Feedback: Mages

A lot of good and requested changes for Frost in particular. There are some bandaids to Glacial Spike with Piercing Cold, but the underlying core issues with the rest of the tree persist.

Fire tree position changes are fine but largely inconsequential. Core issues, like Blaster Master duration and everything about Fire Frenzy basically, persist.

Mana Gem as a 90-second cooldown is a great and expected change. The change to Impetus is disappointing, as it only procs if Impetus procs at 3 or more Arcane Charges. The wording suggests it should proc whenever you gain a charge from any source at 4 Arcane Charges. I think that would have been more interesting as a pay-off in exchange for the mana required to cast a 4 Arcane Charge Arcane Blast.

Overflowing Energy is good just because the previous version was bad, to be frank. All the issues with the class tree persist, in particular at the capstone level. Most core issues still need to be addressed.

3 Likes

I really think Blaster Master needs to last longer than three seconds. It feels bad and hard to keep stacks right now because of how slow Phoenix Flames is. Five seconds would be ideal, four might be enough though.

Hi all,

We finally got some changes, yay! Here are some initial thoughts:

  • First, Improved Blizzard is changed back to 0.5s! This is just great not only for M+ AoE but also for 2-3 target cleave. Very happy.
  • Everlasting Frost not being a choice with Improved Blizzard is a great change. I like its pathing as well. If you want to take it, you can. If you want to skip it – you can too because it doesn’t collide with other talents. Good change.
  • Piercing Cold (previously Arctic Piercing) – I think this is a good change. Really nice damage boost for 1 point that does not require any degeneracy to keep its uptime etc. I also like the fact that they included Glacial Spike in this one.
  • Improved Icy Veins removed, and base duration increased to 25 sec. Pretty self-explanatory. Not a lot to talk about here except for a GREAT change!
  • Slick Ice/Freezing Winds no longer a choice node is good. Full disclosure, neither of them feel like a powerful capstone to me but at least now we can take both, one of them, or neither depending of your build. I think it is good to have a choice.
  • Redesigned Overflowing Energy feels so much better than what it used to be. It is pretty simple, but it also has built-in bad luck protection, which is great!

Now the bad stuff:

  • We still have not received any words from Blizzard regarding their design goals/philosophy. This is kind of concerning but there is nothing we can do about it.
  • Icy Propulsion CDR is still 1 sec., and it was supposed to be 2sec weeks ago. Also, nothing on Glacial Spike and its Icicles benefiting from Icy Propulsion as 6 separate damage instances instead of just 1.
  • Snowstorm seems to finally give 20% damage per stack (up to 30 stacks) but it still takes waaaay too long to actually get to 30 stacks.
  • Glacial Assault – this feels so terrible to have a 30% chance per Flurry hit to TICKLE an enemy. Because it doesn’t actually do damage, it tickles as it currently does 1/14th of our 2-set bonus damage.
  • Ray of Frost needs Jesus. Give it some love. Maybe make it benefit from Splitting Ice? Or maybe simply remove it altogether and be done with it.
  • Full disclosure, today’s changes are all nice, but they are VERY minor. They are mostly just separating choice nodes and pathing stuff. And it took Blizzard like a month to implement them. I think that this is troubling because a month is a really long time considering that pre-patch could go live as soon as 5 weeks from now (end of October-ish). AND we have not received any major changes like redesigned capstones (Shifting Power, Meteor, etc.) or choice nodes with Cauterize like a lot of us here talked about. This makes me feel like they are kind of done with mages. (I hope not tho.)
11 Likes

In addition, we wanted to avoid awkward positioning where it was mandatory to take a specific, unrelated talent to reach a desired, potentially gameplay altering, talent.

This is from the Balance druid post.

Frost mage has to take Blizzard (a spell never cast on Single Target) in order to reach Cold Snap (A defensive tool that you might want entirely separate unrelated to when you want blizzard, but is also skippable in and high risk to potentially choose alternative utility or throughput, but that choice is not available because:

Both are required to reach Icy Veins. A spell you always want. Why should mages only get 28 points to spend of choice? Both Cold Snap and Blizzard should be situationally not chosen options for Frost Mages, and currently that is never the case.

4 Likes

Frost Feedback
AOE Icy Propulsion (biggest issue with frost’s fun atm)
The main problem with this not existing is it removes build variety from Frost in dungeons. It forces you into a Thermal Void playstyle with the loop that Icy Veins has with blizzard - lower cd, faster ticks - more frozen orbs - more freezing winds and more freezing rain.

Additionally, you might think this being single target only wouldn’t really effect the uptime in single target, but it has major implications for our single target uptime as well. A lot of the cooldown reduction you get on live comes from the tier set, talented comet storm, and frozen orb passively giving cdr. Not only do you no longer have that in Dragonflight, you also have half the value of Shadowlands Icy Propulsion. This version of Icy Propulsion reduces agency over your Icy Veins cooldown in both single target and aoe. In single target you can not do a flurry → comet storm → 2 ice lances or ice lance frostbolt ice lance for massive cdr. You can not flurry → ray of frost. In AOE shattering your spells is no longer rewarded and is deterred as you could be getting Icy Veins CDR back removing a fun gameplay minigame at a time where we have more roots than ever before, Shifting power is likely not worth it to press the majority of the time in AOE during Icy Veins since you are spending 4s doing nothing. You don’t like suggestions, but this is a massive QoL hit to Frosts gameplay in dungeons. The best way to fix this is to give Rune of Power an ICD when procced from Icy Veins, add that to the sentence on Rune of Powers description that says Icy Veins drops it, and then add AOE Icy Propulsion back. Or make AOE spells proc a smaller Icy Propulsion stack, like 0.5s per hit.

Also cold front is too weak outside of icy veins to work and you have very low uptime on icy veins with cold front in DF compared to always being in it in SL.

Freezing Winds as the only viable AOE capstone
That leaves us with only freezing winds as the viable capstone with thermal void in aoe (which thermal void isnt really a capstone as it changes nothing about your gameplay except feeding into the ice lance loop). Freezing winds got much stronger with the blizzard change being reverted, which lowers the potential of the other capstones. Freezing winds has a gameplay style that is exceptionally punishing outside of icy veins. You do not have the haste to do anything but press ice lance if you are not in icy veins during frozen orb. This is even more true with flash freeze and hailstones feeding into the resource generation during this period. This also has by far the most synergy with Thermal Void and ST Icy Propulsion and will likely completely dominate in dungeons.

Glacial Spikes Anti-synergy in the 3rd Gate
You can take 3 capstones as Frost (4 if you count slick ice). For Glacial spike (or GS) those are Slick Ice, Freezing Winds, and Thermal Void. Slick Ice is bad for Glacial Spike as you cast very few frostbolts, potentially add GS to its list and make that effect stronger. Freezing Winds has high anti-synergy with Glacial Spike as you need to be in Icy Veins and lust essentially to not overcap fingers of frost procs casting Glacial Spike. And that doesnt even include the fact that GS necessitates using flurry after its cast which would just proc munch. Thereby losing you 3 ice lances worth of value (1 from overcapping, 2 from proc munching). And it still doesn’t proc multiple instances of Icy Propulsion to make up for losing the 5 individual icicle hits.

Bug: Currently queuing a frozen ice lance after GS will not generate an icicle but will show the visual regardless. (assuming you have hailstones talented). Also its been reported Ice Nines never triggers at max icicles.

Everlasting Frost and Frostbite
The added connection does nothing as the talents to the direct side of them are vastly superior. Everlasting Frost is weak compared to brainfreeze and same with Frostbite to Piercing Cold. The connection should be the nodes below them so you have the option to skip Cold Snap and Blizzard because of what I just said in the first sentence and as it opens up more pathing options as opposed to the entire tree being forced down all 3 paths linearly.

Ray of Frost
These changes have actually prevented you from ever talenting Ray of Frost in single target. Because Ray of Frost is not strong enough to compete with getting Freezing Winds and Slick Ice together. Before this you would ignore Improved Icy Veins and take Ray of Frost. Highly unlikely to be the case now that it competes with the aforementioned talents. I mentioned in prior posts ways that Ray of Frost could be improved, mainly through having a increasing amount of ticks with haste.

Overabundance of Frostbolt Multipliers
Frostbolt has multipliers from - Lonely Winter, Piercing Cold, Deep Shatter, Winter Tide, and Slick Ice. This adds up to 120% base increased Frostbolt damage.

Shifting Power
Still weak, putting the unity directly after it like the warrior talent tree has with spear is a 2s fix to make this ability worth it. Which would result in Improved Frost Nova being rolled back into Frost Nova (since it was nerfed in Dragonflight for this), shifting Frigid Winds to that place and moving Ice Ward to where Frigid Winds is.

Meteor
Still feels horrible to press in AOE.

Freezing Cold
This still isn’t worthy of its capstone place, the freeze lasting an extra second doesn’t matter, it instantly breaks. And the additional slow only holds value in PvP.

Suggestions
Someone recently made a very good general tree mockup. It was exactly what mages need. It would fix the problem with Fractured Frost and Cold Front as well - being that right now it does not have a cooldown to sync with icy veins and fractured frost being always on is very difficult to deal with without creating a no ice lance, low uptime icy veins situation.

Slick Ice and Thermal Void are not gameplay changing so you only have 3 options for Frost’s gameplay - Cold Front vs Freezing Winds vs Glacial Spike. Glacial Spike and Cold Front are horrendous compared to Freezing Winds in aoe. Glacial Spike has high anti-synergy with Freezing Winds. Cold Front likely needs to be replaced by something else.

Ray of Frost should be worth pressing given its spot in the third gate.

Put Cauterize on the general tree. The lack of it is a major blocker to Frost and Arcane in all high end modes (pvp, raids, and dungeons), and is currently an optional choice for the Fire tree so you could remove it with no impact on their build. Arcane lost its spec specific defensive for no reason. Other classes with cheat death like Rogue have it on the general tree. And Fire has historically been the strongest mage spec with the best niche of execute and burst. So having the strongest defensive as well is a bit unfair to the other specs viabilities.

34 Likes

Frost: I’m tentatively happy. The removal of Arctic Piercing, the improved pathing, and the unnerfing of Improved Blizzard have made the tree a lot nicer to navigate.

I want to see the following:

  • EITHER: Glacial Spike procs 6s CDR off Icy Propulsion (cast+5 Icicles), or Icicles removed from Icy Propulsion entirely, with the talent re-tuned appropriately.

  • Snowstorm to lose the proc chance per wave OR the cooldown on proc generation. I’d favour removing the chance to not penalize lower tier M+ groups who don’t pull massive pulls and to prevent any Time Manipulation bullcrap on huge packs. Potentially change it to only proc when hitting 2+ targets to prevent Blizzard/Cone creeping into single target rotations, although I heavily doubt it will.

  • Ray of Frost to do something. It has no interaction with Icy Propulsion, and it’s branching into the GS side of the tree with only 2 FoF to show for it. Generate Icicles on tick, if removing Icicles from Icy Propulsion?

  • Brain Freeze to lose its damage modifier. You gave us the ability to bank a charge of Flurry and kinda penalize us for using it outside of the Brain Freeze proc.

Tuning specific:

  • Lonely Winter is a bit high vs what the Elemental brings, especially for raid. I miss my buddy.
  • Ebonbolt to be a worthy competitor to Frozen Touch. 20% more procs vs a 45s single proc and a med-tier damage impact. I would love to see the damage return to Legion’s era. Give me a reason to take the active talent.
  • Recheck the math on Incanter’s Flow vs Rune of Power, especially since we’ve dropped out of the era of 3 minute cooldowns on Mage. Rune should still win, but Incanter’s shouldn’t just be an absolutely dead talent.

That said, I think this is the first time I’ve been able to sit down and build out TV/GS/AoE trees and not feel like I’m missing a third of the build. Thank you.

ETA: Disagreeing with the above and below posters. AoE IP was unbalanced. I would much rather see a shift to base damage rather than “have enough mobs to insta-reset IV so you can be in RoP the entire dungeon”. Also disagreeing that Frostbolt has too many damage modifiers. As long as DPCT doesn’t overtake Ice Lance, it’s fine now that Ice Lance scales with Mastery. From my testing, it doesn’t, so it should be fine as-is. Lanceless is an abomination, but we don’t seem to be at that point. Also a number of the damage increases listed are conditional.

6 Likes

[Bone Chilling] somewhat because it’s a general increase to all damage but a boring modifier nonetheless and even [Frigid Shattering] [Subzero] is another modifier. We have waaaaay too many of them.

And [Cold Snap], please.

4 Likes

after testing out the new build. Love the new overflowing energy talent. buffs fire and frost damage more than arcane. but still all three specs benefit from it. Still the general concerns I had are not addressed
Fire:
Now that overwhelming energy does what it does now. makes it more difficult to decide on fireball build vs pyroblast. Pyroblast still has more damage, and the cast time is not that big of a difference especially since we get a 10 percent crit damage bonus to it from the new talent listed above. there needs to be a definitive answer as to what to use.

Frost: is much better because of the changes. More testing to be done.

Arcane: Still needs a tree pruning. so many useless talents. Presence of mind still debatable as needed. Rather have the effect merged into empowered arc blasts after a clear casting proc. Arcan harmony is now debatable as to use. all of our dps is behind missiles right now. it is not really worth casting a barrage since mana regen is great. but that does not mean I want a nerf to it. Leave it alone.

I would prefer if blizzard is baseline for frost.

4 Likes

I like the new Overflowing Energy… and that’s about it.

I think some adjustments still need to be made on the class tree and I think Arcane is awful for anyone who dislikes Arcane Orb like I do and/or doesn’t want to play Spark/Harmony. If I am being honest, I also really don’t even like Arcane Surge.

Is Surge cool? Yea, but I liked the simplicity of retail’s Arcane Power + Overpowered. I don’t even get the option to keep old style Arcane Power as a choice node with Surge. It’s just… gone, and my only other option is to just not take it and not have the damage buff.

And considering the lack of real change with this patch I’m resigned, to that fact that this is essentially the heaping pile we’re gonna be stuck with when Dragonflight launches and that I’ll be giving up main-ing my Mage for first time ever.

That class tree having problems I can deal with but I just plain don’t like how Arcane plays on the beta/ptr and I don’t want to be Fire or Frost. This honestly killed a lot of my enthusiasm for Dragonflight.

Pretty sure you can ignore the kyrian spell and arc harmony if you want to and be ok. most of our damage as arcane is coming from missles. i actually dropped harmony and trying to see if i can do decent stable dps without it. Let ya know how that goes.
Right now i am enjoying empowered arc blast after clearcasting.
Arcane aoe sucks though. cause of the mechanics in the dungeons. Rather be fire or frost till we get to bosses. lol

You kinda can… but you can’t drop Arcane Surge or Touch of the Magi if you want to do decent dps, and you can’t get away from taking Orb. I wasn’t happy with Shadowlands changes to Arcane and Dragonflight just mutilated it further as far as I’m concerned. I know you guys are all thinking wtf is wrong with me for not wanting those spells, but I just don’t like the game play they foster. I miss the simplicity. This is all just too much for me now.

I’m not really looking for an answer or a fix because there just isn’t one. Arcane has changed to the point where I just can’t enjoy it anymore and I have no interest in Fire or Frost. The idea of the Mage I’ve played since 2004 not being my main just doesn’t sit well with me. I’m going to try main-ing my Priest in Dragonflight. If that doesn’t stick, it’ll be time to walk away from WoW for me.

If you don’t like [Arcane Surge] or [Touch of the Magi] you just don’t like Arcane at this point.

That’s pretty much it. :frowning:

And if I can’t enjoy Arcane, I can’t enjoy my Mage anymore…

Comments on new build…

Cascading power is still bugged for Arcane.

Incantation of Swiftness should no longer be nerfed for arcane as compared to frost or fire. Both frost and fire can access greater invisibility now - why is arcane getting punished?

I’d personally prefer deathborne to not return. Spamming frostbolt while ignoring everything else on a 3min CD isn’t exactly engaging gameplay–though the damage is nice when you get ramped up. Frost shouldn’t be a ramp spec imo.

For aoe/cleave they ought to instead revert the CDR change on Blizzard and give us another aoe button to push (like frost bomb or something.)

2 Likes

Class Tree:

  1. Overflowing Energy: Good change overall, basic talent that feels nice to have.

  2. Please change the Mirror Image support choice node below Mirror Image. These talents are really low practical use and I guarantee will never be taken by anyone in a competitive raid environment as they currently stand. I offer the idea of where you can select a more concentrated powerful mirror image, or one that reduces its cooldown through other means (perhaps based on % HP dmg taken during the duration).

  3. Meteor feels really out of place. The other capstone points are interesting to some extent but Meteor just feels like another button to press (that doesn’t even feel good). I suggest either making it off GCD, or AoE or increase its damage considerably and increasing its cooldown.

  4. I would like to see less talents catered towards shielding and blinking or the sort and more towards already existing spell support. Things that augment Rune of Power/Incanters Flow (perhaps maintaining the buff of each a little longer, increasing time passage while standing in them/at max stacks) or something of the sort. In general, a move away from points like Frost Nova withstanding more damage or duration increase (frankly things that have very little value in almost all PVE AND PVP settings), and more talents that give minor QoL to our existing spells. Even if they are weak in nature, having QoL always feels nice.

  5. I really sympathize with some of the issues that face the mage talent tree. It feels like we have a lot of really strong 1 point nodes but also a lot of useless ones. I believe this is because there is a discussion about how to add more points that allow meaningful choice without overbudgetting the utility the class has. Suggestions such as putting cauterize and Cold Snap on the tree I feel are very optimistic and wishful when it comes to class balance. Instead, I suggest that we tune down our baseline spells such as Shimmer, RoP, Alter Time etc, but provide a lot more points that help support them. In essence, through regular investment of the tree, we should be able to return 50% of our utility to what it is now, 25% to become stronger than it is now, and 25% to be weaker.

Some examples of how this can happen:
RoP: Smaller/shorter duration, but can be buffed to be longer/bigger, and move with you for a short time once you step out of its range
Incanters: less powerful/faster cycles, but can become more powerful and more weighted towards certain windows of higher stacks
Alter Time: shorter duration and only heals you for half the amount, but can become what it is now and also have an inherent “auto proc” if reduced below 10% HP. Potentially also allowing it to benefit offensive buffs such as cooldowns but this may become degenerative.
Shimmer: Revert it to Blink, but can become Shimmer that also allows you to move after casting for a short window (funnily enough this exists as a bug on live but for a very short window as opposed to a longer one). Perhaps also add functionality in which you can charge up your shimmer if not cast in the middle of a cast to travel further.
These are some very rough draft examples but I hope the philosophy shines through and can create some inspiration for something more apporpriate if they exist.

Fire:

  1. I really like the new re-shaping of the tree overall but perhaps Conflag and Master of Flame should be swapped (or move Master of Flame into a choice node with Wildfire. If favoring a tempered flames build, Master of Flame feels extremely powerful but very awkward position. I assume tempered flame is a build that is seriously contentious to combustion style builds, so support nodes like these shouldnt be as awkward to get but yet still remain a choice.

  2. Can Wildfire be changed to grant Critical Strike damage for the mage, or for all? Crit % does absolutely nothing in combustion as crit % does not get converted to mastery with Improved Combustion and just does flat out nothing with tempered flames.

  3. Tinder should be made to be a guaranteed crit but a longer “proc” time (8s → 12s) or something of the sort. Getting this proc and not being sure if you want to cast it because if its uncertainty in crit feels fundamentally underwhelming.

  4. Make Hyperthermia’s proc a latent one that makes your next pyroblast be instant and then activates the timed window upon casting said Pyroblast as opposed to a proc that instantaneously happens. You can then lower the duration of the timed window by 1 second if desired to maintain the # of casts possible from the proc once you account for the initial “activator” pyro. This way, there is more predictability and heads up as opposed to not. Furthermore, it fixes any issues to do with GCD timing or the sort.

  5. Blaster Master would be nicer if it had one more second but I think its reasonable as is for the “elite” end, but unreasonable for the “average” AoTC/CE Raider.

Frost:

  1. Provide additional support talent points for Cold Front. As others have mentioned, a move away from an Icy Veins centric AoE build should be viewed positively as it allows us to move away from talents such as Thermal Void which seem counter-intuitive fundamentally to AoE gameplay (spending time maintaining a haste buff with non-AoE spells to get more casts, but then wanting to spend that extra time to keep maintaining the buff etc.).

Some examples:
New talent connecting from Fractured Frost: When your frozen orb expires, it does x% dmg explosion based on the # of dmg instances done by frozen orb during its duration

New talent connecting from Comet Storm:
Comet Storm targets now have stored Ice Splinters, damaging these targets with frost damage causes the splinters to explode, dealing x% damage per stack

These kinds of points will allow a Cold Front build to push over the threshold of value that would allow it to be competitive over TV style builds without incentivizing their choice on ST.

  1. As others have mentioned, allow GS to interact with Icy Propulsion or make its cast very slightly shorter baseline (or allow a talent like Freezing Winds to reduce the cast time of Glacial Spike so that it does not feel as costly opportunity wise in Freezing Winds Orb window which should be a high value GS window when considering the Ice Lance → Icicles talents.

  2. Swap Cold Snap and Blizzard

Arcane:
I don’t play much Arcane so I don’t have a strong opinion but Arcane Surge → Touch of the Magi should be a viable combo in which arcane surge feeds into touch of the magi’s damage. It is really unintuitive that it does not (unless I am mistaken and it does).

4 Likes

Understandable. I merely considered suggesting it since there were some calls for Deathborne to carry forward. Perhaps Blizzard could bring back a version of the original Ice Form spell that doesn’t replace Icy Veins and affects all damage, not just Frostbolt?

Ice Form PvP Talent
Replaces Icy Veins
Instant 1 min cooldown
Requires Mage (Frost)
Requires level 30
Your body turns into Ice, increasing your Frostbolt damage done by 30% and granting immunity to stun and knockback effects. Lasts 12 sec.

1 Like

I think I’d like Arcane Surge more if it were instant cast. Having a cast time just makes it feel bad to me since the current retail Arcane Power is instant.

1 Like

They did. It’s back to 0.5s CDR.

3 Likes