Mage Level 90 Talents

100 Human Mage
11685
I hate them. From a PvP perspective, Incanter's Ward is ok, but from a PvE perspective they're god-awful. Simply put, each talent rewards and encourages fundamentally bad play. Let's review:

Protip #1: As a ranged DPS, you should be avoiding most incoming damage. Your healer appreciates not having to constantly keep an eye on you because you're a squishy clothy. Yet in order for Incanter's Ward to work, you have to take damage.

Protip #2: As a consequence of tip #1, you should be keeping constant alert for incoming damage and move as necessary. As they say, standing in fire is a prime sign of bad play. Rune of Power forces you to stay in one (two) location(s).

Protip #3: As a DPS your #1 duty (after not getting killed, see tips 1 & 2) is to do damage. If you're standing around not doing damage you're wasting a group/raid slot. Good thing Invocation requires you to stop DPSing for 8 seconds while the spell channels!

So there you have it. Three talents, three poorly thought-out abilites.


They weren't poorly thought out. All through WotLK and Cataclysm I saw complaints on the forums about how mages were boring, single-button pushers. Weirdly, a lot of the complaints were from mages who should have known better (probably attention deficit disorder types playing the wrong class, but who didn't want to have to level up something else).

So Blizzard typically overreacted and made mages complicated to play, and gave mages these unpopular lvl 90 talents as part of that philosophy.

I don't want a complicated class, that's why I'm an arcane mage. That's where Blizzard went wrong.
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90 Blood Elf Mage
10855
I think the level 90 talents are clunky.

I use evocation.

That said, as a frost mage I have a lot of haste on my gear and the channel time is reduced so it makes it a little less irritating. Additionally, I notice a SIGNIFICANT boost in DPS when using evocation even with the lost dps time channeling. Also, in the next patch they're reworking it to reduce channel time and make the buff last longer. However, they're also reducing the buff you receive.

It takes some time to get used to the level 90 talents. Especially evocation. It's a big thing to work into your rotation.
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100 Gnome Mage
20535
Kurojushi, some definitely good points. I honestly think the tier is gonna have to be scrapped before all is done. But, removing the damage portion would be the best midterm fix. RoP for instance would not feel so punitive if you only lost mana regen stepping off it. Invocation would be less painful if you could cut it early to move if you had to and did not have to immediately stop and rechannel it. Incanters ward would be a reasonable raiding talents if you did not have to worry about max uptime on the buff. Having to delay some mana regen to avoid mechanics, kite, etc would not feel like being kicked in the nuts.

When you look at different fights that require movement there are two kinds. The first is random. These would include debuffs that you have to move or kill the raid, random target fixates, fire on the ground under you, the need to grab orbs(think Sha plateforms) etc, etc. All of these being ones you can't predict if or when you will have to move. The second is timed abilities. These are ones that you know are coming and you have to avoid. Think of any boss that does an AE that you have to LoS. Or a platform dropping from under you. Abilities that you can predict.

Now, lets look at the talents performance on these kind of mechanics.
Random: Invocation. This one feels VERY punitive at times. You may have to suddenly move in the middle of a channel, causing you to have to restart the channel. And, you may find you suddenly have to move again and again have to repeat the channel. These effects are unpredictable and cannot be planned around. RoP also gets hit the same way. There are some fights I have felt like I spend as much time placing runes as I do nuking. Both talents mean when you have to move your double dip penalties. First, you lose damage from your main nuke plus losing a damage buff. Incanters ward is sloppy at best here. There is no guarantee that you will even take damage to apply the buff for you. And even if you do, chances are it wont line up neatly with the CD, so you will spend a fair amount of time without the buff you need. And often to make sure you get the buff it means standing in effects that you shouldn't be and taking more damage then you need to.
Timed: These abilities are a bit better, but only a bit. With timed abilities you know when they are coming. But that does not mean they will be coming when you want them to. Take Invocation for example. Lets say <insert super boss ability> is coming in 10 secs. Your buff just ran out. Now you can either spend most of that time channeling your buff back or you can continue to dps, sans the buff. Sure, it is a choice, which is all well and good. But, no matter what you choose you will lose damage. If you channel the buff you lose damage time as well as buff time while you avoid mechanic. If you dps, you lose a significant damage buff. RoP in that case is the same thing. You lose time putting down the rune. You lose time running back to your rune after the ability goes off. Sure, it is less punitive in that case, but not by a lot. [u]Incanters ward[u] in these cases is usually a bad thing for a couple reasons. Most timed abilities are very hard hitting, meaning you can't stand in them just to get a damage buff. And second, most of the time, they are nowhere need the CD to reapply incanters buff. So you spend a considerable time without any buff.

Now, if you removed the damage component of the talents you could eliminate those downsides. Having to spend a little time outside your rune would not wreck your damage. You could kite adds as needed. Dodge fire etc. Sure, it would mean more aggressive use of mana stones and such, but it would be viable and feel MUCH less painful. If you hand to cut a evocation off in the middle, you still get some mana and you could do another half evocate shortly there after to make up for it. You have to adjust, but if you did it right, you would lose little to no damage. With the ward, if you took an absorb to fill your mana at 40 secs instead of 30, you still get the mana and don't feel like you lost a huge chunk of damage.

The downside to removing the mana component is that the talents have less impact on fire/frost. But, I would take a less useful talent over a painful talent any day of the week.
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90 Worgen Mage
16100
I have to say I dislike Invocation and Rune of Power. For invocation, it lasts 40 seconds and channels takes 5 seconds this means that roughly 11% of every fight is spent channeling evocation and having so much of the fight as downtime isnt enjoyable at all. For rune of power, it decreases what is already low mobility for arcane having to move at all in say spirit kings or garalon can lead to constantly having to put it down again and again.
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100 Gnome Mage
20535
I love them. They're quite a rewarding challenge if you can do them well. And even if you can't, you don't really lose that much DPS (a well-known forum poster did some convincing theoretical math; the chick avatar with a website with tons of mage stuff whose name I can't remember at the moment, sorry!).

Also, people are pooping all over IW but forget to mention that it gives you a PASSIVE 6% dmg increase. If you don't want to manage your RoP or Evo, just take IW, take your 6% dmg increase and be fine with the fact that you'll be like MAYBE 3-5% behind someone who perfectly manages RoP or Evo, but still ahead of most mages.


Wait, did you just say they where a rewarding challenge and they are not that much of an increase?

I still disagree that you don't lose that much dps. From math and my own person experience. But, even if it was true, the questions is still play style. Our level 90 talents reduce our movement options. A level 89 mage has more choices then a level 90 mage. This is a bad design.
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90 Troll Mage
14395
@ Neeber
Very good points and good analysis of why the damage portion is the reason why the talents are so maintenancy. I believe that would be the best choice, but it would make the talents feel pretty hollow for Fire and Frost, but I do agree that at some point in the future, they need to be overhauled.

@ Explain
You do lose a lot of DPS actually. I believe the person you are talking about is Lhivera, and the basic gist of the explanation isn't that the damage you get from them is inconsequential, but that keeping maximum uptime on them doesn't increase your damage that much. But due to the fact that they are not balanced around having perfect uptime, you have a little bit of slack. That does not mean you can ignore them, and it still means you *should* use them to their maximum effectiveness, but you don't lose a tremendous amount of dps if you make a mistake or have to move. Also, IW gives an optimal damage increase of 18% [30%*(15/25)=18%], which is... a lot more than 6%, the passive is pretty useless.

The general issue is that these talents *take away* choices. They don't make managing your mana more fun or make it easier, they make it less fun and harder. Removing the damage portion and making them simply choices on how one manages your mana would make them more fun and easier. The issue is they would feel slightly hollow, and that would require a revamp to balance mages and yet allow the level 90 talents to feel fun and worthwhile.

EDIT:
Just in case that math above isn't clear-
30% damage increase
For 15 seconds
On a 25 second cooldown
So 30% damage for 15 out of 25 seconds = 18% damage in total.
Edited by Kurojushi on 1/29/2013 8:20 AM PST
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100 Night Elf Mage
10355
This video makes me so sad. It's nailed the problem exactly.
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90 Human Mage
IQ
8250
01/29/2013 08:17 AMPosted by Kurojushi
You do lose a lot of DPS actually. I believe the person you are talking about is Lhivera, and the basic gist of the explanation isn't that the damage you get from them is inconsequential, but that keeping maximum uptime on them doesn't increase your damage that much. But due to the fact that they are not balanced around having perfect uptime, you have a little bit of slack. That does not mean you can ignore them, and it still means you *should* use them to their maximum effectiveness, but you don't lose a tremendous amount of dps if you make a mistake or have to move.


All of the damage lost calculations that Lhiv did only apply to fire and frost as Arcane has the potential to lose much more because of the lost regen. One of my points from a long time ago.

He would and has said the level 90 talents affect Arcane more than fire and frost, and the bomb tier has more of an effect on fire and frost, however true i think maintaining a instant spell that can be cast on the run with your back to the boss doesnt really present the same kind of challenge as the level 90 talents do for Arcane.
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90 Troll Mage
14395
All of the damage lost calculations that Lhiv did only apply to fire and frost as Arcane has the potential to lose much more because of the lost regen. One of my points from a long time ago.

He would and has said the level 90 talents affect Arcane more than fire and frost, and the bomb tier has more of an effect on fire and frost, however true i think maintaining a instant spell that can be cast on the run with your back to the boss doesnt really present the same kind of challenge as the level 90 talents do for Arcane.


Good point. I realize that Arcane double dips, but it certainly is a much bigger deal than I may have realized. Also, as long as Mastery is so good and having max stacks of Arcane Charges is so bad (relative to the damage increase from Mastery), there is never going to be a reason to do a burn-conserve playstyle for Arcane. As such, there is never really any way to buff Invocation in order to make it worth taking in any situation. Simply lowering the baseline amount of Mastery and increasing the effect of Arcane Charge should do the trick, but there might be some side effects I'm not aware of.

I certainly agree that the bomb tree is pretty easy to use (although Frost Bomb is certainly harder to use than the other 2), but I don't see how it has less of an effect on Arcane. Is it really that much smaller of a proportion of Arcane's damage?
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100 Night Elf Mage
10355
I still can't get over the fact that the very first raid boss faced in this expansion, the first one you encounter after getting our fancy new talents, requires as-much-or-more movement than just about any raid boss to date. Its a slap in the face. The fight turns out to be easy, sure, but its basically telling us "here are your new talents. have fun not using them. oh, and enjoy getting chained to melee and explaining to them why you have to stop for 6 seconds."

edit: i'm so convinced that these talents will be quite heavily corrected that we'll be saying "i told you so" in a thousand different threads where Blizzard has just announced our new tier 6 talent system. Prob. won't be until next xpac tho. :( thats how these things go.
Edited by Odamae on 1/29/2013 11:15 AM PST
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90 Troll Mage
14395
01/29/2013 11:12 AMPosted by Odamae
I still can't get over the fact that the very first raid boss faced in this expansion, the first one you encounter after getting our fancy new talents, requires as-much-or-more movement than just about any raid boss to date. Its a slap in the face. The fight turns out to be easy, sure, but its basically telling us "here are your new talents. have fun not using them. oh, and enjoy getting chained to melee and explaining to them why you have to stop for 6 seconds."


As long as you have Jade out, Incanter's Ward is really good on that fight. When I first stepped in there, I used Invocation, realized it was awful, and realized that IW was such a better option. It *taught* me the value of that talent very quickly!

EDIT:
In fact, switching to IW for Stone Guard was the very moment I realized what raiding this expansion is all about. The game is now balanced around the expectation that players will change their glyphs and talents on a per fight basis, and as such, they seem harder than previous expansions first tier content, but players first need to learn what is expected of them before they become easier. It was almost a revelation for me honestly.
Edited by Kurojushi on 1/29/2013 11:19 AM PST
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100 Night Elf Mage
10355
EDIT: In fact, switching to IW for Stone Guard was the very moment I realized what raiding this expansion is all about. The game is now balanced around the expectation that players will change their glyphs and talents on a per fight basis,


Do other classes have to do this as well? I find this extremely tedious and quite annoying to do tbh. Just as casting Evo a dozen times before each pull is laborious changing my glyphs and talents while running to the next fight is equally eye-rolling.

Reading this thread is making me realize (sadly) that I just don't like playing these talents. Its too much to manage. And I'm going to be even more sad when they finally change them saying "oops"
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100 Gnome Mage
20535

All of the damage lost calculations that Lhiv did only apply to fire and frost as Arcane has the potential to lose much more because of the lost regen. One of my points from a long time ago.

He would and has said the level 90 talents affect Arcane more than fire and frost, and the bomb tier has more of an effect on fire and frost, however true i think maintaining a instant spell that can be cast on the run with your back to the boss doesnt really present the same kind of challenge as the level 90 talents do for Arcane.


I think his point remains though:
01/29/2013 10:53 AMPosted by Batar
still means you *should* use them to their maximum effectiveness

Doesn't matter if the lose is 1% or 10% or 50% you should be limiting the lose.

And don't get me started on the bomb tier. It may not be as bad as the 90 tier, but it is pretty bad.

The problem is, dinging 90 and getting a new talent should add potential, not take it away.

Personally I think the tier was designed with Arcane mana management in mind. The damage was tacked on to make fire and frost actually use the spells. But they don't really fit it. The damage component makes arcane double dip the lose. Fire and arcane have to jam a spell in and does not really fit the specs just to maintain a buff that is not fun, limiting, etc. The ideal solution, imo, is to scrap the tier. Build mana management tools/CDs/etc into Arcane and provide a new, cool tier for mages. Problem is, that wont happen mid-expac. We are stuck with these talents until next expac at least. So, the ideal change would be just to bake the % increase Blizzard balanced the talents around into our spells normal and turn the tier into a purely mana management tier. Sure, it is kind of boring for fire and frost, but it is the best option at this point.

Edit: And no, other classes do not generally have to change a talent every other boss fight, some, but not that much. The idea was that you could, but you shouldn't 'have' to do it. The difference should be small enough to merit short discussion, but nothing major. Blizzard said they where fine with one talent being better on one fight and another on the other. But, you shouldn't be severely crippled if you don't have the 'ideal' talent.

Also, on stone guards, unless you are doing 25 man, you cannot count on raid damage going out enough for incanters ward to be effective every week. Take the Jade out of the rotation and the only way to keep the buff up for even a relatively decent amount of time requires you to stand in bad stuff, taking more damage and adding work to your healers. While you can count on it being bad for Invocation and RoP every week - some worse then others.
Edited by Neeber on 1/29/2013 11:36 AM PST
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90 Troll Mage
14395
Do other classes have to do this as well? I find this extremely tedious and quite annoying to do tbh. Just as casting Evo a dozen times before each pull is laborious changing my glyphs and talents while running to the next fight is equally eye-rolling.

Reading this thread is making me realize (sadly) that I just don't like playing these talents. Its too much to manage. And I'm going to be even more sad when they finally change them saying "oops"


Simply put, if you don't change your talents and glyphs between fights at least a little bit, you aren't playing your class to it's maximum effectiveness. This goes for every class, every spec, every role. If you don't like it, don't change your talents, pick the set of 6 that you like the most and stick with it. If you then find your performance isn't as good as you would like, it's because you are missing out. It's like not using Ice Block when you are about to die, it's a tool that is part of your class, and if you don't use it, you're not doing everything you can.

I do agree that those particular talents do certainly feel like a chore, and they are not fun, but the example you gave is kind of a bad example. I'd say a good example of how awful our talents are is Spirit Kings (where there are only severe disadvantages for all 3 talents). Then again, there are plenty of fights that are better suited to melee or ranged, so why not have fights that are better suited to warlocks while other fights are better suited to Mages? I'm not necessarily advocating for the current design, I'm just saying it's not wholly flawed, it's just unfun (which one might argue is fundamentally flawed, but in a game with so many players and classes, not everything can be fun for everyone).

EDIT:
@Neeber
Couldn't have said it better myself. Having a hollow and less effective tier of talents for 2 specs, and a worthwhile tier for 1 spec is a lot better than having a tier of talents that is impossible to balance. I agree, fold the damage increase into the class (18% is the highest, so maybe 15%?) and leave them as mana management tools for now.
Edited by Kurojushi on 1/29/2013 11:37 AM PST
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100 Night Elf Mage
10355
01/29/2013 11:34 AMPosted by Kurojushi
the example you gave is kind of a bad example. I'd say a good example of how awful our talents are is Spirit Kings (where there are only severe disadvantages for all 3 talents). Then again, there are plenty of fights that are better suited to melee or ranged, so why not have fights that are better suited to warlocks while other fights are better suited to Mages? I'm not necessarily advocating for the current design, I'm just saying it's not wholly flawed, it's just unfun (which one might argue is fundamentally flawed, but in a game with so many players and classes, not everything can be fun for everyone).


Well my example wasn't the epitome of examples but rather showing how the very first boss of this new xpac involves invalidating everything the Mage T6 Talents stand for. ("Stand" for -- giggle)
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90 Troll Mage
14395
01/29/2013 11:44 AMPosted by Odamae
Well my example wasn't the epitome of examples but rather showing how the very first boss of this new xpac involves invalidating everything the Mage T6 Talents stand for. ("Stand" for -- giggle)


I somewhat understand your point, but I actually see quite the opposite. The T6 talents don't limit our mobility, they just are more effective in different mobility situations. Invocation is for fights where there are bursts of mobility, RoP is for standstill fights or fights with 2 positions, and IW is for high mobility fights with incidental damage (this one is by far the least common and I think it should be adjusted to be a wider niche). And as I said about my "revelation," I honestly believe that it was a great example of a fight that actually *validated* one of the T6 talents that I thought was going to be the worst choice in PvE and subsequently taught me the value of every talent tier in general.
Edited by Kurojushi on 1/29/2013 11:51 AM PST
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100 Night Elf Mage
10355
01/29/2013 11:50 AMPosted by Kurojushi
I somewhat understand your point, but I actually see quite the opposite. The T6 talents don't limit our mobility, they just are more effective in different mobility situations.


I'm not denying you your revelation; there's definitely something to that.

But the first fight of a raid tier showing you how your choice in RoP was a terrible one is quite embarassing. Furthermore how do you explain to another class your limitations when (at this point in the xpac) you hadn't even grasped them yourself?

"sorry rogue, but you should know that I have to stop for 6 seconds every 40 in order to be effective. Oh, and if you move I will as well. Tack on a few more seconds for that."
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90 Human Mage
IQ
8250
01/29/2013 11:11 AMPosted by Kurojushi
I certainly agree that the bomb tree is pretty easy to use (although Frost Bomb is certainly harder to use than the other 2), but I don't see how it has less of an effect on Arcane. Is it really that much smaller of a proportion of Arcane's damage?


We get no procs other then from the initial cast, where as fire and frost can get it from the ticks.
We have a little less uptime on the bombs as Arcane, well, no biggie in the grand scheme of things, but fire and frost will lose a lot more.
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90 Troll Mage
14395
I'm not denying you your revelation; there's definitely something to that.

But the first fight of a raid tier showing you how your choice in RoP was a terrible one is quite embarassing. Furthermore how do you explain to another class your limitations when (at this point in the xpac) you hadn't even grasped them yourself?

"sorry rogue, but you should know that I have to stop for 6 seconds every 40 in order to be effective. Oh, and if you move I will as well. Tack on a few more seconds for that."


Ok fair point. I do admit that I went into this expansion expecting to be able to just pick whatever talents I wanted to use willy-nilly and have fun and still pull max dps. I was wrong, but not completely wrong. Basically, the new talent system is made to fill many roles at once; it allows casual players and newer players to choose whatever they want without being punished, it allows creative players to try out different combinations in order to find unique ways of solving problems, and it allows min/maxers to squeeze qualitative performance gains out of their characters in a way that is small but non-trivial and which also promotes a high skill cap (in most cases).

Walking in to Stone Guard and realizing that I can't just choose whatever I want was a bit of a disappointment for sure. But as one of those creative players that enjoys the wide variety of viable permutations you can get, and the possibility to morph my playstyle between fights was a very exciting thing to learn. I completely understand how other players would be disappointed, and I agree that each talent tier should provide a reasonable increase in performance for those who don't choose optimally, but they shouldn't punish you that much for choosing sub-optimally. Such is the case with the T6 talents, they are *too* important, and as such, they detract from a great deal of freedom and fun that could be had if they weren't so serious.

EDIT:
@Batar
Fire get's procs from bombs? Fire gets... nothing but a dot. Arcane gets a chance to proc Arcane Missiles on the initial cast, and it also levels out Arcane's damage do it isn't so stutter-steppy (you don't have to wait until you finish your Arcane Blast cast to kill something that has 100 life left), and it provides a proc to Frost which doesn't provide a *huge* dps increase. I don't see your point. Unless I'm missing something of course.
Edited by Kurojushi on 1/29/2013 12:07 PM PST
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