Spirit is the topic of the day, such as it is…
Long regarded as the stupidest mage stat to ever exist, it has been the source of a great deal of hatred from the mage class. More specifically, it’s inclusion on tiered mage gear made us quiver with rage at the warlocks who got higher everything else on their gear.
Spirit, in case you don’t know, gives you passive mana regeneration, regenerating mana every 2 seconds (called a “tick”), assuming you are outside of the 5 second rule (FSR).
Whenever you cast a spell, that is, expend mana, your mana regeneration from spirit (mana regen while not casting, according to your character sheet’s tooltip) is interrupted. While interrupted, you regenerate your mana according to your (again, according to your character sheet’s tooltip) mana regen while casting.This interruption lasts 5 seconds.
Whenever you are regaining mana according to your “not casting” value, you are considered outside the 5 second rule. Whenever you are regaining mana according to your “casting” value, you are considered inside the 5 second rule.
Note that you can cast and still stay outside the FSR, you just can’t expend mana. For example, if you cast a spell that was Clearcasted.
Also note that standard cast time spells charge the mana when the spell completes, while channelled spells charge the mana when the spell begins.
The whole outside FSR thing is almost moot for mages; as a DPS class, a mage will probably be booted from the raid if s/he stands around doing nothing, or wanding.
Since this type of mana return depends on not expending mana, something mages never do, what exactly does Spirit do for us mages?
A little more than it used to, that’s for sure.
A relatively short while ago (I hope you all can remember this), Evocation regenerated mana according to what your spirit level was. 1500% of your “while not casting” mana regeneration value. This was, at the time, about the only purpose Spirit had. Arcane Meditation did allow a percentage of the OOFSR (outside of five second rule) mana regeneration to continue while in combat, but back then, this amount was a puny 2/4/6%.
Mages also had access to Mage Armor, which provided a rather hefty 30% of that mana regen to occur while inside that darn 5 second rule.
Of course, Mage Armor was totally abandoned once Molten Armor came along. 3% critical strike chance > 30% mana regeneration.
And, of course, nearly all mages had a “spirit stick”, a staff/wand combination, usually a high level green “of Spirit” that they could swap in to increase the mana returned from Evocate.
Then, things started changing. Evocation was changed to restore 60% of your total mana (causing mages to go find an Intellect stick), and Arcane Meditation was buffed. A lot. From 2/4/6% to 10/20/30%.
And then, on top of that, 2.4 came along, which increased the mana returned per point of spirit per point of intellect. In other words, the more intellect you have, the better your spirit becomes.
Which tree is Arcane Meditation in? Hmm, that would be… the Arcane tree!
I wonder if there’s a tree that increases your intellect… huh, there it is! In the Arcane tree!
I wonder if any mage tree is going to get a spirit boost… oh, look, Arcane again!
And which tree consumes the most amount of mana the fastest?
Once again, the arcane tree.
So what does Spirit do for mages?
Well, if you are currently a frost mage or a fire mage… nothing at all. Without access to Arcane Meditation, Molten Armor seriously outweighs Mage Armor on almost all fights.
For Arcane, however, it does quite a bit.
Lemme put it this way. An arcane mage (with Mage Armor up, of course), in T6-ish gear, raid buffed, can actually gain mana by chain casting Frostbolts. Yet another reason why 40/0/21 is so popular.
And it’s only going to get better from here. Spirit is playing a very significant role in LK (that’s “Litch King”, apparently the community at large finally settled on a proper name) with, from all current reports and data mining, seemingly massive amounts of spirit on gear.
Hell, even warlocks are going to need to use spirit now.
I hereby award Spirit with the “Most Improved Stat” award. What was once hated and detested is now bordering on rather useful, and will soon probably become just as well liked as anything else.
If warlocks are using it, it’s got to be good, right?
So much for the introduction to Spirit. Tomorrow we delve into the actual math going on here.
Well, I mean technically, I’ve already been doing so, and will probably be spending all of tonight screaming “DAMMIT BLIZZARD FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY CAN’T YOU MAKE IT SIMPLE?!”
But tomorrow, or the day after, depending on if I kill somebody, we can all suffer together! Yay!