simple tl;dr is the bolded headers above)