Wheeeeeeeeeee back for one of my sporadic posts (soon to hopefully be less sporadic). Outside of grad school kicking my ass, harder and harder each and every day, I was finally able to come back form my WoW hiatus this past break and have tried to accomplish as much as possible. Admittedly, with 3.3 and the availability of T9 to…well, everyone, it wasn’t very difficult. I appreciate them making it more available, but I think this time they went overboard. Killing Heroic bosses in 30 seconds or less just…isn’t fun. Trash pulls that once required at least SOME care can now be AoE’ed down with ADDITIONAL trash without difficulty…overall kind of lame, in my opinion. It’s not really Blizzard’s fault (in a roundabout way it is, I suppose) but in general they have been making the game a bit too easy, lately, especially PvE-wise. PvP will always be somewhat challenging and dynamic, as real humans are fairly less predictable (in many cases) than a computer program, but PvE…ugh.
To be fair, I can’t tell you how many people STILL stand in the bad stuff (aka fire) in raids. STILL. It’s hard to pressure them to create new mechanics when half of their player base can’t handle the oldest one in the game. When you see a giant pillar of flame erupt at your feet, and you start taking damage, you should move. Period. I don’t really know why they would ever think otherwise. Even if you think the mage in your party/raid cast it for AoE, why not be safe and alive rather than sorry and dead? If green gas is being emitted around you, what makes you think standing there and breathing it in is going to help your dps?
ANYway, what I will say is that with the new system, it’s been even harder to maintain two characters, especially with one having dual spec, while leveling 2 alts. I know, I know, some people manage it just fine. I guarantee their /played is higher than mine. And now the expectation is for everyone to be in full T9, and since most people are, it’s very difficult being in a group that is not, especially as a tank. I don’t think I’m a bad tank, but a dps in almost all 232 gear plus a few 245/251 pieces is going to be able to pull aggro from a tank in mostly 200 to 219 gear. And it’s not that I don’t know what I’m doing—I was able to successfully off-tank the first wing of ICC 10-man, and tank heal it in my healing set (which has 4 pieces of T9, though not many more 232 pieces beyond that), but…in heroics, people just get impatient and reckless.
Dear Warlock/Priest—if you pull a mob and put 4 DoTs on it because I’m “going too slow” and you expect me to save your ass, think again. I probably didn’t pull because I probably didn’t have enough CDs ready. They are short CDs, so if you’d waited 5 more seconds, I would have been good to go. Alternatively, I might have been trying to get mana, because a mana-less paladin tank cannot tank.
It’s funny, because I usually go pretty fast, so when someone complains, I just roll my eyes.
I am a bit frustrated, though. My defense rating is 633, which is almost 100 points too high. Yet, I’m not enchanted or socketed for def rating at all—the only thing I have is the helm enchant, and I got it for the +30 stam. Everything else is stam or avoidance. I’m hoping to get some gear that prioritizes other stats soon, because being that far over cap is just annoying. What I’ve noticed is that the newer gear actually decreases stam a LOT in favor of not quite as much avoidance, so it seems as if they are actually making paladin tanks a little worse…I can’t be sure though. So far, it’s been mostly heroics which are EZ-mode, and in ICC since dodge is reduced by 20% avoidance is low anyway, and it’s really up to heals to keep the tank up (thanks, Blizzard, cause we didn’t have a hard enough job already…QQ).
But now for my fun-fun frost spec. Bottom line? I love it. So much fun. Second bottom line? Not reliable enough. It’s also nearly impossible to test. Let me handle reliability first, as it’s really a quite simple problem: Fingers of Frost just doesn’t proc when I need it to, and doesn’t proc often enough.
Now let me back-track and compare all three specs briefly, so people can see where I’m coming from.
DPS can prioritize one of two stats to their choosing (or do nothing in particular with either and let the gear scale itself naturally). One is crit, the other is haste. In a nutshell, hit harder, or hit faster. We all know this. Here’s the problem:
Fire doesn’t really gain much from haste. It gains a LOT from crit. Bigger Ignite damage, Hot Streak, you name it, it needs crit. Arcane gains some from crit, seeing as AB increases damage by a percent, so crits can get bigger. Additionally, the Arcane tree grants a 10% bonus to spirit, so coupling that with the Molten Armor glyph and T9 set bonus, it’s easy to get higher crit going into the arcane tree (and indeed, many fire mages choose to take that talent, and for good reason.) However, it gains a lot more from haste. A 1.8 second AB is pretty damn fast, but when you get the AM proc (which procs 40% of the time when using AB), missiles are firing 3-4 times a second. There are 5 missiles total. You get the idea. Imagine stacked with Icy Veins and Bloodlust…yummy.
Frost, on the other hand, is a huge problem. Frost gains no stacking damage like AB does, and has a lower overall damage output than fire. While it has a slightly higher base damage output than AB, Arcane mages scale intel and spellpower, so it cancels out fairly quickly. As in by level 80. Fire and frost mages both get an elemental debuff that increases their crit on a boss, but fire gets the extra ignite with the heightened crit. And has talents to increase crit, whereas frost just increases damage from crits. In terms of haste, well, as mentioned before, Arcane just does better, and has a talent increasing haste by 6%. Frost does have talents to reduce the cast time of frostbolt by a total of .7 seconds, but that’s just frostbolt. We’ve no other spells really, unless we want to cast frostfire bolt (which has a higher crit modifier).
If I didn’t articulate it clearly, this is what I’m getting at. If you have gear stacked with crit, fire is the way to go. If you have gear stacked with haste, arcane is the way to go. If you are in the middle, you could pick either of those, because it outperforms Frost, as frost has no abilities that utilize them as greatly as the others. Fingers of Frost has a 15% proc chance, which is abysmally low. Thankfully, blizzard gave us Deep Freeze, but the damage is still not quite high enough. In my mostly 232 gear I can get crits for around 14k-15k with Arcane Blast at 3 or 4 stacks. Deep Freeze usually crits for 18k. Deep Freeze can only be used once every 30 seconds AT MOST. And herein lies the problem. The damage isn’t high enough, and combined with the CD, it’s just too long inbetween casts to be a reliable source of damage. It will end up being the 4th highest source of damage, sometimes third if I’ve been unlucky with FoF and haven’t gotten many ignites up. But it still only amounts to 10% of my damage.
Now, I understand Blizzard’s position. We have 2 specs that are both viable for raiding and one that is viable for both leveling and PvP. What more do we want? There are other classes that need work, right?
Yeah, uh, wrong. Hybrid classes all seem fine, some even almost too good (druids wut? Good in all four specs? Paladins? PvP like crazy). And pure dps classes (the only “pure” anything class (we don’t have a class dedicated to ONLY healing or ONLY tanking…)) I know, I know, I’m still QQing over it…all I’m saying is, Blizzard is quick to shut down arguments saying that things already work (and the mage class does work, I won’t deny it.) But right now it’s also fairly boring in PvE. Especially Arcane. Frost can be the most boring, because you just spam frostbolt, unless you get a FoF and then you cast Deep Freeze if it’s up, or you cast a fireball if Brain Freeze pops up. Fire is at least marginally interesting…but overall, like everything else in the game, it’s getting to be too easy. Arcane is about mana management for longer fights, and could use a new spell or two that could help pump out DPS at the cost of a bigger chunk of mana (besides just continuously using AB past 4 stacks or using Arcane Power, which isn’t a huge liability) to make it slightly more interesting. And AB could have different damage scaling, maybe.
But what could we possibly do with frost? What mechanic could Blizzard possibly put into place? Well, remember that one time that a Paladin’s Exorcism changed functions depending on whether or not the target was a player or non-player enemy? I propose we bring that back. For example, if they have Brain Freeze make Fireball treat the target as if they were frozen (if they are a non-player target) and not consume a charge of FoF, then you’d probably see more mages using that talent. Additionally, they should increase the damage bonus from Deep Freeze, and maybe have it so that, upon consumption, if Deep Freeze deals damage to a target, spell haste and crit are increased by 10% for 15 seconds. That’d be very nice indeed, since it’d be a short but effective buff. I know mages have the 12% haste buff on the T10 2-piece set, but again, it benefits both arcane and fire FAR more than it does frost, especially since Missile Barrage and Hot Streak proc FAR more often. Having a buff that is unique to frost would be awesome.
I’d also like to see an increase in the proc of FoF, but I’m not sure how OP that would make mages in arenas. Anyone here know how useful it is in Arenas? I’d imagine people don’t count on it because it’s so random and doesn’t proc all that often, but when it does happen, does it make frost mages unfairly strong? I don’t arena and rarely PvP, though I do plan on getting back into it at some point…
And I still like my “chains of ice” or whatever spell. I think it would be awesome and would allow frost mages to stack either crit or haste, and would be awesome for raid bosses and arena. For those of you that missed it, here’s the skinny from an earlier post.
1.) The spell lasts for x seconds. During those x seconds, each time a spell you cast critically hits, it adds a “chain” to the target. When the spell fades or is dispelled (so there is SOME PvP application), it takes the total damage that was the EXTRA CRIT damage, and applies it to the target, possibly as a DoT effect, equal to the number of chains on the target x 2. Along with that possibility, it might be necessary to take the extra crit damage and half it, so as not to be over powered.
By extra crit damage, I mean that if your frostbolt normally hits for 3k, and it crits for 5.5k, the damage stored is 2.5k (and the original 5.5k damage is still dealt to the target.)
So lets say you get in 3 crits with frostbolt and 1 crit with Ice Lance. That’s 4 chains on the target. Take the damage done that was the added critical damage, half it, and apply that damage each second for 8 seconds, as the “chains melt away.”
2.) The spell lasts for x seconds. During those x seconds, each time you cast a spell that normally has a cast time (not an instant like Ice Lance, not channeled like Blizzard or Arcane Missiles), a “chain” is applied. At the end of the spell’s duration/it is dispelled, it applies a fixed amount of damage per “chain” as a DoT effect equal to the number of chains x 2. If a spell crits, the DoT effect for it’s particular chain gets 50% of bonus damage applied as did the original spell.
For instance, let’s say a Frostbolt hits for 3k and crits for 6k, and each chain does a base of 100 damage per second per chain. If you land 3 and crit one Frostbolt, you’ve done 15k damage, and gotten 4 chains on the target, for an additional 400 damage per second over 8 seconds. However, because one of them crit, that one chain will get an additional 50 damage (because 50% of 100 is 50, and it was a 100% damage bonus to the original cast (3k+3k=6k)), so the spell will now do 450 damage per second over 8 seconds.
This will not affect your instant Fireball (should you have specced into it), so if that procs you do still get a chain added because it originally has a cast time.
Alright. That’s that for now. Now that it’s winter break, I’ll *actually* be able to post more. And I’m already planning another one for tomorrow or so. About me being an alt-o-holic. It was recently brought to my attention because I tend to yell excitedly in trade when I see people I know, then clarify and say “Ten’nen” so they don’t think some rando is saying “hi” to them. One of my friends went. “Ten’nen. Just how many alts do you have?!?” So that’s for next time. Until then!