Blog Articles by keyword: fire
by Tachyon on Wed. 13. October 2010, 23:45
Filed under: patch 4.0, cataclysm, mage, fire, DPSWoW patch 4.0 went live today on the EU realms. Of course half of the addons were broken (I couldn't event cast as spell) and had to be disabled, and some re-enabled as they were fixed with patches that were drippling in in hourly intervals.
After fixing my UI, I respecced fire (my new spec is 2/31/3 Fire) and did some tests at the target dummies.
14k DPS sustained, only selfbuffed, that's just plain awesome, but see for yourselves:
(Tip: switch to HD, I recorded with 1080p)
by Tachyon on Sun. 13. June 2010, 03:13
Filed under: dps, simulation, theorycrafting, fire, resists
One particular question I wanted to have aswered today:
How much of a spell is partially resisted (absorbed) by boss targets?
Bosses have a built in resistence mechanic that lets them absorb a part of the damage. The common knowledge is that bosses count as maxlvl+3 mobs (in the WotLK version: level 83), and that they gain 5 resistence per additional level (15 overall). But I have noticed before that the resists fluctuate, sometimes more is resisted, sometimes less, and in some cases nothing is resisted at all.
To test the partial resists, I unequipped any items that have a +Spelldamage proc, and casted Arcane Missiles on a Heroic Training Dummy. To record the data, I used Fraps and viewed the video in slow motion to note down the damage and absorbs for each tick.
Here's an excerpt of the collected data (in brackets: partial resists)
1099 (275), 2147 (275), 2446 (137), 1374, 1236 (137), 1374, 1236 (137), 2684, 1374, 2147 (275), 1236 (137), 1099 (275), 2415 (137) ...
The resists were either 0, 137 or 275. In relation to the damage before resists, this was exactly 0%, 10% and 20%. The spell crit modifier for Arcane Missiles (with CSD and the AM Glyph) is 1.95375, and the critical spell hits show that the resistance happens before the crit factor is applied.
Now I needed more samples to quantify how many spells have 0%, 10% and 20% resists. For that I parsed the combat log from our raid tonight with a total of 487 samples on 3 bosses. Result:
- 257x 0% resist (~ 1/2)
- 152x 10% resist (~ 1/3)
- 87x 20% resist (~ 1/6)
EDIT 2010-06-14: Interesting side note
Ingite is affected by partial resists as well. Critical fire spells get thus taxed twice (once for the spell, once for the ignite DoT). This effect is known as Double Dipping.
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 Thu. 22. January 2009, 02:26
Filed under: raiding, naxxramas, frostfire, talentsMy last post was almost a month ago, and honestly I didn't spend much time in the game lately, due to two weeks of vacation (<3 snowboarding) and 10 days without internet connection (my provider messed up something with the invoices).
Due to my long absence, my guild completely outlevelled me in terms of raiding (content clear since beginning of January), which makes it hard for me to catch up again. My equipment is not quite ready for raiding, as usually did heroics and PvP while waiting for a chance to get stated with raiding again. 10-men Naxxramas raids happened to take place mostly during the weekend, either on Saturnday evening, or worse: on Sunday afternoons, which to me as family father of two baby kids was not a time to spare.
But finally this evening I was able to participate a 10-men Naxx raid with my guild (mostly twinks of our core raiders). It was quite a stressful evening for me, trying to read through a stack of printed WowWiki raid tactics to refresh the raid encounters I only once ever saw at lvl70, when I retro-raided classic Naxx with a PUG.
For each completed wing I got an achievement, which honestly was a little embarrassing, but comforting at the same time. I'm confident that now I cleared at least the 10-men content, I will enjoy the encounters better next time, and also be better prepared for the 25-men versions.
My equipment has also slightly improved, as I got The Soulblade, Contortion and Heroes' Frostfire Robe and -Shoulderpads. Many many thanks to my guild for making this possible, and I hope I didn't mess up too much in my first whole Naxx raid...
Now I'm at least at 1646 spellpower, hit cap, 24.5% crit and 7.8% haste selfbuffed, and I feel a little more confident to catch up with raiding seriously again. Whish me luck!
by Tachyon on Thu. 04. December 2008, 21:41
Filed under: frostbolt, glyph, raiding, frostfire, qqI'm more or less one level away from hitting lvl 80, and the more I approach the level cap the more I'm concerned about my choice of frost for raiding.
The big frost killer comes in the form of a glyph:
It adds 5% to the frostbolt damage, but takes away the snare component.
From a boss fight perspective, this is purely good, as bosses can't be snared anyway.
But at the same time it renders frostbolt completely useless in PvP and solo play, I mean seriously, who would use frostbolt anymore outside an instance if it wouldn't have the slowing effect anymore? Even for 5 men instances, it's a bad choice.
Deep Frost was my spec of choice for its superb versatility. I could use the spec for raiding and it was also good for PvP, not the best in both cases but certainly the second best option and therefore the best compromise. Of course one could decide to just not take the glyph, and deal without the 5% damage increase, but no sane raiding guild would accept such a choice from a mage. Oh, and there's of course no alternative frostbolt glyph, either take it and have a raid-only mage spec that's sub par to both Fire and Frostfire or leave it and be benched forever.
No compensation for Ghost Hit and partial resists
In The Burning Crusade, Frost was viable for raiding throughout all raid instances and could compete nicely with fire (which still did 5% more DPS, but's that was acceptable).
Then the 3.0 patch came, and fixed the Ghost Hit bug (Frostbolt gained 6% instead of 3% +hit out of 3/3 Elemental Precision) and also fixed the binary effect of Frostbolt, so it will now also be affected by partial resists (it's about 4% less damage on bosses due to level based resistance). It's good that the bugs were fixed, but if frost was balanced around the previous performance (with the bugs) and now doesn't have any compensation, this only means that we now do significant less damage that with a fire spec.
The snare tax
Frostbolt scales badly anyway, as it get's a 5% penalty on +spellpower because it has a snare effect. This snare tax also applied when the target was immune to the snare effect (bosses for example), and I assume that it will still apply when we would use the Frostbolt glyph. I assume Blizzard forgot about this, since as far as I know we don't have such a snare tax on the new Frostfire Bolt spell.
Taxing for an effect that isn't even applied is wrong on many levels.
Comparison with other glyphs
As a comparison, let's look at what glyphs are available for Fireball and Frostfire Bolt:
- Glyph of Fireball - Increases the critical strike chance of Fireball by 5%, but removes the damage over time effect.
5% more crit together with Burnout and Ignite results in about 5% more damage (depends on your current crit chance, if you have less than 30% crit on fireball it's even more). The damage loss by the removed DoT is negligible, and the increased crit change even increases the mana return from Master of Elements
- Glyph of Frostfire - Increases the initial damage dealt by Frostfire Bolt by 2% and its critical strike by 2%.
A superb glyph which boosts the base damage and the crit chance, and we all know how well this spell scales with crit.
These two glyphs are extremely nice, and none of them breaks the gameplay for the according specs. One could argue that the 5% more damage fo the frostbolt glyph boosts frost mages more than 5% crit or 2% crit/damage, but keep in mind that frostbolt spam is only the larger of two slices of a frost mage's DPS. The other, smaller slice is the DPS provided by the water elemental, for that we need a second glyph.
Working around the problem
- For PvE, either spec Fire or better Frostfire. There's currently no reason to spec frost apart from the excellent mana efficiency and the low crit chance on the beginner's gear at lvl 80.
- For PvP, stay frost, and don't get the glyph. Live with the fact that there's no valid glyph for your bread-and-butter nuke.
- For PvE/PvE: Spec frost, take the glyph in order to not to be completely screwed in DPS terms, and use Frostfire Bolt as an opener in PvP. This is very risky, as this exposes both the frost and fire tree to a counterspell. Reapplying the snare is also problematic, as soon as your opponent uses the insignia when you're already started casting a Frostbolt.
We can only wait and hope that the dual-spec feature will come more sooner than later (hopefully with patch 3.1, but that will still take some months), and that we will have two sets of glyphs then, one for each spec.
Even then, I'm afraid Frost is dead for raiding.
Are there any frost raiders left out there?
Are you PvPing and raiding with the same spec?
Do you use the Frostbolt glyph, and how much does it impact your gameplay?
by Tachyon on Thu. 27. November 2008, 00:47
Filed under: frostfire bolt, elemental, spec, talents, leveling, frostbolt, glyphI recently dinged level 75, and decided to give the new Frostfire Bolt (FFB) a try. The build I chose is basically a fire build without Improved Fireball, and 18 points in frost to get the full advantage of Shatter: 0/48/18 Frostfire spec.
What I like about this build and Frostfire bolt in general:
- The spec has almost all the talents that make the FFB go *boom* (2 points in Burnout are missing, need lvl 77 to get the full potential of FFB)
- Hot Streak is seksy! This allows to throw out an instant Pyroblast on any two subsequent FFB (or Scorch, Fireblast or Fireball) hits.
- The build still has the full damage potential of Blizzard, thanks to Shatter, Frostbite and Improved Blizzard.
- The maximal range of FFB is larger (40y) than that of Frostbolt (30y, 36y with Arctic Reach), which makes it the perfect spell for pulling (distance + snare = even more distance)
- New fun shatter combo: Frostnova, FFB + Fireblast -> good chance that both crit and thus proc Hot Streak -> say hello to instant Pyro!
- The FFB Glyph actually makes sense (2% more base damage, +2% crit)
What I miss or don't like about it:
- I seriously miss Ice Barrier. Running around without it is like going shopping naked, and generally a bad idea on a PvP server. Ice Barrier gives you the same announcement effect as the blue colored
poison dart frogs have: don't mess with the blue dude!
Of course you don't really need Ice Barrier to survive while levelling, but it usually absorbs enought damage for you to never get hurt. Without it, I constantly lose some HP and have to regenerate more after a few fights, as I get a bad feeling starting a pull with only half of my HP left.
Ice Barrier is also essential in PvP. As a rule of thumb you can count twice its absorb amout as virtual HP, and with Shattered Barrier you gain essential utility against meele attackers (especially in AoE situations)
- I miss the Water Elemental a little, but just a little. It has undisputed value and contributes a lot to DPS and utility, but hey I could live without it if I get its DPS from elsewhere. I still hate it for not scaling well (it just gets 40% of my Spellpower, but no hot/crit/haste at all) and forget to bring it out regularly (though most of the time I don't need it just for killing 1-3 mobs and then travelling again), but in the end I miss its ranged nova and separate threat pool in instances.
- I loved Deep Freeze for its croud control and mobile burst capabilities (FoF->DF->move and icelance), so I miss it now already.
- The mana consumption is way higher with a FFB or fire build than with frost. If MMOs were a little more realistic, I would pee an ocean every five minutes, I'm reallly just drinking all the time. Hot Streak with an instant Pyro waiting and no mana left = no fun.
- Blastwave is nice, but I can't seem to fall in love with Dragon's Breath. Cone of Cold feels so much better than this 'zomg look I ate chilli!" spell. For AoE I wouldn't use it anyway, for that we have Blizzard now.
- I think I hate Ignite. Sure my FFB and fire spells crit all the time, but the Ignite dot is usually just wasted as mobs tend to die before it starts ticking. When my FFB or Pyro crits and the target has 2k HP left, I could just stand there and wait 4 sec for it to die, but that's so silly and I don't have the nerves to wait, so in the end I put an end to the tragedy with a quick Fireblast before it drives me crazy. Better waste mana and ignite ticks than my sanity.
Frost is so much more honest, if you crit a nice big number responds to your action, that's instant reward and not the DoT fluff of a critting fire spell where tiny 'me too!' numbers plop up some seconds later.
All in all the FFB spec is not bad, and I'd consider it the preferred spec for instance/raid runs if your mana pool allows it. Former fire mages should love it, pulling with a snare can be so much more fun, but for frost mages it just hasn't the versatility we need.
I'm yet unsure whether I will be raiding with Frost (0/10/61) or Frostfire (0/50/21) once I reach level 80.
If only we could have the promised dual spec right away, then I'd take Frostfire for instances and raiding, and Frost for PvP, but we probably will have to wait for the 3.1 patch before we can have two specs with hopefully also two sets of Glyphs.
My biggest concern for frost is the Frostbolt Glyph. Adding 5% damage is nice for sure, but removing the snare component completely spoils frost for me. I'm playing frost since the vanilla beta, but I can't think of any issue that bothered me as much as the Frostbolt Glyph is now. If I want to be raiding, the +5% damage is a must, but then my Frostbolt is completely screwed for solo and PvP. Seriously, I just won't use that glyph, and no sane frost mage should be forced to use it.
There's only one thing you can do with the Frostbolt Glyph: put it back into the original packaging, return it to Blizzard and claim refunds because it's KAPUT.