Okay so seriously 5.2 -> Raiding spec.

I have read and gotten different responses and have tried to come up with own theory but im still not entirely sure, since i am not on the ptr :(. So for 5.2 PvE in my eyes it is looking like fire (at least for the start). But is there anybody with ptr experience that has an idea of both what spec to play and how good we are in relative to other dps.
Arcane is still looking to be the better spec at the very beginning of 5.2, but fire will probably close the gap very quickly once you're in some 5.2 raid gear.
I dunno.....has anyone seen the T15 4 pc bonus? That's a pretty straight up damage buff across the board for arcane. Now the nerfs make more sense, although I really really REALLY hate them.

A lot of it too will be how you play the spec. On the PTR I'm actually higher on DPS than I am now, because I drops stacks already. (I know, I'm bad lol). The biggest issue I see is mana. If you screw up and don't pay attention for about 4 seconds, you'll be OOM and in deep dookie. It's going to require a lot more attention to that mana bar than before.

It does look like, on paper, fire is going to be right there on average. You get a good RNG string and you're going to crush it. Arcane simply remains to be seen.
Okay um, people are saying things like "why have you not rolled a lock already?" Yeah um is that a valid statement because i have been reading and there are a good ammount of posts on various sites saying there is no reason to bring a mage over a lock. although i know rerolling is pretty huge not exactly considering it but like is it that bad for us?
What's bad is that Blizzard walked into MoP without a clear plan for the Mage class. There have been 3 major patches (5.0, 5.1 and 5.2) and there have been more than 5 major revisions to the mage class as a whole. They stopped waiting for patches and started doing major revisions via hotfixes. What you enjoy and what is fun today may be nerfed and gone tomorrow. There's no security -whatsoever- in any of the specs of mage. This is the chief reason for so much anger around here.

I've decided to stick it out a bit longer because the recent 10% pyroblast nerf to replace the CM nerf is the first ray of hope I've seen from Blizzard development since MoP launched. Don't misunderstand me. Its not damage nerfs that are the problem. Its the never ending mechanics rewrites that are the problem.
It'll only be that bad if you're in such a hardcore guild that they will bench someone because another person/class has the potential to do better than you. If you just do normal raids and whatnot a statement like that has little to no barring on you.
Well I mean I am in a hardcore guild I just haven't raided in like two months. My current progress is how I was at end of december. But still my question is that is this patch looking really that grim for us mages. Its not the statement that affects me but the reasoning behind it.
03/02/2013 12:43 PMPosted by Fhizz
Well I mean I am in a hardcore guild I just haven't raided in like two months. My current progress is how I was at end of december. But still my question is that is this patch looking really that grim for us mages. Its not the statement that affects me but the reasoning behind it.

It was very grim. Some people think Arcane will still be fine, I don't think it will be. Too many aspects of its gameplay have been hit for it to remain a relevant spec in raiding IMO.

The uncertainty surrounding the when (not if) they would nerf Fire mage was also a big deal, but the announcement that they would stay away from our crit rate is proving to be the first real ray of light in an expansion fraught with poor design choices and incompetence. Fire is getting scorch + PoM, invocation cast time is only 3 seconds and they're leaving our crit alone. IMO things are looking up, and I haven't been able to say that in 5 months.
I've been inspecting the itemization of the gear we're expecting in the Throne of Thunder. There are lots of cloth pieces with either indigenous crit or indigenous haste/mastery, so it may come down to picking whichever spec would benefit the most from those original stats. I see Arcane faring well for people making initial progress in the raid, as there's even a haste/mastery weapon from, if I recall right, the second boss. Such that you might even be able to quickly get the weapon from the first opened section of LFR.

I see it depending a lot on which breed of gear you get lots of first. Until then, take some time to learn how Fire & Arcane work so you're ready to make the most of it when you see what the cards hold for you in at least a few weeks.
Fire will probably be on the top in 5.2 for the 3 mage specs. Arcane has great damage but they're removing any mobility the spec currently has, and are reducing the damage it does standing stationary as well. Fire scales better and has the added advantage of being able to get Scorch AND Presence of Mind.

Frost will not be a viable option unless they can fix its poor scaling issues.
Based on various PTR reports I've read, Mages are probably not going to top the meters, but they won't be the worst. I've read that the boss mechanics of ToT are not very friendly toward mages, similar to some of the HoF bosses not being great fights for mages.

That said, the general consensus is that fire will be the top spec but with the pyro nerf, frost buffs, and dialing back the arcane nerfs a bit, the specs should be relatively equal at the beginning. Fire will likely pull further and further ahead as you get more gear.
Doing single dummy tests last night reforged/gemmed/enchanted for each spec (arcane ad straight mastery build) I was pulling the following...
Fire - Anywhere from 120 to 150k.
Frost - Anywhere from 125 to 150k
Arcane - Anywhere from 85 to 95k at the highest point

All were 5 min tests with lust used with Alter time and the most opportune procs.

This is only my experience. 496ilvl - Orphie.
If your Arcane build is 50k behind Frost you have done something very wrong. I'm not sure but I think the Mastery build and playstyle are markedly worse than the Haste build in 5.2.

Anyway the answer is "whichever spec you play the best" because the changes are targeted at eliminating significant performance differences between the specs in entry level gear.
It doesn't matter what the changes are aimed at doing. When they nerfed Fire and buffed Arcane, it was intended to bring the specs closer together. Instead, it swapped their positions on the totem pole. The initial buffs to Frost at the start of MoP were to bring Frost into raiding. But Frost scales horribly and the damage increases made lots of people cry in PvP. The latest nerf to Critical Mass is meant to balance Fire. However, it has the unfortunate side effect of breaking crit-based gameplay at anything but top-level gear.

Their intentions are not what we should be basing our decisions off of.
Fire or bust.

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