Well, I finally gave up the GM spot – about time I did, to be honest. It was getting way too stressful for me. Now that the most I’m doing is raid leading, it’s a lot easier on my stress level. I’m not necessarily agreeing with what the new leadership is doing, but it’s nice not to have to worry about the decision-making and just be a regular member again. If things go way past where I can really stay with the policies of CD, then that’s another story – but at the moment, things are fine.
Anyway, on to what this post’s actually about – playing a mage in 4.0. I’ve played around with a couple talent specs – both Fire and Arcane – and I’m pretty happy with the changes that were made. Feels like Mage Armor is the best thing for Arcane right now with the new mastery, which is pretty cool – each spec having its own armor that’s suited to the playstyle and so forth. Neat stuff. Onwards to Fire, though.
After speccing on Tuesday night, I spent some time benchmarking with the test dummies in Orgrimmar, just like everyone else. Pulled around 10k DPS without any uses of my Impact proc, so I was really looking at just a basic Patchwerk-style single target fight. All in all, I’m fairly impressed with the new tools they’ve given us, including the cool Hot Streak proc chance on non-criticals. That said, the coolest talent in Fire tree is probably Cauterize – I spent last night thinking about the bosses with “nuke” mechanics that we can ignore if we spec properly now. Festergut and Algalon, of course, are the first that I can think of. Definitely looking at offspeccing Fire as well as my main spec just so I can have the option to pick that talent up.
Rotation feels pretty much the same as it did in 4.0, with the welcome change that I don’t really need to worry about Scorching now – Pyroblast procs pretty much cover it for me. The only real difference is going to be watching for Impact and Fire Blasting that – whether that’ll come in handy on single target fights, I have yet to see. Combustion changes are interesting – I’m looking for an addon that tracks the strength of my Ignite DoT right now, as it should help a lot – any suggestions?
edit: found one! Check out CombustionHelper, it works great. (of course, this addon had the added side effect of making me worry about Frostfire Bolt. Since I’m pulling 14k DPS on some fights without it, I’m not too concerned.)
Mastery stacking is questionable right now from what I’ve seen. There’s a nice bonus straight from training; if anything, I’m dropping only haste and not crit to pick up a bit of mastery. We’ll see how it turns out. I think it won’t make too much difference until we hit Cata and there’s actually gear with mastery on it.
Pity fire mages are getting a slight nerf soon. Hopefully it doesn’t affect too much.
In other news, the tankadin changes are nice (after 12 seconds – once we get to start pressing our shield of the righteous button, you know, the one that can hit for 40,000) and the new druid tree form that got revealed is absolutely fantastic – although I may have to glyph the old one and switch it in/out depending. I really liked the old treant model too.