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Posts with tag arcane

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: What the MoP beta means for arcane mages

Mage casting something very arcane-looking
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This column is usually brought to you by archmage and former Hogwarts headmaster Christian Belt, but rumor has it he's still stuck in an alternate dimension where playing World of Warcraft is state-mandated but only offers you 10 different classes of warlocks to play. Senior Understudy and Last Surviving Student Josh Myers is covering his class this week. Arm your spitballs.

Throughout Cataclysm, the arcane spec has been a strange beast. At the beginning of the expansion, it was solidly the worst mage spec due to the absurdly high cost of Arcane Blast. After some quick patch 4.1 fixes, it became our top-performing spec, especially if we had access to Shard of Woe. From that point on, arcane was a source of potent damage. While fire has become the vogue spec for Dragon Soul, arcane still is a very viable and desirable spec. Going forward into Mists of Pandaria, that all could change ... or the spec could be made even better.

Part of the source of arcane's potency this expansion has been due to how incredibly well the spec scales with intellect. While intellect provides the same spellpower to arcane mages that it does to every other caster, arcane mages' Mana Adept mastery makes the mana increase from intellect critical. Arcane Blast, the pivotal spell in arcane's rotation, has a static mana cost that is only based on mage base mana and not their mana after gear. Because of this, the more intellect you have means the more Arcane Blasts you can fit in at higher mana levels, meaning more damage through mastery.

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

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

Know Your Lore: The sources of magic, part 2

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.

What are the kinds of magic we see in the Warcraft setting?

Well, for starters, there's the magic performed by practitioners of the Holy Light, most priests and paladins. This magic comes from the same source as the power the naaru draw from and seems inherent in all living things. Then there's the somehow related shadow magics of shadow priests, which the naaru also tap into during their life cycle. Warlocks also seem capable of touching upon this shadowy magical energy, as do necromancers to varying degrees. This magic seems to derive from a clash of cosmic forces of light and darkness.

However, these are hardly the only forces of magic in the cosmos of the Warcraft setting. Mages tap into the magic that suffuses the material plane, which is generally known as arcane magic and which is the power the original Well of Eternity drew from the Great Dark Beyond. Arcane magic is the closest we get to morally neutral in the setting, but it does pretty much whatever the person using it can figure out a spell to make it do. This makes it incredibly seductive, and those who learn it often become obsessed with it. Its lure is so strong, in fact, that it even draws the attention of the demons of the Burning Legion. And the Legion is hardly without magic of its own.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

Ghostcrawler reveals upcoming class changes in Cataclysm

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has posted the blog post I think most of us have been waiting for ever since Cataclysm went live. It features a summary of where the dev team sees the PvE and PvP games at this point, including some analysis of various classes and specs, and some planned changes for those specs that are underperforming and overperforming.

In PvE, Ghostcrawler mentions that Blizzard is mostly happy with the tank classes and notes that while healers do have it a bit hard, this is intentional. Heroics are meant to be a challenge. As for DPS, he offered that some classes, such as arcane mages and marksman and beast mastery hunters, are too low in their damage, while others, such as shadow priests and fire and frost mages, are being watched closely before final judgment is made on their numbers.

In PvP, Ghostcrawler says Blizzard is satisfied with the decreased emphasis on healing prevention and burst damage. Crowd control and dispel mechanics, especially offensive dispels, may see some PvP nerfs, and priests will specifically be getting some PvP buffs.

Stats also got some mention. A lot of stats are being neglected by some classes, and the dev team wants to fix this. Mastery will be either buffed or completely revamped for many specs, such as unholy death knights and retribution paladins. Haste may be made to scale with more attacks, such as Lacerate, Slam, and Steady Shot, in order to make the stat more desirable to certain specs.

Check after the break for the complete text of Ghostcrawler's post, including a list of specifically planned (but not finalized) class changes for future patches.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Cataclysm

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

Patch 3.3 PTR: Mages get simplified Scorch, Frost changes

Fire mages are ablaze with joy over today's patch 3.3 PTR build, frost mages are a little iffy, and arcane is... pretty much completely untouched! Let's skip over any additional preamble and dig right in. Do note, however, that some of this is so far unconfirmed and comes from datamining. Considering these changes come from the PTR, any of it could change before patch 3.3 goes live.

Fire
  • Improved Scorch: The debuff from this talent no longer stacks, and instead can apply the full effect from a single cast of Scorch.
  • Glyph of Improved Scorch now increases the damage of your Scorch spell by 20%.
This is going to make a lot of raiding mages very happy. It essentially normalizes the debuff to match equivalent debuffs, like Improved Shadow Bolt. Streamlining an unnecessarily complicated debuff is a great thing. It'll lift a needless burden from mage DPS. And yes, there are mages getting drunk in celebration this evening. It's somewhat disturbing, really.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

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

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Scribe

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-sixth in a series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay various aspects of the lore and gaming elements of WoW.

What is inscription anyways? I mean, we all know that it's the newest profession, added in Wrath of the Lich King, and it lets you make these "glyphs" which allow you to modify or improve your various class abilities in interesting ways. In gaming terms all that makes perfect sense, but when it comes to telling a story with your character, there are a lot of details missing.

Technically, a glyph is a character or symbol, like a heiroglyph or a pictograph, which we can see to a certain extent when we click on the glyph and put it into our in-game glyph interface -- it looks pretty cool with all those circles and lines and stuff. But what does it really mean? Are you pasting these symbols into a book of some sort? Are they getting magically tattooed onto your skin somewhere?

And where did inscription come from to begin with? Has it been around in Azeroth all along somehow, or was it some sort of ancient knowledge only discovered recently, around the time in the Warcraft lore when the Wrath of the Lich King begins? If it was discovered, then who discovered it and how? How exactly does a scribe learn these glyphs? Does he or she pore over ancient tomes that haven't been read in thousands of years, trying to decipher ancient texts? Or is the art and magic of it more in the artistic calligraphy of it rather than any difficulty in discovering or interpreting the symbols themselves?

There are far more questions than answers when it comes to roleplaying a scribe, and to a large extent each roleplayer is free to choose his or her own approach. What follows is the just one suggestion as to how you might work out a plausible solution -- please feel free to read it and improve upon it in whatever way you like.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Guides, RP, Death Knight, Inscription, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Class Q&A: Mage

Second up in the class Q&A (Shamans were first) are Mages, those lovable glass cannons. Or are they? The Q&A opens with Ghostcrawler discussing public perception of the class, with a prompt of "a lot has changed since the days when the 'glass cannon' description was applied."

General

GC describes the mage as "the iconic caster:" deals magic damage from range. They should be versatile enough to do single-target damage, AoE damage, and crowd control, and every group should want one. (I'm noticing a trend here -- GC also described Shamans as a class every group should want. I guess every group should want all classes.)

They like the different feel between the three trees is in a good place, with Frostfire possibly providing a fourth aesthetic. They have decided that "king of AoE" is no longer a good niche to put any class in, so now they're trying to give both AoE and single-target to all DPS specs (with "extra effort" to make sure mages do good AoE).

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Filed under: Mage

Spiritual Guidance: Disc Priest gives Arcane Mages 600+ spellpower


Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new UI blog for all classes. Today, Matt teams up with Arcane Mages to deliver some serious pain!

It's not very often I write posts about DPS. It becomes even more rare when I write about Mages. My only wish out of Mages is for them to learn another rank of Conjurable food and water.It's at the point now where I need to consume two of them to get a full mana bar back nearly.

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Filed under: Mage, Priest, Tips, Tricks, Raiding, Talents, Buffs, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Ask a Lore Nerd: Life and Death


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

Today we're fielding a lot of questions on the Light and the Shadow, and Life and Death. I don't know why, really, that's just how things happened! Trends like that are always fun, like the week or two where we had nothing but dragon questions. It makes picking out themes really easy!

Emorich asked...

I was under the impression that C'Thun wasn't dead. I thought we simply stopped him. After all, we were attacking one of his eyeballs, hardly a vital organ. Is Kil'Jaeden dead too? I thought we basically just pushed him back through the portal and now he's really pissed.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

The Queue: Legendaries are for suckers


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

What? Me lace a post title with jealousy? I would never do that! Never ever! Okay, okay, maybe there's some jealousy there. Can you blame me? Screw purps, I want me some orange. Orange is where it's at, cat.

erogroth
asked...

I have a question about legendary items. Do we know what Legendary items are planned for WotLK? Are there currently any in the game? If not what are planned for the future or can we speculate? It sounds like Ashbringer will not be a item that a player will be able to get. Is that true? Also, what about upgrade quest for old world legendary items. It seems like so much work went into getting them (Thunderfury anyone?) that it seems a shame that they are worthless.

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Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Blacksmithing, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Ghostcrawler on the state of the Mage

The tension between PvP balance and PvE balance is once more giving the developers a hard time. Ghostcrawler has made a post on the state of the Mage, and it runs roughly as follows. They're happy that Arcane is "starting to feel like a viable alternative" to Frostfire for raid DPS. However, they're concerned that Arcane does too much burst in PvP, and they need to figure out how to fix that without hurting Arcane too much in PvE. Argh! Can we just introduce different rule sets for PvP and PvE and be done with it? The devs have been saying similar things for Rogues since LK launched: too low in PvE, but we can't make them any higher in PvP or they'll be imbalanced.

He also touches on a few more points that don't make me want to hit things. The Improved Scorch debuff is "too much of a unique snowflake" in the new buff system, forcing exactly one mage per raid to spec for it and spend a fair amount of time casting Scorch to apply the debuff (compare Winter's Chill, which is applied passively); presumably, it is going to be addressed by making it easier to apply for Fire and/or castable by Arcane and/or other classes. Making frost-based Frostfire specs competitive is also "definitely a concern, but lower priority than these other issues."

Finally (and going back to PvE vs PvP), they would like to find some way to make Frostbolt builds competitive in PvE again (the phrase GC uses is "'Shatter combo' vibe"). However, so far, they haven't thought of a way to achieve this without buffing Cone of Cold Ice Lance [thanks, Bubsa], which they don't want to buff in PvP. Wouldn't it be simple enough to remove PvP from the game just make Lance do less damage or whatever in PvP?

Filed under: Mage, Forums

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

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