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Posts with tag arcane-brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Challenge mode tips for mages part 2


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.

This is part two of three challenge mode tips for mages articles. Click here to go back and read part one.

This week we're going to look at getting your gear ready to dive into challenge modes! First, a few loose ends. I neglected to mention another reward for finishing gold CMs: Challenger's Path. This is a teleport on an 8 hour cooldown that will take you straight to the entrance of a CM you achieved a gold rating in! Once you complete any CM, the teleport cooldown resets. They're very handy for getting around Pandaria.

Some mages left comments about doing gold CMs as arcane. That's great! If you have any CM-specific arcane questions, I'm sure they'd be happy to share some of their strategy in the comments this week. I'll still be assuming you are probably frost. Frost is the most accessible and easiest option for the average mage, but I didn't say it couldn't be done by another spec. The reason for this is that frost scales better than the other two specs at lower item levels. It will perform well for you and can put out some serious AoE damage. Most mages doing CMs use it.

Finally, Adam Koebel posted an introductory challenge mode guide this week. It also includes links to recommended strat videos. HamletEJ's were the ones I used.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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

Arcane Brilliance: State of the mage in 5.4

Arcane Brilliance State of the mage in 54 Fri 2709
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, the torch is passed to a new mage who fully intends to light as many things on fire with it as possible.

Almost a year ago when the esteemed Christian Belt had to stop writing Arcane Brilliance, first I was sad. Then I said to my husband, "Wow, I don't envy the person that has to fill THOSE shoes." The irony of writing that here is not lost on me! But it would be wrong not to acknowledge that my predecessor, Archmage Pants, was a great mage and I used to look forward to reading what he had to say.

I've been in the business of using magic to rearrange enemy faces since 2008. I started playing WoW by rolling a priest, and somewhere around level 30 our small leveling group realized that two holy priests, two protection warriors and a protection paladin wasn't really a good composition. I rerolled as a mage and never looked back. It was love at first fireball.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: 5 abilities that keep me playing my mage

A female human mage standing with her Mirror Images
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 am a gigantic nerd. I love math, and science, and testing. So when a new beta comes out and there's testing and theorycrafting and video game science to do, that's my focus. I go, "Hey, look at this shiny new spell, and what are the rotational ramifications of its existence?" And then I forget that I have work in the morning and am up till four in the morning running around Jade Forest trying to get the perfect screenshot of Nether Tempest.

I'm on vacation visiting my parents in Michigan this week, and I promised myself that part of that vacation would be to eschew plying beta for the week, since we've been pretty inseparable for the past month. Also, I'm using my significant other's laptop, and I'm not sure even my rep level would support downloading another massive file onto it. As a result, I've been playing a lot on live, and I've taken some time to remember why it is that I love playing the mage class.

There are a lot of reasons (none of them are the fire spec in PVE at the moment, but that's another post entirely), but the main one is the repertoire. Mages have a ton of abilities, and a lot of them are chock-full of flavor and awesomeness. I had to narrow this list down to my five absolute favorites, but everything from Mirror Image to Invisibility to Cone of Cold are eligible contestants too. The abilities I chose are my favorites, ones that fit the classic mage archetype while having mechanics that make sense in WoW. Also, they're shiny.

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

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: 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: 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: Random impressions from the beta

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, your one-stop shop for weekly mage columns. Seriously, any time you want a weekly mage column, you can come here and obtain one. We do one thing here at Arcane Brilliance, but we do it well. Or if we don't do it well, we at least do it hard. Or maybe just adequately. Pick an adverb. Any adverb, really. Insert it at the end of the phrase "we do it." Chances are -- at least some of the time -- that's probably how we do it.

Good news everyone!

I'm in the beta. It is awesome. I have been thoroughly impressed, and because I like you people, I would like to share some of those impressions with you. As you may have guessed from the title of the column, they will be fairly random. Most will be related in some fashion to mages.

I've come to understand that there exists a sizable contingent of folks who play this game but would prefer not to know about future iterations of it in advance of actually playing them. I respect that. I'm not sure, really, what beta information would be considered a "spoiler" and what beta information wouldn't (is talking about new talents a spoiler? UI changes? The new launcher? I don't know!), so I'll go ahead and bury all of my scattered thoughts behind the jump. That way, those of you who came here to this WoW news site in an attempt to avoid WoW news can turn back now, your virgin eyes still pure and unspoiled.

And yet, part of the purpose of placing text in front of the jump is to whet your appetites, leading you on to the meat of the article, so I feel obliged to mention two things before we adjourn and retire to the page beyond this one.
  1. Earlier today, I set fire to a bomb-throwing monkey.
  2. Prior to that, I ran over a pirate with my car.

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

Arcane Brilliance: What to do with your trinket slots, part 2

Welcome to another edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that would like to say to all of the warlocks who sneak in here each week, skulking about in the shadows, wearing dark clothing and eyeliner and hating their dads, and then like to crow in the comments section about how I've inadvertently provided them with a warlock guide of some type because warlocks generally use the same gear as mages:

Thanks for the pageviews!


So last week we talked about trinkets. Specifically, the kinds of trinkets a new level 80 mage might want to keep his eyes peeled for. This week, we're going a step farther. Already pimped out in full tier 9 and sporting an Abyssal Rune/Talisman of Resurgence combo? Looking over the Lich King's loot table with a critical eye? In a guild that routinely tackles hard-modes? Let's look at some of the trinkets for which you should be on the hunt.

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

Arcane Brilliance: The state of the mage, volume 4 of 72

It's time again for another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that would like to present, once again, its multi-annual state of the mage address. My fellow mages, we are awesome.

First of all, you might be wondering why only 72 volumes. I'll be honest: it has to do with the great zombie apocalypse of 2037. I don't want to give too much away, but let's just say it severely impairs my ability to write. To be frank, the last 15 parts are pretty much just "braiiinns...warlocks....suuuuck...brains...braiiiins..." repeated over and over for a thousand words or so. After that, my zombie-self just loses interest. Some of you may wonder how those columns will be any different from the ones I write now. To you, I say bite me.

I've extolled upon the state of mages on three previous occasions. It's actually interesting to go back and look over those ancient texts from our current perspective. Oh, the silly things we were worried about back then! Fire PvP... ha! Spirit, less than useful? What a ridiculous concern! Oh... how far we've come.

Ignore my sarcasm. I'm not actually unhappy at all with the current state of mages. We are, as I stated in the opening blurb, awesome. Join me after the break and we'll look at where we are as a class in 2010.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (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: Gemming for mages


Cinch up your robes and brandish your wands, it's time for another edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that sincerely hopes that this picture was taken by a warlock, just before the mage on the other end got an honorable kill.

Around Thanksgiving, Arcane Brilliance received an email from a reader named Todd. I liked it so much that I wrote him back and told him I'd devote a column to his topic at some point soon. Though it has been over a month, I'm finally getting around to writing that column. In my defense, though: I'm extremely lazy. In the interests of space, I won't print the entire email, which was long, polite, and quite well-written. But here are some selections:

"Hi There,

My name is Todd. I LOVE your columns, and read them whenever I get the chance to. I am writing you trying to get help for my mother (who I sucked into playing WoW more than a year ago). She chose to be a gnome mage and embark upon the adventure of being an arcane spell caster. We fight side by side almost every day in heroics and raids (and rip the occasional warlock to shreds whenever the opportunity arises).

Anyway, I was hoping you might give us some assistance in regards to Gemming her gear. With the plethora of options out there it is hard for us to make a choice as to what will give her the best output for the investment...
"

Todd then goes on to list the specifics of his mother's gemming setup, and the philosophy behind it in detail, and closes with what he's tried in the past:

"Now we have noticed that this current setup is a marked improvement over the previous setups we had going. First we tried pure spellpower gems but found it lacking in staying power due to a low mana pool. Next we tried Pure Intellect Gems and found a generous mana pool (30k raid buffed, 28k party buffed) but could quite hold the top of the charts in dps (however, She was almost always in the top 3). Now we are trying this new gem loadout and are looking for some guidance to see if we are on the right path.

If you can help we would appreciate it.
"

First things first: Todd has the best mom ever.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Jewelcrafting, Features, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: How to be a good PUG mage

Welcome to another installment of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that is incredibly proud of mages. We are, after all, the only class in the game that can conjure our own 5-man group, as evidenced by the picture above. And though our mirror images may not be too bright, I'd still take them over about 3/4ths of the folks I PuGed with last night.

Holy crap. I'm not even kidding. It was like some kind of idiot convention, and I was the keynote speaker. I came in with some prepared remarks, like "Don't stand in the green stuff that looks like poison, because it is poison," "when he begins spinning his giant sword around like a whirlwind, it's because he's doing Whirlwind and you should get out of the way," and "Warlocks drink their own pee," but ended up just sighing and shaking my head a lot.

This whole Dungeon Finder tool is incredible, right? My head has been spinning since the patch dropped, marveling at the ways it has already changed the game, both for good and ill. Suddenly, PuGs are the norm, not the exception. Each instance is a complete unknown, and not just because you don't know which one you're going to get. Is that rogue going to inexplicably decide to eschew his formerly stealthy ways and take up tanking? Who knows? Is the pally healer who just joined specced ret? It's not as unlikely as you think. Did that warlock really just go afk during the boss fight, then return only to need the Frozen Orb and drop group? Yep, he did. Outstanding.

It works the other way, too. There I was, minding my own business, happily spamming Arcane Blast on some kind of giant disgusting undead guy, only to see him turn and begin lumbering over in my direction. OK, I thought, I'll just stop casting, let the tank snatch him back up. Only that doesn't work. I look over at the threat meter to see that I have like three times more threat on that mob than anybody else. In fact, the only two other names on the threat list were the tank and the healer. That's right, I had been pew pewing the wrong giant disgusting undead guy. The fight ends with me reduced to a stain on the floor, and nobody to blame but my own stupid self. Sometimes, when you can't spot the nub in the room, it's because the nub is you.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Features, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: WoW patch 3.3 primer for mages

It's time again for another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that loves mages and all things magey. Take this picture, for example. That's a mage right there. If I'm not mistaken, she's getting ready to do something magey. Like plant a Fireball deep in the fertile soil of a warlock's grill. Arcane Brilliance loves everything about that.

So apparently patch 3.3 could literally drop any moment. I'm not even kidding. It might have happened while I was typing that last sentence. I don't know. More likely, though, is that it will come (as per the usual deployment-method) during the upcoming Tuesday maintenance. This means we've only got a little time left before we can enter Icecrown Citadel and begin the patch-long process of shaking its inhabitants down repeatedly for loot. I, for one, cannot wait to place an Arcane Missile or five directly up Arthas' frosty tailpipe.

But what, exactly, does this patch bring to the mage class? I'm glad you asked. Though this patch is admittedly a bit heavy on the new raid content and light on class changes, mages are one of the few classes that are getting some pretty significant new junk. From increased raid utility for Arcane, to buffed-up AoE for Fire, to actual, honest-to-goodness competitive raid DPS for Frost, 3.3 is delivering a little of something for everybody. Join me after the break for a full recap of all the newness we can expect come patch day.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide 31-40

Welcome to the latest Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that is your absolute best source for all things mage. Leveling guides? Talent spec guides? Loot guides? PvP guides? Profession guides? Random, vindictive, mean-spirited, and wholly superfluous warlock-bashing? Check, check, check, check, check, and CHECK. Arcane Brilliance has all your mage needs covered.

And the leveling parade continues! Your mage is level 30 and you've grown in your mastery of the magical arts. Your Fireballs are now significantly more likely to set your enemies aflame than they are to go off in your face, you now arrive at your teleport destinations with your extremities more or less intact, and small children no longer cry at the sight of the pastries you conjure.

In celebration of our new-found competence, we'll be changing the content of these leveling columns a bit. We'll no longer be giving each two-level gap its own blurb. Instead, we'll be covering each new spell as it comes, and every major milestone at the appropriate point. If that means that more than two levels go by without a specific shout-out in the text, so be it. Enough preamble. Read on and we'll see how it goes. If it's terrible, we all know I'll just blame warlocks.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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