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Mage Changes and Explanations in the War Within Alpha: May 29th

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All three Mage specs get some attention in this week's build, with Arcane and Fire getting a lot of tuning changes, and the Spellsinger Hero tree gets tweaked to be more active. 

Blizzard LogoMage (Source)

Hello mages!

We have another round of changes to all three specs showing up in the build today, and wanted to provide some more context for you.

Time Anomaly
In general, we’re happy with the gameplay around Time Anomaly. We feel the randomness it provides can create some fun (and frustrating) moments across pulls that helps to add texture to the Mage experience. An outlier here is for Frost Mage, which across all three specs has the weakest bonuses by a decent margin. We’ve changed Time Anomaly to now grant Brain Freeze instead of Fingers of Frost for Frost Mages to help increase the impact that this talent creates for that spec specifically.

For Mages who want to opt-out of the randomness of Time Anomaly, we are adding a new talent: Inspired Intellect, which will provide a flat increase to your Intellect. We’d like Inspired Intellect’s tuning to hit the expected value of Time Anomaly across a reasonable amount of pulls, and we will make adjustments to get there if necessary. People who enjoy the randomness Time Anomaly provides can expect a higher output compared to Inspired Intellect when things line up just right, but we don’t want that gap to be very large.

Spellslinger
We appreciate the feedback everyone has been providing towards the Mage Hero Talents. We’ve heard the complaints that Spellslinger feels a touch too passive, so we’re redesigning Spellfrost Teachings to better synergize with the “orb” aspect of the Spellslinger fantasy and add some more active gameplay. When Spellslingers get lucky, you’ll be able to see a slew of Orbs firing off, and they’ll hit much harder in those windows.

You’ll also notice substantial adjustments to Arcane’s Splinter damage in this set of changes. A bug was fixed that was preventing Spellslinger Splinters from appropriately triggering procs and benefitting from spell damage bonuses like Arcane Surge and Icy Veins. These changes paired with Arcane’s somewhat recent change to now fire two Arcane Splinters when consuming Nether Precision meant that Arcane’s output was substantially higher than what we consider in-bounds for Hero Talents at this stage. We’re still monitoring Frost’s Splinters, and more changes could be on the horizon as we continue to gather data.

Charring Embers
As mentioned in last week’s update alongside Arcane Battery’s removal for Arcane, we are removing Charring Embers from Fire’s spec tree. We appreciate all the feedback we’ve gotten regarding this talent, and we agree with the community that the removal of this talent helps to better align Fire Mage with our stated goals for these tree updates.With the removal of Charring Embers, Fire is seeing a few replacement talents added and a few talents returning to ensure there is enough choice in Gate 2 specifically.

That’s all for this week! Thank you for your continued feedback.

And here are the actual tuning changes from the development notes:

Blizzard LogoTuning (Source)

  • Time Anomaly has been updated – Now grants Brain Freeze instead of Fingers of Frost for Frost Mages.
  • New Talent: Inspired Intellect – Arcane Intellect grants you an additional 3% Intellect. Choice node with Time Anomaly.
  • Sunfury
    • Gravity Lapse now hits 5 targets (was 3).
  • Spellslinger
    • Fixed an issue that prevented Frost and Arcane Splinters from interacting with damage bonuses and proc effects such as Touch of the Magi.
    • Arcane
      • Spellfrost Teachings has been redesigned – Direct damage from Splinters has a 3% chance to reset the cooldown of Arcane Orb/Frozen Orb and increase all damage dealt by your Arcane Orbs/Frozen Orbs by 50% for 10 seconds.
      • The location of Force of Will and Spellfrost Teachings has swapped.
      • Arcane Splinter damage reduced by 50%.
      • Embedded Arcane Splinter damage reduced by 50%.
      • Controlled Instincts cleave effect no longer damages the primary target.
      • Controlled Instinct Arcane Splinter cleave percentage reduced to 20% (was 30%).
      • Embedded Splinter duration increased to 18 seconds.
        • Developer’s note: Splinters were benefitting from Pandemic dot extensions unintentionally, which was extending their uptime to 20 seconds from the stated 16 seconds. This was creating adverse effects and durations when consuming Embedded Splinters or applying / maintaining the Embedded Splinter DoTs. To compensate for the uptime loss from this bug fix, we’re increasing the base duration of Embedded Splinters to 18 seconds.
  • Arcane
    • Leydrinker proc chance reduced to 10% (was 15%).
    • Arcane Surge is now guaranteed to generate Clearcasting.
      • Developer’s note: Arcane Surge was a reliable source of Clearcasting that Arcane Mages lost with the removal of mana-based Clearcasting procs. We’re making Arcane Surge proc Clearcasting baseline to ensure you’re rolling into your burns with some more Clearcasting availability.
    • Arcane Blast now has a 5% increased chance to generate Clearcasting.
      • Developer’s note: Clearcasting availability has marginally decreased in pure single target scenarios. We’re buffing up Arcane Blast’s chance to proc Clearcasting to compensate.
    • Spark of the Magi has been redesigned – Now makes your next Arcane Blast, Arcane Barrage, and Arcane Missiles echo for 25% extra damage (was increase the damage dealt by these spells).
      • Developer’s note: This updated behavior will allow you to properly benefit from the Spark of the Magi damage bonus on an Arcane Barrage you fired before Touch of the Magi is applied.
    • Mastery: Savant now properly increases the damage dealt by Arcane Surge.
    • Aether Attunement has been redesigned – Every 3 times you consume Clearcasting, you gain Aether Attunement.
    • Aether Attunement primary target damage increase reduced to 100% (was 150%).
    • Aether Attunement secondary target damage increase reduced to 50% (was 100%).
      • Developer’s note: While we’re still committed to maintaining minimal buff-tracking for Arcane, we’re also being sensitive to the desire for Arcane Mages to be able to reliably acquire and hold effects for use in their burst windows and AOE moments-- both of which Aether Attunement excels at. We feel this new design strikes a nice balance that makes the effect easier to track, reliable, and at a higher frequency to help add more moments of excitement for Arcane in AOE.
    • Resonance and Arcing Cleave have swapped locations.
  • Fire
    • New Talent: Charring Embers – Phoenix Flames applies Charring Embers to all enemies it damages, increasing their damage taken from you by 5% for 12 seconds.
    • Charring Embers moved to Gate 2.
    • Charring Embers now increases the damage you deal to affected targets by 4% (was 6%).
    • Charring Embers has been removed.
      • Developer’s note: We’ve been listening to the feedback regarding Charring Embers and the tracking / gameplay behind it and have opted to remove it. We’re interested in preserving the gameplay of the new Phoenix Reborn and From the Ashes, but we feel that they can comfortably exist without Charring Embers.
    • Call of the Sun King no longer grants 15% increased Phoenix Flames damage and instead makes Phoenix Flames always critically strike.
    • Alexstrasza’s Fury no longer makes Phoenix Flames always critically strike.
    • From the Ashes now grants 15% increased Phoenix Flames damage.
    • From the Ashes is now in Gate 3.
    • Surging Blaze has returned to Gate 1.
    • Firestarter’s position has changed.
    • Phoenix Reborn now requires 25 hits (was 20).
    • Wildfire has returned and is now in Gate 2.
    • Ashen Feather is now in Gate 2 on a choice node with Alexstrazsa’s Fury.
    • Inflame is now located in Gate 2.
    • New Talent: Burning Blood – Damage dealt to targets below 30% health is increased by 10%.
      • This talent is not yet implemented.
    • New Talent: Heat Shimmer – Damage from Ignite has a 5% chance to make your next Scorch deal 25% increased damage and deal damage as though your target was below 30% health.
      • This talent is not yet implemented.
    • New Talent: Sparking Cinders – Living Bomb explosions have a 15% chance to increase the damage of your next Flamestrike or Pyroblast.
    • Controlled Destruction increases damage taken from Ignite by 0.5%, stacking up to 50 times (was 1%, stacking up to 25 times).

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