May 26th 2009 2:16AM I'll have to disagree with you on that one. The bosses were considerably less interesting in Vanilla. Moreover, the pulls in TBC usually included a lot of different abilities and were pretty unique. Overall, I think Wrath did a bad job with the trash in the instances, but great with the bosses. As for the overall structure, I think the linearity is fine. The "Optional" bosses were pretty much always done. Also, there is plenty of story in the current dungeons if you don't just fly through them.
May 26th 2009 1:55AM Here's an idea, perhaps one I would not like to see in WoW because I am conditioned to the way things are already: What if different slots of gear were available from different levels of play?
Suppose that you have two item levels that are being dropped, 219 and 226.
Five mans drop iLvl 226 Wrist, back, and gloves. Everything else iLvl 219.
10 mans drop iLvl 226 Legs, chest and feet. Everything else iLvl 219.
25 mans drop iLvl 226 Head, weapons, off-hands, shoulders, neck, and finger. Everything else iLvl 219.
You could get 'good' gear (iLvl 219) in every slot by choosing to only do one. You could only get the 'best' gear by hitting everything. The player with the best gear wouldn't necessarily be the one who did all the 25 man content, but the one who was the most diverse. The way I split up the items would still favor 25 mans, since it would have more items at the highest levels, and generally the ones with the largest stat impact.
May 21st 2009 3:08PM Blizzard spent a lot of time working on splitting the content before BC. Think about, how many regions are horde/alliance only in vanilla and compare that to now, where the only difference between the factions is the location of the towns. If you ask me, I think it's a bad thing. Blizzard has, in the process of streamlining their design process to be as inclusive with content updates as possible, removed the separation between factions that was originally so interesting.
I would like to see separate hub cities in the next expansion. Moreover, I think it would be great if there was at least one faction specific dungeon for each side: and by different I don't mean model swapping. I mean legitimately different like wailing caverns and deadmines. There's not that "Horde has it so much better!" or "Alliance gets all the love!" tension out of character that leads to a good faction dynamic.
Apr 26th 2009 7:05PM This may be a reason to invest in dual specs for PvE, grab one spec with three points in the absorption and one without it. That said, so many fights in Ulduar have peripheral damage (Off the top of my head, every fight has it, just in varying amounts), it may be worth putting the points in Absorption in general. However, I believe that if this becomes too popular, Blizzard will simply hotfix Encanter's Absorption to proc only on the mage's shielding effects, greatly reducing it's effectiveness (Mana shield is a huge drain on a mana hungry spec). This would also hurt the Mage/Priest and Rogue/Mage/Priest arena specs, which would be sad to see, indeed.
Feb 12th 2009 4:09AM I must say that Arcane is still quite viable. Having played it for the last two days in raids, I'm still topping the charts and my DPS is about on par with my DPS last week. Just a simple rotation change, and things are back to normal.
Arcane Barrage not worth working into my rotation? Hardly. Arcane Barrage still reset my Arcane Blast stack, and is a quick way to keep myself from going OOM. Is Arcane Barrage better DPS than stacking my Arcane Blasts? No, not anymore. Is Arcane Barrage better than Missile Barrage Arcane Missiles? Never has been, certainly isn't now. Is it better than a standard Arcane Missiles? Definitely. So it still has a definitely place in my rotation.
They really need to stop nerfing Arcane, though, or give it some raid utility. It seems that Blizzard wants this to be a viable raid spec, but they keep trying to cut our legs out from under us. Still, I manage to stay above my Raid in DPS. At this point, I almost want to call myself unnerfable since I've survived 3 major nerfs at this point. But there are only so many more I can take.
Feb 3rd 2009 7:16PM I can see the concern with Arcane, and my suggestion would be to offset nerfs to burst damage by improving Arcane blast. Arcane blast is the big difference between raid Arcane and PvP arcane rotations, so tweaking that would be the optimal solution.
As for frostbolt, a major change they could make is to change the behavior of fingers of frost. Right now, FoF just gives you two spell casts that behave like frozen targets. What it should do, to get that shatter combo feel, is give you a time limit. This way, you have an incentive to let loose an Ice Lance/Cone of Cold right at the end of the timer for extra damage. This would be applicable to pvp as well, but honestly, in PvP most of your shatter combos are on legitimately frozen players.
Jan 24th 2009 6:46PM Yes and No. It doesn't have the strict hit based requirements, but it does have serious mana requirements. Keeping a consistent cycle going without the Tier 7 2-piece bonus and a big mana pool to take advantage of Replenishment and Evocation can be tough.
I don't really have the experience with ungeared Arcane to say whether it is doable or not, though.
Jan 24th 2009 6:43PM The thing about Improved Scorch, though, is that you only need one mage to provide it. Our guild doesn't have enforced specs, but among the mages, we agreed to keep one player as Fireball spec with Improved Scorch to provide the buff. All other mages are currently Arcane: 57/3/11. Forcing everyone to spec for Improved scorch is, in my opinion, somewhat silly.
Jan 24th 2009 5:59PM This probably should be mentioned now. The use of Arcane Missiles with Barrage cutting off the last missile to get the damage bonus on both is considered by some to be an oversight by Blizzard. Some people will argue that you are "Cheating" by making use of this "Exploit." Whether it is a bug or not, it is certainly in the game, and in wide use among arcane mages to increase damage.
I would take this argument with a grain of salt, however. Shatter combos were considered a glitch for some good deal of time, but it would seem that they are still in the game and accepted as a valid use of game mechanics. If it needs to be fixed, it will be. If blizzard decides that the "Arcane Shatter," as it is often called, is a fun mechanic, they may design and balance around it.
Jan 24th 2009 5:50PM Glyphs:
Arcane Blast (This is your biggest source of damage, the glyph improves the Debuff)
Arcane Power (More time on Arcane Power means you can take more advantage of Bloodlust. Since Arcane doesn't get Molten Fury, blowing all cooldowns at Bloodlust time is almost always optimal)
Your choice of either:
It depends on your mana pool, really. If you find yourself running out of mana, Mage armor can easily increase your MP/5 by 400. If you aren't, 5% crit is nothing to laugh at. Ignoring which glyph you have and switching depending on the fight is also a good idea. Some fights, like Kel'thuzad, are just more mana intensive by design. I ran Mage Armor in my last run, and it seemed like I was always right on the edge of OOM when Evocation cooled down, so for my current gear that was a good choice.