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Posts with tag mage-talents

Arcane Brilliance: Fun and frivolity for mages

A female draenei mage casts many portal spells in one location.
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 know that some of you who read this column may not be full-time mages. Some of you may have mage alts. Some of you are warlocks - actually an alarming number of you are warlocks, I think that you secretly like us. That's okay, you could always make a mage and be eight billion times more awesome. We'll wait.

That's not what I'm here to talk about today, though. I know that sometimes as a DPS player it can become easy to get caught up in numbers. Best in slot gear, logs, damage done - all of that. I'm not saying that doing damage isn't fun. It is ridiculous, enemy annihilating fun. But there's more to life as a mage than that. In the spirit of the holidays, I'd like to discuss some of those more lighthearted things. They should apply to long time mages and dabblers alike, unless otherwise noted.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Putting the brilliance back in arcane

A draenei mage wearing a purple robe floats in midair above the city of Dalaran
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 haven't forgotten the arcane among us. When it comes to flavor, arcane mages have it in spades. All of the now definitive mage abilities - Alter Time, Time Warp, Arcane Explosion - these all stem from the power of the arcane. These mages are not elementalists, but delvers into the arcane secrets, the essence of magic itself. Arcane mages embody everything you think of when you think "wizard," mysterious and powerful, and with sparkly spell effects.

I've played arcane over the years at various times, usually when it was too good to ignore as a top-performing spec. Mists introduced some major changes to arcane, even from patch to patch. The charges of Arcane Power went from six to four. The cooldown on Rune of Power was removed. The range of Rune of Power's effect was increased. Scorch went baseline for fire - not a bad result for fire, but tough if you were an arcane mage. Ice Floes is not a panacea when it comes to movement and casting, though the cool down and charges on it were also adjusted for the better.

To be completely clear: Arcane mages aren't having a hard time in terms of damage output. Currently arcane is very high performing. If you look at some of the numbers from various sources, arcane is not just high, it's the highest. That hasn't necessarily made it popular, though, for a number of reasons. Arcane is facing a few challenges.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: A glimpse of the future


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.

The dust has settled from BlizzCon and everyone is buzzing with excitement about Warlords of Draenor! A few items of note came out of the reveals shared at the convention, and we're going to take a look at some of them today.

Gear and Stat Changes
Just after expertise had been changed to allow us to use it in addition to or in place of hit rating, both of these stats are going away in WoD. If your mage is a race that grants an expertise or hit increase as a racial bonus (i.e. draenei, gnome, etc.) you can expect a revamped racial with the expansion.

With the removal of hit and expertise we also say goodbye to reforging and meta gems. Honestly, I think this is mostly good news. Hit was never a very interesting stat, and constantly having to juggle it on your gear to a set cap and then ignoring it doesn't add much to game play. Expertise was just another way for mages to chase hit if they needed it. Meta gems were another road bump on the way to outfitting your character. There's always been one gem that's best for us, period, and so this wasn't presenting us with interesting options either.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Talent Show

draenei mage
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week we're holding our breath to see what news will be revealed at Blizzcon!

If I could have absolutely anything from Blizzcon this year specifically pertaining to mages, it'd be this: I'd like to know what the future of our tier 6 talents is going to be. It's already been acknowledged that they'd like to make changes to these talents. The devs know that the talents are an ongoing concern and really a major thorn in our side.

It became clear to me just how I felt about the tier 6 talents as I was leveling my troll mage to 90 a few months ago. I went to do a dungeon as a fire mage and I evocated, and imagine my surprise when -- it triggered a long cooldown. I got some mana back. Nothing else happened. My invocation buff tracker remained at nothing. I happily did the rest of the dungeon without ever using evocate at all unless I needed mana. Then I realized that it was more fun to be level 88 than it was to be level 90.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Critical points

Arcane Brilliance Critical Points
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we talk about things that are flammable (hint: Cloth is especially flammable. Warlocks are also especially flammable because of their fel centers).

I hear you pyromancers out there clamoring for me to talk about you. Frost had the more pressing need! It's the only spec to majorly change in patch 5.4. The only change to fire was a 50% nerf to Combustion because - let's face it - it was just too good. Even after the nerf, fire is still really, really good.

But I'm new here, and we haven't talked about mages in quite awhile, so let's take a long view of fire. Prior to Mists, fire saw a lovely and elegant redesign. Fire has always been my spec of choice. Maybe it's the visceral WHOOSH-BOOM that accompanies a Pyroblast! proc, or the satisfying crackle of flame at your fingertips. Whatever it is, you have to admit - fire is the sexiest mage spec.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: The Big Freeze

Arcane Brilliance The Big Freeze
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we wish we had four-piece T16 so we could drop an icy boulder on someone, preferably lots of someones.

Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome last week. I appreciated all of the comments, and everyone was positive and friendly. Except, of course, Ms. Felface over there. She called us muffinmakers, something only a warlock would say. We don't make muffins, we conjure delicious confections with toothsome frosting. A muffin is just a sad cupcake, yearning to be something better - pretty much like warlocks, really.

I told you I would be checking out your questions, and reading through the comments highlighted for me that there is still some confusion about frost and its mysterious new mastery. I'm hoping we can unfog that for you this week.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: State of the mage in 5.4

Arcane Brilliance State of the mage in 54 Fri 2709
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, the torch is passed to a new mage who fully intends to light as many things on fire with it as possible.

Almost a year ago when the esteemed Christian Belt had to stop writing Arcane Brilliance, first I was sad. Then I said to my husband, "Wow, I don't envy the person that has to fill THOSE shoes." The irony of writing that here is not lost on me! But it would be wrong not to acknowledge that my predecessor, Archmage Pants, was a great mage and I used to look forward to reading what he had to say.

I've been in the business of using magic to rearrange enemy faces since 2008. I started playing WoW by rolling a priest, and somewhere around level 30 our small leveling group realized that two holy priests, two protection warriors and a protection paladin wasn't really a good composition. I rerolled as a mage and never looked back. It was love at first fireball.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Ghostcrawler and Daxxarri talk classes in patch 5.2

mage talents screenshot
With the advent of patch 5.2, World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg Street "Ghostcrawler" and Community Manager Daxxarri have been posting a series of class overviews and changes. Part one went up on Tuesday, covering death knights, druids, and hunters. Part two was posted Wednesday evening and covers mages, paladins, and priests. Part three, on rogues, shaman, and warlocks, went up yesterday evening, and part four, covering warriors and monks, was posted earlier today. For many classes, most of the changes involve PvP balancing as well as trying to improve a number of talents in some way to make them more useful and thus more attractive to players, at least situationally. If you're curious about either the philosophy of class balance design or just want to know what happened to your class this patch, make sure to check it out.

What I love about these posts is that little glimpse of insight they provide into the thought process that goes into balancing the class mechanics in a game like World of Warcraft. I'll be honest, I'm glad I'm not one of the people involved in that job. To me it seems like an endless headache to try and make sure all classes are different enough to feel unique, but similar enough such that a raid or dungeon group isn't punished for lacking one indispensable class, and I wouldn't have the patience for it. But I certainly admire and respect those who do!

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, News items, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 5.1 preview for mages

Ice Barrier
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week we realize there's a significant patch coming out any minute now and we haven't even mentioned it yet. Seriously, didn't we just get a whole expansion like yesterday? I'm still trying to figure out what a Shado-Pan is. I hope it's something I can use to make pancakes.

So the build of patch 5.1 that's currently up on the PTR is tagged as a release candidate, which means that the patch could legitimately drop any week now. It's time we discuss it.

We're getting new factions, which thank God, because I keep saying to myself "Self? I sure wish we had more daily quests to do," which my self responds to by punching me in the damn mouth. We're getting a fight club Brawler's Guild to distract us from all those dailies. They're bringing back Wintergrasp and Tol'Barad! We can solo all the old raids without being in a raid group! And of course, we're getting the requisite bunch of tweaks and fixes and quality of life improvements that always come with a patch like this.

But as always, I'm more focused on the changes that specifically affect mages. And while there's nothing here that will make or break the class, there are some class changes in 5.1 that will have a definite impact on the mage class as we delve further into Pandaria.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Mage gear-up ultraguide, raiding edition

Headmaster's Will
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we continue our epic journey through a giant list of equipment, interspersed with brief blocks of text. It'll be quite the trip, so don your robes and take up your staff, and join me in search of slightly better robes and staves.

Part one of this mage gear uber-compendium can be found at this location. It contains everything your mage should be looking for prior to raiding levels, or everything from item level 435 to 463. This week we hit the raid finder and then continue fearlessly forward, all the way to Heart of Fear and the current best-in-slot items for the class.

As with the last installment, the purpose of this list is to provide you with an easy reference guide when you're in the market for an upgrade. Just scroll down to the slot in question and identify the upgrade you want and the source for that upgrade. It's fun and educational!

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

Arcane Brilliance: Mage gear-up ultraguide, pre-raid edition

Liuyang's Lovely Longstaff
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we have a singular focus: shiny, shiny loot. And the warlocks we will kill with it.

I took some understandable flak last week when my "what to do at level 90" column contained a dearth of specifics. Well, fear not! This week's installment is all specifics, all the time. In fact, this column and the one to follow are going to be filled with so much specific, easily quantifiable information that your brains, trained by months of political campaign speeches to accept vague platitudes as factual policy, may not be able to process it.

My aim over the next two weeks is to provide you with a compendium of all the currently available mage gear from the heroic threshold of item-level 435 on up to best in slot. No matter where your mage is along the gear-grubbing spectrum, you should be able to look at these lists, identify an upgrade, and know where said upgrade is obtained.

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

Arcane Brilliance: What to do with your level 90 mage

The Klaxxi
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we've hit level 90. We've stood up, stretched, rubbed the mucus out of our eyes, apologized to our wives, kids, pets, plants, and anyone else we have been neglecting, and gone outside to remember what outside looks like. Then we've promptly gone back inside because outside is way more attractive in Pandaria.

So what now?

You're a level 90 mage. Worn and scarred from your battle with Deathwing, you wandered into this new continent, leaning heavily upon your staff, beaten but not bowed. The beauty you found here inspired you; dense bamboo forests shrouded in mystery, jade mountains capped with white, ornate temples steeped in ancient wisdom. You felt the call of the unexplored sink its hooks into your weary flesh, fill you with renewed purpose, prod your aching bones forward into new adventure and fresh conflict.

And now you find yourself invigorated with new power. You've gained experience and wisdom, learned new spells and ancient magic--all things you thought impossible only weeks ago. But now that you've reached the peak of your wizardry once more, the 90th level, still you crave more. You wish to increase your power, obtain rare and deadly weaponry, and yes, murder more warlocks. Seriously, screw those guys.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Tips for leveling your mage from 85 to 90

Mage casting Alter Time in Pandaria
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we take a break from pet battling to actually level our mages. Seriously. Put down that Armadillo Pup for a second and let's get to level 90. I'm talking to myself as much as you. I want you to know that.

I imagine I'm not the only slow-poke out there who's taking their sweet time getting to level 90. My playtime since the expansion hit has been almost non-existent until recently, and in fact I only just dinged max level this week. Still, even though time-constraints kept me from playing as much as I wanted to, it still felt like I was getting to 90 slower than I should have been. What can I say? I like to read the quest text, watch the cutscenes, listen to all the dialogue, explore the countryside. Oh, and I may have indulged in the occasional pet battle. We all have our vices. Though in this case, I'd hazard to say we all have the same vice.

But I did eventually get there, late or not. And for those of you who are still enjoying the journey rather than the destination, I've compiled a few of the thoughts and observations I had along the way into this week's column. For those of you for whom this advice comes too late, I'll start hitting the post-90 content next week. Pinkie swear.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Mage add-on guide for Mists of Pandaria

Male troll mage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we look add-ons your mage might want to download or update for Mists of Pandaria. There are some great mage add-ons out there, but somebody needs to make one that tracks warlocks. I just think it'd make things a bit easier if I knew exactly how much killing I needed to do in a given area at all times.

We're down to just days now, guys. Days. I've been playing this game for the better part of 7 years now and at this point it's sort of amazing that I'm still capable of getting excited about anything it throws at me, but I have to say that I'm pretty damn giddy right now. I want to make a panda. I want to teach it to conjure pastries and hurl fireballs. I want to gain 5 levels on my main. I want to explore Azerothian Asia. I want to learn to sew new and prettier pairs of pants. I want to put a Rune of Power right outside Hot Topic, then just stand there like Gandalf, making sure all the warlocks most certainly do not pass.

But there are still a few items of business to attend to before that expansion hits and I can do all those infinitely fun things. We've already discussed a lot of them. A quick recap:
The item on today's agenda is mage add-ons. Every major patch or expansion is guaranteed to break all of your add-ons. Things you've depended upon for months suddenly stop working, and you look to to the heavens and cry out in anguish, your faith in a benevolent God shaken to its very core because Mage Nuggets is down. Well fear not. Most of the add-ons you love and need are already updated and ready for Mists to drop.

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

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

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