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#1 Tyrian

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 12:05 PM

Update 4.01: This thread will soon be superseded by a new Arcane thread - intended to fully discuss Arcane as it is ingame, and offer information on spec/mastery/rotations. Much of this thread is discussion on problems with Arcane, from design and thematic viewpoints, while the new thread will focus on Arcane ingame and be your resource should that be your chosen spec. Logix will be making this new thread shortly.

Preface and Resource Links

This thread is an opportunity for a consolidated discussion to explore all aspects of Arcane in Cataclysm: Talents, Mastery, design direction, playstyle and concerns. You'll quickly notice that the tone and sentiment of Cataclysm Arcane discussion, is very different to that of Cataclysm Fire or Frost. Arcane currently has many issues, and many people are quite frustrated or disappointed by the spec. With that in mind, this is still not a place to mindlessly whine or play armchair designer, but to constructively discuss Cataclysm Arcane in detail. Some resources pertinent to Arcane Mages:

- Cataclysm Talent Calculator: Mage
- World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Cataclysm Class Preview: Mage
- World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Beta - (English) Forums -> [Mage] Arcane suggestions
- World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Beta - (English) Forums -> Mage
- World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Arcane Mages in Cataclysm

Key Blizzard Quotes

Because much of recent Arcane discussion and concern stems from several key Blizzard quotes, these are pasted in full below.

Arcane Missiles is being redesigned to become a proc-based spell. Whenever the mage does damage with any spell, there is a chance for Arcane Missiles to become available, similar to how the warrior.s Overpower works. The damage and mana cost of this spell will be reworked to make it very desirable to use when available. This change should make gameplay more dynamic for the mage, particularly at low levels.

Arcane Focus will now return mana for each spell that fails to hit your target, including Arcane Missiles that fail to launch. We want Arcane mages to have several talents that play off of how much mana the character has and give the player enough tools to manage mana.

Mana Adept: Arcane will deal damage based how much mana the mage has. For example, Arcane mages will do much more damage at 100% mana than at 50% mana. If they begin to get low on mana, they will likely want to use an ability or mechanic to bring their mana up to increase their damage.

On Arcane Missiles, the basic spell is pretty cool. The problem is the way the spell works makes the current design hard to balance. It.s either too expensive and low damage or the opposite problem. This is particularly true at low level, and meanwhile we think the mage experience at low level is also a little too repetitive. The change is that you can.t hit Arcane Missiles whenever you want. The icon is just grayed out. However, when you deal damage, you have a chance to get Arcane Missiles to light up and then you definitely want to hit it. At higher levels Fire and Frost may eventually phase it out in preference for other spells, or if we like the mechanic, it may be something even Fire and Frost do, just less often than Arcane.

The intent behind Mana Adept (Arcane mastery) is that Arcane currently has a pretty fun mana management game going, at least at relatively high level. We thought it would be fun to extend that concept even further to where Arcane mages that use the mechanics to keep their mana high would do higher dps.


Key At-a-Glance Cataclysm Changes Relevant to Arcane

Most Recent Beta Build Changes (12942)
- Arcane Blast new tooltips reads, "Blasts the target with energy, dealing X to Y Arcane damage. Each time you cast Arcane Blast, the damage of Arcane Blast is increased by 20% and mana cost is increased by 175%. Effect stacks up to 4 times and lasts 6 sec or until any Arcane damage spell except Arcane Blast is cast.".
- Arcane Missiles and Arcane Barrage no longer receive the damage bonus from Arcane Blast stacks. Only Arcane Blast itself benefits from the damage bonus.
- Improved Arcane Explosion reduces the GCD of Arcane Explosion by 0.5 seconds and reduces threat generated by 80%

Other Changes
- Arcane Specialization increases the damage of your Arcane spells by 25%.
- Mana Adept increases all spell damage done by up to 12%, based on the amount of mana the Mage has unspent. Each point of Mastery increases damage done by up to an additional 1.5%.
- Arcane Missiles is now a % based proc, learnt at level 3, which has a 40% chance to activate after casting any mage spell. It longer gets a damage bonus from Arcane Blast stacks.
- Arcane Barrage has a 5 second cooldown. It no longer gets a damage bonus from Arcane Blast stacks.
- Nether Vortex interacts with Slow by passively applying the debuff to unafflicted targets
- Improved Mana Gem allows a Mana Gem to act as a DPS cooldown
- Mage Armor allows the Mage to regenerate 3% of maximum mana per 5 seconds
- Molten Armor no longer scales with spirit. Selfish Crit bonus reduced to 3%.
- Torment the Weak applies only to Arcane spells, has been reduced to 6% damage
- Icy Veins is no longer available for Arcane Mages to pickup
- Arcane Barrage: In one beta build, Abarr gave a 100% chance to proc Arcane Missiles and not consume Arcane Blast stacks in the process. To clear up confusion: This implementation was completely scrapped during the Beta. Arcane Barrage functions the same way it does on live, except it has a 5 second cooldown and its damage is no longer modified by Arcane Blast stacks.

Arcane in Cataclysm

Concerns: Concise Bullet Point Summary

The following points summarize the majority of Arcane Cataclysm concerns in a concise and easy to understand manner. These points are quoted from a post originally authored by Zeldyrr here.

Mana Adept: The design of this mastery (have more mana = do more damage) seems counter to arcane blast (spend more mana = do more damage). Balancing these two quickly becomes beyond the capabilities of a player just trying to pick up the game. Relying on simulators and out-of-game fan sites is something GC said he wanted to curb.
Mana Management: The mana management theme could be very interesting, if arcane mages had new tools with which to do the management. Right now you mana gem every time it comes up and evocate every time your mana reaches 40%. These are the same tools available to the other specs.

Rotation: The current expected rotation is AB-AB-AB-AB-MBAM, 11112. This is pretty much as it has been for all of wotlk. While effective, it's boring and repetitive. A more dynamic rotation that includes other spells like ABar would be a welcome change.

AOE: Because of the way the specialization bonuses work for mages, casting off-tree AOE spells can be ineffective. Arcane Explosion is the only choice from the arcane tree. Is it intended that arcane mages are the only caster without some sort of ranged AOE? And if this is an "only" that Blizzard is happy with, can AE's coefficient be adjusted? Right now it can't compete DPS-wise with fire or frost AOE capabilities.

Talent Interplay: Other trees have a "theme" in their talents. For example, some fire talents boost crit chances and other talents proc when spells crit. Arcane talents have less of this interplay. For example, Torment the Weak boosts damage and that's it. No other talent can play off of "6% more damage".

Arcane Barrage: This is the iconic arcane spell granted at level 10 when the choice of specialization is made. However, it currently has no place in an end game raiding rotation. It would be nice if the "iconic" spell (which has a cool flavor and graphic associated with it) be useful to raiders as part of the standard rotation.

Limited Spell Choice: The more recent Arcane tree spells (Mirror Image, Timewarp) don't provide options that enter a raiding rotation. Current choices are Arcane Barrage (no reason to cast atm), Arcane Missiles (available only on proc), and Arcane Blast. From this is easy to deduce the only possible rotation is spam AB until the only useful other spell (AM) procs.

Nonsensical Pre-level 34 Levelling Experience: Arcane mages don't receive Arcane Blast until level 34, which is the core part of the Arcane rotation and playstyle. Not having access to AB means cross-school filler spells need to be used, because of the two Arcane spells available early: One is a proc and one has a CD. Cross school spells cast do not benefit from Arcane Specialisation. All this seems counter-intuitive to Blizzards new levelling vision, aimed at letting players feel like their spec as early as level 10.

What's wrong with Cataclysm Arcane: Discussion

The short version: Arcane is boring.

The longer version: The 'fun factor' has gone missing from Arcane. The rotations are too static. There's not enough opportunity for dynamic or adaptive rotations. The ranged AOE rotation relies exclusively on other spell schools, Blizzard and Flamestrike, both of which forgo Arcane Specialisation. Furthermore, neither of these spells have compelling Arcane talents to compensate or modify them. Arcane mages lack fun, innovative tools and mechanics to control and manipulate their most important resource: mana. Too many Arcane talents lack thematic synergy, nor add much depth or flavour to the Arcane playstyle. We're not empowered with enough ways to manage the Mana Adept mastery.

Cataclysm doesn't appear to be doing much to remedy any of this - and this the reason many are concerned by the current state of Cataclysm Arcane: Where is the thematic, fun synergy that encourages us to mix rotations up and gives the opportunity for added depth and control?

Talent Synergy and Depth

Fire AOE takes advantage of Fire Specialization, excellent thematic synergy, and talents giving the opportunity for depth to skilled players who wish to take advantage of them. (Pyromaniac, Impact, Combustion, Hot streak). The only interaction between Arcane talents/spells and AOE is either very minimal, or just plain boring. Arcane Explosion takes advantage of the Arcane Blast debuff, Arcane Potency might give you a crit after a Clearcasting Proc, and POM can give an instant Flamestrike. What Arcane lacks is more talents that offer depth.

While adding another Arcane ranged AOE spell would be a good step, it wouldn't necessarily solve anything. Mindlessly casting AOE spells (the current Arcane AOE rotation) isn't a particulary inspiring, or fun, design. Adding more spells to mindlessly cast won't change that. Fire is a good example of how talents and spells can thematically work well together to not only add more depth to the tree, but make it much more fun.

Cataclysm Fire has the theme of Dots (The ingame representation of something 'burning'). Do the Fire talents really expand on that theme, and add depth? Yes! Frost has an emphasis on chills and freezes. The question is - do the talents do much to expand on this, give you reasons to care about chills/freezes - and give you fun tools to manage all of this ? Yes! To see examples of how the Fire and Frost talent trees accomplish this, expand the spoiler tag below:

Spoiler

Now finally, lets look at Arcane. It has themes of Mana Management and Magic Manipulation. Lets assess whether the tree expands on that, or adds any depth:

Clearcasting: Free spells, indirectly gives you a chance to passively reduce mana consumption (Boring, no player input)
Arcane Flows: Alters CD on Evocation
Improved Mana Gem: Ties mana gem use into granting +dam bonus based on mana (Using a Mana Gem qualifies as mana management, and this talent is mathematically quite good, but that doesn't necessarily make it innovative design)
Arcane Blast: Increases the damage of Arcane spells, at the cost of extra mana.
Mana Adapt: Rewards mages for having high mana (Needs tools so we can control it to make it most effective)


The Arcane package is just not there. It doesn't tie itself together well, unlike Frost or Fire. Using evocation and a mana gem, does not really qualify as compelling mana management. Correct use of Arcane Blast requires good management, but this theme is not expanded on by the talent tree - unlike Dots to Fire. Arcane does have a bunch of 'fun, gimmicky' utility talents (Prismatic Cloak, Improved Blink, Invocation, Incanter's Abosprtion) - but there are too many of them, and too few talents that address or expand on the rest of the playstyle. Many of the remaining talents are just plain boring, or don't offer anything exciting to the tree at all (Torment the Weak, Arcane Tactics, Focus Magic).

Are these talents meant to be mutually exclusive with those that offer more depth to the playstyle? The equivilant to this would be if Fire had only 1 talent that affected dots, and Frost had one talent that played with Freezes - because the rest of the tree was filled up with gimmick talents.

What does it mean to be an Arcane mage? Does the talent tree do enough to expand upon this?

The official talent tree description reads, "Manipulates arcane energies, playing with the very fabric of time and space." Arcane is all about control. Specifically: Control over mana, control over magic, and control over time.

A skilled Arcane mage needs to exercise a great deal of control and manipulative skills over their mana / magic to be effective. The main point of contention is, with those points in mind, the current Cataclysm talent tree is moving away from that completely - even contrary to Blizzard's own comments - towards Arcane being nothing more than a bag of thematically disjointed tricks with a static, boring rotation - and having little to no control. This is counter-intuitive to what an Arcane mage is supposed to be all about.

Fire on the other hand is moving in the opposite direction: Cataclysm fire design direction thus far has been excellent, and the talents are empowering you with ways to manage and control your DOT's.

For an easy comparison, consider the following Arcane Talents: Improved Polymorph, Improved Blink, Torment the Weak, Arcane Tactics, Focus Magic and Prismatic Cloak. What exactly do they add to the Arcane tree? Do they add any depth or fun to the playstyle, do they give you more control? Focus magic gives Arcane some crit, but do other talents make you care about crit? No. Some of them are still indeed fun quirky talents. But can the real-estate scarce Cataclysm talent trees afford all these quirkly talents, when a strong running theme is lacking in the first place?

Now consider some of the new fire talents: More mobility with firestarter, regenerative rotations with Improved Scorch + Master of Elements + Hot Streak, Pyromaniac rewarding skilled players to manage dots correctly, Improved Flamestrike adding a free Blastwave which in turn will offer more Ignite crits and uptime on Pyromaniac, impact new utility can spread dots - combustion can create it's own ignite then consolidate everything else into it. Critical mass gives some crit, but do the fire talents give us a reason to care? Absolutely: Master of Elements, Ignite, Combustion, Hotstreak. Do they help make you feel like a Fire mage? Absolutely.

Arcane just doesn't tie itself together very well. Maybe that's simply because its lost sight of a running theme. Talents that play off mana and magic manipulation fit Arcane well. Improved Mana Gem is an example. Incanter's Absorption and Magic Absorption as well. Other potential good examples would be the current tier 10 bonuses. Both of those fit Arcane well. It would simply take a little rewording to give them a better thematic feel for Arcane. For example, changing the 4 piece tier 10 mirror image bonus to something such as "Your Mirror Image ability also causes you to deal an additional X% of your total mana/haste rating in damage for the next 30 seconds". The 2 piece bonus could be restated as, "Increases your haste rating by X% of your maximum mana after casting Arcane Missiles".

Pasture made an excellent post on this:

Mana management is more on point. Arcane has always been more concerned with mana management than any other dps tree, thought frankly, toward the end of WotLK this became more and more insignificant. Arcane mages didn't really have a high burn rotation that cut through the mana pool, and mana pretty much became a non-issue. Now Arcane for Cata was descibed as a spec based around mana, with lots of tools and talents that played of this. This hasn't materialised. Arcane doesn't have any new way to manage its mana. It's just mana gem when you've burned enough mana, and evocation when you've burned enough mana. There's no management there. Then of course we have our Arcane Blasts stacks that cause us to use more mana for more damage, but our overall mastery that makes us do less damage when we burn our mana. Mana management isn't a bad theme, but none of it is really tied in well.

If mana management is going to be the Arcane theme then there needs to be some actual management. Arcane Blast stacks versus the current mastery is so horribly counter-intuitive and will require spreadsheets etc to dictate what level of stacks you should be hitting at specific levels of mana. It's not something you can just pick up in game through practice. On the other hand, mana gems and evocation don't require any though at all. You use them as soon as you've used enough mana to put your mana pool back to full. Either delivery on the mana management theme or ditch it and develop the spec in other ways. Either way, add a little more complexity to Arcane. Cataclysm is the perfect opportunity to flesh the spec out into something less simplistic.


So to get the ball rolling, Blizzard has delivered the current Cataclysm Arcane package - what are your thoughts and observations? Arcane discussion is very interesting, because it isn't just about criticising talents or numbers, it's also about you asssessing what you believe it is to be an Arcane mage, and many mages are quite passionate about what that means to them. Not everyone agrees on what this means, and nobody can conclusively say that Blizzard knows either - based on the current Cataclysm model. So where do we go from here?

#2 Erdluf

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 01:39 PM

There seems to be a strong underlying assumption that a DPS spec centered around Mana Management should do 30% more DPS than anyone else on a short fight, and (to be fair) 30% less DPS on a very long fight.

I don't believe that is where Blizzard intends to go. If your spec is centered around managing 'xxx' then if you do a good job of that your DPS will be similar to other DPS specs operated by skilled players. If you don't, you will suffer.

A rogue should be given tools to do competitive DPS if he manages his energy, combo points, and cooldowns skillfully. Doing the right thing does not mean he jumps ahead of everyone on the charts. Doing the wrong thing, however, should be easy, and should penalize him.

Likewise, I'd expect Mana Adept to mean that you are given tools that will allow you to maintain high mana, while doing competitive DPS. It should be easy screw up and let your mana drop (causing a loss of DPS). It should also be easy to screw up in other ways and lose DPS while maintaining high mana.

I don't see those tools, so work remains. I'm just expecting those tools to not look like the healers' tradeoff between HPS and HPM.

#3 Uglybugger

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 01:57 PM

An idea for the subject of mana management tools:

What about an Archangel type mechanic attached to Arcane Barrage? If Arcane Barrage isn't being changed back to providing a free Arcane Missiles proc, then perhaps it can be changed so that when your Arcane Blast stack is consumed by Arcane Barrage, you regain X% of total mana per AB debuff consumed. That would provide an incentive to use Arcane Barrage if Arcane Missiles proc fishing is unsuccessful after 4 casts.

However, I don't know if that would really provide an interesting mana management mechanic... It's more of a consolation prize for not winning the AM proc when RNG isn't on your side. I suppose it could also be used when a target is low health and the caster didn't want to waste an AM proc but wanted to get some mana back instead for use on the next target (and to bring their Mana Adept score back up a bit).

Ah well. Just another idea.

#4 Tyrian

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 02:28 PM

There's a good opportunity to take the new Holy Power, Soul Shard and Lunar Power type mechanics - and apply them to Arcane. The developers clearly quite like exploring these UI mechanics currently. The idea of using your normal spells and ablities to collect some kind of special resource, and having to make smart decisions on how you want to use that resource most effectively - is a great theme.

Lets say Arcane has a special resource, like the new Holy Power, called "Arcane Power". It would receive its own UI element and is accumulated by casting Arcane Spells. Once you hit the Arcane Power spell, then a normal spell - it modifies the normal spell according to the level of Arcane Power you have. Just like how Arcane Blast currently gives a +damage modifier, but with much more versitility. Arcane Power would replace the need for an Arcane Blast debuff.

Imagine if 4 Arcane Power (equivilant to a 4 Arcane stack debuff) followed by Arcane Explosion - would allow a mage to cast an Arcane Explosion at ranged which pulsed 4 times. Or a 4 stack Arcane Power + Arcane Barrage would cause Arcane Barrage to hit 4 targets simultaneously. They use up the Arcane Power debuff in the process, so you do have an opportunity cost to think about (lose out on single target DPS in these examples). Or perhaps you could use your Arcane Power to modify the effects of a mana gem (make it restore less mana, but give more +% damage via "Improved Mana Gem" talent, or vice versa).

There's no shortage of fun ideas people have been coming up with - the confusing part is, why do the Arcane talents still look so bland and really don't iterate on, or take into account - any innovative tools or mechanics? Torment the Weak, need we say more? "Use mana gem on cooldown" or "Use Evocation on cooldown" is better, but still uninspired.

Our Mastery wants us to keep Mana high, so we need more empowering ways to have control over it to do so. Is Mana Adept working for us, or against us.

#5 Guest_Allecto_*

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 04:20 PM

Over the past few days, people have also started gravitating towards Blizzard's description of the Arcane spec in the new talent trees, which states that the arcane mage

"Manipulates arcane energies, playing with the very fabric of time and space."

However, apart from core class spells (e.g. portals, Magelust), few have provided any explanation or hypothesis on how this idea can be expanded upon on a gameplay level. E.g. what does a "time/space warping" caster actually look like in combat? What kind of spells would work in "altering space/time"? etc.
ose spells.


I think this is the way you have to go, and Sunaseni did a good job of articulating it in his post in the Cataclysm Changes thread. You have to start with your strategy (talent spec), then flesh out the tactics (spells/abilities/rotations) underneath. We need an overarching theme/flavor/strategy, and the Time/Space idea is the most appealing to me (prismatic sounds like a give-up compromise). Several good suggestions HAVE been made on what it might actually look like in combat. Personal favorites include Vontre's changes to AB, and Ebbie's new proc forcing a choice btwn DPS boost and Mana restore. Adding the current T10x2 to the talent tree seems like a no-brainer. In addition to these, I'll add the following to the brainstorming hopper:

  • Change the Arcane Mastery to a Haste increase, essentially accomplishing the same thing, i.e. the more mana you have the faster you cast, the more damage you do, but the more mana you burn through. The more mana you have, the higher your DPS will be. But to make this work, you'd need to give the arcane mage new tools to help him keep mana up.
  • New Talent: Improved Mirror Image, X% of MI damage restores Y mana to the caster (shadow fiend model). Maybe reduced MI CD as well.
  • New Spell: Arcane Absorption: A buff like Arcane Power (maybe shared CD) that lasts say 15 seconds, that when activated converts X% of the damage the mage does into mana into his pool, but reduces the damage done by Y%.
  • New Spell: Mana Suck, drain the mana from the target to the mage (ya, i know only works if the target has mana).
  • New 31 Point Talent/Spell: Time Stop. Like the Time Lord's ability in Culling of Strat, everything around the mage freezes for 5 seconds, but the mage can do whatever he wants. Common, who didn't love the first time they figured out you could invis on Professor Putricide.
  • On the "space" side of the ledger, maybe the ability to open an portal to a safe little nether world (think portable hole), where others can't follow, but where the mage can do whatever he wants for a short period and where mana is restored at an extremely accelerated rate.
  • And yes, of course Arcane should be able to talent up for superior evocates and mana gems (faster, more mana, etc.). Goes without saying.
  • Although kinda off topic, but in the "space" theme, a reverse blink would be fun, i.e. the ability to blink your target instead of yourself.


#6 Pasture

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 08:47 PM

- Does Arcane need a ranged AOE spell?

It probably doesn't *need* one. Even now, when being in melee can be dangerous, you can typically stay in melee safely so long as your healers are on the ball. In Cata we'll have more health and armour, but healers will need to be wiser with mana, so it's hard to say how this will balance. A super easy (if slightly cheap) solution would be a talent that turns Blizzard into 'spellfrost' damage (and Flame Orb while we're at it). That way you have your melee option and your ranged option. It's not terribly interesting, but very few classes / specs can claim to have interesting AoE rotations.

- Mana Adept (Everything about it)
- What does it mean to be an Arcane mage?

I'll bundle these two together. To me Arcane is a spec based around mana and it's a 'temporal' themed spec - or the manipulation of space and time. The arcane abilities, Slow, Blink, Mirror Images, Portals etc fit the theme.

The best way to integrate the temporal aspect is through haste effects, and as many have suggested, the two-piece T10 set bonus would be an easy way to integrate this back in. I personally would rather see it attached to Arcane Barrage rather than Missiles as it pulls Arcane Barrage into the rotation. A replacement for Icy Veins would be another (though perhaps off the cards now given we have Bloodlust).

In terms of making Mana Adept and the general mana theme work, there just needs to be more tools to keep mana up. Someone suggested images returning mana ala Shadowfiend for Arcane - not a terrible idea. Another could be that Arcane Barrage could work ala Thunderstorm in that it would actually return some degree of mana on use. I'd also like to see the return of our 15% intellect talent (perhaps as a passive). Arcane can justify having the extra mana after all. All said and done I don't think Mana Adept is the best mastery because it pulls in the opposite direction to Arcane Blast stacks. Using more mana for more damage via Arcane Blast stacks works (though admittedly would work even better if we truly had a 'high burn' cycle). Adding a mastery that has the opposite effect to our core spell doesn't. They both need to be pulling in the same direction. There can be no such thing as a 'high burn' cycle so long as Mana Adept continues to operate as it does - cycles are always going to have to operate around a higher percentage of mana.

#7 andastra

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 10:00 PM

The biggest problem to me is changing arcane missiles to be a proc. For mana management to even be feasible as a theme, you need multiple cycles that will trade off dpm for dps. That's impossible to do with just one spammable spell. There has to be at least 2 spammable spells so that a mage can choose which cycle to use depending on the sequence the mage casts those 2 spells. Arcane missiles being a proc removes much of the decision making from the mage on when to cast it.

#8 Doroteasenjk

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 10:13 PM

Anything that uses up mana is not a management tool, unless there is a choice between skills.

Otherwise, we have

- Arcane Missiles - proc (40%), zero mana cost. Essentially the pivot point for our rotation.
- Mana gem - Restores mana. Increases damage coefficients, as a percentage of maximum mana. 0 GCD.
- Evocation - Restores mana as a percentage (60%) of our maximum mana. 0 DPS over 6 seconds.
- Mage Armor - Restores mana as a percentage (3%/5 seconds) of our maximum mana. Passive. 3% to crit opportunity.
- Glyph of Mage Armor - Unknown. In LK, it provided mana at half the rate of OOC mana regeneration. Passive.
- Glyph of Arcane Blast - Unknown/Invented. Decreases cast inflation to 150% from 175%.
- MP5 gear - Unknown/unlikely. The only MP5 gear in LK was healer gear, nominally, and it has been changed to +spirit.
- Mana gear - Unknown. On-use gear, perhaps a trinket, that restores a fixed amount of mana. 0 GCD
- Innervate - Unlikely. Healer mana budgets won't allow Innervate to be put on a mage.
- OO5SR - Gone. In combat, you regain mana at combat rates whether or not you are casting.
- Invisibility - Unlikely/Expensive. If it took and kept you out of combat, your regen would increase for several seconds.
- Enchant Weapon: Adept - Unknown/Invented. Each damaging spell that lands on your enemy has a chance to return X mana to you.

After putting that list together, I realize that we are missing nearly half the picture for Arcane magery. While Frost and Fire seem (relatively) complete, Arcane is still waiting for its moment in the sun. Blizzard has yet to let us see what the glyph and trinket lewtz are. As I started inventing the Glyph of Arcane Blast, I realized that there were easily half a dozen ways that Blizzard could provide the much-needed mana management to Arcane, with a combination of glyphs and gear. Part of the decision would be having to choose 3 major glyphs from perhaps 5 candidates.

BTW, has anybody ever noticed that "mana gem" is part of "management" -- just leave off the "ent".

#9 Venthos

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 02:54 AM

An issue about having an interesting rotation is the fact that Arcane only has 3 damaging spells it uses: Arcane Blast, Arcane Barrage, and Arcane Missiles. A spammable nuke with a mana-intensive debuff, a cooldown, and a procced channeled spell. There's more for AOE, of course, but it's single target that's the issue.

Really the only way to add more complexity and fun to the rotation is to add at least one more spell. A dot isn't likely, because that doesn't really fit Arcane's scheme, so it would be between a regular nuke, another proc, or another cooldown spell, perhaps even more than one. If they don't want to add another spell, they could add some reason for Arcane to want to cast Frostbolt/Fireball/FFB. Arcane did use Frostbolt during BC, and adding some functionality to the tree for that option could open up the rotation, whether it be as a proc or a straight-cast. If they didn't mind adding another spell, they could give Arcane another spammable nuke that didn't add the stacks, letting mages choose different mana-intensive rotations: larger burst through Blast, only using Blast for the stacks and then using the new spell, or only using the new spell, depending on the situation.

Right now the Arcane tree also lacks talents that affect the rotation, barring Missile Barrage. They did say that they wanted more trees to have utility, but Arcane's utility is a little excessive, especially so given its shallow rotation. The few straight damage increasing talents like Netherwind Presence, Improved Missiles, Arcane Potency, Torment the Weak, and Focus Magic do little to affect how Arcane does damage. Torment the Weak does add Frostbolt or Slow to the rotation when soloing, but only before Nether Vortex. It's difficult to see how Focus Magic specifically can warrant space in these smaller trees, when it's a talent that does nothing while soloing, and especially because it's yet another talent that doesn't change Arcane's rotation. Another talent that is very shallow is Arcane Flows. PoM and AP are only available to Arcane, and the Evocation reduction seems like it would fit very well as the selfish bonus to Tactics.

As for mana management, Arcane doesn't have anything that Frost and Fire don't have, besides a shorter-cooldown Evocation. Even Improved Mana Gem doesn't do anything, besides rewarding the use of a mana cooldown that Arcane would be using anyway with its mastery. Mana management is the same thing as it is currently, besides the passive regen from using Mage Armor rather than Molten.

The Arcane tree at the moment looks fun, with all the available utility, but it's a shame that it seems to be conflicting with the possibility of a more interesting rotation. All that would need to be added is maybe two changes: a mana-management ability, and the addition of a new nuke/ the addition of a talent that would make Arcane want to use an existing nuke (either as a proc, or straight-casting).

#10 Pasture

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 10:11 PM

Some brief discussion on the Arcane talent tree specifically:

1. Having Slow as a pre-requisite for Arcane Power is stupid. Arcane has more than enough points to pick up Nether Vortex, which would give Slow 100% up-time on bosses, and is applied quick enough to other mobs. Forcing us to pick up Slow seems unnecessary. Slow needs to be detached from Arcane Power, though having it as a pre-requisite for Nether Vortex does at least make sense.

2. Torment the Weak needs to go. So badly. It could just read 6% more damage to Arcane spells, and tying it to something that has 100% up-time is just daft. These three points should be removed and replaced with something that actually has an effect for Arcane, be it these mana management tools we're supposed to be getting, or something that does something with the Arcane rotation.

3. Arcane Tactics needs a selfish benefit. It's a wasted point assuming someone else in the raid is bringing it. It's just one point, but a selfish benefit will ensure everyone doesn't roll up to a raid assuming someone else was bringing it.

4. The Fire and Frost trees need some fun utility that Arcane can dip into. Having spent the 5 mandatory talent points in Fire and Frost (I'm not counting Burning Soul as mandatory - I never roll with pushback protection) you're left with another 5 which wind up getting dumped back into Arcane utility. It's not a bad thing to dump into Arcane utility, but there should be attractive options in the other trees. There aren't a lot of obvious contenders - Cauterize seems like one that could be bumped to tier two but that's such a distinctly fire talent.

#11 Guest_aikiwoce_*

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 01:46 AM

Some of my collected thoughts on Arcane.

1. What the Arcane rotation really needs is a non-proc, non-instant ability that they want to use on regular basis. I would prefer that Arcane Missiles be that ability. This could be accomplished with a talent like Hot Streak/Brain Freeze that replaces the Arcane Missiles proc and makes it baseline. Then, when proc'd would make your Arcane Missiles cost no mana and provide some other benefit: instant cast, hits mutliple targets, fire extra missiles, etc. Obviously there would need to be some adjustment depending on the decided mechanic. But, it would give you more options in rotation, and I think bring back some fun to Arcane.

2. On the topic of AoE, Arcane needs a new talent, mechanic, or spell to address it's inadequacies in this regard. Torment the Weak and Focus Magic are good candidate talents to be replaced.

3. Arcane Tactics needs a selfish benefit and Focus Magic isn't really that interesting. Maybe the two could be mashed into one, and free up a talent for a new AoE ability or mechanic. "Arcane Tactics - Increases your chance to critically hit with spells by 1/2/3%. Also increases the damage of all party and raid members within 100 yds by 3%."

4. Given the existence of Nether Vortex, Slow kind sucks as a talent. So make Slow a pre-req of Nether Vortex by bumping it up a tier and putting Focus Magic (or the new talent replacing it) in it's place.

#12 Polynomials

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 04:44 PM

Some brief discussion on the Arcane talent tree specifically:

2. Torment the Weak needs to go. So badly. It could just read 6% more damage to Arcane spells, and tying it to something that has 100% up-time is just daft. These three points should be removed and replaced with something that actually has an effect for Arcane, be it these mana management tools we're supposed to be getting, or something that does something with the Arcane rotation.

3. Arcane Tactics needs a selfish benefit. It's a wasted point assuming someone else in the raid is bringing it. It's just one point, but a selfish benefit will ensure everyone doesn't roll up to a raid assuming someone else was bringing it.


Torment the Weak and Arcane Tactics are both boring talents. The 100% uptime issue makes is so that the only time TtW is not wasted or a flat damage increase is when your strategy requires you to blow the GCD on Slow. Not that you'll notice. If you have to put Slow up, chances are that there are other snares in the first place. Its benefit is very weak for 3 points in the 2nd tier, considering that Nether Vortex solves the GCD problem (to the extent that it can be solved), and Frost has plenty of benefits from the Chilled debuff. Spread the TtW buff out over slight buffs to Frost talents. Arcane Tactics is exactly the kind of talent that Blizzard wants to kill. I understand the need for raid buffs, but this just seems half-assed.

Contary to popular sentiment, I like the idea of mana management because it forces the smart mage to trade mana expenditure and efficiency according to the needs of the encounter. This is fun to me. It can work as a playstyle, it just needs to be more interesting. TtW and Arcane Tactics should be redesigned to make more sense in terms of this, then. I suggest:

Torment the Weak will be changed to Vortex Siphon and moved higher in the tree- Mage damage spells against Slowed targets now have a chance to burn X of the target's mana, rage, energy, focus, or runic power, returning mana equal to Y + Z% of damage done, whether any was burned or not. Now you have a reason to care when Slow is applied, and more mana expenditure will return more mana. Appropriately balanced, of course. May need another 2nd tier talent for levelling/soloing, but there are already 3 others, Frost is doing fine with Chilled, and TtW is not a very good levelling/soloing talent considering the DPS penalty of the Slow GCD.

Arcane Tactics will now be called Ley Lines - Mage manipulates local ley patterns so that damage spells cause a Replenishment-style buff that buffs the damage or healing of the lowest percentage mana user in the raid or group that doesn't already have the buff. May or may not work outside of group, depending on "100% uptime" problem. Mana expenditure from causing damage increases players' overall mana efficiency, including the mage's. Could be key in difficult encounters, making it a widely desired raid buff. Makes placement of Focus Magic more interesting - perhaps it should be required for this talent.

#13 Tellestria

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 05:29 PM

Arcane Tactics will now be called Ley Lines - Mage manipulates local ley patterns so that damage spells cause a Replenishment-style buff that buffs the damage or healing of the lowest percentage mana user in the raid or group that doesn't already have the buff. May or may not work outside of group, depending on "100% uptime" problem. Mana expenditure from causing damage increases players' overall mana efficiency, including the mage's. Could be key in difficult encounters, making it a widely desired raid buff. Makes placement of Focus Magic more interesting - perhaps it should be required for this talent.


I see two very large issues with this proposal:
  • You're adding a brand new type of raid buff that no other class/spec has, which is one of the things Blizzard has been actively trying to remove via duplication of buffs across classes (see: time warp, etc.).
  • Your implementation of the raid buff would make it so that raid leaders would want to stack as many arcane mages as possible in order to try to keep the raid buff on as many players as possible.

If it turned out that this raid buff was balanced such that it was good enough that any players wanted to have it, then arcane mages would be "must-haves" and would be filling every available ranged dps raid slot that didn't need to be something else in order to provide some other raid buff. Note that this would be true regardless of whether it was party only or for the entire raid. The parties would simply be shuffled to include as many arcane mages in as many parties as possible.

If it turned out that this raid buff was balanced such that it was bad enough that nobody thought it was at all useful, then we're left with a "useless" talent.

#14 Polynomials

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:16 PM

I see two very large issues with this proposal:

  • You're adding a brand new type of raid buff that no other class/spec has, which is one of the things Blizzard has been actively trying to remove via duplication of buffs across classes (see: time warp, etc.).
  • Your implementation of the raid buff would make it so that raid leaders would want to stack as many arcane mages as possible in order to try to keep the raid buff on as many players as possible.

If it turned out that this raid buff was balanced such that it was good enough that any players wanted to have it, then arcane mages would be "must-haves" and would be filling every available ranged dps raid slot that didn't need to be something else in order to provide some other raid buff. Note that this would be true regardless of whether it was party only or for the entire raid. The parties would simply be shuffled to include as many arcane mages in as many parties as possible.

If it turned out that this raid buff was balanced such that it was bad enough that nobody thought it was at all useful, then we're left with a "useless" talent.


Let me preface my rebuttal by saying that the purpose of these two suggestions I made was to illustrate there are a lot of ways to play mana expenditure and efficiency off of each other so that the mage has to actually think about what they are spending as opposed to how much damage they are dealing. These were two ways that you could do it within a single talent, while still addressing other problems that the tree faced.

Fair enough that Blizzard is trying to get rid of unique buffs. I would actually like to see less homogenization, but that is a personal preference, and I can see how it makes balance a lot simpler.

As for your second point, I disagree. To use an example of a raid buff that everyone wants, but no one is upset when they don't get, is Focus Magic. 3% spell crit is nice piece of damage to have, but it isn't huge, and it generally isn't make or break except in all but the most brutal DPS races. By your line of reasoning, if "it was good enough that players wanted to have it," then raid leaders would stack it. Yet raid leaders in my experience do not stack Arcane mages, thinking that this is the best way to get a good DPS raid (partially because of FM circle jerk, true, but I think the point remains). On the other hand, sometimes raid leaders do bring class/spec combos purposely because they have Replenishment. I'm not sure that's a bad thing, Blizzard might disagree.

Furthermore, there does exist an area in between the "must-have" buff that every tunnel-vision doesn't-switch-to-adds meter whore will be slobbering over, and the wasted points that "nobody thought it was at all useful". I wasn't thinking a particularly large buff. In my original conception, I also envisioned that it would proc from certain spells, particularly Arcane Barrage. Some people felt this spell was lackluster, and I agreed, and I also thought it would make the mage rotation something more interesting to consider, and more dependent on situation. I also was thinking of an ICD as well, to keep it from being overpowered as you warn against. I should have mentioned those parts

In any case, I was saying I like what they are trying to do with what we might just call the "mana game"- I think they just need to get a truly dynamic toolset going. To me, that's what being an Arcane mage is really all about - having the tools to manipulate not just a type of magic, but magic itself. The mana game can be a really fun manifestation if they are willing to mix things up a bit. "More mana = more damage" is just too simplistic, and is easily made moot by gear. The tree is also confused by talents that do not fall in line with the mana game.

#15 Venthos

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:25 PM

On the topic of Slow's position, Ghostcrawler recently made a post about prerequisites being there as balance. Yes, it would be nice if we could use that point for something else, but if they put a dps boost in Slow's place, then the prereq is basically pointless.

MMO-Champion BlueTracker | Again with the arrows thing, please take heed

As for Nether Vortex, I really don't like the talent. While it does make it simpler for Arcane to apply the debuff and gain the bonus from TTW, it also basically removes a spell from our spellbook. Meanwhile, a lack of spells is something that Arcane already has a problem with. It would be much more interesting, in my opinion, to have Nether Vortex enhance the usage of Slow, rather than removing its use by turning the ability passive. Affecting damage or mana, both things that Arcane greatly needs, would be a plus.

At the very least, changing the activation from Blast to Barrage would fit better. This would give Barrage more of a use (barring later numbers changes), and having it on a spell that isn't our main nuke would make it more of a decision (slightly).

#16 Kavan

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:08 PM

I see a lot of complaints about how the arcane rotation is suddenly very static and I just don't get it. You have 1 spell that you can use any time, one on cooldown and one as proc. There are no less rotations than we have today in WotLK. And there's no lack in dps/dpm tradeoffs either. Just looking at the mastery I don't see how you can come to any other conclusion than that the rotations will be dynamic. The way I see it the mastery alone dictates the mana management. Even without any extra tools, just using the different rotations and evocation/gem there's plenty of mana management to do just because of the mastery.

#17 Gleeful

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:35 PM

At the very least, changing the activation from Blast to Barrage would fit better. This would give Barrage more of a use (barring later numbers changes), and having it on a spell that isn't our main nuke would make it more of a decision (slightly).


This isn't likely to happen because the idea is to reward arcane mages for standing still and casting arcane blast in pvp. That's the idea anyways.

I see a lot of complaints about how the arcane rotation is suddenly very static and I just don't get it. You have 1 spell that you can use any time, one on cooldown and one as proc. There are no less rotations than we have today in WotLK. And there's no lack in dps/dpm tradeoffs either. Just looking at the mastery I don't see how you can come to any other conclusion than that the rotations will be dynamic. The way I see it the mastery alone dictates the mana management. Even without any extra tools, just using the different rotations and evocation/gem there's plenty of mana management to do just because of the mastery.


I think most people simply don't feel the spec has evolved any. At any rate, I don't understand your view of the mastery. If the mastery is powerful enough, wouldn't we just be locked into a very efficient rotation? And if it's not that important, it's the same thing we have today--which aside from fishing for missile barrage procs here and there, isn't dynamic at all.

#18 Kavan

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:56 PM

I guess the main problem is that the mastery is very mathy and most players don't understand yet its impact on how to play the spec optimally. The main thing to understand about the mastery is that in between mana cooldowns you will want to use cycles in order of increasing mps in consecutive order, starting with low dps/mps and increaseing to high dps/mps the closer you are to mana cooldown. Choosing at what dps/mps level to start and when to switch between cycles and how to react to rng will be the major thing that will distinguish an average mage from one taking the spec to its full potential. For more details on the math behind this you can check http://elitistjerks....p5/#post1626750 and some previous posts by Roywyn and Muphrid.

#19 thebitterfig

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 11:27 PM

Personally, I don't mind slow being a prereq, but with conditions. Basically, I don't want to be forced out of key talents in order to get it. Looking over the trees, I don't really feel one point behind on anything truly important that I wish I had the point from Slow back for, and Slow is one of those handy spells which I haven't taken in wrath mainly because I couldn't afford it, not because I don't want it. If making it a prereq is what it takes to allow me to spec into Slow, I'm happy with that, and other classes should be so lucky as to have required filler as useful as Slow. That said, I'm completely in favor of getting rid of TTW.

As to mana management, I'll agree with the general tone that the current set up doesn't get there. In order for mana management to work, it will need for mana tricks to be something other than simply hitting Mana Gem or Innervate on cooldown. If mana management is simply using mana abilities on cooldown and maintaining the same rotation, that is an utter failure of the design. Theoretically one tweak could be new spells, but a new nuke would probably wind up being a bland one, and how many "X second cast, deals Y type damage, no frills" nukes do we need? Some thoughts.

1. Mana Adept as a negative synergy on a continuous, linear scale is utterly unintuitive, and requires spreadsheeting in order to determine not just perfect use, but above-average use. Adding some sort of breakpoint to it would make it understandable, and provide a target for mana consumption. Something like "Becomes less effective below 40% mana" for a continuous but non-linear bonus or "While above 60% mana, Mana Adept adds XX% damage, based on mastery" for a discrete bonus. A situation where almost any rotation above a mana target is superior to the maximum rotation under the mana target would be ideal, in the sense that it makes the intended use of the mastery clear. Such a scheme might or might not be a problem in PvP. Clearly, a well-timed mana burn could deprive the mage of a good deal of power, but that might not be a bad thing in the sense that any PvP spec should have some vulnerability or another, and if Arcane's is mana burns and the spec is more robust against other kinds of attacks and control, that could be seen as a feature not a bug. If Arcane is more vulnerable than other mage specs to various attacks and control besides mana burns, then there is clearly a problem overall. It just strikes me that having some sort of target value for mana that doesn't require a spreadsheet to calculate would be a good step toward an intuitive design for Arcane.

2. There will need to be unsustainable-but-otherwise-superior rotations in order for Mana Management to work or be interesting. I view this basically as a truism about Arcane. If the superior rotation can be sustained by mana regeneration, then all interactivity disappears as all mages simply use the highest. In other words, a rotation which is higher dps in the short term will lead to an eventual long or medium term dps crash, and something which seems to be a lower dps rotation will win out over a longer period. Think of it like a warrior in live, where particularly at lower gear levels, you couldn't maintain Heroic Strike on every swing (despite it being higher short-term dps) due to rage starvation. The concept or making a choice to do less damage in the short term because of medium term consequences is not foreign to WoW players.

3. The flip side of this is that there needs to be a mana-sustainable "ABC" rotation. If we can't Always Be Casting, then this too is a failure. I mean, they could redesign Arcane Mages to be like caster-Rogues, regenerating 10% of their mana per second, but with Arcane Blast costing upwards of 35% of your mana per cast, with wanding-while-casting so we don't get too bored, but I don't think anyone would really enjoy that.

4. The whole short-term dps, long-term dps needs to be balanced in understandable lengths of time. If we need to balance how much mana we use around the total fight length (several minutes), this is spreadsheet work and thus bad design. There's no way a player can get any sort of mental grasp on that. If we are designed to balance our mana consumption around how much we'll use in, say, 20 seconds, that's fair and something which a moderately-skilled player should be able to understand. That is, high burn mana rotations need to crash fast, and high regen rotations need to regen fast.

5. I think we need to take a close look at how other classes work and try to pull lessons out of those. The goal of Mana Adept seems to be to transform the Arcane Mage from a resource-independent spec (other DPS casters, Ret Paladins, and Live Hunters, to various extents) where you follow the same rotations and priorities at all resource levels, into a resource-dependent spec (like rogues, warriors, DK, and Cata hunters) where use of abilities will depend on what resources you happen to have available or unavailable at any given time. Each of those classes is designed around always having the potential to use more than you can generate, where that generation takes place over a short-to-medium time frame. Also, resource generation is not entirely predictable. Rage can spike due to crits (bonus rage on crit removed in Cata), can drop due to missed attacks, can spike due to incoming raid damage. Most rogues have various energy procs, and CP generation is not entirely controlled, with chances to generate extra CP showing up fairly frequently. Mutilate Rogues in live show this best, where the combination of Seal Fate and Ruthlessness force slight-but-interesting changes in the rotation every five seconds or so.

N.B. I don't consider spreadsheet optimization to be bad, by any stretch. However, I think that if a tree design requires more than napkin math to do something other than mediocre, then that is a problem. If it works out that simply mashing buttons or hitting the prettiest ability to use generates 65-70% of maximum dps, that a little napkin math or consideration brings you up to close to 90% of maximum, and you need to spreadsheet to get that last 10% dps, that's a perfectly fair model. Something where wild play gives 90% effectiveness, or where spreadsheets are required to get within 25% of theoretical maximum just seems like bad design to me.

///

The real question is how to put it all together. I favor a system more like a mutilate rogue, where we're altering the number of Arcane Blasts we cast fairly frequently. Something like 4 AB above 80% mana, 2 AB below 60% mana, and 3 AB in the middle, with ABarr forcing rather than proc fishing, and OMGWTFBBQ INERVAET NAO if you drop under 40% mana. Something which keeps me looking at my mana bar every few seconds and picking out in advance how many AB I want in my next cycle. It'd probably need Mana Adept sweet spots which are clearly identifiable, and some sort of mana proc to break the long-term fixed cycle problem. Make such a mana proc large enough to cause me to alter my behavior for the next few seconds, but infrequent enough to allow me to simply ignore my mana pool by counting on enough procs to keep me topped off. In other words, I think stack size management should be the tool by which we control our mana level, rather than the introduction of a new spell.

Basically, every class needs to make decisions about ability use every few seconds. Some people need to watch DoT uptime (feral druids, shadow priests), some need to watch a large number of procs (frost mages, fury warriors - well, at least Cata furies. instant slam procs, not always usable raging blow, not always affordable heroic strike), some juggle cooldowns (enh shaman, paladins), others combine them (demo locks, ele shaman), and some just do something weird (boomkin, but boomkin are weird in general). Arcane seems to lack those decisions right now. If it's simply fish for a proc like live, then it's a total failure to create a more engaged playstyle. If the method by which they introduce decisions into short-term gameplay is by watching exact mana values like a hawk, and they give us the tools we need to adjust mana on the fly, I'd be happy with that. No doubt, there are other ways to bring in mana management (or ways scrap mana management and come up with some other sort of short-term decision making), and this just happens to be the idea I favor.

#20 Venthos

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 11:37 PM

I see a lot of complaints about how the arcane rotation is suddenly very static and I just don't get it. You have 1 spell that you can use any time, one on cooldown and one as proc. There are no less rotations than we have today in WotLK. And there's no lack in dps/dpm tradeoffs either. Just looking at the mastery I don't see how you can come to any other conclusion than that the rotations will be dynamic. The way I see it the mastery alone dictates the mana management. Even without any extra tools, just using the different rotations and evocation/gem there's plenty of mana management to do just because of the mastery.


The thing is, they've decided Arcane's focus was going to be mana efficiency. Our cooldown spell is fine in that regard, as it's not terribly expensive, and the proc is even better with missiles being free. The problem is the fact that our main spell is also something that stacks a mana-inefficiency debuff. If we use Barrage on cooldown, the earliest we can break stacks is at 2 (5 second cooldown Barrage, 2.5 base cast Blast). We can't reliably use missiles early to break stacks because now the base spell is a proc. At least on live we can decide to use missiles early to break stacks if Barrage doesn't proc. We can slow down Blast casts to break it at 1 if we're really desperate, but that also means less chances to proc missiles, so that's compounding the damage loss.

The kicker here is the fact that with a main nuke that directly opposes the goal of the spec, if we need to to use something else as filler, we're hindered by the 25% Arcane damage bonus from our specialization, and really have no viable option. Sure, we could sacrifice 25% damage for a mana conservation rotation and use Frostbolt or Fireball instead, but that's not really viable.

So, the best reliable mana-efficient rotation we have is AB2ABarr. If Missiles procs during that, use it instead. So, the only decision is, do I continue to stack it to 3 or 4, or do I have to leave it at 2 and break it right away? Mild control, at best, considering their description of a fun management game.




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