Shaman needs a thwack. They come in at 1 aps (.9 curse/throw + .1 from .5s slow from confound body), ignoring inhibit's double aff til jinxed is on (IMO, inhibit before jinxed is worth but I don't see that often) and the failure prophecy. Swiftcurse and taking the 50/50 on the throw + confound is 1.15 aps (e: had a wrong number here). Neither are bad rates (arti assassin is 1.3ish without trance/hypochondria, dropping lower depending on how shadowplants play out), and this setup phase lasts til about t+4.4 (mark/curse/confound, curse/jinx, curse/jinx).
Then that jumps to 1.63 aps (1.53 swift/throw + confound) with jinxed on. It can technically spike a little higher with delayed curses, but that's not relevant for top aps. Shifting jinxed to a high prio helps (and is really the only way to try fighting them). The only way to defend otherwise is by using active cures [basically whenever you have 2+jinxed or more affs], slowing balance or hindering some other way [I've had limited success with two inhibiting queues], or ending the fight, since yew runestone or tiger make curseward not a thing + truecurse. They 'can't truelock', but the one they can't deal with via an aff can be eliminated via prophecy or coinflipped past since it's on a long cooldown, so I don't think anyone would pretend they aren't a lock-capable class. They don't technically need to lock, since just stacking for bat with addiction and 3 DoT affs in the mix is pudding (pure swiftcursing with confound on is .86 aps, enough to maintain/slightly build pressure). Ignited porcupine + swiftcurse aff or steal+throw is also an option.
And that's before we throw in fetishes and some astounding holding skills (vortex, obstruct, laguz [or whatever bone picture it is], the best holding affs in agora and claustro, double sleep for tumble if they don't want to/can't take the easy totem hit, plus likely having dizziness from inhibit). The one downside is they lack much in the way of long-term momentum (ironic considering Vodun), so you can reset the fight if you manage to escape for about 15s to let confound fade and regain tree/purge balance.
For anecdotal stuffs, when I fight a shaman with half a brain, I need the stack sealed and ready before I really commit to eating the totem (only reliable way to 'dodge' is if they drop vortex, oddly), entering my offense route, and snapping the trance. In practice, that means entering, eating totem, standing, dropping 1-2 suggestions, running, repeat. When I commit, I try to at least get tree and purge down before snapping, but I can't usually stack enough to make sure they won't shield/flee/dust cure unless they commit to their offense. Also, I can still effectively die before the trance pays dividends (fastlocking on snap has seen the best results; trying to mask impatience for a more reliable lock tends to get me killed). Dstab/plants or confounded whispers for the fastlock doesn't win versus theirs since it basically becomes a 6s focus versus a blockable purge with the aff rate in their favor.
And all of that is just 1v1 balance. Tex/totem is one of the most obnoxious things for teamfighting, with or without the 8-slot arti. That discussion also brings in RG, though.
Solutions have been more trying than the problem. I keep wanting to type 'delete totems' I guess I'll save that for after any replies/comments/suggestions from others. Been holding onto this post too long as it is.
Aside: I wish Demonic Shaman kept the old Shamanism Magick could have had the fluffies, then AM could have like brand target with guilt and joy or something.
Add in minor exploration crap that rewards quest experience and occasional goodies like lessons or favours or something. Read something in an area, talk to a mob and get all their pointless dialogue out, probe a giant rock with some ancient symbols, etc and receive a little tuft of quest experience (and maybe an achievement for overall things found and specific types).
With exploration not a time sink, it's less of a meh to add in some 'hidden' quests that only reveal when you've seen enough of the speshul items or stuff, too. The one downside is that it'd require revisiting areas without as much direction as the quest fixing offers, but it seems like area touch-ups are also in the pipeline.
The idea is basically how Codex crap works in Bioware games (Mass Effect, Dragon Age for the uncultured) tl;dr - Exploration into mechanical gain!
*Gnehehes and strokes his beard as he leaves a non-PvP suggestion*
Another thought I had for reflections was to make them PvE only. You could leave both the wand and reflections untouched, otherwise, and they'd still have power without leaving a cancerous defense in PvP. (Plus with player reflections gone, I wouldn't need to backtrack attacks which I should be doing but I'm bad and lazy).
While both DK and Templar aren't without teeth (ha), once the basic strat (Bleed for DK, reave/flare for templar ((bleed templar is lol))) goes, they don't feel like they have the same potential that RG does. That said, I would put RG at just okay 1v1 (without considering tex/totem) since they have options opened up by rune flares. With that in mind, I started considering how to give DK options when longswords won't work without tilting longswords much higher. More or less, it involves cannibalizing (hee) some Necromancy skills into sorta-copies of RG flares.
Decay 2.5s eq 15s cooldown, reduces damage dealt by the affected by 10% for 3s
Leprosy 2.75s eq 15s cooldown, causes the next 2 salves within 4s to fail. Shares a cooldown with shrivel.
Shrivel 2.75s eq 15s cooldown, applies limb damage (no hp damage) to 1 limb or half that to two limbs. Shares its cooldown with leprosy.
Chill 2s eq 2 charges with 16s cooldown, applies a dose of freezing
Disfigure 4s eq 15s cooldown, same effect (aff show disfigurement)
Belch 4s eq 16s cooldown, causes a 2s elixir balance loss
Leech 4s eq 10s cooldown, 5% mana drain, doubled on hindered targets.
Screech 3s eq 12s cooldown, short balance loss
Feed 2s eq 15s cooldown, your next Necromancy ability is sped up by 1s. If the target is prone or hindered, it speeds up the next two.
At least with the shield, there's a hefty cooldown and counters. A 10-30% chance to get a cure from someone nowhere near the fight is worse than old priest range heal, and I wouldn't really want to gift a shaman a single extra aff cure in a 1v1.*
*Even though it's technically a 1v2 with the remote healing and I'd probably die faster to most duos in person than I would with one of them + heals.
E: Actual number comparisons for the earrings
Stack-link Onyx or amber is a cure per second boost of .022 (from 0.067 to .089). Just eating herbs, aqua should be around .2 cps
Playing the credit market? Need gold or credits. Playing the promo market? Need gold, credits, or promo buy-ins + people actually buying. Questing? Not even close to my gold output, not counting body turn-in quests (and even then). Bound credits are available in a very minor way that was nerfed heavily recently. Main Crafting/production skills require a 280c investment before you start making basically nothing, even if you become one of Arakis's harvest bots. PvP is a gold drain. Events are decent spikes even if you just get participation credits, but that's not part of the core game.
E: I also do some coding work here and there aside from my basher, which again is not really part of the game's mechanics.
I *am* the F2P player with the benefit of easily a couple Gs invested in the game and a decade of play time. So, the point remains that it's hundreds of hours of playtime without credit purchases to get to what most people would call the baseline of one tritrans class.