The actual dps increases are something more like adding Pyroblast to Torment the Weak and Empowered Fire. That may have missed the most recent patch notes.
Yes, ghostcrawler, a change this huge did miss the patch notes, just a little bit.
Pyroblast added to TtW and Empowered Fire.
Now when I say a huge change, I mean “significant DPS boost”, take that however you want. Obviously Pyroblast will not be worth casting as part of a rotation, it’s still strictly Hot Streak only.
But, when this patch gets released, those Hot Streak procs are going to hit significantly harder. How significant? Well, depends on your spellpower, really.
Adding Pyroblast to TtW is an excellent short term solution. A flat 12% damage increase to Pyroblast, boom, done, easy buff, and hey hello fire PvP buff too. Good job, all around.
Where I see a problem is with the TtW talent itself. That talent has been drastically overbudget for a long time now, and all signs point to it staying that way until Cataclysm at least. I’ve complained about TtW before, so suffice to say: the design of it sucks, but you still have to take it because the damage boost is so huge.
Adding Pyroblast to Empowered Fire is also a very significant boost to the damage Hot Streak can do, but this one will depend on how much spellpower you have kicking around.
Just to use a strawman, say you have three thousand spellpower raid buffed. 15% of that spellpower is going to be added to whatever damage your Pyroblast deals, so an extra 450 damage to every single Pyroblast you fire. The number could be different from 15%, of course, I’m not on the PTR, I can’t tell you for sure. In any case, good change is good, DPS increase is a DPS increase, hurray huzzah for Pyroblast’s hitting much harder.
Oh yeah, and Combustion is now a 2 minute cooldown.
Now the inevitable question: does this make fire viable again?
The inevitable answer: fire has always been viable you twat. It just hasn’t been as good as arcane, is all. You want to talk about fire being oh so terrible? I think your fellow frost mages might have something to say to you.
Just because something isn’t #1 DPS doesn’t mean it isn’t viable. If arcane is beating fire by a margin of 8% DPS, give or take depending on the nature of the fight and how hard arcane can abuse IA, that doesn’t mean fire is absolutely terrible. All it means is that it isn’t as good as arcane is.
Now, if we were to go back in time half a year and watch frost mages flail wildly about at the bottom of the theoretical DPS charts, now there you could make an argument for non-viability.
Now, to answer what you meant to ask: does this make fire and arcane closer to each other, DPS wise? Is there a significant difference?
Yes, these changes bring fire and arcane much closer together. My initial assumptions and ridiculously fast napkin mathcrafting conclude that fire and arcane are definitely sub 10% in DPS difference, though fire is still behind arcane, even considering the IA nerf. I’d say fire is about 4 or 5% behind arcane on an average fight.
To me, that is an insignificant difference. To me, that says “pick whichever you prefer”. Arcane and fire have different specialties and completely different playstyles and gearing decisions, so pick the one you want to play.
Fire is better at AoE, provides better sustained single target damage, superior range and mobility, and can dominate fights with continuous multiple targets (Kologarn, Twins where the two are tanked close together). Arcane can switch targets much faster, due to having no ramp time, has much stronger cooldowns (and thus far greater burst) and doesn’t suffer from DPS “lag” as fire does with ignite and living bomb.
Or go frost, if you like.
A tree does not have to be optimal to be viable.