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Mists of Pandaria: All Specs

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Please use this thread to discuss Mages in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. Avoid excessive wish-listing and whining. Constructive criticism is fine. Make sure you are making a useful post. "I like X" is not useful. "I like X because it allows this or that" is useful. Common sense applies, if you're not sure feel free to PM a moderator or administrator. Thanks.

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I'm hopeful that Frostfire Bolt will make it through the talent revamp. If you recall during the previews the developers mentioned that under the new talent system the three specs would have a signature nuke and the other specs would not get that spell (Fireball is fire only, Frostbolt is frost only, etc.) This leaves FFB in an awkward spot of either turning into an extremely low level ability, or a filler for when you are locked out of your spellcasting school. It is entirely possible that in a future talent pass they will put FFB in one of the slots you can choose for a tier, but then what "cool" utility could it provide to rationalize picking up the talent over the other three? I guess we can only wait and see, but it would be a shame if such a nice looking spell with such a short history was outright removed.

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The Glyph of Frostfire Bolt mechanic can save it. With a similar but more powerful stacking DoT effect added to the base spell, Frostfire Bolt can be the go-to nuke for high health targets, edging out Fireball and Frostbolt once its DoT fully stacks. Fireball and Frostbolt wiould then be the nuke of choice for lower health targets due to their direct damage. It would allow for more choice based on the situtation.

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I'd expect FFB to make it through in the same role as it has been for a while now - as an on proc cast for Frost. FFB as a spec has always been identical to Fire anyway, so no great loss if FFB ends up being a Frost spec ability only.

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Actually, Blizzard has only show a preview of the new type of talent. We don't know what will be include in each specialisation.

Wowhead talent calculator

We can only make some expectation:

  • Very few talents will be obligatory. By example, we have to choose between POM or Arcane Flow. this type of choice will be fight's dependant.
  • Game-play will be globally the same but some mechanics will be break or shared between all builds. Cold Snape, Cauterize and POM will be talents. Torment of the Weak can't work if we don't choose slow.
  • We can expect to have some actual talents to become specialisations limited spell.
  • Blizzard will have to think for knew CD, especially for Arcane who have no more Cooldowns.

My conclusion is wait and see because MoP cannot be release before a year (6 months for 4.3 and 4 months for Beta/PTR).

edit: correction because Arcane still have Arcane Power

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The basis of the framework is same for all classes: The trees are hoped to be 'cookie cutter by design' with only situational and 'non-numbers' utility abilities given on choice. This was an initial assumption on the news but also explicitly stated on official information later on. It is also expected, officially as well, that this may not work initially as intended. My personal hunch is that even with the optimal recipe available, there will be some situational abilities that will translate to 'numbers' in particular encounters.

Nathyiel is most probably right in that the trees are not finalized internally.

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The basis of the framework is same for all classes: The trees are hoped to be 'cookie cutter by design' with only situational and 'non-numbers' utility abilities given on choice. This was an initial assumption on the news but also explicitly stated on official information later on. It is also expected, officially as well, that this may not work initially as intended. My personal hunch is that even with the optimal recipe available, there will be some situational abilities that will translate to 'numbers' in particular encounters.

Nathyiel is most probably right in that the trees are not finalized internally.

I think people are probably running with this statement and misinterpreting it a little bit.

What can be gathered from the actual specs released is that there will be some dps talents. However, they won't be set against utility talents and are specifically designed to be better on various fights so no one talent wins out. Take the warlock tier 5, for example. Consistent damage vs burst. The tier 6 is an AoE cleave damage vs movement damage. Warrior tier 6 has a single target / burst dps talent vs a heavy AoE talent. There are plenty of dps talents out there, and provided they get it right, while they will be cookie cutter for specific fights, they won't be cookie cutter overall.

Unfortunately the mage tree is currently very unpolished / poorly thought out. Even on the utility choices there don't seem to be a massive amount of choices for PvE mages. Talents like Ring of Frost, Cauterise and Ice Barrier don't have compelling competition in a PvE environment and the same can be said for almost all the tiers. For PvP there is a vast array of choice. I suspect further down the line a couple of these less compelling utility tiers (particularly the final tier) will be replaced with more warlocky styled talents.

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If i am looking at the current talent tree, i am surprised how certain spells are scaling.

E.g. fire damage spells used with frost specialization.

This means blizzard need to implement specialization independent scaling, what i do not expect.

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If i am looking at the current talent tree, i am surprised how certain spells are scaling.

E.g. fire damage spells used with frost specialization.

This means blizzard need to implement specialization independent scaling, what i do not expect.

Since you only get the main nuke (and supporting spells) for your spec, they might very well take out the spec specific scaling of arcane/fire/frost damage. It will be hard for Scorch to be worthwhile to cast (even on the move) for all specs if it's missing a 25% damage boost.

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I'm wondering if a lot of the Mage talents are simply in there as placeholders. It seems very strange to me that we would lose abilities like Dragon's Breath, Slow, and Blast Wave, which we have had for what seems like forever, only to regain them when we hit level 90.

In addition, and maybe as I do no pvp this is wishful thinking, having an entire talent tier devoted to Polymorph feels off. I could see perhaps two different Polymorph options, but three pvp talents in one tier is disappointing. I would expect to see some changes so that both pve and pvp enthusiasts have something to gain every 15 levels.

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As was just revealed in the Q&A session on the World of Warcraft website, FFB will indeed be the super low level starting spell, and at 10 will be replaced by the signature nukes of each spec. They did mention however that it will also be a good source for a ranged snare and remain a proc for Frost Mages.

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With this, it's also confirm that some signature spell will be inaccessible for other spec. I think of Pyro, DF, etc.

I'm wondering if the majority of the offensive spell will spec's limited? In this case, is the other AOE will be shared or not?

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Unfortunately the mage tree is currently very unpolished / poorly thought out. Even on the utility choices there don't seem to be a massive amount of choices for PvE mages. Talents like Ring of Frost, Cauterise and Ice Barrier don't have compelling competition in a PvE environment and the same can be said for almost all the tiers. For PvP there is a vast array of choice. I suspect further down the line a couple of these less compelling utility tiers (particularly the final tier) will be replaced with more warlocky styled talents.

It does seem that way, but it is going to depend a lot on fight mechanics and also what is baseline now for each spec.

I can see Greater Invisibility being somewhat of a situational replacement for Cauterize if Arcane has the cooldown reduction built in. I am also interested to see exactly what damage over time effects it can remove.

Frostjaw may be quite powerful as snap(Thought it was instant cast for some reason) CC for big adds.

Mana Shield could be a viable replacement for Ice Barrier in certain situations, it absorbs less but also costs less total mana, so it will just depend on who needs the mana more, yous or your healers.

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Mana Shield could be a viable replacement for Ice Barrier in certain situations, it absorbs less but also costs less total mana, so it will just depend on who needs the mana more, yous or your healers.

Going along with that, now that Mana Shield has a knockback effect I'm definitely interested to see it possibly being used in specific add management situations (also for when other knockbacks aren't available in the group), though the low amount of damage absorbed has always been less than exciting for me.

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Personally, the notion of Double Polymorph intrigues me. I have always enjoyed our CC abilities, so allowing us to do 2 at once is appealing. Granted, not every trash pack will need that level of CC, but it's handy for when it does.

I'm curious if the UI will offer any support for juggling polymorphs like this. Right now it's easy enough to juggle one by making it your Focus. Will it be possible to designate a secondary Focus? Would be handy to be able to readily distinguish the full poly from the half poly. Might also be handy to be able to always cast the different polymorphs on the two targets, e.g. sheep is always full and pig is always half.

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I hope they'll make Ring of frost trainable seeing I can't come up with any scenario where frostjaw or cone of cold wouldn't be a better option.

Tier 2 and 3 seem good, but I'd like if Cold Snap would allow Icy Veins again, or possibly give Icy Veins a shorter cd' seeing the game has moved away from the use of haste.

Ice barrier and Mana shield seem to close to each other. Personally I'd like mana shield having an activation on the same button, to enable you to blow up the shield and knock people back intentionally.

Ice Barrier could be the better shield, and Mana shield the option with the higher skill cap. Possibly you could make the mana shield a forced "don't attack me button" along the lines of "the more dmg you take, the futher you can knock people, for a certain duration. To affect melee and ranged equally it would have to slow casters, or just stop their cast like, wind shear style to affect melee + ranged equally. Hunters would go free here, may be an immobilize for them?

Personally, the notion of Double Polymorph intrigues me. I have always enjoyed our CC abilities, so allowing us to do 2 at once is appealing. Granted, not every trash pack will need that level of CC, but it's handy for when it does.

I'm curious if the UI will offer any support for juggling polymorphs like this. Right now it's easy enough to juggle one by making it your Focus. Will it be possible to designate a secondary Focus? Would be handy to be able to readily distinguish the full poly from the half poly. Might also be handy to be able to always cast the different polymorphs on the two targets, e.g. sheep is always full and pig is always half.

Agreed.

As someone metioned earlier, the last tier is dissapointing.

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So with the new talent calculators released, we can see our level 87 spell: Alter Time. In case people haven't seen it:

Alter Time

Instant Cast, 3 minute cooldown

Alters the fabric of time, causing the caster to return to their current location, health, mana, and conditions after 4 seconds. Effect negated if the caster dies within the 4 seconds before the effect occurs.

I can see many uses for this, from avoiding a particularly nasty debuff, to (another) "Oh s**t" button, to increasing our DPS with another four seconds of cooldowns (could be a great advantage on burn-phase fights). On top of this, it's just a really interesting mechanic.

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I posted a list of changes from live and MoP calc. Most of the damage abilities do provide a damage boost. However I'm not sure if these are level 85, 87, or 90 damage numbers. Keep in mind that there could be missing or mistaken abilities not in the correct place (ie: Deep Freeze, Shatter, Arcane Brilliance).

Frostbolt's base damage is up 23.8% (822 -> 1018), cast time reduced by .5 seconds (2.0 -> 1.5) and now has a 50% slowing speed, up from 40%

Frost Orb (aka Frostfire Orb) is up by 16.15% (260 -> 302)

Arcane Explosion is up by 16.8% (344 -> 402)

Frost Nova (397 -> 461)

Frostfire Bolt (878 -> 1089)

Ice Lance (399 -> 489)

Living Bomb (1600 -> 1888) with explosion (465 -> 574)

Blizzard (4064 -> 4648) and base mana cost reduced from 74% to 30%

Invisibility now has a 5 minute cooldown, up from 3.

Fire Blast (1043 -> 1202)

Fireball (1190 -> 1251) [4.3 base amount]; cast time reduced (2.5 seconds -> 1.5 seconds)

Pyroblast (1488 -> 1774); dot (648 ->1016)

Cone of Cold (787 -> 896)

Combustion initial damage (1043 -> 1202)

Flame Orb (260 -> 302)

Arcane Blast damage (1756 -> 1230); damage multiplier (10% -> 20%); haste buff is removed; no mention of the Arcane Explosion part

Arcane Barrage (1310 -> 923)

Arcane Missiles (404 -> 308); Cast time increased (2 seconds -> 2.5 seconds); removal of the 40% chance to proc

Arcane Power cooldown reduced (2 minutes -> 1.5 minutes)

Deep Frreeze now available to all mages

Shatter available to all mages

Living Bomb available to all mages

Arcane Brilliance is MiA.

Removal of Hot Streak

Removal of Fingers of Frost

Removal of Arcane Missle Proc.

Arcane sounds like the it could change a bit more so in our conserve phase. We would stack up to 4 AB then rotate between AM and AB to refresh the stack. We cannot do two rounds of AM since that would put us at 5 seconds and we need 50% haste to fit in an AB after 2 AM. If AM was brought back to 2 second channel, then yes we can fit in 2 AM easily during conserve phase.

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Actually, we don't know about spell power's coefficient. We can see some proc where missing and we don't know about water elem (freeze, water bolt damage, new skin, etc).

It's two early to play with the number, 4.3 isn't on live and we don't have correct BiS for each spec, etc.

But if you look closely to the Armor's spell and th e whole things in general, you can see that there is no buff nor PVE stuff. All the mage's talent and spec seems to have been made with PVP in mind (like if MoP was a wolrd PVP fight).

Wait and see.

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I think the biggest qualm I have here is the lack of Fingers of Frost, or a similar mechanic for Frost. Going over the Frost "spec", we have Frostbolt, Brain Freeze and...what? The tooltip for Deep Freeze does not include a damage component for unfreezable creatures, and without Fingers of Frost the Freeze ability on the WE is bunk. So it looks like the MoP Frost mage is going to be casting a lot of Frostbolts with Brain Freeze peppered in, but nothing else. I weep.

Fire and Arcane appear to be mostly the same, though AB stacks now only appear to be clearable using ABarr. That, combined with a lack of a passive ability to proc AM, leaves AM up in the air completely. I look forward to a little more polish and clarity on these trees.

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Interesting new changes. No more blastwave?

Arcane bomb seems odd, basically a dot that jumps randomly, but theres still only the one? Sounds kind of annoying almost. Also it's not a bomb in any sort of explosion sense? Would probably drive enemy dispellers nuts in PvP though.

Frost bomb, I suppose it's pve use (over living bomb) will depend on the damage being worth the GCD, only 5 seconds means you'll be recasting it fairly often.

The change to ignite is interesting, this means the only additional benefit fire has from critical strikes is a chance at instant pyroblast (that may also have been a change). I wonder if they are trying to a) fix ignite munching and b) lower fires RNG. They'll probably succeed at the second one I suspect, although you'll still need crits for the good combustions.

The removal of scorch from causing ignite means fires moving dps will go down rather a lot, and which talent to choose (PoM, Scorch or arcane flows) just became a lot harder/fight dependant.

Edit: Fingers of frost is back by the way.

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Fingers of Frost is indeed back, but it is greatly changed, at least if I am reading the new text correctly:

Your Freezing effects that fail due to target immunity instead grant you the Fingers of Frost effect. Fingers of Frost causes your next Ice Lance or Deep Freeze spell to act as if your target were frozen and increases Ice Lance damage by 25%. Fingers of Frost can accumulate up to 2 charges and lasts 15 sec.

Changes:

  • FoF only procs when freezing effect fail due target immunity. So that would be bosses, uber trash, and (maybe) PvP targets with DR active? In any event, it greatly reduces usefulness in PvP.
  • FFB is no longer included in the next spell list, so there is no reason to save BF procs for FoF procs.
  • (And I think this is the most important one) There is no more chance to proc--the text implies it now happens every time a freezing effect fails. If you don't have to save a proc for BF anymore and it procs 100% of the time, it makes for an "interesting" rotation: FB, IL, FB, IL.

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I read "freeze" as roots or stronger CC involving frost. Snares I expect to be called "slowed". This gets very different results from the talent.

The new FoF would only proc if we drop a nova or hit a boss with one of the level-45 talents (Ring of Frost, etc.). The PvP motive is clear; it makes Deep Freeze require more setup. The PvE design is still missing something, since it all but removes Ice Lance from the rotation. Our pet freeze would give us 1 FoF proc and we'd spend it on Deep Freeze. We could Ice Lance if the nova hit 2 mobs and we had a spare charge, but that's it.

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New Talent Calculator Updates:

Talent Calculator - Game Guide - World of Warcraft!

The changes to the bombs will make for some compelling theorycrafting, I think, as each is now functionally different. The new Tier 6 talents are very interesting, though Incanter's Shield sounds too situational to be raid-build worthy. And in case no one noticed, Cauterize as stated will no longer kill you if you are not healed.

And finally the crap poly talents are gone! Huzzah!

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I guess Blizzard's way of making Arcane more interesting to to make it so that we'll cast Arcane Missiles whenever they proc. The removal of the mana regen from Mage Armor seems likely to make a mana neutral dps rotation impossible. This would mean Arcane is likely forced into taking Invocation. The rotation would then be: Spam AB, cast AM when it procs, and cast Evocation at 40% mana (or maybe after the damage buff falls off, depending on how long it takes to get to 40% mana spamming AB). To me this seems like an even more boring rotation than current Arcane, where you at least have to think a little during the mana neutral rotation part.

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