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So what has happened to mages?
  • So what has been happening with mages lately? I have been out of the loop for so long! Anything really interesting things in the past year? I'm probably going to reactivate my account for Cataclysm. What are the top DPS talent builds now? Have there been any super big changes in the past year, like MAJOR changes? I still don't even know what changes Cataclysm will bring. I guess I have to get reading, ha!
  • Hey Alynn!

    I'm planning to come out of hibernation soon as well. I logged in the other day and started trying to figure out my builds, but if you sort it all out, start a thread and help me out. ;-)
  • I havent played Stan in a while, so I haven't done my research.

    From what I hear around the fire they oversimplified us a bit. Arcane is a bit of a one-button mage, with missiles as a proc and weaving in barrage where it makes sense. I think it's top DPS today.

    Matt
  • Hey Joi & Matt!

    I found this link, looks like a pretty good rundown. http://elitistjerks.com/f47/t40824-mage_pve_cataclysmic_changes/

    I'm looking at this as a main fire spec (unless they change stuff around still) http://www.wowhead.com/talent#o0hZffhrkbRRscoc:czoMozmoV

    And an off frost spec. http://www.wowhead.com/talent#o0bZfcZffMosIszMo:oRaqMomo

    Some interesting things I've found:

    Intellect is now the primary all powerful stat for all mages, usually close to double the value of the next best stat. Recommended gemming strategy is to stack as much Intellect as possible while keeping your meta gem bonus.

    I guess we will be gemming for Int?

    Cauterize Talent: Cheat death for mages. This is a very good survivability talent. If you have a tendency to stand in void zones or otherwise find yourself dieing often there is no excuse for skipping this.

    Does that mean we can stand in the fire now? Haha!

    There is a major change in how engineering enchants work: The use effects do not overwrite the usual enchant anymore. With current numbers, engineering should be the strongest caster profession by far.

    Hmmm.

    Time Warp: Warp the flow of time, increasing melee, ranged, and spell casting speed by 30% for all party and raid members. Lasts 40 sec.

    Nice!


    I'm still not sure what "Mastery Rating" is, will have to look that one up.

    p.s. currently DL a 4.7 GB patch, LOL
  • Mastery is a new stat you get at level 80, depending on your talent trees you will get a benefit based on your mastery rating.
    --
    aka Emolate aka Emo aka Sememe aka Senene aka Elmo aka Elmolatte
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  • The Arcane Brilliance column has interesting writeups on the new talents. They wrote about Cauterize, seems like it would be fun!

  • Glad to see all my old mage buddies returning!
  • I am playing Arcane at the moment (level 66), and I love it. I plan on using it for PvP. It doesn't feel like a "one-button" rotation to me, at all. Most of the time I spend alternating between arcane barrage and arcane missiles (which procs with almost every spell). Though, with bosses in dungeons I sometimes spam Arcane Blast and drain my mana pool because the fights are over in 20 seconds anyway. :)
  • Does anyone using a fire spec use molten armor? It certainly increases damage but the difference in mana regen when using mage armor instead seems to be enormous!

    With molten armor I'm out of mana nearly every encounter in basic 5 man groups. With mage armor I'm rarely out and often full without drinking merely in the time it takes to walk to the next encounter.

    It seems like the molten armor glyph would be wasted for me as I rarely justify using molten armor.
  • Why not use evocation?
  • Those videos conveniently fail to mention that you run out of mana in 20 seconds spamming arcane blast. Facerolling is the "optimal rotation" for heroic dungeons that you seriously out-gear, but not so good on level- and gear-appropriate content.

    But they, the videos are funny and I enjoyed them. :)
  • I've been sticking with mage armor since the patch dropped, Horuss. Like you said, molten isn't all that mana-friendly. Evocation rocks, though, even with the nerf from 60% bonus health regen down to 40%.
  • Looks like I have some reading to do because I have been wondering about mage talents as well. I got my account back the other day and I did a lot of frost. I love my water elemental but I am open to new things. I also have a secondary spec that I have yet to set yet and have been considering doing a fire spec with ice as my second one.

    I use mage armor instead of the fire or ice armors because I love the mana regen.
    Gnomes need love too!
  • I'm leveling Greenmage with a frost spec. Myy first toon was a hunter, so running solo with a pet is an old friend now that frost mages get a pretty much permanent water elemental. I don't know how long I'll stick with it, as the DPS is not going to reach the other specs. It'll probably depend upon whether the need for crowd control really comes into play in raiding. I've got a variety of toons, and the changes have been too fundamental and too fast to really keep up with overall, so I've just narrowed down to playing a couple of toons for now.
  • Horuss said:

    Does anyone using a fire spec use molten armor? It certainly increases damage but the difference in mana regen when using mage armor instead seems to be enormous!

    With molten armor I'm out of mana nearly every encounter in basic 5 man groups. With mage armor I'm rarely out and often full without drinking merely in the time it takes to walk to the next encounter.

    It seems like the molten armor glyph would be wasted for me as I rarely justify using molten armor.



    What is your crit rating? Fire spec generally is meant to (or used to) rely on Master of Elements (a crit dependent talent), Arcane Concentration, mana gems and evocation. I don't know how things have changed in the past couple patches but generally all fire mages usually use molten armor. However, I have read that with the new talent tree, etc., fire mages are having mana issues that they didn't have before. Arcane spec is (or used to be) quite different with regards to mana management.


    corday said:

    Looks like I have some reading to do because I have been wondering about mage talents as well. I got my account back the other day and I did a lot of frost. I love my water elemental but I am open to new things. I also have a secondary spec that I have yet to set yet and have been considering doing a fire spec with ice as my second one.

    I use mage armor instead of the fire or ice armors because I love the mana regen.



    Hi Corday! :-) I have been reading that frost, fire and arcane spec are now nearly equal with regards to single target DPS, with frost and arcane having more burst potential. I would so love to play frost again, but it hasn't been a viable spec for so long. :(

    This is supposedly a good general comparison between specs according to currently known stuff, which will probably change, but I think it is tuned for level 85 stuff. I will probably level as frost since it's so much easier to stay alive.


  • I'm using Molten Armour, always have done.Have specced full fire(I do miss frostfiree though which was fun,altho not as much fun as the old 3minute mager)

    As an alchemist I have, and constantly use, "endless mana pot" as well as using my mana crystals. Seems to work for me although I do see mana running out faster than it used to.
  • I have a 85 firemage and only pretty much use the mage armor when dealing with bosses.
    I find that if i stick to scorch as my primary cast and use the other spells when a free crit comes up in addition to the DoT spells I manage to keep my agro down, my mana up and deal more than 2k damage per second. Otherwise if i got nuts with the other spells I get a ton of agro and my mana goes very very fast.

    I rely alot on int or spell power pots and rarely have to hit the endless mana pot....
  • Now using Mage Armour as, at 85 in heroics, or randoms, I do indeed run out of mana.
  • Hi Knull,

    If you are using scorch as your main spell, you would be better off using molten armor because it increases your crit rate. Fire mages should worship their crit rate! :) Mage armor is generally used for mana conservation but being specced into the "improved scorch" talent, which you are, makes scorch cost 0 mana, a "mana free spell" so to speak. So using scorch as your main spell, you don't really need to be using a mana conservation armor and it's better to use the crit armor (molten armor), because you will get more DPS out of it without losing anything.

    Also, If you are getting agro, assuming a single target, that is generally considered the tanks fault. A tank should easily be able to out-agro you even if you are going all out with the highest DPS spells. That is assuming that you are not attacking too early before the tanks can establish agro. However, once the tank establishes agro on a mob, you should not be able to pull agro off them. If you can, they are not being a good tank. Unless of course there is some fight mechanic that causes the tank to lose agro or not be able to maintain it. For example, the boss flies up into the air and the tank can't hit it anymore but you can still hit it. But, if it is generally a tank and spank fight with no weird agro mechanics, you should not be able to pull agro off the tank. But of course, if you outgear the tank, you will have more problems with agro. But if you are around the same gear level, it should not be a problem, assuming that the tank knows how to generate threat with their abilities properly. AOEing a bunch of mobs is a different situation though.

    As far as mana management goes, generally the ideal situation is to be completely out of mana as soon as the boss dies. It's not always possible to always get the ideal, but that is the ideal. Leftover mana at the end of the fight generally means lost DPS. This is how I manage it. Start with scorch, to apply the scorch debuff on the boss, living bomb and then fireball, fireball, fireball, etc. Once mana goes lower, use mana gem to bring it back up. Do the same as above, once mana goes lower, use evocation to bring it back up. Continue doing the same above, once mana goes lower, use mana gem again if it is up. By the time the boss is dead I'm usually almost out of mana and do anywhere between 10k to 14k DPS without ever pulling agro. If I do run out of mana before the boss dies, and mana gem and evocation are on cooldown, I just start spamming scorch, since scorch can still be cast when you are completely out of mana but that only happen very rarly, hardly ever actually. If I want to maintain a certain level of mana during a fight. I would change the rotation of "fireball, fireball, fireball" to "fireball, fireball, scorch, scorch,scorch" "fireball, fireball, scorch, scorch,scorch" while maintaining the living bomb dot on the target. Doing this I can generally keep my mana from dropping further but still putting out good DPS.

    Of course, while doing all of the above, I will be casting instant pyroblast when hot streak talent procs. But doing that also cost no mana since the instant pyroblasts are also a "mana free spell". The final spell that I use on a single target is combustion. I use that whenever living bomb, ignite and pyroblast dot are on the target at the same time. I use an addon called "combustion helper" to tell me when that happens. It's a pretty good addon for fire mages. :)

    Using scorch as a main spell is not all that bad, fireball is a little bit better but not by that much. Scorch as a main spell is just fine but using mage armor with it does not help, since it costs no mana to cast to begin with while molten armor helps much more.
    Post edited by Allynn at 2011-01-12 14:57:18
  • Wait... You can do nearly as much dps over a fight with scorch (free and castable on the move) spam + bomb as fireball (costs mana and must stand still) + bomb?
  • constanza said:

    Wait... You can do nearly as much dps over a fight with scorch (free and castable on the move) spam + bomb as fireball (costs mana and must stand still) + bomb?



    According to the theroycrafting number people, almost. :) From the Q&A over at elitist jerks mage forums, which is pretty good:

    Is Scorch terrible DPS compared to Fireball?

    No. Scorch is actually very competitive DPS compared to Fireball. It's not quite as good as Fireball for single target, but close. It also has several key benefits: It's completely free, makes use of the Crit from Molten Armor (another reason why we don't use Mage Armor), has more chances to proc Hot Streak and Impact, and can be used while moving or during knockbacks.

    Never tried it myself though. I've always used fireball as a main spell.
  • So basically, load up on crit and haste, watch for hot streak procs to get free pyro, and run around all fight without pause? Mastery can be useful but nothing to quest after...
  • Blue post last week said that mages aren't doing enough dps and are going to be denerfed.

    YMMV
    If you want to stop being called on your bad behavior, stop behaving badly.
  • constanza said:

    So basically, load up on crit and haste, watch for hot streak procs to get free pyro, and run around all fight without pause? Mastery can be useful but nothing to quest after...



    Pretty much LOL. However, supposedly haste is nearly equivalent to mastery after you reach the soft cap of haste of 12.5 %, which gives living bomb extra dot ticks. I don't exactly understand the numbers behind that yet so I could not explain why, but that is what I have read.


    swirly said:

    Blue post last week said that mages aren't doing enough dps and are going to be denerfed.

    YMMV



    They are also reducing mana cost of major spells in the arcane and fire trees so we stop going oom so quickly. From the PTR patch notes.

    Arcane Barrage mana cost has been reduced by 8%.
    Arcane Blast mana cost has been reduced by 12%.
    Fireball mana cost has been reduced by 25%.
    Living Bomb mana cost has been reduced by 22%.

    Also, it looks like they are trying to up the importance of mastery in the fire tree.

    Flashburn (Mastery) benefit per mastery has been increased by 12%.

    I'm not sure how that will effect the value of mastery though. Right now it's not that valuable. This will probably make it more valuable but by how much I'm not sure.

    Post edited by Allynn at 2011-01-13 10:29:47
  • Still waiting for blizz to give mages plate :)

    Can't believe they gave evocation to locks. Who will they be giving portals away to (oh yes, they've already given engineers that!)
  • locks have evocate?
    Sandrika, Crazan, Squeatus To often we post in anger, when waiting and thinking and letting that boiling pot settle would be sooo much better.
  • We have Evocate but for health. It heals 60 or 80k or something but only out of combat.
  • And it regenerates soul shards.
  • Recently copied Rakka's Frost Spec and took the spell rotation from EJ:

    Frostfire Orb, if cooldown is up.
    Deep Freeze, if cooldown is up and Fingers of Frost is active.
    Frostfire Bolt, if Brain Freeze is active and Fingers of Frost is active.
    Ice Lance if Finger of Frost is active.
    Freeze, if cooldown is up, Deep Freeze cooldown is up, and Finger of Frost is not active.
    Frostbolt.

    My DPS almost doubled... Also, not sure what addon is doing this, but the FFB, DF and IC light up when I can cast them so it's sort of a no-brainer now.
  • ahhhh ok. so we have evo that can be used in combat, and with glyph also does health.
    Sandrika, Crazan, Squeatus To often we post in anger, when waiting and thinking and letting that boiling pot settle would be sooo much better.
  • jonkichi said:

    My DPS almost doubled...


    But only during the time you're awake.
  • Also Joi, crit is now king (after int & hit) as opposed to haste for us, so regem/reforge for this. :)
  • Is crit after int and hit for frost? I've been putting it in mastery...
  • Yes, crit is actually more important than mastery now, I researched this last week and the consensus seems to be Int > Hit > Crit > Mastery > Haste.

    Frost Cata discussion on EJ

    Mage Frost PvP Guide for Cata on MMO Champion

    *Edited to add links to back up my statement.
    Post edited by Runtimerror at 2011-01-25 11:23:50

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