Hi there, 9 year mage player here. The reason I'm making this topic is because of the new alpha patch notes.
One over-arching theme with the Mage changes is that while in any specific specialization, Mages are losing the ability to use multiple important spells while in said specialization.
Arcane Barrage now replaces Fire Blast for Arcane Mages.
Arcane Blast now replaces Frostfire Bolt for Arcane Mages.
Arcane Explosion is now available only to Arcane Mages.
Blizzard is now available only to Frost Mages.
Combustion now replaces Deep Freeze for Fire Mages.
Deep Freeze is now available only to Frost Mages.
Dragon's Breath now replaces Cone of Cold for Fire Mages.
Evocation is now available only to Arcane Mages.
Flamestrike is now available only to Fire Mages.
Ice Lance now replaces Fire Blast and is only available to Frost Mages.
Mage Armor is now available only to Arcane Mages and is now a passive effect.
Molten Armor is now available only to Fire Mages and is now a passive effect.
Shatter is now available only to Frost Mages.
What's wrong with that you may ask? Let me explain.
As a Mage, kiting is a very intricate skill utilizing every ability at your disposal to control what ever is attacking you or what you're attacking. With these changes, any spec'd Mage will undoubtedly lose out on some of their ability to do so!
A Mage is a master of arcane magic and with such should NEVER be MORE limited in their abilities to use said spells.
There should not be a pruning if none of these spells are mandatory to use. They are situational and give flavor and complexity to the Mage class when used correctly. Anecdotally, I have never come across someone in all my years complaining about the Mage classes bloat of ability.
After 9 years, I am finally thinking of putting down this game, if this is where the class that I've come to love and master is headed.