The most powerful weapon you have in WoW is knowledge. Knowledge of classes, of game mechanics, of enemy mobs, and how they all work together.
In an effort to fight ignorance, I present to you a list of things that all non-mages absolutely must know about us and how we work.
1. If you mark something with a Skull, we will kill it.
While this may not be hard-wired into the mind of every mage, for the vast majority of us veteran DPS players, we lose all control of our actions when we see something with skull.
We don’t have a choice in the matter. It’s like giving a man some explosives. No matter how restrained he normally is, he will find something to explode.
If you mark something with skull, our killing instincts will cause us to immediately swap targets, and we’ll be a full rotation into attacking skull (likely having blown half our cooldowns in the process), before we even realize we’ve done anything.
Whatever you’ve marked with skull will die a very swift and painful death.
Try a quick experiment on Kel’Thuzad. Set up a macro to immediately mark a mind controlled player with Skull. Then simply watch.
Around half your DPS players will immediately swap to them, unloading everything they have. Four or five seconds later, they’ll wake up, as if from a dream, and cry “wait… what the hell am I doing?!”
Or, if your guild does not appreciate hilarious ironic deaths, try a simpler experiment.
Simply mark something with skull, and tell your DPS players to leave skull ’till last. Watch as half your DPS attacks it anyway, a quarter of them become frozen into inaction by utter confusion, and the final quarter attack the correct target, but glance furtively over at skull, saving all their cooldowns to be used on the right target.
2. If we have at least 40% of our mana pool, we’re ready for the next pull.
While untrue for major raiding boss fights (mages will do their best to kill you if you start a boss fight with them at less than 100% mana), nearly everything else is fine.
Any group of trash mobs, and every non-raid boss (assuming a half decent group) will put very little strain on a mage’s mana pool.
If, at any point, a mage says “sec, mana” or something to that regard, and s/he still has half his mana pool left or more, that mage is lying to you.
All that extra mana is unnecessary. We don’t need it, and even if we do, that’s why we have mana gems and a little spell called Evocation.
More than likely, if a mage asks you to slow down so he can drink, that slacker just wants to get in another couple of shots in Peggle.
As a good rule of thumb, if the healer has enough mana to continue, the mage does too.
3. Ask us to Polymorph. We dearly miss our farm animals.
This is directed at tanks.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for CC. Don’t feel as if you’re a bad tank if you can’t handle five mobs simultaneously.
Sure, a couple might pipe up with “lol just aoe”, but we both know that those slackjawed morons are… slackjawed morons.
We mages are more than happy to sheep for you. Every last one of us has a fully pimped out polymorph macro, complete with auto-focus clearing capacity. And that poor macro, that we poured so much energy into perfecting through trial and error (more often than not wiping the raid in SSC when we screwed it up), is just sitting there gathering dust.
We want to use it. We really do. Don’t feel as if you’re bothering us, or otherwise inconveniencing us to sheep.
Sure, throwing massive balls of fire, slinging frostbolts or just ripping things apart with raw arcane energy is fun an’ all, but deep down… every mage wants to turn their enemies into harmless, cuddly creatures.
Next time you run into that difficult pull, just say “Hey, can you polymorph square?”
That sucker will be a wee piggy so fast you’ll need to amend “I meant after I made the pull.”
Just… don’t mark the polymorph target with skull. It will cause your mage to suffer an aneurysm.
4. We like to be asked and thanked.
Don’t take our nummies and portals for granted.
There is nothing that will piss of a mage more than others just expecting us to spend mats on them.
Standing around your mage at the start of a raid and simply… waiting… then berating that mage for not summoning Refreshments is akin to slapping him/her in the face with a felhunter.
Same goes at the end of a raid, when you all stand around and wait… then finally say “Come ON you lazy piece of crap! Where the hell is my portal?!”
This will only anger your mage, and likely put in motion a series of events which will result in you being humiliated in public and then dying in indescribable pain (usually involving internet memes).
To put it at it’s most basic level, this stuff isn’t free. It’s a service we have the ability to provide, which costs us actual gold. That portal to Dalaran you love so much? 16 silver. Every time we set up a Refreshment table? 40 silver.
In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t much. It’s barely even noticeable.
And yet it will cost you precisely nothing to say “please” and “thanks”. Hell, we’re not picky, “plz” and “thx” will work just as well.
As much as you might think mages are the Innkeeper hero class, well… we’re not.
YES THEY ARE CALLED NUMMIES SHUT UP.
5. We’re really not trying to make your life difficult. I swear.
This one is directed at the healers.
Listen, I know what it’s like being a healer. I know you have a job to do, and sometimes it can be frustrating or stressful. None of us mages are intentionally trying to make your job harder.
I know it can sometimes be frustrating to heal one of our mirror images rather than the real us. We can’t really help it; it’s a threat nullifier for us and a DPS cooldown. We’re sorry for any consternation it may cause you, we mean no harm.
Yes, we know many of you work by predicting heals, so when you see a big AoE roaring straight at that mage you queue up a few HoTs or something to clear that damage… only to watch as the mage ice blocks and your heals do nothing.
Please understand, we’re only trying to make your life easier.
We are as squishy as they come. Taking any sort of damage causes us to break out in hives and rampant, infectious sniffles. The vast majority of us take it personally when we are a burden on the healer.
You see that big AoE roaring down on our head? We saw it too, and we have ways of completely nullifying that damage, all in an effort to spare you from the need to baby sit us.
Maybe you’re used to those rogues and warriors, who are more than happy to eat a cleave or two. Maybe you’re used to those dastardly warlocks, gleefully life tapping right before they take 12k damage from a random AoE.
I assure you, we mages are not like them. We’ve spent our entire leveling lives utterly terrified of taking damage from any source. We invis, we ice block, we mirror image, we put wards up, we do everything in our power to avoid taking any damage whatsoever.
That Kologarn douchebag looking our way? Don’t worry about it. Sure, it may be instinct for you to toss a couple HoTs on us “just in case”, but really, all we’re going to do is Blink away then Ice Block.
And hey, if worst comes to worst, that’s why we all carry a stack of twenty Heavy Frostweave bandages. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from anime, it’s that bandages heal everything.