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  1. #1
    Immortal Polarthief's Avatar
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    Alter Time, can you not?

    Seriously. Alter Time, can you not stop being such a piece of shit sometimes? Because of how frustrating this spell is to me, I've found myself only using it once on pulls and MAYBE (though not frequent) a second time later in the fight, regardless of how long a fight lasts.

    Yeah, I'm aware this is a hefty DPS-loss at times, but I cannot find a feasible way to effectively time it when I have so many things to watch for it, including:

    - Trinket/Gear Procs (Roughly 4)
    - Class Procs (1-2)
    - Cooldowns (Just a few)
    - HP (What I typically forget to check)
    - What is about to happen in the fight (Is a mechanic about to bitchsmack you for 90% HP?)
    -- What is going to happen in about 6 seconds after you pop AT (Is said mechanic going to kill you AFTER AT?)

    And yet it seems every time, one of the following situations will happen:

    - I give up waiting for PBoI to proc and pop AT, only to have it proc and be completely wasted in the Alter Time
    - I see all my procs and HP are good, but then forget I didn't have any procs
    - I'll Alter Time with super low HP (because again, I fail at watching that sometimes...) and lose all the healing I received in the AT, or
    - I'll pop it at a horribly inconvenient time (I have died to Lightning Whip on Heroic Lei Shen because of it once, but that was pure stupidity lol)

    Oh and the best part is how it keeps Heroism/Bloodlust/Time Warp's debuff, BUT resets it if some asshole cast it during your AT.

    But seriously, I'd like to know, how do you get Alter Time to be significantly less troll-y? It seems like every time I use it outside of pull, it's always more harmful than helpful (and even on pull, PBoI LOVES to torment me ;_; )

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  2. #2
    Bloodsail Admiral Dutchmagoz's Avatar
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    Just use it when it comes off cooldown together with PoM and a pyro+4pc proc. You can make a cancelaura macro and cancel it if you get a very good proc or if something spawns under you that'll kill you if you'd be ported back to your initial position. I really barely ever have to cancel it though.
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  3. #3
    Immortal Polarthief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchmagoz View Post
    Just use it when it comes off cooldown together with PoM and a pyro+4pc proc. You can make a cancelaura macro and cancel it if you get a very good proc or if something spawns under you that'll kill you if you'd be ported back to your initial position. I really barely ever have to cancel it though.
    TBH I did find it significantly easier to manage with Fire due to, well, nearly requiring it for good Combustions, but now that I'm Frost (and infrequently, Arcane), I cannot find good times to use it simply because of how many variables are at play

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  4. #4
    The Patient Kver's Avatar
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    Sometimes I have literally everything up at the same time and I want to AT but there is some stupid ability incoming, or I am at very low HP. It doesn't happen a lot, but when it happens(Sometimes just can't be helped) then it sucks. A lot.

  5. #5
    Bloodsail Admiral Dutchmagoz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polarthief View Post
    TBH I did find it significantly easier to manage with Fire due to, well, nearly requiring it for good Combustions, but now that I'm Frost (and infrequently, Arcane), I cannot find good times to use it simply because of how many variables are at play
    I do agree, it's a lot worse for arcane, and a bit for frost. I tend to mostly use it with every 2nd AP when I have 2x AM up and just use those + spam AB during it.
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  6. #6
    High Overlord Huevos's Avatar
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    If PBoI is off it's ICD it's probably always better to wait, even if it feels like it's taking forever. Losing 15+ seconds on that buff is pretty huge, you'd have to have an awful lot up all at once to make risking it a dps gain.

    It can be a pain in the ass to use, but it just takes a bit of practice on certain encounters. You should probably have a good idea how long a kill will take and thus, how many you can get off and how long you can wait before you end up sacrificing one. And be ready to cancel it if you're on an especially unforgiving encounter. The Dark Shaman fight is a good example, with all the shit that can hit you, targets moving out of range, and potential debuffs on you it may be better to end it a second or two early if something nasty happens, like a storm spawns on you a couple seconds in and you're about to get a falling ash as well.

    I think it's easier/harder by spec too, since IV will always line up with it, but AP may be a few seconds off if you don't have it glyphed and Combustion/PoM will almost always be a few seconds off. Frost is probably the most difficult to get the procs up for. I usually try to wait for 2 FoF and a BF proc, but if I have strong trinkets or other buffs up, like a 4 stack on BBoY and the meta gem, I'll pop it before getting all three.

    If someone is lusting during your AT either you dropped the ball by not paying attention to where in the fight you are, because lust should be very predictable, or they're an idiot and should probably not be allowed to pop lust. And really it should be a mage's job since ours is off the GCD and the shaman's isn't. Though, really, Blizzard should just fix this because it makes absolutely no sense that you get the debuff but not the buff.

  7. #7
    I use it on the pull, and pretty much the pull alone now. i Dont have the old 2set anymore so theres no inherent gain from finishing AT.
    I find trying to watch everything and time a second AT perfectly is more hassle than its worth. i tend to move slower or hesitate on casts trying to work out if/when i should use it and ultimately cancel out any gain i would have gotten from it.

  8. #8
    Short answer when you've got proc's & use cds.

  9. #9
    Moderator LocNess's Avatar
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    I wish there was a change in place where any beneficial spell effects you gain during AT would persist even after the Alter Time effect ends. Other than that, yeah it can be a PITA to use at times. I can usually use it every off CD on fights, but there are also large streaks where I use it on the pull and that is it, and then I feel like shit because I couldn't find a good time to use it.

    Also suggesting this:

    Glyph of Alter Time - Minor Glyph - When your Alter Time effect ends, you no longer return to the place you were when casted, but you remain where you currently are.

  10. #10
    Passive procs can be a pain yes. For starters, use AT only with the main set of procs / CDs for each spec (PoM and Pyroblast! for Fire, 2x Arcane Missiles and Arcane Power for Arcane, 1-2x FoF, Brain Freeze and maybe IV for Frost) and Bloodlust of course. Try to avoid delaying PoM or Arcane Power as soon as they are up again after AT, just so that you won't have to delay AT afterwards.

    The HP thing is an issue of course, but I started finding it amusing to throw our healers out of balance every once in a while. The rest is probably missing practice, or in other words, as you learn encounters, try to memorize patterns that allow you to identify safe moments to use AT. These exist in every fight, just try to keep a cool head and know what's coming. As AT is a time-based skill it needs some planing ahead, and delaying it a bit to get a clear shot is always more beneficial than messing up CDs.

    Also remember that you can revert your state anytime during the 6 seconds after the first AT activation by using it a second time. So if you find you made a mistake you might still be able to cheat a bit.
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  11. #11
    Blademaster Hotpots's Avatar
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    Always use Alter Time on the pull and as quickly as possible on CD's, if your not going to get your 3rd alter time then wait for procs.
    It has been said though that if PBoI proc inside your opening Alter Time, then cancelling the Alter Time would be beneficial.

  12. #12
    I find myself /cancelaura on it sometimes too because of BL
    Once I even did it because of PBoI, because the bastard proc'ed a moment after I altered time and had all my buffs up (pull).

  13. #13
    Immortal Polarthief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huevos View Post
    If PBoI is off it's ICD it's probably always better to wait, even if it feels like it's taking forever. Losing 15+ seconds on that buff is pretty huge, you'd have to have an awful lot up all at once to make risking it a dps gain.
    Okay, but what's worse? Losing PBoI to post-AT or not using AT at all for Meta, Jade Spirit, and Toxic Totem, which 99.9% of the time ARE ready and line up PERFECTLY for a pull AT because you continue to wait for PBoI?

    That If/Then process goes through my head every time I see Meta + Toxic Totem hit 6s left on their duration on pull, and PBoI didn't proc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agzarah View Post
    I use it on the pull, and pretty much the pull alone now. i Dont have the old 2set anymore so theres no inherent gain from finishing AT.
    I find trying to watch everything and time a second AT perfectly is more hassle than its worth. i tend to move slower or hesitate on casts trying to work out if/when i should use it and ultimately cancel out any gain i would have gotten from it.
    Those extra 6s on potion and procs are really helpful though, plus on AT/IV and Heroism. I just can't find a feasible time to use it outside of pull myself

    Quote Originally Posted by LocNess View Post
    Also suggesting this:

    Glyph of Alter Time - Minor Glyph - When your Alter Time effect ends, you no longer return to the place you were when casted, but you remain where you currently are.
    YES PLEASE YES PLEASE YES PLEASE YES PLEASE!

    *Clears throat* I don't get why that isn't a glyph yet...

    TBH I kinda hope AT is removed in 6.0 and we're given a typical class cooldown FOR ONCE

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotpots View Post
    Always use Alter Time on the pull and as quickly as possible on CD's, if your not going to get your 3rd alter time then wait for procs.
    It has been said though that if PBoI proc inside your opening Alter Time, then cancelling the Alter Time would be beneficial.
    Typical pulls for me go like this:

    (4s pre-pull) Evocate
    (2s pre-pull) Potion and Mirror Image
    (0.5-1s pre-pull) Charge up a Frostbolt
    (Post-pull) Fire Frozen Orb and another Frostbolt.
    (Trinkets proc) Nether Tempest (finally) and use Procs as they appear.
    (If PBoI procs or doesn't proc and there's 6s left on Meta/Toxic Totem) Alter Time, where PBoI will (almost definitely) proc if it hasn't prior.
    (PBoI procced during AT) Cry like a bitch and continue the rotation.
    (PBoI procced pre-AT or post-AT) Cheer and stamp your foot repeatedly out of auto-piloting your muscles.

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  14. #14
    Bloodsail Admiral Dutchmagoz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hotpots View Post
    Always use Alter Time on the pull and as quickly as possible on CD's, if your not going to get your 3rd alter time then wait for procs.
    It has been said though that if PBoI proc inside your opening Alter Time, then cancelling the Alter Time would be beneficial.
    But PBoI has a normal ICD, and isn't PPM, so you will KNOW when it's going to come if you track ICDS (which you absolutely should as a mage) and you shouldn't use AT 2 seconds before it comes off cooldown. (I haven't gotten it yet though.... yay RNG, so maybe the proc takes very long sometimes? idk)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Polarthief View Post
    Okay, but what's worse? Losing PBoI to post-AT or not using AT at all for Meta, Jade Spirit, and Toxic Totem, which 99.9% of the time ARE ready and line up PERFECTLY for a pull AT because you continue to wait for PBoI?

    That If/Then process goes through my head every time I see Meta + Toxic Totem hit 6s left on their duration on pull, and PBoI didn't proc.



    Those extra 6s on potion and procs are really helpful though, plus on AT/IV and Heroism. I just can't find a feasible time to use it outside of pull myself



    YES PLEASE YES PLEASE YES PLEASE YES PLEASE!

    *Clears throat* I don't get why that isn't a glyph yet...

    TBH I kinda hope AT is removed in 6.0 and we're given a typical class cooldown FOR ONCE



    Typical pulls for me go like this:

    (4s pre-pull) Evocate
    (2s pre-pull) Potion and Mirror Image
    (0.5-1s pre-pull) Charge up a Frostbolt
    (Post-pull) Fire Frozen Orb and another Frostbolt.
    (Trinkets proc) Nether Tempest (finally) and use Procs as they appear.
    (If PBoI procs or doesn't proc and there's 6s left on Meta/Toxic Totem) Alter Time, where PBoI will (almost definitely) proc if it hasn't prior.
    (PBoI procced during AT) Cry like a bitch and continue the rotation.
    (PBoI procced pre-AT or post-AT) Cheer and stamp your foot repeatedly out of auto-piloting your muscles.
    Pots + BL + other icds >>>>> PBOI. You should not let your pots or other icds time out just for one trinket. However, you should cancel AT if it procs during it.
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  15. #15
    Immortal Polarthief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchmagoz View Post
    But PBoI has a normal ICD, and isn't PPM, so you will KNOW when it's going to come if you track ICDS (which you absolutely should as a mage) and you shouldn't use AT 2 seconds before it comes off cooldown. (I haven't gotten it yet though.... yay RNG, so maybe the proc takes very long sometimes? idk)
    I have multiple situations for PBoI, and not one of them are predictable on pulls. It will either:

    1. Proc right away and make me super happy
    2. Not proc until AFTER I pop AT because I don't want to waste my other procs waiting for it
    3. Proc AFTER AT finishes and make me pretty happy, though slightly less happy than Situation 1

    85% of the time, it's situation 2, and it's fucking bullshit. 12.5% of the time, it's situation 1, and a whopping 2.5% of the time it's situation 3. That "15% chance is simply bullshit because I'll have Orb AND NT going off (even on multiple targets!) and it STILL refuses to proc. It feels more like 0.1%.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchmagoz View Post
    Pots + BL + other icds >>>>> PBOI. You should not let your pots or other icds time out just for one trinket. However, you should cancel AT if it procs during it.
    ... What? Why would I cancel AT if it procs during? All that would do is make me lose extra time on my other trinkets o_O;

    I do cancel AT early if I run out of procs (FoF/BF) and PBoI didn't proc yet though, but that very rarely happens.

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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Polarthief View Post
    (If PBoI procs or doesn't proc and there's 6s left on Meta/Toxic Totem) Alter Time, where PBoI will (almost definitely) proc if it hasn't prior.
    (PBoI procced during AT) Cry like a bitch and continue the rotation.
    Click off Alter Time, worth.

  17. #17
    Immortal Polarthief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katmage View Post
    Click off Alter Time, worth.
    Do you mean early? I do if PBoI doesn't proc yet during AT and I run out of procs.

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  18. #18
    Bloodsail Admiral Dutchmagoz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polarthief View Post
    I have multiple situations for PBoI, and not one of them are predictable on pulls. It will either:

    1. Proc right away and make me super happy
    2. Not proc until AFTER I pop AT because I don't want to waste my other procs waiting for it
    3. Proc AFTER AT finishes and make me pretty happy, though slightly less happy than Situation 1

    85% of the time, it's situation 2, and it's fucking bullshit. 12.5% of the time, it's situation 1, and a whopping 2.5% of the time it's situation 3. That "15% chance is simply bullshit because I'll have Orb AND NT going off (even on multiple targets!) and it STILL refuses to proc. It feels more like 0.1%.

    - - - Updated - - -



    ... What? Why would I cancel AT if it procs during? All that would do is make me lose extra time on my other trinkets o_O;

    I do cancel AT early if I run out of procs (FoF/BF) and PBoI didn't proc yet though, but that very rarely happens.
    Because if it procs during AT you will lose the entire duration of PBOI if you let alter time run out?
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Polarthief View Post
    ... What? Why would I cancel AT if it procs during? All that would do is make me lose extra time on my other trinkets o_O;
    He probably meant /cancelaura and not resetting it. This will retain your PBoI proc (or BL) at the expense of extra time on other procs + BF + FoF. I'm not entirely convinced that it's always worth it with PBoI, but definitely so with BL.
    Saddest macro ever

  20. #20
    Immortal Polarthief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchmagoz View Post
    Because if it procs during AT you will lose the entire duration of PBOI if you let alter time run out?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchmagoz View Post
    However, you should cancel AT if it procs during it.
    ... Am I the only one really confused at what you're trying to say? Is there some unknown thing that if you cancel AT the split second PBoI procs that it'll magically unproc or something?

    I'm really not trying to be rude if it comes across as that, I legitimately don't understand what you're trying to say.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by maizensh View Post
    He probably meant /cancelaura and not resetting it. This will retain your PBoI proc (or BL) at the expense of extra time on other procs + BF + FoF. I'm not entirely convinced that it's always worth it with PBoI, but definitely so with BL.
    Saddest macro ever
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH that makes more sense XD Thank you for clearing that up!

    I forgot you could cancelaura and it'll be different from popping it early (which is what I was meaning by "cancel").

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