Hi there, welcome back.
I am here today to complain about my class. If you do not want to hear about a bunch of whiny QQ, then please, skip this post. If you are here for constructive and helpful information about the mage class, tune in tomorrow or something. If you are here for the rants, read on.
By now, I’m sure most of you are tired of hearing about mages complain about warlocks. We whine, we bitch, and so on and so on. We do it because we have reason to. There are plenty of reasons for us to be angry at warlocks, and it all boils down to this: Warlocks are better than us. That single sentence, and everything it implies, is what makes mages angry.
Mages have one advantage over Warlocks, and that is our precious Polymorph. At the very least, warlocks cannot match a mages player versus environment crowd control ability.
Without further ado, let’s get to the bitchfest…
First, there is the issue with our ability to DPS in raid environments. To be perfectly blunt, mages do not, and cannot, match a warlocks damage. Given ideal conditions for extended nuking (in other words, standing perfectly still and hit capped, chaincasting our little hearts out), given equal amounts of crit and damage, warlocks pull ahead. If the mage is in a fully optimal raid fire spec, and the warlock in a fully optimal raid shadow-bolt spec, mages fall behind warlocks in both total damage dealt and DPS.
And then we get to the issue of AoE damage. Mages have long been the kind of AoE, and according to Blizzard, are still supposed to be. But mages aren’t anymore, thanks to one spell I’m sure we’re all familiar with, Seed of Corruption. The issue with Seed of Corruption is that it has much greater range than any mage AoE, and has an extremely high max damage cap, compared to any mage AoE spell.
These are the damage caps for some mage AoE spells (note that these values are empirically gathered, and as such can be off by a couple points of damage. See this thread for the original data.)
Flamestrike: 7830 damage
Blastwave: 9440 damage
Dragon’s Breath: 10100 damage
These three represent the highest damage cap AoE spells mages have. Everything else has a lower value to its cap.
Seed of Corruption has a damage cap of 12,700 damage.
And it gets even worse when we get into PvP. At 60, mages were fine in Player versus Player combat. It was an era of speed reflexes, where you could kill someone in 4 seconds and be killed even faster. Going into a battleground as a mage, you had maybe 2k health, stuff like Aimed Shot and Mortal Strike could kill you instantly, and there was nobody on the battlefield you wouldn’t be able to annihilate in three, maybe four spells (Obviously slightly exaggerated, but you get the point). Fights did not last long, because they couldn’t. Mages are not meant to outlast their opponent, a la Paladins, but end it quickly and decisively.
Going into The Burning Crusade, PvP itself didn’t change, but the gear did. Significantly. Compared to level 60 gear, there is a MASSIVE increase in Stamina. Like, we’re talking 300%, 400% increases in the stat. As well, TBC introduced a whole new stat called Resilience. These two stats combined mean that PvP encounters last a lot longer. PvP comes down to outlasting your opponent, and their cooldowns. Think of some classes that are really good at PvP combat these days. Druids? Warriors? Warlocks? Discipline Priests? D’you see a pattern here?
The classes that are good at PvP these days are ones with naturally high stamina, or ones with a myriad of abilities that give them incredible not-dying power. Classes that you can think of as a damage sponge or a cockroach are the ones that are good at PvP.
Mages are neither. Mages do not have much stamina. Never have. And only frost specced mages have any kind of respectable cockroach abilities.
With fights lasting longer, and resilience making attacks weaker, this means that it will take more attacks, a lot more, to kill any given enemy. This, of course, doesn’t hurt those with “unlimited” attack resources (warriors, rogues), but rather those restricted to a limited mana pool. Classes such as mages and priests are the worst off, in that they don’t have off-mana abilities they can use, such as pets or relatively powerful auto attack abilities. Natch, these classses are given ways to regain their mana, things like Innervate and Evocate. The mage gets two ways to restore mana. Mana gems, extremely nice self-summoned consumables. their effect somewhat dampened by a 2 minute cooldown and a shared timer with a Warlock’s Healthstone, which is the better consumable in PvP anyways. Evocate is an iffy spell, in that the mage must be standing perfectly still, do nothing except channel the spell, and leave the Arcane tree, incredibly valuable in PvP for its utility, open to interruption.
Enter the warlock, with, effectively, an unlimited mana bar. Life Tap, while dangerous to use in PvP, nevertheless provides an extremely potent tool to being able to cast forever. Life Tap combined with, depending on spec, everything from Drain Life to the best half hour self buff in the entire game (Fel Armor), allows for limitless regeneration of mana.
And then, of course, we have what many now refer to as the “pillar hump”. Essentially, LOS issue gimp any class that requires ranged fighting, and requires time to get off its most powerful abilities. Can anyone guess which 2 classes are the most gimped by this? Hunters are the obvious one (although the removal of the deadzone did help them significantly), and the other is mages. All of a mages instant spells are either incredibly mana intensive, or so pitiful they can’t even be called an annoyance.
Mages have few counters against “pillar humping”. We can blink (long cooldown, very mana intensive), which then horribly gimps us if we need to escape something later. Like, say, a warrior. Or a rogue. Or, we can use the ranged Freeze on the water elemental, which, of course, is also on a long cooldown. Oh, yeah, and it breaks on a critical hit.
Again, warlocks pull ahead. Far more instant damage abilities than a mage could ever want, pets are readily avaliable to pillar chase people, and channeled spells work through LOS blocks, as long as you start the channel before they leave LOS. The only channeled spell mages get is Arcane Missiles, which, again, is excruciatingly mana intensive.
Oh, and by the way? All these mana intensive abilities I’m mentioning? Did I happen to mention that, compared to level 60, these abilities cost ~50% more, yet our PvP gear has LESS Intellect than was on the 60 gear?
Speaking of gear, you need look no further than the gear intended for mages to see that either 1) The developers are malicious bastard who carefully construct the game to spite mages or 2) They don’t have a clue what they want to do with mages, and so blindly flail in the dark hoping they manage to pull of a second warlock.
I’ve said this before ad nauseam. Spirit does nothing except waste space on mage gear. All it does is waste precious item budgeting that could be better spent… well, anywhere. It’s useless. It’s useless. IT IS USELESS.
And Spell Penetration on our Tier 6 shoulders? What the fucking fuck?
I guess I need to stress this again. UTTERLY. USELESS.
Speaking of Tier 6, let’s take a brief moment and compare the set bonus between warlocks and mages, shall we?
Mage 2 piece bonus: Increases the duration of Evocate by 2 seconds (in other words, an extra tick worth 15% of the total mana bar)
Mage 4 piece bonus: Increases the damage by Fireball, Frostbolt, and Arcane Missiles by 5%
Warlock 2 piece set bonus: Each time Corruption or Immolate deals damage, you heal 70 health
Warlock 4 piece set bonus: Increases the damage dealt by Shadowbolt and Incinerate by 6%
Compare the 2 piece first. For mages, our 2 piece set bonus gives us an extra 15% of our total mana bar every eight minutes, assuming we can afford to be doing nothing for a full 10 seconds.
Now, the warlock is slightly more complicated. Assuming the warlock is only using Corruption OR Immolate, and not both, over the same eight minutes, the warlock will heal himself for (and yes, fel armor DOES amplify the healing done by this set bonus) 13440 health. Oh, yeah, and this is also assuming untalented Fel Armor.
So mages get a tiny boost to our mana bar. Warlocks get, at the least, an extra 13440 hitpoints to transform into mana. To be blunt, the warlock set bonus kicks the mages set bonus to the curb, then curb stomps it. Then urinates on its writhing corpse.
The 4 piece set bonus is obvious. A raid optimized mage will be chain casting fireball. A raid optimized shadowbolt… I mean, warlock, will be chain casting shadowbolt. Mages get a 5% increase to our spammed spell, warlocks get a 6% increase to their spammed spell.
And while I’m ranting about percentile increases, check this out. Empowered Fireball increases the bonus damage for fireball by 15%. The exact same talent, in the Destruction tree, increases the bonus damage for both Shadowbolt and Incinerate by 20%.
So…. the warlock has better gear. The warlock has better talents. The warlock is better suited to both PvE and PvP than a mage is.
And yet, the community still fails to realize why mages are angry. We are mad, we are bitter. “Magez are fine. L2P, nub”
Mages are not fine. We’re just not. We’re not the worst off (<3 shamans) but we’re certainly not fine. We’re not even OK anymore. We used to be powerful. Wanted for our mighty DPS in instances, capable of rocking and rolling with the best of the best in PvP. Now, we’re wanted for our farm animals and refreshing drinks in instances, capable of being rocked and rolled by the mediocre in PvP.