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Posts with tag mists-mage

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: 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: Patch 5.0.4 mage preview

Blood elf female arcane mage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, I need to apologize profusely for last week's sad lack of warlock hate. This week, I will hate them twice as much to make up for it.

So now we know when the expansion is coming (Sept. 25), and we also know when patch 5.0.4 is coming (Aug. 28). That means we'll be living with this patch and all of its sweeping changes to the systems and mechanics we're currently used to for the better part of a month before we get a whole bunch of new content to distract us from how different everything just became. That's a substantial amount of time to play with the new talent system, new spells, and ... erm ...pet battles that the pre-expansion patch will bring. I think this is a good time to discuss those changes and prepare ourselves mentally for all the shiny new bounty we are about to receive.

New talent system

This is by far the biggest change on the docket. Forget everything you currently know about talents. Gone is the 72-tier tree of talents that until now defined your mage's effectiveness. Gone are cookie-cutter specs that you had conform to or lose damage. Instead, we get six successive choices that are balanced pretty much equally.

Most of the talents we're used to now have either become baseline spells, been rolled together into current spells, or vanished entirely. Every 15 levels, we get to select from three talents. None of these talents are obviously better or worse than the others, freeing us to to choose the one at each tier that suits our playstyle or the needs of a particular situation.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Which spec will be best in Mists of Pandaria?

Undead fire mage
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we endeavor to answer that age old question: Which spec will other people insist my mage needs to be? We will try not to resort to that age old response to that question, which tended to involve punching those other people in the mouth.

One constant, no matter how hard I've tried to ignore it, that has always existed in WoW is that one spec is always "best." The class designers are constantly tweaking the numbers and trying to keep things balanced, but once we all sit down with our collective calculator and spreadsheet, one spec always emerges to rule them all.

It has been a sad reality that while we have always had freedom to choose a spec and personalize it to fit our preferences, when it comes time to raid at high levels or take part in PvP at high levels, that freedom essentially vanishes. You can make arguments for utility over damage or for certain specs in certain fights, but in most cases, under most circumstances, you're going with whatever cookie-cutter spec the internet has agreed upon that week, or you're not getting an invite.

Well, now we have a fresh expansion to leverage our calculators and spreadsheets upon. It's still early in the beta process, and hard numbers are in short supply. Still, the overall design of the specs seems to be fairly well-defined, even if the actual percentage points are still in flux. What conclusions can we draw at this stage? Which spec looks to put out the best damage? And most importantly, which spec will let us kill warlocks most efficiently?

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

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