New Fire Mage Changes

90 Orc Mage
12510
- Critical Mass - nerf reverted. It's back to 30%.
- Pyroblast - direct damage reduced 10%.

What do you guys think?
Edited by Blazing on 2/28/2013 7:11 PM PST
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90 Undead Mage
14465
It sounds like Fire scaling, as it often does, got out of hand with 5.2 gear, but as they said, they didn't want to punish less geared Fire Mages in fleshing it out. To keep it more enjoyable and keep the spec's flesh-and-blood crits flowing as expected, they put Critical Mass back where it was and made Pyroblast a little softer, since it'll be proccing so much more in most of the new gear.

Fire must have really pulled ahead this time. Neat.
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90 Human Mage
6340
They nerfed Pyro because of PvP, and the CM nerf was for Pve.

But it seems stupid to increase the stats on the gear with the new patch so we have better stats and then nerf the crit (stat) bonus that our CM gives, so that its the equivalent of having less gear.
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It's overall 3-3.5% dmg reduction due to Pyroblast. Will more crit on gear in 5.2 or or 4 pc tier bonus compensate for this? I am counting on it.
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100 Draenei Mage
12060
I'm fine with the Pyro change to compensate for CM going back. From a PvE perspective as long as the gear scales as well as everyone has said I'll take more Pyro's popping for less damage than less Pyro's for a 10% gain anyday.
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100 Human Mage
7960
Funny, I try and read every patch note, but never caught anything about CM... yet I noticed it was NOT being applied for the past bunch of weeks.

But, I just recently acquired 2 tier pieces for a 8% bonus to Pyro damage and now I read I'm losing 10%... and so what getting CM back because they are also nerfing spreading LB via IB... another DPS loss.

I really am becoming very INCREASINGLY frustrated with the constant dicking around. What had been a fun game to play is becoming more a source of aggravation because I never know what kind of shape my character is from one month to the next. Not to mention that it seems all this crap is being aimed at the very top players in the game... so a 5% loss to the very best Fire Mage means more like 20% to me as a mid-range player (and one who left the kind of reflexes said top player has 40 years ago).
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90 Troll Mage
6385
I think im having a derp moment here. 30% critical mass? wasn't it like 1.5 in 5.0? someone please explain x(
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86 Night Elf Priest
11090
03/01/2013 12:35 PMPosted by Fhizz
I think im having a derp moment here. 30% critical mass? wasn't it like 1.5 in 5.0? someone please explain x(


It's been 1.3 since just after the 5.1 launch, it was nerfed to 1.25 and then raised to 1.3. It's been this way for months.

Also @Brightbrown, a 10% pyro nerf hurts you less than a .10 critical mass nerf. The CM nerf hit low geared mages harder than high geared mages.
Edited by Talindia on 3/1/2013 12:42 PM PST
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90 Troll Mage
6385
OH LOL. 1.3 = 30% herp herp
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100 Human Mage
15570
Brightbrown, LB spread loss is not that great. You can only have 3 up, LB costs a 1 second GCD, IB costs a 1.5 GCD. So currently you spend 2.5 seconds, by tab targeting LB to 3 targets, you will spend 3.0 seconds.

In essence a half second longer to be at the same place.
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90 Blood Elf Mage
10440
Brightbrown, LB spread loss is not that great. You can only have 3 up, LB costs a 1 second GCD, IB costs a 1.5 GCD. So currently you spend 2.5 seconds, by tab targeting LB to 3 targets, you will spend 3.0 seconds.

In essence a half second longer to be at the same place.


The trick is learning to shift + tab to get back to your original target within the 1s GCD of your 3rd LB. LB would be dead in 5.2 anyway though. It scales inversely with haste due to its final tick (explosion) carrying the bulk of its coefficient. The LB change should be more upsetting, but the spell is going to be extremely situational due to LB's poor haste scaling moving forward.
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100 Human Mage
7960
Maybe it's a total failure of one of my add-ons, but in the past several weeks, I never see CM being "cast." I used to always get a cool down timer, but do not see any now-a-days... so it SEEMED it was totally nerfed... yeah I should go spend 5 mins on the dummies and look at my crit number!

Took me a while because I realized I had to unequip all the gear that gives me Int or Crit procs. So all I know for sure is that sitting there doing nothing, or casting fire spells does not move my crit number at all. I USED to "know" that CM was triggered by casting a fire spell, could it be that was changed and I never read about such a change? So if it now a simple passive ability, how do we KNOW that it is being used?

Silver, it seems tons worse to me... think of any boss fight with multiple adds. Now, it's hit the boss for an LB, hit IB, back to spamming FB. After 5.2, I'd have to tab around then hunt down the boss to re-target him (probably faster to use a mouse click... although I could try and always set focus on him first...). I think it may be close to 2+ secs min for me (my reaction time sux... my toon looks a but like me). Gotta also admit that I used to do as you suggest, spread via tab targetting... until the light shone! Once I started hitting IB to spread, I felt I could get a whole 'nother cast done for the time I was tabbing around.

I am also not real sure what constitutes "high-geared" or "low-geared?" Or where the cut-off may be... I'd guess mid 490 is high, so is mid to upper 480 low?
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90 Blood Elf Mage
10440
/snip


CM is a passive. It isn't "triggered". It also affects only specific spells, so it will never appear on your character sheet. Crit also scales multiplicatively not additively so you'll never know the exact crit rate of your Fireball without an addon that specifically calculates its value after all multipliers have been applied.

03/01/2013 03:20 PMPosted by Brightbrown
Silver, it seems tons worse to me... think of any boss fight with multiple adds. Now, it's hit the boss for an LB, hit IB, back to spamming FB. After 5.2, I'd have to tab around then hunt down the boss to re-target him (probably faster to use a mouse click... although I could try and always set focus on him first...). I think it may be close to 2+ secs min for me (my reaction time sux... my toon looks a but like me). Gotta also admit that I used to do as you suggest, spread via tab targetting... until the light shone! Once I started hitting IB to spread, I felt I could get a whole 'nother cast done for the time I was tabbing around.


The change reduces mage QoL where LB is concerned, no two ways about that. But like I said, LB is going to become a relic next patch anyway. NT will be replacing it for cleaving fights and single target because of how haste interacts with living bomb. That said, you don't need to "tab around" to the boss. If you use shift+tab it tabs backwards. So if you cast, tab, cast, tab, cast, shift+tab, shift+tab you'll be back on the boss no matter what. Its a matter of training yourself to use the tools you have at your disposal.

That's not an insult, seriously, it takes a lot of practice to learn these things.

03/01/2013 03:20 PMPosted by Brightbrown
I am also not real sure what constitutes "high-geared" or "low-geared?" Or where the cut-off may be... I'd guess mid 490 is high, so is mid to upper 480 low?


High geared is 30% crit. I run about 29% (when optimized for Fire) and I'm ilvl 500. What ilvl constitutes high geared varies from player to player, but for Fire to be competitive, 28% crit is a minimum, so about 495.
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90 Blood Elf Mage
17070
Brightbrown, LB spread loss is not that great. You can only have 3 up, LB costs a 1 second GCD, IB costs a 1.5 GCD. So currently you spend 2.5 seconds, by tab targeting LB to 3 targets, you will spend 3.0 seconds.

In essence a half second longer to be at the same place.


The trick is learning to shift + tab to get back to your original target within the 1s GCD of your 3rd LB. LB would be dead in 5.2 anyway though. It scales inversely with haste due to its final tick (explosion) carrying the bulk of its coefficient. The LB change should be more upsetting, but the spell is going to be extremely situational due to LB's poor haste scaling moving forward.


I've wondered about this. Will there be any reason to use it instead of NT?

Edit: nm, you addressed it in the next post
Edited by Taymage on 3/1/2013 10:08 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Mage
10440


The trick is learning to shift + tab to get back to your original target within the 1s GCD of your 3rd LB. LB would be dead in 5.2 anyway though. It scales inversely with haste due to its final tick (explosion) carrying the bulk of its coefficient. The LB change should be more upsetting, but the spell is going to be extremely situational due to LB's poor haste scaling moving forward.


I've wondered about this. Will there be any reason to use it instead of NT?

Edit: nm, you addressed it in the next post


Bear in mind this is purely based on my knowledge of how scaling works. This isn't based on actual 5.2 testing. Its entirely possible that LB will remain powerful specifically for 3 target cleaves. I just can't see it happening for 2 or 4+ target cleaves because if you hit your 2nd haste cap LB takes another giant leap backwards while both FB and NT continue to scale basically linearly (NT isn't totally linear, it actually does jump with new ticks, but the increase is so marginal the scaling is close to linear).
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100 Human Mage
7960
No insult taken, I appreciate the time you took to write and yes, learning a whole new set of hand coordination does seem to take me quite a while for it to be automatic. As for tabbing backwards, I think it may be easier to have a macro that does /tar on the focus, less keystrokes. Gotta say I still think going through a bunch of keystrokes is going to lose dps, it was pretty recent that it dawned on me how to spread it and while I can't quantify it exactly, felt my DPS and damage did go up. My "oh !@#$" moments (when I aggro 3-4 600k HP mobs without meaning to) got a lot easier once I learned to spread... I "had" been doing tab target LBs.

I would like to better understand your "It scales..." sentence. Inversely scaling means to me that as haste goes up, less ticks may be delivered. By "bulk of it's coefficient" do you mean it's final explosion does a lot of damage compared to the sum of the ticks? Putting them together, are you saying that the final explosion is fixed, so one less tick means less damage being done? I know that there is some amount of splash damage done when LB hits it's final explosion... I've seen critters die and non aggroed mobs go after me!

And isn't NT simply a much weaker spell than LB? Wouldn't we need to have something like 5+ NTs ticking to do the overall damage that 3 LBs can do?

As for CM, it sounds like it's simply some internal number crunching that we don't really "see." Hate to say it, but it reminds me of overclockers who goose their CPUs to produce a slight gain in a benchmark while practically nothing really changes unless the machine in question is in a render farm and crunches 24/7.
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90 Blood Elf Mage
10440

I would like to better understand your "It scales..." sentence. Inversely scaling means to me that as haste goes up, less ticks may be delivered. By "bulk of it's coefficient" do you mean it's final explosion does a lot of damage compared to the sum of the ticks? Putting them together, are you saying that the final explosion is fixed, so one less tick means less damage being done? I know that there is some amount of splash damage done when LB hits it's final explosion... I've seen critters die and non aggroed mobs go after me!


Living Bomb is 4 ticks at 26% of spellpower with the final explosion being 104.5% of spellpower. If you add an extra tick, the final explosion is still 104.5% of spell power. This means that the final explosion is slightly more than 50% of Living Bomb's damage. When you add haste the time it takes to go through the 4 ticks steadily decreases thus increasing DPS. I don't know off hand the specific time down to the second but let's say its theoretically 9 seconds. So you get the full benefit of LB down to 9 seconds. Then you hit your haste threshold and gain an extra tick, Living Bomb returns to 12 seconds.

So instead of having an explosion every 9 seconds you have an explosion every 12 seconds now. Remember, this explosion was worth more than 50% of Living Bomb's total damage, and all you've gained is 1 extra 26% tick. So you increase your DPCT (damage per cast time) by 12.5%, but reduce your DPS by around 30%. The net result for living bomb is less damage than before you hit your haste cap. If you hit that 2nd haste cap, you've now pushed back your explosion twice, and have thus taken two hits to your damage. You'll still be dealing more damage with living bomb than you were back below your first haste threshold, but you still have Nether Tempest and Frost Bombs as viable options.

Compare that to nether tempest and each haste cap increases both DPCT and DPS and Frostbomb it increases DPCT and DPS as well (since it lowers the cooldown). This means over time, Living Bomb will be outscaled by both of these. I don't know for sure, but I'm predicting it will be in 5.2 with the 2nd haste cap. The big thing to remember is these 3 bombs were balanced to be around equal to each other, and their long term scaling wasn't taken into consideration. So basically what I'm saying is that most likely for 2 targets, NT will be best, and for 3+ targets Frostbomb will be best. It remains to be seen though. Nether Tempest is better single target. What makes Living Bomb great is that explosion, unlike NT's discharge and Frostbomb, doesn't get reduced on secondary targets, it deals full damage both times. It might still be top for cleaves, but it won't be as top as it was in 5.1.
Edited by Medívh on 3/2/2013 2:24 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Mage
17070
Yeah, but part of the thing that made LB so nice is that your normal rotation (i.e., using inferno blast to convert heating up procs to a pryo procs) automatically spread LB to three targets. That's a lot of gcds saved, and that no longer will occur, right?
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90 Blood Elf Mage
10440
03/02/2013 03:05 PMPosted by Taymage
Yeah, but part of the thing that made LB so nice is that your normal rotation (i.e., using inferno blast to convert heating up procs to a pryo procs) automatically spread LB to three targets. That's a lot of gcds saved, and that no longer will occur, right?


EDIT - Retracted as I was woefully incorrect.
Edited by Medívh on 3/2/2013 3:33 PM PST
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90 Pandaren Mage
14885
03/02/2013 03:09 PMPosted by Medívh
Yeah, but part of the thing that made LB so nice is that your normal rotation (i.e., using inferno blast to convert heating up procs to a pryo procs) automatically spread LB to three targets. That's a lot of gcds saved, and that no longer will occur, right?


You actually only lose 0.5s with the new system. Not a big change, it will take 3 LB cycles (that's 9 applications) before you lose even 1 GCD.


It's not that straightforward. LB+IB and 3xLB do not put you "in the same place" because IB also spreads ignite and the pyro dot. A better comparison would be LB+IB vs 3xLB+IB, in which case you just lost 2 gcds as a result of the change.

Also, IB's 1.5s gcd is reduced by haste and LB's 1.0gcd is not. You'd be losing closer to 0.65-0.7s per application cycle assuming a standard fire raid buffed 12.5% haste.
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