In the latest Build (10571) on the Public Test Realms, Blizzard made a few changes to the Mage class- all good ones. It looks like they have the Fire and Arcane tree right where they want them in terms of PvE DPS, and are working towards making the Frost tree more viable. Once again, you can find the complete list of changes from MMO-Champion here, and like always, I’ll be focusing on the Mage changes.
While playing as PvE Fire, the most annoying part was stacking up the Scorches to five stacks. It wasn’t too bad when you can coordinate with other Fire Mages, but without the [Glyph of Improved Scorch], it was a waste of DPS time. Especially if none of the Mages remember to reapply the debuff and let it fall off. Waste of more precious DPS time re-stacking the debuff again.
The new changes makes it so that you only need to apply the debuff once, and reapply it once it is about to fall off. The new Glyph for Scorch would now just increase the damage of your Scorch by 20%.
What used to be a PvP only talent that is rarely used, now a must have for both PvP and PvE. Not only does it reduce the Spell Damage you take by 6%, your Ice Lance crits will reduce the cast time of your next Frostbolt by 1 second.
In PvP, you already cast a lot of Ice Lances. To randomly stack Winter’s Chill on your target, to take out totems, or to do damage on frozen targets. You will cast a lot of Ice Lances. With the new talent change, you would now do some more damage after you catch your opponent with a Frost Nova, Deep Freeze, or when Fingers of Frost procs.
In PvE, you will no longer be just chain casting Frostbolts. With the new 2 piece bonus of the upcoming Tier 10 Mage set, we’ll be casting more reactive- much like the Fire spec. We will have be on the lookout for Brain Freeze procs, and be ready to use our Fingers of Frost procs to throw in the last second Ice Lance crit.
Brain Freeze procs will give use 15% Haste for 5 seconds, and Ice Lance crits will give us a 1.3 second Frostbolt (if you have absolutely zero Haste w/ 2 points in Empowered Frostbolt). DPS increase? I think so.
Glyph of Eternal Water
Now this is a huge change for the Frost Mage. This Glyph will essentially make the Frost Mage, a pet class. From a PvP standpoint, this will seem overpowered, but disabling the pet’s Freeze ability makes it so that this Glyph won’t be used in PvP. No pet assisted Shatter combos is a no-no for a PvP Frost Mage.
As for PvE, not having the Freeze ability won’t be a problem, and having the Water Elemental’s DPS up for 100% of the time, will be a big upgrade to the Frost Mage DPS. In a group/raid setting, the Water Elemental shouldn’t have any Mana problems with Replenishment buffs, and with the Pet scaling with the player’s stats, Squirtle shouldn’t be missing if the player isn’t.
PvE Mage Spec – 18/0/53
I chose the Ice Lance Glyph over the Molten Armor Glyph since Ice Lance will be more used much much more now. Eternal Water Glyph will give you a permanent Water Elemental, and of course- you will have the Frostbolt Glyph.
For the new Frost spec, I took 3 points of Spell Impact and 1 point Student of the Mind, since Ice Lance and Fireball has become more important in the Spell rotation. Since I will be using the Ice Lance Glyph over the Molten Armor Glyph, Spirit won’t be as important anymore.
Since you have a permanent Water Elemental now, Cold as Ice won’t be needed anymore, and the reduced cooldown to Cold Snap and Ice Barrier aren’t as important in PvE.
As I stated before, with the new 2 piece bonus for the Tier 10, Brain Freeze will be an important talent to pick up, and the more procs, the better. So I put 3 points into the talent.
Enduring Winter isn’t as important anymore since increasing the duration of your Water Elemental won’t be necessary when your pet lasts indefinitely now. 1 point into the talent just for the Replenishment buff is enough just in case you are in a group/raid without it.
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything, but these new upcoming changes really sparked my interest for the next patch. Hopefully this will motivate me to start posting regularly again.
Krizzlybear beat me to it and gave his thoughts on the new changes already, so stop on by and read what he has to say on the changes too!