I’m in one of those moods.
You know the one where it’s incredibly difficult to restrain yourself from throttling children?
The one where, if you lacked self-control, would cause drunken sailors to blush at your profanity?
Yes, one of those moods.
There are two sides to Patch 2.3 for mages. The PvP side, and the PvE side.
The PvE side is chock full of awesome stuff, all well-deserved and desperately needed.
And the PvP side… well, it only gets worse with every adjustment that’s announced.
For those who don’t know, arenas are about survivability. Of the three mage specs, only ONLY only Frost spec has ANY survivability. By the simple nature of arenas, frost is the only spec that is viable AT ALL in the arenas.
Thus, any mage who wishes to participate in the arenas, and win the majority of the time, MUST spec frost.
Now, hands up here. Can anyone tell me which Mage tree has been the most heavily nerfed? Anyone at all?
If you guessed frost, you got it!
In any patch, Frost has either been ignored or nerfed (with one excpetion). The release of the Burning Crusade saw the only buffs frost ever receieved, namely Ice Lance and Water Elemental. Ice Lance was promptly nerfed the next patch, and the water elemental took 2 patches before it would function properly.
Thankfully, pre-TBC us frost mages were largely ignored (with the noteable exception of Patch 1.4, when frost nova was put on diminishing returns. This didn’t really effect much at the time, just made it so mages couldn’t stagger Frost Nova. Nowadays, if you have two mages in an arena, this hurts a LOT). In Patch 1.11 we recieved a little love, with Cone of Cold getting more damage and the introduction of “Winter’s Chill”
Then TBC hit. Frost mages rejoiced at what we had. Water Elemental? Ice Lance? HELL YES! Melee classes stood no chance in the path of our fury, and we finally had a way to better combat those pesky hunters and warlocks. With these might fine tools in our arsenal, we had some incredibly potent burst damage. The term “SHATTER” was born. You could hit a single target 2-3 times with a single Ice Lance, making the damage caused by frost mages feared by pretty much anyone.
And this was rightly so. “We’re mages” we thought, “You can’t spell ‘Damage’ without ‘Mage’”
And so we reveled in our glory, finally the masters of ranged damage the WoW handbook always said we were supposed to be.
And that patch 2.0 hit.
Increased the chance Frozen effects are broken when the target is critically struck by a spell.
To the layperson, this means you get 1 (One) crit per Frozen effect. Gone were the days of hitting someone with an Ice Lance twice. The mages responsible for this nerf (the ones who’d do nothing but spam Frost Nova and Ice Lance) were quietly murdered and raped (in that order) in their sleep. In front of their family and friends.
The term “SHATTER” grew in popularity, as now the standard manuever was to time a frostbolt/ice lance together to strike at the same time.
Frost’s burst took a heavy hit, but hey, we’re ok with that. We’re not happy, but at least we still have incredible survivability. Hell, it even made sense. In the days before Ice Lance, you would need to have the target remain rooted to take a second frostbolt as a crit. With Ice Lance, that wasn’t needed. Generally, two crits off a root had always been the rule. It’s just now, we got both off in 3 seconds rather than 6.
Patch 2.1 saw some more nerfs, and some serious shakeups. (We got a new Ice Barrier, the only positive thing about this patch.)
Arctic Winds was changed to also increase frost damage by 1-5%, thus forcing frost mages world-wide to respec to get this now mandatory talent
Frostbite, too, was put on diminishing returns. Again, no noticeable effect for a single mage, but it hurt any sitation where more than one frost mage existed. There was a lot of QQ about this sharing DR with Frost Nova, which proved incorrect. They had separate DR’s, which shut the forums up, at least until they scrolled down in the patch notes.
And… patch 2.1 saw the introduction of Hypothermia into the game.
We were stunned. Shocked. Astonished. And (rightfully so) PISSED RIGHT THE HELL OFF.
The developers have since explained that Hypothermia is supposed to prevent the mage using Ice Block twice against the same opponent.
But wait, there’s more! (Jump to patch 2.3)
NOW they’re INCREASING the duration of Hypothermia.
The reasoning is provided quite clearly by Eyonix:
[quote]We were finding that the current duration of hypothermia was simply not long enough. Mages were easily able to buy the time they needed to iceblock a second time when fighting the same opponent. This is basically what we were looking to prevent. I understand that this isn’t the answer you’re looking for, but these are the facts.[/quote]
Mull that around in your head for a while.
Thats ok, I can wait.
So… Mages were able to iceblock a second time when fighting the same opponent… this is what we were looking to prevent…
Mages were able to survive long enough to continue surviving against an opponent… who survived right along with them… without iceblock…
You see what this means yet?
Figured it out?
You see us mages were living too long. We were suriviving against our opponent for longer than 30 seconds.
Apparently that is unacceptable. Apparently, we are not supposed to live long enough to iceblock again on the same person.
This other person seems able to live those 30 seconds. Yet nothing is done to try and shorten their lifespan, only ours.
What makes us so special?
What makes it so fucking important to make sure we die before our target does?
What gives you the fucking nerve to do this to us?
We are already the least survivable class in the game. It is a downright struggle to stay alive no matter what we are doing.
And now… you decide we’re living too long in PvP. So you throw this at us.
Why don’t you just have us automatically die after 30 seconds? This is what you’re trying to do to us, so why not come right out and do it?
Oh. Yeah. One other thing. The amount of armor on the Mage Arena gear is being halved.
We were told that we were doing too much damage. Us. Mages. Our very meaning for existence was nerfed.
Then we’re told we’re not dying, like we’re supposed to. So they make it easier for stuff to kill us efficiently.
They halve the armor on the Arena gear, which works out to any physical damage attacker gaining 4.7% more damage against us.
Mages are forced to spec frost to be competitive in arenas, due to its survivability.
The amount of damage a frost mage can dish out is nerfed.
This is closely followed by the survivability of frost being heavily nerfed.
For the love of GOD someone tell me the fucking logic here.