#0 - 2007/07/24 02:19:26 PMWell, its Maintenance day, and as a mage playing since the game came out, I have done my fair share of both pvp and pve. I went looking for a PvP spec for arena today and thought of all the "useless" talents out there for all formats. While speccing a mage can be difficult with all of the options, there shouldn't be dead weight in these trees. The following is a list of talents that are seldom taken, and why.
Wand Specialization - Mages do damage via spells. Wanding is seldom used. Unlike Priests who may rely on this skill for damage, mages do not need it. Warlocks don't have it, and with their DoT ability, would have better use than a mage who does most of his/her damage upfront. Recommended improvement - move Improved Blink to this spot. This spot is dead, and Imp Blink is too low.
Magic Absortion - This talent is amazing for farming low level content. You will basically not run out of mana if you fight a few things at once. I doubt that is the skill's intention though, as full resists in pvp and pve are pretty rare. Recommended improvement - whenever a harmful spell is cast on the mage, regen mana equal to 5/10/15/20/25% of your intellect over 15 sec. (Also keep the resist component to the skill). Makes it more useful for players doing PvE their level or PvP, which all talents should go back to imo.
Arcane Fortitude - for a level 70 mage, this is 200-250 armor. Mages don't really need armor as theirs is horrible to begin with and mitigate damage through avoidance, not taking it head on. It is an option though in PvP builds, as the first 3 tiers of the arcane tree leave something to be desired. Recommended improvement - give the mage a 1/2/3% chance to avoid any offensive attack or spell.
Improved Mana Shield - 1585 mana absorbs 715 damage (counting the casting cost of 155), this cuts that to 1399. If you are PvEing, you can't afford this exchange or you will be OOM pretty fast. In PvP if you are making this trade you are either taking too much damage and won't need the mana, or are wasting your mana - its going to be one or the other depending what you are doing. Mana Shield is a nice skill, but the 286 mana you will save won't be doing you a lot of good. Recommended improvement - also have it absorb 10/20% more damage (even then I dunno....maybe 20/40?).
Improved Blink - This skill is horrible for where it is in the tree. The fact that it is next to Mind Mastery is silly. Hmm, would I rather have 3% more mana all the time, or save when I cast blink? The mana saving on this isn't enough, even in arena, to be worth it where it is. Recommended changes - either add a reduces cooldown of blink by 1/2% component, or move it to where Wand Specialization was. As a tier 2 talent, the mana saved from blink is probably a good trade even for PvE mages.
Improved Flamestrike - unfortuneately, not much can be done to improve flamestrike. It is basically an opener at best. The area of effect is small, combined with a long cast time make it tough to get more than 1 off in PvE and tough to hit anything in PvP. Other fire spells are used more, and thus the talents that work with them should be taken first. Recommended Improvement - ok I'll try...gives Flamestrike a 33/66/100% of stunning targets for 2 seconds. This mechanic is similar of what Improved Blizzard does, adding utility to the damage and letting you (maybe) have a shot at getting off another one.
Improved Fire Ward - maybe for duelling mages. This has no real PvE benefit (farming maybe) and limited PvP. Chance procs on a spell that goes away when you take damage just doesn't seem worth it. If you want to reflect fire, become an engineer. Why is this a tier 4 talent, while the frost equivalent has far more utility and is a tier 1 talent? Recommended Improvement - Wards aren't used enough to warrant a talent. I'd take a page from the Hunter Playbook and do something like Focused Fire (some benefit pre-BC, but incorporate a post BC skill). I'd go something like - Fire Barrier- reduces the chance you will be critically struck by 2/4% and improves the amount of damage done by molten armor by 25/50%.
Frost Warding - definitely powerful enough if I thought that wards needed a talent to go with it. While you will probably reflect more frost spells than fire spells, I'd still say the only real purpose of this is duelling mages. Recommended Improvement - keep the frost stuff, add 5/10% slowing effect resistance (what good is a slowed frost mage?) If this means it has to move down a couple tiers, so be it.
Frozen Core - Mages do damage, and while survivablity is nice, this is too specific to be useful. Frost mages already have great survivability without this. Sticking with the theme of survivablity, (a skill overhaul is too much at this point), it needs to encompass more than just fire and frost (again more mage on mage action). Recommended improvment - all damage by 1/2/3%
The arcane tree clearly needs some work. The other two trees are good for the most part, but there is obviously something rotten with the talents listed above from them (especially the discrepancy between the improved wards)