FEEDBACK: Mage Class Changes

Arcane mage raider here.

Been doing a good chunk of testing on alpha, including clearing all 4 leveling zones, the intro experience, and fiddling with end game stuff (Venthyr Covenant + Maw + Torghast).

I just want to talk briefly about covenant abilities and how they feel as a part of the arcane rotation and as a big extra button.

Kyrian - Radiant Spark - It just lacks oomph and felt annoying to use. I recognize that it’s probably a numbers bump, but I just did not enjoy pressing it. It’s annoying the way that Arcane Missiles works with it, and felt clunky to use in the rotation, especially in the opener.

Venthyr - Mirrors of Torment - Way too niche for PVE encounters based on caster mobs. Just like in leveling, there were only some mobs that this was semi-useful for. To me, this is by far the worst covenant ability for PVE mages, which is a shame because I love the Venthyr covenant

Necrolords - Deathborne - This is the only covenant ability that truly felt great to press. The visual is cool, and cleave on arcane blast is amazing. A couple complaints - would feel much better as a shorter cd that buffs Spell power a bit more and has a less powerful but more constant cleave effect. Arcane really suffers on cleave pve fights and I’d rather have more consistent good cleave than 1-2 moments in an encounter of AMAZING cleave.

Nightfae - Channeling spell - It surprised me that I actually enjoyed using this spell during Ardenweald leveling. Unfortunately, channeling for 6 seconds so often in a raid fight in melee range still feels very clunky. I enjoy how it makes cd’s more dynamic and unpredictable. If it channeled an aoe onto your target, it would be much more palatable.

To me, as arcane, the kyrian and the necrolord abilities seem to have the most general potential for being strong. The necrolord really shines when it’s a cleave fight, but without that niche in an encounter, it starts to look a lot worse.

I agree whole heartedly with what alot of arcane people are saying in this thread.
-Ramp up is way too long
-AP being 3 minute cd feels real bad
-Displacement was cool and its removal sucks
-Most of the unpruning is pretty worthless for arcane with the exception of Mirror Images (bring back displacement)
-I like Alter Time as another defensive cd, but in practice it feels like a pretty big dps loss in its casting.

27 Likes

Please please please give us Phoenix Reborn passive from Legion. The 30 second CD of Phoenix Flames feels awful with it being the only way to spread ignite and I don’t think adding extra charges is the correct change. Phoenix Reborn is desperately needed in my opinion. Why it feels awful? Because it feels great using some charges during Combustion and not just ONLY using it when I want to spread Ignite. I want to be able to do both, spread when I choose and if there’s no harm in using Phoenix Flames during Combustion then I will. If your goal is to have this ability only for spreading ignite and nothing else then do so, but I’d prefer being able to used this as fuel during Combustion AND being able to spread my Ignite more rapidly when I choose. While not be limited to always saving them just for spreading ignite. Phoenix Reborn has great scaling capability, more targets with ignite, the quicker Phoenix Flames will reset. Consider it please. Even just saving Phoenix Flames for ignite spreads only still feels like too long of a CD. I don’t want to be punished because I decided to use 1 or 2 Phoenix Flames during Combustion for Hot Streak generation. I believe the main goal was to make ignite controllable and thank you for that, it was very much needed but at the same time you’ve added great gameplay with Phoenix Flames being baseline again, let’s up the usage of the ability and not hinder us by having 3 charges on a long 30 second cooldown.

Thank you for adding back Phoenix Flames baseline in the first place, it deserved this and I’ve missed it.

Phoenix Reborn: Targets affected by your Ignite have a chance to erupt in flame, taking (12.5% of Spell power) additional Fire damage and reducing the remaining cooldown on Phoenix’s Flame by 10 sec.

Just tie the CD reduction of Phoenix Reborn into conflagration maybe, conflag is a terrible boring talent. Why is conflagration terrible? Because it’s something you put on for a 1% dps increase on 1-2 targets and forget about. I feel like I need to explain why things are terrible so I’m not just a complainer and giving reasons as to why I’m saying what I say.

5 Likes

Agreeing here that between RoP, Arcane Power, Magi, Covenant ability, and Mirror images there’s a lot of waste in the first burn phase. That’s not even including charged up (which has to be cast after the encounter starts or it resets, so it can’t be pre-cast) That’s a whopping SIX GCD’s (not including a trinket) before even casting the first damaging spell.

The next issue with arcane is that all of these new abilities don’t line up with each other on CD. After the first burn phase, Arcane becomes a spec where you just use whatever two abilities are close in CD to each other to maximize raid DPS, which isn’t an engaging gameplay.

The BiS legendary ability is also overly obvious for ST raiding (Temporal Warp) and I feel that with these choices already laid out, the “cookie cutter choices” they were trying to avoid are already there.

My advice: Line up abilities with CD’s that match and remove some abilities from the GCD. Losing CD buff time due to casting 6x buffs at the start of a fight feels horrible.

16 Likes

Flameshock here - the mage with a name and spec identity crisis! I just got on the beta and did my first run with theater of pain as arcane. I had to use a premade character template since I couldn’t find where to copy my boy over. Here are my thoughts so far:

Arcane’s damage feels pretty okay overall. It’s hard to tell but numbers’ tuning comes at the end but we’re not in a terrible spot.

Amplification feels REALLY good with the missile procs and echos legion’s machine gun style.

Arcane familiar still doesn’t exactly feel like it has a place yet. I don’t have any ideas or suggestions with this talent.

Mana shield is still kind of weird and doesn’t exactly fit with the row or tree (feels more like a pvp talent). Would like to see either displacement added here, or maybe when you blink you spawn a mirror image that absorbs the next spell cast at you?

Slipstream and shimmer are competitive but I’ve always leaned towards slipstream. Top props on this choice.

The third row is…interesting. I’m not sure whether focus magic would work if a mage is running time anomaly or not but it’s potential. It still feels a bit too much like IF but there is word that it’s getting worked on. Rune is always just rune. Love it or hate it it’s here to stay.

I’m a personal fan of supernova but it just doesn’t do enough damage (again number’s tuning) nor does it feel right in this row. This row really feels like it’s having an identity crisis with what it wants to do.

I’d like to see charged up maybe baked into touch of the magi since the cooldowns are the same.

Resonance maybe feels like it should be on the 6th row since that feels more like an AoE row? I’m not complaining about the idea of having reverberate AND resonance but that feels like our AoE row.

The 5th row is entirely okay. I haven’t tried the buffed ring but I do take it on live. Double frost nova is just kind of meh. I do feel like supernova would be awesome here for the utility because then you have 1-5 target slow, 25 sec cooldown knockup, and 10 sec perma-root. The double nova again feels like a pvp talent. I do think the idea of trading frost nova for a knockup is an interesting one for M+ especially wink wink nudge nudge.

The 6th row feels pretty well done and competitive. I can definitely see where all of these would come into play.

The last row overpowed is obviously solid. Time anomaly is a personal favorite that catches the ebb and flow of arcane nicely with the wild magic and feels like it has potential with arcane power at a 3 minute cooldown to be a great talent.

Arcane orb is my concern because as many mages before me have pointed out it just doesn’t fit this row. If you’d want to move this up to supernova’s position as an AoE type ability or put this into the row with reverberation and nether tempest it would fit much better there in my humblest of opinions.

Touch of the magi damage feels solid and I definitely would enjoy this added into our rotation. Other mages have pointed out the interaction of splashing damage per hit like Mannoroth’s trinket in legion which I love this idea because that just made me feel amazing running around going pew pew while seeing wild pulses of magic firing from the target and would give us a solid cooldown cleave button. If not baseline perhaps make that part of a talent revolving around the ability so it could be better for M+ but the full damage at the end could be a raiding version?

I’m still adjusting without weakauras and my elvui setup so I can’t say much about the mana flow but it did feel pretty good. I liked the startup and I feel we’re in an okay spot. A few tweaks here or there and I think arcane will be in a solid spot for shadowlands. I’ll be back in the next few days with another post this is Flameshock - out!

Edit - arcane missile proc feels about the same as in BFA. I’m not sure if this is intended or not. With missiles stacking a random proc per spellcast instead of per mana spent may help or give an increased chance per mana spent to help nudge this in the right direction. Heck even a talent added in to increase our chance for missiles to proc may give the choice between a blast heavy build and a missile heavy build (though I do believe it SHOULD be baseline I’m trying to be as unbiased as possible)

15 Likes

I spent the past two days going through all 8 dungeons as a necrolord arcane mage. Here is further feedback from that experience.

Thoughts on Ramp Up
As widely agreed on in this thread, Arcane’s ramp up time is too large. In action, it feels annoying to wait so long to damage the mobs. You feel powerful when you do, but by the time you get the opening 9 second ramp up done, you have very little time to cast spells with all the buffs available (I counted 4 arcane blasts > Presence of Mind > 2 more arcane blasts). Here’s a video I made comparing the openers of Arcane of Shadowlands beta versus BFA Live:

A ramp up like this also feels quite punishing when it gets screwed up for whatever reason. Like if you have to move away from your ROP or are unable to cast due to a RNG mechanic after you’ve spent 6 GCD’s ramping up, it feels very bad to screw up and even more unfriendly to movement. Combine that with even lessened mobility due to displacement removal and arcane is even more punishing than before.

Thoughts on Deathborne (Necrolord Mage ability) in dungeons
The spell feels badass to use, especially on cleave pulls/bosses. The 3 minute cd is hard to swallow. I get 20 seconds where I can combine AP and Deathborne to feel like a cleaving God of death, and then I spend 2 minutes and 40 seconds wishing I had them back again. Deathborne also feels a bit lackluster to use on mobs/bosses that are single target only. I know it’s a 10% spell power buff, but the cleave is so powerful and enjoyable to use that it feels like a waste to use it without the cleave potential. I’d offer the idea that either reverting AP back to 1 minute 30 seconds, or having a tweaked Deathborne as a 1 min. 30 cd would help Arcane feel more consistently exciting as Necrolord. My suggestion to a tweaked Deathborne would be 15% spell power + All damaging spells cleave for 50% damage (as opposed to 100% damage that’s live) to make up for the reduced cd.

Fleshcraft
In dungeons I never pressed this except in massive emergencies. Its channel is just too long and the lost dps because of channeling feels bad in practice. It’s a powerful defensive, especially when used with a corpse (which feels a little niche in its usefulness, particularly in raiding), but my instant defensives just feel a lot more palatable to use, and even then, they use up a GCD, which is annoying. I’d recommend a significant reduction for the channel on this spell. Maybe 1 second channel. The only time this feels really good to use is in niche transition moments where there’s nothing to dps because of positioning or RP such as the second anguish drop in N’zoth. These moments are too few in PVE to make a spell like this feel good to use, and the answer to this problem isn’t to design more moments like that.

Touch of the Magi
I love including this spell in the rotation. I don’t love that it adds to the ramp up discussed earlier, but I think it helps Arcane in cleave situations feel less useless.

Mismatching Buffs
I do like that the buffs have timers that don’t all coincide with each other. The ramp up at the beginning is because they all coincide, which wouldn’t happen again in a raid fight until 6 minutes into the fight (if played perfectly). That means that Arcane becomes a little more dynamic in that you play two buffs together in unexpected combinations like ROP + TotM + PoM, or Mirror Images + TotM. I liked the dynamic of it better than retail’s current version of waiting for RoP + AP + On use trinket to align to do massive damage, and then do mediocre damage until it happens again.

25 Likes

Participated a bit in raid testing today. A big piece of feedback I’d like to leave:
Arcane Power isn’t resetting with raid boss wipe, but Necrolord Covenant ability is (also a 3 minute cd). Since AP is now 3 minutes, that’s a pretty long time to wait for a cd (bad memories of waiting for Combustion during N’zoth M wipes), and it seems like it’d reset automatically. Same for Mirror Images too. All the other arcane cd’s are under two minutes, so they’re less of a problem.

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Fire
Fire as a whole on single target feels largely the same as it did in BFA, with phoenix flames filling in the gaps left behind by lucid and hyperthread wristwraps. Was the addition of phoenix flames spreading ignite an intentional change to have ignite spread be selective? What is your vision for Fire aoe/cleave between phoenix flame windows? In BFA, Fire was a strong sustained cleave class while doing just the single target rotation. In Shadowlands, it has lost that niche.

Ignite
Since phoenix flames is the only way we can spread ignite we run into a few issues outside of single target. In instances with short duration cleave phoenix flames is sufficient enough to spread ignite. When you factor in M+ and raid fights with sustained cleave, Fire is lacking in extended ignite cleave given the longer recharge time tied to phoenix flames.

The other issue is that currently ignite aoe/cleave with either phoenix flames or flamestrike is being replaced by arcane explosion with or without combustion depending on number of targets.

Necrolord
Deathborne currently has limited to no synergy with Fire’s main source of damage, pyroblast and ignite. The 10% spell damage buff is useful while combustion is active, but the main aspect of fireball cleaving to 2 additional targets has no purpose until combustion is over.

Venthyr
Mirrors of Torment in a PvE setting doesn’t really have much of a place. Most casts need to be stopped or prevented putting you and your raid/party in an awful situation. Since one of the covenant specific conduits provides a potential 30% damage buff when all 3 mirrors are consumed, you are forced to allow dangerous casts to go off for the benefit of one. Is this ability meant to be a pvp-centric covenant? If not what is its place in a raid or M+ setting?

Kyrian
Radiant Spark is fairly lackluster with the current fire rotation. Given the nature of building and spending hot streak procs, portions of the radiant spark damage buff is being used on low damaging abilities and in part less effective on Fire.

Night Fae
Shifting Power is in a unique spot, since fire blast can still be used during its channel. However the overall cooldown reduction gained from the ability is not impactful enough to make a big difference.

8 Likes

I’ll probably have more feedback later but the first and most notable issue that I’m having is the long ramp up time for arcane. There are just too many GCDs when it comes to setting up a full CD rotation.

8 Likes

Arcane
I have been playing primarily Arcane Mage since Nighthold and I feel like I have a solid grasp of the identity of the spec and enjoy it immensely. I have always understood the glass cannon gameplay and it is definitely one of the things I enjoy the most about Arcane. Shadowlands has obviously taken further steps to tweak the feel of that gameplay and while I really have enjoyed my time on beta thus far, there is feedback that I would like to provide on the components that I do not like.

1. Covenant Equity
There is a decision I have to make as a Mage to invest in one spec or be able to multi-spec, however that decision has never felt so meaningful as it does in Shadowlands currently, I will focus on the covenant abilities since I believe soulbinds are still being implemented fully.

Necrolord
Necrolord is a no-brainer decision for Arcane, it shores up the largest weakness the spec has had since Legion began, low target count and ranged cleave. It’s actually a complete joy of a button to press and because of it’s cooldown syncing with AP it feels like a true moment of power.

Kyrian
The same cannot be said for the other covenants, Kyrian simply does not play well for Arcane, it comes up too frequently in the rotation and at inopportune times for Arcane to leverage. Adjustments in play-style for Radiant Spark are awkward and do not mesh well with how the spec is played normally, this makes it sometimes not even desirable to use Radiant Spark from moment to moment.

Venthyr
Mirrors of Torment sounds so cool on paper and the animation looks great as well, however there is one major problem, it’s simply too situational, whereas the alternative 3 abilities are always something you want to use, the Venthyr covenant ability is something you’ll be saving for uninterruptible casters, perhaps even losing casts of this ability in a raid or dungeon due to how fight timings or pulls are aligned. While this spell has the benefit of being uniquely interesting for Mages in PvP situations, in PvE it is too situational to merit considering over Necrolord in many situations. And as we have seen with Fire and Arcane this tier, if you can do comparable ST damage and get free cleave, you’ll end up being the choice 99% of players want to migrate towards.

Night Fae
Yet again, Shifting Power is a beautiful graphic and has an interesting premise for how it’s implemented. The problems arise when you weigh the potential cost of the spell being in your arsenal. This means a six second channel time (reduced by haste) and an AOE radius of only 15 yards, this latter point is perhaps less an issue for Arcane Mages in dungeon content where you’re locked into melee for AOE damage.

2. The Setup
Charged Up, Mirror Image, Skeleton, Rune of Power, Arcane Power, Touch of the Magi
I will spend the least amount of time lamenting why the setup for Arcane is a problem because I feel like this has been echoed enough, both on these forums as well as within the community. I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed playing Arcane on the raid testing bosses this past week, despite the setup, I feel like Skeleton, Touch of the Magi and Arcane Power’s cooldown work very well together to shore up some of Arcane’s weakness while also providing more flexibility in how we use our burst. However, 9 seconds of casts and GCDs are simply too many to remain viable in the competitive world of raiding or M+. During testing AP was not resetting on boss combat reset, I assume this is a bug, however I also noticed Skeleton was being cancelled on combat start, meaning I could not precast it to offset some of Arcane’s setup to precasts.

Assuming those 2 issues are addressed as I hope they will be, there is another major barrier to the setup feeling acceptable to play in competitive environments, specifically Charged Up and AP. Both of these GCDs need to be reconsidered in what they add specifically to the Arcane gameplay. CU specifically has no counterplay, the animation is trivial (and observable even without the GCD) and CU represents a massive barrier in the Arcane setup being offloaded onto precasts. Without CU’s GCD, you could cast everything precombat except TotM (again, assuming the skeleton doesn’t purge on raid combat in the future). AP on the other hand does have a counterplay and is a powerful cooldown, however it does not add anything outside of just being a GCD in the setup; you don’t necessarily feel AP anymore, especially when it’s being sandwiched between RoP and TotM. This is a GCD that could be cut without anyone caring, but I would propose a different idea to alleviate this as well, what if after the huge setup of Charged Up, Mirror Image, Skeleton, Rune of Power, Arcane Power, Touch of the Magi, you were rewarded by Arcane Power giving you the ability to cast while moving or making AB an instant cast spell. Preferably some action, almost any action, would be taken here to address the opener as it is simply too punishing as it stands right now. With how it is now, the glass cannon feels like it’s rolling down a hill.

3. Displacement
This spell is unique and is a major factor in why I changed to playing a Mage in Nighthold. It sets up moments of glory and allows for a lot of high octane gameplay. I currently run the Arcane Dream, a discord for Arcane Mage discussion, and I can say without a doubt that the removal of this spell is most likely the thing that bothers the most people and has the greatest negative feedback associated. This is even so despite the addition of Altered Time, which, while similar, is simply no replacement for Displacement.

I cannot say much more for Displacement, it’s a big feels bad exchange for Altered Time and I would argue that, if anything, it should be converted into a talent to compete with Shimmer and Slipstream.

Conclusion
I will likely continue playing my Mage in Shadowlands Beta and probably when the game goes retail as well. My primary goal is to see Shadowlands be revered the way Legion was, and ultimately this effort must start with gameplay. Shadowlands has made a few bold changes for Arcane and some of them I welcome with open arms. But I would also like some focus to be put on the above concerns.

Thanks for reading!

33 Likes

Can I assume that being unable to get Heating Up and Hotstreak from landing simultaneous crits is a bug/oversight? Because this feels completely terrible to munch a proc because you land 2 spells at about the same time. Can happen with any ability, fireblast when another spell lands, fireball/pyro together, doesn’t matter. 2 crits = heating up only. Please fix :slight_smile:

5 Likes

Going from BFA Fire to SL Fire I’m noticing a trend that I haven’t seen any feedback for, so going to leave it here:

One of the un-fun moments of fire mage is having to either ignore heating procs to pool fire blasts for combustion, or fill combustion with scorches / phoenix fire

For Breath of Sindragosa (and the new void form, it looks like) they updated it in BFA to give resources at the start, and I think that could work here. So…

When you activate combustion, all fire blast charges are restored and has x% less (or no?) cool down.

This could go a long way to making Flame On not feel like a mandatory talent and go a long way to smooth out the spec overall.

15 Likes

I did some more testing with Mage, and wanted to give some more feedback I had. For the most part, this is more focusing on gameplay feel rather than some specific numerical issues. Some of these changes may require buffs / nerfs to the numbers to make them make sense.

General Spells:

  • I think Mirror Images needs to be removed or rethought as it is adding a lot of bloat to the spec, and it’s just another GCD to buff damage without doing much. I wonder if rebuilding it as a defensive skill could work here. A tool to drop threat / redirect spell casts to mirrors rather than a DPS cooldown.

  • I think Focus Magic and Incanter’s Flow are competing for the same passive DPS slot, and I’m not sure if it’s working. Maybe Incanter’s is just for solo, and Focus is just for group content? I think Rune is still going to be the go to for most specs.

Arcane:

  • To further comment on the GCD issues for Arcane, I think more needs to be done to tone down their opener. The best idea I have is to merge Charged Up into Arcane Power. This will make pressing Arcane Power more interesting, and remove another GCD from the opener.

  • For talents, Enlightened seems to placed strangely in the tree. Its a single target talent that is fighting against AOE talents, and I’m sure it’ll be mostly set it and forget it for the most of the expansion. I think Enlightened is better suited as a level 15 talent as it has a small impact on game play. Arcane Familliar seems like an obvious talent to replace.

  • On a similar note, Arcane Orb is another talent that feels at odds with the rest of the talent row (Cooldown focused vs AOE). Moving this to level 45 instead of Enlightened could help. This makes the row Sustained AOE (Reverberate), Burst AoE (Orb), and Priority target AOE (Nether Tempest).

  • If Charged Up is removed, I think we can slot in the Legion Legendary trait Time and Space as another talent in the 35 row (or potentially in the 45)

  • Other talent ideas to replace any remaining gaps: - 90s on Arcane Power CD (level 50 specifically), Arcane Bracers from Legion, or Arcane Helm Legendary from Legion

Fire:

  • Would like to reiterate my Combustion point from my prior post. I think it should give fire blast charges at the start, and reduce the cool down from fire blast during it’s duration.

  • I don’t have a good solution here, but Fire is a strange spec where Crit makes the spec more fun to play, but is one of the worst stats to pick up. I think the spec needs Enhanced Pyrotechnics (now Fireball), but it feels very bad to build up to a 6 stack waiting for a proc. I wish there was some slightly more scaling to encourage you to stack more crit rather than avoid it all costs. Perhaps giving Ignite crits a chance to give you some amount of cooldown reduction on Combustion.

  • A lot of people have suggested the Felo’melorn trait Phoenix Reborn as a fill in for our missing 35 talent, and I think that’s a great idea.

  • I think Alexstraza’s Fury should increase the range of Dragon’s Breath, otherwise I think it’ll be hard to use this talent in raiding scenarios.

  • Searing Touch and Kindling have inverse synergy right now, but this is pretty minor issue. It’d be great if scorch was added, but that may make it too strong.

Frost (preface, I don’t play Frost much so I don’t have a lot here):

  • With the GCD change, Icy Veins feels a bit hollow as a cooldown as it does nothing besides buff your damage. I’m not sure what the solution is, unfortunately. I don’t think a “generate 5 icicles” fix like Arcane Power would help much. I also think this is the less pressing of the three since Frost doesn’t have the GCD issues of other specs (especially with Mirror Image gone)

  • I wonder if Ray of Frost should replaced? I never feel like I have a good time to use it. Perhaps something like Black Ice from the artifact? This would prevent scaling issues with Glacial Spike becoming too dominate.

Covenant Abilities:

  • I really enjoyed playing with Radiant Spark.

  • Deathborne is significantly stronger for Arcane than it is over specs. Not sure whether it is right to nerf it by reducing the effect of the cleave damage and increasing the passive damage increase, or by buffing for other specs by giving the cleaved spells interaction with the rest of the kit (cleaved fireball crits proc heating up). I think the later is better, but it risks just contributing to another cooldown to increase damage.

  • On a more personal level, I really dislike the Kul’tiran casting animations and that will probably make me never want to pick this covenant :frowning:

  • I actually kind of like Shifting Power, although it does seem a little undertuned. One way to make it better is allow the mage to move while casting. It also seems stronger for fire than frost or arcane. Not sure how to fix that.

  • Mirrors of Torment seems… very bad. I can’t think of a situation where I’d want to use this. It can too easily be removed in PvP, and mobs don’t reliably cast enough to actually proc it. My best idea to salvage it is to let certain mage spells trigger a mirror, such as fire blast, arcane missiles or barrage, or ice lance, potentially increasing the duration to help set this up. I think any spell might be too powerful, but I could be wrong.

Legendaries:

  • I am struggling to find a use for Disciplinary Command. My best guess is something in PvP (which I don’t do much), but Grisly Icicle seems so much stronger here.

  • Personally, I dislike the play of Brain Storm trait / Siphon Storm Legendary. To me it feels counter-intuitive to how the spec should play, recharging mana before you use it all for a burn phase. It’s another legendary that contributes to the arcane opener issue as well.

  • It feel like Sun King’s Blessing is at odds with Pyroclasm. To me, it feels like I should run these two together, but very often I’ll get one proc without the other and I’m at a lost to either disregard a proc, chain hard cast pyroblasts, or wait to try and fit both in before Pyroclasm falls off. Maybe their not supposed to be taken together, I’m not sure. Perhaps syncing them (by giving the Pyroclasm the same 6 hot streak proc), or dramatically increasing it’s duration could help. There’s a secondary issue that I don’t think 6 seconds of Combustion is very meaningful, especially if you don’t have fire blast charges. I’m worried this will just make the spec want to pool resources even more than it already does.

  • I wish Firestorm had some sort of visual effect.

Thanks for reading.

6 Likes

Hello I’ve just finished the Bastion campaign up to the Necrotic Wake dungeon and wanted to give some arcane mage specific feedback regarding the covenant ability and the spec in general to about level 53. If I’m supposed to post a covenant ability in a different thread please forgive me :X.

So far I haven’t replaced any gear which I expected; however, the gear in general looks pretty weak even without azerite the intellect is about -40 for a piece of gear so I’m not sure if that’s going to change or not.

Touch of the Magi

  • The touch of the magi change baseline is solid and provides some extra damage and cleave when needed. I appreciate that when the target dies it detonates to nearby enemies.
  • The cleave damage on it is notable and I imagine will be much better in M+.
  • The range is extremely short and makes it difficult especially with mobs leaping at me or circling me. This isn’t a massive concern for soloing; however, I worry if this range will become a problem for us on sanguine weeks or if the tank is kiting mobs around (hard to tell yet will still need more testing).

Radiant Spark

  • The damage on this ability is incredibly strong and I already saw a 14k crit with my 4th blast during an arcane power window. As an overgrown man-child I shrill with glee when I see gigantic numbers.
  • I am having a very difficult time with landing the 4th blast with touch of the magi without casting anything else (ToTM --> RS is super close, RS --> TotM I haven’t pulled off yet).
  • The cast time feels awkward but I understand why it would be difficult to put on an instant-cast.
  • Might I suggest increasing the duration while keeping the damage the same by 2 or 3 seconds? This would allow us to set up TotM and get a 4th blast in without necessarily allowing us to always cast rune of power (if that’s the kind of setup you’re going to for us?).

Arcane Missles

  • I loved the legion style missles and feeling like a machine gun with 3 charges. It helped me feel more skilled by pooling a charge for a mechanic (I could save one on Krosus and when he smashed half of the bridge I’d use it to move without losing damage).
  • Amplification feels strong enough right now I wouldn’t make any changes to its personally.
  • I do feel like it should be moved to a different tier. The first tier appears to be all about mana and conserving it and Amplification feels like a damage oriented talent. I don’t know where I’d put it because I like where it is but I’m not a game dev either.

Mana Gem

  • While it’s nice to have back, it feels incredibly underwhelming for arcane especially when our barrage restores 8% at 4 charges and with how our regen works we’ll get that back during the first two blasts.
  • If you were to move amplification I feel like a talent that augments this for arcane only would feel appropriate in the first row (conservation at 3rd blast, 10% increased with familiar, and then this).
  • I don’t know how balanced it would be but perhaps each blast we cast at 4 stacks increases the mana restored by the gem by say 1 or 2%? This would help keep the gem on a 2-minute cooldown but reward skillful play.
  • Again I don’t know exactly what to do with it just throwing ideas out there.

Miscellaneous

  • The increased damage on arcane explosion from mastery is noticeable during soloing and is very much appreciated.
  • Mirror images is a 2 minute cooldown now (I thought it was 3) but I can’t see their damage in my combat log so I can’t report on the damage. I DO love how they carry your title with them it’s been so long that I don’t remember if this was ever a thing.

Anyhootles we’re off to the next zone where I’ll try to add more feedback based on how that covenant ability feels. Flameshock out.

Edit: Please, please, PLEAAAAASE can we have back the arcane missile notification from Legion? Seeing one, two, and then three rings was super clear. It’s not incredibly urgent but it felt so nice to see them and would help planning immensely since you’re doing so many UI changes? :slight_smile:

3 Likes

I’ve been playing arcane for a couple of hours in the beta, and I know this is very preliminary and relatively little testing time compared to others. However, I am very passionate about arcane and have been frustrated with it for two years, since BfA alpha. So, please hear me out on some of my highly qualitative feedback thus far.

First, I want to emphatically thank the devs for addressing most of the primary concerns about arcane going into BfA. I’m sorry that it took two years to get here, but it finally feels as enjoyable to play as it was in Legion, so thank you for that.

Specifically, I’m absolutely thrilled that Clearcasting now stacks up to three. This is a huge deal for the feel of the spec. It gives us more flexibility and mobility (particularly when combined with Slipstream). Being able to bank a couple of AMs is huge.

Secondly, thank you for restoring the arcane charge synergy that we used to have to where the charges benefit all your arcane spells, not just AB. This is far more natural and intuitive!

Third, I have a request related to our Clearcasting stacks: Please please use the Legion-era HUD indicator to show our number of stacks (the one that used to show your AM proc stacks). It seems like a relatively easy change, but it would be tremendously beneficial for those of us who use the default UI. It’s really easy to miss when you gain a new stack of Clearcasting right now, and it would just make sense to re-add it to the HUD. Please consider doing this!

Lastly, I’d like to talk about Touch of the Magi and how it relates to Nether Tempest. Both of these abilities relate to cleave, but they’re two separate cooldowns. Why not just merge them? Use Nether Tempest as our baseline cleave and then adjust the related talent to buff NT? Right now, if you do take NT, it feels like just another CD in a spec that has an awful lot of CDs.

That’s all I have from the little bit I’ve tested so far! I just felt that it was important to get my initial impressions and feedback out there as soon as possible.

6 Likes

So this is mostly going to be about fire and how we spread ignite now. I find myself kind of bored honestly when playing fire with these changes and I think it mostly boils down to how formulaic it really is. The cooldown of Phoenix Flames (30 seconds 3 charges) is such that you will probably generally be pooling 3 charges for combustion with one charge between combustions used with a rune of power and Meteor if those were your talents. The above sets up the perpetual cycle that we’ve been playing with for the past 4 years adjusted of course if you take kindling or pyroclasm but the basic idea stands where you pool for your combustion and use whatever excess resources with a proc/rune between those combustions. So while it may seem that we have additional choices based on when we cleave in reality we’re just going to play every situation out just like we already do and adjust cooldowns to align with fight mechanics/add spawns if applicable like we already do. The ignite changes are really just a nerf and because of the current CD on PF there likely won’t be any additional gameplay or thought to go along with this change or when we would choose to spread ignite usually because there aren’t many (or even any with kindling) opportunities to use it outside of combustion while still correctly playing our CDs. Some of that is down to tuning/sims/timings that we don’t currently have though

I’m not sure if we need an additional button for an ignite spread or if the cooldown should just be even lower on PF so that there are more short term choices about how its used between cooldown sets that won’t hurt you long term. As of right now we’re probably just going to pool for cooldowns and it will actually make fire feel even worse than it already does between those CDs which isn’t something I’m a fan of. I do appreciate having PF back and baseline and I wouldn’t want to see that go regardless of how ignite spreading is or isn’t changed in the future.

3 Likes

Please make Flame-on Baseline and give that talent row Mechagon Bracers in its place. Find a place to put Lucid Major in the talent tree or make it a compelling legendary power. Replace Conflagration with Phoenix Reborn so we can get some CD reduction on Phoenix Flames if that’s what we want and it provides more gameplay than Conflagration ever did, and with enough mobs we’ll still potentially want LB or FP. Bring back Blaster Master in some form, again this could be a talent, could even sit on the row with Mechagon Bracers since you can still maintain the buff without CDR during combustion with proper planning and play. Fire mage without blaster master in BFA was a snoozefest just like Fire mage without bracers in Legion.

The gameplay is so watered down without all the borrowed power that you need to look into shifting the mandatory stuff into our base kit and make the talents provide that gameplay. That would at least be preferable to nothing providing the gameplay which is where we’re at now.

4 Likes

Mana Gem is fun to have back but it returns way to little mana at the moment I would buff it to be more in line with Warlock Health Stones.

Amplification adds two extra missles to AM when under clear casting but we can use our clearcasting proc on Arcane Explosion too. Is there any chance we can add similar secondary explosion effect like we use to have From Aluneth to give arcane a little bump to AoE?

6 Likes

After playing around with the shadow priest changes I’d be a little dissapointed if blizz wasn’t considering at least some minor changes to playstyle. Frost has essentially been the same playstyle for 3 expansions now. Dependable spec at the start of an expansion but nothing exciting. The only time it was really fun was when you could extend IV indefinetly during Legion. For fire phoenix flames seems to fill in some gaps after all the rented power losses, but once again I fear that the spec is losing far more than its gaining like it did at the start of BFA. I think the “flame on” problem needs to be adressed more seriously. No matter how much the other talents in that row are buffed they will never be competitive as long as the spec focuses around combustion. Arcane I haven’t tested as much but the spec still seems overly reliant on RoP and cooldowns.

3 Likes

Yes. Was just browsing the internet trying to find out what was going on with this little omission. They can’t not have a teleport/portal to Oribos right?

2 Likes

I wonder how long until you get sick of reading my feedback. Until you tell me otherwise I’ll be a “good” beta tester and give everything I have to help make my class the healthiest possible. I just hit level 60 so I’ll obviously have a few more posts after I do more max-level content but here’s my overall last thoughts on the covenant abilities.

Night Fae

  • My gut is telling me this is going to be absolutely broken for arcane at some point. Even if not it definitely feels like the most well-rounded even though it’s hard to test while soloing.
  • The transformation into a fox I haven’t used much outside of “look at me blinking forever in a rested area.” but I can see this being pretty good in some indoor non-mounted dungeons.

Revendreth

  • The blood mirrors felt so…so…SO weak. I thought it was a shield on me but instead it’s on an enemy AND it’s a cast time. I tried using this a few times but didn’t notice the damage, the slow, or anything really.
  • The teleport was nice and I liked how that was incorporated into the storyline but other than that I can’t get over how rough the blood mirrors feels.
  • I understand if you want to make one for pvp; however, in my opinion they should be viable for pvp AND pve and then use a conduit to help nudge them in one direction or the other.

Mirror Images

  • These bad boys are far worse than I remember them. I feel long a strong mob kills them each in a single shot. I can’t tell what kind of damage they have because I don’t have skada on the beta yet but mirror images doesn’t feel like it has any usage outside of “push me before you try to do something stupid like solo an elite mob”.
  • It’s not that I don’t appreciate them…I just don’t see where they’d be used outside of push me every 2 minutes and forget we’re there.

Alter Time

  • Overall pretty happy with how this came back. I still personally prefer displacement wink wink nudge nudge cry in a corner hoping it replaces mana shield…sorry I don’t know where that came from.
  • I do enjoy the health restoration and it does have a chance to show some decent modicum of skill if we can learn to predict damage. I’m looking at you bursting weeks.

This is just a short one since I know there’s a lot of feedback and I can’t expect it to be taken immediately. It takes time to consider, weigh the pros and cons, and decide on an implementation so I’ll naturally be back in a few days with level 60 ideas, thoughts, and suggestions…right after I check into the professions forum.

1 Like