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Posts with tag fire-spec

Data suggests mage changes solved spec issues

GuildOx sends us interesting news of a change in the ratio of specs for raiding mages. Prior to hotfixes and patch adjustments that happened over the past couple months, raiding mages were overwhelmingly fire specd -- over 90% of the top mages were specd into fire. Now? According to GuildOx data, 45% of the top mages are arcane spec, and 39% are fire spec. Prior to the changes, arcane was around 3%.

While this change in mage spec might seem an oddity and not necessarily important, it does serve to illustrate an key fact: balance changes can and do work. All these small changes to the way that the game is played, be it through small hotfixes or modifications to the encounter designs; these changes eventually lead to an equalization of spec and greater player choice.

Of course in a perfect world these minor changes wouldn't be necessary to correct major deficiencies. But, given that the game is so fluid and changes are a natural part of WoW these days, it's encouraging to see that they have the desired effect.

Is there a method to Ghostcrawler's and his team's madness? Yes, and it appears to be working.

Filed under: Mage

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: A Cataclysm 101 guide for mages

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we'd like to welcome any and all of you who decided the end of the world was as good a time as any to roll a new mage. For you newbies, here's magehood condensed into sound effects: Pew pew! Splat! Rez!

It has come to my attention that there are still some of you out there who are not mages yet. Unacceptable, people. Frankly, there are only a few legitimate reasons left that make not being a mage OK:
  1. You are a warlock.
  2. You are a tauren. (A reminder: the Interracial Humanitarian Association of Tauren and Everyone in WoW Against Race Limits On Choosing Kinship with Sorcerers, or IHATEWARLOCKS, still meets every Saturday, right here at WoW Insider. I'm bringing nachos and punch this week. You should totally come.)
  3. That's it, really. I don't know, maybe you have a severe allergy to massive crits or something? Just roll a mage already.
I imagine that the combination of a new and immeasurably improved leveling process, exciting new race/class couplings, and the introduction of worgen and goblins has already inspired and will continue to inspire a fresh influx of the uninitiated to join the hallowed ranks of magedom in the coming weeks. As is our custom here at Arcane Brilliance, we would like to offer a quick and dirty guide to being a mage for those of you plan to join our awesome little club of awesomeness in the coming weeks. It is our ongoing mission to keep magehood the single most highly prepared and well-played class in the game, so here is a basic primer in advance of the release of the biggest WoW expansion yet. Join us, won't you?

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

Arcane Brilliance: Fire mage Cataclysm talent analysis


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we take a hard look at the new fire tree in Cataclysm and beyond. Well, not really beyond; I'm not sure how we'd even do that.

The next three weeks will find Arcane Brilliance looking in depth at each of the mage talent trees, with all of the associated bits and bobs. Because it's very likely the most popular of the three specs right now, we'll begin with the fire tree. Or will we? Yes ... yes, we will. I'm sorry, I just got done watching Inception for the first time (I know, I'm slow), and I'm pretty sure none of this is real and all of it is a dream. A dream where I get to write a weekly column about mages and set fire to warlocks over and over without repercussion. And you guys are all in my dream with me! Frankly, I never want to wake up.

The fire tree, in my opinion, is a model of good design. From top to bottom, the talents play off of each other, working together in creative ways that just make the tree fun both in theory and in practice. It's not without its problems, but the issues are comparatively minor. We'll mention some of them, but only in the interest of full disclosure. For the most part, the fire tree seems to be an example of Blizzard's getting it right.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Fire mage 4.0

It's Saturday, and that of course means it's time again for Arcane Brilliance, weekly mage column, hero to the downtrodden, vanquisher of evil, dispenser of justice. That's right. By day, Arcane Brilliance is a mild-mannered mage-related wall of text. But by night ... Arcane Brilliance is Deathspank.

Another beta build hit a couple nights ago -- as they tend to do -- and it brought a number of class changes. A quick glance at the new talent trees revealed the expected (some talent position swaps, a few talents vanishing, some tooltip alterations, the occasional loss of a rank here and there) and the ... unexpected. Three changes in the fire tree, particularly, caught my eye:
Yes, the tooltip for Molten Shields really is "Redesign!" With an exclamation point. For emphasis.

So clearly the fire tree is in a certain amount of flux? I became instantly excited. The fire tree, perhaps more than either of the other two trees, really has been due for some focused attention. Then I saw this, from none other than Lead Game Designer Tom Chilton:

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

Arcane Brilliance: Fire 101

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that believes there is no such thing as too much Pyroblast. You can certainly have not enough Pyroblast, as any fire mage who is desperately praying to the RNG gods for a second consecutive crit so that Hot Streak will grant him an instant one can attest. But you can never have too much. Never.

Since publishing Arcane 101 and Frost 101, for our series of class 101 guides, I've received numerous requests for Fire 101. Where is it? When is it coming? Why haven't you written it yet? There's even one guy who I swear has emailed me pretty much daily inquiring as to Fire 101's whereabouts. These emails progressed steadily in their tone and verbiage from mild annoyance to frustrated desperation, to thinly veiled threats to do me bodily harm. It wasn't long before the emails began coming with increasingly creepy pictures attached: first one of a road map with a thumbtack in the southwestern portion of Nevada, then one of the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign, then one of the street where I live, then one of my house, my driveway, and so on. The picture contained in yesterday's email was of a naked man who wasn't me standing in my bathroom brandishing a large knife. So, I've decided that today is the day!

Now, please ... get out of my bathroom, crazynakedguy@iwillstabyouinthefacechrisbelt.com.

As always, these posts come with a small disclaimer: these are meant to be basic guides covering a general overview of the spec from a PvE perspective. This one is meant as an introduction to Fire. It will not help you maximize your DPS on heroic 25-man Lich King. It will, however, help you get some idea of what the fire spec is, and how to go about playing it.

Without further ado, I bring you Fire 101.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Changes to the Fire tree



Each week Arcane Brilliance Blinks behind you and hurls a Fireball full of Mage content up your tailpipe. It stings, yes, but the burning sensation is only temporary. Just wait until you see what the Warlock gave you. It's nasty, and trust me when I say that it won't be going away anytime soon.

I've been neglecting Fire Mages, I'll admit it. Before you wind up a Pyroblast and point it my way, hear me out. There's a reason. Since we Mages stepped our flimsy, cloth-clad feet onto the shores of Northrend those several months ago, we've gone through a decent amount of changes. Unfortunately, very few of those changes were to the Fire tree. The news-making specs have been everyone's favorite love-it/love-to-hate-it spec, Arcane, Frostfire, and to a lesser extent, Frost. With so much to report on regarding the other specs, Fire has sort of been put on the back burner (yes, you can expect more bad puns as we proceed--you have been warned). It still blows stuff up like it always has, but does so in as quiet and workmanlike a fashion as a spec that conjures enormous explosions can. Fire Mages are still out there, Fireballing away in relative obscurity while the next Mage over throws his flashy Arcane Barrages or Frostfire Bolts, but there aren't as many as there once was.

I became a little excited when we were told that Patch 3.1 would bring "more survivability for Fire spec in PvP." Though it wasn't anything big or flashy, finally I might have something to report on regarding everybody's favorite fire-starters. Then the PTR patch notes came and went, bearing with them no real Fire-related change to speak of. I keep forgetting that the PTR notes change by the day.

PTR build 9658 has finally put Fire Mages back in the news. The changes aren't anything huge on the surface, but they speak to a new direction in Blizzard's design philosophy for the spec, and with any luck will lead to more changes. After the break, you'll find the complete changes, along with a look at the current and future state of Fire Mages as a spec. You wear your flame-retardant gear, and so will I.

Read more →

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

A Fire-specced Chevy Grand Prix


Miamoryax, an undead Mage from Blood Furnace, sent us these pictures of her new car and license plate -- she took along her Carrot-on-a-stick and Horde keychain (we'd like to see pictures of that) to the DMV and decided to pick up a vanity plate that was fitting of her Mage mentality (and car's red color). Looks great, but the car's probably got to worry about pulling aggro with all that visual DPS.

We've added her pics to our WoW license plate gallery, where you can see players of all specs and classes sharing their love for the World of Warcraft through their favorite mode of transportation. It's touching, really, although it does provide an interesting insight into the kinds of cars we drive around: cheap ones, by the look of it. Blizzard's got all of our car money, apparently.



Update: Wish granted. Here's the (official!) Carrot on a Stick keychain, seen elsewhere in Mia's Flickr stream.

Filed under: Mage, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Mounts

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