I wish people wouldn't give bad advice like this:
UGH. Sorry Christian, you've lost me here, this is just horrendous advice to give. He says "the specs are very close to each other" and that "it comes down to personal preference".... Sorry but NO.
His pros for Arcane list "competitive" single target dps. So not "high" or "exceptional" or "very good" just "competitive". In other words it's "ok" as a single target dps spec, but not great. Not even good.
Another pro is "high burst" which, frankly, Frost and, if the stars align, Fire can do too.
He lists the 3% raid damage buff - ok, I'll accept that is a decent buff, but Rets provide it too and are MASSIVELY better damage.
The last "pro" for Arcane that he lists is "good threat management". Erm, what? If you are pulling aggro off a tank in current content after giving them a threat lead of, say, 10 seconds before popping all your cooldowns, you should NEVER be pulling off an equally geared tank on a static nuke fight. if you are, then it is the tank's problem, not yours. That may sound harsh, but if, on a fight like Chimaeron or Maloriak or any other fight which is a relatively simple blast the boss type fight with little in the way of difficult tanking, you are pulling aggro off an equally geared tank after giving them a threat lead, then the tank has issues, not you.
Also, any spec of Mage has Mirror Image and Invis. Sure Arcane mages may get instant invis but come on, he is reaching for benefits here in a MAJOR way.
For CONS against Arcane he lists:
Inconsistent DPS output
So, his pros are dubious at the very best, and the cons are utterly gamebreaking - low mobility, crap AoE and inconsistent DPS are three things you absolutely DO NOT WANT in a dps spec.
Lets compare this to Fire, which has pros as:
High single target DPS
Multiple AoE options (with Fire being one of the best dps specs in the game for any fight with multiple targets)
5% spell crit debuff on bosses
Ok, so Fire pretty much does everything Arcane does but much much better. The cons he lists for Fire are:
Heavy reliance on crits.
So even with the Ignite munching bug, and a heavy reliance on crit rng, Fire STILL outperforms Arcane.
He goes on to say:
I normally love the Arcane Brilliance columns, but this is just awful, so to any mages out there reading and being swayed by his arguments, please, be very wary of what he says in that column as alot of it is just flat out mad.
Also, I know this is a pretty unreliable source of true dps capabilities at the moment, but just look at this:
On the adjusted average totals (i.e the average of all fights excluding Halfus) FIre is a wopping 7k dps ahead of Arcane and around 5k ahead of Frost. Sorry, but that is NOT "within spitting distance"
I read the article when it came out and didn't think it was very good which is a shame beause I love my weekly dose of Arcane Brilliance.
I raid as a Fire because I love the ability to be able to move and DPS at the same time that is so much fun.
If you read the comments attached to the article there is a lot of love for Arcane out there. Which may be why he was "diplomatic" about using the arcane spec. He ended up writing an article that completely ignored the title - "Which mage spec should you be raiding with" :D
Be a bit more courageous in your comments next time, Christian.
Fire spec ftw :D
it's no different to there is still a lot of people out there who think you can raid with a hunter as BM. no matter how much proof there is that different specs have different uses and some of them are worthless there will always be a bunch of people who think the worst spec is the best.
as deadard said it has probably been worded that way as he knew if he just straight out said arcane was crap he would get a load of people flaming him.
I agree. When I read the column I was "What ?". After reading it, I went and checked out the site you linked just in case something dramatic had happened since the last patch, but no, the 3 specs are pretty much where they were before the patch. FIre is actually much better now with fireball being less mana intense. I am using fireball pretty much all the time now, with scorch only used when moving. Where before the mana reduction I had to weave scorch in a lot.
It took me a while to get into fire, as it is a bit more complex than arcane. Ok, a lot more complex than arcane, which is pretty much 3 buttons :) But now I also find it fun.
I did get beaten on dps in BH yesterday by an arcane mage. But then, that fight really suits arcane.
Ha Ha nice one Slash :D
Basically Fire will always suffer on a pure single target "nuke em up" fight like Chimaeron or Argaloth. The simple fact is for pure single target DPS Mages have no spec which is really competitive with Hunters, Rogues, Warlocks, Shadowpriests or Boomkin. Spriests in particular are just immense at the moment, I would be suprised if they don't get adjusted down abit at some point soon.
You will see Fire pull ahead on fights with lots of adds / cleave type fights, or fights with gimmicky type things which we can exploit - Omnitron is a great fight for Fire due to abusing Spellsteal, combined with the power generator puddles and the ability to AoE the slime adds. Magmaw and Maloriak and Halfus are all great for Fire due to hilarious amounts of AoE combined with massive damage buffs.
I would like to see Fire's reliance on crit changed abit, as it is currently extremely frustrating to do the DPS your gear says you should be able to as a fire mage, with the variance between fights being huge - A fire Mage could be as high as 22k dps on fights, but equally they could be as low as 12k if they got rubbish luck with crits. Our dps seems to be in an OK place if you get decent RNG, and if Blizzard could tweak Fire abit to maybe make it less reliant on crit it may well end up in a very good place indeed.
Now they just need to do something with the train wreck that is Arcane
Post regarding ideas for ingite munching - basically it only proccing from direct damage and not dots.
This is one for a major content patch as the potential to increase and decrease fire mage DPS is fairly huge. It will need some tuning. As Bashiok stated if it turns out to be too far either way then fire DPS will be brought in line elsewhere. I suspect it may well end up being tuned by tweaking the damage on the other dots that fire has if it needs tweaking.
I know where you are coming from and you are right of course, I know that fire is the best spec right now for raid dps. I read the article as well and was like "can this be true?" I feel like he led this die hard Arcane mage down the garden path somewhat.
I've been using Arcane for so long now I'm loathe to give it up, this guy is obviously like me "loves' Arcane and knows he should give it up but just can't seem to. Kinda like when my wife wants me to give up playing WoW, I know I probably should but just can't....!
Time to respec and feel the "love" for fire me thinks !
I was in the same position as you are Varna.
Wrath had made me an arcane mage. I messed about a little with fire when I had the high-end gear for it, but kept falling back to arcane.
In Cata, this all changed. There is so much movement in raids now, that arcane suffers horribly. I had to sit down and learn fire and it took a few weeks before I was comfortable with it. A few more weeks before it was fun.
I still love arcane for it's machine gun spec - though that is not the same any more that arcane missiles is only used to reset the arcane blast stack.
It will take you some time to get the rotation down pat, like any spec. But you will get there :)
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