Anyone seen the new mage talents that were just put onto the Public Test Realm? If not, and you’re interested, I encourage you to wander over to MMO Champion and check them out. There have been some big changes.
Improved Fireblast moved to Tier 1
Incineration 3/3 moved to Tier 1 and also increases crit chance of Arcane Barrage and Cone of cold by 6%.
Burning Determination 2/2 – New Tier 2 Talent. When interrupted or silenced you have a 100% chance to become immune to both effects for 10 secs.
World In Flames moved to Tier 2, 3 ranks. Now increases the crit chance of your Dragon’s Breath, Flamestrike, Arcane Explosion, Blast Wave, Living Bomb AND BLIZZARD by 6%. Blizzard can crit? Eep!
Improved Scorch 5/5 changed. Now increases damage of Fire, Arcane and Frost by 10% at 5 stacks. Nerfed down from 15% at 5 stacks but now affects Frost and Arcane too.
Fiery Payback seems to have changed. It now reduces all Fire and physical damage taken by 20% when below 35% health (meh, big deal) AND reduces the cast time of your Pyroblast by 3.5 secs.
Firestarter. New Tier 9 Talent. Blastwave and Dragon’s Breath have a 45% chance of making your next Flamestrike instant cast. lasts 10 secs.
Burnout 5/5 now not completely crap! All Fire spells have +25% crit damage bonus, but now cost an extra 5% of the spell’s base mana cost when they crit.
Now all they have to do is remove the AoE damage cap and give Fire some sort of threat reduction and it may actually be useful for raiding. It’s pretty clear now they want Fire to be the AoE tree. I can see it being the lolspec of choice for defending in Alterac Valley or city assaults in Lake Wintergrasp. You are going to put out some absolutely SICK burst dps with deep Fire, but you try using it in a raid and you’re going to pull aggro and get squished in no time at all. Fire seems to be shaping up to be the pvp spec in WotLK.
But have you seen the new changes to Arcane? Sweet baby Jesus, WOW! I mean, Arcane was already starting to look like the raiding spec of choice, and they just buffed it to be even better. There’s a ton of good stuff in there, but this one new entry alone makes it a must to have a mage in your raid. Ready for this, I hope you’re sitting down.
Focus Magic Rank 7
1000 Mana 30 yd range
Focus your energy on the target, increasing all magic damage taken by that target by 150. Lasts 1 min or until 50 charges are expended
Wow. Just…. wow. And there’s more. The Frost tree has also taken a slight tweak:
Winter’s Grasp replaced with Fingers of Frost. 10% chance that your next Frost spell treats the target as if it were frozen.
Improved Water Elemental 3/3 now heals all members of your raid or party for 3% of their health every 5 secs for the 1 min of it’s duration.
Ok, so the nerf to Winters’ Graps was long expected, but the talent that replaced it is good. My major bummer, however, about all of the Mage talents was always that there was zero raid synergy in them. BM hunters buffed their group’s dps, Survival Hunters debuffed the boss, and we all know about the massive raid synergy between Shadow priests and Warlocks. A mage was just some more dps that needed a lot of group support to get the most out of them. Count the number of mages in any raid that ever downed Kil’Jaeden and you’ll have change from two, the reason being that we require too much support from other classes to justify taking more than one or two of us. Well the way these new talent changes are shaping up, I’m very happy to say that such things are long gone. And that is very, very, very good news for Mages everywhere.