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7-16-2011 @ 2:57PM
I can understand from an outsider's perspective how arcane mages seem to be one-button spam. Recount simply doesn't display enough information to give an accurate picture of what is going on behind the scenes. When it comes to 5-man dungeons, arcane mages are tuned to win on virtually EVERY pull (with the only real exception being AoE). That is how it works.The difference between and average mage and a great mage won't manifest itself much in a 5-man dungeon. In raids (where there are longer encounters) is where you'll see a colossal difference in performance between two mages who are equally geared but differently skilled.Let's examine for all the non-mages out there why this is the case. Arcane mages' highest single-target DPS rotation is Arcane Blast spam. It is excellent DPS, but it will drain a mage's mana pool in a relatively short period of time. No class or spec (read: NO ONE) can compete with a mage performing this rotation over a short period of time. And in the short trash pulls and boss encounters of a 5-man dungeon, it is easy for a mage to blow through his mana, stop for a quick drink, and be ready to do it again on the very next pull.The outcome? Arcane is the king of 5-man content. And Blizzard, as we're all aware, doesn't balance the endgame around 5-man content; their focus is on raiding. In the raiding environment, Blizzard knows that mages can't spam a single button. Mages have to play a delicate game of juggling their mana properly. There are multiple CDs to worry about, and a score of other spells that truly great mages will be utilizing during raid encounters. This is a rude awakening for arcane mages that are new to raiding (or players that are new to raiding as an arcane mage).If you want to witness a plummet in the DPS of an arcane mage in your 5-man, ensure that the tank pulls fast enough that the mage never gets a free moment to sit and drink. He'll either do subpar DPS, or he'll have to sit out of the pull to drink and catch up with you later. That will equate to great DPS and terrible damage done.Mages, by their very nature, are not difficult to be good at when it comes to the damage meters. To be GREAT, though... that's where things get more difficult. So give great mages the respect they deserve, because Arcane Blast is actually only a tiny fraction of what a great mage is doing.
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