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Roywyn

WotLK - Complete Mage Compendium (3.3.3 live)

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From Ronwyn's rate my build post:

If we can make Arcane Blast spam work with sufficient gear:

(Note that an (ABar-AB*2) spammed cycle under haste is not useful since ABar is worse DPS and DPM.)

With WC:

7661 - Spammed Arcane Blast as 50/21/0 (17 DPM)

7881 - Spammed Arcane Blast as 50/3/18 (18 DPM)

Is it worthwhile to cast the 2xspeed MBAM when it procs? (AB is back to proc'ing MBAM, right?)

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The same day this thread went up, I started a similar compilation on my own site. There's plenty of info here that I haven't duplicated (I'm really aiming for this to be an update to my old Mage Mechanics FAQ, rather than a "here's what's changed in WotLK" document). However, I have put a few tables together on my page that some folks may find useful; feel free to swipe them for the top post if they seem to fit.

Man Out of Time - Lhivera's Mage Reference (WotLK Edition)

(Please note that it's not finished.)

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I think there needs to be more practicality applied to some of these. In most raiding scenarios the first Mage accepted into a raid will be Frost simply due to the imp WE talent, therefor any 50/3/17 spec assuming the presence of Imp Scorch assumes either a 3rd Mage with a Fire/FFB spec or the Frost Mage specced into it and applying the debuff (simultaneously sacrificing a portion of DPS by casting Scorch every 30 seconds). Both assumptions are somewhat unrealistic considering either a 3rd raid slot given to a Mage or a Frost Mage responsible for the Scorch debuff instead of the Arcane Mage with a 50/21/0 or 51/20/0 spec.

I understand theorycrafting assuming the maximum of potential but there is always a limit to where potential requires unrealistic assumptions. Such would be equivalent to assuming 100% improved shadowbolt uptime for finding Destruction Warlock damage potential. It seems to me that when approaching the 'damage testing' phase of Beta we should maintain a sense of realism to avoid inflated damage test results and leave the class unable to realistically reach the potential that the class may be balanced upon.

The same checks-and-balances mentality needs to be taken with mana issues (which it often is) so that Living Bomb and Focus Magic aren't too heavily weighted into single target damage potential tests while assuming unrealistic mana-support. I just don't want to see the class' damage fall short for yet another expansion because under specific unrealistic circumstances, using a specific raid matrix, getting specific mana support and specific class/spec utility assistance ... the class can have competitive damage. Meanwhile, any case where the assumptions aren't included leaves the class lacking.

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The same day this thread went up, I started a similar compilation on my own site. There's plenty of info here that I haven't duplicated (I'm really aiming for this to be an update to my old Mage Mechanics FAQ, rather than a "here's what's changed in WotLK" document). However, I have put a few tables together on my page that some folks may find useful; feel free to swipe them for the top post if they seem to fit.

Man Out of Time - Lhivera's Mage Reference (WotLK Edition)

(Please note that it's not finished.)

On the page you linked i read that heroism and drums of battle don't stack, but from my experience i see casting time decreasing if drums are used with heroism.

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I think there needs to be more practicality applied to some of these. In most raiding scenarios the first Mage accepted into a raid will be Frost simply due to the imp WE talent, ...

If this remains the case, then this is failed game design. Heck, I've been a frost raider from ZG/MC thru BT and even I think making a frost spec the obvious first choice is a bad thing. Blizzard's stated goal is that all specs are welcome in raid.

Seems to me we need to work to get the Improved WE talent changed--the mana regen is too powerful. This has two negative effects. One, it makes frost mages a "must have" spec which again is bad game design. Two, it makes frost mages into Shadow Priests 2.0--show up for raids plz, but hide in the back with your WE and don't die, we need the mana.

If I had beta access I'd start a thread but if someone else wants to start one I'd appreciate it.

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If I had beta access I'd start a thread but if someone else wants to start one I'd appreciate it.

I agree. I'm a little concerned that issues such as Imp Scorch placement and "First mage in the raid must be frost" don't already have prominent threads on the beta forum devoted to them. WoW Forums -> Mage Discussion . Really hope it doesn't go unnoticed by the developers who might not always read EJ, where its discussed much more thoroughly.

The same day this thread went up, I started a similar compilation on my own site.

Definetely a great read and a solid resource.

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Seems to me we need to work to get the Improved WE talent changed--the mana regen is too powerful. This has two negative effects. One, it makes frost mages a "must have" spec which again is bad game design. Two, it makes frost mages into Shadow Priests 2.0--show up for raids plz, but hide in the back with your WE and don't die, we need the mana.

I can't say I find it a bad thing that there is one most desirable spec, but important that all specs are always desired regardless of whether or not there is room for such a spec. I also don't know if you could call a Frost Mage a "must have" spec until we see what mana issues arise without one.

Currently I think there is a bigger problem than making Arcane/Fire as desirable as Frost ... which is making Fire/Arcane damage desirable without the requirement of outside help, and making Fire/Arcane desirable without a Destruction Warlock and/or Moonkin in the raid to consider Imp Scorch "utility". If a Destruction Warlock and Moonkin are not in the raid, then both WC and Imp Scorch debuffs are considered Mage-only debuffs, lose any classification as "utility" and thus demand the non-Frost specced Mages deal competitive top-end damage or they are not valuable raid members.

You can't assume a Destro Lock and/or Moonkin exists, just like you can't assume an Arcane/Fire Mage receives an Innervate or Shadow Priest to consistently provide Focus Magic or Living Bomb damage.

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Instead of nerfing frost, they could give arc/fire the same benefits... Obviously those trees need some individual work too, but I don't see being a battery that bad (assuming they will never give us a huge DPS advantage again).

How about MoE for the whole raid?

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On the page you linked i read that heroism and drums of battle don't stack, but from my experience i see casting time decreasing if drums are used with heroism.

You're correct, I need to fix that. Percentage-based external buffs don't stack, but rating-based ones do.

If this remains the case, then this is failed game design. Heck, I've been a frost raider from ZG/MC thru BT and even I think making a frost spec the obvious first choice is a bad thing. Blizzard's stated goal is that all specs are welcome in raid.

Seems to me we need to work to get the Improved WE talent changed--the mana regen is too powerful. This has two negative effects. One, it makes frost mages a "must have" spec which again is bad game design. Two, it makes frost mages into Shadow Priests 2.0--show up for raids plz, but hide in the back with your WE and don't die, we need the mana.

I agree that the result is bad, but I don't think Imp. WE is the key to fixing it. It may be a necessary part of fixing it, I'm not sure, it depends on how common the other regen buffs from other classes are and whether Imp. WE is considered necessary, or if it's just overkill. Improved Scorch's accessibility to a deep Frost Mage is the larger problem.

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I agree that the result is bad, but I don't think Imp. WE is the key to fixing it. It may be a necessary part of fixing it, I'm not sure, it depends on how common the other regen buffs from other classes are and whether Imp. WE is considered necessary, or if it's just overkill. Improved Scorch's accessibility to a deep Frost Mage is the larger problem.

Well, let's meet in the middle and say they are both bad. I think the idea of making a frost mage blow 18 pts in fire to get improved scorch is something the top 1% of the raiding guilds might do, but I doubt the rest of the progression guilds would do this. Unless only 1 mage is invited to raids, I know my own guilds expectation would be that the fire mage or elementalist mage would be keeping up the scorch debuff. But it is an issue and certainly should be brought to the devs attention.

On the improved WE note, I know many are fine with the "frost mage damage can suck so long as they bring the mana/utility" but that approach would upset me greatly. As has been said many times, I didn't roll a mage to bring huge group utility and meager personal DPS. Fire mages want to blow things up with great balls of fire; I want to use my elemental and shards of ice to the same effect.

Changing mindsets is hard (as in subtlety rogues sucks in raids or protection warriors can't pvp). But we've seen this dev team isn't opposed to making big changes to meet design goals. I'm sitting on my hands here not able to post in the beta forums, where mage concerns have gotten blue responses and talent changes. I go there now and see whining about "when is our food going to be fixed?" As if there is doubt that Blizzard will fix mage food before WotLK goes live.

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Quick question on the Water elemental thread here.

I know that Fingers of Frost doesn't do anything at the moment, even when it procs. But, are all the frost abilities that we have chances to proc on, ie Fingers of Frost, Frostbite, Winter's Chill, intended to proc from our Water elemental's attacks as well?

What's the thought process on that, is that too much dipping? too little?

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Quick question on the Water elemental thread here.

I know that Fingers of Frost doesn't do anything at the moment, even when it procs. But, are all the frost abilities that we have chances to proc on, ie Fingers of Frost, Frostbite, Winter's Chill, intended to proc from our Water elemental's attacks as well?

What's the thought process on that, is that too much dipping? too little?

Too powerful, it simply isn't going to happen. We might get +hit transferred to the pet at least, and it benefits from any raid auras and debuffs (such as Winter's Chill) already.

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I'm not sure the first mage will always be frost. There's a limit to how much mana return is useful, if everyone finishes the fight with mana to spare you could have done without some. Given the way they're throwing mana return around to more classes than just the shadow priest, it wouldn't surprise me if you had something like 10 man's assume 1 mana returner, 25 mans assume 2, and mana costs are balanced around that.

If that's the case, and you've already got a shadow priest and a survival hunter in your raid, why not take the fire mage first?

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From Ronwyn's rate my build post:

Is it worthwhile to cast the 2xspeed MBAM when it procs? (AB is back to proc'ing MBAM, right?)

Why do people not use a 50/0/21 AB Spam spec w/ IV and CS? Is Cold snap not worth the loss of the crit in 3 in fire?

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Why do people not use a 50/0/21 AB Spam spec w/ IV and CS? Is Cold snap not worth the loss of the crit in 3 in fire?

Presumably the 6% crit (currently) to AB spam is simply worth more DPS.

Picking up WiF, MoE and ImpScorch is a potential path of course and has nice synergy for a 'pure' AB build with a bit of a perk for AExp spam. With the current tree design I just don't see Frost as supporting Arcane the way it presently does, even though obviously the 50/3/18 can work decently and Frost Channeling alone might be enough to tilt towards that route.

A lot of this will come down to encounter design and how inter-class synergies work out in the end. I too share concerns about just how viable an arcane AB mage will be regardless.

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Regarding the elemental precision issue, in my book it's contradicting the very design goals the developers themselves have put up. While I do agree diversity in speccs is good, all speccs need to get those hit talents in order for this merged itemisation concept to work. Hit being the single most useful stat until capped to increase your damage output makes it very bad to achieve this diversity through these talents in my opinion. Simply put, as it affects what gear will be desirable for you it fights this merged itemisation project.

Looking at the current talent situation for example, which I think is rather fine is that you can get all the top notch fire talents and then choosing whether you need icy veins or clearcasting the most. This does not have a huge affect on what gear you will desire which is how it should be in my opinion.

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For whoever asked, Ffb does "Ensare" Dr Boom. (Watch any of the more recent hot streak vids I put up)

A better test would be something that is definitely unkitable, which I'll do when I'm feeling less lazy.

I'm still very unsure if whether I think moving Imp Scorch deeper into Fire is such a good idea -- it seems everyone else feels this way, but you run the risk that mage DPS is "balanced" around having all these debuffs when practical raid setups will seldom have 3 mages. I'd MUCH rather see the talent rolled into the baseline spell and Imp Scorch go back to the old version. (the powerful 4 second dot)

I really really hate the idea of Arcane Blast as it is nearly useless for any non Arcane mage, but it meshes horribly with the rotations of Arcane mages.

PvP Mana issues still remain my #1 concern particularly with the changes to downranking -- I want to see Arena matches with less drinking, but for all this to happen, Evo needs a shorter CD. Evo can't go to a shorter CD with AB spam in the game -- maybe some neat mechanic where the Evo CD is reduced whenever u leave combat?

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PvP Mana issues still remain my #1 concern particularly with the changes to downranking -- I want to see Arena matches with less drinking, but for all this to happen, Evo needs a shorter CD. Evo can't go to a shorter CD with AB spam in the game -- maybe some neat mechanic where the Evo CD is reduced whenever u leave combat?

On beta presently even if Evocation was given a shorter cooldown it would still be unrealistic to spam AB. I'm not sure what their intentions are with the spell now due to its 1000-3000 mana cost, but even with a decent amount of haste at 77 it's difficult to stack due to the 2 second debuff duration (and forget stacking with any pushback). Without stacking it you're stuck with a 2.5 second cast with terrible crit scaling and little useful talents.

Not that I mind. But I'm still curious what they're aiming for with it.

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On the improved WE note, I know many are fine with the "frost mage damage can suck so long as they bring the mana/utility" but that approach would upset me greatly. As has been said many times, I didn't roll a mage to bring huge group utility and meager personal DPS.

Well, define "suck" here. I think a spec that brings more utility needs to bring less DPS, but I tend to think in small percentage differences here. If you're saying, "it's not acceptable for a Frost Mage to do 20% less DPS in exchange for bringing the Water Elemental's regen buff," I'm right there with you. If you're saying, "it's not acceptable for a Frost Mage to do 3% less DPS in exchange for bringing the Water Elemental's regen buff, I think I'd probably have to disagree.

Regarding the elemental precision issue, in my book it's contradicting the very design goals the developers themselves have put up. While I do agree diversity in speccs is good, all speccs need to get those hit talents in order for this merged itemisation concept to work. Hit being the single most useful stat until capped to increase your damage output makes it very bad to achieve this diversity through these talents in my opinion. Simply put, as it affects what gear will be desirable for you it fights this merged itemisation project.

I don't agree, really. Hit Rating is the least difficult stat to make up via gear rather than talents. Making up a 3% crit gap requires 138 rating. Making up a 3% haste gap requires 98 rating. Making up a 3% hit gap requires 79 rating. i see no reason why every spec needs to get hit talents for merged itemization to work. There'll still be gear with and without hit rating on it, and you'll still have sockets with which to tune your hit rating further. Fire Mages will simply have more Hit Rating from gear, and less Crit Rating. Arcane Mages will have more Crit Rating and less Haste and Hit. Frost Mages will have more Crit and Haste and less Hit. So we won't all be geared identically -- is that really a problem?

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Aye, this is absolutely true. In fact, it could very well be argued that a talent that provides 0.6% Crit per talent point is worth more than a talent that provides 1.0% Hit per talent point, since it's worth more Rating points.

Well no, not necessarily.

Case A

Hit talent for 3% hit, gem for haste rating equivalent approx 78.6 rating giving around 2.4% haste.

Case B

Crit talent for 1.8% crit, gem for required hit 78.6 hit rating giving 3% hit.

Now if best in slot gear (not counting hit) caps you then yes the crit talent would be better.

Your example can fail as crit rating is such a bad dps rating, hit talents value is largely determined by gear and will likely be hugely more important early in raiding in WotLK.

Having no idea what itemization will look like at 80 and how easy/hard it will be to hit cap i.e will we see a reduction in gem slots going from Sunwell-> WotLK starting blues/raids, it's hard to say how big an impact hit talents will have, after all warlocks have no destro hit talents on live and they seem to do ok :)

As an aside, when I mentioned homogenization of hit across classes I specifically said caster classes. For shaman/SPs/moonkin it matters not where the hit talents are placed in the tree because it is the only casting raiding tree for that class.

At the end of the day though it's not that big an issue in comparison with the other problems facing the mage class.

The main issue seems to be debuff talent placement and variable utility depending on raid makeup.

I would propose moving imp scorch to a similar place as winterschill and changing both debuffs slightly.

Imp scorch would be 'Increases damage done by magical spells and effects by 3% and damage done by your magical spells and effects by an additional 7%)

Winterschill 'Increases the critical strike chance of all magical spells and effects by 3% and increases your critical strike chance by and additional 7%)

Arcane- no idea really as I'm not sure of the value of focus magic.

I think this accomplished several things.

1) Mages bring tangible raid buffs but Moonkin and Destro Locks/other Mages aren't crippled by their absence.

2) FfB still can benefit from both debuffs fully.

3) Being only 3% buffs both might not be required for raiding but having both is still desirable.

Regarding WE mana regen, conceptually I don't think it would be difficult to add a deep arcane talent linked to Arc.Med giving a % of your incombat regen mana to the raid and an MoE linked deep fire talent refunding some % of MoE raidwide. There would still be flavor difference (Constant,spikey,burst) in the regen but as long as the numbers were balanced right I think it could work.

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On beta presently even if Evocation was given a shorter cooldown it would still be unrealistic to spam AB. I'm not sure what their intentions are with the spell now due to its 1000-3000 mana cost, but even with a decent amount of haste at 77 it's difficult to stack due to the 2 second debuff duration (and forget stacking with any pushback). Without stacking it you're stuck with a 2.5 second cast with terrible crit scaling and little useful talents.

Not that I mind. But I'm still curious what they're aiming for with it.

Well it's really a mana dump now.

Whatever mana you have left at the end of the fight, Arcane Blast will burn it _very_ quickly for some extra dmg.

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Hunters (+3%dmg/+2% of hunter's mana per hunter's crit)

...

Hunting Party (talent): Your critical shots have a 100% chance to restore 2% mana, 10 energy, 4 rage or 10 Runic Power to all members of your party. This effect has a 8 sec. cooldown.(+attrib:P)

Was it confirmed that the +2% mana part was based off the hunter's mana (as I underlined) and not the person regaining the mana? That would really be disappointing, since I figure a mage's mana pool will be significantly bigger than a hunter's. It'd be really nice to know if the hunter is giving us back 2% of our mana pool or his, if this hasn't been confirmed.

You also forgot Replenish - Spell - World of Warcraft from Resto druids. It is much less likely to be seen by us, but I can imagine times when it might be beneficial to have your druids spam rejuv on the DPS'ers in the raid for Replenish ticks rather than actually trying to heal.

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Well no, not necessarily.

Case A

Hit talent for 3% hit, gem for haste rating equivalent approx 78.6 rating giving around 2.4% haste.

Case B

Crit talent for 1.8% crit, gem for required hit 78.6 hit rating giving 3% hit.

Now if best in slot gear (not counting hit) caps you then yes the crit talent would be better.

In most cases, if you assume being magically hit capped, your gear would have very little +hit.

But when you switch to hit gear, you usually lose very little dmg/crit/haste.

Examples: [item]Heart of the Pit[/item] vs. [item]Chronicle of Dark Secrets[/item], [item]ring of ancient knowledge[/item] vs. [item]mana attuned band[/item].

Your best bet would be to flip on rawr and select a 1k mp5 shadowpriest so that you stay always on full mana and the cost reduction from Elemental Precision safely useless.

Then make a gearset with EP and without EP and compare them. I'd guess you have slightly more than ~1% difference in Sunwell and less than ~0.5% in BT.

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