Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we talk about things that are flammable (hint: Cloth is especially flammable. Warlocks are also especially flammable because of their fel centers).
I hear you pyromancers out there clamoring for me to talk about you. Frost had the more pressing need! It's the only spec to majorly change in patch 5.4. The only change to fire was a 50% nerf to Combustion because - let's face it - it was just too good. Even after the nerf, fire is still really, really good.
But I'm new here, and we haven't talked about mages in quite awhile, so let's take a long view of fire. Prior to Mists, fire saw a lovely and elegant redesign. Fire has always been my spec of choice. Maybe it's the visceral WHOOSH-BOOM that accompanies a Pyroblast! proc, or the satisfying crackle of flame at your fingertips. Whatever it is, you have to admit - fire is the sexiest mage spec.
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.
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.
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.
.@yuvalaziza Both priests and paladins can wield the Holy Light. However, not all wield it through the same means (e.g., Elune, An'she). :) - Sean Copeland (@Loreology) July 22, 2013
Earlier this week, Blizzard Historian Sean Copeland was answering questions on Twitter when the above answer came up. People were upset about it because the answer, while seemingly pretty simplistic, seemed to devalue the importance of Elune and the unique nature of night elf philosophy and religion. Magic, in all its forms and function in Warcraft, is one of those tricky subjects to understand -- almost as tricky as trying to wrap one's brain around the cosmos of the Warcraft universe.
These types of questions get asked a lot, however. And while not everything regarding magic in Warcraft has been fully defined, we can definitely take a look at these different schools of magic and how they relate to one another on Azeroth.
The latest goodies and PTR build changes are up on Wowhead, and there are some very fine things there indeed. My personal favorite? The new achievement from the Proving Grounds: You're Doing It Wrong. You earn this achievement for successfully completing a Silver level proving grounds trial while in a spec not meant for it. I'm already planning my Balance druid spec for the healing challenge, just you all wait.
Other important items of note include the ongoing discussion surrounding the nerfs to Mana Tea for Mistweaver monks, as well as the Frost mage mechanic Mastery: Icicles. These threads are very much of interest to those who play the classes involved, and if you have missed some of the news on these topics it is certainly worth getting up to speed. There are also further notes on class changes and tweaks, the most extensive of which are occurring to monks, as well as a whole host of new vanity items, trinkets, consumables, and pets presumably related to the Timeless Isle.
Classes with cooldown resetting abilities probably won't find one of Ghostcrawler's most recent tweet all that surprising. The abilities (Preparation, Readiness, etc.) have been targeted by several nerfs and changes this expansion. Ghostcrawler wrote the following in reply to a tweet that said it may be time to stop adding cooldown resetting abilities to the game if they're constantly going to be nerfed.
@Divine_Namjoo We agree. I'm not sure that design angle has payed out well.
The abilities are particularly problematic in PvP, where players can chain several attacks or crowd control abilities together within a short period of time. What do you think? Do cooldown resetting abilities belong in the game? Are they overpowered?
Any given class in WoW has a ton of different spells and abilities. More than I can reasonably hotkey to my decidedly un-fancy two-button mouse and $5 thrift shop keyboard, in any case. I do my best with keybinding and click modifiers, but inevitably there are some things that just aren't going to make the cut. Fortunately, these abilities usually present themselves without a whole lot of deliberation.
For example, on my druid, I don't remember the last time I used Soothe. The other ability I find gathering dust in my spellbook is Hibernate. I know I used Hibernate to help with crowd control for trash packs in Ulduar and Ruby Sanctum during Wrath of the Lich King, but since then? Nope. Hibernate does not live on my bars.
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.
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.
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!
Adam didn't convince me to do Moviewatch today -- I just decided to help myself to the job. I have a soft spot in my heart for machinima, mostly because I've always wanted to be a machinima artist myself. Unfortunately, I'm held back by the fact that I use a Mac. Yeah ...
Anyway, today's video is a music video for Sharm'sI Went Fire On My Mage, a parody of Set Fire to the Rain by Adele. The parody tells the story of an arcane mage who decides to switch specs to fire after she realizes she doesn't have the physical endurance to continue playing arcane. (That will make more sense after you watch the video.) Sharm's lyrics are brilliantly funny and fit in well with the original music. In terms of the lyrics, it's definitely one of the stronger WoW music parodies I've heard. And as usual, she nails the execution of the song with her lovely voice. What else would you expect by now?
The video was created by machinima artist Rogahar, who uses a combination of footage from in-game capture and WoW Model Viewer. The video adds a lot to the song, impressing a tone to it which I don't think I'd have noticed nearly as much if I'd just heard the song on its own. The opening and closing shots of the video in particular really set a sad and then remorseful mood to the story.
My only complaint with the video is that by the third chorus, some of the images become a bit too repetitive, but seeing as this is Rogahar's first machinima (to my knowledge), I think it's forgiveable. For now, I'm looking forward to see more from this new artist. Check it out! Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at email@example.com.
The folks at GuildOx have gone through their database and done some simple filtering that reveals some fascinating things about who is raiding heroic Dragon Soul. GuildOx started with level 85 characters, filtered for characters with ilevel 400 gear, and then filtered out anyone with PvP gear. What you see in the chart above is the result of that work -- a representative sample of who out of the over 13 million level 85 characters in the GuildOx database is raiding heroic Dragon Soul.
Warriors aren't doing much better, really. Most other classes seem fairly healthy, with classes that have healing specs doing fairly well and rogues absolutely ruling heroic raiding despite being one of the least-played classes in the game overall. It gets even more interesting once we get to look at the GuildOx spec-by-spec breakdown.
One of the most amazing things about World of Warcraft's addons is that you're always learning something new or adapting your interface to the new standards because you can build on top of what's already there. Sometimes you do the opposite -- take all of the information you've learned and processed but strip it all away and start from stratch. It's liberating to re-form your UI with years of potentially new and useful knowledge and expectations when going to build your legacy UI.
Magistrum sent me a screenshot for his mage's new UI. I looked at the picture first as I usually do when picking out a UI for the column and saw a very basic design that didn't jump out at me while being far from offensive. After reading the short email, it dawned on me that I was looking at this UI all wrong. This wasn't a first attempt at cleanliness with a new player, hitting the game for the first time. No, this was years of learning and understanding what makes your own personal UI yours. The little pieces are all in place where you want them.
It's a troubling yet underpublicized fact that four out of five shadow priests respecced shadow for the first time after experiencing a romantic break-up. Recent studies show that priests are 63% more likely to respec shadow within 72 hours of a break-up, while a separate poll found that 78% of healing priests had seriously considered respeccing to shadow after having an argument with their spouse or significant other. To the tenderhearted healing priest, shadow probably seems like a quick way to steel yourself and mend a broken heart; unfortunately, too few priests realize the two points they're putting into Masochism 'til they're staring down into an empty bottle of Volcanic Potion and wishing they could do the same DPS as a warlock.
The simple way to avoid all these drastic courses of action is, of course, to skip getting your heart broken in the first place. Easier said than done, you think? Perhaps, but knowing the battlefield of love will certainly help you avoid the more obvious pitfalls. Want to know what your best match is? What about your worst? This week, I've got the answers in a special guide to the classes.
Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Josh Myers will be your host today.
As one of the youngest writers on the WoW Insider staff, I was of an acceptable age for Pokémon playing when Pikachu first sailed the ocean blue and Pokémon Red landed in my Game Boy Pocket. It was Christmas Day, 1998. I hadn't quite learned that electronics required battery power to operate at that point, and losing my Charizard because I didn't save once in an eight hour pocket monster marathon would be my most crushing video game defeat until our first 20k HP wipe on Professor Putricide 12 years later.
As you might expect from someone whose first video game glory days involved beating the Elite Four with a Mewtwo and thinking he was the best Pokémon master in the world, I'm a little psyched for companion battling. And by a little excited, I almost forgot to be excited about the rest of the awesome stuff coming in the freshly announced Mists of Pandaria, including the Pandaren themselves.
If you wanted to look at the new talents that will be debuting in Mists of Pandaria, I would hope you followed our liveblog of the talent system overhaul. The short version is you get to pick 1 talent from a pool of 3 talents every 15 levels. By the time you hit the new level cap of 90, you will have 6 talents. Each set of talents does the same thing, more or less, in different ways.
Now, for your perusal, we present a class by class gallery of the new talent system as it stands today. Remember this is subject to change, alot, before Pandaria, launches.
Make no mistake, this is a significant game changer for everyone. This is the dawning of unparalleled flexibility in personal customization choice. Arms warriors with Shockwave, fury warriors with Bladestorm. This is the biggest change to the game since reforging.
There are no tree examples for the upcoming Monk class yet. Galleries of each class's talents after the cut.