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WotLK - Complete Mage Compendium (3.3.3 live)


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#21 Roywyn

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 02:02 PM

Sorry if it has already been said, but it would be nice to add the group composition that benefits the most from having a mage. ie. Who wants to be grouped with us ?

Also, we could compare different group composition and try to find the ones that give the most raid dps/hps.

I know it's a bit redundant but it could give us easy to use arguments for raidleaders.

As for group compositions, it's not even clear yet which buffs are going to be party-wide and which are going to be raid wide.

No group gains anything from a mage.

A raid wants 1 mage for AI/Amp/Scorch/WC. Everything else depends on how Focus Magic turns out and how DPS will be.
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#22 Jonny_Monroe

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 04:32 PM

If a mage gains the most benefit from damage/mana/crit auras, then they'll get a spot in those groups as the best class to soak up the buffs. Right now FFB is well on its way to get the most benefit from crit and Arcane is traditionally well placed to benefit from +mana effects. Just as rogues gt placed with enhancement shaman/fury warrior/feral druid as the class of choice to soak their buffs, we may end up as the caster equivelant. Personally, i'm not against this idea.
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#23 Tyrian

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 05:38 PM

The first two tiers of frost talents need another placement-review pass, as does points 13-15 of the Fire talent tree. Why did they switch elemental precision into tier 2 anyway? Its painful to spec points into 'wasted filler talents' for someone of any spec.

Given that we will have 71 talent points - '51 + 20' specs will be a very common for many players in WOTLK. I feel that every talent tree should have a clear way to put in the first 20 talent points usable by any spec, such that none are forced-to-take 'wasted filler points' simply to progress deeper. Examples are below.

Spec specific talents (aka useless to any other spec other than deep builds) can be mixed in, but there needs to be at least 20 points in the start of each tree desirable for all specs with a way to reach them. The lions share of spec-specific talents will obviously be deeper in the tree, where "+20" players wont be going anyway.

Frost talents: A raiding deep fire/arcane mage has no desire (or use) for Frost Warding or Improved frostbolt, yet will likely want to invest into Icey Veins (or Shatter/Frostbite, if your a frostfire bolt spec). The first three tier 1 points in Ice Floes are nice, but the remaining two feel like their being thrown away into Warding or Imp FB.

Solutions? Id suggest the three frost tier 1 talents are changed from (Improved Frostbolt + Frost Warding + Ice Floes) into:

- Ice Shards (5 points)
- Ice Floes (3 points)
- Elemental Precision (3 points)

Move improved frostbolt and frost warding up into tier 2. A frost mage will still pick these up and progress through the tree. An arcane/deep fire mage will pick up frostbite and just get the remaining (useful) tier 1 talents and simply overlook imp frostbolt/frost warding. All thats left is to change either Ice Floes or elemental precision to 2 points instead of 3 - and we now have 10 tier 1 frost talent points acceptable for any spec.

Fire Talents: A deep Frost/arcane mage who wants to pickup 18 fire for imp scorch can happily purchase the first 13 talent points in fire with no issue, but 13-15 are a bit of a waste.. Incineration+Imp Fire blast in tier 1, World in flames + Burning Determination in tier 2 is all fine, Impact in tier 3 - the remaining two points to get to 15 have to be thrown into wasted talents. Perhaps consider swapping master of elements and burning soul. A fire mage will still pickup both, but a frost mage looking to spend 18 points in fire will now be able to put the points into a useful talent (master of elements) for their spec, rather than fire talents that are essentially wasted.

Arcane Talents: The first 20 arcane points (for a 51 point frost or fire mage) are better, although the first five spent are debatable (Choice will be Arcane Subtlety + Arcane Focus, since no fire/frost mage will really want Improved AM) . Having -40% threat from subtlety should be useful for any spec, given the growing importance of AOE in WOTLK. Arcane focus (does the +hit only apply to arcane spells still?) im not sold on , but its not quite as bad as the 2 wasted points in each of the frost/fire trees. Id like the idea of changing Magic absorption back to 3 talent points and swapping it into tier 1. That would put the first 5 points of arcane as 3/3 Magic Absorption + 2/2 Arcane Subtlety.

The best way to fix arcanes first five talent points (assuming they want to stay with focus/subtlety only affecting arcane spells) is redesign (or remove/swap) the horrible Improved Arcane Missiles talent. Why is this talent in tier 1 anyway? Arcane Missiles will be used by deep arcane mages with Missile Barrage (40 points in the tree) and nobody else, so theres no need to put a talent of this nature in tier 1 - at least in its current implementation.

#24 Leialyn

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 06:11 PM

Living Bomb
The DoT ticks every 3 seconds and gains 20% of your spell power on each tick. The final explosion gains 40% of your spell power.
All damage should be AoE damage (confirm?), the DoT and the final explosion.

This spell is extremely valuable for single target DPS in its current state.
Bug: The ability has only recently been implemented and the explosion is completely bugged.

I heard no one here has figured out how the spell _currently_ works as of build 8788:

- If the mob with living bomb hits no target, only the dot ticks
- Whenever the mob with living bomb hits a target (currently only tested with mobs, not with hunters, etc), the explosion occurs kicking the mob up in the air and doing its damage. The dot is not consumed by it, the explosion can occur multiple times everytime the mob hits a target and has living bomb on it.

I just killed a 10k hp mob only with living bomb letting it hit on me.
If it stays that way, its really comparable with seed of corruption or even stronger because you can cast other spells meanwhile. But I doubt it ;)

#25 Fqubed

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 09:46 PM

Leialyn care to make a short demo video of how it was working? and if possible test it in a duel?

#26 Slander

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 10:14 PM

Solutions? Id suggest the three frost tier 1 talents are changed from (Improved Frostbolt + Frost Warding + Ice Floes) into:

- Ice Shards (5 points)
- Ice Floes (3 points)
- Elemental Precision (3 points)

That would turn the 0/51/20 frostfire specc into 11/51/8 (+1). You lose a 6% multiplier and icy veins for a raid wide 150+ damage, if that's acceptable is up for debate. Personally I'd prefer it if they made raid wide utilities only reachable for deep speccs, preventing these insane hybrid speccs with the only purpose to provide utility.

#27 Lhivera

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 10:31 PM

The first two tiers of frost talents need another placement-review pass, as does points 13-15 of the Fire talent tree. Why did they switch elemental precision into tier 2 anyway? Its painful to spec points into 'wasted filler talents' for someone of any spec.


I think this is intentional. A decreased need for Hit Rating is supposed to be a Frost perq, so a Fire or Arcane Mage needs to waste a few points if he wants to get it. Mana refunds on crits is supposed to be a Fire perq, so an Arcane or Frost Mage needs to waste a few points if he wants to get it. In short, I don't think it's intended, or even desirable, for a deep spec to have a painless route to the attractive talents even on the shallow tiers of a secondary tree. This helps to make sure that it's a more difficult decision whether to pick up those talents at the expense of some of the less-powerful talents in your primary tree.

In short, giving up 3 points in your primary tree to take Elemental Precision is a no-brainer, while giving up 8 points to take it may require some thought and more difficult choices. And that's good, as it encourages greater spec diversity.
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#28 Joink

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 10:40 PM

I heard no one here has figured out how the spell _currently_ works as of build 8788:

- If the mob with living bomb hits no target, only the dot ticks
- Whenever the mob with living bomb hits a target (currently only tested with mobs, not with hunters, etc), the explosion occurs kicking the mob up in the air and doing its damage. The dot is not consumed by it, the explosion can occur multiple times everytime the mob hits a target and has living bomb on it.

I just killed a 10k hp mob only with living bomb letting it hit on me.
If it stays that way, its really comparable with seed of corruption or even stronger because you can cast other spells meanwhile. But I doubt it ;)



The explosion originates from the player, not the target. i.e. I can cast living bomb on a target and run away, all targets that are within 10yards of my mage are getting hit for explosion damage every 2 seconds while the tick damage is ONLY happening to the target far away regardless if mobs are around it. Only when the target I cast living bomb on is within 10yards of the mage, will other targets take tick damage, along with explosion damage. It's all very buggy and should be fixed eventually.

#29 Dekkar

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 11:30 PM

The explosion originates from the player, not the target. i.e. I can cast living bomb on a target and run away, all targets that are within 10yards of my mage are getting hit for explosion damage every 2 seconds while the tick damage is ONLY happening to the target far away regardless if mobs are around it. Only when the target I cast living bomb on is within 10yards of the mage, will other targets take tick damage, along with explosion damage. It's all very buggy and should be fixed eventually.


This sounds like it's a bug between the prior and current versions. It seems to be retaining some of its self-cast properties.

#30 arch

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 11:38 PM

Confirmed, I noticed this behaviour as well. It can be seen in Radikal Noise: I AM GETTING SO HOT at 0:11. The UD mage is hit by a 1.7k crit and bumped into the air even though he casts LB on Dr.Boom.

#31 Last_Human

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 11:55 PM

I think this is intentional. A decreased need for Hit Rating is supposed to be a Frost perq, so a Fire or Arcane Mage needs to waste a few points if he wants to get it. Mana refunds on crits is supposed to be a Fire perq, so an Arcane or Frost Mage needs to waste a few points if he wants to get it. In short, I don't think it's intended, or even desirable, for a deep spec to have a painless route to the attractive talents even on the shallow tiers of a secondary tree. This helps to make sure that it's a more difficult decision whether to pick up those talents at the expense of some of the less-powerful talents in your primary tree.

In short, giving up 3 points in your primary tree to take Elemental Precision is a no-brainer, while giving up 8 points to take it may require some thought and more difficult choices. And that's good, as it encourages greater spec diversity.


On the contrary it seems that Blizzard have gone out of their way to to allow a few points spent in an offspec tree to have some value. I see no reason why fire should be forced to go 8 (realistically 11 due to IV) points into frost to pick up a +hit talent that every single other caster spec across classes has easy access to. (With warlocks needing to cap soulshatter being the outlier case- and that needs to be fixed.)

Given that Frost Channeling applies to all spells now I would call it pretty much a wash with MoE. Currently the only real attractive reason for minoring in the fire tree is improved scorch, which you are unlikely to get with MoE maxed out as it would mean sacrificing ABar or DF. Frost is already attractive with Channeling, IV and EP so I don't really see the need for them to push you spending more points in that tree.

Unless they drastically reorder the early talents of every class I just can't agree that they dislike a few random points in a tertiary/secondary tree, look at melee based classes for some obvious must haves no matter the rest of the spec.

#32 Lhivera

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 12:09 AM

On the contrary it seems that Blizzard have gone out of their way to to allow a few points spent in an offspec tree to have some value.

...

Unless they drastically reorder the early talents of every class I just can't agree that they dislike a few random points in a tertiary/secondary tree, look at melee based classes for some obvious must haves no matter the rest of the spec.


I didn't say they disliked it. I said they're trying not to make it the obvious choice -- they're trying to make it a balanced choice. They're trying to make it so that a spec that doesn't take those points is competitive with one that does.

The changes suggested upthread would make taking points in a secondary tree better than taking more points in the primary tree, and that's bad. As it stands, taking points in the off-tree is still a perfectly valid and effective option, but it's not a clearly superior option.

In short, making those points too easy to take is just as bad as making them too hard to take; they're trying to hit the middle ground, and make sure that the cost, in terms of what you give up in your primary tree, is commensurate with the benefit -- not too expensive, not too cheap.
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#33 Last_Human

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 01:04 AM

I didn't say they disliked it. I said they're trying not to make it the obvious choice -- they're trying to make it a balanced choice. They're trying to make it so that a spec that doesn't take those points is competitive with one that does.

The changes suggested upthread would make taking points in a secondary tree better than taking more points in the primary tree, and that's bad. As it stands, taking points in the off-tree is still a perfectly valid and effective option, but it's not a clearly superior option.

In short, making those points too easy to take is just as bad as making them too hard to take; they're trying to hit the middle ground, and make sure that the cost, in terms of what you give up in your primary tree, is commensurate with the benefit -- not too expensive, not too cheap.


I somewhat agree with what you're saying on a general level, though again unless they massively redesign the melee trees I see no evidence that this would really be the case.
My reply however was not concerning any of the suggested talent placements or the general principle, it was solely about the placement of EP.
Every single caster class has +3% hit on their primary nuke (well Druids get 4%) the only spec that cannot get it in the appropriate tree is Fire, that is, Fire is currently paying a 5 talent point tax on it's +hit talent (and 5 useless talent points at that unless even more talent points are spent in Frost.)

Maybe I'm drawing a blank but I see no possible ways in with moving EP from Tier 1-> Tier 2 would encourage spec diversity, infact personally it would cement frost as being the only suitable minor tree.

Short version, why should the Fire +hit talent be a Frost tree perk? It should be as easy as possibly to reach considering ever other caster will be assumed to have 3%+ hit from talents.

#34 Lhivera

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 01:31 AM

Short version, why should the Fire +hit talent be a Frost tree perk? It should be as easy as possibly to reach considering ever other caster will be assumed to have 3%+ hit from talents.


Why shouldn't it? Different trees are different. Fire has more crit modifiers than any other tree. Arcane is the only tree with a passive haste talent. Affliction is the only tree that needs to take two different +hit% talents to benefit all its spells. It's just one of those different flavor things. Every tree has advantages and disadvantages; a lack of localized +hit% is one of the disadvantages they've decided to give Fire.

A much bigger concern is the placement of Improved Scorch, which allows Frost to be theoretically self-sufficient while Fire can't be.
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#35 Jonny_Monroe

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 01:46 AM

I'd like to add some testing requests here if I may. I know its premature to ask this since TtW ins't implimented yet, but since the combat log and FCT are showing 'snares now it'd be cool to see if the following ability 'snare' Dr. boom (if FCT/combat log say he's snared, of course);

Slow
Frostfire Bolt
Infected Wounds (feral druid tallent)
Frost Fever (with the chillblains tallent)

You'll notice the above list contains spells/abilities that have a snare effect tied on to additional effects; the result is that a 'snare' debuff from any of these will go on a boss, even if the boss can't be snared. The reason for testing, of course, is to try and judge the value of TtW (3 of the above abilities could potentially sit on a targt quite passively, removing the worry of having to keep slow up to make TtW any use).
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#36 Masaru

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 01:49 AM

Would someone mind linking some of the actual talent builds that are being discussed? I'm specifically wondering what the best talent build would be for a Frostfire/Living Bomb build.

#37 Last_Human

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 03:13 AM

Why shouldn't it? Different trees are different. Fire has more crit modifiers than any other tree. Arcane is the only tree with a passive haste talent. Affliction is the only tree that needs to take two different +hit% talents to benefit all its spells. It's just one of those different flavor things. Every tree has advantages and disadvantages; a lack of localized +hit% is one of the disadvantages they've decided to give Fire.

A much bigger concern is the placement of Improved Scorch, which allows Frost to be theoretically self-sufficient while Fire can't be.


I can't help but feel we've gone slightly offtopic here or at least into a personal tit for tat.
Here's the way I see it, across all casters they homogenized hit from talents, this is in an effort to make general caster gear and buffs more universally acceptable to all classes.

Implications of fire not having easy access to hit talents
1) Raidwide hit buffs are being rebalanced, ie Totem of Wrath lost its hit component. I believe having a consistent amount of expected hit across all casters will make raid balancing of buffs easier.
2) Gear. Reduction from 16 ->9 percent hit required and an expected Moonkin (in their current form) in every 25 man raid means that hit on gear can be deemphasized. It's easier to make attractive gear at every raid level if you know exactly what the players need. Different specs requiring different hit leads in part to some of the awful itemization witnessed in tbc, in the extreme case where warlocks were craving hit and SPs were almost ignoring it.
3) Somewhat related to 2) is spec scaling at different gear levels, the most well known are SPs and destro locks. While 3% hit is obviously not as extreme a difference we are still likely to see differences as gear ilevel increases and stat spread becomes more common.
4) A personal one here, it's now approaching the 2nd expansion, I believe we're past the point of having to take wasted talent points for a spec that will have a popular and clear purpose i.e. Raiding, PvP
I would consider any talent that adds a zero or trivial advantage in the intended area of play to wasted.

Now I'm not saying that 3% hit for fire costing 8 points in another tree instead of 3 is going to make a major difference, rather that for ease for spec ,raid and item balance it makes sense to me for it to be as easily accessible as possible.

As for the list of examples of trees that have different characteristics, not relevant to the discussion at hand (nor indeed were they even all accurate) in the slightest, now if you'd listed examples of being different by omission then perhaps they may have had some value- I'm sure some exist, but Blizzard has been active in this area to make stats on gear as equally attractive to everyone as possible (crit bonus for SPs, spirit bonus and a hit talent for locks.)

This post went on longer than originally intended, I hope my perspective is more clear now.

#38 Zeldyrr

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 04:54 AM

Seems to me Blizzard is being more careful about what buffs they put in what tier level. It is really hard to put 51 pts into a tree exactly without sacrificing some Tier 9 talents, for example.

I personally like making it harder to decide between 51/20 and 71/0. If you put some low hanging fruit that is crazy good in Tier1 of the other trees, I'd be dumb not to take it. Example: My plan is to go 0/0/71 frost. But if there was some ZOMG raiding talent in Tier 1 fire or arcane, it would be a no brainer to take it. But the good raiding talents are deep enough in fire/arcane that I am going to say no thanks. Others will make different decisions. That is a good thing ™.

#39 Lileith

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 07:51 AM

Say for example frostbolt, it has a 5% coefficient penalty because of the added snare effect, before it could not be partially resisted, now it can. That's how I interpret it.

As for the synergy list, you forgot (druid)moonkin aura and (hunter)hunting party.

Oh and on druid summary it should be 6% arcane damage unless I'm visually impaired.


Does it means that now that it can be partially resisted we get the 5% coefficient penalty back?

#40 Tyrian

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 09:08 AM

In short, making those points too easy to take is just as bad as making them too hard to take; they're trying to hit the middle ground, and make sure that the cost, in terms of what you give up in your primary tree, is commensurate with the benefit -- not too expensive, not too cheap.


While I understand this chain of thought, it still does not mean its necessary (or acceptable) to make the offtree force people to choose between utterly useless talents for their spec and justify it because it 'shouldnt be painless'. Theres other ways to make it 'not the superior option' as you say, without resorting to feeding us useless talents we dont want.

I was under the impression this type of design (shallow points in trees useful for anyone) is exactly what Blizzard has been aiming to achieve. The first few tiers of each tree now seem almost custom designed to have generic any-spec-useful talents by design, to allow people to invest in "+20" builds without being penalised in this regard - right down to talents like impact now affecting all spells. Thus, current 2-wasted-point examples im pointing out, seem like genuine oversights rather than intentional design I think. I really dont think Blizzard designed the trees and thought "Well fire/acane mages wanting to put points in frost will have to pickup improved frostbolt/frost warding to get to tier 2 - but thats OK - the 2 wasted points is punishment for not putting points in their mainspec tree instead"

The main examples (as prior mentioned)

- A arcane/fire mage's first 5 points in a frost tree, 2 are wasted. Ice Floes is acceptable, but only 3 points - the other 2 points (Improved frostbolt, frost warding) are not.
- A arcane/frost mages first 15 points in the fire tree, 2 are wasted. (Actually only 1 if your arcane, because its acceptable to pickup Pyro when you have POM)
- A frost/fires first 5 points in the arcane tree. This is debatable whether 0 or up to all 5 are wasted, but given that IAE is very important regardless of spec, the subtlety talent can be considered worth it for any spec. Arcane focus doesnt sit well with me, however. (Its nice when fire mages tank Spellsteal bosses, but what else?)

Wasted talent points should never be acceptable, even if its only 2. Talent trees must cater for "+20" specs in a manner that keeps this statement true. Dont think that to make a talent 'useful', it needs to be fabulously strong either. Improved Fireblast might not be the best use of talent points for a frost mage (picking up some of the fire tree) in raids, yet its still useful to some degree and not truly wasted like in the Frost Warding/Improved frostbolt case. If blizzard really does like the frost warding talent, why not alter it into a Armor Warding talent and provide a small benefit to mage armor too. Wham, suddenly the (small) extra passive regen has found a use for your friendly fire/arcane mages and the points have a genuine use again. Theres so many possible ways to move/alter talents to fix the wasted points issue, it just seems stupid to keep them as is.

But if there was some ZOMG raiding talent in Tier 1 fire or arcane. If you put some low hanging fruit that is crazy good in Tier1 of the other trees


Nobody is really saying there should be a talent of this nature, but rather that IF you decide to go into a +20 spec (lets say, to pickup imp scorch to help your raid utility) - you wont be penalised so harsh for it, with regards to wasted talents. Its not about making the offtree so good its the obviously better choice than a +71 spec, its about making the offtree not punish people who decide to go the +51,+20 route for whatever reason. A good example is improved fireblast. Its not really the best use of talent points to a full frost mage, but a frost mage whos putting 18 points in fire can still happily take them and feel they have a genuine use. Its certainly not crazy good or overpowered, but its fine.

Which spec is 'better' should still be a matter of personal choice and playstyle. It just however seems that some people have a different stance on this topic, which is fine too.

4) A personal one here, it's now approaching the 2nd expansion, I believe we're past the point of having to take wasted talent points for a spec that will have a popular and clear purpose i.e. Raiding, PvP
I would consider any talent that adds a zero or trivial advantage in the intended area of play to wasted.


I couldn't have said it better myself. Pretty much nails my sentiment on the topic.




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