Looks like Blizzard has already started tweaking the Mage Talents according to the feedback they have received during Alpha and now Beta. So far only the Arcane Tree being changed. We should expect the Fire and Frost Tree to be tuned as well in the future.
At first glance at the new Arcane Tree, some talents have been moved to lower tiers, some completely redone, and some were even taken out entirely. Then there are some new talents added that may change the way your spell rotations will go as an Arcane Mage.
- Potent Spirit: Increases your spell critical strike rating by 7/15% of your total Spirit.
- Arcane Impact has been changed to: Spell Impact, which increases the spell critical strike chance of your Arcane Explosion, Arcane Blast, Blast Wave, Fire Blast, Ice Lance, and Cone of Cold by an additional 2/4/6%.
- Student of the Mind has been moved from Tier 9 down to Tier 3.
- Netherwind Presence now gives 2/4/6% passive Spell Haste, and is moved from Tier 10 to Tier 9.
- Arcane Barrage cost a bit less mana and does a bit more damage.
- Arcane Flows: Reduces the cooldown of your Presence of Mind, Arcane Power, and Invisibility by 30 seconds, for 1 Talent Point in Tier 8.
- Missile Barrage: Gives your Arcane Barrage, Fireball, Frostbolt, and Frostfire Bolt spells a 3/6/9/12/15% chance to reduce the channel duration of your next Arcane Missiles spell by 1.5 sec and fire missiles every .3 sec. Located in Tier 10 of the Arcane Tree.
Losing Potent Spirit didn’t hurt much. 15% of your total Spirit converted to spell critical strike rating wasn’t much. At 500 Spirit, that would convert to 75 spell critical strike rating, which is a little under 1% spell critical strike. It just wasn’t worth it for 2 talent points, even if you do stack Spirit in my opinion.
The new change for Arcane Impact -> Spell Impact to make it affect more spells is nice. You would normally pick up this talent anyways if you are going down the Arcane Tree, now they made it even better. Student of the Mind being moved down gives you a better option for taking “filler” points to move up the tree. Netherwind Presence being changed from an insta-cast proc to a passive Spell Haste is a good move. Although an insta-cast proc would be nice to have in PvP, I never liked it due to the fact that it screws up your spell rotation by throwing in an instant spell, making you wait the global cooldown for the next spell. Arcane Barrage gets a buff, no arguments there.
For the new additions, Arcane Flows reduces the cooldown of some key Arcane Spells for only 1 Talent Point. I’ll take that. Taking the place where Netherwind Presence used to be is Missile Barrage which gives you a chance to have a hasted Arcane Missile, giving you a reason again to throw in AM into your spell rotation. Add this with some passive Spell Haste will make for some quick Arcane Missiles.
Blizzard has already updated thier Talent Calculator, so feel free to go take a look at the new Talents and make changes to your “future arcane specs”.