Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag frostfire

Arcane Brilliance: Things I'm going to miss

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, weekly mage column extraordinaire, and source of 99% of your daily recommended allowance of warlock hate. It's also rich in vitamin D. If you're wondering where you can get the other 1%, the answer is inside-out cheeseburgers. Very tasty, and warlock-hate is the secret ingredient.

There comes a time in everyone's life when they must say goodbye to something. My first major loss came in the summer of 1986. I wept like a little girl when the rubber band holding Snake Eyes' pelvis to his legs and torso finally snapped on that day, after a hard day of battle in which he and Storm Shadow had faced each other in mortal combat no less than twenty times. Even his ensuing career as the first, incredibly violent casualty in every firefight didn't dull the pain of that initial loss. I loved Snake Eyes! Why couldn't it have been Snow Job's stupid pelvis that snapped? For the love of God, why? Incidentally, I asked that same question when I redboxed the recent movie bearing sullying the venerable toy-line/cartoon series' good name.

And though I've spent the last few weeks laying out palm fronds and rose petals in preparation for Cataclysm's triumphant entry into the World of Warcraft, perhaps all is not as wondrous as I've made it out to be. Even in my optimism, I am becoming painfully cognizant of several aspects of the current game that I'll be missing to varying degrees once Deathwing arrives and brings with him all of his fancy new talent trees, masteries, guild perks, and approximately 11 million level 1 worgen hunters.

Yes, despite all the awesomeness in store, we mages will also be losing a few things. Follow me past the jump to gaze wistfully one last time at a few of these soon-to-be-gone relics of a bygone age.

Read more →

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!

Read more →

Filed under: Mage

Arcane Brilliance: A lament for Frostfire

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that today brings you the above fan-submitted picture of an apparent gnome explosion. Incidentally, Gnome Explosion? Also the name of my 80's tribute band. We play Tuesday nights in the parking lot at Scooter's Crab Shack just off the route 17 turnpike and we're known for our Stan Bush covers.

My father was a history professor, so I've always harbored a secret affinity for the events of the past. I like timelines, backstory, and dare I say it...lore. My mother, by the way, was a warlock-hunter, and warlock parents still to this day invoke her name in dire tones to get their warlock children to eat their vegetables, but that's a story for another time.

So, in the spirit of preserving the history of all things mage-related, I'd like to bring you this brief history of the single prettiest spell in the game: Frostfire Bolt.
  • November 2008: Wrath of the Lich King is released. Mages everywhere discover that at level 75 they get access to a brand new spell, called Frostfire Bolt. It combines the effects of both Fireball and Frostbolt. Because it benefits from all talents that affect either fire and frost spells, a new elementalist spec is born. It dives into both the fire and frost trees to take every talent that can possibly improve this single spell. Blizzard wholly endorses this spec, having introduced the spell for the sole purpose of allowing such a talent configuration.
  • December 2008: As mages everywhere enter the initial stages of raiding content in the new expansion, they discover that the so-called Frostfire build is at that time the single best DPS mage spec in the game.
  • March 2010: Frostfire what? I'm sorry. I totally forgot what we were talking about. Oh yeah. That old spell. People still use that?
Now, before all three of you serious Frostfire mages still playing this game destroy me, you should probably click through to the rest of the column.

Read more →

Filed under: Mage, (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.

Read more →

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

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide, the thrilling conclusion


It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that wishes each and every one of you a magical holiday season. Arcane Brilliance would also like to point out that it is writing this immediately following three days spent alternating between being in the company of in-laws who like to discuss politics and on the road for 12 combined hours with a five-year-old and a two-year-old possessed of mind-bogglingly small bladders. Arcane Brilliance cannot be held responsible for any grammatical errors or disturbingly homicidal thoughts you might find herein.


So how was your Thanksgiving? And if you don't live in the United States, how was your Thursday? Ready to get down to business? We've got a leveling guide to finish!

What's that, you say? Finish what? You've been otherwise engaged for the past couple of months and have no idea what I'm talking about? Fear not! On the interwebs, you can find anything. Here, for your convenience, is the complete compendium of Arcane Brilliance's mage leveling wisdom, such as it is:
Part 1: getting started
Part 2: 1-10
Part 3: 11-20
Part 4: 21-30
Part 5: 31-40
Part 6: 41-Outland
Part 7: 59-68
Part 8: keep reading, because this is part 8.
Part 9: completely revised Cataclysm mage leveling guide I'll probably be writing in six months or so...TBA
Part 10: (after the great zombie apocalypse of 2011) Brrraaaaaaiiinnnnssssss.....
Join me after the break as we head for Northrend and level 80.

Read more →

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

The Queue: Full of it

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com'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.

Since today's first question in Maelstrom-themed, we've decided today's edition of The Queue was a good time to link the supposed leaked trailer of the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, to be announced at BlizzCon '09. We haven't embedded the video to try and dodge waking up to a DMCA tomorrow, so just check it out on YouTube. We'll let Google deal with the mess, eh?

Revan asked...

"What instances would you suggest for a Maelstrom expansion?"

All of the things you suggested yesterday would work pretty well. Nazjatar and the Tomb of Sargeras would definitely be raid zones in a future expansion. I suspect we would also have a hella fun time in The Eye of the Maelstrom, which is the center of the whole storm there. Maybe we'd even visit Mak'aru, which is where all the gross crab people live. It probably wouldn't be a raid, but I could see a 5-man there. That is, if we don't ally with the gross crabfolk. Did I mention they're gross? Gross. I'd also lay down money that we'll get an Onyxia/Gruul/Malygos-style raid with a sea monster of some sort. The Lurker Below v2.0, now with eye lasers?

Read more →

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

15 Minutes of Fame: Playin' it old school


15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

Upcoming Raids
Zul'Gurub (Farm)
Ahn'Qiraj (20) (Farm)
Molten Core (10/10 Farm)
Blackwing Lair (2/8)
Onyxia (Farm)
Azuregos (Farm)

ZG (Farm)? Blackwing Lair (2/8)?! LOL wut?!? We've written before about players who love to chow down on some good, old-fashioned retro WoW content, avidly mixing original instances with the latest hotness from Wrath. Heralds of Yore from Smolderthorn takes that idea to the next level: not only do they specialize in old-school content, they do it as intended – at level 60.

Why would a guild put two entire game expansions on /ignore? Hearken back to the days of "vanilla WoW" with 15 Minutes of Fame and Heralds of Yore, after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Guilds, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, 15 Minutes of Fame

Arcane Brilliance: The state of the Mage, part 2, the sequel



Each week, Arcane Brilliance stirs you up a delightful goulash of Mage news, opinion, tips, and info, and seasons it all with an unhealthy sprinkling of Warlock hate. Mmmm. Tasty, delicious Warlock hate. Enjoy!

My formative years fell mainly within the late-80's and early 90's, back when Double Dare and Saved by the Bell were a daily afternoon ritual and it was perfectly acceptable to show up to school wearing parachute pants and looking like Brian Austin Green from 90210 (I'd be careful about clicking that last youtube link, the video contained therein quite literally made my brain bleed). My family was...um...frugal, so school shopping was always an exercise in humility.

"But Mom, all the other kids are wearing Bugle Boy and Jordache, why can't I?"

"Everybody else will have a sweet Trapper Keeper, why do I have to get this crappy notebook?"

"My friends get to play Crystalis and Life Force, why am I stuck with Destination Earthstar?"

I know that last one isn't at all related to education, but even while school shopping, my mind was on games. A lot of my best memories involve the Playchoice 10 display at Montgomery Ward.

All of these questions and many more elicited the same response:

"Chris, you shouldn't worry about what other kids have. You can't compare yourself to other people."

Oh Mom, how wrong you were. How very, very wrong.

In World of Warcraft, the late stages of the game revolve around how your class compares to those around you. Your raiding value is determined by how much healing you can muster, how many other classes and specs can out-DPS you, or how well you can hold aggro and mitigate damage. PvP is essentially a caste system so rigid and brutal India would be proud of it. So now that we've had the Lich King around for a solid two months and the classes have begun to settle into their roles, how do Mages stack up? Where do we rate? Can we walk down the cool kids' (Death Knights) hallway? Or are we the nerds, staying in the library at lunch to avoid getting beaten up because we bring Dragonlance novels and issues of Nintendo Power to school? Join me after the jump and we'll discuss where Mages stand.

Read more →

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

Arcane Brilliance: The best and worst of 2008



Each year, Arcane Brilliance cooks up 52 columns about Mages, each one roasted at precisely the right temperature for precisely the right amount of time (usually a couple hours on Saturday morning over a soggy bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, to be honest). As we arrive at the 52nd week of 2008, Arcane Brilliance would like to thank each and every one of the Mages who come here every weekend to celebrate our wonderful class by reading a giant, well-cooked wall of text. Arcane Brilliance would also like to say to the Warlocks who come here to mock us and drink our delicious tears, "We hope your felhound eats you."


Wow, so 2008, huh?

A lot of things happened this year, right? Crazy.

We here at Arcane Brilliance thought that since next week's column will be posted in 2009, we should take a moment this week to remember the year that was, and what it meant to all of us who walk the path of magic. There were some pretty high highs, and some exceptionally low lows, so we figured it would be fun to throw the highs into a ring with the lows and let them fight to the death. Join us after the break to see who wins!

Read more →

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

Arcane Brilliance: The wonders of Frostfire



Each week Arcane Brilliance mixes frost with fire and comes up with a column about Mages. It's a delicate recipe, requiring just enough frost, and exactly the right amount of fire, with a thick glaze of arcane spread across the entire concoction. If you add too much lightning, you end up with Shamans. If your recipe calls for shadow, you might end up with a Priest. Whatever you do, don't let any amount of suck get into your recipe. Everybody knows that's what Warlocks are made of.

Frostfire Bolt is an interesting little spell. When you first hit level 75, visit your Mage trainer and learn it, you may think to yourself, "So...it does frost and fire damage? It's like a Fireball and a Frostbolt combined! You take some ice, and you combine it with some fire, and you come up with...slush? I'm not sure how something like that is effective, but whatever. Now I don't have to respec to fight fire or ice-immune mobs, I guess? Let me see if I can find a place on my action bar for this. There we go. Right between Amplify Magic and my tea-bagging macro."

You would not be totally wrong in thinking this way. Well, maybe for having a tea-bagging macro, but that's wrong for a whole slew of other reasons. At level 75, when you first obtain the spell, that's really about all it is: a damage spell to use when running into a mob that's immune to your usual nuke. Frostfire Bolt doesn't really hit its stride until you've hit level 80, talented specifically to get the most of the spell, and started to get some of that sweet Naxxramas gear.

Once it does start to live up to its potential, though, Frostfire Bolt suddenly becomes the primary nuke in the single highest DPS raiding spec for Mages in the game. After the break, we'll talk about the why's and how's of this wonderful spell.

Read more →

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

Arcane Brilliance: Why Frostfire Bolt could change everything



Each week Arcane Brilliance serves up a big slice of Mage-cake. Of course, Mages have a very different idea of what it means to "bake" and then "frost" something, so Mage-cake might not be quite what you're expecting. Unless of course you were expecting a blackened husk of indeterminate (vaguely Gnomish) origin frozen into a block of ice, in which case you'll get exactly what you thought you were getting.


So last week was fun, huh?

I have to say, I expected some controversy, but nothing like that. My earlier column about how much I love being a Mage got 32 almost universally positive comments, which seemed quite respectable to me at the time. This one, in which I bemoaned what I perceive to be a very fixable problem with the class (the fact that our DPS doesn't balance out our incredibly poor survivability) is at 200 and counting. Reading through them over the course of this week, terrified to post any sort of response lest I be torn limb from limb and devoured, it seemed like there was no middle ground. Responses ranged from "Please consider discontinuing this article from here on" to "I think this is the most well written piece on this site that I've ever read." Of the 200 responses, I'd wager 150 or so were negative.

So what have I learned? You guys prefer optimism. Apparently.

This week, I went in search of things to feel good about. I do still love to play my Mage--much moreso than any other character I have--and I truly want to be optimistic about the direction we're headed as a class. Once I went actively searching for happy thoughts, I found they were out there, in abundance. In fact, many of them were suggested within those same 200 comments.

You see, as it turns out, Frostfire Bolt has the potential to be very, very nice. In fact, Frostfire Bolt could actually change everything. Come back after the jump to find out why.

Read more →

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

Mages in WotLK: I'm re-speccing frostfire



As you are likely already aware, the internets exploded yesterday with what is apparently leaked details from the friends and family alpha of Wrath of the Lich King. Arguably the biggest part of this news was that we apparently have access to very early versions of the new talent trees for several of the existing classes. Being the responsible, conscientious Mage columnist that I am, I immediately pored over the Mage talent trees, devouring this very premature, more than likely never-to-see-the-light-of-day info like a starving man would tear into a steak.

Of course, as we all know by now, information coming out this early is almost guaranteed to differ radically from what actually makes it live. Still, it serves a purpose. Even if none of these spells and talents reach the live servers unmolested, at least we're getting a glimpse into Blizzard's development process, and possibly seeing the direction they intend to take our beautiful class in.

We like Blizzard around here, and since they made it clear that they do not want us posting the new info directly, I won't be specifically listing the new Mage talents here. You can find those on the WotLK information Wiki, so click away. When you're done, come on back and join me after the jump, where I'll give my take on what the expansion appears to have in store for Mages.

Read more →

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events

Event Date
WoW's 10th Anniversary 11/21 - 1/5
Pilgrim's Bounty 11/24 - 12/1
Darkmoon Faire 12/7 - 12/14
Feast of Winter Veil 12/16 - 1/2

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories