Ghostcrawler and Daxxarri
We set out to accomplish a few goals with Mages:
- Despite various adjustments along the way, Frost Mages are still too powerful in PvP and not quite competitive in PvE.
- Our changes to Arcane in patch 5.1 overshot the mark and also needed some changes.
- While we wanted to make some less attractive talents more attractive, we also weren’t satisfied with the Mage talent tree.
There are a few changes to Frost in PvP. First, the PvP set bonus only lowers the cooldown of Counterspell
when it is successfully used as an interrupt, not as a silence. As we’ve said before, we think silences are too dominant in PvP, but we don’t think patch 5.2 is the right time to remove them all because we can’t also remove all of the instant heals in PvP. We like the Counterspell
change because it rewards skilled play. We also made a change to the way Ring of Frost
. Rather than making the Ring of Frost
instantly apply, the
only makes the cast time instant—the Ring still needs to arm for two seconds before freezing the unfortunates standing on it. Most significantly, we redesigned the Glyph of Fireblast to no longer allow it to detonate
on demand; instead it will require some timing on the part of the player. We’re boosting Frost’s PvE performance via Frostbolt
, which requires a spell cast (which means the Mage must stand still and risks Frost lock), and also has a stacking debuff to really maximize damage.
We had two problems we wanted to solve with Arcane. The first was that Scorch
was never intended to be rotational for Arcane to avoid having to dump stacks of
s. Arcane is intended to build up charges but then dump them when the mana drain gets too high, but Scorch
allowed Arcane Mages to avoid that cycle, which inflated their damage as a consequence. However, we also wanted to tweak a previous change where we increased
s up to a max stack of 6. Dumping a stack of 6 is painful because it takes a long time to build it back up again, so in 5.2 we are lowering the stack size to 4.Scorch
was a big design problem for us for other reasons. It feels really good to have something to cast while moving, even if it’s a DPS loss overall. Many mages were taking Scorch for reasons beyond the
stacking issue above. At the same time, the talent tree also suffered a problem where Blazing Speed
couldn’t compete with
or Ice Barrier
. We had hoped to position Blazing Speed
as a defensive ability, but really it’s a mobility talent, and we think it makes more sense alongside Presence of Mind and Ice Floes
, which also offer mobility in one way or another. Instead of replacing Blazing Speed
, we just gave Scorch
to Fire mages, which also helps differentiate the specs a bit more. Instead, now Mages have a new talent,
, which is a passive defensive option that absorbs some damage from each hit, and fits in thematically alongside
and Ice Barrier