Let's take a look at 5.2

90 Gnome Mage
6990
There's a lot of changes here, some good, some bad, some TBD. Let's take a look.

Mage
Invocation now removes Evocation's cooldown, and reduces its channeling time and duration by 50%. A completed Evocation now grants 15% increased damage for 1 minute after an Evocation is completed, instead of 25% increased damage for 40 seconds. Passive mana regeneration is reduced by 50% only while Invoker's Energy is active.

As most PVE mages take invocation as their lvl 90, this is a straight 10% nerf to our damage, which isn't really made up for anywhere else.


Greater invisibility now has a 90 second cooldown (was 2.5 minutes).

Invis now seems a more viable choice with the reduced CD. Great PVP change.


Frostbolt cast by Mirror Images now deals 50% more damage.
Glyph of Fire Blast has been replaced with Glyph of Inferno Blast. Glyph of Inferno Blast causes damage-over-time effects spread by Inferno Blast to spread to 1 additional target.
Ice Floes now has a 45 second cooldown (was 1 minute) and its duration have been increased to 15 seconds (was 10 seconds).
Temporal Ripples from Temporal Shield can no longer be dispelled.

Nice QoL changes. Mirror images never did that much damage, so the buff is somewhat insignificant.


Blazing Speed is now a level 15 talent, replacing Scorch.

I don't know how the scorch change will play out, but I'll mention that more later


Flameglow, a new talent is available at level 30 and replaces Blazing Speed. The passive ability encases the Mage in fiery energy, absorbing damage from each attack made against the Mage equal to 20% of their spellpower, up to a maximum of 30% of the attack.

Sounds interesting, but the % absorbed is rather low, and would need a decent duration to make it a viable choice over temporal shield or ice barrier.


Deep Freeze now stuns the target for 5 seconds (was 4 seconds).
Glyph of Deep Freeze now removes it from global cooldown but also reduces its duration by 1 second.
Ring of Frost cast instantly through Presence of Mind now has a 2 second arming period before the Freeze effect is activated against targets in the area of effect. The 2 second arming period can be reduced by Haste.

Probably the most pointless changes I've ever seen. The deep freeze one is literally pointless. The RoF one is frustrating. Blizzard has made what used to be 1 spell into 2 talents with CDs to accomplish what the original spell used to do by itself.


Mage PvP 2-piece bonus now requires Counterspell to successfully interrupt a spell before applying the 4 second cooldown reduction to Counterspell.

Seems reasonable, encourages good play.


Arcane
Arcane Blast's mana cost has been increased to 1.66667% of base mana (was 1.5%).
Arcane Charges now stacks up to 4 times (was 6), increases damage by 50% (was 25%), and increases mana cost by 150% (was 75%).

I get the idea, less ramp up time, less of an issue building back stacks if you drop them, but time will tell how this affects arcane mages' DPS due to mana management issues.


Fire
Scorch is no longer a talent and is now available to all Fire Mages.

I remember a previous blue post about not wanting to completely change the way players play their character, especially mid-way into an expansion. Well that kinda seems to be what Blizzard is doing with this change, and with no real idea as to if it's a good idea or not. Additionally, the pushes mages in the direction of standing still, which is bad mechanics. I don't really get what Blizzard is trying to accomplish with this change.


Frost
Fingers of Frost now has a 15% (was 12%) chance to activate from Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt and Frozen Orb, a 5% (was 4%) chance to activate from Blizzard, and a 10% (was 9%) chance to activate from Scorch.
Glyph of Ice Lance now causes Ice Lance to deal 50% damage to 1 additional target, up from 40%.
Frostbolt now deals 24% more damage, but its debuff no longer increases subsequent Frostbolt damage.
Water Elemental Freeze no longer does damage and only provides Fingers of Frost on a successful freeze.

We'll take these one at a time. At the onset, this looks like a buff, but the numbers behind it tell a different story. The the 3% increase to gain FoF means roughly an extra 2 procs every 2 minutes. This is traded, however, for the extra 1+ FoF procs from the water elemental freeze every 24 seconds. So we end up LOSING 3 FoF procs every 2 minutes, dropping DPS even further.

The frostbolt change is a straight damage buff. However, since we are losing the debuff that increases our ice lance and pet's waterbolt damage by 15%, this increase ends up being largely watered down. I'd be interested if someone can crunch the numbers to see if the loss from ice lance and pet damage is made up by the 24% frostbolt buff.

Overall, PVE mages using invocation can expect a 10% damage nerf, arcane mages can expect mana management to be potentially substantially more difficult, PVP mages can facepalm over the PoM/RoF and deep freeze changes, and those using invisibility can jump for joy at dying a bit less often :-D. Those trying out flameglow and scorchless arcane, I'd love to hear how they play out.

Hope you enjoyed reading this! Like and comment (constructively please) below with your thoughts. Peace!
Edited by Rasthen on 2/5/2013 3:43 PM PST
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100 Worgen Mage
13045
My initial impressions:

1. Fire spec - no real changes to PVE rotation. It sucked in 5.1 post-nerf and will likely continue to suck in 5.2. Not a buff, but not a nerf either.

2. Arcane spec - major changes to rotation. Each stack of AB debuff in 5.2 is the equivalent of two stacks on live in both damage increase and mana cost. Only goes to 4 stacks (equivalent to 8 on live). With the higher mana cost of a fully-stacked AB, nerf to Rune of Power's mana regen, and removal of scorch, arcane gameplay will completely change. Rotation will probably be to cast no more than 4-6 ABs before resetting the debuff stack with ABar. Also, it's possible arcane mages will move away from Rune of Power and towards invocation depending on how effective the new invocation is.

Effect on arcane: My guess is that the combined nerfs to arcane will be 10-20% during non-movement. During movement arcane dps will drop to near zero since without scorch the only long-range spammable instant arcane mages have is ice lance... an ability that hits for 1/3 the damage of scorch.

3. Effect on frost spec. More FoF procs, but countered by removal of water elemental freeze from the raiding rotation. Effect is to MAJORLY dumb down the rotation to basically just spamming frostbolt and reacting to procs. Removal of strategy from the frost PVE rotation. Also, removal of the feeling of getting PVP style shatter crits from PVE. This change also reduces the water elemental pet to an automatic dot that requires zero management on the part of the mage.

This change is a major step backwards in gameplay style and reverts frost PVP to the feeling of 1 button spam that it had for most of WoW's life. While the overall effect on frost dps output may not be much, this change does remove pretty much all the fun out of frost spec.
_____________________

Overall, I'm not looking forward to patch 5.2:

Fire - Wimpy fire spec stays wimpy. Most boring spec in the game without high crit rates. Unless mages find they can get to 40% crit with 5.2 gear, very few raiding mages will play this spec.

Arcane - Arcane gets a major dps nerf and loses 2/3 of its mobile dps output. The dps nerf might be ok, but losing 2/3 of its mobile dps is not good for a spec that already had the least mobile dps in the game.

Frost - Frost spec gets a dumbed down ultra boring PVE rotation. If Blizz is going to take Freeze out of the PVE rotation, it NEEDS to be replaced with Water Jet.
Edited by Mistwynd on 2/5/2013 5:06 PM PST
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90 Troll Mage
7855
The evocation change isn't exactly a 10% nerf, as it lasts 20 seconds more and it takes half as much to cast.
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100 Gnome Mage
20175
02/05/2013 05:15 PMPosted by Nav
The evocation change isn't exactly a 10% nerf, as it lasts 20 seconds more and it takes half as much to cast.


Let me add some to that.

Assuming perfect play.

Currently we spend 13% of the time casting evocate. The remaining 87% of the time we have a 25% buff. This equates to about 8.75% increase in damage.

After the patch we will spend 4.8% of the time casting. The remaining 95.2% of the time we will gain 15% damage. This equates to about 9.48% increase.

Invocation is being buffed just by the numbers. The reduced cast time, while still a liability on movement fights, is less of one. So you are less likely to be interrupted.

Invocations is being buffed by 5.2.

As to flameglow, it is a permanent passive effect. So you don't have to worry about duration.
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90 Troll Mage
7855
02/05/2013 06:51 PMPosted by Neeber
The evocation change isn't exactly a 10% nerf, as it lasts 20 seconds more and it takes half as much to cast.


Let me add some to that.

Assuming perfect play.

Currently we spend 13% of the time casting evocate. The remaining 87% of the time we have a 25% buff. This equates to about 8.75% increase in damage.

After the patch we will spend 4.8% of the time casting. The remaining 95.2% of the time we will gain 15% damage. This equates to about 9.48% increase.

Invocation is being buffed just by the numbers. The reduced cast time, while still a liability on movement fights, is less of one. So you are less likely to be interrupted.

Invocations is being buffed by 5.2.

As to flameglow, it is a permanent passive effect. So you don't have to worry about duration.


It helps when you actually do the math and not just eye over the notes, yeah.
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90 Pandaren Mage
5870
As most PVE mages take invocation as their lvl 90, this is a straight 10% nerf to our damage, which isn't really made up for anywhere else.

What?

Invocation can now be cast faster and lasts 20 seconds longer. Like the guys said it isn't a 10% nerf to our damage.

Also your information about the Frost mage buff to Frostbolt is wrong. The pet's waterbolt and ice lance still get a damage boost from stacking Frostbolts on the target. It's just that subsequent Frostbolts do not get the boost. So all Frostbolts hit for the same, but Frostbolt can stack 3x on the target increasing the damage done by Waterbolt and Ice Lance. Tooltip also mentions Water Jet, but apparently this isn't being implemented still.

Your FoF charge math is also wrong.

As of right now Frost is getting a supposedly overall damage boost, but not a significant one.

Really the analysis in the OP is badly flawed.
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90 Pandaren Mage
5870
02/05/2013 05:02 PMPosted by Mistwynd
Frost - Frost spec gets a dumbed down ultra boring PVE rotation. If Blizz is going to take Freeze out of the PVE rotation, it NEEDS to be replaced with Water Jet.

Preach that! I totally agree
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100 Troll Mage
16470
02/05/2013 06:51 PMPosted by Neeber
The evocation change isn't exactly a 10% nerf, as it lasts 20 seconds more and it takes half as much to cast.


Let me add some to that.

Assuming perfect play.

Currently we spend 13% of the time casting evocate. The remaining 87% of the time we have a 25% buff. This equates to about 8.75% increase in damage.

After the patch we will spend 4.8% of the time casting. The remaining 95.2% of the time we will gain 15% damage. This equates to about 9.48% increase.

Invocation is being buffed just by the numbers. The reduced cast time, while still a liability on movement fights, is less of one. So you are less likely to be interrupted.

Invocations is being buffed by 5.2.

As to flameglow, it is a permanent passive effect. So you don't have to worry about duration.


All the math I have seen on the matter show it to be a tiny tiny tiny nerf for perfect play.

The issue is that you are not taking haste into account when calculating the damage.
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90 Undead Mage
4840
Deep freeze change is solid, it frees up a glyph slot for me
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90 Human Mage
10950
02/05/2013 03:38 PMPosted by Rasthen
As most PVE mages take invocation as their lvl 90, this is a straight 10% nerf to our damage, which isn't really made up for anywhere else.
Stopped reading at this point... Reading =/= Comprehension.
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100 Gnome Mage
20175
02/06/2013 05:33 AMPosted by Hiroran


Let me add some to that.

Assuming perfect play.

Currently we spend 13% of the time casting evocate. The remaining 87% of the time we have a 25% buff. This equates to about 8.75% increase in damage.

After the patch we will spend 4.8% of the time casting. The remaining 95.2% of the time we will gain 15% damage. This equates to about 9.48% increase.

Invocation is being buffed just by the numbers. The reduced cast time, while still a liability on movement fights, is less of one. So you are less likely to be interrupted.

Invocations is being buffed by 5.2.

As to flameglow, it is a permanent passive effect. So you don't have to worry about duration.


All the math I have seen on the matter show it to be a tiny tiny tiny nerf for perfect play.

The issue is that you are not taking haste into account when calculating the damage.


You are right, I didn't factor in haste. Was doing quick napkin math to show that it was not a 10% nerf.

But, FYI: The break point when old vs new is the same is 10% haste. Which is really not that far off from what a reasonably geared mage stacking mastery or crit will have.

And again, that is assuming 100% perfect play, something not possible in today's raids. The shorter cast means you will be interrupted less. This still generates a net increase in damage. I would even say frost haste stacking would still gain damage with the new invocation simply because of less interruption.

I think it is safe to say that the invocation change is Blizzards attempt to fix some quality of life issues for mages while not dramatically changing damage output. Basically punishing us less for their encounter designs.
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90 Troll Mage
14395
02/05/2013 05:02 PMPosted by Mistwynd
Fire - Wimpy fire spec stays wimpy. Most boring spec in the game without high crit rates. Unless mages find they can get to 40% crit with 5.2 gear, very few raiding mages will play this spec.

Fire scales very well with crit and haste. Fire is almost as good as dps as Arcane right now, it's very solidly middle of the pack, I can see Fire as being one of the top 5 specs come 5.2

02/05/2013 05:02 PMPosted by Mistwynd
Arcane - Arcane gets a major dps nerf and loses 2/3 of its mobile dps output. The dps nerf might be ok, but losing 2/3 of its mobile dps is not good for a spec that already had the least mobile dps in the game.

Ok, so at the moment, clearing your stacks the way you are "supposed" to be is only a slight DPS loss compared to Scorch Weaving. Having 8 stacks of AB (4 double stacks) will make that rotation even more worthwhile. Not to mention having Arcane Charges be stronger makes Mastery worse and haste better, meaning that Invocation becomes an even better option for Arcane. Oh and what are you talking about with mobile dps? Do people forget that Arcane Barrage is an instant cast with a THREE second cooldown that does almost 2x as much damage as Fireblast and more than 4x as much damage as Ice Lance and can basically be cast every other GCD while moving. Arcane mobile dps will be fine.

02/05/2013 05:02 PMPosted by Mistwynd
Frost - Frost spec gets a dumbed down ultra boring PVE rotation. If Blizz is going to take Freeze out of the PVE rotation, it NEEDS to be replaced with Water Jet.

Ok I agree with this though, but just because they are removing 1 ability doesn't make it "dumbed down ultra boring." It's a pretty complex rotation right now, it'll just be a decent amount more boring. Not completely stupid and awful though.
Edited by Kurojushi on 2/6/2013 7:09 AM PST
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100 Human Mage
13895
2. Arcane spec - major changes to rotation. Each stack of AB debuff in 5.2 is the equivalent of two stacks on live in both damage increase and mana cost. Only goes to 4 stacks (equivalent to 8 on live). With the higher mana cost of a fully-stacked AB, nerf to Rune of Power's mana regen, and removal of scorch, arcane gameplay will completely change. Rotation will probably be to cast no more than 4-6 ABs before resetting the debuff stack with ABar. Also, it's possible arcane mages will move away from Rune of Power and towards invocation depending on how effective the new invocation is.


My main worry is the increase to the base mana cost of AB in addition to the changes to arcane charge. This will make a 4 stacked AB cost nearly as much as 6 stacks did before 5.1 (11.67% mana vs 12.75%).

3. Effect on frost spec. More FoF procs, but countered by removal of water elemental freeze from the raiding rotation. Effect is to MAJORLY dumb down the rotation to basically just spamming frostbolt and reacting to procs. Removal of strategy from the frost PVE rotation. Also, removal of the feeling of getting PVP style shatter crits from PVE. This change also reduces the water elemental pet to an automatic dot that requires zero management on the part of the mage.


Freeze needed to go from the raiding rotation. A targetted AoE as part of a single target rotation was stupid. It would be nice if they ever get around to implementing frost jet though.
Edited by Nyteshadè on 2/6/2013 8:02 AM PST
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90 Undead Mage
9910
02/06/2013 07:08 AMPosted by Kurojushi
Fire is almost as good as dps as Arcane right now, it's very solidly middle of the pack, I can see Fire as being one of the top 5 specs come 5.2


According to who? No buffs. Nothing has changed.
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90 Troll Mage
14395
02/06/2013 07:59 PMPosted by Orphie
According to who? No buffs. Nothing has changed.

Check out Raidbots: http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall_DPS/10H/100/14/60/default/
Fire is solidly in the middle of the pack. In fact, Fire dps is, on average, higher than any DK or Shaman dps spec. How is that a bad spec? The problem isn't Fire, the problem is Arcane. Arcane and Affliction are WAY above the other specs, so once they are brought down to within the delta, Fire will be a lot more noticeably solid.

Oh and it is getting buffed. Scorch being baseline means Fire is going to be even more mobile. As if it wasn't already really good at mobile dps, with Scorch + the level 15 talents, it's going to be pretty ridiculous.

And has been said multiple times in multiple threads, Fire scales abnormally well with gear, so the new gear coming out is basically a Fire buff. Oh and Arcane Charges are stronger means that mastery will be weaker, which means less scaling.
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100 Troll Mage
16470
You are right, I didn't factor in haste. Was doing quick napkin math to show that it was not a 10% nerf.

But, FYI: The break point when old vs new is the same is 10% haste. Which is really not that far off from what a reasonably geared mage stacking mastery or crit will have.

And again, that is assuming 100% perfect play, something not possible in today's raids. The shorter cast means you will be interrupted less. This still generates a net increase in damage. I would even say frost haste stacking would still gain damage with the new invocation simply because of less interruption.

I think it is safe to say that the invocation change is Blizzards attempt to fix some quality of life issues for mages while not dramatically changing damage output. Basically punishing us less for their encounter designs.


Yup exactly.

02/06/2013 07:59 PMPosted by Orphie
According to who? No buffs. Nothing has changed.


And like he said and linked fire is very easily middle of the pack. It scales well with gear so it should have a bigger increase then arcane. If Arcane is nerfed like it should be then they should be about even. Also the scorch change is a buff as now you can chain pyro's or cast a few fireballs while moving for example, which is more than what they can do atm with it.
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Arcane is going to own in PvP next patch. I'm really excited about the PvP changes in general, not only to mages.
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90 Blood Elf Mage
1825
NO SCROCH!? how am i suposssed to keep my mana up
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90 Blood Elf Mage
1825
Is the frost bolt change meaning you can stack it up to 3 just like arcane charges? so it will keep increase dps? if so i might be using frost for raiding arcane sucks and who knows if fire will be good again
Edited by Garthh on 2/6/2013 9:42 PM PST
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90 Troll Mage
14395
02/06/2013 09:42 PMPosted by Garthh
Is the frost bolt change meaning you can stack it up to 3 just like arcane charges? so it will keep increase dps? if so i might be using frost for raiding arcane sucks and who knows if fire will be good again


Frostbolt is *losing* it's stacking mechanic that it has right now in Live. But it's not like Arcane Charges right now, it's just a ramp up mechanic to promote the use of Frostbolt. Just wait until 5.2 actually gets to a release candidate before you chisel in stone which spec you will be playing.

Oh and as for losing "Scroch," get over it, use Arcane Barrage, it does tons of damage and everyone ignores it. Scorch Weaving is only slightly better at the moment than dumping stacks with Arcane Barrage, and dumping actually ends up with MUCH higher burst potential in short term burst situations.
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