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#301 Pasture

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 09:26 AM

My experience of Arcane at 80:

It's very, very boring.

In terms of setup for Arcane I picked up all of the dps talents in the Arcane tree along with Master of Elements and the 3% crit in Frost. I also grabbed Improved Blink, just because it's fun. I reforged the majority of my haste into mastery, the idea being that I'll be at higher levels of mana for longer.

Now I know our current setup isn't reflective of how things are going to work at 85 but for the vast majority of the fight I'm spamming Arcane Blast. Between 90-95% of my damage comes from Arcane Blast. Now, don't get me wrong, punching out 98k crits on a normal, non-gimmick fight can be incredibly fun, but the novelty is starting to wear off. It's just way too easy to spam. Sometimes I find I have difficulty entering the burn phase at the start of a fight because I can't use enough mana to warrant popping my mana gem quick enough.

Now I know this is unique to current gear levels but presumably it could be replicated toward the end of Cataclysm also. It's just not engaging. I'm not convinced the mana management aspect (even at 85 when we will have to manage properly) is going to be entertaining enough. I would suggest that Arcane still needs something else to make the spec more engaging. This mana management just isn't going to cut it.

#302 Kvaern

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 12:20 PM

I've been thinking about needing to AoE as Arcane. First off, with AoE spells being far more expensive, is it even viable to do AoE, or does that mana loss hurt Mana Adept and our main cycles too much? In a fight like Corborus in Stonecore, where you have to get rid of the crystal shards before they animate, or the cultists on High Priestess Azil, are Arcane Mages a liability due to the fact that their AoE makes their subsequent single-target suffer due to lowered Mana Adept and having to turn to an even more conservative cycle to make up for the additional mana lost?

With the AoE we have, Arcane Explosion seems to be by far the least efficient. I suppose this makes some sense, as it's a spammable instant, but the spec that depends the most on mana levels having the least efficient AoE seems a little... awkward. AE is 18% base mana as an instant cast, which amounts to 12% MPS. Blizzard is 70% base, channeled over 8 seconds, so amounts to 9.25% MPS. Flamestrike is 30% base, and the dot lasts 8 seconds, amounting to 3.75% MPS. Right away, Arcane Explosion is about 30% more than Blizzard, and that's before Imp AE, raising the cost from 12% MPS to 18% MPS.

Then there's the coefficients:
Arcane Explosion 0.3379 / 3.5 0.0965
Blizzard 2.0133 / 3.5 0.5752
Flamestrike (DD) 0.5126 / 3.5 0.1465
Flamestrike (DOT) 0.8529 / 3.5 0.2437

AE has a lower coefficient than Flamestrike's dot, even. Sure, Arcane Specialization boosts the damage by 25%, but that just pushes it over Blizzard's base damage, and with the coefficient so low I doubt it'll help there either. Then there's AC and MoE. There's more chances to proc AC with Explosion (if I'm not mistaken that Blizz ticks can't proc it), but a free 70% base spell is far better than a free 18% base spell. I've long forgotten how MoE interacts with Blizzard, but even if each tick only refunds based off an eighth of the cost, there's more chances to crit, if nothing else.


Did I miss something, miscalculate, or do anything wrong, or are Arcane mages going to avoid casting AoE, much less spec into Imp AE, which does improve the damage, but only makes it worse on our mana.


I cant speak for lvl 85 but at level 80 spamming AE is mana neutral at worst due to CC and MoE procs (and that's on my newly dinged mage with a 20k mana pool to boot so with larger mana pools it should be mana positive due to higher MA returns).

What I find much more disturbing is that unless there's a really large amount of mobs around (think Onyxia Welps) the only reason to AoE is to conserve/regain mana as AB spam will vastly outdamage AE spam.

#303 Quantuvis

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 07:10 AM

I was thinking about a fun/interesting way to handle our mana management. What if we were given the ability to put a stacking buff on the tank. As the person took damage, it built up charges with each charge representing a small amount of mana. The mage would then be able to consume the buff and help refill your mana pool.

Here are some basic details:
The buff has a cast cost of XXX mana, so the mage just can't spam the tank with the buff and then consume it. They would want to let it sit on the target for a bit to get a good return on mana.
The buff has a limited duration, say 45 seconds and if the mage doesn't consume the charges the mana is lost
The buff could have some benefit to target, increased magic resistance, damage reduction which can be enhanced by Glpyhs or Talents.

EDIT: I knew this sounded familiar. It is similar to water shield cast on someone else, not sure if it is unique enough for everyone.


Without putting much thought into it, that seems like a great idea to me. The fact that it plays off someone else getting hit, is in line with mages not being supposed to be hit. It will add a bit of utility (presuming a damage reduction from the buff, negligible or not) and a much needed INTERESTING way to regain some mana. "Absorb Energy" could also have a very "Arcane" feel, depending on the tooltip :)

An interesting spell for sure! Enough to make arcane interesting as a whole? Not so sure.

#304 Nerdling

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 05:06 PM

I posted lilu/logix PoM suggestions which I found myself to be really good over on the EU forums when PoM was being discusses. Most liked the idea but some felt it might be too complicated.

There are many good suggests for tweaks/changes that could really add a lot to the spec and make it fun again but I haven't see anything from the blizzard side suggesting they see Arcane as being the mess many of us feel it is. I don't know what if anything can be done at this stage.

Does anyone have a feeling if having ABarr or preferable AB1 proc'ing AM is defn off the books now? even something like that would go a ways towards addressing the lack of mana management tools. As it stands atm it seems to me that apart from not having a 2min evocation Fire has much better mana management options than Arcane, whether a Fire Mage feels they should be using them or not is another question.

#305 Logix

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 08:21 PM

I posted lilu/logix PoM suggestions which I found myself to be really good over on the EU forums when PoM was being discusses. Most liked the idea but some felt it might be too complicated.

Would you mind posting a link to the thread on the EU forums where this is being discussed. I tried searching for it there but with no success.

My basic idea was to get some conversation going on how we can spice up PoM, since I think there is space to do something with the talent to allow Arcane mages to have a little bit more flexibility.

For posterity, I will copy paste the original post here, just so we can perhaps get some brainstorming done on what a reasonable change could be for PoM. Naturally, if any of you think PoM is fine as it is, the ideas on why you think so are also welcome.

Originally posted here:

Q u o t e:
I wanted to draw attention to the Presence of Mind talent. This is an iconic Arcane talent, but quite a few mages have pointed out that the talent seems to have lost its mojo, especially in the new increased HP pools we live in. Now, this is not to say that the spell is 'weak'. An instant cast is still an instant cast, but what I think a lot of what people want from POM in the new Cata era, is for POM to be a bit more versatile.

Currently, I am really not using POM as much as I should be (especially in PvE). Not because its weak, but just because it just really can't be used in some versatile way. (in PvE, I really can only use it to cast another AB, or once while moving. I want to be able to use POM for more things then just AB).

Quite a few have suggested that giving POM a 'soulburn' style treatment may help get the spell's mojo back. E.g. something along the lines of;
POM + Slow = casts AoE Slows centered on the target
POM + AM = Channel AM while moving (will help with one of Arcane's most severe issues right now, movement)
POM + AB (or most other cast time spell) = Instant cast
POM + ABr = something that makes ABr not suck so much (haha j/k, ABr is ok, just needs some more spice, maybe something that makes it cost no mana and give mana back?)
POM + Evocation = allows to evocate while moving, or, protects you from all interruptions while evocation is active (n.b. most current Arcane model's currently agree that a disrupted evocation cripples the arcane spec, i.e. evocation is far too critical to a successfully played arcane spec). Either way, it doesn't have to be either of these two ideas, but maybe something else that is a 'cool' way POM interacts with Evoc.
POM + FFB = Prismatic bolt - reduces the current AB stack by 1, costs no mana, 100% chance to proc AM.

etc etc

If we then pull the CD of POM to the 45sec-1min mark, maybe all of this will help make POM a bit more central to the Arcane experience?

Basically, I think we all want POM to play a bigger role in Arcane. It should keep its ability to make spells instant, but it needs to gain some more versatility given the evolved world of Cataclysm. Remember, POM is pretty much the same now that it was in WoW vanilla beta. Lets see if we can use it now to inject some 'fun' into the spec.


Take note, these are just ideas. The core point I was trying to explore is to make PoM a more 'interesting' spell.

Arcane, currently, only has 1 cast time spell in PvE. Arcane blast. I feel PoM should do more for the spec then just buff AB. The intent of the post is to see what we can do to "spice up" PoM in some way, making us want to consider how and when to use it for best effect.

I find the spell really lacking right now.

What do the rest of the mages think about PoM?
Do you think it is interesting enough as an iconic Arcane spell?


Please remember to keep any ideas reasonable (i.e. lets not try to redesign the entire tree around a new POM spell). I feel Blizzard will be much more receptive if the ideas we come up with are small, simple changes with large gameplay impact.

#306 chaase

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 03:43 PM

Would you mind posting a link to the thread on the EU forums where this is being discussed. I tried searching for it there but with no success.

My basic idea was to get some conversation going on how we can spice up PoM, since I think there is space to do something with the talent to allow Arcane mages to have a little bit more flexibility.

For posterity, I will copy paste the original post here, just so we can perhaps get some brainstorming done on what a reasonable change could be for PoM. Naturally, if any of you think PoM is fine as it is, the ideas on why you think so are also welcome.

Originally posted here:



Please remember to keep any ideas reasonable (i.e. lets not try to redesign the entire tree around a new POM spell). I feel Blizzard will be much more receptive if the ideas we come up with are small, simple changes with large gameplay impact.


Here is my idea to spice up PoM.

Instead of making PoM a single use ability, give it a 15 second duration where any spell cast in the time frame is treated as an arcane spell. It would mean that Blizzard and flame strike could used as range AoE and be competitive on DPS.

#307 Nerdling

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 07:10 AM

Would you mind posting a link to the thread on the EU forums where this is being discussed. I tried searching for it there but with no success.


World of Warcraft (en) Forums -> Possible revision for PoM

The thread as with most when it comes to discussing idea's there didn't last very long but I might try bumping it as there seems to be a lot more activity since 4.01 went live.

#308 Guest_Aldure_*

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 05:14 AM

I agree the current arcane rotation is bland at best. In fact, the tree is devoid of imagination (and yes, I am arc mage mostly).

A few comments on Arcane mechanics. I've thrown up a couple ideas on the US suggestions forums around the use of Arcane Blast stacks to buff different abilities. Similar to the number of stacks of Combo points on a target. Eg, more dam, more haste, maybe more mana regen, depends on the stacks used. The device that could be used would be similar to the runes in steelbreaker (ulduar).

The other mechanic at issue is that currently, we have no real arcane tools to clear 1/2 AB stacks if Abarr is on CD or Mbarr is not procced. As such, no other caster class needs to delve into a different tree to use filler. What concerns me about the blizz design is that arcane is terribly gear dependent and I believe will scale strangley at higher levels. Eg. at low levels on PTR, currently, AB blasts are terribly expensive but as gear scales, the mana pool grows and as such, the caster rotation changes from say 2xAB to 3xAB. This again is a situation again where no other classes (or very limited) rotation changes due to gear scaling.

#309 Nerdling

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 04:13 AM

Latest Beta Changes posted on MMO.

Arcane

* Arcane Blast now increases damage by 10% (down from 20%) and mana cost by 150% (down from 175%) with each cast of Arcane Blast. Now also reduces the casting time by 0.1 sec with each cast. Base cast time reduced from 2.5 sec to 2.35 sec.
* Arcane Missiles base damage has been increased by 5%, from 341 to 358.
* Focus Magic tooltip clarified to add the 30 min duration and 1 target limit.
* Arcane Barrage base damage has been increased by 5%, from [ 1004 - 1228 ] to [ 1054 - 1288 ].

Surely this is backwards if purpose is to give more of a chance for the damage to be interrupted and/or increase Arcanes mobility.

Instead of having each AB stack decrease the cast time shouldn't the base cast time and damage be much lower and then have the each stack adding to the cast time, mana cost and damage (more than 10% to justify they mana/cast increase). That way the higher damage casts can be interrupted more easily but it makes it easier for an Arcane Mage to fire off the first stack or two.

To my mind this way plays better though whichever way they end up going we will need a shorter CD on Abarr or some solution to give us a reliable conserve rotation. My personal preference is still AB proc'ing AM although to add some variation we could have a AM vs Mbarr trade off where AB procs the original AM with Mbarr still being a 40% chance ontop which would replace AM if it occurred.

#310 Skem

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 11:53 PM

...The other mechanic at issue is that currently, we have no real arcane tools to clear 1/2 AB stacks if Abarr is on CD or Mbarr is not procced...


I totally agree with this. DPS is lost whating for the only spell that can clear the stack (although I have used Frostbolt on occasion to fill the void as its only 1.3s)

Im currently running 2x AB + ABr with 3x AB + (AM on proc) in 25's as my mostly mana neutral cycle and the disconnect with ABr's cooldown is painful (I like to mana gem up to full to start burn cycle).

Although Im sure I saw on the latest patch notes its droping from 5s to 4s cooldown.

While I dislike tin#foil hatting the close to the expansion launch, maybe linking the cooldown to haste would give a mechonism to ensure they are inline.

Due to how the DPS works however you only want AM or Abr to break your stacks during mana holding phases and maybe the gap is apart balancing improved DPS during the burn phase.

#311 Hobbes179

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 01:03 AM

I think to get some truly inspired ideas we need to think about what an arcane mage is at its core. We have fire and frost mages, who specialize in manipulating mana in elemental form, but arcane is the specialization dedicated to manipulating mana at its core, literal arcane forces. This allows the mage to control the fundamental energies of space and time. Taking this into consideration, it makes sense that if an arcane mage has full mana, he is far more powerful than when he has low mana. Mana is more than just a binary resource for an arcane mage. When we have our maximum amount of mana, we are brimming with energy; we are at our peak. I think the mana adept mastery makes a good push towards this idea but it conflicts with what arcane mages have always been.

Before 4.0, I considered the pinnacle of arcane mage skill to be when I ended a fight with 0 mana, because the philosophy has always been that you can achieve more damage if you are willing to spend more mana. Thus if you have used all of your mana-recovering abilities and still end a fight with no mana then you have gotten the most out of your mana pool. The contradiction with the new mastery is that a player wants to keep his mana at maximum, whereas all of our other resources want us to spend it! The bonus given from the mastery is significant enough to warrant our attention and cannot be ignored or summed up to a flat dps boost, but what all of our abilities and talents are telling us is that if we want to maximize our damage output, we can spend more mana to do that. For example, we have arcane blast which gets more powerful the more times we cast it, but each time we cast the move it also costs more mana. Also, arcane power causes extra damage at the cost of 20% extra mana cost. Arcane power literally contradicts the mastery.

But saying all of this might not change any minds from a developer’s standpoint, so I’ve been working on a list of ideas that could possibly help. There seems to be no way to fully fix the problem without changing the “end the fight with 0 mana” philosophy, but if mana adept is here to stay then our talent tree and abilities need to change to suit it.

Arcane ideas:

• Gravity orb/ Gravity bomb- Pull enemies together, this could be a talent that modifies flame orb (like a mass effect shot from the Mass Effect games.) They took the flame orb idea from the blood princes, so why not borrow the gravity bomb idea from XT?
• Invisibility change: can still cast, mana recovers faster while invisible, half duration (Make this a talent decision or glyph rather than altering the move altogether)
• Arcane barrage- More crucial purpose in our rotation than just eliminating stacks of arcane blast.
• Arcane power: maybe now says “moves cost 20% LESS mana”
• Presence of mind makes the next spell instant and mana-free (use on last AB before MB or ABarr to ease the mana burden of a 4-stack AB)
• Alternate PoM change: Causes the next arcane blast you cast to be instant and will then remove your stacks. (Allows for a more dynamic way to drop your stacks without resorting to a low-damage move)
• Talent removal: Improved Arcane Missiles, and Missile Barrage. These should be in the essential tree design, not arcane barrage. There is no reason to add 2 missiles to AM, when the only reason it fires 3 missiles is because they lowered the count in 4.0.
• Remove Torment the Weak: it’s been said but it needs to be reiterated, TTW is a horrendous design and with AB applying a slow already, they might as well make the arcane tree just do 6% more damage as a tree bonus.
• Mana Gem redesign: instead of giving a flat amount of mana back, maybe it could give a mana over time effect, so that a more skilled player could let his mana sit as close to maximum as long as possible, rather than just using it when it will restore just enough to get back to the maximum.

#312 Venthos

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 03:09 AM

There was some talk about Arcane Explosion and its talent a while ago, noting that even though it gave it a lower gcd, it still would lack scaling with haste, and so a Flamestrike/Blizzard combo would surpass it after a tier or so. Then, with AC now having an internal cooldown, any advantage of being more efficient than Flamestrike/Blizzard has been drastically reduced (if it remains at all).

What if the talent gave it a haste-> damage conversion to keep it scaling equivalently? That could be either in addition to or instead of the gcd reduction. Though there could be some potential problems of having an instant cast aoe scale too well, or something.




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