Response to: Frost Mage Nerfs Bad for PVE

In an effort to bring conversation to our new venue, I am going to address some comments from the "Frost Mage Nerfs Bad For PVE" thread over on the old DD forum:

# Fingers of Frost now has a 7/14/20% chance to proc from your Chill effects, down from 10/20/30%.
# Early Frost now reduces the cast time of Frostbolt by 0.3/0.6 sec, down from 0.35/0.7 sec.

First off let's run the numbers on a common fight tank and spank fight, Deathbringer Saurfang in 25 man normal...

As was mentioned later in the thread, there were two additional changes you didn't know about:

- The Deep Freeze glyph no longer increases Frostbolt damage against targets in Deep Freeze, it increases Deep Freeze damage by 20%.
- Deep Freeze's cooldown is now reduced by haste.

There is also a nerf to the duration of the Shattered Barrier freeze, from 6 seconds to 4.

The net result of all these changes is a nerf to PvP damage against targets stuck in Deep Freeze, a slight reduction in control from the Shattered Barrier change, a small increase to Frost's PvE DPS (the more powerful and more frequent Deep Freezes outweigh the other changes), and an improvement to the value of Haste Rating (which was very poor at level 85).

If Frost DPS is still low at 85, it can be adjusted easily. What I'm hearing lately though is that its mana efficiency actually does come into play in level 85 raid encounters, allowing it to maintain full burn while Arcane and even Fire are dealing with conservation cycles. I think we just plain need more data on its actual performance.

Finally, note that posting level 80 raid numbers doesn't really tell us anything about level 85 performance. The specs will scale differently from 80 to 85 (which is part of why they've implemented easily-turned tuning knobs).

The only damage dealing spell that frost mages will get will be frostfire orb. That does not appear to be a game changer.

It's actually pretty darn strong. The spell itself does a lot of damage if you use it well, it provides up to 15 extra chances to proc Fingers of Frost every minute, and we can Cold Snap it so we can use it twice.

As for how I reached these numbers, I'm using a simulator. I ran a thousand iterations with the same stats, once without these changes and once with. The variation in the resulting averages gets down to single digits with that many iterations, which is negligible given the fact that we're talking about five-digit numbers. The resulting increase was a little over 2%.

So this will not solve your problems of getting killed for the most part.

That problem is dramatically overblown anyway, because of people's experiences at level 80. At 85, it already required some pretty major setup and a target that wasn't being healed or fighting back, and given the much lower crit rates, I imagine it took quite a few takes to show what the video wanted to show as well.

On top of all that, health at 85 was buffed by a good 23-24% in the latest patch.

A 10K Ice Lance probably seems pretty overpowered when you have 30K health. A 15K Ice Lance won't seem so impressive when you have 120K health (in the PvE gear on the latest premades, my Mage has 110K health, so 120K is presumably a conservative estimate for a character geared and gemmed for PvP).

constantly shutting down evidence that is contrary to your initial statements, is not just bad for pve, its bad for the world.

I like you.

Ontopic: While a nerf is a nerf, the FoF change isn't surprising. Get an 85 template and go raid with it on Beta. Or hell, just watch some videos. FoF is proccing damn near every second spell you cast, and in certain situations is causing overlap (wasted procs). Lowering it by 10% will alleviate that, and also alleviate some of the "twitchiness" that Frost has in Cata. It also helps reduce the so called "annoying Ice Lance spam" in PvP. It's not a terrible change at all provided that the net DPS is relatively the same.

Yes. While I love the new playstyle in PvE, it was kind of spammy. This change will alleviate that a bit.

Deep Freeze already acts completely different in PvE

Actually, it doesn't! Deep Freeze now damages permanently-unstunnable targets -- namely, vehicles -- in PvP. It therefore follows exactly the same rules in both environments. Huzzah for internal consistency in the game world!

CRAZILY untrue!


can't have both top raid DPS and best mobility / CC in the game.

Fire has better mobility (and AOE) than Frost. That's what Zeldyrr meant by "same DPS, different types of utility."
Some thoughts.

My water elemental, can now be killed by frost damage. I wonder, if in Cataclysm enemies of the same nature will be killable by sources of damage from their same element. For instance, fire mages killing Ragnaros with fireballs (that was not possible before). If true, I think our spell Frostfire bolt should be re-purposed.

I think is fun when our total damage is competitive with other classes and it is composed from various sources of abilities, for me the design behind arcane where 90% of your damage comes from arcane blast is aweful, but thats another subject, what I'm trying to say is that I like that frost total damage output comes from frostbolts, Ice lances, Brain Freeze, Deep Freeze and Water Bolts. What I don't like however is that Ice lances, FFbolts and Deep Freeze all feel too similar, too spamy. In a raid enviroment they all come from procs and they all play the exact same way, they just look different. Speaking of DF, for various reasons I think it should only be an utility spell, a PvP spell in the mind of most people.

With the current design on beta I imagine Deep Freeze could be problematic to balance. First I don't think the glyph: deep freeze makes much sense. It increases the damage of your DF, where already can only damage Bosses. If it was changed to tune the lacking DPS of frost in raids, why not just buff DF damage. This glyph mesage feels like "Competitive DPS here" . Maybe prime glyphs are destined to be boring, but for example, glyph of fire ball increases your chances to get a Hot streak, increasing fun a tiny wee. Secondly and perhaps more important is that when we pop IV and time warp, according to Arena junkies, the DF Cooldown drops below 20 seconds. TBH even if DF is not overpowered and doesn't get you killed, being Crowd Controlled so often will make you hate the game (DF is not the only CC we have). I don't understand Blizzard philosophy: "with cataclysm we wanted to simplify things" where pretty much everyone is getting a new form of CC.

I propose that you leave DF alone as a 30 sec CD, only stuns enemies.(there are many reasons why i think this is a good idea, frost damage isnt as good on regular mobs known as trash mobs because we don't have all our DPS tools available, We also have to make a choice between dealing extra damage with DF or save it for adds that might spawn soon to control them, etc).

Make Frostfire bolt an important asset to frost and fire builds. 2 sec cast time. Hits for X amount of damage, debuff last for Z seconds. 20-30 sec CD

For Frost. First, Buff or Nerf FoF proc chance to where you want mages instant damage to be, in terms of how often. Secondly through a redesigned Brain Freeze make FFbolt a nice filler that behaves similar to a shaman lava burst, or a Destro lock Chaos bolt. Something that requires certain setup, hits hard if certain contitions are met, but can be interrupted.

For Fire. FrostFire bolt could be used to help a fire mage have more control over Hot Streak. Perhaps the scorch spell has a doubled or tripled chance to crit when the target has FFbolt debuff. A succesful FFbolt cast could also lower a few seconds the remaining CD of Combustion spell.
How does the DF cooldown change work for on use haste abilities? Does it trigger from a snapshot of your haste at the time of use or does it use some other technique?
Your haste at the moment you cast Deep Freeze determines the cooldown.
Sweet, thanks, that'll change things a lot for PvP and PvE it would seem.

I assume this affects the priority list a little bit no? If IV/TW is almost off cooldown save pet freeze for that so you can get the DF bonus?
It means you need to think a little more about Freeze, yeah - you can't count on it being ready for every Deep Freeze, an when they get out of sync you want to hold onto it for your next DF.
I feel special that my Mage hero quoted me :D

DF's cooldown affected by Haste is awesome. While fairly trivial, I've been running a lot of old world dungeons out of boredom lately (also for ICC clears), and am really liking the way Frost plays now. It's tons more fun in PvE than it ever has been.
Been following your posts on EJ, thanks for all the hard work. Looking forward to raiding as Frost in Cata.

It really shocks people when a frost mage comes in and pulls big numbers. Especially in a daily heroic when I pull 21k DPS on a boss and the randoms I'm with are just asking WTF?

I, like so many other mages, have really been enjoying the reactive nature of Frost PvE. Keeps me actively engaged in the fight instead of just watching DOT timers or a Mana Bar.

Keep up the good work blizz :P (While you're at it nerf Warlocks)
Why haven't I seen these Frost changes anywhere before? I mean, I saw the nerfs, but I never heard the buffs mentioned.

My heart squeals with joy. Deep Freeze doing more damage and having a CD reduced by our haste pretty much requires FoF to have a lower proc rate. We'll be getting more haste = casting more Frostbolts = Getting more FoF procs. My mind is exploding with joy.
I am concerned about your heart.
Can't. Wait.
Doesn't the updated Shatter give you +20% frostbolt damage against deep frozen targets for free anyhow? Or any kind of frozen targets, for that matter? So, having the glyph on top of the free talented damage boost would probably be a little ridiculous, so they took the opportunity to replace it.
As far as DF goes, it doesn't seem like a nerf to me. If anything, it looks like a buff.
Doesn't the updated Shatter give you +20% frostbolt damage against deep frozen targets for free anyhow? Or any kind of frozen targets, for that matter? So, having the glyph on top of the free talented damage boost would probably be a little ridiculous, so they took the opportunity to replace it.

As far as DF goes, it doesn't seem like a nerf to me. If anything, it looks like a buff.

Forgive me for being out of the loop, but I hadn't heard of the shatter change, where'd you see that?
It might be out of date, but it's on Wowhead's and MMOChamp's Cata talent calculators.

Back on topic, how does this change the value of haste in relation to crit and mastery? I heard from somewhere on EJ that crit > mastery > haste for frost a couple weeks back. How is it now?

Also, thanks for the great work Lhiv, you're awesome! :D
Wowhead talent calculator also shows Shatter as giving more damage to FB when hitting Frozen targets. I wish that extra damage could be used against bosses, but the damage gained to DF and having its CD reduced by haste is still a sweet buff to Frost damage.

I'm also curious as to how the stats priority will be for frost now. I'm guessing that Crit is still superior until we can reach at least over 33% crit (should the day come, which definitely wont happen in t11, I assume), but with Haste reducing DF's CD, and Mastery increasing great part of our damage, will one stat surpass the other in priority?

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