I’ve been waiting a while to talk about this, just to see if there were going to be any further adjustments to how TTW works.
Apparently, there aren’t any, so here I go.
Torment the Weak
Frostbolt, Fireball, Frostfire Bolt, Arcane Missiles, Arcane Blast, and Arcane Barrage deal 12% more damage to snared or slowed targets.
This, this little talent right here, is likely to be the biggest change to the arcane tree this up and coming patch.
The current version of TTW only activates on snared targets. A snare is something along the lines of, say, Frostbolt, Slow, Mind Flay, Concussive Shot. Thus, the talent is very powerful in PvP where it’s nearly a guarantee that your target is affected by some sort of snare.
The problem is that it isn’t viable for raiding. Bosses are, of course, immune to nearly every single snare in the game. In fact, the only snare that actually worked was… Slow.
And so arose some strange strategies. A deep arcane mage, for instance, could guarantree themselves an extra 12% damage as long as they kept Slow active on the boss in question.
It is here that the term “Slow slave” originated.
Say you have four mages in a raid. All of them are specced for TTW. Only one of them is specced for Slow. It’s his job to make sure that Slow has a 100% uptime, so the other three mages will always have a 12% damage boost to their primary nukes.
Sure, the “slave” would be forced to run with sub-par DPS, but the extra damage output of the other three mages would outweigh that… right?
If all four mages went with a cookie cutter FFB build instead, they would still collectively put out more damage than if all of them took advantage of TTW. To a point. I mean, if you had 1 Slow slave and 9 mages specced for TTW, that would reach the break even point.
But still. Who fields ten mages in a raid? Can you imagine the loot drama?
Needless to say, the old TTW was limited enough to be nearly worthless from a raiding standpoint.
Enter two words “or slowed”. What the hell is a slow?
Thunderclap is a slow. Slow is a slow (durr). Icy Touch is a slow. Curse of Tongues. Infected Wounds. Hell, even Judgements of the Just counts.
What does this mean?
Well, basically, this means TTW the weak suddenly has an extremely high uptime. Allow me to put it this way. If there is a tank in the raid, TTW will be active.
This means that there isn’t a need for a Slow slave. TTW will be up anyways, without the need for a deep arcane mage. Therefore, you could spec a deep fire build (based around fireball, le gasp shock!) as an 18/53/0 build, taking TTW in the arcane tree rather than Arcane Meditation.
There would be no need to have some deep arcane mage elsewhere to provide the buff. It’s going to be up and running regardless.
And, of course, this is a massive boon to deep arcane mages, too. No need to waste mana and GCDs on slow, just keep right on nuking so long as that idiot warrior remembers to hit Thunderclap every now and then.
Is FFB, theorycraftically speaking, still #1 for DPS? Sure is.
Are the 18/53 and deep arcane builds significantly lacking? Nope.
For instance, a deep arcane build would still run about 4-6% behind a standard FFB build. For the very, very few, this means arcane is awful.
But you know… 4-6% isn’t significant. It’s just not. If there was a Brutallus style fight in the game, a 3% difference from one DPS player would mean the difference between success and a total failure.
(Note that this is WITHOUT Glyph of Arcane Blast.)
Fact is, none of the current content demands that an extra 20 DPS be squeezed from a mage. A deep arcane mage isn’t the best of the best, but it’s still pretty damn good.
There are still going to be plenty who simply roll with whatever does the greatest amount of damage. That’s how those people play, that’s how the top raiding guilds function.
If you like the arcane tree, if you like being an arcane mage in a raid, there is no reason to respec. The raid isn’t gimped because you’re there and not specced FFB. You aren’t dragging the raid down in any way.
And if anyone says you are, they’re simply ignorant. Or intensely mean spirited. Either way, they’re technically wrong.
And that is my picker-upper for the arcane mages out there. Y’all are so despondent…
Hopefully these changes actually go through so the tree can stop sucking so much.
Remember the Arcane Blast changes I talked about a little while ago?
The results are in as to the rotations… and they are pretty much exactly what we all expected.
Arcane is now able to throttle evenly betweening lowering DPS to conserve mana, and burning mana extremely fast to produce big numbers.
To conserve mana, simply rotate between Arcane Blast and Arcane Barrage. This provides the best damage per mana, and spend very little mana.
A higher DPS cycle would involve several Arcane Blasts, depending on your current needs. ABlast twice then ABarr, or ABlast three times then ABarr.
The two ABlast option deals stronger DPS than one, and costs more mana. Three ABlasts costs more mana to support than the two option, and conversely provides stronger DPS.
All out, balls to the wall DPS mode is still ABlast spam. This produces the highest DPS for the arcane tree, at the cost of truly massive amounts of mana.
Essentially, as an arcane mage, you now have four speeds. Starting off with a nice, steady jog, progressing to a hard run, breaking into a dead sprint, and then OMFGWTFSTEROIDS speed.
So it would seem that arcane has morphed itself back into the only true interactive DPS spec in the entire game. Congratulations, Blizzard, the arcane tree is pure brilliance.
Get it? Brilliance? Arcane? Arcane Brilliance?
Oh, come on, you must have the intellect to get that one. There’s no way you people can be this slow.
I’m sorry, I’ll stop now.