Saturday, October 27, 2007

AV Weekend (Free Honor)

Alterac Valley holiday weekend has hit, and anyone who has any interest in PvP is there.

There is honor to be had! In vast quantities! For little effort!

And also the somewhat awesome fact that S1 arena gear is going onto the honor system to consider.
Obviously, you, the proud mage, have some choices to make. Do you go with the flow, and dick around in AV, harvesting honor for no real effort?
Or do you step up to the challenge, and go find a commander and solo it?

This is a guide to the Alliance commanders and lieutenants in AV, and how to kill them. If there are any readers on alliance side reading this, a guide on how to kill the horde military folk would be appreciated.


On with the killing!

In the following write-up, when I use the word "Kite", I am referring to (roughly) the following procedure:

1) Slow the target (Any frost slow effects, Blastwave daze, Slow, whatever works for you)
2) If frost, max-rank frostbolts will keep him occupied. When he gets close, run away, continue. Use frost nova whenever it is up, to get range and a free shatter. If not frost, use rank 1 frostbolt whenever the slow timer is up to keep him moving slowly. Again, frost nova whenever it is up and get some range. Use blink if you're having trouble keeping range.
3) Repeat steps 1 and 2 until target falls over, thus awarding you 20 honor.

Lieutenant Spencer
He guards the Stonehearth Graveyard.

This fight is simple, once you get the hand of it. Pull any one of the guards, and all four of them and Spencer will be pulled. Gather them up, and AoE the guards down. Arcane Explosion, Blastwave, Cone of Cold, whatever you have. Once all four guards are down, slow Spencer by any means necessary. Frostbolt, Slow, whatever. Bonus points for using CoC earlier and having him already slowed.
Then, kite him. You must kite him away from the alliance guard tower, otherwise those archers will tear you apart.

Lieutenant Largent
One of the guards of Stonehearth Outpost, along with the gnomish lieutenant.

Approach from either the south or the east. Pull him, and kite. You have more manuevering room from the south end, lots of flat spaces. From the east, you have various hills, which are amazing for kiting when properly used. If you jump down from one, you can instantly gain (effectively) 10-15 yards of kite time in a couple seconds.
Again, do not kite into the archers up the hill. That's just asking to be killed.

Lieutenant Stouthandle
Patrols between Stonehearth Outpost and Stonehearth Bunker.

On his own, Stouthandle is easy. You have lots of room to kite, having both open spaces and hills to use to your advantage. However, as Stouthandle is the type of guy who wanders around on his male sheep, he can jump you while you're kiting a different Lieutenant. If that happens, fire off a polymorph, and make him wander around as a female sheep.
Watch the timer closely, you do not want to have him running lose on you. These guys hit for about 1k damage, don't let them get crazy on yeh.

Lieutenant Greywand
Largent's best buddy, helps guard the Stonehearth Outpost.

Same as Largent, kite and kill.

Lieutenant Lonadin
Rides around on a giant kitty by Stonehearth.

This guy can be tricky, due to his proximity to the archers in the bunker. Kite him back into the area where you killed Spencer. You should have lots of room there by now, having killed off the other lieutenants in that area. Kite as usual once you are in the clear.

Lieutenant Mancuso
Patrols north of Stonehearth Bunker. Stupid name.

The very first alliance bunker you reach houses Commander Randoplh. There is one archer here you need to worry about. He/she's the one standing above the entrance. Before attempting to kite any lieutentants here, KILL THIS ARCHER. It will make your life so much easier. Mancuso is easy to kite once this archer is dead, you have lots of room you can use.

Commaner Randolph
In Stonehearth Bunker.

As I said before, KILL THE ARCHER OVER THE ENTRANCE. It will make things far less painful. Run into the bunker, take a couple steps up the first flight of stairs. Then whirl around and head out the door. Randolph will have aggrod. He will follow you out, and once your in the open air, kite as a lieutenant. If you killed the archer this will be easy.
If you have not, you need to kite him up the hill to where Mancuso is. Lose LoS with the bunker, and use the open area up there. If Mancuso joins in, sheep him. It's harder to do things this way, you'll probably take around 4k damage from the archer kiting up the hill.

Commander Karl Phillips
In Icewing Bunker.

This one is a little more difficult to solo. You must kill every archer in the tower first to give yourself room to kite. There are also a couple of rams and a dwarf with some owls who patrols past here. You don't need to kill them, but it is highly recommended that you do. You do not want multiple adds showing up. One is fine.
If you don't clear the adds, then kite Phillips down the path leading towards Stonehearth. That will avoid any patrolling mobs, and give you some room.

Commander Duffy
Guards the Stormpike Graveyard.

Remember Spencer? Same thing, except with a dwarf. AoE down the guards, then kite Duffy back the way you came. You cannot kite Duffy where he forst spawns, you don't have nearly enough room. Do not try and kite over the bridge, the archers will tear you several new ones. You have to go back the way you came in, and get yourself some valuable kiting room.

Commander Mortimer
Patrols in Dun Baldar.

This one can be very tough to solo, fortunately, the chances you will have to are very slim. All the archers need to be dead, as well as Mountaineer Boombellow and Corporal-whats-is-face. if you need even more room, kill the guards at the Aid Station graveyard as well. 'Course, you'll probably need to keep Mortimer sheeped for that, as you're probably going to aggro him befoire you get to the graveyard. Once these threats are removed, he is easy enough to kite, you just have to be alert here. This is a dwarf town, there are tanks and walls placed at random. There are numerous NPCs that only aggro when you get really close to them, so watch yourself.
Do not kite over any NPC vendor types, and avoid backing yourself into a corner. If you stay alert to your surroundings, this will not be hard.

And there you go. You just garnered a couple hundred honor and some respect while at it. And if there's anything the general WoW community needs, its more respect for mages.

Some random stories:

I had brought Randolph outside, and begun kiting him. A druid came along, popped into Bear, and tried to tank. It took him a couple of seconds before he realized it was hopeless and pointless to try and pull aggro off me... so he morphed kitty and began DPS'ing the crap out of boor Randoplh. I kited in a large circle, so Randolph always had his back turned towards the druid.

Another time, whilst solo'ing Randolph again, a holy priest came by, with every intention of healing me.
20 seconds in later, the priest had done nothing but stand there.
I got a /sigh sent in my direction, then a /s "What am I supposed to do? You aren't taking damage"

"Melee the bugger" says I.

Good times had by all.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Something Completely Different.

Anyone who has read the best work of Maddox knows that the men's washroom is a very structured place.
There are rules governing a men's washroom, far more powerful than the oldest laws laid down by any civilization. These laws are not written in stone, they are written in TESTOSTERONE.
A far more powerful force than mere rock. When these laws are broken, there are dire consequences. The whole natural order is thrown into chaos, and some batshit crazy stuff happens.
As a recap, here's a theoretical washroom.

Where each "U" is a urinal. Say the door is here


Therefore, the "U" to the furthest right will be Peed in first


And the furthest left will be the next one used, and then the middle on. At that point, a fourth guy will use a stall. Setups such as this


Are strictly forbidden, upon pain of chemical castration.

So here I am in the washroom, urinating in the furthest stall from the door. Doing my usual business. It is a public washroom, and thus is disgusting. Most of the mirrors are covered with unidentified gunk, the sinks are full of phlegm, and the toilet seats are inexplicably covered in single ply toilet paper. The urinal next to mine has a soggy bagel stewing in the juices of at least 5 or 6 men.

Then the door creaks. I hear footsteps. They are coming towards the stalls.

Just to avoid anything awkward, I shift a little to the left, so as to essentially cut off any possible chance of eye-penis contact from occuring from either party.

The footsteps keep walking, and ARE NOW DIRECTLY BEHIND ME.

My mind is reeling. My pituitary gland is hyperventilating. My anus preps its anti-trespasser weapon systems. My body is preparing for the worst here.

I turn my head to see what's going on. What the hell is this joker doing?

Thus I was in the perfect position to watch a water balloon casually sail over my right shoulder, and descend into the bowl of the urinal.

It was like a horror film. Everything was agonizingly slow... I wanted to run, to scream, something, anything!
But I could do naught but watch in fascinated horror, as the pregnant balloon struck the ceramic bowl, and burst. My poor exposed manly organs were showered with freezing cold water, my own urine, and other substances I don't even wish to think about.
My pants took a lot of this sudden sneak attack as well... and had to be run through the laundry twice to get them cleaned.

And as any sadistic joker does, after his prank was fulfilled, instead of running to safety, he stayed and laughed.

Now, being the quick thinker I am, the only thought on my mind was "REVENGEANCE!!" I had no desire greater than to hurt this idiot, whether it be physically, mentally, or emotionally.

My mind searched for ammunition for my killer desires... and it found a urine-soaked bagel in the urinal next to me.
Hoisting my pants up in the process, I quickly scooped the ammonia pastry up, and hurled it at the grinning face of my attacker.

Anyone who's thrown soaked grain products knows that they have very little structural integrity. This bagel was no different, splitting into pieces in midair. Two large chunks slammed into the face of my attacker, water and urine providing an incredible amount of "splash" damage.
One chunk laned on his left cheek, a hefty amount of gook entering his rapidly non-smiling mouth. The other chunk hit him above his left eye-brow, which rather comically dripped urine into his furiously blinking eye.
Both chunks fell of his face, landing on the washroom floor with a satisfying "splush" noise.

Smiling in resignation, he said:


A Couple of Things

Ran Shattered Halls with the guild today.

Some things to mention.

Vox generally kicked my ass with damage dealt, beating me by over 200k damage.

We had a paladin tank running the first part. While not in the guild, myles is an alt of someone who is.
And we were brilliant. The ridiculously hard pulls generally went good, for what was essentially a PuG. 2 mages, paladin tank, enhance shaman, and holy priest on heals.
We wiped twice. Once in a pull where we accidentally pulled 4 additional mobs, and once on the last boss.

Now, I'm going to go into detail over arcane versus frost here, instance wise.

Arcane had more damage. Substantially more.
At the end of the instance, I had done 800k damage, and foxy voxy had just broke the 1 million mark. This shouldn't come as a surprise.

Frost doesn't take a lot of hurt. On Nethekurse, when he does that impressive spinny thing, the deathcoil bolts dug in a lot more on Vox. I thanked the frozen gods and continued casting, grinning behind my Ice Barrier. Meanwhile, over voice-chat, Vox sat their cursing. *evil grin*

When AoEs were called for, frost nova + cone of cold unleashed a world of hurt on some orcs.
There is a great deal of satisfaction to be gained from watching 6 orcs take 1500+ damage each from a single spell. Even better if you can instruct your arcane-missile-happy friend to blow frost nova eight seconds later. *evil grin*

Random tip: you must MUST must be able to get a shatter combo on any single target in an instance. Any time you see a frozen target that you can ice lance, DO IT! 124 mana for 2k damage? Yes please! It's a huge source of damage for a frost mage in an instance. This is why you should always get "Add" duty.

As a good example, take Bladefist. Adds show up in this fight, in the form of silly non-elite orcs.
These can be a real hassle for the healers, even more so if you only have one. Like we did.

Enter me, the frost mage. The first time we hit Bladefist, it went horribly wrong from the beginning. Three (3!) assassins patrolled right into our group as soon as the fight started.
So, here I was. On add duty. I thought I had to deal with these uber-powered, incredibly hard hitting orcs in waves of three. Our group bit the dust. HARD.

Second try, no pats. Just the regular, non-elite, non-70 adds. And they come one at a time.
I almost cried, my job was so easy. Frostbolt kite, root, shatter kill. NEXT.
Of course, when Fistblade went into "ZOMG" mode, things got a little more hectic. The combination of losing frostbolt time and Vox screaming "HOLY SHIT!" led to a few accidents.
(Vox doesn't like being smacked around, you see. Seeing multiple hits of 1k on his screen scared him. /cheer for Ice Barrier.)
One add got on the healer, and she took a couple of hits before I snagged aggro.
A couple adds ran into the paladin's consecrate... that was harder to get aggro back for, but a fireblast did it.
And other than that, most of the adds were flawlessly slaughtered.

So, in answer to the question, "Is frost viable in end-game PvE" the answer is definitely yes.
But taken in moderation. If you're doing, say, Karazhan, only one mage need be frost. Any more and the party starts getting a little gimped.
Our jobs are easy. Incredible crowd control, strong dps (and more sustained than other mage specs, I might add), add duty, and kiting. We can root mobs, kite mobs, sheep mobs, and unload incredible burst on frozen targets.
As mages, we also have access to powerful AoE spells, and as frost, we add CONTROL to that high volume of damage. For example:
Arcane Explosion = AoE damage
Cone of Cold = AoE damage, can be aimed more accurately than AE, crits very hard, adds a slow to all targets, and has a 15% chance of rooting all targets. And cheaper, too.

On top of that, we have far better mana efficiency than the other specs, having mana to use long after the other specs have gone OOM.
Oh, and Ice Barrier, which makes the healers job that much easier.
And Ice Block, basically an instant aggro dump.

Sounds a lot like a hunter, don't it?
If you want to look at it that way, Frost mages are the hunters of spell-casters. Played right, we offer a lot to a group. Played wrong, and you get a Blood Elf casting Ice Lance because it looks cool.

Remember, my children, the creed of frost mages, as laid down by the prophet Faxmonkey:
"If you can chill it, you can kill it."

To all you PvE whinos : Shut your trap. Frost is great for Instances.

Random fun story:

Mylesmason, the pally tank, had to go to a birthday party with his kid (Aww.... <3) so we had to PuG a new tank. Snagged another pally tank and... well, lemme put it this way. Myles was miles beyond this guy in the tanking department. Please don't slap me.
It was laughably easy to pull aggro.
On the second boss, Lost Cause's GM (the enhance shaman) pulled aggro... and kept it. Enhance shaman with spirit weapons, Blessing of Salvation, versus paladin tank with Righteous Fury up.
Enhance shaman kept the aggro the whole fight.
Now, what's awesome is that Oli had a shield, (a good one, actually) and busted it out.

And tanked.

You heard me, a shaman tanked Warbringer O'mrogg.

Sadly, no-one got a screenshot...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Something far more cheerful

The last blog post here was definitely the most bitter one I've posted.
I still have not found the logic the Blizz developers have for continously nerfing mages in PvP as a whole, and frost mages in particular.

So maybe I should offer some constructive feedback, yes? Rather than cursing them?


We've already established Ice Block is absolutely necessary for a mage to survive in Arena combat. Ice Block allows for us to be healed without repurcussion (assuming there's a healer on our team). It wipes all negative effects on us, like warlock DoTs. It can be used retro-actively against incredibly powerful hits. (For example, if you see a mage fire a pyroblast at you, you can ice block and avoid damage).
Essentially, Ice Block lets you live through your opponents powerful cooldowns, makes any healers job easier, and wipes all hurtful things on you.
Nothing but win, right?

So, the problem here is that you need to put 21 points into frost to use this necessary talent. That's why any mage worth half his weight in gold is specced frost for PvP.
But what about those poor mages who aren't frost?
The ones who, when a Beastmaster hunter pops BigRed, can only go "Oh... crud" and try to run?
The ones who, when faced with a PoM + Pyro, can only hope it doesn't kill them in one shot?
The ones who are essentially eaten by warlock DoTs because there's nothing they can do about them?

Here's my asnwer, and plenty of mages think the same thing.


Ice Block is a major survivability mechanism.
Paladins have? Bubble. Trainable.
Rogues have Vanish, CloS... all trainable.
Priests get a small scale bubble, which is also trainable. (So do mages, but again we have to spec for it)

Don't agree with what I'm saying? Paladins can heal themselves. Shamans can heal themselves. Priests can heal themselves. So can druids. Warlocks can heal themselves, at your expense. And they have a bubble too. (Trainable, but they lose the VW).
Which leaves only warriors and hunters unable to absorb damage or heal themselves.
Hunters have a whole set of problems of their own in arenas. They have some serious LoS issues that I do not envy. This keeps most hunters far, far away from arenas, so we really don't need to discuss them here. We're talking arenas.

Now. Who's seen a warrior with low armor and hitpoints in an arena? Anyone? Ever seen a warrior under 10k hp? Warriors have tons of hitpoints, and enough honor to make rogues cry in their sleep. Couple that with the fact that warriors can hit almost as hard as any class in the game. (I've taken white damage hits of 1k from 70 from warriors still in greens). The average warrior you meet in the arenas is going to be able to do TONS of damage in a very short period of time.
Personally, the highest I've run into was a 4.3k crit from Mortal Strike.*
So we can dismiss warriors as having problems in the surviving area.

So... that leaves us with mages. We mages have the lowest base stamina in the game (with the noteable exception of priests. We beat them by two!), have no way to heal ourselves, and our only survival methods come from frost.

So a mage needs to spec frost to gain access to any bubble abilities and survival methods.
Leaving us as the only class in the game that has to spec a certain way to gain access to any way to stay alive.
And don't say something stupid like "Flame Ward!" or "Mana shield, you moron!". Those are as close to useless as you can get. The wards are overspecialized to the point of only being on an action bar on the off-chance you fight another mage and have a GCD to spare to absorb some damage. Mana shield is counter-productive to the point that I want a refund for ever spending money on that ability.
Try this on for size: Absorb 500 damage for 1000 mana. Sound good to you? I thought not.

Anyways. I'm wandering again. Where was I?

Right. Mages have to spec just so to gain any worthwhile ways to stay alive, while every other class can train ways to stay alive, has a pet, or has such incredibly high stamina that they don't need it. And did we mention five of those classes can heal themselves?

At the risk of sounding cliche, how is this fair? How is it fair that mages have to spend 21 talent points to gain any method of surviving damage?
Aloow mages to train Ice Block at level 30, and it will solve at least a few problems. Maybe even let non-frost mages be moderately successful in arenas.

Then you can replace that empty talent slot in the frost tree with something that reduces/eliminates hypothermia.

Again I would like to point out that other classes have ways of reducing the "U CANT BUBBLE LOL" effects, they have to spec for them. (Priest can reduce the weakened spirit thing, warlocks can spec to summon a VW in seconds... blah blah...)

Why not do the same for mages?

Make Ice Block trainable, and replace that talent point with something that reduces the length of time hypothermia lasts.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I want to shoot something

I'm in one of those moods.

You know the one where it's incredibly difficult to restrain yourself from throttling children?
The one where, if you lacked self-control, would cause drunken sailors to blush at your profanity?

Yes, one of those moods.

There are two sides to Patch 2.3 for mages. The PvP side, and the PvE side.
The PvE side is chock full of awesome stuff, all well-deserved and desperately needed.

And the PvP side... well, it only gets worse with every adjustment that's announced.

For those who don't know, arenas are about survivability. Of the three mage specs, only ONLY only Frost spec has ANY survivability. By the simple nature of arenas, frost is the only spec that is viable AT ALL in the arenas.
Thus, any mage who wishes to participate in the arenas, and win the majority of the time, MUST spec frost.

Now, hands up here. Can anyone tell me which Mage tree has been the most heavily nerfed? Anyone at all?
If you guessed frost, you got it!

In any patch, Frost has either been ignored or nerfed (with one excpetion). The release of the Burning Crusade saw the only buffs frost ever receieved, namely Ice Lance and Water Elemental. Ice Lance was promptly nerfed the next patch, and the water elemental took 2 patches before it would function properly.
Thankfully, pre-TBC us frost mages were largely ignored (with the noteable exception of Patch 1.4, when frost nova was put on diminishing returns. This didn't really effect much at the time, just made it so mages couldn't stagger Frost Nova. Nowadays, if you have two mages in an arena, this hurts a LOT). In Patch 1.11 we recieved a little love, with Cone of Cold getting more damage and the introduction of "Winter's Chill"

Then TBC hit. Frost mages rejoiced at what we had. Water Elemental? Ice Lance? HELL YES! Melee classes stood no chance in the path of our fury, and we finally had a way to better combat those pesky hunters and warlocks. With these might fine tools in our arsenal, we had some incredibly potent burst damage. The term "SHATTER" was born. You could hit a single target 2-3 times with a single Ice Lance, making the damage caused by frost mages feared by pretty much anyone.
And this was rightly so. "We're mages" we thought, "You can't spell 'Damage' without 'Mage'"
And so we reveled in our glory, finally the masters of ranged damage the WoW handbook always said we were supposed to be.

And that patch 2.0 hit.

Increased the chance Frozen effects are broken when the target is critically struck by a spell.

To the layperson, this means you get 1 (One) crit per Frozen effect. Gone were the days of hitting someone with an Ice Lance twice. The mages responsible for this nerf (the ones who'd do nothing but spam Frost Nova and Ice Lance) were quietly murdered and raped (in that order) in their sleep. In front of their family and friends.
The term "SHATTER" grew in popularity, as now the standard manuever was to time a frostbolt/ice lance together to strike at the same time.
Frost's burst took a heavy hit, but hey, we're ok with that. We're not happy, but at least we still have incredible survivability. Hell, it even made sense. In the days before Ice Lance, you would need to have the target remain rooted to take a second frostbolt as a crit. With Ice Lance, that wasn't needed. Generally, two crits off a root had always been the rule. It's just now, we got both off in 3 seconds rather than 6.

Patch 2.1 saw some more nerfs, and some serious shakeups. (We got a new Ice Barrier, the only positive thing about this patch.)
Arctic Winds was changed to also increase frost damage by 1-5%, thus forcing frost mages world-wide to respec to get this now mandatory talent
Frostbite, too, was put on diminishing returns. Again, no noticeable effect for a single mage, but it hurt any sitation where more than one frost mage existed. There was a lot of QQ about this sharing DR with Frost Nova, which proved incorrect. They had separate DR's, which shut the forums up, at least until they scrolled down in the patch notes.
And... patch 2.1 saw the introduction of Hypothermia into the game.

We were stunned. Shocked. Astonished. And (rightfully so) PISSED RIGHT THE HELL OFF.

The developers have since explained that Hypothermia is supposed to prevent the mage using Ice Block twice against the same opponent.

But wait, there's more! (Jump to patch 2.3)

NOW they're INCREASING the duration of Hypothermia.

The reasoning is provided quite clearly by Eyonix:

[quote]We were finding that the current duration of hypothermia was simply not long enough. Mages were easily able to buy the time they needed to iceblock a second time when fighting the same opponent. This is basically what we were looking to prevent. I understand that this isn't the answer you're looking for, but these are the facts.[/quote]

Mull that around in your head for a while.

Thats ok, I can wait.

So... Mages were able to iceblock a second time when fighting the same opponent... this is what we were looking to prevent...

Mages were able to survive long enough to continue surviving against an opponent... who survived right along with them... without iceblock...

You see what this means yet?

Figured it out?

You see us mages were living too long. We were suriviving against our opponent for longer than 30 seconds.
Apparently that is unacceptable. Apparently, we are not supposed to live long enough to iceblock again on the same person.

This other person seems able to live those 30 seconds. Yet nothing is done to try and shorten their lifespan, only ours.

What makes us so special?

What makes it so fucking important to make sure we die before our target does?

What gives you the fucking nerve to do this to us?

We are already the least survivable class in the game. It is a downright struggle to stay alive no matter what we are doing.

And now... you decide we're living too long in PvP. So you throw this at us.


Why don't you just have us automatically die after 30 seconds? This is what you're trying to do to us, so why not come right out and do it?

Oh. Yeah. One other thing. The amount of armor on the Mage Arena gear is being halved.


We were told that we were doing too much damage. Us. Mages. Our very meaning for existence was nerfed.
Then we're told we're not dying, like we're supposed to. So they make it easier for stuff to kill us efficiently.
They halve the armor on the Arena gear, which works out to any physical damage attacker gaining 4.7% more damage against us.


Mages are forced to spec frost to be competitive in arenas, due to its survivability.
The amount of damage a frost mage can dish out is nerfed.
This is closely followed by the survivability of frost being heavily nerfed.

For the love of GOD someone tell me the fucking logic here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

An Argument Against Frozen Shadoweave

So, you're trying to be good at the arenas, and slowly coming to the horrible realization that You. Just. Aren't. CUTTING. It!

You, my good mage, are not specced Frost.

Now you've made the leap, or are considering the leap, to spec into Cold Smacking.

Say you have tailoring, and are sadly looking at your spellfire set. "Farewell", you say, "You have served me well".
The tailoring sets are very expensive items to have. The mats alone are nothing to scoff at.


That is a LOT of mats to get. Also consider that to make the spellcloth, thats going to run you another 13 primal fires, and 13 primal manas. Oh, yeah, and 13 Imbued Netherweave, which will run you 234 netherweave cloth, and throw some Arcane Dust in there...

AND if you've actually done some PvP with this set, chances are pretty good you've dropped a couple hundred gold into this set in gems and enchants.

So now you want to make the leap to Frozen Shadoweave. That'll cost you 26 Shadowcloth, 38 primal waters...and so on and so forth. Oh, and one hundred gold for the tailoring respec. Oh, and all those gems and enchants you have? Yup, you're getting new ones.
And you can just forget Raid viability. You will never see anything past Karazhan as Frost. Well, unless the people you run with are very desperate.

So, to you, the unfortunate mage, I present the following argument AGAINST spending a month or more simply getting the cash together to become Arena viable.

Patch 2.3 is coming, and you are definitely going to want to get you some welfare epix. (See last Friday's post)
Let's run the numbers again.

Frozen Shadoweave --> Gladiator
-40 Spell Damage
+21 Stamina
-2 Intellect
+24 Resilience

Frozen Shadoweave --> Gladiator
-18 Spell damage
+21 Stamina
-2 Intellect
+21 Resilience

And let's toss in the boots versus the PvP boots

Frozen Shadoweave --> Veteran's Dreadweave (The 70 PvP vendor gear)
+25 Stamina
-25 Spell damage
+18 Intellect
+27 Resilience
These gains here are somewhat offset by the fact they have no sockets. But, no matter what gems we toss on the Frozen Shadoweave, we're still going to lose out on Stamina and Resilience
And you GAIN intellect by moving from a PvE piece to a PvP piece? LOL WUT?

In total, for getting Gladiator/PvP gear instead of the Shadoweave set, you net:

RESILIENCE = +72 (107 counting Gladiator Set Bonus)
SPELL DAMAGE = -83 (Yikes)

So... you tell me. Is 670 hitpoints, 240 mana and over one hundred resilience worth 83 Frost damage?
Considering the nature of arenas emphasizing survivability above anything else... I say it's self-explanatory.

And if you're like me and already have the Frozen set, leave it as is. Replace all you're other gear first, take apart the Frozen set last. And don't vendor/disenchant it, either. Re-gem/enchant it for PvE, on the offchance you get called on for, say, Heroic Shattered Halls or something.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Why Vox needs to spec Frost?

I would like to present my argument through examples.

Me and Vox did some 2v2's today, resulting in nothing but losses.

Let's take 5 of these fights, and analyze them, shall we?

Us VS Shaman/Warrior team.

On the surface, this should have been a very easy fight. The shaman could be nuked to hell and back before anybody knew what was going on, then the warrior could have been easily taken to pieces. What went wrong, you ask? I'll tell you.
Vox fires up his super nuke, launching a ridiculously powerful spell right into the shaman's Grounding Totem. That's right folks! So, the shaman stayed up, warrior was successfully sheeped and crowd controlled, etc. But we ended up losing because the shaman did not go down. We probably could have won, but I was OOM by the time Vox died.
/cast Ice Block

Us VS Hunter/Warlock team.

The warlock was a demonology spec, with the Felguard out. That in itself attests to the general nubness of the team we were playing. Overall, we performed quite well. Rooted stuff, Counterspelled things, yatta yatta. Problem is, Vox had no way to wipe the DoTs on him, and so was still taking damage from Corruption long after the warlock was killed.
The other problem was that I had used Ice Block early in the fight to wipe Viper Sting and the Warlocks DoTs, and so (thanks to Hypothermia) was unable to Ice Block later in the encounter, and so was run OOM and killed because of one stinking Sting. Needless to say, Vox couldn't beat the hunter all on his own. He soaked up some auto-shots and dieded.
Death by Hypothermia

Us VS Warlock/Priest team

Priests are somewhat difficult to fight, if they're played well. This priest was played very well, and managed to keep him and the warlock up through 30k damage, despite sheeps and counterspells. Eventually the priest bit it. That left us and the warlock. Guess what the warlock does? If you guessed putting DoTs on us and waiting until we died because we couldn't do anything about it, you guessed correctly. Vox died very quickly (as usual) and I simply had no defences left. Bloody Affliction Locks and their invincibility.
Death by Hypothermia

Us VS Hunter/Shaman team

Beast Master hunter, and Resto Shammy. So... Vox didn't miss his nuke this time. The Totem ate an Ice Lance this time. But... well, what happened is simple, really. The Hunter popped BigRedSquishyKiller, and Vox is as squishy as they come.
So, the true question. Can I kill both a Shaman and a Hunter at the same time? The answer would normally be "Yes" considering I still had most of my CDs, and the shaman was almost dead. Sadly, one hunter pet decided I didn't deserve a fulfilling life, and the Shaman got to heal himself while I was Intimidated on the floor. Blink, Trinket, and Ice Block were all happily sitting on CD, watching me yell and scream at the monitor "COUNTERSPELL!!! C'MON!! COUNTERSPELL!! DAMMIT!!!"
/cast Ice Block

Us VS Warlock/Priest team

At this point in the night, you could tell Vox was getting rather tired. See, the priest popped the end-tree discipline talent. You know the one? The one that makes them all very shiny and glowy, and makes them nigh invincible? Yeah, that one. Silly Vox spends most of his mana dumping Arcane Missiles into it. So, the warlock kills him with Uber DoTs (WTB Ice Block. Seriously)
/cast Ice Block

So, from tonight's experience, I have come to the following conclusions:

1) Ice Block is an incredible tool to have, and any mage in the arena without it is seriously gimping themselves.
2) Hypothermia is the leading cause of death in Frost Mages.