Patch 2.3 is on the way, and as any serious wow blogger must do, here is my thoughts on it.
Ritual of Refreshment will allow players to pick up their own stacks of food and water
Any mage that complains about this deserves a swift kick in the pants. There is no downside to this. It summons mannabiscuits, which restore both HP and MP. Each Ritual has 50 charges. The fact that it costs a reagent is a minor inconvenience to an otherwise great, and long overdue, spell. I don’t care what some mageholes say, the ability to get food/water to an entire raid group in one spell is fantastic. If you’re running Gruul’s, which would you rather do…
1 – Summon a stack of food/water for every single member of the raid.
2 – Cast one spell, and let everyone else take what they need.
Seems obvious to me.
Damage coefficient reduction removed from Improved Fireball and Improved Frostbolt
FANTASTIC. It’s about time this senseless nerf was removed. Mages doing too much damage, my sweaty ass. Over half of “damage” IS “mage” for crying out loud. While this will not have much of an impact in PvP, a 10% increase in damage is still nothing to sneeze at. In PvE, especially high-end raiding, this could have a huge impact. Fire will climb right back up those DPS charts (assuming standard rotation of Scorchx5, fireballx2). Raiding mages, rejoice. Unless your Arcane, in which case you’re going to be looking jealously at those fire mages again. Sorry ’bout that. And for any frost mages in the PvE area, you will notice this right away, since frostbolt is about the only spell cast in an instance.
Evocation changed to restore 15% of your total mana every 2 seconds
Thank you, so very very much! As it stands right now, 8.5k mana and no + spirit, I get 3k mana from evocate. Embarrasingly sad for an 8 minute cooldown. This new way will grant me 5.1k, which is far better, but still leaves evocate as “meh”. I mean, its an 8-minute cooldown! Why not have it restore our entire mana bar? It’s channeled and can be interrupted by literally anything. How is it overpowered to have it simply restore 25% of our mana every 2 seconds?
Arcane Meditation increased to 10/20/30% mana regeneration
. . . ? Ok, now I’m just confused. The new evocation basically says “Ok, sorry about spirit there. You’ll never need it again”. This new change says “STACK AS MUCH SPIRIT AS POSSIBLE” Confusing, yes? Nonetheless, a very solid buff (arcane mages rejoice!).
Ice Barrior gains additional benefit from spell damage bonuses
Learn to spell, Drysc. Anyways, on the surface this looks cool. But lets dig deeper… The base damage absorbed by Ice Barrier is going down, and will benefit from (correct me if I’m wrong) 10% of bonus frost damage. For me, at a sad amount of +625 frost damage, this lands me a nice… 62 damage absorbed. Woo. Awesome.
This will provide some much needed scalability to this spell, but depending on how much + damage you have, ranges anywhere from a mild nerf to a huge buff. If there are any raiding frost mages out there with 1200+ spell damage, congrats. Your Ice Barriers will be the envy of everyone.
Fire Ward and Frost Ward now gain additional benefit from spell damage bonuses
See Ice Barrier above. Hazzah Scalability, boo for reduction in base damage absorbed.
Detect Magic removed, all players will see their target’s beneficial effects at all times
Very, very interesting. This will certainly shake stuff up on the PvP scene. Being able to see all positive buffs will provide a LOT of information about your opponent. In a 3v3 arena, and two peeps are visible? Check ‘em out. What buffs they got? Arcane Intellect, and no mage? He popped Invis, prepare for imminent nukeage. Mark of the Wild? Can’t see a druid? Kitty is incoming. No out of place buffs? Paladins, beware, there’s a rogue behind you.
As for mages in specific, some are lamenting the passing of this debuff. Gone are the days of detect magic/polymorph macros. Now paladins can debuff their allies at will, blah blah blah. Shut the hell up. Seriously. If you see a Paladin and a warrior running at you, who do you polymorph? If you answered Warrior, you failed. Ice Lance the warrior to prevent Charge, then sheep the Paladin. Then unload an instant or two on the warrior (Cone of cold is best). This forces the paladin to bubble/trinket to keep his warrior buddy alive. Then you kill the Paladin. Simple. Put it quite simply, paladins can heal one thing at a time. Themselves or someone else. Attack the paladin’s friend, he heals his friend. Attack the paladin, he heals himself. Make sense? Hit the warrior, pally will try and save him. Thats your cue to mess that plate-wearing healbot up.
Detect Magic was only ever used as a way to protect a sheep. Detect Magic/Polymorph would tie a mage up, easily, for 3 seconds. And for what? To keep an opponent player sheeped for an extra few seconds, while waiting for a cleanse/dispel magic/somethinglikethat.
And who has enough time to spend a GCD on Detect Magic in the smaller arenas anyways?
This change will be, basically, an inconvenience to mages in 5v5, where they could afford the time to spend 3 seconds on sheeping a target.
This change will go largely unnoticed in 2v2′s and 3v3′s. Right now, it’s simply too much time spent on a single polymorph. Time that should be, nay, NEEDS to be spent elsewhere.
There are a couple of other changes in 2.3 that are pertinent. The most alarming change is this:
Arcane Shot will dispel one magic effect in addition to its normal damage
Well, so much for frost being able to fight hunters. “You’re overreacting!” No, no I’m not. As frost, how you fight a hunter is pretty much always set. As you get in close, you unload with at least 2 instants (fireblast, cone of cold), root them (by them I mean hunter and pet). Sheep the pet if you have time. Get to Deadzone. Shatter combo. Instants again. If they’re still alive at this point, try to get another frostbolt off while waiting for an instant to finish its cooldown. Or, if you have the incredibly useful WE out, root ‘em again, and repeat the Shatter combo.
In order for this scenario to work, you have to assume some things:
Assumption #1 – the hunter is not beast master spec, and if he is, BigRedSquishyKiller is on cooldown
Assumption #2 – the hunter is not marksman spec, and if he is, Scattershot is on cooldown.
Assumption #3 – you have Ice Barrier up, so the hunter doesn’t kick your ass before you can start unloading some damage.
Ice Barrier is an incredible tool against hunters. At the very least, it allows us frosties to close to dead zone without getting too banged up. At best, we get an uninterrupted frostbolt.
If Arcane shot destroys my precious Ice Barrier, there is very little chance I’ll win. No longer is having all my cooldowns and WE out the best scenario, it is the only scenario, and contingent on the hunter not having scattershot or any ability that breaks a root.
For arcane, this also can have a huge impact. How’d you like to see Arcane Power, a 3 minute cooldown of sheer awesome, get eaten by a glowing arrow on a 6 second cooldown? Or better yet, watch Presence of Mind get dispelled.
Fire mages, this won’t change anything. Ok, nevermind, kiss goodbye to combustion, yet another 3 minute cooldown defeated by a shiny, pointy stick.
Well, hey, at least we get spellsteal. Situational and very expensive. Woot. /wrists
So it seems I’m going back to the days of getting my ass kicked by hunters again.
One other change I want to talk about before wrapping this up. Blizzard is changing the way the servers communicate with the client, effectively removing the need for /stopcasting macros, unless you actually want to stop the spell. Again, the mage forums are alight with people crying about how this effectively nerfs Shatter combo, Goodbye super burst damage, all this stuff.
So far, Dr. Boom tests on the PTR compared to the real servers seem to be producing… no real result. I’ll post the data later, right now, it looks like mages are, once again, whining about nothing.
Oh, and one other thing… “Hypothermia” is being increased in duration to 45 seconds.
*Goes and swears in a corner*
Blizzard has kicked me in the balls, and my life is pain. Mechanics like this shouldn’t even exist in competitive PvP. Arenas are, in essence, a battle of cooldowns. Forcing people to wait even more time to use a cooldown is simply ridiculous in a competitive environment.
Mechanics such as Hypothermia, Weakened Soul, Forbearance… they simply shouldn’t exist.
PvE = HUGE THUMBS UP
PvP = Swift kick in the pants