I would like everyone to bear in mind that this is the FIRST round of PTR notes, and therefore, could very well not make it live.
So I woke up this morning to the news that the Patch 3.2.2 Patch notes were up. Like anyone else, I of course went to read them. Being a small patch, I didn’t expect to see much more than “New Onyxia raid…blah, blah, blah”, but then, I read this:
Arcane Blast: The buff from using this ability now stacks up to 4 times instead of 3, and each application increases mana cost by 130% instead of 200%.
Not enough for you? How about this one?
Missile Barrage: The effect from triggering this talent now removes the mana cost of Arcane Missiles. In addition, the chance for Arcane Blast to trigger this talent is now 8/16/24/32/40%. All other listed spells continue to have a 4/8/12/16/20% chance to trigger it.
I’ll give all you arcane mages out there a minute to digest that, and then we shall continue.
OK, so first change, Arcane Blast now stacks up to four times instead of three. This means that at a full stack of AB effects, your next arcane spell will do 60% more damage, as opposed to the now 45% increase. For example, lets take the base damage of level 80 Arcane Barrage, which does 936 to 1144 damage (we’ll use the median between those, 1040, as our number). So, let’s say that during this patch, you stacked Arcane Blast 3 times, then used Arcane Barrage. This would increase the damage done by that spell by 45%, meaning you would do 1508 damage to an opponent. As of the new patch, if you stacked Arcane Blast all the way, the damage done would be 1664. Bam, immediate dps increase. Factor in spell power now, and crits, and all your other contributing stats, you have a lot of extra damage.
Now, the debuff side of Arcane Blast has been reduced. In the current patch, 200% increased mana cost in this patch meant that after three stacks of Arcane Blast, any subsequent AB spells cost 600% increased mana. Now, with the new changes, you can stack AB up to four times, and still only have each subsequent blast cost 520% extra mana. Looks like Blizzard is finally addressing the mana hog that is the arcane rotation, and I thank them for that.
Alright, so that’s the first change, let’s take a look at the second one. This change is just as significant, and totally awesome. What it means is, if Missile Barrage procs, we get to use it free of charge. No mana cost whatsoever. In addition to that, our Arcane Missiles should be doing 15% more damage than before because of the first change, which is also awesome.
Finally, Arcane Blast now has twice the chance to proc Missile Barrage as any other spell. Since most of an Arcane Mage’s rotation comes from Arcane Blast already, and if the first change goes live, they’ll have to stack it once more before being ready to cast something else, a Missile Barrage proc is much more likely, adding some stability to the Arcane Rotation. You can now pretty much count on having a (mana free) Missile Barrage ready to go at the end of those Arcane Blast stacks.
So there we have it, a nice detailed description of what these new changes could mean for arcane mages. Of course, if these changes don’t make it live, all of this will have been for nothing, and you just wasted your time reading it. You’re welcome.