Dear citrique: I'm not sure if you're new to the mage class, condescending, or if I expressed myself poorly. All of what you posted is true (likely), but it is UTTERLY beside the point. That you fail to see this just reinforces my assumptions about the state of mage theorycrafting in general.
Of course we do have an understanding of how to play. People are performing, in every specc, and I have no doubt that it is mostly sufficient to do exactly what you've written. It's as nice and easy as following a guide on Icy Veins. But these simple answers simply aren't enough, and wouldn't have been worth anything but an infraction back on the EJ-forums. Because this "knowledge" we have is nothing more than basic guesswork. It's by no means useless, and if you're a raiding mage and perform well, obviously you have no reason to second guess it. But it is not proven fact.
This is what I'm getting at: Everything we do right now is not grounded in fact. "Fact" is a difficult word in a diverse environment like WoW anyway, but back in the day at least we used to have somewhat reliable simulations and calculations to show us why something was working or not working the way it did. These days, we just do it. If I may exagerate a bit here: The mage class right now is like a tribe in the jungle, sacrifing a goat every month to make sure the sun keeps rising every day. And alas, the sun does rise every day. But we don't understand why.
Now, this is not generally a huge problem. But it does become one when you strive to optimize your gameplay. What so very few people have been doing during MoP is QUESTION what we are doing. Test and present new ideas, even if they turn out not to be right. It could very well be that the commonly accepted method of playing is also the optimal one. But we don't have any proof. This is why it is so hard, if not impossible, to reliably compare speccs, or their performance: If we can't even be sure that the current way we play Frost is the right one, how can we be sure that Frost is underperforming?
We need to question the very basics. Look at Frost and the debates about gearing. Look at Arcane and the problems in chosing the right mage armor. Look at countless other small issues that have been brought up but are rarely resolved in a satisfactory manner. Most of these issues have very good "rule of thumb"-style solutions, that allow me to make decissions in a raid on the move. But they are not fact. If we had reliable simulation, we could resolve some of these questions with certainty. But we don't. That is why all of our discussing and arguing and bickering feels so hollow to me: We don't know enough. When you say in your last paragraph that it is pointless to discuss questions of DPS and DPET in different target scenarios, I wonder what else theorycrafting SHOULD be about. This is precisely the stuff we want to figure out and need to figure out. Why else would we come to a forum if we already knew everything?
Get hit cap. Gem / reforge to 9522 (single target) or 9498 (multi-target 3+) haste. All mastery thereafter. Int mastery in orange, mastery in yellow, hit mastery in blue. If choosing between crit and haste beyond stated caps, choose haste. Avoid crit if possible. If on a fight that has 3+ targets which you plan to multidot where NT is going to be 40%+ of your damage, and all targets will be close enough to one another for NT to cleave three or more ways, get to 12043, or 12684 haste, or just spec arcane.
Get T16 2pc. 4pc isn't bad, use it if available, or use 3 warforged offpieces if those are available, either is about the same. Get bindings and toxic totem, but black blood isn't bad. ToT trinkets aren't bad if you have nothing else. Get gear with the most sockets, the most haste and the most mastery.
Pretty much any mage in SoO can hit the 12000+ breakpoints. In near BiS normal mode gear, you can even hit the 18960 breakpoint for Living Bomb and Nether Tempest, a gearing strategy you didn't exactly touch up on, and I find interesting. The other gearing strategy is 14251 haste so that frostbolt is at 1 second when lust or meta gem haste procs and the rest into mastery. Also, 4 piece is better than 3 warforged offpieces, UNLESS the offpieces are heroic warforged. Only in heroic warforged off-pieces do they trump the 4 piece bonus, and by only about 2% do they do that. Also, your gems are wrong for the haste focused or 14251 build in question, which would be either Int/haste or expertise/haste in reds, haste in yellow, and haste/hit in blue. Your rotation was correct.
As you can see, what you present as "written in stone," is far far from it.
Last edited by Tomey; 2013-10-26 at 07:51 PM.
Reason: adding a different gearing strategy
Frost isn't underperforming. It was before the ice lance and WE buffs, but is fine now especially with a strong 2pc. When I go over WoL parses, frost is up there with the other two specs, thus it is not underperforming. There's just not many people playing it.
Guess what: I "questioned the basics" last tier when suggesting that gearing haste beyond easily reached breakpoints was pointless. The logs and numbers have repeatedly shown that gearing following a mastery method is better, especially this tier. Akraen has been foaming at the mouth arguing against them and insisting the old method of spam stacking haste forever is the "right way" ever since. You're saying "so very few people are questioning what we are doing", yet you're replying to me, someone who has been doing so for quite some time now. I think the lack of reading comprehension isn't on me here.
EJ is worthless for the mage class, and has been worthless for years. In fact, the mage forum "moderator" there is someone who did nothing but LFR and some normal modes, and isn't even subscribed to the game anymore. Their forum hasn't received a post in six months. Much of the "math" and "theorycraft" there falls flat in an actual raid environment. As Vykina has stated in this very thread - countless people make the mistake of believing that switching a few gems around or gaining 100 of a stat or whatever is going to make for a huge DPS gain, when it is playstyle which dictates where your real damage gains come from or are lost to.
If the sims are inaccurate, which they currently are to a degree, then the "proof" comes from parses and from high end players saying "I do this, here's my great numbers".
This means that someone saying "I do this, here's my great numbers" when they're receiving tricks of the trade, or logging themselves through fights where other players in their raid aren't able to have their damage recorded while the logger is in another phase, are not only providing inaccurate information, but are providing inaccurate representation of the spec and class.
- - - Updated - - -
As for spam gearing haste into the 18Ks to reach those sky high bomb breakpoints: This isn't arcane. NT or LB are not 50% of my damage on protectors or Galakras like they would be as that spec. For people seeking to progress those bosses, what is important is not the ability to multidot everything with a v-bar to maximize WoL ranking, what is important is killing specific targets which need to die in a priority order. The mastery gearing method is the way to go about doing that the most effectively. Haste gearing for those two or three fights where it's even viable, isn't going to push you out of a transition phase on protectors faster, isn't going to kill the tidal shaman or demolisher on galakras faster. It will just make you look better on WoL.
Besides, what's the point of having all those FFB procs from extra bomb ticks if they're not even being used? Akraen's last protectors log has 73 brain freeze gained, and only 50 instances of the 2pc occuring, meaning 23 were overwritten. All that benefit from haste is a waste.
Seriously? Foaming at the mouth indicating haste stacking is best?
Have you even read any of my f'ing posts?
I present three, three, three, three, three, three, viable methods for gearing as frost. Why would I do that if I didn't think all 3 had their place, their differences, strengths, and weaknesses?
I seriously don't get you. Because I prefer haste stacking, which I don't even always do-- I've yet to do the same build/trinket combo twice in heroic SoO, you just assume that I think anyone who doesn't is stupid. That's unfair and untrue and I'm so unbelievably sick of you coming at me as though that's how I am.
I answer PM's helping people who have mastery questions just as fairly and politely as I answer those who want to stack haste.
Moderators, just please lock this thread. It's gone nowhere, it's going nowhere. I answered the OP pages ago, the topic is overwith.
If you are going to talk about Frost for progression then you would be better off actually comparing Fire and Frost in a late normal - early heroics raiding environment, rather than assuming people have access to pretty much BiS gear. Much of the posts made here are based on the assumption that your gear is so good that there is no reason to go Frost. Protip: most people don't have that gear, they can't go Fire at all because it's actually worse for them than Frost.
Well, since Akraen asked nicely and the thread really stopped being useful, I will lock it. Akraen, if you want, please arrange with Kuni to add your findings into his guide or make it more visible in some other way. Maybe post a link to your post in your signature?