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Thread: Let's Be Honest - State of the Mage Post-1.1 (Long)

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    Sword of Telara Furienify's Avatar
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    Default Let's Be Honest - State of the Mage Post-1.1 (Long)

    I'm a Mage. Level 50. That PvPs and Raids. You can check my posts; you won't find me making posts that mangle the English language on non-Mage calling forums like Rogue and Warrior. You ideally won't find me making totally outlandish and inaccurate claims about the class, as I hate deliberate misinformation in order to spread ignorance. I'd like to think I know my skills and the typical Mage builds by now - but even so, something in the following may be wrong (and I mean fact-wise, not opinion-wise) and I totally welcome corrections since I hate textual autofellatio.

    Anyways - the Mage, post 1.1. Were we buffed? Yes. Did the changes help? Yes, unless you were a Chloromancer. There are still changes that can be made, however, to make the calling well-balanced. We've got our goods, our okays, and our uglies.

    The Good:
    Archon:
    Despite nerfs to skills like Mana Flare, Earthen Barrage and Burning Purpose that originally bothered me, they turned out to be for the better in the end. The calling is now a well-balanced support soul; solid single-target DPS, but not the best, and unparalleled group support.

    Problems:

    - Bard Anthems of Glory and Defiance will boost Armor/Resistance (respectively) by 1 point more than their Archon equivalents do, overwriting the aura. These need to either co-exist (probably too much) or be brought into equal line; in the meantime, it's not hard to coordinate with your raid's bards so you can have all your auras up.

    - Flowing Sands' cooldown, for being one of two survivability tools, is still ridiculously high.

    - Lava Field is still a bad spell.

    - Talents like Efficiency and the Lava Field booster don't really bring anything to the table- Lava Field stays bad and Archon has infinite mana anyways.
    Stormcaller:
    Unparalleled AoE DPS, not bad single-target, with excellent anti-melee skills. Weak against RDPS and, on its own, not extremely mobile due to cast times to refresh Electrified stacks. Feels balanced.

    Problems:
    - Something feels off when Lightning Field, the spammable AoE nuke, continually does more damage than Cloudburst, which feels like it should be the culminating 'oomph' spell of the Stormcaller's 'building up a storm' concept. Post-1.1 Cloudburst can do more damage with the right talents, but Lightning Field will still outperform it in DPS due to the added AoE mechanic and higher chance to crit.

    - There's no real reason to spend points in the soul past 32/Static Discharge. Absolute Zero has a large cooldown, Eye of the Storm is a bad 51-pointer (little damage for being in melee range) and the soul lacks a 'Plus __% damage on Air spells for every point beyond # invested in the soul' skill, but it does have one for Water, except we don't DPS with the Water skills. I can't say if the lack of the Air thing is for better or worse.

    - Building Storm. Still bad, 3 betas and one content patch later.

    - All in the all the class has moved away from the 'build up a storm' concept and is now more about facerolling Forked Lightning and Lightning Field. Can't say if this is good or bad, just noting it.
    Necromancer:
    Solid sustained single-target DPS, great pet damage. Very self-sufficient, brings a purge to the table, alongside some CC and a healing debuff. A well-rounded soul.

    Problems:

    - Looming Demise, a key skill in their DPS output, is overwritten by debuffs of equal effectiveness that still penalize the Necro's DPS output, such as Binding of Affliction.

    - Revenant pet is still pretty 'meh', even if talented.

    The 'Okay':
    Warlock:
    It's an 'okay' soul. It has good - perhaps even great - abilities, but it jarringly stands out in that it's just ... the synergy soul. I can't say if this is good or bad. Warlock is a good secondary soul for Life/Death damage classes (Necro, Chloro) or classes that have skills with a cast time higher than 1.5s that they want to incorporate into their rotation without suffering a mobility or DPS penalty (Stormcaller, Elementalist, maybe Archon).

    It's the synergy soul. It has lots of survivability cooldowns, solid CC, but on its own it has no real aim or focus. Someone once described that Warlock is the synergy soul for Necro/Chloro (Life/Death) classes, and that Elementalist was the synergy soul for the rest. Problem is? You will have a use for almost all of your Warlock skills, while you'll only ever use one or two, tops, from Elementalist.
    Chloromancer (PvE):
    Despite the Radiant Spores/LGV nerf, the Chloromancer is still a good healer. Great at healing a Main Tank, if inflexible, with decent AoE healing to boot. Weak in that it doesn't have much mobility and lacks the 'oh shi-' buttons that Clerics have.

    Problems:

    - Withering Vines still sucks.

    - Call of Spring evidently still does not work, but I hear so much about this either way that I can't say for certain unless I test it myself.

    - Still no point in going beyond 32 points into the soul, as Natural Splendor/Void Life aren't very good spells, and it lacks a 'Plus X for every point spent beyond Y' talent.
    Dominator:
    The Crowd Control soul. It manages this fairly well and has solid shutdown options, but it has been bent over the nerf table a few times by now.

    Problems:

    - Still no viability in PvE. At all.

    - The tweaks to diminishing returns make Transmogrify and their CC in general less powerful - and, being the CC class, what else do they have?

    - Controlled Opportunity can be ******iculous in the hand of certain Mages that dual-spec into Dominator.

    - With the (understandable) nerfs to mana drains, the Dominator soul is lacking in direction and magnitude. It can shut people down - not for very long, anymore - but it can't do anything beyond that. It used to be a great PvP soul, but it's simply been nerfed a bunch.

    The Ugly:
    Pyromancer (PvP):
    Yeah, let's get this out of the way. I feel that if you aren't totally drunk on power and vengeance since 1.1 and that you aren't a FotM reroller, you should be able to see that, in PvP, Pyromancers are bonkers. In PvE, it's fine. No problem there. PvP? Bananas.

    Simply put, the 1.1 buffs to Pyromancers weren't necessary. The LoS change was a boon to Mages in general, but had a disproportionate impact on surviving against this soul. GoS and it's diminishing returns were a good change, but there's still more.

    Problems, pre- and post-1.1:

    - Damage. This problem has two contributors: Pyro received a boost, however small, from the calling-wide damage buff, that was generally unneeded. The second factor is that the warfront powerups double your SP/AP, which is frankly insane.

    I understand that Pyromancers are a burst class, but you can't say that the class with an unbreakable 8s root, a 5s disarm, a 5s stun, 30% damage reduction, CC immunity and a CC-breaking teleport is a 'glass cannon'. That **** doesn't look very glassy to me.

    When you have a burst DPS class, it's balanced when the damage is strong, but not so strong that the healer or victim doesn't have time to react. I'm of the opinion that being one-shotted should not, ever, happen in any PvP situation, regardless of circumstances. Yet, in this case, it does. It wasn't acceptable when Saboteurs did it, I don't think it's acceptable that Pyromancers do it.

    - Ground of Strength. It's still broken even with the diminishing returns. Damage reduction via Rune Shield, Elementalist and GoS stack additively rather than multiplicative [citation needed]; cap this with CC immunity. It's too much. Again, that cannon is not glassy.

    What I think a fair change would be? Make the damage reductions multiplicative, and make GoS immune to CC except silences. Maybe interrupts, too, but that might be too much. Is it really unreasonable to ask that anti-caster spells actually, you know, work against casters?

    - Withering Flames: A massive charge dump that requires all ticks to get off in order to net a DPS increase; despite this, a passing mouse taking a doo on your pinky toe will push the spell back.

    - As for the Infero-off-GCD change and the new shield skill: I don't think they were necessary changes, but they weren't game-breaking, either. Moving on.
    Chloromancer (PvP):
    Functions the same as it's PvE counterpart, except much weaker, for a number of reasons:

    - LGV/RS nerfs had a larger impact in PvP.

    - Your heals are all contingent on attacking an enemy, meaning you have to always put yourself in harm's way to heal people.

    - You can't 'save' anyone. A Cleric can pop their cooldowns and save an ally from the brink of death with a burst of healing; a Chloromancer can't do this, for several reasons:
    ^Long cast times made, in effect, longer due to projectile delay.
    ^Synthesis being on GCD with a 30s CD means you can't spot-heal to save anyone.
    ^While a Chloro can pick up self-buffs from the Warlock tree, they don't have any CDs and 'Oh Shi-' buttons outside of Essence Surge, which is more of a penalty than anything else.

    - All in all, the Chloromancer has to be alone in order to be remotely effective in a PvP setting; and even if left alone, they're best at dealing with AoE and DoT damage.
    Elementalist:
    The other pet class soul. I don't know what Trion was going for, here. Jack of all trades, master of none? Isn't that more like 'below average at all trades'? This soul just has no focus. The only reason people pick it up is to boost Stormcaller and Pyromancer spells; and in doing so they ignore 90% of the skills this tree gives them. There's just so much wrong here:

    - Mediocre pets. Tank pet is a bad tank, Air pet's AI is bad and its damage is mediocre. SP buff overwritten by Bards. Water pet is just useless. There's not even an actual Fire pet, which has 'fun' written all over it.

    - Even if you incorporate every pet-buffing spell into your rotation, your damage output is still subpar and you have no notable survivability.

    - Many of the skills seem to point to incorporating Charge into the soul moreso than other classes - such as seen in the Synergy skill and Elemental Armor. Yet there isn't a single Charge-dump skill that's worth using in the entire tree.

    - Everything is passive! Passive DR, passive pet buffs, passive buffs to DoTs, passive buffs to CM, passive buffs to this and that. Once you weed out completely useless skills (cough Exposure cough Encase cough) an Elementalist's bar is so damn miniscule compared to its counterpart, the Necromancer, and despite this it's still outperformed in every possible way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Player0ne View Post
    This thread screams, " I'm glad healing is getting nerfed..now please dont quit healing us."

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    Telaran
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    Coordinated use of Dominator is marvelous for experts while your group is gearing up. Otherwise agreed that it's been overnerfed.

    Good post.

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    Sword of Telara Ixath's Avatar
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    I think I agree with everything you said.

    I also think chloro 51pt should be a toggle, 1 min CD, burns charge.. enables chloromancer LGV to heal # (3-5) additional targets. 5-10s CD. 44pt should give XX healing to LGV based on point in chloro soul. Not a thread for ideas though, but, yeah.

    Someone tested call of spring this week (in another thread) and it still isn't doing anything for LGV.

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    Good post. I agree with most of what you said, but just a few comments.


    1. The Stormcaller's "excellent anti-melee skills." I have to disagree. Long cast times and many gap closers on the melee class side make them not very excellent at all. You can stop people from chasing others, but not yourself. Absolute Zero helps, once every 3 minutes, if you're stupid enough to go past 32 points.
    Your best bet to keep melee off you is to spec Dominator secondary, insta-squirrel them, run to 30m and snare from there. Diminishing returns have made this difficult, though.


    2. Elementalists. I disagree with almost everything you said.

    - The pets are good. Since 1.1, the earth pet is a very good tank.
    Air pet damage is ok, I feel like this soul focuses more on the caster and less on the pets. I think this is fine, with Necro having a stronger pet focus.
    The water pet has its uses in PvP. It's not very good but its snare has saved my life a few times, and at least it's the best of the 3 pets to use in PvP, imho.

    - Damage output is pretty good. I feel this soul have very good damage potential, and with the 51-pointer, unparalelled burst. With +Armor buffs, +10% mitigation and an absorb shield, as well as a pet that since 1.1 can easily take aggro off you, I've never had an issue with survivability in PvE. In PvP... well you're just as squishy as any mage without GoS except maybe Warlock.

    - Charge. Elemental Forces is great, actually. Fiery Assault is... OK. Could use a bit of a boost maybe. Maybe the cooldown removed. But it's not completely terrible.

    - Lack of active skills... my bars are still pretty full. There's always a few nice skills you can pull from a second or third soul.

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    I agree with everything you said, specially for Dominator and Chloro

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    I agree and disagree with what you said about the pyro and the glass cannon. First of all, 1.1 didn't change the pyro's damage that much. My DPS parse was almost identical pre and post patch.

    The extra buff they gave pyros did throw off the balance, because now they have an damage shield they can pop on themselves AND allow them to instantly cast their GOS/GOP. That was a big boost for pvp, but it was much needed in PVE.

    However, I don't feel GOS is overpowered because it can be dispelled, while it does make you CC immune to most things, there are a few CC abilities that still work, which I don't know if that is a bug or not. Most pyros don't even bother with GOS in PVE because most instance bosses are immune to stuns and the immunity on GOS doesn't always work on a boss ability.

    If one was to nerf the Pyro, then remove their penalty to hps. Because right now without something like GOS, they are very prone to be killed by a combo from any class that can burst damage.

    Pyros have very little amount of HPs, most people don't realize just how little. A typical level 50 mage has 5-6k hps, Pyros have less than 4k.
    Last edited by MoonDragn; 04-06-2011 at 05:38 AM.

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    Ground of Strength needs to stay. It is the only ability in the entire mage calling that can make mages viable in organized PvP. Without it, no matter your spec, you'll be burst down instantly with no chance of heals. Other callings solve this by having tanking souls, plate, shield, good self-heals, big HP pools, long durations of immunity of 2min cooldowns, etc.... none of which the mage calling has.

    The problem with Ground of Strength is that it is at the bottom of a soul that is otherwise a glass cannon. A simple fix, IMO, would be to make it reduce the damage you deal while you stand in it by X%, similar to guardian phase for rogues. If they do that they can still keep the glass cannon nature of the soul otherwise, and hopefully not nerf it into the ground like sabs.
    Last edited by FrankyFastHands; 04-06-2011 at 05:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoonDragn View Post
    I agree and disagree with what you said about the pyro and the glass cannon. First of all, 1.1 didn't change the pyro's damage that much. My DPS parse was almost identical pre and post patch.

    The extra buff they gave pyros did throw off the balance, because now they have an damage shield they can pop on themselves AND allow them to instantly cast their GOS/GOP. That was a big boost for pvp, but it was much needed in PVE.

    However, I don't feel GOS is overpowered because it can be dispelled, while it does make you CC immune to most things, there are a few CC abilities that still work, which I don't know if that is a bug or not. Most pyros don't even bother with GOS in PVE because most instance bosses are immune to stuns and the immunity on GOS doesn't always work on a boss ability.

    If one was to nerf the Pyro, then remove their penalty to hps. Because right now without something like GOS, they are very prone to be killed by a combo from any class that can burst damage.

    Pyros have very little amount of HPs, most people don't realize just how little. A typical level 50 mage has 5-6k hps, Pyros have less than 4k.
    Absolutely agreed.

    I would also like to mention:
    Disarm doesnt really seem to work at all. It works on NPCs just fine, but casting it on a melee or rogue doesnt seem to stop them from using their abilities

    Flicker doesnt remove ALL CC. It removed roots and transmogrify (dangerous to do though since you have NO control where you will flicker to) , however stuns and mez remain after the 'jump' as well as silence. Snares are a weird thing. Some it removes and others continue to snare you after the 'jump'
    Flicker needs looked at or the tooltip fix because it's not doing what it's supposed to do.

    GoS - again buggy. I'm not even talking about the Rift Prison, which always hit in a GoS. I'm talking about Silences and Mez. You can be in the GoS (its not dispelled, as the buff still shows) and be silenced as well as mezzed. It seems to be a server issue because it only happens when large amounts of CC are being thrown around and also seem to be mostly AoE CC that triggers the glitch.

    The CC immunity needs to stay on GoS. The damage reduction could be reduced and I'd be ok with that. I think the whole point of GoS is for locking down a chokepoint with AoEs and to serve that purpose the GoS needs to give immunity to CC (the caster is still effectively rooted). I dont think the purpose of GoS was to give mages tank like damage reductions.

    That being said - Pyros should have the -9% HP reduction removed if there are any other changes to the soul from where it stand now, especially if the damage reduction from GoS is removed.


    What the OP failed to also mention is that pyros have no 'anytime' go-to spells. Most spells are on a semi long cooldown, fireball is a 2 second cast time and flamebreath is a freaking joke of a spell (and STILL has a semi long cooldown). Pyros dont have an instant cast anytime spell.


    Now getting to Chloromancers - I think Radiant Spores should just be removed all together or the tree talent could be removed and changed to something useful - A snare would benefit chloros immensely. Possibly a talent to add a snare to withering vines.

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    Rift Disciple Dharknite's Avatar
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    agree and disagree with some of the OP's points

    1. I largely agree on SC points, especially that building storm sucks. I don't think it is as anti-melee as the OP makes it out to be.

    2. I too think the cooldown on flowing sands is too long.

    3. Like every other mage soul, high level Pyros received a very minimal buff from the increase in base damage. It helps more at lower levels.

    4. The problem with Pyros are number of things a) the fact that damage reduction is additive and not multiplicative, b) there is no drawback to GoS like there is for GoP. I think if the reduced damage reduction slightly and add either increase cast times or Cooldown for spells casted while under the effect of GoS it might be a bit less OP.

    5. Largely agree with Dom needing help, a lot of spell will not work on boss mobs and with all the CC flying around in group pvp you see more immunes than anything. Perhaps it should focus more on debuffs than CC.

    6. I disagree with the Elementalist points

    Pets can be pretty good when specced deep into Elem. The GEE got better after 1.1 is a great tank, and speccing into improved quicken elements means it can live through a lot. With 5/5 planar expansion the GWE pet snare is nice in pvp. With talents Specced the GAE does some decent damage. I wish we did have a fire elemental

    Point to a Mage soul that does not have a lot of passives infact point to any soul that doesnt have a lot off passive.

    Ice Shield, Armor buffs and a passive 10% reduction help with survivability, and Elem had these before 1.1.

    Only 2 skills help gain charge, Synergize and Elemental armor. Synergize costs only 1 point, is instant cast, last 30 min and goes on the pet, it is pretty much free charge when your pet does damage. Elemental armor give 504 and increases element damage by 15%, it also increase charge generated by 15% I hardly think charge is main reason ppl use it. EF is a decent charge dump as well as FA which when used with burning ground make for nice aoe damage. Also 2 skills turn charge to mana. And since other souls have charging using abilities gaining extra charge without doing extra work is usually good. I have a Archon as my secondary, I can use power drain quite a bit.

    I fail to see how an instant case debuff that last 30 sec and increase magical damage done to the target by 7% as useless, the only thing better than Exposure is Crumbling Resistance if you got 14 pts in Archon. While I do think Encase should be instant cast it has its uses.

    The biggest issue with Elementalist is the fact that the velocity debuff is a coin toss and can fall off even it CM is spammed. It needs to be a 100% chance to debuff. Also I wish abrasion would be changed to something more useful or at atleast have increased chan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dharknite View Post
    4. The problem with Pyros are number of things a) the fact that damage reduction is additive and not multiplicative, b) there is no drawback to GoS like there is for GoP. I think if the reduced damage reduction slightly and add either increase cast times or Cooldown for spells casted while under the effect of GoS it might be a bit less OP.
    Problem with gimping GOS is that it is a 44 point ability. Any attempt to make it less attractive and Pyros will forgo it altogether and go deep into the Warlock tree instead. A mass fear and a 80% reduction in damage is hell of a lot better in certain situations.

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    Very nice post to sum up the state of mages.

    Elementalist tank pet after 1.1 is a beast when specced with chloro/synthesis, so much it might be over the top.

    Chloro is still a very strong pvp class after 1.1 now that they reduced pushback on damage abilities. Not a primary healer, but I out support heal anyone in pvp working with a single target healing cleric.

    I don't agree with your point about silence working on pyros in GoS. There are far to many silences and aoe silences in the game (mana users only) and literally no disarms or aoe disarms. I think GoS needs to be reworked and have the stun effect moved to GoP and a damage output reduction added to balance the two ground abilities.

    GoP - Increased Damage, 20% to stun on fire damage (first tic only on fire dots), Increased Damage Taken.
    GoS - Decreased Damage, Decreased Damage Taken, Immune to CC
    Last edited by Lowjack; 04-06-2011 at 06:41 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ixath View Post
    I think I agree with everything you said.

    I also think chloro 51pt should be a toggle, 1 min CD, burns charge.. enables chloromancer LGV to heal # (3-5) additional targets. 5-10s CD. 44pt should give XX healing to LGV based on point in chloro soul. Not a thread for ideas though, but, yeah.

    Someone tested call of spring this week (in another thread) and it still isn't doing anything for LGV.
    I have 2 big gripes with Chloro. I actually like using it in pvp, but it is really gimp in pvp. Why? Spell pushback. It could really use a talent that reduces pushback 50 or 100%.

    Number 2, Lifegiving veil can be dispelled. Waaat? What other soul becomes 95% useless with one dispel? Sure, you can spend a GCD on recasting, but I don't know about you, but when you are in the thick of it in a mass of 20 people trying to kill each other, I am not staring at my buffs. It's like if there was an ability that disarmed warriors, had no cooldown, and the warrior had to rearm themselves every time they noticed they were hitting for 50 damage.

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    Wow, great post. I've never played a mage but from what my guildies have been talking about this seems rather well-thought out.

    If only my fellow rogues could be so eloquent...
    Obryn- 50 Cleric: Druid, Warden, Justicar
    Devilweed- 50 Mage: Chloromancer, Warlock, Elementalist
    Obyran- 50 Rouge: "Bard"
    Defiant of Briarcliff <Damaged PvPness>


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    Quote Originally Posted by Saboth View Post
    I have 2 big gripes with Chloro. I actually like using it in pvp, but it is really gimp in pvp. Why? Spell pushback. It could really use a talent that reduces pushback 50 or 100%.

    Number 2, Lifegiving veil can be dispelled. Waaat? What other soul becomes 95% useless with one dispel? Sure, you can spend a GCD on recasting, but I don't know about you, but when you are in the thick of it in a mass of 20 people trying to kill each other, I am not staring at my buffs. It's like if there was an ability that disarmed warriors, had no cooldown, and the warrior had to rearm themselves every time they noticed they were hitting for 50 damage.
    Pushback has been reduced significantly. I still get pushbacks, but not nearly the rate I was getting before.

    Tip: make sure you spell and icons are displayed in your options. I notice the instant my LGV has been dispelled and have it back up immediately. I think this mechanic is fine, it separates good players from bad.

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    Rift Disciple Dharknite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoonDragn View Post
    Problem with gimping GOS is that it is a 44 point ability. Any attempt to make it less attractive and Pyros will forgo it altogether and go deep into the Warlock tree instead. A mass fear and a 80% reduction in damage is hell of a lot better in certain situations.
    Like anything it becomes a choice. Nothing is optimal 100% of the time, sometimes being a turret is good, sometimes mass fear is good. Not to mention a pyro who wants fulminate while still go 51. Also any pyro that specs into Mass Fear has stopped being a pyro and became a lock, even the role icon will become a lock.
    Last edited by Dharknite; 04-06-2011 at 06:57 AM.

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