Arcane in Cataclysm: Updated for 4.01
Moderator's note: Logix is an inactive player and has not updated this thread since before Cataclysm was released. You should consider this post to be of mostly general interest, and if you need advice on how to gear and spec you should use the tools available to make your own conclusions. The author of Rawr.mage model mostly plays arcane and the tool can therefore be considered bleeding-edge custom advice for stat and gear comparison.
Basic Resources and Preamble
This thread is a consolidated resource for Arcane mages. Please refer to:
Core changes and New mechanics
There have been some significant changes to some core mechanics of Arcane, as well as the introduction of some new mechanics. A shortlist of some of the important ones can be found here (n.b. ignore the wowhead tooltips, the are out of date).
Arcane Blast no longer buffs the damage of all Arcane spells. Instead, it only buffs its own damage. The Arcane Blast stack still stacks to 4 and is still cleared with the casting of any other Arcane spell.
Arcane Missiles is now a proc. It has a static 40% chance to proc off of the cast of any spell. (including things like Slow Fall).
Furthermore, the base cast of Arcane Missiles now launches 3 volleys of missiles instead of 5. It can be brought back up to 5 through selecting certain Arcane talents.
Now has a 5 second cooldown.
Now returns 3% of your maximum mana (3.6% glyphed) every 5 seconds both in and out of combat. The use of Mage Armor is now critical to success with the Arcane Spec.
Evocation now instantly returns 15% of your mana on the first tick, and the extra 45% over 6 seconds (plus haste). This prevents the issue where an interrupted evocation can sometimes end up not returning any mana at all. It also allows for strategic use of evocation where you can purposefully interrupt the channel yet still get some mana back.
*New* Mana Adept
Mana Adept is the Arcane Spec's mastery mechanic, at zero mastery from gear, it reads:
%mana = current mana / max mana
e.g. For a mage with 4 mastery points from gear, his damage multiplier from Mana Adept at 50% mana will be:
Damage Multiplier from Mana Adept = 1 + ( ( 8 + 4 ) * 0.015 * 0.5 ) = 1 + (0.09) = 1.09 = 9% extra damage.
It is important to note, Mana Adept scales linearly with mana.
Arcane Playstyle and Optimal Strategies
Arcane's playstyle in Cataclysm (and 4.01) is significantly different enough from WoTLk to warrant explanation. Needless to say, you won't necessarily be casting ABx4 AM regardless for optimal success.
N.B. Untill shown otherwise, Mage Armor is now the de facto armor to be used with the Arcane spec.
The current leading theory describes the optimal Arcane casting strategy as consisting of 3 distinct phases. These are:
Further details into optimizing the "Conserve" Phase
The basic target of the "conserve" phase is to maintain your mana at or within a mana % range where you can use a mana gem to get back to near 100% mana by the time you need to start your next "Burn" phase. This will usually be around 85% mana in early gear, and hypothesized to be ~90%+ mana in higher gear levels. Details of what this % mana point will be will become clearer as we gain more data on what the gear in cataclysm will look like.
You will need to maintain this "conserve" rotation while you wait out your AP, Mana Gem, and Evocation cooldowns. When they are up, you will end the "conserve" phase and start the "burn".
The rotation for the "conserve" phase is totally dependent on your gear. Most level 80 4.01 mages will probably find that they can maintain the same level of mana using an ABx4+ AM rotation, due to level 80 stat inflation. The key is to find what the highest level of the AB stack you can use while maintaining a mana % point at or near 85%-100% mana (within 'gem range'). N.B. The link for the MMS simulator earlier in this post will help you find a mana neutral rotation, though it is tuned for level 85 Arcane mages.
You can further optimize your "conserve" phase by exploiting certain procs, mainly Clearcasting and Arcane Missiles.
If you know that a AB2 ABr/AM rotation is your mana neutral and you gain a clearcasting proc which makes your second AB 'free', you can shift to casting a third AB to squeeze some extra damage out for that particular cycle.
Similarly, if due to 'bad luck' (i.e. AM has not procced) you are being forced to make heavy use of ABr to break your AB2 stack, you can cast a few AB1 AMs (if AM has started proccing) to bring your mana back up to within the required range.
Optimizing the "Burn" phase
One of the things you will want to optimize during burn, is maximizing the number of AB4+ casts while being under the influence of both AP and Mana gem, and being at high mana.
Due to this, it is suggested that you actually start your burn phase at or near an AB4 cast, i.e. you pop your AP and gem to get back to 100% mana while already at an AB2/3 stack, so as to start the burn phase near 100% mana with AP and MG popped, casting AB4s.
Furthermore, optimal use of the Burn phase is also now directly related to fight mechanics. I.e. you will need to adjust both the "conserve" phase and "regen" phase in accordance to fight specific mechanics, e.g. synchronize a 'burn' phase to the point where a boss becomes vulnerable or to a point where you can successfully execute an evocation without interruption.
POM usage optimization:
No clear cut strategic use of POM has yet been found. Preliminary theories place its optimal use similar to how it was before (i.e. the last AB of a particular AB cycle). However, a new theory suggests POM can be also be used as a mana regeneration tool, due to its synergy with the Master of Elements talent. Investigation into the overall benefit of MoE is underway. I will update this post when the investigation is complete.
Mana gem usage optimization:
As explained earlier, Mana Gem is now optimally used strictly at the start of a "burn" phase. Unlike WoTLk, where it was used sometimes after an Evocation or during emergencies.
Unlike WoTLk, maximizing evocation usage (and through extension, maximizing the amount of times you can "burn") is now critical to Arcane's success. Evocation is now a core part of the new Arcane playstyle. Evocation usage optimization will happen on a fight by fight basis, depending on where you can successfully cast it without interruption.
N.B. an alternate theory suggests that a use of Evocation where the channel is interrupted after a few ticks (i.e. not letting it go for its full duration) could lead to better overall results due to minimizing the "regen" phase. This theory is, as of yet, untested and is being investigated. I will update this post with then investigation is complete.
Arcane Talent Builds (and glyphs)
A lot of the variability in Arcane talent builds will occur due to fight specific optimizations. Concerns such as:
That being said, there are talents that are core to all Arcane builds:
Core Arcane build:
3/3 Netherwind Presence
3/3 Torment the Weak
2/2 Improved Arcane missiles
2/2 Missile Barrage
1/1 Presence of Mind
2/2 Arcane Flows
1/1 Arcane Tactics
place 1 point anywhere you wish
2/2 Arcane Potency
1/1 Focus Magic
2/2 Improved Mana gem
1/1 Arcane Power
2/2 Master of Elements (fire)
3/3 Piercing Ice
As you can probably see by now, you have a lot of choice to tailor a specific talent build to leverage fight specific mechanics. The core talents as shown above must however be present in all.
A few quick comments on specific Arcane talents
Some talents are worth mentioning for ideas that may be missed on initial inspection.
With Mage Armor becoming the norm for Arcane, focus magic helps offset the crit loss of molten armor. Take note, no other spec other than Arcane can use this now.
The change to "next 2 spells with 15% crit" actually has a significant playstyle impact, since now you can try to optimize the use of the ArcPot proc since you now have an opportunity to "react" to it. e.g.. if you would normally be casting AB2 ABr, with an ArcPot proc on your first AB cast, you may want to squeeze in a third AB to leverage some extra DPS due to the proc (and not, say, waste the proc on something like an AM, which doesn't benefit fully from the proc anyway). The change to Arcane Potency allows for some finer level tuning of what you would be casting, to maximally use the proc.
Prime glyphs are pretty no-brainers (by design), the following 3 seem to be producing optimal results so far.
Arcane Barrage is an alternate possible to mage armor, but from most of the investigation conducted so far, the Mage Armor glyph seems to be providing more benefit over 5 min fights. We are still investigating this issue. Will update as needed.
You have some room to play with the Major glyphs. That being said, the following have been found to be pretty useful
Slow - currently, Nether Vortex is not applying the slow effect at 40 yards range (the range of AB), this could be a bug. The only way to get Nether Vortex to work at ABs max range is through this glyph. Making it somewhat mandatory for arcane.
Arcane Power - the off the gcd blink is useful, especially if you want a bit of extra mobility.
Invisibility - Because running around fast in the invisible realm is not only cool but pretty arcaney. It also helps with mobility during fights (especially now that Invisibility allows you to see everyone when invisible).
Many other possibles exist as well, e.g. evocation, which could work well with the "maximum survivability" build shown above.
The following 3 were found to be most useful, that being said, the selection here is totally up to you.
Stat equivalences, gems and consumables
The investigation of Arcane stat equivalences, optimal gems and consumables is, as of yet, incomplete. The next version of MMS is slated to contain stat equivalence calculations given a specific set of gear. Stay tuned for the results. I will update this thread when the investigation is complete.
Known Issues, possible Bugs
Please vet, double check and notify me of any inconsistencies or inaccuracies. I will update the first post with feedback and conclusions as they occur.
In-game right now, and.. the glyph listings above just won't work. Missiles is a major glyph, as is barrage, and mirror images. Either Blizz pulled a fast on, or people didn't catch these right.
go ahead and delete this, I didn't see that glyph glitch thread.
World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Upcoming Changes to Glyphs in 4.0.1
Ok just been in the game, another thing is that some of the primal glyphs need to be researched again, there is a minor called Glyph of armor that will work with all the armors extending them for 30 minutes, i guess that might be better than the slow fall one... ideas?
Also in the Major glyph department, there is mirror image that can cast AB instead of only frost bolt... dont you think that would also benefit more?
Mastery, SP, or Haste
So you think that we should invest now in mastery? I found that when you have too much haste you can burn mana faster now, so what's the point in using Mana Adept if you are burning Mana faster? or do you think then we should try to DL Haste and exchange it for Mastery?
In the end:
Also i noticed we wont be able to benefit from Icy Veins now, since we cant allocate points to it in the frost, so I would like to know what are the thoughts on putting 2 talent points into Master of Elements vs. Burning Soul... perhaps 1 on each?, While i agree with you that Piercing Ice should be a priority for the crit.
I believe it was briefly discussed within the previous arcane thread. But when possible based clearcasting/MoE/Haste would we not want to evocate at 70% mana(provided all CD's have ran their course)? This takes advantage of the increased efficiency of evocation when used for only 2 ticks,
This would spend 4 less seconds on evocate, as well as save the amount of time spent burning from 70% to 40%.
This would also return you to 100% mana with enough time remaining on ab4x to continue ab spam until 85% mana utilizing the full benefit of mastery and the AB stacks.
When compared to burning another 30%(70% to 40%), you instead burn another 15% post evocate at a much higher mastery level which would be utilized to counteract the other 15% mana longer burn phase. Now with my particular mage, My AB cast is 2 seconds, and burns approximately 7% of my mana when cast at abx4, which means in 2 casts I've burned 14% of my mana in 4 seconds. which I have made time for by spending less time evocating. Will update tomorrow when I can properly formulate equations.
on haste vs. mastery:
I believe mastery might be in favour here if the damage per rating-ratio is not too bad (still waiting for some math). We're losing one haste multiplier (Icy veins) and as it is now with our freaking huge mana pools (live 4.0.1) we can keep up our "conserve phase" with a 4AB-AM/ABarr quite long (have not tested raid settings yet, but self-buffed casting works quite well)
As long as our conserve phase lets us stay within, say, 100-85% mana, we will fully benefit from our mastery.
When we get into burn phase, we would want our spells to hit as hard as possible. You'd there have to consider that haste will decrease our value from mastery in that phase (the quicker we cast the faster we spend mana and the faster we get to 40% where we'll have to evoc and mana adept will be quite weak) but it still buffs our dps.
But please take my notes on this with caution since it is not based on any "hard numbers" at all, just on basic differential ideas.
Arcane Blast and Mage Armor are Prime glyphs, Arcane Missiles is a major glyph and there is no minor mirror image glyph.
But testing my dps out on a dummy going ABx4 - Mbarrage, I'm getting results of 62k AB crits (with procs) but only 4k Missilecrits per missile. Somehow I don't feel like having missiles in my rotation at all. Correct me if I'm wrong.
It seems blizzard has released a very poorly tested patch(4.01) and arcane mages are benefiting from it.
I've also noticed, mana concerns seem to be unfounded. I can spam high mps rotations or even straight ab spam most of time and have little need for a conserve or regen rotation. I find mage armor and the meager amount of spirit I have already generates me over 2.25k mp5.
For those moving into 4.01, you need a ton of hit. I suggest grabbing up some blue gems to get the hit instead of reforging for it. You can only reforge gear to one stat and it's better spent on mastery because you are going to have near full mana a majority of the time.
Mmmm ive done tests after tests and maybe its just me, maybe im doing something different but when i pop my mirriors i do not see any change in my DPS at all it stays excatly where it was prior to popping them. When i first noticed this i tried just popping single CD's at a time and arcane power worked fine, mana gem worked fine but when mirrior is popped alone i gained no gain in damge. I do have the 4 set piece bonus (first thing i made sure of wth the changes) I have the prime and major glpyhs and so forth and the what not but still nothing. Is this a bug anyone else is experiencing with this patch?
AB spam however is rocking with crit hits up in the high 60k marker and had a few bashing its self a nice 71k, missles are doing ok but are lacking their damage markers as they did prior to 4.0.1 with a full 4 stack of AB. Went from seeing 14-20k missiles to settling at 7-12.5k.
Hit is going to be fun dealing with even with my gear sitting with almost all Heroic 25 icc items i was still as of patch only at 10.79% hit so lots of changes and maybe not for the best.
The only reason we can get this ridiculous amount of dps, is that our burn phase is lasting a really long time compared to our conservative phase due to stat inflation. My premade mage on beta had 66k mana (with kings and arcane brilliance), but 4stack ABs were costing 11k+ mana, and that was without arcane power.
As a note on the original guide post, I would think we should burn to around 33-35% mana before evocating. Evocate returns 60% mana + you are getting at least one tick of mage armor, so that's another 3%. Then you are spending another 4 seconds on super cheap ABs since you stacks are gone, so you will get another mage armor tick in there.
It seems if you evocate right a 40%, you will be capping on mana from mage armor.
Balance is really not an issue, you will likely be pulling the same numbers as you are now at 85 in pre-heroic gear.
Logix, this is fantastic work, though I think there should be some discussion regarding the "phases" you have suggested.
With the nearly unlimited mana pool we have now, it seems that a higher yield would come from burning mana down to 80% and using a quick evocation to get back to 100 then continuing abx4 spam.
I have no simulator running as you do but from what I can see casually testing it is that it will ultimately reduce burn phase dps (slightly) but raise the "entire" cycles dps.
Assuming already hit capped, which is better to reforge into Mastery: Haste or Crit? Previously, Crit was not great for Arcane because of the poor multiplier, but since that's now gone and there's more of an incentive to cast slower, harder-hitting spells to keep mana high for Mastery, has that now shifted to Crit > Haste?
i've seen people trying to keep a 30% critical and then reforge the rest into mastery. i really would like to know what is best now Lightweave Embroidery or the +23 haste enchant?
Lightweave Embroidery seems to give almost +70 Spellpower... do you think +23 Haste is better than that?
|All times are GMT -4. The time now is 3:30 PM.|
Forum Infrastructure by vBulletin 3.6.12 ©2000-2007, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.