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Frost Cataclysm Discussion [4.0 thread]


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#21 gaerthe

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 09:20 PM

There has been some talk of the range of Frost spells. It seems a little odd that all Frost spells have 35 yards, whereas Ice Lance can be talented to 40 yards. Ice Lance can be used on Water Elemental Freeze targets at 40 yards. Frostfire bolts cast at 40 yards could grant FoF and allow you to Ice Lance, but enemies are likely to already be at 35 yards by then anyway. All other actions will draw you to 35 yards. Frostbolt is a hard hitting snare, but that doesn't form the lion's share of your rotation. If that aspect of the talent is solely intended to be a way to Freeze+Ice Lance at 40 yards, it serves its purpose. But if giving Ice Lance a longer range is meant to offer more compelling uses, they don't seem to be there. The talent itself (even with the Blizzard snare) is questionable.

I've thought about this a bit - my expectation is that this is a PvP balancing factor. In a raid setting, the difference between 35 and 40 yds isn't that significant. A good mage can play fine with a 35 yd range without impacting overall damage on a fight.

However, in a PvP setting, the 35 yd range means melee (esp snared melee) will be closer to the offending mages. This may reduce the absolute level of control that a frost mage exerts against melee. That ice lance has 40 yd range would support this since it doesn't apply a snare. Frostfire bolt does apply a snare, but it's also a longer cast time, again making it easier for melee to get in range of a gap-closer ability to attack the mage.

#22 Zeldyrr

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 10:14 PM

I don't buy the snare argument anymore. Arcane Blast does more damage than Frostbolt and puts a more effective snare on the target with Nether Vortex. I could be convinced it was a caster vs. melee thing in pvp but only frost? Every other caster / ranged DPS has a 40 yard range. If affliction locks can curse / fear from 40 yards than I would hope that frostbolt isn't that big of an issue.

I am still holding out some hope that they just haven't gotten around to adjusting the spell ranges yet. But time is running short, so you may be correct.

#23 Taelons

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 10:37 PM

I don't buy the snare argument anymore. Arcane Blast does more damage than Frostbolt and puts a more effective snare on the target with Nether Vortex. I could be convinced it was a caster vs. melee thing in pvp but only frost? Every other caster / ranged DPS has a 40 yard range. If affliction locks can curse / fear from 40 yards than I would hope that frostbolt isn't that big of an issue.

I am still holding out some hope that they just haven't gotten around to adjusting the spell ranges yet. But time is running short, so you may be correct.

Well actually, when you cast Arcane blast on a target. It will only apply Slow on the target if its within 35 yards.
This feels really flawed and hope this gets changed. Also it you can only have on slow active so it's not possible anymore to slow one target and dps another target, this can be a problem for pvp and special raid encounters. But this isn't the right topic to talk about this problem.

I do agree with all the classes and their most of their CC, it's silly that Frosts range isn't increased. It will mainly matter in large Battle grounds (AV) or Wintergrasp

#24 Lucrece

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 01:51 AM

Well actually, when you cast Arcane blast on a target. It will only apply Slow on the target if its within 35 yards.
This feels really flawed and hope this gets changed. Also it you can only have on slow active so it's not possible anymore to slow one target and dps another target, this can be a problem for pvp and special raid encounters. But this isn't the right topic to talk about this problem.

I do agree with all the classes and their most of their CC, it's silly that Frosts range isn't increased. It will mainly matter in large Battle grounds (AV) or Wintergrasp


They're not done with range changes.

For example, while Cyclone received the blanket .5 sec base cast time increase, it still is not set at 30 yards like the other CC's were put at.

#25 Tyrian

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 11:13 AM

The Curtain of Frost improvements are exciting. Love the new animation, it reminds me of an Ion Cannon strike from RTS games: YouTube - Cataclysm Beta - New Curtain of Frost Animation September 18, 2010 (HD 1080p)

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Beta - (English) Forums -> Mage

Curtain of Frost now applies damage and snare once per second, whether or not the target has previously been affected


Does this apply to both PvP and PvE now, Lhivera? I recall that in previous builds the Curtain could damage players multiple times, but not mobs. Was this functionality changed?

#26 Zeldyrr

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 02:19 PM

I've updated the initial posts to include information about the Tier 11 set bonuses and to remove outstanding questions about Curtain of Frost. I think other than minor graphical issues, most of CoF's issues have been resolved.

If there are any other changes people would like to see in the initial posts please let me know. While interest in frost mage raiding may be limited, I still want to make the information as accurate as possible.

#27 Guest_Aleema_*

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 02:26 PM

I don't think it's necessarily because of the limited interest that this thread has had no replies, as much as the fact that, well, frost doesn't seem to have issues: it's got a good rotation, the mechanics are good, etc etc.
The only thing i can think of is that Early Frost is a rather sucky talent (see Lhivera on the beta forums), but at this point it's a very minor thing.
Has anyone run a simulation comparing the three specs at 85, or do you think it's still too early?

#28 Endario

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 02:28 PM

As someone who managed to raid all of Wrath as Frost, I'm ridiculously excited about the revamp. The "3" button on my keyboard has long since been worn off from spamming Frostbolt and it'll be nice give it a bit of a break.

One thing that became apparent while playing around on the PTR is that haste cooldown staggering is going to be much more prominent and will likely come into play pretty early, gear-wise.

With my live character PTR copy, I'm hugging the GCD with just Icy Veins, speed pot, 3/3 Netherwind, and 38.5% gear haste. Now, I doubt we're ever going to see 38% gear haste in Cataclysm: this was the result of having nothing else to gear for.

If we go with a more reasonable haste rating of 15%, we hit the GCD with Time Warp, Icy Veins, 3/3 Netherwind Presense, Moonkin/Spriest aura, and WoA Totem. Other forms of haste that would have to be staggered elsewhere or subbed in for something above would be Berserking, trinkets, potions, enchant/gear procs, and the Tier 11 4-piece bonus (10% cast time reduction to Frostbolt).

This all, of course, doesn't take Early Frost into account. That talent is an absolute mess with cooldowns, as it's below the GCD with buffs from the mage alone (Time Warp, IV, Netherwind) and zero gear haste. GCD issues aside, this talent just feels gross. Frostbolt is very much the rhythm of the spec, and the occassional shift of 0.5 seconds is just jarring and incredibly difficult to follow up with a Shatter at less-than-awesome latency.

(Sidenote: As someone who PvPs as Fire, I'm also against the current idea on the beta forums of switching Early Frost into Frostfire Blast. It's dumping way too much [stun, DoT spread, snare, and possible Shatter finisher] onto Fireblast.)

We're also going to have to pay close attention to how tank threat develops as we go through the numbers passes. With the addition of Improved Freeze, we will have 2 guaranteed Deep Freezes immediately, as well as 40 straight seconds of Icy Veins uptime. The double Deep Freeze will be a hell of a threat bomb, and we'll need to be sure tanks can make up for it during the 30 seconds of Mirror Image.

EDIT: Does Deep Freeze still not have an animation for when it deals damage?

#29 Lhivera

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 11:17 PM

I posted this on the official forum, but it might be useful information for this thread.

NOTE: This is all extremely preliminary and should be taken with a big grain of salt. The simulator is primitive, and a ton of stuff is still in flux as Cataclysm is developed and refined. I don't think this stuff is off by a mile, but if anyone starts quoting it as gospel, it is likely that rats will gnaw you to death in your sleep. These things happen.

What I've got below is a very rough idea of the value of the various Frost DPS talents whose value is less obvious than the massively powerful abilities such as Fingers of Frost, Shatter, and the Water Elemental.

Brain Freeze: 3-4% DPS @ 3 talent points
Good return on investment, especially considering it also provides some mobile damage.

Ignite: ~2% DPS @ 3 talent points
Not such a great return on investment. Issue is simply that you're not casting all that many FFB's -- only about one for every 10 Frostbolts.

Cold Snap: 3% DPS @ 1 talent point
Obviously varies a fair amount with encounter length, but clearly worthwhile even without considering the utility it provides.

Frostfire Orb: 1-1.5% DPS @ 1 talent point
Not a bad return on investment. The second point is purely optional, giving you an extra snare on Frostfire Orb itself, and a hefty 70% (with Permafrost) snare on Frostfire Bolt, making it a really good spell to open with when soloing.

Early Frost: < 1% DPS @ 2 talent points
Surprisingly bad (for DPS; it has its uses for a quick snare). At first glance, one might assume that this talent should be equal to about 3% haste, but pretty much all it gives you is a very small number of extra Frostbolts -- about one every two minutes (remember, you won't always use it on schedule, because your instant casts are so much more potent). The difference in proc-dependent casts is negligible. And this is a sim, which actually utilizes the reduced cast time successfully every time, where a human might be a little slow to start the next spell if he's not expecting the proc to have kicked in yet. If you're willing to sacrifice two points worth of utility to squeeze out a miniscule bit of extra DPS, go for it, but this talent should be consider optional for most people.

Improved Freeze: 5-6% DPS @ 3 talent points
Really good. This is a must-have. Makes for a pretty expensive tier, but it's worthwhile.

Water Elemental: It's not a talent, but just for the record, it's worth about 15% of our total DPS.
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#30 TyrianeKdV

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 05:39 AM

In case one does not spec Brain Freeze for whatever reason, would using Arcane Missiles procs be a damage increase compared to Frostbolt?
If yes, then an arcane subspec doesn't seem out of reach -given the quite high proc chance, even if FFB brought more mobility and FoF procs. If no, then... well nevermind. It's just that I've thought (and read) that AM should be "desirable to cast" even for Frost/Fire for mana -and- damage reasons.

#31 Miim

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 07:01 AM

In case one does not spec Brain Freeze for whatever reason, would using Arcane Missiles procs be a damage increase compared to Frostbolt?
If yes, then an arcane subspec doesn't seem out of reach -given the quite high proc chance, even if FFB brought more mobility and FoF procs. If no, then... well nevermind. It's just that I've thought (and read) that AM should be "desirable to cast" even for Frost/Fire for mana -and- damage reasons.


Would be interesting to see the difference in simulations.
As far as I know the current numbers are 40% chance for AM to proc from any dmg spell (including Ice Lance)
Brain Freeze has 15% chance to proc from chill effect spells (mainly frostbolt).

Wonder how a frost build with Improved Arcane Missiles would perform.
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#32 Endario

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 12:14 PM

In case one does not spec Brain Freeze for whatever reason, would using Arcane Missiles procs be a damage increase compared to Frostbolt?
If yes, then an arcane subspec doesn't seem out of reach -given the quite high proc chance, even if FFB brought more mobility and FoF procs. If no, then... well nevermind. It's just that I've thought (and read) that AM should be "desirable to cast" even for Frost/Fire for mana -and- damage reasons.


I believe Lhivera did some numbers on that a while back on the Beta forums (I tried finding the post again, but sifting through 79 pages is rough). The results were not favourable to casting AM as Frost over taking Brain Freeze. From a purely anecdotal point, it doesn't make sense that it would work anyway. Arcane Missiles would not be affected by Frost Specialization, the Frostburn mastery, nor Shatter. It's also the lowest DPS ability for Arcane right now--unless I'm missing something--so that doesn't translate well over to Frost. Lastly, the mana argument is largely void, as Frost has so far been the only spec that has no mana issues between Enduring Winter, low cost spells, and free Brain Freeze FFB.

Lhiv, do you still have the actual numbers kicking around?

EDIT: Also forgot that casting AM with a 40% proc rate will reduce the number of Chills you apply, thus lowering your Fingers of Frost uptime.

#33 Fröstler

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 05:31 PM

Ignite: ~2% DPS @ 3 talent points
Not such a great return on investment. Issue is simply that you're not casting all that many FFB's -- only about one for every 10 Frostbolts.


What about fire power?
Ignite does depend on crit rating but fire power gives you always 3 % fire damage for FFB and flame orb explosion.

For the crit rating I come to 74% crit rating where ignite is better, but I do not know how good the flame orb explosion is.
But what happens if I use FFB if no FoF is up?

#34 Jackie

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:55 AM

Well actually, when you cast Arcane blast on a target. It will only apply Slow on the target if its within 35 yards.
This feels really flawed and hope this gets changed. Also it you can only have on slow active so it's not possible anymore to slow one target and dps another target, this can be a problem for pvp and special raid encounters. But this isn't the right topic to talk about this problem.

I do agree with all the classes and their most of their CC, it's silly that Frosts range isn't increased. It will mainly matter in large Battle grounds (AV) or Wintergrasp


The talent description indicates that the slow will only be applied if the slow effect doesn't already exist somewhere else, allowing for the scenario you described. I am not sure how it actually works in practice though.

Here is a thought; If fire mages are allowed to run around and cast scorch and pyro on the move, what would happen if they added a chill effect (of whatever strength is appropriate) to ice lance?

#35 Sinless

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 02:08 PM

Since I am not in beta, and it's really difficult to get an idea of the overall picture by just reading individual people's posts and comments, I'd like to ask a question. How much of the new frost scaling will be available when patch 4.0 hits live servers? As in, will we see a similar increase in average DPS we expect to see in Cata for frost mages?

#36 Endario

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 02:31 PM

Since I am not in beta, and it's really difficult to get an idea of the overall picture by just reading individual people's posts and comments, I'd like to ask a question. How much of the new frost scaling will be available when patch 4.0 hits live servers? As in, will we see a similar increase in average DPS we expect to see in Cata for frost mages?


Off the top of my head, my target dummy DPS (ala, no Deep Freeze, self-buffed) on live is somewhere around 5.5k. On the PTR, this was bumped to around 7.5k (did not take Piercing Chill as it was bugged at the time). Even though we haven't seen number passes on Frost on the beta yet, I think it's safe to say that a level 80 Frost mage will perform much better when 4.0 hits than it does now.

#37 Taelons

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 02:40 PM

The talent description indicates that the slow will only be applied if the slow effect doesn't already exist somewhere else, allowing for the scenario you described. I am not sure how it actually works in practice though.

Will reply to this in the Arcane Topic.


Here is a thought; If fire mages are allowed to run around and cast scorch and pyro on the move, what would happen if they added a chill effect (of whatever strength is appropriate) to ice lance?

In Raiding Hunters can keep slow on targets without having to ever stand still? We’ll be able to kite at a distance without having to stand still (CoC and Frostnova can be a bit dangerous sometimes).
For PVP it will become harder to run away from the Mage. The mage will be able to keep running towards the fleeing player while spamming Ice Lance instead of standing still to Cast rank1 Frostbolt whenever the slow is gone.

As for real combat, it’s quite hard to say, I think players like Affix and Vileroze will be better at answering this, but here is a try:
  • !!!- While you need to reposition yourself you'll be more inclined to put a slow up on all the melee classes. Currently you will only put slows on all of them through CoC when possible.
  • Dead zoning a warrior+ healer will be easier. Warrior will slow you for 50%, normally and you try to keep CoC on warrior but when you can't reapply CoC you'll be using Ice Lance to slow him. If you’d be using rank1 Frostbolt the warrior would have a good chance to get a charge on you or run into melee range.
  • Whenever a melee gets close to you, you try to make distance by either slowing/rooting him or blinking away. When the class has the slowing/root effect removed you have to stand still and cast rank1 Frostbolt. This causes the melee classes to get closer to you. But when you can apply a slow through Ice Lance you can keep moving and thus keeping the same distance or increasing the distance from melee player.
  • Most healers won’t bother dispelling slows on their melee partner while there’s an enemy mage. The time they would dispel is when an enemy is almost dead.


Now as for a Fire Mage specifically. It's pretty much the same as above. But unlike frost or Arcane the Fire mage needs to make a choice of doing damage while on the move or putting a slow on every melee. Another difference is that Arcane and Frost need to choose when to stand still and do dmg on the player despite them moving towards you and Fire might be inclined to never stand still.

-----------------------
What is interesting is my lvl 84 mage has 9,61% haste and my Frostbolt has 1.83s cast time. On live I have 19,85% haste and my Frostbolt has a 1.92s cast time. Maybe were just overreacting about the rank1 Frostbolt and we will be fine with this new Frostbolt + Curtain of Frost (if they increase the range of Curtain of Frost).

#38 Skallewag

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 03:48 PM

Isn´t early frost meant to cover the loss of rank 1 frostbolt? We all agree that its a very weak dps talent, but it does mimic the utility of rank 1 frostbolts somewhat.

edit: I don´t think blizz will ever make ice lance apply slow. Being able to move and deal damage is really neat, but being able to m ove, deal damage AND apply snares all at once just sounds unbalanced. Frost pvp revolves around snaring while fire pvp revolves around mobility. After all whats most important is your relative mobility compared to your oponents right?
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#39 Taelons

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 04:17 PM

I'm not expecting Ice Lance to get a slow either. But I figured i do some Theoriecraft behind it.
I believe were not all on the same page of what rank1 Frostbolt meant. To me it was the combination of a quick slow and it being spammable. Hence Early Frost isn't exactly the replacement for it.

But I've mainly used rank1 Frostbolt in TBC, I havn't used it as much in WoTLK because of the large amounts of haste.Hence it would be nice to have a rank1 Frostbolt, but I wouldn't mind to see how pvp will go without it. I do believe that increasing the range of Curtain of Frost will help a lot to replace rank1 Frostbolt on catching the flag carrier / fleeing player.

#40 Zeldyrr

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 05:27 PM

I know I am biased here as a raider and non-pvp'er, but I think a good compensation for the loss of rank 1 frostbolt would be to increase frost spell ranges to 40 yards. You can snare from a greater distance but have a "longer" cast time and are therefore susceptible to counterspell/etc.

Having a 40 yard range also prevent problems of positioning on boss fights.




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