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Filed under: Mage

Arcane Brilliance: State of the mage in 5.4

Arcane Brilliance State of the mage in 54 Fri 2709
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, the torch is passed to a new mage who fully intends to light as many things on fire with it as possible.

Almost a year ago when the esteemed Christian Belt had to stop writing Arcane Brilliance, first I was sad. Then I said to my husband, "Wow, I don't envy the person that has to fill THOSE shoes." The irony of writing that here is not lost on me! But it would be wrong not to acknowledge that my predecessor, Archmage Pants, was a great mage and I used to look forward to reading what he had to say.

I've been in the business of using magic to rearrange enemy faces since 2008. I started playing WoW by rolling a priest, and somewhere around level 30 our small leveling group realized that two holy priests, two protection warriors and a protection paladin wasn't really a good composition. I rerolled as a mage and never looked back. It was love at first fireball.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

WoW Insider is looking for hunter and mage columnists

Like World of Warcraft? Like writing about World of Warcraft? Then you're who we want! We're looking to hire not only a new hunter columnist, but a new mage columnist, too. Your primary duties will be the production of your column on a weekly basis, but opportunities for additional work as a news blogger may arise over time should you desire them.

You can find the full instructions on how to apply on our applications page. If you have prior blogging experience, make sure you mention that in your application along with a link to your prior work. The deadline for your application is end-of-day on Friday, August 23, so work quickly.

Filed under: Hunter, Mage, WoW Insider Business

Should you play a mage in WoW?

World of Warcraft has been around for so long that it can be a bit daunting to get started. What server do you roll on? What faction should you pick? What class should you choose -- and how will you know if the choice you make, on a whim, during character creation will result in something you'll want to play at level 90? While server and faction are mostly a matter of where your friends are playing, class is a question we can help you figure out.

Experienced WoW players, this guide is probably not for you -- but for newbies, we'll try to help point you towards the class that's the best fit for your playstyle by giving you a detailed overview of what classes are like. Today, we're talking about mages, who unleash elemental and arcane magics on their foes. These powerful abilities come at a cost: mages can only wear light cloth armor, which can leave them vulnerable to physical attack. But if you're interested in wielding the powers of magic to devastate your enemies -- from a safe distance -- the mage may be just the class for you.

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Filed under: Mage, WoW Rookie

Ghostcrawler and Daxxarri talk classes in patch 5.2

mage talents screenshot
With the advent of patch 5.2, World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg Street "Ghostcrawler" and Community Manager Daxxarri have been posting a series of class overviews and changes. Part one went up on Tuesday, covering death knights, druids, and hunters. Part two was posted Wednesday evening and covers mages, paladins, and priests. Part three, on rogues, shaman, and warlocks, went up yesterday evening, and part four, covering warriors and monks, was posted earlier today. For many classes, most of the changes involve PvP balancing as well as trying to improve a number of talents in some way to make them more useful and thus more attractive to players, at least situationally. If you're curious about either the philosophy of class balance design or just want to know what happened to your class this patch, make sure to check it out.

What I love about these posts is that little glimpse of insight they provide into the thought process that goes into balancing the class mechanics in a game like World of Warcraft. I'll be honest, I'm glad I'm not one of the people involved in that job. To me it seems like an endless headache to try and make sure all classes are different enough to feel unique, but similar enough such that a raid or dungeon group isn't punished for lacking one indispensable class, and I wouldn't have the patience for it. But I certainly admire and respect those who do!

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, News items, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Data suggests mage changes solved spec issues

GuildOx sends us interesting news of a change in the ratio of specs for raiding mages. Prior to hotfixes and patch adjustments that happened over the past couple months, raiding mages were overwhelmingly fire specd -- over 90% of the top mages were specd into fire. Now? According to GuildOx data, 45% of the top mages are arcane spec, and 39% are fire spec. Prior to the changes, arcane was around 3%.

While this change in mage spec might seem an oddity and not necessarily important, it does serve to illustrate an key fact: balance changes can and do work. All these small changes to the way that the game is played, be it through small hotfixes or modifications to the encounter designs; these changes eventually lead to an equalization of spec and greater player choice.

Of course in a perfect world these minor changes wouldn't be necessary to correct major deficiencies. But, given that the game is so fluid and changes are a natural part of WoW these days, it's encouraging to see that they have the desired effect.

Is there a method to Ghostcrawler's and his team's madness? Yes, and it appears to be working.

Filed under: Mage

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 5.1 preview for mages

Ice Barrier
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week we realize there's a significant patch coming out any minute now and we haven't even mentioned it yet. Seriously, didn't we just get a whole expansion like yesterday? I'm still trying to figure out what a Shado-Pan is. I hope it's something I can use to make pancakes.

So the build of patch 5.1 that's currently up on the PTR is tagged as a release candidate, which means that the patch could legitimately drop any week now. It's time we discuss it.

We're getting new factions, which thank God, because I keep saying to myself "Self? I sure wish we had more daily quests to do," which my self responds to by punching me in the damn mouth. We're getting a fight club Brawler's Guild to distract us from all those dailies. They're bringing back Wintergrasp and Tol'Barad! We can solo all the old raids without being in a raid group! And of course, we're getting the requisite bunch of tweaks and fixes and quality of life improvements that always come with a patch like this.

But as always, I'm more focused on the changes that specifically affect mages. And while there's nothing here that will make or break the class, there are some class changes in 5.1 that will have a definite impact on the mage class as we delve further into Pandaria.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Mage gear-up ultraguide, raiding edition

Headmaster's Will
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we continue our epic journey through a giant list of equipment, interspersed with brief blocks of text. It'll be quite the trip, so don your robes and take up your staff, and join me in search of slightly better robes and staves.

Part one of this mage gear uber-compendium can be found at this location. It contains everything your mage should be looking for prior to raiding levels, or everything from item level 435 to 463. This week we hit the raid finder and then continue fearlessly forward, all the way to Heart of Fear and the current best-in-slot items for the class.

As with the last installment, the purpose of this list is to provide you with an easy reference guide when you're in the market for an upgrade. Just scroll down to the slot in question and identify the upgrade you want and the source for that upgrade. It's fun and educational!

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Mage gear-up ultraguide, pre-raid edition

Liuyang's Lovely Longstaff
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we have a singular focus: shiny, shiny loot. And the warlocks we will kill with it.

I took some understandable flak last week when my "what to do at level 90" column contained a dearth of specifics. Well, fear not! This week's installment is all specifics, all the time. In fact, this column and the one to follow are going to be filled with so much specific, easily quantifiable information that your brains, trained by months of political campaign speeches to accept vague platitudes as factual policy, may not be able to process it.

My aim over the next two weeks is to provide you with a compendium of all the currently available mage gear from the heroic threshold of item-level 435 on up to best in slot. No matter where your mage is along the gear-grubbing spectrum, you should be able to look at these lists, identify an upgrade, and know where said upgrade is obtained.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: What to do with your level 90 mage

The Klaxxi
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we've hit level 90. We've stood up, stretched, rubbed the mucus out of our eyes, apologized to our wives, kids, pets, plants, and anyone else we have been neglecting, and gone outside to remember what outside looks like. Then we've promptly gone back inside because outside is way more attractive in Pandaria.

So what now?

You're a level 90 mage. Worn and scarred from your battle with Deathwing, you wandered into this new continent, leaning heavily upon your staff, beaten but not bowed. The beauty you found here inspired you; dense bamboo forests shrouded in mystery, jade mountains capped with white, ornate temples steeped in ancient wisdom. You felt the call of the unexplored sink its hooks into your weary flesh, fill you with renewed purpose, prod your aching bones forward into new adventure and fresh conflict.

And now you find yourself invigorated with new power. You've gained experience and wisdom, learned new spells and ancient magic--all things you thought impossible only weeks ago. But now that you've reached the peak of your wizardry once more, the 90th level, still you crave more. You wish to increase your power, obtain rare and deadly weaponry, and yes, murder more warlocks. Seriously, screw those guys.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Tips for leveling your mage from 85 to 90

Mage casting Alter Time in Pandaria
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we take a break from pet battling to actually level our mages. Seriously. Put down that Armadillo Pup for a second and let's get to level 90. I'm talking to myself as much as you. I want you to know that.

I imagine I'm not the only slow-poke out there who's taking their sweet time getting to level 90. My playtime since the expansion hit has been almost non-existent until recently, and in fact I only just dinged max level this week. Still, even though time-constraints kept me from playing as much as I wanted to, it still felt like I was getting to 90 slower than I should have been. What can I say? I like to read the quest text, watch the cutscenes, listen to all the dialogue, explore the countryside. Oh, and I may have indulged in the occasional pet battle. We all have our vices. Though in this case, I'd hazard to say we all have the same vice.

But I did eventually get there, late or not. And for those of you who are still enjoying the journey rather than the destination, I've compiled a few of the thoughts and observations I had along the way into this week's column. For those of you for whom this advice comes too late, I'll start hitting the post-90 content next week. Pinkie swear.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Mage add-on guide for Mists of Pandaria

Male troll mage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we look add-ons your mage might want to download or update for Mists of Pandaria. There are some great mage add-ons out there, but somebody needs to make one that tracks warlocks. I just think it'd make things a bit easier if I knew exactly how much killing I needed to do in a given area at all times.

We're down to just days now, guys. Days. I've been playing this game for the better part of 7 years now and at this point it's sort of amazing that I'm still capable of getting excited about anything it throws at me, but I have to say that I'm pretty damn giddy right now. I want to make a panda. I want to teach it to conjure pastries and hurl fireballs. I want to gain 5 levels on my main. I want to explore Azerothian Asia. I want to learn to sew new and prettier pairs of pants. I want to put a Rune of Power right outside Hot Topic, then just stand there like Gandalf, making sure all the warlocks most certainly do not pass.

But there are still a few items of business to attend to before that expansion hits and I can do all those infinitely fun things. We've already discussed a lot of them. A quick recap:
The item on today's agenda is mage add-ons. Every major patch or expansion is guaranteed to break all of your add-ons. Things you've depended upon for months suddenly stop working, and you look to to the heavens and cry out in anguish, your faith in a benevolent God shaken to its very core because Mage Nuggets is down. Well fear not. Most of the add-ons you love and need are already updated and ready for Mists to drop.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Mists of Pandaria mage guide to stats and reforging

Human fire mage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we talk about how awesome mages are. But did you know that you can make your mage even better? I know! It's like chocolate-covered chocolate. Or a cheesecake that also grants you three wishes. Or an Avengers movie that is also directed by Joss Whedon. Or a warlock that is also dead.

With just over a week of this pre-expansion/post-patch limbo to go, it's high time we covered one last piece of patch 5.0.4 mage business before we turn our eyes almost exclusively toward the impending influx of pandaren and monks and ... pandaren monks. But good news! Most, if not all, of what we discuss here today will also apply in Mists. Though there are always small shifts in stat weight at endgame, we're still quite far removed from knowing exactly how things will shake out when we're all doing hard mode raiding.

This expansion brings some major changes to our stats, radically altering the benefits they do and don't provide. Before we get to each spec and its stat weights, let's look at each stat and familiarize ourselves with its Mists of Pandaria version.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Things I love most about my mage in patch 5.0.4 (so far)

Arcane Barrage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, I'm taking a few precious moments that I'd otherwise be devoting to farming Tol Barad commendations so I can buy my Fox Kit to hammer out an ode to all the things I'm loving right now about patch 5.0.4. I hope you people appreciate my sacrifice. Seriously, guys. There are literally thousands of warlocks who are only still alive right now because the time I spend writing these columns is time I'm not spending killing warlocks.

There was a point on Tuesday night, while trying out my new rotations in the LFR against Ultraxion (several times, thanks to a long string of tanks who apparently have never used a taunt before), where I fully realized that my arcane mage had Living Bomb. I mean, I knew about it, had tried it out on the beta, but had never raided with it and actually inserted it into my rotation. So there I am, blasting away with my arcane mage and his new decidedly-more-than-one-button rotation, and I see that Living Bomb button on my action bar, and I press it, and then a few seconds later it explodes and I refresh it, and what's this? Am I crying? Yes ... yes, I'm crying like a child while I blow up that giant dragon.

So I'm happy with patch 5.0.4. I know not everybody is. Most of the complaints seem to revolve around the new talent system, which we'll get to in a minute. But me? I am completely on board. I have my quibbles. (Why do my Mana Gems vanish after logout again? I thought we fixed that annoyance a few patches ago.) But any minor issues I notice quickly drown in the massive wake of all the happy. And there is a lot of happy.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Class guides and resources for Mists of Pandaria

Class guides and resources for Mists of Pandaria
In the interest of providing a fast, easy-to-use resource for every class, we've gathered up our favorite guides, best lists, and most relevant posts into a convenient list. Check back often, because we'll keep these resources up to date throughout the last days of the Cataclysm and deep into the Mists of Pandaria.

Check back as we add more guides, more resources, and the best links. If your favorite is missing, we'll be adding it soon.

Death knight Druid

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Death Knight, Monk

Mage glyph changes in patch 5.0.4

Mage glyph changes in patch 504
When the new 5.0 patch flips over on Aug. 28, will you be ready with glyphs? Blizzard is recycling old glyphs instead of making new spell IDs and charring old ones. Some glyphs are staying the same, some are new, but some share IDs with old Cataclysm glyphs.

Below is our list of new or changing glyphs for mages. This is not a list of changing tooltips, just which glyphs you ought to have if you want to automatically have the new glyphs when the patch flips over.

Mages have no new glyphs but seem to be the masters of musical glyph chairs, namely Icy Veins and Cone of Cold. If you currently have both, you will have both, so get both just to be sure.

Glyphs that are changing into new majors:
Glyphs that are changing into new minors:

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mage, Mists of Pandaria

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