“Spirit-Based Mana Regeneration: This system has been adjusted so that as your intellect rises, you will regenerate more mana per point of spirit.”
Well, this isn’t exactly what I expected to see be announced about Spirit this patch. Sweeping changes to spirit? Well… kinda sorta not really.
First off, a quick recap of how spirit works.
Essentially, spirit is out of combat mana/health regeneration, combat here defined rather loosely. More accurately, it is mana/health regeneration that only occurs once you have not completed any action that costs mana in the last 5 seconds. For example, say a Priest uses Flash Heal. They will not regenerate any mana by spirit for 5 seconds. If they cast another heal spell right after that, then another, and another… they get no mana whatsoever. However, if they stop their cast of the spell before it finishes, then the mana was never spent, hence the timer keeps going to active spirit regen. This is what healers call the “5 second rule”, of which you can all go bugger off and read about elsewhere. Try here . I’m sure you can find some excellent info there that makes my eyes bleed.
To make a long story short, you essentially have to be doing nothing for at least 5 seconds in order to get any benefit from spirit. As a mage there are two things that allow spirit to regen while casting, and these are Mage Armor and Arcane Meditation. Each provides 30% of spirit’s mana regen to take place while casting.
Mage Armor can be discounted, because no self respecting mage uses it anymore. Molten Armor is far superior in any situation.
And then we have Arcane Meditation, which only Arcane mages and stupid… I mean, misguided fire and frost mages have. So, effectively, this means that only Arcane specced mages get any advantage out of Spirit.
As a DPS class, mages do not have access to the 5 second rule. We don’t. We just don’t. We don’t have a hunter’s auto-attack to let our DPS slide a bit while we regen mana, we MUST be spending mana in order to be dealing even half assed amounts of damage. And no, wanding is not a very significant source of anything besides laughter. Even very high end wands can barely touch 200DPS.
Each point in spirit gives you 0.625 MP5, assuming you haven’t spent any mana in the last 5 seconds. If you are not an arcane mage, you will get nothing from this. If you are an arcane mage, you will get 0.1875 MP5 while casting.
So let’s say you are raiding in Tier 5 gear as a poor neglected arcane mage. Rocking 325 spirit raid buffed, you will be putting up a massive 61 MP5 while in combat.
While I can certainly see how awesome that this has the potential to be (I mean, consider that this would effectively increase the mages mana pool by 5800 in an 8 minute boss fight) the problem is first off, you have to be specced Arcane in order for this to work. It isn’t the ideal raiding spec, your guild might not even let you spec it. And the harshest blow is that you are losing valuable item budgeting to stack spirit onto your gear. This spirit is taking up space that could be better used by… well, pretty much anything. Spell crit, spell damage, even Intellect would be much more welcome than spirit.
To put it in TL;DR terms, spirit is only slightly more useful to mages than Agility. Fire mages get nothing, Frost mages get nothing, Arcane mages get a little bit.
Before the changes to Evocation, it was actually kinda sorta a useful stat, since you could use it to seriously ramp up what Evocation restores. Now, of course, it stacks based on Intellect, so spirit gets another knock against it.
And yet, despite the utter uselessness of it on mage gear, every single mage tier set has it, and plenty of DPS gear clearly meant for mages still have it. It’s…. it’s MIND BOGGLING. Why would the developers continue to stack such a useless stat on mage gear? I’ve talked about this before, the itemization is… well, it’s bad. It’s sloppy. It’s depressing.
But, I thought, But! Evocate is off the whole spirit thing, so we’ll see massive changes to spirit, right? At the very least, it would all be replaced with Intellect.
But. No such luck. Instead, they give spirit a buff, thus making it more useful than before. But again, only to Arcane mages.
Having spirit scale with Intellect will, again, have zero effect on fire and frost mages everywhere, but be a slight boost for Arcane Mages (since they have the highest Intellect value of all mages anyways.)
Color me sadly disappointed that spirit doesn’t get any changes to it, and mage gear is still rife with a largely useless stat.