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Posts with tag mage-changes

Patch 5.4 build 17227 highlights and more

Frost Mage
The latest goodies and PTR build changes are up on Wowhead, and there are some very fine things there indeed. My personal favorite? The new achievement from the Proving Grounds: You're Doing It Wrong. You earn this achievement for successfully completing a Silver level proving grounds trial while in a spec not meant for it. I'm already planning my Balance druid spec for the healing challenge, just you all wait.

Other important items of note include the ongoing discussion surrounding the nerfs to Mana Tea for Mistweaver monks, as well as the Frost mage mechanic Mastery: Icicles. These threads are very much of interest to those who play the classes involved, and if you have missed some of the news on these topics it is certainly worth getting up to speed. There are also further notes on class changes and tweaks, the most extensive of which are occurring to monks, as well as a whole host of new vanity items, trinkets, consumables, and pets presumably related to the Timeless Isle.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 4.1 PTR for mages, (very) early edition

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we discuss the upcoming patch 4.1, which hit the PTR in the wee hours of Thursday here in the North Americas, sending WoW bloggers everywhere into an early morning, sleep-deprived fit of feverish typing, followed by a deep and possibly fatal sugar and caffeine coma. For those who were lost, we mourn you -- but not for long because we gots deadlines, yo.

So yeah. In case you've been stranded in some Mesopotamian nation or another without internet access for the past few days, we've got a new patch on the PTR. It's not the most earth-shattering patch we've seen, but for some reason I'm just inordinately excited about it. I woke up this morning with dreams of raptors, tiger/panthers, and armored bears fresh in my mind. I was quite sad when Zul'Gurub vanished from the game, but every time I flew over that part of Stranglethorn Vale and saw that the ancient troll city was still there, empty and tigerless, I felt a surge of hope that until the structures themselves vanished, the instance wasn't truly gone.

Just the idea that Blizzard is willing to take old raids and turn them into heroic 5-mans for me to churn through in my daily valor point farming efforts is a cause for celebration. Though old 5-mans get new life whenever you level a new alt through the old content, no single part of the game falls into misuse more completely than obsolete endgame content. To see some of it repurposed in such a relevant way, well ... I'm just giddy. Like a schoolgirl, only male and 30ish. Similar outfits, though. Cough.

So there's a lot there to look forward to, you may be saying, but what about mages? I come here to read about magecraft and also to hear about how warlocks drink their own urine. Where's the info on the parts of the patch that are specific to me? I hear you, reader who I just made up. Read on, and we'll talk all about the few but significant mage changes we can expect in patch 4.1.

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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: 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: 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.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Beta wishlist

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that would like you to know that yes, that is a screenshot from the Cataclysm beta, and yes that's a lowbie goblin mage. Also, the goblin on the right is Fizz Lighter, the goblin mage trainer. He's eternally flinging Fireballs at the goblin on the left, Evol Fingers, the goblin warlock trainer. The dirty lock is returning fire with an endless string of Shadowbolts. Even in screenshots, it's truly the most epic thing ever. I can't wait to see it live. And to assist Fizz with my own barrage of Fireballs. Stinking warlocks.

It's incredibly difficult for me to write about the beta for two reasons:
  1. I'm not in the beta.
  2. Anything I write about today is very well going to be completely different tomorrow. Or gone entirely.
So you can see my problem. I have been playing with the new 31-point talent trees almost non-stop since they were revealed. Like the crazed wizard I am, I have cobbled together approximately a billion different specs, molding them into vaguely humanoid shape and granting them life, then sending them forth to do my bidding. I call them "talent golems." I do this because I am a nerd.

Unfortunately, the next beta build will, in all likelihood, blow all of my precious creations up completely. This means that writing any sort of in-depth analysis at this point amounts to a bit of a mental merry-go-round. It's fun while it lasts, but you always end up back where you started.

So instead of wasting your time with a long diatribe on things which may or may not ever see the light of the live realms, I choose to waste it in a different way.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Beta: Mage talents and specializations

Let me begin by telling you I had an Arcane Brilliance column about halfway done last week before a family health emergency intervened, preventing me from finishing it. The column was going to be all about predicting what the new revamped talent trees were going to be like. Now that Cataclysm beta build 12479 has dropped upon us like manna in the desert, the entirety of that now-ancient text is so outdated as to be worthless. Let me assure you that it was witty, and brilliant, and possibly mankind's greatest written work -- art of such singular value that small children would have been taught of it from textbooks with my picture upon their covers. But, alas, now it is gone, relegated forever to a remote corner of my hard drive, never to be seen by human eyes. The literary world mourns.

Still, I was able to salvage one small fragment of it. It is but one of a batch of haiku I wrote about Improved Polymorph. I will reprint it here, because whatever else this monumental beta build has altered, my passion for this new talent remains.

improved polymorph
flaming warlock sheep corpses
snuffleupagus

On second thought, perhaps it's best that no more of that sees the light of day.

Anyway, let's move on the rest of the awesomeness.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Arcane Brilliance: Cataclysm beta highlights for mages


It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that hasn't gotten a beta invite, despite an ongoing salvo of increasingly pathetic groveling at the feet of Blizzard's customer service department. Oh, the things that Arcane Brilliance would do ... It's shameful, really.

So I want you guys to know that it's been difficult. I don't want you to assume it's been easy for me, this last run-up to the beta. There have been so very many things I've wanted to tell you but couldn't. I've wrestled with myself. There has been a hefty amount of soul-searching, an activity that -- for me -- requires spelunking gear and a machine gun that doubles as a flamethrower.

But now the beta has dropped, the NDA has been lifted and it's open season on all the awesome changes in store for the mage class. In the coming weeks, we'll be going over everything in ridiculous detail, picking through every new build with a fine-toothed comb and just generally having a total nerdgasm on a weekly basis. There's so very much to discuss. In the interest of getting started, though, I figured that today I'll stick to what I see as the most significant changes. There are plenty of other places where you can get a full list of new stuff. That information's readily available. In the end, we'll get to everything, but I figure when you come here, it's for three things: analysis, opinion and warlock jokes. I hereby promise to deliver at least some of all three.

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

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for mages

I have to say, there's an awful lot in the just-announced Cataclysm stat and system changes to take in. But if you're anything like me, you're able to cope with that dense heap of information by narrowing your focus to what's really important: what does all this mean for mages?

Here's the short list of specific things we need to be aware of:
  • Stamina - Like all clothies, we'll be seeing a bunch more of it on our gear. The aim is to have our max health be similar to that of plate-wearing classes.
  • Spirit - We won't need it anymore. It'll be a healer-only stat, and we'll be getting our mana regen some other way. In other news, there is a God.
  • Intellect - Now grants spellpower, but will provide less mana than it does now. I assume this is to balance out our mana pools with all that extra intellect we'll be seeing on all our gear.
  • Spellpower - Gone from most gear, the only place we'll now be seing straight-up spellpower that isn't tied directly to intellect will be on weapons, and only to distinguish caster weapons from melee weapons.
  • Haste - Still around.
  • Critical Strike Rating - Still around.
  • MP5 - Gone.
  • Spell Ranks - Gone. Every spell will now have only one rank and will scale with level. The levels at which we learn many of them will change, to fill in the gaps.
  • Mastery - New stat that will be tied directly to your talents. Supposedly, no matter your spec or class, getting more of this will always, always make you better at whatever it is that you're best at. For me, this means getting more mastery will make my mage incrementally better at making fun of warlocks.
  • Existing gear - All of it will change to reflect this new statistical system, but we're being assured that the gear we have now will still be good for us. I have concerns about this, though.
Brief (as brief as you're going to get with me, anyway) analysis after the break.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 3.3.3 PTR changes for mages

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that wants to point out that while gnomes often come up...er...short...when compared to the other races, they do have one special feature that always looks larger by comparison. Their spells are huge! Wait...what did you think I was talking about?

So anyway. It's always an exciting time around here when a new patch hits the PTR. We all wake up, head down to the living room and gather beneath the tree to open our presents. Sometimes the bounty is rich, and we reap a choice harvest of new content and features. Other times the crop is more meager. And while patch 3.3.3 doesn't seem to have brought with it the largest pile of new stuff we've ever seen, it's turning out to be a bit more generous than I'd have previously suspected.

Yes, for those of us who play this game, a new patch is just like Christmas. You just never know what you're going to get. Will that gaily wrapped parcel contain an N64? Or a hideous sweater? A huge buff? Or a soul-crushing nerf? Let's all head over to the PTR together and start unwrapping, shall we?

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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: Patch 3.3 PTR mage change analysis


Welcome to Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that champions the causes of wizards everywhere, be they fiery, frosty, or arcane...y. The top issue facing the mage community right now? Warlocks: how to get the stink out of your robes after setting one on fire? Fear not, Arcane Brilliance has the solution: when killing warlocks, always stand upwind.

Since last we convened as a body of mages, no fewer than two new builds have descended upon the PTR, heralding a slew of upcoming changes for our class. Alex wrote an excellent post covering the first few of these, but a few more nuggets of newness have surfaced since then that need to be addressed. And since I'm a diagnosed (and unrepentant) completionist, we're going to go ahead and double back to analyze those earlier changes as well. The next installment of our mage leveling guide will come next week.

So without further preamble, let's look at the changes, shall we?

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

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 3.3 PTR changes for mages



It's the weekend, and that means it's time for another edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column where the boys are boys, the girls are girls, and the warlocks are smoking husks that only vaguely resemble the humanoid shapes they once assumed.

We're taking a small break this week from our ongoing leveling guide parade. There are some things we need to discuss, you and me. We need to have a talk. Don't worry! It's nothing bad! We're getting a pretty sweet buff, actually. Well, arcane mages are, anyway. We just wanted to discuss it with you, that's all. Oh, we're sorry! Did you think Arcane Brilliance was breaking up with you or something? No, we'd never do that! Arcane Brilliance still thinks you're sexy.

See, it's this whole patch 3.3 thing that's happening right now. It's got Arcane Brilliance all hot and bothered. The other columns are too busy to talk to Arcane Brilliance about it. Totem Talk is all excited about "new totems" or some other such nonsense, Lichborne is too busy being overpowered, and Bood Pact... well, you didn't hear it from me but Blood Pact is written by a warlock. I know! Right here at this otherwise reputable website! Also, Blood Pact smells funny. I think it's a gland problem. It's very embarrassing. I shouldn't be telling you this. And Blood Pact drinks its own pee. Okay. That's enough. I'm done now. I've said too much. Keep this to yourself, all right? Loose lips sink ships and all that.

Jump on past the break and we'll discuss the patch 3.3 changes for mages.

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

WoW patch 3.2.2 changes for Mages


Since I have some extra time while I wait for my Mage to finish his looting animation, I thought I'd post a quick primer on the Mage changes patch 3.2.2 has brought us. There are only three (well, three and a half, I guess), but all three are of significant import. I posted about them in an Arcane Brilliance column way back when this patch first hit the PTR, but a lot has changed since then. Let's look at each change in turn.

Arcane
  • Arcane Blast: The buff from using this ability now stacks up to 4 times instead of 3, and each application increases mana cost by 175% instead of 200%. In addition, the duration of the buff has been reduced to 6 seconds.
Though not nearly as drastic a change as it was at the start of the PTR, this is still very nice. That fourth stack means whatever spell you throw out to consume the buff will do a whopping 60% more damage, and the mana cost increase isn't nearly the killer it used to be, even with four stacks. Plus, none of that matters anyway, since you won't actually be using any mana on the spell you consume your Arcane Blast buff with, because that spell will be free. "Why," you ask? Because that spell will be Arcane Missiles. "But Arcane Missiles costs a buttload of mana," you say? You're right. But you're also so, so very wrong:
  • Missile Barrage: The effect from triggering this talent now removes the mana cost of Arcane Missiles. In addition, the chance for Arcane Blast to trigger this talent is now 8/16/24/32/40%. All other listed spells continue to have a 4/8/12/16/20% chance to trigger it. This talent no longer has a chance to be triggered when spells miss.
See? Two things here:
  1. The proc chance is much greater for this when you cast Arcane Blast than it will be with other spells. By the time you stack four Arcane Blasts, you're almost guaranteed to get a Missile Barrage proc.
  2. When you cast a gatling-gun Arcane Missiles with this, not only will it be super speedy and awesome-looking, it will also be free. As in, no mana cost. As in yay.
So what does this mean?

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

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 3.2 for Mages


Each week Arcane Brilliance sits down to write a column about Mages and all things Mageworthy. Big news this week in Mageville: Patch 3.2 is hitting the PTRs. And we all know what that means -- new Mage cat forms. Finally.

Having had some time to ingest the 3.2 PTR patch notes, I feel I can now speak about them in a calm, rational manner. The PTR (and all of the additional changes that tend to take place therein) is only just beginning, and yet there are already so many nuggets of newness to devour that my news-stomach feels full to the bursting point. The Isle of Conquest... the death of 2v2 Arenas... Engineering becoming cooler... Emblems of Conquest dropping from heroics (?!)... the fact that Blizzard is now shutting all twinks away together in their own battlegrounds, exiled from the general populace, where they can only pwn each other all day long, until one day Kurt Russell is sent in to rescue the president after Air Force One crashes there... there's simply so much to take in that it's been a little bit difficult to process it all.

And yes, once again, looking at those patch notes, I can't help but feel a bit underwhelmed at the 3 lines Mages got. Does every other class really need that much more fixing than us? Really? Still, what's there deserves some analysis. We're not getting much, fellow Mages, but what we are getting is fairly significant. So let's all stop staring at the 72 changes Death Knights and Paladins got for a few minutes and have a little talk about the notes for Mages, such as they are.

One nice thing about the lack of changes we're getting: according to the brand new Mage Q&A, Blizzard thinks we're fine, which of course explains why we're not getting messed around with. More on that next week, after I've had a chance to make my peace with God and get my affairs in order. In fact, Blizzard has long suggested a direct corollary between the amount of changes a class is receiving and the general status of the class. Looking at the patch notes, I can't help but notice the following: Mage changes: 3... Warlock changes: 8. I'm looking at this as statistical proof that Warlocks are almost three times as screwed up as Mages. It's good to see Blizzard accept what I have always known: Mages are way better than Warlocks. Just like I've always said.

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

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