Arcane mage playstyle/viability
Hello everyone! I would like to start this discussion with the acknowledgment that some things are better than others in classic.
That said, the playstyle of mainly using arcane spells is under quantified, undertested, and to my knowledge not given proper comparisons to fire and frost. (I will explain this more in later sections)
I'm going to start posting and editing this thread regularly with my thoughts and testing in the hope of finding the best use of arcane spells and talents starting from the beginning of the mage in vanilla.
But Before that! I'll mention something I have heard nobody else mention. With the talent arcane absorption a mage can gain infinite Mana from lower-level caster mobs, (I'm level 49 and can farm the Dalleran summoners that summon adds and lots of them with little to no downtime) I'm not going to say there aren't better ways and mobs to farm but that interaction alone is worth doing some research on.
Main theory: arcane was designed to be both a "tool kit" spec AND damage alternative to fire or frost, therefore it should be a viable choice for raids and PVP.
Theory: Arcane as a playstyle should be viable or (even optimal) for fresh LVL 60 mages going into MC or ZG. This is because of the higher hit rating arcane spells have being 10% Vs 6% for fire and frost.
Theory: Changes Vs. bug fixes, it is no secret why a playstyle focused around arcane missiles spam for damage is not viable for much of anything MANA is the big problem as AM costs more than 10% of your average base mana. Enter the clearcasting issue, AM SHOULD by the verbiage also supported by patch-notes have a chance PER-WAVE of missiles to affect the clearcasting state from the arcane concentration talent, however, this has never been the case except on P-servers. the biggest question, is this a bug that needs to be fixed? or is this a change that should not be made? I think we as a WoW community need to clarify this issue and determine what needs to happen if anything then bring THAT determination to blizzard. IMO this lack of synergy between AM and CC is NOT a bug but SHOULD be fixed based on what I have heard from the original Devs (Keven Jordan, from count down to classic ep.96) about AM.
Theory for maximum arcane efficiency a human or gnome mage is best for the increased base stats also for anti-caster PvP paladins aruas+priest shadow resist buffs are easier to use.
Theory: Arcane absorption as stated above should allow for an anti-caster PVP playstyle (with the right gear)
Theory: spell penetration could be better than crit for an arcane missiles rotation.
Now let's get into the details.
So as far as mage history goes I will just reference countdown to classic episode 96 with North the mage and Kevin Jordan very very good information and podcast you guys should check it out.
My big takeaway was that arcane was not fully flushed out from a design standpoint but the mages as hole we're very well designed and implemented.
Next up we have a lack of testing I mainly speaking of amplify and dampen magic mostly I'm interested in amplify as I'm not aware of any hard numbers regarding breaking points for the increased healing and how that would affect healing per mana for all healers as I personally won't be able to text for some time in raids.
Question for the tanks out there, how often do you resist spells when wearing appropriate gear?
I'm putting some gear lists together for the different play theories if anyone wants to see those or have suggestions leave a reply.
Of course ALL feedback or suggestions are welcome...in fact please help me to make this thread and the arcane playstyle fully flushed out!
One thing I saw someone theorize is a mana regeneration technique with arcane. Now that we have classic test it out and fill us in. The idea is that you can pair an arcane missile set with a pyroblast. On private servers mana only ticked at the beginning of arcane missiles, and of course at the end of pyroblast. So the theory went that if you did them together then you actually get outside of the 5 second window for two to three ticks. I think they called it arcane weaving to give it a name. The question with it is: does arcane missiles pull the mana at the beginning or does the channeling have the rule kick in only at the end of the cast like other spells?
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Ah I think that is how they used it. To double up the mp5 just makes it very interesting to see how you could leverage it.
@Taladril well that's going to be the best use of mp5 probably(unless we get our CC synergy) which means a mix of magisters and devout priest set for int and spirit but also mp5 gear? a big hit on damg but worth for consistent damg output? for anyone who dose not know magisters set has the highest INT in the game.