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Posts with tag mirror-image

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 4.2 changes, clarifications and legendary staves

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we discuss the perils of writing about the PTR, which stands for "Public Test Realm." For a very long time, I thought it stood for "Pirate Taco Restaurant," which I thought sounded more fun, frankly.

Yes, it's always a good time when I write something and the testing process immediately renders almost every word of it completely moot. Testing is testing, I guess, and absolutely everything that pops up on the PTR at pretty much any stage of the testing cycle is entirely subject to change. So remember what we talked about last week? The whole tier 12 set bonus thing?

No longer true.

Well, okay, I guess some of it still holds true, but not the really interesting part. Gone is the moving Arcane Missiles. To me, that was the single most significant bonus being offered by the tier 12 set for mages, but it's been removed entirely in the latest PTR build. The other bonuses remain, in slightly altered form, but mobile missiles is apparently out.

Still, I'm not perturbed, other than my simmering rage at having a thousand or so of my words -- wrung from my brain only a week prior, sweat out over a hot (or at least lukewarm, perhaps slightly moist) keyboard, painstakingly arranged into mildly pleasing, competently conjugated sentences -- become instantly irrelevant. You see, I actually think this could end up being a good thing for mages, and I promise that in a minute or two I will tell you why I think that, and the answer will not be "because of all that paint I huffed."

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

Arcane Brilliance: On the 12th tier and the set bonuses thereof

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we'll be discussing the Firelands patch and the sweet new mage gear it will be providing to us. Also, what is that thing sticking out of our helmets? Is that a tail? Made of fire? A flaming headtail of magical might?

So we're only a few weeks into patch 4.1, and already our sights are focused squarely on patch 4.2. You can hardly blame us, though. I mean, while I am thoroughly enjoying the current patch, what with its freshly recycled 5-man content and its new Dungeon Finder Call to Arms that I don't seem to benefit from in the slightest (my queue times are right back up to 30 minutes, thanks), but I think we can all agree that for a major content patch, 4.1 was substantially light on ... well, content.

Not so with 4.2. Patch 4.2 will be bringing us the Firelands, which is apparently a raid where epic cupcakes fall from the sky like rain, hardcore raiders experience orgasms just by zoning in, and we all ride flaming unicorns across lava bridges to do battle with volcanic dragon manticores. I'm not kidding. The entire raid sounds like something you'd see painted across the side of a rock band tour van in the '70s. We're also getting two new daily quest areas with their own epic loot vendors, and yes, the game's first legendary staff. And no, it doesn't have spirit on it.

New raid content means new tier sets, and this time around, we're reaching a cool dozen. The tier 12 set bonuses are interesting, to say the least, and bear a bit of looking at. Keep in mind, though, as we discuss these bonuses that we're still early in the PTR process, and everything on the test realms right now is entirely subject to change -- which is, in this case, a very good thing.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: The mage survival guide, part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week and next, we look at the time-honored tradition of mages dying whenever something looks at them funny and discuss a few ways to break that tradition. Way #1: Stand next to the warlock, pull aggro, cast Frost Nova, then Blink away.

I'm just kidding; that's a terrible idea. Funny, but terrible. Only do it once, purely for the humor value, then concentrate on downing the boss. Okay, maybe twice.

If you've run a heroic in Cataclysm, you may have noticed something: Nobody's healing you. In Wrath, when I'd take my holy pally out for a spin, everybody got heals. I was healing the tank, the off tank, the off-off tank, the DPS, the other healers, the hunter's pet, the death knight's ghoul, the guy standing in the fire ... they all got heals. Now? Not so much.

These days, healers spend 75% of their time healing the tank and the other 25% praying that their mana bars will go back up. That leaves exactly 0% of their time to spend on keeping your mage alive.

We're on our own, guys. When you see your health bar start to drop in a Cataclysm heroic or raid, just know that it won't be going back up any time soon. Our survival as DPSers is squarely our own responsibility. And what's the first rule of magehood? That's right: Dead mages do terrible DPS. We need to stay alive, our raid needs us to stay alive, and the only way that's going to happen is if we do it ourselves.

"But Christian," you might be saying, "I'm a mage! I wear a dress into combat! A particularly vigorous sneeze could kill me." Those things are all true. But you do have a few tricks up your sleeve that can help stave off death, if not forever, then at least long enough to pump out a few thousand more points of damage before you port up to that last great mage table in the sky.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide, the thrilling conclusion


It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that wishes each and every one of you a magical holiday season. Arcane Brilliance would also like to point out that it is writing this immediately following three days spent alternating between being in the company of in-laws who like to discuss politics and on the road for 12 combined hours with a five-year-old and a two-year-old possessed of mind-bogglingly small bladders. Arcane Brilliance cannot be held responsible for any grammatical errors or disturbingly homicidal thoughts you might find herein.


So how was your Thanksgiving? And if you don't live in the United States, how was your Thursday? Ready to get down to business? We've got a leveling guide to finish!

What's that, you say? Finish what? You've been otherwise engaged for the past couple of months and have no idea what I'm talking about? Fear not! On the interwebs, you can find anything. Here, for your convenience, is the complete compendium of Arcane Brilliance's mage leveling wisdom, such as it is:
Part 1: getting started
Part 2: 1-10
Part 3: 11-20
Part 4: 21-30
Part 5: 31-40
Part 6: 41-Outland
Part 7: 59-68
Part 8: keep reading, because this is part 8.
Part 9: completely revised Cataclysm mage leveling guide I'll probably be writing in six months or so...TBA
Part 10: (after the great zombie apocalypse of 2011) Brrraaaaaaiiinnnnssssss.....
Join me after the break as we head for Northrend and level 80.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Quests, Features, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Mage Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class, raiding, and PvP guides we take a look at exactly what changes and how the changes will affect your playing.

So...a patch happened or something? I guess it's a big deal. People are excited or whatever. I'm way too cool to show any kind of positive emotion, so...meh. Meh, I say.

Ok, I can't keep that up. Patches always make me happy. I've been known to break into song and engage in impromptu yet highly choreographed dance routines on patch days. This time around it was a little number called "Living Bomb is Castable on Multiple Targets Now...Yay!" The lyrics are actually quite clever. They go like this: "Living Bomb is castable on multiple targets now...yay!" repeated several times, and sung to the tune of whatever Wiggles song my kids happen to be listening to in the background at the time. Or sometimes to the Knight Rider theme. Don't ask me why. I'm a musical genius and I don't have to explain myself to you.

Anyway, let's take a quick look at the ways this patch will be affecting Mages. Here's a five-word preview:
  • Living
  • Bomb
  • Multiple
  • Targets
  • Yay

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Classes, Talents

Mirror Images given improved AI in Patch 3.1.2

Information on Patch 3.1.2 is starting to trickle out, and this has already become my favorite change of the patch:
  • Mirror Images: The images summoned by this spell will now target the creature that most hates the Mage, and should no longer cast Fire Blast or Frostbolt on targets that are affected by crowd control debuffs that break immediately on damage unless they are already casting these spells when crowd control is applied.
I don't even play a Mage and this pleases me. As much as I enjoyed mocking my raid's Mages when their Mirror Images peeled off from DPSing a boss to kill a nearby bunny, those things really needed some better AI. I knew their pain well back when the Shadowfiend was still as dumb as a box of rocks.

The Mirror Images not breaking Crowd Control is a huge plus, too. It was becoming an ability that you can't push during sensitive moments, and considering the nature of the spell, that's kind of silly! Those are the exact moments you would want to use this ability. I'm glad to see these changes.

Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

Arcane Brilliance: Q to the power of Q



Each week Arcane Brilliance runs out of mana halfway through a column about Mages. Seriously, Arcane Brilliance is terrible at managing its mana. And then every time it Evocates, Arcane Brilliance manages to get interrupted before it gets any mana back. It really sucks. Yep, Arcane Brilliance spends a lot of time wanding. To be honest, Arcane Brilliance is probably about one more wipe away from getting kicked out of its guild. LTP, Arcane Brilliance...LTP.

I tried my best to be optimistic last week, to look at the changes to Fiery Payback and Impact (especially Impact) as semi-good things. The Fiery Payback-disarm effect will be marginally positive, I told myself, and at the very least, Impact being triggered by Fire Blast will make the spell less random and more controllable, right? We Mages get such a reputation for being whiners that I try to steer clear of pessimism as much as a can just to avoid being lumped in with that lame generalization. I try, and most of the time I fail, but I award myself an "A" for effort.

The comments section set me straight last week. Fire Mages are not happy with Blizzard's attempt at improving their survivability in PvP. You guys were brutally frank in your comments, and I have to admit that I see your point. Nobody likes dying, but as a Fire Mage you sort of expect it, similar to the way nobody likes getting tackled, but as a football player you know it comes with the territory. All Fire Mages want is to be able to dish out an acceptable amount of pain before they explode. In fact, a lot of you proposed the idea of allowing Fire Mages to literally explode upon death, making killing one a dangerous proposition. Several of you commented that this was a Fire Mage's idea of survivability, to die, but leave a smoking crater behind. Seriously, this is an idea I can get behind.

Here's the thing, though: If you weren't happy with the changes last week, you really aren't going to like the latest PTR build. Follow me through the break and we'll talk ourselves through the changes. I'll try to keep the tears to a minimum.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: The best and worst of 2008



Each year, Arcane Brilliance cooks up 52 columns about Mages, each one roasted at precisely the right temperature for precisely the right amount of time (usually a couple hours on Saturday morning over a soggy bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, to be honest). As we arrive at the 52nd week of 2008, Arcane Brilliance would like to thank each and every one of the Mages who come here every weekend to celebrate our wonderful class by reading a giant, well-cooked wall of text. Arcane Brilliance would also like to say to the Warlocks who come here to mock us and drink our delicious tears, "We hope your felhound eats you."


Wow, so 2008, huh?

A lot of things happened this year, right? Crazy.

We here at Arcane Brilliance thought that since next week's column will be posted in 2009, we should take a moment this week to remember the year that was, and what it meant to all of us who walk the path of magic. There were some pretty high highs, and some exceptionally low lows, so we figured it would be fun to throw the highs into a ring with the lows and let them fight to the death. Join us after the break to see who wins!

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: A pre-Wrath Mage primer



Each week, Mages from across Azeroth unite under the banner of Arcane Brilliance. We discuss all things Mage-related, from ways to clean Arcane Powder out of your underwear to fun tricks to play on Warlocks involving portals and the whelp room in Blackrock Spire. We talk about the hazards of Blinking and share stories of Blast Wave mishaps. Mages can be a testy bunch, and sometimes fights break out. Somebody misplaces a Fireball, a Blizzard or two, and suddenly everybody goes Invisible. Then we all share a good laugh when we realize we can all still see each other. Ah, good times.

We're close, guys.

The beta is finally closed. The zombie infestation came, we all ate some brains, and then it went. The scourge is still half-heartedly invading such strategically vital locations as the middle of the Tanaris desert and handing out purples, and Teneris Murkblood is still moping around Karazhan, listening to My Chemical Romance and hating his parents, but both of those events will almost certainly conclude any day now. We're only a little more than four days from Kil'jaeden and Illidan becoming two of the most lonely guys in the game. Maybe they can get together with Onyxia and Nefarian and go roast marshmallows over Ragnaros or something.

Yes, the Lich King--and all that pent-up wrath of his--is almost upon us. Soon we'll all be ticking over to level 71 for the first time on live servers, folks will be trying to figure out how to run Ramparts with five Death Knights, and life on Azeroth as we know it will change forever. Mages everywhere will be packing their spellbooks, putting on their fanciest robes, and heading north. Seems there's a whole continent of flammable things up there, and they aren't going to hurl Fireballs at themselves, brethren.

This week, we're doing one last preview of what awaits Mages on those distant shores. Say farewell to Tempest Keep, swap email addresses with Gruul, and kiss Brutallus goodbye. After the jump, we're off to Northrend

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Show Episode 55: The PvE to PvP transfer

The latest episode of the WoW Insider Show is now up for your listening enjoyment over on WoW Radio. Unfortunately, Totalbiscuit (who runs things over there) tells us that they're having more issues with a Google false positive of malware, so this week will be the perfect week to jump on into iTunes and both subscribe to and review our show from there if you haven't yet. Right there in your music player, you can find all of our shows so far, and you can subscribe to get any new ones we do for free right on your new iPod touch (or whatever ya got). Topics on last week's show include:
  • The usual email answering: we answered questions about why there are no Auction Houses in Shattrath or Dalaran, what to do when your guild won't let you roll on damage gear when they ask you to heal, and why getting Champion tabards at Exalted would be a horrible idea.
  • We talked about PvE to PvP transfers and why they might be a problem, but probably won't be.
  • Racial abilites (and the suggestion to free them up a bit) came up in conversation
  • We hit on Mages and why they're thrilled with Mirror Image (stay tuned for more Mage talk next week).
  • And finally we asked around for AH tips, so if you want to make more money on the AH, definitely listen in.
If you've got tips or questions of your own, definitely drop us an email: the address is theshow@wow.com. We do this every Saturday, so if you weren't free last week but happen to be around next Saturday at 3:30pm Eastern, jump on over to WoW Radio and tune in to hear us live. Thanks for listening, and enjoy the show!

Listen here on the page:


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Humor, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW Insider Show

Arcane Brilliance: Six things I love about being a Mage in the beta



Each week Arcane Brilliance takes a quick peek into the world of Mages. The peek has to be quick indeed, for to look any longer into that world is to invite madness. I mean, have you looked in there? There are people making copies of themselves, then their copies are turning people into penguins, then those penguins are getting set on fire and frozen, all at the same time...it's...it's not right. I don't know what it is, but it isn't right, people.

So...the giant nerf-patch of doom came down this week. It hit everyone. Except...Mages? Huh? What...how...who?

I had myself all braced for the nerf-bat to hit us, and well, I guess it whiffed? I dunno. Our Mirror Image is still awesome, our Deep Freeze still stuns, does good damage, and is instant, our Arcane Barrage is still on a glorious 3 second cooldown, and our Frostfire Bolt still benefits from every talent that affects either Fire or Frost spells. Surely Blizzard can't be happy with Mages being the actual, genuine kings of DPS in a physical universe that actually exists.

Virtually.

And only in beta form.

Cough.

We'll get a nerf in the cursed name of "balancing" eventually, I'm sure, but for now we get a reprieve. And I couldn't be happier.

This week, I'm going to list a few things--some of them big, some of them small--that I love about being a Mage in the beta right now. If even a few of these make it live, there is cause for rejoicing, and any that we lose in all of the class-polishing hobnobbery that goes on between now and that glorious day in which we install Northrend onto our hard drives will be cause to mourn. Join me after the jump for the list.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Skill Mastery: Mirror Image



This is so going to be nerfed.

I'm sorry, I don't mean to be negative, but holy cow. For thirty seconds, this spell makes you a God.

Here's what Mirror Image does:

When used, it instantly conjures three copies of the Mage that cast it. These copies have their own health and mana pools, and act independently of you, like three like-minded pets set to "aggressive." The copies I was summoning would alternate between casting three simultaneous Fire Blasts and three simultaneous Frostbolts. These spells do more-or-less normal damage. The Fire Blasts were hitting for around 2,000 damage each, and the Frostbolts were hitting for slightly less, around 1,500.

I summoned them the first time in range of three level 70ish mobs. The copies immediately began attacking, one shotting two of the mobs before I even realized what was happening. I began casting at the third a second later, but it was dead before the cast went off. I then moved within range of the next mob and began casting a Frostfire Bolt at it. The copies followed suit, winding up three Frostbolts simultaneously. Their spells landed just after mine, and the level 71 mob died before it had even begun to move toward me. After thirty seconds, my copies died automatically, leaving three corpses that looked exactly like me lying at my feet.

At my computer, I burst into song, and lost control of my bowels.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: My Mage wishlist



Each week Arcane Brilliance endeavors to give you a tiny peek into the vast and mysterious world of Mages. This peek comes at the cost of your very soul. Really, it totally does. Ok, so I'm lying. Your soul will be fine. No soul-related problems will come from reading Arcane Brilliance. That we're aware of.


Mages complain a lot. We do. A stroll through the first couple pages of threads over on the official Mage forums is more often than not like a guided tour of QQ central. For instance, as I write this there's a four-page topic on quitting the game over not being able to downrank spells anymore. Yes, it's terrible, but apparently a level one Warrior is considering leaving the game because he can't save a bit of mana on his main by casting rank 1 Frost Nova. I sense a great disturbance in the Force, as if one first-level Warrior cried out in terror and was suddenly silenced. I think we all share a great sense of loss here.

To be frank, in these heady days of Living Bomb spells that look like they might actually be useful, Frostfire Bolts that have the potential to be very, very powerful, Deep Freezes that have become instant cast and do nice damage, an Arcane tree that looks as if it can stand alone as a high-DPS tree, and of course Polymorph: Penguin, I feel as if there simply isn't much left for us Mages to complain about. In fact, as the Wrath beta progresses, I find more and more about our class that inspires an overall sense of optimism.

Still, I dream of better things. I'm happy at the direction we appear to headed in, but there a few things I wish for our class--a short list of improvements, most of which I have wanted for a very long time. I'm not finding fault, just wishing. A Mage can dream, can't he? Join me after the break for a brief Mage wish-list, the things I dream of when I'm not setting fire to Fel Orcs.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Classes, Buffs, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

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