Well, here I am again. It’s been a while, but I don’t think anyone wants to wade through my posts on the various forums I frequent, so I’m going to post my thoughts here. I’m extremely disappointed in the changes they’ve made to Arcane Mages. As I posted on my raid team’s forum thread, the changes feel punitive and petulant in nature. I’m a big fan of the statement, “Just because I’m paranoid, that doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me.”
To validate that what they’ve done is pretty much kill Arcane, I ran my mage through SimulationCraft, with the settings at Heavy Movement, and the player skill at Average, ’cause lets face it, we all think we’re great at our class, but most of us are far less than flawless. The end result was 51k DPS. Using the same settings with my Warlock, who is similarly geared, I came up with 89k.
Obviously, movement pretty much kills the class and the best talent, Rune of Power, requires you to stand in one spot and has a decently long cast time, so while you’re refreshing your Rune of Power, you’re not casting damaging spells. While you’re not standing in a Rune of Power, you’re doing less damage and you’re generating less mana. You use blink to get out of the poo, then you have to cast another Rune of Power, because your old one is covered in poop.
We’ve had to learn to live with long cast times for damaging nukes over the years, and I’m not saying I’m the best Arcane mage to grace a realm server in WoW. I’m saying I was a decent player all through Tier 12, and I was better than average in Tier 13. In Tier 14 I went back to mediocre and since 5.2, I’ve become an abysmal player.
Fun is not working your ass off, keeping track of Arcane Charges, Arcane Power CD’s, Mirror Image CD’s, Presence of Mind CD’s, whether all of your stars are aligned so you can cast Alter Time, when your Rune of Power needs to be refreshed, when your Ice/Living Bomb needs to be refreshed, figuring out whether you have enough time to get another cast off before you have to change targets, and twenty other decisions you have to make regarding a particular boss’ mechanics only to end up with mediocre, middle of the pack, DPS output. We put up with the jokes about Arcane being easy to play because while anyone could get reasonable DPS, it took a lot of work and a knowledge of the spec to top the meters. Now it takes more work just to beat out the tank who is confidently kicking your but on output simply by by stacking vengeance.
Game mechanics have actually evolved to punish mages by constantly forcing us to move, frequently with no ability to plan where or when so looking at the logs, you will consistently see mages with Activity in the 80-90% range and this number gets lower when the mage doesn’t know/has not yet learned the fight. All of the video in the world doesn’t teach you the flow of a fight and when to move, etc. as effectively as doing the fight. At any rate, mages are leaving the Arcane spec in droves for Frost, or for Fire. It’s not that those specs are any less affected by movement, but they haven’t seen the nerf to their primary DPS abilities that Arcane has seen and the subsequent buffs to our Bomb spells was across all specs, so still no love for Arcane. I just wonder how long GC and company will punish our class and spec before they realize that without our OP status, we really don’t bring anything to raids and we’re back to conjuring food/water, and portals as our only useful function in raids. So much for “Bring the player, not the class.”