Leveling frost is what most mages do. Some still level fire, preferring superior damage output to the control frost offers.
Does anyone level arcane?
I’ve scoffed at the arcane tree as a viable leveling spec for a long, long time. Mostly because it was extremely bad.
But there’s a couple new talents and synergies kicking around that could very well make arcane a perfectly reasonable leveling tree.
Torment the Weak, for instance, can give arcane access to very powerful nukes early on, and later Arcane Barrage, Slow and a 2 minute Evocate result in excellent efficiency and very powerful kiting power.
Anyone out there leveling/leveled arcane? Share your thoughts, I want to know.
Here are my ideas:
Arcane seems to me like it would need to rely very heavily on frostbolt for quite a few levels. Torment the Weak is extremely powerful, providing a huge damage boost as long as the target is snared or slowed.
Therefore, using frostbolt until the mage has Slow would result in a permanently active TTW. Then the mage can use whatever spell he likes the best, once the target is snared. Except Scorch.
Which spells, then, would be best to use? Spamming frostbolt, or using frostbolt then spamming Arcane Missiles both have their advantages.
The former is likely to cost less mana, but the latter will deal more damage.
I’m leaning far more strongly towards the frostbolt then AM route. You can pick up Arcane Stability basically right away, preventing any pushback. The sheer damage it deals, as compared to frostbolt, could also easily offset its greater mana cost by simply killing the enemy mob before you need to expend much mana attacking it.
Evocate would help a lot, what with it being on a mere 4 minute cooldown. And later, of course, a puny 2 minutes for the arcane mage. Mana will probably become totally irrelevant by the early 50s, maybe late 40s.
Level 12-20 would probably be ridiculously painful from a drinking perspective. WTB Aspect of the Irish.
Seems to me that arcane gets more powerful the higher level you are. Once the mage has ABlast, Slow, and ABarr, he’s basically an unstoppable killing machine.
Hellfire Peninsula is also a challenging thought. If the mage heads straight there at 58, he’s squishy as a wet sponge and half as tough, has very few control options, doesn’t have ABarr OR ABlast, and probably relatively poor gear to boot.
Handling multi-mob pulls would be incredibly hard, though I expect the mage could probably just pop AP and burn something down extremely fast. No finesse necessary when you have more than enough brute force to go around.
On the other hand, the an arcane mage could rely on frost a little more heavily, and expend points in Imp. Frostbolt and Frostbite, maybe even Ice Floes for a shorter cooldown on Frost Nova.
But then, if we’re going that route, why not just go all the way with frost for the time being? Arcane doesn’t get any of it’s signature spells until much later in the game.
Talents I see as extremely powerful from a leveling arcane perspective:
Arcane Stability – as mentioned before, this gives the arcane tree pushback immunity far earlier than the other two.
Arcane Concentration – this should offset the mana cost of leveling an arcane mage somewhat, and hopefully save some time with the mana hungry Arcane Missiles.
Magic Attunement – probably not until the mage has Slow. TTW must be active, and until at least level 50 that means frostbolt. Extending the range of arcane spells when the mage is limited by frostbolt is basically pointless.
Torment The Weak – Obviously intensely powerful. HUGE damage boost from very few talent points.
Arcane Power – Imperative for those “oh shit” moments. Arcane doesn’t really have any control options, like fire, and so needs to rely on burning something down really fast rather than controlling it.
Arcane Barrage – Adds a whole new facet to the arcane tree. Note that a mage can get this before ABlast.
And from there… where?
Would the synergy between Incanter’s Absorption and Arcane Shielding be worth the talent points? Arcane Mind Mastery is hardly worth the points early on, as is Missile Barrage if the mage is using AM in the first place.
Once the mage has access to ABlast and ABarr, MB is very strong. Might be worth taking points in Ice Floes anyway just for the Frost Nova and Cone of Cold perks.
Bah, but I digress.
That’s what’s on my mind, and so help me I’m probably going to try it.