Raiding as an Arcane Mage
I've recently started raiding heavily with an Arcane Mage, and I have to say, I'm loving it.
, threat management is as close to a non-issue as it could possibly be, and with the potential max DPS of
spam, there's an entirely different mini-game that emerges.
Spamming Arcane Blast yields an ABSURD amount of damage per second, but even in mostly 232+ gear (you can find my profile
), it's possible to dump my entire raid-buffed mana pool in 30 seconds, if not less.
Therefore, raiding as an arcane mage becomes partially about threat management, partially about maximizing your damage per second, but mostly about maximizing your damage per mana. The idea (in the most simple form) is to do as much damage as possible, such that you run out of mana precisely every two minutes, and have as little mana as possible remaining when the fight ends.
There are a lot of funny tricks that you can pull, like using
to resummon your
(which they recently removed the ability to do O.o), the right glyphs, the right time to use
, stacking your CDs with other raid buffs, and so on, but that's the basic theory.
Arcane Blast goes up in damage every time you cast it by 18% (15+3% for
), and goes up in mana cost by 175%, until you either wait 6 seconds for the debuff to expire, or cast an arcane damage spell other than arcane blast (
). In order to maximize your raid DPS, you need to find a rotation that uses all your mana per 2 minutes, and alter that on the fly according to what raid buffs and fight mechanics happen to come up. This is a really interesting metagame that emerges, that I find more interesting than playing a Fire or Frost mage.
In particular, I find having to manage my threat to be a huge pain in the ass. As a mage, my only threat management tools are
(to wipe threat) and
(invulnerability, in case I do pull aggro).
was an interesting idea (removes enrage effects, and does significantly less damage than instant poison, but causes no threat), but threat management for most classes has become nothing more than picking a good time to use your one threat wipe (or not even that, if you're unlucky), and throttling back if you get too close to the tank.
This is PURE speculation, and by speculation I really just mean wishful thinking, but I'm hoping that threat management in Cataclysm becomes less about watching your damage per second and just not doing anything if you get too close, and more about watching your damage per threat. Imagine if fire mages had a fireball spell that did some amount of damage for 1 to 1 threat (or .8, or .7, or whatever standard you want to use), and then another damage spell that doesn't significantly less damage per second or damage per mana, but more damage per threat.
I don't claim to be particularly good at game balancing, but given how much I love the metagaming aspect of managing my mana pool, it seems like there's a gold mine in there of potential game mechanics that allow for both reasonably intuitive play and a great deal of min-maxing.
Oh, and who wants to start a pool about when the comments have to get locked because of a flamewar about Arcane Mages being OP?
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