Archive for the Mage stuff Category

So there’s this new thing called Cataclysm…?

Posted in Mage stuff on August 26, 2009 by solomonx

So, apparently, the new World of Warcraft expansion pack has been announced. Now, I’m not going to reveal my sources or anything, but I hear tell that it’s going to be pretty cool.

Oh, wait, everyone knew that?

Alright, all kidding aside, I couldn’t be more excited for this expansion. All of the features that are supposed to be implemented sound awesome. I’m all for the simplification of stats, guild levels and talent trees, and especially the changes coming to Azeroth. That part is the best to me. I’ve always felt that Azeroth got kind of left behind in the last two expansions, and this new one is bringing it back into the limelight.

What I really want to know is how this expansion is going to affect our favorite class, the mage. Warlocks and Hunters are getting some pretty big changes that make them truly unique. So I have to wonder what’s in store for us? Anything awesome? I know it’s a bit early to think about the features that will make it into the game, but what would you guys like to see in the next expansion?

Of course, there is the most important question left to be answered:

…what’s going to happen to Mankrik’s wife when the Barrens get’s split in two?

Patch 3.2.2 Changes Arcane

Posted in Mage stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2009 by solomonx

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.

Ready?

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.

Longing for the olden days?

Posted in Mage stuff with tags , , , , , on July 21, 2009 by solomonx

Something happened yesterday during an Ulduar run.

I was asked a question that I haven’t been asked in a long time.

You want to know what it was?

“Can that mob be polymorphed?”

Yes, that’s right. For the first time since level 70, I was actually asked to sheep something in the middle of a raid. Needless to say, I was very excited, this was a flashback to the days of BC where crowd control was necessary and mages were wanted for the awesome sheeping abilities. I quickly set my focus on the marked enemy and dusted off the old sheep spell, ready to go. So we pull this group of mobs (Freya trash, for those of you wondering), and after a minute or so, I came to a realization.

Sheeping stinks.

I was constantly switching targets and lowering my dps in order to re-sheep the mob because of all the AoE going on, and in the end, it didn’t really do a lot of good. I don’t know about you guys, but as a mage, I like to try to top the meters. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll sacrifice damage output for the good of the raid on bosses such as Ignis where I’m in charge of killing the adds, but I don’t enjoy it too much.

So this got me wondering, why does everyone reminisce about the BC days of complicated raiding as if they were so much more enjoyable. We have it much better now, where we can just focus fire on the mobs we need to and do a lot of damage, and I’m enjoying that. Back in BC, mages weren’t actually desired for anything other than their sheeping abilities (as well as water and ports, but that’s about it). I remember doing a Sunwell trash run where I was specifically told to do nothing but sheep my assigned mob. Now that was boring. These days, I’m enjoying raiding much more due to the fact that I can actually be a part of downing the boss, instead of just watching the time left on my polymorph spell so I know when to refresh it.

So how about you guys? Do you miss the olden days? Or are you happy with what is right now?

Trial of the Crusader? Yes please!

Posted in Mage stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by solomonx

Alright so no doubt by now most of us have read up on the new 5 man raid, Trial of the Crusader. (If you haven’t you can check it out here, at wow.com. but be aware it does contain spoilers). The thing is, what are everyone’s first impressions?

I’ll tell you mine:

I think it’s awesome.

For anyone that has a new level 80 (which I am on my way to attaining), this instance offers the perfect bridge from quest greens to raid viable gear, without having to grind naxx for multiple weeks. The normal version drops Heroic / Naxx 10 level loot, and the Heroic I can only assume drops gear of a greater ilvl than that (Confirmed, it drops ilvl 213 gear, the same as Naxx 25 bosses not including Saph and KT). This means that after just a few days of running both versions of this instance, one could easily hop into a naxx 25 raid to finish out gearing up your character. However, if said raid is requiring achievments for entrance….well….good luck with that…

Anyway, some actual mage related stuff. You may be wondering what sort of loot drops from this instance that will be beneficial to us fireballin, arcane blastin, ice lancin folks. Well, all I could dig up so far in terms of loot was the gallery available at wow.com, but there’s still some good information. Check out some of this nice entry level raid gear available from a simple non-heroic run. An awesome belt, A great neckpiece, and some sweet gloves. All of this is yours for the taking, my fellow mages. Just go out and get it.

Mage Tier 9 Analysis

Posted in Mage stuff with tags , , , , , , on July 7, 2009 by solomonx

Alright, so maybe my last article was  a wee bit outdated, given that tier 8 has been out for a few months now, it doesn’t really need an analysis. It was just something that had been on my mind and I felt like it needed to be said.

Anyway, today I’m going to write about something a little more recent and relevant. Mage Tier Nine…we all want it right? Maybe, maybe not, let’s find out.

Reminder, these are the latest tier bonuses on the PTR and subject to change, so don’t hate me if something changes.

So, let’s start out by checking out the two piece set bonus:

Increases the armor you gain from Ice Armor by 20%, the mana regeneration you gain from Mage Armor by 10%, and converts and additional 15% of your spirit into critical strike rating while Molten Armor is active.

……………..yay?

What is this? Seriously? In my opinion, this is one of the worst tier bonuses I have ever seen. Extra Armor from Ice Armor? Does anyone even use that while raiding? Sure, I use Mage Armor while raiding, but 10% is barely a difference, and not really going to change the fact that the arcane rotation sucks the mana out of you like a beastly mosquito. I suppose that an extra percentage of spirit converting to crit will be somewhat beneficial to fire and frostfire mages, but it’s still less than awesome.

Alright, so maybe the four piece bonus makes up for this lackluster two piece bonus?

Increases the critical strike chance of your Fireball, Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt, Arcane Missiles, and Arcane Blast spells by 5%.

Umm…I’m not really sure what to think about this one. Crit is nice, but is it really something we mages want as our tier bonus? It’s nice that the benefit is applied to two spells for arcane mages. Like I said, the jury is still out on this one for me.

So, final impressions: If you are a fire or a frostfire mage, you will be one happy caster if you manage to get four pieces of this set. Extra crit from molten armor stacked with a flat out 5% increase of crit on your main nukes will have you critting like a beast. For us arcane raiders, this tier is not as good as some other bonuses. I’m still reluctant to give up my tier 7 two piece bonus. That extra mana from mana gems is a godsend.

Tier 8 Analysis

Posted in Mage stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2009 by solomonx

Alright so I’ve had this blog for about 45 minutes so far and I’m ready to post my first serious article, specifically, an analysis of the mage tier eight armor set. Even more specifically, I want to comment on the set bonuses. So, here’s the first one:

“2Piece Bonus — Your Arcane Blast, Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt, and Fireball spells have a chance to grant you 350 spell power for 15 sec.”

Now, this is awesome. It’s essentially a trinket effect built into the armor set. Extra spellpower = Extra dps. Yes Please. This sounds good to me and I look forward to getting this bonus.

However…this brings us to the four piece bonus:

“4Piece Bonus — You have a chance for the effect of your Missile Barrage, Hot Streak, or Brain Freeze talent not to be consumed when you cast the spells which benefit.”

This one I have mixed feelings on. It seems like Blizzard had only one spec in mind when this set bonus was created: fire (and I suppose frostfire, so make that two specs)

If you are a mage and you are fire or frostfire spec, go for this bonus. This bonus gives you a chance to get off multiple instant pyroblasts in a row (I’ve heard tales of people casting up to six or seven pyros at a time) which equates to a significant amount of damage, and a good dps increase.

However, much of the mage community, including myself, plays an arcane spec for PvE, in which case, this bonus doesn’t do much for us. Sure, we could cast multiple Missile Barrages in a row, but do we really want to? The answer is no. The Arcane rotation involves getting three stacks of Arcane Blast  up any mob before casting any other spell, Missile Barrage included. Without this damage increase, Missile Barrage is not your top priority spell.

So, if this bonus were to proc, I would not use it immediately. I would stick to my rotation and start casting Arcane Blast again, which, without the tier 8 bonus, would probably proc Missile Barrage anyway.

That make sense? I feel like I started to ramble a bit…

Anyway, in conclusion, I intend to attempt to get the two piece bonus, but not the four piece. Instead, I’ll keep the tier 7 two piece bonus. This means I get a chance for extra spellpower off of my main nukes, extra mana from gems, and spell power from gems as well.

Sounds good to me.

P.S. – I neglected to include frost in this analysis because if you’re raiding as frost, let’s face it, you have other articles to read than this blog. Might I suggest ElitistJerks?