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Posts with tag arcane-blast

Arcane Brilliance: Putting the brilliance back in arcane

A draenei mage wearing a purple robe floats in midair above the city of Dalaran
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Stacey Landry is the resident mage here, bender of space and time, conjurer of delicious confectioneries and expert at dressing well while setting things on fire.

I haven't forgotten the arcane among us. When it comes to flavor, arcane mages have it in spades. All of the now definitive mage abilities - Alter Time, Time Warp, Arcane Explosion - these all stem from the power of the arcane. These mages are not elementalists, but delvers into the arcane secrets, the essence of magic itself. Arcane mages embody everything you think of when you think "wizard," mysterious and powerful, and with sparkly spell effects.

I've played arcane over the years at various times, usually when it was too good to ignore as a top-performing spec. Mists introduced some major changes to arcane, even from patch to patch. The charges of Arcane Power went from six to four. The cooldown on Rune of Power was removed. The range of Rune of Power's effect was increased. Scorch went baseline for fire - not a bad result for fire, but tough if you were an arcane mage. Ice Floes is not a panacea when it comes to movement and casting, though the cool down and charges on it were also adjusted for the better.

To be completely clear: Arcane mages aren't having a hard time in terms of damage output. Currently arcane is very high performing. If you look at some of the numbers from various sources, arcane is not just high, it's the highest. That hasn't necessarily made it popular, though, for a number of reasons. Arcane is facing a few challenges.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Pet battles are magic with the Nether Faerie Dragon

Nether Faerie Dragon
At its most basic level, pet battles are a game of rock, paper, scissors. Flying beats Aquatic, Aquatic beats Elemental, and so forth. However, there are a few pets that change up that dynamic and add another level of complexity to the system. The Nether Faerie Dragon, for example, is a Flying pet. Despite its Flying designation, it abandons most stock Flying abilities, possessing a range of powerful Magic abilities instead.

Its abilities are as follows: Only two out of six spells on this Flying-type pet are actually Flying abilities, while the rest are Magic.

Choosing between Slicing Wind and Evanescence is purely a matter of personal preference -- the former provides more offensive versatility while the latter provides more defensive options. However, it almost seems foolish to pass up the deadly combination of Arcane Blast and Moonfire.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: First impressions of arcane in Mists of Pandaria

Nether Tempest after kiting for a while.
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Christian Belt is the normal archmage, but rumor has it that he's currently trapped in one of many hell dimensions. The Simbul has gone to investigate, leaving Senior Understudy and Last Surviving Student Josh Myers to cover this week's article.

I've had a love/hate relationship with arcane. As I mentioned last week, when I first started my mage I had every intention of playing arcane ... but that was back in The Burning Crusade, when phrases like class balance and raid-viable didn't make sense to me. When my mage started growing in levels and I found out the best raiding spec for mages was destruction warlock, I jumped ship.

My mage hit level cap during the height of arcane's PvE dominance in Wrath of the Lich King, and I decided it wasn't the spec for me. When my mage capped again in Cataclysm and started preparing to raid, frost was enjoying its brief period as a semi-viable spec, and I had a secondary fire spec for Alysrazor. I haven't had much cause to go arcane lately, beyond Spine of Deathwing when we were progressing, and up until now I was pretty glad for that fact.

That is, until I hit beta. After writing my first impressions of both frost and fire and totally dropping the ball on my original arcane speculations for MoP (pro tip: Arcane Missiles is still a proc), I thought it was my duty to try out arcane. I told myself that for the sake of science and fairness, I'd give arcane a shot. After a night of streaming dungeon runs, dummy testing, and some Jade Forest leveling, I almost feel like I owe arcane a huge apology -- because in MoP, it's a legitimately fun spec.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: MoP talent calculator changes for mages, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we finish what we started in our last cloumn, which will involve wild speculation, irresponsible levels of optimism, and a giddy and in all likelihood unwarranted sense of unchecked excitement about tooltips.

If you missed part one, what were you thinking? We talked about the updated Mists of Pandaria talents and even made some disparaging comments about warlocks. It was super fun -- you should go check it out. But hurry up about it.

Because we have new spells to discuss.

Like that one up there in the picture. It's rad.

Arcane spells

Arcane Charge An Arcane Charge, generated by Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles, and consumed by Arcane Barrage. Stacks up to 4 times (Passive).

This is a brand new spell, and it's by far the single biggest game-changer for arcane mages in the new calculator. You pick it up if you spec arcane at level 10, alongside good old Arcane Blast, and it changes how that spell works, along with every other major arcane nuke.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Time to talk about the mage tier 13 set bonuses

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we take a look at the newly announced and quickly revised mage tier 13 set bonuses. I've provided a picture of the tier 13 helm above. Also, I am a liar.

So yeah, that isn't really the mage tier 13 helm at all. No matter how desperately I want it to be.

Still, any clothing that makes me look like a time chicken wizard is welcome. But we've spent enough time in past columns discussing the appearance of our tier 13 set. It's high time we started the conversation about the actual set bonuses this gear will provide. And what a conversation it will be ...

Mage tier 13 set bonuses:
  • Two-piece bonus Your Arcane Blast has a 100% chance, and your Fireball and Frostbolt spells have a 50% chance, to grant Stolen Time, increasing your haste rating by 50 for 30 seconds and stacking up to 10 times. When Arcane Power, Combustion, or Icy Veins expires, all stacks of Stolen Time are lost.
  • Four-piece bonus Each stack of Stolen Time also reduces the cooldown of Arcane Power by 7 seconds, Combustion by 4 seconds, and Icy Veins by 6 seconds.
All right -- let's discuss, shall we?

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Beginner's guide to being a mage

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're taking a trip through the first 20 levels of the game, which are now eternal. The important thing to remember about rolling a mage is that you've made the right choice; congratulations.

Between the newly adopted unending demo, the extended Recruit-a-Friend promotion, and the freshly bargain-priced WoW/The Burning Crusade bundle, it seems Blizzard is making a concerted effort to woo new players. And from my limited viewpoint, it seems to be working.

I have a brother, a year and some change younger than me, who doesn't live near me. This sucks, because he and I have absolutely everything in common. We grew up taking turns watching each other play Shining Force, or designing Dungeons & Dragons campaigns to force each other to play through, but then college, family, and career separated us. I'm here in Las Vegas playing copious amounts of video games and ignoring my kids, and he's at Purdue, working on his doctorate and just generally making me ashamed of the waste my life has become. Naturally, I've been trying for years to drag him down to my level. Thus far he's resisted, but when I notified him of these new opportunities to play the game on the cheap, he finally took the plunge.

And rolled a warrior.

Sigh.

Oh well. At least it wasn't a warlock, right?

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: The state of the arcane mage

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Well, almost every week. Okay, every other week. Semiannually. Every leap year.

Seriously, sorry about the inconsistency lately. Family illness struck last week, and though the situation made it impossible for me to write a column, I still feel bad about leaving you guys in the lurch. I'll do everything in my power to keep the column weekly going forward. Because if I don't, the warlocks win. And they can never win, you guys. Never.

With that out of the way, we're at the point in the expansion when most of what I said about the various specs early on is now almost completely false. I feel it is time again for me to address the mage nation about the state of the mage. This time around, though, I thought I'd tackle each spec separately, since the state of the mage is quite different depending upon what sort of mage you happen to be. Over the next three weeks, we'll take a hard look at the state of the three mage specs, focusing on PVE, and see where we're at as a class.

We start this week with the left-most mage spec: arcane.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 4.2 changes, clarifications and legendary staves

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we discuss the perils of writing about the PTR, which stands for "Public Test Realm." For a very long time, I thought it stood for "Pirate Taco Restaurant," which I thought sounded more fun, frankly.

Yes, it's always a good time when I write something and the testing process immediately renders almost every word of it completely moot. Testing is testing, I guess, and absolutely everything that pops up on the PTR at pretty much any stage of the testing cycle is entirely subject to change. So remember what we talked about last week? The whole tier 12 set bonus thing?

No longer true.

Well, okay, I guess some of it still holds true, but not the really interesting part. Gone is the moving Arcane Missiles. To me, that was the single most significant bonus being offered by the tier 12 set for mages, but it's been removed entirely in the latest PTR build. The other bonuses remain, in slightly altered form, but mobile missiles is apparently out.

Still, I'm not perturbed, other than my simmering rage at having a thousand or so of my words -- wrung from my brain only a week prior, sweat out over a hot (or at least lukewarm, perhaps slightly moist) keyboard, painstakingly arranged into mildly pleasing, competently conjugated sentences -- become instantly irrelevant. You see, I actually think this could end up being a good thing for mages, and I promise that in a minute or two I will tell you why I think that, and the answer will not be "because of all that paint I huffed."

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: On the 12th tier and the set bonuses thereof

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we'll be discussing the Firelands patch and the sweet new mage gear it will be providing to us. Also, what is that thing sticking out of our helmets? Is that a tail? Made of fire? A flaming headtail of magical might?

So we're only a few weeks into patch 4.1, and already our sights are focused squarely on patch 4.2. You can hardly blame us, though. I mean, while I am thoroughly enjoying the current patch, what with its freshly recycled 5-man content and its new Dungeon Finder Call to Arms that I don't seem to benefit from in the slightest (my queue times are right back up to 30 minutes, thanks), but I think we can all agree that for a major content patch, 4.1 was substantially light on ... well, content.

Not so with 4.2. Patch 4.2 will be bringing us the Firelands, which is apparently a raid where epic cupcakes fall from the sky like rain, hardcore raiders experience orgasms just by zoning in, and we all ride flaming unicorns across lava bridges to do battle with volcanic dragon manticores. I'm not kidding. The entire raid sounds like something you'd see painted across the side of a rock band tour van in the '70s. We're also getting two new daily quest areas with their own epic loot vendors, and yes, the game's first legendary staff. And no, it doesn't have spirit on it.

New raid content means new tier sets, and this time around, we're reaching a cool dozen. The tier 12 set bonuses are interesting, to say the least, and bear a bit of looking at. Keep in mind, though, as we discuss these bonuses that we're still early in the PTR process, and everything on the test realms right now is entirely subject to change -- which is, in this case, a very good thing.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Things I want to see changed, arcane edition

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we do what mages do best, if you don't count brutal warlock-murder: we whine. Oh relax; it's constructive whining. I promise.

OK, I'm not going to sit here and pretend mages are terrible. I'll leave that to the official forums. The honest truth is that we're a more than capable DPS class, with two currently mediocre specs (one of which is making some substantial strides on the PTR) and one fairly spectacular one. We have one dominant PvP spec, and two others that can kind of hold their own if you don't look too closely at them. In this game, that's pretty much par for the class-balance course.

So I'm not saying the end is nigh, Blizzard is the root of all evil, time to re-roll a death knight, I'm canceling my subscription and buying Rift, or anything else equally ridiculous. And I'm not going to spend a thousand words complaining about stupid things. We have it pretty good, all things considered, and I'm simply not jaded enough yet to ignore that fact.

But the fact remains that the mage class has been pretty damn stagnant for some time now. We've now gone through two straight expansions with no discernible face-lift to speak of, while other classes have undergone some fairly seismic reboots. For the most part, that's not a bad thing. It means we're doing okay, or at least the class design team feels like we are. I tend to agree, but there are still a few nagging problems with our class that I feel need to be addressed. When the status quo has flaws -- even if those flaws are comparatively minor -- then maybe the status quo simply isn't good enough.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: The new and improved arcane tree in patch 4.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Unless it's a week when I move into a new house and Cox Cable decides my internet doesn't need to be hooked up on the same day week I tell them I need it hooked up. Also, why does my shower only produce cold water when the sink in the same bathroom is so hot it is capable of scalding flesh from bone, and why ... why when I flush the toilet does it sound as if my entire house is freeing itself from its terrestrial moorings and returning to the mothership?

Before we begin, I'd like to see a show of hands. Are you a mage? Okay, good. Now, put your hand down if you're a fire mage. Hoo boy. We just lost a lot of hands. Now frost mages can put their hands down. Now warlocks who only came here because you secretly hate yourselves and want to hear about how much you suck. Okay. I see there are still some hands up. Arcane mages, you stalwart few: This column is mostly for you.

While I was away, the PTR patch notes for 4.1 were updated, and there are more than a few important items for mages in there. Let's get the non-arcane news out of the way first, so everybody who's too good for a little Arcane Blast spam and Mana Adept management can move on with their day.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 4.1 PTR for mages, (very) early edition

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we discuss the upcoming patch 4.1, which hit the PTR in the wee hours of Thursday here in the North Americas, sending WoW bloggers everywhere into an early morning, sleep-deprived fit of feverish typing, followed by a deep and possibly fatal sugar and caffeine coma. For those who were lost, we mourn you -- but not for long because we gots deadlines, yo.

So yeah. In case you've been stranded in some Mesopotamian nation or another without internet access for the past few days, we've got a new patch on the PTR. It's not the most earth-shattering patch we've seen, but for some reason I'm just inordinately excited about it. I woke up this morning with dreams of raptors, tiger/panthers, and armored bears fresh in my mind. I was quite sad when Zul'Gurub vanished from the game, but every time I flew over that part of Stranglethorn Vale and saw that the ancient troll city was still there, empty and tigerless, I felt a surge of hope that until the structures themselves vanished, the instance wasn't truly gone.

Just the idea that Blizzard is willing to take old raids and turn them into heroic 5-mans for me to churn through in my daily valor point farming efforts is a cause for celebration. Though old 5-mans get new life whenever you level a new alt through the old content, no single part of the game falls into misuse more completely than obsolete endgame content. To see some of it repurposed in such a relevant way, well ... I'm just giddy. Like a schoolgirl, only male and 30ish. Similar outfits, though. Cough.

So there's a lot there to look forward to, you may be saying, but what about mages? I come here to read about magecraft and also to hear about how warlocks drink their own urine. Where's the info on the parts of the patch that are specific to me? I hear you, reader who I just made up. Read on, and we'll talk all about the few but significant mage changes we can expect in patch 4.1.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: News and notes for mages from PTR patch 4.0.6

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, a magical journey awaits ... a fantastic voyage through a mystical realm. I speak, of course, of the Public Test Realm, and the wondrous patch notes that dwell therein.

Now before we begin, I should make it clear that mages aren't getting anything even remotely earth-shattering in patch 4.0.6. It's not like Blizzard is letting us autofire while moving or anything. But a patch is still a patch. Things are going to change, and though mages have been left largely un-fiddled-around-with (at least in comparison to many other classes), we do have some incoming alterations to be aware of.

So with our expectations in an appropriately subdued state, let's peek beyond the jump for an annotated look at what be happening, yo.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Things I'm thankful for

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, Arcane Brilliance is feeling especially festive. Pyroblasting a turkey will do that.

So apparently it's the holiday season. I'm still burping up cranberries and stuffing, my wife has started forcing Christmas music upon me (and frankly, if it's not Mannheim Steamroller, I don't want to hear it), and I've reached the point in the year when -- for my own mental well-being -- I refuse to look at a bank statement until February. To those of you who survived yesterday's annual gladiatorial bloodletting and emerged victorious from the front doors of Walmart or Old Navy, hoisting your hard-won set of hand towels above your head like a trophy: I salute you. To those of you who, like me, stayed home and bought stuff on Steam and Xbox Live: I also salute you, only I do so from my chair, by typing in an emote. Because, really, we're all pretty lazy. But damned if I don't feel well rested.

In deference to the spirit of the season, we here at Arcane Brilliance thought it might be nice to spend a column thinking about the things we're grateful right now. You'll find the mage-related stuff behind the jump, but here's my non-mage-related short list of awesome things:
  1. flatbread chicken sandwiches
  2. getting randomly tagged on Dragon Quest IX while walking through the airport Tuesday night
  3. troll druid cat form
  4. The Walking Dead
  5. Mumford and Sons
  6. discovering the brilliance of Arrested Development and Friday Night Lights on Netflix
Taco Bell, Netflix, Square Enix, etc. ... feel free to make any and all endorsement checks out to Christian Belt, care of WoW Insider. Also, screw you, AMC, for canceling Rubicon. I was just starting to enjoy that one. And screw you double, FOX, for putting Fringe on Fridays, where all good FOX shows go to die.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Arcane mage Cataclysm talent analysis

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, it's the arcane tree's turn to go under the microscope. If you're looking for our coverage of the fire and frost tree, you can find it here and here.

You've no doubt been waiting breathlessly, hammering the F5 key over and over in the hopes that this time, instead of last week's Arcane Brilliance, you'll see this week's Arcane Brilliance on your computer screen. You've likely written your local congressman, put up "Have you seen this weekly internet mage column?" posters in your neighborhood, and perhaps even undertaken a massive, 120 hour quest involving a rotating roster of companions embodying various and sundry fantasy archetypes in order to locate the one thing that can fell the evil emperor and save your dying world: Arcane Brilliance.

Or maybe you stumbled upon this page while looking for hot mage porn. Here at Arcane Brilliance, we don't judge. Also, we want links.

Either way, here you are! And here I am also, itching to deliver the final part in our increasingly unwieldy compendium of mage talent analyses (analysises? analysi?) for the coming Cataclysm. This week we tackle the mysteries of the arcane tree, which is both the left-most mage talent tree, and also a powerful warlock-zombie-killing option in the forthcoming lawn-defense game, Awesome Mage Plants vs Smelly Warlock Zombies. Or if it isn't, it totally should be. Get on that, Popcap.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Cataclysm

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