Nov 13th 2011 7:18AM I hate all of this tbh. Gimme back my friggin' 51 talent points!
I didn't like TBC that much, steampunk ain't my thing, but it was srsly fun to respec every week and try something new.
Arcane pvp with spellreflect on fire ward (lovely way to get the edge on ele shamans).
Arcane Fire, Arcane Frost, Full Frost, Full Fire, Arcane Fire with scorch/fireblast/arcaneblast rotation. The only thing i didn't try was Full Arcane, but it was deffo working. All of these specs allowed for a top rating dps wise in my guild (tho full fire was probably the winner). The days when one could mix things up and create specs to suit special rotations are deffo over, but this "let's not leave any important dps choices to the player"-crap.... it makes me wanna play Diablo3 instead.
Oct 24th 2011 5:39PM I totally agree that frost is the most fun spec to play. And dps wise i believe it has been competitive to arcane since 4.2... for single target damage. However i don't really like the static channeling of frost's Blizzard AoE. And like i've tried to tell Mr. Belt (and almost every mage i meet), Arcane has some seriously nice AoE at the moment. Fire is better, but only if the RNG is with you.
Regardless, i'm sticking to Arcane as long as i'm raid leading. While i do believe that playing Arcane perfect require a lot of skill, you can do quite well without paying much attention, leaving more time to try and shout guildies out of the fire they're standing in. ;)
Aug 8th 2011 9:36AM I'd also like to add, once again, that arcane aoe is superb! And frost aoe is still just mediocre. Seriously Mr. Belt, believe me!
Also, that t12 4set bonus looks kinda fun for arcane too. Arcane power goes from 110% spellcost to 90% spellcost. That's 18% less mana use while nuking. Not sure how that will transfer into dps, but it doesn't look bad at all!
Aug 5th 2011 10:43AM For dungeon play, the easy fix is spec arcane. Why? Because arcane is UNBALANCED for dungeon play. It quite simply overperforms on trash mobs, specially compared to fire. When players have seen what arcane mages can do, and compare the direct damage of an arcane mage glass cannon that of one who needs a good line of juicy dots to get going, you simply can't win. Even if you feel arcane is not for you, you will most likely do a lot better just by changing spec.
There are some ways to improve fire play tho, even in dungeons.
Glyph for Living Bomb instead of Pyroblast! Use Blast Wave often. Your big dmg, even on trash pulls, is from combustion being impacted to several targets. But you won't have time to be a perfectionist! That perfect line of dots you're looking for is usually not worth it, compared to the option of getting that combustion ticking fast and on several targets right away. For quick trash packs, this play style usually works: Put your Living Bomb up, spam Fireball to you get ONE good crit, then use Blastwave to trigger your Impact, and do an early Combustion -> Impact (carefull not to impact too soon, or you Combustion won't spread). You will usually find that you do Fire Blast a lot more on trash packs, so it might be worth it to get the talents in improved fire Blast as well.
Current stat calcs for fire usually has intellect at around twice the value as the next best stat (spellpower not included). For arcane, intellect is usually nearly four times as good as the next best stat. So the gap is likely to widen with increased ilvl.
I don't believe Blizzard will allow Fire to lag behind for eternity. But for now, it really is a bit behind. You can either pollish your fire play and wait for the spec to shine again, or you can test out arcane and frost (frost is really loads of fun btw). But pound for pound, as it is now, you can't compete with arcane in dungeons. That is a reality you will have to accept methinks.
PS: Fire stacks up a lot better vs arcane on boss fights. Set your damage meter to track boss fight segments only, and you might feel better about yourself ;)
Aug 2nd 2011 10:35AM I think, at least for those who focus on pve endgame content, it's natural to think "how can i get better?". At least, that's what i do. I tweak gear and spec and try everything to squeeze out that little bit of extra dps. And i would like others to think so as well. Thus, the "we're doing okay so why should i make an effort" attitude REALLY annoys me. But even so, people play the game for very different reasons. Even if i find it annoying, i have no right to push my ideals players i hardly know. So i guess it comes down to that Steffan. Why do you play? If you aim to raid, methinks you should aim higher than 10k dps. And you never think "we're okay so why improve". On the other hand, if you're an alt-a-holic, or just do a dungeon now and then when you have time, the important part is to have fun, and sitting down theorycrafting might not be what you're after.
I hope that answer helps, i did my best ^^
Jul 31st 2011 9:53PM Not quite sure how you manage to get cleaved when most melee avoid it ;)
I do just fine with the AB AE spam. Random aggro due to AE simply doesn't happen. EVER! Sometimes the AB i weave in cause aggro, if i don't have a boss to land it on. But even if the tank is comatose, there's no way you will be able to overthreat other aoe'ers with AE (provided you have 2/2 in improved AE). As for standing in fire, yet again, melee avoid it just fine, so mages can too.
Jul 31st 2011 9:23PM Sorry about that extra "some" sneaking in there at the start. It's stuck there, sadly, doing it's best to attract attention. Just overlook it and maybe it will go away.
Jul 31st 2011 9:05PM Excellent piece mr Belt!
I would like to shout "I LIKE PIE!" at the top of my lungs. But the honest fact is that i went with cake, cause the other mage in my guild had such strong feelings about Pie.
Also, cake is nice and handy when you're only keeping half an eye on what you're doing yourself, and at least one eye (hopefully one and a half) on what sort of fire the rest of your group have found to warm their feet. Eating pie without paying attention can lead some some really embarrassing moments.
On the subject of pie and cake, not to mention conception and reality, i would like to, once again, advocate my stance on arcane aoe. When Blizzard buffed up their namesake spell, and the collective roar of celebration rose up from arcane mages all around Azeroth, i nearly cried my eyes out (which would have been really bad both for me and for my band of kamikaze raiders). Arcane explosion wasn't half bad, even at the start of Cataclysm. The proximity requirement provided some challenges, and still does i guess. But a good arcane mage does not spend his time mourning his limitations (of which he has many), he finds ways to work around them. With the help of distractions such as magical images, tanks and triggerhappy firemages, arcane mages could get in there, do the job, and do it well! You wouldn't find yourself at the top of the damage meters, unless the firemage died from initial aggro, but you wouldn't be at the bottom either. That place would be reserved for frost mages, or even worse, arcane mages who pretended to be frost mages. Even so, most arcane mages seemed to have their minds firmly stuck in the past, hellbent in their fanatical belief that going nuts with sparkly purple bubbles of arcane death was something you did when you were tired of living.
With the changes introduced in 4.2, arcane explosion now provides quite possibly some of the best and most reliable aoe damage there is, not just when it comes to mages, but across the board. Fire might outshine arcane every 2 minutes, provided the God of Random Numbers, let's call her Shirley, smiles uppon you, and you remember not to spend that impact proc before your combustion has had time to settle in. In times of disaster tho, Shirley is usually nowhere to be seen, and combustion is usually busy trying to cool down. Even with a planned group encounter, timed and prepared for, Shirley might be absent, or at least so late that you have to start without her. Purple bubbles of arcane death on the other hand has no need for Shirley. Fill that mana bar up, prepare some stacks of arcane blast, and you're ready to fill the room with indiscriminate purple destruction. Weave in a well aimed arcane blast at something hostile, like Occu'thar (or a warlock), every 5th or so cast, and aoe fights will be a breeze. Easy as cake.
On a slightly different subject, neither about cake nor pie, theorycrafting has suggested frost to be well up there with fire for mage raid dps. Blizzard devs also gave some very interesting answers about frost mages, and how the common conception can even alter reality (or at least the damage charts from Azeroth). If you could be so kind, Christian Belt, please read http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2721582834 (or if you've already read it, read it again). I think it could make for some interesting perspectives in your upcoming columns, both about frost mages and about common conception.
May 30th 2011 9:50PM Well spoken. Stats work in synergy. Meaning, they make each other stronger. This also means that the value of a stat depends on your current gear. If you have a gazillion intellect and no hit, you will soon find that hit is quite a lot better than additional intellect. In some cases this MIGHT not be true.
I read on EJ a fair bit at the start of Cata, but the theorycrafting done there is slow at best (i still haven't seen anything conclusive about frost-mage soft-crit-cap for instance). I seem to remember it suggested by EJ to gem and enchant aggressively for intellect, even at the cost of hitcap, but i THINK that this was advice for entry level raid gear, under the assumption that one would reforge and in other ways get hit as best one could. In addition, a lot of the math done on EJ are based on simulators, which can not compare to the real thing. Back when Cataclysm was fresh, and the advice from EJ about prioritising hit over int was given, the different simulators could (and often would) give widely different advice. And since then a good few things have happened to the game mechanics as well. In short, the advice people seem to fancy quoting from EJ, that one should gem Int over Hit, stands on quite shaky ground these days.
Christian Belt's advice on the other hand seems quite sound. 1% hit will ALWAYS be slightly more than 1% increased damage, until you reach the hit cap. That's quite good value for only a little over 100 statpoints.
On the other hand, the percentage of damage increased by 100 intellect will be determined by your other stats: HIT, mastery, crit and haste. Not to forget Intellect. Given the new gear options provided by ZG/ZA, i find it unlikely that a well geared mage should want to take intellect over hit, unless hit-capped.
TL;DR. Christian Belt might very well be wrong, but don't just go quoting some EJ post and pretend it's the absolute truth. Go for hitcap is sound advice ;)
May 30th 2011 9:15PM When killing warlocks, one should still have 4% hit... just to be on the safe side =)