With the live realms screaming obscenities and refusing to sell me ice cream, at least Blizzard has the foresight to keep the Beta realms up and running. So what’s there left to do on the Beta?
Why, chain cast stuff on Target Dummies and run random instances, of course!
The mage I’m using is what we would refer to today as a fresh T4 geared character; about an even split in blues and epics. These tests were done without any support. No moonkins, no shaman, no Curse of Elements, nothing. Just me and my buffs alone.
Deep Fire with Arcane Support
- 1551 spell power
- 31.19% fire critical strike chance (base 22.19%)
The spec: 18/53/0 (see link for example)
How it works!
Scorch as many times as needed to get the Scorch debuff up to maximum stack. If you have the scorch glyph, this is only twice. I did not use any glyphs for these tests, so I had to cast Scorch five times at the start. Scorch is still a detractor of overall fire DPS, so casting it should be avoided as much as possible. Preferably, there’s a frost mage somewhere in the raid so you can safely never cast Scorch on anything.
Fireball remains a very powerful nuke, and with Spell Impact in the arcane tree, scales very well. Hot Streak remains slightly gibbled due to the Ignite munching bug; I’ve lost a lot of damage thanks to this bug.
Living Bomb is quite good at single target DPS, and is a solid spell for multiple target fights, unless the extra targets aren’t going to be alive for 12 seconds, and is definitely worth the mana cost to keep it ticking (just remember to let it ecplode, DO NOT refresh it!), provided you have enough replenishment buffs to go around.
If you do not have at least 2 mana restore dudes in the raid, you will run OOM very quickly if you use the Bomb.
Say, a frost mage and a resto shaman is perfect. Two flat restores, your own spirit regeneration and mana gem, and Mana Tide totem (hopefully) as fast as the shaman can throw it down, should keep you chugging away.
Random note about the Bomb… you can cast it on targets behind you, similar to Polymorph.
Living Bomb currently has another very serious problem with it, in that the critical strikes from it’s explosion effect do not contribute to Hot Streak. Again, this is a spell you’ll only want to cast when you have more than enough mana for it.
Similar with Hot Streak. Typically, you will want to use Hot Streak as soon as it comes up. If you crit twice again without using the proc, they don’t stack – the new one overwrites the previous one, and it’s gone forever.
If, however, mana is going to be an issue on the fight, you’ll definitely want to let Hot Streak procs slide by unused. Pyroblast doesn’t really deal any more damage than Fireball does, and it’s more expensive.
Numbers wise, on simulated chain casting fights, I was able to maintain a minimum of 1800 DPS if Hot Streak procs were few and far between; typically DPS was in the 2000 area. Highest DPS achieved was 2166- lots of Hot Streak procs, and the Bomb was kept up continuously.
On simulated movement fights (that is, forced to move around to a new position based on a RNG program), DPS was much lower, usually in the 1500, 1600 area. Lowest DPS recorded was 1444.
Deep Arcane with Frost Support
- 1673 spell power
- 25.83% critical strike chance
The spec: 53/0/18 (see link for example)
How it works!
It doesn’t! Just kidding. Sort of.
The new Arcane isn’t so much a rotation as it is a list of ever changing priorities. Picture how shadow priests worked in BC, except that every 5 seconds Mind Flay would deal double damage for 2 seconds or Mind Blast was guaranteed to crit, with no warning whatsoever. That’s the new Arcane.
There are four general types of “rotations”, it seems. First, rotating between ABlastx2 and ABarrage, with AMissiles used every time Missile Barrage procced. Second, rotating between ABlast and ABarrage, with AMissiles used every time Missile Barrage procced. Third, Frostbolt used as the primary nuke, rotating with ABarrage and AMissiles used every proc.
Arcane remains the most expensive spec, although this largely depends on how often you end up casting AMissiles, the most expensive spell present. 1 Arcane Barrage is only 228 mana, and the second one is 684. Not worth casting anything past two in a row. After that, the mana cost becomes ludicrous compared to the damage it deals.
The ABlastx2 rotation proved better than the single ABlast in all situations, even in simulated heavy movement fights.
The single ABlast rotation was barely able to hit 1700 DPS with all cooldowns running; usually produced numbers in the high 1500, low 1600 range. Using frostbolt as the main nuke produced numbers in the high 1600 area.
Using the double ABlast rotation seemed to work the best, typically producing average DPS in the mid 1800 area. Lowest DPS was recorded during a simulated movement fight, producing 1694 DPS. Using frosbolt during Arcane Power also produced some very strong numbers, with frostbolt regularly critting for well over 7k damage.
Highest DPS recorded was 2492.
Deep Frost with Arcane Support
- 1551 spell power
- 22.19% critical strike chance
The spec: 18/0/53 (see link for example)
First off, I must say I was very impressed with the semi burst power frost brings to the table. Chaining the Water Elemental and Icy Veins sees frost able to maintain 2300 DPS for a full 2 minutes, before dropping down to a more stable high 1800, low 1900 DPS zone.
The frost rotation hasn’t changed much. Chain casting frostbolt and popping fireball whenever the proc goes up. Similar to the other procs, be sure to use it as soon as it arrives; they don’t stack if another one procs while the first one is still waiting to be used.
However, make sure that a Fireball is never used for a Fingers of Frost proc. It is imperative that frostbolt be used for these procs,
Frost is also intensely mana efficient, able to cast for roughly triple the length of time the two previous specs can. Phenomenal mana efficiency; the most expensive spell a frost mage would cast is the water elemental summon at 456 mana. Toss in Clearcast and the 30% in cast regen, the result you get is… well.
Lemme put it this way. I was averaging over ten minutes of chain casting before running OOM. Typically, right around the 630 second mark is when my mana pool ran dry.
At this time, I could see, with a replenisher or two, frost mages effectively having infinite mana pools.
And here’s where I break your mind…
Just to top it off, I went with a 0/53/18 spec to test out how the Bomb and Frostfire got along together. And here’s where I shocked the hell out of myself.
Somehow, in some weird way, I managed to pull off 2558 DPS, and held that for the 224 seconds it took me to run OOM.
It was even worse, when I managed to do this consistently…
The lowest DPS I ever produced was 2198, and that was when I was intentionally throttling back to conserve mana.
Either something is broken, or something is really broken.
It will be interesting to see how it pans out.
**Edited to actually put the links in. DURRR**