Blog Articles by keyword: featured
by Tachyon on Wed. 14. April 2010, 02:20
Filed under: fire, guide, raiding, spec, talents, featuredFirst and foremost, Fire was always my least favourite mage tree. Deep in my heart, I still am a Frost mage (/curses Blizzard for completely ruining it as a raid spec), and have fun raiding with an Arcane spec.
But as my guild is stuck in progress at the Lich King, I had to take desperate measures to optimize my contribution to this particular fight. In other words:
I'm raiding with fire and flames at the moment.
According to Kamigami Tools, Fire is now (since 3.3.3.) up to par with Arcane on some ICC 25 fights (especially Professor Putricide and Sindragosa), and even outperforms Arcane on the Lich King fight (and some other fights in heroic ICC too).
This quick and dirty written guide aims at experienced players who want (or have to) give Fire a try. I suggest reading my Arcane Mage Guide also, as all the stuff I don't mention here (gems, enchants, gear planning, faster casting) are mentioned there.
first mage participating in the heroic ICC Lich King kill only differs by one point, so I think there's not much room to negotiate
Endgame Fire Raiding Spec:
As a fire mage, you have no talents to increase your hit rating. If you assume that you have 3% hit from raid buffs, you need to get the missing 14% (or 13% if spacegoats are in your raid) from your gear. That's 367 hit rating, which should not be hard to get.
Stats priority (updated!)
Hit Rating (until cap) > Crit Rating > Spell Power > Haste > Spirit > Int
Spell Priority System
Fire doesn't use dynamic rotations like Arcane. There's not even a fixed rotation, but rather you will decide what spell to use next using a priority system:
- Priority 1: Keep Improved Scorch up
Improved Scorch lasts 30 seconds, and increases the spell crit chance on the target by 5% for all casters. Warlocks' Improved Shadow Bolt has the same effect, and doesn't stack with Improved Scorch, so if warlocks in your raid have Shadow Bolt in their rotation, you can forget about applying the Scorch debuff.
- Priority 2: Keep Living Bomb up
Living bomb does great damage on your target, especially when other targets get hit by the splash damage at the end. Remember that the huge damage comes at the end, so when your target is likely to die within 12 seconds, it's not worth (re-)appying it.
- Priority 3: Use your Hot Streak procs
Hot Streak procs allow you to cast instant Pyros after two subsequent nonperiodic crits with fire spells. The biggest issue here is Ingite Munching, which causes the system to forget to bank the ignite of one spell if two fire spells crit more or less simultanousely. If you have at least two pieces of the Tier10 set, consuming the Hot Streak proc will give your 5 seconds of +12% spell haste (of which 1 global cooldown is wasted, at least 1 second), this makes it worth using at least when the haste buff isn't up. The pyros are mana consuming, if you ever run into mana problems you may want to use the instant pyros less often.
- Priority 4: Fireball chaincasting
If you use TellMeWhen, you might want to watch for following procs/debuffs/cooldowns:
- Hot Streak: Buff, Player, When present, Timer
- Improved Scorch: Debuff, Target, When present, Timer
- Living Bomb: Debuff, Target, When present, Timer, only if cast by self
- Ignite: Debuff, Target, When present, Timer, only if cast by self
- Combustion: Cooldown, Spell or Ability, When usable, Timer
This macro lets you cast Living Bomb on the target under your mouse pointer, or if nothing there, on your selected target. Very handy to apply Living Bomb on multiple units without having to lose your current target!
#showtooltip Living Bomb
/cast [target=mouseover,harm,exists,nodead] Living Bomb; Living Bomb
Keeping up Living Bomb on multiple targets isn't that easy, but fortunately there's a nice little addon that helps here:
Living Bomb Tracker shows a little tooltip when hovering with your mouse cursor over a target, showing whether Living Bomb is applied and how much time is left ticking before you can reapply it.
Ignite is a core mechanic you are expected to understand if you raid with fire.
Whenever one of your fire spells crits, it will do 40% of that damage as DoT (Damage over Time). On a single crit, there will be two Ingite ticks, the first after 2sec, the second after 4sec, both doing 20% of the direct damage component of the spell that crit. If other spell crits happen when there's still Ignite damage to tick, the new Ingite damage is added to the amount that is left to tick, and the timer starts anew to tick after 2/4 seconds.
Example 1: Single crit
t=0sec, Fireball crits for 1000 damage. 400 damage (40%) is added to the Ignite bank.
t=2sec, Ignite ticks for 200 damage (half of what's on the bank)
t=4sec, Ignite ticks for 200 damage (the rest), Ignite debuff expires on the target.
Example 2: Multiple crits
t=0sec, Fireball crits for 1000 damage. 400 damage (40%) is added to the Ignite bank.
t=2sec, Ignite ticks for 200 damage (half of what's on the bank)
t=2.5 sec, Pyro crits for 1500 damage. 600 damage (40%) is added to the bank. Ignite timer is reset
t=4.5sec, Ignite ticks for 400 damage (half of what's on the bank)
t=5sec, Fireball crits for 1200 damage. 480 damage (40%) is added to the Ignite bank.
t=6sec, Fireball crits for 1000 damage. 400 damage (40%) is added to the Ignite bank.
t=8sec, Ignite ticks for 640 damage (half of what's on the bank)
t=10sec, Ignite ticks for 640 damage (the rest), Ignite debuff expires on the target.
This effect of banking Ignite damage is called 'Rolling Ignites'. Back in the classic days, there was only one Ignite bank per unit, so fire mages all added to the same pool. If their crit chance or number was high enough, Ignites could roll for a very long time, increasing the size of the ticks and causing aggro problems to the fire mage which caused the last crit. In vanilla WoW, once Ignite was applied it ticked every 2 seconds until it expired. The damage of the first tick was not substracted, but instead each tick was meant to do half of the banked damage. If rolling ignites occurred, the new Ignite damage was banked to the initial damage and the tick timer was reset to 2, so any damage from the first tick could tick again. This bug caused the banked damage to grow to massive dimensions sometimes, and was a hidden damage boost of fire mages. That had been fixed with patch 2.0, giving each player its own ignite bank slot, substracting any damage ticks and resetting the timer when a new crit occured.
What this means for you: be aware that not all your damage is unloaded directly, and subsequent crits can delay the dot damage (theoretically ad infinitum). Any Ignite damage still banked when your target dies is lost, this is part of the reason fire specs are atrocious for levelling or any target that doesn't live long enough (such as the Ice Spheres in the Lich King fight).
I hope you enjoyed this guide. If there's anything you think should be added, drop me a note in the comments. Now go and RELEASE THE BURNING KRAKEN!
by Tachyon on Wed. 31. March 2010, 13:11
Filed under: addons, proc, buff, debuff, cooldown, tellmewhen, arcane, featuredMonitoring your AB stack, MBarr procs and cooldowns of your offensive and defensive abilities is crucial to optimize your performance, especially as an arcane mage.
If you just use normal buff/debuff bar addons (e.g. Elkano's Buff Bars) and cooldown monitor addons (e.g. CooldownTimers3), it's hard to make up specific buffs or debuffs, even more so if you're in a raid environment where you usually have 20+ buffs at a time on you.
But don't despair, there's an Addon out there that does exactly what YOU need.
TellMeWhen is an addon that adds a set of bars to your UI, where each slot can be configured to show a buff, debuff or cooldown, when active, inactive or always, with an optional timer.
I just love this generic approach, as the opportunities are unbounded, and if properly configured it serves all the information you need to use your abilities at the right time.
Before you start using it, make a concept of which things you'd like to have displayed in which bar. The bars can be individually scaled and moved, and in the latest versions of the addon they're dual spec aware (you can define which bars get displayed with each spec). My concept for the bars is as follows:
- Bar1: Cooldowns for my most essential offensive and defensive abilities.
- Bar2: Arcane Casting, showing the Arcane Blast debuff stack and Missile Barrage procs
- Bar3: Powerups, showing active damage boost buffs and procs
- Bar4: Target debuffs, such as Slow, Frostbolt snare, Frostbite, Living Bomb etc.
Setting up TellMeWhen
After downloading and installing TellMeWhen, go to ESC -> Interface -> Addons -> TellMeWhen. In these interface options, you can customize the number of bars, how many rows and columns they have and in which spec they're active.
Unlocking the bars will show all bars on the UI and allow you to customize them by right-clicking on a slot in the bar and configuring what cooldown, buff or debuff you would like to have displayed there. Note that in the latest versions, you have to check the 'enable icon' option for each slot for it to become active.
Here's a few hints on stuff you may want to display as an arcane mage:
- Arcane Blast: Debuff, Player, When present, Timer
- Missile Barrage: Buff, Player, When present, Timer
- Arcane Power: Buff, Player, When present, Timer
- Icy Veins: Buff, Player, When present, Timer
- Pushing the Limit: Buff, Player, When present, Timer (Tier 10 set 2p bonus)
- Quad Core: Buff, Player, When present, Timer (Tier 10 set 4p bonus)
- Surge of Power: Buff, Player, When present, Timer (Dislodged Foreign Object)
- Frostforged Sage: Buff, Player, When present, Timer (ICC revered/exalted Ring)
- Black Magic, Debuff: Buff, When present, Timer (Weapon Enchant)
- Slow: Debuff, Target, When present, Timer
- Frostbolt: Debuff, Target, When present, Timer (for frost mages or pvp spec)
- Frostbite: Debuff, Target, When present, Timer (for frost mages or pvp spec)
- Living Bomb: Debuff, Target, When present, Timer, only if cast by self (for fire mages)
- (Name of 'on-use' Trinket): Cooldown, Item, Always, Timer
- Arcane Power: Cooldown, Spell or Ability, When usable, Timer
- Icy Veins: Cooldown, Spell or Ability, When usable, Timer
- Presence of Mind: Cooldown, Spell or Ability, When usable, Timer
- Ice Block: Cooldown, Spell or Ability, When usable, Timer
- Frost Nova: Cooldown, Spell or Ability, When usable, Timer
- Mirror Image: Cooldown, Spell or Ability, When usable, Timer
- Counterspell: Cooldown, Spell or Ability, When usable, Timer
- Blink: Cooldown, Spell or Ability, When usable, Timer
- Evocation: Cooldown, Spell or Ability, Always, Timer
- Mana Sapphire: Cooldown, Item, Always, Timer
If you use a non-english client, you have to use the localized names for the buffs, spells, items and abilities (e.g. 'Eisige Adern' for 'Icy Veins' in german clients). When in doubt, check your combat log or buff bar to find out which names the buffs have.
Once you configured the bars, unlock them in the addon settings so they become active. Don't forget to test if they work before heading into combat
by Tachyon on Fri. 12. February 2010, 18:59
Filed under: arcane, t10, rotation, mage, set bonus, featured
Within the mage community, there is still no consens on which arcane rotation to use, now that most raiding mages have the 2xT10 set bonus.
Some mages still use the ABx4AM rotation, others stick with the Mbarr if AB>=4 rotation, and I still see lots of mages spamming AB when they have lots of mana left, or during AP/IV/Bloodlust.
The poor mages seeking help in the official WoW forums are hinted towards the one or the other rotation, without anyone caring to explain why this or that rotation should be used. Arguing about arcane spell rotations is almost a People's Front of Judea vs. Judean People's Front thing.
Now several weeks have passed since the introduction of T10 gear, in which I was able to verify my simulated conclusions on T10 rotations. I cross-checked my results with those of other mages, browsed damage log reports of other guilds, but haven't found anyone using my suggested rotations yet. Good news is: my suggested rotation works, and it works well.
I used the same simulation as before, with the same settings:
- 3000 Spell Power
- Hit capped
- 20% Spell Haste before talents
- 50% Spell Crit including CSD
The casting strategies I used in the simulation are:
- AB Spam
Just chain-cast Arcane Blast, nothing more.
Cast 4x Arcane Blast, and the Arcane Missiles regardless of whether Missile Barrage procced (the chance that it procced is 87.04%). Using this strategy, you have a fair chance to use MBarr immediately when it procs, with the penalty to cast unhasted Arcane Missiles in 13% of all cases (impacting your mobility).
- Tachyon A/B
This is a generic casting strategy, where you cast Arcane Blast, use the Missile Barrage Proc after at least A AB stacks, or clear the stack with Arcane Barrage when Missile Barrage didn't proc after B subsequent Arcane Blasts.
This time I only used configurations where we always keep casting AB until Missile Barrage procs (B->infinity, so never clear the AB stack with Arcane Barrage)
- Tachyon A/B, lazy
The Tachyon A/B rotations have one big flaw: they only work in that form if your reaction time is 0. Or if you can see some seconds in the future, to know if Missile Barrage will proc. Assuming that you don't have those superpowers, you'll notice a Missile Barrage proc only when you're already casting the next Arcane Blast.
To model this effect, I created a lazy strategy, where you can't use Missile Barrage procs immediately.
Here's the simulated DPS and DPM for each of the casting strategies, evaluated by casting 1'000'000 spells with each strategy:
As the non-lazy Tachyon A/B rotations are only applicable withing a theorycrafting sandbox, and the lazy variants are more realistic, if faded out the non-lazy versions a little to make the chart more clear.
Conclusions from the simulation:
- The DPS variance is relatively small, less than 4% from the best to the worst
- AB spam has the worst DPS and atrocious DPM. Never ever use this again.
- Waiting for 4 stacks of AB before using the MBarr proc yields the highest DPS
- Using MBarr even before 4 AB stacks yields almost as good DPS, with way higher DPM
- The Tachyon (A=0-2, B->Infinity, lazy) strategy has higher DPS and higher DPM than the ABx4AM strategy.
If you're below 50% case, you can start 3 spell casts of 2.5 sec base duration within the 5 sec 2xT10 proc uptime. With over 50% haste (and no lag), you can even squeeze a fourth spell start in, making maximum use of the haste buff.
During Bloodlust/Heroism, together with Icy Veins, it is therefore recommended to use the Tachyon A=3, B->Inifinity rotation (3xAB + 1xMBarr = 4 hasted spells if you're lucky with procs).
Detailled results for the simulated strategies:
- AB SPAM
11500295017 Damage done in 1984126.98 sec, costing 1719996236 Mana
* casts: 1000000
* crit: 59%
* avg hit=7756, crit=14096, cast time=1.98 sec
11236529338 Damage done in 1925358.18 sec, costing 647990080 Mana
ABx4, MBarr 86.98%
ABx4, AM 13.02%
* casts: 800000
* crit: 59%
* avg hit=5726, crit=10408, cast time=1.85 sec
* casts: 200000
* crit: 53%
* avg hit=14753, crit=28825, cast time=2.24 sec
- Tachyon a=0, b->infinite, lazy
11047912901 Damage done in 1854542.44 sec, costing 620598122 Mana
ABx2, MBarr 40.0076%
ABx3, MBarr 24.0845%
ABx4, MBarr 14.396%
ABx5, MBarr 8.6189%
ABx(n>5), MBarr 12.893%
* casts: 777500
* crit: 59%
* avg hit=5767, crit=10483, cast time=1.84 sec
* casts: 222500
* crit: 53%
* avg hit=13144, crit=25686, cast time=1.89 sec
- Tachyon a=4, b->infinite, lazy
11259815033 Damage done in 1870174.6 sec, costing 729463468 Mana
ABx4, MBarr 78.4767%
ABx5, MBarr 8.6218%
ABx(n>5), MBarr 12.9015%
* casts: 819377
* crit: 59%
* avg hit=5967, crit=10843, cast time=1.85 sec
* casts: 180623
* crit: 53%
* avg hit=14753, crit=28825, cast time=1.98 sec
If you give the new rotations a chance, please let me know about your experiences with them. I know it feels weird to use MBarr before the AB stack is full, the numbers are not quite as high as they used to be, but they're way more frequent.
by Tachyon on Sat. 10. October 2009, 00:29
Filed under: arcane, guide, talents, featured
Why is arcane so popular these day? It's not only due to the fact that since patch 3.2.2 it can compete with fire specs again, but also most mages seem to prefer arcane over fire due to the proactive playstyle which is both more challenging and more fun.
Fire mages are forced into a very reactive play style. They know exactly which spells to cast when, as the normal cycle (chaincast Fireball) is only disrupted when debuffs expire (Living Bomb or Scorch, reaction: reapply) or a Hot Streak proc occurs (reaction: use an instant Pyro as your next spell). This results in a more or less steady mana burn rate, so you just cast and hope you never go out of mana. You'll find yourself with a half full mana pool on the end of a fight, knowing that this mana was just wasted.
Arcane, on the other hand, has 3 cooldown abilities at hand (Arcane Power, Icy Veins, Presence of Mind) which allow for burst damage when the mage requests it. Not only that, but arcane mages have multiple cast cycles with varying DPS and DPM, so they can adapt their casting strategy on the fly to optimize their actions for any situation. That's what proactive casting is about, looking ahead and planning how to play to live up to the full potential. In this ability to adapt lies the arcane mage's greatest potential to do extraordinary damage.
This is a guide for effectively playing an arcane mage in a PvE (Player vs. Environment) raid scenario. It's not a beginner's mage guide as it implies you already know how to play a mage in general, so I'm not going to explain core mage concepts and spells for the leveling folk or the lazy buggers who bought their mages on Ebay or inherited a friend's account. This guide also doesn't cover how to play an arcane mage in PvP, sorry.
But if you've just switched to arcane for the first time, rerolled arcane now it's up to par with fire specs again or if you're already playing arcane and want to make sure you didn't miss an aspect or two, this guide is for YOU!
Oh, and /cheers to my friend and co-worker Elrydion on EU-Malygos who just hit 80 some weeks ago with his mage and for whom I wrote this guide!
Core Spec: 53/3/11, 4 points left to spend
This spec stub contains all the important talents needed for an arcane spec. I even dare say that any arcane spec which isn't based on that stub is suboptimal.
Most arcane specs are derived from this core spec, here's some of them:
Max. range, max. intellect, Slow and max. Blizzard crits.
This is the spec I recommend to any new arcane mage, as it performs well in any scenario, be it hardmodes, normal modes or 5men / solo. It's also the arcane spec with the highest AoE damage thanks to the additional point in frost.
Classic Spec: 57/3/11
Optimized on single targets, with Slow.
That's the classic out-of-the box spec you'll see in any other arcane guide. Nothing bad about it, has a negligibly small bonus to single target damage (+3% spirit, which gives a little more crit), and does less AoE damage the the allround spec.
I personally wouldn't recommend this spec to anyone, better go for the allround spec instead.
Spirit Spec: 57/3/11
10% more spirit, but on the cost of not having the max. range for arcane spells. 3 points for ~1% crit is rather expensive.
Incanter's Absorption Spec: 57/3/11
2/3 points into incanter's absorption, no Slow.
This is a spec for more experienced arcane mage who want to toy around with Incanter's Absorption to squeeze a little more spellpower from absorbed magical damage (only complete absorbs count, make sure to use your frost/fire ward where appropriate). The benefit of this spec is very situational (a lot of bosses do fire/frost damage, but you need to know in advance when to expect it and cast your ward, which costs a global cooldown), but in some encounters, like Twin Val'kyrs, it can do devastating damage.
For arcane mages, there is exactly one set of glyphs that makes sense:
Glyph of Arcane Blast
Increases the damage from your Arcane Blast buff by 3%.
This increases the damage done with your next arcane spell by 15% + 3% = 18% per stack, so instead of an 15/30/45/60% increase you get 18/36/54/72%.
Glyph of Arcane Missiles
Increases the critical strike damage bonus of Arcane Missiles by 25%.
Glyph of Molten Armor
Your Molten Armor grants an additional 20% of your spirit as critical strike rating.
As a PvE mage, Molten Armor is the only armor you'll ever use. Molten Armor grants you 35% of your spirit as crit rating, or 55% with this glyph, or 70% with the glyph and the 2pT9 bonus
Glyph of Slow Fall
Your Slow Fall spell no longer requires a reagent.
Glyph of Fire Ward
You have an additional 5% chance to reflect Fire spells while your Fire Ward is active.
Glyph of Frost Ward
You have an additional 5% chance to reflect Frost spells while your Frost Ward is active.
As with any mage spec, your primary focus should be getting hit capped.
Your base chance to hit a boss is 83%, and you get 6% + Hit from talents, and 3% from Misery or Improved Faerie Fire in a raid. That leaves 8% (210 Hit Rating) or 7% (184 Hit Rating) (if you're Alliance and got a squid faced space goat in your raid) until you're hit capped.
Apart from Hit Rating, Spellpower and Haste Rating are your most important stats. Arane doesn't benefit that much from Crit Rating, as the crit multipliers are rather low (compared to fire and frostfire).
Haste rating has soft caps, as you cannot cast more than one spell per second (when the cast time is lower, you enter the global cooldown util the next spell is ready 1sec after you cast the last). As an arcane mage, your spell rotation only consists of Arcane Blast and Missile Barrage AM, which both have a 2.5 sec cast time.
If you combine the 6% haste from talents with the 3% haste in a raid environment (from Swift Retribution or Improved Moonkin Form ), and stack Icy Veins (20% haste) and Bloodlust/Heroism (30% haste) on top of that, you end up with a 70.3208% haste peak (haste stacks multiplicatively). With 1% haste per 32.79 haste rating, you'd need (2.5 / 1.703208 - 1) * 3279 = 1534 Haste Rating to reach the haste peak soft cap. You'd still improve your DPS outside haste peaks, but it's worth lesser and lesser until you reach the hard cap at 4229 haste rating, where not even Icy Veins or Blood Lust/Heroism will be able to further hasten your cast time.
Hit Rating (until cap) > Spellpower ~= Haste Rating > Crit Rating > Spirit ~= Intellect.
The chart below shows the % DPS increase per unit stat once you reach the hit cap (raid buffs applied, the chart doesn't vary that much depending on your gear):
The easiest way to do gear planning is to use a stats ranking site. Stats ranking works as follows: you assign a weight for each stat to define how valuable it is for you, and let the ranking site then calculate the item value for all possible items (sum of the weighted stats on each item).
I usually use the spellpower equivalent values for each stat as a weight, with the exception of hit rating which just gets a fixed value assigned (more hit rating is no benefit, but losing hit rating will at least have a tradeoff cost if you're not much overcapped). My weights are:
Spell Power = 1, Hit Rating = 0.2, Haste Rating = 0.98, Crit Rating = 0.53, Intellect = 0.37, Spirit = 0.35
My favourite loot ranking site was lootrank.com, which was merged with GuildOx some weeks ago.
When applying the weights above in GuildOx, you get the following loot rank list:
Arcane Mage Loot List (hit cappped, all instances).
Use this as a starting point, check or uncheck the raid instances and professions (BoP crafted items) you have access too, and adapt the weights where necessary.
The choice of gems is pretty much dictated by the weights of the stats. Best choice is of course the pure +spellpower gems. Carefully consider how much benefit you get from the socket boni, and decide if it's worth to discard them and putting just red spellpower gems into the sockets.
- Meta socket:
Chaotic Skyflare Diamond
+21 Critical Strike Rating and 3% Increased Critical Damage, requires at least 2 Blue gems
This is the non-plus-ultra meta gem for any mage spec. The critical strikes of your spells gain 3% more damage before any talent is applied, so this is a significant boost for your DPS. Rule of thumb is that it's worth about 200 spell power.
- Red socket:
Runed Cardinal Ruby (red)
+23 Spell Power
- Yellow socket:
Reckless Ametrine (orange)
+12 spell power and +10 haste
- Blue socket:
Purified Dreadstone (purple)
+12 Spell Power and +10 Spirit
In order to activate the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond meta gem, you need two blue gems (2x Purified Dreadstone). Try placing them into blue sockets if possible, and then decide which yellow sockets you want to fill with Reckless Ametrines (only if the socket bonus is worth it). Fill the rest of the sockets with Runed Cardinal Rubies, regardless of their color.
Oh, and make sure to not forget to add an Eternal Belt Buckle to your belt.
- Weapon (1H Sword/Dagger):
Mighty Spellpower -> 63 spellpower or
Black Magic -> 35% chance on cast to proc 250 haste for 10 seconds, 30sec internal cooldown.
- Weapon (2H Staff): Greater Spellpower
-> 81 spellpower
- Head: Arcanum of Burning Mysteries
-> 30 spellpower, 20 crit rating
- Shoulder: Greater Inscription of the Storm
-> 25 spellpower, 15 crit rating
- Chest: Powerful Stats
-> 10 to all stats
- Legs: Brilliant Spellthread
-> 50 spellpower, 20 spirit
- Hand: Exceptional Spellpower
-> 28 spellpower
Icewalker -> 12 hit rating, 12 crit rating (if you're not overcapped with hit), or
Greater Spirit -> 18 spirit, or
Tuskarr's Vitality -> minor movement speed increase and 15 Stamina.
I recommend Tuskarr's Vitality as it's optimal for movement fights in ICC content
- Wrist: Superior Spellpower
-> 30 spellpower
- Back: Greater Speed
-> 23 haste rating
...plus any profession specific enchantments (e.g. rings, Lightweave Embroidery on your cloak).
For a quick enchantment check, go to be.imba.hu. This site checks if you already got the recommended enchantments, and which enchantments are recommended for each slot.
If you haven't read my article on the 3.2.2 spell rotations, you might want to read it in a calm minute. Here's the extract of the spell rotations that make up your casting arsenal:
Single target rotations:
- Standard DPS Rotation:
Spam Arcane Blast, use Missile Barrage when it procs and AB is fully stacked (4 stacks).
Use: standard rotation as long as you can keep your mana up.
- Optimal DPS/DPM Rotation:
Spam Arcane Blast, use Missile Barrage as soon as it procs
Use: on long fights or if you get low on mana, until you can evocate.
- Mana Recovery Rotation:
Spam Arcane Blast, use Missile Barrage as soon as it procs. If no procs occur after 2..4 AB stacks, clear the stack with Arcane Barrage.
Use: when you really start to run out of mana. The rotation can be kept up pretty much forever
- Burst Rotation:
Spam Arcane Blast, disregard any Missile Barrage procs.
Use: on burst phases (Arcane Power, Icy Veins or Bloodlust/Heroism) or when the raid is requested to do insane DPS for a short time, or when you can afford to burn the mana (before Evocation comes off cooldown)
Arcane, especially the variant with 12 points in frost, is the spec with the highest burst AoE (Area of Effect) damage. You're verly likely to draw aggro if you dont start carefully. A good advice is to take your your Mirror Images before starting to bomb, so your initial aggro is split up on you and your images which prevents you from surpassing the tank in the aggro list on the first few seconds.
Casting Flamestrike every 8 seconds is a good idea, as it adds a nice little DoT to your AoE targets. Note that each rank of Flamestrike (FS) has its own DoT component, so whilst 2 subsequent FS Rank 9 won't stack, FS Rank 8 + 9 will (you could even stack rank 9+8+7+6+..., but due to the penalty the lower ranks get, this is not advisable)
- cast Mirror Images
- (Presence of Mind)
- Flamestrike Rank 9
- Flamestrike Rank 8
- Pop trinkets, activate Arcane Power and Icy Veins
- Spam Blizzard, reapply Flamesstrike Rank 9+8 as soon as the DoT expires, rinse and repeat.
Arcane is a very proactive mage spec, which not only lets you vary your cast cycles on the fly, but also has a number of cooldown abilities which boost your DPS for a short time.
- Arcane Power (AP)
2 min cooldown, with talents: 1 min 24 sec
When activated, your spells deal 20% more damage while costing 20% more mana to cast. This effect lasts 15 sec.
- Icy Veins (IV)
3 min cooldown, with talents: 2 min 24 sec
Hastens your spellcasting, increasing spell casting speed by 20% and reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting by 100%. Lasts 20 sec.
- Presence of Mind (PoM)
2 min cooldown, with talents: 1 min 24 sec
When activated, your next Mage spell becomes an instant cast spell.
+ Arcane Potency (2/2): Increases the critical strike chance of your next damaging spell by 30% after gaining Clearcasting or Presence of Mind.
Use your cooldown abilities whenever available, preferrably during Bloodlust/Heroism. PoM gives the next spell a +30% crit chance, so this is best used when your next spell does high damage, hence you want to use a PoM-AB when your AB stack is full for the highest bang for the buck.
You should wait some seconds into an encounter before popping your cooldowns, as you rely on raid debuffs on the target and want to give your tank a head start building aggro.
Initial burst sequence on the start of an encounter (all cooldowns ready):
- Mirror Image (to split your initial aggro)
- 4x Arcane Blast
- Use any trinkets that can be activated
- Presence of Mind, Arcane Blast (instant)
- Arcane Power + Icy Veins (make a macro)
- Arcane Blast spam until Icy Veins fades
- Use Invisibility if necessary before your mirror images fade
Burst damage macro
This macro activates Arcane Power, Icy Veins, Trinkets and your Mirror Images at once (unless the ability is on cooldown, of course). Mirror Images should only be included when you have the 4xT10 bonus, otherwise I think it's better to activate them separately. The numbers 13 and 14 refer to your trinket slots, you can adapt the macro to only use the slot which contains an 'on use' trinket.
/cast Icy Veins
/cast Arcane Power
/cast Mirror Image
Tips & Tricks
Evocation is ready every 2 minutes, but takes 8 seconds to cast (before haste is applied).
If you'd use it every 2 minutes, you'd be casting for 112 seconds and evocating for 8 seconds every 120 seconds. That's a significant loss, and to compensate for that you would need 120/112-1 = 7.15% additional haste, or 233.5 haste rating.
Arcane Blast spam gives you only 2% more DPS than the standard rotation (AB until MBarr, use at 4 AB stacks), but costs almost 60% more mana, so unless the encounter has idle phases which allow to use Evocation, you'd better not chaincast AB but rather preserve your mana so you don't have to evocate that often.
If you have to use Evocation, the best time to do it is on the last second of Heroism/Bloodlust/Icy Veins (the cast time is determined upon the start, so you can prolong the effect of those haste buffs).
Both Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles have a range of 30y. With the Magic Attunement talent, you can and should increase your range by 3/6y.
I know it's very tempting to skip this talent partially or completely and invest the points somewhere else, but I highly recommend to spend those 2 points there.
3/6y may not seem that much, but it's not the range that is important but the size of the area given by that range (3y -> 21% more area, 6y -> 44% more area). The larger the area is, the more likely you won't have to move to get something in casting range, which is very important for fights on which you have to spread out or when the boss is moving or spawns adds. Moving will hurt your DPS badly, so whilst range does not increase your DPS, it can save you from losing DPS.
Faster casting tricks
The matra for high damage is ABC: Always Be Casting. Any second you aren't casting is lost damage. Move only when necessary, and if you have to move use Arcane Barrage before your AB stack expires.
But also when you don't move, you're still losing time between your casts due to the latency between your computer and the WoW server. It's only a few dozen or hundred milliseconds, but boy does that add up quickly! Here's some tricks how to reduce the idle time between spells:
- Be aware of lag gaps between your spells, and minimize them by all means:
Find out how to optimize your TCP connection for WoW. Bandwith doesn't matter, it's the response time that matters. Use Leatrix Latency Fix (or edit the Windows registry yourself) to set the TCP Acknowledge Frequency to 1 (ACK on each TCP packet), that will reduce your ping significantly.
- Use Quarz or any other cast bar addon that shows the last latency measured. You can start casting the next spell as soon as the casting bar enters the latency area (when it does, the spell is supposed to be finished on the server, only your UI does not know about it yet due to the latency). It's rumored that even when you start a little too early casting the next spell it won't be lost but queued on the server, so you theoretically can do seamless chaincasting.
- Don't mash the buttons. Klicking a keyboard button fires two events: pressed and released. Be aware that spell casting starts on the 'released' event. Pressing and releasing costs time (about 70-80 ms if you're fast), so when chaincasting press and hold the button in advance, so you only have to release it for the next cast.
Snowfall KeyPress addon can help you casting faster, what it does is to trigger spells on KEY_PRESS instead of KEY_RELEASE events. Give it a try, you'll love it.
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If you think this guide is missing something important, or if you think you found a mistake, please tell me in the comments so I can keep this guide up-to-date, thanks!