So why is it, then, that people spec arcane? Why is it that when fire is so obviously the best DPS spec to get, why do people go arcane? What is it that compels people to spec into it?
Well, Arcane gives the illusion of DPS. When you first shoot something as Arcane, you see tons of damage. When you fire up your cooldowns and spam Arcane Blast, all you see are huge numbers that go unrivalled.
Quite simply, Arcane has the best burst DPS of any mage spec.
So let’s run our standard test, 500 Intellect, 1k spell damage, hit capped, 200 crit rating.
And compare Arcane/IV with Fire/IV over DPS 1 minute, all cooldowns blown
Max DPS: 1613.07
Max DPS: 1248.55
In a single solid burst, fire gets its assed kicked. Running with all cooldowns, Arcane beats it out by almost a good 400 DPS!!
But as the fight draws out, Arcane’s DPS starts to falter, and fire stays consistent.
And that, right there, is the difference.
Arcane can has much higher burst damage than fire could ever do, but fire has sustained damage that is better than arcane could hope for.
And thus concludes my random posts comparing fire and arcane. For the time being, anyways.