And that’s all the explanation you’re going to get.
So patch triple three came and went with no posts at all from me, and frankly I don’t have much to say because I haven’t played any WoW since the tuesday it dropped. Am I done with WoW? Unsure, probably not. I’ve taken breaks before, though previously it was because I went on vacation somewhere.
Gaming is an integral part of me, I’ve been gaming since I was but a little bitty human being, starting with the SNES and working my way upwards. I believe I started gaming around… somewhere around age seven, give or take a year, and I haven’t seen the sun since. Nine to twelve hour gaming binges were normal for me by the fourth grade.
Anyway. So WoW. Yes.
I didn’t get to toy around much with patch triple three, but what little I did see left me with a distinct feeling of bitter sweetness.
The newer, significantly faster Culling of Stratholme is quite the relief though I, personally, never had much of an issue with the lengthy introduction. Tanks need to tone it down a little bit though. At the very least wait for the healer to zone in before pulling, especially if they have to, you know, put buffs up.
Or not. Whatever really. We outgear these old heroics by such a huge margin it’s difficult to care anymore. To illustrate my point:
Halls of Stone, the escort event. The group is myself, as a ret paladin in a PvP spec and PvP gear, a blood tank, unholy DPS, a holy priest, and a hunter. This entire event, the priest healed with PW: S only, both DKs basically threw down D&D and got off a couple autoattacks, and the hunter dropped traps and set his pet to aggressive. That’s all the group did because that’s all they needed to do, because I, as the ret paladin, was doing everything else. I was roaring along at 7k DPS while everyone else stuttered along at 500.
Nobody else could get DPS any higher because everything died in a couple globals. I tanked everything, DPSd everything, and the self heals from divine storm alone was enough to heal up all the damage I was taking. The only time anyone else got to do anything was when the elite golem things spawned, and even then that was four globals, tops.
Point is, I find it difficult to actually care about heroics or what happens within them. The content is so far beneath me at this point that I simply do not care what antics people decide to get up to. It is content that is utterly inconsequential. I suspect these are the same reasons that people decide to be complete asshats within heroics, but I have taken the path of apathy.
Far more briefly exciting was the addition of the random BG and the banishment of battleground marks.
I found that the queues were suitably uniform, the new queue times for choosing a random BG being about equal to the fastest BG queues before the patch. Which is still easily a ten minute wait before any BG pops.
It was inevitable, I suppose, but I had hoped to be proven wrong.
My suspicion was that by introducing a random BG feature, battlegrounds would be inundated with a veritable flood of people who have not done many, if any, BGs in the past, and thus would be clueless. There would also be a sizable group of those who have only ever played Alterac Valley, and thus have never been exposed to actual PvP.
My fear was that the average quality of a player in any given random BG would dip significantly with the patch.
I should not need to tell you that I was right, and brutally so.
It was… it was like witnessing high school all over again. Here I am, minding my own business, doing the same things I always do, and whenever I deign to look around at what others are doing, I find myself surrounded by failure. It does not matter which battleground I am (except AV), anywhere I go, anywhere I look, the majority of players are acting as if they have never seen this particular battleground before.
I wish I could be mad. I really do.
Instead, I am merely saddened.
So raiding then. Uhum, haven’t done any of that either. But I still have a brilliant, flawless mind that never makes any mistakes about anything ever, so I’ll throw around my two pounds.
Frost is better, true, but it’s still behind. The gap is the closest it has been this entire expansion, theorycrafted to the extreme a deep frost build would only lag about 15% behind arcane. Arcane, of course, remaining the top DPS spec even with the death of Incanter’s Absorption.
If you want to play frost, chances are pretty good you already are. If you aren’t and want to, well… why aren’t you? At the very least dual spec for it and bust it out in heroics or any fight where you can make a solid argument for it, or any fight that’s mildly inconsequential.
Gunboat? Frost. Deathbringer? Frost. All the trash in any quarter? Frost frost frost! Dreamwalker? Bring your Improved Blizzard snares, equip the Oracle Talisman, and snare the entire goddamn room for fun (don’t forget frost warding!). Heck, you can even make an argument for Sindragosa, what with being able to chain cast as long as you want, then just Ice Block to clear the debuff. Then do it again and Cold Snap.
And if it’s something you’ve always wanted to know, the 5% boost to frostbolt is merely negating the coefficient penalty the spell has always carried due to its possession of a snare. Frostbolt’s coefficient is simply up to 85.7% (the standard 3/3.5 equation used for any spell with a base cast time of 3 seconds).
Point is, frost has never been this good, so… what are you waiting for?
As to fire… well, adding Pyroblast to things like Empowered Fire and TtW did help, not enough to overtake arcane though. Pyroblast hits harder, definitely, and conveniently is a little buff to fire PvP too. Still nowhere near viable in that arena, however. Pun intended? Maybe it was!
If all you want is a clear, concise answer, then this is it: arcane is still the best, with fire then frost trailing behind, though the gap is closer in all regards.
If all you want is true min/max, sorry, you’re still arcane. Though if all you do is raid, I highly, highly recommend carrying around two completely different specs for different things.
If you have, say, one standard arcane build and one Incanter’s Absorption build, go ahead and drop the IA build in favour of something else. If you want to try frost, go for it, though I’d also recommend giving fire a shot if that’s how you want to roll.
Fire for trash is fun, at the very least you should be able to consistently break 20k DPS using living bomb and flamestrike on most trash pulls. And again, you can make arguments to bring fire builds, even frostfire builds, to certain fights in an effort to sneakily play what you want.
Especially if you have Nibelung.
Consider again the Valithria Dreamwalker fight. Grab Blastwave, Dragon’s Breath, and yes, even Firestarter for the instant Flamestrikes, with Nibelung equipped. Then go to town, unloading as many spells as fast as you can. The idea is rather simple. The more spells you cast, the more chances Nibelung has to proc.
The Deathbringer fight is another excellent opportunity to put fire to some incredibly good use. I wouldn’t really recommend it for any other fights (except Lich King, spawning Val’kyr’s there would cause at least ten raid wide aneurysms), but definitely bust out Nibelung for trash. Good times had by all.
Oh yes, and don’t forget if you’re specced frost, you can control your spawned Val’kyrs. Any orders sent to your elemental will also be sent to them, so you can focus their fire onto whatever target you wish. And, if you have Nibelung and are specced frost, consider picking up Frostbite. The root effect from Frostbite counts as a spell cast, meaning that Frostbite itself can proc the Val’kyr effect.