Yeah the changes are good, sensible ones but one thing is really annoying me and it's to do with the overall design of the class. Ghostcrawler states that Shamans are the offensive hybrid counterpart to the defensive hybrid, the Paladin. Here's the thing though, Paladins are almost perfectly realised as a defensive class, with their ability to tank, wear heaviest armour, the saving 'hands' on their allies, "Divine Shield" on themselves, being able to redirect some of the damage taken by a single target or the whole raid to themselves, it's a very nice repertoire indeed. Then you've got Shamans in the supposed offensive role and they are sorely lacking in that respect, one key component of offence is mobility something Shaman players have been complaining that's lacking for ages.
For instance, in that same post GC mentions how static he thinks casting Shamans are like 'turrets' - "You sit and spin and shoot (or heal)". Sounds a lot like a defensive role being adopted to me. It really is galling because of how I imagined the Shaman to be a great warrior that buffs his allies in the heat of battle (having an interesting experience in Lotro trying out the Captain class, ahem). So then it's a question of mobility as one possible solution to this dilemma, but creating a caster/healer that can go toe to toe in close range would be very intriguing but barring a total wipe of what is currently in game it's a very unlikely prospect, though "Maelstrom Weapon" could be a potential catalyst for change.
"Heroic Leap" a dropped Wrath beta ability for Warriors (Fury?) has Shaman written all over it. "Thunder" could be redesigned as a quick way to move for Elemental Shamans, like a lightning bolt they get into the middle of a group of mobs, drop "Fire Nova" and "Chain Lightning" to their hearts contents. A warrior priest archetype would be very welcome for restoration, a revival of Shaman fortunes would be much prefered than a new hero class. Umm, yeah, guess that's strike two for not returning to WoW for now at least.