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Archive for October, 2007

The rather large and bulky “World of Magecraft” is on its way.

We’re working on it as we speak! I swear I’m not watching Youtube videos.

“ZIM!”
“Whaaat?”
“ZIM!”
“Whaaat?”
“ZIM!”
“Whaaat?”
“ZIM!”
“Whaaat?”
“ZIM!”
“Whaaat?”
“ZIM!”
“Whaaat?”

Expect the first installment later on tonight. I plan on having the whole basics/not-so-basics guide totally done and posted by this time Friday night.

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Tonight on Azeroth’s 3 Biggest Failures

A guest column by Voxmortis

 

Heyo, Voxmortis here, you may recognize me from such posts as “why Voxmortis needs to re spec frost” and assorted rantings about how I fail. Damn good reading IMO, you should take it to heart.

 

Now, being the epic failure that I am, I am gifted with the magical ability to spot and write down even bigger failures than myself. The following 3 transpired over this AV holiday weekend.

 

#3: The alliance on Stormstrike.

Okay, this is more of a cheer for the horde on stormstrike than anything else. If you didn’t notice, or just don’t play on the stormstrike realm, some moronic alliance members decided that it would render more honor if they turtled then tried to push us back into mandatory cave defense. Now, this may seem like a good idea to you for the following reasons:

  1. It pisses off the horde (and who doesn’t want that?!)

  2. It renders more honor per battleground

  3. LOL! I KILLED A ZMOBIE! LOL! ROFL! I LIKE ANIME AND FAIL HARD BECAUSE I PLAY A GNOME! (totally unbiased here….)

Now, this is why it is a bad idea:

  1. Horde has a shitstorm of druids.

Despite wave after wave of alliance defense, successfully pushing us back into the cave, the alliance failed to look at the score sheet to notice that we had 10 druids in this particular battleground. There were a couple feral tanks, a tree or two and a handful of boomkin & feral dps. Guess what alliance? Cat form+stealth+walk north a bit=well-constructed 10 man to take on Vanndar. Now anybody who looks back on the days of 30 folks or more on cave defense KNOWS that thats all you need to take out Vanndar. So guess what? We Won. Eat it gnomes.

 

#2: A particular hunter who I repeatedly saw in AV

This hunter was a troll. He left his pet on aggressive entering Vann’s room. Nuff said? I thought so. It took this rube 4 wipes to realize what was going on and by then, alliance had gotten bored of defense and killed Drek. GG ebay character, GG

 

#1: Though I regret to do this…. The mages of Anathema

Though I am deeply excited to join Anathema, that I can finally see some endgame content and be able to actually defend my spec as viable (arcane raid DPS ftw!), I look on with trepidation and absolute horror at meeting Anathema’s mage community.

 

Case 1: Their Frost Mage….

He is specced for arena… only no piercing ice… /facepalm

Case 2: One of their fire mages…

She is specced 13/48. Sure, there are ways you could feebly argue its superiority over 10/48/3 as the bread-and-butter fire raid build. But not for this one. Instead of elemental precision, my toasty comrade has chosen ARCANE FORTITUDE and WAND SPEC. Yeah. I know.

Case 3: I havent slept in 21 hours, and have no motivation to go to the armory to remind myself about what I was talking about.

 

 

 

Well thats it for me, this was a rant by Voxmortis. Oh, and next time you see me in the arena? Put fire ward up, and ice block when the big orange burney thing comes towards your head. I’m tired of shitkicking frost mages who don’t know what they’re doing.

 

Nukeymcsquishy, AKA Voxmortis,

 

Signing Off.

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Yeah… typos

So, I got linked in BRK’s blog today. Presumably that means that I am now a respectable blogger?
Le gasp! Let it not be so!
That means I need to get someone to check out for my typos. If you didn’t know, I have a lot of typos. By this time in the post, I’m already up to eight of them. Nine now. Crud. Ten.
And I don’t catch them all either, (twelve), and some typos escape my eye of criticism.

So, please, my faithful reader (maybe I can use a plural form now?), please leave comments, or at least e-mail me with my spelling and grammatical failures. It will make this blog soo much better.
Or, I could keep right on rambling about nothing as usual.

Anyways, no actual post from me tonight. I’m going to start working on some magery guides, with number crunching on hit rating, how to spec, how to level… you know, all the basic stuff.
Then I get to make a special section that links all the helpful guides and things!

Guest post coming up a little later!

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Goddamn Typos!!

So, as it turns out, the amount of honor gained from the Daily PvP Quests was a type.

Rather than giving 4000 honor, apparently it only gives 400 honor.

Well.

Ain’t that a serious letdown.

As Flirt so calmly pointed out in his comment on the last post (it is a “he”, right?), the temporary health gain is not that great. Keep in mind this is according to a Paladin.
REBUTTAL.
Mages are among the lowest Stamina classes in the game. We also have no way to heal ourselves, outside of first aid/cannibalize.
Sure, the hp is timed, and can be counteracted by someone who’s watching the second timer intelligently.
But to a mage, this is big. It really is.

[The following are overly exaggerated reactions used primarily as example and humor]
Paladin: “1750 life? Pfft. Flash of Light beyotch”
Warrior: “1750 life? Will it make my butt look big?”
Druid: *See warrior’s response, but the latter question is asked rhetorically*
Priest: “Oooh! Shiny! Awww, it doesn’t stack with + healing? /huff /pout”
Hunter: “Whats this ‘Arena’ you speak of?”
Warlock: “1750 life? DEATHCOILDRAINLIFEFEARLOLOLOL *wonders why he doesn’t have any friends*”
Rogue:
Shaman: “1750 life? Pfeh, Lesser Healing Wave, beyotch *secretly farms AV for it*”
Mages: “OMGOMG I’m dying HALP! *Sheeps mob* I hope that doesn’t break! First aid for the love of God! Ack! Aggro! Noo! /smush”

To me, it’s a warrior’s Last Stand, but I can use it whenever.
To me, it’s a warlocks healthstone, sans the warlock.

With no self healz, and enough hp to get 4 shotted by crit-heavy arms warrior, as a mage, I am overjoyed at any opportunity to make my hps go in a direction that is filling my health bar.

To you healers I say, Pfft! Pffft I say!

Show me a mage who can heal himself, and I’ll show you an Undead Warlock in disguise.

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Holy PvP Trinkets, Batman!

Just hitting the PTR are brand, spanking new PvP trinkets. Epics, dont’cha know.

There are five of them, only 2 of which are applicable to mages.

[Battlemaster's Audacity] and [Battlemaster's Depravity].

And no, those don’t link to anything. But purplez are awesome, yes?

Anyways.

Audacity increases damage done by 47, and Depravity improves spell crit rating by 40.
Think thats all well and awesome? Check this out:

Use: Increases maximum health by 1750 for 15 sec.

Now, if you’re sitting there saying “HOLY FUCKING ZOMG”, you, sir, like to PvP.
Essentially, what we have here is a trinket that supplies a solid boost to spell damage/crit, and an on use +175 stamina.
This, my friends, is the MECCA of PvP trinkets. I don’t care what you say about the Elementals Deck, Bloodscryer Gem, Vengeance of the Illidari, whatever, THIS TRINKET IS FAR BETTER.

However. It will cost you a great deal to get your grubby little hands on this trinket of golden awesome.
Thirty thousand honor and 40 AV marks, to be precise.
Still worth it? Fuck yes.
I don’t even need to explain myself, do I? C’mon! 1750 hitpoints! Do you have any idea how amazingly powerful that is?
Ok, yeah, totally useless in PvE, and somewhat limited in battlegrounds, but in arenas… this could quickly become a make-or-break trinket, especially for low stamina classes (READ: MAGES).
And besides, 47 spell damage is incredibly spiffy for a trinket slot. 40 crit… just not worth it. Really.

Crit rating is already one of the worst stats you can stack for arenas. If you’re going to take the time and effort to gather 30k honor, and waste it on the crit version of this gem… please, resign from this class immediately. There is NO LOGICAL REASON to choose crit over + spell damage.
Resilience eliminates your crit rating. People in arenas have a lot of resilience. Therefore your crit rating is moot. If you stack crit, you negate their resilience… well, at least part of it. You negate their defence against being hit with a crit. When you do crit, you still suffer quite a loss of damage through the same resilience.
Spell damage, however, is mitigated by stamina. Stamina is what keeps your opponent alive, it gives them hit points. The more damage you do, the faster they die. Therefore the more + spell damage you have, the faster they die.
Crits are a random occurence. You cannot depend on them for sufficient damage, and it is counter-acted by a static stat that doesn’t directly effect how fast the target is killed. Spell damage is a constant. You can always depend on it to do damage, and it is counter-acted by a stat that directly effects how fast a target is killed.
Besides, if you try and stack crit, you are gimping yourself. You sacrifice stamina, your own resilience, spell damage, and intellect, just to counter-act resilience.

So. Go with the +47 spell damage trinket. You cannot go wrong with it.

Also, there is a sudden change to what the PvP Daily Quests give you.
These quest used to award 11g99s, about 2k honor, and some marks of honor from whatever the instance was for.
Now, the marks have been dropped… in favor of another 2k honor.

Can we get a hell yes?

S1 gear going for honor, brand new trinkets costing a boatload of honor…

My business is puntin’ gnomes, and business is good.

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Bitching About Line of Sight

LoS.

Line of Sight.

Every class knows about this.

For some, it is a blessing. For others, it is a curse. Every solid PvP player knows how to exploit LoS to their advantage. This is why warriors love the Blade’s Edge Arenas, and Hunters loathe it for the same reason.

For mages, we depend a great deal on having Line of Sight on our target, but we are not gimped as badly as hunters are. We can still cast at point blank range, but hunters lose a lot of their prowess at that range.
Breaking LoS with a mage is almost a surefire way to gain some time. It will cancel most casts, only spells in flight and Arcane Missiles are not interrupted by this.
In the arenas, there are many opportunities to break LoS and prevent a mage from getting a spell off, horribly gimping their damage and forcing them to chase you.
Smart players know this, and exploit it with the same amount of vehemence as mages exploit the hunters deadzone.
So, I am here to talk about LoS in arenas, as me and vox experienced this a great deal tonight.
(If anyone cares, 70% wins).

The first thing we noticed with LoS was a warlock who, in the Blades Edge arenas, was an incredibly good player.
Earlier today in AV, I fought a warlock in full S2 arena gear. Upon CS’ing Fear, he stood there and did nothing until, 8 seconds later, be began casting Fear again.
This warlock, in the arena, casually blew Vox’s entire Arcane Power cooldown with LoS kiting. This warlock literally took one step to avoid the opening PoM + Pyro, and proceded to kite Vox silly, by using a ramp and a single pillar. It was infuriatingly hard to pin this ‘lock down.
And the warlock in question was wearing a couple of PvP epics, D3, and a single piece of S1 arena gear.

Now, we came up against this team again, but in the Lordaeron arena. Lordaeron has only one LoS breaker, the little smashed altar thingy in the middle. Quite simply, LoS kiting was impossible. They bit the dust HARD.

The difference? Blade’s Edge is full of LoS breaks. This is why, as a mage, I loathe this arena far more than any other. A shaman can duck behind a pillar and fire off a Lesser Healing Wave, and I can’t react fast enough to stop them. On the same note, Hunters in Blade’s Edge are laughably easy to fight. They cannot get range to use their bows, and even if they do, I can quickly duck behind something and be free from harm.
Lordaeron, on the other hand, is a terrible place for healers. There is almost nowhere to hide, and it is incredibly easy to kill one. No Healing Waves for you! By the same token, hunters do very well (by comparison) in this arena. There is lots of room for manuevering, and it is very hard to break LoS.

So. If you want to kill a mage in the arena, break LoS. We cannot cast, we cannot use instants. It is very hard for us to hurt you when we can’t “see” you. The game doesn’t care if you’re a Tauren, and I can clearly see your left arm. I cannot aim spells anywhere else but right below your head.

We mages love range. We love having lots of room to manuever. We love our targets to be unable to break LoS, so we can destroy their shiny behinds.

We mages hate melee combat. We hate having almost no room to manuever. We loathe our targets to be practically in our faces, able to break LoS with a few buttons.

I, personally, believe some arenas need some work, to avoid favoritism amongst the various classes.

Blade’s Edge (Circle of Blood) is incredibly easy to break LoS with. Any class that uses ranged attacks, whether they be spells or bows&arrers is at a serious disadvantage.
Warrios, Rogues, Feral Druids, etc, are at a huge advantage here. Good healers are right at home here, they can break LoS and survive the usual “KAJOOM” attacks ranged would do to them (Paladins will whine if you break LoS on their heals, though. Be careful you don’t up and anger them into speccing Ret). Mages, l4z3rch1ck3n dr00ds, warlocks, shadow priests, etc, and ESPECIALLY hunters are at a major disadvantage here, usually being forced to fight far closer than comfort.

Lordaeron is pretty much the opposite of Blade’s Edge. It is very, very hard to break LoS here, only the center altar provides that, and that is laughably easy to counteract. Melee classes be afraid, you are food for the ranged ones. Healers beware, you are very much at risk here. Picture EotS, and try to remember the last time you felt safe from max range attacks there…
Mages, Hunters, Warlocks, cheer in triumph, this arena is where you shine.

The Nagrand arena (Ring of Trials) is the most balanced of the three arenas. There are four pillars, all capable of breaking LoS. However, these are the only ways to break LoS, and they are spaced apart by a good distance. There is both open spaces and close spaces here. Melee does better when near the outside (i.e. by the pillars), ranged fares better in the middle, with plenty of room. Overall, Nagrand is a very well-designed arena, and is our personal favorite arena to fight in.

In other news, most of Lost Cause has been invited to join the guild Anathema.
LC is basically a casual guild, we don’t do much besides goof off. Anathema is a far more “serious” guild, having actually SEEN some high level content. They’ve actually downed Lurker, FFS. Lost Cause did Shattered Halls once.
I don’t think its an “IF” LC signs up, its a “WHEN”. And when we do, foxy voxy ain’t gonna be speccing frost.
He’s going to stay arcane, and he’ll probably be gleefully killing stuff in Karazhan whilst I lament the loss of Resilience in S3 mage gear.

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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.

Anyway.

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.

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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.
______
UUUUU

Where each “U” is a urinal. Say the door is here

X
______
UUUUU

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

X
_____P
UUUUU

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

X
PP____
UUUUU

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:

“Touché”

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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…

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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?

So.

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.

MAKE ICE BLOCK TRAINABLE.

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.

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