[Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Ret, Holy, PVP, etc

Moderators: Fridmarr, Worldie, Aergis, Baelor

[Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Postby Epimer » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:45 pm

I'm levelling a mage just now and am fast approaching Outlands. I've been thinking about what to spec as at 80 for the long Emblem of Triumph grind, and would like some input on the various bits and bobs of mage knowledge I've acquired from the normal places.

My understanding was that Arcane is standard fare for a fresh 80 looking to raid, with Fire/TTW ultimately pulling ahead at higher gear levels. Arcane is recommended because you get a ton of hit from talents and it's good single target dps with excellent burst over short time windows. However, I get the feeling that it's probably not brilliant for just running heroics because it doesn't have much in the way of AoE capabilities.

Frostfire Bolt has fallen by the wayside because all raiding mages want to spec into Torment the Weak; a 12% damage increase against all (tanked) targets is simply too good to not have. But sustained single target dps isn't the same as burst AoE dps, and to that end I've been considering going FFB at 80 for my heroic grind. My reasoning is that the high hit requirement for Fire specs doesn't matter so much in heroics, that FFB would be better single target burst for the bosses than Fire/TTW due to the addition of Icy Veins, and that FFB picks up talents which buff Flamestrike and Blizzard (and can pick up Blast Wave and Dragon's Breath/Firestarter). It also picks up threat reduction for both Fire and Frost spells, and I'm having an awful time managing my threat at level 50-something (I imagine at level 80 when I'm not doing 50% of the group's damage, it'll be different).

Also, FFB looks cool.

So, am I way off on any points? Is it idiocy to spec FFB (or Fire/TTW, if it came to that) for the heroic grind rather than Arcane. I won't be raiding on this toon this expansion, probably, and if I do I'd be reassessing specs before doing so.
User avatar
Epimer
 
Posts: 1496
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:54 am

Re: [Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Postby Palmela » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:08 pm

You'd probably get laughed at a lot by the pugs in randoms, besides that, FFB is going to be less dps on the boss and honestly arcanes AoE rotation isnt bad dps. Sure youll never beat a fire mage in a raid but its not bad, Flamestrike(rank 8)->Flamestrike(rank 9)->Blizzard x2, rinse and repeat. Bad mages will just spam blizzard and think it is the only way to aoe, for arcane you can even FS(8), Presence of mind rank 9 then Arcane power blizzard for huge aoe numbers. If your going to blow CDs on trash make sure you're not within two minutes of the next boss. TBH when I do run heroics I dont usually top charts on trash because my living bombs don't ever explode, mobs die quicker than 12 seconds with any decent 232ilvl group doing aoe.
Image
Image
Image
Palmela
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:40 pm

Re: [Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Postby Epimer » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:49 am

Palmela wrote:You'd probably get laughed at a lot by the pugs in randoms...


Absolute least of my worries - I honestly couldn't care less what the average half-retarded denizen of an LFG PuG thinks :)

...Flamestrike(rank 8)->Flamestrike(rank 9)->Blizzard x2, rinse and repeat. Bad mages will just spam blizzard and think it is the only way to aoe...


And this is exactly what got me thinking about the viability of FFB specs for AoE in heroics in the first place. Looking down the Arcane tree, (obviously) most of the talents buff Arcane spells only, whereas the majority of your damage done in a heroic is going to be from Flamestrike and Blizzard. The school-agnostic benefits in the Arcane tree amount to a flat 6% damage increase (assuming the two 3% talents stack?), 3% crit, 50% crit damage bonus and the possibility of speccing into Ice Shards for more Blizzard damage. An FFB build, on the other hand, has a ton of talents which buff Flamestrike (15% crit chance for Flamestrike alone, plus Ignite, plus a 10% damage bonus for Flamestrike), the same 3% school-agnostic crit increase, 3% spell damage, the same 50% crit damage bonus us Arcane, a 100% crit bonus and 6% crit chance for Blizzard, the same possibility of speccing into Ice Shards...

I know you can't make a straight like-for-like comparison due to the Int --> SP conversion for Arcane and the free haste and hit, but it certainly looks like there's a ton of stuff to pump up your AoE output as FFB compared to Arcane, not even counting Living Bomb (for the reasons you mentioned).
User avatar
Epimer
 
Posts: 1496
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:54 am

Re: [Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Postby Shoju » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:49 am

Spec Arcane you are instantly hit capped until you hit boss mobs.

I don't even bother with FS/Blizzard rotations unless there are WWing mobs. Run in - Arcane Power, Arcane Explosion. You will eat comparably geared mages for breakfast in AoE, and as long as you give the tank ~3 seconds before you start, Arcane's super awesome threat reduction talents mean you will NEVER pull.
User avatar
Shoju
 
Posts: 6355
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:15 am

Re: [Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Postby Palmela » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:47 am

That works really well too, and the three second rule works until a certain gear level, but if you don't plan to raid on that char you most likely wont reach that level and AE spam is win. Keep your IB close to your AE button and you'll be good. Back on topic though, FFB is so dead and non competitive since very early ToC/late Ulduar even the AoE capabilities wouldn't make up for the hit you would need and gearing for said hit. It sounds like you want to do FFB which for heroics, it doesnt matter, you wont be optimal but I've seen PvE frost mages in heroics, not good, but contents a joke.
Image
Image
Image
Palmela
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:40 pm

Re: [Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Postby warden » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:02 am

I had an incredible amount of fun as a pure frost mage grinding heroics when I was leveling mine, and the aoe dps is quite competitive with the other specs at the early gear levels because of the increcible boosts to blizzard in the frost tree. Another, often-ignored bonus is that pure frost/arcane subspec (TTW) has the same hitcap as arcane with the frost subspec (icy veins) used by raiding mages, making it very easy to keep an eye on your gear as you work toward being ready to raid. I'd reccomend frost for heroic grinding and an arcane raidspec on your dual-spec for things like the occasional voa or weekly.
Image

"Don't facepalm at me... Ret paladins don't facepalm each other. Its against the code!" -Anafielle
warden
Maintankadonor
 
Posts: 536
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:17 pm

Re: [Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Postby Dianora » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:37 pm

I was arcane mage until I got to LK. Starting at LK Fire/Torment simply makes more sense (dot and more dots). And Fire/Torment is just so much more fun than the ABx4=>MB.
ImageImageImage
User avatar
Dianora
 
Posts: 1831
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:57 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: [Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Postby Epimer » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:55 pm

Palmela wrote:Back on topic though, FFB is so dead and non competitive since very early ToC/late Ulduar even the AoE capabilities wouldn't make up for the hit you would need and gearing for said hit. It sounds like you want to do FFB which for heroics, it doesnt matter, you wont be optimal but I've seen PvE frost mages in heroics, not good, but contents a joke.


If you spec Fire/Frost for FFB, it's only 3% hit from gear for heroics, which is next to nothing (one trinket slot if none on gear). I'm just trying to explore the notion of FFB being "dead" for all purposes; I can understand it being left in the dust as a raiding spec, but Torment the Weak doesn't even apply to any of your AoE spells and hence the largest chunk of your damage in heroics.

I'm trying to explore what's optimal for heroics and not raids, whereas (for obvious reasons) the majority of the discussion around mage spec viability is focused on sustained single target DPS, and at near-BiS gear levels. There's not much incentive to theorycraft out the differences when, as you say, you could spec 0/0/71 with no glyphs and still trundle along fine in heroics.
User avatar
Epimer
 
Posts: 1496
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:54 am

Re: [Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Postby Epimer » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:23 pm

Actually, reading the wowhead page for Arcane Focus, it mentions that the 3% hit only applies to Arcane spells too. So if you were to follow a Flamestrike, Flamestrike, Blizzard rotation for AoE, you need 3% hit whether you're specced Arcane, Frost or FFB.
User avatar
Epimer
 
Posts: 1496
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:54 am

Re: [Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Postby Pizbit » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:14 am

Epimer wrote:Actually, reading the wowhead page for Arcane Focus, it mentions that the 3% hit only applies to Arcane spells too. So if you were to follow a Flamestrike, Flamestrike, Blizzard rotation for AoE, you need 3% hit whether you're specced Arcane, Frost or FFB.


Arcane's AoE pwns using that rotation, Icy Shards is great for getting Icy Veins: http://www.wowarmory.com/talent-calc.xm ... 0000000000
Bonus points if you use presence of mind on Flamestrike or if a boss isn't due soon, icy veins on blizzard. Keep your invis button handy!

Also gives great burst DPS for the short kill heroic bosses, Icy Veins + Arcane Power + Mirror Images = nom nom nom.
I have ADHD and OCD...I keep forgetting to wash my hands.
Pizbit
 
Posts: 2184
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:37 am

Re: [Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Postby Epimer » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:35 am

Pizbit wrote:Arcane's AoE pwns using that rotation, Icy Shards is great for getting Icy Veins


Yeah, but my point was: shouldn't FFB pwn more using that rotation, since it buffs those spells and Arcane doesn't, and still picks up Ice Shards?

Rawr investigation (disclaimer: I have no idea how accurate the Rawr mage module is, or how it's figuring out the DPS of AoE spells, since the numbers are huge); I imported Shoju's mage as an example of someone who's decked out in more-or-less full EoT gear and checked the damage of each of the AoE spells in each spec with no other changes.

Arcane

Arcane Explosion: 18494
Blizzard: 18762
Flamestrike: 36396

FFB

Arcane Explosion: 16134
Blizzard: 22300
Flamestrike: 43514

Fire/TTW

Arcane Explosion: 17467
Blizzard: 17758
Flamestrike: 44280

Which looks like a clear win for FFB for a Flamestrike, Flamestrike, Blizzard rotation, and when compared to Arcane spamming Arcane Explosion.
User avatar
Epimer
 
Posts: 1496
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:54 am

Re: [Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Postby Pizbit » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:56 am

Epimer wrote:
Pizbit wrote:Arcane's AoE pwns using that rotation, Icy Shards is great for getting Icy Veins


Yeah, but my point was: shouldn't FFB pwn more using that rotation, since it buffs those spells and Arcane doesn't, and still picks up Ice Shards?


Not really, since arcane picks up a fair bit of haste via talents and more spell power etc.
I know you said FFB, but anyway.. to continue...

I never, ever, use arcane explosion as arcane, ever. You have to be in melee range AND hit the spell every GCD. Flamestrike(With Presence of Mind to make the first instant cast every few pulls) then blizzard, then FS again if stuff will live long enough for the full DoT, then blizzard anyway.

As Arcane:
SP: 2522
Char crit: 37.62%
Blizzard hits/crits: 834/1970
Blizzard channel duration: 6.67
Flamestrike hit/crit: 1652/2962
Flamestrike ticks: 570
Arcane explosion: 1325/2252

As Frost:
SP: 2303
Char crit: 34.43%
Blizzard hits/crits: 840/1757
Blizzard channel duration: 7.07
Flamestrike hit/crit: 1609/2322
Flamestrike ticks: 475
Arcane explosion: 1060/1611

Both were using the same buffs on the training dummies, AI and MA, with the same gear. Obviously there's some damage range on the initial hits and crits for FS.


/ed/ This is using my gnome mage: http://www.wowarmory.com/character-shee ... Scynscapiz
I have ADHD and OCD...I keep forgetting to wash my hands.
Pizbit
 
Posts: 2184
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:37 am

Re: [Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Postby Epimer » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:04 am

Pizbit wrote:Not really, since arcane picks up a fair bit of haste via talents and more spell power etc.


Both of which should be taken into account by Rawr's modelling.

I know you said FFB, but anyway.. to continue...

As Arcane:
stuff

As Frost:
mostly lower stuff


Well yeah, but the point of considering FFB at all (rather than frost) was due to the Flamestrike buffs (and Ignite etc.) ;) I have no idea what the damage breakdown for a full dungeon run at 80 would look like with full spell ranks etc., but in the mid-50s I get about a 50/50 split between Flamestrike and Blizzard in total damage down, and that's without making use of lower ranked Flamestrike DoT stacking.

EDIT: although, come to think of it, I don't have any Frost talents at all yet so my Blizzard will be doing more damage, so really I have no idea what the comparative damage of Blizzard and Flamestrike will look like.
User avatar
Epimer
 
Posts: 1496
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:54 am

Re: [Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Postby Pizbit » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:28 am

Epimer wrote:
Pizbit wrote:Not really, since arcane picks up a fair bit of haste via talents and more spell power etc.

Both of which should be taken into account by Rawr's modelling.
I know you said FFB, but anyway.. to continue...
As Arcane:
stuff

As Frost:
mostly lower stuff

Well yeah, but the point of considering FFB at all (rather than frost) was due to the Flamestrike buffs (and Ignite etc.) ;) I have no idea what the damage breakdown for a full dungeon run at 80 would look like with full spell ranks etc., but in the mid-50s I get about a 50/50 split between Flamestrike and Blizzard in total damage down, and that's without making use of lower ranked Flamestrike DoT stacking.

EDIT: although, come to think of it, I don't have any Frost talents at all yet so my Blizzard will be doing more damage, so really I have no idea what the comparative damage of Blizzard and Flamestrike will look like.


Going to ignore the numbers from rawr since there is information lacking, namely the lack of targets, the spec it's using etc etc, easier to go with the numbers for 1 target to more easily compare.

Only real boost from frost is blizzard critting for double damage instead of 1.5 isn't it? I only tried FFB for a few heroics before ditching it because I found it to be an annoying spec to play. Also typing that I recall FFB using living bomb as well to AoE, or was that when I was fire... I forget :D

The amount of damage from your AoEs as a percentage of overall tends goes down as you don't AoE bosses, and you switch from AoE to single target when the pull reaches 3 mobs or less(or if the pull was that small to start with, you don't AoE anyway).
Obviously though it goes up again if your tank pulls like we all like to :D

Ultimately short of caring enough to actually dig in to it, anecdotaly I found arcane's AoE 'best' in terms of combining DPS done and how it felt. Plus you get super short Evocation cooldown(and channel) :lol:
I have ADHD and OCD...I keep forgetting to wash my hands.
Pizbit
 
Posts: 2184
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:37 am

Re: [Mage PvE]Spec for running heroics as a fresh 80 Mage

Postby Invisusira » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:44 am

http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sheet ... cn=Atraira

PvE frost, baby. It's the only way to fly.

3% hit to all spells, aoe, gots it all right here.
User avatar
Invisusira
Moderator
 
Posts: 9021
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: alt-tabbed

Next

Return to Off-specs & Other Classes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Who is online

In total there is 1 user online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 380 on Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:28 pm

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest