Another massive Q and A post from Ghostcrawler. She has done a great job already working with many of classes and now she’s finally making it to the mage class, particularly the information regarding the new spell frostfire bolt.
Initially I really didn’t understand the purpose of such a spell, guessing that most mages would opt for a standard fire, frost or arcane build, which still may be the case. That said, these changes and their implications do make it a much more lucrative spell and spec for mages to work with. Potentially bringing it on par with the 3 primary builds.
One of the biggest issues for mages during the Burning Crusade was the complete and utter lack of mana longevity. While it doesn’t appear blizzard has a definite fix implemented yet GC did mention they are very aware of this problem and taking steps to correct it. With renewed mana longevity in addition to the many other changes coming in WotLK should really make for a much more balanced and dynamic class in the expansion.
Torment of the Weak Explained
Some talents are just harder to implement than they appear. What we think we can do with Torment of the Weak is instead let a certain number of spells (say the ones you want to use a lot) get the damage bonus. That keeps the basic idea intact in a way that we know will work.
Frostfire Bolt Creation
We created Frostfire Bolt for 3 reasons:
- An interesting new spell that would cause a lot of exploration into which talents, gear and rotations benefited the best
- A solution for those fights in which a Frost mage shows up to a Frost-immune fight
- the keystone for a new Frost + Fire “elemental” build. If you want to go respec every fight, you can still do that. But with Frostfire, you should be able to do a lot more damage than if you hadn’t respec’d at all.
WotLK Mage Q & A with Ghostcrawler
Will mages continue to have mana issues as much as they do currently, or is something planned to help?
Yes, we are working on mage mana issues. They seem to run out too fast.
Will mages be expected to be dominant AoE DPS? Or is AoE DPS also being flattened across the board?
Great AE damage isn’t a good niche in a game with so many single-target fights. Your AE will be good, but so will that of warlocks and moonkin. We won’t keep your single target dps down in order to justify high AE dps.
Will Frost be able to dps as strongly if not more strongly than Arc/Fire in PvE? Or is that still the PvP spec?
We would like to see similar dps from all 3 trees. However, if you go for a heavy PvP build (in any tree), you will probably sacrifice some dps to get there.
Will Arcane Blast be modified so it can be used as a main nuke? Or is that ship sunk?
We want Arcane Blast to be used a lot. It’s not Pyro.
Scaling plagued mages throughout BC, will this be closely examined so it doesn’t repeat in WOTLK?
Yes. We aren’t happy with what happened to mages in BT and Sunwell.
Will Evocation ever be updated? Lowered Cooldown? Made like Innervate instead of channeled?
I don’t know the answer to that yet. I think Evo is fine if mages don’t run out of mana in 5 seconds. Evo could be part of that solution or not.
Will Frostfire bolt be given a purpose, now that double dipping is gone. Is it simply an “immunity” fight fallback?
No, we want it to be the kind of spell you can use all the time. But we want to get Frost, Fire and Arcane feeling good first.
Will ignite ever be fixed (ignite “munching”)?
We are aware of the problem (of course). It’s just not easy to fix.
Will the Water Elemental get more survivability? More resist? More +hit? More scaling?
All pets should inherit the hit of the master now.
Will mages have purpose other than dps in raids so that so called “hybrid” classes won’t fill in the mage spots after the single obligatory Winters Chill/Food/Scorch mage has been invited?
Just be better / do more dps than those other classes and you’ll earn a spot. We’re not going to give you a reason other than that that someone HAS to take you.
Is the numbers pass starting soon? We’re worried that you may be running short (5 weeks) on time to properly see data regarding the dps passes.
We’ve been in the middle of it for weeks. Don’t worry about the time. We don’t. If we looked at the ship date as a deadline, then we’d get sloppy and do dumb things. The truth is that in an MMO, game balance is a process not a destination. Even after the patch goes live, we’ll have opporunities to make changes before you can head to Northrend. With all the changes we’ve made, there are going to have to be some quick patches to fix things we missed. And overall we’d like to address balance problems that do erupt in a more timely fashion – consider, before we could always say “Eh, they’ll still take the X for his Y buff even if his dps is low.” We can’t say that anymore. Now we just have to get stuff fixed.