The Public Test Realms have been up for a wee while now, and there are some…. interesting things to note about the mage class.
You can find all the listed changes here.
The changes so far…
- Arcane Explosion: The damage cap for area of effect damage on this spell has been increased by approximately 50%.
The whole idea of an Area of Effect damage spell is to hurt everything within a certain area. However, the developers have placed a cap on the amount of damage any given spell can do. Arcane Explosion, for example, is supposed to hit all targets within 10 yards for 377 – 407 damage. However, the spell can only deal, in total, ~6730 damage, regardless of the number of enemies present. Consider it like killing budget with only so much damage to go around. The spell will deal damage to all enemies present as equally as possible.
If it’s hitting too many enemies (in other words, would deal more than the damage cap if it did full damage to all of them) the spell will simply deal less damage to every mob present so as to not break the damage cap. Note that if any mob resists the spell, the damage taken by everything else will be increased (the behavior of partial resists is unknown at this time. Most likely functions exactly the same). Critical hits also use up more of the damage budget.
Please also note that the damage caps for spells DO NOT scale with + damage or talents. If you gear and AoE talent up, you will still have the exact same damage cap if you were naked and ran with a 0/0/0 spec (only the manliest of mages can do this).
Raising the damage cap on Arcane Explosion from 6730 to 10095 is a buff, plain and simple.
- Arcane Fortitude now increases your armor by an amount equal to 100% of your Intellect, up from 50%.
Another buff. To a largely embarrassing little PvP talent that is taken because everything else around it is even worse. Couple that with the lower base armor values of all magey gear (Fine! Just season 2!) and even lower Intellect values on our PvP gear than we had at level 60. Thanks, I think.
- Blink, Slow, and Spellsteal have all had their mana cost reduced.
For those not in the know, these three spells are very nice, very useful, and maddeningly expensive to cast. Any reduction at all is extremely welcome. This is a buff, no mistakes, and a very nice one at that.
- Using low ranks of Fire Ward and Frost Ward spell will now be penalized the same way healing spells are penalized.
- Ice Barrier: Using low ranks of this spell will now be penalized the same way healing spells are penalized.
Essentially a bug fix. Ever since bonus spell damage has been applied to these abilities, I was kinda…. confused as to why they weren’t penalized properly. Well, here we go.
- Icy Veins no longer stacks with Bloodlust/Heroism.
Do…. it… you…. this…. FUCK! This is NOT COOL, man! NOT COOL! You bastards! You stinking bastards! How could you do this to me?! To all of us mages who picked up Icy Veins for raiding? Didn’t you know that stacking it with Bloodlust/Heroism was half the reason we spent eleven bloody points in the frost tree? Damnit! You developer people really piss me right the hell off sometimes….
*Takes a deep breath*
Ok, ok, I can deal with this, I can move on. I’m sure that letting us mages stack to 50% cast reduction was making the warlock overlords angry. I understand. I fear them too. Well, I mean, I don’t FEAR fear them, just… you know what I mean.
- Improved FireWard has become Molten Shields.
- New Talent: Molten Shields will cause your Fire Ward to have a 10/20% chance to reflect Fire spells while active. In addition, your Molten Armor has a 50/100% chance to affect ranged and spell attacks.
Molten Armor gets a serious buff, that will let all ranged attacks feel the sheer annoyance of Flaming Revengeance! It’s like poking people with matches, except it can be done from 40 yards away now. It will be interesting to see if any mages bother getting this talent, considering all it will do is let you mildly annoy ranged classes until they dispel Molten Armor. That, and it requires you to be getting shot at in the first place to come into play. And of course we have the little issue of spending points in the fire tree for it…
BUT! The big thing with this is, of course, the fact that ANY attack made against you would have a 10% chance to stun whoever made the attack. Until they dispelled it, but whatever! You get the point!
- Frostbite: When a frost spell is reflected back at a Mage, it is now possible for the Mage to suffer from the Frostbite effect.
Bug fix. Mages can already stun themselves with Impact, smite ourselves with Ignite and such, don’t see why this was left out.
- Permafrost: This talent will now correctly increase the movement slowing effect of Frost Armor instead of the attack speed slow.
A bug fix that may or may not be missed in PvP, assuming anybody noticed this. Permafrost is supposed to decrease movement speed, for some reason the bonus was applying to melee speed reduction in the case of Frost Armor. Probably, nobody will care, because this bug didn’t effect Ice Armor, therefore only low level mages would even use Frost Armor. Mages leveling might notice this, if they were taking Permafrost for specifically the melee speed reduction. In which case, they fail as mages for being in melee in the first place. Especially as a frost mage.
- Spellsteal will no longer overwrite a longer duration buff.
This can be considered a bug fix. Casting spellsteal on, for example, another mage, and snagging a two minute Arcane Intellect when I had a 27 minute one in place is some of the most annoying things evar (well, besides hitting blink and going backwards). So that is nice, fo’sho.
On the other hand, if this means that spellsteal will IGNORE buffs that you already have, this becomes an incredible buff. Just think. An opposing mage hits Presence of Mind. You hit spellsteal, and let’s say you both have Intellect and Molten Armor up. Spellsteal ignores Int and MA because you already have said buff, and thus you instantly spellsteal Presence of Mind.
Most likely though, all that will happen is they lose the buff, and nothing changes on your end. Except your mana bar getting smaller.
That’s 2.4 so far. Some nice little buffs, a couple bug fixes, and one glaring nerf that makes the raider in me foam at the mouth.