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Posts with tag mage-spells

Arcane Brilliance: Next steps for playing a fire mage at level 90

A draenei mage holds a fireball while surrounded by a field of fire.
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Stacey Landry is the resident mage here, bender of space and time, conjurer of delicious confectioneries and expert at dressing well while setting things on fire.

Congratulations! You've always wanted to play a mage alt but somehow never find the time, or perhaps you're considering a new main for Warlords of Draenor. Either way, you've decided to boost a mage to level 90 or re-spec your mage and you are faced with a decision. What spec would you like to play? We're going to talk eventually about all three excellent specs, but for now we're going to start with fire.

Being a fire mage has always represented the somewhat reckless side of wizardry. Fire mages used to take talents that would increase their damage done in exchange for damage taken. (Nothing ventured, nothing gained!) Modern fire maging is a little less risky than that and comes with many advantages. You might enjoy playing a fire mage if you want:

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: A timely discussion

A photograph of antique timepieces and watches
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Stacey Landry is the resident mage here, bender of space and time, conjurer of delicious confectioneries and expert at dressing well while setting things on fire.

I'm interrupting my planned final installment in the Challenge Mode tips series to talk about a more pressing topic. Things have really been heating up in the mage community over the past few days. (I'm sorry, I couldn't help it).

It all started when Celestalon made his fateful tweet about button bloat, asking what ability we worried about losing that might potentially be cut. Discussions about button bloat have happened in the recent past, but this sparked the discussion anew. A few mages suggested Alter Time might be a suitable candidate for a variety of reasons. More mages began to speak up that were vehemently opposed to its removal. Both sides became more vocal and some heated forum posts were created.

I don't mention this all to sow any more discord. At the end of the day, we're all robe-wearing, spell-flinging casters of magic. I'd like to see things kept civil. But it's a worthwhile discussion to have, if a "cut" is coming (and all evidence suggests that it is), what could we stand to lose and why?

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Talents and abilities you never use

mage talents
Any given class in WoW has a ton of different spells and abilities. More than I can reasonably hotkey to my decidedly un-fancy two-button mouse and $5 thrift shop keyboard, in any case. I do my best with keybinding and click modifiers, but inevitably there are some things that just aren't going to make the cut. Fortunately, these abilities usually present themselves without a whole lot of deliberation.

For example, on my druid, I don't remember the last time I used Soothe. The other ability I find gathering dust in my spellbook is Hibernate. I know I used Hibernate to help with crowd control for trash packs in Ulduar and Ruby Sanctum during Wrath of the Lich King, but since then? Nope. Hibernate does not live on my bars.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Arcane Brilliance: Going back to the future with Alter Time

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're going to jump into the not-so-distant future -- specifically, the day we hit level 87 in Mists of Pandaria. We're going to need 1% of our base mana, some plutonium, and 1.21 gigawatts, and we're going to need to be moving at 88 miles per hour.

Mages are getting a fair number of new or reworked spells and talents in Mists of Pandaria, but arguably the most intriguing of the bunch is Alter Time. Continuing along with the time -manipulation theme already established by spells like Time Warp, upcoming talents like Temporal Shield, and the time chicken tier 13 armor set, Alter Time allows us to transport our mages back in time to the ancient era of six seconds ago.

It's an incredibly interesting mechanic that works in practice about how I expected it to in theory, which is both good and bad.

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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, part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we have all kinds of talents to talk about. New talents, old talents, old talents with new talent scent, talents that look new but smell old, old talents that kill warlocks in new ways, cupcakes that taste like cranberry sauce, skillets that cook pastries that look like this ... I may or may not have eaten too much pie this week.

OK, we'd better get started. Lots to talk about and not much time or space with which to discuss it. I assume you've all had a chance to fiddle with the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator Blizzard just put on the official site? If not, go look, then come back.

It's interesting stuff. It's important, I think, that I stress that even though this is an official, Blizzard-sponsored reveal, all of this information is pre-pre-pre-alpha stuff, and it absolutely will change substantially before any of it goes live. So don't get married to the mechanics of any of these talents and skills as they're presented here. Don't squint too hard at the specific numbers, either. This is being presented so we can mull it over and give constructive feedback, and so that we can get a more detailed sense of the direction MoP's major talent overhaul will be taking our beloved mage class.

So let's get busy mulling.

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

Holy crap, Blink has sort of been fixed



Before you ask:

No, it still doesn't work going into or out of the flag rooms in Warsong Gulch.

Places it does work:

Going into and out of most other doorways. Up stairs. Through a great many smaller objects. Over unusual terrain, far more frequently than it used to. Overall: it works a lot more often than it doesn't work.

See, in case you missed it (as I did until helpful tipster James pointed it out to me this morning), Ghostcrawler dropped by a thread on the Damage Dealing forums (ironically titled "Blink Will Never Be Fixed") to drop this bombshell on us:

"There was a fix to Blink crossing terrain (such as indoor to outdoor) in 3.2.2."

I don't know about you, but I've been vigorously combing the book of Revelation for other signs of the coming apocalypse to be on the lookout for, just so I'm ready. Details after the break.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Highly ineffective!



Each week Arcane Brilliance puts on its game face and comes to play. It always gives 110% and leaves everything on the field. In fact, you might say that Arcane Brilliance just wants it more than the other team. Or something.

I think we can all agree that the first few Mega Man games were awesome. In case you just moved here from rural Nepal, or were raised Amish, or just awoke from a thirty-year coma or something, let me tell you why. The graphics were astounding for the era, the music was and always will be some of the catchiest game music ever created, and the games were incredibly challenging and fun. The Mega Man series introduced us to an awesome gameplay concept: you start out as a small blue robot with a tiny little pea-shooter on his arm, but each time you kill one of the games multiple robotic bosses, you get to use its special weapon from that point on. You kill Crash Man, you get to use his bombs. Take out Quick Man, you get to use his sweet, sweet boomerangs. Metal Man lends you the use of his metal blades. Much like in WoW, each time you bested one of the game's bosses, you couldn't wait to see what new weapon would drop from him. You worked your way through each level, dying repeatedly, trying out new strategies, until you finally downed the boss and claimed your reward, and for the most part, the reward was worth the effort.

Except for Mega Man 2's Bubble Man. His weapon sucked. It was called the Bubble Lead, and it was terrible. This special weapon was a large ball that rolled along the ground really, really slowly, crushing the dreams of young gamers everywhere as it went. It was kind of powerful when it hit, but so cumbersome and difficult to use that nobody ever bothered. The first time you equipped it and tried it out, excited to see what your new weapon could do, you watched that big slow ball of disappointment roll across the screen, and you swore to never use it again. Then you got to the last boss and discovered that the Bubble Lead was the only weapon that could really damage it. Yes, Mega Man 2 is awesome, but it is also iron-clad proof that game designers in the 80's hated us.

Similarly there are several spells in World of Warcraft that also suck. Every class has a couple. And though Mages are otherwise awesome, even we have a couple of bona fide stinkers.

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

Arcane Brilliance: The wonders of Frostfire



Each week Arcane Brilliance mixes frost with fire and comes up with a column about Mages. It's a delicate recipe, requiring just enough frost, and exactly the right amount of fire, with a thick glaze of arcane spread across the entire concoction. If you add too much lightning, you end up with Shamans. If your recipe calls for shadow, you might end up with a Priest. Whatever you do, don't let any amount of suck get into your recipe. Everybody knows that's what Warlocks are made of.

Frostfire Bolt is an interesting little spell. When you first hit level 75, visit your Mage trainer and learn it, you may think to yourself, "So...it does frost and fire damage? It's like a Fireball and a Frostbolt combined! You take some ice, and you combine it with some fire, and you come up with...slush? I'm not sure how something like that is effective, but whatever. Now I don't have to respec to fight fire or ice-immune mobs, I guess? Let me see if I can find a place on my action bar for this. There we go. Right between Amplify Magic and my tea-bagging macro."

You would not be totally wrong in thinking this way. Well, maybe for having a tea-bagging macro, but that's wrong for a whole slew of other reasons. At level 75, when you first obtain the spell, that's really about all it is: a damage spell to use when running into a mob that's immune to your usual nuke. Frostfire Bolt doesn't really hit its stride until you've hit level 80, talented specifically to get the most of the spell, and started to get some of that sweet Naxxramas gear.

Once it does start to live up to its potential, though, Frostfire Bolt suddenly becomes the primary nuke in the single highest DPS raiding spec for Mages in the game. After the break, we'll talk about the why's and how's of this wonderful spell.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Classes, Talents, (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

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