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Posts with tag arcane-blast

Arcane Brilliance: Catching up on mage Cataclysm changes

Each week, Arcane Brilliance steps out of a portal from parts unknown, bringing with it a knapsack full of delicious mage content conjured expressly for your consumption. Try not to overconsume, though. Nothing's worse than waking up one morning to discover your robes don't fit and your fingers are too chubby to waggle your wand properly.

And after that culinary intro joke, it's time we got to the meat of the matter -- specifically, the Cataclysm beta and the constant mage changes going on therein. Each week (and sometimes more than once during each week), a new beta build hits that brings more new stuff for mages. Sometimes these changes are big, and sometimes they're not, but I feel like it's high time we spent a column talking about the more recent ones. I've let like five builds go by without dealing specifically with this stuff, so we'd better get going.

I figure we'll start with the most important change and move forward from there.

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

Arcane Brilliance: These are a few of my favorite things

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column from the author of Don't Break My Sheep: Diary of an Angry Mage and 101 Ways to Cook Warlock.

This is going to be slightly shorter and even more rushed than usual, guys, because new baby. I'd post pictures, but this is the internet. I'll wait till he's a bit older and can ruin his own life. The kid's our third, our first boy, and I'll only say one thing about that: After two girls, I simply wasn't prepared for the peeing. Seriously, the kid fires that thing straight up, without warning, and with laser precision. I've taken to placing a washcloth over his loins during changings, a tip suggested by my genius wife.

Now that I've grossed you out, let's move on to today's topic: awesomeness. Paternity leave from work has given me some extra time between hilarious eye-peeing episodes to fiddle in earnest with my mage on the beta. And though I have some complaints, I'll save them for another week, one in which I'm not still basking in the afterglow of seeing my wife push a baby out from her nether regions. I'm too happy to complain this week, so if you've come here looking for constructive criticism, you're in the wrong place. Join me after the jump for a few of my favorite things about each of the three mage specs in the beta.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Why Mana Adept might not suck

It's time again for another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that needs more screenshots. Yes, I'm reminding all of you that I need more pictures of mages to open this column with. They can be any pictures of mages, whether they're mages killing warlocks, or mages setting warlocks on fire, or mages destroying a warlock's self-esteem, or a mage stealing a warlock's lunch money, or a mage sneaking into a warlock's backyard and salting the earth so that nothing can grow there for a hundred years. Really, any mage screenshot will do. Send them to arcanebrilliancepics@wow.com; put "Mage screenshot" in the subject line, and sign the email with whatever name you want the picture to be credited to. My email's getting lonely. Seriously, all I get now are fake beta invites and porn. Sometimes in the same email.

Mana Adept concerns me.

I don't think I'm alone, in my concern, either. In fact, I think it's safe to assume that a very large percentage of arcane mages, upon reading about the coming mastery bonus for their spec of choice in the recent Cataclysm class preview, let out a collective sigh of deep unease.

The mastery bonuses for fire and frost are fairly straightforward. Fire is getting a powerful DoT component added to all of their direct-damage fire spells. Frost is getting a damage buff applied to all of their damaging spells but Frostbolt. Compare those to the mysteries of Mana Adept:

Bashiok
Mana Adept: Arcane will deal damage based how much mana the mage has. For example, Arcane mages will do much more damage at 100% mana than at 50% mana. If they begin to get low on mana, they will likely want to use an ability or mechanic to bring their mana up to increase their damage.


Wait ... what?

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Arcane 101

Welcome to another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that is the only place I know of where a gnome in a dress with glowing hands hanging out in the middle of the forest isn't so much creepy as it is socially acceptable.

Since I see a growing trend among the other class columnists, and because I crave the approval of my peers, I bring you Arcane 101. This is intended to be a relatively basic overview of the spec; I won't be delving into much in the way of the more complex mechanics here. This will also be a PvE-centric column. We'll revisit arcane PvP at some future point, but sadly not today. So without further ado:

1. What is arcane?

The leftmost of the three mage specs, this tree focuses on magic that is neither fiery nor frosted. It is (for the next five minutes or so, at least) the current single-target pure DPS champ, as far as mage specs go.

2. Arcane Benefits
  • Extremely high damage
  • Simple rotation
  • Low hit cap
  • Provides good raid utility
  • Missile Barrage is awesome
3. Arcane drawbacks
  • Highly dependent on timely procs for mana efficiency
  • Cannot sustain highest DPS rotation
  • Rotation is fairly boring
  • Sub-par AoE

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: The Mage of 2009

The internet's magiest weekly mage column, Arcane Brilliance would like to wish you and yours a very magetastic holiday season. Unless you and yours are warlocks. In which case Arcane Brilliance hopes the holiday season comes to your Christmas party and punches you in the face.

Every year, as the end of that twelve-month block draws near, Arcane Brilliance likes to take an unbiased look back at the events that captured our collective imagination. Heh. Get it? "I-MAGE-ination?" Holy crap Arcane Brilliance is clever. And indefensibly fond of bad puns.

So what did the year of our lord 2009 hold for those of us who prefer the scent of barbecued sheep to pretty much any odor ever and think strudel is a perfectly acceptable meal choice for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a meal I like to call the "Evocation's-on-cooldown-snack?"

Join me after the break for all the highlights, presented in vaguely chronological order.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide, 59-68

It's time once again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that would like to thank its readers profusely for the deluge of screenshots it received last week. Arcane Brilliance sent out the call, and you guys responded in droves. There were so many, in fact, that it was an impossible task to select just one for the column. Arcane Brilliance finally went with this one, apparently of an undead pimp of some type, simply because it made Arcane Brilliance chuckle. Also, the column this week is about leveling through Outland, and this is a pretty good representation of how your mage will look throughout that leg of the journey: like the mutant love-child of the entire cast of Saved by the Bell.

Seriously... you guys are awesome. Sooooooo many good pictures to use. I may have to start writing like 12 of these a week, just to have an excuse to use all of them. Thanks again, and keep them coming. Even if I don't get to use them, I just enjoy browsing through them. So many mages, so little time.

Last week, our mage leveling guide hit level 58 and fled vanilla WoW for the alien landscapes of Outland. This week, we'll tackle the 10 levels your mage will be spending there, amongst the hellboars, sporebats, and ravagers.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Quests, Expansions, Features, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

WoW patch 3.2.2 changes for Mages


Since I have some extra time while I wait for my Mage to finish his looting animation, I thought I'd post a quick primer on the Mage changes patch 3.2.2 has brought us. There are only three (well, three and a half, I guess), but all three are of significant import. I posted about them in an Arcane Brilliance column way back when this patch first hit the PTR, but a lot has changed since then. Let's look at each change in turn.

Arcane
  • Arcane Blast: The buff from using this ability now stacks up to 4 times instead of 3, and each application increases mana cost by 175% instead of 200%. In addition, the duration of the buff has been reduced to 6 seconds.
Though not nearly as drastic a change as it was at the start of the PTR, this is still very nice. That fourth stack means whatever spell you throw out to consume the buff will do a whopping 60% more damage, and the mana cost increase isn't nearly the killer it used to be, even with four stacks. Plus, none of that matters anyway, since you won't actually be using any mana on the spell you consume your Arcane Blast buff with, because that spell will be free. "Why," you ask? Because that spell will be Arcane Missiles. "But Arcane Missiles costs a buttload of mana," you say? You're right. But you're also so, so very wrong:
  • Missile Barrage: The effect from triggering this talent now removes the mana cost of Arcane Missiles. In addition, the chance for Arcane Blast to trigger this talent is now 8/16/24/32/40%. All other listed spells continue to have a 4/8/12/16/20% chance to trigger it. This talent no longer has a chance to be triggered when spells miss.
See? Two things here:
  1. The proc chance is much greater for this when you cast Arcane Blast than it will be with other spells. By the time you stack four Arcane Blasts, you're almost guaranteed to get a Missile Barrage proc.
  2. When you cast a gatling-gun Arcane Missiles with this, not only will it be super speedy and awesome-looking, it will also be free. As in, no mana cost. As in yay.
So what does this mean?

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Classes, Talents

Arcane Brilliance: Mage changes on the patch 3.2.2 PTR


Welcome to the latest edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that unites Mages everywhere in brotherhood, friendship, and a mutual desire to set Warlocks on fire.


So, I was all set to write a lengthy diatribe this week on the woes of the Arcane tree. I was going to compare their plight to the aliens in the District 9 trailer, which I totally plan on watching this weekend. Both are oppressed groups, both possess powerful weapons nobody can use properly anymore, and both have spaceships that ran out of gas above South Africa. I was going to bemoan such things as Arcane's inadequate DPS, PvP survivability, and overall mana inefficiency. It was going to be overly-dramatic and incredibly whiny. Warlocks were going to drink from the well of my tears, and find them delicious.

Then this happened.

In case links frighten you, or you can't be bothered to read past the notes for other classes, or just get distracted every time you read about the revamped Onyxia raid we're getting (like me), I'll helpfully re-post the Mage notes below.

Mages
  • Arcane Blast: The buff from using this ability now stacks up to 4 times instead of 3, and each application increases mana cost by 130% instead of 200%.
  • Talents

    • Arcane

      • Missile Barrage: The effect from triggering this talent now removes the mana cost of Arcane Missiles. In addition, the chance for Arcane Blast to trigger this talent is now 8/16/24/32/40%. All other listed spells continue to have a 4/8/12/16/20% chance to trigger it.

Take a moment. Digest that. Consider the implications. Then follow me past the break.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Mage Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class, raiding, and PvP guides we take a look at exactly what changes and how the changes will affect your playing.

So...a patch happened or something? I guess it's a big deal. People are excited or whatever. I'm way too cool to show any kind of positive emotion, so...meh. Meh, I say.

Ok, I can't keep that up. Patches always make me happy. I've been known to break into song and engage in impromptu yet highly choreographed dance routines on patch days. This time around it was a little number called "Living Bomb is Castable on Multiple Targets Now...Yay!" The lyrics are actually quite clever. They go like this: "Living Bomb is castable on multiple targets now...yay!" repeated several times, and sung to the tune of whatever Wiggles song my kids happen to be listening to in the background at the time. Or sometimes to the Knight Rider theme. Don't ask me why. I'm a musical genius and I don't have to explain myself to you.

Anyway, let's take a quick look at the ways this patch will be affecting Mages. Here's a five-word preview:
  • Living
  • Bomb
  • Multiple
  • Targets
  • Yay

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Classes, Talents

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 3.2 for Mages


Each week Arcane Brilliance sits down to write a column about Mages and all things Mageworthy. Big news this week in Mageville: Patch 3.2 is hitting the PTRs. And we all know what that means -- new Mage cat forms. Finally.

Having had some time to ingest the 3.2 PTR patch notes, I feel I can now speak about them in a calm, rational manner. The PTR (and all of the additional changes that tend to take place therein) is only just beginning, and yet there are already so many nuggets of newness to devour that my news-stomach feels full to the bursting point. The Isle of Conquest... the death of 2v2 Arenas... Engineering becoming cooler... Emblems of Conquest dropping from heroics (?!)... the fact that Blizzard is now shutting all twinks away together in their own battlegrounds, exiled from the general populace, where they can only pwn each other all day long, until one day Kurt Russell is sent in to rescue the president after Air Force One crashes there... there's simply so much to take in that it's been a little bit difficult to process it all.

And yes, once again, looking at those patch notes, I can't help but feel a bit underwhelmed at the 3 lines Mages got. Does every other class really need that much more fixing than us? Really? Still, what's there deserves some analysis. We're not getting much, fellow Mages, but what we are getting is fairly significant. So let's all stop staring at the 72 changes Death Knights and Paladins got for a few minutes and have a little talk about the notes for Mages, such as they are.

One nice thing about the lack of changes we're getting: according to the brand new Mage Q&A, Blizzard thinks we're fine, which of course explains why we're not getting messed around with. More on that next week, after I've had a chance to make my peace with God and get my affairs in order. In fact, Blizzard has long suggested a direct corollary between the amount of changes a class is receiving and the general status of the class. Looking at the patch notes, I can't help but notice the following: Mage changes: 3... Warlock changes: 8. I'm looking at this as statistical proof that Warlocks are almost three times as screwed up as Mages. It's good to see Blizzard accept what I have always known: Mages are way better than Warlocks. Just like I've always said.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Classes, Talents, Buffs, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: PvPing as an Arcane Mage after 3.1



Each week Arcane Brilliance comes to work totally motivated, ready to sit down and manufacture a fantastic, insightful, entertaining column about Mages. Then Arcane Brilliance's wife brings him breakfast, because she's awesome like that, and Arcane Brilliance takes a break to eat it. Fat and happy, Arcane Brilliance flexes its fingers and gets ready to resume the creative process. Then winamp shuffles through to a song from the new Silversun Pickups album and Arcane Brilliance gets distracted again, and has to listen to the whole album before it can concentrate. Then Arcane Brilliance's kids come in the room and Arcane Brilliance plays with them for awhile. Lunch approaches, and Arcane Brilliance needs to get the column up. And, that, loyal readers, is a preemptive apology for any inaccuracy, inconsistency, misspelling, and grammatical eror that may follow this opening paragraph. Sorry!

Before we begin, let's get a couple items out of the way.

First: In case you haven't gotten it yet, or weren't aware, today is your last day to obtain Polymorph: Rabbit, at least during this calendar year. This is purchasable from the Noblegarden vendors for the low, low price of 100 Noblegarden Chocolates (it's only visible on the vendor if you're a Mage), which shouldn't take very long to obtain if you put your mind to it. Noblegarden ends tonight at 11:59pm server time, so even if you have no interest in the rest of the holiday, don't miss out on this little Mage-only perk.

Second: Mirror Images aren't stupid anymore! Yes, when the PTR for patch 3.1.2 went live, the patch notes included one tiny note for Mages, but what a note it was. Your Mirror Images will now attack only the target that you've generated the most hate from, instead of targeting whatever shiny object happens across their fields of vision first. In addition, they'll no longer break CCs whenever they feel like it. I've tested this out a bit, and I'm happy to report that it seems to be working as advertised. Rejoice, my fellow Mages: our copies are no longer ham-fisted, drooling, mouth-breathers. I'm giddy.

And with the news and notes out of the way, we are free to move on to this week's topic: PvPing as an Arcane Mage.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Features, Guides, Classes, Talents, Buffs, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Battlegrounds, Arena

Undocumented Arcane Mage changes in patch 3.0.8a

From the first moments that the servers came up today there were unconfirmed reports of an undocumented Arcane nerf to Mages flying around. Not so long ago, those reports were confirmed via some commentary on the issue from Ghostcrawler.

There were some changes made to how Arcane Barrage, Arcane Missiles, and the Arcane Blast buff interact to prevent a fun little trick that was being used to get the most out of the buff. Second, the Arcane Blast glyph received a flat nerf, losing 2% damage per stack. Unfortunately, along with those changes came a potential bug to that glyph. Arcane Missiles may not be receiving the additional damage bonus at all.

Overall, these aren't terrible nerfs, and probably should've been expected at some point. Arcane Mage is one of the class/spec combos pulling far, far ahead of the competition, so some changes had to happen eventually. Probably the only real issue here is the fact that once again, there should have been some documentation beyond hoping Ghostcrawler bopped onto the forums to confirm or deny.

Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Inscription

Arcane Brilliance: Arcanapalooza



Each week Arcane Brilliance drops at a 100% rate from your computer screen. It can be equipped in any slot, and doesn't bind to your character in any way, shape or form. It can be disenchanted into whatever you want, and sells to merchants for a million gold. It is of legendary quality. When equipped, it raises all of your stats exponentially, to the power of awesome. It also has an on-use ability with no cooldown: Arcane Brilliance instantly turns any targetted Warlock into a ridable mount.

I have to begin by admitting my deep bias here. Since midway through The Burning Crusade I've been a deep Arcane Mage. I loved the Arcane tree when it was bad, and I love it now that it's good. It's entirely possible that this fact disqualifies me from even speaking rationally about this topic, but I've never let a crippling lack of impartiality stop me before.

Even those who now hate this spec and cry loudly (and as frequently as the refresh button on their internet browsers will allow) for massive and immediate nerfs will agree that there has never been a better time to be an Arcane Mage. Already quite powerful in PvP and fairly solid in PvE, patch 3.0.8 has only increased the effectiveness of this formidable spec. Playing an Arcane Mage is easy to pick up and challenging to master, and more out-and-out fun than it has any right to be. Follow me after the break and we'll discuss some of the ins and outs of this very potent school of magic.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Features, Raiding, Classes, Talents, Buffs, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: The best and worst of 2008



Each year, Arcane Brilliance cooks up 52 columns about Mages, each one roasted at precisely the right temperature for precisely the right amount of time (usually a couple hours on Saturday morning over a soggy bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, to be honest). As we arrive at the 52nd week of 2008, Arcane Brilliance would like to thank each and every one of the Mages who come here every weekend to celebrate our wonderful class by reading a giant, well-cooked wall of text. Arcane Brilliance would also like to say to the Warlocks who come here to mock us and drink our delicious tears, "We hope your felhound eats you."


Wow, so 2008, huh?

A lot of things happened this year, right? Crazy.

We here at Arcane Brilliance thought that since next week's column will be posted in 2009, we should take a moment this week to remember the year that was, and what it meant to all of us who walk the path of magic. There were some pretty high highs, and some exceptionally low lows, so we figured it would be fun to throw the highs into a ring with the lows and let them fight to the death. Join us after the break to see who wins!

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 3.0.8, or Blizzard's love letter to Arcane Mages



Each week, Arcane Brilliance gains 5,000 reputation with the Kirin Tor by writing a column about Mages. That's right, I said 5,000. Are you reading this, Kirin Tor? I'm declaring myself exalted. Give me my dagger already, you selfish jerks.


I may have mentioned this before, but I'm an Arcane Mage.

I wasn't always. I spent my initial leveling days as a pure Fire Mage, and loved it. I spent a good chunk of time PvPing as a Frost Mage, and had a glorious time. But now I'm all Arcane, all the time, and I'm as pleased with it as it is possible for an unapologetic cynic like myself to be pleased with a thing.

And so, as you can imagine, I look at the PTR 3.0.8 patch notes as Blizzard's Christmas gift to me personally. It's as if they decided, "yes, we would like to keep taking money from your credit card, Christian, and so make our product better specifically for you." Actually, that's probably exactly what they decided, only substituting the names of every person ever for my own. The difference is that for me specifically, they've actually been successful. Anytime you give me a patch that buffs my spec of choice specifically and also fails to nerf it in any way, your "give him what he wants and he will give us money for it" business model has been successful.

Follow me after the break and we'll discuss what will hereafter be referred to as patch 3.KeepChristianHappy.8 (ok, maybe not...that's incredibly cumbersome), and all that it will change for Mages, especially those of the Arcane persuasion.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Classes, Talents, Buffs, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

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