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Siniwelho

Arcane PvE in 5.2

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Everyone knows that Arcane was no good in 5.0. That's why it was buffed in 5.1 and when they nerfed Fire at the same time Arcane became THE raiding spec. The buffs implementent in 5.1 were:

- Arcane Charge damage increase from 23% to 25% per stack (23->25 = +8.7%)

- Arcane Charge mana cost decrease from 125% to 75% per stack (125->75 = -40%)

The damage increase didn't play any major role. It helped but the mana cost decrease made it possible to stay at six stacks during the whole fight. And that generates a lot of dps - if you can stand still.

So far I have seen three proposed changes for patch 5.2 that affect Arcane as it is played now:

1) Scorch's mana cost increased from 300 to 10,500 (+3400%).

Basically this means that you don't gain mana any more when casting Scorch.

2) Arcane Blast's mana cost increased from 4,500 to 5,000 (+11.1%). The new numbers are (current values in parenthesis):

0 stacks 5,000 (4,500)

1 stacks 8,750 (7,875)

2 stacks 12,500 (11,250)

3 stacks 16,250 (14,625)

4 stacks 20,000 (18,000)

5 stacks 23,750 (21,375)

6 stacks 27,500 (24,750)

3) Rune of Power's mana regeneration decreased from +100% to +75% (-25%).*

In a 600 second fight you will regenerate 450k less mana (assuming that you never reach 100% mana and always stand on a Rune of Power). If Arcane Blast takes 1.85 seconds to cast then we will see these numbers when casting 6 Arcane Blasts in a row in 11 seconds:

5.0: 6 Arcane Blasts 111,375 mana - regeneration 66,000 = 1.69 mana/regen

5.1: 6 Arcane Blasts 77,625 mana - regeneration 66,000 = 1.18 mana/regen

5.2: 6 Arcane Blasts 86,250 mana - regeneration 57,750 = 1.5 mana/regen

My conclusion is that Arcane is in a danger of being kicked back to 5.0. The 5%-6% dps buff from Arcane Charges is not enough to keep Arcane a viable raiding spec. Something else is needed, but what?

* For some reason this was not documented in the PTR notes. It was datamined:

http://ptr.wowdb.com...1-rune-of-power

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well so far i heared it about the RoP but there was a big chance it'll be the same as it is now so yust hope on that

Uh, can you elaborate because I have problems understanding what you mean. Does "there was a big chance it'll be the same as it is now" mean that there was a chance, but you have checked PTR and Rune of Power has only +75% regeneration there?

I see Rune of Power the biggest issue here even if the changes to Invocation are somewhat interesting. But the fact that Invocation reduces passive mana regeneration by 50% (when the dps buff is on) makes it less useful for Arcane mages. With Rune of Power you can stay at six stacks even without Scorch - at least in 5.1 - as this log shows:

http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/rt-rwwaxapertx4efgw/sum/damageDone/?s=4055&e=4454

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Nice collection of information. I don't think everything is as doom and gloom as it seems though. As far as I can tell the intent of the changes in 5.2 are to bring all 3 specs in line with another (although I don't see fire being competitive at all until much higher gear levels). The changes certainly will bring our dps down, but to remain competitive I think we need to start testing new talent/rotation combinations. A couple I've been throwing around in my head to test are:

1. Rune of Power talent - AB to 4 or 5* stacks, bomb (if < 2 AM procs), spend AM procs, bomb if not used earlier and spend possible AM proc, ABar

I feel like this was their "intended" rotation. With the 2 extra stacks on arcane power vs the old 4 stack from arcane blast it seems like it was an intended bonus to get 6 stacks on your arcane barrage, not something you should be able to do every time. Going to only 4 stacks with arcane blast should leave you with a mana surplus, so alternating between 4 and 5 will keep you at a decently high amount of mana.

2. Invocation talent - Evocate, spam AB and spend AM procs as they come, bomb when cooldown or DoT has expired, once around 35 - 40% mana evocate and repeat

This would be like a permanent burn cycle (think back in ICC days) just over and over burning... I hope this doesn't work out to be good or we will be back to 2 button mages. You could keep 6 stacks up permanently this way, but I'm not sure how much it would hurt damage to dip on mana so far so often and casting evocate constantly. I doubt haste based mana regen would change how effective this would be since it seems to scale in a linear fashion (more mana regen but more spells cast = around the same mana lost per second)

I realize neither of these are original ideas, but I just wanted to bring them up for discussion. I do plan to put some PTR time in tonight to test them out. I'll report back with my findings.

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1. Rune of Power talent - AB to 4 or 5* stacks, bomb (if < 2 AM procs), spend AM procs, bomb if not used earlier and spend possible AM proc, ABar

I feel like this was their "intended" rotation.

Yes, I think you are right. That's how they planned it because it was pretty much the only way in 5.0. The problem was/is that because of the amount of hardcasting it only works in a Patchwerk style fight. Arcane wasn't exactly a success in 5.0

http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall_DPS/10N/all/14/90/default/

2. Invocation talent - Evocate, spam AB and spend AM procs as they come, bomb when cooldown or DoT has expired, once around 35 - 40% mana evocate and repeat.

At the moment this seems to be the way Arcane is played in 5.2. Because Evocation has no cooldown and a 50% shorter channeling time it might be possible to cast mini-Evo's (cancel the channel after first or second tick) to get more mana and only do the full Evocation when the dps buff ends.

But I don't see Invocation staying like that. With the glyph you have a 2.5 second spell that heals you 40%. That's a lot of healing in PvP.

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But I don't see Invocation staying like that. With the glyph you have a 2.5 second spell that heals you 40%.

Yes, they dropped it to 20%.

Glyph of Evocation now causes you to gain 20% of your health upon completing an Evocation when you have the Invocation talent, down from 40%.

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Invocation burn does seem to be the only viable option for 5.2 at this point. Testing on ptr for me showed a very small dps loss switching to the new invocation over current rune of power. I actually started doing 5 minute runs on live servers with a few different rotations/talents, but I got lazy and figured comparing the best 2 was really all it was worth. My Ilvl has gone up a bit since I ran the tests so If you look my profile up the numbers won't sim out correctly.

Fight times - 5 minutes (used timer macro to start/stop fight)

Testing ilvl - 485

Gem priority - 2 haste > 1 int, Yellow/non-colored=320 haste, Red=80int/160haste, Blue=160haste/160hit

Reforge priority - haste > mastery > crit, reforge to hit cap from crit and reforge any mastery pieces remaining to haste

Self buffed - AI, alchemist flask (320 int), and frost armor(7% haste/3000 haste rating)

~23000 spellpower (much more on average with procs)

~30.5% haste

~29% mastery

dont remember crit, low obviously

Rotation/priority

Live - rune of power, 6 stack camp with scorch weaving, every 3 minutes with full mana and trinket procs use cooldown burst rotation ( mirror image, arcane power, alter time, AM > AM > AB > ABarr > AM > Bomb > AM) and then resume weave

PTR 5.2 - Invocate, frost bomb on cooldown, spam AB, cast AM if mana > 70%, cast AM once if 2 stacks and mana is 50-69%, spam AB until 30% mana (fish for AM charge using frostbomb and scorch if < 2 AM - only if you're going to use the above cooldown burst), refresh frost bomb if available, invocate and repeat

On my tests I only use mirror image, arcane power(glyphed), alter time cooldowns (no time warp) to more fairly compare to other class output self buffed on dummy.

Outcome:

Live average - 76k DPS

PTR 5.2 - 74k DPS

The priority I listed for my 5.2 test seems to be the best I could come up with. I'm guessing this will vary slightly based on your haste value and latency, but that was the best dps I could milk consistently. I'm actually surprised and pleased to find that the invocation and AB spamming is not as mindless as I thought. Deciding when to use your AM procs makes a very large difference in your dps. Using scorch and bombs effectively to fish for that 2 stack and use cooldowns in conjunction with trinket/weapon enchant procs also accounts for a large possible swing. I think this will be more fun than scorch weaving actually. If you had 2 on use trinkets with a cooldown that matches up with the other 3 minute timers this would unfortunately become very easy to execute with a cooldown macro and spamming things.

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Outcome:

Live average - 76k DPS

PTR 5.2 - 74k DPS

Thanks for sharing this. I tried PTR soon after it was released, but the performance of that PTR build was not satisfying. Haven't tried again yet.

You used a Haste configuration, maybe I should test with my Int/Mastery configuration in order to see if there are any major differences in the results.

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Keep in mind that those figures are without movement as well. I would think that in most cases Rune of Power will suffer much more from movement in fights so the 5.2 rotation might actually end up slightly better for DPS in a real raid setting.

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Keep in mind that those figures are without movement as well. I would think that in most cases Rune of Power will suffer much more from movement in fights so the 5.2 rotation might actually end up slightly better for DPS in a real raid setting.

Well, that depends on how much you have to move. If you have to move a lot then Arcane is poor whatever you do. In a single target fight Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles do about 75%-80% of my dps. Both spells require stand-still hardcasting. Compare that for example to Hunters or Warlocks. Arcane is easily the least mobile spec.

But the main reason for Rune of Power being bad in 5.2 is not the mobility. In 5.2 spells cost more mana and the regeneration rate is lower. This forces you to break the stacks much sooner because you can't Evocate to full mana. When you select Rune of Power talent you will lose Evocation spell. So if you drop to 50% mana it will be almost impossible to get back up without losing a major part of your dps.

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It seems that the devs were not happy with the results of the changes in PTR. So Arcane is now heading back to 4 stacks.

- For Arcane, we are going to try going down to 4 stacks (down from 6) that increase damage by 50% (up from 25%) and mana cost by 150% (up from 75%). Our goal for Arcane, which hasn't changed in some time, is for the spec to focus on mana management with the ability to go up to high DPS for a high mana cost when needed. We don't want Arcane to sit at max stacks all the time. As a player who is focused on maximizing DPS, you're going to want to maximize stacks, but it's not always going to be easy to do - that's the challenge of mastering the spec. The reason we lowered the stack size is we felt that having to build up to 6 made dropping stacks feel too punitive.

- Also for Arcane, Scorch deals 40% less damage for Arcane only, but its damage and mana are now increased by Arcane Charges. We agreed that previous iterations were too punitive for Fire and Frost. For Arcane, using Scorch as part of the base rotation won't be as powerful as it is today on live (which we feel violates the stack management I mentioned above), but it will increase with stacks.

http://us.battle.net...3740975?page=45

Edited by Siniwelho

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There has been a lot changes in PTR:

- Arcane Charge stacks from 6 to 4

- Scorch is no longer a talent so Arcane mages cannot select it

- Invocation decreases passive mana regeneration to 0% - and then they increased it back to 50% of the normal rate

- Evocation generates 10% mana per tick for Arcane, but is affected by Arcane Charges (25% per charge and consumes all charges)

At this point I find it hard to believe that Arcane will be balanced when 5.2 comes out. It looks like they are testing different ideas until they run out of ideas or the release of patch 5.2 will force them to freeze the configuration. I expect the latter.

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Unfortunately I'm feeling the same about it. It seems like 5.2 is coming quickly and blizzard still has no idea what they want for the spec other than to squash how it is currently played. I personally don't like how rune of power is the best talent right now and would have loved to see invocation (with shorter cast time) take over, but with the last set of changes it's back to being almost unusable (without significant dps loss).

Invocation before the proposed stacking idea for mana return was quite fun and usable. Yes it promoted charging mana up constantly for only a few ticks, but it didn't REQUIRE you to rebuild your stacks. Blizzard is candy coating it. With the new proposed change it will be almost impossible to get 2 AM procs usable at 100% mana with full stacks. You also will never be able to use arcane barrage, so we might as well just take that spell out of the book.

Rune of power still has the same absolutely stupid punishment for any movement whatsoever and has been nerfed. Scorch has been removed, but that wasn't enough.

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They have announced a new change to PTR:

The damage increase of Arcane Charges is reduced from +50% per charge to +35% per charge and mana cost is reduced from +150% per charge to +100% per charge.

The interesting thing is that this change was announced while the previous changes (Invocation's effect on passive mana regeneration and Evocation consuming charges) are not yet implemented into PTR.

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Today's changes are:

  • Invocation causes you to passively regenerate 50% less mana for 60 sec after completing an Evocation, down from 100% less.
  • Arcane Barrage damage is increased by 40% per Arcane Charge, down from 50%.
  • Arcane Blast damage is increased by 40% per Arcane Charge, down from 50%. Base damage increased 33%. SP scaling decreased by 11%. Mana cost is increased by 120% per Arcane Charge, down from 150%.
  • Arcane Charge is now also consumed by Evocation. Evocation's mana generation is increased by 25% per charge.
  • Arcane Missiles base damage reduced by 30% and SP scaling reduced by 10%. Damage is increased by 40% per Arcane Charge, down from 50%.

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And the story goes on. I give up.

We continue to tweak Arcane numbers, so if you're trying to theorycraft Arcane, you may want to hold on for a bit longer. At the moment, we have restored Arcane Charges back to +50% damage and +150% mana cost but reduced the damage of Arcane Blast (-22.2%), Arcane Missiles (-22.2%) and Arcane Barrage (-13.6%).

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My conclusion is that Arcane is in a danger of being kicked back to 5.0.

Unfortunately it seems that Arcane is again in the same situation where it was in 5.0. In 5.2 Arcane is just a daily/LFR spec. Some top end players abandoned Mage class and the rest switched to Fire and Frost.

Percentage of Arcane mages on the first 7 bosses in Throne of Thunder 10N (These numbers are from Raidbots and I know that they are not 100% accurate because not all raids are logged to World of Logs. If you have more accurate figures please share them.):

1.51% - Jin'rokh the Breaker

0.86% - Horridon

0.64% - Council of Elders

0.60% - Tortos

0.61% - Megaera

0.46% - Ji-Kun

0.47% - Durumu the Forgotten

It looks like players are gradually realizing that immobile Arcane doesn't do well in ToT.

I believe that we won't see any changes to Arcane in 5.2. Blizzard already buffed mage bombs and Arcane has been hard to balance so they probably keep it like it is.

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