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Boethius

Mage: Simple Questions/Simple Answers

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Is a frostfirebuild really worth it pre-80? Right now experimenting with frostbuilds I'm having close to zero downtime with mage armor up. Nice critmodifiers and MOE I can see doing good but will it be as little downtime as frost equivalents (especially with clearcasting) ?

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While raiding Naxx and OS last week, I noticed that scorch is taking longer to reapply itself. eg I the spell would leave with 1 second (and possibly more than 1 second in some cases) left on the debuff, and not be reapplied in time. Also, if cast in the middle of the timer it still takes a couple seconds for the timer to reset.

Is this for all scorches or just glyphed? I am hoping it's not just me.

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Is a frostfirebuild really worth it pre-80? Right now experimenting with frostbuilds I'm having close to zero downtime with mage armor up. Nice critmodifiers and MOE I can see doing good but will it be as little downtime as frost equivalents (especially with clearcasting) ?

I would definitely not recommend it for leveling. The main DPS advantage is the big crits with ignite, but more often than not ignite will be wasted as regular mobs will simply die from the initial crit damage. That DPS advantage is also only calculated for bosses that are immune to freezing effects. With frost nova and WE's freeze you can always have shatter combos going off, pushing frost way ahead of FFB.

One of my favorite tools leveling was a fully talented blizzard (w/permafrost, frostbite, chilled to the bone, etc.), many quests can be completed in 1-2 pulls by just AOE'ing them down, and there are tons of random packs along the way.

I never even bothered looking at efficiency though. I quested and there's so much traveling time and a higher than previous percentage non-kill and vehicle quests that if you go through questing, you'll almost never have to worry about mana.

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pretty sure thats the good ole buff/debuff delaying that has been pervading wow for quite some while.

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pretty sure thats the good ole buff/debuff delaying that has been pervading wow for quite some while.

I have seen this, but I always assumed it had more to do with latency than an actual bug. Given how heavy the load is on most servers right now, I would suspect a 1 second delay could easily be added into the equation.

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I would like to know if "Torment the weak" works on boss just with a FrostFireBolt. Does the FFB apply the slowing buff on bosses ?

Thank you.

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... but am at a loss for what values to assign to each stat. I am currently level 74. I'll be going frostfire (0/50/16) at 75 and plan on going 0/53/18, as I hear it's currently the dps king.

So my question is: What sort of values should I assign to each stat as a general rule of thumb based on a frostfire build?

Sorry Aidan, but I don't actually have an answer. I actually have the same exact question.

I've been reading all the stuff about how much spell hit & spell crit = 1% and such, but I'm not sure how to bring it all together in deciding what is better than what. I figure that until I get to level 80 and start replacing gear w/ raid content gear, I don't need to simulate every quest item drop out there, yet I want to be able to evaluate gear.

In 2.4, there was a thread (http://elitistjerks.com/f47/t26138-mage_pve_dps/) that listed EP values for various stats given different levels of gear (eg pre-kara, T5, T6). I've been looking around, but can't find something similar yet.

So my question is twofold: (1) Does equivalent values exist today? (2) If not, how can I derive those values? Is there some explanation somewhere that I can mimic?

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Just a quick question if someone can answer it.

Was FFB spec but am now hit capped without elemental precision, is it worth speccing FB spec 19/52/0 or the likes now that i'm hit capped, with the crappy crit we have atm 23% with molten armor will FB spec pull ahead of FFB since FB hits for alot more then FFB non crit?

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-Flamestrike, when stacking 2 ranks, is awesome DPS and most of the time I'm able to hit all mobs with it. I only really need 2 extra talent points to get it instant after a DB.

-Stacking both of the above in tanked, static AoE (like

I thought I read they'd fixed this?

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Are you planning on AoE grinding? If not, then don't go for blizzard.

To get the full benefits of Blizzard, you need Permafrost, Imp Blizzard, Shatter, Ice Shards, Frostbite, Fingers of Frost, and Chilled to the Bone. No Frostfire spec will be getting those. Still, Blizzard is really powerful. so in instances with AoE, use Flamestrike to toss up the dot, then Blizzard, and repeat.

You only need 1 in permafrost and Imp. Blizzard, Frostbite and Ice shards are already taken in an FFB build. In instances the chills and freezes don't really matter and for solo grinding as FFB I have DB, BW and impact. I really, really don't need any extra CC with my AoE. A BW + Blizzard combo procing impact and frostbite along with the daze is ample for taking out most groups. The problem is that I can just as easilly use instant FS after a BW for similar results. It feels like overkill to get both and that leads to my post asking which to go for. In instances, again, I'm honestly struggling to see which gives better results.

Oh, and I'm not sold on FoF helping blizzard's crit rate. It only procs on Frostbites and frostbite will hold for 3-4 waves of blizzard whilst FoF is gone in 2.

Is a frostfirebuild really worth it pre-80? Right now experimenting with frostbuilds I'm having close to zero downtime with mage armor up. Nice critmodifiers and MOE I can see doing good but will it be as little downtime as frost equivalents (especially with clearcasting) ?

I would definitely not recommend it for leveling. The main DPS advantage is the big crits with ignite, but more often than not ignite will be wasted as regular mobs will simply die from the initial crit damage. That DPS advantage is also only calculated for bosses that are immune to freezing effects. With frost nova and WE's freeze you can always have shatter combos going off, pushing frost way ahead of FFB.

I've had 0 downtime using single-target Frostfire grinding. Obviously there is downtime for AoE pulls but to my knowledge that's true of all specs. Also, Frostfire for me is critting harder even before ignite. On average it takes me 3.5 bolts to take down a mob and between Frostbite and Impact, they never reach me. I find than the survivability talents in middle and lower frost are just too much for levelling on. If you need ice barrier or CttB for single-target then something is wrong.

-------------------------------------

Since this post I've decided to drop Blizzard AoE in favour of fire (specifically flamestrike). I've simply had far better results with it in instances and solo. I've taken some videos showing comparisons of the 2 I'll link once I'm done editing them; just in case anyone is interested in seeing how they play.

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Just a quick question if someone can answer it.

Was FFB spec but am now hit capped without elemental precision, is it worth speccing FB spec 19/52/0 or the likes now that i'm hit capped, with the crappy crit we have atm 23% with molten armor will FB spec pull ahead of FFB since FB hits for alot more then FFB non crit?

Good question, since many people still have the 4 t6 bonus fire might actually be a better choice untill your full t7 geared (you can even keep wearing 4 t7/4 t6 even after you gotten your t7 set. And I doubt the 'tier 7' belt/boots/bracers in naxx or from badges are that much of an upgrade that its worth spending dkp/badges on for a while (taking the 5% bonus in consideration) untill you get all 3 of them. So you can spend it on other gear.

All of this does not work for frostfire wich is quite annoying.

From my own point of view my dps in 10 man naxx wasnt any higher after speccing from frost to firefrost.

Oh and in heroics (stratholme timed run for example) frost is way superior to any fire/frostfire spec. Fully specced blizzard is just insane in 5 mans where you aoe down everything.

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Oh, and I'm not sold on FoF helping blizzard's crit rate. It only procs on Frostbites and frostbite will hold for 3-4 waves of blizzard whilst FoF is gone in 2.

FoF is actually gone after 1 wave.

Which is good, because it applies Shatter to the whole wave while Frostbite only applies Shatter to one target.

So for Blizzard AoE, FoF works like "you have a 15% per target to gain 50% crit for the next wave".

At least that's what it looked like when I tested it in beta.

In 2.4, there was a thread (http://elitistjerks.com/f47/t26138-mage_pve_dps/) that listed EP values for various stats given different levels of gear (eg pre-kara, T5, T6). I've been looking around, but can't find something similar yet.

So my question is twofold: (1) Does equivalent values exist today? (2) If not, how can I derive those values? Is there some explanation somewhere that I can mimic?

Rawr, Simcraft, Magegraf and Zaldinar's TCOM spit out stat weightings. And probably half a dozen more tools.

[Edit]: Ghost hit on Frostfire Bolt

It seems that FFB gets 6% or even more hit from Elemental Precision from eyeballing some Patchwerk/Naxx logs on Wowwebstats.

FFB resist rates are consistently significantly below Pyro/Bomb/Mirror Image resist rates.

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Rawr, Simcraft, Magegraf and Zaldinar's TCOM spit out stat weightings. And probably half a dozen more tools.

I've been playing w/ Rawr, and can't seem to figure out where it displays stat weightings.

Also, in my guild, I am the only mage at the moment (we're trying to recruit more). As a result, I've disabled lots of things in Rawr like having another mage keeping scorch up and such. I've put in some standard specs (eg frostfire, arcane, deep arcane, fire, frost, etc.), and I see anything that goes 'deep' into frost to get water elemental > frostfire > everything else. My suspicion is that rawr's simulator is doing something like.. popping water elemental + CDs + cold snap + elemental again... I do admit when I've dps'd as frost, I've had a nice boost to my dps as a result of an elemental... but is there a way in rawr to disable that? Or should I not? And that maybe with my crap gear, I should remain dps'ing in frost until I get better?

Essentially, I guess I'm asking.. how do people tend to model the use of a water elemental?

Also, I've played w/ Simcraft a bit and it seems to be more geared towards simulating a raid. As a consequence, if I want accurate results of individual specs, should I run Simcraft as a 1-man raid? And simply change the spec of that 1 person? Or can I plug in 5 mages in 1 Simcraft file and compare them side by side?

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First: I love the new Class sub-forums.

Second: As a mage (and the Dalaran port being moot), is the Signet of the Kirin Tor worth the gold? There seems to be rings of approximately equal dps-value that are cheaper or raid/heroic drops.

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The item budget Rawr is giving me for a FF build is a bit counter-intuitive. It's ranking spellpower as my most valuable stat. With I believe 350% crit damage, and no Improved FFB talent, I really expected spellpower to fall to the wayside in favor of more crit rating. Even when I remove Empowered Fire, spellpower still remains at the top of my item budget.

What gives? Am I screwing up my Rawr parameters, or is there some mechanic I'm overlooking?

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I’m becoming a little confused now with scorch. It has been posted under WotLK Talent Discussion (Part Two) thread that if you have a deep frost mage in your raid applying scorch is a waste of time because the chill affect and scorch do not stack. I have not seen any reference to this in this thread but rather to keep scorch up. Can some please clear this up? I have tried to go against my urge and not throw up my stack with a deep frost mage in the group and I feel that I have actually lost dps rather than gain.

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The item budget Rawr is giving me for a FF build is a bit counter-intuitive. It's ranking spellpower as my most valuable stat. With I believe 350% crit damage, and no Improved FFB talent, I really expected spellpower to fall to the wayside in favor of more crit rating. Even when I remove Empowered Fire, spellpower still remains at the top of my item budget.

What gives? Am I screwing up my Rawr parameters, or is there some mechanic I'm overlooking?

*Long time reader first time poster*

As you level you will notice that your crit % is getting lower meaning you need more crit for the same benefit at level 80. With the scaling crit, point for point, spell power is still a more valuable stat for maximizing DPS.

Bringing me on to my question.

I have seen a few 0_58_13 level 80 talent builds where people have opted to take both burning soul and frost channeling. It is my understanding that the threat reduction benefits do not stack for frostfire bolt.

My preference would be frost channeling for the mana return, but do we think it is worthwhile spending another two talent points for the pushback resistance or to reduce threat on non FFB spells/abilities?

As an alternative would the two points be better spent in arcane subtlety for 40% threat reduction on arcane explosion for nice safe AOE or spec into dragons breath with a floating point?

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well, if i were to give a rough rule of thumb, I'd say you want to not scorch anything that lives 1min or more. Reason being that scorch/WC do not apply when either is up. As such, it tends to be more preferable to have WC up assuming 100% uptime is realistic. The reason behind it is that theres only a few cases that 'matter'.

1- <0s-10s> Scorch may not be worth casting depending on scenario (duration, travel time, etc.) Generally I avoid casting scorch whenever I know less than 10 spell will hit my target.

2- <10s-15s> mob dies before the time it takes to stack 5x WC. Scorch is always better.

3- <15s-30s> Scorch is always better because the time it takes to stack WC is too long. Too much of your time is spent casting with low-crit buff being up.

4- <30-60s> If Scorch is better at the 30s mark, then you need to cast 1 more scorch to keep it up for an extra 30s. At that point, the extra 30s comes at 'no penalty'. Scorch wins.

5- <60+> Winters Chill is best.

All of the above assume comparing 1 frost mage and 1 fire mage. The fire mage is assumed to have the glyph. Number would drastically change with 2-3 frost mages.

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First: I love the new Class sub-forums.

Second: As a mage (and the Dalaran port being moot), is the Signet of the Kirin Tor worth the gold? There seems to be rings of approximately equal dps-value that are cheaper or raid/heroic drops.

While the ring does have nice stats, I could not personally justify spending 7000-8000 gold on a single piece of gear that will eventually be replaced a couple of months down the road. Other classes could justify it due to the port mechanic, but for a mage, I'd say no unless you're either swimming in gold or an Achievement whore (like myself).

The item budget Rawr is giving me for a FF build is a bit counter-intuitive. It's ranking spellpower as my most valuable stat. With I believe 350% crit damage, and no Improved FFB talent, I really expected spellpower to fall to the wayside in favor of more crit rating. Even when I remove Empowered Fire, spellpower still remains at the top of my item budget.

What gives? Am I screwing up my Rawr parameters, or is there some mechanic I'm overlooking?

You're not screwing up anything. Despite the fact that Fire and Frostfire mages crit for more than ever before, the fact remains that it takes 45.9 points of crit rating to equal a 1% increased crit chance. If you do the math, you'll see that 46 points of spell power is worth more than 1% crit, even for a frostfire build. Which means that point for point, spell power is better than crit rating.

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I'd echo the above about WC vs. Scorch as rough guideline.

The crucial issue is that if you decide to Scorch at the start, you have to continue scorching through the whole fight.

Winter's Chill simply won't get onto the mob at all unless Scorch drops.

Arguably, 5 waves of Blizzard are the best way to get 10% crit onto a boss mob quickly and then maintain it with Frost nukes.

Blizzard has a very high base damage which makes up for the lower scaling for a while.

I have seen a few 0_58_13 level 80 talent builds where people have opted to take both burning soul and frost channeling. It is my understanding that the threat reduction benefits do not stack for frostfire bolt.

As an alternative would the two points be better spent in arcane subtlety for 40% threat reduction on arcane explosion for nice safe AOE?

You take the talents for pushback and mana savings, and I'd say they're worth it.

And there is nothing else to boost single target DPS anyway. Those builds were linked for single target DPS I guess.

And Arcane Explosion is garbage. You get the 40% threat reduction for free anyway because the damage is bad.

You have all fire talents and key frost talents, don't use unspecced Arcane AoE.

If you care about AoE power, shuffle some points around for 3/3 Frostbite and Shatter and 1/3 Imp. Blizzard.

And even without those, Blizzard is a pretty decent, and fire AoE is 1 point per talent.

The item budget Rawr is giving me for a FF build is a bit counter-intuitive. It's ranking spellpower as my most valuable stat.

Nothing wrong with that, it's still nearly twice as good as for other specs or classes.

It's like in BC, +damage were dominant until you get decent gear (1.5k spell power buffed), magnified rating decay and little base damage increase.

You only need 4k spell power, for crit to beat spell power. Probably not reachable in Ulduar gear, but in reach with Icecrown ger Soon.

It's also meantioned in the Gearing section of the WotLK thread.

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*Long time reader first time poster*

As you level you will notice that your crit % is getting lower meaning you need more crit for the same benefit at level 80. With the scaling crit, point for point, spell power is still a more valuable stat for maximizing DPS.

Bringing me on to my question.

I have seen a few 0_58_13 level 80 talent builds where people have opted to take both burning soul and frost channeling. It is my understanding that the threat reduction benefits do not stack for frostfire bolt.

My preference would be frost channeling for the mana return, but do we think it is worthwhile spending another two talent points for the pushback resistance or to reduce threat on non FFB spells/abilities?

As an alternative would the two points be better spent in arcane subtlety for 40% threat reduction on arcane explosion for nice safe AOE?

You correctly observed that the build seems redundant at first sight. Why pick Burning Soul when frost channeling does the same threat-wise ? Why pick flame throwing when it doesn't affects FFB ?

Theres a few reasons.

First thing first. Its 0/53/18. Usually http://talent.mmo-champion.com/?mage=23050220123033300531203013512033030310030000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000&glyph=101519000000 . Personally I prefer the same build, but instead 1pt blizzard and 3/3 frostbite 2/3 ice floes. Its also what I went for. You sacrifice minimal dps (1/3 world in flames) to make your blizzard more interesting. moving 1pt from ice floes to frostbite is a mostly meaningless dps loss if any.

I believe, but havent verified, that frost channeling doesn't applies to FFB. Someone would have to spec into frost chan. and not spec burning soul and run the test (zaldinar?). I don't even know or think its worth running the test -- the hard cold facts and end result is that if you have burning soul and frost channeling, they won't stack (whether or not they can even stack to begin with). So lets just assume here that frost channeling is used only as a DPM increase and nothing else. If frost chan. is used only as a DPM increase, then it throwaway points. The only alternative talents you can take instead of frost channeling is: world in flames (0.33% dps increase per point is pretty bad as far as I'm concerned, and it might be even less for ffb specs since it crits far less often than fireball specs) and shatter (could be interesting for blizzard). So there are your choices. I do believe that as we progress towards full naxx10+ gear, mana will become totally meaningless, at which point I expect a build like http://talent.mmo-champion.com/?mage=23050120123033300531203013513023030311003000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000&glyph=101519000000 to become more mainstream. At least, thats the build I want to head towards in the future, as mana becomes less and less an issue. Not to mention, if MOE works with blizzard, that would actually be far better that frost channeling for saving up mana. I believe they said they wanted MOE to work with arcane missiles, I don't know if that will affect blizzard too -- I somewhat assume it would.

I could be wrong, but the last time I checked, blizzard was more interesting than arcane explosion now. I haven't been getting good results doing anything involving arcane explosions with fire spec, however I had fairly good results with living bomb -> flamestrike -> blizzard. I could do the good old combustion/flamestrike/dragon's breath, but generally I'm not in melee range anymore. At least, since I do not spec both blastwave (unusable) and dragon's breath anymore, I feel far less compelled to go in melee range. At some point, why risk it ? Blizzard is awesome control with frostbite and the slow. If I really want burst aoe, then the build has lots of options. Mirror Image (insures not pulling aggro) -> Icy Veins -> Living Bomb -> combustion -> flamestrike -> dragon's breath -> blizzard.

The other major detail you seem to be missing out is that MOE is far better than frost channeling. The only reason to take frost channeling is because the alternatives all kind of suck. WIF and shatter. WIF is bad reward per talent point, shatter is situational (only for blizzard/maybe trash).

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Thanks for the advice Roywyn & Manly, from that I suspect I will be using blizzard as my secondary AOE and keep the points in burning soul.

I'd echo the above about WC vs. Scorch as rough guideline.

The crucial issue is that if you decide to Scorch at the start, you have to continue scorching through the whole fight.

Winter's Chill simply won't get onto the mob at all unless Scorch drops.

Does that mean that whichever school of mage applies their debuff first, that will be the crit buff for the fight so long as it does not drop off? or does it mean we gain the crit from WC while active unless we apply imp. scorch in which case it overrides? or does it work both ways where imp. scorch will not apply to the target while WC is active?

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What happens when you use Invisility during Mirror Image ?

I know it might sound random but its a very legitimate question. It could yield insight as to how the fade/mirror image mechanics actually work behind. Does it makes you go into negative threat ? Does it works as expected ? Does it makes invis do nothing ? I can conceive all of the 3 possible cases happen.

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