Posts Tagged ‘Theorycraft’

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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    I am getting your e-mails. I receive lots of them, read them, then sigh in deep regret because I can’t just dash of a quick couple sentences to them. Nearly every e-mail I receive would require time, effort and a lengthy response to adequately respond to. Yes, I could reply to a question about frost mages in arena with a quick bulleted list, but that doesn’t really answer the question, just addresses it.

    I’m sure you see the difference.

    I may only be in first year University, but I am taking second year level history courses. I went into the IB (International Baccalaureate) program in high school, which can be best labeled as the “International program for students who think they’re smarter than everyone else and want to prove it.” Oh do I have stories about IB… anyway, it means I get treated as if I have already done the first year course of whatever classes I took in IB and did great in.

    University is hard, blah blah, not really, it just eats up a lot of time. Especially the history courses.

    So in answer to all those people who’ve e-mailed me your excellent questions, consider this your public acknowledgment. Keith, Dan, Theodore, Ripples the Pengiun (I’m not kidding either), I got it. Your e-mail is safe in my inbox with a little frowny face tag.

    I’ll get to them… hopefully…

    My last final is Monday, I should have a LOT of free time after that to get out proper answers to them. (more…)

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    Onyxian Arcane


    Please, Rip, make haste to the PTR.

    Tell me this makes arcane viable again.




    So you want to know, how’s arcane doing? How does it stack up? How’s it going.

    Come one guys, it’s just a PTR. It doesn’t


    Now let’s… let’s all just calm down here. There’s no need to incinerate my flesh quite yet. Besides, Ice Block is off cooldown and it wouldn’t work anyways.


    Alright, ladies and gentlemen. Gather around.

    You might want to sit down for this. The news is pretty huge.

    You ready?

    *Deep Breath*

    Arcane and Fireball are equal.

    Naturally there’s some fluctuation, as fire is still dependent on RNG and arcane is far less forgiving of screw ups, and you can go into all sorts of debate about which brings more utility, which has stronger AoE, and so forth. But the simple fact remains that Arcane and Fireball produce equivalent DPS.

    Now don’t take this to mean that they are equal on every fight, or even every part of every fight. The two still have vastly different styles and skill sets. There’s still lots of factors to take into account, like whether you’ll get more mileage out of multi-target LB or more controlled, on demand damage.

    If you are a true raiding min maxer, you will have to have an arcane spec AND a fireball spec to be good at every fight. For the rest of us… some fights you’ll be a little behind the fire mages, other fights you’ll be a little ahead.

    And isn’t that exactly how it should be?

    Essentially, it has come down to this: which do you like more?

    You wanna be arcane? Go for it. You aren’t holding anyone back. You wanna stick with fireball? Rock on, you burning mage you.

    I’m… really not sure what else to say here.

    Congratulations mages, we now have two perfectly viable and equal end game raiding specs?

    Congratulations Blizzard, you’ve managed to do what all thought impossible?

    Congratulations cryomancers, there’s hope for you yet?

    In any case, Merry Friday, amirite?

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    This has been knocking around my brain for a while, so I’ll spell it out here.

    Mostly, I’m looking at the possible power of Incanter’s Absorption in a raiding environment, and how it interacts with that Frost Warding talent that’s sucked for so long… and, of course, how all that works together with constantly tossing up Frost Ward/Fire Ward.

    We all know how these work. Whenever you absorb damage, Incanter’s Absorption boosts your spellpower by a percentage of whatever you absorb.

    Frost Warding, then, gives you a chance to negate a given frost/fire spell (which does NOT count towards it’s absorption total), restoring the damage as mana. This is a 30% proc rate, so not something you can depend on every time, but can depend on enough to be proccing frequently.

    So I had questions. So many questions.

    Obviously, the synergy between these two talents won’t be available every fight. It’ll only work on fights where you can expect to take frost or fire damage.

    (Unless you have a Discipline priest, I guess. Get on the good side of one of them, and those guys can basically feed you hundreds of spellpower in a high AoE environment.)

    The first thing I needed to know was if the damage negation from the talent affected the total absorption. (more…)

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    Alms for the Skilled

    More than anything else in WoW, I want to see BGs become the PvP focus again. Screw arenas. Screw raiding. If doing battlegrounds could actually become a viable end-game, I would never do either of those activities again.

    So the question is how to get doing BGs into something awesome to do. They’re already gloriously fun, what they need now is gear to give them an overarching point.

    Ghostcrawler has expressed the common issues with actually making BGs worthwhile. Here follows me talking to myself in response to what he said:

    1) Just give everyone epics. Despite S1 and Naxx 25, this really isn’t the goal. 🙂
    2) Make it very random, like you have a small chance to get an epic. /wrist

    Agreed, Ghostcrawler. Both of these are stupid ideas.

    3) Reward number of BGs won, which feels very grindy because the number would have to be large or you have situation 1 again. One of the things we like about both Arenas and raids is the gear rewards are gradual because of the lockout. You can’t play 24/7 and gear yourself overnight.

    I really don’t think it would be hard to come up with something that works very similar to this. The lockout, gradual part, I mean. There’s already that PvP BG daily, and BG weekends…

    Attach, say, a Badge of Awesome to the rewards for the PvP daily, then add loot purchasable with said badges. It’s not even an original idea. I spend more thought on how to eat a cookie than I just did to come up with this badge idea. I’m sure Blizzard could come up with much better ideas while drunk. (more…)

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    Jumpatron 3000

    Have you ever jumped into a shield on Malygos and died anyway?

    Jumped into a safe zone on Heigan and still died?

    Tried to jump away from Frogger and died?

    Well, now I can tell you why! moreyouknow

    Simply put, the WoW engine doesn’t update your position until you hit the ground. When you are airborne, as in jumping, the game engine doesn’t know where you are anymore.

    Say you walk from point A to point B. Because your feet are always on the ground, the game can accurately map out where you are. But when you jump… it can’t.

    So when you jump from point A to point B, the game considers you at point A until you land at point B. (more…)

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    Let’s not mince words here.

    The Chaotic Skyflare Diamond, affectionately known as the CSD, is the best metagem that you, as a mage, can get.


    For raiding, it provides a massive DPS increase that no other metagem can even hope to match. In fact, the CSD is so powerful, that any helm that doesn’t have a metagem socket is automatically a terrible helm for mages.

    It’s even a fantastic gem for PvP, due to it’s ability to negate the effect of resilience. In fact, the only other PvP gem that’s even half as good is the Tireless Skyflare Diamond. The other gems… crap. Crap, I say!

    I am sure many, if not most of you know that the CSD is the best thing to happen to hats since Odd Job. But maybe you don’t know why.

    I am here today, ladies and gents, to tell you why the CSD is the greatest thing to happen to mages since conjured sliced bread.

    Obviously, it’s that extra 3% to critical strikes that’s important. (more…)

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    Liver Failure

    More meandering thoughts about frost.

    All of you cryomancers worrying about Replenishment being tied to your elementals can breathe a sigh of relief. It would be monumentally stupid of Blizzard to create a mechanic like that tied to something that cannot maintain 100% uptime, and has essentially zero survivability.

    The little preview blurb uses the words “removed” and “replaced”. The Imp. Water Elemental talent is gone. Ended. Forcibly excised from the gaming code. It’s being replaced utterly.

    The new talent will, in all likelihood, have absolutely nothing to do with the Water Elemental. It probably even won’t have it as a prerequisite anymore.

    Unless, of course, none of this is true, Replenishment really is based on the WE, the WE becomes a permanent pet, and frosties get all the tools needed to keep a pet alive. AoE protection, a heal, etc.

    Say, for instance, you could target your WE and shoot frost spells at it. Except that they heal it. This could even be extended to any frost damage, not just the spells the mage casts. (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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    Mostly About Gems

    OMGZ new loots! Heroes’ Frostfire Shoulderpads for the win, baby! Finally something to get me out of those dinky Runed Whatever Spaulders of the Not Very Cool.

    Uh oh. A gem socket. And it’s yellow… Haste? Do I need Haste? Or should I just stack that with straight spellpower.

    Maybe I can get one of those spellpower/hit gems. Those don’t cost nearly as much.

    Which is better then? 9 Spellpower, 8 Hit and 4 Haste, or just pure 19 Spellpower?

    Well, now, wouldn’t it be great if there was a hard and fast rule about which to pick?

    Before LK was released, these decisions were easy.

    1) Are you hitcapped?

    2) If “Yes”, spellpower.

    3) If “No”, spell hit rating.

    Such is not the case anymore. Things are different. Hit isn’t necessarily your top priority. Spellpower could be, or maybe it’s Haste. Or Crit. It all depends on your spec and your current gear level. (more…)

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