New to wow, tips + how to play/level a mage?

18 Worgen Druid
110
I am new to wow, have only been playing for about three weeks roughly, i've levelled a hunter to level 80 and then mop came out. I have decided to go with a mage since it was the race i originally wanted to roll with, but mate convinced me to go hunter as a starter. The hunter was fun, but mage is where it's at for me :) I'm not looking for comments on, panda mage = lame, etc. just any help you could give in answering my questions, i'd appreciate it.

- My first question is this, (in your opinion, obviously) what is the best spec to level a mage in PvE( atm i'm level 25)?
I've gone with frost because of the companion and a friend told me it was a little less squishy because you aren't taking all the damage solo.
- Second question is, what abilities should i be using, i pretty much spam frostbolt until i can ice lance with the spec and when im in a group of more than 2-3 enemies, i spam arcane explosion. This seems wrong and kind of noobish, because i can see all these other abilities and i'm just using three mostly haha ( i use the freezing one and the water elemental freeze as well as blink to avoid damage).
-Thirdly, any tips for increasing my survivability, beyond getting better gear. I use health potions, bandages and food between battles. Anything else i should be doing (i'm new to wow...)

- Fourth thing, Which talents are the best for PvE?

Finally, something that is probably on the net, but i'll add it here since i've already typed heaps anyway. i tend to pull agro from my pet and other players when i'm grouped. How do i do damage as a mage without pulling the whole mob onto me and getting killed...?
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69 Pandaren Mage
2250
This is my mage character here:
<----
(The one above is the one i played during the wow trial before buying the game)
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100 Tauren Druid
12205
Any of the specs can level well. Frost is nice because as your friend said you have a pet that can take some of the damage. Arcane kills really quickly though so a lot of time things aren't reaching you.

I couldn't tell you anything about a rotation because I leveled as Arcane.

For survivability, know your limits. Don't pull too many mobs or mobs that are too high above your level. Know when you have to stop to eat and drink.

Talents are by and large personal preferences now. What is best is what fits your play style.
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Have a look at mine if you are looking to go fire as second spec...

I have to reconfigure my second spec (frost) as I haven't played that spec for a long while... I love the fire and it's rotation.

I can't say that one is better than another. They each have their reason for being there and in the end it is up to you and your play style.

If you want, have a look at http://www.icy-veins.com - They have a good guide for all three specs and what each is good at.

Good luck!
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69 Pandaren Mage
2250
Thanks for the fast replies, yeah i'm considering trying fire mage for a while to see if it suits me better, the frost companion really isn't that useful for me, i draw too much agro and they ignore it half the time. I can always swap back if it doesn't work out.
Thanks again :)
If anybody else has anything to add, please feel free, i'll check back. Might be able to help the next sorry bloke who googles this same question :)
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100 Worgen Warlock
5820
If your curious about what spells to use, check noxxic.com. They keep up to date guides for every spec of every class, including recommended rotation, and stat priorities for gear choosing.

Keep in mind, though, they rotations are designed for level cap, so some spells/passives may not yet apply to you.
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90 Draenei Paladin
13760
Actually what you described sounds about right for a frost mage of your level. (or at least it's pretty much what I do when questing on my baby frost mage.) Eventually you'll get a proc that puts frostfire bolt back into your rotation, as well as a few more spells, but for the most part, mages focus a lot on a single spell school, so as frost, you'll be mainly using the frost spells you have, which at this level, is not a lot.

Use polymorph when possible when questing if packs are in 2+. Kite stuff. (I spend 90% of my time on my mage running around in circles. I took scorch instead of ice floes for questing just because I spend so much time... running around.)
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100 Troll Hunter
17235
Switching from a hunter to a frost mage may have led you into a misconception. The water elemental does not tank. If a mob reaches you, it's going to beat on you, not the pet. The pet is only for extra dps and its rooting ability.

The advantages of leveling as frost are that (a) most of your attacks cause snare (freezing), meaning that you get usually two extra shots to outright kill the mob before it gets to you, and (b) the pet keeps shooting the mob once you've given up and started running, so you might still get the kill after you've blinked out. (These are also among the reasons it's the preferred PVP spec.) There are no "best" talents any more. You're free to choose the ones you feel add the most utility or fun to your play style, and you can change them at any time.

All three specs are fine for leveling, provided you consistently use the 3-4 spells that are best for that spec. Yes, the spells for the other specs will mostly just sit around unused. Your survivability generally depends on properly setting up engagements so that the mobs will die before they touch you. In groups, concentrate on single-targeting the same thing the tank is targeting, so that it has the least chance of peeling off and coming after you.

All of your questions are very appropriate, so between the lines I read that you're actually doing just fine. Keep it up!
Edited by Jonrock on 9/26/2012 5:12 PM PDT
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41 Undead Priest
4015
First, the water elemental is not compatible with the idea of personal tank ie. it takes damage so you don't have to. The water elemental is more of a passive/portable damage totem that can occasionally root mobs and players. Second, go fire all the way! Seriously the best mage spec of all time <--- factual information based on more than simply personal opinion...

I highly recommend the hunter class though if you want a personal tank. Plenty of control options like a frost mage and good ranged mobility like a fire mage. Take survival as a proc based playstyle if you like fire.
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90 Night Elf Rogue
5520
09/26/2012 07:50 PMPosted by Ivantheiv
the fastest way to level at 26 is in the outlands make your way down to the blasted lands then go in the dark portal in the center and you will be in the outlands


Sending a level 26 player to almost certain death isn't a very good idea and could be considered trolling. That's akin to telling a newbie blood elf that the easiest way to get to Undercity is through the Plaguelands.

Also, the Dark Portal seems to have a level requirement on it now as following a question from a new player about it, Icedragon and a few others have attempted to go through with their lowbies and were unsuccessful.
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90 Dwarf Hunter
5295
.
Edited by Ivantheiv on 9/26/2012 8:12 PM PDT
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90 Draenei Mage
9045
I run Arcane spec. I had NO problem leveling as arcane all the way up to 85 in Cataclysm. We'll see how MoP does …

The Glyph of Slow applies the Slow spell to targets damaged by your Arcane Blast (our bread-and-butter cast for us Arcane folks). In general this is all you need. You can hit a mob with 3-4 ABs while they are slowed. You generally don't need more than that.

At 85, however, when I was running the Molten Front quests, the mobs there were so tough that 6-8 ABs weren't taking them out, and I was getting nailed. At that time I added Frost spec, and the freezes REALLY helped. But once I gained the item level and my spell power rose back, I went right back to Arcane spec. I love it!

You can look at my talents and glyphs if you'd like to see a basic build. There's lots of variety, but I remember my choices as mage being pretty straightforward, at least in terms of my style of play.
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90 Night Elf Rogue
5520
09/26/2012 07:56 PMPosted by Ivantheiv
whats wrong with you stop trolling i always start leveling in the outlands at level 25


huh? How do you level at 25 in Outlands? You can't kill anything there, you can't pick up quests, and once you step off of the little platform you cross over into you will be killed by something every 10 feet, so you won't get much exploration xp either.

And that was BEFORE they put a level restriction on the Dark Portal. I'm not even sure a level 26 could get there now without help.
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90 Troll Priest
5750
the fastest way to level at 26 is in the outlands make your way down to the blasted lands then go in the dark portal in the center and you will be in the outlands


This isn't a good forum to try to troll people in. Moderators will take misleading new players very seriously. Do you really want to risk losing your forum privileges?
Edited by Monmonn on 9/26/2012 8:12 PM PDT
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85 Orc Mage
0
Fire seems to work really well for me, and I dont have to kite, I just use my most powerful spells straight up, and most often, the bad guy will be dead before he can do barely any damage.
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69 Pandaren Mage
2250
haha i'm not stupid enough to go to outlands at this level, i went there on my hunter, i know the sort of npcs that are there, let alone the pkers who spend their time lurking the portal.

I've been running a fire mage for the last five levels now and it's working better for me. I'm missing the elementals freeze a little bit at times, but the extra DPS is making up for it, especially with that fireballs DoT effect, i can just slow them with a frostbolt or whatever its called and kite until it eats away at whats left of their health (throw in a few instant casts when i can). For my playstyle, fire seems a better fit than frost mage, i'll try arcane at some point probably though. I do dungeons quite a bit, so if i don't pull too much agro, the extra DPS is probably the better way to go for me. As people have said though, the specs seem pretty even, it depends on how you play. It seemed like a cop out answer at first, but i'm seeing what they meant now. Thanks for the replies guys, as i said, feel free to keep posting if you have anything else constructive you want to add :)
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One note I've discovered about Arcane in dungeons: be very careful with Arcane Barrage. From the little I know of the "rotation" now, it's about Arcane Blast a few times to build up some Arcane Charges, then releasing them with AB -- but after 3-4 charges, AB will fire at multiple enemies, which can be dangerous if there's a CC'd mob or something the tank hasn't aggro'd. Works great when a bunch of trash is nearly dead though, and you start getting an eye for when it's okay to blast three things at once (similar to a hunter's Multishot). Just my experience though, YMMV.
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