- To increase the DPS of the frost tree in a raiding environment
- Avoid rendering frost overpowered in PvP
- Give frost a proper mana dump, and preferably any mechanic that forces the mage to think and plan, no matter how simple it is
- Incorporate both Deep Freeze and Ice Lance into the raiding environment
And do it all within the frost tree itself. Making changes in the early arcane or fire tree can be part of the solution, but shouldn’t be the solution.
The point is to buff frost mages, and that should be done in the frost tree.
But hey, gotta start somewhere, let’s look at the other trees.
First, the arcane tree is the obvious off-spec tree of choice. It always has been, I suspect it always will be, and I see zero reason why that should change.
Hunters, regardless of spec, spend points in the Marksman tree. Every priest spends points in the Discipline tree. So it really isn’t a stretch at all to simply shun the early fire tree and use arcane instead.
Add Frostbolt to Spell Impact.
This seems horrendously obvious. It already applies to Ice Lance and Cone of Cold, in addition to boosting the main nukes for a non-fire FFB build and any arcane build, is adding frostbolt into that really such a stretch?
Most frost mages will probably be spending points at this level anyway to get Torment the Weak. At this point, it’s practically a guarantee that a frost mage has 18 points in the frost tree.
Let’s go with that, then. A raiding frost mage will be sporting 18/0/53 as their raiding build.
This means there isn’t going to be a lot of wiggle room in the frost tree, as the changes I’m suggesting incorporate both Ice Barrier and Deep Freeze. Though that might be insane. Oh well.
Ice Lance needs to scale.
It doesn’t matter how this is done. Now, when a frost mage gets a FoF proc, he merely keeps casting frostbolt, as it would be a DPS loss to use Ice Lance as part of a proper Shatter combo.
This isn’t an issue early on, however. At lower values of spellpower (around the 1200 area), using Ice Lance during a FoF proc produces more damage, it’s just when you get to higher spellpower values where it stops being a good source of damage.
Hence, Ice Lance needs to scale better. Preferably much better.
“Increases the damage of your Ice Lance spell by an amount equal to X% of your spellpower”, or just basically increasing the spell’s coefficient while some sort of effect is active.
Having it active permanently, of course, would be overpowered.
Instead, the spellpower boost to Ice Lance is only active while Ice Barrier is active on the mage. This provides a damage boost to raiding frost mages, and even gives them a slight mana dump (as they would need to keep Ice Barrier up, and that isn’t exactly the cheapest spell in the book.
It also isn’t overpowered for PvP purposes, as Ice Barrier can be dispelled or simply smacked off with an axe.
The actual number of the X needs to be high enough that it is worthwhile to spend a FoF charge on an Ice Lance, but low enough that it’s still worth casting frostbolt for the first charge(s).
The idea here is that there needs to be a legitimate shatter combo (frostbolt + Ice Lance), but Ice Lance can’t be strong enough to be the only thing worth casting when FoF procs.
Speaking of frostbolt…
Deep Freeze is for Raiding! For Serious!
There are enough ideas thrown around about this spell to fill up several posts all by itself, probably more.
For the purposes of this blog post, Deep Freeze is going to be morphed into something that can provide a mana dump, thus giving the possibility of improved frosty DPS.
First, something relatively simple. Casting Deep Freeze afflicts the target with a debuff similar to Winter’s Chill, except not Winter’s Chill exactly. Instead, this little debuff has ten charges, and messes around with mana costs in exchange for some sort of buff.
Let’s say something simple. While this debuff is up (let’s call it Freezerburn), the mana cost of any frost spell cast at the target is increased by, say, 200%, but the effect of Ice Shards is doubled. A charge is consumed when the target is struck by a critical strike from the frost mage.
This results in a somewhat controlled mana dump, boosts frost mage DPS with bigger crits, and indirectly makes critical strike rating a better stat for frost mages.
I’m sure y’all could think of many, many ideas revolving around Deep Freeze.
Casting Deep Freeze adds a 30 second debuff that increases frost damage taken by 15%, but increases the mana cost of any frost spell by 200%.
Deep Freeze is now applies a DoT effect in addition to what it normally does, and while this DoT is active, [insert buff to frost spells here] but mana cost is increased.
Or maybe leave Deep Freeze out of it entirely and have Winter’s Chill do the same thing. Add a stack to WC when a spell hits, consume one when a spell crits.
Now we go off the deep end…
Let’s invent a spell, Pyroblast for frost mages. Call it Ice Bolt, Ice Burn, Tundra Bolt, whatever.
It has a decent mana cost, nothing too big but more than frostbolt does. Let’s say, 500 mana at level 80. It has a four or five second cast time, whichever really, so long as it’s a decent length of time.
But then, there’s this interesting mechanic in the frost tree now. Every time a frost mage casts frostbolt, they get a stacking buff. This buff reduces the cast time of Ice Burn by 20%, increases it’s damage by 20%, and increases it’s mana cost by 75%.
Net result: once the mage has cast frostbolt five times, they now have a buff which makes Ice Burn instant cast, deals double damage, and will cost the mage 1875 mana to cast it.
DPS boost? Check. Mana dump that the mage controls? Check.
The actual mana cost can be adjusted, of course. The whole idea here is to give frost mages more buttons to push and forcing them to manage mana.
You know what sounds cool? Those two words, “Ice Forge”.
Ice Forge is an ability that can be switched on and off at will. Something that can be toggled.
When it’s turned on, the mana cost of frost spells is increased by, say, 300%, while the damage of all frost spells is increased correspondingly. 30%, maybe, though that’s probably too much. 15% increase, 200% mana cost? Whatever works.
Turn it on, mana consumption increases dramatically and so does DPS. Turn it off, mana consumption drops, and so does DPS.