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Posts with tag shatter

Patch 5.1: Razorgore, other old world bosses made easier

Blackwing Lair has long been my one of my favorite raids of all time. Not only did it have some fun, interesting, and even emotional boss fights back in its day, the weapon and tier gear graphics are still some of the best to this day. Unfortunately, going back in there for transmogrification gear has been a bit of a pain. This is because Razorgore, the first boss, must be done by at least two players: One to mind control him, one to kill the adds.

Patch 5.1 ends that. Not only can Razorgore be soloed (in theory), but a couple of other older dungeon bosses have been tweaked just a little.

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Filed under: News items, Raiding, Transmogrification

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: 5 abilities that keep me playing my mage

A female human mage standing with her Mirror Images
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Christian Belt is the normal archmage, but rumor has it that he's currently trapped in one of many hell dimensions. The Simbul has gone to investigate, leaving Senior Understudy and Last Surviving Student Josh Myers to cover this week's article.

I am a gigantic nerd. I love math, and science, and testing. So when a new beta comes out and there's testing and theorycrafting and video game science to do, that's my focus. I go, "Hey, look at this shiny new spell, and what are the rotational ramifications of its existence?" And then I forget that I have work in the morning and am up till four in the morning running around Jade Forest trying to get the perfect screenshot of Nether Tempest.

I'm on vacation visiting my parents in Michigan this week, and I promised myself that part of that vacation would be to eschew plying beta for the week, since we've been pretty inseparable for the past month. Also, I'm using my significant other's laptop, and I'm not sure even my rep level would support downloading another massive file onto it. As a result, I've been playing a lot on live, and I've taken some time to remember why it is that I love playing the mage class.

There are a lot of reasons (none of them are the fire spec in PVE at the moment, but that's another post entirely), but the main one is the repertoire. Mages have a ton of abilities, and a lot of them are chock-full of flavor and awesomeness. I had to narrow this list down to my five absolute favorites, but everything from Mirror Image to Invisibility to Cone of Cold are eligible contestants too. The abilities I chose are my favorites, ones that fit the classic mage archetype while having mechanics that make sense in WoW. Also, they're shiny.

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

Arcane Brilliance: The state of the frost mage

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, though, we're all about frost mages. In case you aren't one, frost mages are the spec to be when fighting anything in Molten Core in 2005.

Just kidding. I kid because I love, guys. If the joke hits a little too close to home, though, it's because there's a very real, very prevalent, very false perception out there. It goes something like this:

Frost is for PVP. It isn't viable for raiding.

This sentiment has been around at various levels of general acceptance since patch 1.1, and even in the most enlightened corners of Azeroth, you'll still find those willing to perpetuate it. But then again, you'll also find people still willing to perpetuate things like racism and gender bias, so I guess ignorance, like a weed or a cockroach or a warlock, is remarkably resilient.

At any rate, in today's State of the Frost Mage address, you'll no doubt discover a recurring theme. That theme is this:

Frost is absolutely, positively viable.

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

Arcane Brilliance: Frost mage Cataclysm talent analysis

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're discussing the ins and outs of the frost tree, the mage tree wherein you learn to conjure delightful snow cones from the air around you, and then how to hurl those icy treats into your opponent's face at 1,000 feet per second. It's like a winter miracle that kills you.

Whenever I do these kinds of things, where we explore each of the three mage trees on consecutive weeks, it seems like the frost tree always goes last kind of by default. In the English-speaking world, we read left to right, we tend to organize things on a page in left-to-right fashion, and until Simon's Quest came along and screwed everything up as awesomely as possible, we played our video games from left to right. Frost's the tree on the right, so it always ends up last, while arcane somehow always gets to go first.

It isn't fair, so what we're doing here is giving the usual way of things a big middle finger. Last week, we hit the fire tree, and this week we're going frost. Arcane will have to wait until next week. Take that, conformity! I feel like we've really done something here. Society will be better because of this column. I really believe that.

After the jump, we'll look at each and every talent in the frost tree in turn, picking them apart for nutrients, then squeezing the rest into a fine paste to use as a crude adhesive. Yes, once we're done with the frost tree, we should have the raw materials to feed our family and also to build a small hut.

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

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for mages in 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

The Cataclysm is getting close, so we've only got a few weeks of this transitional stage, but it's important to pick out our PvP talents heading into the expansion. Today, we're going to take a look at mages, who have the usual set of tools and a couple of new ones. Nothing drastic has changed, despite the overhaul in 4.0.1, so mages are still casters who do best at range. Nothing has made them capable of wading into melee and standing toe-to-toe with rogues or anything silly like that. Instead, what we've got are three interesting trees with slightly different ways to crush their opponents -- all of them fun.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

Arcane Brilliance: Cataclysm beta highlights for mages


It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that hasn't gotten a beta invite, despite an ongoing salvo of increasingly pathetic groveling at the feet of Blizzard's customer service department. Oh, the things that Arcane Brilliance would do ... It's shameful, really.

So I want you guys to know that it's been difficult. I don't want you to assume it's been easy for me, this last run-up to the beta. There have been so very many things I've wanted to tell you but couldn't. I've wrestled with myself. There has been a hefty amount of soul-searching, an activity that -- for me -- requires spelunking gear and a machine gun that doubles as a flamethrower.

But now the beta has dropped, the NDA has been lifted and it's open season on all the awesome changes in store for the mage class. In the coming weeks, we'll be going over everything in ridiculous detail, picking through every new build with a fine-toothed comb and just generally having a total nerdgasm on a weekly basis. There's so very much to discuss. In the interest of getting started, though, I figured that today I'll stick to what I see as the most significant changes. There are plenty of other places where you can get a full list of new stuff. That information's readily available. In the end, we'll get to everything, but I figure when you come here, it's for three things: analysis, opinion and warlock jokes. I hereby promise to deliver at least some of all three.

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

Arcane Brilliance: I hope for an icy apocalypse

It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that has, for well over two years now, been your one-stop source for mage-love and warlock-hate. Which, of course, made it pretty much inevitable that you all would vote that I roll a warlock by such a hilariously high percentage in Friday's Choose My Adventure poll. Jerks. Just know: it may not be all that fun to watch me repeatedly drown myself or run naked into crowds of high-level mobs. Or ... maybe it will be.

So, I don't know if you saw this, but I found it a little depressing. It's a collection of DPS data from the current endgame of WoW, Icecrown Citadel 25-man. And while fire and arcane mages appear to be right up there in the mix, frost is not. Instead, they're relegated to the same marginal, fringe PvE status that other under-represented specs enjoy, like subtlety rogues, or beastmaster hunters. It seems that not only were the few frost mages whose data made its way into those World of Logs parses doing some pretty woeful DPS, but so few of them were actually going into Icecrown that the data we do have is rendered completely unreliable. Maybe they weren't all that bad? It's tough to tell when there were sometimes less than 50 frost mage results. Even low-representation specs like arms warriors had thousands.

This, my friends, is unacceptable.

Frost mages, while kings of the PvP hill, have long been the redheaded stepchildren of mage specs when it comes to PvE content. Still, they've seen multiple recent changes to their spec that have promised to narrow the gap, and to a large extent, those changes have made something of a difference. Frost isn't by any means up to the same same level as arcane and fire yet, but in terms of raw DPS output, the gulf is narrowing.

Sadly, it seems nobody has noticed. Now, I'm not blaming frost mages. I expect that a large and unsavory part of the problem is not frost mages failing to go to Icecrown or failing to perform well when they do go, but is instead a failure of Icecrown groups to allow frost mages to go. The stigma against frost is ancient, its taint deep. I have all but given up on this changing during this expansion.

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

Arcane Brilliance: The changing face of Frost

Welcome to this week's Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that insists that tragic teleportation accident that left you with a polearm instead of an actual arm does not entitle you to a refund.

Yeah, I should have known better than to start a multi-part leveling guide during a PTR cycle.

Barring more huge news, we'll come back to the leveling guide next week, but this week we need to discuss the fact that Deep Freeze is awesome. Don't believe me? Stop reading this right now. Download the PTR client. Transfer your mage over. Spec Frost. Go find a training dummy. Use Deep Freeze on it. Giggle. Then come back here, because holy crap.

Here's how the spell works currently on the PTR:

Deep Freeze: This spell now deals a large amount of damage to targets permanently immune to stuns.

The base damage is 1469 to 1741. The spellpower coefficient appears to be rock solid, something in the neighborhood of 2-2.5. It doesn't currently benefit from Ice Shards or get an increased crit chance from Shatter, but I expect both of those things to change before this goes live. When it hits the PTR, it'll be the single most powerful damage-dealing spell Frost mages have.

It'll be like a Pyroblast made of ice. Only better.

For those of you with a short attention span, here's the tl;dr version:

After patch 3.3 hits, in a raiding spell rotation, you will use Deep Freeze every time it's off cooldown, and you will see a substantial DPS increase because of it. Read on for the longer, more text-intensive version.

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

Mage changes in beta build 8962



Ok Mages. Are you sitting down? We finally got our nerf. We sort of knew it was coming, but that doesn't make it suck any less. We got a few buffs, too, but the one major nerf was a whopper. It won't affect everyone, just Mages like me who had fallen in love with the new Arcane tree. This nerf, if it stands, almost singlehandedly kills the whole tree, at least as a stand-alone spec.

Here it is:

  • Arcane Blast changed. Each time you cast Arcane Blast, the damage is increased by 15% and mana cost is increased by 300% (used to be 25% damage and 75% mana cost)
Soak that in for a second. I really, really hope that's a typo. I went onto the beta this morning and spammed Arcane Blast on a training dummy for a bit. After 4 casts, I was suffering a 1200% increase in the mana cost of the spell, while only gaining a 60% increase in damage. The fourth spellcast was costing 2970 mana and doing about 3k damage per cast, fully talented and spell damaged out. That's about 1 point of damage per mana point, making it so ridiculously inefficient that only the first cast is worth the cost, and then only barely.

I'm praying that the 300% number is supposed to be 30%, and will be fixed. 30% sounds about right to me. With the nerf to the damage buff, that kind of mana cost reduction would work, though they could probably go as far as 50% and I wouldn't freak out. But to reduce the damage and make the mana cost so incredibly prohibitive? Just...wow.

You can find the full list of changes after the jump.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Expansions, Classes, Talents, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

WWI '08 Death Knight Demo: Frost spells and talents


The Frost tree was originally designated the tanking tree, and the Frost Presence will likely still be the presence of choice for tanking Death Knights. Interestingly enough, very few of the other spells and talents in the Frost tree -- with the exception of Icebound Fortitude -- really scream "tanking." However, some of them do scream "crowd control," which may amount to the same thing in the end -- just freeze, slow, or silence extra mobs until you have a chance to focus on tanking them.

The "frozen" bonuses in some of the talents also suggest that Frost Death Knights may have a lot of good synergy with Frost Mages as well, assuming their frozen status afflictions are identical to each other. Below is a listing of some of the Frost spells and talents shown in the WWI Death Knight demo:

Frost Spells:


Icy Touch:
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Frost Rune
Instant cast, 6 second cooldown
20 yard range
Description: Deals 217 to 235 Frost damage modified by attack power and reduces the target's ranged, melee attack, and casting speed by 15% for 20 seconds.

Chains of Ice
Requires level 56
Costs 2 Frost Runes
Instant cast, 16 second cooldown
20 yard range
Description: Freezes the target in place for 3 seconds. the target regains 10% of their movement speed each second after breaking free of the chain

Frost Presence
Requires level 57
Instant cast
Description: The death knight takes on the presence of frost, increasing armor by 45% and threat generated by 25%.

Mind Freeze
Requires level 57
Requires Runic Power
10 second cooldown
Description: Strike the target's mind with cold, dealing 100 frost damage modified by attack power and interrupting spellcasting while also preventing any spell in that school from being cast up to a maximum of 4 seconds.

Obliterate
Requires Level 61
Costs 1 Blood Rune, 1 Frost Rune
Description: A brutal instant attack that deals 100% of weapon damage plus 330 and 122 additional damage for each of your diseases on the target, but consumes the diseases

Empower Rune Weapon

Requires level 68
3 Minute cooldown
Instant cast
Description: Empower your rune weapon, immediately activating one of each rune type

Icebound Fortitude
Requires level 72
Requires Runic Power
1 minute coooldown
Description: Consumes all available runic power, causing the Death Knight to become immune to stun effects and increasing armor by 50% for up to 12 seconds. Does not remove existing stun effects.

Frost Talents:

Frozen Rune Weapon

Requires 10 talent points
Costs 1 Frost Rune
Requires melee weapon
Instant cast
Description: Imbue your rune weapon with frost, causing 29.9 to 92 additional frost damage, based on the speed of your weapon. Also has a chance to cause your target to be vulnerable to frost damage. Lasts 10 minutes.

Deathchill
Requires 20 talent points
2 minute cooldown
Instant cast
Description: When activated, increases your critical strike chance with frost spells and abilities by 100% for the next 6 seconds.

Howling Blast

Requires 30 talent points
Costs 1 Frost Rune
30 second cooldown
Instant cast
20 yard range
Description: Blast the target with a frigid wind, dealing 278 to 302 frost damage to all enemies within 10 yards. Deals triple damage to frozen targets

Merciless Combat

Requires 35 talent points
Costs up to 3 talent points
Description: Your frost spells and abilities do an additional 20% damage per talent point when striking targets with less than 20% health.

Frost Strike
Requires 40 talent points, Merciless Combat
Costs 1 Frost Rune
Requires melee weapon
Next Melee
Description: A strong attack that deals weapon damage as frost damage. Has a 10% chance to freeze the target.

Hungering Cold
Requires 50 talent points
Requires runic power
1 minute cooldown
Instant cast
Description: Unleashes all available runic power to eradicate all heat from around the Death Knight, freezing enemies within 10 yards and preventing them from performing any action for 2s per 10 runic power. Enemies are considered frozen, but any damage will break the ice.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, Expansions, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

Build Shop: Mage 17/0/44


Every Tuesday, Chris Jahosky contributes Build Shop, which takes a look into one of the many talent specs available to players.

Today's build has been sent in by a number of people now, so this week I'm taking a look at one of the more popular Arena Frost Mage builds -- 17/0/44. There are a number of variations of deep Frost builds, but this one goes far enough in the Arcane tree to grab the very useful and powerful Improved Counterspell. The Frost tree has been synonymous with survivability for a long time, so it's no wonder that it is so often seen in the Arena. As with other builds of this nature, it picks up talents that increase your damage output as well as those that boost your ability to stay alive. Frost allows you to kite your opponents, or hit them with reliable burst damage utilizing Shatter.

As usual, there is some wiggle room with the talent spread, so you may want to shift points around depending on your personal taste, or even the Arena bracket you spend most of your time in.

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Filed under: Mage, Build Shop

Gruul hotfixed, Shatter damage lowered

Eyonix brings word that Gruul has been hotfixed on the servers, so in case you've been beating your head against the wall trying to down him, now's the time to try again.

The fix consisted of a drop in Gruul's HP, as well as a lowering of the Shatter damage-- Shatter is an AoE Gruul sends out that affects players more or less depending on how close they are to each other. When players are close, it reportedly could do up to 9000 (yes, NINE THOUSSSSAAANNNDD) damage, and if players were able to spread up to 20 yards away, the amount would lower. I haven't done the encounter in the past day, so I'm not sure what it hits for now, but players say it's much easier.

Eyonix also promises that Magtheridon is being inspected by the devs, but there's no word yes as to what changes might come about on that one.

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

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