With your crit rate, you were probably getting a large amount of mana back from Master of Elements and saving a hell of a lot from all the Hot Streaks you must have been proccing. Moreover, several beta testers have mentioned Fire's mana inefficiency--some even theorizing that Fire mages might have to raid in Mage Armor.
However, even in my premade's gear, Scorching was rarely necessary to maintain Critical Mass. Hot Streak is usually up enough to maintain the debuff by itself.
As far as Frostfire Bolt, current coefficients discourage it. The math is on the previous page.
Whilst leveling to 85, you'll loose an awful lot of crit and haste percentage, but you'll also gain a ton of raw stats, including Int. I don't know if that we'll be enough, but I guess it will : blizzard stated that they didn't wanted dps to be really limited by mana (maybee a little, but not much at least).
Why not use a Markov chain to model hot streak? Assuming that the tier 3 hotstreak resets the tier 4 counter (intuitively I'd say it does, but it's easy to model either way):
I didn't use it because I never learned how to use it, unfortunately. Maybe next semester when I take stats! I also used the same method to model the live hotstreak proc rate and the numbers matched up very closely with simulation data.
As far as Frostfire Bolt, current coefficients discourage it. The math is on the previous page.
I apologize in advance for my limited understanding of the formulas posted on previous page. Could you clarify something? Are the formulas solving for which individual spell is superior, or are they in fact seeking to understand an optimal single target rotation? I ask, b/c intuitively it seems like inserting FFB into the mix just frequently enough to keep its DoT up, keeping LB up, and then spamming FB makes sense. I tested this against simply spamming FB and keeping LB up. In limited testing on dummies (admit there's lots of room for human error here), I found the former rotation yielded consistently better overall DPS. And this is with no mastery gear. Won't the FFB rotation pull away even further with increased Flashburn damange on the DoT?
Maybe its just wishful thinking on my part since I think a more complex rotation will be more fun to play and provide greater reward for the more skilled player.
I had a completely different experience on the PTR with my mostly 277 geared character copy. Mana wasn't an issue, and I didn't see a reason to Scorch since Hot Streak proc'd more than frequently enough to keep Critical Mass up. And that was only self buffed. So IMHO, the only question remaining for single target Fire is whether to weave in FFB or simply spam FB while keeping LB up.
While I was doing dungeons at level 80-81 on beta I hardly had mana problems and still had an abundance of haste. It's really at lvl 82+ that you start having mana problems while doing dungeons. You ratings will drop dramaticly aswell and you start to notice the effects around that lvl. (I believe mana regen was higher while i was doing dungeons at early lvl 81 then it is now).
Also I doubt it will work having us weave scorch in for mana reasons. Throughout TBC and WoTLK mages spell costs got lowered so we could keep our rotation longer, if they wanted us to weave our efficient spell in the rotation they would have increased the damage of our spells. Even if they did increase the damage of spells instead of lowering the mana cost, most players would stay on there normal rotation and try and manage those last 10 seconds of the fight with scorching or wanding :P.
•Living Bomb base damage increased by 4%.
•Scorch base damage increased by 10%.
•Pyroblast base damage increased by 4%.
•Fireball base damage increased by 4%.
•Critical Mass now also increases the damage of Living Bomb and Flame Orb spells by 5/10/15%.
•Combustion now deals critical strike Fire damage.
•Improved Hot Streak now also has a chance to proc from Pyroblast.
•Hot Streak now also has a chance to proc from Pyroblast.
•Impact now also resets the cooldown on Fire Blast when it procs.
After giving the PvE rotation some thought, it struck me that maybe we shouldn't be complaining about the rotations tediousness. It is already more dynamic than the WotLK version seeing as you will be weaving in scorches whenever there's movement (which there often is) and there's also Flame orbs to toss out every now and then.
It might not be the most fun additions in the world to some, but it is wrong to say the rotation is exactly the same.
Besides, the very nature of the game will inevitably make the rotation boring after a while.
EDIT: What do you guys think about the idea of letting molten shields affect mana shield aswell? Basically proccing blazing speed when it is broken. It might be overpowered, but a lot more realistic now that mana shield has a cooldown.
THe current version is not overly useful as it normally is casters breaking mage ward, and blazing speed versus casters is not that great. Good but not great.
I also have to say I'm a big fan of the notion of having mana shield share the ice barrier cd, to allow more focus on mana shield as the arcane/fire survivability.
My first thought on the 12984 changes was that Fire just keeps getting better and better. Impact resetting Fire Blast is a nice change, which will reduce the annoyance of having the proc up, but unavailable for use for X seconds whilst FB is on CD. Combustion will now give Fire Mages are guaranteed way (every 2 minutes) to proc Hot Streak after just one prior crit. These are icing-on-the-cake changes, but solid changes nevertheless.
Critical Mass was a bland talent before, players were tempted to just drop 1 or 2 points in it - which would still offer no selfish benefit if other classes brought the buff anyway. The new change now gives a satisfying selfish bonus to LB, which is of course a staple spell for the tree. I assume that the Hot Streak changes now mean it's possible to proc multiple Hot Streak Pyroblasts in succession, if each Pyroblasts crits. Similar to our old tier bonus where Hot Streak had a chance to not consume Pyroblast upon cast. I think this small change will help keep people on their toes, and maybe go towards spicing up single target rotation gameplay. We do need to confirm whether a small ICD was added to Hot Streak to prevent this happening though.
Improved Fire Blast is a frustrating talent. Impact Fire Blast is now an important part of Fire Mage play, and if you don't pickup Improved Fire Blast, you'd have to move into 30 yards to use Impact mechanics - because all other spells are 40 yard range. Why not just make Fire Blast base 40 yards, or roll the +range component into the Impact talent. Having separate talents for Impact and Fire Blast (To bring the range up to 40) is a little contrived. It'd be like saying Pyroblast has a 20 yard range by default, but has an exciting talent to boost it to 40. Is that clever? Not really, because you either have the option of casting all other spells at 20 yards - or simply picking up the talent points to bring this key mechanic range in line with others. Either way, Fire Blast spell and Improved Fire Blast talent could use some more tweaking.
When playing on PTR/Beta, most mages will agree that when AOE'ing or moving - fire really does have a great toolset available. There's lots of spells to use, which all work and interact together via superb talent support. Not only that, but it's tons of fun to manage the instant AOE spells, Impact, Hot Streak and Combustion mechanics.
But still we see comments like, "The fire single target stationary rotation is boring". Perhaps on a Patchwerk fight the single target rotation is similar to WOTLK. But as soon as you introduce movement and/or adds, fire really excels at giving you the feeling you are indeed a Pyromaniac. And "Patchwerk style fights" really aren't that common anyway. The most common suggestion is to somehow integrate Frostfire Bolt into Fires rotation. Although i'd love to see Frostfire Bolt given a spot in the fire rotation, if only due to a soft spot for the FFB spell itself, i'd still be a little concerned it's just giving Fire mages too many unnecessary spells to manage. The Fire toolbox is already full of great stuff, especially when AOE and movement is a factor, is there really a need for FFB and a compelling role it could take up?
Actually my biggest issue with the single target dps has nothing to do with rotation but more with our still heavy reliance on crit to maintain good dps as well as tap into a couple of our mana efficiency talents (moe and hs). Maybe the boost to living bomb coupled with our mastery will help with that some.
Overall though you can tell this build was a numbers tweak for us and I'm glad they recognize fire mages need a little bit of a boost, though I still maintain that we need to have less reliance on crit.
So the premades for mages are level 85 in 318 greens and several 333 blues. Specced him for target dummy spam, glyphed for the clear fire winners (at least until I can find out where glyph of living bomb is from, it's not on the Dalaran vendor), and the results are:
5.26% hit (so only testing on the 85 dummy, not the boss)
18.08% crit (shoot me, ugh)
6657+3156/12s, 3831mana, 3.12s cast
* 4968/ 5557/ 6159/ 6754/ 7323 dps Hot Streak, depending on how many ticks you are refreshing
* 2133/ 2389/ 2645/ 2901/ 3145 dps full cast, depending on ticks
5638, 2786mana, 2.23s cast
* 2528 dps
3387, 0mana, 1.34 cast
* 2527 dps
4551+455/9s, 2.23s cast
* not even going to bother, terrible
So this patch contained a number pass (as rough as it may have been) on fire, boosting all 4 of our supposed rotation spells. Even with 5% less crit from the Fireball glyph I'm pretty sure scorch beats fireball as our nuke right now, as it offers nearly 74% more crit opportunities while doing virtually equivalent dps. And sadly pyroblast beats them both after 2 ticks of its own dot. I could chalk this up to terrible gear, as fireball will scale better with higher int and haste, but this is about what we'll be wearing when we start dungeons at 85. Since mana is already an issue I don't feel too bad scorch spamming for now, but this is a little odd.
To continue on the discussion of mana, I was wondering if when mana starts to be low, would it be better to activate mage armor up until either mana gem or evocation CD becomes up? Cause after tests on the ptr i can confirm that indeed we are having a bit of a problem in mana regen, specially when crits arent showing. This combined with the fact that the ignite mana regen talent is gone, makes the spec more vulnerable to oom
Don't forget free Pyroblasts during that cycle as well. I think dropping to Mage Armor might be a pretty big drop in crits, so yes you'll be getting mana back, but might be slower than running Molten Armor Scorch/Pyro cycle until Gem CD is active.
Also remember that fire mobility relies on having molten armor up. Mage armor will haveto have a really big impact to be worth giving up being able to cast on the run. Well not in every fight obviously, but in a lot of fights. (I hope, patchwerk isn´t my most fond memory of WotLK.)
Plopp plopp kaboom! This is an intelligent signature.