Posts Tagged ‘Talents’

There is, in fact, nothing about Batman in this post or patch 3.3.3. Que Disappoint!

Currently I am blasting Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood as loud as these here computer speakers can go. Why do I do this? Because I’m excited, that’s why! Buffs, buffs for everyone, a new BG system hip hip hooray!

First up, the new Random Battleground feature. This will work roughly the same as the current dungeon finder system does, in that the first one you do awards you with a dumptruck filled with honor, and each successive win pickup trucks filled with more honor. There are no bonuses for picking specific battlegrounds, UNLESS it is the holiday weekend! Or Call to Arms, as it’s called now, in which case the holiday BG will award the same bonuses as picking a random BG.

BG marks are also being eliminated completely, and everything that used to cost marks will cost honor instead. Thank god, finally. This clunky system fully deserves its death. Oh yeah, and the amount of honor awarded from HKs are being doubled.

Net result is hopefully significantly more people actually playing BGs overall (meaning lower queues for everyone), significantly higher honor gain for anyone playing BGs, which hopefully will lead to better geared people playing in BGs.

Before you say “won’t this just devolve into everyone farming kills?”, bear in mind that every single objective in PvP, from capping a flag to taking a tower, are all based on a set number of HKs. Thus, every single PvP objective is also doubling in the amount of honor they award.

The only downside I can see are mass quits if someone gets a battleground they don’t like popping up. Imagine zoning into Strand and then half your team evaporates on you.

On a side note, what’s up with all the hate for Strand? It is, by far, the easiest and least complicated BG in the game, and incredibly fast to boot. It’s literally impossible for a game to last longer than 24 minutes, including preparation/load times and assuming neither side manages to cap anything.

Anyway, BG change is excellent overall, and I also suspect that by simply having the random BG option, it is going to be impossible to queue for multiple BGs at once. The patch notes don’t outright say it, but this seems like what’s happening. You only get the one BG, and if you don’t like it, tough. So less people randomly quitting midfield to go fight somewhere else.

But enough PvP, on to the important stuff.

Culling of Stratholme

  • Players may now skip the initial introduction dialog to this dungeon once they have completed it at least once.
  • YES.




    Frostbolt: Spell power scaling on this spell has been increased by approximately 5%.

    I’m not entirely sure what they mean here, but it sounds like they are simply increasing the coefficient of frostbolt by 5%. Unless my memory fails me, which it often does, frostbolt currently benefits from 81.4% of your spellpower, so what, precisely, does “approcimately” mean here? 85%? 86%?

    Either way, flat out buff to frost mages everywhere. A small buff, yes, but enough small buffs piled on top of each other works out to a far greater whole.

    I call this whole “FOUR VIABLE SPECS, SUCK IT”.

    Arcane Empowerment: This effect is now passive instead of being a proc off of critical strikes. The self damage buff remains unchanged.

    In other words, not a proc, just a passive 100 yard aura. Not a buff, not a nerf, just a rather nice change. Nearly every other “buff on proc” effect is getting the same treatment across the board. An interesting shift, but I can’t say I’m particularly mad that 3% of the entire raid’s damage being contingent on my own personal RNG is getting the boot.

    Incanter’s Absorption: This talent now only grants additional spell power when damage is absorbed by Mana Shield, Frost Ward, Fire Ward, or Ice Barrier. The limit of 5% of the mage’s health on the spell power buff has been removed.

    And so, Incanter’s Absorption dies a swift death. Rest in peace, comrade. I knew you only a brief time, but your power was unmatched, and you served well.


    In all seriousness, you couldn’t really have expected Blizzard to simply let this ability exist as is, could you? Be honest, IA was overpowered and this is a well deserved nerf.

    It might still be worth using with Fire/Frost Ward, but without the added boost from disc priests/val’anyr, this talent seems like it has been gutted completely. Nerfed too far? Yeah, yeah definitely, but it still needed to be nerfed.

    Burning Soul: Threat reduction is now 10/20%, up from 5/10%.

    Well deserved buff. Fire has been a threat machine for no reason for an extremely long time.

    Brain Freeze: This talent now allows your next Fireball or Frostfire Bolt to be instant and cost no mana. There is a small internal cooldown to keep the Frostfire Bolt from immediately triggering Brain Freeze again.

    How long we have been asking for this? How long have we said “Fireball doesn’t scale! Just give us a FFB! Put like an ICD or something on it!” How long has it been, my frosty brethren? How long we have stalked the shadows, disguising ourselves as Frostfire mages or arcane mages just so we can walk in public?


    Seriously, literally every major buff thrown at frost recently has come in the winter months. Coincidence? I think not!

    Glyph of Fireball: No longer increases critical strike chance of Fireball. Instead, it now reduces the cast time of Fireball by 0.15 seconds.



    Now that, that I was not expecting.

    A buff, flat out, over the old glyph, though how much of a buff will depend on how it interacts with haste, namely where the reduction in cast time is calculated. I’m guessing it will be before haste, in which case we can basically treat it as a 5% haste boost to fireball, or basically trading 5% crit for 5% haste.

    Napkin math, I’m showing a slight DPS increase for having a faster fireball. Not huge, roughly a 5% increase I’d say. Keep in mind that this is a flat reduction to cast speed, so all of your haste rating, all the haste you get for being in a raid, all of that is applied after this cast time reduction is factored. Probably.

    In any case this seems like it would work out to about a 5% increase to fire mage DPS (it iss called napkin math, but really I’m using a calculator and Notepad. Theorycraft is fun!). Less crit on fireball might result in some losses of Hot Streak procs here and there, but having a multiplying haste effect seems to counteract that loss easily and provide a slight buff too.

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    Disclaimer: the solutions I offer were all thought of by me in the past few days. I do not claim any of them to be original ideas. Maybe I invented them, maybe I read a suggestion on some forum somewhere a year ago, maybe I just borrowed a mechanic from another class.

    Problem: unpredictable and unreliable burst damage.

    Generally speaking, when a class wishes to burst, they push a couple buttons which massively increases the damage they are capable of pumping out. A warrior pushes Bladestorm, a frost mage pushes icy veins, arcane mages push arcane power.

    Fire does not have such an option. Fire has Combustion, which essentially creates guaranteed crits that crit harder than normal. This is going to become a common theme in the rest of the post here, the core problem here is too much RNG.

    When a warrior pushes Bladestorm, he is dealing tons of damage immediately, possibly to multiple targets. When a frost mage pushes Ivy Veins, he is casting much faster, resulting in a huge increase to effective damage output. He can also use Deep Freeze and shatter combos. This is all immediate, on demand burst damage. (more…)

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    Adapting Specs For Your Needs

    A cookie cutter spec is not the end all, be all spec.

    A cookie cutter spec is a base line spec that will serve you well in any situation. It is an unmodified car, the basic WoW UI with no addons. It will get the job done.

    A cookie cutter spec, however, is not always the best spec.

    A raiding fireball mage, for instance, does not take blastwave or dragon’s breath. But… what if that fireball mage raids 10-man and is the only non-healer ranged class in the raid? Suddenly those two talents become extremely good for the Deathbringer Saurfang fight, don’t they?

    The cookie-cutter arcane spec, for instance, does not include Slow. But again, consider the Deathbringer example above. What if this mage doesn’t raid, but instead chain runs heroics? Slow is amazingly good in any kiting situation, whether that is due to a fight’s mechanic or tanks incompetence.

    Sure, you could use frostbolt instead. You could very easily simply use a spell that takes around a second and a half to cast with a 20% weaker snare. Slow is better, of course, and will make the fight far easier, but it is still possible to be victorious without it. (more…)

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    Now With 35% More CoC

    For those of you who don’t frequent the public mage forums or haven’t heard of this awesome site, here’s a bunch of hilarious pick up lines you can put to great effect in the bars of Dalaran.

    You must be hit capped, cause there’s no way I can resist you.

    So I heard you had a thing for barnyard animals.

    I hope you find crying and whining sexy, because I’m really good at it.

    You know, my magical hat isn’t the only thing that’s pointed…

    [Insert innuendo here referring to an epic wand.]

    WAIT WAIT! I can keep going! My evocate cooldown’s nearly done!

    Hey baby, I noticed you had me targeted from across the room, so I blinked over here to conjure you a drink.

    Oh, you already have a boyfriend? That’s cool, I can spellsteal.

    Well hey, I got my four piece, so I can go two or three times in a row! Sometimes even five times!

    How ’bout I port you to my place? Don’t worry, this one’s on me.

    Ghostcrawler says we’re fine, and damn girl, so are you.

    I’m not affected by diminishing returns.

    My lance works a lot better on targets of a higher level than me.

    Well… I cast Invis when your boyfriend got home, so technically that was just a threesome.

    Ignite ticks aren’t the only things I can munch.

    Nice pants, what’s the drop rate?

    So… wanna see what spell penetration really does?

    Wait, why the crap do mages need pick up lines anyways? We can conjure pastry AT WILL! I mean, how can you not pick up random chicks with that?

    Just walk into a bar, say “ATTENTION FEMALES! I CAN SUMMON PIE!” They’ll be all over you. Trust me.

    Oh, fine, one more.

    “I put on my robe and wizard hat…”

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    • Arcane Subtlety – now reduces threat generated by all spells and effects by 5/10% and arcane spells and effects by an additional 15/30%. The dispel protection remains the same.
    • Arcane Focus – now applies to all spells, instead of just arcane.
    • Arcane Stability – reduced to three ranks for the same effect, and now applies to Evocation.
    • Torment the Weak and Student of the Mind have swapped places in the arcane tree. Torment the Weak now only grants a 3/6/9% boost to damage (down from 4/8/12%).
    • Spell Impact now also applies to frostbolt, arcane barrage and arcane missiles.
    • Arcane Stability – now increases spell damage and critical strike chance by 2/4/6, up from 1/2/3%.
    • Mind Mastery and Arcane Mind have both been reduced to three talent points for the same effect.


    • Incineration – now also applies to Frostbolt and Ice Lance.
    • Burning Determination – now also reduces the duration of stun effects and disorients by 15/30%.
    • Improved Scorch – now also increases the damage dealt with Fireball, Frostfire Bolt, and Scorch by 1/2/3%.
    • Impact – stun effect has been increased to 3 seconds.
    • Molten Shields – in addition to it’s current effect, your Molten Armor now grants 20/40% of your resilience as critical strike rating.
    • Playing With Fire – instead of increasing spell damage taken by 1/2/3%, now reduces spell damage taken by 4/7/10% as long as Molten Armor is active.
    • Blazing Speed – now immediately finishes the cooldown of your Blink spell when this talent procs.
    • Combustion – redesigned. Renamed Burnout. Increases your critical strike chance with fire spells by 50% while costing 20% more mana to cost. This effect lasts 15 seconds.
    • Fiery Payback – now also triples the damage of Molten Armor when below 35% health.
    • Firestarter – now provides an instant cast effect to Flamestrike or Scorch. If Scorch is used for this proc, it has a 100% critical strike chance.
    • Burnout – renamed Combustion, and the additional mana cost effect has been removed.
    • Dragon’s Breath – the area of effect of this spell has been increased to match that of a talented cone of cold spell.


    • Winter’s Chill – in addition to it’s current effect, now also increases the damage dealt by Ice Lance by 10% per rank on targets of a higher level than you.
    • Brain Freeze – now grants an instant cast, mana free Frostfire Bolt instead of Fireball.

    Anyway, those are are my ideas for what should happen to the mage trees to try and solve our little issues. (more…)

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    Mages aren’t alone in this whole “talent bloat” issue, either.

    Pretty much every class has this issue with some talents being completely mandatory.

    Druids were brought up last post, specifically the talent Omen of Clarity. For those of you unfamiliar with the talent, OoC is basically Arcane Concentration, except it costs 1 talent point rather than 5.

    Yeah, it’s an awesome talent. Yeah, pretty much every druid on the planet includes it in their spec.

    So Blizzard decided to make the early resto tree a little less useless to the feral and boomkin druids heading down there for a single talent.

    Furor, for instance. Right in the first tier. A feral druid can pick this up, essentially guaranteeing a feral tank at least 10 rage when a fight starts. A moonkin can invest here, too, boosting the value of their intellect by 10% for doing so.

    And if that wasn’t enough, patch 3.1 is letting Imp. Mark of the Wild improve all of the druids stats by 1% per rank.

    In the second tier, feral druids can pick up Naturalist, which gives their physical damage a hearty 10% boost. All druids can pick up a talent that reduces the mana cost of shapeshifting. (more…)

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    Mandatory Talent Bloat

    Hi there. Welcome to Critical QQ. This is a blog written by streams of QQ pouring down the face of a very sad person who plays WoW.

    Prepare for QQ.

    There will be a LOT of it in the following days.

    First, a couple things Ghostcrawler has stated.

    One. A tree is considered “bloated” if, after taking all of it’s mandatory DPS talents, it only has 2-3 points left to spend on random stuff, like utility and so forth.

    Two. Any player can sacrifice small amounts of DPS in order to gain some utility. For instance, a frost mage can drop a point in Arctic Winds to pick up Deep Freeze.

    These points are important, please remember them. There will be a test.

    So then. Let’s take a look at some numbers, just tree by tree for now.

    Arcane needs to spend a minimum of 53 talents in it’s home tree to pick up all the important DPS talents.

    Fire needs to spend a minimum of 51 talent points, and you can make a very strong argument for 54.

    Frost, too, needs to spend a minimum of 53 talent points.

    So far, so good. (more…)

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    There are three types of talents. Talents that buff only you and your performance, talents that buff only somebody else and their performance, and talents that do both.

    Take Improved Fireball. This talent only improves your own performance, having zero effect on anyone else.

    Improved Scorch, on the other hand, provides a very powerful buff to everyone else. The mage does benefit from the debuff, too, but there isn’t anything about the talent that is pure selfishness. In fact, it actually lowers the mage’s DPS to keep the debuff up.

    Focus Magic is something in the middle. The buffee gets a 3% crit boost, and so does the buffer.

    There have been and still are many buffs that are selfless in nature, but most of them have quietly evolved to have a selfish portion to them anyways.

    Improved Mark of the Wild, for instance. The talent used to increase the strength of Mark of the Wild. While this did provide a little bit of a buff for the druid, the talent’s main purpose was to buff everyone else. Now, in addition to boosting the effect of MotW, it will also give the druid a permanent 1/2% boost to all of their stats. (more…)

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    Frosted Butts! HAHAHA No


    • To increase the DPS of the frost tree in a raiding environment
    • Avoid rendering frost overpowered in PvP
    • Give frost a proper mana dump, and preferably any mechanic that forces the mage to think and plan, no matter how simple it is
    • Incorporate both Deep Freeze and Ice Lance into the raiding environment

    And do it all within the frost tree itself. Making changes in the early arcane or fire tree can be part of the solution, but shouldn’t be the solution.

    The point is to buff frost mages, and that should be done in the frost tree.

    But hey, gotta start somewhere, let’s look at the other trees.

    First, the arcane tree is the obvious off-spec tree of choice. It always has been, I suspect it always will be, and I see zero reason why that should change.

    Hunters, regardless of spec, spend points in the Marksman tree. Every priest spends points in the Discipline tree. So it really isn’t a stretch at all to simply shun the early fire tree and use arcane instead. (more…)

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    Leveling Frost

    An in-depth guide to the nuances of leveling up as a frost mage. Note that this is NOT an AoE build. This is a standardized leveling build, designed to take down monsters swiftly and safely.

    If you wish see how Frost AoE can provide excellent, leveling, might I highly recommend this guide over at “Frost is the New Black”?babymage

    Baby Mage

    As a brand new mage, your offensive spell options are limited to Fireball. This will be your only method of attack until level 4, when you get frostbolt. You don’t even get Frost Nova until level 10, so try not to do anything stupid (yet).

    Anyways, level 1. Buff yourself with Arcane Intellect and Frost Armor, and head out into the big brave world filled with murlocs and trolls.

    Your battle strategy is very simple, at first. Stand 35 yards away, and cast Fireball. Three fireballs should be roughly enough to kill or almost kill your target. If it’s not dead, typically for these first few levels you can simply use your pitiful auto-attack to finish them off in a hit or two. (more…)

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