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  1. #1

    Fire mage thoughts

    I posted this on the Blizz Damage Dealing forum and it's not really getting any traffic (perhaps I just can't take a hint...). I was hoping it would prompt some discussion, so I'll bring it here too.

    The two main things I like about the spec and why.

    The “pyroblast slot machine”
    I love randomly getting free instant cast pyroblasts. This has always felt like one of the most effective parts of the kit since its Wrath redesign. The addition of heating up has only made this better by removing some of the frustration associated with a crit dry spell. Totally awesome!

    A mixture of direct damage and DOTs
    It’s interesting to me to have a few DOTs and conditionals to watch. It adds flavor to the spec and I like managing the DOTs while trying to maximize my nukes as well.

    The things I dislike and why.


    Over dependence on critical strike
    I understand that the design is for fire to be the crit spec, but by having several of our core mechanics dependant on it we seem to get scaling issues every expansion cycle. Along with the flat damage increase of the spell critical strike, crit also affects the following fire mage abilities: ignite, more crits more big ignites ticking; pyroblast!, more crit means more free instant pyroblasts; combustion, bigger ignites mean bigger combustions. By having several different abilities affected by crit it has a multiplicative effect on fire mage damage. As a result it seems like when our crit increases our damage increases exponentially.

    Frustrating DPS cooldown

    Combustion is clunky. It is far too frustrating having to wait for the stars to align to get that good combustion off. I’m not convinced that a conditional DPS cooldown is right for the class. I know that it adds randomness and an element of skill requirement, but in my opinion, the ends don’t justify the means. At higher crit levels this becomes less of a problem, but then the spec start to quickly become overpowered. This does not mean that I think the spec needs a click it and forget it cooldown, but I think there are better alternatives to combustion.

    Overly complex and random AOE
    I’m going to be honest here. Maybe this means I’m a baddie, I’m sure folks will let me know. I kind of miss the days of casting flamestrike, then channeling blizzard. Here’s what I have to do currently.
    • Cast flamestrike,
    • apply living bomb,
    • spread living bomb with inferno blast,
    • maybe keep casting on a single target and hope for a crit, cast combustion IF it’s off cooldown AND the mobs have enough health left,
    • run into melee range and spam arcane explosion IF combustion’s on cooldown OR it’s not worth casting combustion.

    This is pretty complex and if combustion’s not on cooldown or you are unlucky with crits, the damage is going to be pretty low.

    Suggestions of possible solutions

    Give heating up a flat chance to proc that never changes.
    This would remove one layer of crit affecting our damage and help even us out over the course of an expansion. In addition it would give the designers another knob to turn when tuning the damage of the spec.

    Replace combustion.
    I know, I know! But hear me out. There are many possibilities for interesting, but less random and frustrating DPS cooldowns.
    Examples!
    • A toggled ability with a cooldown that once triggered begins increasing your chance to crit while at the same time dealing increasing damage to the mage.
    • An ability that causes fireball to apply a stacking debuff the duration of which is refreshed, but decreases with each additional stack. When the debuff duration wears off, a DOT, the magnitude of which depends of the debuff stacks, is applied.
    • Instantly absorb your dots off a target. DOTs are removed but spellpower is increased by x for each dot absorbed for y seconds.
    • Combine your mirror images into a flame familiar that damages your target.
    • Conjure a wall of flame that increases the damage of any fire spell passing through it.

    Rework combustion it to make it less random.
    Flat damage, damage per DOT on target, based on a meter that fills as the target takes fire damage, anything that’s less random and frustrating. I understand that the spec is supposed to feel random, but I'm not convinced that our DPS cooldown is the right place for it.

    Add another ranged, fire AOE spell.
    A channeled spell that damages enemies in your flamestrike, a long dot that flamestrike spreads to all enemies it hits, a fire bomb that explodes and hits surrounding targets.
    Last edited by Jarion; 2013-02-02 at 05:25 PM.
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  2. #2
    I don't get why fire needs to be changed and although it's not my mainspec for raiding Heroic 10 mans, it is still useful for certain progression encounters over the other specs. I also don't have a problem generating high combustions but thats probably due to gear level.

    I understand the whole crit mechanism is annoying at first, but at higher gear levels this tier it's still viable to play - which means come the 522 iLvl normal loot in the Thunderking's raid, the scale factor from critical mass, as well as the 2 set bonus on T16, we will have a surplus of crit and fire will be competing for a high dps ranking in raids.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply!

    Quote Originally Posted by Windchilll View Post
    probably due to gear level...

    at higher gear levels this tier it's still viable to play - which means come the 522 iLvl normal loot in the Thunderking's raid, the scale factor from critical mass, as well as the 2 set bonus on T16, we will have a surplus of crit and fire will be competing for a high dps ranking in raids.
    The way our damage scales with crit IS a problem. It's ok for fire to not be enjoyable or effective until players reach a certain gear level? What happens as we progress past the 522 ILvl? More nerfs as we scale exponentially? I really think that it is a problem and has been since wrath. For three expansions now the spec has been on a wild OP/nerf/UP roller coaster and that's just not fun.
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  4. #4
    As usual, fire is shit at the begenning of expansions but rock the shit out at the end. Respec and wait

  5. #5
    Do you feel like that is ok? A class that is only good at the end of expansion cycles? I suppose that may be the design intent. Perhaps they want us changing our specializations as we progress through expansions, but I doubt it.
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  6. #6
    Bloodsail Admiral spaace's Avatar
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    Fire is fine.

    Like any "advanced" spec, you need the gear and skill behind it.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by spaace View Post
    Like any "advanced" spec, you need the gear and skill behind it.
    What does this even mean? Fire is in some secret group of advanced specializations in the game? I took the time to lay out, in detail, what I enjoy and what I find frustrating. Do you have any specific rebuttals to my points?

    Please note that DPS is not the major impetus of my post.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by spaace View Post
    Fire is fine.

    Like any "advanced" spec, you need the gear and skill behind it.
    Some joke post.
    I don't think anyone playing a mage with some level of skill thinks fire is fine in PvE at this point.

    And 1 proc and 1 dot. Very advanced if you ask me!
    Last edited by Lobstarrr; 2013-02-03 at 10:31 PM.
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  9. #9
    Brewmaster Dutchmagoz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spaace View Post
    Fire is fine.

    Like any "advanced" spec, you need the gear and skill behind it.
    Yea, and it's still below arcane.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by spaace View Post
    Fire is fine.

    Like any "advanced" spec, you need the gear and skill behind it.

    Fire is completely meh right now and watching GC continuously try to defend bad decisions that put it there is going to give me an aneurysm.

  11. #11
    High Overlord Henzington's Avatar
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    The nerf was a bit too much as the top parses are the middle of the pack overall. If it was tuned right the top parses would be at the top where as more average parses would be in the middle.

  12. #12
    Bloodsail Admiral spaace's Avatar
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    How is it meh?

    Just because you can't pull good numbers with it, doesn't mean its in the shits.
    Just means its harder to play.



    And yes.. 1 proc 1 dot.. you sir are pro.


    Single target, it's not as high as broken mastery scorch weaving arcane.
    But still very competitive. (SimC 109k dps fire, 111k arcane with my gear setups)
    Anything else, it destroys it.
    Last edited by spaace; 2013-02-03 at 11:20 PM.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by spaace View Post
    How is it meh?

    Just because you can't pull good numbers with it, doesn't mean its in the shits.
    Just means its harder to play.

    And yes.. 1 proc 1 dot.. you sir are pro.

    Single target, it's not as high as broken mastery scorch weaving arcane.
    But still very competitive. (SimC 109k dps fire, 111k arcane with my gear setups)
    Anything else, it destroys it.
    Funny how the people I see saying fire is still good always seem to go on about how it's just so hard now, and that if you can't be competitive as fire than it's your own shortcoming. I'm here to tell you that if you are a mage worth your salt then you should be full aware of fire's inadequacy by now. I'm tired of typing this so I'll just quote myself again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stache
    If you are in a raid and not performing to the peak of your playing abilities, you are holding your raid back. I don't know how things are going for your guild, but in every guild I've been in playing anything but the best spec means that you are dead weight.

    Please stop trying to say Fire is a worthy dps spec to arcane. It's just not true. I'm so tired of people who haven't seen the content of this tier on heroic telling me what specs are viable and which are not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stache
    Right now if you care about numbers, on most fights Fire simply doesn't make the cut.

    Since dps isn't a factor for those who claim fire is still viable, maybe playing fire is still viable. Maybe it's also viable to raid with fishing poles on, since losing dps doesn't make you less capable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schizophreni View Post
    Fire is completely meh right now and watching GC continuously try to defend bad decisions that put it there is going to give me an aneurysm.
    Can I get a freaking hi-five already?!

    Edit: and Jarion, I like the post. Good ideas here, especially "Give heating up a flat chance to proc that never changes." Honestly that change would be more of just a quality of life change. Maybe make it a cooldown? Every min you can self ignite to proc a heating up? Man that would be amazing.
    Last edited by Stache; 2013-02-04 at 12:05 AM.

  14. #14
    Bloodsail Admiral spaace's Avatar
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    Sorry if playing good fire is more complicated then scorch weaving arcane.

    You really need to take your head out of your ass.
    Never said fire was the best. Said it was viable and competitive. (like warlock specs. yay -.-)
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  15. #15
    I think we have different definitions of competitive. It's alright for argument's sake, but I don't think fire is ever going to get the attention it needs until people quit repeating this rhetoric.

  16. #16
    Mechagnome Xzan's Avatar
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    I don't really care about some simulations stating X or Y. It's about how the spec realistically performs if you play it. Which I did. Regemmed, reforged, tried really hard just to not feel like a moron for spending all the gold on the gear changes, but still couldn't come nowhere close to arcane (the last straw was when I specced arcane and pulled better dps not with Scorch weaving, but with Arcane Barraging off my Arcane Charges in the actual crit gear!).

    Now you might say that I can't play fire and while that might be true to some extent, I'm not convinced that this lottery spec is "fine" or "fun" to play. And it most certainly is not viable unless you find yourself in a multi-target situation.
    Furthermore I'd like to point out that "hard to play" is no excuse for the spec to perform so horribly. As it tends to be, hard specs do not perform well in the raid environment and besides the occasional masochist nobody will choose spec that is hard to play and yields lowest dps of all the three specs.

  17. #17
    Out of 23 DPS Specs(Not all specs are on all fights), 25 man Heroic.


    Heart of Fear

    Imperial Vizier Zor'lok

    Arcane: 2nd
    Fire: 18th

    Blade Lord Ta'yak

    Arcane: 2nd
    Fire: 11th

    Garalon(Heavy Cleave)

    Arcane: 10th
    Fire: 9th

    Wind Lord Mel'jarak(Heavy Cleave)

    Arcane: 1st
    Fire: 3rd

    Amber-Shaper Un'sok(Heavy Cleave)

    Arcane: 1st
    Fire: 3rd

    Grand Empress Shek'zeer(Medium Cleave)

    Arcane: 2nd
    Fire: 9th

    Mogu'shan Vaults

    The Stone Guard(Medium Cleave)

    Arcane: 2nd
    Fire: 3rd

    Feng the Accursed

    Arcane: 1st
    Fire: 14th

    Gara'jal the Spiritbinder

    Arcane: 1st
    Fire: 7th

    The Spirit Kings

    Arcane: 2nd
    Fire: 14th

    Elegon

    Arcane: 2nd
    Fire: 14th

    Will of the Emperor

    Arcane: 15th
    Fire: 20th

    Terrace of Endless Spring

    Protectors of the Endless(Heavy Cleave)

    Arcane: 1st
    Fire: 2nd

    Tsulong
    Arcane: 3rd
    Fire: 19th (2nd last)

    Lei Shi

    Arcane: 1st
    Fire: 14th

    Sha of Fear(Medium Cleave)

    Arcane: 2nd
    Fire: 13th


    Average Fire place without cleave: 15th
    Average Fire place overall: 10th


    Fire is getting hosed like it always does, it's being put into niche area when it doesn't even excel at it, as soon as you get more than 3 mobs, or you don't have long term cleave you're going to fall behind most other classes. With the changes already made to LB the extra combustion targets will not make up for it and fire will fall further behind. If you go find the rhetoric GC displays on twitter all you see are rightly peeved fire mages retorted with defensive maneuvers that don't address anything except GC's faith in his own beliefs.

    Fire is not harder to play than the other specs, in fact the reason so many people like to play it is because it is easier to get the basic damage out of it. It has the least damage lost from movement, and it has no proc that you can't predict or cause yourself. If you think my head is up my ass you can gladly epeen bot me and see how I've done with fire during this and previous tiers, I think I have a basic handle on the spec.

    There is no amount of gear this tier that is going to make fire fun to play at a crit level below 50%, or make it do competitive damage. So far on the PTR it does not look like any mechanic adjustments are going to happen, if the gear is well itemized for fire then I expect it to climb purely from the huge ilvl jump as the secondary stat scaling is still very strong, and arcane being toned down.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stache View Post
    Can I get a freaking hi-five already?!
    /highfive



    As for the OP of this thread, those things you dislike (the reliance on crit, the need to line up/hope for crits on combustion) are things I love about fire, the chaotic nature makes it my favorite spec to play, and those changes for me would dull the spec to an Arcane/Frost clone. I like feeling that my gear has a significant affect on my play style, and I like taking advantage of it as much as I can.

    I do agree on the AoE portion, it feels muddled and with no vision. We have three AoE spells for every mage spec: Blizzard, Flamestrike, and Arcane Explosion, which don't really do anything and on top of that we have the classic fire premise of spreading LB, which is going away. What are we really supposed to do to make any of those feel worthwhile? I could not tell you.
    Last edited by Schizophreni; 2013-02-04 at 09:29 AM.

  18. #18
    I feel it needs another stacking mechanism for Heating Up. Say every time you don't crit with fireball, you get a stack of a new buff. On 3-4 stacks you get a Heating Up proc. If you crit your stacks are cleared. At least it would go a long way to mitigate the dull streaks of not critting in 10 fireballs.

    It would become fairly redundant at higher gear levels but would almost solely help lower geared fire mages.

    Edit: Call it Slow Burn!

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by vaccine View Post
    I feel it needs another stacking mechanism for Heating Up. Say every time you don't crit with fireball, you get a stack of a new buff. On 3-4 stacks you get a Heating Up proc. If you crit your stacks are cleared. At least it would go a long way to mitigate the dull streaks of not critting in 10 fireballs.

    It would become fairly redundant at higher gear levels but would almost solely help lower geared fire mages.

    Edit: Call it Slow Burn!
    I think this is really the way forward. Every expansion is always the same. Our crit levels collapse and Fire goes down to the bottom of the pile, only to scale upwards as the expansion goes forward to the point that every Mage MUST be fire.
    As a fan of fire, this means I'm happy 60% of the time, from the final patch to the new expansion. Right now we are in the trough though, there isn't enough crit for Fire to be viable.

    The 'Slow Burn' idea, and probably coupling it with a small reduction in Critical Mass would serve to smooth out our scaling issues, although I reckon 4-5 stacks MIGHT be fairer. Because I'm tired of the same old story repeating.

    Also, Mage AOE is indeed a mess. I know we didn't want to be Kings of AOE back in the sunwell days but how it is now is ridiculous. We have three AOE spells, Blizzard, Arcane Explosion and Flamestrike, Cone of Cold AND Dragon's Breath as well our multi target bomb spells and we can't cobble together an effective AOE rotation out of these?

  20. #20
    Stood in the Fire rogoth's Avatar
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    why not just give us a secondary resource which is used to fuel the instant pyro's and such, i'm thinking like destruction warlocks have atm, using that spell that changes some of the base spells such as immolate to apply to all enemies in range instead of just single target, but costs 1 of their secondary resources, same could be done to fire mages, add a new spell that activates the "improved" spells, lets call the secondary resource, "molten soul charges" u pop this spell, (assuming u have enough molten soul charges), and it makes pyroblast instant cast, mana free, and guarenteed to crit, without using this secondary resource, u still have the same base mechanics, just pyro isn't a guarenteed crit, and u generate these molten soul charges at 1/10th rate from normal spell casts, a crit will give 20% of a bar maximum bars 4 (5 with glyph). what u think?

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