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#0 - 2009/03/20 02:01:27 PM
Hi everybody

The developers have answered a few Mage related questions. Some of you may have seen this already elsewhere, but in case you have not, you can find it below:

Q: Why is the molten armor spirit change a nerf to pvp, solo, and anyone not in full 25man epics / raid buffs?
A: Realistically, most mages are never going to notice a change to crit while soloing unless it was a really large number. Soloing is generally not difficult and you are generally going to defeat everything you fight within a few GCDs. For PvP it is a nerf to those mages using Molten Armor, but very few mages use Molten Armor in PvP. If we like what the Molten Armor change does, then we might consider doing something similar to other mage armors down the road.

Q: Why is spirit still significantly less valuable for us than warlocks? Why is it still better to use non spirit items except for in the few cases where the spirit item's ilevel was higher to begin with?
A: Apples to oranges. Agility is significantly less valuable to mages than it is to rogues. Yes, We realize you don't share gear with them, but if your concern is that warlocks will end up doing more damage as a result of that Spirit on their gear, we understand the concern and we think we have it under control.

Q: Why was scorch singled out as too powerful when it is obvious there are other raid buffs just as powerful?
A: For starters, because characters already had very high crit numbers in the first tier of content. We aren't really trying to make all buffs equal at this stage. Sunder, for example, is still a huge damage multiplier for classes that do physical damage. But buffs that feel like they do swing the pendulum too far are good things to discuss on these forums.

Q: Why do mages still have an archaic evocation tool that is risky and can virtually kill our dps like no other class has to deal with? Why can we be screwed over through rng because of this?
A: We understand the problem with Evocate in PvE. We aren't likely to turn it into Innervate, but we would like to come up with a solution that keeps you from getting boned when you happen to take a big blast of AE damage. We will also point out that there is a skill difference here too. Good mages know when the best time is to use Evocate (say KT just did a big blast so you know it isn't happening again). Less-skilled mages hit it the second they need it without paying attention to their surroundings.

Q: Why do improved scorch and winter's chill still have no personal benefit? Why is it still a dps loss and the cost of a major glyph to make use of scorch? What is the point now that warlocks will apply the debuff with their main nuke?
A: Selfish benefits are something we would like to add to all talents. For those we haven't done yet, it is usually because we would have to nerf the tree somewhere else to make up for the inflated damage. One of the questions we often ask ourselves is whether a class would already take that talent just because it's such a good talent for them. For example, if Battle Shout was a talent, almost every warrior would still take it even if they knew 100% that another player could provide the buff in a group. Why? Because it still grants them so much damage when solo, in BGs, etc.

Q: Why is frost still horribly lackluster in pve? Why is frostbolt still spammed and the ice lance glyph does nothing to fix this?
A: We can't make Ice Lance any better without making Frost even more deadly in PvP. We talked about making the glyph better, and we still might, but the problem is most PvE Frost mages take the glyphs of Frostbolt, Molten Armor and Water Elemental already, *and* inflating the glyph to something like 8x damage would make Frost mages the most insane leveling spec in the world.

Ideally, yes, we would love to get Frost into PvE and Fire into PvP in a bigger way. In the grand scheme of things though, mages have Arcane, Fire and Frostfire specs doing very competitive dps with each other in PvE and Frost and possibly Arcane as viable in PvP. That's definitely an improvement over where the class has been historically, so while it is something we want to work on, it doesn't feel like a crisis.

Q: Why has it been some five ptr builds with absolutely zero attention to our concerns? We aren't just complaining for the sake of it, and we're not all looking for massive damage buffs. Some of us would like to see our legitimate concerns at the very least commented upon.
A: Just understand that your concerns and our concerns are not always in perfect agreement. We like to get feedback from the community, but ultimately we don't sit down and say "How can we address all these problems that the community wants us to fix?" We have to do what we think is right for the game. Sometimes you are going to applaud those changes and sometimes you might not "approve" of the change.

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#103 - 2009/03/24 05:22:40 PM
Hi again everybody

The developers have answered a few more Mage related questions and concerns. Again, some of you may have seen this already elsewhere, but in case you have not, you can find it below:

Q: The irony of the the frost pve comments, is that fixing frost is easy. You just need to increase its damage and increasing the damage of frost bolt and the duration of the water elemental are both safe from a pvp perspective. Its the obsession with shatter combos, ice lance and possibly deep freeze thats stopping progress here.
A: Usually when Frost mages give us PvE feedback, it’s because they want to do shatter combos in PvE. For many Frost mages, that is what makes the spec fun for them.

Q: WE DO NOT NEED 3 PVP SPECS,
A: We understand some players feel that is a superior design. WoW used to be designed much closer to that model. More recently, we’ve come around to a new design where individual talents more than whole specs are more useful for PvP or PvE. This is a course correction for us though, and it’s going to take some time to fully realize that change. Frost has a lot of control and escape mechanisms specifically designed for PvP. We do not feel now is an appropriate time to tear the tree completely apart. We’re making adjustments where we can, and we have made PvP changes to Fire and PvE changes to Frost. We will continue to improve that.

From our perspective, there is always more we want to do with the game. There are always things we think we can improve. We can understand how individual players sitting at home might think “If they want to fix it, why don’t they just fix it.” But there are literally hundreds of things like that we want to do. We made a lot of changes for 3.1 (and we have some more to go) and we will continue to make changes as the game goes along.

To all players who think Frost MUST be PvE and to all of those who think Frost MUST be PvP only, please do remember that thousands of players disagree with you. :)

Q: When hearing "we know you're broken, but we no longer plan on fixing you" is just plain demoralizing.
A: Can Frost mages raid? Of course. Is your dps 2000 below a Fire mage? Probably not. When you say we no longer plan on fixing you, that is an exaggeration. There isn’t a thing in the game that we think is done. We can improve *everything.* So when we say “Yeah, we would like to fix that” you can apply it to just about every feature in the game. You shouldn’t turn that into “ZOMG Blizzard ships broken games.” As harsh as you guys can be on our design, we promise you, we are harsher.

Q: It's more than a little annoying how arbitrarily, randomly and inconsistently Blizzards "rules" actually get applied from situation to situation. You imply that you don't necessarily want to give a personal benefit to imp scorch, citing the example of a warrior using battle shout because it's still a massive DPS increase when solo.
A: The solution is stop trying to use our rules to argue for buffs. That is a very popular strategy among players, but it’s always going to be fraught with peril. You are better off addressing where you think your class has problems, and not trying to appeal to some kind of WoW constitution. Don't look for loopholes. There are times when it makes sense to compare two abilities directly and times when it does not. You don’t really need to worry about that. We balance your class around the totality of your gears and abilities. If locks are crushing you in damage meters, then we will fix that. You don’t need to argue that the problem is the rules work differently for locks and mages. That isn’t really germane to the discussion.

Q: Believe it or not, the overwhelming majority of the Mage class that posts are avid theory-crafters and experienced players. Go visit the Mage forums, i can guarantee you find a substantially larger amount of number generating than any other class forum.
A: You are just going to make other classes angry with assertions like this. They probably aren’t true, are difficult to verify, and aren’t really relevant. Being better at theorycrafting does not make you more deserving of buffs.

Q: I don't really care for all the QQ. But, we should really stop dancing around the issue. The spirit to crit conversion on Molten Armor is a nerf. On live Molten Armor gives 5% crit with the glyph. At the end of Ulduar gearing, with full raid buffs, we'll have the 5% crit back. So, for fully geared 25 man raiding mages it's probably a neutral change. For 10man raids, 5 man groups, solo play, and pvp, it's a nerf. For arena it's probably neutral since you are frost and using ice armor.
A: The way we set up the numbers, you should have more than 5% crit with Ulduar gear. There are mages now with “normal” Naxx gear (by which I mean they didn’t try to do anything really unusual or creative with gearing) that have more crit now with this change than they did before this change.

Q: I just can't believe that this Dev team, who made Ret Pallies feared, Survival Hunters viable, and the Improved Firestone talent worthwhile, can't possibly make Frost Mages viable in PvE.
A: We can, but it will take time. Prot warriors and paladins, Holy priests… there are several specs that have traditionally not been taken seriously for Arenas. We apologize if you are impatient, but there are 30 specs in the game, and that’s only if you count each tree as a whole spec. Players also tend to be very intolerant when we bork PvP balance (and understandably so) by bringing up specs that traditionally were not competitive.

Q: Their design goals are simply much longer-term than I'm willing to accept.
A: Yes. This. We knew it was risky giving the players an advanced look at some of the things we wanted to do with 3.1. Our goals were lofty, and we didn’t accomplish them all. We’re not sure we will do a preview like that again. We fear the negatives (e.g. anxiety when we don’t deliver) outweight the positives (e.g. providing information and giving players a window into our design goals).

Q: All we wanted was a reason why Locks deserve 30% damage from spirit while mages do not
A: Because they are balanced around that. If we gave mages 30% damage from spirit, we would nerf your damage in other ways. If you think your damage is low, argue that point (and some players are doing that). But we are not going to be very sympatheic to arguments that you need 30% damage from spirit just because another class does.

Again, we are totally sympathetic to mages who felt like they lost their spots to warlocks in Sunwell. That was bad. We do not want that and do not intend for that to happen again. We think though it is way too premature to say that is happening or will without a doubt happen.

Q: You set up expectations when you say "We're gonna make spirit a better stat for mages." That expectation isn't "My crit is going to go down, and now I need spirit to feel less screwed."
A: We were very clear that we weren’t going to just do “30% damage from spirit” so that mages dps suddenly went up by 20% or whatever. We said “we are going to make spirit better” not “we are going to buff you.”

Q: Mages were promised that with the release of Wrath
A: We don’t make promises. And when we do, we are being dumb. :)

Q: If Molten Armor is seldom used in PvP, and you've now nerfed it more (the first nerf of course being the change to impact) why retain the passive Crit reduction? This seems like something that would be far better suited for Ice Armor, or even Mage armor. It is really only useful in PvP, but this armor is now almost entirely useless in that space, making the crit reduction wasted.
A: We think you guy are reading too much into this. We would love for Molten Armor to be used for PvP. However, we would also love for Spirit to be more useful to mages. The solution we chose was to make Molten Armor scale from spirit. Fixing spirit was more important than Molten Armor in PvP, at least at the present time. Some players are again trying the “loophole strategy” of saying “Well if Molten Armor isn’t for PvP, you need to remove the crit reduction and replace is with something that improves our dps. Woohoo! Free buffs.” We felt better about nerfing Molten Armor in PvP knowing that you had another PvP armor you could still use if the loss of Spirit-powered crit was too big a penalty.

Is that ideal? No. Like we said, ideal would be to have Frost mages doing the same dps as Fire mages in PvE. Ideal would be Combat as a great PvP spec and Prot paladin Gladiators. We'll get there. If you try to make every change you think the game needs every patch then you create a lot of bugs, have very long patch cycles, and give the player base whiplash.

Q: I think the big road block to Frost is that the Dev's see it as very strong on 98% of the Mobs in the game, including the trash. So the fact that it's worthless against the other 2% doesn't concern them. Even though that last 2% is seemingly all that matters in this game in so far as PvE goes.
A: That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it does illustrate the problem that if you have a spec with exceptional crowd control and the same damage as a spec without crowd control, then why use the second spec? I'm not saying that is an excuse for Frost dps being low in PvE. But it is a risk.

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#104 - 2009/03/24 05:24:22 PM
Q: Your answer seems to have completely glossed over 5-man content. Y'know, the vast majority of the game? The thing that is the absolute entirety of endgame for most players?
A: That’s totally valid. However, we don’t think this change is so significant that mage dps will now be noticeably lower in 5-player runs or that you’ll see “LF1M DPS NO MAGES.” The way different classes benefit from raid buffs is already pretty variable. Melee dps goes up enormously with more and more raid buffs. Raid boss fights are long and often balanced on a razor’s edge. Having 5% crit there is enormous. Is 5% crit going to make or break your Halls of Stone run? Will you really notice it in Violet Hold?
We’ll try to get in a small selfish buff on Improved Scorch.
As always, we will ban players who can’t behave themselves on forums. Be adults. That is all we ask.

Q: Right now, if you keep your current value, we have to pay twice for spirit. Once for the item points, and another time because you gave us a -5% crit penalty to allow spirit scaling.
A: But all mages wearing Molten Armor pay that second price. If you avoid Spirit, then you will need to get Crit from somewhere else. Is Spirit point for point as good as Crit for purposes of affecting crit chance? No, but Spirit also improves your regen.

Q: instead of "we want to make spirit a more useful and interesting stat for mages", it would have been better to say something like "we want to make spirit a more useful and interesting stat by having it scale with dps in some way"
A: We didn’t know at the time that that would be our solution. We could have waited until we knew what the solution would be, but then the preview likely would have only come a week ago instead of a month or whenever it was. At the same time, it should not have been an out-of-nowhere solution given that many similar talents exist. The previews were a new experiment for us. We might handle it differently next time.

Q: Deep Freeze is -this close- to working as a PvE talent- all it has to do is cause a frozen status on mobs that cannot be frozen. A 5 second debuff.
A: But Deep Freeze says “if the target is frozen.” What you are talking about is almost like the talent giving you two spells. If the target is not frozen, proc Fingers of Frost (essentially). If the target is frozen, then stun it. That creates problems though – Oh wait, I didn’t want to waste my Deep Freeze to freeze that guy – I thought he was frozen already!

Q: Can anyone else substantiate these numbers? Specifically the 15.68% Damage decrease.
A: There are a lot of numbers floating around, but probably not enough. Some of these conclusions are drawn from theorycrafted data and some from players learning Ulduar boss fights. We don’t think mages suddenly dropped that much, and if that turns out to be true over the next couple of weeks, then guess what, buffs incoming.

All casters will feel the Imp Scorch change to 5% from 10%, but we are balancing around that.

Q: if i gear for +crit with 0 spirit and use mage armor i would be better off then gearing for a regular mix, i would have the crit an some regen/resists then.

Also why are not more Mages happy about the Molten Armor change it will now scale with gear. In Ulduar we will probably break even at 5% crit with maybe 2/3 peices of gear with spirit and after Ulduar it will actually be a buff. I don't plan on stacking Spirit now but atleast now it has a nice bonus to it.

A: So, see, here we have two relatively contradictory statements. Someone is doing the math wrong, or else you guys are doing more creative things with gear than we are realizing.

Q: Personally, I think you should have just added scaling from spirit only on gear, but this would probably have required tech changes on their part.
A: This would solve many balance problems in the long run. Specifically, we would like to isolate the contributions of gear from the contributions of buffs for mechanics like this that amplify X based on Y. It is something we will probably do eventually, but not for 3.1. It is a big mechanics change.

Q: Because the likelihood of having all those necessary buffs in a typical unstacked 10 man are still very slim.
A: The content is not balanced assuming you have all of those buffs. The same is true of the 5-player content. On the flip side, we also made some buffs a lot easier to get this patch. Spirit for example is now something all priests can bring.

Q: So why the determination to make everyone use it if you know they don't want it because it's bad?
A: Agility is a bad stat for you. It does something, but its effects are pretty trivial. Spirit now improves your crit chance, assuming you use Molten Armor. It is no longer by definition a bad stat. There are better stats, like spellpower and int, but you are rarely making direct choices between those and spirit.

Q: Specifically, you have chosen to ignore concerns about our play in pvp, and our dps standings in pve raids.
A: Those are very long topics, particularly the PvP one. The patch is not done, and even the parses that have been done so far are not conclusive evidence that mage dps is in the potty. As far as PvP goes, we think we will achieve a lot by nerfing the dominant specs and buffing those that have never had much of a chance. Mages have nearly always had a place in Arena play. We don’t think that will change in 3.1. I know that is a very brief answer, but we think the QQ is just coming too soon.

Q: You talk about people who didn't 'jump through hoops' when gearing themselves having higher crit after the patch than they do before the patch... but those same people did bad damage because they didn't jump through hoops, and had a bunch of worthless Spirit on their gear. It seems like a really sleazy response to say "Look! We buffed your crit! (but only if you have been gimping your damage)".
A: When your tiered set gear has Spirit on it, it’s safe to assume that you are supposed to want that gear. We don’t think it was a big secret that we wanted Spirit to be more valuable, and in any case you are all about to upgrade your gear again. You have a chance to make different choices, or keep all the cloth you can get and experiment.

Q: I would suggest then, that the devs take a closer look at just how much, point for point, that spirit is helping mage regen and whether this usage of itemization is underbudget or not (I suspect your team will find spirit rather unimpressive point for point compared to intellect, among other stats).
A: You are rarely ever choosing between an item with say 50 Spirit and an item with say 50 Int. There are very few "Capes of +100 Int" in the game. Spirit is usually traded off with things like crit and haste.

However, if gear without Spirit is still too attractive, we can be more generous with the Spirit to Crit conversion. It was not our intent to nerf mage dps with this change. (The Imp Scorch buff is different.) Unfortunately, it is sometimes hard to tell if changes are sufficient just from reading the forums. Some players rather enjoy hyperbole. :)

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#105 - 2009/03/24 05:26:28 PM
Q: It doesn't make any difference if spirit ups your regen if you don't need that regen. hence why spirit is bad in the first place.
A: If you have Pyromaniac, you are benefiting from Spirit-based regen. It doesn't always show up on the data-tracking mods that players use. Someone else posted that the mana regen from Pyromaniac is trivial. It's not.

Q: Yes, but we are quite regularly making direct choices between spirit and haste/crit/hit. And even with the new changes, spirit is significantly worse.
A: You need to support such claims if you want us to take them seriously.

Q: However, I don't need spirit, I don't want spirit, spirit is not a dps increase.
A: Spirit is a dps increase in 3.1. It is not on Live, though it isn't worthless like Agility is. (And even Agility isn't literally worthless, but we want you to value Spirit far more than Agility.)

Q: Bottom line for me: I want to toss frostbolts at the big bad bosses again. Not fireballs. Not arcane blasts. Not some bastardized frozen fireballs. Frostbolts.
A: We understand. That is a goal. We just have to do it without ruining what is currently a very popular PvP spec, or making it too good in PvP. That may take time. We understand some of you may not care at all about PvP. Many players do, and so do we. It's part of the game and we balance with both parts of the game in mind.

Q: I am curious to why you think mages and dps casters needed a nerf. We did get one. You ask for math and parses. I am father and husband first, I don't have time for that. I do play and I do care about my performance. You make these decisions based on math. I would like to see a little bit of that. Sans that, just tell me what that math and data told you. I will believe whatever you say.

I play 10/25 man, I have topped meters for "some" encounters. I have never dominated them except the week of the Arcane barrage bug not consuming the AB if you clipped the last AM missile. I have seen, Ret, DK, Rogue, Warlock, Boomkin, El Shaman, Fury Warriors, Hunters and warlocks all top the meters at times as well. As a matter of fact, I raid with a few melee who out damage me often. So I am just curious what made you feel mages and DPS casters needed a PVE nerf?

A: You absolutely do not need to post numbers to post here. We only ask for them when players make blanket statements that "everyone" accepts as fact. It's fine to raise concerns or point our problems with your class. That is a great use of these forums. It's only when players get into "you have to change this" mode, that we want more demonstrable proof.

As far as casters doing too much damage, the major problem we had was a buff giving 10% crit. Think about it. That is a huge number. The only melee buff close to that is Sunder Armor, but we equate that roughly to the CoE debuff for casters. (Both are borderline OP in our book.) Melee don't have a 10% crit buff. Even if they did, it would probably be too good. Many talents grant 1% crit for 1 talent point. Improved Scorch gave far more than that, for a spec that values crit very highly, and then shares it with up to 24 other players. Wow.

You can only have 100% crit. You don't need a buff to get you 0.10 of the way there. Classes had crit rates in excess of 70% in the first tier of gear. Where would we be by Icecrown? (And no the solution is not to buff all the monsters so that a bunch of players autocritting everything will still be okay.)

We changed the buff and we are balancing around it. As we said above, if mage crit is too low, we can adjust the conversion in Molten Armor.

Q: If an item has an additional 100 spirit on it, You will roughly lose 100 Spell Crit Rating or spell power.
A: The difference is Spirit is inflated a great deal by raid buffs and Crit Rating is not.

But again, the change is not necessarily to punish mages who avoided Spirit like the plague, and my apologies if my posts have suggested that. Those non-Spirit items are not super common, so to some extent they were lucky if they put those sets together. The change is to make mages not hate the Spirit that they are almost certainly going to end up with on their gear. As long as we close the gap a great deal between Spirit and non-Spirit geared mages, then the change has done its job. We think some players were just hoping we would itemize a lot of cloth gear without Spirit. That we are not going to do. We tried to be very clear that the goal was always "make Spirit work for mages" not "let mages easily avoid Spirit."

Q: It’s one thing to say, “we are looking to do this over time throughout the future.” It is another thing to give us a preview of things that are being looked at for 3.1 and then not only nerf (as opposed to buff) fire but do nothing for frost.
A: Okay, point taken. We will likely be much more conservative next time we talk about things we are working on. The preview would probably come much later, after we have had more time to evaluate what we are actually going to be able to get done. We tried to caveat all of that, but clearly it was insufficient. Somehow "here is what we would like to do" became a "promise" or close to it. We are just going to have to be more guarded when talking to the community. That may sound vindictive, but it's really not. Put yourself in our shoes.

Q: It's like they nerfed our crit just to give it back to us through spirit, which doesn't address the poor itemization problems.
A: We spelled out pretty clearly that we were not going to buff mages as part of making Spirit more useful. A few sharp players even said "If you lower our base damage and then let Spirit improve it that would be good." We acknowledged that was exactly what we were likely to do.
It is important that classes scale with gear, and cloth had a big stat investment in Spirit that was of little (but not zero) use to mages. Is Spirit now a more desirable that than it is on live? Yes.

Q: what I am really concerned about is the math i have been able to do shows spirit scaling as horrible, we are even better off avoivding it now then ever before. unless spirit does something else for us too is is still useless you are better off going for straight +crit gear and using another armor spell then using molten armor.
A: Please share that math. Most of the Naxx mages we looked at would receive a small crit buff with this change. Those that manage to avoid having any Spirit on their gear at all may be slightly higher, but they are also sacrificing regen. While Spirit-based mage regen may not be very important to someone who only cares about big dps numbers, it is not trivial either.
Or put another way, mages who go out of their way to avoid any Spirit will not be rewarded with much higher dps than most mages. Spirit competes much better with those other stats on your gear.

Q: I guess I can't really say that he doesn't talk to any other mages but I just wanted to make the point that there are a LOT of very knowledgeable mages out there that could give great input.
A: We talk to a lot of mages (and a lot of non-mages). Sometimes we wonder if it might be worth some kind of smaller, but publically-viewable forum where posters had to be invited to participate. The logistics of setting that up might be a nightmare, and anyone who didn’t make the cut might feel disparaged. It might have a strong signal to noise ratio, but also feels pretty elitist.

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#106 - 2009/03/24 05:28:50 PM
Q: It does appear that you are waffling around the point. your "players using our rules" against us is the classic paradime of "don't what we do, just do as we say." And in by doing so marginalizes our valid concerns. But don't be surprise this thread will be all for not, though.
A: A lot of players come to these forums trying to get their class buffed. Not everyone is in that boat, but truthfully a lot of players are.

Here is one strategy they try: If I accuse the devs of not knowing what they are doing, then I will shame them into listening to use to redeem themselves.

Here is another: A ha! Down here in this Feral druid talent, you gave them a dps boost. Therefore you need to give it to us too or you will be in violation of your talent-design rules.

You don’t need to try and trick us to get buffs. If your class has shortcomings somewhere, bring them up. If you are logical and objective and if you avoid insults, ranting and QQ then we will almost certainly read it, and there is good chance the developers will discuss it.

Q: I think everyone knew these were only plans. Where your mistake is though, is that you presented them as possible plans for 3.1, which made every class very excited about everything.
Priest's Barrier was canceled.
Mage's Frost PvE / Fire PvP fixes were canceled.
Shaman's totems changes were canceled.
Hunter's ammo was canceled.
Warrior's fixes were cancled.
And so on. I'm sure you know this, but by announcing so many awesome stuff and canceling every one of them is worst than announcing anything. When plans turn into nothingness, I think this is why the players are disappointed. Just like Shamans and their totem huge thread. No, it's no promise, but it's teasing us, which is worst.

A: We are unlikely to do previews again.

Q: If I proceeded to deliver the best idea this game has ever seen followed by 3 pages of dev bashing would you seriously ignore it? I don't think so. I never understood the point of these little blurbs in your posts.
A: Yes. We don't run these forums because we are desperate for ideas. We run them to give players a chance to give feedback. Players who can't make a civilized post risk chasing off the players we actually do want posting here. You will not convince us that the standard wild west Internet flame-a-thon is a perfectly fine way to communicate, and it is irrelevant anyway because these are our forums and we make the rules. If you don't like the rules, you don't have to participate. (It boggles my mind though how many players want to discuss forum rules instead of class mechanics.)

Really though, this comment wasn't about being rude to players at all. It was saying that it isn't effective nor necessary to try to catch us in a "rules violation" (and we are talking game rules, not forum rules).

Q: You need to make mages have 5% crit from our BASE spirit + spirit from buffs (divine spirit, mark of the wild and blessing of kings). Every single point of spirit on gear should IMPROVE us rather than trying to catch up with what we were previously (3.09).
A: When you say "where we were previously" do you mean with Improved Scorch or not? You have, what, 5% crit with glyphed Molten Armor? We believe it requires ~575 Spirit to get to that point. Some of the random Naxx mages we looked up on the Armory had 300-400 Spirit unbuffed. You can get 100 with just Divine Spirit and Mark of the Wild. We did not double-check this, so forgive us if some numbers are off.

As we said before though, the exact conversion is something we can mess with. One to one (Spirit to Crit) would be too generous, but we have some room.

Q: If you just added this Spirit scaling functionality to Mages baseline, instead of via Molten Armor, I would gain 253*.25 = 63.25 Crit rating. I would gain 1.38% crit. OMG!

1.38% crit is too much to give me???

A: If we understand you correctly, the answer is no, in fact 1.4% is probably so low that most mages would still complain about Spirit on their gear.

Q: On a secondary point, using molten armor means that we have at most 30% of normal regen, due to pyromaniac. This has always been and will always continue to be inconsequential, unless the mana gain per spirit is significantly increased.
A: We're guessing your mana from Spirit is probably 10-15% of your mana regen, raid buffed.

Q: I need to just say one thing about all of this. If a class change is so unpopular that it requires you to spend as much time as you obviously have reading and answering complaints about it, chances are its not the best of ideas, even if its a buff far later down the road.
A: It's not a popularity contest. We have made far more controversial changes. We are here to help explain our logic and to see if there is anything we missed. We use feedback to make informed decisions. The feedback does not make the decisions.

Q: Mages only care about big dps numbers though...that's all our class does. /facepalm

I thought about bringing this up as well. I'm not really sure what else we are supposed to care about.

A: Mana for one. Survival for two.

Q: Why shouldn't molten armor be +3% crit in addition to spirit to crit? Making molten armor have a static crit increase in addition to a bonus to spirit would ensure that mages that are not picking up spirit are not getting a huge drop in dps, and would still benefit mages that have spirit on gear.

A: Many of these players are arguing that mages who avoid Spirit are not getting a huge drop in dps. It is also almost impossible to have no spirit from gear as a mage.

Q: One appreciates the effort that has gone into ensuring this is not a buff. Issue is with theorycraft and patchwerk parses showing mages at the low end of raid damage, such care seems to have been a little misplaced.
A: This is a tricky thing to explain, but the two are not directly linked in our mind. Get mages not to hate Spirit is a task we wanted to do. Balance raid dps is another task. While changes in one place in the game always ripple down to other, we also don't design by trying to change one number that fixes everything (that number tends to get really overbound and a little fragile). This is not quite the same case, but the same logic comes up when players ask "Why can't our talents or coefficients be overpowered since our overall dps is low?" If mage dps is low, we'll adjust it. We don't need to and don't necessarily want to adjust it by making Spirit a huge dps buff.

Q: To take a particular example, when the announcements were first made the frost mage discussion on EJ was basicly along the lines of 'i wish they would get over shatter combos already, but I'll hold off because it could be encouraging'''. Now of course its along the lines of 'that sucks, where is my pitchfork', but you would have got that at around this time anyway.
A: Perhaps, but at the time we were just seeing a lot of "Why won't they fix our problems?" and "What are your plans for my spec?" posts. We figured some news would encourage discussion, which it did. Like we’ve said, We’re not sure we'd do it again.