Tarazet

Fire with low ilvl - perfectly viable

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My Mage's gear is just 480 equipped, with a lowly 471 wand from Scholomance. I had been playing Arcane, since most of the gear had Hit and Mastery on it. But the tasty 489 on-use Crit trinket from the Shado-Pan was too cheap to pass up, and I got the T14 2-piece bonus, so I just said screw the numbers - let's have some fun. Went for broke and regemmed/reforged everything for Fire determined to do it right and get some big crits.

Because I was still learning the rotation, I took Invoker's Ward to get some benefit at all times (and the full benefit when I used it ahead of raid damage) rather than no benefit if I didn't use Evocation.

The flight time of Pyroblast was the most difficult thing for me to get used to. Also, I found it's really important to not get too excited and remember to keep up Living Bomb strictly at 100% uptime, and especially to refresh it when I have my Heating Up and Pyroblast! lined up before I do anything crazy so I don't have to interrupt my Ignite-building combo.

I pretty much played it the same way whether Alter Time and Combustion are up or not, and followed Blatty's priority/sequence:

- Above all: Maintain LB and refresh it as it falls off

- Fireball repeatedly until Heating Up procs.

- Queue up Inferno Blast after Fireball for a Pyroblast!

- Continue Fireballing until I crit again.

- Queue up Pyroblast after Fireball.

- Use any remaining Pyroblast! procs before starting over to stack up a high Ignite.

If Alter Time is up, I make sure to refresh Living Bomb before I start the sequence, then replace Pyroblast with the Alter Time macro. Then I use Pyroblast until I use up PoM, hit AT macro again, Pyroblast until I use up PoM again, and hit Combustion while that last Pyroblast is in the air. Normally the Ignite values were around 40-50k at this point but I saw some up to 100k.

Playing this way in a series of different encounters, the performance was remarkably consistent and only varied by 5-10% from attempt to attempt, which seemed to belie the idea that Fire can't do reliable DPS without a mountain of Crit gear. Of course some fights favored it more - on Stone Guard I did 92K sustained, which is more than I did with Arcane - but at no point did I ever feel like I should've just stuck with the other specs, both of which are considered more friendly to Mages with lower gear scores.

The fact that I was able to do this after just a few hours of study understanding the class and a few more hours of practice - that tells me that the supposed issues with Fire having a high skill cap, and being unforgiving, might be a bit overblown. I was still green, and made some mistakes from inexperience. Nonetheless, notwithstanding that I don't have nearly the level of gear people say you need to play Fire, I was still able to perform quite well. It doesn't take long at all to learn how to get very good, consistent results.

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/ghostlands/Haskil/advanced - my terrible undergeared fourth alt!

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Nobody said that fire is hard compared to ie. Fury warriors. But if we compare it to arcane or frost, it's a bit harder. :)

I'm glad that you could do well with the new spec. This tells us that our guides are well-done : D

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Yes, Fury.. the spec that depends on Crit but doesn't get critical strike chance from its main stat. One of the few I haven't seriously tried yet..

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Playing this way in a series of different encounters, the performance was remarkably consistent and only varied by 5-10% from attempt to attempt, which seemed to belie the idea that Fire can't do reliable DPS without a mountain of Crit gear. Of course some fights favored it more - on Stone Guard I did 92K sustained, which is more than I did with Arcane - but at no point did I ever feel like I should've just stuck with the other specs, both of which are considered more friendly to Mages with lower gear scores.

I'm very surprised/confused as to how you stayed around 10% damage each attempt. I know that when I am playing, I will vary a ridiculous amount with ~42% crit. Like last week, my 7.5 million damage single target combustion on Iron Qon on the opener (no lust) definitely soars past any single target combustion I have ever done... ever (by at least a million damage I'd say). The fact that my opener can change from a 50 to a 125k damage per tick combustion based 100% on luck (as long as you do it correctly) causes me to think that it is just amazing that you stayed so close in terms of damage output when comparing your attempts.

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I'm very surprised/confused as to how you stayed around 10% damage each attempt. I know that when I am playing, I will vary a ridiculous amount with ~42% crit. Like last week, my 7.5 million damage single target combustion on Iron Qon on the opener (no lust) definitely soars past any single target combustion I have ever done... ever (by at least a million damage I'd say). The fact that my opener can change from a 50 to a 125k damage per tick combustion based 100% on luck (as long as you do it correctly) causes me to think that it is just amazing that you stayed so close in terms of damage output when comparing your attempts.

Probably it's because getting to a 100k+ combustion is such a rare thing with a low crit chance. I got that high only with the aid of gimmicks, like Jin'rokh's pool or the spirit realm buff on Gara'jal. But as long as you're playing properly with good bomb uptime, T6 talent use, and using the Heating Up trick properly, there's a certain baseline you'll never fall below, and it's still pretty decent damage.

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Have you given frost a try at all Tarazet? I was initially fire and found that frost early on was pulling about 20-25% (which at the time was significant enough to switch) better on every fight. That was a few patches ago so obviously things could have changed some. It would be interesting to compare some similar lower ilvl logs if anyone has the desire to share and post. Posted Image

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Have you given frost a try at all Tarazet? I was initially fire and found that frost early on was pulling about 20-25% (which at the time was significant enough to switch) better on every fight. That was a few patches ago so obviously things could have changed some. It would be interesting to compare some similar lower ilvl logs if anyone has the desire to share and post. Posted Image

I have done some Frost at 90, not with the same gear levels as I have now (T14 4-piece bonus). Frost is absolutely amazing in 5-man dungeons and for soloing, but for raiding, I think they're all pretty similar with equal play. RNG can sometimes make Fire do amazing things, and that "lottery" aspect appeals to some people, but it has good sustained DPS even without luck.

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My mage alt is eager to see how this conversation goes too if others want to share their findings.

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Just to add my two cents: fire underperforms at lower item levels. For me, it was worse than frost when i tried it at ilvl 480, 495 and 505. And, it was boring, because I critted so rarely, and was mostly spamming fireballs. I finally made the switch at around ilvl 515-520, when I could get 11k crit from gear and gems.

I am glad that fire is perfecly viable for you Tarazet, and if anyone else wants to give it a go, I really think you should. But be aware that there are hundreds of posts on different WOW forums with people who have experienced that fire was underperforming at lower ilvls, but I have only been able to find this one post that says otherwise.

Edited by Gambolputty
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I've tried it at ilvl 460, 480 and 491 now with the LFR Wushoolay's. I can find no discernible difference between the three specs on single target fights. I took all the reforges off of my gear and tried all three specs for about 10 minutes, with maybe 90% optimal play, no movement at all, no potion/Time Warp use, and pretty horrible critless streaks with my Fire play.

 

Frost: 70k

Fire: 68k

Arcane: 72k

 

It's such a small difference, at every gear level I've tried, that it comes down to preference. I don't like the water elemental or the theme of Frost, but it's the best spec for solo play by a long shot. I'm very comfortable with Arcane and perform well with it in the "real world", but on heavy movement fights it's annoying to play. Fire will probably be better for me, and most players, in 5.4 when they make it less peaky and bring up its non-Combustion damage to be competitive with the others.

 

My point remains the same: experience the joy and frustration of Fire for yourself. It's fun. biggrin.png

Edited by Tarazet

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 I took all the reforges off of my gear and tried all three specs for about 10 minutes, with maybe 90% optimal play, no movement at all, no potion/Time Warp use, and pretty horrible critless streaks with my Fire play.

 

Frost: 70k

Fire: 68k

Arcane: 72k

 Ummm... that accomplishes absolutely nothing.  Fire's rotation actually changes after about 35-40% crit, that's why it scales so well after that point.  Frost scales stupidly well till 50% haste.  It dominates the lower end.  Arcane is blehh till 4p.

 

Frost unless you can get at least 35% crit.  Fire after that.  Arcane if you are doing a multidot fight or if you are in 540+ with 4piece bonus.

I will not be reiterating this again.

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 Ummm... that accomplishes absolutely nothing.  Fire's rotation actually changes after about 35-40% crit, that's why it scales so well after that point.  Frost scales stupidly well till 50% haste.  It dominates the lower end.  Arcane is blehh till 4p.

 

Frost unless you can get at least 35% crit.  Fire after that.  Arcane if you are doing a multidot fight or if you are in 540+ with 4piece bonus.

I will not be reiterating this again.

 

Why does the rotation change after 35% crit? I'm running with about 30% buffed, I'm using the same rotation Blatty recommends in your guide and it works. T14 4-piece. I'm just not seeing the supremacy of Frost that people keep going on about. Given that I have a lot of gear that's well itemized for Fire, and I'm getting decent results.. why would I do anything else just because you tell me I'm wrong?

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Noone has told you to play anything else than fire. Play the spec you want mate. But you shouldn't tell people that fire is perfectly viable at low item levels. You have looked at a sample group of one (yourself) and make general conclusions from that data. Maybe you're exceptionally skilled at playing fire. Maybe you're exceptionally bad at playing frost. There could be lots of reasons for you to get equal numbers in the different specs. I am not trying to say that your data, the numbers you get, are wrong. I am disagreeing with your conclusion.

 

Again, I am happy that fire works out for you. Enjoy it. Go out and kill them internet dragons with huge balls of burning fire. But if you make a forum post with the title "Fire with low ilvl - perfectly viable", while so many other peoples experiences says otherwise, you should expect people to disagree.

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