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undecided11

Whomever wrote this spec page needs work

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Whomever has written the frost mage section should get fired. First off, glacial spike yes can hit for nice damage but without trinks or procs, its barely good. Getting mastery to a decent level is a nightmare period. Lonely Winter is better for starters. With the crit/haste ratio it is better than having a pet that roams like its lost period. 2nd, thermal void is still a great spell all around. also getting to 33% crit and 25% for a standard frost mage, is no walk in the ocean. They need to get new writers and stop with the same old boring so called know it alls that need to relearn the game,

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Problem with guides is they exist in the vacuum they were wrote in - which is why most guides include directions to sim yourself across all options.

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On 5/16/2020 at 3:33 AM, undecided11 said:

Whomever has written the frost mage section should get fired. First off, glacial spike yes can hit for nice damage but without trinks or procs, its barely good. Getting mastery to a decent level is a nightmare period. Lonely Winter is better for starters. With the crit/haste ratio it is better than having a pet that roams like its lost period. 2nd, thermal void is still a great spell all around. also getting to 33% crit and 25% for a standard frost mage, is no walk in the ocean. They need to get new writers and stop with the same old boring so called know it alls that need to relearn the game,

Glacial Spike was the talent of choice even at the beginning of the expansion, prior to Flash Freeze existing, or stacking Mastery at all. Seems perfectly usable without gear to me. It's only gotten buffed since then.

Lonely Winter is better for non-Glacial Spike variants due to those having the majority of their damage centered around Ice Lance. It does sweet *filtered* all for Glacial Spike, whereas Bone Chilling increases both the Icicle contribution and base damage of the spell, in addition to being better on AoE in general due to Orb/Blizzard increases.

I'm unsure what Crit/Haste ratio you're talking about. The pet doesn't roam, it sits where it first comes into combat until it is out of range. The only times it might be weird is when you need to do a terrain skip, which dismissing your pet isn't unique to Frost.

Thermal Void is fine, but sub-optimal. The fact that it is easier to play, which isn't exactly a high bar given noIL exists, is why it got listed under the "Easy" section.

I have no idea where you're pulling these numbers from. Clearly 33% Crit is talking about the Shatter cap, but no where in the guide is that listed as a mandatory thing to get, just a note about why it will fall off at some point. Most people playing Frost right now are stacking Mastery to the exclusion of all else, and I personally haven't had higher than about 27% Crit the entire expansion.

 

Could I have explained absolutely every possible variant of Frost? Sure. Would it be confusing and essentially necessitate 3-5 entire guides? Yes. The fact is, people come looking for guides on how to play, usually as a starting point. Generally you should aim them towards the best playstyle, and that so happens to be Glacial Spike this expansion. The fact that I have left the Orb build notes up at all is probably a mistake, but it seems every week or so I get a DM about it, so it stays for now. The guide is up to date with the current theory behind the spec and optimal way to play.

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Guide writers on this site have done a little better this expansion highlighting alternative builds, but the mythic raid meta still dominates all guides across the internet.

It's a dirty secret, but unless you're doing cutting edge content (Mythic raiding or pushing 15+ keys), you can just pick whatever talents help YOU play best. Are some builds theoretically better? Yes. Are you able to play a different build (that may even sim lower) at a higher skill level and thus produce better results? Maybe.

I tend to find through that self-awareness and common sense (and the occasional sim for verification) can lead to personally optimal results. I struggled with the meta for Arcane Mage, but once I focused on buffing my Arcane Missiles through 3x Arcane Pummeling trait and the Amplification, Slipstream, and Time Anomaly talents, I was not only able to sim competitively with the meta (after some gear/stat adjustments) but was able to practically produce much better results in actual combat scenarios (especially considering the talent build allowed me to do nearly 40% of my damage on the move). 

Could guides be more universally helpful to all players? Sure, but in fairness, most guides are prefaced by saying they are for players looking to advance to the next level. If you're looking for more "everyday" advice on builds and traits, the Easy Mode sections of Icy Veins guides do a really good job of highlighting the spec for 90% of the player base and offer much more relaxed logic on choices you can make.

Play what's fun and sim yourself. Guides are for reference, they aren't the law.

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On 6/14/2020 at 6:10 AM, durdyenglish said:

Guide writers on this site have done a little better this expansion highlighting alternative builds, but the mythic raid meta still dominates all guides across the internet.

It's a dirty secret, but unless you're doing cutting edge content (Mythic raiding or pushing 15+ keys), you can just pick whatever talents help YOU play best. Are some builds theoretically better? Yes. Are you able to play a different build (that may even sim lower) at a higher skill level and thus produce better results? Maybe.

[...]

Play what's fun and sim yourself. Guides are for reference, they aren't the law.

Pretty much agreed, but...

The issue of course comes in where you're looking at the general guide scenario: people come to you and ask how to play. What do you tell them? Do you info dump on them the entirety of what could be? We've got basic Frost (with and without GS), Icicles, that dumb Flurry set, Frozen Orb, no-Ice Lance, Rune of Power variants which have proc dependencies, and then all potential viable options like Ray-Frozen Orb over TV-Frozen Orb. That's a lot of superfluous information for someone asking "how do I play my spec?" that they really don't need. What about gear crossover points? Like in general at level 92 neck you should swap to Worldvein from Lucid, but that's not a solid point and it depends greatly on gear. My own crossover point was around 86.

By and large you will perform best when you're playing talents that mesh well with your skill/physical ability level, but as the author, I can't in good faith tell someone who has come to me for help in getting better and saying "yeah hey play these talents, nothing matters, it's a game". The mythic raid meta is the meta because it is the best, when compared to others played at roughly the same skill level. So as the author, I'm going to point people towards that as a general answer, as it is the technically correct answer. No Ice Lance is how you play Frost currently, and to not play it is purposely hurting your output. As someone who comes to a site in order to learn, you should expect the correct/highest output answer. Do other talents work? Sure, sim your character and find out, but they probably don't pan out the higher you go.

 

I view Icy Veins as a place to get your bearings. It's a place to start so you don't stumble into a class Discord asking dumb questions. But, for Mages in BfA at least, it's absolutely wild for the OP to claim that the guides are wrong when we're two of the people writing the sims and working on the theory that everyone else uses. If the guide is wrong, then the simulation is also wrong, and you have no tool to prove anything to anyone.

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1 hour ago, Kuni said:

Pretty much agreed, but...

The issue of course comes in where you're looking at the general guide scenario: people come to you and ask how to play. What do you tell them? Do you info dump on them the entirety of what could be? We've got basic Frost (with and without GS), Icicles, that dumb Flurry set, Frozen Orb, no-Ice Lance, Rune of Power variants which have proc dependencies, and then all potential viable options like Ray-Frozen Orb over TV-Frozen Orb. That's a lot of superfluous information for someone asking "how do I play my spec?" that they really don't need. What about gear crossover points? Like in general at level 92 neck you should swap to Worldvein from Lucid, but that's not a solid point and it depends greatly on gear. My own crossover point was around 86.

By and large you will perform best when you're playing talents that mesh well with your skill/physical ability level, but as the author, I can't in good faith tell someone who has come to me for help in getting better and saying "yeah hey play these talents, nothing matters, it's a game". The mythic raid meta is the meta because it is the best, when compared to others played at roughly the same skill level. So as the author, I'm going to point people towards that as a general answer, as it is the technically correct answer. No Ice Lance is how you play Frost currently, and to not play it is purposely hurting your output. As someone who comes to a site in order to learn, you should expect the correct/highest output answer. Do other talents work? Sure, sim your character and find out, but they probably don't pan out the higher you go.

 

I view Icy Veins as a place to get your bearings. It's a place to start so you don't stumble into a class Discord asking dumb questions. But, for Mages in BfA at least, it's absolutely wild for the OP to claim that the guides are wrong when we're two of the people writing the sims and working on the theory that everyone else uses. If the guide is wrong, then the simulation is also wrong, and you have no tool to prove anything to anyone.

I'd like to create a beginners guide to specs which talks about talents and abilities in terms of "pick this if you struggle against" or "use this during times when you find yourself". I know some of the language in the guides is like that, but having a player guide that discussed situations and synergies and cut out the raw throughput stuff would be helpful to A LOT of players, especially new ones (whom which I think most guides are woefully inept at helping). I think the easy mode guides are a step in the right direction, but even then there's an intention that you will move over to the meta once capable.

Edited by durdyenglish
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On 6/20/2020 at 9:03 AM, durdyenglish said:

I'd like to create a beginners guide to specs which talks about talents and abilities in terms of "pick this if you struggle against" or "use this during times when you find yourself". I know some of the language in the guides is like that, but having a player guide that discussed situations and synergies and cut out the raw throughput stuff would be helpful to A LOT of players, especially new ones (whom which I think most guides are woefully inept at helping). I think the easy mode guides are a step in the right direction, but even then there's an intention that you will move over to the meta once capable.

If I had one complaint about guides in general, it is that there is a gap between freshly leveled and, in this example, mythic. I've been at this long enough to be able to rely on basics to guide me, But for those new to the game, the levelling guide is great, but then when they hit max they are "presented" with the mythic guide. IV does a better job at it than most, and IV-WoW does a better job at it the IV-D3 does.


@Kuni this is certainly not a knock on you two, I know from personal experience how rough of a task you've taken on here. I do think there is fertile ground between "leveling" and "meta", maybe in the current format a "page" in the existing guide with guidance for each major step of the way. Thinking aloud here, something along the line of "recommendations for/how to get into heroics" might be a reasonable waypoint between the two; and maybe one for getting into Mythic+0 (intro to the somewhat different style they currently are and what kind of things to look for to know you're ready enough in general), maybe.

Edit: of course an idea hits me seconds after hitting submit.

 

A good middle may be to look at the essences and consider what it takes to get them. For example, for a fresh-ish 120, or even one doing heroics and WQs, there are essences they simply do not have access to. So perhaps breaking the essences page into categories based on "normal/heroic", "mythic", and "raids (by patch even perhaps) where each section only compares the essences you could get would be more helpful for the middle ground. It would probably help the new player experience too as perhaps they wouldn't get so disheartened by seeing the "here are the top 4" and they don't have access to them and get frustrated. Focusing Iris, for example, needs Mythic+ so it isn't available to someone working on getting there.

 

Anyway, just a thought. 

Edited by TheRealBill
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I appreciate the actionable feedback, both of you. I'll see if I can work out a method to include that style of page going forward.

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