Each week Arcane Brilliance, a column about Mages, levels up. It gains 3 intellect, 2 stamina, 2 spirit, and 1 talent point. In case you were wondering, Arcane Brilliance has been leveling up every week for the past four years. That's right: Arcane Brilliance is level 208. What has Arcane Brilliance been doing with all of those talent points, you ask? Arcane Brilliance is specced 63/75/60. And yes, Arcane Brilliance still gets pwned by Lichborne in the 201-210 pvp bracket.
Last week, we took our Mages job-hunting. We looked into Tailoring and Jewelcrafting, and explored the three gathering professions. This week, our job search takes us into slightly more magical territory, as we look at the potential benefits of Enchanting, Alchemy, and Inscription. All of these professions are similar, in that they begin with vowels.
This profession has always been a popular choice with Mages. Not only is it an inherently magical profession, fitting the whole wizardly aesthetic to a tee, but it has no associated gathering profession, meaning it makes for a nice, convenient pairing with Tailoring, the other traditional Mage profession choice. This profession is undergoing a number of changes in patch 3.1, one of which is of particular interest to our class.
On the other hand, Enchanting is quite possibly the most expensive profession in the game to level. Disenchanting consumes valuable green, blue, and purple-quality items to produce mats, meaning that instead of being able to sell those items when you get them as drops and rewards, you must now disenchant them to keep the profession up to speed. Unless you have a high-level main feeding money to your little enchanter, you will find this profession a costly one.
Two new staff enchants are being added to the shard vendor in Dalaran when patch 3.1 hits. Hopefully, these will help to bring staves back to prominence, after having been eclipsed handily by the merits of a good 1-hand/off-hand combo so far in this expansion. The first of these grants 69 spellpower to staves, and the last gives 81 spellpower. So if you prefer your Mage to wield a nice, wizardly, bat-winged staff as opposed to a big ugly sword and some kind of crazy eyeball-looking thing, good news!
Alchemy is rather unique in that it is a perfectly respectable profession choice for absolutely anybody. Warrior? It'll work for you. Druid? It'll work for you. Rogue on a roleplaying server who insists upon running around wearing cloth and pretending you're a Bard or something? It'll work for you, too. Warlock? Die in a fire.
Everybody benefits from potions, and everybody loves flasks and elixirs, and there are potions and flasks and elixirs that are highly valuable to every class and every spec in the game. Being able to make your own--coupled with the unique bonuses Alchemists gain from them--makes this an incredibly versatile profession.
MIxology becomes available once your Alchemy hits 50, and will serve you well throughout the rest of the game. The percentage of the increase depends on the flask or elixir you happen to be using, but is always significant, and only applies to those recipes you can make for yourself.
- Mixology elevates the effect of your Flask of the Frost Wyrm to 162 spellpower, an increase of 37. That's nice.
- The Crazy Alchemist's Potion is a fun bonus. It's an excellent and far cheaper alternative to Runic Mana Potions, providing the same amount of mana return, plus a substantial amount of health and a "random" additional effect. This effect can be anything from haste to crit to more mana or health, and can often result in a temporary but substantial DPS increase.
- Double duration for elixirs and flasks, thanks to MIxology.
When this profession debuted, it changes the game forever. Glyphs are yet another thing every class needs and benefits from, and offer a way to customize your character that significantly affects gameplay.
The off-hand frill items this profession makes are quite nice. The lowest level one, the Mystic Tome, is really attractive at the level, and the rest follow suit, all the way to the highest levels.
If any profession needs a buff, I feel it is Inscription, and yet nothing substantial is coming for it in 3.1. I fear that once dual-specs are ushered in and everyone nails down their preferred specs and glyph setups, this profession will enter a slump of remarkable proportions. Something needs to be done, and here's hoping it happens soon.
Apparently I didn't make it clear, but there most definitely will be a part 3 of this multi-part Mage-professions extravaganza. Next week's Arcane Brilliance will explore the pros and cons of Leatherworking, Blacksmithing, Engineering, as well as touching on the holy trinity of Cooking, Fishing, and First Aid. Now if only I could find a picture of Fullmetal Blacksmith to go with the column...
Every week Arcane Brilliance teleports you inside the wonderful world of Mages and then hurls a Fireball in your face. Check out our recent guide to gearing your Mage for Naxxramas, or our look at a few ideas for dual speccing your Mage. Until next week, keep the Mage-train a-rollin'.