To all of you about to read this thread... including those who feel as though at some point in your WoW career that you were wronged in some way, in PvE or PvP, by a Mage... I apologize on behalf of Mages everywhere and encourage you to keep your own feedback relevant and constructive. ;)
It's a reflection of what I, and any others who would contribute to this thread, believe to be the current state of the play style of the Mage class.
I love my Mage.
I've played him for as long as I remember, even in times when I felt as though our classes damage wasn't represented well and we were the bastard children of Warlocks, our hated rivals. (Not very often, I'll admit. Maybe Sunwell and Ulduar in my memory... don't correct me if I'm wrong. :P)
The fact is, it didn't bother me. I enjoyed my playstyle. I loved what a Mage stood for, the way that it was tied so heavily into Warcraft lore with some of its most memorable heroes. I really enjoyed the spells and abilities in their arsenal and my hopes even soared at the prospect of Mists of Pandaria where the 25% elemental talent specialization was removed and I once again had the feel of an Elementalist who utilized abilities from all three of my elemental fields of mastery.
In the grand scheme of things, numbers are ultimately just a small part of the class I play.
The level 90 talents are horrific...
Okay, maybe not horrific, but they take away the smoothness and synergy of our abilities and lend a clunky feel to our playstyle and tend to punish us for movement in a fashion entirely different than our other ranged counterparts.
The common argument tends to be... "You don't like a 25% damage buff?" or "It's not difficult to drop a Rune of Power or use Invocation to dps! Mage damage is fine where it is!" and that's not the point. The damage increase given by these talents is necessary to put us on par with other classes. It's like a Feral Druid using Savage Roar or a Rogue using Slice and Dice. It's a buff, with upkeep, that maintains our average instead of making us a force to be reckoned with except it is a fragile thing to maintain or removed entirely should the boss decide to do anything but stand in one place and get punched in the face.
I mean seriously, it shows the level of thought that was put into these abilities when they were first created... our initial talents were three different kinds of polymorph. As if some game designer was sitting at a conference and actually spoke up to say, "Sure Avatar is cool... but you know what Mages would REALLY like?! More Polymorphs!". Our level 75 talents are three different kinds of DoTs that all do comparable damage but are slightly better than one another depending on the encounter. Could we not just have a Mage DoT that changes depending on our specialization? It's like making Warlocks choose between Corruption, Curse of Doom and Immolation if they all did the same damage... how exciting!
They're boring. As is the entire class. The changes that have been made to a Mage, and to our contribution to our raid for the last few expansions, has undergone next to no changes and frankly it has left my class feeling rather bland when faced with many of the incredible new abilities that have been added to many of the other classes in the game.
I'd love to throw up portals to throw my allies across the battlefield, or pop a tranquility to save my raid and take stress off of my healers, but instead I find myself putting in that extra effort to push some extra dps onto my meter so that one can justify bringing a "pure dps class" whose raid utility was next to nothing over someone who can not only bring the boom nearly as hard as me... but contributes in other ways with their offspecs and extra abilities. (*coughcoughArchoncoughcough* C'mon! You already have the model on the Elegon fight!)
Back in Wrath I was stunned when Blizzard made a point to, during one of their patches, communicate with their player base and explain why each of the changes had been made. It was so refreshing to be able to see their thought process, even if I didn't necessarily agree with it, and to feel like I was in the loop as opposed to simply sitting in the dark and wondering week after week "Is this the design that Blizzard intended? Will there be changes on the horizon that I should just hold out for?".
It was customer service. And it was welcomed.
It gave the appearance of intelligence. Like they were aware of perceived mistakes, or at least had the guts and logic to stand behind a decision that they had made as opposed to leaving their frustrated players without answers.
Can we get some answers, please?
The community as a whole seems, for the most part anyways, to rail against the new talents and feel as though the class that they have come to love and feel passionate about playing has been damaged by something that we deem to be annoying and bland.
Will this be the design that you intended, and have no intent to go back and change? Or will there maybe be some answers in our future and perhaps a sign that Blizzard will revisit one of its most iconic classes and give it some abilities that again define us with their uniqueness?
A long-time fan and diehard Mage.
No! Such power! Major Nanners's summoning of the final Bananaclysm will destroy all life on Azeroth! We must stop him before he summons a blow that will 'split' the world!