Jun 19th 2009 2:06PM Arcane Fortitude is a great talent for PVP and highly underrated. The reason it's looked down on is that people instinctively are skeptical of it (why would a mage want armor?) and that they never actually try it. But take a look at the lower tiers of the arcane tree, which are the only tiers accessible if you are going frost for PVP, and you will generally find that as mages work their way up to imp cs and torment the weak the typical way to do this is 2/2 arcane subtlety + 3/3 arcane focus -> 2/2 magic absorption + 3/5 clearcasting. There are only two other choices at that low point in the tree: arcane stability, which is completely useless for frost PVP, or arcane fortitude. Magic absorption is insanely good for the talent points required so really the choice comes down to 6% chance to clearcast (which is not only a low, unreliable chance but cannot be affected by further talents like arcane potency as they are too far down the tree) or a constant increase in armor greater than what ice armor provides that also scales with gear.
Yes a mage should not be getting hit, and yes a mage is useless without mana, but in real PVP it isn't that simple: cooldowns on escape spells are often up, people have pvp trinkets to escape your snares and beat on you, you get interrupted and silenced, you have more than one person attacking you. All that means that mages do actually get hit in PVP, particularily in things like pug BGs. A lot of the time, especially for fresh undergeared 80 mages, your health pool is gone long before your mana pool is, and there are more options a mage has to recover their mana pool. Arcane fortitude actually provides a fair amount of survivability when defending nodes for example and you get jumped by a rogue, because it makes each point of health worth more. Against a physical class an 8% damage reduction from armor is effectively another 8% stamina. Nothing to scoff at even if we all would prefer it was a 2000% increase, or the ability to equip plate, or some other such unrealistic nonsense.