Friday, February 9, 2007

Status: Frost Mage Tailor in a Burning World

There are a few things that seem readily apparent to me regarding what is accessible to a character such as I at this point in the expansion. They are things I realized very quickly and as such, things I plan to address in the coming weeks.

First off: I went back to tailoring. This was for the same reason I went with tailoring in the first place when Ambril was born. There are readily accessible epic items that a mage tailor can make for herself (and only herself) that are too good to pass up. In WOW Basic, it was the Robe of the Archmage. In The Burning Crusade it is the Wrath of Spellfire set, obtained via the Spellfire tailoring specialty. While these items are things that are ultimately outgrown, they provide a wonderful initial footing for entry into the epic content where a person needs to go to obtain better. Beyond that, tailoring remains as it always was… an ultimately unfulfilling profession to hang on to after those items are crafted. So like last time, once I craft my items, I will again abandon tailoring in favor of alchemy ~ a profession with endlessly profound benefits to the individual who raids.

Status as a frost-specced mage: While I've enjoyed identifying as a frost mage for so long, and generally enjoy my spec, times change. The preliminary level 60 End Game was rife with the flames of fiery monsters who die just fine from frost spells. I see no indication that this lopsided elemental leaning is going to continue into level 70 End Game however. That's cool. I think we're all tired of fighting legions of fire monsters anyway. And while I represented well for myself in terms of my damage output as a frost spec, the simple fact is that fire specs *do* have slightly better overall damage potential and I'm not in denial over that.

The early Burning Crusade mage loot is simply… better for fire-specced mages, that's the thing. The set bonuses for the mage Dungeon Set 3 are pretty apparently tailored for fire mages:

# 2: Reduces the cast time of your Flamestrike ability by 0.2 seconds.
# 4: When you are hit while Mana Shield is active, you have a chance to gain up to 100 spell damage for 15 seconds.

Okay, so Flamestrike is still a joke, set bonus or not. And a frost mage can still utilize Mana Shield. But why would they?? Ice Barrier is an infinitely better shield. Now to be honest, I don't foresee myself running around in a full set of D3 ever, so it's mostly just a point I'm making here.

The other point is something I alluded to earlier in this post… Two of the three tailoring specializations offer craftable DPS caster sets. Frozen Shadoweave (or whatever it is called) offers bonuses to Shadow and Frost damage, making it ideal for warlocks, frost mages and shadow priests. I mean, only half ideal for them. No class uses both shadow and frost spells. The Spellfire set on the other hand, offers similar dual bonuses to Arcane and Fire damage ~ both mage schools of magic. So it's a no-brainer. You get better mileage and a wider array to your offensive arsenal out of being an arcane/fire specced-mage wearing Spellfire than you do from… well, anything else. So while being a frost-specced mage is ultimately fine… some of the early gear tells another story. If you are a frost-specced mage, you are the "Off" spec. The Burning Crusade is for fire mages. Or at least the initial impression would seem to state as much.

No comments: