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Fire Cataclysm Discussion: OP Updated for Release

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#701 Maje


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Posted 05 December 2010 - 10:29 PM

There is no point casting Fireball when you're glyphed FFB (assuming you don't have both glyphs which would be silly), that is simply because glyphed FFB does the same damage as Fireball the only difference between the two spells is the Glyphs.

Fireball grants 5% crit and FFB gives 15% damage (which makes it equal unglyphed Fireball) and the dot which in Blizzard's mind should at some point equal the 5% crit as to if that would happen or not I don't know, but at the moment with the gear sets we know of and the talents being what they are it's not there.

The only reason to cast Fireball when you have FFB glyph was when the glyphs were bugged and you could realistically get both Fireball and Frostfire. They even cost the same in mana which was not the case pre 4.x.

For instance on my mage Fireball is tooltiped (the new tooltips are extremely accurate as far as I've seen up till now) as 6347-6631; while a _glyphed_ FFB is 6345-6630 so it's for all intents and purposes the same damage.

#702 Vontre


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Posted 05 December 2010 - 10:35 PM

Glyphed Frostfire Bolt and unglyphed Fireball deal exactly the same damage for the same mana cost. This is easily verifiable in game right now and worked that way in the beta too. Fireball and Frostfire Bolt compete for a glyph slot, and with Pyroblast and Molten Armor being so amazing there's no way you could fit both. So the only reasonable option is to pick one and completely ignore the other. Simulations right now give Fireball a slight edge, and it's easier to manage anyway.

Where are you getting the idea that 34% crit is some kind of magic number for fire specs? Even if this were some kind of plateau point for Hot Streak, which I don't think it is, everything else that's tied to crit would work just as well. There's no reason to ever drop Glyph of Pyroblast.
Raiding is full of challenge. Sometimes there is fire. You have to not be in the fire.

#703 Tyrian


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Posted 05 December 2010 - 10:56 PM

Going to edit the OP with this section, regarding "Primary Nuke: Frostfire Bolt VS Fireball". Let me know if anything is inaccurate, wrong, or should also be mentioned.

Primary Nuke: Fireball VS Frostfire Bolt

Fire Mages can cast either Fireball or Frostfire Bolt as primary nuke in their rotation. The most recent findings place Fireball as the superior primary nuke. However, the DPS difference between using Frostfire Bolt and Fireball as primary nuke is trivial: Less than 1%. Why's the difference so small?

- Fireball and Frostfire Bolt cost the same amount of mana
- Fireball and (Glyphed) Frostfire bolt do the same amount of damage

The only other notable difference stems from Glyph of Fireball and Glyph of Frostfire. Glyph of Frostfire Bolt adds 3% damage (stacks 3 times) whereas Glyph of Fireball adds 5% crit. The periodic damage of (Glyphed) Frostfire Bolt can also crit, leaving an ignite for additional damage.

For expected Tier 11 levels of gear and combat ratings, the 5% crit from Fireballs Glyph is very slightly superior to the extra damage from Frostfire Bolts Glyph. There's no other difference, aside from aesthetics.

Glyphed Frostfire Bolt's DOT damage is affected by the Flashburn mastery. Future levels of tier gear with higher combat ratings may therefore cause the situation to change. However, for entry level and Tier 11 Cataclysm content, we can sum the Frostfire VS Fireball Primary nuke debate up in 2 points:

- Fireball as primary nuke is better, but only very slightly. The difference between this and Frostfire bolt is trivial. You could be forgiven for choosing the spell you find most pleasing visually.
- Maybe in future tiers Frostfire bolt will prove a superior option, but not for Tier 11 gear and combat ratings.

For interest, does anyone have an idea of what sort of Combat ratings levels are needed for Frostfire Bolt (Via the Glyph) to unquestionablly become the superior primary nuke? Tier 12, 13 - or so far down the track it's not something to even consider on the radar for the foreseeable future?

#704 Draemon


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Posted 05 December 2010 - 11:49 PM

Last I tested on Live of 50+ casts, Fireball seemed to do more than Frostfire Bolt - and this is what I based my theory on. If the damage is indeed comparable then I retract some of what I said, in that FFB should never be cast except to refresh the duration of the DoT. I would guesstimate that once you reach ~35% crit on your character sheet, FFB would become more viable than FB.

#705 Maje


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Posted 06 December 2010 - 12:05 AM

I manually ran a couple of sims with 372 gear for fire/frostfire and with the same gear +500 of each stat including Intellect and 600 of crit since that's the strongest secondary stat for both specs, which is probably worth about 2 more tiers. The results are at around 1% to fire if anything with better gear it pulls slightly ahead.

#706 Naqaj


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Posted 06 December 2010 - 12:55 PM

A Frostfire setup could be an alternative when your mana levels still require a lot of Scorching. It should be possible to maintain the DOT during regenarative Scorching, which should cushion a bit of the damage loss in comparison to a Fireball setup.
I don't know if the simulators account for this in their rotations, but even with current results, the 2 setups are so close that it should be at least considered as a viable alternative. FFB also provides an additional DOT to spread to improve Pyromaniac uptime, but if that talent is really as worthless as previous posts suggest, that might be disregarded.

#707 Tyrian


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Posted 06 December 2010 - 01:56 PM

It should be possible to maintain the DOT during regenarative Scorching, which should cushion a bit of the damage loss in comparison to a Fireball setup

That's a good point. I can think of several raid fights on Beta where which have extended periods of heavy (or non-stop) movement. Atromedes air phase, Ascendant Council phase 2 to start with.

Frostfire Bolt there could keep the DOT up relatively easily, whilst weaving Scorch in rotation for the movement required, as you said. We'll definetely need to be mindful of this in future when considering whether FFB as primary nuke might be superior for specific encounters.

#708 Grymloq


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Posted 06 December 2010 - 02:10 PM

Just out of curiosity, wouldn`t a stat allocation with much mastery + crit combined with a FFB playstyle last longer than the FB playstyle with haste + crit ?

The primary drawback of haste is mana consumption though why not go for non-haste equipment as long as mana is a huge concern.

Edit: the main reason for this idea is of course, less mana consumption means more FFB`s than Scorches and with mastery it synergizes well, with less casts but more impacting dot`s. Though more out of every cast.

#709 Tyrian


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Posted 06 December 2010 - 05:57 PM

The OP is pretty much complete. The latest section added was regarding Gearing. I used Simulationcrafts (extremely useful) link to for this. The gear listed, with Simcrafts latest stat ratings taking into account, and an understanding of poitns raised in the OP - should allow Fire Mages to quickly and easily see what gear they need to obtain, and the relative values of different alternatives.

This link will assist you greatly in choosing gear for your Fire mage: Gearing your Fire Mage

This link uses the current values of each Combat Rating for a Level 85 Fire Mage to calculate an overall Item Score. This score can be used to quickly compare items. These stat values are current as of the latest Simulationcraft results, but may be subject to tweaks / improvements in future. Notice that some items on the list have Spirit. Although this is useless for Mages, it's included in case you have no other non-spirit equivalent gear to wear.

For a greater understanding of Combat Ratings, and why items such as Crit are valued so highly by Fire mages, read the rest of this post.

A section on Rotations should be edited in at some point, too. Is there anything else that the OP currently neglects to mention which should be included?

#710 DeathDefier


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Posted 06 December 2010 - 06:27 PM

Mastery is above haste now because of the recent fix to combustion and mastery correct? Also would getting the little haste you need for that first extra tick of LB be recommended before going for mastery as your secondary stat to crit?

#711 Tyrian


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Posted 06 December 2010 - 07:27 PM

At the request of EJ mods, this thread will be closed and has been recreated here: http://elitistjerks....um/#post1813235

The new thread is solely aimed at discussing Fire in a level 85 context. Level 80 is a thing of the past, beta is over, and this thread is now cluttered with outdated discussion. Information surrounding level 80 mechanics has been edited out. The new thread will take over as our central Level 85 Fire resource.

Can one of the EJ mods please lock this thread.

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