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Posts with tag mage-raiding

Arcane Brilliance: More questions than answers

Each week Arcane Brilliance endeavors to bring you all the latest news and notes from the land of Mages. This week, the subject is questions and the answers they conjure forth. The way it works is this: you wiggle your fingers for a while, ask some questions, and then poof! Blizzard gives you a cinnamon roll and a glass of water and sends you on your way.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, really, when Blizzard proposed this whole "class Q&A" series over on the official forums. When the initial post showed up, asking us to pose questions of the development team, Mages everywhere seized the opportunity to air grievances, request clarification, and make suggestions. The thread quickly swelled to epic proportions, and I waited, intensely curious, for Ghostcrawler's response. How many of our questions would be answered, and in how much detail? How much concrete information would we get? Which of the issues raised in the thread would be addressed, instead of just glossed over?

We got our answer post last week, and it turns out the answer to almost all of those questions appears to be: "Not a whole lot."

Join me after the break where we'll break it down Hammer-style.

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

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: The state of the Mage, part 2, the sequel



Each week, Arcane Brilliance stirs you up a delightful goulash of Mage news, opinion, tips, and info, and seasons it all with an unhealthy sprinkling of Warlock hate. Mmmm. Tasty, delicious Warlock hate. Enjoy!

My formative years fell mainly within the late-80's and early 90's, back when Double Dare and Saved by the Bell were a daily afternoon ritual and it was perfectly acceptable to show up to school wearing parachute pants and looking like Brian Austin Green from 90210 (I'd be careful about clicking that last youtube link, the video contained therein quite literally made my brain bleed). My family was...um...frugal, so school shopping was always an exercise in humility.

"But Mom, all the other kids are wearing Bugle Boy and Jordache, why can't I?"

"Everybody else will have a sweet Trapper Keeper, why do I have to get this crappy notebook?"

"My friends get to play Crystalis and Life Force, why am I stuck with Destination Earthstar?"

I know that last one isn't at all related to education, but even while school shopping, my mind was on games. A lot of my best memories involve the Playchoice 10 display at Montgomery Ward.

All of these questions and many more elicited the same response:

"Chris, you shouldn't worry about what other kids have. You can't compare yourself to other people."

Oh Mom, how wrong you were. How very, very wrong.

In World of Warcraft, the late stages of the game revolve around how your class compares to those around you. Your raiding value is determined by how much healing you can muster, how many other classes and specs can out-DPS you, or how well you can hold aggro and mitigate damage. PvP is essentially a caste system so rigid and brutal India would be proud of it. So now that we've had the Lich King around for a solid two months and the classes have begun to settle into their roles, how do Mages stack up? Where do we rate? Can we walk down the cool kids' (Death Knights) hallway? Or are we the nerds, staying in the library at lunch to avoid getting beaten up because we bring Dragonlance novels and issues of Nintendo Power to school? Join me after the jump and we'll discuss where Mages stand.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: On Deep Freeze



Each week Arcane Brilliance invites Mages everywhere to read a column about themselves. It then invites Mages to cast Mirror Image and have their copies read it also. It then invites those mirror images to in turn cast Mirror Image upon themselves, and those copies to cast it as well. In this way, Arcane Brilliance intends to become the single most viewed page on the web. Get casting!


Let me preface this by saying that if you are one of the many who label anything written by a Mage that isn't full of sunshine and candy canes as complaining, crying, or QQ, you may want to just stop reading right now. Thanks for coming, post your "UR TEARZ R DELICIOUS" nonsense in the comments section, and then go back to tea-bagging your kills on Halo or whatever. This column is not for you.

Ok, gone?

Good.

Now that it's just Mages left here, we can talk. Last week I made a promise concerning Deep Freeze. This week I intend to deliver upon that promise. You see, since last week's column, build 9014 and build 9038 have come and gone on the beta, and Deep Freeze still does no damage. We still have no idea, at least not in the form of a comment by a blue poster, whether this change is permanent, intentional, or just Blizzard screwing around with things the way they're still doing with Arcane Blast, i.e. over-nerfing a spell for testing purposes. All we know is that the Frost tree's 51 point spell sucks. It sucked two builds ago, and it goes on sucking to this very day. As I write these words, Deep Freeze remains on the beta, sucking like nothing has ever sucked before.

Now I must do what I must do.

There will be no sunshine or candy canes after the jump. This I promise you.

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Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Expansions, Humor, Raiding, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: Building your Mage, part 1: Raiding



Arcane Brilliance comes to you every week from the top of Archmage Xylem's tower in Ashzara. Yes, in between sending wave after wave of power-hungry Mages to kill Morphaz over and over and over again, the Archmage finds the time to put quill to scroll and conjure forth a weekly Mage column for WoW Insider. Just kidding, it's actually just some guy at a computer who writes these, and all Xylem does in between giving quests to unwary adventurers is walk from the bottom of his tower to the top and back again. It's a boring life to be sure, but all I do between typing paragraphs is walk from the computer to the fridge and back again, so who am I to judge?


When people who don't play World of Warcraft find out I play the game, a common question I get is "what level are you?" It isn't always asked that way; those unfamiliar with basic game mechanics might not know what a "level" is precisely, but the intent is the same. If they care to ask questions at all, they frequently want to know how "far" I've gotten in the game. Progression is a basic ingredient in video games, and when I tell them I'm level 70 (I generally leave out the part where I explain that I actually have two characters at 70, and between all my alts I have gained over 400 levels across 14 characters, so as to avoid getting the "oh, you're a crazy person" look from whoever I'm talking to), and they learn that 70 is the highest current level attainable, they typically assume I've "beaten" the game, that I've completed it somehow.

The problem, of course, is that WoW doesn't work like that. Hitting level 70 is definitely a milestone, and a genuine accomplishment, but it is nowhere near being the end of anything. If anything, level 70 is the flaky crust through which you must chew to access the real meat of the game. Frequently, characters will clock far more playtime after level 70 than they ever did while they were still gaining experience points.

Last week we discussed the myriad options available to a newly minted level 70 Mage, and I suggested a checklist of things to do to improve your character once that particular plateau had been crested. This week we'll begin going over one of the most important decisions a Mage needs to make at endgame: nailing down a talent spec. After the jump, we'll discuss some common raiding builds, what each build is good for, and how you can tweak each spec to match your play-style.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Level 70 checklist



Every week, Arcane Brilliance works its way into your spell-rotation, right between Fireball two and Fireball three. It has a zero second cast time, doesn't trigger the global cooldown, costs no mana, does ridiculous amounts of damage, creates no threat, and is entirely unresistable. Yes, I'm aware that's not a word. Yes, I understand that "irresistible" is the grammatically correct alternative. Yes, I like to make up words. Also, apparently Arcane Brilliance is the greatest spell ever, and should probably make up your entire spell rotation, and not just a part of it. The good news? I just saved you space on your action bars.


If forced, at gunpoint, to identify the most daunting aspect of the World of Warcraft experience, I know exactly what I'd say. It wouldn't be starting the game, as Blizzard has done a wonderful job of making entry into the game itself incredibly user-friendly. It wouldn't be beginning to raid, as hopefully when you go into your first raid, your guild will be fully aware that it is your first raid and won't expect too much of you, so you can participate without pressure.

No, I'd have to say the single most daunting part of the game happens at a very specific point, and that point is the moment you ding level 70.

Perhaps you don't realize it at that exact instant. For most, the moment of realization comes later. Perhaps it happens when you hop into your first Arena match and die two-and-a-half seconds later. Perhaps it happens when you get thrown into a Karazhan pick-up-group and notice half of your spells are being resisted by Attumen the Huntsman. Perhaps it happens while walking around Shattrath, and you notice a Gnome Mage, ostensibly at the same level as you, wandering around in full tier 6 gear, sporting a mana pool twice as large as yours and around a kajillion spell damage. Perhaps it happens when your guild leader tells you no, you can't come help on Gruul, because you have no spell hit rating, and you don't even know what that means.

So what are you to do? How do you turn your mismatched greens and quest-reward blues into gear that will get you a raid spot? Read on after the jump, and find out how to start down the road to becoming epic.

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Filed under: Mage, Engineering, Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Jewelcrafting, Leveling, Factions, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Battlegrounds, Arena

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