Some of you may be aware of a healing questionaire that’s been doing the rounds of the blogosphere lately. Well Hinenuitepo over at Death Goddess has adapated it for we dps types, and suggested that I take part. Which is an excellent idea. There’s been far too much namby-pamby, lovey-dovey stuff been going on in this blog lately, those tree-hugging hippy healers have practically taken over. Let us not forget that that this is supposed to be a Mage blog, and Calli’s primary purpose in life is to turn things into small and innoffensive farmyard animals and then utterly destroy them using only the power of her mind (which now has 5% more intellect, gnome fans!). So without further ado, let’s get down to the nitty gritty!
What is the name, class, and spec of your primary dps?
Calli, mage, usually Arcane spec. There she is on the left, isn’t she adorable?
What is your primary dpsing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Raids. The only time I ever log Calli is to raid or maybe do some dailies . Most of the time I’m on an alt of some description, but when we need to bring the big guns out, I log Calli.
What is your favorite dps spell/ability for your class and why?
Invisibility is definitely, 100%, hands-down, no questions asked, the best spell mages ever had. It’s saved me thousands of gold in repair bills. Even if that weren’t the case, the shock on Teamspeak when everyone sees that some nab mage was the only survivor of the last wipe is always worth the ticket price. Blink used to hold pride of place if for no other reason than you could escape a wipe on Kael’thas by Blinking through the force fields barring exit from his throne room, but Invisibility is where it’s at these days.
What dps spell do you use least for your class and why?
Can’t remember the last time I used Ice Lance unless it was slaughtering low level mobs in Darkshore while working on that last bit of Darnassus reputation. It’s great for stomping Totems on Faction Champions in Crusaders’ Coliseum, but that’s not my job. If Frost were ever a viable raid spec again, that would change of course.
What do you feel is the biggest strength of your dps class and why?
Well unlike a certain asshat developer seems to think, we’re not the unparralelled gods of aoe that we were supposed to be. But Arcane mages have awesome burst dps potential. If you need something dead right now, nothing beats popping a trinket with Arcane Power and Icy Veins up and then spamming a 4xArcane Blast stack. With 40% threat reduction on arcane spells I can usually survive it, too.
What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your dps class and why?
We’re still not very good at dpsing on the move, although as Arcane we’re better than most. It’s not really much of a weakness, we still have a few tricks up our sleeve and we’re probably the most mobile of the dps caster classes. Nothing much to complain about, really.
In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best dps assignment for you?
Stick me on the boss and watch the sparks fly. Although when you do need to assign some dps to the unglamourous kiting tasks, we’re probably best suited for it. Our dps suffers, but a shadow priest doing the same job would be 90% useless.
What dps class do you enjoy dpsing with most and why?
Gimme more elemental shamans! They can have my Focus Magic anytime! Totem of Wrath and a guaranteed crit every 8 seconds makes me a very happy mage when I’m specced Fire! A Demonology warlock with Demonic Pact and Curse of Elements wins when I’m Arcane.
What dps class do you enjoy dpsing with least and why?
Any melee except Retribution Paladins. I at least get a nice 3% damage buff from being under their Auras, but Feral Druids, Warriors and Rogues do nothing for me. Deathknights with Ebon Plaguebringer can be fun too.
What is your worst habit as a dps?
Situational Awareness. Hard Mode Hodir is my worst nightmare, far too many things going on for me to get my head around. We have a Warlock who can easily do 14k dps on that fight by getting every buff available. I have trouble going over 8k. Just too much going on for me to process.
What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while dpsing?
Selfish bastard dps classes who only care about their own position on damage meters even at the cost of a wipe. People who continue to dps Gormok the Impaler when snobolds are up. People who won’t decurse because it means less time doing dps. And then the shallow morons who make snide remarks about Recount afterwards without checking who did the spellstealing/decursing/crowd control, or who attacked what, not just who attacked the most. Really pisses me right off. “Oh, Calli didn’t do as much dps as <player name>.” Right, but the dps Calli did was at least on the correct fucking target, dickhead. Check that on Recount!
Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other dps?
I do. It took a long, long time to get there, but mages are in a good spot right now. We spent an entire expansion being completely and utterly shit. I don’t look back on The Burning Crusade with any kind of nostalgia, it was a terrible time to be anything other than a Warlock or a Shadow Priest if you were a caster. But Wrath is a great Expansion for us. In TBC you could do great dps as a mage, provided your entire group was set up to do nothing but buff and support you, and it wasn’t worth the effort when you could just hire a shadow priest and get half a dozen warlocks to faceroll their shadowbolt key for more return on your investment. Thankfully those days are long gone. When 10 out of 10 of the best raid guilds in the world said that mages were the biggest waste of a raid slot in TBC, you can only cry quietly and hope things get better in the next expansion. And they did.
What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a dps’er?
Recount and World of Logs. I’m just recently getting to know how to properly use Recount to analyse what I did and why I should be doing anything different, but it’s a great tool as long as it’s not used to spam raid chat by the moron Rogue who stood in Fire behind Koralon for 15 seconds, but did awseome dps before he died. World of Logs is also an excellent tool, and you can run it Live to check performance while raiding. I highly recommend it.
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?
Well I was once asked if I could summon someone to Stormwind. Yes, it was a Night Elf Hunter.
What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new dpsers of your class to learn?
Ask me this a year or two ago and I would have said threat control. It’s still possible to overaggro as a mage these days if you’re a complete idiot and your tank is new to the job or just incompetent. Heck, you can overaggro even with the best tank, but you have to be a special kind of overgeared and stupid to do that these days.
What dps class do you feel you understand least?
Rogues. I’m not terrible on my Rogue, but I should be far better. Again, it’s a situational awareness thing, there’s a lot of stuff to keep track of if you want to do good dps as a Rogue. Any idiot can do mediocre dps as a Rogue, most of us can do decent dps, but doing great dps as a Rogue is hard damn work!
What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in dps?
Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text is very useful to remind me what procs I need to use before they fade. Scorchio is invaluable for tracking things like Hot Streak, Polymorph, Arcane Blast stacks and Missile Barrage procs. I used to use Clique for crowd controlling focus targets but that’s built into Blizzards’ default UI now (if you enable it). Still use Clique for healing, but that’s a whole different questionairre.
What stat to stack, and why?
That used to be a simple question to answer, stack spellpower until your ears bleed. Things changed in Wrath. Generally you won’t go wrong stacking spellpower anyway, but the value of one stat changes in relation to how much of other stats you need. At its most basic, hit rating is very valuable right up until you reach the hit cap, at which point more becomes totally worthless. Understanding the relationship between your current spellpower, haste and crit ratings is far more complex. The best advice I can give anyone is to use the wonderful Theorycraft-o-matic by Lhivera, Zaldinar and Zxile. I plug myself in there, tell it what spec I am and see straight away that further hit rating is worthless, haste is worth the most, closely followed by spellpower, both of which are worth twice as much to me as any more crit. It’s a great tool and I urge mages everywhere to use it.