Hello fellow Mages --
Let me preface this by saying that I love WoW, and by extension the Mage class. I have been here for all the highs and lows. I've raided and pvp'd in every expansion (to varying degrees) and am as enthusiastic about our class as one can possibly be. I finally got a WoD beta key and was so ecstatic to see what's changed and what input I could bring to the table to help make it ready for launch. If not for needing other professions, I'd have solely played the Mage class these past 10 years. Despite that I still have well over a year of total time on my Mage to show how much I enjoy playing one.
Upon playing Beta I have to say that Fire seems absolutely gutted. I play virtually exclusively as Fire, have since 04' (aside from the sporadic raid encounter, Cata's OP frost PvP and Challenge Modes in MoP), and I literally cannot believe what's happened to it.
* Let me get down into the nitty-gritty of where I think this problem arises for me and I would also like to hear your thoughts about it as well. *
Shatter Removal and Ice Lance/Deep Freeze Removal - As a Fire Mage, one of the most critical parts of getting the most out the spec has been Shatter Combos. By this I mean landing consecutive or multiple spells within a small window frame to have them all benefit from the increased critical strike damage and increased critical strike chance.
With the removal of these 2 spells and shatter's passive, they have effectively removed a LARGE part of the skill / nuance of being a Fire Mage while also benefiting from using other spell types in cohesion.
-no more Chained Pyroblasts into a Deep Frozen target
-no more Pyroblast/Fireball with a subsequent Ice Lance afterward into a frozen target
This leads to a much more simplified damage rotation within Fire Mage's confines and game-play while also damaging their kite-ability which brings me to my next point ---
Kiting - As a Fire Mage, you must use every spell in your arsenal to kite effectively. This means utilizing spells of different types such as, Frost Nova, Ice Lance, Cone of Cold, Blizzard, and Arcane Explosion. With all of these removed from a Fire Mage's arsenal with the exception of Frost Nova (and thereby removing the possibility of ever having Blastwave if you so choose to keep Frost Nova), a Fire Mage's utility to kite has been severely limited.
-no more Cone of Cold'ing large groups while strafing away Arcane Explosion'ing
-no more Blizzard-slowing packs of mobs
-no more Deep Freezing a Ring of Frost'd or Frost Nova'd target to help with Crowd Control and or DPS
This leads to a Fire Mage having a much more difficult time kiting individuals in PvP and groups of mobs while also reducing their overall Crowd Control capabilities.
Mage Nuance utilizing Frost Spells -
With Ice Lance's removal, Fire Mages have taken a serious hit in PvP:
- no more Ice Lancing spell reflect / mass spell reflect
- no more Ice Lancing as a low cost finisher (which leads me to my next point)
- no more Ice Lancing when we're locked out of using Fire spells due to being Silenced
- no more Ice Lancing placed Shaman Totems
Mage Finishers While leveling, I've realized how vital other spell types were to my overall effectiveness of killing mobs whether they be a single target or multiple. When I'd get a mob to low hp I kept trying to Arcane Explosion it down or Cone of Cold it and came to the abrupt realization that we can't anymore and now we'll have to charge up another spell (i.e scorch or fireball) instead of quickly AoE'ing them down (if our Fire instants are down):
- no more Arcane Explosion'ing large packs of mobs down
- no more Arcane Explosion'ing as a finisher
- no more Cone of Cold'ing as a finisher
- no more Blizzard'ing large groups from afar for safety and or to bide time for another finisher to come off cool down.
This leads me to feeling like Fire has become much more clunky (waiting for cds) and not as fluid as (Vanilla->MoP's) version has been with every spell type at our disposal at any time.
Healing as a Fire Mage As a Fire Mage, we've been able to utilize Evocation as a life-saving heal in many occurrences. I'm an avid solo'er, be it old raids, current elite mob spawns (wabringers), or just farming mobs. Evocation has also enabled me to beat encounters that may not have been possible otherwise (due to gear restraints or mechanics).
- no more Evocate'ing through different types of damage
- no more Evocate'ing to quickly gain Invocation for things like Challenge Modes, Proving Grounds, Brawler's Guild or Raid Encounters requiring high sustained mobility
I was there for when you had to Talent 20 points into Arcane for Evocation and it has become a part of me as a Fire Mage especially throughout MoP with the Invocation talent. Losing it seems fruitless as well as a severe detriment due to not having ANY heal other than the Iceblock glyph (l o l).
Blastwave - The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King's versions of Blast Wave were amazing. The daze/slow, the knock-back, the kite-ability. It was such an awesome spell to behold and use with a very high skill level at its best in both PvP and PvE.
- this WoD version of Blastwave seems incredibly lackluster in comparison
- yes you get 2 charges but the problem I have is that it's not up to ME to cast it where I want (i.e Frost's Pet Freeze, Blizzard, Flamestrike, or Ring of Frost)
- you have to select a target and use it and that severely limits the ability to clip around pillars or edges in PvP as well PvE
Why can't we just get the old Blastwave back (as so many have asked for, for years)? Why can't we cast it where we want (like it's earlier versions were)?
Mirror Image - Mirror Image was a godsend when it was first implemented in Wrath of the Lich King. Dropping threat, getting extra DPS (for a short period of time), and having 3 mirror images of yourself casting Frostbolt (as a Fire Mage) was an ultimate ability. Yes there were bad times where those f'ers would break our sheeps or attack the wrong target but to just take it away from us while making us choose that or:
- a passive damage increase that fluctuates up and down in combat (run out of ideas much?)
- or a super clunky ability that ties us to the ground?
This Talent Tier is utterly ridiculous and I can't be the only one that feels this way. I bet us as a forum group could collectively come up with better things than this.
To me, these changes are a make-or-break scenario of me continuing to play or not. I love the complexity, the nuance, and most importantly -- the ability to use Arcane Magic to it's FULLEST. What that means is being able to use Frost and Arcane spells as a Fire Mage.
To take away that ability, is to clip a Fire Mage's metaphorical wings. Let us keep flying..