WotLK Beta: Aesthetic Change for Mages
Following up from my previous post about some general aesthetic changes, I will now talk about some specific aesthetic change for Mages. Just to clarify some things, aesthetic changes are changes in a spell or animation which have no major impact in the original spell mechanic. Pretty much means a change in the way it “looks”. Lets take a look at a few of them.
Changes to Existing Spells:
Here is are some of the changes made to existing spells that have been changed in the WotLK Beta. They are small graphical upgrades to make the spells look “cooler” or more noticeable when activated.
Now when you Ice Block, there is a small pulsing Frost Nova emitting from the block of ice when activated. Just a small graphical upgrade from old version of Ice Block which won’t have any impact on the game. It just looks… “cooler”.
Icy Veins now longer makes your hands glow like you are casting a Frost spell, and now gives your character a frosty glowing effect when activated. It gives a sort of aurora look to the Mage.
Now this will actually make an impact on PvPing. Before when activated, the Mage will just look like he/she is casting a Frost Spell, and some players won’t notice Icy Veins was activated unless they were paying attention to the player’s buffs. Now the Mage willl have a big visual indication that Icy Veins is popped, which just screams; “purge me!”, “silence me!”, or “don’t let me cast!”.
Currently we have the normal [Polymorph: Sheep], [Polymorph: Pig], and [Polymorph: Turtle]. In the expansion, we will also get [Polymorph: Black Cat] and [Polymorph: Serpent] in the form of purchasable tomes. Then we have [Polymorph: Penguin] and [Polymorph: Bear Cub] in the form of Mage Glyphs.
The tomes are currently purchasable in Dalaran, for a low low price of 2375 gold before any rep discount. Ouch! The glyphs are available from the new profession, Inscription. I will be using the penguin and baby bear Polymorphs for awhile, then switch back to my turtle once I realize that everyone and their mother will be using them too.
For PvP purposes, the different versions of Polymorph is there simply to add insult to injury by turning your opponent into a cute little animal before unleashing a volley of spells upon them. For PvE, there is a much bigger impact.
In a raid with multiple Mages, having different Polymorphs will come in handy when there is multiple crowd control is involved. If Mage #1 has turtle, Mage #2 has pig, and Mage #3 has sheep, it will be a lot easier to call out re-Polymorphing of targets when you know which Mage needs to do it. Instead of, “Whoever sheep just broke, re-Polymorph it!” you have, “Turtle broke!”.
Though with the correct usage of Raid Targets, this shouldn’t be a problem, but it can help.
Ahh of course, the new icon. This has been a long running joke for us Mages since patch 1.5 when the only change we got for the entire patch was a “new unique icon for Mage Armor”.
In the beta, you can purchase the tomes for the new Dalaran Intellect/Brilliance, which gives your Arcane Intellect/Brilliance spell a “new and unique icon”. You can purchase them from the same vendor as the Polymorph tomes, and they will run you for 451 gold for Intellect, and 475 gold for the Brilliance.
I guess now if you are raiding with two Mages total, you can tell which Mage has been slacking off and not buffing the raid.