Arcane Mage Re-Design for Shadowlands

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Aela
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:38 am

Arcane Mage Re-Design for Shadowlands

Unread postby Aela Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:57 am

Arcane Mage Redesign

Reason for the post is to throw ideas out left, right and centre and just try and re-invigorate Arcane Mage. I felt in Legion, Arcane had a much more interesting play style and BFA simply made the Arcane Mage for me unbelievably mind-numbing and took a lot away from it's skill cap.

I understand that ideally the class needs to be accessible to a whole range of players. However, I've leaned a lot more heavily into giving the player agency and having the 'viable/best build' be one with a high skill ceiling for this talent re-design.
I would consider this post a success if there was a serious discussion and at giving the Arcane Mage attention to fix its dire state that its been in throughout BFA. I would like wider work done to the class outside of the pathetic band-aid fixes of 8% increased damage to all spells.

Also a reminder that this is my opinion, I understand there may be some that enjoy Arcane Mage. But based off the Arcane Mage I mained all throughout Legion with I just feel like Arcane should be so much more and can be given tools to allow it to compete with Fire/Frost in M+ and not just given band-aid fixes like 8% buff to all of its damage.

TLDR: A whole range of new talents > Just read the short sections: New Changes, Core Basics, New Talent Iteration and New Talent (Detailed Explaination). That should give you a general idea. That way you can skip all the parts I'm explaining why I think this or that should be changed and why I removed/added certain talents.

Whenever I mention 'Damage profile' I'm referring to the different types of damage a DPS player can output such as 'ST', 'AOE' or 'Cleave'.

- A lot of this kit is 'overloaded' and unbalanced. I've tried to avoid numbers all together since it potentially would be so unbalanced it would detract from the reason for this post. However, if there are numbers they are either the numbers the 'original ability/talent' used or are a very rough indication of what the strength of a talent should be.
- I've added some previously removed abilities from Mage (such as Prismatic Crystal) since I thought it would be a good way to help it's damage profile (Give Arcane alternatives to ST to help it in M+)
- I've also want Arcane Mage to have the 'best available cooldown in the game' in it's *Fury of the Cosmos/Aluneth's Fury* (Didn't know which name to go for) It's a 10m CD. I don't like how Combustion is arguably the best CD in the game and they can move freely during its destruction and doesn't sacrifice anything for that strong of a CD.
- So I focused on essentially making a talent that is so absurd and nuts that it has huge drawbacks of channeling for 5s before being rooted in place for 10s, unable to move in any shape or form and completing draining you of your mana and putting you in an exhausted state after the ability. I took inspiration from such all in talents like old Surrender to Madness etc. Which gives the player to wield incredible power for a big cost.
- I'm also aware while some talents will have synergy and fit the same damage profile such as 'Cleave', 'AOE', or 'ST'. Other will make no sense, such as 'Arcane Disarray' and 'Explosive Echo'. Hence you wouldn't want to opt into Explosive Echo if you are just going to use your [Clearcasting] stacks to split your [Arcane Missiles] damage between a few targets.
- There are some simple talents retained even for those LFR Raiders such as: Incanter's Flow, Overpowered for those who aren't focusing on maximising there damage and just surviving and doing mechanics.

***Also keep in mind this talent iteration may be extremely 'PVP Tone Deaf' because I don't PVP outside of hitting my cap and prefer just to raid/M+***

Any and all feedback is appreciated.

Also a reminder that this is my opinion, I understand there may be some that enjoy Arcane Mage. But based off the Arcane Mage I mained all throughout Legion with I just feel like Arcane should be so much more and can be given tools to allow it to compete with Fire/Frost in M+ and not just given band-aid fixes like 8% buff to all of its damage.

Intended Changes for Arcane Mage:
- Increase the Skill Cap on the specialization dramatically, I want Arcane Mage to be the class that players are rewarded for playing well and getting the most out of the specialization. Separate players in a different way (Other than just gear). This can be achieved through the TR15, TR45, TR90, TR100

- Give players the ability to have Arcane Charges closely tied to how much damage or effect they get out any single ability. I feel like Arcane Charges should alter how strong an Arcane Mage should be at any given time.
- Make Arcane Mage truly feel like it's wielding powerful arcane magic. In the lore, arcane magic is unbelievably powerful and interesting and the current specialization is so far from the current iteration of Arcane Mage it is not funny.
- Give Arcane Mage an alternative way to deal damage (Not just single target. So it can compete with the other mage specializations in M+). However, it's ST damage should be reduced when you opt for a more AOE/Cleave build.
- Give Arcane Mage more tools to catch up to the other specializations in M+ (Fire has Cauterize, Dragon's Breath and Frost has 2x Ice Blocks and perma slows) so I just wanted to throw some random ideas in and see what would happen.
- I also think talents are a terrific way to change your damage profile on the fly (Use tomes in a raid to change from ST to AOE) and shouldn't be tied into AZERITE TRAITS like Explosive Echo, Equipoise, Galvanzing Spark. That are difficult and costly to change and impossibly difficult to farm multiple high ilvl pieces for. I understand this issue is more BFA specific that it is with the class.
- Overall quality of life improvements.

New Changes:
- Arcane Orb is now a baseline ability.
- [Arcane Missiles] can no longer be casted without a stack of [Clearcasting]. [Arcane Missiles] costs 0 mana.
- [Clearcasting] has been changed to stack 3 times. (Note: [Clearcasting] has been changed back to 3 stacks like it was in Legion. Not sure if how the charges are current acquired is balanced if the effect can stack 3 times.)
- [Arcane Explosion] no longer uses a stack of [Clearcasting] unless you have the *Explosive Echo* Talent

Core Basics: (Since theres a lot of changes, just want to make sure we are on the same page)
- [Arcane Blast] and [Arcane Explosion] generate an Arcane Charge.
- [Arcane Blast] damage is amplified by how many Arcane charges you have.
- [Arcane Missiles] can only be cast if you have a stack of [Clearcasting]. This damage can be amplified based off your current Arcane Charges if you have the talent *Amplification*.
- [Arcane Barrage] dumps all your Arcane Charges
- [Arcane Explosion] damage is not amplified by how many Arcane charges you have.


Key for Talent Changes:
[A] = Active
[P] = Passive
[R] = Replaces (Current replacements are Blink > Shimmer and Spellsteal > Improved Spellsteal)
(x) = Unsure what the numbers should be - It's just a variable.
[Spell] = Current Arcane Mage spell (EG: [Arcane Missiles])
*Talent* = New Talent
(TR15 - 1) = Talent Row - Level 15 - 1st Talent.
~ = Not sure if this extra bit needs to be included with the talent.

New Talent Iteration:
(15) *Amplification* [P] / *Arcane Disarry* [P] / *Words of Power* [P]
(30) *Improved Spellsteal* [P-R] / Shimmer [A-R] / Slipstream [P]
(45) Incanter's Flow [P] / *Prismatic Crystal* [A] / Rune of Power [A]
(60) Resonance [P] / Charged Up [A] / *Arcane Expenditure* [P]
(75) Chrono-Shift [P] / *Arcane Mastery* [P] / Ring of Frost [A]
(90) *Arcane Resurgence* [P] / *Explosive Echo* [P] / *Rule of Threes* [P]
(100) Overpowered [P] / *Equipoise* [P] / *Fury of the Cosmos/Aluneth's Fury* [A]

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The reason behind why I changed, moved or removed a talent:
(TR15 - 1) Amplification > Changed (Reason: Wanted to add depth to the specialization so I changed this talent to increase the damage your [Arcane Missiles] deals based off how many Arcane Charges you have.
(TR15 - 3) Arcane Famailiar > Removed (Reason: Boring and uninteractive)
(TR30 - 1) Mana Shield > Removed (Reason: Bad Talent that didn't fit on that talent row. Interesting idea but not viable)
(TR45 - 2) Mirror Image > Removed (Reason: I wanted to change this talent row to allow the player to talent into different damage profiles (ST/AOE). Although thematically cool, it hasn't been viable for a long time and is very disapponting to what it could be.)
(TR45 - 3) Rune of Power > Changed (Reason: Just wanted to change this to only effect ST damage so it isn't the default stand out option and so you don't go Rune of Power for AOE/Cleave moments. (EG: Rune of Power into spamming Arcane Explosion)
(TR60 - 3) Supernova > Removed (Reason: Didn't feel like it did anything, either the numbers are too low or the knockup is irrelevant. I also saw this as an opportunity to add a new talent to that row.)
(TR75 - 2) Ice Ward > Removed (Reason: Talent made me sick to my stomach, just a complete waste of a talent slot that shouldn't even exist and isn't even on the same level as Chrono-Shift or Ring of Frost)
(TR90 - 1) Reverberate > Removed (Reason: Not particularly interesting and didn't feel like it was a smooth at all having to instantly react and stop spamming [Arcane Explosion] if you just so happened to 'roll an extra arcane charge' and use [Arcane Barrage] to dump your Arcane Charges if you got the random proc.)
(TR90 - 2) Touch of the Magi > Removed (Reason: Not particularly interesting, saw this entire talent row as a chance to wipe it clean and focus a talent row on Mana Management.
(TR90 - 3) Nether Tempest > Removed (Reason: Not sure if it's damage was ever viable - Once again just saw this as a chance to remove and add a new interesting talent then just a basic dot that barely does any damage.
(TR100 - 2) Time Anomaly > Removed (Reason: Cool and Interesting ability but unbelievable random and I wanted to steer away from this in my talent re-design. Decided to use this final talent row as a chance to add talents that completely change how you want to play Arcane Mage.
(TR100 - 3) Arcane Orb > Moved (Reason: Didn't belong as a talent. Is now a baseline ability in this iteration of Arcane Mage.)

The reason why I changed or added a new talent:
(TR15 - 1) Amplification > Changed (Reason: Wanted a talent that allowed players to opt into having there [Arcane Missiles] damage affected by there Arcane Charges.)
(TR15 - 2) Arcane Disarray > Added (Reason: Wanted to give Talent Row 15 and interesting way/talent that changes how [Arcane Missiles] works.
(TR15 - 3) Words of Powers > Added (Reason: This was a talent in Legion I thought would be an interesting choice for altering how your [Arcane Missiles] works.
(TR30 - 1) Improved Spellsteal > Added (Reason: Was thinking hard as to what talent I could add that gives you an interesting way to move while casting spells and thought this would be a good way to reward players for succesfully stealing a spell. It is capped to only occur once every (x) seconds because otherwise that would be nuts in PVP. But also decent talent for M+ and give it something that separates it from Fire/Frost)
(TR45 - 2) Prismatic Crystal > Added (Reason: Seemed like a good way to give Arcane Mage a way to deal damage in M+ and a good replacement for [Mirror Image] in a talent row designed so that whatever talents you choose that's your damage profile. So if you can choose from cycling % damage increase, AOE/Cleave damage increase and ST damage increase.)
(TR60 - 3) Arcane Expenditure > Added (Reason: Not to sure about this talent, but the goal was to decide between AOE damage in Resonance, short term ST benefit from Charged Up and long term option *Arcane Expenditure* which aims at charging and dumping your Arcane Charges rapidly in order to get Evocation back off CD before dumping your mana and repeating. ~ Wasn't sure about whether it needed anything else so I took inspiration from the azerite trait: Brain Storm. Not sure if it's necessary though.)
(TR75 - 2) Arcane Mastery > Added (Reason: Absolutely despised [Ice Ward] and wanted this tier to be about 'Altering Movement'. Also wanted to tie a movement talent to Arcane Charges. Originally was 40% for 4 seconds, but since Chrono-Shift exists I changed it to 60%. Although it doesn't slow your target it does not require you to dump your Arcane Charges to proc. It is actually the inverse Chrono-Shift.
(TR90 - 1) Arcane Resurgence > Added (Reason: Is just the 'Mystic Kilt of the Rune Master'... Although I never got this legendary in Legion I thought it was an cool way to manage your mana and wanted to add it as one of the talents to manage your mana)
(TR90 - 2) Explosive Echo > Added (Reason: Azerite Trait which I thought could be slightly altered to be a mix of current Arcane Explosion and previous iterations of Arcane Explosion. The changes made allow you to talent into *Explosive Echo* so that your [Arcane Explosion] can consume a stack of [Clearcasting] for 0 mana - Like how it currently works on live. This way you save mana, but I didn't feel like that was enough since you're also consuming a charge of improved [Arcane Missiles] so you also get an echo effect on your [Arcane Explosion] dealing (x) damage after 1s.
(TR90 - 3) Rule of Threes > Changed (Reason: Really enjoy this talent. I think it's a good way to conserve mana giving you a free [Arcane Blast] when you reach 3 Arcane Charges. However, since it is in the TR90 row I decided to give it an extra little something to compete with other talents in its row.)
(TR100 - 2) Equipoise > Added (Reason: I think it's a fun Azerite Trait that if tuned and changed a tiny bit could be made a core talent that is viable and effects how the best Arcane Mages play. I believe in a previous expansion Arcane Mage had it's mastery tied to a similar effect? However, I wouldn't go so for as making it a forced playstyle so I decided to leave it as a TR100 talent.)
(TR100 - 3) Fury of the Cosmos/Aluneth's Fury > Added (Reason: This is the talent that aims to give Arcane it's own 'Surrender to Madness' a high-skill cap ability that focuses on making the player feel like an Arcane Mage. It offers insane damage and unique effects for a short period of time that requires the player to decide how best to use the limited time they have with this ability before becoming exhausted. Rewards proper usage with huge damage, but punished poor usage with either 'Death' because you're rooted in a mechanic or you have to cancel before the end of the effect and suffer from [Exhaustion]. It's suppose to be used only once a fight. Hence (10m CD)

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New Talent (Detailed Explaination):
(TR15 - 1) *Amplification*: [Arcane Missiles] now deals 15% increased damage based off your Arcane Charges. (15% increased damage per Arcane Charge you have - +60% if you have 4 Arcane Charges)
(TR15 - 2) *Arcane Disarray*: Your [Arcane Missiles] can split and fire off at random enemies within 8 yds of your target. When an enemy is hit by [Arcane Missiles], they gain [Erosion] increasing the damage they take from [Arcane Missiles] by 10% for 3 seconds. This effect can stack 3 times. (EG: If Arcane Missiles has 7 waves and there was 3 targets, the missiles could split between the 3 targets like this: 2/2/3)
(TR15 - 3) *Words of Power*: Grants 1% increased chance to trigger [Arcane Missiles] per 20% of mana you have unspent. (5% at 100% mana - 4% at 80% mana - 3% at 60% mana etc.)
(TR30 - 1) *Improved Spellsteal*: When you successfully steal a spell from your target with [Spellsteal] gain (x)% movement speed for (x) seconds and your next damaging spell can be cast while moving. Can only occur once every (x) seconds.
(TR45 - 2) *Prismatic Crystal*: Conjures a prismatic crystal at the target location, which is attackable by only the Mage, and takes 30% additional damage. When the crystal takes damage, it instantly releases a burst of energy dealing that damage, split evenly between all enemies within 8 yards. (1.5m CD)
(TR45 - 3) *Rune of Power* - Changed: Places a [Rune of Power] on the ground for 10 sec which increases your spell damage by 40% of all your ST spells while you stand within 8 yds.
(TR60 - 3) *Arcane Expenditure*: [Evocation]'s cooldown is reduced by 1s for every Arcane Charge consumed.
~ When you use [Evocation], it increases your intellect by (x) for (x) seconds [Based off how much you reduced your evocation cooldown by]). So if you built up your Arcane charges to full, 4 separate times and then used Arcane Barrage to expend these Arcane Charges. Your [Evocation] would be reduced for a total of 16s and you would have an intellect buff for (16s) when you next cast your reduced CD [Evocation]
~ You're first evocation of a fight shouldn't give you an intellect buff.

(TR75 - 2) *Arcane Mastery* When you gain 4 Arcane Charges, gain 60% movement speed for 4 seconds.
(TR90 - 1) *Arcane Resurgence*: [Arcane Barrage] grants you 3% of your maximum mana per Arcane Charge spent.
(TR90 - 2) *Explosive Echo*: [Arcane Explosion] can now consume [Clearcastng]. [Arcane Explosion] costs 0 mana if it consumes [Clearcasting] and duplicates the effect a second later, dealing (x)% damage.
(TR90 - 3) *Rule of Threes* When you gain your third Arcane Charge, next [Arcane Blast] can be cast for free and deals (x) additional damage.
(TR100 - 2) *Equipoise*: While you are above (x)% mana, [Arcane Blast] deals (x) additional damage. While below (x)% mana, [Arcane Blast] cost is reduced by (x).
(TR100 - 3) *Fury of the Cosmos/Aluneth's Fury*: Channels and roots the player in place for moderate time. Gives the player unbelievable power for a short time, however drains and exhausts the player for a period of time at the end of the ability. This ability is suppose to punish you if you don't use it at full mana (Since it drains 10% of your mana per second, or ends after 10s have surpassed. So if you were to cast this at 70% mana it would only last 7 seconds and it also guarantee ends after 10s so no mana potion silly business etc.)

Fury of the Cosmos/Aluneth's Fury Explained:
*Fury of the Cosmos / Aluneth's Fury* (Active) (10m CD): Channel for 5 seconds, slowly ascending into the air. Once ascended, instantly grant yourself 4 Arcane Charges and (100%+) increased damage until your mana reaches 0% or 10s has surpassed.
While ascended your following abilities are enchanced:
[Arcane Blast] --> [Arcane Shatter]: Is now instant cast and splashes 20% of its damage to enemies within 8 yds. ([Arcane Blast] is delayed by 1s between casts. (Max 10 Casts of [Arcane Blast])
[Arcane Missiles] --> [Arcane Beam]: *Same Channel Duration as [Arcane Missiles]* but unleashes a beam of arcane energy in front of you dealing (x) damage and disintegrating enemies below 10% health. (Has a Max Damage Cap)
[Arcane Barrage] --> [Arcane Bombardment]: Channels [Arcane Barrage] over 3 seconds, hitting all available enemy targets within 25 yds with [Arcane Barrage].
[Arcane Explosion] --> [Arcane Detonation]: Increases its explosion range to 40 yds. If cast 4 times in succession. It's explosion will cause all enemies hit by the 5th [Arcane Explosion] to echo [Arcane Explosion] from there location for (x%) damage.

Once Fury of the Cosmos/Aluneth's Fury ends a shockwave of Arcane magic explodes dealing (x) damage to all enemies within 40 yds of the player. The player falls to the ground with 0% mana and is affected by [Exhaustion] for 15s.
[Exhaustion]: Reduces the players movement speed by (x)% and reduces all damage dealt by (x)% for (x) seconds. They are unable to use [Evocation] while under the effects of Exhaustion.

Additional Notes on *Fury of the Cosmos/Aluneth's Fury*
1) While ascended the player can cast spells for free but is drained 10% of there mana per second. At 0% mana the player falls to the ground ucompletely drained of mana and suffers from Exhaustion for the next (x) seconds.
2) During the channel the player may 'Shimmer' to move while channeling but once ascended cannot shimmer. You cannot move without cancelling the effect and triggering Exhaustion.
3) While ascended your permanently have 4 Arcane Charges so your [Arcane Bombardment] damage is equal to an [Arcane Barrage] that has 4 Arcane Charges... 3 times... to all targets within 25 yds.
4) During the ability you cannot be affected by Time Warp/Bloodlust or Heroism.
5) [Clearcasting] can not be generated during ascension.
6) I'm not completely sure how this could be implemented but the second you are ascended I don't want some bullshit GCD denying the player from getting the maximum usage of the ability, I want the maximum potential of [Arcane Shatters] used to be 10. (Reflective of 10% mana per second). I don't want it to be like Arcane Power where you use it but already 1s - 1.5s of the duration is gone to GCD. That disgusts me about your DPS CDs
7) I've set it's damage increase as (100%+) because I have no idea how much damage increase should be but I want it to be truly reflective of overwhelming Arcane Power since you pay the price of being rooted in place for 10s, drained of all your mana at the end of the spell and suffer from [Exhaustion] for the next (x) seconds.
8) If you have an Aluneth (Legion Legendary) Transmog. Aluneth admires you for unleashing your true power.

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New Talent Iteration:
(15) *Amplification* [P] / *Arcane Disarry* [P] / *Words of Power* [P]
(30) *Improved Spellsteal* [P-R] / Shimmer [A-R] / Slipstream [P]
(45) Incanter's Flow [P] / *Prismatic Crystal* [A] / Rune of Power [A]
(60) Resonance [P] / Charged Up [A] / *Arcane Expenditure* [P]
(75) Chrono-Shift [P] / *Arcane Mastery* [P] / Ring of Frost [A]
(90) *Arcane Resurgence* [P] / *Explosive Echo* [P] / *Rule of Threes* [P]
(100) Overpowered [P] / *Equipoise* [P] / *Fury of the Cosmos/Aluneth's Fury* [A]

Goals of each Talent Row:
(15) - Enchances your [Arcane Missiles] with 3 distinct choices.
(30) - Spell Movement Options (Movement that interacts with how you cast spells)
(45) - Damage Amplification (Changes your damage profile)
(60) - Minor Gameplay Alterations (Anplifies your Arcane Barrage, your ability to instantly gain Arcane Charges or your ability to shorten your downtime)
(75) - Altering Movement (Hindering enemies movement/amplifying your own movement)
(90) - Mana Management (Different ways to manage your mana)
(100) - Major Gameplay Alterations

Example Talent Build: God Mode
When to use this build: Ra'den
Strengths of this build: Big Burst, Consistent ST Damage that focuses on utilising Rune of Power to maxismise damage with your [Arcane Missiles] when you have max Arcane Charges.
Difficulty: Hard
(15) Amplification
(30) Slipstream
(45) Rune of Power
(60) Arcane Expenditure
(75) Arcane Mastery
(90) Rule of Threes
(100) Fury of the Cosmos / Aluneth's Fury

Example Talent Build: Standard AOE with Big Burst
When to use this build: Mythic +
Strengths of this build: Consistent AOE, High Mobility, Big Burst on long CD
Difficulty: Hard
(15) Arcane Disarry
(30) Improve Spellsteal
(45) Prismatic Crystal
(60) Resonance
(75) Arcane Mastery or Ring of Frost
(90) Explosive Echo
(100) Fury of the Cosmos / Aluneth's Fury

Example Talent Build: Equipoise
When to use this build: Single Boss (Maut, Prophet Skittra)
Strengths of this build: ST that manages there mana to maximise there [Arcane Blast] damage.
Diffculity: Hard
(15) Words of Power
(30) Slipstream
(45) Rune of Power
(60) Arcane Expenditure
(75) Arcane Mastery
(90) Arcane Resurgence
(100) Equipoise

Example Talent Build: Equipoise 2
When to use this build: ST Fight with Light Cleave (Vexiona)
Strengths of this build: Consistent high ST damage that has momentary AOE with Prismatic Crystal that has less downtime on Equipoise with Arcane Expenditure and Arcane Resurgence.
Difficulty: Hard
(15) Amplification
(30) Slipstream
(45) Prismatic Crystal
(60) Arcane Expenditure
(75) Chrono-Shift
(90) Arcane Resurgence
(100) Equipoise

Example Talent Build: Arcane Charges
Whent to use this build: ST Fight that has mechanics that can quickly overwhelm your raid group (Il'gynoth)
Strengths of this build: ST Fight with Burst on a short CD
Difficulty: Medium
(15) Amplification
(30) Slipstream
(45) Rune of Power
(60) Charged Up
(75) Arcane Mastery
(90) Rule of Threes
(100) Overpowered

Example Talent Build: Beginners Build
When to use this build: If you're a new player or getting to learn the spec for the first time (LFR / Mythic 0)
Strengths of this build: Simple damage dealing that allows you to focus on mechanics with variations for ST or AOE
Difficulty: Easy
(15) Amplification / Arcane Disarray
(30) Shimmer
(45) Incanter's Flow
(60) Resonance
(75) Chrono-Shift
(90) Arcane Resurgence / Rule of Threes
(100) Overpowered

Example Talent Build: PVP
When to use this build: PVP
Strengths of this build: High Mobile and Strong Burst
Difficulty: Medium
(15) Amplification
(30) Improve Spellsteal
(45) Incanter's Flow
(60) Charged Up
(75) Ring of Frost
(90) Rule of Threes
(100) Overpowered

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Goals behind the new talents (May overlap with why I decided to add/move/change or remove talents):
(TR15 - 1) *Amplification*: To allow the player to amplify there [Arcane Missiles] damage based off of there current Arcane Charges.
(TR15 - 2) *Arcane Disarray*: Allows [Arcane Missiles] to be more effective in cleave situations, rewards the player for using all there [Arcane Missiles] charges at once. Since the targets will be affected by [Erosion].
(TR15 - 3) *Words of Power*: Rewards players for managing there mana properly.
(TR30 - 1) *Improved Spellsteal*: Rewards the player for using [Spellsteal] properly. Separate Arcane from the other two specs. Give Arcane it's own niche compared to Cauterize, Dragon's Breath / 2x Ice Blocks and Perma Slows
(TR45 - 2) *Prismatic Crystal*: Gives the player the ability to cleave better, but sacrificing the ST damage from [Rune of Power]. Give Arcane it's own niche compared to Cauterize, Dragon's Breath / 2x Ice Blocks and Perma Slows
(TR45 - 3) *Rune of Power* - Change*: To give players a meaningful trade off in the talent row, choosing through cycling % damage increase, AOE/Cleave damage increase and ST damage increase.
(TR60 - 3) *Arcane Expenditure*: To give players an alternative damage increase (Long-Term) at the sacrifice of instant arcane charges (Charged Up).
(TR75 - 2) *Arcane Mastery* Give the player a short burst of movement speed when they get to 4 arcane charges.
(TR90 - 1) *Arcane Resurgence*: Give players a way to conserve/regenerate mana after expending there mana.
(TR90 - 2) *Explosive Echo*: Give players a way to consume [Clearcasting] with [Arcane Explosion]. Also gives a small damage boost on your [Arcane Explosion] for the trade off of consuming a stack of [Clearcasting]
(TR90 - 3) *Rule of Threes* Keep this talent as an alternative way to conserve mana. Gave the 'Free' Arcane Blast additional (x) damage to help it compete with the other talents in its row.
(TR100 - 2) *Equipoise*: Give players a rewarding but punishing playstyle with stronger pay off for saying above a certain mana % threshold
(TR100 - 3) *Fury of the Cosmos/Aluneth's Fury*: Gives the player unbelievable power for a short time, however drains and exhausts the player for a period of time after usage. When I started this talent re-design, I wanted to make a talent that was arguably the best cooldown in the game. That was on-par with Surrender to Madness that killed you at the end of it's duration. I wanted to have a talent to truly made the player feel like an Arcane Mage wielding the unbelievable power that Arcane Magic commands in the lore. Although the overall 'mechanics' of the talent and numbers and all that are probably not balanced it's just to give you an idea of what I'd want the ability to be.Rewards proper usage with huge damage, but punished poor usage with either 'Death' because you're rooted in a mechanic or you have to cancel before the end of the effect and suffer from [Exhaustion]. It's suppose to be used only once a fight. Hence (10m CD)

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If you've made it this far, thanks for reading. Appreciate any discussion or feedback you have. I'm well aware a lot of it seems drastic and crazy and not particularly balanced but I'm using this as a way to throw out a few ideas and even if some basic changes like making [Arcane Orb] baseline would make a big difference.

TLDR: A whole range of new talents > Just read the short sections: New Changes, Core Basics, New Talent Iteration and New Talent (Detailed Explaination). That should give you a general idea. That way you can skip all the parts I'm explaining why I think this or that should be changed and why I removed/added certain talents.
timmywitt
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:32 pm

Re: Arcane Mage Re-Design for Shadowlands

Unread postby timmywitt Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:54 pm

I am so glad that you took the time to put this together.
This is a massive amount of effort and thought for a spec that gets precious little love, and I highly approve!

I love many of the changes you've suggested, and some are particularly interesting from two points that are right at the core of Arcane:
- Mana management.
- Interaction with arcane charges.

If these two things can be done better, Arcane will be well on its way to being a more fun spec.

First things first.
Making Arcane Orb baseline absolutely must happen. This is the only talent that makes me feel alive when playing Arcane, and it is an absolute shame that I cannot use it more often. It also serves as a skill shot that takes into account positioning and aim: a category WoW severely lacks. It's a rare ability that feels good to cast while dealing low damage, and it adds interest and skill cap to the class especially in tight dungeon runs.
In my opinion, the best iteration of Arcane Orb would be one that deals very little or even 0 damage, but interacts with your arcane charges with no cooldown. This helps you rapidly gain arcane charges, but makes it a decision that you want to think about before dropping them all. I think Arcane Orb and Charged Up could be merged to produce better interaction and eliminate a tricky competitiveness between the two. For example, Charged Up could cause Arcane Orb to generate 4 charges per enemy hit for better single target generation, or cause it to deal (more) damage.

I disagree with the removal of Supernova, as I loved its first iteration and desperately wish it could be made relevant again. I think the knockup ability is unique to mages and interesting in M+, but the damage is so underwhelming that it gets eaten alive in the slot. I understand its position currently in the TR60 row as a choice between ST, AoE, and Utility, but it needs something more than utility to compete in the row currently. I believe the best move is to remove Explosive Echo and make Supernova the default AoE talent in the TR90 row. That way you can make it hit like a truck and you have *something* other than just slapping Arcane Explosion to do during AoE. I think a neat replacement Utility talent for the TR60 row would be something akin to the Mass Slow effect from the Aluneth talent. Make it so Slow affects an area of units to be great at kiting.

The TR45 row is my least favorite in your rework, and it's probably due to my playstyle.
I hated Prismatic Crystal in Legion, and I have hated Rune of Power ever since it came out.
They might be salvageable, but it would be tricky. The amount of globals we have to cast right now in the correct order to do our burn phase right now feels awful to me since the GCD change, and both of these abilities exacerbate that problem in my opinion. You know, like an Aura from Magic the Gathering that does nothing on its own when you cast it...

I think Rune of Power must be instant cast to be successful, ideally off the GCD, and I would prefer a single charge version that lines up at least slightly better with our cooldowns. The "mini-burn" phase and being stuck in a rune for most of the fight sucks, but I don't mind the idea of being locked down for a little while if you can line it up nicely to do huge dps.
My primary issue with Crystal was the clunkiness of click-placing it, and maybe it could be done better by placing it directly on top of your current target and auto-swapping...maybe. Still another GCD to cast before burn though. Instead, this is another great spot where Supernova could go, in my opinion. A great AoE option, relevant in M+, and gives you something to do besides spamming Explosion. Make it hit like a truck.
I think we can save Mirror Image, and I think it has potential to be interesting if it could interact with your arcane charges. Say, when your images cast Arcane Blast, you gain a charge. This could lead to some neat Barrage-spamming sections for AoE or maybe kiting or PvP when mixed with Chrono Shift, or as a quick add burst. This also works nicely with the GCD problem because while you cast your next 1-2 globals, your images are casting their first blasts so it flows nicer.

I love the idea of your Fury talent, and I think it would be easier to implement in Arcane than with many other classes. I think tying it to mana is a great way to make it fun, and I think Equipoise might actually tie in nicely. Say, for example, you gain 200% mana regeneration (something ludicrously high) and your haste/crit/etc is increased by greater amounts the closer you stay to 100% mana.
I have no idea how that could play, but I love the idea, and I think tying it to mana is the way to go. Maybe quadruple mana regeneration rate, but all spells eat three times as much mana and do more damage. Exactly as wild as you describe.

Ensure the "easy" abilities are not categorically more powerful than the options that require a higher skill cap. These are Incanter's Flow, Overpowered, and Amplification.

I still hope for a change that makes Arcane Explosion better to cast from range, but maybe this is part of its uniqueness. At least make it a little bigger so we aren't literally melee while doing it. The other suggestion I've heard is to make it cast similar to Supernova: around your current target. I don't mind the idea, but the Explosion animation is fantastic and I'd hate to see it wasted. My earnest hope is to see Explosion reworked as a "force mage" style defensive knockback and our primary AoE revised to favor Arcane Barrage. In fact, I think they could take out Frost Nova and replace it with Arcane Explosion if they did it that way.

Finally and most importantly:
This discussion must make it somewhere so that it can be given as constructive feedback where it can be accessed by Blizzard. Before your post, the last one in the Altered Time Arcane section was in like November, so we need to get this out there. Get this into the Altered Time Discord and onto the official forums at a minimum, and please let me know if I can help. I am more than welcome to re-post my reply anywhere you desire and bump your post as hard as I can wherever it goes.

Don't let Arcane mages suffer in silence.

Thank you so much for making this post, Aela.
Crzyvy
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:40 pm

Re: Arcane Mage Re-Design for Shadowlands

Unread postby Crzyvy Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:48 pm

I don't trust Blizzard to balance Surrender to Madness 2.0. We'll either get an op version in 9.0, then nerfed to the ground in 9.1 and beyond or lackluster version in 9.0/9.1, then op version in 9.1/9.2 and then nerfed to the ground version in 9.2/9.3. It also promotes degenerate strategies like stack arcane mages to make the fight 1-2 minute shorter.
However going with that more in the direction of Shaman Ascendants or Rdruid Tree of Life or MoP-era Demo Metamorphosis, with slightly changed abilities during cooldowns sounds pretty sweet as a replacement for APower. Laser shooting Archon, spamming non-healing Halos or going Xerath artillery mode sounds way better than "You spam filler, but harder".


A discussion about changes to Arcane is really welcome though.
Aela
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:38 am

Re: Arcane Mage Re-Design for Shadowlands

Unread postby Aela Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:09 pm

Firstly, I would just like to say thanks for your feedback so far.

I'd like to address 'timmywitt' first by saying a lot of the changes I proposed aren't completely thought out and was just throwing out there. By all means I'd think Supernova would be great to keep around as well. However, considering it's been so long that Supernova has been a talent and they haven't given it the utility/damage it needs to compete in its row is quite disappointing. So strictly speaking when I did my re-design I was trying my best to stick to the strict guidelines I gave myself each Talent Row to give the re-design a general direction but also one that which I think is the most important: Giving meaningful choices and trade offs. Now a lot of the talents changed or removed in my suggested iteration were ones that aren't 'absolutely viable' in its current state. Simply just freeing up talent slots that allowed me to be more creative in the re-design.

I do agree Explosive Echo isn't the most exciting option and personally it's not the playstyle I'd opt for but more so I was trying to give different options to slightly different playstyles. Now onto TR45 (Prismatic Crystal, Rune of Power) wouldn't it be nice if there could be a world were we didn't need either of those two. Personally, I think it would be amazing if we could just shake up that talent row completely. The only reason I kept Rune of Power because I didn't want to make too many 'radical' changes to current talents that are the go-to and was simply trying to find a way to change the damage profile of Arcane Mage and allow it to compete with it's other specs (Fire and Frost) in M+. I've never actually played with Prismatic Crystal so I'll take your word for it that it wasn' t the most exciting play style and I was simply stumbled across it when I was doing research into what Arcane use to have in previous expansions and thought it was the best way of getting my point across.

Now Mirror Image, I think it would be really thematically cool if they made it a viable talent but since I've been playing Mage and to my knowledge it's never been viable so I simply removed it in my talent re-design since if they haven't balanced/fixed it by now , when are they going to?

Ideally I would also like to see our AOE tied to Arcane Barrage again, although Arcane Explosion has a wonderful animation. I would like to see Arcane Mages have a meaningful trade off for choosing AOE over ST etc. Also on the topic of Arcane Barrage can they please just add that as like a mount for Arcane Mages. Like I remember times where you might teleport somewhere during a WQ and to get to the next area you turn into the Arcane Barrage animation and travel. I would like to just permanently be a ball of Arcane Barrage flying around the world... but maybe that's just me.

I'm aware I've rambled on and this reply probably doesn't have a lot of logical sense and is all over the place. I was just reading through your reply and replying as I went along.

But yeah in an ideal world the main goals I'd like to see achieved:
- Make Arcane Orb Baseline
- Make Arcane have a higher skill cap
- Have different viable play styles (Core Mana Management and Arcane Charges Playstyles)
- Make Arcane feel as powerful as it does in the lore (Aluneth's Fury)
- Give Arcane something special that Fire and Frost doesn't have (Fire has Cauterize and Dragon's Breath, Frost has 2x Ice Blocks and Perma Slows what does Arcane have that's practical outside of Greater Invisibility? I think it would be perfect to give Arcane more powerful 'core abilities' like Improved Spellsteal that would allow it to stand out from it's other mage counterparts).

Pretty much I just want to re-iterate the goals so I feel like we're on the same page.

I'll sometime tomorrow look at posting this in the Altered Time Discord. I'll gather my thoughts together properly and make some changes and notes to the original post and go from there. Once again thanks for your detailed feedback/reply, very helpful and always good to have different people's insight. Since I wasn't to sure how 'radical' or 'safe' I need to be in the re-design.

Also quickly to Crzyvy thanks for your feedback as well. It was by no means balanced in my mind as I was coming up with the idea and actually was having fun with how broken and ludicrous it could be., Obviously it would need to be seriously thought out and the goal was mostly to get the general idea out there. However, I wouldn't like to factor in 'Blizzard not being able to balance it'. Personally I don't like having that as an excuse or scapegoat even for Blizzard especially when they've had so much experienced making games.
Malbrochette
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Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:37 pm

Re: Arcane Mage Re-Design for Shadowlands

Unread postby Malbrochette Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:20 pm

Make mass invisibility baseline or at least a non-pvp talent
Could see great use to enable skips in Mythic+ content
Aela
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:38 am

Re: Arcane Mage Re-Design for Shadowlands

Unread postby Aela Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:55 pm

RE: Malbrochette

Making mass invisibility doesn't solve any of Arcane's M+ problems. They still need a way to compete with Fire and Frost in the AOE department, and it only lasts 5 seconds which is negligible compared to a Rogue's Shroud. I also wouldn't want to overlap with what is a core Rogue's Ability just like how Arcane Intellect is something all mages have access to.
timmywitt
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:32 pm

Re: Arcane Mage Re-Design for Shadowlands

Unread postby timmywitt Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:04 am

RE: Malbrochette

Making mass invisibility doesn't solve any of Arcane's M+ problems. They still need a way to compete with Fire and Frost in the AOE department, and it only lasts 5 seconds which is negligible compared to a Rogue's Shroud. I also wouldn't want to overlap with what is a core Rogue's Ability just like how Arcane Intellect is something all mages have access to.
Agreed. The core playstyle is the problem right now. We actually have a decent number of utilities with Slow, Spellsteal (!), Ring of Frost, and the wildly undervalued Supernova. Nobody sees that when your core AoE is spamming AE for hours on end.
Crzyvy
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:40 pm

Re: Arcane Mage Re-Design for Shadowlands

Unread postby Crzyvy Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:35 am

Also quickly to Crzyvy thanks for your feedback as well. It was by no means balanced in my mind as I was coming up with the idea and actually was having fun with how broken and ludicrous it could be., Obviously it would need to be seriously thought out and the goal was mostly to get the general idea out there. However, I wouldn't like to factor in 'Blizzard not being able to balance it'. Personally I don't like having that as an excuse or scapegoat even for Blizzard especially when they've had so much experienced making games.
It's not even about having no faith in Blizz, probably worded that needlessly aggressively, my mistake. Just that the idea of "give Arcane da most deepz cd in the game 'cause lore" is a really bad one. The strongest cooldowns in the game already have a major impact on encounters and giving a spec a completely ridiculous one, just promotes cheese of the smelliest variety.
Remaking APower to be more flashy/interactive without touching it numberswise on the other hand is a really good idea, that doesn't disrupt the balance of the game.


Arcane AoE is also fine in terms of performance, the problem is with azerite gear, when our strongest ST trait does almost nothing in AoE and our strongest AoE trait does literally nothing in ST. Most of the specs in the game don't have that problem, or at least not in the same degree as Arcane. Though it's a little better in 8.3 when 2nd best trait in both scenarios is a universal one. After the aura buff we're at least competitive with Frost when we specifically gear for it. Fire is in a league of its own regarding AoE across all dps specs in the game, so comparing to them is pretty futile.

Mass Invisibility would definitely put Arcane in a conversation about M+, easily bumping us 1 or 2 tiers. MI would be better in most cases than Shroud, since it's not a stealth effect, but vanish. For example to skip VMZ You need 2 Shrouds, but Mass Invisibility would do the same thing as pure Night Elf group shadowmelding. So a turbo aoe shadowmeld, and we know how strong that ability is with people rerolling Alliance just for it. It would at least break Rogue monopoly on the effect. Also we're talking Shadowlands rework, where a shroud-like effect might be stronger since we'll lose Awakened affix, which is somewhat keeping Rogues from completely dominating the scene. (Atm They're mostly dominating it. :P)
We'd still have minimal utility/cc, but so do hunters and they're doing ok.
Edit: There is 1 problem with it though: It enables griefing. Casting it in a raid when boss is at 2% health... yikes



I'll put my own minimalistic proposal for a rework:
-Make Clearcasting stack 2-3 times.
-Remove the Clearcasting interaction with Arcane Explosion.
-Add Arcane Orb baseline, but only usable with a Clearcasting proc. (Or give it the AMissiles treatment with it being technically usable without the proc, but realistically only worth using with the proc. w/e really)
-(optional)Create a new ability, that consumes Arcane Charges with a focus on Single Target, relegating Arcane Barrage to AoE/Cleave scenarios.

So now we have:
Single Target:
-Arcane Blast (filler/builder)
-Arcane Missiles (proc)
-(optional)new ability (finisher)
AoE:
-Arcane Explosion (filler/builder/AoE)
-Arcane Orb (proc/cleave/AoE)
-Arcane Barrage (finisher/cleave/AoE)

2(optionally 3) dedicated ST abilities; 2(optionally 3) dedicated AoE abilities, with 1 of them working in cleave situations; and multipurpose ABarrage.
-ST rotation left unchanged, except returning to stacking Clearcasting procs.
-Cleave rotation (2-4 targets?) at a distance now involves ABlast as a filler, AOrb as a proc, which You can bank depending on how many ACharges You want to generate with it and ABarrage as strong cleave spell. Priority being casting AOrb while not overcapping on ACharges to maximize the amount of ABarrages. 2 targets = AOrb at 0-2 ACharges, 3 targets = AOrb at 0-1 ACharges, 4 targets = AOrb at 0 ACharges.
-Mass AoE consists of AExplosion as a filler in melee range, AOrb as a proc and ABarrage as finisher. A little simpler rotation than cleave, since You always want to use AOrb at 0 Charges.

(optional)
Arcane Barrage feels like a spell, that tries to do everything at once, it feels most underwhelming in ST considering it's (opportunity)cost, so it would be nice to get a focused spell for ST.

Potential candidates:
-Mana Gem (Convert Arcane Charges into mana)
-Nether Tempest (DoT)
-Mini Cooldown (ala Rune of Power? probably way weaker)
-Some Crazy ST Nuke ('nuff said)

-Mana Gem IMHO sounds most useful/fitting, though we might end up oversaturated on mana, but that could be remedied by increasing mana costs of ABlast/AExplosion (Or maybe just ABlast.). It also cuts a little into Evocation niche, but eh.
-NT is fine as an optional talent, but having forced DoT in standard rotation is very unArcanelike.
-Mini Cooldown will be probably annoying to keep up, considering it'd consume charges, so ABlast will be weaker for at least some duration of it, even with Charged Up/juicy AOrb.
-Crazy ST Nuke sounds like the first/obvious route, but considering ABlast already fills that niche it'd either feel not impactful like ABarrage, or it'd have to be balanced by taking dps away from ABlast and rerouting it into the new spell, which takes away Arcane Mages' uniqueness; let Ele Shamans have that playstyle.
(/optional)


Not terribly more complicated than current iteration, but we'd have more options and more interactive procs.
I'd also love to see it combined with the changed APower ala Aela's Surrender to Aluneth, but without touching overall dps numbers, just a different, more interesting take on our good old cooldown.
timmywitt
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:32 pm

Re: Arcane Mage Re-Design for Shadowlands

Unread postby timmywitt Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:59 am

-Mana Gem (Convert Arcane Charges into mana)
Love this idea, really would help the conserve phase. You now have a goal instead of just feeling constrained. The faster you get your mana back by playing efficiently with your charges, the faster you can get back to converting the charges into damage instead. Absolutely genius idea.

I disagree with Orb being a proc, because I think the RNG would feel one-sided:
- If you don't get the proc when you need it, it feels awful and really slows down the rotation.
- If you get the proc when you don't need it, there's no benefit to casting it, so it just hangs out acting like a normal ability.
- If you get the proc when you need it, the spec plays as it's supposed to and it feels...fine.
Definitely prefer without a proc there. As I mention in my post, I even prefer a nearly-0-damage version, as I think the spell's interest comes from the arcane charge interaction. I especially like the AoE rotation this opens up with Barrage (Orb->Barrage->Orb->AE until Barrage off CD->Barrage).

I think missiles is a great spot for the proc, but I do think it should hit hard enough that you don't prioritize the filler spell during a burn. That has felt really poor this tier with the short burst window.
Crzyvy
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:40 pm

Re: Arcane Mage Re-Design for Shadowlands

Unread postby Crzyvy Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:02 am

I disagree with Orb being a proc, because I think the RNG would feel one-sided:
- If you don't get the proc when you need it, it feels awful and really slows down the rotation.
- If you get the proc when you don't need it, there's no benefit to casting it, so it just hangs out acting like a normal ability.
- If you get the proc when you need it, the spec plays as it's supposed to and it feels...fine.
Definitely prefer without a proc there. As I mention in my post, I even prefer a nearly-0-damage version, as I think the spell's interest comes from the arcane charge interaction. I especially like the AoE rotation this opens up with Barrage (Orb->Barrage->Orb->AE until Barrage off CD->Barrage).
That's why the proc should stack up 2-3 times to let You strategize and give at least a few seconds to decide how/when to use it. And also the ability to bank them if You need them for specific add spawns or whatever. Remember, that You can use that proc on both AOrb (AoE/cleave) and AMissiles (ST), so there's always a way to use it effectively.
Spammable AOrb and AExplosion will result in one overshadowing the other. Also, spammable AOrb with minimal damage on 4+ targets is just Charged Up with no cooldown and that sounds... Pretty busted?
RishTheMage
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:28 pm

Re: Arcane Mage Re-Design for Shadowlands

Unread postby RishTheMage Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:38 pm

Arcane Resurgence should just be baseline as Arcane Barrage. I think Arcane could be more versatile with that talent just baked into the spell.
Aela
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:38 am

Re: Arcane Mage Re-Design for Shadowlands

Unread postby Aela Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:32 pm

Arcane Resurgence should just be baseline as Arcane Barrage. I think Arcane could be more versatile with that talent just baked into the spell.
I agree but I didn't want to be to far-reaching with this re-design.
timmywitt
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:32 pm

Re: Arcane Mage Re-Design for Shadowlands

Unread postby timmywitt Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:23 am

You're right, a lot of things would feel better baked in, but Blizzard has been reluctant to do that too much in the latest few expansions.

We had a number of spells pruned out, and then many were brought back as talents, so I feel like that's probably the framework we must work in if we want to get things actually implemented.

There's also their current drive to make gear interesting by having spells and abilities be part of the gear unlock tree that we've seen since Legion with the artifact, or with Legion Legendaries adding big spell effects or outright changes. All the way through BfA with Essences, Azerite Gear, Corruption Effects, etc. I hope this is curtailed a lot in Shadowlands because the gear complexity is really bonkers right now.

Take the abilities back off the gear and put them back on the players, imho.

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