More meandering thoughts about frost.
All of you cryomancers worrying about Replenishment being tied to your elementals can breathe a sigh of relief. It would be monumentally stupid of Blizzard to create a mechanic like that tied to something that cannot maintain 100% uptime, and has essentially zero survivability.
The little preview blurb uses the words “removed” and “replaced”. The Imp. Water Elemental talent is gone. Ended. Forcibly excised from the gaming code. It’s being replaced utterly.
The new talent will, in all likelihood, have absolutely nothing to do with the Water Elemental. It probably even won’t have it as a prerequisite anymore.
Unless, of course, none of this is true, Replenishment really is based on the WE, the WE becomes a permanent pet, and frosties get all the tools needed to keep a pet alive. AoE protection, a heal, etc.
Say, for instance, you could target your WE and shoot frost spells at it. Except that they heal it. This could even be extended to any frost damage, not just the spells the mage casts.
The little guy take some AoE damage? Hit Frost Nova, hope it crits. Tell your shammy healers to tag him with Frost Shock if they get bored. Use him to tank Sapphiron.
Ok, that last one might be a stretch. That Lich in Sholazar maybe?
And, of course, PvP mages could grief their own side by spamming “heals” on an enemy WE. *Evil grin*
Oh! And you could round up a bunch of mobs, have your elemental tank them, and then slam the lot with Blizzard. Kills the mobs while keeping your elemental healed.
Casting Deep Freeze, of course, immediately heals your elemental to full, restores all of it’s mana, gives it a Last Stand style boost to health, and a large boost to Armor.
Or maybe just changes it outright from a Water Elemental to a superior Ice Elemental. Water Bolt replaced with Ice Bolt, which has far more powerful damage.
Hrm. It would seem I just rendered Deep Freeze a good talent for raiding.
Sweet iodine, that 51-point talent desperately needs to be good for raiding. Living Bomb? A must for raiding fire mages. Arcane Barrage? A must for raiding arcane mages. Deep Freeze? Raiding frost mages don’t even know what that is.
And hey, wouldn’t it be nice if frost mages didn’t have to go into the arcane tree?
Ideally, I think, every tree should offer some nice stuff to every other tree.
Deep Arcane has stuff like ABarr, those intellect talents, Arcane Power and friend, and Missile Barrage to give it it’s own distinct flavour and awesome. But stuff in the early tree, like Torment the Weak, Clearcast and Spell Impact can be utilized by the other trees just as easily.
Take a look at hunters. The early trees for BM, MM, and SV all offer perfectly viable talents that complement any other tree’s deep talents. It would be awesome if we could get to the same place with mages.
More specifically, wouldn’t it be great if the early fire tree provided talents that allowed the frost tree to capitalize on using Fireball and Brain Freeze procs? I’m thinking it could fill in the same sort of role instant Pyros and Missile Barrage have in the other trees.
There you are, happily casting away, hoping to see a Brain Freeze proc so you can *gasp!* there it is! Kabram!
Though I still think it is intensely odd for a deep frost talent to involve something about as unrelated to frost as you can get…
Just a quick note. I don’t think anyone wants to see frost fundamentally change or become more complex for no other reason than to have it more complex.
What we want is for the spec to be more interactive. Arcane, for instance, is extremely interactive and is exhilirating to play because of it.
Admittedly, frost has more long term cooldown management to do than the other two trees, but that isn’t really enough. It needs short term management, too. It isn’t really unreasonable to expect at least two spells to play off of each other.
The aggravating part is that frost has the spells! It’s just nothing is done with them. Ice Lance and Deep Freeze really stick out here as painfully obvious solutions.
As it is, I think the hugest problem is that frost doesn’t really have much in the way of rewarding players for skilled play in a raiding environment.
Pit a skilled arcane mage against a mediocre one and a bad one (in equal gear, obviously). Watch the damage meters, it will become very obvious, very quickly, which one is which.
Try the same thing with frost mages, and it won’t be nearly as obvious.
I’m not saying that playing frost requires no skill, I’m saying it requires less.
Yeah, yeah, go ahead and flame me. OH WAIT. You can’t because you’re a frost mage. Hold on, I’ll go get a slurpee and drink it really fast.
Where was I?
Oh yes, Replenishment.
So, assuming then that Replenishment isn’t tied to the elemental, we have the interesting conundrum of what it is tied to.
Say… Ice Lance crits?
SHABAM. Well, that wasn’t hard. Now all of a sudden the frost mage uses two spells in raiding.
It’s even ok if using Ice Lance still results in slightly lower DPS than if the mage had gone straight through with frostbolts. Giving up some DPS for a little utility isn’t exactly a new thing.
Fire mages lose a little bit of DPS to keep Scorch up, Warlocks lose some to keep CoE up (rather than CoA), Druids lose some to keep Faerie Fire up (if they specced for it). By the same token, the frost mage can keep right on chugging with frostbolt if Replenishment isn’t required at the time.
Or tie it to Deep Freeze, and have Deep Freeze do… something… with… something else! It’s perfect!