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Posts with tag hot-streak

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 4.2 changes, clarifications and legendary staves

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we discuss the perils of writing about the PTR, which stands for "Public Test Realm." For a very long time, I thought it stood for "Pirate Taco Restaurant," which I thought sounded more fun, frankly.

Yes, it's always a good time when I write something and the testing process immediately renders almost every word of it completely moot. Testing is testing, I guess, and absolutely everything that pops up on the PTR at pretty much any stage of the testing cycle is entirely subject to change. So remember what we talked about last week? The whole tier 12 set bonus thing?

No longer true.

Well, okay, I guess some of it still holds true, but not the really interesting part. Gone is the moving Arcane Missiles. To me, that was the single most significant bonus being offered by the tier 12 set for mages, but it's been removed entirely in the latest PTR build. The other bonuses remain, in slightly altered form, but mobile missiles is apparently out.

Still, I'm not perturbed, other than my simmering rage at having a thousand or so of my words -- wrung from my brain only a week prior, sweat out over a hot (or at least lukewarm, perhaps slightly moist) keyboard, painstakingly arranged into mildly pleasing, competently conjugated sentences -- become instantly irrelevant. You see, I actually think this could end up being a good thing for mages, and I promise that in a minute or two I will tell you why I think that, and the answer will not be "because of all that paint I huffed."

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

Arcane Brilliance: On the 12th tier and the set bonuses thereof

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we'll be discussing the Firelands patch and the sweet new mage gear it will be providing to us. Also, what is that thing sticking out of our helmets? Is that a tail? Made of fire? A flaming headtail of magical might?

So we're only a few weeks into patch 4.1, and already our sights are focused squarely on patch 4.2. You can hardly blame us, though. I mean, while I am thoroughly enjoying the current patch, what with its freshly recycled 5-man content and its new Dungeon Finder Call to Arms that I don't seem to benefit from in the slightest (my queue times are right back up to 30 minutes, thanks), but I think we can all agree that for a major content patch, 4.1 was substantially light on ... well, content.

Not so with 4.2. Patch 4.2 will be bringing us the Firelands, which is apparently a raid where epic cupcakes fall from the sky like rain, hardcore raiders experience orgasms just by zoning in, and we all ride flaming unicorns across lava bridges to do battle with volcanic dragon manticores. I'm not kidding. The entire raid sounds like something you'd see painted across the side of a rock band tour van in the '70s. We're also getting two new daily quest areas with their own epic loot vendors, and yes, the game's first legendary staff. And no, it doesn't have spirit on it.

New raid content means new tier sets, and this time around, we're reaching a cool dozen. The tier 12 set bonuses are interesting, to say the least, and bear a bit of looking at. Keep in mind, though, as we discuss these bonuses that we're still early in the PTR process, and everything on the test realms right now is entirely subject to change -- which is, in this case, a very good thing.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Assorted patch 4.1 thoughts

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we take a break from slaughtering trolls and digging up ancient relics long enough to discuss our early impressions of patch 4.1. My first impression: Cobraaaaaa!

The days and weeks following a major content patch are always an adventure. Suddenly Azeroth becomes the Wild West, with unexplored frontiers awaiting over every mountain, untamed vistas as far as the eye can see, and far, far too many people wandering around who haven't bathed in months.

Patch 4.1 has been no exception. Logging in on patch day is a bit like going to sleep in one world and waking up in another, one where up is down, left is right, Olivia has brown hair and wears tight shirts, and Walter Bishop has an intact brain and is sleeping with some Asian chick. You never know when you're going to discover some random new nugget of craziness that wasn't in the patch notes. You also never know when you'll be disconnected in the middle of a boss fight, but hey, patch days are patchy.

It's only been a few days, but undoubtedly you've noticed some good, some bad, and some weird new things lurking about the fringes of this digital world we spend time in. Let's take a look at some of the more mage-specific tidbits, shall we?

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

Arcane Brilliance: Perfecting the fire tree

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, though, it's mostly for fire mages, a spec that isn't at all broken. And yet, here we go, spending a thousand words or so endeavoring to fix it, just going to show that mages, given the opportunity, can and will complain about absolutely anything.

When I started this triumvirate of columns highlighting the shortcomings of the three mage trees, I knew that this would be the point at which I would start having problems. See, things were pretty easy with the arcane and frost trees. You can find those two previous columns behind the following links:
Both of those trees have real problems. You remember when you were a kid and you didn't want to eat your mom's meatloaf because it looked and smelled like something left in the wake of a mule with irritable bowels? And then she'd tell you to eat it because kids in whatever African country happened to be having a famine that year had it way worse than you? That's how frost and arcane mages want to respond when fire mages complain.

You think you have problems? Well how about I trade you my Arcane Barrage for your moving Scorches? See what kind of problems you have then.

The fire tree is flat-out incredible right now. It's near the top of the damage charts at the highest levels of Cataclysm raiding, the talent tree is spectacularly designed from top to bottom, and most importantly, the spec is just really fun to play.

Still, there are a couple of nagging issues -- annoyances that, if addressed, might just result in the game's first truly perfect spec. I think that's a noble goal, and we're gathered here today in pursuit of it.

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

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for mages in 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

The Cataclysm is getting close, so we've only got a few weeks of this transitional stage, but it's important to pick out our PvP talents heading into the expansion. Today, we're going to take a look at mages, who have the usual set of tools and a couple of new ones. Nothing drastic has changed, despite the overhaul in 4.0.1, so mages are still casters who do best at range. Nothing has made them capable of wading into melee and standing toe-to-toe with rogues or anything silly like that. Instead, what we've got are three interesting trees with slightly different ways to crush their opponents -- all of them fun.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

Arcane Brilliance: Catching up on mage Cataclysm changes

Each week, Arcane Brilliance steps out of a portal from parts unknown, bringing with it a knapsack full of delicious mage content conjured expressly for your consumption. Try not to overconsume, though. Nothing's worse than waking up one morning to discover your robes don't fit and your fingers are too chubby to waggle your wand properly.

And after that culinary intro joke, it's time we got to the meat of the matter -- specifically, the Cataclysm beta and the constant mage changes going on therein. Each week (and sometimes more than once during each week), a new beta build hits that brings more new stuff for mages. Sometimes these changes are big, and sometimes they're not, but I feel like it's high time we spent a column talking about the more recent ones. I've let like five builds go by without dealing specifically with this stuff, so we'd better get going.

I figure we'll start with the most important change and move forward from there.

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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

Breakfast topic: Streaks!

The game itself keeps track of a variety of streaks and other interesting stats. Just to spice things up for a bit, I like to think of odd little streaks that we have going on in my guild and in my raids. I wish more odd things like that would get tracked. There are both good streaks and bad streaks. Some good streaks would be like going 9 straight weeks on a boss without wiping. Another would be going 5 straight weeks where a Zod's Repeating Longbow dropped. We only had 3 hunters at t he time who could really use it. But there are bad streaks which I'm not proud of. Try going 9 weeks without seeing a Deathbringer's Will or going 4 weeks where someone gets mind controlled during the Blood Queen encounter. That stuff drives me to tears.

What about you? What sort of crazy streaks have you witnessed or been a part of?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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: 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

Arcane Brilliance: Good and Bad in patch 3.2

Welcome to another edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column where you can find all the latest issues that are important to those of us who can alter the molecular structure of our enemies, conjure great missiles of entwined flame and ice, and create delicious pastries from the very air around us, but can't seem to negotiate the mysteries of wearing anything more substantial than a fancy bathrobe into battle. Mages: masters of the arcane, failures at dressing.

Let me begin with a few nice things. These are things I like--things that do not, in principle, infuriate me. We'll get to things that do a bit later. I'll hide them after the jump, I suppose, so as not to annoy those of you who cannot stand to see even the most minor of complaints from any class but your own. For now, we'll be positive and cheery, and illustrate that--as it ever has been and ever will be--there are aspects of this game that I love, and aspects that I simultaneously do not. Such is life on the class-balance carousel. As a Mage with a pulpit from which to preach, I will never cease to celebrate the changes I agree with, and decry those which I consider to be affronts to Magekind.

Preamble aside, let me tell you what I love right now: our mana gems no longer share a cooldown with Warlock healthstones. Yes, though it wasn't in the patch notes, this seems to be an undocumented change that has made it live, and one that Mages have been lobbying in favor of for a very, very long time. For far too long, we've been largely unable to take advantage of the one good thing Warlocks have to offer, for fear that we'd use one and then not be able to pop our own mana returning item when the need arose. No more! Dying? Need a few thousand health in a hurry and can't wait for the healer to notice you're on death's doorstep? Ice Block on cooldown? Use that healthstone with impunity, my fellow Mages!

More good stuff after the break. Also bad stuff. If you dine on Mage tears, feel free to wring the second half of this column for whatever sustenance it might provide.

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

Arcane Brilliance: PvPing as a Fire Mage after 3.1



Each week Arcane Brilliance examines the magical majesty of Mages, and usually makes fun of the wimpy whininess of Warlocks. See that? That's some crazy alliteration right there. Also, I'd like to call attention to the fact that Arcane Brilliance called Warlocks whiny. Oh, snap! Coming from a column about Mages, that has to burn, right? And no complaining in the comments section, Warlocks. Arcane Brilliance pokes good-natured fun at you every week. Don't act surprised.

I know what you're thinking. Fire? In PvP? When you buy the game, doesn't it say right there on the box: "Embark on epic quests. Form powerful alliances. Engage an ever-changing world. Just for the love of God, don't take a Fire Mage into PvP"? If I remember right, I think it does.

When I first installed this game on my computer about four years ago and quested my zombie Mage all the way to level 10, the first talent point I ever spent was in the Fire tree, and I then spent the next sixty levels happily setting things ablaze. I discovered PvP somewhere around level 45, and queued my Fire Mage and his mismatched greens that probably had agility and strength on them up for an Arathi Basin battleground. One killing blow and about 37 deaths later, I rematerialized next to the battlemaster in Undercity, uncertain and confused, but undeniably exhilarated. I proceeded to take my Fire Mage into many more battlegrounds, discovering a great many things in the process, including the value of hiding behind trees, and the wonderful things Blast Wave could do to large groups of Alliance in Alterac Valley. I considered myself an Undead hand-grenade, charging into crowds and blowing up as often as I could. My average life-span was approximately 6 seconds, but they were always a glorious six seconds.

It wasn't until I tried a Frost spec at level 70 that I realized just how ineffective I'd been.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Features, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Battlegrounds, Arena

Breakfast Topic: Starting the year with fail

It's probably not a good sign, but I started the year off with fail. I had wanted to reach Merrymaker but unfortunately, I never got my cooking up to speed and my last minute rush to level my cooking was a bit too last minute and the seasonal event wrapped up before I could learn Hot Apple Cider. With mere minutes to go, actually. It's kind of like how I only needed the Hallowed Helm to complete Hallowed Be Thy Name. My wife had her own share of fail, too, when she her Mysterious Egg hatched into an Aged Yolk for the third time in a row on New Year's Day.

Instead of looking at them as bad omens, why not take things like these as some form of catharsis? Start the year right by getting all those bad vibes out the way. It's always best to start with fail than end with it, right? Yeah, positive thinking. So what about you? Have you gotten anything particularly unsavory to start the year? Maybe losing a roll by 1 point to get that weapon? Disconnected during the last match of a 9-0 Hot Streak? Let's get all that bad energy out and hope everything goes well from here.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Humor

Arcane Brilliance: Post-patch madness



Each week Arcane Brilliance shows you what happens when Mages stop being polite and start being real. This week, Arcane Barrage gets all up in Living Bomb's face, and fireworks ensue when Hot Streak hooks up with Combustion. Can Netherwind Presence and Missile Barrage learn to live together? Will Arcane Blast come to terms with the fact that it got raped? Will Deep Freeze finally reveal that it has Aids? Find out in this week's Arcane Brilliance.

Anyone else's head spinning like that chick in The Exorcist? I'm not saying I need a priest to come and cast patch 3.0.2 out of my body or anything, I'm just saying that holy crap. That was a lot of stuff, all at once. Even though I've been playing the beta, and constantly scanning this site and various others for information to prepare myself for all that was changing when the patch finally went live, it was still overwhelming to log in when my server finally came back up late Tuesday night and see how crazy everything had gotten. To be quite honest, I'm still adjusting.

In a ton of ways, what we're logging into today is an entirely different game than the one we logged into five days ago, even though our levels are still the same, we're still doing the same quests, and playing the same end-game content. Our mounts are still there, but in a different place. The bosses we're fighting still look the same, but are now way easier to kill. Many of our talents have the same names, but now do completely different things. Spells that were previously good are now bad, and some that were useless on Monday are perfectly serviceable today.

With the information overload we've all been presented with, I have found it best to focus on one or two things at a time, instead of attempting any sort of larger view. I look at each change as I notice it, rather than trying to address them all at once, purely out of fear of my head exploding. If you missed them in all the chaos, Arcane Brilliance did a two-part preview of the major changes, and you can find those here and here. After the jump, I'll go over some of the sparkly newness I've noticed but haven't covered yet in this space, both documented changes that managed to surprise me as well as those that flew a bit more under-the-radar.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Classes, Talents, Buffs, Enchants, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Mage changes in Wrath beta build 8885

Mages certainly weren't forgotten in beta build 8885. Did they get everything they could have hoped for? No, not really, they didn't. There are some nice things mixed in with the handful of changes though.
  • Hot Streak has been changed. After two Fireball, Scorch or Frostfire Bolt crits in a row, you have a 33/66/100% chance for your next Pyroblast within 10 seconds to be an instant cast.
  • Improved Scorch now does the exact same thing as Winter's Chill. Yay?
  • Improved Water Elemental now makes your Elemental regen mana to all party or raid members equal to 0.2/0.4/0.6% of their total mana every 5 seconds.
  • Fingers of Frost now lasts 15 seconds, but only affects you next two frost spells.
  • Slow received a straight buff, reducing movement speed by 60%, and increasing casting time and time between ranged attacks by 60%, all up from its original 50%.
  • Focus Magic now buffs the entire raid's damage.

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

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