Arcane Missiles are the Real Culprit

Mage
People have a lot of problems with Arcane in BFA, but I'd posit the real gameplay problem stems from Arcane Missiles. No longer being a proc-only spell is interesting, but I think it's really the source of most gameplay problems.

Depending on how the numbers come out there are two possibilities:

Arcane Missiles are too powerful - then solo play will be just casting Arcane Missiles, leading to very boring play.

Arcane Missiles are too weak - then solo play will be just casting Arcane Blast, with clearcasted missiles when possible (or not if missiles are really really weak). In this case, no one will really get any benefit out of missiles being available off-proc.

Both situations could make gameplay extremely boring when compared to Legion, because it's back to an 100% one-button spec (potentially with some hitting a second button in reaction to clearcasting procs, but with no flexibility since it only stacks once).

My solution: Make Arcane Missiles weak without a clearcasting proc, but really strong when clearcasted (and maybe with high mana via the Amplification talent). I'd also let it stack at least to two, so that you don't have to interrupt an Arcane Blast cast to switch to missiles.

I'd also like to see Arcane Missiles build charges so that it could be a free builder for Arcane Barrage-ing in AOE. This could also make it reasonable to build charges with missiles (especially if weak standard casts were mana-efficient) and then cast high damage Arcane Blasts. We need an incentive to weave back and forth.

This is still a little less interesting than having it be affected by charges, but still removes the damage penalty when casted at < 4 charges.

I think this could be a minor enough change that it could almost be accomplished just with numbers tuning. And it solves the gameplay problem people are worried about. While leveling my Void Elf as Arcane, I've grown very concerned that BFA leveling could be just me spamming missiles after missiles after missiles.

Yes, this doesn't solve the "boring talents" or "bad AOE" complaints, but a lot of what we do is single-target solo-play. Making a small change to missiles could make that a lot more fun.
Wait, what's going on with arcane missiles? lol
06/17/2018 11:26 AMPosted by Magìc
Wait, what's going on with arcane missiles? lol


They're garbage
06/17/2018 12:14 PMPosted by Vivec


They're garbage


The problem isn't that they'll be strong or weak, we don't really know how it'll work out with tuning. The problem is that either they'll be too strong and replace arcane blast, too weak and never be used, or about the same and just be arcane blast with a different animation (that you use immediately when clearcasting is available).

Mana efficiency might play into it. But since there's not a lot of interaction between Missiles and other effects (specifically arcane charges), the efficiency will really just determine whether they're strong or weak.

There's a chance that Missiles will be the "bursty" option and Blast will be the "efficiency" option. But that would mean you just spam missiles when questing and in pvp and use Blast in dungeons and raids. Still no weaving back and forth.

I think there's a way to make the change work and be interesting. It's just not quite there yet though.

I really like the "fantasy" of arcane, a lot of the lore has some interaction with it, and I really want to play Arcane in BfA. So I want to push people to find a way to make it fun.
How about for each missle that hits you get healed by 1-2% of your health? You are risking school lockout when casting channeled spells.
Back in Vanilla they were a non-proc cast, with the advantage of doing more sustained damage than Blast, but at the expense of a higher mana cost.

So I'm thinking that they will have the same idea in mind with how it'll work in BfA, and haven't tuned it yet.
In case anyone wants to read for themselves
https://ptr.wowhead.com/bfa-battle-for-azeroth-arcane-mage-changes
To summarize,
Arcane Blast still has a cast time, arcane charges still increase Mana cost and damage but now also decrease casting time.

Arcane Missiles is still instant to initially cast but channelled over 2.5 sec (slightly longer channel time than today). Gains no benefit from arcane changes, but now costs a whopping 18% of base mana unless you get a clearcast proc then it costs nothing.

My guess is that you can cast 6-8 arcane missiles before you go oom depending on your luck getting a clearcast proc.

As a side note: love the change to Evocation. From channelled to passive regeneration boosted by 900%. Nice.

My 2 cents on what this means to arcane gameplay
1. solo speed farming: missiles + arcane explosion. Snack between fights when necessary to stay at full mana.

2. solo questing in challenging content: arcane blast. Very easy to stay at 4 arcane charges and full mana by quick snacking between fights. A 4 charge blast will do much more damage than missiles.

3. Dungeons/raids: rotation might be very similar to our current one.

4. pvp: don't know.

Casting missiles whenever we want I think gives us more options than today for solo play. And for all other situations, given the Mana balancing act between missiles and blast, we won't be a 1 button class in fights. 2 buttons at least.

You simply can't spam missiles all day long in a long fight because of the mana cost.
06/17/2018 04:29 PMPosted by Tinkerizmo
4. pvp: don't know.

Well if we can run with Missiles, then it'll be channel > pillar-hump gg
06/17/2018 04:29 PMPosted by Tinkerizmo


My 2 cents on what this means to arcane gameplay
1. solo speed farming: missiles + arcane explosion. Snack between fights when necessary to stay at full mana.

2. solo questing in challenging content: arcane blast. Very easy to stay at 4 arcane charges and full mana by quick snacking between fights. A 4 charge blast will do much more damage than missiles.

[/quote]

I think this is the heart of the issue. If the 4-charge Blast does a lot more damage, we'll really only want to cast missiles when it's free, and maybe not even if Blast will do more DPS. And if missiles is competitive with Blast we'll just skip charging up and spam missiles.

At least if missiles built charges we could Missile -> Blast. They could actually build some synergy with that strategy if Amplification also caused Missiles to do more damage to targets above 80% health or something like that.

But I agree that there's a chance things get tuned just right and there's a use for both. I mostly worried about your first "solo speed farming" scenario if they don't.
Just got off of the beta, testing the new arcane, it's not bad, feels a lot like it does on live, I need to test arcane missiles more, I'm so use to how they are on live that I only use them with a clear casting proc, lol.
06/18/2018 01:24 AMPosted by Magìc
Just got off of the beta, testing the new arcane, it's not bad, feels a lot like it does on live, I need to test arcane missiles more, I'm so use to how they are on live that I only use them with a clear casting proc, lol.


Feels like it does on live !? Are we playing the same beta !?
06/18/2018 01:24 AMPosted by Magìc
I'm so use to how they are on live that I only use them with a clear casting proc, lol.


Again, that's one part of the problem: now that they don't stack you have to send them out right away. It's a lot less interesting when it's just a "when the screen lights up you need to press the button immediately" situation, and it kind of makes Arcane Missiles just a graphical reskin on a free Arcane Blast.

Not to mention how not stacking clearcasting will also be an issue during Arcane Power.
06/17/2018 05:41 PMPosted by Unalist

Well if we can run with Missiles, then it'll be channel > pillar-hump gg


You can't. That was nerfed about a month ago when slipstream was smashed with a hammer.

The easiest solution is to revert AM back to what it is on live: stack up to 3 procs, costs nothing, affected by charges, win.

I don't understand the rational behind the dramatic changes anyway. You have a spec that's not bad now, it just needs some cleave and a ST buff. Instead, Blizzard strips it to a skeleton like they're going to start from scratch, but then they leave it like this and say "enjoy." It, like much of BfA, seems unfinished and half-assed.

And of course we get zero feedback into the rationale of it.
06/19/2018 12:23 PMPosted by Tempestwinds
like much of BfA, seems unfinished and half-assed. And of course we get zero feedback into the rationale of it.

Yea I was hoping that BfA would bring me back to the feel of classic World of Warcraft, though the continuation of poor game design and over-pruning has left me feeling no excitement for it.

The focus on gear-stats and RNG with lack of meaningful involvement of professions even affects it from a RP perspective.

While the story and lore are great, a game cannot survive on those two aspects alone.

The problems with Mage are part of a bigger, overall problem with the direction of of the game. Though I think Mageplay has suffered a lot more than other classes.
Arcane just got several talent changes, hopping on beta now to test them out.
Just got off the beta, and I am absolutely loving the new talents! Time Anomaly is absolutely amazing, it procs so much! On a side note when you get four arcane charges from Time Anomaly it procs Rule of Threes, pretty sweet. I can also see Reverberate being amazing for mythic+ dungeons, arcane's future is looking bright!
"People have a lot of problems with Arcane in BFA"

Who the hell cares about dmg/heals/anything in BFA.

There are going to be 53 patches before BFA is even released.
Post about something relevant.
The new talents are nice, but I think Time Anomaly feels out of place as lv100 talent. It should replace any of the lv60 talents (turning whatever its replacing into a base spell)

Or make Arcane Orb baseline.

I want more buttons to press.
Definitely some good changes from the dev team, props to them.

I still would like to see Missiles stack, but the haste buff when clearcasted effectively fulfills my first request.
My opinion: Blizzard has no clue what to do with Arcane. It always has been an iffy spec, and always will be. I honestly don't understand the love for it. To each it's own I guess but in my head I only have 2 specs.

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