Since mike just mentioned in ask the devs that storm totem is high on the list of skills to be looked at I just wanted to dump my feelings on the current version of the skill. I only started playing it a few days ago but I actually love it way more than I expected to.
Things I like about it
The lightning storm spell it casts (rapid lightning bolts with high range just feels so nice)
Using crows to buff it. Seeing a bunch of crows sitting next to the totem spamming buffs just feels cool to me
Using upheaval to buff it. In conjunction with crows there is something to be said about the thematic feel of running circles around your totem smacking the floor to create lightning.
Being limited to a single totem. Having multiple totems would make the previously mentioned buffing behaviour a big pain to deal with.
The range. I mentioned it before but the targeting range is fantastic for making the totem feel impactful. If this went away I don’t think I’d touch the skill again. If the offscreen clearing potential is a concern I would much rather see the totem placement range go down.
Things I dislike about it
The area of effect node. This node just decreases overlaps on the storm and it makes me feel very sad having to take 2 points in it just to get some damage from behind it.
Thunder totem. I’m not a fan at all of chance to replace with a better version of the totem. I would rather see some other requirement or mechanic aside from chance used to produce the thunder totem, or see it reworked into more general power. If multiple storm totems becomes a thing maybe thunder totem could restore a limit to 1 totem and make it fancy.
Playing a shaman. The shaman tree is just awful and I feel like that is the largest issue with the mastery, more than any of the actual skills.
The storm totem tree itself. It feels like there is one good way to set the tree up, and every other node does nothing at all.
Blizzard having next to no support in the tree.
The delay before storm totem starts casting abilities.
Overall really excited to see what you guys do with the skill.
While I agree that buffing Storm Totem (ST) with Storm crows, Upheaval, Warcry etc is cool I’m
sure there should be an option to play ST as single solid skill on its own. As an example, there could be a node on the ST tree that would give it huge buffs but with the downside of not being able to summon other minions (but possible to summon other totems so we could play a pure totem summoner archetype for example).
Another ST node could read smth like ‘ST gains more dmg per any other totem you have active’. More variability won’t hurt.
the ST Blizzard node damage is underwhelming. Buff the cold route of ST so there are more variatons how to buld ST characters.
The “buff ST” build is really fun and a neat build, ive played it a bunch.
But it still falls off a cliff at like 200 corruption. Usually because it hinges on stormcrows providing frankly busted amount of flat damage, and they die to aoes left and right cause stormcrows have survivability issues.
I really wish they would just buff totems in general away from needing gimmicks to work.
Upheaval totem is unplayable without using the staff nodes to give it base damage, consuming your points and giving you less options, also why does it need a cooldown when its a totem? it feels so nerfed for almost 0 reasons.(Also all the huge nerfs it gets if you give it more waves etc, which just feels weird… upheaval totem is way worse then self use, why the heck is it getting penalties?)
Thorn totems are the poster child for totem builds, featuring massive damage… that is all obtained by one gimmick node you basically have to build around to do anything with the skill. And it alone makes the skill viable.
And lastly you have storm totem which needs like all your other skills to buff it to make it viable.
Ive been waiting for a shaman rework since ive started playing. This game has the perfect pacing for totem builds, but they put frenzy totem to beast master only, and have done nothing to help totems exist as builds that dont require uniques/gimmicks to function.
I am playing right now a tri-totem build, with Storm, cold Thorn and cold Warcry totems and its doing great, but i agree wholeheartedly with your points.
My only suggestion would be to focus first on revamping the Shaman passive tree to better tailor either multi-totem builds or 1 super buffed totem, just like Beastmaster and companions. Add some crit and crit multi, better scaling for defenses so they dont die after 3 hits or you’re forced to buff life to keep them up.
The only thing i’d love to add is a way to (either from passives or from the skill tree) increase the duration or refresh the duration of active totems, so you dont have to spam them every 6/8 seconds. I know they’re expendable temporary minions, but it would be nice.
There’s a node that grants the refresh duration, full heal and buff damage on YOUR frozen enemy kill but that’s bait, never to be useful in a boss fight.