I am talking about, of course, the current itemization of Mage gear.
At best, the budgets on our gear is spent haphazardly and inefficiently.
Let’s look at why, shall we?
All DPS casters require Spell Damage. That’s our job. It’s what we need gear for. So, we all stack spelldamage.
But wait, mages need something else too. We need to have Spell Crit rating as well as spell damage, because we are the only offensive spellcaster in the game that fully utilizes spell crit. Amongst the cloth wearers, anyways. Priests and Warlocks, really don’t need it, or want it. Do they have spell crit? Sure, sometimes. But a very hefty amount of their abilities are unaffected by crit rating, and most end up skipping the stat entirely.
When a piece of loot falls that has stamina, intellect, spell damage, crit and hit, what type of loot is it? It’s obviously mage loot.
If almost the same item falls, except where the crit is moved into additional stamina, it’s obviously warlock loot, except the priests are going to give ’em a run for their DKP.
In the same way that something can be labelled as “Hunter loot” or “Rogue loot” based on the stats, cloth stuff with spell crit on it is almost always “Mage loot”.
So. That gives us mages a stat that the other clothies could care less about. Because of spell crit, our items will always have less stamina, less intellect, less spell hit, and less spell damage.
This isn’t too bad. I, personally, do not feel this is a problem. Mages likes us our spell crit, and we have multiple talents that take totally unfair advantage of it. (Ignite anyone?)
The problem is not with spell crit. The fact is, items of a certain level have a set budget. Given a piece of cloth gear, the ‘lock version will have slightly higher stats everywhere else because the mage version has spell crit. Normally, I wouldn’t complain here at all.
But the problem is where the rest of the budget goes…
See, mages are cursed with a horrendous stat called “Spirit”. Spirit restores mana when you are not casting. By that fact alone, totally useless for mages. A mage who is not casting is a mage who is failing at being a mage.
“But Euripedes,” you say, “high end raiding has a lot of movement. Therefore, while running away from spouts or Voidreaver ‘splosions, couldn’t you restore mana then?”
Well, sure we could! Absolutely! We could restore maybe 50, 60 mana every 5 seconds while running around like little girls! If we spend 15 seconds running in this fashion, we get enough mana to cast an extra Scorch!
In other words, it’s simply not worth it. Not even close.
What makes it even worse is the fact that Spirit is detracting from other stats. It is using up valuable budgets that could be spent on useful stats, like + spell damage, or even stamina.
There are two mechanics a mage has that takes advantage of spirit. Mage Armor, and Arcane Meditation.
Arcane Meditation is only taken by arcane mages, which we have proved before is not a spec that is well loved in raiding. And no fire mage or frost mage would even consider putting points into Arcane for this. It’s just not worth it to take the points from DPS talents in other places, to stick points here to get some mp5 from a stat you’ll be avoiding like the plague.
It’s just nonsensical.
And Mage Armor… is laughable. It really is. Pre-TBC, it was used by any and every mage, the mana regen was far better than some extra armor crap. But with the addition of Molten Armor, Mage Armor is obsolete.
Ask any mage. Would he rather get a little mp5 from a stat that he winces at every time he sees it on gear, or get 3% crit rating?
Would you rather have 40mp5, or 3% crit?
Any mage will always say 3% crit. Hands down. Not even a question. Mana regen is a stat mages don’t care about, and don’t want. ESPECIALLY if it detracts from our DPS, which any level of spirit (and mage armor) does.
So. Let’s recap.
Spirit is useful to arcane mages, who would still choose any other stat over spirit.
Spirit is useful to mages running Mage Armor, which is totally obsolete once you have Molten Armor avaliable.
What does this mean to you, the random reader of this blog? A mages ability to DPS is directly reduced because useless stats we do not want are consistently added to our gear. Thus, classes such as warlocks have a serious gear advantage, by simple fact that their gear is always, always better than ours.
And as an extra slap in the face?
Spell penetration is added to a lot of “mage” loot. This stat is even worse… I’d rather have spirit than spell penetration.
Where spirit is very rarely useful, penetration is always useless.
Please. Clean up my mage gear.