Nov 14th 2010 4:00AM Reliable sources say that early frost also lowers the GCD for that spell, so there are no haste cap issues with the talent. Since the cooldown stays the same, but the cast time reduction is probably calculated before haste, the talent is at its most valuable when you have a low amount of haste. At 0 haste, it will save you 0.6 seconds every ~15 seconds, which makes it a max 4% DPS increase for two talent points. With 50% haste on average, it gives you 2.7% at best for two points, which is still good if you just want DPS from your talents.
I could easily write an early frost tracking module for early frost in power auras. All you need to do is keep track of when it gets used and that can only be when a frostbolt is cast, so you look at frostbolt cast times vs. another spell and detect the "extra haste". Once it's used, you can either keep looking for the cast time to change again or start a 15 second cooldown and then make sure the cast time dropped again. Writing this, I'm not sure if starting a cast uses the effect or if you actually have to finish (easy enough to find out using a random mob, critter or target dummy).
Detecting when it was used might be enough for power auras: you could show an aura when early frost is not available and then animate & hide that aura a second or two before early frost is available again.
Early frost is not a great replacement for rank 1 frostbolt because of the lack of control.
Nov 13th 2010 5:10PM Early frost is actually pretty good, although with all the haste at level 80, it's not all that great. It will be good at least with early level 85 gear. The thing to note is that it apparently also lowers your global cooldown for the frostbolt, so it doesn't really haste cap.
Self-buffed you need only about 23% crit (goes over 33% with raid buffs/debuffs), so the crit talent isn't fantastic. If you are over the soft cap, about 40%-45% of your damage is going to be capped. It's probably better per point than ice floes though.
Ice floes looks great on the surface, but raid encounters are usually short enough that the reduction on cold snap doesn't help you much and it's quite possible that the reduction on the IV cooldown doesn't give you an opportunity to use the ability an extra time. It's a beneficial talent, but at 85, I doubt I'll have 3/3 in there simply because it's such a marginal DPS increase.
Piercing chill is currently not working as you would expect (beta & live). When you crit with your frostbolt, it will apply an extra chill even when there's just one target. That's why brain freeze and fingers of frost are proccing like crazy for frost on live. On beta, fingers of frost proc chance was lowered, but it's probably because Blizzard didn't notice that piercing chill wasn't working quite as intended.
With all those procs on live, improved freeze doesn't all that great. I suspect that at 85 it will feel much better. Three points feels like a heavy price for a talent that feels useless with just one or two points in it. I think it would be more interesting if it was a 2 point talent that grants either one or two charges of fingers of frost when freeze is used.
Deep freeze is good right now. It will be even better when it will be fixed and allowed to scale with mastery.
Mar 9th 2010 6:48PM BTW, on the topic of Lady Deathwhisper & Darnavan... Don't take the advice in the article: if you get mind-controlled, it wipes your threat, so you lose ability to kite Darnavan. It's much better to put a class with a taunt (like a DK) on Darnavan and just let the mage play normally.
I don't remember there being mind controls on 10 man (at least not normal difficulty), so on 10 man a frost mage might be OK.
Mar 7th 2010 6:57AM Frostfire plays like fire. Frostfire doesn't have a pet and doesn't have ice barrier or cold snap.
I have to say I like this edition of Arcane Brilliance. I have two mages and my main has done all of its raiding as frost. I tried arcane briefly on my alt and didn't find it to my liking, so now both mages are frost. I'm really pleased that Deep Freeze is now included in the frost PvE build. When I played arcane on my alt, I think one of the nice features of arcane was Slow. I think players need to have more than just strong DPS to be fun to play.
It will be interesting to see how arcane performs after the change in Incanter's Absorption goes live. Looking at the fights where arcane performs really well, the common factor seems to be a very high uptime of the IA buff.
Arcane has the lowest threat and once 3.3.3 goes live, fire specs will have similar threat:damage ratios as frost. Frost threat is somewhat front-loaded because of deep freeze, IV and various item procs on top of those. If mirror images has to be saved back for a later phase in the fight, the frost mage might have to hold back on using deep freeze early in the fight.
Unfortunately the question of bringing a good frost mage vs. an average arcane mage isn't all that simple. The frost mage may do good damage as frost, but as long as "it is commonly known that arcane is vastly better than frost", the raid leaders will pressure the frost mage to spec arcane. Their logic is that the same mage playing arcane will do better than the one playing frost. I used quotes there because it's something that is commonly said, but it's a very narrow view of evaluating mage performance.
Mages are extremely fragile. Frost mages are slightly less fragile (ice barrier, cold snap, magic absorption, arctic winds). I think more raids are wiping because players are dying early than because of lack of DPS. As frost, I'm pretty much always at the bottom of the damage taken chart, which means that healers have an easier job keeping the whole raid alive (especially tanks).
Looking at ICC encounters, Frost works extremely well on Blood Princes (the elemental is excellent on the kinetic bombs) and Valithria Dreamwalker (good AOE, deep freeze as an extra interrupt/stun, good defenses, AOE kiting on the maggots).
Frost is slightly weaker on DPS on Blood Queen, because the water elemental doesn't scale with the vampiric bite. However, that fight is extremely healer-intensive as well and arcane mages are often the first ones to die and cause a wipe.
The SPELL_SUMMON event for the water elemental went missing in patch 3.3. Because of that, frost DPS appears up to 1000 dps lower than it really is on online logging sites. Very few mages are playing frost, so the sample size is very small as well.
I think if Blizzard wants to further buff frost without affecting PvP in any way, they should increase the critical strike scaling of spells when the crit chance is higher than about 85%. With fingers of frost active, 85% is very easy to reach in a raid, but nearly impossible in PvP. By far the weakest feature of frost is crit scaling.
Jan 16th 2010 7:20PM It puzzles me why Blizzard doesn't allow players to set two or three passwords:
- One to log in to the game.
- One to do account management (possibly same as above).
- One for low security applications like browsing forums and using armory calendar.
Maybe the authenticator could be set into a mode where the code is only required if your IP has changed or it has been more than 2 hours since your last login? This would allow you to use your normal password if/when the game crashes or you get disconnected during a raid.