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.
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.