Arcane Barrage Change PvE Discussion

#0 - Feb. 11, 2009, 1:02 a.m.
Blizzard Post
Thanks for all the replies guys, blizzard have written in here that they are really pleased with all the constructive discussion, so lets keep it up!

The simple fact is:
The spell damage co-efficient on Arcane Barrage has been decreased by a substantial amount, as well as documented changes to Arcane Power and Presence of Mind.

This thread is mainly concerned with the PvE implications. We know all you epicly skilled PvPers have been nerfed too, but for now, this should be a largely PvE-centric discussion.

What people need to realise is the main problem of the most recent changes are an addition to the problems of Arcane scaling.
Its all well people saying "Ive lost 400 or 500 or more DPS now"
The problems arise in one or two tiers of gear time, when our (what was already a very badly scaling) spec, scales absolutely appalingly with gear.
If a fire mage is equal to us on damage now, in 6 months time they may for example be beating us by 500-1000 on an average fight just because of gear scaling better.

I would also point people to the following thread on elitist jerks, specifically pages 43 onwards, which also concern similar discussion:

Suggestions that have arisen from this post concerning Arcane and it's current problems:

    The first being that the cooldown on arcane barrage should be changed, not the damage it deals. Lots of people suggesting a 5 or 6 second cooldown.

    This quote reflects what a lot of people have said on the issue:
    "I find it sort of ironic that Presence of Mind is a required talent for Arcane Power, and now you can't even use them in synergy. "

    Lots of people also seem to be annoyed at the way this change was implemented, with no information being given to players. We understand fully that class balance is exaclty that, balance, and it takes time and changes, but many seem to be concerned with the frequency and sporadity of changes to the arcane tree.

    Further suggestions have included reworking the Arcane Blast glyph to 5% again to compensate for the damage lost from Arcane Barrage.

    Change the base damage of arcane barrage rather than the co-efficient to reduce scaling problems in future instances.

    Restore Mind Mastery to 25%

    As a side note, there has also been lots of discussion with reference to the changes to arcane power and PoM cooldowns, which no longer stack as easily. Cooldown stacking was a large part of any arcane spec, as was the burst it offered for short periods on certain fights (think bursting down a drake on sarth 3D.) How much has this change affected playstyle? If it makes it more complicated could it possibly be for the better? However, now lots of maths has been done, and it arguably appears the most appealing rotation omits barrage completely, surely this is not the case.

    However, certainly the most interesting possibility that has emerged is to make Arcane Power (or to a lesser extent Presence of Mind) only affect arcane spells. This is a really really interesing suggestion and i hope Blizzard consider it.

From my own point of view, im not particularly worried about arcane now, aside from the rotation becoming more like it was in TBC, i am worried about the issues (seen before) that arise as gear levels increase and arcane drops behind compared to all other specs.

A quick note on how I feel about Arcane spec in general, i have views too :) :

Ok, first things first, i really dont care about PvP. Blizzard promised to reduce Arcane burst in PvP (which was needed) without hampering our ability to do competitive damage in PvE.

They Failed.

Lets look at how Arcane has fared in PvE over the last few years: (helpfully tuned to my experiences)

I specced Arcane for Karazhan. It sucked.

MSD, Missiles spam got nerfed. It still sucked.

I got 2 pieces of T5. It became semi-decent with EPIC raid support.

Then i got lucky.

My guild liked me, was kind to me, gave me nice Innervates so i could play my FUN arcane spec rather than a mindnubming Fireball spam spec in Sunwell. Very few mages, i would guess about 4 or 5 seriously in europe got this opportunity because of the support it required, shown by the fact that i got world number 1 arcane mage figures on Brutallus and im really not that good...

Then WotlK came, and i was slightly annoyed. Why? Because all these people who for years had been saying to me LOL RESPEC FIAR NUB were now stealing my precious spec, but you know what? Im ok with that, because at least arcane was respectable DPS.

Now it isnt again, and the most important point is that in the coming months as gear standard increases arcane will fall even further behind due to poor scaling. Now even with Epic raid support im not going to be able to do anything different. On top of that, blizzard's plan to make arcane interesting has failed. 3 x AB and Arcane Missiles regardless of proc is now only a tiny DPS loss on any other rotation; we are almost back to spamming arcane blast. Their notion of making specs more interesting and not about spamming 1 or 2 buttons has not come to fruition.

I dont ever want to spec fire or FFB because its simply more boring, so i guess i have to stay arcane and just get beaten on damage. When they ask why, i'll suppose i'll just have to tell them that a few PvP whiners killed my spec in PvE.

I hope i speak for a large chunk of the Mage community in that.

#49 - Feb. 11, 2009, 12:04 p.m.
Blizzard Post
Q u o t e:
A last minute change was made to the mage Arcane Barrage spell which reduced its spell power coefficient. This change did not make it into the 3.0.9 patch notes. We will be carefully evaluating this change and its effects on game balance in both PvE and PvP. If you have constructive feedback to provide, please do so in this thread.
Quoting for visibility.
#159 - Feb. 11, 2009, 2:27 p.m.
Blizzard Post
This thread has already seen some "clean up" work done in order to keep from derailing.

For those of you tempted to post solely to incite flames or to troll and spam; please refrain from posting all together. We would much rather see the mage community discuss things constructively with some real thought put into it than having to lock threads because players are incapable or unwilling to follow the forum rules.
#332 - Feb. 16, 2009, 3:15 p.m.
Blizzard Post
While we don't have any updates for you on this particular topic, we wanted to pop in here and thank you for keeping on topic with the good and constructive replies. It is nice to see the Mage community coming together to debate changes rather than just spam the forums with threads full of "QQ". It certainly has made it a lot easier to follow with everything in one place, not to mention enjoyable to read!

Keep it up! :)
#375 - Feb. 20, 2009, 2:50 p.m.
Blizzard Post
Back on topic please folks.