I have exactly one mage who has managed to hit the level cap, but over the years I have dabbled with little project mages here and there. I got one to 20 with SAN before I got RAF-dinged all the way to 51, was left without any decent gear and had no money to buy new gear. There’s my horde side mage who I got to 30 before the horror that was horde-side questing made me want to off myself… or her. I have also leveled to the mid-range and then deleted a number of other mages from my alty stables.
And now there is Alas 2.0, rolled on Azgalor to be in <Stands in Bad> as a sort of exchange program (we got Kotakh from Amber’s guild to raid with us as he can, although his main focus is still <Stands in Bad> as mine will of course be for my Effers).
This is my first time really exploring any class I’m familiar with in a post-Shattering world. And I am left scratching my horns and wondering just what on Azeroth Blizzard has done to my beloved mages.
I am level 30 and leveling in fire on the theory that it’s a good way to get a bit more familiar with it after spending so much time in Arcane on Alas 1.0. And I think that for all of Blizzard’s attempts to get players to stick to one tree and learn how it works, they dropped a ball somewhere along the way with mages.
After all, even as a fire mage, I still got Arcane Missiles to proc from levels 1-29 before I could finally spec into Hot Streak. This felt strange to me coming from a level 85 fire mage who, when she procs, gets a free and instant Pyroblast! I never cast Arcane Missiles in my fire spec at level cap. Why did they force it on me for so long while I worked my way up? I can see not having a Pyroblast! right away, truly, but maybe a free/instant fireball?
Along the way, I’ve run several dungeons because pugs scare me less than that big old PVP world where I am flagged against my will. Earlier on I didn’t really notice any disparity between what I could bring to the table versus what other classes could. No one buffed anyone because no one had anything with which to buff. But my latest run had me getting paladin and priest buffs lavished on me, leaving me wondering whether I had missed training something somewhere along the way because if someone is giving me fortitude shouldn’t I be able to give them Intellect in return? Or food? And, hey, shouldn’t I be able to give myself a shield of some sort?
As soon as I got out of there, I headed to my mage trainer and picked up the ability to decurse. And then I got to looking at when I would get my other goodies.
I’ll get Molten Armor in four more levels at 34. This will be my first self-buff.
I will be able to make party food at level 38.
I will get my first AoE damage spell (Flamestrike) at level 44. (And you know everything from 1-80 is an AoE-fest)
Coming in rather later, I get Blizzard at level 52.
And it will be until level 58 that I will appear to be a useless git in dungeons (aside from vending machine duties) because I will not get Arcane Brilliance until then. Level. Fifty. Eight.
Oh, and that other thing people like mages for? The whole business of getting around quickly? I don’t get to portal anyone anywhere until level 42, but at least I will get all of the Kal/EK locations all at once.
Overall, I don’t think mages are broken or anything. But I do think they seem somewhat unbalanced and not terribly intuitive for a new player, and I thought that was supposed to be the whole point?