We've been told that mages are supposed to be the kings (and queens) of AoE damage, so why not take advantage of our strengths to maximize our potential for destruction? There are several talents that are very important in this particular spec, but more interesting are those talents that can completely ruin your build. First, let's look at the talents that will help you own with AoE:
Posts with tag mages
Now that the Mystical Skyfire Diamond now walks with a bit of a limp, this sort of thread is an excellent reference for selecting something else to toss in your Collar of the Uber Mage. Basically the commentary goes something like this:
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?
As it turns out, there's a whole heap of great items out there for leveling mages. There's so very much available that sometimes it's hard to pick and choose what to look for at any given level. That's where we come in. The last couple of weeks we've been doing the research so you don't have to, coming up with suggestions for items that will help you in your quest for magey world domination.
As the levels get higher, the situation with mage gear gets more complicated. While on the one hand more options are open to you, selecting between those options becomes more important, as this is gear you will wear longer. Simply put, since it takes longer to level between levels 40 and 60 than it does to level between 20 and 40, the gear matters more.
It's at this point in the game that you want to start looking into getting some lower level enchants on your gear to give you the best possible performance out of your armor. If you happen to have trained in enchanting along with your tailoring, then you're ahead of the game.
At this point you've gotten into your own identity as a mage, started defining yourself as frost, pyro, or arcane. Still, the gear in this bracket is mostly defined by general spell damage, which means that for the most part you can get items that will work for any type of play style or spec.
At least once in the comments last week I ran across the argument that one shouldn't gear up a low level mage, but I have to disagree with that notion. Yes, you are leveling up your character, no you shouldn't need to go buy gear. But the items you choose to wear go a long way toward determining how fast you will level. When you do more damage, you kill mobs quicker, you die less, you get more experience. You level faster. Gear helps you be a better mage, even at the beginning of the game.
I thought that this week I would spend some time going over some of the mage specific items currently in the game. Realize, of course, that the selection of gear is a personal decision, and no one can tell you how to deck out your mage. These are just some suggested items I found useful as I leveled my mage. Also, I play an alliance mage, and the horde mage I have leveled isn't above level 16 last I checked, so if there are items you know of that your fellow mages would find valuable, please let us know. After all, this column is all about learning together how to improve ourselves as mages. Also note that this isn't a comprehensive list by any means. I've simply pulled a selection of items from the vast choices out there to try to give you some idea of what is out there.
We're going to start at the beginning, since I've heard it's a very good place to start, and move chronologically up through the levels. Our first segment will be on items for mages levels 1-20, so those of you that are higher level, hang in there, more is most definitely on the way.
The parameters of said experiment were the following: I used the same spec on both the PTR and the live server, and decided that for simplicity's sake I would record data on three separate types of spell damage: using only Fireball, using only Scorch, and using my normal spell rotation. Now, you'll notice that my spec is a basic fire spec, newly reclaimed after some time spent as a blended POM/Pyro mage. I have decent gear, not the best, not the worst. I would say that I wear middle-of-the-road items, some Tier 4, Spellstrike and Spellfire, and the enchants and gems I have are also of the meh category. They aren't terrible, but I haven't had the opportunity to deck out this mage with all the snazzy +12 spell damage gems I would like. So the following are the experiences of a mage with some lower-end raiding gear, a fire spec, and a curious nature.
So there is all this information oozing out all over the internets about the patch, and since the other classes aren't really my priority, we'll look at the really important stuff. First off, let's look a little at what information is different from what we originally knew about the patch and how it related to mages. We knew we had a new spell coming, that the damage coefficient was being "obliterated" as Drysc said, and that we would see changes to Arcane Meditation and Ice Barrier. This is what we know now:
I have a group of friends that enjoy trying out new characters. Sometimes they ask me this very question, and I reply with some questions in return. First is the easy one: where do you prefer to be in a fight? Do you want to stand up close and personal, breathing in the putrid stench that is the monster's breath, hacking away at him piece by piece? If so, then a mage isn't for you. They are a cloth-wearing DPS class, and with the exception of a few fights, we are standing at the back of the crowd dealing death from a safe distance.
Also, I like to ask: How difficult a challenge are you looking for? Mages are not the easiest class to play. They take a lot of juggling. With the various spell resistances of the monsters in Azeroth and Outland, a mage has to keep constantly aware of who they are fighting. Your spell rotation can be totally different depending on who or what you are up against. I've heard it said that anyone can play a mage, but few play them well.
Ritual of Refreshment gives Manabiscuits, which restore 7500 health and 7200 mana over 30 seconds. It's just about making life a bit easier for the mage, now everyone can grab what they want. We're not attempting to or currently buffing the water/food you would normally conjure.
Mana biscuits are delicious little items that I used to spend an unhealthy amount of scourgstones on back before the Expansion was released. Knowing that the Ritual of Refreshment will have this simple but effective sustenance for my party not only makes me happy, it also makes me a bit nostalgic for those days of grinding Argent Dawn rep. But I digress.
It seems that there is only good news coming about this particular spell, although I would love to see a little improvement in the amount of mana the ritual provides. After all, there are three types of healthstones available from a warlock's soulwell, aren't there?
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.
So why do players seemingly prefer to play DPS? K&G give three main reasons. They cite something they call "Big Number Syndrome," which is the idea that unless you're dealing big damage, your class is worthless. They say that doing DPS requires less responsibility-- tanks and healers have to pay attention to everything, but DPSers choose a target and kill it. And they say that DPS classes level faster, which seems anecdotally (at least) to be true-- more damage means a faster kill, which means XP more often.
In general (very generally, in fact), I tend to agree. For these reasons, some people are definitely drawn to the DPS lifestyle. But I don't think that these reasons are why people chose these classes in the first place. Hunters, for example, have pets, and I think that's a much bigger draw to the class than "big number syndrome" ever was. And let's not forget that these are more or less the most archetypal classes in the game-- someone who's never played the game probably would immediately know what a "Mage" or "Rogue" could do, whereas a Shaman (the lowest class population, according to the census) is a little harder to explain.
So I think K&G are putting the chicken before the egg-- these things may be true about DPS looking back (and they may in fact be reasons people choose DPSers as alts). But when people first choose a class to call their own, I think it's a little simpler than that.
[ via Hardcore Casual ]
It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, your one-stop mage shop for all your magical caster needs. Last time we spoke about the macros mages should know and love, those little additions to your game play that will make you even more uber than you already are. At the end of that article I mentioned we would next talk about the addons that mages simply shouldn't do without, and even the comments in that article mentioned a few (thanks for stealing my thunder guys.)
This isn't to say that as a mage it is required that you use mods when you play. Think of these more as the added features on your luxury sedan, the DVD player and the auto-adjusting seats. The mods I use are an extension of the way I already play, but they don't play the game for me. Try them out, see if they work for you, and let us know how it went. Like I've said before, no one can tell you how to play your class; we can only suggest things that might make playing your class easier or more fun.