A Frostfire setup could be an alternative when your mana levels still require a lot of Scorching. It should be possible to maintain the DOT during regenarative Scorching, which should cushion a bit of the damage loss in comparison to a Fireball setup.
I don't know if the simulators account for this in their rotations, but even with current results, the 2 setups are so close that it should be at least considered as a viable alternative. FFB also provides an additional DOT to spread to improve Pyromaniac uptime, but if that talent is really as worthless as previous posts suggest, that might be disregarded.
It should be possible to maintain the DOT during regenarative Scorching, which should cushion a bit of the damage loss in comparison to a Fireball setup
That's a good point. I can think of several raid fights on Beta where which have extended periods of heavy (or non-stop) movement. Atromedes air phase, Ascendant Council phase 2 to start with.
Frostfire Bolt there could keep the DOT up relatively easily, whilst weaving Scorch in rotation for the movement required, as you said. We'll definetely need to be mindful of this in future when considering whether FFB as primary nuke might be superior for specific encounters.
Just out of curiosity, wouldn`t a stat allocation with much mastery + crit combined with a FFB playstyle last longer than the FB playstyle with haste + crit ?
The primary drawback of haste is mana consumption though why not go for non-haste equipment as long as mana is a huge concern.
Edit: the main reason for this idea is of course, less mana consumption means more FFB`s than Scorches and with mastery it synergizes well, with less casts but more impacting dot`s. Though more out of every cast.
The OP is pretty much complete. The latest section added was regarding Gearing. I used Simulationcrafts (extremely useful) link to for this. The gear listed, with Simcrafts latest stat ratings taking into account, and an understanding of poitns raised in the OP - should allow Fire Mages to quickly and easily see what gear they need to obtain, and the relative values of different alternatives.
This link uses the current values of each Combat Rating for a Level 85 Fire Mage to calculate an overall Item Score. This score can be used to quickly compare items. These stat values are current as of the latest Simulationcraft results, but may be subject to tweaks / improvements in future. Notice that some items on the list have Spirit. Although this is useless for Mages, it's included in case you have no other non-spirit equivalent gear to wear.
For a greater understanding of Combat Ratings, and why items such as Crit are valued so highly by Fire mages, read the rest of this post.
A section on Rotations should be edited in at some point, too. Is there anything else that the OP currently neglects to mention which should be included?
Mastery is above haste now because of the recent fix to combustion and mastery correct? Also would getting the little haste you need for that first extra tick of LB be recommended before going for mastery as your secondary stat to crit?
The new thread is solely aimed at discussing Fire in a level 85 context. Level 80 is a thing of the past, beta is over, and this thread is now cluttered with outdated discussion. Information surrounding level 80 mechanics has been edited out. The new thread will take over as our central Level 85 Fire resource.