From the latest PTR build:
Molten Armor now causes 170 Fire damage when hit for all ranks (Up from 75/130/170) and also increases your critical strike rating by 25% of your spirit.
LOL HEY MAGES YOU THINK YOUR SPIRIT ON YOUR GEAR IS WORTHLESS HUH? WELL YOU SHOULD HAVE KEPT YOUR FILTHY BLUE MOUTHS SHUT CUZ NOW YOU’RE REALLY GONNA GET IT. YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT! STACK SPIRIT OR ELSE YOUR FAVORITE BUFF IS WORTHLESS! HOW MUCH SPIRIT? OH, Y’KNOW, ENOUGH THAT YOU’LL NEVER GET UP TO THE LEVEL OF CRIT THE SPELL GIVES NOW! HAHAHAHAHA! BETTER GEM SPIRIT AND ENCHANT THOSE BRACERS YOU SORRY FUCKERS!
So glad I re-rolled!
I know this is a few days late, but I just wanted to point out that Mage was again the “Class Most Likely to be Shit Upon” in the first round of previews for the upcoming 3.1 content patch. Each class got a few interesting little morsels to chew – a few new things to look forward to in 3.1 be they ability changes or talent swaps or whatever. Mages, however, got this:
Improved Water Elemental – this talent has been removed and replaced with a new talent that grants Replenishment (similar to Shadow priests).
We are also working on a way to give frost mages Ice Lance “Shatter combos” in PvE.
We are also working on more survivability for Fire spec in PvP.
We are also working on making Spirit a more useful and interesting stat for all mages.
Later, Ghostcrawler was quoted in saying “Hey guys we came up with some cool stuff for everybody else, but we’re just can’t figure out what to do with you yet. We’re kinda hoping you’ll just get distracted by your flashy spell effects. If not, we’ll probably just make all of your talents scale with Spirit so you have to gem for it. Cuz why not. Eat shit, bitches!”
So 3.0.8 finally went live yesterday, much to the dismay of fans of Volley and Summon Gargoyle. One of the things a lot of people were really excited about were some changes made to a few of the achievements involving time limits, namely Gotta Go! and You Don’t Have An Eternity.
If you still bother to read this site, you probably recall that my guild has been working the 5-Minute Malygos achievement for the past couple weeks. Well, as luck would have it, we finally nailed it this past Monday (01.19.09) and killed Malygos in four minutes, eighteen seconds.
Naturally, we were thrilled. The achievement took us one step closer to Heroic: Glory of the Raider, as well as moved us closer to the top of the food chain. So Tuesday rolls around, it’s patch day, the timer is increased to six minutes and we figure getting the achievement for those that sat out on Monday night would be pretty simple to pull off.
From the 3.0.8 undocumented changes posted this morning on MMO-Champion:
You Don’t Have An Eternity – Both normal and heroic version of the achievement have been changed to 6 minutes. (Up from 5) The encounter has been changed and made slightly harder, the achievement isn’t necessarily easier to obtain.
The actual change is that the power sparks summoned from the portals now have a 90 second maximum duration. That’s 90 seconds from spawn to gone regardless of if the spark is rooted or already popped – after 90 seconds all traces of it despawn.
Additionally, the explosion caused by the dragons breath has had it’s blast radius quadrupled, so melee needs to head for the hills after each breath if they don’t want the tank to blow them up.
If you read a few posts back about 5 Minute Malygos, you saw the basic strat was to stack up 4-5 sparks and then blow them all at once, reducing Malygos to nearly dead before P2 begins so he dies almost immediately when you enter P3. This strat proved to require the coordination of Druid roots and Death Knight grips to stack the sparks in place, as well as skillful manuvering of Malygos himself by the MT to ensure that the sparks get to the desired spot without first risking them being intercepted by the dragon.
Throughout our attempts at 5-Minute Malygos we routinely commented on how well-tuned the encounter appeared to be, something Blizzard has overall done an excellent job of on the vast majority of the achievements. The encounter was difficult and challenging, but most certainly doable with precise execution.
Conversely, the post 3.0.8 6-Minute Malygos at first glance appears to be a cluster-fuck.
The absolute best you can hope for is 2 stacks maximum at a time. By and large the largest drawback of the spark cooldown is that you now have no feasible way to get through P2 anywhere near fast enough to meet the timer, even with the extra minute. Granted, we only put in a handful of attempts last night, most of which were further hindered by crippling lag at the outset of P2 (which I could have sworn was supposed to be fixed…). However, I’ve now heard mumblings that Blizzard does not expect most groups to be able to actually complete the achievement now until better gear is available (ie. in 3.1 with the introduction of Ulduar).
So, ok, it’s harder now – so what?
True enough. It’s certainly still nothing compared to trying to execute fights like pre-3.0 M’uru or Kil’Jaeden, but that really isn’t the point and it isn’t why everyone was so irritated. What is so infuriating about this change is that it was just a cop-out change that hinders what was an enjoyable encounter “just because”.
No doubt, the biggest problem Blizzard probably had with the original incarnation of the achievement strategy was the “requirement” of four Druids and a couple Death Knights. Needing specific classes who bring specific abilities in order to defeat content is completely against their entire design philosophy at this stage in the game. Sure, that’s ok, I get it. They could have gone about it other ways…
If you don’t like the “requirement” of Entangling Roots, make the sparks vulnerable to other CC. Let a Paladin stop one with Repentance, let Mages sheep them, I don’t know, something. The argument that you “need” Death Knights is even worse, because a tank who can move the dragon quickly enough and to the right locations essentially can pull the spark to the desired location without Death Grip. Sure, it’s nice to have Death Grip to make it easier, but the point is that it wasn’t absolutely necessary like a lot of people thought.
Instead, we now have an encounter where less is less. The strategy is now limited by the encounter, not by skill. The encounter is now billed as harder, yet you get nothing more – still the same loot you’ve been disenchanting for the last 2 months. All you get is a lot more casuals who will get their achievement 3 months from now when they have gear to win a straight DPS race popping sparks whenever they want and blowing lust in P2.
“Hardcore” guilds, if you can even call them that anymore, will still pound away at it because it’s something to do and because they simply like to raid. But they’ll be having less fun doing it now because Blizzard decided to kill the encounter for the sake of letting your best friends tag along.
It’s really a shame that, in a game where Blizzard claimed the Heroic Achievements would become the new form of hardcore raiding while letting casuals still see all of the content, they now take steps to make the Heroic Achievements more casual-friendly – even if they are harder.
The fight has gone from one requiring careful planning and execution to one where you really just need to bring a big enough stick. And that really sucks.
If there’s one thing Blizzard has shown that they like about the Mage community over the past few years, it’s fucking around with them. There was that HUGE mage review back in 1.9 (or something) that ended up being a HUUUUUUGGEEEE disappointment. Then there was the whole “jaw-dropping damage” debauchle in TBC.
But more than anything else, Blizzards longest running joke and blatant showing of how little they care – changing Mage spell icons for no reason.
Patch after patch following the original WoW release, Mages would get new icons all the time. Warlocks were completely awful at launch? We’ll work on that over a few patches. Shaman could completely own everyone by spamming Frost Shock? We’ll take care of that. Mages have problems? Change their icons or something, that’ll shut them up.
The situation eventually became a complete mockery when Blizzard released the infamous “Evil” Patch Notes for v1.11 on April Fools Day in 2006. The only mage change listed in the JOKE patch notes:
Mage Armor – Now has another new, unique icon.
Rumor has it that the joke notes originally listed several changes that would actually make them a good class, but Blizzard ultimately decided this was incredibly cruel and opted to simply shit on everyone instead.
Anyway, what’s the point of this history lesson?
The latest build of the Wrath of the Lich King beta features a HILARIOUS addition to the game, directed right at Blizzards favorite red-headed step-children:
GET IT?! NEW ICONS FOR YOUR SPELLS! YOU CAN PAY FOR THESE! YOU CAN PAY FOR NEW ICONS FOR THE SPELL YOUVE BEEN USING FOR FOUR YEARS!
Heaven forbid they add some damage scaling back to the class or at least come up with a different mechanic besides giving us oodles of crit since it’s just gonna make us go OOM faster. Nah, hell with it…let’s throw in some cute little jokes and a few more Polymorph spells.
I really, really try not to end many posts with a big “Fuck you, Blizz” but…
Fuck you, Blizz.
Blizzard has really outdone themselves with the new Inscription profession. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Inscription is a new for Wrath of the Lich King and allows the scribe to make scrolls (which don’t stack with buffs aka are useless) and to create glyphs. Glyphs modify your existing spells and abilities to increase their power or add new effects.
Yeah, I know, 99% of you know all this already. But you’d be surprised how many people actually don’t read anything about the upcoming changes to the game, so shut up already.
Despite an overall lack of attention throughout legacy WoW and TBC, Mages ARE technically a player class, and therefore Blizzard had to come up with some glyphs for them. I thought it would be fun to check out the Mage glyphs and discuss all the one’s that are awful (there are many, but these are my top five). Here’s a sample of the absolute worst:
1. Glyph of Evocation – In what way is this NOT useless? 15% of your health? You’re a mage, a couple of renew or lifebloom ticks is 15% of your health. Not like you’re gonna be hurting for HP and suddenly realize you can get 15% of your health over EIGHT SECONDS. Seriously, you know what would have been amazing? If this instead gave some percentage chance for Evocation to not lose 80% of its duration when the wind blows on you.
2. Glyph of Ice Armor – A Major Glyph that applies to a useless spell. Moving on…
3. Glyph of Ice Block – Ok, I understand how this MIGHT be nice to have in PvP, like, one out of every 1000 times. Even if you are a frost Mage, you still cannot double up IB anymore, you’re stuck with a 45 second minimum cooldown. Frost Nova has a 20 second cooldown, so if you can’t cast Frost Nova again by the time you pop out of that seocnd Ice Block, God is likely out to get you. What’s more, if you’re sitting in Ice Block for 8 seconds and waiting on the Frost Nova cooldown still, chances are you blew your existing cooldown at a pretty lousy time. So good job, this glyph is there to counter-balance you being bad.
4. Glyph of Improved Scorch – This one is just like Blizzard slapping you in the face with their collective dicks. The last post (I know it was three weeks ago, I’m busy, sorry) outlined the complete and utter raping of the Improved Scorch talent, and now Blizzard goes and hands us this glyph. The problem with this glyph is that it does not help you at all past the first 8 seconds of any fight. Whether you’re stacking Scorch five times on the pull or twice, you’re still casting it again every 30 seconds to keep the buff up. Couldn’t they have made this something that improves the duration of Improved Scorch? Or something that refreshes the buff when you cast another spell? SOMETHING WORTH HAVING? Using a major glyph slot to save yourself at most 4.5 seconds of cast time in a boss fight is completely retarded.
5. Glyph of Polymorph – Congratulations mages, you can take up a major glyph spot to counter-balance all those idiots in your raid who put dots on your sheep! You struck the glyph jackpot here! Why not make a Warlock glyph called “Glyph of Don’t Be a Retard and Put Curse of Agony on Sheep”?
Now yes, I know there are good ones. Although they even nerfed the ones that were good so they arent quite as good now. Most notably, they changed the Glyph of Fireball to give 5% increased critical strike chance instead of 5% additional damage. Remember kids, Mage damage scaling in any way is ALWAYS unintended.
Seriously, what the fuck. Just when I thought this blog might have to shut down because they were making some honestly good-looking changes (new living bomb is pretty sick, ive tried it :D), they go and fuck everything up again with this shit:
Yeah, that’s right. No more damage increase, just a crit buff now. In case you’re too retarded to understand why this is retarded, let me break this down for you…
Back before TBC came out, Jeff Kaplan (Tigole, Grand Wizard of WoW) posted the following on the official Mage discussion forum:
In test after test, our jaws are consistently dropping at the sheer damage output we’ve seen from the mage at level 70, so I do think that some of the panic here is unwarranted. These results are directly what have led to some of the changes such as the one to elemental precision. Damage = zomg.
What he ACTUALLY meant was:
In test after test, our jaws are consistently dropping at the sheer damage output we’ve seen from the mage at level 70 in Karazhan, so I do think that some of the panic here is unwarranted. These results are directly what have led to some of the changes such as the one to elemental precision. Damage = zomg in Karazhan.
In short, Mage damage scaling in TBC is among the worst in the game. It’s bad and everyone knows it.
Enter Improved Scorch, which gives you a 15% bonus to fire damage in its current, live server implementation. This is a good thing. What it means is that, while our damage scales poorly, we basically get a second level of scaling potential in the form of this buff to kinda lessen the degree of shittyness the class has been saddled with.
Come Wrath, Improved Scorch will instead give a flat bonus to spell critical strike chance. So what does this mean? This means that we lose our second degree of damage scaling while gaining nothing to offset the change. It COULD be argued that Burnout makes up for it, but that’s bullshit too because it’s still directly related to the shitty scaling of your Fireball AND it drains your mana. So before you even point your finger to Burnout, shut up.
In short, Blizzard has successfully fucked us again. It’s as if they realized they were doing some halfway decent stuff with the class and were like “Oh crap, we forgot this is the Mage, we gotta shit on this somehow!”
Thanks guys, really appreciate it. Hey, at least Imp Scorch will lead to more procs of Hot Streak though!
Blizzard unveiled a whole slew of changes for the WotLK beta again yesterday – like, a lot of stuff.
Notably, mages saw some changes to the fire tree which appear to relegate it to the red-headed step-child pvp spec, tugging at the robes of frost begging for attention and one of the cookies.
But we’ll leave fire for another time. Today, we’re actually going to discuss an interesting Paladin change which is actually an indirect ‘fuck you!’ to the Mage class straight from Blizzard:
Yup, that’s a shiny new version of Evocation for Paladins. Oh, wait, my bad… I meant it WOULD be Evocation if it wasn’t better.
Evocation – 60% mana return, 8 second channel, 8 minute cooldown.
(7.5% total mana returned per second, 0.93% mana returned per minute)
Divine Plea – 50% mana return, 6 second channel, 5 minute cooldown.
(8.33% mana returned per second, 1.67% mana returned per minute)
Yup, nice big middle finger.
Let’s take the healing class which gets 60% refunds every time they crit (which is often) and give them better mana return with less downtime than the class which gets 30% refund on crits (if you aren’t specced retarded for raiding) and needs a shadow priest to even stay in the fight.
Oh, and by the way, you’re all gonna be raiding Arcane in WotLK, so have fun waiting out that Evocation timer.
As most of you have probably seen by now, preliminary mage talents have been leaked for Wrath of the Lich King. There is some interesting stuff in all three trees, but one talent sticks out like a giant dong hitting you in the eye – Burnout.
First off, yes, 25% crit damage bonus to fire spells is HUGE. Thats 175% damage on the initial hit PLUS an even beefier 40% ignite DoT. But losing 5% of your mana whenever you crit with a fire spell? Yep, that’s right, crit too much and you’re fucked, kids. I’ll grant that maybe the tooltip is just poorly worded, but even that could go either way…
1. Lose 5% of TOTAL mana – just horrible, doesn’t even need explanation.
2. Lose 5% of REMAINING mana – still horrible.
3. Lose an additional 5% of the mana cost of the spell – This is workable, and is the only reasonable way this talent would be acceptable. This loss would basically serve to offset the mana you gain back from crits with Master of the Elements, which I would accept happily for the sake of the 25% bonus damage.
So let’s say even with the best-case scenario above, you’re losing mana for every crit, but your shadow priests mana return is getting nerfed, your evocate is regenerating less mana at 80 than it did at 70, AND you have a passive talent which guarantees crits if you get enough in a row (Hot Streak, also new for WotLK). Put it all together and you’ve got a serious mana problem, unless there are some other major changes on the way…but that remains to be seen.
Of course, you could also argue that Arcane is looking to be the new resident raid spec in WotLK as well. But then the point of this blog still stands, because Arcane sucks on principle. We’ll have to see how this plays out, but at the moment it looks like the fire mages damage output will be similar to a 16 year old getting laid for the first time – hard and strong for about 60 seconds and then spending the next 5 minutes apologizing for yourself.