Saturday, November 10, 2007


Ok, so this is a serious post again.

I would like to talk about trainable Ice Block, and the possible repurcussions that would entail, if any.
For those not in the "know", the following forums are in an uproar about mages getting trainable Ice Block:
-Mage forums (duh)
-Warrior forums
-Warlock forums
-Hunter forums

The other forums don't really seem to care. The rogues are bust theorycrafting in thread after thread about the new Hemorrhage, the Shamans are awash in utter disappointment, Paladins are still yelling and screaming at each other about retribution, and the priests seem strangely occupied about racials.

The warriors are anywhere for entirely outraged from a PvP standpoint, the warlocks are QQ'ing endlessly about the might of the mages (this made me laugh, long and bitterly), and the hunters somehow think we'll be incredibly overpowered if we all have Ice Block.

Which leaves the mages rejoicing about PvE, and really not caring about the PvP.

"LOL WUT?" you say. Yes. Thats right. For the majority of mages, having Ice Block as a trainable ability will impact basically... nothing for us PvP mages.

Yes, I've said it before, I'll say it again. Ice Block is a game breaking talent. Without it, you are guaranteed to fail on a competitive level.
But if you do have Ice Block, that does not guarantee that you will not fail.

To be successful in an arena, you need to be able to outlast your opponent. You need to counter their specials, and have the durability to survive the ones you cannot avoid.
Every mage having Ice Block will not impact the other specs a great deal in the arena.

Even with Ice Block, you lack the control frost mages have. You do not have the ability to kite, you do not have multiple and rapid sources of frost novas.
You do not have Ice Barrier, and the mana-chugging protection that gives you.
You do not have the water elemental, a sickeningly effective killing tool when used effectively.
You do not have ridiculously powerful Ice Lances, one of the best burst damage spells a mage has. Specced for it, Ice Lance IS the best burst damage spell a mage has.
You do not have Cold Snap, allowing you to Ice Block twice in a match, and have a water elemental out for a full minute and a half.

Put bluntly, frost is a dozen-trick pony. And with Ice Block, you get one small trick to surviving.

"But Euri!" you whine, "If a PoM + Pyro mage can get Ice Block, then he can nuke my ass to hell and back and live right through it!"

Let me ask you something. When was that last time you got hit with a PoM + Pyro. Did it hurt? Of course it did. You know why? Because your resilience was shit.
Sorry. That was uncalled for.
Let's be realistic here.
Mages are essentially a glass cannon. Little survivability, lotsa damage being fired out. We die fast a slug that gets dropped in a bucket of salt, but damn, we'll hurt you just as bad as that poor slug.
We are the definition of squishy. Pretty much anything can kill us, if they gain the upper hand for even a few seconds.
A fire mage dies very fast in a tense situation. An arcane mage even faster. Simply put, a mage cannot take the hits. This is part of the foundation of the class. outright says so on their Mage Description page.
Challenge: Staying Alive.

So. Unless we're frost specced, we're easy to kill. Ice Block will hardly change that. Will it add to the survivability of non-frost mages? Most certainly. Will it mark the dawn of a whole new era in PvP combat? Not even close.
All it means is that the super-squishy mage will live 10 seconds longer. Thats all.
Once Ice Block is gone, the mage is just as squishy as before. Just as easy to kill. And now his survival trick is gone.

And to you people complaining about how this will effect the arenas, ask yourself.
Search your memory. Do it.
When was the last time you saw a Mage in the arena that did not have Ice Block?

Think about. Any and every moderately successful mage in any arena has Ice Block. Making it trainable will train nothing.
Every mage that PvP'd had Ice Block before... now we'll all... still have Ice Block. In competitive arenas, this change will do little besides let the arcane and fire mages move up about 50 points in rating. Some might even be able to crack 1600 now.

So, please, for those of you QQing about how this will completely change the Arena dynamics, please be quiet. This will change nothing.

Trainable Ice Block, however, will provide some major changes in a completely different part of WoW.
Yes, I'm talking about PvE. Ice Block is an immunity to everything, and a way to temporarily dump aggro.

You accidentally pull aggro on Quagmirran? Ice Block.
You get hit by Watery Tomb while fighting Hydross? Ice Block.
You get turned in a wee little girl with a Red Hood while fighting ol'granny? Ice Block 10 seconds from the debuff.
Moroes Garrote you? Ice Block. Its gone.
Get caught in the open when Ikiss blows that massive Explosion thingy? Ice Block, and you'll live happily ever after.

The uses for Ice Block in a PvE environment are many. Used correctly, it will save your healers a lot of aggravation, save your ass, and the collective ass of everyone around you.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mage Tanking

Todays post is an exciting one. Patch 2.3 is bringing many, many goodies to pretty much every class to the game. Blizzard is working very hard to get this game as balanced as possible.
The roles for every class is being expanded.
For example, paladins, once solely relegated to tanking and healing, are able to now fill the role of DPS in raiding content.
Shamans, too, are seeing buffs to their casting trees, allowing them to serve is utility mages and utility rogues.
Now, every class in the game is able to fulfill multiple roles in a raid.
As of 2.3, the mages horizons will be expanding beyond the classical DPS role.

It is with great pleasure that I bring you the reworked Arcane tree.
Since WoW came out, the Arcane tree has widely been considered the worst tree mages have avaliable. So many talents considered useless in so many ways.
Well, cheer up mages! Blizzard has heard your pleas!

Everyone give a round of applause to the new Tanking tree for mages!

The following changes have been made to the Arcane tree:

Arcane Subtlety has been renamed to Arcane Blatantly. Instead of reducing the threat caused by Arcane spells by 40%, it increases the threat generated by 40%.

Wand Spec has been outright scrapped, in favor of a new 2 point talent. Now, it increases the Stamina of the mage by 25%, and is renamed Arcane Stamina. Arguably the BEST tanking talent ever.

Magic Absorption keeps the same name, but instead of increasing spell resistances by 10, it increases the mage's armor value by double the mage's + spell damage value.

Magic Attunement stays the same, but now also increases the effect of "Mana Shield" by 50%. Mana Shield has been completely reworked, in Patch 2.3. Rather than absorbing damage and taking it from the mana pool, it now summons a Shield in front of the caster, fully absorbing damage equal to the Mage's total mana value. However, it now comes with a 10 second cooldown.

Arcane Fortitude now increases the mage's armor amount by 200% of the mages intellect.

Improved Mana Shield now reduces the cooldown of Mana Shield by 1 second per rank.

Arcane Mind has been renamed Arcane Constitution. It now increases both the mages Intellect and Armor values by 3% per rank.

Prismatic Cloak decreases all damage taken by 5% per rank, buffed from 2%.

Empowered Arcane Missiles no longer increases the mana cost of Arcane Missiles. Rather, it increases the threat generated by Arcane Missiles by 5/10/15%.

Mind Mastery, in addition to its usual effect, also decreases the cost of all arcane spells by the same amount.

Slow has been changed to a AoE effect, affecting all targets in a 15 yard basis. It also causes a very large amount of threat.

So there you have it! Arcane has been significantly buffed, allowing mages to be able to tank and still deal significant damage.

Now, as to how to tank.

First off, you won't have to struggle to find defensive gear. Blizzard has been kind enough to re-itemize all the Tier gear to support mage-tanking, with significant values for Intellect, Stamina and armor. Unlike most tanks, mages do not have to worry about stats like Parry and Dodge. We only have to worry about armor mitigation and our mana pool.
Because Mana Shield absorbs damage based entirely on how big your mana pool is, you want to have as much mana as possible. Also, as your armor increases based on intellect, a bigger mana pool means you have more armor.
So, the only real stats a mage tank needs to worry about is Stamina, and loads and loads of Intellect. As a mage tank, you should be whoring as much Intellect as possible. But hey, the re-itemization will help that significantly.
Take, for example, the new Tier 4 Chest Piece, "Aldor Constitution"

Constitution Robe of the Aldor
404 Armor
+40 Stamina
+66 Intellect
3 Blue Sockets
Socket Bonus: + 5 Stamina
Increases damage done by magical effects by 24.


Always run with Ice Armor up. You will love the increased armor value, and the slowing effects from it will let you get control over any mob that some other douchebag in the party pulls very rapidly.

Arcane Missiles are your best friend. They do a lot of threat, and a lot of damage, which means more threat. Relative to its threat, it's a very cheap spell to cast, and is uninterruptible. The perfect tanking spell.

Spam Mana Shield whenever the cooldown is up. It will make your healers job that much easier, and makes up for the lack of block, dodge, and parry skills that mages lack.

Threat generation is not an issue for a Mage tank. You have tons of threat generation already, and it is nearly effortless to pull aggro away from another idiotic member if your party.

I hope this has helped you out, and given you a few tips on how to tank as a mage.
Rumor has it, that Arcane Blast is being reworked into an Instant cast that forces the mob to target the mage for 8 seconds. We can only wait and see if this happens in 2.4! Or, maybe, it might sneak into 2.3 if we're lucky.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Divine Intervention

Patch 2.3 is rapidly becoming one of the BEST patches mages have seen in.... ever.

So much is being addressed, so much is being fixed, its exciting to the point of me cheering audibly at work, earning the glares of my supervisor.

I've already talked about all the other goodies, like AI's cost being reduced, the reworking of evocate, co-efficient tax being removed, etc, BUT THE NEWS JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER AND BETTER.

First off, here's something huge.

Remember the coming nerf to Ice Block, with Hypothermia going up to 45 seconds. REPEALED.
That's right! Hypothermia is back to 30 seconds! Good news for all mages!
Are you excited yet?
I'd like to point out I said "Good news for ALL mages". Anyone take a gander at why I would say all mages?

I have three words for you.


Read it again.

Thats ok, I can wait.

Done salivating yet?

I am NOT kidding here. Ice Block IS TRAINABLE. Every single mage will now have access to this spell.

I've established many, many times before how Ice Block was pretty much a game-breaking mechanic for magery in arenas. Without it, you're guaranteed to get killed off by something stupid, like Beast Within.
Now we all get it.

Sure, the most viable spec for arena will still be frost, but its no longer exclusive to frost-specced mages. With Ice Block, this will let fire, and even arcane mages, a fair chance in the arenas now. No, you won't be seen at the same level of frost mages, but you're given a very good fighting chance now.

Voxmortis, rejoice, you can stop sucking so bad now.

So, lets recap. In 2.3, mages get:

1) A better Evocate
2) Better gear (through Zul'Aman)
3) Better arena survivability, and the arenas open up fairly to all mages
4) Improved Vendor status
5) No nerf to Ice Block
6) More damage
7) Better Ice Barrier and ward spells

So... yeah. Pretty much the most awesome patch EVER.
The loss of Detect Magic is kinda dumb, but that does nothing at all to overshadow the sheer awesome of this patch.
And to you arcane mages complaining about TLC and MSD.... I don't care. I've never been arcane, I never will be. I have little experience with end-game arcane (yes, I do have some, thanks to the magic that is PTRs), so I cannot offer an opinion on that.
Perhaps a guest post about it is in order?



Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Today I would like to gripe and complain about the annoying things of the Mage class.
This is not a discussion of any serious troubles, gamebreaking mechanics, whatever. Just some very annoying things.
You'll notice that a fair amount of this gripes are getting fixed in 2.3. Hellz yes! Not every patch is bad.
Goodbye minor annoyances and inconveniences, hello game-breaking mechanics!

What the crap is up with mana gems anyways? This seems to me a brilliant idea that was very poorly executed. The highest rank of mana gems Mages can get costs 1670 mana, and restores anywhere from 1136 to 1364 mana. If anyone cares, this means the max rank of Mana gem has a chance of restoring LESS mana than the next rank down (which restores 1000 to 1200). It just annoys me that I could use the down-ranked version and get more mana back.
And besides, a Super Mana Potion can restore more than double what a mana gem does (1800-3000 for the potion). And another thing. A warlocks healthstone restores far more hp than our mana stone. Sure, you can argue that a healthstone costs reagents, which it does, if you're not making it in the arena, or any battleground come Patch 2.3 (which has been officially announced, btw).
Result: Annoying! Useful, but annoying.

At 60, and any level below that, Evocation would restore the entire mana bar in 8 seconds. Now, at 70, it almost restores 30% of my mana bar. Mages have so little spirit most of the time (the whole useless stat thing), and so evocate does so little. Of course, this gets a little fix in patch 2.3, to 60% of our mana bar. Very nice buff for most of us high level mages (heavy spirit mages (lol) in mage tier gear might see it as a nerf), generally a huge nerf for all the low level mages. My gripe is simple. You'd think that, for an 8 minute cooldown, it would do a little more. I still like it, mind you, I just don't like how it used to be so awesome, and got progressively worse every level I gained.
Result: Very annoying! Getting far less annoying in the next patch.

No, this is not going to be a gripe about people "always" pestering mages for food/water/ports, whatever. This is about the current mechanics that food/water brings to raids. Frankly, standing around summoning food/water for 5-10 minutes before a raid was incredibly annoying. I'd do it, sure, 'cause raids are awesome. But it was still annoying.
Anyways, thanks to Blizzard, this inconvenience gets the boot
Result: Used to be a serious peeve. Patch 2.3 gets this fixed. Win.

My only annoyance here was the very high cost of these spells. They cost a fortune to do, and a mage can easily blow through his entire mana pool buffing two parties. Again, this gets fixed. Woot!
Result: Annoying enough that I would never bother to buff anyone besides myself with this, except in Instances/raids. No reciprocal buffs for you, So-and-so from Black Dragonflight! Reduced mana costs = win.

A warrior's white damage attack doesn't trigger the GCD. Neither does a Rogue's. Or a hunter's. In fact, every basic attack function except wands is exempt from the GCD. So why doe mages, warlocks, and priests get the stupid end of the stick, and be forced to endure a silly GCD for using a wand? There's probably no good reason to have wands on a GCD, and no reason to not have them on a GCD. It's just annoying.
Result: Yup. It's annoying.

Ok, this is a complaint that every class has, but seriously. Why have talents that you'd have to be brain-dead to take? I mean, c'mon! Why would you put talents like Improved Fire Ward and Frozen Core here? Nobody is ever going to take them. They just clutter up our trees with empty boxes. I guess you could use them as a way to laugh at people who take them?
Result: Annoying. Really.

Spirit on Mage's tier gear just friggin' pisses me off. Worst itemization ever. If you're fire, it's pointless. If you're frost, it's pointless. If you're arcane, you have one talent that takes advantage of it, and I'll bet you secretly wish that spirit was more spell damage. Don't you?
Result: Annoying and sad at the same time, since you have to have it to get the good mage gear.

There are nine classes in the game. Every one of them can either heal themselves, or reduce the amount of healing done to their target. Except Mages and, until recently, hunters. Admittedly, rogues and warriors have to have a specific debuff to do it, but thats still a step ahead of mages. If you haven't heard, Hunters are getting a "Mortal Strike" as well. Last I heard, it was the same effect being applied onto an Aimed Shot. Could someone correct me if I'm wrong? I have severe allergic reactions whenever I try and read any Hunter related information.
But seriously, why are mages singled out here? And don't tell me "CS nub". Warriors can interrupt heal spells, so can everyone else, and most of them do it better than mages. Kick anyone? Ever heard of Earthshock? It's not game breaking, I mean, I can see the argument that all classes were not made equal or whatever, we all have different strengths and weakness and whatnot. But its... annoying to be the only class that just can't. It makes it impossible to kill a druid that can figure out how to cast lifebloom and rejuvination on himself.
Result: A pet peeve.

Another really clever idea gone the way of being totally and utterly useless. This spell just plain sucks. It costs a lot, has no inherent use, and you can't do anything, or have anything done to you.
Result: It sucks. Fix it or remove it. Please. Pretty please.

10% off our base spells if we pick up a talent? Why, yes! I would like to spend 5 talent points to DECREASE the amount of damage I do! -2% damage per rank sounds pretty good!
Result: Sheer stupidity, and getting eradicated from the WoW code, as it rightfully should.

Due to the ability of mages to port themselves pretty much wherever they need to go, and the whole free food/water thing, it occasionally makes playing an alt impossible. I take these things for granted, having had them since Day One.
Result: I have been spoiled by arcane magic.

All the fucking whinos on the WoW forums. You people suck.
Result: /ignore ftw!

The fact that when I post on Tuesday, the post will go through on Wednesday, due to time zone differences. So it will look like I neglected my blog for one day. BLUZZARD! FICX THIS!!!!11
Result: !!!!111shift

I have the somewhat creepy desire to play a Paladin tank. I don't know why. I really don't. But it's there, and I don't know how to get rid of it. Like a second head, it's always there... breathing softly in the background, just out of my eyesight.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Assholes, Large and Wide

Anyone who spends any time on the internet will run across these people.

The folk who senselessly flame away at someone, instantly dismiss their ideas as stupid or irrelevant, or outright attack the other person with abusive language.
These people rapidly incite anger and hatred amongst most people they communicate with.
They have many names.

Whatever name they go by, they make life miserable. If you run afoul of them, they will attack your opinion, your ideas, and you.
I fondly call these people "assholes".

I was once an asshole, not too long ago. I trolled the mage forums. I attacked "nubs" for being clueless. I used to relentlessly attack people in trade chat, general chat, whatever.
I'd outright abuse and attack anyone who said something wrong, or asked for help.
I used to be one of the assholes who'd jump into general chat with the witty remark "L2thottbot" when someone asked where the herbalism trainer was.
When I ran with a mage who stacked spirit with his gems, I'd verbally abuse him until he left the party in tears.
I used to make any and every effort to ruin the time of alliance. At 60, I was running around in Ashenvale farming wool. I saw two mid 20-ish people at the summoning stone for Blackfathom Depths. Obviously going to summon some party mates. One of the two was flagged for PvP. I proceeded to one-shot the guy. And laughed. And waited patiently. The poor guy was obviously new, as he respawned long before the PvP flag faded. I annihilated him in this way 5 times before he stopped rezzing. The whole time the second party member stood there, waiting. At the fourth kill, he went /afk, and then logged out. That alliance group never did the Instance run. I laughed heartily at how I had single-handedly ruined their play time.
That is how I used to play the game.

No longer. No more.

I've changed, and it's for the better.

When someone asks where the herbalism trainer is, I direct them to the nearest city guard, tell them to select "Professions" then "Herbalism", and I tell them that the trainer will be displayed on their map. I will even give them some quick instructions on how to open the world map to clearly see where the trainer is.
When I see a mage with spirit-stacked gems, I let them know they're wasting those stats, and tell them they should be stacking + spell damage, hit rating, whatever. I'll even link them a couple of good gems to use, if I have them in my bag.
While running a lowbie guild-mate through SM, there was a couple flagged alliance there. I waved cheerfully and carried right on. Even helped them clear to the instance entrance.
At 70, I was farming for Firewing signets at firewing point. A little 61 gnome mage comes by, frost spec. He tries to do the escort quest. It quickly becomes apparent he will be unable to kill the mobs; he's getting overun and losing health fast. The old me would have /lol and /cheer until he died, at which point I would have slaughtered all the mobs and laughed at him some more. The new me jumped right into combat, rooting all the mobs he had aggrod, Cone of Cold, etc, effortlessly killing six mobs that were beating on him. I even took the time to make sure he had tagged every one of them before I started attacking them, on the off-chance he could snag a little XP or lewt from them. He used /thank. I /salute, and went back to my grind. I was happy. He was happy.

Call me a carebear if you like, I'm fine with it.

The old me would have seen me happy, and the gnome frustrated and angry. The new me saw me happy, and the gnome was happy.


I am not nice to everyone. Not even close.

Remember those assholes I was talking about? They are my new targets.

When someone asks where Thrall is for a quest, and someone replies "L2thottbot, nub" I will whisper directions to the person looking for Thrall, and attack the "L2" player. In public. Trade chat even, if possible. I show no mercy. I will not stop. If you try and argue back, chances are good you're feeding me ammunition, which can and always is used against you to devastating effect.

There are those who make people's lives better. They're brave, they post on contaversial topics. They try to provide information, and do they best they can. There are those who are new, who shouldn't be shunned. They should be helped, given info, whatever, so they can have a fun experience. This is WoW, it is a game. If you cannot have fun here, if you cannot get along with others, please. Heed this advice.


Leave the rest of us in peace, so we never have to read the mindless drivel your keyboard produces.

There's a relatively new blog on, called Bloodsport. Just a columnist trying to pull of an arena specific blog, about class balance and all sorts of goodies. The fellow did up a brief matrix chart, giving a rough idea of where the classes match up.
The first comment, from Zechleton. "I read the Warrior line in your matrix and stopped reading. Obviously clueless."
Zechleton, might I humbly suggest you drown yourself in a lake? You'll be doing everyone a favor.

Again taking from WoWInsider, this post briefly dealing with mages and 2.3.
There were plenty of comments here, it started off as discussion about the upcoming patch.
"agree with 11 & 13. PLEASE replace the writer of "Arcane Brilliance" his game knowledge is trivial at best." - Anonym, 7:53 PM October 15th
"This article needs to be done by someone who does more than read the patch notes. Can't you find somebody who can spend an hour a week reading the Elitist Jerks mage threads and churn out a summary of what they read there?" - Rudi, 8:02 PM October 15th
"Get someone to write that knows what the heck they are talking about. This is crap" - simplehiker, 8:58 PM October 15th

I would like to thank you, and all commentors like you, for your insightful and valued input. You have successufully identified a problem, and given helpful and constructive feedback.

If you didn't notice, that was sarcasm. You have done NOTHING but attack the person who wrote the post. You criticize the downward spiral of the quality of posting, you attack the person writing the blog as an unintelligable buffoon with little to no knowledge, and... hmm, thats it. You want to do the job? If you aren't being satisfied, go get the damn information by yourself. You say someone can get the information in seconds? THEN WHY DON'T YOU? Instead you complain and gripe, like the brainless fucktard you are.
You think these people spend their time catering to you? It's a hassle for someone to go out of their way to give you some information. Did you see what happened with the warlock blog? That poor woman receieved so much flak, the blog stopped. Nobody posts. Sorry, warlocks, you don't get a WoWI blog.
Do you want the same to happen to mages? Do you?

Get off the internet. Remove yourself from this planet. Do whatever you have to do to prevent yourself from interacting with any part of Society ever again.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

World of Magecraft, Volume III

Here you are now, leveling up your mage. You've picked up your professions, and have a good idea of what kind of build you'd like to use. But where do you put these talent points when you're leveling?
This section here is a brief guide on where to put your talent points while making the grind to 50.
We're only going to cover you're first 40 talent points, since by level 50 you should know how to play the class. I'm also going to cover the stats in the game, as they pertain to spells, and mages.

While leveling your new mage, there are two routes to go. You can either go with the fire tree for leveling, or the frost tree. If you choose fire, you will be able to quickly take down a target mob. You will be able to move from one target to the next rapidly, quickly downing mobs one-by-one. You will have trouble taking on multiple mobs at once, at least until you get Blastwave. There is little to no room for error leveling as a fire mage; if you screw up, you're dead.
If you choose frost, you will not be able to take down mobs nearly as quick as fire. A fire mage can usually 3-4 shot an equal level mob; as a leveling frost mage you will probably take more than 5 spells to get the same job done. However, you can take multiple mobs on at once, with little of the difficulty fire has. You also have a very large margin of error. If a fire mage accidentally pulls 5 mobs instead of the one he was looking for, he's close to screwed. A frost mage will pull 5 mobs on a regular basis.

Take your pick. Rapid killing one-by-one with almost no margin for error, or slower killing with a very large margin of error?
Please, don't pick arcane. It is terrible for leveling, and doesn't get any good until much later in the game. It has no inherit kiting ability, which fire gets very early on and frost always had. It cannot match the damage output of fire early on, and you will run OOM (out of mana) much faster than either frost or fire.
Save yourself some grief. Say no. You gain nothing by trying to level as arcane, except a hard time.

Also, be aware that all mage trees are "top-heavy". That means all the good stuff is deep in the tree, and not at the beginning. Thus, while leveling, don't split trees. Stay focused, and keep putting points into the same tree as you level.

Your first 40 points - FIRE

Level 10-14 - Put your first 5 points into "Improved Fireball". This is your base attack spell, and you will be using it constantly. Cutting down its cast time means you get more damage off in less time. Self-explanatory. It gets even better at level 15.

Level 15, 16 - Put your next two points in "Flame Throwing". This increases the range of your fire spells by 6 yards, and you will adore this. Mages do best attacking at range; you're hurting the mob while it's not even touching you. Range means you do more damage, and take less damage. Coupling this talent with Imp. Fireball will give you an extra fireball to cast at a mob before it even reaches you.

Level 17-19 - Put three points in Ignite here. You may not crit that often at this low level, but when you do, the extra damage helps you a great deal. And you're a mage, get all the damage you can get.

19 PVP BUILD - No. Just no. You will get horribly slaughtered again and again.

Level 20 - This is where there is some argument as to where your tenth point should go. Many suggest putting your next two points into Burning Soul, so you don't get your spells interrupted anymore. I say, at this stage of the game, you shouldn't be letting mobs beat on you anyways. You already have a 41 yard range and frost nova, why are you letting them hit you? At this point in leveling, your spell rotation should be something like : Fireball, Fireball, Fireball, Frost Nova, Fireball until dead. No mob should survive 5 fireballs. Maybe six if you're taking on something 4+ levels higher than you. In case of unlucky resists, thats what Fireblast is for. You don't need to pick up Burning Soul right this second.
HOWEVER, Pyroblast is an excellent spell at this stage in the game. It won't stay this way forever, but in your twenties, Pyroblast is vastly more powerful than fireball. Open every fight with it, attacking at maximum range. Pick it up at 20, it will give you a very nice damage boost at the start of fights

Level 21, 22 - This is where you pick up Burning Soul. Now you have an amazing opener ability, and an ability that will let you keep right on casting in the face of adversity.

Level 23, 24 - Finish off Ignite. Now your spell criticals will do almost half the damage again whenever you crit. If your opening Pyro crits, you will be seeing a tremendous amount of damage at this stage in the game.

Level 25-29 - Now you're going to want to pick up Impact. Incinerate and Improved Scorch are just not that useful when leveling. Nothing will stay alive long enough for Imp. Scorch to stack, and you should only be using scorch/fireblast at this stage of the game as an "OH SHIT" button. Fireball is still your best spell. Impact will give you a 10% chance to stun a target upon being hit with a fire spell, and it is an excellent talent for leveling. It will keep your target at range that much longer. giving you time to fire off more spells before your target can do anything about it.

29 PVP BUILD - Remember those 5 points you put into Imp. Fireball? Well, put them into "Incinerate" and "Improved Fire Blast" instead. Viola! You have the best possible PvP build for mages at 29.

Level 30 - Pick up Blastwave.

Level 31-33 - Put 3 points into "Critical Mass". This is where we start seeing some more powerful abilities in the fire line. With an increase of your crit chance, you will be seeing Ignites far more often, which means even more damage.

Level 34 - Put a point into "Master of Elements". It will add to your mana-efficiency, which is a very good thing while leveling. The higher your crit chance, the better this talent gets. And you're crit chance will only go upwards as you level, so get it, and enjoy a little extra mana.

Level 35-39 - Shove all five points into "Fire Power". 10% more damage from fire spells. Thou shalt not go without it.

39 PVP BUILD - Same thing as the 29 build. Put the points from Imp. Fireball into Incinerate and Imp. Fireblast. 39 is a really good bracket for mages, we really come into our own here. We do fine at 29, but we're better at 39. Pwn some nubs, 39 is a great bracket to be in. And if you're a twink, even better, because you can put all those new enchants from TBC on your gear. Before you ask, yes, you can put the Sunfire enchant on the Staff of Jordan if you really, really wanted to. A twink mage at 39 can easily be a god of fire damage.

Level 40 - Get Combustion. Even more crits for you!

Level 41-43 - Put 3 points in Pyromaniac. You get a little bit of mana efficiency, and even more crit chance. You'll be pumping out a lot of damage at this point in the game.

Level 44 - Put a second point in Master of Elements. You will be critting a lot at this stage of the game, get a little extra mana back.

Level 45-49 - At this point in the game, you should have bonus spell damage on your gear. At bare minimum, have at least 100 of the stuff. Shoot for 200+. As such, pick up Empowered Fireball, and get all the more damage out of your main spell as you can.

And that is that. Congratulations on making it this far, you should have an idea of how a fire mage works at this point. Feel free to mix it up, try a 49 PvP build (another really fun bracket). Or put 10 points into Arcane for Clearcast. Its up to you, and 70 is the limit.

Your First 40 points - FROST

Level 10-14 - Put your first 5 points into Improved Frostbolt. Same reasoning as Imp. Fireball, you use this spell a lot, use it even more, and get even more damage out of it.

Level 15-17 - Your next three points should go into Frostbite. 15% chance on any chill effect to freeze the target. So thats... 15% chance on every spell you cast to root the target. Frost is all about control and leeway while leveling, this makes your time even easier.

Level 18-22 - Put 5 points into Ice Shards. You won't be critting very often at this point in the game, but when you do, it will hurt a lot. Most importantly, this talent is going to come into its own in a huge way in a few levels.

Level 23, 24 - Put 2 points into Imp. Frost Nova. By itself, this will give you more leeway in controlling the encounter, just in case something goes wrong and you need another frost nova right away. Most importantly, this talent lets you take Shatter next level up.

Level 25-29 - Put all 5 points into shatter. This is a godly talent, and seeing as you freeze your target in place a lot, you will be critting quite a bit. And remember that Ice Shards we took a few levels ago. Yeah. You will be critting very hard, and often.

Level 30, 31 - Put 2 points into Arctic Reach. You don't need the range as much as fire does, thats why we left it until here. But add the range, and this will give you even more manuevering room when taking on random mobs. You already have a chill effect, a faster casting time than fire's main spell, a 15% chance to outright stop your target, and now you're adding even more range. Life is good. Mobs shouldn't even be able to touch you.

Level 32-34 - Put 3 points into Piercing Ice. Its 6% damage, it's kind of a no-brainer. We didn't take it earlier, because we need to turn you into a god of kiting. Which you are now, so go ahead and take the extra damage. It won't have much of an impact of you take Piercing Ice before Arctic Reach, I just prefer to widen the margin of error first. If you're still sucking and still getting hit by mobs, get some more kiting help. Skip Piercing Ice, and put these three points into Permafrost instead. You shouldn't need to have Permafrost while leveling, but hey, if you're that bad at kiting still, take it and get better.

Level 35-37 - Put 3 points into Frost Channeling. A 15% reduction in the cost of frost spells is huge, and it will keep you up and casting for a much longer time. It's the best mana reduction talent in any mage tree, so get it and love it.

Level 38 - Get Ice Block here. We're going to add some powerful special abilities to the frost tree here. Start with Ice Block. The biggest uses this spell has is letting you wait for the frost nova cooldown freely, and wiping any stupid disease effects or whatever a mob throws on you. Not very important at all for leveling. But, we need it for Ice Barrier, which is simply awesome.

Level 39 - Get Cold Snap right now. This is your "OH SHIT" button as frost. Other specs and classes have them, but this one is yours.

Level 40 - Get Ice Barrier. You may have noticed that the frost tree doesn't have any spell interrupts. This is why we needed to get you good at kiting. But, now we have this little handy spell, which will keep your pecious cast bar ambling towards completion rather than failing.

Level 41, 42 - Put 2 points into Ice Floes. Now that you have all these special abilities kicking around, get this so you can use them more often. Feel free to cry that it doesn't reduce the cooldown on frost nova even more. I know I did.

Level 43, 44 - 2 points into Arctic Winds, to add some much needed damage to your frost spells. You're probably jealously looking at fire mages and their large damage output at this point. Go ahead and treat yourself to a little more damage.

Level 45-49 - All five points go into Empowered Frostbolt. Like the fire side of things here, you should have at bare minimum 100 + spell damage. Make your main spell even more powerful. The fact that it also increases the crit chance of frostbolt by 5% is just free candy on the cake.

And grats, you've made it to level 49 as a frost mage. Ding 50 and snag the water elemental, and rejoice. You are a kiting god, and as long as the mob can be snared/rooted, you can kill it without even being touched. Congratulations, now go grind on some elite dragonkin.


You see it all the time in noobie zones. People asking in General about what stats are most important, you see it on the forums sometimes too. So let me summarize everything up here for ya. These are the stats in the game that effect mages, and what you need to know.

  • INTELLECT - This is the core stat for mages of any kind. Each point of intellect gives you 15 mana and a 0.0125% chance to crit. No matter what you plan on doing, you need a mana pool. And for a mana pool, you need Intellect. Its basic knowledge, but there it is. Intellect is a very important stat
  • STAMINA - This is a core stat for every class in the game, however, its emphasis for mages is somewhat lower than most other classes. As ranged DPS, we have very low natural stamina, and little real need for it. For anything other than PvP, stamina is not very important for mages. In PvP, of course, stamina is very important and you need a lot of it. However, no matter what you do, you never need to worry about it. For PvE gear, it will come with its own stamina regardless, and you'll have enough hitpoints to get by just fine. For PvP, any and all PvP gear already comes with stamina, so you still don't need to be concerned about it. If you get PvP gear, you will get stamina, and lots of it, by default. It will not hurt in the least to toss some Stamina gems into your sockets, if you are that high of level.
  • SPIRIT - Spirit just isn't a very good stat at all. Literally any other mage stat should be considered more important than spirit, even spell penetration. See, spirit will only regen mana every 5 seconds while you're NOT casting. If you're not casting, you're not doing your job. Healers (especially priests and druids) have all sorts of strange tricks with the "5 second rule", but we mages do not. You should be casting almost all the time. Try to avoid spirit in favor of pretty much anything else.
  • ARMOR - Armor is of little importance to mages, with just a few grains of salt. In PvE, its pointless and kinda stupid. If something is hitting you with physical damage, something is very, very wrong. In PvP, armor is somewhat more important, since many classes will be trying to hit you with physical attacks. But, like stamina, this is not a stat you need to concern yourself with. If you're wearing PvP gear, which is the only place armor is useful, it will come by itself on the gear.
  • RESILIENCE - Another defensive stat that is only good if you PvP. Resilience reduces the chance that targets will critically hit you, reduces the damage of critica hits, and reduces the damage of Damage over Time (DoT) abilities. 1 Resilience gives you a crit chance reduction and DoT damage reduction of 0.0254%, and a crit damage reduction of 0.051%. As a whole number, 39.4 resilience will reduce crit chance/DoT damage by 1%, and crit damage by 2%. Similar to stamina, PvP gear will come with this stat on it. Unlike stamina, Resilience is well worth stressing over and stacking with gems and such. You should shoot for at least 200 resilience before taking yourself seriously at high-end arenas. 300 is a good average, 400 is roughly where you want to be at the highest competitive level. If you have a yellow socket in your PvP gear, it should have a resilience gem in it.
  • SPELL DAMAGE - Damage from spells is the lifeblood stat of mages everywhere. The more spell damage you have, the harder your spells hit. This stat should be treated as the most important spell for PvE of any kind, and a very important spell for PvP (alongside stamina and resilience). You should be looking at all times, at any level, for gear that increases spell damage.
  • SPELL CRITICAL STRIKE RATING - This used to be a contraversial stat in the old days. More spell crit means more spell damage, right? Well, not quite. Spell crit is a very complex stat, and depends a great deal in circumstances. Lets start with the nature of a critical spell. A spell hits for 100% damage. Barring talents, when it crits, it crits for 150% damage. Therefore, 1 spell damage = 1 spell damage, and 1 spell crit = 0.5 spell damage. In a flat scenario, spell damage is twice as good as spell crit. However, there are so many other factors that can be included. First off, there are abilities that only proc in critical strikes. Take Ignite for example, which does an additional 40% of a spells damage. With this talent, a spell crit will actually do 210% of the spells base damage. Therefore, for a fire mage, spell crit = 2.1 spell damage. Again, though, that is a flat scenario. There are many talents that affect crits in the mage trees. Both frost mages and arcane mages can increase the damage spell crits do, and as was already mentioned, fire mages add a DoT after a crit. By itself, spell crit is a very nice stat, giving mages a chance at some very high damage. With talents, point-per-point, it is better than flat + spell damage. For arcane, spell crit is 1.75 spell damage; fire, spell crit is 2.1 spell damage; frost, spell crit is 2 spell damage. HOWEVER. That ratio is assuming that you, the mage, actually crits. Let's say you're a fire mage with 25% chance to crit. This means that you crit a quarter of the time. Now, every spell you cast, assuming no misses will benefit from your + spell damage. However, only a quarter of those spells will benefit from your spell crit rating. Thus, in this scenario, spell crit is only worth 0.525 spell damage. With this in mind, that essentially means that if you are a fire mage, + spell damage is better point per point than spell crit, unless your crit chance is within a few percentiles from 50% chance. Thus, as a general rule, spell damage > spell crit. As for PvP, spell crit is a terrible stat. Anyone who is anyone in pvP will have plenty of Resilience on their gear, which totally negates your crit rating. And if you try and stack crit rating for PvP, you're sacrificing other, more important stats for it. Just say no. There is one very important stat we need to discuss. But we'll get to that in the next point.
  • SPELL HIT RATING - Lets say, just for ease of use, that you are level 70. You shoot a fireball at a level 70 target. There is a 4% chance that fireball will "miss", showing up as "Resist" on your screen. Spell hit reduces the chance you will "miss" with spells. There is always, ALWAYS a 1% chance your spell will miss, no matter how much spell hit rating you have. Thus, there is a "cap" to spell hit rating. Against an equal level opponent, the spell hit cap is 3%. With 3% spell hit rating, you will almost always land your spells. This is why, if you wanted to, you could have ~3% spell hit rating for PvP and nobody would gripe at you. It IS the hit cap against fellow players, after all. But, if you have either spell hit talents, you don't need any of it. Against higher level mobs, this stat ramps up exponentially. Let's say you, a 70 fire mage, attack Illidan Stormrage. Now, he is a skull-marked boss, but the game will calculate him at level 73. Meaning, there is a base chance to miss Illidan Stormrage with spells of 17%. 1% you cannot get rid of, but the other 16% you can mitigate through talents involving spell hit. To be an effective raiding mage, you will need to gather 16% spell hit rating to avoid missing these boss mobs. Frost/fire builds with elemental precision will need to stack 13% spell hit, while Arcane mages will only need to stack to 6%. For PvE, spell hit is an incredibly important stat. If you miss a spell, that means you did no damage at all. To hell with your +spell damage and +spell crit, you outright missed, you get nothing. At end-game, spell hit should be something you stack to the hit cap as soon as you can. Spell hit is also more important than spell crit, but only to a point. If you're an arcane mage, you only need 6% to your hit rating. If you have 6.7%, that .7% is a total and utter waste, and you can feel free to put spell crit there, if you wanted to.
  • SPELL PENETRATION - This stat is... well, silly. It's supposed to be the PvP version of spell hit, but it's situational to the point of being sad; you shouldn't even consider trying to get this on your gear. Spell Penetration reduces your targets resistances to your spells, as in those little numbers in the top-right corner of your character panel. Here's a quick example. Say you cast a fire spell at a Paladin. The Paladin, for some inexplicable reason, has 40 fire resistance. You have 25 spell penetration. As such, the resistance "check" to see if the Paladin resists your spell will be calculated as if he had a fire resistance of 15, rather than 40. As such, spell penetration is useful in the following situations: against druids, paladin aura buffs, and priests against shadow spells. Thats it. Of course, its very handy if you fight some joker who's wearing a bunch of resist gear. But when do you ever see a warrior running around in a battleground in full fire resist gear? Spell Penetration is a pointless stat, don't ever go out of your way to get it. As a side note, spell penetration has NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER in PvE. Any resistances calculated for NPC characters are a flat rate, and cannot be changed by spell penetration. A raid boss, for example, will always have an innate spell resistance of 15. And you cannot overcome that.
Ranked highest to lowest (Very Important, Important, Useful, Meh, Stupid, Worthless)
This is the quick version:

INTELLECT - PvE = Very Important, PvP = Important
STAMINA - PvE = Useful, PvP = Very Important
SPIRIT - PvE = Stupid, PvP = Worthless
ARMOR - PvE = Stupid, PvP = Useful
RESILIENCE - PvE = Worthless, PvP = Very Important
SPELL DAMAGE - PvE = Very Important, PvP = Very Important
SPELL CRIT RATING - PvE = Useful, PvP = Stupid
SPELL HIT RATING - PvE = Very Important (up to the cap), PvP = Meh
SPELL PENETRATION - PvE = Worthless, PvP = Stupid

And so concludes Volume III

Random Saturday Musings

There's a quest in Shadowmoon Valley to kill Ravenous Flayer Eggs. The troll animation for attacking it is "Slap! Backhand! Slap! Slap!" The slaps look like not-so-friendly thwacks on the bum. I always knew there was something... alternative with them trolls

Turns out, I really, really miss playing as a Fire mage. I haven't two-shotted an equal level mob in so long... I forgot what it was like. I really, really missed the damage I can do, and I really, really miss those fantastic crits. Oh, fire spec, I have transgressed against thee, can thou find it in your Burning Soul to forgive this lost sheep? Welcome me back into your glorious embrace, of fire god of the uber pwnage. Cleanse me of the curse that is frost spec, and enlighten me in your ways of burning everything flammable.

Just like frost mages, fire mages can also solo group quests. Its easy, really. Kill the mob as fast as you can, and hope you're alive to loot it. Damned if I care if I'm alive, so long as I get my loot!

10/48/3 spec + Essence Infused Mushroom + Full Imbued Netherweave set = I never run out of mana. Seriously. Never. When grinding as frost, I would stop every now and then and drink. As fire, I only ever stop to eat. Because... I take damage as fire. I take quite a bit of it. Things hurt me. They really do.
On that note, I miss Ice Barrier. /sniff

I hit 666 gold today. I celebrated my triumph by running around shooting stuff with fire spells. Wait a minute... I've been doing that all day.

Does anyone else have a feeling that spirit is a dying stat for mages? Seriously, think about it. Evocation used to run off of spirit, now it restores a base percent of mana.
The arcane talent Arcane Meditation is recieving a buff, increasing the mana regen a very hefty amount. What does this mean to the average mage? I'm glad you asked.
As of right now, spirit is generally a very poor stat, unless you are specced arcane and have the handy little Meditation talent. For the rest of us frosters and flamers, spirit is a stat that only effected Evocation. Which is why so many mages carried around spirit sticks/wands for use during Evocate only (Now with evocate effecting mana, we're going to carry Intellect sticks/wands instead). So, with the change to Evocate, spirit is a completely and utterly useless stat for everyone except arcane mages.
This means that you, loyal fire mage raider, have pointless stats on your Tier 4, your Tier 5, and yes, your Tier 6 gear. Didja hear me? That spirit is weighing you down, and forcing you to be worse than you could be by the simple fact that Blizzard didn't give you good gear.


If anyone has bothered to check out the new loot in Zul'Aman, you might notice something... something a little strange.
Check out the cloth drops from Zul'Aman. Look at them. Revel in them. Envy people who have them.
Then look closer... go on look. Go find the gear. LOOK at it!

Then let me ask you something... do you see any spirit? I bet you don't, do you?

Thats right mages! Zul'Aman gear is totally and utterly devoid of spirit!

So what does this mean?

Mark my words. Spirit mechanics and the whole idea of Spirit is going to go through some very major changes in the coming patches.

Something is cooking, only time will tell what.