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Mage: Simple Questions/Simple Answers


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#41 Zymm

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 03:52 PM

First: I love the new Class sub-forums.

Second: As a mage (and the Dalaran port being moot), is the Signet of the Kirin Tor worth the gold? There seems to be rings of approximately equal dps-value that are cheaper or raid/heroic drops.

#42 Sargeth

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 07:42 PM

The item budget Rawr is giving me for a FF build is a bit counter-intuitive. It's ranking spellpower as my most valuable stat. With I believe 350% crit damage, and no Improved FFB talent, I really expected spellpower to fall to the wayside in favor of more crit rating. Even when I remove Empowered Fire, spellpower still remains at the top of my item budget.

What gives? Am I screwing up my Rawr parameters, or is there some mechanic I'm overlooking?

#43 Hephelstine

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 08:15 PM

I’m becoming a little confused now with scorch. It has been posted under WotLK Talent Discussion (Part Two) thread that if you have a deep frost mage in your raid applying scorch is a waste of time because the chill affect and scorch do not stack. I have not seen any reference to this in this thread but rather to keep scorch up. Can some please clear this up? I have tried to go against my urge and not throw up my stack with a deep frost mage in the group and I feel that I have actually lost dps rather than gain.

#44 DeimosXI

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 08:50 PM

The item budget Rawr is giving me for a FF build is a bit counter-intuitive. It's ranking spellpower as my most valuable stat. With I believe 350% crit damage, and no Improved FFB talent, I really expected spellpower to fall to the wayside in favor of more crit rating. Even when I remove Empowered Fire, spellpower still remains at the top of my item budget.

What gives? Am I screwing up my Rawr parameters, or is there some mechanic I'm overlooking?


*Long time reader first time poster*

As you level you will notice that your crit % is getting lower meaning you need more crit for the same benefit at level 80. With the scaling crit, point for point, spell power is still a more valuable stat for maximizing DPS.

Bringing me on to my question.

I have seen a few 0_58_13 level 80 talent builds where people have opted to take both burning soul and frost channeling. It is my understanding that the threat reduction benefits do not stack for frostfire bolt.

My preference would be frost channeling for the mana return, but do we think it is worthwhile spending another two talent points for the pushback resistance or to reduce threat on non FFB spells/abilities?

As an alternative would the two points be better spent in arcane subtlety for 40% threat reduction on arcane explosion for nice safe AOE or spec into dragons breath with a floating point?

#45 manly

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 08:54 PM

well, if i were to give a rough rule of thumb, I'd say you want to not scorch anything that lives 1min or more. Reason being that scorch/WC do not apply when either is up. As such, it tends to be more preferable to have WC up assuming 100% uptime is realistic. The reason behind it is that theres only a few cases that 'matter'.

1- <0s-10s> Scorch may not be worth casting depending on scenario (duration, travel time, etc.) Generally I avoid casting scorch whenever I know less than 10 spell will hit my target.
2- <10s-15s> mob dies before the time it takes to stack 5x WC. Scorch is always better.
3- <15s-30s> Scorch is always better because the time it takes to stack WC is too long. Too much of your time is spent casting with low-crit buff being up.
4- <30-60s> If Scorch is better at the 30s mark, then you need to cast 1 more scorch to keep it up for an extra 30s. At that point, the extra 30s comes at 'no penalty'. Scorch wins.
5- <60+> Winters Chill is best.

All of the above assume comparing 1 frost mage and 1 fire mage. The fire mage is assumed to have the glyph. Number would drastically change with 2-3 frost mages.
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<Eej> IF YOU SQUEEZE OFF ANOTHER ARCANE BLAST
<Spectear> You've obviously never played with Manly.
<Spectear> That's hardly a reason to stop DPS.
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#46 Putts

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:02 PM

First: I love the new Class sub-forums.

Second: As a mage (and the Dalaran port being moot), is the Signet of the Kirin Tor worth the gold? There seems to be rings of approximately equal dps-value that are cheaper or raid/heroic drops.


While the ring does have nice stats, I could not personally justify spending 7000-8000 gold on a single piece of gear that will eventually be replaced a couple of months down the road. Other classes could justify it due to the port mechanic, but for a mage, I'd say no unless you're either swimming in gold or an Achievement whore (like myself).

The item budget Rawr is giving me for a FF build is a bit counter-intuitive. It's ranking spellpower as my most valuable stat. With I believe 350% crit damage, and no Improved FFB talent, I really expected spellpower to fall to the wayside in favor of more crit rating. Even when I remove Empowered Fire, spellpower still remains at the top of my item budget.

What gives? Am I screwing up my Rawr parameters, or is there some mechanic I'm overlooking?


You're not screwing up anything. Despite the fact that Fire and Frostfire mages crit for more than ever before, the fact remains that it takes 45.9 points of crit rating to equal a 1% increased crit chance. If you do the math, you'll see that 46 points of spell power is worth more than 1% crit, even for a frostfire build. Which means that point for point, spell power is better than crit rating.

#47 Roywyn

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:35 PM

I'd echo the above about WC vs. Scorch as rough guideline.
The crucial issue is that if you decide to Scorch at the start, you have to continue scorching through the whole fight.
Winter's Chill simply won't get onto the mob at all unless Scorch drops.

Arguably, 5 waves of Blizzard are the best way to get 10% crit onto a boss mob quickly and then maintain it with Frost nukes.
Blizzard has a very high base damage which makes up for the lower scaling for a while.


I have seen a few 0_58_13 level 80 talent builds where people have opted to take both burning soul and frost channeling. It is my understanding that the threat reduction benefits do not stack for frostfire bolt.

As an alternative would the two points be better spent in arcane subtlety for 40% threat reduction on arcane explosion for nice safe AOE?

You take the talents for pushback and mana savings, and I'd say they're worth it.
And there is nothing else to boost single target DPS anyway. Those builds were linked for single target DPS I guess.

And Arcane Explosion is garbage. You get the 40% threat reduction for free anyway because the damage is bad.
You have all fire talents and key frost talents, don't use unspecced Arcane AoE.
If you care about AoE power, shuffle some points around for 3/3 Frostbite and Shatter and 1/3 Imp. Blizzard.
And even without those, Blizzard is a pretty decent, and fire AoE is 1 point per talent.


The item budget Rawr is giving me for a FF build is a bit counter-intuitive. It's ranking spellpower as my most valuable stat.

Nothing wrong with that, it's still nearly twice as good as for other specs or classes.
It's like in BC, +damage were dominant until you get decent gear (1.5k spell power buffed), magnified rating decay and little base damage increase.

You only need 4k spell power, for crit to beat spell power. Probably not reachable in Ulduar gear, but in reach with Icecrown ger Soon™.

It's also meantioned in the Gearing section of the WotLK thread.
Chaotic Meta Gems in Cataclysm: http://elitistjerks....p2/#post1794256

DPS spec and class comparison in Naxxramas gear: http://code.google.c...ki/SampleOutput
The Blue Bar and you - the complete Fire Mage 2.4 mana compendium: http://elitistjerks....0-post3191.html

And doesn't proc on AM.
Neither does since 3.1.

#48 manly

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:35 PM

*Long time reader first time poster*

As you level you will notice that your crit % is getting lower meaning you need more crit for the same benefit at level 80. With the scaling crit, point for point, spell power is still a more valuable stat for maximizing DPS.

Bringing me on to my question.

I have seen a few 0_58_13 level 80 talent builds where people have opted to take both burning soul and frost channeling. It is my understanding that the threat reduction benefits do not stack for frostfire bolt.

My preference would be frost channeling for the mana return, but do we think it is worthwhile spending another two talent points for the pushback resistance or to reduce threat on non FFB spells/abilities?

As an alternative would the two points be better spent in arcane subtlety for 40% threat reduction on arcane explosion for nice safe AOE?

You correctly observed that the build seems redundant at first sight. Why pick Burning Soul when frost channeling does the same threat-wise ? Why pick flame throwing when it doesn't affects FFB ?

Theres a few reasons.

First thing first. Its 0/53/18. Usually http://talent.mmo-ch...ph=101519000000 . Personally I prefer the same build, but instead 1pt blizzard and 3/3 frostbite 2/3 ice floes. Its also what I went for. You sacrifice minimal dps (1/3 world in flames) to make your blizzard more interesting. moving 1pt from ice floes to frostbite is a mostly meaningless dps loss if any.

I believe, but havent verified, that frost channeling doesn't applies to FFB. Someone would have to spec into frost chan. and not spec burning soul and run the test (zaldinar?). I don't even know or think its worth running the test -- the hard cold facts and end result is that if you have burning soul and frost channeling, they won't stack (whether or not they can even stack to begin with). So lets just assume here that frost channeling is used only as a DPM increase and nothing else. If frost chan. is used only as a DPM increase, then it throwaway points. The only alternative talents you can take instead of frost channeling is: world in flames (0.33% dps increase per point is pretty bad as far as I'm concerned, and it might be even less for ffb specs since it crits far less often than fireball specs) and shatter (could be interesting for blizzard). So there are your choices. I do believe that as we progress towards full naxx10+ gear, mana will become totally meaningless, at which point I expect a build like http://talent.mmo-ch...ph=101519000000 to become more mainstream. At least, thats the build I want to head towards in the future, as mana becomes less and less an issue. Not to mention, if MOE works with blizzard, that would actually be far better that frost channeling for saving up mana. I believe they said they wanted MOE to work with arcane missiles, I don't know if that will affect blizzard too -- I somewhat assume it would.

I could be wrong, but the last time I checked, blizzard was more interesting than arcane explosion now. I haven't been getting good results doing anything involving arcane explosions with fire spec, however I had fairly good results with living bomb -> flamestrike -> blizzard. I could do the good old combustion/flamestrike/dragon's breath, but generally I'm not in melee range anymore. At least, since I do not spec both blastwave (unusable) and dragon's breath anymore, I feel far less compelled to go in melee range. At some point, why risk it ? Blizzard is awesome control with frostbite and the slow. If I really want burst aoe, then the build has lots of options. Mirror Image (insures not pulling aggro) -> Icy Veins -> Living Bomb -> combustion -> flamestrike -> dragon's breath -> blizzard.

The other major detail you seem to be missing out is that MOE is far better than frost channeling. The only reason to take frost channeling is because the alternatives all kind of suck. WIF and shatter. WIF is bad reward per talent point, shatter is situational (only for blizzard/maybe trash).
<Eej> YOU"RE GONNA PULL
<Eej> IF YOU SQUEEZE OFF ANOTHER ARCANE BLAST
<Spectear> You've obviously never played with Manly.
<Spectear> That's hardly a reason to stop DPS.
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#49 DeimosXI

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 10:15 PM

Thanks for the advice Roywyn & Manly, from that I suspect I will be using blizzard as my secondary AOE and keep the points in burning soul.

I'd echo the above about WC vs. Scorch as rough guideline.
The crucial issue is that if you decide to Scorch at the start, you have to continue scorching through the whole fight.
Winter's Chill simply won't get onto the mob at all unless Scorch drops.


Does that mean that whichever school of mage applies their debuff first, that will be the crit buff for the fight so long as it does not drop off? or does it mean we gain the crit from WC while active unless we apply imp. scorch in which case it overrides? or does it work both ways where imp. scorch will not apply to the target while WC is active?

#50 manly

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:12 PM

What happens when you use Invisility during Mirror Image ?

I know it might sound random but its a very legitimate question. It could yield insight as to how the fade/mirror image mechanics actually work behind. Does it makes you go into negative threat ? Does it works as expected ? Does it makes invis do nothing ? I can conceive all of the 3 possible cases happen.
<Eej> YOU"RE GONNA PULL
<Eej> IF YOU SQUEEZE OFF ANOTHER ARCANE BLAST
<Spectear> You've obviously never played with Manly.
<Spectear> That's hardly a reason to stop DPS.
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#51 Pheroz

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:18 PM

Thanks for the advice Roywyn & Manly, from that I suspect I will be using blizzard as my secondary AOE and keep the points in burning soul.



Does that mean that whichever school of mage applies their debuff first, that will be the crit buff for the fight so long as it does not drop off? or does it mean we gain the crit from WC while active unless we apply imp. scorch in which case it overrides? or does it work both ways where imp. scorch will not apply to the target while WC is active?


If winter's chill is on an enemy, improved scorch will not apply. If winters chill falls off, the next scorch will begin to apply the debuff.

If improved scorch is on the enemy, winter's chill will not apply. Once Imp scorch falls off, then winters chill can begin applying (it will start at 1, even if a frost mage has been spamming talented frost spells for some time).

What I dont know is the following:

If winter's chill is on the boss, but only at stack (1) or stack (2), and a mage with glyph of improved scorch casts a scorch, will that apply scorch (3), or not apply a debuff, becuase the WC locks out scorch.

#52 manly

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:39 PM

If winter's chill is on an enemy, improved scorch will not apply. If winters chill falls off, the next scorch will begin to apply the debuff.

If improved scorch is on the enemy, winter's chill will not apply. Once Imp scorch falls off, then winters chill can begin applying (it will start at 1, even if a frost mage has been spamming talented frost spells for some time).

What I dont know is the following:

If winter's chill is on the boss, but only at stack (1) or stack (2), and a mage with glyph of improved scorch casts a scorch, will that apply scorch (3), or not apply a debuff, becuase the WC locks out scorch.

wont apply
<Eej> YOU"RE GONNA PULL
<Eej> IF YOU SQUEEZE OFF ANOTHER ARCANE BLAST
<Spectear> You've obviously never played with Manly.
<Spectear> That's hardly a reason to stop DPS.
Very Manly Staff

#53 DeimosXI

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:09 AM

What happens when you use Invisility during Mirror Image ?

I know it might sound random but its a very legitimate question. It could yield insight as to how the fade/mirror image mechanics actually work behind. Does it makes you go into negative threat ? Does it works as expected ? Does it makes invis do nothing ? I can conceive all of the 3 possible cases happen.


That is a very good question. I would have to test it myself.

My assumptions would be:

- Invisibility while the image fade is active would still dump your threat to 0 due to leaving combat?
- Threat after invisibility while image fade is active would not reduce your threat below zero as negative values for threat would be invalid.

I can't see a situation where you would use both however, I think it would be considered poor use to stack threat dumps in a raid. (EDIT: might have some interesting results in arena casting mirrors and using invisibility).

#54 Seonid

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:00 AM

Just tried versus 1 mob, you stay in combat even when invisible though the images get targeted not you, until invis fades.
You remain flagged as "in combat" for the duration.

Edit : Tried again as I considered it a factor that the MI's were still up when invis faded so I found an 80 elite giant that would 1 shot the MI's. Again, you are flagged in combat as the MI's nuke but as soon as they are all dead and invis is still running, you then go out of combat.

#55 Jonny_Monroe

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 06:37 AM

Casting MI sets your threat to -9million or something, does it not? but then refunds it all after the duration. I would assume one of 2 scenarios:

-Invis runs out before MI. MI runs out and all the previous threat is returned, making invis rather useless.
-Invis runs out before or after MI but because you left combat, threat is not modified.

I personally feel that the second is more likely but those wacky devs aren't generally a predictable lot.

Also; Isn't it time they actually did consolidate Scorch and WC into a single debuff? That way if you had a frost and fire mage in a raid the scorch mage could ramp it faster but the frost mage could maintain it for free.
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#56 zetrac

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 08:06 AM

Hello, currently leveling a mage as my new main character (frost mage for now)

If I look for simulationcraft, I see a scale factors part

For exemple for the frostfire build

Int Spirit SP Hit Crit Haste
Mage_0_53_18 0.32 0.00 1.56 2.01 1.11 1.11

If I understand well, it is the weight of the stats, meaning that Crit and Haste have the same weight for this build ?
So we can pick one or the other indifferently ?

Any idea why the scale factor is so high for hit with this build ?

Many thanks

#57 Light4

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:42 PM

What did you test it on?

It definately doesn't trigger Torment on the elite harpy on Storm Peaks.
She's not slowable, Infected Wounds do apply, damage is not increased.

Which bosses did it increase damage on for you, and how exact was your testing?


I tried it on the "bosses" in Utgarde, we had a feral with IW and my ABar damage increased after IW was applied. There were no other classes/buffs around that could account for about 2xx more damage on individual hits. I also know the approximate damage numbers from grinding if I do FrB - AB - ABar or just AB - ABar, the former arcane casts are always abut 2xx higher.

#58 Chentoka

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:40 PM

Does anyone have tested coefficient numbers for post-3.0.3 Frostfire Bolt? I've been hunting around for them to no avail.

According to standard coefficient mechanics I'm assuming the split would be as below:

Snare penalty applied to DD
Hit coefficient: (0.95*3*780)/(3.5*870) = 73.00%
DoT: (9*90)/(15*870) = 6.21%, 2.07% per tick

Snare penalty applied to DoT
Hit coefficient: (3*780)/(3.5*870) = 76.85%
DoT: (0.95*9*90)/(15*870) = 5.90%, 1.97% per tick

I was having a look through the Rawr source code and noticed that there is no DoT scaling, nor is there any coefficient reduction due to the snare component. Could anyone enlighten me as to whether this is one of Blizzard's famed exceptions to the rule or whether it's an oversight within Rawr which I can raise to Astrylian.

Unfortunately due to painful realm queues and work commitments I'm still languishing at Level 73 so I can't test this myself!

(edited: I found the handy guide to calculating standard spell coefficients and actually used my brain!)

#59 Copernicus

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 04:26 PM

If Elemental Precision gives 6% hit to Frostfire Bolt, what is the value of hit after capping for Frostfire Bolt for a 53/18 build? Assume I'm in Naxx10/Heroic/Blues gear and I'm using gems to reach the hit cap.

#60 cbags

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 05:50 PM

There is information in the Combat Ratings at 80 thread, and there is also information at WoWWiki:

From WoWWiki:

447 required before talents and buffs

368 required if we take 3/3 Elemental Precision(Fire/Frost), or Arcane Focus(Arcane)

342 required if you have a Draenai in your group, & EP/AF

289 Required if Frostfire Bolt continues to get 6% from Elemental Precision, +EP/AF

263 Required if Frostfire Bolt continues to double dip & you have a Draenai, +EP/AF




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