Arcane Missiles: joke is over

85 Draenei Mage
3935
Umm...unless EJ is wrong, you're wrong. You just spam AB until you run out of evocates and gems. If you have the mana (which most T10 mages should) you should never cast anything else.

I find it hard to believe that 85 will fix such heinously broken gameplay.


What you say is true if, and only if, it takes two minutes to deplete your mana pool using AB spam. That's what changes.

What changes at level 85 is very simple. Base mana will be 5X what it is now. Your mana pool will be 2X what it is now. That means that, effectively, every spell you cast costs you 2.5x as much as it does now. That makes the over-long burndown time for Arcane right now to be a LOT shorter. You simply just can't sustain AB-spam for as long. So, if you're (as an example) taking a minute to burn through your AB spam before you evocate, then at 85, you'll be taking 24 seconds. Then you evocate, and now what? Burn through your mana again? Without DPS cooldowns? Then wait 96 seconds while you do... what exactly?

Even if you're able to have a full two minutes of AB spam now, that means that you're spending, under your thesis, 3/5ths of every long fight OOM. Good luck with that.

The truth is, at level 85, you have to understand that ABspam is non-sustainable. Let's say AB spam lasts x seconds. You must then spend 120-x of those seconds not AB-spamming, and keeping a sustainable rotation going.

First, you must keep x as long as possible, in order to maximise the DPS you get from it. That means that you must start AB spam at full mana. Anything else is a DPS-loss.

Secondly, you want to maximize the damage you do during the 120-x period. So you must make a choice: Do you have that period at low mana, or at high mana? At low mana, you have a floor to your mana, so your rotation must keep it as null-mana as possible. At high mana, you have to keep your mana pool high, so your rotation must keep it as null-mana as possible.

Thusly the ONLY choice here is when you order this. Do you go x, Evocate, 120-x, or do you go x, 120-x, Evocate? The first gives you your mana adept bonus, the second does not.

Therefore, your ONLY choice for maximum DPS is AB spam, followed by Evocate, followed by maintaining a full mana pool by burning stacks. The only situation where AB-spam followed by Evocate followed by AB-spam is optimal is when X>120 seconds.
Edited by Disgruntler on 12/1/2010 11:00 PM PST
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We know the boring details of arcane raiding. If you have a strong opinion about these things, tell us how you would like arcane pvp to work.

A freecast rampup that is almost impossible to balance properly, that really has to be balanced on the side of caution, and another instant spell, is not exactly a robust tree design.
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80 Orc Death Knight
1620
L2Arcane.

You have -two- rotations, based on whether mana gem and evocate is up or if they are not.

You throw out a couple AMs, Gem, then AMspam until you're at 25% mana (assuming the evocate tooltip is correct). Then, you Evocate to full, and your job is to use ABarr and AM to keep your mana as close to full as possible. Not 'Build three stacks.' Close. To. Full. Then, once Gem comes back up, start burning your mana again.

If you're spending the fight afraid of going oom, you're not doing optimal DPS with the spec. You Burst at the beginning, then slow down a bit, then Burst. The only difference with this that 85 brings is your burst fire phase will be shorter and you won't have Tier10/4 making your damage redonculous. A constant stream of +25% damage from your mastery for all your spells is superior to an average of around +20% for three of a four spell rotation. The only time you can do better than being at full mana is when you burn out with a full stack of AB--a convenient time to pop cooldowns. And that burn out is a meaningful gain and therefore you should be doing it when you can (i.e. When you can undo the burn with Evocate)


Umm...unless EJ is wrong, you're wrong. You just spam AB until you run out of evocates and gems. If you have the mana (which most T10 mages should) you should never cast anything else.

I find it hard to believe that 85 will fix such heinously broken gameplay.


Would you bother to read the damn thread? I explained exactly why 85 fixes it a few posts above yours.

Damn lazy posters.
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85 Draenei Mage
3935
We know the boring details of arcane raiding. If you have a strong opinion about these things, tell us how you would like arcane pvp to work.

A freecast rampup that is almost impossible to balance properly, that really has to be balanced on the side of caution, and another instant spell, is not exactly a robust tree design.


Don't exactly care about Arcane Missiles in PVP. It's job (at endgame) is to do something that has to do with maintaining a PvE rotation in a raid. Not every ability has to do with PvP, and it's fine. Arcane PvP is about using a different set of tricks that don't involve the gameplay that AM is designed for. You know, Polymorphs into stuns. Really good slow+snare off your main nuke. Utility stuff.

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82 Blood Elf Paladin
4040
Ugh forums ate my post : (

Anyway quick rehash:
*As a player who has only played a mage post 4.0, AM feels good to me. It sucks when you lose something great for something mediocre, but from a fresh perspective, there is nothing "wrong" with the ability, even if from an old school perspective there is. Using it in a rotation even feels natural.
*I agree Arcane could use a little PvP love. So many cast time spells which will lock you out of not only damage but also all utility sucks. I don't see arcane going far in arenas, but it should be fine in rated BG's, which is what things are now balanced around so eh.
*@85 on these forums tends to mean "@85 in worst possible gear". Most players on the beta never got anything more than the heroic dungeon blues, and that's only a step up from quest greens where haste and crit and mana levels are abysmal. There's still normal mode purps and then hard mode purps that players can get that have higher levels of haste and crit and mana.
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85 Blood Elf Mage
5305


Thusly the ONLY choice here is when you order this. Do you go x, Evocate, 120-x, or do you go x, 120-x, Evocate? The first gives you your mana adept bonus, the second does not.

Therefore, your ONLY choice for maximum DPS is AB spam, followed by Evocate, followed by maintaining a full mana pool by burning stacks. The only situation where AB-spam followed by Evocate followed by AB-spam is optimal is when X>120 seconds.


You see, this is the heart of the problem right here. Like it or not, this is as much of a "rotation" as the old ABx4/AM rotation of Wrath.

The last time Arcane had anything even remotely resembling dynamic gameplay was back in BC, when AB scaled pretty much entirely by virtue of its own haste, and one could stack Spirit in order to maintain the longest static equilibrium possible.

"But thats not dynamic!" You say? Why yes sir, it is!

Unlike the rotation you mention above where all significant regen is bound entirely to timers (gem, evocate, Mage Armor ticks, replenishment), the ability of Arcane to yield an increase in damage from the regeneration of mana allowed for a dynamic system to be set up between haste vs. spirit, vs. frequency of filler use (scorches and AM casts and such to juke the stacks while still keeping a hasted cast to start a new one. It was bloody well intuitive, because at the end of the day, you had a stat you went for to get you mana back, you had stats that could speed up your mana output, and you had other spells at your disposal to ensure that you ended that damn fight with 0 bloody mana.

Arcane Missiles is in the state that it is because there was such a clamor back in wrath for a rework of AB due to the ABx4 AM rotation getting old (which was primarily because of the massive coefficient advantage of AM over ABr, nevertheless...), so they've tried to bring back "Hey guys, AB is your mana hose now!" but they forgot to bring back Arcane's unique approach to mana management through different itemization choices. Hell, they could have avoided this fiasco entirely if they would have just added one bloody way to excercise control over our mana income that wasn't tied to our main damage stat (i.e. Int). We can't have more because its a source of spellpower now, and they've nuked spirit for all DPS casters. They've maneuvered themselves into a corner with this particular design decision.

I may not have liked Wrath's latter Arcane rotation as much as BC's, but I damn well liked it more than what it is now. I've played since Vanilla, and AM had always been one of my favorite spells. In its gimped state, the spell has become not just distasteful, but altogether repugnant.

/rant. To those of you who take the time to read, thank you. You have restored my faith in humanity. To anyone who wants a TL:DR, bite me.
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Well if you're determined to think of arcane missiles as a raid-only tool, that's fine. Talk about that.

I'll tell you what I see. Arcane is like the samophlange. It has way too many knobs, none of which are really essential or interesting.

More mana? Damage goes up.
Charge up AB? Damage goes up.
Cast AB while charged up? Mana and damage go down.
Get clearcast? Mana and damage stay up.
Get "new" clearcast? You now know about when next clearcast is coming. This information is useless.
Cast barrage at the right time? Congrats, you're copying the EJ guy who designs nuclear power plants during the day.
Cast barrage at the wrong time? Your dps went down by 4%, on this fight you were going to win anyway!
Need mana from your gem? Sorry you have to save that for it's trinket effect.
Need trinket effect from your gem? Oh well I guess the mana is wasted.

YOU GOT AN AM PROC. It's a good thing all those previous decisions you made really mattered a lot, because this one matters even more. It's an even cheaper and weaker version of barrage, so it's perfect for when you miscalculate the conditional convergence of the asymptotic topological group, and would otherwise need to remove lim y>a sum a sub b arcane blast casts from each non-burst cycle, when evocate has less than x-sum n=0 > n seconds remaining.
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80 Human Paladin
3540
Random procs are good. This is not street fighter. Pressing the correct sequence of keys in exact precision from beginning to end is boring.
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Random procs are good. This is not street fighter. Pressing the correct sequence of keys in exact precision from beginning to end is boring.


By your own admission concerning precision: nearly all raiding dps templates, and even most pvp exchanges are rote, and thus boring. I assure you, no one would argue in favor of tedium.

Have you played Peekaboo? It's a great game. When the adult hides their face, you concentrate intensely. And then, when they suddenly remove their hand and say Peekaboo! you squeal and giggle in delight and confusion. This is what procs are, and they are an appropriate gameplay mechanic for children up to, and including pre-kindergarten age.

But if you had read the thread, you would have known that the conversation had moved beyond this admission of preference, and delved into the deep question of why arcane missiles, among the worst abilities in the game, had been further nerfed by the Cataclysm.
Edited by Haply on 12/2/2010 3:13 AM PST
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We know the boring details of arcane raiding. If you have a strong opinion about these things, tell us how you would like arcane pvp to work.

A freecast rampup that is almost impossible to balance properly, that really has to be balanced on the side of caution, and another instant spell, is not exactly a robust tree design.


Don't exactly care about Arcane Missiles in PVP. It's job (at endgame) is to do something that has to do with maintaining a PvE rotation in a raid. Not every ability has to do with PvP, and it's fine. Arcane PvP is about using a different set of tricks that don't involve the gameplay that AM is designed for. You know, Polymorphs into stuns. Really good slow+snare off your main nuke. Utility stuff.


Not every ability has to do with PvE either, so let's just remove arcane missiles as a PvE spell because I want it to be good in PvP.

Yeah, that's extremely biased and unfair, isn't it?
PvE Mages don't get to just own Arcane Missiles . :|
Edited by Buglamp on 12/2/2010 3:39 AM PST
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82 Troll Mage
1180
We know the boring details of arcane raiding. If you have a strong opinion about these things, tell us how you would like arcane pvp to work.

A freecast rampup that is almost impossible to balance properly, that really has to be balanced on the side of caution, and another instant spell, is not exactly a robust tree design.


Don't exactly care about Arcane Missiles in PVP. It's job (at endgame) is to do something that has to do with maintaining a PvE rotation in a raid. Not every ability has to do with PvP, and it's fine. Arcane PvP is about using a different set of tricks that don't involve the gameplay that AM is designed for. You know, Polymorphs into stuns. Really good slow+snare off your main nuke. Utility stuff.


Not every ability has to do with PvE either, so let's just remove arcane missiles as a PvE spell because I want it to be good in PvP.

Yeah, that's extremely biased and unfair, isn't it?
PvE Mages don't get to just own Arcane Missiles . :|


In its current form, I don't think PvE mages *want* arcane missiles. I'm not sure what it does that Arcane Barrage couldn't do just as well, because even *when* it procs, and even *if* you want to clear Ablast stacks, you could probably do that just as well with Arbar. And if they some how tuned Arbar to be a bad choice (raised the mana cost too high, or whatever) it would simply leave arcane depending on random procs and ignoring arbar altogether.

Until Arcane Missiles becomes a proc that you actively hope to get because it causes your damage to go up, or it causes your damage to remain the same while using less mana, it's not going to be an appealing spell.

To use a mixed metaphor, Arcane Blast is a tasty morsel with a bad aftertaste, and to clear away the aftertaste, you're eating some thing that tastes bad, but not as bad as the aftertaste of Arcane Blast. It's not some thing you actively want, it's just some thing you do to avoid some thing else you don't want.
Edited by Sweat on 12/2/2010 3:45 AM PST
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85 Blood Elf Mage
13125
I'm just a little annoyed that I lost it as a tool as frost/fire to deal with los issues, imo using it well was a way to set yourself apart, alot of mages just ignored it. Changing it to a proc baseline hasn't changed anything except removing it from the other two specs, as you still need to sink points into missile barrage to make it worth casting (and its damage sucks either way now).

edit: Actually, I'm going to expand upon this a bit. Arcane missiles has in the past been a great spell during its proc. It was viscerally very exciting casting a missile barrage or a half cast meta gem proc'd AM in TBC. It felt very powerful and exciting, that feeling fell away a bit with the proc rate going up so high, and it isn't really there any more IMO with the latest round of changes to the spell.
Edited by Kolzi on 12/2/2010 4:33 AM PST
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44 Undead Mage
0
I just started playing this mage.

And arcane Missiles is amazing for leveling. If u level as arcane it is Godsend. It helps a lot with mana and reduces downtime.


No offense, but who levels as Arcane? Masochists?

Go frost or go home.

Frost Bolt + Ice Lance spam ad nauseum, with pet on auto assist.

/win

Arcane Missiles procs can be totally ignored. They're useless. When you can turn them into fireballs they become more useful, though, but my roomate is leveling a mage and even with that talent he completely ignores the procs because Ice Lance does enough damage to kill anything before it gets to you after a Frostbolt, with no downtime (he's got quite a few levels over this toon, so it's not just an uber low level thing).

The only bad thing about leveling a mage is how boring and monotanous it becomes after a while...
Edited by Taikuri on 12/2/2010 6:43 AM PST
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85 Undead Mage
3075
PvP with arcane is like a horror movie version of Where's Waldo, and I'm the sorority teenager who just acquired biblical knowledge of the opposite gender.


Oh man. This had me in tears. Thread of the week.
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85 Undead Warlock
7450
L2Arcane.

You have -two- rotations, based on whether mana gem and evocate is up or if they are not.

You throw out a couple AMs, Gem, then AMspam until you're at 25% mana (assuming the evocate tooltip is correct). Then, you Evocate to full, and your job is to use ABarr and AM to keep your mana as close to full as possible. Not 'Build three stacks.' Close. To. Full. Then, once Gem comes back up, start burning your mana again.

If you're spending the fight afraid of going oom, you're not doing optimal DPS with the spec. You Burst at the beginning, then slow down a bit, then Burst. The only difference with this that 85 brings is your burst fire phase will be shorter and you won't have Tier10/4 making your damage redonculous. A constant stream of +25% damage from your mastery for all your spells is superior to an average of around +20% for three of a four spell rotation. The only time you can do better than being at full mana is when you burn out with a full stack of AB--a convenient time to pop cooldowns. And that burn out is a meaningful gain and therefore you should be doing it when you can (i.e. When you can undo the burn with Evocate)


Umm...unless EJ is wrong, you're wrong. You just spam AB until you run out of evocates and gems. If you have the mana (which most T10 mages should) you should never cast anything else.

I find it hard to believe that 85 will fix such heinously broken gameplay.


Would you bother to read the damn thread? I explained exactly why 85 fixes it a few posts above yours.

Damn lazy posters.


I read your post and it seemed you argued that 85 just made it boring. It would probably be splitting hairs to say we disagree. The only thing 85 does is swing the pendulum to the opposite extreme.
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85 Undead Mage
10545
i also dislike arcane missiles.

i believe arcane missles loves other arcane missiles, which means he's gay.

also i demand a mage Q&A, a real one this time, not like that @%!% we had before.
Edited by Magictricks on 12/2/2010 2:55 PM PST
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85 Draenei Shaman
3545
Arcane pvp is pretty one-dimensional; I made a post about this a few weeks ago. I don't really see that changing in cataclysm. You cast arcane blast, or you spend all your time trying to create a situation where you can cast arcane blast. Arcane missiles and barrage just aren't worth it. The talents themselves don't really change play that much; that burden falls pretty much solely on the feet of the mastery.

I also am going to miss using arcane missiles for los issues- way to reduce the skillcap, blizzard :(

The feeling of casting super speed arcane missiles in wrath was really fun, and I don't think that has translated over into cataclysm; it's now just an unexciting mana management tool that does crappy damage in pvp.

Barrage is still the spell that you only cast while moving, which isn't a whole lot. This spell really needs either some extra utility, or more damage.

I was excited about arcane in cataclysm when they first announced it because I thought they were really going to return us to the feeling of level 70 (and thanks for giving us back the cast time reduction per cast of arcane blast :] ). But they've changed so many of the mechanics that I'm not longer really wanting to play it; it just doesn't feel very fluid like the level 70 version. I think a big change that would help to ameliorate this problem is allowing arcane to cast missiles on demand, but leave the proc in for fast missiles, and build from there.
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81 Blood Elf Mage
GTL
3480
Arcane Missiles was pretty badass back when the rotation was AB AB AB AB MBAM. Now? Not so much.
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