Frost Bomb design discussion (Frost PvE)

90 Gnome Mage
11450
I'm curious what others think of frost bomb and how it jives with the frost spec in a PvE setting.

I love the bomb itself, and I really enjoy that it's easy to manage because we never have to keep more than one up at a time, like the others do.

On the other hand, the cast time and frequency of casting frost bomb interferes with my fishing for FoF procs via frosbolt casts. I've found that I get more procs (both FoF and BF) when using living bomb or nether tempest.

I know Lhivera has stated that the casting of frost bomb feels good, because it's the only cast time spell other than frostbolt. But it doesn't feel good to me at all. Not when I can use one of the others and get my BF procs automatically from an instant spell, therefore letting me get back to FoF proc fishing faster.

I would like to hear more opinions about this. Am I the only one that isn't happy with how frost bomb integrates with our spec?

And just for clarity, I'm not talking about numbers here at all. I'm simply talking about the feel of the bomb/spec. Less procs (FoF/BF) is less fun, even if the DPS evens out to be the same.
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I mostly play Fire and I actually switched my "Living Bomb" with "Frost Bomb." Why? Because Living Bomb only affects up to 3 targets, but Frost Bomb does very decent damage to all enemies within a 10yd radius. Yes, there is the cast time and cooldown to take into account but it seems to be a decent trade off for instant damage over intermittent damage. I happen to be partial to instant, burst-style damage; which is what makes mages so much fun, impo.

I think the sole purpose of this new talent system is it gives us a lot more versatility than we ever had before. Even if you're a "Frost Mage," it doesn't mean you are limited to only choosing frost-based talents. According to WoW lore, mages aren't limited to only using one type of magic (frost, fire, or arcane); they are proficient in all three. Jaina Proudmoore would be an example of this. There's no shame in being a frost mage and using a non-frost-based bomb. If Living Bomb or Nether Tempest help you more with your FoF or BF procs, then by all means, stick with those. I understand it's a difficult concept to get used to as mages have been pidgeon-holed into a single, magic category for so long.

On the other hand, I have a feeling the mages are going to undergo some changes sometime in the near future. For one thing, the level 90 talents aren't too appealing for most mages, including me. Leveling my mage from 85-90 was a lot harder than leveling my priest from 85-90.
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100 Gnome Mage
14650
I'm curious what others think of frost bomb and how it jives with the frost spec in a PvE setting.

I love the bomb itself, and I really enjoy that it's easy to manage because we never have to keep more than one up at a time, like the others do.

On the other hand, the cast time and frequency of casting frost bomb interferes with my fishing for FoF procs via frosbolt casts. I've found that I get more procs (both FoF and BF) when using living bomb or nether tempest.


Mathematically, the three bombs all produce a similar expected number of Brain Freeze procs. Personally, I enjoy the reliable nature of Frost Bomb's Brain Freeze--it means as long as I have FoF charges and Frost Bomb on the target, I can get ready to pop Alter Time and get all these procs twice in a reliable manner.

As far as FoF proc rate, again, the time differences between the three bombs are not very big. Nether Tempest and Living Bomb take up less and less of your casting time with haste due to how DoTs and haste interact, whereas Frost Bomb specifically scales with haste. This means that the other two bombs will tend to get out of your way more as you get more haste, while Frost Bomb will continue to be cast at the same frequency compared to Frostbolt. This effect is somewhat slight, however, and the haste scaling of Frost Bomb means that, as haste levels rise, you should see more Brain Freeze procs compared to the other two bombs than you did at lower levels.

Really, I'm just not convinced it actually leads to less procs. Now don't get me wrong--there are sure conveniences to having another instant spell instead of a cast time one. I definitely appreciate what that tradeoff is. It also feels like a more frequent burden--because it is--than the other bombs. I think Frost Bomb is at something of a disadvantage for single target in the sense that requiring a cast time does give it less usefulness than the other two. In an AoE context, however, I like not having to switch targets (which NT would demand) or the freedom not to burn a major glyph slot to do the same thing (which LB would strongly benefit from). So for AoE, I feel like Frost Bomb is the more fluid, easy-to-use choice.

Finally, outside of a raiding/boss fight context, I find lining up pet Freeze on freezable mobs to land just before Frost Bomb's explosion to be very in line with my own idea of the mage--something capable of big, powerful hits. Frost Bomb can give that in ways NT and LB never will.

So in a way, I feel like I like the same things about Frost Bomb that you do. As far as the proc rates go, the 3 bombs should be fairly even in terms of FoF and Brain Freeze (with respect to net number of procs over time). It does seem to impose on our mobility and fluidity a little more than the others, though.
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MVP
90 Human Mage
10015
The damage of Frost Bomb is somewhat higher than the other two to compensate for the fact that it creates extra collision within your rotation.
________________________________________________
Find answers to questions about Mage mechanics in
Lhivera’s Compendium • http://lhiveras-library.com/compendium
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90 Gnome Mage
11450
10/04/2012 04:24 AMPosted by Lhivera
The damage of Frost Bomb is somewhat higher than the other two to compensate for the fact that it creates extra collision within your rotation.


And just for clarity, I'm not talking about numbers here at all. I'm simply talking about the feel of the bomb/spec. Less procs (FoF/BF) is less fun, even if the DPS evens out to be the same.


I get that the numbers are there. I'm not worried about frost bomb being a DPS loss, or anything of that nature, because I already know it isn't.

It's all about how it feels to use this bomb compared to the other two. This one feels like it breaks the flow of the spec to me, while the other two slide right into it comfortably.

And, for those of you who will inevitably say "Then just use the other ones!": I do. I constantly swap between the three bombs because I like them all so much that I can't choose a favorite. This is not a complaint thread. I'm simply stating how it feels to me and just wanted to strike up a discussion to see if I was the only one or not.
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MVP
90 Human Mage
10015
You're definitely not -- there were others in beta who asked for it to be made instant because they preferred the feel. Problem is, that leaves no cast-time bombs for those of us who prefer the flow it has now.
________________________________________________
Find answers to questions about Mage mechanics in
Lhivera’s Compendium • http://lhiveras-library.com/compendium
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90 Undead Mage
5285
I was going to post a thread like this last night but didn't feel I could articulate everything well enough.

10/04/2012 12:08 AMPosted by Muphrid
This means that the other two bombs will tend to get out of your way more as you get more haste, while Frost Bomb will continue to be cast at the same frequency compared to Frostbolt.


This is true, but without running the numbers I don't know what the implications are. Yes, the other bombs get out of your way with haste, and frost bomb doesn't, so you have less time getting FoF's from frostbolt. This makes frost bomb a distinctly more clunky choice for mages that stack haste (+mobility loss). On the other hand haste increases the frequency of the explosions for more damage, while for other bombs the ticks are increased, indicating that it should scale better with haste than living bomb, but not as well as nether tempest.

This effect is somewhat slight, however, and the haste scaling of Frost Bomb means that, as haste levels rise, you should see more Brain Freeze procs compared to the other two bombs than you did at lower levels.


Theoretically, haste should increase the tick rate of the other bombs in such a way that the expected number of Brain Freeze procs should remain the same across bomb talents at any haste level.

Regarding brain freeze, the key distinction frost bomb has is that it is not RNG dependent. This is a good thing, because it means that using your brain freeze procs can be a lower priority in your rotation. With the other bombs, you need to use them instantly because there is a possibility of getting a brain freeze on two consecutive ticks, while with frost bomb you have guaranteed 10 second window (less w/ haste) after the first explosion to use brain freeze.
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MVP
90 Human Mage
10015
Frost Bomb scales smoothly with haste. X% haste = X% more casts.

Nether Tempest scales similarly — X% haste = X% more ticks — but of course has break points. Its break points are so close together, however, that it is never going to be far off from Frost Bomb's scaling in either direction.

Living Bomb doesn't do as well with haste. Half its damage doesn't scale with haste at all, and the other half has pretty widely-spaced breakpoints.

I've got the breakpoints for each of them listed in tables in my Compendium on my site.

All three bombs should see increases in BF proc frequency increase at the same rate with haste, starting at about 5 PPM. So with 20% haste, you should see about 6 PPM. NT will technically get about 5.4 PPM before haste, but 9% of those procs will happen immediately following a proc on the previous tick, within the GCD, and overwrite the previous procs.

There's no question that the cast time has an impact on mobility; I think that's fair, given its unique capacity for generating burst damage. Whether it "flows" better or worse than an instant cast is subjective; I find consecutive instants to be kind of awkward, and the cast time reduces them. Some people agree, others don't, which is why I feel it's good to have both options.

Crystalah also has an excellent point about the way it lets you use BF procs. You can hold onto a proc for the full duration of a bomb, permitting the use of a sort of triple combo — BF-FFB, bomb detonation, BF-FFB. That's a valuable feature.
Edited by Lhivera on 10/4/2012 6:58 AM PDT
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90 Gnome Mage
11450
10/04/2012 05:02 AMPosted by Lhivera
You're definitely not -- there were others in beta who asked for it to be made instant because they preferred the feel. Problem is, that leaves no cast-time bombs for those of us who prefer the flow it has now.


I apologize in advance if this sounds snide, as that is not my intention at all. But when the devs came up with the idea to have a bomb for each school, were people really asking for one with a cast time?
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MVP
90 Human Mage
10015
Since nobody anticipated the talents before they were announced (that I'm aware of, anyway), I think it's safe to say that nobody was asking for them with or without a cast time. I don't expect that rotational "feel" had anything to do with the initial design — presumably, the cast time is intended to compensate for the higher burst damage and the snare. But it became clear in the feedback threads that there was a mix of people who preferred to use a bomb with or without a cast time. Whether intentionally or not, they hit on a design that felt better in certain rotations to some players.
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90 Human Priest
0
I would like to hear more opinions about this. Am I the only one that isn't happy with how frost bomb integrates with our spec?
But when the devs came up with the idea to have a bomb for each school, were people really asking for one with a cast time?

Yeah, that's why I did this!
#showtooltip Frost Bomb
/cast Ice Floes
/cast Frost Bomb

I thought they added bomb to give frost mages more kick than blizzard and Icy Fingered Ice lances in aoe situations.
I think they added a cast time to...well, As Lhivera said,
presumably, the cast time is intended to compensate for the higher burst damage and the snare
I'm not sure a lot of frost spells require a cast time anyway. Frostbolt, frostfire bolt, frost bomb?
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