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Posts with tag gemming-for-mages

Does everything have to be fun?

When I was talking about reforging recently, one of the talking points for the discussion was that reforging isn't fun. This got me thinking: does it have to be fun? Reforging, enchanting and gemming my gear isn't something I do because I find those activities to be fun, it's something I do to be better at doing the things I do find to be fun (which is to say, killing monsters in Azeroth's various locales) and I'm okay with not especially enjoying everything.

This doesn't mean I want them to be painful or tedious. But while I am endlessly delighted by transmogrification, I don't think I need to feel the same obsessive joy in arrange my stats that I do in picking out new looks. In fact, I think it might actually detract from the game and the parts I do enjoy if reforging was compelling gameplay instead of a means to an end. That's because the name of the game, having a lot of options to gameplay, can only sustain so much interest before it becomes overwhelming. Everyone has a threshold of interest they can sustain. Some of us can do enough content in a week that valor caps seem restrictive, while others of us can barely even cap valor in a week. Some of us love alts, others can barely manage to keep one character going. These differences are what has led World of Warcraft to become a game with the dichotomy of enormous choice in terms of what content we can choose yet restrictions on how much benefit you can get from it, to make it more optional.

Into this mixture, elements of the game that are neither astonishingly enjoyable nor game-breakingly tedious serve an important function. They provide leavening. They create breaks between the peaks and valleys of the game experience - the crushing disappointments of nights spent wiping, or bosses who refuse to drop your desired item and the dizzy elation of a close arena match swinging in your favor, a first boss kill for your guild. There's an old saying that if everything is special, then nothing is, and one could argue that if the entire game strives to be fun at all times you'll soon come to lose out that sense of fun.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Gemming for mages


Cinch up your robes and brandish your wands, it's time for another edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that sincerely hopes that this picture was taken by a warlock, just before the mage on the other end got an honorable kill.

Around Thanksgiving, Arcane Brilliance received an email from a reader named Todd. I liked it so much that I wrote him back and told him I'd devote a column to his topic at some point soon. Though it has been over a month, I'm finally getting around to writing that column. In my defense, though: I'm extremely lazy. In the interests of space, I won't print the entire email, which was long, polite, and quite well-written. But here are some selections:

"Hi There,

My name is Todd. I LOVE your columns, and read them whenever I get the chance to. I am writing you trying to get help for my mother (who I sucked into playing WoW more than a year ago). She chose to be a gnome mage and embark upon the adventure of being an arcane spell caster. We fight side by side almost every day in heroics and raids (and rip the occasional warlock to shreds whenever the opportunity arises).

Anyway, I was hoping you might give us some assistance in regards to Gemming her gear. With the plethora of options out there it is hard for us to make a choice as to what will give her the best output for the investment...
"

Todd then goes on to list the specifics of his mother's gemming setup, and the philosophy behind it in detail, and closes with what he's tried in the past:

"Now we have noticed that this current setup is a marked improvement over the previous setups we had going. First we tried pure spellpower gems but found it lacking in staying power due to a low mana pool. Next we tried Pure Intellect Gems and found a generous mana pool (30k raid buffed, 28k party buffed) but could quite hold the top of the charts in dps (however, She was almost always in the top 3). Now we are trying this new gem loadout and are looking for some guidance to see if we are on the right path.

If you can help we would appreciate it.
"

First things first: Todd has the best mom ever.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Jewelcrafting, Features, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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