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Posts with tag mana-adept

Arcane Brilliance: Optimizing your mage's gear through Rawr

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're talking about what is arguably the game's most trusted gear optimization program: Rawr. Also, we're planning to see how many times I need to type the word "rawr" before my spellchecker snaps and murders me through my computer screen.

Close your eyes.

Imagine, if you will, that you have a mage. Ha ha, of course you have a mage. Sometimes I crack myself up. Now imagine that your mage has gear, but that gear is not optimal. Now open your eyes.

Hello, every mage ever.

Yeah, chances are pretty close to 100% that no matter who you are and how religiously you play the game, your mage, beloved though he may be, does not have every slot filled with best-in-slot gear and does not have every item perfectly gemmed, enchanted and reforged so that your DPS is up to its fullest possible potential. WoW is a computer game -- an old one, sure, but still home to millions of algorithms and formulas and computations and other math terms that I don't fully understand. It would take, I firmly believe, a robot from the future to calculate all of those numbers and variables and turn them into something a human brain can parse accurately enough to actually benefit from.

Well, mages and magesses, I have recently contacted Kavan, one of the main authors of the ubiquitous gear optimization program Rawr, and I can tell you that he is that robot from the future. I only pray he can protect us from whatever other, more evil and technologically advanced robot from the future that might at some point follow him through the wormhole with a directive to kill our unborn children or something, because you know that's what's happening.

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

Arcane Brilliance: The state of the arcane mage

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Well, almost every week. Okay, every other week. Semiannually. Every leap year.

Seriously, sorry about the inconsistency lately. Family illness struck last week, and though the situation made it impossible for me to write a column, I still feel bad about leaving you guys in the lurch. I'll do everything in my power to keep the column weekly going forward. Because if I don't, the warlocks win. And they can never win, you guys. Never.

With that out of the way, we're at the point in the expansion when most of what I said about the various specs early on is now almost completely false. I feel it is time again for me to address the mage nation about the state of the mage. This time around, though, I thought I'd tackle each spec separately, since the state of the mage is quite different depending upon what sort of mage you happen to be. Over the next three weeks, we'll take a hard look at the state of the three mage specs, focusing on PVE, and see where we're at as a class.

We start this week with the left-most mage spec: arcane.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Arcane mage Cataclysm talent analysis

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, it's the arcane tree's turn to go under the microscope. If you're looking for our coverage of the fire and frost tree, you can find it here and here.

You've no doubt been waiting breathlessly, hammering the F5 key over and over in the hopes that this time, instead of last week's Arcane Brilliance, you'll see this week's Arcane Brilliance on your computer screen. You've likely written your local congressman, put up "Have you seen this weekly internet mage column?" posters in your neighborhood, and perhaps even undertaken a massive, 120 hour quest involving a rotating roster of companions embodying various and sundry fantasy archetypes in order to locate the one thing that can fell the evil emperor and save your dying world: Arcane Brilliance.

Or maybe you stumbled upon this page while looking for hot mage porn. Here at Arcane Brilliance, we don't judge. Also, we want links.

Either way, here you are! And here I am also, itching to deliver the final part in our increasingly unwieldy compendium of mage talent analyses (analysises? analysi?) for the coming Cataclysm. This week we tackle the mysteries of the arcane tree, which is both the left-most mage talent tree, and also a powerful warlock-zombie-killing option in the forthcoming lawn-defense game, Awesome Mage Plants vs Smelly Warlock Zombies. Or if it isn't, it totally should be. Get on that, Popcap.

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

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

Arcane Brilliance: Catching up on mage Cataclysm changes

Each week, Arcane Brilliance steps out of a portal from parts unknown, bringing with it a knapsack full of delicious mage content conjured expressly for your consumption. Try not to overconsume, though. Nothing's worse than waking up one morning to discover your robes don't fit and your fingers are too chubby to waggle your wand properly.

And after that culinary intro joke, it's time we got to the meat of the matter -- specifically, the Cataclysm beta and the constant mage changes going on therein. Each week (and sometimes more than once during each week), a new beta build hits that brings more new stuff for mages. Sometimes these changes are big, and sometimes they're not, but I feel like it's high time we spent a column talking about the more recent ones. I've let like five builds go by without dealing specifically with this stuff, so we'd better get going.

I figure we'll start with the most important change and move forward from there.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Why Mana Adept might not suck

It's time again for another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that needs more screenshots. Yes, I'm reminding all of you that I need more pictures of mages to open this column with. They can be any pictures of mages, whether they're mages killing warlocks, or mages setting warlocks on fire, or mages destroying a warlock's self-esteem, or a mage stealing a warlock's lunch money, or a mage sneaking into a warlock's backyard and salting the earth so that nothing can grow there for a hundred years. Really, any mage screenshot will do. Send them to arcanebrilliancepics@wow.com; put "Mage screenshot" in the subject line, and sign the email with whatever name you want the picture to be credited to. My email's getting lonely. Seriously, all I get now are fake beta invites and porn. Sometimes in the same email.

Mana Adept concerns me.

I don't think I'm alone, in my concern, either. In fact, I think it's safe to assume that a very large percentage of arcane mages, upon reading about the coming mastery bonus for their spec of choice in the recent Cataclysm class preview, let out a collective sigh of deep unease.

The mastery bonuses for fire and frost are fairly straightforward. Fire is getting a powerful DoT component added to all of their direct-damage fire spells. Frost is getting a damage buff applied to all of their damaging spells but Frostbolt. Compare those to the mysteries of Mana Adept:

Bashiok
Mana Adept: Arcane will deal damage based how much mana the mage has. For example, Arcane mages will do much more damage at 100% mana than at 50% mana. If they begin to get low on mana, they will likely want to use an ability or mechanic to bring their mana up to increase their damage.


Wait ... what?

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Cataclysm Class Changes: Mage Analysis

Man, you go out of town for a few days and look what happens: Mages get Bloodlust and a warlock adulterates the mage column. Remind me never to do that again.

We'll look at the Cataclysm class preview in more detail in the coming weeks in warlock-free (I promise) verisons of Arcane Brilliance, but for now, let me unload some of my initial reactions on you.

New spells

Three spells were announced, and only one is a mechanic we're really familiar with.

Time Warp, which enters our arsenal at level 83, appears to be akin to what is arguably the single best raid buff in the game: Bloodlust/Heroism. One key difference exists, though, and that is that Time Warp will also turn mages, briefly, into rogues. Rogues in silly dresses. I really, really hope that this speed increase:
  1. is significant enough to make mages into truly mobile casters, both in PvP and PvE. I don't want a rehash of Blazing Speed, which was a fun mechanic that simply wasn't powerful enough,
  2. doesn't share a cooldown with Icy Veins (or whatever that talent's Cataclysm equivalent ends up being), or better yet, stacks with it, so as not to render that beloved spell redundant,
  3. and lasts long enough that it's worth blowing the cooldown either during the burndown phase of a fight (if somebody else isn't already using Heroism/Bloodlust) or during a high-mobility phase of a fight, simply for the haste bonus.
I'm incredibly excited about this spell, because of the three new ones, it's the only one we can safely say (with what we know now) will actually be awesome. We already know this spell's core mechanic works, and if the movement speed increase is worthwhile, this could truly be the defining spell of the expansion for mages.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

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