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Posts with tag mage-leveling

Arcane Brilliance: Professions for Mages, part 2



Each week Arcane Brilliance, a column about Mages, levels up. It gains 3 intellect, 2 stamina, 2 spirit, and 1 talent point. In case you were wondering, Arcane Brilliance has been leveling up every week for the past four years. That's right: Arcane Brilliance is level 208. What has Arcane Brilliance been doing with all of those talent points, you ask? Arcane Brilliance is specced 63/75/60. And yes, Arcane Brilliance still gets pwned by Lichborne in the 201-210 pvp bracket.


Last week, we took our Mages job-hunting. We looked into Tailoring and Jewelcrafting, and explored the three gathering professions. This week, our job search takes us into slightly more magical territory, as we look at the potential benefits of Enchanting, Alchemy, and Inscription. All of these professions are similar, in that they begin with vowels.

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Filed under: Mage, Alchemy, Enchanting, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Leveling, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Inscription

Arcane Brilliance: Professions for Mages, part 1



Each week Arcane Brilliance thinks about its career as a Mage. It considers which profession to pursue, and polishes up its résumé:

Previous job-titles: Sweet DPS, Table-whore, Sheep-bot

Job skills: Can blow stuff up good. Able to conjure 400 strudels per minute (depending on lag). Can teleport. Hates Warlocks...

Now that the PTR class changes for patch 3.1 seem to have died down a bit, we can finally talk about other things. I asked last week for topic suggestions, and you guys responded in typically spectacular fashion. That's one of the best parts about writing a column for Mages: my readership is made up of freaking Mages. I can always count on you guys to be smart and insightful...as well as complete nutjobs.

Suggestions ranged from relatively normal (PvP tactics), to angry and bitter (One guy is switching his main to a Death Knight because Mages apparently suck now), to mean (I should rename the column from "Arcane Brilliance" to "QQ"), to clever (the most effective places to AoE farm, since, you know, we are the kings of AoE), to disturbing (Top 10 ways to cook and serve Warlock on a budget). Okay, so I made the last one up. Several of you thought a column on profession choices for Mages would be a good idea. So, that's what you're getting this week. Well, the first part of it. I plan to do this in installments, which may or may not come on concurring weeks. The next part will probably be coming along next Saturday, barring any crazy patch-news or my sudden demise.

Those of you who've been reading this column for awhile may remember the last time Arcane Brilliance dealt with professions for Mages. So much has changed since then--both for Mages as a class and for the professions themselves--that I felt an all-new multi-part guide was in order.

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Filed under: Mage, Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Tailoring, Analysis / Opinion, Jewelcrafting, Leveling, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Dual-speccing your Mage



Each week, Arcane Brilliance brings you a wealth of Mage news and information, an unhealthy amount of incredibly biased commentary, a sprinkling of unnecessary and entirely random pop culture references, at least one unapologetically hateful and frequently childish comment about Warlocks, several examples of poor spelling and questionable grammar, and the occasional wildly inappropriate fart joke. I apologize in advance.

Patch 3.1 is allegedly bringing with it one of the most significant changes the game has yet seen: the dual spec system. Players have been clamoring for the option to switch between specs freely as long as players have been clamoring for just about anything, so this new system promises to make a lot of people very happy. I'm a little excited about it myself. I may or may not have taught my two-year how to say "dual spec." I think she believes it to mean "when I say this, Daddy starts smiling and talking a lot." I also may or may not be secretly training her to be a tiny Warlock-killing machine. "OK, kiddo, this button here is called 'Counterspell.' Go ahead, push it. Now blow up the Gnome with the ugly doggie over there. Good job!" I believe Warlock-hate is something that can only be taught at home. I'm not trusting the school system to instill those values in my kids, that's for sure. And, yes, I'm a terrible, terrible parent.

Ahem. Back to dual specs.

Though the system will undoubtedly be more exciting to hybrid classes, we Mages will still benefit greatly from ready access to two different talent specs in our own special pure-class way. No, we can't switch roles like a Warrior or Druid will be able to--no matter how we spec, we're always going to be DPS--but having a different brand of DPS at our fingertips to switch to when the situation calls for it will be more significant than you may think.

So what, exactly, will dual specs mean for Mages? Click on the magical orange text below and we'll discuss the possibilities.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Leveling your Mage, 70-80



Each week,
Arcane Brilliance invites Mages everywhere over for brunch. We serve muffins, sweet rolls, croissants, and enough mountain spring water to wash it all down. Then, for dessert, Arcane Brilliance conjures strudel for everyone, because who doesn't like strudel? If you raised your hand, you, sir or madame, are a dirty, dirty liar. Everybody likes strudel.

About a billion years ago, when Warlocks still ruled the world, back in those dark days before Arcane Barrage, spellpower, and elementalist specs--in that bygone era before Death Knights appeared in Azeroth, bringing with them their ridiculous magic resistances and eighty-seven different ways to silence or interrupt--Arcane Brilliance brought you a series of Mage leveling guides. In those days, we didn't have any of this crazy "rock music" you kids listen to now, and when we fought Illidan, we had to chain pot. We walked naked twelve miles to school through nineteen feet of snow while fending off wolves and dinosaurs with our bookbags, and we liked it.

Things are different now. Nowadays, when you hit level 70, your experience bar doesn't vanish, never to return. We have ten new levels and an entire new continent to adventure our way through, new talent points to spend, new gear to pick up, and several fresh and exciting ways to barbecue zombies. It's an exciting time to be a Mage, and Arcane Brilliance is here to open a portal to level 80 for you.

If your Mage is at some other point along the leveling continuum, you can find the previous leveling guides here, here, here, and here. You can find the new one by clicking the words "read more" directly following this period.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Quests, Expansions, Features, Leveling, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: Leveling your Mage through Northrend



Each week, Arcane Brilliance rounds up all of the quest mobs in an area, gathers them all up into a giant, tagged, frozen gaggle, then AoEs them to death while everybody else has to watch and wait for the respawn. Just kidding, Arcane Brilliance doesn't actually do that at all. Why? Because that would make Arcane Brilliance a selfish jerk. I'm not even making a joke here. I'm saying in thinly veiled code to that Gnome Frost Mage in Gjalerbron yesterday, "you, sir, are a selfish jerk." Ok, so maybe the code isn't even thinly veiled. Maybe it isn't even a code, exactly. All I know is that one of these days, I hope you forget how much mana you have, and run out right when you've gathered an extremely large group of quest mobs, and that those quest mobs then surround you and tear you limb from Gnomish limb while you mash your Ice Block button in vain. Jerk.

So, apparently an expansion came out, or something? Seriously, what are you doing here, reading this? I'm going to assume that you're trapped at work or something. Don't despair! There's still time for you to cultivate a nice, wet, contagious-sounding cough, something that can only be cured by a bit of time off, spent nursing yourself back to health in front of your computer, killing zombified murlocs and getting sea-lions to mate with each other. Not that we don't want you here, of course. We here at WoW Insider appreciate every second you choose to spend here. But holy crap, Wrath of the Lich King is awesome.

Follow me after the break, and we'll discuss the process of leveling in this strange new continent, list a few leveling builds, and just generally blabber on about how awesome everything is.

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

Arcane Brilliance: How long will my gear last me?



Each week, Arcane Brilliance emerges from the sewers beneath Dalaran, weary from dueling (and winning!) over
and over in the Circle of Wills, to deliver to you a column about Mages. What's that you say? What good are sewers in a floating city? Where does all the sewage go? Does the city drift over the countryside, forever trailing a series of sewage waterfalls? Ah, but you forget: Dalaran is a city of Mages! Even our poo is magical.

After reading our own Adam Holisky's excellent post on upgrading tanking shields in Wrath, I decided I wanted to know how long my Mage's gear would last in the frozen north. It's a fair question, and I suspect a common concern. We've worked hard for our shiny epics--either by raiding like crazy or grinding for honor or Arena points, and often a bit of both--and the thought of leaving them behind in one of the expansion's first zones for some green quality item that drops off a random mob is a little bit depressing.

We want to feel--in these last months before Wrath arrives--as if our efforts have not been in vain. If we're still rolling in Karazhan gear, is it worthwhile for us to spend the time upgrading? If our guild has worked its way up through Sunwell Plateau, are we going to replace that gear right away, or will it last us a few levels? How motivated should we be to try to obtain the best that Burning Crusade has to offer before making the trip to Northrend?

Well, fear not. Arcane Brilliance is here to show you how long you have before you retire your level 70 purples. And relax: it'll be longer than you think. Come back after the jump, won't you?

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Filed under: Mage, Blacksmithing, Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Leveling, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: Leveling your Mage, 60-70



Mages sometimes get a bad rap. Some say we whine too much, while others claim we stink at PvP, or pull aggro too often from the tank. Here at Arcane Brilliance, we ignore these people, because we know the truth. You see, it's a well-known fact that while people tend to like awesome, they simply can't handle too much of it. When people see Mages in the back row, flinging giant balls of flame and ice from their fingertips, landing ridiculously large crits on everything, or plucking delicious magical food out of the air before them, their sense of what is and what isn't awesome gets skewed, and this makes them feel weird. They don't like it. They fear it. The awesome that Mages bring to the table is just too much for most folks to handle. Remember this the next time you get yelled at over voice chat, or someone posts a nasty thread on the forums. We Mages are just too awesome. It's our curse. Luckily, we can remove curses.

Last week, we hit level 60. A long time ago, this was the end of the line, the top of the heap. Once you hit level 60, your experience bar disappeared, and only by improving your gear could you continue to advance your character. That all changed about 18 months ago, when Blizzard introduced us to the world beyond the Dark Portal, 10 more levels of experience, and level 57 greens that were better than level 60 purples. Last week, we brought ourselves to the brink of level 60, to the doorstep of Outland, and this week we'll explore that vast and dangerous new frontier and see where it takes us. Join us after the break for a look at what to expect from the last ten levels of the current game.

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Filed under: Mage, Items, How-tos, Instances, Quests, Features, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Making money, Mounts, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Leveling your Mage, 20-40



Each week at some point on Saturday, Arcane Brilliance brings Mages together from every corner of Azeroth to discus how awesome we are. Five seconds later, the discussion degenerates into a whole lot of whining about Warlocks. Someone ninjas all the manna biscuits, a scuffle breaks out, a million Frost Novas erupt at once, and the very fabric of the universe is sundered when everyone tries to Blink away simultaneously. Then the next Saturday arrives and we get together to do it all again. Secretly, you see, we enjoy sundering the universe. We're Mages. That's just how we roll.

Level 20! Grats! Last week we talked ourselves through the first twenty levels of Magehood, from our humble beginnings slaying kobolds in Elwynn Forest or boars in Durotar to sheeping adds in The Deadmines or Wailing Caverns. This week we'll take our maturing Mages through the next twenty levels, all the way to level 40, halfway to Arthas. Numerically, anyway.

When you ding 20, you've reached what could reasonably be defined as your first major milestone within World of Warcraft. You have 11 talent points under your belt, which means you likely have a clearly defined specialty for you Mage, whether it be Frost, Fire, or Arcane. You've now got access to many of the spells that set you apart from other classes, and are learning how to use them. You've hopefully been into an instanced dungeon or two, and have some grasp on your role within a group dynamic. And now, at level 20, you get to do a whole mess of new junk, and all of it is awesome.

Join me after the jump for a more specific quantification of how awesome.

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Filed under: Mage, Tips, Quests, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Mounts, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Leveling your Mage, 1-20



Every Saturday, Arcane Brilliance freezes you in place, then Blinks behind a pillar and turns Invisible. You can look for Arcane Brilliance if you want to, but I can tell you that's a bad idea. You see, while you're looking, Arcane Brilliance is positioning itself behind you, cooking up a giant Pyroblast and aiming it up your tailpipe. You really only have a few options here. You can a.) cry, b.) curl into the fetal position and wait for the sweet embrace of death, or c.) distract Arcane Brilliance by quickly yelling "Spell damage is more important that spell hit rating, discuss!" and then log out while Arcane Brilliance is busy posting on the forums about what you just said. I'd go with c.), personally. Works every time.


Recently, I discovered that there seem to be leveling guides on this site for just about every class but Mages, so it's time I stepped up to the plate. The problem is, Mage was my very first class, on my very first character, on my very first foray into the World of Warcraft, which took place approximately forever ago. Ok, so it's only been about two-and-a-half years, but in WoW years, that's the rough equivalent of a million kajillion years ago. My memories of those first few levels are fuzzy at best, and I can condense what I remember learning into two statements: "Murlocs are evil," and "The only way out of Undercity is to use my Hearthstone." One of those statements eventually stopped being true for me, and the other one is "Murlocs are evil." Needless to say, I didn't feel entirely qualified to write a leveling guide for the first few levels of Magecraft.

To rectify the situation, I decided to roll a brand new Mage, so that I could experience those first few levels all over again. To ensure that the experience was as pure as I could make it, I created my Mage on a new server--the newest actually--Cairne. I knew nobody on that server, and had no alts there, so this Mage, a Human female I named Niwt, would be an entirely virgin Mage. I had never played an Alliance Mage before, and never leveled any character in the Human starting area, so the quests would be new to me, and the landscape foreign. I disabled all of my mods and dove in.

It was horrible.

I learned a lot though, or remembered learning a lot, depending on how you look at it. After the break, more text!

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Filed under: Human, Gnomes, Undead, Trolls, Mage, Mining, Tips, How-tos, Draenei, Blood Elves, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Making money, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Lowbie instances and the upwardly mobile Mage

Each week Arcane Brilliance endeavors to deliver a brief glimpse into the flame and sheep-filled (and sometimes flaming sheep-filled) world of Mages. Today we focus on the younger students of sorcery, those of us still growing into our robes and pointy-hats, because we here at Arcane Brilliance hold firmly to the motto that even the tiniest ball of flame is important, and still a freaking ball of flame.

So for some reason, be it temporary insanity, an unhealthy obsession with dresses, or just an irrepressible urge to be completely awesome, you've rolled Mage.

You've fried a few raptors, frozen a couple of furbolgs, completed a few quests, and probably died horribly at the hands of a Rogue or two, or maybe after stubbing your toe on a rock, I don't know, Mages don't get a lot of hit points. You're ready to step beyond the first zone and out into the wide world beyond. You hike up your robes so you don't trip over them and cross the bridge into The Barrens, where you discover that there are a lot of other people doing quests, and killing raptors, and asking inane questions like "where i find mankrik wife?" and "wat is stolen silver at?" and "Who would win if Chuck Norris fought Santa?"

Frankly, I think the answer to that last one is "nobody." If those two fight, we all lose.

After some low-grade emotional scarring your psyche will never truly recover from, you'll learn to tune most of it out. Once your mind learns to filter the madness that flows through that chat channel, you'll see that certain questions are not inane, and may actually be important. Most of these will be variations of the same thing: "Looking for group, Wailing Caverns."

Following some brief negotiation, you may find your new Mage in a party of five, deep within an instanced dungeon, losing loot rolls to a Warlock. You will level at high speeds, and find gear in a hue that is decidedly bluer than you may be used to.

After the jump: I'll spotlight two low level instances that are perfect for Mages, the best caster loot that drops therein, and the bosses you need to hunt down to get it.

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Filed under: Mage, Priest, Warlock, Items, Instances, Leveling, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Leveling your baby mage


It's only been a few days since Patch 2.3 was released, and you are already itching to create some new alts, aren't you? Totally understandable, lots of lower level characters are getting some love now that the experience gain has been accelerated. But seeing as how that exp boost doesn't kick in until level 20, Arcane Brilliance is here to provide you with some tips and tricks for getting your mage leveled with speed and style. Now, we've already talked about low-level gear, so let's move on to some of the more juicy parts of leveling your baby mage. So roll your new mage in your starting area of choice and meet us after the jump.

For the super mage gods out there: I realize that there are plenty of ways to level a mage, but this guide is my take on the quick and dirty way to get to 20. Perhaps you did it differently, and perhaps you don't even think this worthy of a guide. But that's the lovely thing about our class: we go with what works. In my experience having leveled a couple of mages past their 20's, these tips work, and so I share them with those looking to level their mage alts. This guide is for those who are new to the class, and as such might seem elementary to you, but we all had to learn the basics as some point, right?

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Filed under: Leveling, Guides, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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