Going Arcane, Part 1 - Preface
by Tachyon on Wed. 18. February 2009, 00:51
Filed under: arcane, spec, raiding, dps, patch, theorycraftingTwo weeks before, I retired my Frostfire Bolt spec and joined the happy bunch of arcane specced fellows.
I hesitated long before I finally did this step, as this means that my raid will lose yet another scorch debuffer, and will have to run without the 10% crit debuff quite often.
This is a general design flaw by Blizzard, making the arcane tree too attractive compared to the frost or fire tree, causing lots of mages to skip the 10% crit debuff talents (Improved Scorch in the fire tree, Winter's Chill in the frost tree).
Anyway, I'm now Arcane specced, and will probably stay so for the near future. Patch 3.1.0 will bring some improvements for frost, but also the dual specs, so Frost will become an option again, purely for PvP, whilst Arcane will continue to dominate as PvE spec.
The last patches brought quite some nerfs for the Arcane specs, but don't worry, most of it affected the burst damage potential only, and PvE damage stays neraly as effective as it used to be.
The latest patch (3.0.9) reduced the glyphed damage boost of the Arcane Blast debuff (from 5% to 3%), reduced the spell power coefficient of Arcane Barrage (from 3/3.5 to 2.5/3.5), but also introduced an improved Arcane Missiles glyph, which increases the critical damage of the missiles.
When reading the blogs and forums lately, there seems to be a controversy about which spell rotations are now preferred, if Arcane Missiles should be cast even without Missile Barrage, how high to stack the Arcane Blast debuff, and whether using Arcane Barrage is still viable at all.
In the end I gave up on reading recommendations, especially as most of them were based more on claims that on evidence, and did the math for myself.
So that's the whole point of this arcane article series, to guide you through the calculations and considerations towards finding the proper spell rotations for arcane raiding.
Read on in Part 2 of the "Going Arcane" series.