WoW Mages

In the tradition of the other threads for the priest and hunter, I figured it would be good to discuss mages in WoW. It seems to be the least played GWJ class.

To be honest, I dont know why. They are difficult and are prone to dying more than other classes. However, I cant think of a more fun class to play.

The interesting point being how the class handles downtime. Most other classes can kill enemies in around 20-25 seconds. Single kills usually dont cause many problems so characters dont have more than a few seconds downtime between fights.

However, the mage can absolutely trounce single monsters. Most fights couldnt last more than 10-12 seconds, lest the mage take too many hits and be very vulnerable to biting the bucket.

So, mages have an unbelievably unfair advantage than other classes right? Nope. The key is that mages are mana hogs and get beat up with only a few hits. If it werent for the frost armor that slows enemies attacks 20% on hit, every battle would most likely come to who gets the last hit. So, every 2 fights the mage must replenish at least 3/4 mana and most likely 2/3 health.

The most crucial spell is the summon water spell. It basically helps you go from 0 mana to full in ~20 seconds. So the mage play out at 2 fights taking 20-25 seconds plus 20 seconds downtime whereas most other classes do 2 fights in around 40 seconds with maybe 5 seconds downtime.

Its a really neat twist on the standard fight/rest gameplay dynamic.

I thought Conjure Water was useless.
Now I''ll try it.

No way, conjure water and food are awesome, especially water. I have not played any other class than my mage, where I''m up to level 36, so I can''t really compare first-hand to other classes, but it does seem we can kill faster than other classes. I can solo enemies up to two levels higher and can usually take them down without getting touched using ranged attacks and freeze spell. Like fang said the downside to that is mana.

Lately in the higher levels I have become very mana concious, conservation becomes important as you get more ranks in spells. I''ll even stand there and soak up a couple of hits to finish a guy off with a spell that''s still cooling down rather than using a more mana-intensive spell that is ready to go. Unless I get more than one enemy, mana is more important by far than health.

I redid my talents around 33, so here''s some advice so you guys don''t have to pay the gold to redo yours. Do not go all fire. Yes, fire is great in early levels for damage, but once you start grouping and doing instances you need better crowd control and mana conservation. Split it between arcane and fire. You can do frost instead of fire if you want if you almost always group, frost is better for crowd control than damage. In arcane, make sure to get the improved missiles and explosion, it will make arcane explosion pretty much an instant with 0 cooldown you can just spam over and over when you get more than one add. Very useful in groups. Improved missiles will allow you to channel with 0% chance of interruption, great if there is a guy standing in your face hitting you, vs like trying to cast a fireball which resets everytime you get hit. Also the evocation spell with 1500% mana regen has been great for me, restores my bar full in about 5 seconds. The 40% reduced threat from the arcane line is good too. So is the mana shield for when you have to run!

Oh, one other thing, don''t waste your time getting trained in daggers or swords, and don''t waste your talent points on the wand damage bonus. I have not used a weapon hardly at all. And there are no daggers or swords I can find that give int/spirit bonuses like the staffs do, it''s a waste of money.

That''s all I can think of now.

The funny thing is that I still have no idea what ""Arcane Intellect"" does.
The game, the manual and the few websites I managed to find, all say a one-line sentence that it ""Increases target''s intellect"".


Shih, it means exactly that.

The higher your intellect the higher your mana pool limit.

Rank 1 increases intellect by 2.
Rank 2 by 7
Rank 3 by 15

That''s the highest I''ve gotten...

Its a stat increase. Intellect is what your mana pool is based on. So higher intellect = more mana = more spells cast before running empty.

Its good that you give arcane talents your blessing. I definitley love arcane missiles so thats why I put 5 points right away into improved missiles. I find that while fireball can be more mana efficient, I have 3 chances to crit with arcane missiles. So I am regularly hitting for the normal 25 and getting one 38 crit per cast. At least 2 out of 3 casts.

I am also eyeing the frost ward and mana shield spells. I know more ways to drain mana but I dont like running for my corpse very much.

Unfortunately, food and water do not work in combat so bandaging has saved my life numerous times. Bandaging is also faster so I have at times used frost nova to back out and heal if im a hit or 2 away from death. And if Im out of mana, I run no matter what.

I would have liked to have seen a nice DoT for the mages. That could definitely aleviate some of the mana drain. If they had a moonfire type spell, wow would that be awesome.

What is your thoughts on amplify damage Leaping? Or anyone else that plays a 20+ mage on another server?

Just a point of view from a rogue who groups with a mage that drives him crazy on regular basis: Mages are not tanks. I don''t care how nifty the staff that you rolled on is or how low your 2h staff skill is, getting in the way of the actual melee classes is stupid. It''s worse when you''re using melee instead of poly''g adds, thus killing the group''s healer. It''s still worse when the mobs you''re bashing instead of casting on have a really cool AoE lifetap, not only forcing the healer to waste time and mana healing you, but drawing out the fight since you''re basically a health battery at that point.

I''m playing a mage this time, after getting a warrior up to lvl 54 in the beta.

I have to say, the class is really fun. It feels a little limited sometimes, and I wish we could augment our AC a little better (cloth sucks! :D), but overall, the mage is an awesome class.

"fangblackbone" wrote:

In the tradition of the other threads for the priest and hunter, I figured it would be good to discuss mages in WoW. It seems to be the least played GWJ class.

To be honest, I dont know why. They are difficult and are prone to dying more than other classes. However, I cant think of a more fun class to play.

Speaking for myself, mages are relatively boring to play, as they seem exactly like nukers in every other game. Blizzard applied alot of creativity to their other class designs but not very much to the Mage. After playing fantasy RPGs for a long time I guess a Fire spell and some Ice snares just don''t do it for me anymore. The sheep spell is funny but in effect it''s the same as any other mez. So it doesn''t surprise me at all that it''s an underplayed class.

I apologize to anyone who plays a Mage who''s offended by this. I''m not trying to diss you

"LeapingGnome" wrote:

Oh, one other thing, don''t waste your time getting trained in daggers or swords, and don''t waste your talent points on the wand damage bonus. I have not used a weapon hardly at all. And there are no daggers or swords I can find that give int/spirit bonuses like the staffs do, it''s a waste of money.

I have a similar dilemma as a priest, but I took dagger anyway, thinking that I would occasionally have periods where I would have a great off-hand item. So far I''ve found stuff that is pretty cool for the off-hand (pluses to healing spells, etc.; I imagine there are similar items for pluses to mage spells), but no daggers (nor have I really been looking though). What are your thoughts on this? It''s clear that there are not daggers that give the bonuses of staves, but what about the combined benefits of the dagger/off-hand item?

Sly, there is a good dagger for priests I found the other day in the auction house. Let me see if I can find it on thottbot...

EDIT: Ah, here it is:

EDIT 2: Maybe I am just spoiled by finding a +5int/+11spirit staff, but I have not found an dagger/sword + off-hand item that will compensate stats wise if I trade-off for the staff.

I at first agreed with you Strekos. But after playing one for a while, its a lot more interesting. I mean think of all those AoE spells wizards get in EQ. Except noone uses them because you''d be nuts to have more than one of any con monster fighting you.

I just got flamestrike at level 16. I know, big deal, its a column AoE nuke. But wait, its a half nuke half DoT? And whats this, it helped me finish off the first defias quest by pummeling 3 green con trappers and smugglers at a time? I was half done with the quest and I got the other half in about 10 minutes solo. It took me about 30-40 minutes to do the first half.

Right now Im at a power level. I just got a new arcane missiles spell in addition to flamestrike. I would have no qualms or struggles taking out 2 lvl 14-15 even con monsters. Open with flamestrike, and then hit one with an arcane missile. If it still lives, hit it with the insta fire nuke to finish it. Repeat for the second, though most likely the second wont need the fire nuke since the flamestrike will have time to do full damage on it. And after all this, Im still around half mana.

On levels other than power levels, you have a lot of choices of what to open with and what the sequence of casting is. If you target''s too close then hit it with ice bolt and perhaps keep hitting it till it reaches you. Always use the instacast fire nuke to finish runners. I like to experiment and figure out how to whittle the monster down to just more than enough health before it runs and not more health than arcane missile can dish out. They is nothing cooler than hitting a few waves of missiles and watching the monster turn to run and the last one or two missiles connect and drop it.

I never use the sheep spell. I''d rather blast the first monster down and then deal with an add. Ill use sheep in groups definitely.

Oh at level 10 you get a mage specific quest that will reward you with an orb that appears to be right click usable and gives you 140-150 mana or so. Im sure it has a lengthy cool down. However, I hope more items like this are around.

Wounder, if your mage is doing melee regularly, they should be playing another class. Square peg doesn''t fit in the round hole.

fang, Amplify/Dampen Magic, honestly I haven''t found much use for it. It increases the magic damage or heal to a target. Sure you can cast it on an enemy and then hit then with some spells, but why not just hit them with a damage spell? I guess you could cast it on a party member prior to a priest heal, but that requires a lot of coordination in the middle of battle where you usually need heals.

Sheeping is crucial in instances. Later on you get a spell to create a mana stone, which is one-time use and instantly gives you 300-400 mana. Scorch will become very useful in knocking off that last little bit of health when the enemies run in later levels.

Didn''t they change first aid so that now you have to actually ""channel"" it? In other words can''t use in the middle of battle anymore?

No offense Strekos, different strokes for different folks!

I never use the sheep spell. I''d rather blast the first monster down and then deal with an add.

As LG mentioned, ""sheeping"" is incredibly important for instances. Furthermore, it''s better to sheep that add than have him beating on you (and interrupting your spells).

I love instant cast spells. You get a frost based instant (cone of cold) that hits multiple targets and slows them. With 5 points in a talent, arcane explosion becomes an instant cast... with NO COOLDOWN. You can''t imagine the sheer destruction you can cause with that thing. I watched a lvl 35 mage take on 5 different mobs at the same time with that. Blizzard to get their attention. Cone of cold when they got close (additional slow). Then he backs up and spams AE. Wow. Impressive carnage, to say the least.

You think they are going to add a cooldown to arcane explosion?

Oh I know sheeping is good in instances. I was talking about non instance fighting and mostly soloing.

First aid you have to channel but all that means is you frost nova, back up and bandage, then cast again.

Hmm, maybe amp damage would work well with arcane explosion spam? The damage could pile up to justify the cost of the spell.


No one has explained that if you hit ""c"" and mouse over the names of your character stats, it tells you what they are for. Intellect is one of them.

One thing to note about the ""hate"" aggro in WoW as compared to EQ1, is that it doesn''t work the same from what I have seen so far in 38 levels. Leaping and I could pull 2 or 3 mobs at a time yesterday. He would be working on one and I would be killing the other. I would have mine down to 25% health left and he would finish his off, he could still get aggro. In my opinion, I should have built up enough hate to hold aggro no problem but he could blast it once and it would jump him. It could have been the spell he was using but I really don''t like that aspect of the game.

Hmm, maybe amp damage would work well with arcane explosion spam? The damage could pile up to justify the cost of the spell.

The only thing there is you use arcane explosion when fighting multiple mobs. For a benefit you would need to cast amplify on each mob, in the time it took you to do that you could have gotten 2-3 more explosions in, not really worth the trade off. There has to be a good use for amplify/dampen magic, maybe I''ll check blizzard''s boards later today and see what other people have to say.

Flux, yes, the aggro really gets mages. I don''t know how the aggro calc works, from what I can tell it deals with the amount of damage over amount of seconds. Since I can consistenly deal 800-900 damage or more over 2-3 seconds, it will instantly draw aggro if I do that. What I''ve taken to doing when grouped and you probably saw me doing yesterday is pacing myself for aggro and mana. I''ll let you engage first once you have them down a notch I''ll hit for a 200 point frostbolt. They will probably still be aggro''d on you so then I''ll hit for a 300-400 point fireball a few seconds later. Now it''s 50/50 whether they aggro on me or not. Depending on the mana then I''ll hit them with an instant to finish them off or freeze them/take a couple hits while you run up and take care of business. Of course when we''re going after enemies 3-4 levels lower, I just bring two or three at once, who cares about aggro as long as they don''t run too far.

BTW, with my talents I''ve got 40% reduced threat on Arcane Missiles, so I''ve been thinking about trying them instead of fireballs, maybe I''ll do that next time.

BTW, with my talents I''ve got 40% reduced threat on Arcane Missiles, so I''ve been thinking about trying them instead of fireballs, maybe I''ll do that next time.

Arcane missiles are awesome. I highly recommend them. They''re also an excellent candidate for clearcasted spells. They do their damage over time (since it''s X dmg per second while channeling), but because of that, they seem to generate less hate. They''ll work even better for you, since you have the talent that makes them generate less threat. I also highly recommend the talent that makes them uninteruptible,

Typically, I open with fireball, fireball, fireblast, coc, frost nova, back up, arcane missiles. That''s usually enough to kill most things.

For the record, you don''t need to tell me the maroon needs to be playing a different class, although at this point, I''m fairly sure whatever class he might play, he''d find some interesting way to negate it''s strengths while endangering the rest of his group. Unfortunately, it''s a RL friend of someone who is good and so we suffer in silence.

Make him play a Paladin.

That has to be probably the safest class around. Maybe he/she can be a druid also. They are pretty simple to play if you stay in human form. Moonfire, whack, heal.

Although, I have seen people think Moonfire is a nuke and thus they spam it and lose the dot half of its damage.

It''s not an option for several reasons... a) we''re all over 50 and restarting a toon, while not as shattering as EQ, is hardly fun, b) the maroon in question likes being a mage, and c) doesn''t realize they are a maroon. I appreciate the advice, but really, I was just offering it up as a list of things for a mage to *not* do, rather than outright whining on my part. Mostly.

I would never play 50 levels with someone who mis-used their class so badly Wounder, I would have set him straight a loooooong time before that

I''ve tried, oh god how I''ve tried! Not all 50 levels, just the last 3-4 when my regular playing partner and I met up with a warrior we liked, who dragged along the maroon in question. Nice guy, just ditzy. I think part of the issue is they turned out to be from Sweden or some other frozen EU country. Some communication issues have resulted, apparently including him misunderstanding my repeated pleas of ""Please stop being an idiot.""

Just started an alt (to play with a friend who just got the game for Christmas) and, you guessed it - Gnome Mage. She''s so cute!

So far, I definitely like it, though it''s hard to switch from a Paladin (just come and kick my ass... I''ll outlast you...) to a Mage (Eeep! Get away!). Have her to level 10 so far, and I''m really liking the Ice (the level 10 Ice AoE Stun is my friend) and the arcane. I think that''s where I''ll focus my talent points.

Also, with some generosity from my main character, I have my engineering trained up to 110 already. Let me tell ya, that helps. Those Tiger Goggles on a level 10? Much, much coolness. And, the dynamite is nice when I''ve run out of mana (maybe some extra adds) and need to do some quick damage. Plus, two of my friends are playing Hunters, so they appreciated the nice guns and scopes they got at level 6. Also, I have yet to build a Target Drone, but I imagine that would help the mage immensely. All in all, a great tradeskill to compliment the Mage, and maybe my favorite so far (Though blacksmithing is a close, close second.)

Also, I have yet to build a Target Drone, but I imagine that would help the mage immensely.

Target dummies are teh cool!
Ask Peecaboo/DuckiDeva. I love when she uses those things!

I have noticed some of the above mentioned problems with some(not all, thankfully...) of the mages I''ve grouped with.

When fighting mobs(and especially elites), I try to politely suggest that they save their nukes for when the mob is < 60% health, and ""let the tanking character tank"".

Firing off the heavy duty nukes when the mob is at 100% health pisses it off, and makes it harder for the tank to hold aggro. It also can get the mage killed, who often blames the healer.

I don''t see how any mage would even use a melee weapon(except for maybe one with great Intellect/spirit/mana boosting stats). Would it not be better to have a wand equipped? As soon as I saw wands in the game(my Warlock used one in beta), I thought ""Great! Some dev was finally paying attention and realized that cloth-wearing classes don''t need to melee"".

The mage definitely strikes me as a cool class, although I''ve not really played one - albeit a bit one dimensional in comparison to some of the others(especially the Paladin, Shaman, Druid, and Warlock) and like all the classes, learning to play it would make the players experience in WoW(or any game with a nuker-type in it) that much more enjoyable, imho.

Firing off the heavy duty nukes when the mob is at 100% health pisses it off, and makes it harder for the tank to hold aggro.

Not only that, but because you can''t ""stick"" to a mob (/follow), the tank suddenly has to try to turn around and chase the mob to wherever the offending aggro-monkey is, bringing the rest of the pull along with him to the back ranks and in closer contact with the paper-armor-clad finger-wigglers.

Basically, if you stand in the back, be sure you won''t pull aggro before firing off a spell or arrow. It''s a pain in the butt to change your game plan because you now have to chase the main mob to the back, or worse, break off of the main mob to steal aggro back(after chasing the newly-aggroed-to-the-nuker mob), and then turn back to the main mob.

Even worse, if you get aggro and don''t want it, for gods'' sake stand... bloody... still! The only thing worse than having to chase a mob back to the fingerwigglers because someone got an itchy trigger finger is having to keep chasing it because said frail aggro-monkey thinks that running around will make the monster go away.

So, 2 rules of thumb for the ""back row"".
1) Wait. I know your nukes are cool. I love seeing the explosions, too. But let me build some threat. Let me do the ""hard"" work and you can get the glory by blasting the mob into oblivion and feel even cooler doing it.
2) Be. Freaking. Still. If you move, the mob moves. If the mob moves, we might not move in time. If we don''t follow quickly enough, we get ""Target out of range"" or ""You are facing the wrong direction"" which is a guaranteed miss. Every time. Which means it takes longer for us to get aggro. Which means the priest has to heal you more. Which puts the priest even higher on the Threat list than the tank. Which puts everyone into Spirit Form if repeated often enough.

Mages should be like rogues, but with fireworks. Let the grunts do the thankless part and you get the glory of the killing blow and the light show without even getting hit. It''s the best of both worlds.

Interesting thoughts, guys. I never thought about it that way, actually, though my main is a Paladin. I guess I never group with Mages that much, so it was never a concern.

It''s tough to adapt between solo/group, would be my diagosis of the problem. With solo, you''re killing things ASAP, so as to not die, but in group, you''re naturally taking on harder mobs or multiple mobs, so it''s hard to get back into a mode where you''re not just, well, nuking at all costs.

Which brings me to my next question. I made a Mage build, and wanted people''s opinions. I put absolutely no points into Fire, but instead 31 in Ice and 19 in Arcane (about halfway up the tree). Most of my concentration is on reducing my mana costs and threat, and raising my protection. I''ll see if I can find a way to link (because the file is quite long and I don''t want to just c-n-p it) but otherwise, what do you all think of a Mage concentrating less on nuking and more on crowd control/arcane?

I play a mage as my primary character, and love it immensely. My advice to those playing a mage is to remember the spirit of the class: you are artillery. Like artillery, you do immense damage from a long ways away, but cannot survive too many direct hits yourself. You have a ton of useful abilities to complement your damage spells, if only you remember to use them.

My tips on playing a mage, in no particular order:

1) Before firing your opening salvo, cast mana shield. Yes, I know it drains your mana when you get hit, but it also keeps you alive and keeps your spells from getting interupted. Mana shield is your best defense.
2) Use polymorph, early and often. I polymorph all the time. I''d rather have that additional enemy wandering around eating grass than hitting me at the same time as his buddy. Two monsters hitting you means your mana shield goes away twice as fast and your spells get interupted twice as often. Polymorph is also a great pulling technique. Poly one enemy at the edge of a group and you have a good chance of not pulling the rest of the group. When it changes back, it will come to you. If you do pull its friends by using polymorph, they come running and the initial monster stays behind, allowing you to use your area effect spells without fear of breaking the polymorph on the first monster.
3) Polymorph spell casters first. They, like you, do a ton of damage from range. Polymorph them and kill their melee friends before dealing with the spellcaster.
4) When fighting spellcasters, don''t forget the other spells at your disposal. Counterspell (level 24) is my favoirte spell. I love to see the other spellcaster waving his glowing hands around and then (figuratively) kicking him in the nuts. It just ruins their whole day. Also, know what the enemy casts and use protective spells appropriately. If the enemy throws fireballs, use your fire ward. Ditto for ice spells/frost ward. No need to take damage you don''t have too.
5) Amplify magic/Dampen magic are friends. If you are not facing enemy spellcasters, cast amplify magic on yourself and your party. It makes healing spells so much more effective. If you are facing spellcasters, use dampen magic to reduce the effectiveness of their spells on your party. Dampen magic makes your ward spells and mana shield last that much longer as well.
6) Cast Arcane Intelligence on everyone in your party. It gives a boost to the size of everyone''s mana pool, and increases the chances of critical hits, even for melee oriented characters.
7) Pass out water and food to all of your party members. It really reduces downtime.
8) Frost nova then blink. Roots your enemies in place and then gets you out of harm''s way very quickly.
9) Clearcasting is a wonderful thing. If your talents are spent in such a way as to enable clearcasting, always make sure you cast your most expensive spell with the clearcast. Don''t waste a clearcast on something piddly like a scorch. Cast Arcane Missiles on a single enemy or Blizzard on a group to get the most bang for your buck.
10) If you run out of mana and the battle isn''t almost over, don''t hoard your Evocation. The Evocation talent refills my mana bar to basically full in 8 seconds flat. With a 10 minute cooldown, you might be tempted to hold off on using it. Don''t. Use that puppy and finish off the battle in style. Mana shield yourself again and then go for broke with your most damaging spells.

That''s all I can think of off the top of my head. I''ll add more if anything comes to me.

Well since Blizzard is my favorite spell, I say go for it! I really dont use fireball even when I get an upgrade for it. Ice bolt rank 2 and 3 has been more efficient than it and Arcane Missiles is close enough in efficiency that I will take the positive tradeoffs it provides (waves of damage means more chances to critical & its instacast). I have to be more careful now however, since more and more mobs are using knockdown skills that will negate the fact that my arcane cannot be interrupted. I have some extra cash, I am tempted to respec since I unwisely put a point into reducing the casting time of fireball and ice bolt. One I dont use and the other I use as a pulling spell where casting time does not matter. If I dont have points into these skills, I can have a few points into improved arcane explosion.

Besides, mana efficiency is really not a problem as no single mob could ever make me run out of mana. I can cast 4 Blizzards before draining my mana below 10%. With an instacast Arcane Explosion, I can cast 16 of them doing 35-38 damage each in a radius around me. Thats 560-608 rapid damage not counting criticals. Also, its been getting long in the tooth so the next spell level, I think Im due for an upgrade.

I am going to suggest a playstyle that seems contrary to logic but works really well in groups. Go ahead and fight 3-4 elites simultaneously. With 3 rogues in a party it worked well having each one tank one of the pulls. I can only imagine with a warrior, paladin, warlock voidwalker, hunter etc that this will work better. My Blizzard spell will help you solo them. It does massive damage but in waves. So all the tanking player has to do is get a few hits in and continue hitting the monster while the Blizzard rains down. A brief pause in between casts ensures safety by allowing a few more hits by the tank. By the third Blizzard, one or more of the elites will be finished so the last ones can be ganged up on.

Oh, blink is a godsend. You dont get it till level 20, but if you learn to use it well, you will die much less often.