Friday, November 7, 2008


A woman is in NYC for a business trip. She hails a taxi and steps in, hungry for fish. She tells the cab's driver, "Take me to a place where I can get scrod." He says, "That's the first the I've heard that in the pluperfect subjunctive."

Ever since the end of S4 and the general miserable-ness of the Arenas due to the incessant lag, my friends and I have been predominantly spending our time PvE'ing or BG'ing. Now that the lag is gone (you have noticed that right?), there's been some more time spent trying out comps and such in the waning days of TBC.

My Warrior buddy asked me to help him get to 1800 again (all ratings lost on server xfer) so he could get the points and rating for the S3 axe for leveling in WotLK and within 24 or so games, we had the rating, even though the absurd number of Ret/Arcane teams out there made every game a nailbiter.


Let's just make this clear: If you're not a burst team and you get caught against one in the Orgrimmar or Ruins of Lordaeron map, you'd better pray for RNG your way because one of you is going to die... and quickly. I sincerely hope that Arcane Mages are brought under control even though this amazing quote from GhostCrawler made me choke on my Earl Grey:
If Arcane is overpowered at all, it is nowhere near to the level that
Retribution was. Sorry. This isn’t a contest to see who can get the least or
most nerfs.

He's absolutely right.

If you're stupid enough to only use Arcane spells to try to kill someone, Arcane isn't overpowered. Arcane Blast (AB) and Arcane Missiles (AM) are mediocre filler spells. But the fact remains is that Arcane Mages don't just use offensive Arcane spells to rip people apart. Let's count the offensive damaging instants that can be used instead of queuing up a stupid AB or letting people run away while you channel a set of AM:
  • Arcane Barrage
  • Cone of Cold
  • POM Nuke
  • Arcane Explosion
  • Fireblast
  • Icelance

(If you've ever played City of Heroes, its basically like playing an Ice or Fire Blaster, where you spam instants and win)

So the question is, why would anyone use AM or AB when they can do instant damage and protect their spellschools for when Polymorph needs to hit? Answer: Only if they want to proc a Missile Barrage or if their target is cc'd and stuck in line of sight. Which is why every Arcane Mage is playing 2's with a Rogue or a Ret Paladin (the stun King and QQueen of WoW) or another Mage for pure ridiculousness.

So what's the solution to toning down Arcane Mages? Well, it sure as hell isn't what Blizz is planning to do, which is to buff Arcane Blast. No. No no no. Nononononononononono.

Buffing something with a cast time in PvP isn't going to make people want to use instants less. Mobility is king in PvP (eg: Druids), and unless pillars are removed from the Arena, instants will still be far more coveted than casted nukes. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a Destruction Warlock or a Mage hardcast a Fireball in a competitive arena match?

So what's the fix that helps an Arcane Mage with their PvE Rotation? Simple: increase the cooldown. I don't care if the damage scales up or if Blizz improves the damage of Arcane Blast, but there should be no reason for someone to eat back to back to back instant cast Barrages in the span of an Imp Counterspell or a Hammer of Justice or a Kidney Shot.

Break it down by caster? Sure!

  • Boomkin: Starfire has a cast time. Even if the Druid is lucky to get Nature's Grace and Wrath of Elune, it still has a cast.
  • Fire Mage: Blast Wave, FireBlast, Dragon's Breath all have longer cooldowns. None do nearly as much damage.
  • Frost Mage: Shatter Combo 2 hits max unless you combo it into other casts. Brain Freeze Fireball (due to lack of fire talents) doesn't hit very hard.
  • Shadow Priest: MindBlast/SW: Death Combo has a much longer cooldown. No third nuke.
  • Elemental Shaman: Bolts have a cast time, Shocks have longer cooldowns and deal less damage and NS Chain Lightning is once every 3 mins
  • Warlocks: Only instant nuke is a Nightfall proc. Good luck even getting back to back procs. Is Shadowfury/Nightfall possible? If it is, would it be viable? Computer says no.

Wake up, Blizzard!


Anyways, we found out that Blizzard is wiping all Arena Teams and Arena points during Maintenance on Tuesday. This means that if you have Arena points saved up, you must spend them before Maintenance.

Which means my Warrior buddy won't get his axe.

And that's what we call scrod.

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