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Frost Mage Discussion [Cataclysm]


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#21 weenietot

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:34 PM

I have a question regarding the rotation. In the Cataclysm Changes thread:

Always keep a spare Fingers of Frost charge handy for Brain Freeze or Deep Freeze. Only use Ice Lance when you have 2 charges.


Is there ever a point when we should Ice Lance with 1 charge? I seem to find frequent situations where my single FoF proc will hang there and get refreshed, essentially 'wasting' the charge. Would it be more beneficial to burn FoFs through Ice Lance and leave the BF charge up for a FoF to come? Is there a way to determine how many single charge burns FoF Ice Lances would be needed to compensate by a potential redundant BF charge proccing?

I read this thread and the last five pages of the locked pre-Cata thread without finding an answer, but I may have missed it by not going back further.

#22 Andoras

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:49 PM

I have a question regarding the rotation. In the Cataclysm Changes thread:



Is there ever a point when we should Ice Lance with 1 charge? I seem to find frequent situations where my single FoF proc will hang there and get refreshed, essentially 'wasting' the charge. Would it be more beneficial to burn FoFs through Ice Lance and leave the BF charge up for a FoF to come? Is there a way to determine how many single charge burns FoF Ice Lances would be needed to compensate by a potential redundant BF charge proccing?

I read this thread and the last five pages of the locked pre-Cata thread without finding an answer, but I may have missed it by not going back further.


I don't understand what you mean... a single charge cannot be refreshed. Once you get to a point where you have 2 FoF charges, you need to use a DF, FFB, or IL as soon as possible to get back down to one. With just a single charge it's best to hold onto it. I've found 3 times where I'll use IL with a single FoF charge:

1) Pet Freeze is up and I want to get full benefit from it

2) The FoF charge has less than 2 seconds left on duration

3) I just fired of two FFO orbs with Cold Snap and I don't want to waste any charges in case a double proc occurs.

The last part I'm not 100% on being the best strategy, but it makes the most sense and I've yet to do that during double FFO orbs and had FFB proc or DF come off CD and not have at least one FoF charge up.

#23 Zeldyrr

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:54 PM

Is there ever a point when we should Ice Lance with 1 charge?


I think there are certainly times when you do want to use IL/DF with only one FoF charge. There are two cases I see when this is the prudent choice:

  • The most obvious is when Freeze is up. If you cast Freeze with 1 active FoF charge you waste one immediately. So (I'm only doing 5-man heroics yet) I always clear my FoF stack before casting Freeze.
  • The other situation is when you cast Frostfire Orb (and it doesn't miss a moving / teleporting boss). Depending on the RNG you might get flooded with FoF procs or get none at all. I find I can't bank an FoF charge here and keep up with them just constrained by the GCD. So if I get BF and FOF, I cast FFB. But otherwise I spam IL to keep the stack from maxing at two with 8 more seconds of Frostfire Orb remaining.
In general though, I believe the math says banking one so you always have it for BF is more of a DPS gain than occasionally losing an FoF charge is a DPS loss.

Edit: Andoras beat me in his response but one comment on what he said:

I just fired of two FFO orbs with Cold Snap and I don't want to waste any charges in case a double proc occurs.


FFO damage is negligible. The real benefit comes from all the BF and FFO procs. I try to wait 12 seconds before using Cold Snap so I can have two back-to-back FFO's. Otherwise I think I'm almost guaranteed to get more than two FoF procs before I can clear them. If the theorycrafting math suggests something different I'll adjust.

#24 weenietot

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:23 PM

Thanks guys. Sorry for the unclear language, when I meant a single charge refreshed, I meant going from one charge to two by way of a proc (should have just said FoF refreshed). Question answered, I'll have to tame my OCD and leave that last one on reserve except in the situations mentioned.

#25 Lhivera

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 07:23 PM

FFO damage is negligible. The real benefit comes from all the BF and FFO procs. I try to wait 12 seconds before using Cold Snap so I can have two back-to-back FFO's. Otherwise I think I'm almost guaranteed to get more than two FoF procs before I can clear them. If the theorycrafting math suggests something different I'll adjust.


Going by SimC results, the damage is split about equally between FFO's direct damage and the extra procs. But the chance that waiting 15 seconds to launch a second orb will cost you an orb cast is probably pretty small.
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#26 Zeldyrr

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 05:52 PM

Discussion in the simulators thread have lead me to have a couple of questions. I'd like to clarify this in the OP so I want to make sure I get it right.

When using mage armor, it would seem mana is of no concern or of very little concern. So while normally switching armors mid-fight is too mana inefficient to consider, this opens up a unique possibility for frost mages. Start with molten armor for the extra crit and then when mana starts to run out switch to mage armor and in essence freeze mana level at that point for the remainder of the fight. My questions:

  • Are there any reasons the ideal approach would be more complicated? I've seen suggestions to switch more than once during a single fight. Other than matching molten armor with say time warp, what would be the benefit of doing this? To match with a burn phase in a particular encounter?
  • If one is switching between molten and mage, how does the Glyph of Molten Armor rate? Obviously this is a more complicated question because of variability in molten armor uptime, but is it close enough to matter or will Glyph of Frostbolt always win?
  • When gear levels reach the point where one can hit 33% crit raid buffed, will this approach still be viable? Meaning, would one gear differently/reforge to reduce crit so that molten armor is still useful? Or would one let molten armor (and glyph?) bring the crit raid above the soft cap? Drop the glyph to get the benefit of Glyph of Frostbolt but still use the 3% from molten armor?
I will update the OP with a section on this once I have a better understanding and can communicate it clearly.

#27 Emeralds

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 08:42 PM

Is there any good place to test specs and rotations in game?

My reason for asking this is because I went to the target dummies in Org to tweak some rotations as frost against the 85 boss dummy. When I used Deep Freeze I was surprised to see that the dummy actually froze! I am pretty sure that raid bosses don't freeze, and the damage from the DF is very important to DPS as a mage.

So, I ask again. Is there a good place to test talents/rotation outside of a raid?

#28 Fröstler

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 08:42 PM

Can you please add the crit cap to the first page for raids situation?

#29 Guest_Aamoo_*

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 10:15 PM

The spell rotation should be altered to reflect the start of a fight, and the difference between having FFO active and not. Let me elaborate:

At the start of a fight, use the following exact spells.
Freeze+DF>MI>FFO>Prioritylist now applies.

Priority list

1. FFO on cd
2. DF on cd
3. FFB with BF if FoF is up.
4.1 FFO is active: Lance all FoF procs away.
4.2 FFO inactive, DF coming off cd and no Freeze: Get 2 stacks of FoF for potential BF proc + DF
4.3 FFO inactive, DF on cd: Lance when having more than 1 FoF proc (Maintain 1 FoF proc for BF procs)
5. Freeze on cd, if FoF is not active.(lance all FoF procs away before using)
6. Frostbolt

Explaination:
Freeze+DF before FFO at the start is because you need to be positioned to use FFO. Mirror Images right after makes sure you wont die if you got aggro. When FFO is active, you will be generating FoF procs very fast, if you cap out that's potential dmg lost. But when FFO is NOT active, you should try having 1 FoF proc up for instantly using BF procs and DF on cd. The obvious reason for this is that Freeze and DF don't share cd, and it's very possible using DF on cd and Freeze on cd which by my logic should maximize dps, instead of wasting 5 seconds of freeze cd every time. There is the odd chance that you'll get a BF proc just when DF is about to be off cd. that's where you should be having 2 FoF procs if possible. This is easily controllable when FFO is not active

These are my concerns, I'm not aware if you've calculated with "smartstacking" of FoF procs depending on what's available, but it seems not. The relative value of stats will be shifted slighty in favor of mastery(more FoF's with freeze) and haste will be less interesting because you'll do more Lances and less Frostbolts. The correct rotation will therefore reflect on stat values which is important when gearing.

Besides this i pop IV on my first FB cast, rougly after 4 globals. I try to use my Cold Snap after the first DF+FFO+IV has been used if I don't need IB for the encounter. If i do need IB I'll save my Snap till after the second FFO has been used. Or if a long fight after my second IV.

Can some rules be applied to the most optimal usage of IV, Snap etc.

#30 Kaster

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 06:32 PM

I'm posting for the first time even though i've been reading these forums for about 5 years now. I did see a post in page 13 of the frost cataclysm discussion thread where it was talking about how blizzard possibly fixed it so you don't need a macro any more to maximize the waterbolt casts from your WE. I was just checking to get clarification if that is the case or if it is still better to use the macro to up the number of waterbolt casts your WE will put out. But i thought if it is still a dps increase to macro in a pet attack to your main nuke that you might include some of this in the OP. The big majority of thr discussion for the different macro's you could use to accomplish this were on page 6 of the Frost cataclysm discussion thread. Even if it isn't a dps increase any more it might be good to include it as well because of the usefulness they provide in micro managing your pet better.

Thanks for all the awesome work you guys do on figuring all this stuff out. Some of you are very amazing at math and programming to determine all this information. I honestly think blizzard steals info from here to help analyze all the changes they go through. Good job guys keep it up :D

#31 Jaypie

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 06:28 PM

I would do something different in the starting rotation.
It´s a good DPS increase if you use your "on use spellpower" trinkets or the orc racial at the beginning so 2 deepfreezes and 2 FFO´s benefit from that 2500~ Bonus Spellpower.

Starting Rotation should look like this :

On youse Trinket / Orc Racial
MI
Freeze
DF
FFO
IV
Coldsnap
DF
FFO
....
IV if it fells off

Is there already some math about Haste vs Mastery if you are below 33% crit ?

#32 Silke

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 06:53 PM

One area that I’m wondering about is the current priority of stats for a Frost Mage. While I see an explanation in the opening post for Mastery, I don’t see where it fits into in terms of value for a Frost Mage).

Would it go something like this?
Hit (to cap)
Crit (to 33.33ish %)
Mastery
Haste

Right now I realize that gear choices are very limited and it’s still difficult to cap Hit but that won’t always be the case so I’m looking for something a bit more long term. So taking that into account, Hit to cap (or as close to cap without sacrificing large amounts of other stats) is the obvious number one priority. After that I’m not as certain where things stand. Crit to about 33.33% seems to vital as this guarantees crits on frozen targets (where a lot of our damage comes into play). But Mastery throws me since I’m not sure how the numbers work out and I’m not sure how important it is for us. Finally Haste I know is one of our lowest priorities as the only spell it really benefits is Frost Bolt.

So does my priority list look right or should it be rearranged with the new arrival of Mastery. Mastery seems fairly powerful for us (compared to some classes) since our major source of damage is on FoF Ice Lances, Deep Freezes and Brain Freezes.

Thanks,
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#33 Lhivera

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 07:46 PM

Based on experimentation with SimC, it doesn't take much of an increase in one rating to push the value of another rating up over it. You add (e.g.) Mastery, and everything else becomes more valuable relative to Mastery. When I was playing around with the profiles, I found on a number of occasions that if Haste was higher than Mastery, and i switched one gem or reforge to reduce Mastery and increase Haste, that would be enough to make Mastery worth more than Haste.

Best thing you can do is experiment with your gear in SimC or another tool when you get an upgrade, and see how the numbers play out. I don't think a simple guideline is going to cut it, at least not in T11 content.
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#34 Kindig

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 11:46 PM

I've been going over the talent spec outlined in the opening post, and I have a few questions:

In theory, 2 points in Reactive Barrier would help in survivability, however, I have seen that post #13 by Light4 is correct: Ice Barrier will not automatically activate if you have a spell in queue. In practice, this is hardly ever the case, and it does not activate after the current spell queued goes off, which makes these points completely wasted.

I moved those two points around a few times and finally settled on maxing Enduring Winter. I had thought to split the two points between EW and Permafrost, but I decided against it for the following reasons:

1) Each of the first two points in EW gain a 3% reduction in mana cost, but the third jumps to 4%, for a total of 10%. I saw a big difference in mana efficiency when I took the third point, and I have had no problems using Molten Armor in place of Mage Armor and still being mana efficient over time.

2) I have not had any problems with AoE raid damage dropping my Water Elemental, at least not that more points in Permafrost could cure. 1 point here has worked sufficiently to extend the pet's life in all situations it wouldn't die regardless of the Permafrost bonus.

I have not been able to sufficiently test the effect of the 100% proc to mana regen for the raid. It seems to have a cooldown, but I haven't been able to find out how this works, and I haven't seen this answered in previous threads.

Another question I had was about Frostfire Orb. I have tried those points in both FFO and Ice Shards, and come to the conclusion that, as far as I can see, Ice Shards procs FoF and BF at least as much using Blizzard as FFO, and seems to do more damage over a wider area.

The only issue I can see is your ability to react to the procs. Since Blizzard is a channeled spell, you have to wait until the spell ends to gain the most benefit, and that can keep your procs sitting for precious seconds. I've tested it enough to know that using Blizzard in place of FFO is a DPS drop, but I'm wondering if it's acceptable for the utility gain?

#35 Zeldyrr

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 12:55 AM

Another question I had was about Frostfire Orb. I have tried those points in both FFO and Ice Shards, and come to the conclusion that, as far as I can see, Ice Shards procs FoF and BF at least as much using Blizzard as FFO, and seems to do more damage over a wider area.


FFO is not an AOE spell. It hits a single target (fairly hard) and has 15 chances to proc BF and FoF which is another substantial DPS increase. Compared to Blizzard it uses very little mana and doesn't require channeling.

You definitely want the FFO talent and you want to cast your FFO every minute with an additional orb after a timed cold snap. My raiding time in Cata has so far been limited but I've found it best to use cold snap to get a second FFO when Time Warp is activated. It lets one use all those extra FoF procs as fast as possible (and there is less chance of losing a proc to a double stack).

#36 Blafoorius

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 07:16 AM

With an average ilvl of 342, I have 16% hit and 19% crit. Granted, my haste and mastery are quite low, since the little that appears on my gear is all reforged into hit and crit, and I also rely on a trinket for a good deal of my hit rating. I could theoretically glyph for molten armor and drop a percent of crit to reach both hit and crit cap.


Then you have a lot of loot luck. Here is a rough table with the item points per 346 item (note: these values are rounded and approixmated - but you will find two secondary stats with roughly these values on 346 gear:
[table=head]Slot|Points
head| 170
neck| 112
shoulder| 130
back| 112
chest| 200
wrist| 112
main hand| 100
off hand| 112
wand| 60
hands| 130
waist| 150
legs| 200
feet| 150
ring| 112
trinket| 270

So this gives you roughly 170+112+130+112+200+112+100+112+60+130+130+150+200+150+112+270 = 2250 (2632 with two trinkets and rings) available points from gear. So if you just have crit/hit on gear it is easy to reach the 1742 for hit and ~2000 points for crit. However the moment you get gear with haste and/or mastery (and there is a lot of gear with at least one of these stats out there) you lose 60% of those values.
So for eaxmple haveing feet, wrist, shoulder, waist and trinkets without the desired stats gives you: 2250- (150+112+130+150+270) = 2250 - 812 = 1438

Now you can reforge and save 40% of the stats 812*.4 = 324.8 and 1438+324 = 1762 which would push you just over the hit cap but under the crit cap.

Of course gems and enchants make it easier, but as soon as you have 7-8 pieces of gear without hit *and* crit a secondary stats it gets difficult to reach both caps.

#37 Miim

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 03:08 PM

Something sneaky that actually works pretty well on raid encounters where you have adds that needs to go down fast and have high hp. Works well on for example Magmaw larvas and Maloriak adds. Not so well on Chogall (10) cause the adds have to little HP (the FFB kills the target).

I run a off spec like this: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

Use blizzard to fish for FFB and Impact (comes very fast). Use the instant BF (with FoF) and spread the ignite with impact.

Its no where near fire aoe but its something.
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#38 Light4

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 01:36 PM

Since we should reach 100% crit while under FoF, how much paperdoll crit do we need, i.e. which crit buffs are tripled by the shatter talent?
I wonder, because Rawr is optimizing for 33.34% crit total, including all buffs and debuffs. Is that correct, that also crit chances due to debuffs on the target are tripled? Because then, at least for 25Man, reaching the crit softcap is trivial.

On a side note: Is the 1.8% crit chance reduction applied before or after shatter?

#39 Terribad

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 04:16 PM

Deep freeze scales exceptionally well, and due to its cooldown one would assume it is better to line it up with cooldowns and procs. What is the most amount of time I should delay casting a deep freeze after it comes off cooldown while waiting for these common trinkets to proc: Darkmoon Card: Volcano, Theralion's Mirror (1926 mastery), Bell of Enraging, Resonance / stump of time (1926 SP), and Power torrent (500 int)?

#40 Gloinn12

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 09:10 PM

Frost
•Deep Freeze's base damage has been reduced by 20%, from [ 1447 to 1814 ] to [ 1157 to 1451 ].
•Fingers of Frost now also increases Ice Lance damage by 15%.
•Frost Specialization now also increases the damage of Frostbolt by an additional 15%.


Using Lhivera's ilvl 359 Simcraft output and some rough napkin math for a 5 minute patchwerk style fight:

DF currently hits for ~85000 and is cast about 11 times, so ((85000 -(85000 * .8)) * 11)/ 300s = 623.33 dps loss.
FoF IL currently hits for ~23500 and is cast about 38 times, so (((23500 * 1.15) - 23500) * 38)/ 300s = 446.5 dps gain.
FrB currently hits for ~10500 and is cast about 142 times, so (((10500 * 1.15) - 10500) * 142)/ 300s = 745.5 dps gain.

So 446.5 + 745.5 - 623.33 = ~569 dps gain. These changes should close the gap between frost and fire.




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