If 3.2 doesn’t drop tonight, I will eat one of my fedoras. That’s how confident I am.
3.2 brings huge, sweeping changes to the mage cla-
Oh wait no it doesn’t.
The mage class still possesses an exhaustive laundry list of issues, and patch 3.2 somehow managed to ignore every last one of them.
Fire mage PvP? Absolutely nothing to see here.
Frost PvE? What are you, drunk?
Fixes to mana issues? Arcane this, that, and the other thing?
You be crazy, mon. This patch was all about Death Knights, Paladins, and Shamans.
But meh. Patch 3.2 is about to smack you upside the head, and there ARE mage changes that you need to be aware of.
First, and arguably most importantly, the Replenishment ability has been NERFED. Most likely you will be able to ignore this change, as we’ve received other changes to compensate for it. If you start running low on mana long before you’re used to, it’s likely because of this (or you accidentally rebound Blink to your Evocate button somehow).
So hey, you guys know what a bandaid is?
A bandaid is a change made to address a problem, but doesn’t actually fix the problem. Instead, it simply covers it up, leaving the issue itself unresolved.
As with many mana users (warlocks and hunters come to mind as notable exceptions), mages have somewhat of a problem with our ability to manage our mana pool.
Namely, our near complete inability to do any management at all.
I’ve said it before, many, MANY times, and I’ll likely keep right on saying it for as long as it’s necessary.
Mana is a resource, the precious blue lifeblood that fuels all of our abilities. As it is a resource, it needs to be managed (Blizzard has said as much many times).
Problem is, how can one be expected to manage a resource when one isn’t given any tools to do so?
Let’s use warlocks as an example here. As far as mana management tools go, Life Tap is perfect.
Why? Well, many reasons. Here, let me list them!
- Fits perfectly with class lore.
- Demands a trade off: a GCD and some hitpoints in exchange for mana.
- No cooldown, and thus is spammable.
- It scales with gear.
The two most important points are the middle two.
The old arguments against Life Tap are just silly. “It costs me hit points to use! If I use it at the wrong time, I could kill myself!” or “It costs a GCD, thus cutting into my DPS!”
But don’t you see? That’s why it’s such a good mechanic!
By having that trade-off, by forcing the warlock to use the ability intelligently, rather than just spamming it whenever they damn well please, that warlock has the tools available to them to manage a mana in a way that rewards better, more skilled play.
Arcane is the closest we mages have to proper mana management, and even that could use some fairly significant improvement.
But anyway, instead of giving us the tools we need to actually care about mana, we are instead given trivial bandaids that solve nothing.
The cost of the main nukes for both arcane and frost have been reduced, and a whole lotta frost spells (everything except Summon Water Elemental, Deep Freeze, and Blizzard, basically) have had their costs slashed. The fire tree gets it’s mana bump via the Empowered Fire talent.
In addition to dealing damage, any and all ignite ticks will now restore 65 mana to the mage. Admittedly this is actually really cool, though wholly unneeded.
Look, Blizzard… man, how do I put this…
When we say “we want tools to manage our mana”, what we want are actual tools.
Let’s say you get a flat tire.
What do you use to fix this little conundrum? Do you put a patch on it to close the hole? Get one of those fancy dancy spray-on fixer things?
Or do you just shrug and say “next time I’ll buy a bigger tire”?
Well, Blizzard, all you’ve done here is bought us a bigger tire. Thanks, it’s nice and all, but it doesn’t fix anything.
Invisibility will be easier to use, as you can actually do stuff whilst turning invisible, and your Mirror Images have been kind enough to stop whimpering when they die.
I suppose that will help out the healer when they suddenly panic and think the mage just died, but what we really need is like a huge cardboard sign or something that says “DON’T HEAL ME” on those things.
Ooh, I got an idea. Any heal that lands on a MI is automatically transferred to the mage. That will save at least some embarrassment.
Frost PvE, surprisingly, actually did receive a buff this patch. Basically, the cast time of Frostbolt has been cut by 0.2 seconds, in exchange for 4% crit.
Which is, frankly, totally awesome. Nobody liked that 4% crit anyways.
Hopefully this means frost will become raid viable at some point during this expansion. Only 10% behind fire or bust!
Seriously, guys, more than 25% behind fire on ANY fight in the game? You’re not even trying anymore…
Oh hey, and frost (well, technically anyone with a chill effect) got a mini mortal strike. For some reason.
FROST MAGES ARE THE BEST PVP CASTER IN THE GAME LET’S MAKE THEM BETTER.
For once, I fully agree with Blizzard’s logic here.
And that, in all honesty, is everything that happened to the mage class this pa-
MAGE T7 2PIECE NERFED FOR NO REASON AT ALL