Monday, November 9, 2009

Light for Frosties?

Hello, My name is Termenus, and I am frost mage(yes, I know, one is arcane spec, but let me explain). Since just before the reopening of the Dark Portal (less than a few months before Burning Crusade) I reawakened as a Forsaken and have been Frost ever since.

As far as putting the Hurt on some Alliance, us Fridgeomancers are more than adequate. I'm horrible at PVP so, I don't really care, so long as I have fun.

My issue for some time, has been damage output in PvInstances. (Raids, dungeons.)
Going back a few steps, until very recently, both my pvp and my pve spec, were TOTALLY frost. I just loved it. Faster casting, survivability and control of combat like none other. Honestly, If I had three more talent points I would love to just fill up the tree. I originally speced it for leveling and fell in love. It was FUN no matter what I was doing. Grinding, farming, 5-mans, raids, questing, world pvp, bg's, helping lowbies. I had "tanked" some old instances at lower levels and even managed to pull & survive fel reavers at lvl 56 while NPC's dropped it.

(WHA!!?? NORLY! I did it for a few friends, they were all very impressed. I was l337. You see, you stand near Thrallmar and wait for it to pat towards the caravan. You use frost barrier AND mana shield and tag it at max range w/ any instant spell. Then, you RUN! Turn around and run straight towards the group of mages and the large orc. Blink to get distance. You SHOULD be able to survive one hit as it breaks the bubbles. Then, ice block, let him thump on you till ice block wears down, and blink again immediately. Double bubble as you run straight into the group. hit cold snap if the group doesn't pull the Reaver right away and keep blinking/bubbling/Ice Block into thrallmar till NPC's pull him, and, watch the show. I used this trick to help my 70 S-priest friend get his kara key. Good times.)

I even raided with a couple guilds in BC, Kara, Mag, even a couple jumps into SSC & TK. Full frost, nobody said anything. The only complaints I got in raids were to not sheep the Healers when they got MC'd. I still believe polymorph should be castable on anyone at anytime, it is a passive aggressive heal. Those were happier times, simpler times, when demons were bad and we could kill all of them we wanted. Alli's stayed on there own damn side of Outland and you didn't have to like them, just not kill them inside Shatt.

Then, with the march upon Northrend, new abilities became available and FREE FIREBALLS!?!?! yes please! I hit 80 and started to get serious about some raiding again.
Two patches later, I'm starting to get into some SRZ BZNZ, Ulduar, ToC, Ony. And no shortage of WoW friends and even fellow mages have been asking/wondering/hinting/threatening, when I was going to respec Arcane for raids.

A fact of life right now for every frost mage is that you do crap for dps. Blizzard is VERY aware of this and did nothing for almost a year or more. I started doing serious research on output and optimization of talents. The truth is that frost puts out 30% less dps than all other raid mage specs. For allot of timed fights this doesn't cut it. On top of this I find it annoying that every spec dips into arcane for Torment the Weak, but whatever.

I respecced my pvp tree to what it is today to accommodate the TTW necessity and starting looking at arcane rotations. I wanted to be a HARD hardcore raider! even at the expense of my beloved, cold love.

So, less than two weeks ago, I made the change to Arcane (see? peer pressure kids). As I lamented my betrayal of the chilly path to my friends and guildies two of the champions of my demise decided to deride me by telling me tales of changes to come making Deep Freeze a pyroblast-like damaging spell. I dismissed them and spurned them for mocking me. But, they are reliable sources, and I had hope. So, I sought ought the information, and lo and behold, they were right. Assholes.

In the next patch, the one currently on the test realms, if a target is PERMANENTLY immune to freeze effects(Bosses), Deep freeze deals some set amount of damage. ALSO, there is a Major Mage Glyph that makes your water elemental permanent at the expense of his frost nova. (100% up time in raids, increasing dps. this COULD be a pvp buff, but almost every pvp frostie LIVES for that extra freeze) AS WELL AS, there are rumors of a change to frozen core that when ice lance crits, your frostbolt's casting time is reduced by 1 second. This is not likely to last or be useful. most of us frosties are already stacking haste and have a really short cast time for frostbolt, with a bloodlust and an icy veins, not to mention any other thousand haste enhancers, its probably going to be thumping against the GCD and becoming overkill.

SO! the first two are currently on the test realms and I have rolled to learn if my dps can become viable once more in raids.

Some people might complain that with a frost elemental up all the time, frosties have started to look like a lok. I call shenanigans, loks look like us. Jaina was there first. Frankly, Raid frost has been so gimped so long I'm not sure any of us care anymore. I approve, it changes the use of the elemental and is potentially a buff for raiding frosties. It also has become apparent that ooming out might be a problem for the pets and that has been worked with.

Deep Freeze as a big damage spell. I approve. Initially I had always wondered why it couldn't be a "cold DoT", you know, "so cold it BURNS!" anything that is permanently immune to stops/stuns. some might argue that's Fire's realm, or once again, a Lock's expertise. but, whatever, honestly. The mechanic is different and you have a very different skill set and raid role in your spell set. You CC differently, you drop aggro differently, you dps differently. I see no huge issues. I will be raiding and instancing on the test realms to see if the spell change & the elemental have a large enough impact to make frost viable again.

I'll report back with more after some raiding & 5-mans, maybe some pvp, on the PTR's and lets keep our cold, clammy, fingers crossed.

Termenus, The Incredible Tanking Mage, Frost Imp extraordinaire, Mage of the Grave Chill, Ambassador, Explorer, Crusader, Sergeant, of Sen'Jin(I'm a raptor whore). Shadoweave tailor, Goblin Engineer -Lords of Ancient Sin- Cenarius, U.S.

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