5.2 Fire > Frost > Arcane?

90 Undead Mage
9910
I've been a mage since my guild asked me to roll one at the end of Cata for MoP.
I've only tested slightly on the PTR for 5.2, but I'm not getting much by the way of which spec will be better. I've come to you all.

With the reverted CM "nerf" back to 1.3 and a 10% flat nerf to Pyroblast, won't this lower the damage over time effects of Ignite, Combustion, and your flat damage?

Arcane has just been rocked with 22% nerfs and mana increases.

Frost receives a buff to frostbolt (24%) then a buff to 52%, then a nerf to 32% with the stacking debuff added in from frostbolt again, and now it's 32% with what seems like a flat 5% "debuff" from frostbolt. (At least it looks like it on the PTR.)
Then again you can't get guaranteed FoF charges from your freeze any longer.

What is going to be THE mage spec in 5.2?
My guild progresses through Normals regularly and then we move on to Heroics as we're able, so I'm more worried about Normal modes and getting to the Heroics later on.

I want to be the best I can be and I'd like to get more info from the PTR but I just don't have time to do that anymore.

Thanks for the help in advance.
Reply Quote
90 Undead Mage
14465
There's a lot more math than what you're seeing. I'll kind of walk you through the holes here.

• Fire: As you gear up into Throne of Thunder, especially with some of the serious crit items available to Mages, your crit rating is going to go through the roof. While shot-for-shot the Ignite triggered by Pyroblast will be lower, getting more crits in a smaller amount of time spikes the Ignite, allowing Combustion to hit even harder. With that higher ilvl's potential crit rating pool, you're still going to get moments of absurd Ignites and, thereby, absurd Combustions. They toned down Pyroblast's damage to brace for this.

• Arcane: Ramp-up is going to be steeper. The current Arcane Charge math is 6 charges with 25% extra damage each - 150% buff at max. The 5.2 Arcane Charges are at 4 with 50% damage each - 200% buff at max. The ~22% nerfs to spells affected by Arcane Charges was to brace for this direct switch (Arcane Barrage is actually going to hit like a relative truck when you end a round of spells now, since it only got a 13% flat nerf). The new charges will also make mana costs even higher: they want us to really pay attention to our mana and decide what we can afford to cast and when. I'm thrilled, but then, I'm insufferable.

• Frost: Frostbolt's individual damage shot up 32% for two reasons - first, because it's no longer being affected by the debuff it stacks up on your target. That would mean it would make sense to just give it a 15% buff and be done with it, but then they wanted to raise its damage further for predominantly PvP reasons, encouraging frosties to hold still and hard cast by making a more rewarding chunk of damage for doing so. It has the side effect of making Frost even more of an I-don't-have-amazing-PvE-gear-but-I-want-to-do-damage spec. It still won't scale as well as its two mean siblings.

I've blabbed about it a few times on this board already, but your optimal spec will probably be decided by how good your gear is and what secondaries are indigenous to it. If you're getting off the ground, Frost might be best. If you're improving your gear, go Arcane. Then, when you're up in Throne of Thunder, keep an eye on what kind of gear you're getting more of. If you're getting more of its Haste/Mastery threads, stay Arcane. If you're getting its Crit stuff, go Fire and enjoy the power of scaling.
Reply Quote
90 Undead Mage
9910
We've recently cleared H MSV so I'm at 496ilvl. I was Arcane for post 5.1 and I hate Arcane. I finished the Heroic clear as frost as I just wasn't doing well as fire for those fights.

Now I'm to understand frost just doesn't scale with gear and will get left behind when getting gear?
So I suppose it's frost and then fire when I get more crit gear? I just can't do Arcane anymore. I despise it.
Reply Quote
90 Undead Mage
14465
I meant more in the way of min/max, sorry. The gap isn't gonna be that big between specs. As long as you know which stats you want more of on your gear, you can pretty well play whichever one you want. c:
Edited by Atamynn on 3/2/2013 7:33 PM PST
Reply Quote
100 Undead Mage
12920
Fire mage or bust.
Reply Quote
90 Undead Mage
9910
Thanks, all.
Reply Quote
90 Pandaren Mage
5870
03/02/2013 06:33 PMPosted by Orphie
What is going to be THE mage spec in 5.2?


Fire > Arcane > Frost.

Frost cannot scale as well as Arcane or Fire, so it will always be the third pick for raids. With gear going up to 522 on normal, I don't see Frost keeping up. The buffs aren't that great. If you currently use Invocation, you will just break even on DPS. If you use RoP, you stand to gain 4%.
Reply Quote
100 Worgen Mage
19135
If the numbers end up close enough each spec brings somethings unique to the table that might push it over the edge for a given fight:

Fire: Sustained cleave fights, high mobility

Frost: Frozen Orb burst AoE, 2 target Ice Lance cleave

Arcane: Arcane Barrage 5 target cleave, high damage AE and CoC if mastery geared, low rampup time, target switching (no travel time on AB, or frostbolt x3debuff/pyromaniac)

That said, I don't know where the numbers stand =p
Edited by Digerati on 3/3/2013 12:19 PM PST
Reply Quote
90 Undead Mage
9910
At my current gear level (496) testing on the PTR with a character copy all specs reforged/gemmed/enchanted I'm getting 20k dps less as Arcane. Sure, I hate the spec but I'm not doing anything wrong. Fire and frost I'm getting 125-150k dps on dummies. As arcane I barely hit 90k. That's with a mastery build. I thought it'd be a bit closer.
Reply Quote
100 Human Mage
14825
03/03/2013 11:58 AMPosted by Orphie
At my current gear level (496) testing on the PTR with a character copy all specs reforged/gemmed/enchanted I'm getting 20k dps less as Arcane. Sure, I hate the spec but I'm not doing anything wrong. Fire and frost I'm getting 125-150k dps on dummies. As arcane I barely hit 90k. That's with a mastery build. I thought it'd be a bit closer.
What rotation are you using as arcane?
Reply Quote
100 Worgen Mage
19135
Yeah, have people found the optimal talent/spec combo yet? I'd assume with RoP you're just resetting at a given threshold like 85-90% with Abar, but what about Invocation? And where does IW stand now (wasn't all that bad before on Tsulong). With the RoP nerf, IW can't be too far off on fights that accommodate it (ie: predictable raid damage, moderate-high movement, and an opportunity to use the 2m Evocate). Like on that hydra boss I'd strongly consider IW over RoP.
Edited by Digerati on 3/3/2013 12:28 PM PST
Reply Quote
90 Undead Mage
9910
Keeping dot up (NT) casting AB to 4 stacks, using missles when procced more than 1 if before 1 stack otherwise holding the one that procs til 4 stacks. When mana is not coming up back to 86-88% I use Barrage. I never miss a missle, and I even have Brilliant Mana Gem macroed to be used on AB after the first set of 4 to get maximum mana but I couldn't stay at high mana to save my life.
I tried with RoP and Inv with RoP being only slightly better than Inv.
Reply Quote
100 Blood Elf Mage
19730
I'm sort of going through the pre-patch jitters now too. I didn't spend much time on PTR and only did really as arcane and as Orphie describes above, without missiles, RoP feels rogue-like, 4 combo points -> finisher.

Invocation I just ran down to 30% or so and evocate back, with needing the charges now for the evocate you can't even sneak off the barrage before resetting unless you stop sooner on mana but even getting to your 4 stacks without gem is punishing as hell.

My gear is 499ish and I'm mostly curious where to start raids tomorrow, prefer Fire, but have been Arcane since the pyroblast/CM nerfs kicked us out. I'd like to prevent replies with the omg roll lock or the sky is falling responses, I'm happy to be a mage, just want to maximize dps in Trollduar for my guild.
Edited by Krynsa on 3/4/2013 3:52 PM PST
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Mage
11000
You will probably have more success playing the spec you are best at than the spec that sims the highest. Except you'll probably have to be slightly above the curve to be topping meters as Arcane entering this patch. Arcane, Fire and Frost are all going to clear 12/12N dps requirements, and once you're in some ToT normal gear and the post-patch balancing frenzy has subsided you can check the state of things again.
Reply Quote
90 Gnome Mage
11545
03/02/2013 07:02 PMPosted by Atamynn
Frost: Frostbolt's individual damage shot up 32% for two reasons - first, because it's no longer being affected by the debuff it stacks up on your target. That would mean it would make sense to just give it a 15% buff and be done with it, but then they wanted to raise its damage further for predominantly PvP reasons, encouraging frosties to hold still and hard cast by making a more rewarding chunk of damage for doing so. It has the side effect of making Frost even more of an I-don't-have-amazing-PvE-gear-but-I-want-to-do-damage spec. It still won't scale as well as its two mean siblings


Frostbolts damage was also raised to compensate for FoF charges lost due to the Freeze change. All in all, the frost changes should result in nearly a zero sum change to output.

03/04/2013 04:04 PMPosted by Mahourai
You will probably have more success playing the spec you are best at than the spec that sims the highest.


Fully agree.
Reply Quote
92 Gnome Mage
10145
I have a question for the people going fire. How much crit would you need to go fire. I am thinking of going fire next patch. I am not sure if 25% crit would be good unbuff of course
Reply Quote
90 Troll Mage
7915
One of the many reasons Mages are saying to go fire has less to do with sims, and more of the demand for mobility in the fights in ToT. With RoP giving 25% less mana regen and the worst mobility, it's use will be almost nill outside of maybe LFR. Arcane may have a higher skill cap then fire right now because people seem to be very confused on what the optimal rotation is. On the single target dummy with no flasks, or lust and only self int buff and mage armor I am doing around 90k on the single target dummy for about 6 minutes. Struggling with the rotation, and not having my normal UI, I pulled about 77K on PTR in same spec as arcane. I am at 496 ilvl. Fire will not be as dominate in the cleave fights anymore just for the fact that your bombs no longer get spread with inferno blast. That will help arcane a bit in the run since Barrage will be used again.

As much as I disagree with a lot of mahouris posts in the other 5.2 damage thread I do kind of get one thing that he is going towards. A lot of the mages in my guild will actually benefit from the changes. Unless you were slinging a flawless arcane rotation in 5.1 live, you are not going to get a huge hit in numbers with arcane in 5.2. The people that were playing the top levels of Arcane like Blatty, will be amazing at fire as well. They just aren't deluding themselves that they can pull the numbers that other classes can. The argument is really about asking for more utility for mages in the end.

TLDR; If you pulled 60-90k on your arcane mage for most fights full raid buffed you might want to stick with it. Your numbers might not be that much different. If you were pulling 130-200k on fights in arcane and can hit the 25-30% crit needed to make a stab at fire, (And I am saying this because if you dont crit in fire it is boring for many). Best thing to do is knock out your dailies, wait for your addons to get updated, and see how you do. Reforging from arcane to fire can be costly, but it could be worst.
Edited by Legend on 3/4/2013 8:51 PM PST
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Mage
10440

The argument is really about asking for more utility for mages in the end.


And here I thought this was lost in all the strawmen and red herrings. Good to know someone is listening.
Edited by Medívh on 3/4/2013 9:19 PM PST
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Mage
11000
03/04/2013 08:49 PMPosted by Legend
As much as I disagree with a lot of mahouris posts in the other 5.2 damage thread I do kind of get one thing that he is going towards. A lot of the mages in my guild will actually benefit from the changes. Unless you were slinging a flawless arcane rotation in 5.1 live, you are not going to get a huge hit in numbers with arcane in 5.2. The people that were playing the top levels of Arcane like Blatty, will be amazing at fire as well. They just aren't deluding themselves that they can pull the numbers that other classes can. The argument is really about asking for more utility for mages in the end.


As much as I enjoy people cosigning my posts I must admit I don't think I ever pushed this line of reasoning. This isn't what I mean when I talk about people's performance relative to sims. If you do better as Arcane in 5.2 you were doing something dreadfully wrong in 5.1, because Arcane got a fat nerf and didn't get demonstrably easier to play (I don't think people have even pinned the priorities down yet).

I think it was Atamynn you're thinking of. Sorry.
Reply Quote
90 Pandaren Mage
14885

TLDR; If you pulled 60-90k on your arcane mage for most fights full raid buffed you might want to stick with it. Your numbers might not be that much different.


I disagree. I think mages who weren't pulling great numbers before will be hurt the most by these changes. Look at the delta in 5.1 between median arcane parses and top 100 in 10N:

Median: 73k
http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall_DPS/10N/all/14/60/default/

Top 100: 119k
http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall_DPS/10N/100/14/60/default/

That's a difference of 46k dps between average players and top players. Expressed in relative terms, a top arcane player outputs on average 63% more damage than an average arcane player. Compare that to something like a frost dk, where the difference is much lower at 43%, and you'll realize that there exists a very problematic gap between "average" and "optimal".

What this means is that Blizzard does not have a good "target dps" to shoot for with the current arcane design. They either aim too high and risk overpowering top-end players, or they aim too low to keep the top players balanced and end up making it a very weak spec for average players (which is what is happening now). I believe the culprit is Rune of Power; aside from all the poor quality of life issues, it's simply too hard for an average player to get the full mileage out of it.

It will be even worse next patch. The haste/invocation style is a confused mess on the PTR and produces much lower damage than the mastery/rune style. Average arcane players will be stuck with a talent that they already cannot fully utilize; in fact, I think the only reason it seems okay now is because the damage is overpowered, which is masking all the true issues with the spec's design. Just look at mostly standstill fight like Feng, in which Rune of Power isn't heavily punished:

http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/Feng_the_Accursed/10N/all/14/60/default/

Arcane is right in the middle of the pack. This trend can be seen throughout all of t14; only the top end players really push it to being an outlier of a spec.

Now take those numbers above and apply an across the board 15% reduction (a number I've seen thrown around for optimally played arcane, not sure how accurate it is but it seems reasonable). For the top 100: arcane is now middle of the pack. For the average player: arcane is now the worst spec with any sizable representation on raidbots. You'll be looking a drop to about 62k dps for all fights and 55k on Feng, which is below even arms warriors.

My suggestion to any mage at any level is to ditch arcane ASAP. Even for a top end player, the mobility issues are simply not worth it for standstill dps comparable to frost. I would suggest playing frost and gathering crit gear until ~35% crit self buffed, then switching to fire. Frost's dps doesn't suffer much from gearing crit instead of haste up to the soft cap of 28%, so it's easily possible to gear straight fire until you're ready to make the switch.
Reply Quote

Please report any Code of Conduct violations, including:

Threats of violence. We take these seriously and will alert the proper authorities.

Posts containing personal information about other players. This includes physical addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and inappropriate photos and/or videos.

Harassing or discriminatory language. This will not be tolerated.

Forums Code of Conduct

Report Post # written by

Reason
Explain (256 characters max)

Reported!

[Close]