The new Impact looks like this:
Gives your damaging spells a 4/7/10% chance to cause the next Fire Blast you cast to stun the target for 2 sec.
Random stuns are bad. Anyone who PvP’d at all in the age of Roflherald and Mace spec rogues and warriors knows this.
Blizzard knows it, so they took steps to eliminate totally random stun procs in LK.
There were still a few hold outs here and there. Impact was intact, Blackout was intact, paladins could still use one via a seal.
Those have been largely eliminated. Blackout was simply removed completely, and Shadow Priests received a talent that gives them a hefty boost to DPS instead.
We mages get to keep our stun, it’s just the randomness of it has been reduced somewhat.
To our opponents, it’ll still feel random.
To us, though, it’ll be very similar to Fingers of Frost. The proc chance is random, but once it has procced, it’s up to the mage to use it in the most tactically sensible way.
I really like this change. It allows the mage and his partners to actually plan (sort of) around it.
Imagine if Fingers of Frost simply automatically fired two Ice Lances when it procced. Which would you rather have? The totally random one you can’t take advantage of because you have no warning? Or the mostly random one that gives you time to employ strategy to take full advantage of it?
Though it does have the rather unfortunate side effect of completely killing the Molten Armor/Impact synergy, arguably the best thing going for fire PvP currently.
Still, it takes completely random chance out of the picture, which is a good thing. Excessive RNG is never a good thing for PvP.
There was also a change to Fiery Payback:
When below 35% health all damage taken is reduced by 10% and your Pyroblast spell’s cast time is reduced by 1.75 secs while the cooldown is increased by 2.5 secs. In addition, melee and ranged attacks made against you have a 5% chance to disarm your attacker’s main hand and ranged weapons.
This sort of confuses me.
On the bright side, that’s one more talent point a PvP fire mage can throw around elsewhere. And that whole disarm thing will certainly improve survivability against melee classes and hunters.
On the dark side, the first part of the talent was quite heavily nerfed. That just seems kinda odd, considering the goal is to buff fire mage PvP viability. And hey, didn’t we just get rid of a random proc a couple seconds ago?
I don’t think having the disarm effect being random is a good idea. It should be something the mage can activate at will, that way it’s actually strategic and useful, rather than a largely pointless proc that comes up every now and then.
I’m sure Warriors, Rogues, and Hunters would be pretty ticked if Disarm/Dismantle/Chimaera Shot just sometimes randomly occured.
What fire is missing, y’see, is active ways to control opponents and defensive measures. Frost has both of those in spades, that’s why it’s always been successful. Arcane has recently come into it’s own as a mobility fighter, with powerful instant casts and as much passive survivability as frost has active.
If the fire tree is to be successful from a PvP standpoint, it needs to have either active or passive defense and a way to efficiently control opponents.
Dragon’s Breath and Blastwave are both excellent control measures, and now that fire has a controllable stun effect, that should improve it’s PvP situation, though I suspect these aren’t enough.
A couple quick ideas: add a PvP oriented talent somewhere in the fire tree (perhaps several) that accomplish the following:
- The disorient effect from Dragon’s Breath is now a stun effect, and does not break on damage
- In addition to the daze effect from Blastwave, it also stuns. However, this stun breaks on (non-DoT) damage
- Living Bomb now afflicts a snare in equivalent power to frostbolt
That should give fire mages enough active controlling power, then all it would need is defense.
Whether the defense is passive (like Arctic Winds) or active (like Ice Barrier), something is needed.