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Posts with tag arcane-talents

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: 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: 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

Pimp My Profile: Lissaris, arcane mage

Welcome to Pimp My Profile, the column in which the WoW.com staff turns zeroes into heroes. Don't think you're performing where you should be? Not sure how your class/spec is supposed to be gearing up? E-mail us with your Armory link, and you might be next to receive our help!

I've traditionally used a modified frostfire build, which has always worked well for me. I recently dual spec'd and tried an arcane build, but I wasn't able to put out as much DPS. Any suggestions on how I can improve to deliver maximum DPS?
- Lissaris
I wasn't quite sure how to classify you in the title of the post, seeing as you've only recently respecced into arcane. The good news is that most of the tweaks I'll be suggesting today will work for both specs. Lets hear it for stat homogenization!

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Filed under: Mage

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: 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: Ch-ch-changes



Each week, Arcane Brilliance fills your head with as much Mage-related information as it can. You may have wondered how our signature buff works--how exactly does a Mage make you smarter for an hour? Well there you have it: we shoehorn this column into your brain with a flick of our fingers. That's how awesome Arcane Brilliance is, not only does it entertain, it also actually makes you more intelligent. For an hour. Or until a felhunter eats it.

It's Saturday again, and you know what that means: you guessed it, everything I'm about to write will be completely obsolete in about 15 minutes.

I'm not even sure where to begin this week. I was planning to turn this column's attentions to the Frost tree, but how can I ignore the vast and fairly sweeping changes the other two trees have undergone in the past seven days? The answer? I can't.

Still, I don't want to short-change the Frost tree. So here's the plan. I'm going to deal with the most drastic of the changes to the other two trees this week. Next week, barring another giant list of new craziness, we'll lay our hands upon upon that new Frost tree and wring it dry.

So what's new, you ask? Lots of things. Come back after the break for more newness than you can shake an epic wand at.

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

Arcane Brilliance: The Arcane tree in WotLK



Each week, Arcane Brilliance blinks in from out of nowhere to deliver an instant cast full of Mage info and analysis to the interwebs. Or at least it tries to. Sometimes it blinks sideways, you see. Sometimes, backwards. On rare occasions, Arcane Brilliance casts Blink and goes absolutely nowhere. Oh well, at least the sparkly lights looked pretty.


Let's hear it for no more NDA! Now we can finally talk in detail about things a lot of us have known about for months. I'm sure we're all underwhelmed by the Beta patch notes as they apply to Mages. Here they are, in full. Pull up a chair, these could take you a full 90 seconds to read:

Mage
  • Arcane Focus (Arcane) is now 3 ranks and increases chance to hit and reduces mana cost of Arcane spells by 1/2/3%.
  • Counterspell now costs 9% of base mana.
  • Frost Armor, Ice Armor, Mage Armor and Molten Armor are no longer Magic effects and cannot be dispelled.
  • Invisibility now makes the caster invisible after 3 seconds, reduced from 5 seconds.
  • Magic Attunement (Arcane) now also increases the range of your Arcane spells by 3/6 yards.
  • Polymorph now costs 12% of base mana.
  • Portal spells now cost 18% of base mana.
  • Prismatic Cloak (Arcane) now also reduces the fade time of Invisibility by 1/2 seconds.
  • Slow Fall now costs 6% of base mana.
  • Teleport spells now cost 9% of base mana.
Ok. Deep breath. Repress urge to kill. Repeat after me: "It is still early in the testing process. These notes are incomplete. Changes are likely coming. Mages will get something cool." Feel better? No? Me either. Still, there are some things worth discussing here, and with the lifting of the embargo on leaked Alpha talents, we do have a great many things to talk about. Join me after the break and we'll do just that, starting with the tree that has changed the most: the Arcane tree.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Building your Mage, part 1: Raiding



Arcane Brilliance comes to you every week from the top of Archmage Xylem's tower in Ashzara. Yes, in between sending wave after wave of power-hungry Mages to kill Morphaz over and over and over again, the Archmage finds the time to put quill to scroll and conjure forth a weekly Mage column for WoW Insider. Just kidding, it's actually just some guy at a computer who writes these, and all Xylem does in between giving quests to unwary adventurers is walk from the bottom of his tower to the top and back again. It's a boring life to be sure, but all I do between typing paragraphs is walk from the computer to the fridge and back again, so who am I to judge?


When people who don't play World of Warcraft find out I play the game, a common question I get is "what level are you?" It isn't always asked that way; those unfamiliar with basic game mechanics might not know what a "level" is precisely, but the intent is the same. If they care to ask questions at all, they frequently want to know how "far" I've gotten in the game. Progression is a basic ingredient in video games, and when I tell them I'm level 70 (I generally leave out the part where I explain that I actually have two characters at 70, and between all my alts I have gained over 400 levels across 14 characters, so as to avoid getting the "oh, you're a crazy person" look from whoever I'm talking to), and they learn that 70 is the highest current level attainable, they typically assume I've "beaten" the game, that I've completed it somehow.

The problem, of course, is that WoW doesn't work like that. Hitting level 70 is definitely a milestone, and a genuine accomplishment, but it is nowhere near being the end of anything. If anything, level 70 is the flaky crust through which you must chew to access the real meat of the game. Frequently, characters will clock far more playtime after level 70 than they ever did while they were still gaining experience points.

Last week we discussed the myriad options available to a newly minted level 70 Mage, and I suggested a checklist of things to do to improve your character once that particular plateau had been crested. This week we'll begin going over one of the most important decisions a Mage needs to make at endgame: nailing down a talent spec. After the jump, we'll discuss some common raiding builds, what each build is good for, and how you can tweak each spec to match your play-style.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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