So I am back from my all-too-quick and emotionally-charged travels and, as predicted, trying to play catch up in the world of 4.0. My reactions have varied from “ooooh, pretty!” (regarding the water, as I logged on in Booty Bay) to “I still can’t believe I can never get Icy Veins and I have to take Dragon’s Breath and grumble, grumble” and then were followed copious amounts of flailing at target dummies for rotations and the Auction House for glyphs.
Mages in a 4.0 world
As with any major patch, there are things I love and things I hate. I love the reagent-less buffs. I love that I can drop tables of food for a mere two reagents. I love the little fly-out bars for my portals and the sheer amount of bar compression I was able to do overall.
I don’t love trying to figure out everything new all at once. Gems, enchants, talents for two specs, glyphs for two specs, reforging. Rotations. Perhaps it was the pressure I felt from being several days late to the party, perhaps it is the continuing pressure of having not just one or two characters to get back into fighting shape, but I’ve been stumbling around and feeling overwhelmed. I don’t often feel this overwhelmed and I don’t often envy those people with very few characters, but as I sit and consider my three or four I want to raid with and then the few I am still leveling through their last bits of the 70’s and then all their second specs, I feel as though I have no fewer than 20 characters to figure out.
Alas, of course, got the most work. We were home early enough on Friday that I was able to spec and gem and gear swap and mostly get glyphs and reforge and work a bit on both specs. I also had the fortune to run into another mage at the dummies who had been working feverishly on his arcane rotation and took the time to share with me and a few other mages his thoughts about Arcane.
These amounted to: Stack all the Int you can. Cast arcane blast four times and then pop every trinket and cooldown you have (particularly Mirror Images), and then resume casting arcane blast over and over until you reach about 33% mana, burn evocation, get back up to full mana, arcane blast some more until 75% mana or so, pop your mana gem, burn until 50% mana and then start the mana management game by actually using arcane missiles until you have cooldowns available again and can restart the whole process.
On a dummy, self-buffed and with some gaps still in my gemming due to simple lack of time, I was able to sustain the phase rotation indefinitely and pull 6500-7500 overall dps. During the opening burn phase, the numbers are easily double that on a single target. In a raid environment (which was OS as no one had done the weekly by Saturday and we had too few experienced bodies to attempt ICC), everything went down too swiftly for me to properly burn through my mana. On Sarth himself, I was able to ramp up to 9k dps.
I will say I enjoyed the 45-55k crits I was getting.
As far as fire goes, I am working it out in heroic 5-mans and do wonder how viable it will be for single target dps. It was made for AoE pulls, it seems. I can easily see switching between it for trash and arcane for bosses as long as CC doesn’t matter.
I still have my prejudices against frost so even though other mages performed quite well in it, I don’t think I will try it.
Guild Masters in a 4.0 world
As a GM, I am quite enamored with most of the UI changes brought to my doorstep with the patch. I particularly adore being able to create a new rank and then move it up or down through the other ranks. This change has long been needed since nearly every time we’ve had to add in a new rank it has been a nightmare of having to promote or demote everyone in the guild accordingly.
I’ve already added in a new rank, for alts of raiders. The in-game calendar seems to have lost its mind and will invite anyone who is an 80 to a raid, even though I told it only raiders on up. I am hoping to see that smooth out soon. I’ve also begun rolling out some small changes that I have been planning for several months, all preparatory for Cataclysm. Change in the midst of other change seems to be less frowned upon by my change-adverse guildies. I’m already scheming what else I might squeeze in when 4.0.3 drops.
And in closing
Dull post is dull, I know. I have barely skimmed my own feed reader and it’s all 4.0-centric, so there’s nothing like being topical I suppose. What things do you love and loath about the changes?