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  1. #1

    Are Mages Stagnating?

    Hey all. Ive been a Mage since about the end of 2006. It was the first class that I finally got past level 10 and Ive loved Mages in every game since then. However, watching beta and the news coming with it Im starting to lose hope in the class.

    The most "difficult" spec to play in PvE is Fire..and I really dont think anyone would argue in Arcane's favor...and even Fire is a 1 button spam, occasional proc, and keeping up an clunky instant dot. Still though, Blizzard comes out and says the the caster that needs the most changes in MoP are Warlocks...which, in my opinion, are in far better shape.

    I really want to keep this short. So to the point...All I want is to play my Mage in PvE without having to change keyboards every week because it wasnt made to hit the 1 key 9000 times per minute. I understand some people may enjoy the simplicity of it, but each spec is a 1 button nuke and I really dont see how they can look at the class and keep it that way. Every class keeps evolving in the area of interesting offensive abilities and rotations, and it seems like Mages havent changed at all since I started playing mine 6 years ago.

    This isnt well written by any means and I just kinda wanted to throw what Ive been thinkin down. Anyone share these feelings?
    Last edited by Shullski; 2012-04-23 at 02:23 AM.


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  2. #2
    I like mages how they are; especially frost.
    Last edited by dR-vIce; 2012-04-23 at 02:32 AM.

  3. #3
    Brewmaster jahasafrat's Avatar
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    Mages have always been pretty stagnant for me. Never could get into that class, they just don't interest me in terms of gameplay.

  4. #4
    To be fair warlocks have been fairly stagnant for a long time, and they were due for an overhaul. The entire play style, minus demonology, wasn't very warlock-y. For a long time, mages have been one of the most stable classes in the game. Consider that how you will, but I know going back to Vanilla that has been what Blizz has said.

  5. #5
    Mechagnome Jaojin's Avatar
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    Combustion could use some work. But as far as warlocks go, they do not know what they want to do with the class. In Cat-collision the specs went all over the place with clunky rotations and pitfall spells you shouldn't use. Ask any demonologist who pet-twists (one here.) Tried Destruction? Sheesh, it takes a manual just to figure out the basic rotation. Demon Soul with a Succubus out? No one does that (no one who values their dps anyway.) And if you want to get anything streamlined, be prepared to make a ton of macros.

    As far as Arcane and Frost go, both fall under the "Easy to learn, Difficult to master" mantra that they believe in (yes, I've played both.) One Mage spec doesn't outweigh 2-3 Warlock specs though.
    "And what's the real lesson? Don't leave food in the fridge."
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Shullski View Post
    Hey all. Ive been a Mage since about the end of 2006. It was the first class that I finally got past level 10 and Ive loved Mages in every game since then. However, watching beta and the news coming with it Im starting to lose hope in the class.

    The most "difficult" spec to play in PvE is Fire..and I really dont think anyone would argue in Arcane's favor...and even Fire is a 1 button spam, occasional proc, and keeping up an clunky instant dot. Still though, Blizzard comes out and says the the caster that needs the most changes in MoP are Warlocks...which, in my opinion, are in far better shape.

    I really want to keep this short. So to the point...All I want is to play my Mage in PvE without having to change keyboards every week because it wasnt made to hit the 1 key 9000 times per minute. I understand some people may enjoy the simplicity of it, but each spec is a 1 button nuke and I really dont see how they can look at the class and keep it that way. Every class keeps evolving in the area of interesting offensive abilities and rotations, and it seems like Mages havent changed at all since I started playing mine 6 years ago.

    This isnt well written by any means and I just kinda wanted to throw what Ive been thinkin down. Anyone share these feelings?
    Couldn't agree more.All the other classes in the game have been under great improvements at some point leaving Mages miles back as far as gameplay goes.Yeah i know Warlocks were totally broken in Cataclysm so they needed some changes but Mages are almost the same for like 6 years except some minor tweaks.I like the direction Fire took in Cataclysm (with all the dots) but that didn't change the gameplay.I also like how Frost is in beta right now but that's something that should have changed years ago since we had 2 speccs in PvE till now.Arcane was and is very boring and that's a shame since it is my favorite specc lorewise and i know many agree with me on that.I chose this class because it had the most utilities but right now every class has almost the same number of them so Mages don't have anything to brag about anymore (except their dps which is great but boring).

    I started feeling left out as a Mage after seeing Lighting Bolt/Shadow Bolt/Hurricane/Wrath changing in 4.3 while Fireball staying the same Imp's Fireball.We need refreshing changes but for some reason Blizzard doesn't seem to acknowledge this.Situational damaging spells like (Lava Burst,Chaos bolt,Starsurge).These kind of spells are the ones you really want to press and wake you up abit.Also i believe we really need execute spells!!I find it abit lame that Mages always being the cannons in a raid still don't have any.

    Arcane could use a new spell and yes i mean a totally new damaging spell that is only for Arcane (sounds crazy i know) that uses the stacks of our Arcane Charge but on a single enemy.I love how Arcange Barrage works right now in Beta but i don't like the fact that i have to use it on a single target in order to release my stacks when it is meant to be an aoe/cleave ability.Also i personally don't like using Fire Blast/Inferno Blast on single target as Fire.How about a new original spell that has 100% crit chance when there is a bomb on the target?That way our single rotation will be refreshed and inferno blast will have the role of Pestilence (of course removing the fact that it has 100% crit chance).

    I know i have "whined" in many threads about these things lately but i really want to see my class getting better in terms of gameplay and visuals.

  7. #7
    Dreadlord
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaojin View Post
    As far as Arcane and Frost go, both fall under the "Easy to learn, Difficult to master" mantra that they believe in (yes, I've played both.) One Mage spec doesn't outweigh 2-3 Warlock specs though.
    I remember the post "frost is half viable in 4.2" times. That was the time when a frost mage entered a 5 man dungeon or a pug raid and nearly everyone tried to force him to respec fire or arcane. If the frost spec was in proper hands, the player earned respect and was not kicked out of the dungeon/raid.
    So don´t tell us the tales from a "tried frost for fun and it´s easy" point of view. God bless guys like Kuni and his frost mage guide here on mmo, because frost was always "a hard to master spec".

  8. #8
    Moderator Shangalar's Avatar
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    Arcane = easy to learn, difficult to master
    Fire = medium to learn, medium to master
    Frost = difficult to learn, difficult to master

    Of course, all of that is changing in Mists of Pandaria. People talking about that Fire is the most difficult spec to play are funny - Combustion is the only mechanic that requires a marginal amount of skill and *getting lucky with crits* is not skill.

    Arcane is being completely changed in MoP - you'll have a dot, blast which makes you go oom (the mastery is still there), missiles which are free and barrage that clears stacks and does a lot of damage.

    Fire's RNG is mostly being removed.

    Frost will remain equally complicated and dynamic in terms of procs.
    _____

    Having said that, I believe Fire will be by far the easiest spec to play. Arcane will be a disaster to master because of mana management and special cooldown usage - the level 90 talents will all have a more significant impact on Arcane than on the other two specs. Third, I believe frost will be quite enjoyable to play.

  9. #9
    Pit Lord Kezotar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shangalar View Post
    Arcane = easy to learn, difficult to master
    Fire = medium to learn, medium to master
    Frost = difficult to learn, difficult to master

    Of course, all of that is changing in Mists of Pandaria. People talking about that Fire is the most difficult spec to play are funny - Combustion is the only mechanic that requires a marginal amount of skill and *getting lucky with crits* is not skill.

    Arcane is being completely changed in MoP - you'll have a dot, blast which makes you go oom (the mastery is still there), missiles which are free and barrage that clears stacks and does a lot of damage.

    Fire's RNG is mostly being removed.

    Frost will remain equally complicated and dynamic in terms of procs.
    _____

    Having said that, I believe Fire will be by far the easiest spec to play. Arcane will be a disaster to master because of mana management and special cooldown usage - the level 90 talents will all have a more significant impact on Arcane than on the other two specs. Third, I believe frost will be quite enjoyable to play.
    Let me fix that for you..

    Arcane = easy to learn, easy to master
    Fire = medium to learn, ok to master
    Frost = easy to learn, frost nova ice lance spam
    I7 - 4930K / 16 GB - 1600MHZ / R9 290 Core 1220 MHZ - Memory 1550 MHZ

  10. #10
    Mechagnome Scratches's Avatar
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    Right now on the Live servers, yes, I'd be inclined to agree that Mages are (have been?) stagnating a bit. Arcane is uninteresting, Fire is almost as bad, and Frost, while fun, is so inexplicably frowned upon in PvE (because it takes a modicum of skill to play well? god forbid), you'd have an easier time as either of the other two specs (because you'd be taking less shit from other players ("herpderp frost is for pvp, retard")).

    However, on the beta...omg. I haven't tried Fire or Frost yet to any meaningful degree, but Arcane no longer puts me to sleep, and that's a huuuuuuge step. Just a simple change -- making Arcane Barrage do 25% more damage and hit +1 adjacent target for each accumulated Arcane Blast stack -- changes the rotation entirely. Or, at the very least, the thought process. No longer is it a static "AB to 4 stacks, AM/ABr to clear stacks, then rinse/repeat...if you're still awake," and it's a very nice change.

    Along with everything else ^Shangalar mentioned, I feel there's no cause for concern. It's just a shame that they feel the need to wait for an expansion to make such changes, I think.
    Last edited by Scratches; 2012-04-23 at 09:59 AM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kezotar View Post
    Frost = easy to learn, frost nova ice lance spam
    Good luck using Frost Nova in a raid

  12. #12
    At least the combustion CD got lowered to 45s. So at least this makes it a bit more dynamic. Furthermore you can use infernal blast to force hot streak (though I don't know how this behaves DPS wise).

    At the moment I do agree that the specs are pretty boring to play. If you got low equip Fire is just a pita with its RNG component.

  13. #13
    Frost = easy to learn, frost nova ice lance spam
    they are talking about PvE you can frost nova / imp CoC raid bosses its alot more difficult in PvE.

    and in PvP to be honest its a misconception if i see a mage (im a mage myself) jumping around and spamming icelance i generally ignore them apart from a silence as thats all thats needed as there not a threat. the mages you need to watch out for are the ones that peel and CC properly while the dispeller is being chained on then you see a deep and a hard switch, you better panic, likewise if your mage is being dicked on by a good dispeller hes about as useful DPS wise as a turd in the rain. also if you want less instants in the game ask for less interupts and silences.

    its the same as always in lower brackets people will underestimate and moan how OP the mage is, much like they do rogues and ferals but the higher you get the more the feral is taken out of the game by proper kiting, the more the rogues are also forced into using vanish then there controlled for a reasonable amount of time and then you have the mages that fake-cast to properly waste silences/interupts and the other players who dont miss an interupt and the mage is basically shut-off until everythings on DR or you or a team mate is dead.

    all i want from the specs is Fire to be more realiable and tbh im really enjoying fire in MoP it seems alot more ''streamlined'' im personally still using scorch on the move talent.

    Frost seems too proc based therefore become abit random, you can force procs with Orb / shatters but...yeh...not turning into a huge fan

    Ive never liked Arcane tbh always seemed boring and flat, ill test it though.

    Thats my 2cents.
    Furthermore you can use infernal blast to force hot streak (though I don't know how this behaves DPS wise).
    its not bad, 14k im getting at level 86 so a good bit really.

    If you got low equip Fire is just a pita with its RNG component.
    very true, even more so for PvE, in PvP with good communication atleast you can force fire shatter + inferno = hot streak then combust, but yeh PvE is a little less like this, however nether tempest, does that count towards procs? it counts towards FoF so im guessing Hot streak may work? will have to test that tonight.
    Last edited by Drixar; 2012-04-23 at 01:40 PM.

  14. #14
    Forcing hotstreaks on single target is a dps increase, doing so on multiple targets you will lose out (got skada working in beta)

    On my 403 mage, was doing 35k single target (self buffed) and on multiple targets getting upwerds of 55k,

    One thing i find, is that both nether tempest and living bomb... suck, respectivly, LB on a single target is 1.4-2k dps for me, nether tempest is 4k single target but frost bomb, comes out to be 6k, the highest of the lot. I will see a lot of people using frost bomb on multiple targets over anything else. (45k crits after 4.5 seconds with a 1.5 sec cast)

  15. #15
    My experience is that most players - or at least, those who see more in their toons than mere pixels/purple items - have lots of alts but there's always a class sticking out throughout time, even if it's not the one they currently use as main. That's the case with me and mage; I've tried all dps casters and, while I find some of them far more complete and visually pleasing than mage (warlock and moonkin especially), I keep coming back to mage. Because it feels very agile, very fluid and lethal; because of all the background the class has lying underneath: portals, conjuring food, turning people into sheep, slowfall, invisibility, etc. I believe that mages really possess amongst the strongest of identities when it comes to WoW classes.

    About the class' simplicity, I of course agree that both arcane and fire could use some love in that department. But frankly, I can't relate to the way Arcane is always downrated as a single button spam. While rotation plays a major role in a class, and while Arcane is far too simple at times, rotation isn't everything. A DK or a feral druid, classes with complex rotations both of them, I would like to see some of them managing to squeeze an Evocation in a heroic raid boss or keeping up with other dps while having no cleave and really poor damage on the move. A (good) Arcane mage has to compensate for those downsides by a smart use of Blink, PoM + ABlast, Arc.Barrage or Mage Ward as a mini +spellpower boost. A good Arcane mage doesn't mess up his burn phases or uses Evo at the wrong time. It's doesn't require skill at pressing one key and then another, but rather skill at being aware and managing your mana.

    That being said, there is some downsides to the spec: the zero uses in PvE for Arcane Barrage, one of its signature spells, the lack of cleave or decent AoE. And they seem to be doing something about that come MoP, what with the changes making Barrage a cleave and introducing Nether Tempest spell. But perhaps the most important change is making Missiles generate a charge rather than clearing them. That ends with the "ABx4 --> AM" nearly 100% constant cycle one keeps while not in a burn phase. But ah well, perhaps these are just the ramblings of a die-hard Arcane mage, one that was Arcane even when there was no Arcane Blast at all. We shall see when the numbers are tweaked!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Aenys View Post
    That being said, there is some downsides to the spec: the zero uses in PvE for Arcane Barrage, one of its signature spells, the lack of cleave or decent AoE. And they seem to be doing something about that come MoP, what with the changes making Barrage a cleave and introducing Nether Tempest spell. But perhaps the most important change is making Missiles generate a charge rather than clearing them. That ends with the "ABx4 --> AM" nearly 100% constant cycle one keeps while not in a burn phase. But ah well, perhaps these are just the ramblings of a die-hard Arcane mage, one that was Arcane even when there was no Arcane Blast at all. We shall see when the numbers are tweaked!
    As far as we can tell at the moment in beta, mana scaling and the static mana pool is such that spamming AB at all may become a thing of the past
    The interaction of Arcane Blast with Invocation is the only way we'll find out one way or the other

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Imnick View Post
    As far as we can tell at the moment in beta, mana scaling and the static mana pool is such that spamming AB at all may become a thing of the past
    The interaction of Arcane Blast with Invocation is the only way we'll find out one way or the other
    Pretty much this, and with arcane missiles messing things up.. its pretty much impossible to do a pure burn to 20-35% mana atm.

    Also mastery for arcane is so strong now that you will want to stay as near to 100% mana as possible.

  18. #18
    They stagnated long ago. The change to cataclysm change to shatter RUINED frost as you were forced to stack crit, then they buffed mastery forcing every mage to stack mastery, boring the shit out of every mage that played in TBC/wotlk when you could stack whatever you wanted depending on how you play.

    PvE wise...you NEED to be arcane to be competitive due to sickly RNG dependent fire and frost is just, bad.

    I miss hybrid speccs, that are forever gone now...

  19. #19
    Dreadlord
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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenpete View Post
    I remember the post "frost is half viable in 4.2" times. That was the time when a frost mage entered a 5 man dungeon or a pug raid and nearly everyone tried to force him to respec fire or arcane. If the frost spec was in proper hands, the player earned respect and was not kicked out of the dungeon/raid.
    So don´t tell us the tales from a "tried frost for fun and it´s easy" point of view. God bless guys like Kuni and his frost mage guide here on mmo, because frost was always "a hard to master spec".
    Frost still isn't difficult, it was a fairly simple priority system that still had an RNG component to work with. the damage was solid and consistent but raid buffs don't seem to do too much for it since there's no mastery raid buff yet.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Imnick View Post
    Good luck using Frost Nova in a raid
    yea, frost nova in a raid = pretty pointless

    freeze however = badass. cos your pet freeze gives you 2 fingers of frost procs, which you can then use for deep freeze > cold snap > deep freeze - oh look, i just did 200k burst damage in 3 GCD's, it's then just a case of keeping ffb's burn rolling

    i raided firelands as frost and absolutely pwned, i got loads of stick the first time i walked into the raid frost specced, but after about 3 boss fights and nobody being able to topple me from the top of the damage meters, everybody shut up.

    true though, fire gets pretty tedious on single target fights, but AoE is glorious!

    arcane, i just can't stomach, if i were forced to play arcane by my guild i would've switched toons.

    from what i've played on the beta though, things are a little different - i haven't been able to play much as everytime you frost nova or freeze something, the client crashes with a multiple floating trap error (or it was for me at least) but once a patch comes out to fix that and i can run around and really try out the class properly, i'll air my thoughts. but initial findings are, that as fire, i still have all the AoE goodness i always did, but with the added control and survivability of a few frost abilities we would never have had before.
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