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Posts with tag mage-stats

Arcane Brilliance: Mists of Pandaria mage guide to stats and reforging

Human fire mage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we talk about how awesome mages are. But did you know that you can make your mage even better? I know! It's like chocolate-covered chocolate. Or a cheesecake that also grants you three wishes. Or an Avengers movie that is also directed by Joss Whedon. Or a warlock that is also dead.

With just over a week of this pre-expansion/post-patch limbo to go, it's high time we covered one last piece of patch 5.0.4 mage business before we turn our eyes almost exclusively toward the impending influx of pandaren and monks and ... pandaren monks. But good news! Most, if not all, of what we discuss here today will also apply in Mists. Though there are always small shifts in stat weight at endgame, we're still quite far removed from knowing exactly how things will shake out when we're all doing hard mode raiding.

This expansion brings some major changes to our stats, radically altering the benefits they do and don't provide. Before we get to each spec and its stat weights, let's look at each stat and familiarize ourselves with its Mists of Pandaria version.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Do mages need to be hit-capped?

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're discussing a topic near and dear to a caster's heart: the problems associated with reaching the hit cap. Because when you conjure a flaming boulder from the ether and hurl it toward the hideous walking nest of claws and teeth that's currently eating your tank, you don't want to miss.

We've discussed this before. But this is a new expansion, and a new crop of players seems to be playing it, and I just had to berate a holy pally in Zul'Gurub for like 15 minutes about how he doesn't want the Hakkari Loa Drape that just dropped because he doesn't need the hit rating on it and he should give it to the elemental shaman instead -- and did I mention it took 15 minutes to convince him of this? Needless to say, the run was long, yeah, and lo, it was also full of wiping.

So the facts are these: The game has been out a long time, but the playerbase is constantly rotating. It may be hard for old-timers to accept, but even the most basic of gameplay concepts still need to be explained, and ignorance of a thing doesn't constitute a bad player, necessarily -- just a new one or one who is returning after an extended absence.

All of this is the long way of answering the many emails and comments I've gotten lately about hit rating, its importance, and whether or not mages still need to worry about capping it.

The short way? Cap hit.

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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

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: Gemming for mages


Cinch up your robes and brandish your wands, it's time for another edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that sincerely hopes that this picture was taken by a warlock, just before the mage on the other end got an honorable kill.

Around Thanksgiving, Arcane Brilliance received an email from a reader named Todd. I liked it so much that I wrote him back and told him I'd devote a column to his topic at some point soon. Though it has been over a month, I'm finally getting around to writing that column. In my defense, though: I'm extremely lazy. In the interests of space, I won't print the entire email, which was long, polite, and quite well-written. But here are some selections:

"Hi There,

My name is Todd. I LOVE your columns, and read them whenever I get the chance to. I am writing you trying to get help for my mother (who I sucked into playing WoW more than a year ago). She chose to be a gnome mage and embark upon the adventure of being an arcane spell caster. We fight side by side almost every day in heroics and raids (and rip the occasional warlock to shreds whenever the opportunity arises).

Anyway, I was hoping you might give us some assistance in regards to Gemming her gear. With the plethora of options out there it is hard for us to make a choice as to what will give her the best output for the investment...
"

Todd then goes on to list the specifics of his mother's gemming setup, and the philosophy behind it in detail, and closes with what he's tried in the past:

"Now we have noticed that this current setup is a marked improvement over the previous setups we had going. First we tried pure spellpower gems but found it lacking in staying power due to a low mana pool. Next we tried Pure Intellect Gems and found a generous mana pool (30k raid buffed, 28k party buffed) but could quite hold the top of the charts in dps (however, She was almost always in the top 3). Now we are trying this new gem loadout and are looking for some guidance to see if we are on the right path.

If you can help we would appreciate it.
"

First things first: Todd has the best mom ever.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Jewelcrafting, Features, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Statistically speaking



Arcane Brilliance is a Mage column on a weekly spawn timer. It shows up all of a sudden on your computer screen or your iphone and starts wandering about, waiting for somebody to come shake it down for loot. What does this rare and wondrous column drop, you may ask? It drops a magical potion that, when imbibed, grants the magical ability to waste about 15 minutes of your employer's time reading a column about Mages. Hurry up and tag it, before the guy in the next cubicle does!


I'm listening to a playlist full of old NES chiptunes as I write this, Zanac, Ninja Gaiden, Mega Man, Crystalis, Shatterhand, Tecmo Super Bowl, Legacy of the Wizard--just some awesome old stuff, some of which comes from composers who went on to become even more awesome. I love the game music from that era; I find it absolutely amazing what those guys could make that tiny sound chip do. And yes, I am a massive and unrepentant dork. Why do I bring this up? I have the playlist on shuffle, and the overworld theme from Dragon Warrior just played, and it got me thinking about this week's subject: stats.

Dragon Warrior was my first role-playing game. It was my first exposure to such concepts as experience points, and leveling up, and hit points. Stats in games of that era were pretty simple. You had strength, which affected how hard you hit things, and agility, which...made you more agile? Who knew? That was about it. Hit points measured how many whacks you could take before you died, and magic points ran out as you used spells. There wasn't a whole lot to it.

When I first started playing WoW, knowing which statistics were important to my Mage and which weren't was comparatively simple too. As you leveled, you looked for intellect and spirit. At max level, you learned the value of a few other stats, like spell crit, spell damage, and spell hit rating. Generally, if it said "spell" in front of it, your Mage wanted it. Now, though, we have so many different stats--one covering every aspect of every spell we cast, and so many different ways to customize the amounts of each that your Mage's gear has--that it can be quite daunting trying to decide which ones to prioritize. Follow me through the break where we'll discuss the various caster stats and the relative value of each to our class.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Statopia


Arcane Brilliance is back again, if belatedly so, to fill your day with more magey goodness. I thought that this week we would look into some of the finer points of magecraft. No matter how good you are as a mage, at some point you will have to shift your focus from your technique to your gear.

The bonuses to your spell schools can mean the difference between being at the top of the DPS charts and wallowing in your own caster tears somewhere near the bottom. But building up a huge amount of spell damage gear, although good, may not be the most effective way to epic out. There are two other stats mages need to look at, specifically spell hit and spell crit, and without knowing the proper balance between these three stats you will never be the best mage you can be.

First, let's look at the stats themselves.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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