1. #1

    [General] Suggestions for Mage AOE

    As you presumably play a mage you are probably aware of this but while cleave damage on 2-3 targets (Arcane and Frost) or up to 5 (Fire) can be fairly powerful, Mage AOE on 6+ targets is not only quite weak but also terribly uninteresting.
    Mages have three AOE spells but they are shared between all three specialisations, and two of them are virtually identical in damage output with the only differences being graphics and range requirement. Frost is capable of doing more damage than the other two specs (Frozen Orb is actually a very powerful AOE spell) but this requires the use of a 60 second cooldown and the cooldown is entirely passive damage.

    I believe we can do better, and as you are all also stacking intellect you can probably come up with a couple of ideas of your own. I have no delusions of thinking that Blizzard will actually implement any of these suggestions (let alone read them, this isn't an official forum) but I thought trying to come up with solutions might be a fun exercise.
    Personally I'm going to try and think of ways we could make these spells more interesting without resorting to adding new ones but if you want to propose new abilities then I am utterly incapable of stopping you. My ideas chiefly focus around adding additional effects to the procs we already use for single target, purely because I think this is more interesting than just sitting there channelling Blizzard.

    So Frost is the easiest as it already has fairly competitive AOE damage (albeit tied to a cooldown). The most frustrating part about Frost AOE for me has always been that both Frozen Orb and Blizzard generate charges of Fingers of Frost which you then use for... pretty much nothing. There is no AOE option for FoF, because Ice Lance hits two targets at the very most.
    A simple change for me would be to make every tick of Blizzard and Frozen Orb (if it hits more than 3 targets) grant you a stacking buff that causes Ice Lance to hit an additional target for 40% damage, stacking up to 5 times. Just like the glyph, but actually useful for AOE damage! In an ideal world, Ice Lance would also be castable while you are channeling Blizzard, in the same way that Monks can cast healing spells while channeling, but this might have PvP implications that I am unaware about.

    Arcane is strange in that it seems to have the beginnings of an AOE rotation in place (spam AE for stacks, consume then with ABarr) but then Blizzard decided to give AM a flat 30% stack rate which is so pathetically small that you are unlikely to get more than two charges out of it before everything is dead.
    Obviously this could just be fixed by giving it a 100% proc rate for Arcane Blast stacks above a certain number of targets, or if Blizzard did not want to do that then I thought about adding a buff granted when Arcane Barrage hits three or more targets at once which lasts some arbitrary length of time (say 30 seconds) and causes your Arcane Missiles to generate a small explosion at the feet of your primary target on every tick. This wouldn't have a chance to generate extra charges like regular Arcane Explosion, but it would allow you to continue something similar your single target rotation (or sub AB for AE) while dealing AOE damage.

    In an ideal world Fire's AOE would be fixed by removing the target cap on Inferno Blast and returning us to the glory days of the Cataclysm, spreading Combustion onto 36 reanimated Icecrown whelps at a time.
    For some reason I think this is not likely to happen.
    Instead let's add an additional effect to everyone's second favourite fire spell; Pyroblast. If we once again remove the cast time and cooldown from Flamestrike (as a passive effect for Fire only) then I think it would be fun to allow it to proc Heating Up from crits, and for Pyroblasts procced in this fashion (by critting twice or Inferno Blast) to explode when they hit the primary target, dealing no extra damage to them but burning everything else somehow.
    Personally I'd be happy if this just put the Pyroblast dot on everything but as I don't think that rolls damage and it has quite a long duration it would probably just have to do a single burst of direct damage. Either way, I think that'd be more fun than Fire's currently very limited options for damage when not cleaving.


    So that's about it for my ideas, I could probably come up with some more if I allowed myself to add additional spells to the game but I wanted to keep things at least slightly realistic (whether I succeeded or not is up to you to decide). Anyone else got any?

  2. #2
    or just remove the channeling of blizzard and just make it instant cast. sort of like flamestrike

  3. #3
    Mage AoE 6+ targets is far from weak, I'm guessing you just don't know how to do it properly.

    Arcane
    1. Stand on your Rune of Power
    2. Flamestrike
    3. Dot everything up with Nether Tempest/Frost Bomb (depending on your choice)
    4. Blizzard or Arcane Explosion
    <Start over>

    Fire
    1. Buff with your level 90 talent
    2. Flamestrike
    3. Living Bomb on 1 target/Frost Bomb (depending on your choice)
    4. Combustion on that target and spread with Inferno Blast (you can build a crit or two for a stronger combustion spread)
    5. Blizzard
    <Start over>

    Generally the rule stays the same, put down Flamestrike, dot everything up or use Frost Bomb, then fill with Blizzard or Arcane Explosions.

  4. #4
    Did you notice your list was virtually identical for both specs? 0:
    And it is weak. It does not do very much damage, compared to many other classes.

    There aren't really any fights in the raid currently where this is important, but there could be in future.

  5. #5
    Moderator Shangalar's Avatar
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    I'd start from the premise that Mage AoE is not weak, but is also not ridiculously over the top.

    However, Nezek, that was not the point of Imnick's post. Had you read his first sentence to its full stop, you'd notice that we're talking about how *interesting* or rather how *boring* it currently is. And I would completely agree. Setting up AoE damage takes forever for anything other than Frozen Orb and Frost Bomb and it can get frustrating when you see other classes spam Improved Serpent Sting or Fan of Knives or Warrior ballerina mode.

    I agree that it's not about the damage, it's about the feel of destroying stuff using some cool AoE mechanics. I approve of all three spec suggestions

  6. #6
    Dreadlord Cycobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imnick View Post
    Did you notice your list was virtually identical for both specs? 0:
    And it is weak. It does not do very much damage, compared to many other classes.

    There aren't really any fights in the raid currently where this is important, but there could be in future.
    25 man Wind Lord Mel'jarak is typically done with an entirely AoE P1; could be worth looking at some of the logs from 25m ranks and seeing what's what.

  7. #7
    The Insane Didactic's Avatar
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    A couple of ideas, feel free to discuss.

    Arcane

    - Arcane Explosion becomes a targeted ability, retaining the 30% chance to generate an additional Arcane Charge.
    - This chance becomes 100% if at least three targets (excluding the casted target) are struck.

    Frost

    - Blizzard becomes an instant-cast spell, replacing Flamestrike, and having an 8 second cooldown.
    - While Blizzard is active, any Ice Lances that consume a charge of Fingers of Frost will strike all targets within 8 yards of the primary target for 25% damage.

    Fire

    - Flamestrike becomes instant cast
    - DoTs applied to a target will spread to all other targets affected by Flamestrike, ignoring any target caps.
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  8. #8
    Dreadlord Cycobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Didactic View Post
    A couple of ideas, feel free to discuss.

    Arcane

    - Arcane Explosion becomes a targeted ability, retaining the 30% chance to generate an additional Arcane Charge.
    - This chance becomes 100% if at least three targets (excluding the casted target) are struck.
    Can see why you'd want AE to be targeted, having a positional requirement is a nuisance. Would make it a bit too strong though.
    Don't agree with the second change - being able to get 6-stack Barrages out faster than normal would increase damage by too much I think. Possibly buff it to 50% or 60% if at least 3 are struck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Didactic View Post
    Frost

    - Blizzard becomes an instant-cast spell, replacing Flamestrike, and having an 8 second cooldown.
    - While Blizzard is active, any Ice Lances that consume a charge of Fingers of Frost will strike all targets within 8 yards of the primary target for 25% damage.
    Assuming all other mechanics of Blizzard stay the same during this period; could possibly be too strong especially with Shatter and other things to factor in.
    I like the Ice Lance idea though. Tweak damage of Blizzard accordingly and would be a good change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Didactic View Post
    Fire

    - Flamestrike becomes instant cast
    - DoTs applied to a target will spread to all other targets affected by Flamestrike, ignoring any target caps.
    For Flamestrike to be instant would have to reduce damage slightly - else too much damage available on the movel, especially considering your second suggestion which I outright don't agree with.

    Decent points overall, whether Blizzard would ever implement them though remains to be seen.

  9. #9
    Yeah like I said myself, I would certainly love to return to a time where we could spread every DoT in our Fire arsenal to everything in range... but I know it's never going to happen :P

  10. #10
    Dreadlord Cycobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imnick View Post
    Yeah like I said myself, I would certainly love to return to a time where we could spread every DoT in our Fire arsenal to everything in range... but I know it's never going to happen :P
    Imagine the initial 5.1 Combustion without a spread limit. I wouldn't be surprised to see ~1M DPS on Wind Lord 25 Man. God how silly that would be. Whilst it was an interesting (and broken) concept in 4.3 I think it's for the best they limited it.

  11. #11
    I suppose in Cataclysm you were at least limited by the fact that Impact was a proc?
    I remember being Frustated in T11 trying to get Impact to stay up long enough to spread Combustion around Halfus's dragons, being Frustrated in T13 trying to get Impact to stay up long enough to spread Combustion around Vol'Jaz's forgotten ones and being glad there was no AOE boss in Firelands to be frustrated about when I was at the mercy of the Random Number Lords for my AOE.

    But due to the frustration that still wasn't anything like a good mechanic!
    Something that is overpowered when it works but can't be relied upon to work at all is very poor design.

  12. #12
    Dreadlord Cycobi's Avatar
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    Hence why I said it was an interesting concept :P

    Nonetheless though, I think that with how Fire currently works not having a Combust limit would be too OP. In all honesty none of the 3 specs are far off being very competitive in AoE situations; but I think given our Strength in single target and cleave fights it's OK.

  13. #13
    Well, I believe that a raid is something that all classes can contribute most where they are stronger. For example, Brewmaster aoe was out of control with keg smash and its nerf was justified. Hunters are pure beasts in huge aoe(our Hunter pulls 550K dps in most large pack cases). Warriors have great aoe as well. Well, it is ok that Mages are not that great in that. But we are much stronger than warriors, Hunters or Monks in smaller add packs. Things are a bit balanced right now. No need for as Mages to ask for more...
    In the adds pack before Elegon I pull as Fire with a nice combustion a nice 300K+ dps leaving all my fellow raiders about 10m dmg behind. That is some serious op aoe.
    I miss the instant Flamestrike and I would like to have it back maybe with a new glyph. I don't like the Ideaof an instant Blizzard though... will be boring!

  14. #14
    Mechagnome Dragore's Avatar
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    Frost - Frozen orb spam (like in D3) with a cast time

    Fire - Summon Hydras that shoot out fire w/ CD

    Arcane - mana bomb slow falling orb ontop of a target shoots arcane magic at all targets, once it reaches the ground blows up for X amount of damage

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