Save Alter Time!

94 Night Elf Mage
16520
Hey folks - can't post images in the body of a thread here, so I'm going to direct you all to either MMO-Champion or Icy Veins, where I moderate and toss out ideas quite regularly.

Alter Time is under attack. Unfortunately a number of vocal players on Twitter are doing what they can to try to convince the powers that be that fixing or changing the spell is not an option and it should just be removed.

Some of you may agree with that-- and that's fine. I'm not here to call you out or marginalize you for your opinion. However, based off the raised hackles in off-channels and forums in the huge network of mages I discuss all manner of magic with, I've decided we need to get organized.

So please visit one of my two (doesn't matter which) threads and if you happen to agree with the information I have presented, drop a reply and show the devs that not everyone wants to see Alter Time get the axe.

http://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/4486-alter-time-is-at-risk-read-sign-to-save-it/
http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1447441-Mage-All-Specs-Save-Alter-Time!?p=25031139

Thanks for your time folks - happy spellfrostfire bolting!
90 Night Elf Mage
11835
/cast support

I think alter time is a really interesting and unique spell. It can be pretty difficult to use optimally for me and I really, really hate having to cancel it, but I think it's worth saving with a few tweaks.
90 Troll Mage
7045
I like it the way it is. Use your brain. Gosh.
94 Night Elf Mage
16520
Alter Time is Blizzard finally giving us something unique. No other class can do anything like it - there is a similar spell for everything else.

Timey Wimey stuff is what branches mage out and gives it a bit of identity. I personally agree with almost everything Lissanna and others say about reducing button bloat, but removing Alter Time is not the answer!
MVP - World of Warcraft
100 Pandaren Mage
13490
Then what buttons would you remove instead Akrraen? You say you want to keep X button, but what other 2 or 3 buttons would you remove from each mage spec's PVE rotation instead?

What bloat would you cut instead?

You don't want to have to make the hard choices, but picking on one of the multiple dozens of spells I've suggested culling in the ability bloat reduction is particularly unhelpful in the conversation if you don't chime in about where you think abilities should be cut. I've put the level 90 mage talents up. I put enrage effects as an entire mechanic up for cutting (instead folding into other existing mechanics). I've picked on pretty much every button type that people have across many threads. If Blizzard cut every button I suggested, no one would have buttons. However, the point is that - there are lots of places that could be cut, and it's Blizzard's job to decide what buttons we do use (but don't NEED to use) could get cut.

Blizzard may not choose Alter Time for culling, but they ARE going to cut out buttons you love. How do you decide which buttons to cut? I'm not the enemy. I don't get to make those decisions, but buttons you DO love are GOING to be cut somehow. And in the end, you'll still have a unique feeling character that is different from other classes, just with fewer buttons - regardless of what those buttons are.

Petitions to save button X are ineffective if you don't have another button you'd rather sacrifice instead.

See:

http://www.restokin.com/2014/01/the-hard-choices-when-to-cut-abilities-people-love/
Edited by Lissanda on 1/28/2014 10:04 AM PST
Are you sure Lissandra?

Mage has got to be one of the easiest classes to play in terms of ability bloat. Especially since it's a full on dps class.
100 Dwarf Mage
11250
why would you remove it? it isnt even op?
it can be removed a number of ways.
90 Human Mage
8175
If we are talking about removing buttons can we remove Invocation? Yes it has been improved, yes its no where near the awful talent it was when MoP came out, no it is still not fun to use. The same can be said about rune of power as well. Trying to stay in the rune when raid bosses have wind effects is not my idea of fun. I honestly don't like that Mage has a dot now but w/e its not that bad and its dps. Alter time is a very unique spell that keeps me interested and has helped me put up with the crap that is our lvl 90 talents. I would really hate to see it go.
100 Human Mage
13115
01/28/2014 10:02 AMPosted by Lissanda
Then what buttons would you remove instead Akrraen? You say you want to keep X button, but what other 2 or 3 buttons would you remove from each mage spec's PVE rotation instead?

What bloat would you cut instead?

You don't want to have to make the hard choices, but picking on one of the multiple dozens of spells I've suggested culling in the ability bloat reduction is particularly unhelpful in the conversation if you don't chime in about where you think abilities should be cut. I've put the level 90 mage talents up. I put enrage effects as an entire mechanic up for cutting (instead folding into other existing mechanics). I've picked on pretty much every button type that people have across many threads. If Blizzard cut every button I suggested, no one would have buttons. However, the point is that - there are lots of places that could be cut, and it's Blizzard's job to decide what buttons we do use (but don't NEED to use) could get cut.

Blizzard may not choose Alter Time for culling, but they ARE going to cut out buttons you love. How do you decide which buttons to cut? I'm not the enemy. I don't get to make those decisions, but buttons you DO love are GOING to be cut somehow. And in the end, you'll still have a unique feeling character that is different from other classes, just with fewer buttons - regardless of what those buttons are.

Petitions to save button X are ineffective if you don't have another button you'd rather sacrifice instead.

See:

http://www.restokin.com/2014/01/the-hard-choices-when-to-cut-abilities-people-love/


Why should we have to sacrifice any buttons? Or more to the point, if the idea is to reduce ability bloat, how can we be expected to choose a button to eliminate if we don't know what's going to replace it? For example, as a raiding frost mage, my button usage breaks down as follows:

4 abilities used throughout a fight that constitute my primary DPS: Frost Bolt, Ice Lance, Frostfire Bolt, and my mage bomb.
5 abilities used when they come off cooldown/expire: Frozen Orb, Alter Time, Icy Veins, Mirror Images, and Invocation.
3 defensive abilities: Improved Invisibility, Ice Barrier/Temporal Shield, Ice Block.
2 movement abilities: Blazing Speed, Blink.
1 raid cooldown: Time Warp
9 situational abilities: Cone of Cold, Pet's Freeze, Blizzard/Flamestrike, Tier 3 talent, Counterspell, Spellsteal, Frost Nova, Deep Freeze, and Polymorph.

Now, I'm unwilling to give up my defensive, movement, and raid cooldown abilities. I don't think I need to have any of my situational abilities taken from me because their situational use doesn't feel like button bloat. So that leaves my DPS abilties and cooldowns. I think a 4/5 mix between the two of them is good, so to return to the question of what I'm supposed to give up, I don't want to give up a cooldown just to get another rotational abilty, and visa versa.

But if, at gunpoint, I'm forced to give up an ability I'll give Invocation the boot. Maintenance abilities aren't any fun anyway. No way do I want to give up something as unique and interesting as Alter Time.
Alter Time has killed me more than my fair share of times, but each time it was a self-caused problem and not a problem with the ability itself. I personally love it; it is quite a unique ability. The only change I would make is a glyph which allows the user to not revert back to their old position when it is initiated.
91 Undead Mage
10845
01/28/2014 10:02 AMPosted by Lissanda
Then what buttons would you remove instead Akrraen? You say you want to keep X button, but what other 2 or 3 buttons would you remove from each mage spec's PVE rotation instead?


01/28/2014 10:02 AMPosted by Lissanda
What bloat would you cut instead?


I wouldnt cut any buttons. I need all my buttons. Any less buttons and i would feel gimped.

BUT.

for those of you who get overwhelmed by buttons...

Mirror images. Gone.
Mana Gem. Gone.
Flame strike (or blizzard or arcane explosion, we dont need 3 buttons to accomplish the same thing). Gone.

Mages shouldnt be on the chopping block for Button Bloat. I have less buttons on my mage than any of my alts. Shaman has the most (because of totems) Monk has 2nd most. But priest and druids still have at least double what my mage does.
91 Undead Mage
10845
01/28/2014 10:02 AMPosted by Lissanda
Blizzard may not choose Alter Time for culling, but they ARE going to cut out buttons you love. How do you decide which buttons to cut? I'm not the enemy. I don't get to make those decisions, but buttons you DO love are GOING to be cut somehow.


Then theyve screwed up. They shouldnt cut the buttons we love. If its a button we love and use frequently as part of the heart of the class, it shouldnt get removed. If its what defines our class we need it. What should be removed are the abilities at the fringe. The abilities we have and are like "welll... i only kinda sometimes ever think about using this"

Alter time is too crucial to be removed.

Mirror images have been nerfed into uselessness since WotLK. Mana Gem saw some use in Cata but meh.

I volunteer these abilities as tributes.
100 Human Mage
14930
It's not necessarily about button bloat. Do you enjoy alter time? What do you enjoy about it? Would your enjoyment change if your DPS remained equal but the ability went away?

I don't enjoy it when a trinket procs during alter time or when a shaman in our raid uses heroism while I'm in alter time. I don't like having to cancel it early, or 'losing' procs (even though statistically speaking it gains more than it loses from copying.)
MVP - World of Warcraft
100 Pandaren Mage
13490
01/28/2014 10:46 AMPosted by Verraine


Why should we have to sacrifice any buttons? Or more to the point, if the idea is to reduce ability bloat, how can we be expected to choose a button to eliminate if we don't know what's going to replace it? For example, as a raiding frost mage, my button usage breaks down as follows:

4 abilities used throughout a fight that constitute my primary DPS: Frost Bolt, Ice Lance, Frostfire Bolt, and my mage bomb.
5 abilities used when they come off cooldown/expire: Frozen Orb, Alter Time, Icy Veins, Mirror Images, and Invocation.
3 defensive abilities: Improved Invisibility, Ice Barrier/Temporal Shield, Ice Block.
2 movement abilities: Blazing Speed, Blink.
1 raid cooldown: Time Warp
9 situational abilities: Cone of Cold, Pet's Freeze, Blizzard/Flamestrike, Tier 3 talent, Counterspell, Spellsteal, Frost Nova, Deep Freeze, and Polymorph.

Now, I'm unwilling to give up my defensive, movement, and raid cooldown abilities. I don't think I need to have any of my situational abilities taken from me because their situational use doesn't feel like button bloat. So that leaves my DPS abilties and cooldowns. I think a 4/5 mix between the two of them is good, so to return to the question of what I'm supposed to give up, I don't want to give up a cooldown just to get another rotational abilty, and visa versa.

But if, at gunpoint, I'm forced to give up an ability I'll give Invocation the boot. Maintenance abilities aren't any fun anyway. No way do I want to give up something as unique and interesting as Alter Time.


The bigger question for Blizzard has to come down to: is 24 abilities the number of abilities they want used in raiding situations? Are all 24 of those buttons so important, special, unique, and irreplaceable that removing any one of them is going to make the game so unfun and unplayable that the game couldn't survive its loss? Bashiok said something over the summer about how having 5 abilities can end up being better than having 30 abilities if the game play with those 5 buttons is more interesting and involved: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/9792649374?page=4#65

With the moonkin's removal of insect swarm for MOP, it turns out that a core DPS ability could be removed without hurting the game, particularly when the removal of that button helped make the moonkin's toolset easier to design and balance overall. My point is that: People loved insect swarm, but reducing button bloat for moonkin by removing a problematic button that couldn't really be balanced right in the rotation actually made the druid class better.

Blizzard has said many times at this point that their goal for MOP is to reduce "ability bloat", so the culling is going to happen (it may happen to different extents to different classes, but you will have fewer buttons in WOD than you do in MOP). I'm happy to have conversations about what should or shouldn't be removed. I just find "Save the buttons" campaigns to be unhelpful when the goal is to save a button rather than to help Blizzard make the tough choices by providing feedback they can actually use. The "save insect swarm" campaigns from MOP beta ended up not being listened to because game balance and better overall gameplay won out over people's love of a button.

I'm going to suggest cutting many more buttons than I actually expect to be cut because I don't expect every recommendation of button cutting to be actually implemented, and somewhere along the line, I expect to step on toes because everyone loves every ability and someone has voiced an opinion against every single change that Blizzard has ever made to the game, even when they turned out to be good ideas. Taking fragments of my arguments out of context to create petition campaigns, however, ends up not being particularly helpful to anyone involved.
90 Troll Mage
15140
Really really really hope AT doesn't go away. It's such an amazing and interesting DPS AND survival CD rolled into one. I love that it requires some amount of thought instead of just hitting one of hundreds of "increase x stat/damage by x amount for x seconds" BOOORING.

And I have, personally, found that most alter time deaths/wipes are preventable by simply canceling AT or watching timers and using it smartly.
100 Orc Shaman
10840
01/28/2014 11:14 AMPosted by Mumrit
Do you enjoy alter time?


its the only redeeming quality to mages at this point.

01/28/2014 11:14 AMPosted by Mumrit
What do you enjoy about it?


The fact that it separates people who manage cooldowns correctly and people who don't.

01/28/2014 11:14 AMPosted by Mumrit
Would your enjoyment change if your DPS remained equal but the ability went away?


No. Even if the people who dont know how to use the ability's dps stayed lower than mine, it is too multi-faceted to just take dps into account.

01/28/2014 11:14 AMPosted by Mumrit
. I don't like having to cancel it early, or 'losing' procs (even though statistically speaking it gains more than it loses from copying.)


I never liked when it when 2 seconds after i hit combustion i got the RNG spree from heaven and chained 4 crit pyros into a target. But it happened. You take the good with the bad. If all you want is the good, its going to be very boring.
Spiritlink, I might turn gay ICly for you.

edit: nvm, you're a woman.
Edited by Loralius on 1/28/2014 11:27 AM PST
100 Troll Mage
16475
I hate Alter Time but I don't want to see a glyph to remove the positional part of it. If you want it to be such a unique and skillful button, then you deserve your screw-ups as much as your successes with it. If it weren't for the fact that things can appear under you after you use it, I'd rather you be unable to cancelaura it too.
Or more to the point, if the idea is to reduce ability bloat, how can we be expected to choose a button to eliminate if we don't know what's going to replace it?

The idea with reducing bloat is that you don't replace it with anything.

But here's a comment from the icy veins thread:
Alter Time does have it's drawbacks for sure, but it doesn't wipe raids

It can and has. In progression fights you can't afford any avoidable deaths, and Alter Time can place you in a random puddle of death, unless you are extremely careful and conservative with its use.

This is a pretty marginal spell. Mages would lose a bit of flavour with its removal, but I think it safely could be removed.
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