3.2 brought with it two changes to Living Bomb. The first was that it was usable on any number of targets, rather than just one. This change has single-handedly cost me my life at least three times on Hodir’s trash. WORMS!!
The second change was that the crits on the DoT section of Living Bomb would count towards Hot Streak (and naturally, if it didn’t crit, count against it).
As you all no doubt know by now, this last part was hotfixed out of the game so fast basically nobody on live had a chance to do anything with it.
And, of course, the rivers of QQ did pour forth, and behold, for the official forums were awash in the tears of magi world round.
Naturally, every nerf to the mage class (even ones that Blizzard explicitly stated, over and over again, probably wouldn’t go live) brings oceans of QQ. That’s just how the mage class works. We’re like clingy, fragile lovers, apt to break down into tears at the slightest… uhm… slight.
So fine. What are a few more tears, right? Get out your flotation devices, children! Things are about to get wet.
The nerf to Living Bomb (there can be no other word for it, as that’s exactly what it is) is confusing to many. Confounding, even.
This whole change had already been tested. It had been theorycrafted extensively, and rigorously tested on the PTR. Allowing Hot Streak proccing Living Bombs on multiple targets simply was not overpowered. All it did was even out DPS on single target fights, and buff up DPS a little on multi-target fights. Still nowhere near as good as, say, warriors, rogues or death knights on fights like Kologarn, but better.
For those of you who never got a chance to test LB on the PTRs, allow me to iterate a little.
The primary problem with fire mage DPS is that the player, once he has mastered how to play, has absolutely zero control over his own DPS. First off, fire doesn’t have any cooldowns to blow. FFB mages have Icy Veins at least, but a fireball mage has nothing unless they bring a profession and a racial with them.
Second, a fire mage’s DPS is fueled almost entirely by two things: Ignite and Hot Streak, both of which are heavily reliant on the RNG.
Especially Hot Streak.
A fire mage could see his own personal DPS fluctuate 2k from week to week on the exact same fight with the exact same raid group in the exact same gear.
Thing is, sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t. You, the mage, have absolutely no control over it. Sometimes you get a bunch of Hot Streaks in a row, sometimes you go 30 seconds without seeing a single one.
This behaviour, this reliance on the RNG is the first thing Living Bomb was intended to fix. By allowing the crits to contribute to Hot Streak, this significantly smooths out how random fire DPS is, and gave the mage a significantly steadier proc rate on Hot Streak.
In conjunction with the multi-target change, all this did was give fire mages something meaningful to contribute to AoE, and allowed those very same fire mages to be not quite so far behind the better AoE classes on fights like Razorscale ground phase or Freya.
In other words, this change was benificial to the mage class without overpowering them at all.
And that right there is where the torrents of QQ and my own sadness stem from.
I’ll give you one guess, just one, as to why such a perfect change for raiding fire mages was nerfed.
Did you guess PvP?
Because it’s PvP.
Imagine doing AV, dropping LBs on everyone, then picking a target and slamming five insta-pyros into them in a row. In other words, “pvp fire mages” were “overpowered”.
Yes, yes, let’s all have a little laugh, and let the hearty chuckles fade away into choked sobbing.
Heh, PvP fire mages. Hilarious.
You know what the best part is? Even if there were lots of PvP fire mages, this change doesn’t actually impact them at all.
Instead of Living Bomb tabbing and then hurling Pyroblasts everywhere, they now Living Bomb tab and then hurl Pyroblasts everywhere twelve seconds after the first one was cast.
So let’s recap.
Living Bomb is buffed, smoothing out how random fire mage DPS is and allowing mages to be not quite so bad at multi-target fights. Then, it is nerfed for PvP reasons, somehow managing to not nerf PvP at all, while near completely nerfing it in a raiding environment.
At least we still have the multi-target aspect?
To be honest, I’d happily trade multi-target Living Bombs for a single target Living Bomb that can proc Hot Streak.
Maybe a glyph?
Glyph of Living Bomb
Requires Level 60
Item Level 45
The periodic damage from your Living Bomb can now be critical strikes and counted toward hot streak.
In addition your Living Bomb can only be cast on one target at a time.