The LVL90 Talents, an assesment.

I've seen quite a few threads recently about how the lvl90 talents are "class breaking", terrible, etc etc. While I am not here to either bash nor praise the talents, I simply want to look at and analyze each talent. For starters I agree that there is an inherent 'clunkyness' or 'unfun' in the design concept. This thread is not meant to sway opinions or rant, just an assessment on the talents as well as an open forum for feedback and suggestions, which are always welcome.

Incanters Ward: IW is probably the hardest for me to analyze, I have yet to raid and I am unsure as to which fights this may come in handy for. For challenge modes, this seems to be the bee's knees, as it offers the highest mobility and In challenge modes, its more likely you pull aggro or you happen to land up in some sort of damaging effect. I happen to use it for general use as doing dailies without having to set up is nice. Also being on a PVP server it comes in handy when dealing with PVP situations. However a con I see to this ability is the timing and the situation in which the IW bonus is up and the cooldown. The cooldown for the ability is 25 seconds and the damage buff is 15 seconds. However looking at it we see how a loss in DPS can be evaluated. Using the cooldown does not automatically grant you the 30% damage, it may take up to 2-3 seconds for the shield to pop, and even when it does pop, it means you were in a situation to take damage and you may need a few additional seconds to move to a save position taking a variable 1-5 seconds off the damage buff depending. In total you lose a passive 6% damage buff for 10 seconds and may not be able to optimize on the whole 15 seconds of 30% damage, if you get the whole 30%, though it is relatively easy. In total, as it should seem IW is situational and in my opinion the least optimal of the three.

Rune of Power: Out of the three, this one offers the best in most situations. It's major flaw is obvious, as it can only be benefited from when standing on a static position. I use this one mainly in heroics as I find plenty of time to drop a rune before a fight and even during easily as it has a short cast time, as well as the added bonus of being able to benefit from either Ice floes or presence of mind, adding a degree of mobility. The rune is also just large enough when properly placed to move from edge to edge when needing to avoid certain effects or needing to move. Out of all of them I like to use this one the most as it adds the safest consistency.

Invocation: This ones a rough one, if executed perfectly, it provides the best benefit. However it has some flaws that are a cause for concern. For one it takes a full 5-6 seconds to cast depending on haste, and requires a cast confirm to gain the benefit, adding a variable 1 second. This is required every 40 seconds which seems relatively short as 5-6 seconds as a sitting brick every ~40 seconds is quite a chunk of time. The biggest flaw in my opinion is that if the channel is interrupted in anyway, you have to wait 10 seconds from the begging of the channel to cast it again, taking away another 5-6 seconds out of your time. The channel in itself is unsafe, as you can easily be interrupted by a knock up, a silence, the need to move out of the fire, or simply an itchy trigger finger that interrupt the cast confirm in those micro seconds. To best use this talent, it requires the greatest concentration, situational awareness and understanding of the fight to safely execute in an optimal manner. And before the bragging, even the best player can make a mistake, loosing focus, or put into a situation were one has to move.

And now for the suggestions or "buff" ideas. In my opinion there needs to be some slight tweaks to the mechanics of the talents on not the numerical value. Another problem is that buffing one may simply put it to far above the others, creating a slippery slope effect were all 3 need an equal buff, one can simply say IW passive buff should be 10% while the IW shield pop be 35%, RoP should be 20% damage and invocation should be 30%. So lets look at each one mechanically.

IW. For this one, I suggest a way to time the overlap to be less harsh and reduce the down time you lose out on benefits. Either reduce the cooldown to 20 seconds, or increase the damage buff duration, or the easy fix where you never lose the 6% passive buff, though that seems a but much.

RoP. To me, this one could simply use either instant cast with a larger cooldown, or be able to be cast while moving, though these are already available through T1 talents, not having to rely on them and putting one into the global cooldown seems ok.

Invocation. For this I would like to see that Evocation could benefit from Ice Floes, or that the buff timer last for maybe a minute, I think this would create a better quality of use.

Thank you for your time if you read the whole post, I hope for positive feedback and critique.
Invocation should give you a partial (down-scaled) benefit if you need to clip it to move. Something like 30% of the benefit for channeling 50% of the spell. It's far too punishing to even time it with a predictable AoE boss ability only to have a random ability force you to clip it or take massive damage/die.

RoP needs a "drop rune at feet option" similar as to how hunters can lay traps vs using trap launcher and it will gain a lot of the versatility it needs while still forcing you to be rooted to a spot in most situations.

IW is well-designed and tries to get you to maximize a burst window (and in PvE we've lost a lot of our controlled burst that we had in Cata, especially in Fire and Arcane specs). It also caters well to PvPers because of this trait. I don't see any reason to mess around with it currently.

Edit: Fixed late night sentence structure derp.
Just thought of a new way invocation could work, instead of finishing off for the buff, invocation would build up a stacking 5% buff up to 25% damage. This would allow benefit even for in completion, and an easier way to refresh the buff.
10/07/2012 03:00 AMPosted by Bowlbasaur
Just thought of a new way invocation could work, instead of finishing off for the buff, invocation would build up a stacking 5% buff up to 25% damage. This would allow benefit even for in completion, and an easier way to refresh the buff.

I like this idea for improving Invocation. Increasing the buff duration to be longer would be nice too (ie: 60 seconds). RoP would be less clunky as an instant cast. IW I think needs to have a stronger passive and being less backloaded into taking damage on purpose, or just remove it from the GCD, but it's mostly fine as is.
Just hit 90 about 20 minutes ago and was listening to all the complaining about the level 90 talents being "crappy" and "weaksauce", but I couldn't believe it because they sounded so great:

10 sec evo? YES!

Drop a rune to increase hp5/mp5/ AND SP!! OMG YES!!

or how about ANOTHER shield that restores mana and SP Buff? YES YES YES!!

However upon my short experience with these abilities I can see they aren't nearly as great as they sound...
Evo doesn't do jack ish unless you channel the ENTIRE thing. Who has time for that?

RoP kills all bits of mobility mages need. basically a 15% decrease in dmg dealt anytime you have to move plus IT HAS A CAST TIME! It disappears after a minute or so as well. IMO make it instant cast no GCD and make it last until either 100 yards away or you cast a new one.

IW isn't horrible. Probably the only one with a decent design but they shouldn't make it a penalty for not taking damage.
10/07/2012 03:00 AMPosted by Bowlbasaur
Just thought of a new way invocation could work, instead of finishing off for the buff, invocation would build up a stacking 5% buff up to 25% damage. This would allow benefit even for in completion, and an easier way to refresh the buff.

Oh my science! This is a good idea!

I would much rather use invocation if it had a buff that stacked up as you channeled. Currently, I feel like i'm getting nerfed at level 90 if I choose any talent other than inchanter's ward. Talents should feel like a buff, not a nerf.

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