The journey to Nazgum v3.0

Since Warhammer’s release (which was 6 months ago already!), my main has been my shaman, Nazgum.  Over the course of those 6 months my spec (and playstyle) has changed quite a bit.  I’m just moving on to a new version so what better time to take a journey back to see how I got to here.

Nazgum v1.0: Healer

Whatever group Nazgum runs: Guild leader (I think) and regular warband leader as a shaman. Can and has healed half a warband on his own.[1]

For about the first 3 months that warhammer was out I played a shaman pretty much how you would expect them to be played; as a healbot roaming the RvR lakes in a warband.  I basically aimed to keep my Willpower as high as I could and I ran with the tactics Discipline, Extra Special Mushrooms, Restorative Burst and Dat Makes Me Dizzy.

How did playing a healer work out?  In one word.  Awful.  I’m a PvP player, and as I see it there are essentially three options to PvP in Warhammer: Solo, in a small group, or in a warband.

Attempting to solo as a pure healer is useless.  You do no damage.  Really.  You can just take your damage skills off your toolbar.  You also have very low survivability.  Not exactly a winning combo.  With the above tactics and a focus on Willpower there was few fights I would win.

What about a small group?  Group vs Group should be fun.  It would be, except it never happens in Warhammer.  If you actually manage to find a group of 6 willing to go out there and roam the lakes you will be sorely disappointed to discover there is no opposing groups of 6 for you to fight – just warbands and stragglers seeking to rejoin their warbands.

So that just leaves warbands.  Playing a healer in a warband is essentially wack-a-mole with squared.  A square changes color you click it with a HoT.  Not much fun.  The amount of Crowd Control abilities in warband fights adds a lot of frustration as well.  You get silenced and die.  You get disabled and die.  And worse, you’re often a first target and few allies seem interested in trying to protect you.

The short summary is, no matter how I tried to play as a pure healer, it was often frustrating and rarely fun.

Nazgum v2.0: Kiter

Nazgum, because I usually idle in someone or other’s vent even when I’m soloing just so I have some background noise, and any announcement of “Hey, there’s Nazgum all by himself, go get him” is usually followed by ten minutes of profanity and hilarity.[2]

At about the 3 month mark from release I was done with warbands.  I realized there is no way they could provide the entertainment I wanted.  So I decided to take a second look at what abilities I have, and try and spec into a very self-protective role.  I switched my tactics to Discipline, Extra Special Mushrooms, Git Outta Here! and RUN AWAY!.  I dropped Willpower and instead focused on Toughness, Initiative and Wounds.

I took a few laps around the RvR lakes and.. it was like a totally different class.  A good class.  Not only was I nearly impossible to bring down, I could actually get kills as well!  Gork Sez Stop became my new best friend and with it I shifted to playing almost entirely solo.  In 1vs1 I was a beast, easily downing any Tank or Ranged DPS class.  Even Witch Hunters usually weren’t much trouble.  White Lions were my only real bane.

But there was still the problem that I killed slow.  Very slow.  I needed to rely on Gork Sez Stop for damage and players who knew to stop would result in a long fight.  It also started to lose its entertainment value.  Sure I could win fights, but it was repetitive and didn’t offer much variety.  I would basically do the same thing every fight.  I liked that my character was viable solo now (and teamed with a witch elf or marauder we would be a vicious duo), but there still must be a better way…

Nazgum v3.0: DPS

Hahaaaa. Death at the hands of a healer…tis a rare event that usually involves a computer malfunction. (Unless your name is Nazgum.)[3]

Way back when I was a pure healer, I never even considered trying a DPS spec, because my survivability was so low I knew it would just result in a faster death for myself.  But after getting a little bored with kiting I wanted to try something new.  I kept a pretty good focus on survivability with my stats (600 wounds/intelligence, 400 toughness/initiative), and switched my tactics up to Mork Is Watchin’, Divine Fury, Hurts, Don’t It? and Git Outta Here!.


Wow.  I had no idea shaman could actually do decent damage.  This new spec has made the game a lot more fun for me again, especially because it provides more variation to my fights.  My damage abilities belong on my toolbar now!  There’s a lot of buttons to select from now!  But fights are also more risky!  My survivability is way down and I need to learn to be more cautious as this spec.

I usually play solo or in a duo nowadays, and I wanted to see how my healing held up, so I teamed with Snafzg.  Usually when I duo with a dps it works pretty well, except when the other side has a healer, as I can’t contribute enough damage to ensure we down them.  Not this time.  Me and Snafzg put out quite the DPS together, and we went on a pretty nice tear in Chaos Wastes in front of the Order warcamp fighting mostly 2vs3 before eventually being brought down


So that’s where I’m at now with Nazgum, and it’s quite enjoyable.  Hopefully this spec lasts me until 1.3 when apparently Shamans are getting a bit of needed surgery on their Mork/Gork mechanic =)


15 thoughts on “The journey to Nazgum v3.0

  1. Great post! this is the stuff i wanted to ask/talk to you about! Im currently gork up to Geddof, with "big waagh!" and "Geddof!" pracced, and rest will go into mork for DSU.I usually played with Devine fury as tactic, but atleast in scenarios i find it just not worth it. I do abit less damage but the survivability really is ALOT better. Im still leveling tho, entering T4 in 1 level so i wouldnt know about endgame rvr…

  2. We're definitely more of an offensive threat now than ever before, but your survivability has gone way down and I guess you still need to figure out how safe to optimally play it. The best part of all of this is that we kill so much faster now, which is key to not continually having Order add onto our fights. The second best part is that we can usually kill any small groups we come across with a healer in them now.

  3. Hi Vizh,Thanks =) I personally think DSU is essential regardless of what spec you are so 10 points in Mork tree; the rest of my points are in Gork atm =)

  4. Hi Hatch,Sure, I would say the easiest spec to level with is Mork, just don't try it solo. Find 1 or 2 dps partners with AoE and go to an area you all haven't done yet, grab all the quests and just mow down all the mobs in the area =)

  5. Oh nazzie btw, the addon you have in your movies, where you see debuffs timer on enemy's, what is it called? i mean where you see toughness debuff etc on them…

  6. Oh nazzie btw, the addon you have in your movies, where you see debuffs timer on enemy's, what is it called? i mean where you see toughness debuff etc on them…

  7. Just wanted to quickly comment that it is always fun finding you in the RvR lakes due to the challenge that is involved in trying to take you down. I can verify as Order – Ostermark, Nazgum is a well know name on our side, and one greatly respected. And you have created a great blog!.

  8. I am a new warhammer player that is starting with a shammy,could you give me some hints on where should i go to educate myself on techniques, items that i can wear to be able to be efficient on RvR? I like healing but i like damage more so i would like to go DPS on my shammy.Please char is Dragonhealer on Monolith.

  9. Hi Archelaos,hehe thanks for the nice comments =)Dragonheale,hints, techniques, info on shaman? hmm.. that's what this blog is going to be about so keep reading =)Vizh,I'm planning to switch to Youtube's HD feature for videos and then start posting some here =)

  10. Will have to try something like this. Maybe I won't be swatted down like a fly as much.Great blog, by the way. Gonna keep an eye on it 😀

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