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Posts with tag class-preview

Arcane Brilliance: Great balls of fire

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that asks the question: Which balls are the best? The answer, of course, is also provided by Arcane Brilliance: balls of fire. Balls of fire are the best. Wait, what kind of balls were you thinking about? That's pretty gross. But Arcane Brilliance likes where your head is.

When the Cataclysm class previews were announced by Blizzard lo those many months ago, my initial reactions were a decidedly mixed bag.

Arcane scared the crap out of me. Mana Adept? It took several weeks and many hours of therapy before I could envision any sort of scenario in which that idea didn't sound like a terrible, terrible idea.

Frost struck me as kind of meh. I gradually became more excited after I thought about it for a while, but Deathfrost and Wall of Fog simply weren't all that thrilling as initial concepts.

Fire, on the other hand, sounded awesome.

A giant ball of conjured flame that travels along a set path, sending out tendrils of destruction that incinerate anything in its path? Sexy.

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

Arcane Brilliance: I hope for an icy apocalypse

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that has, for well over two years now, been your one-stop source for mage-love and warlock-hate. Which, of course, made it pretty much inevitable that you all would vote that I roll a warlock by such a hilariously high percentage in Friday's Choose My Adventure poll. Jerks. Just know: it may not be all that fun to watch me repeatedly drown myself or run naked into crowds of high-level mobs. Or ... maybe it will be.

So, I don't know if you saw this, but I found it a little depressing. It's a collection of DPS data from the current endgame of WoW, Icecrown Citadel 25-man. And while fire and arcane mages appear to be right up there in the mix, frost is not. Instead, they're relegated to the same marginal, fringe PvE status that other under-represented specs enjoy, like subtlety rogues, or beastmaster hunters. It seems that not only were the few frost mages whose data made its way into those World of Logs parses doing some pretty woeful DPS, but so few of them were actually going into Icecrown that the data we do have is rendered completely unreliable. Maybe they weren't all that bad? It's tough to tell when there were sometimes less than 50 frost mage results. Even low-representation specs like arms warriors had thousands.

This, my friends, is unacceptable.

Frost mages, while kings of the PvP hill, have long been the redheaded stepchildren of mage specs when it comes to PvE content. Still, they've seen multiple recent changes to their spec that have promised to narrow the gap, and to a large extent, those changes have made something of a difference. Frost isn't by any means up to the same same level as arcane and fire yet, but in terms of raw DPS output, the gulf is narrowing.

Sadly, it seems nobody has noticed. Now, I'm not blaming frost mages. I expect that a large and unsavory part of the problem is not frost mages failing to go to Icecrown or failing to perform well when they do go, but is instead a failure of Icecrown groups to allow frost mages to go. The stigma against frost is ancient, its taint deep. I have all but given up on this changing during this expansion.

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

Cataclysm Class Changes: Protection paladin analysis


While the above was the most-looked-forward-to possible change in Cataclysm, we still didn't get it. Hopefully, the developers will come to their senses and change this horrible oversight on their behalf, but until then we are perfectly happy with just adding the tauren to our list of Light-touched brethren.

Yesterday, the paladin class previews brought us a brief glimpse of things to come. Some of them were expected, while others were a little more out there. Overall, I think there will be a lot of tweaking to the class as a whole in the coming expansion. We're going to see more defenses removed from our brothers and sisters in the other specs as well as having some of their tools become available to us.

Let's take a look at some of these changes after the break.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Cataclysm class skills previewed in Icecrown Citadel

Every one of us has been sitting at our computers with bated breath, eagerly waiting to see the new spells and abilities coming to our favorite class in Cataclysm. The truth, however, is that we've already seen many of these before. Some of these class previews started in Icecrown Citadel, not on the forums.

What are we talking about? In Icecrown Citadel, there's a mob in the Upper Spire region of the raid zone called Val'kyr Heralds. They summon other mobs called Severed Essences, which are clones of members of your raid. They don't use all of your exact spells, but they fit each class. With the exception of one (Focused Attacks), each of the unique spells Severed Essences possess have ended up being a new spell for their class in Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Paladin, Cataclysm

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