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Posts with tag living-bomb

Arcane Brilliance: Things I love most about my mage in patch 5.0.4 (so far)

Arcane Barrage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, I'm taking a few precious moments that I'd otherwise be devoting to farming Tol Barad commendations so I can buy my Fox Kit to hammer out an ode to all the things I'm loving right now about patch 5.0.4. I hope you people appreciate my sacrifice. Seriously, guys. There are literally thousands of warlocks who are only still alive right now because the time I spend writing these columns is time I'm not spending killing warlocks.

There was a point on Tuesday night, while trying out my new rotations in the LFR against Ultraxion (several times, thanks to a long string of tanks who apparently have never used a taunt before), where I fully realized that my arcane mage had Living Bomb. I mean, I knew about it, had tried it out on the beta, but had never raided with it and actually inserted it into my rotation. So there I am, blasting away with my arcane mage and his new decidedly-more-than-one-button rotation, and I see that Living Bomb button on my action bar, and I press it, and then a few seconds later it explodes and I refresh it, and what's this? Am I crying? Yes ... yes, I'm crying like a child while I blow up that giant dragon.

So I'm happy with patch 5.0.4. I know not everybody is. Most of the complaints seem to revolve around the new talent system, which we'll get to in a minute. But me? I am completely on board. I have my quibbles. (Why do my Mana Gems vanish after logout again? I thought we fixed that annoyance a few patches ago.) But any minor issues I notice quickly drown in the massive wake of all the happy. And there is a lot of happy.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Bombs and tempests on the Mists beta

Frost Bomb
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're discussing my favorite kinds of mage spells: the ones that blow things up real good. Namely, warlocks. I like the spells that blow up warlocks. This should not come as any sort of surprise to anyone, ever.

I don't know about you, but I didn't roll a mage for the free strudel. I'm not going to lie; the prospect of magical baked goods didn't hurt. Unlimited pie is something of a draw for me. But when I chose mage for my first character lo those many dead warlocks ago, I did so because I wanted to make pixels explode in spectacular fashion.

And my mage certainly didn't disappoint. Over the years, I've thrown my share of Pyroblasts, Frostfire Bolts, and Arcane Explosions, and the resulting pixel explosions have been quite satisfactory. Still, I'm nothing if not greedy. In my opinion, when it comes to exploding pixels, more is always better.

And so, when I learned of the new talents, the ones I was secretly most excited by were the three bomb talents we were choosing between at level 75. The worst part? I had to choose just one.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Blinking into the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator, the epic conclusion

MoP mage talent build
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we finish our conversation about things that may or may not ever happen, and even if they do, they won't for a very long time. Man, I love wild speculation.

This week, because they hate me, and because I actually had something written in advance for once, Blizzard went and stealth-updated the MoP talent calculator with no warning whatsoever. I submit that from here on out, Blizzard needs to give me at least a week's notice before it makes significant changes to the game or any of its future versions. I think it's only fair, since mages are getting the ability to Alter Time, that we get just a little bit of a jump on the future. I have deadlines to meet, people! Work with me here.

The good news is that the majority of the changes appear to have been made to the part of the talent calculator we haven't discussed yet: the actual talents. If you missed them, here are the first two parts of this discussion:
And now, if you click the link below, you'll magically teleport to part three. No, I won't port you to Org. Stop asking.

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

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: News and notes for mages from PTR patch 4.0.6

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, a magical journey awaits ... a fantastic voyage through a mystical realm. I speak, of course, of the Public Test Realm, and the wondrous patch notes that dwell therein.

Now before we begin, I should make it clear that mages aren't getting anything even remotely earth-shattering in patch 4.0.6. It's not like Blizzard is letting us autofire while moving or anything. But a patch is still a patch. Things are going to change, and though mages have been left largely un-fiddled-around-with (at least in comparison to many other classes), we do have some incoming alterations to be aware of.

So with our expectations in an appropriately subdued state, let's peek beyond the jump for an annotated look at what be happening, yo.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 4.0.1 stat weights and gemming for mages

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're discussing stats and gemming. As you all know, the most important stat for mages (once you've hit the whine cap) is pew-pew -- which you'll want to stack at all costs -- but as far as secondary stats go, you should be reforging everything into QQ.

In our ongoing coverage of all the crazy crap you need to worry about after patch 4.0.1 dropped a crazy crap-bomb on our class (and, to be fair, every other class also), we've discussed talent builds, spell rotations, glyphs, and of course, the fact that most of the glyphs currently in the game are wrong. But one thing we haven't yet covered is all those numbers next to your character sheet. You know the ones I'm talking about: defense, dodge, expertise, and the most important of all, RBIs. Which one is the most important to get? And which is best for warlock-slaying?

I'm joking, of course. Employing comedy to deflect your attention from the fact that I'm not wearing any pants, and also from the fact that I don't really know what the hell I'm talking about. But good news! Nobody else does, either. When it comes to stat weights in this uncertain, pre-Cataclysm world, we're all still figuring it out on the fly, really. It's actually kind of fun to go to the official forums and see violent disagreements between people who are equally ignorant of their subject matter. It's like watching any Fox News panel of "experts" argue about the evils of video gaming.
Mass Effect is hardcore cyber-porn!
Medal of Honor trains terrorists!
Plants vs. Zombies encourages plant-on-zombie violence!
Frankly, that last one is true. Also, I made it up. Just like a lot of people on the forums are essentially making up their stat weight and gemming strategies right now -- because to put it as simply as I know how: We just don't know yet. Nobody does. Even the evil geniuses over at Elitist Jerks are still sorting this mess out. And they're evil geniuses.

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

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: Mage AoE in Cataclysm, part 2


It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that likes AoE. In fact, you can expect those three specific letters in that precise configuration to appear approximately fourty-three thousand times during the course of the column to follow. Pretty impressive, considering the column's only a shade over 1,500 words long. How'd I do it? A true magician never reveals his tricks, guys.

A brief history of fire:
  • 17,000 B.C. - Motivated mainly by an intense desire to cook bacon, mankind discovers fire.
  • 3,000 B.C. - On Azeroth, the first mage, motivated mainly by an intense desire to cook warlocks at range, discovers how to hurl a Fireball.
  • 2004 A.D. - Mages set fire to Hogger for the first time. Bacon is served.
  • 2010 A.D. - Cataclysm comes out, bringing with it such fiery wonders as Flame Orb, moving Scorches, and the reworked Combustion. Warlocks are served.
  • 2015 A.D. - Following the Zombie Apocalypse, mages find that Blast Wave + conjured strudel is the ideal skill-set for surviving in a world full of ravenous undead. Zombies are served. Also: zombie warlocks. Also: zombie bacon. Mmmm ... zombie bacon.
Last week we discussed the general changes to AoE spells across the board, as well as the specific AoE capabilities of the arcane and frost trees in the upcoming WoW expansion, Zombie Cataclysm. Those trees both have their ways and means of killing things in large groups, but I think we can all agree that when it comes to mass murder, the fire tree is where it's at. Join me after the break, won't you?

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

Arcane Brilliance: These are a few of my favorite things

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column from the author of Don't Break My Sheep: Diary of an Angry Mage and 101 Ways to Cook Warlock.

This is going to be slightly shorter and even more rushed than usual, guys, because new baby. I'd post pictures, but this is the internet. I'll wait till he's a bit older and can ruin his own life. The kid's our third, our first boy, and I'll only say one thing about that: After two girls, I simply wasn't prepared for the peeing. Seriously, the kid fires that thing straight up, without warning, and with laser precision. I've taken to placing a washcloth over his loins during changings, a tip suggested by my genius wife.

Now that I've grossed you out, let's move on to today's topic: awesomeness. Paternity leave from work has given me some extra time between hilarious eye-peeing episodes to fiddle in earnest with my mage on the beta. And though I have some complaints, I'll save them for another week, one in which I'm not still basking in the afterglow of seeing my wife push a baby out from her nether regions. I'm too happy to complain this week, so if you've come here looking for constructive criticism, you're in the wrong place. Join me after the jump for a few of my favorite things about each of the three mage specs in the beta.

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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: 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: Mage leveling guide, 59-68

It's time once again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that would like to thank its readers profusely for the deluge of screenshots it received last week. Arcane Brilliance sent out the call, and you guys responded in droves. There were so many, in fact, that it was an impossible task to select just one for the column. Arcane Brilliance finally went with this one, apparently of an undead pimp of some type, simply because it made Arcane Brilliance chuckle. Also, the column this week is about leveling through Outland, and this is a pretty good representation of how your mage will look throughout that leg of the journey: like the mutant love-child of the entire cast of Saved by the Bell.

Seriously... you guys are awesome. Sooooooo many good pictures to use. I may have to start writing like 12 of these a week, just to have an excuse to use all of them. Thanks again, and keep them coming. Even if I don't get to use them, I just enjoy browsing through them. So many mages, so little time.

Last week, our mage leveling guide hit level 58 and fled vanilla WoW for the alien landscapes of Outland. This week, we'll tackle the 10 levels your mage will be spending there, amongst the hellboars, sporebats, and ravagers.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Quests, Expansions, Features, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Talents, (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

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Mage Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class, raiding, and PvP guides we take a look at exactly what changes and how the changes will affect your playing.

So...a patch happened or something? I guess it's a big deal. People are excited or whatever. I'm way too cool to show any kind of positive emotion, so...meh. Meh, I say.

Ok, I can't keep that up. Patches always make me happy. I've been known to break into song and engage in impromptu yet highly choreographed dance routines on patch days. This time around it was a little number called "Living Bomb is Castable on Multiple Targets Now...Yay!" The lyrics are actually quite clever. They go like this: "Living Bomb is castable on multiple targets now...yay!" repeated several times, and sung to the tune of whatever Wiggles song my kids happen to be listening to in the background at the time. Or sometimes to the Knight Rider theme. Don't ask me why. I'm a musical genius and I don't have to explain myself to you.

Anyway, let's take a quick look at the ways this patch will be affecting Mages. Here's a five-word preview:
  • Living
  • Bomb
  • Multiple
  • Targets
  • Yay

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Classes, Talents

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