Wednesday, September 30, 2009

From arcane to arcane: a mage's journey

Vurnak was created when the endgame content was Molten Core, so when deciding which spec to go I discarded the choice of fire because fighting fire with fire didn't look logical here. Back then I wasn't so informed about the game so I just followed my instinct here (later confirmed it was right since most of the mobs inside the Core had high resistance to fire spells). That left me with two choices: frost and arcane. Frost suffered from the same penalties like fire in my oppinion: you rely on a simple elemental source of damage... what if later you should fight in some frozen place? (Northrend wasn't even planned back then). Also fire and frost didn't look very mage-like imho (although one of the star spells of mages in all games is the Fireball) so I decided to go arcane. The name was also very appealing: you are a master of long-kept secrets that unleash astounding powers to strike down your foes. Woah! Sign me in, mister!
The crude reality however proved it wasn't that good. In the old days of classic WoW arcane was a bottomless pit for mana. You could spend all your mana on a single mob. And the routine of kill-drink-kill-drink was boring ad nauseam. Still Vurnak was somewhat sturdy and kept on leveling as arcane. Can't remember exactly when I was totally fed up, around 40-42 I think, but I decided to leave arcane and go for a good leveling spec, which was (and still is) frost. The change was as good as when I moved Kurnak from old arms to fury. More survivality, more cc and less drinking (my kidneys thanked me for stoping processing so much liquid).
The Burning Crusade came and Vurnak reached level 70 and started doing Karazhan. Frost was a good leveling spec, but a poor dps one for raids, so again I went to the trainer to respecc. Arcane was still the ugly sister of the three, so I turned (as all mages doing raids) to fire. And was very enjoyable. Even losing the cc and survivality frost offered, fire compensated it with a big punch, able to take down mobs before they reached you (soloing wasn't a problem anymore while being fire)
Then the news about WotLK started pouring and things didn't look good for fire mages. Seemed fire was being turned into the new pvp spec instead of frost and damage was being notably reduced. Also I had to level again, so I welcomed back frost spec. Everything was good (even using a spec without the defense Ice Barrier gives you) and reached level 80, getting into Naxxramas as frost. Dps wasn't that good despite wearing good gear, but for some time it was ok for me. Until I started growing tired of seeing my name so down in the dps list. It was time for a change. The decission was going back to fire, go frostfire (never really liked it, spell looks really ugly) or try the new and improved arcane spec. I already saw some arcane mages doing tons of damage in raids, so I finally decided to return home and dualspecc arcane. It was a good decission. Arcane is no longer a black hole for mana. Well played, a mage shouldn't use Evocation except in very long fights, and thanks to the changes in mana regeneration and Missile Barrage proc I manage to keep my mana bar in good condition. And not also arcane gives you one button more to push (frost is just Frostbolt all the way), but the fx look very cool (except maybe for Arcane Blast, some more elaborated effects on your character would look great) and makes you look more "magesque", the increase of dps is also very satisfactory.

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