5 months ago - Kaivax - Direct link

Hello fellow Mages!

In the Fractures in Time PTR, we have some updates coming to both the Class and Arcane talent trees. We’re also working on changes for Fire and Frost in future PTR builds. Below, we’ll cover some high-level changes as well as our plans moving forward.

Class

The current Mage class tree has a variety of talents which offer a variety of utility and survivability talents options, but with its current layout, a lot of that choice feels difficult to navigate. This is due to the nature of their current capstones and how impactful and important they are to the overall rotation for each of the specs. In Fractures in Time, we’re making a few changes such as making some abilities baseline, removing Rune of Power, a slightly new tree layout, and adding 3 new capstone abilities to replace Shifting Power and Meteor. We’ll highlight some of those larger changes below.

Rune of Power

We’re removing Rune of Power from the class tree and shifting some of its loss power directly into all Mage abilities that deal damage. While the decision to remove Rune of Power wasn’t easy, we feel it is best for the long-term health of the class. Fighting within a Rune of Power is almost mandatory to maximize your damage as a Mage and any sort of mechanic that forces you out of it for a prolonged period of time ends up feeling incredibly punishing to your overall throughput.

In Raid, Mythic+, and PvP, having a player commit to a small space for 12 seconds is a large ask and one that just doesn’t feel fun to play around, as frequent as Rune of Power is. By removing Rune of Power we’re able to shift more of the Mage’s damage into their abilities baseline while also leaving us room to further amplify their big cooldowns (Arcane Surge, Combustion, and Icy Veins) if necessary. While we expect it to be a large adjustment at first, we’re confident that this will be an overall boon for Mages in the future.

Tree Layout

While the overall structure of the class tree has changed, we’ve made a few key adjustments that should allow for a little more customization when spec’ing into your class tree. The total number of capstones has been reduced from 5 to 3. At the moment, Mage’s capstones have a wide variety of power that offer different levels of throughput or survivability and utility. The difference in damage throughput and utility/survivability at the capstone level has proven to be somewhat problematic for Mage and their ability to feel free to customize their tree as they see fit. The tree is now structured to offer 3 capstones with the center capstone (Time Anomaly/Temporal Warp) offering the only throughput and the left and right capstones offering different utility or survivability for you to consider based on the content you might be running. The goal here with the new structure is to offer a little more flexibility within the class tree and feeling less mandatory to pick up both Shifting Power and Time Anomaly/Temporal Warp choice node.

New capstones

We have 3 new capstones available which offer a different variety of gameplay choices based on the content you might be running. Ice Cold is a talent that modifies your Ice Block so you are able to cast while it is active, but you are no longer immune to damage and instead take greatly reduced damage for a shorter duration. The other two talents are a choice node for Mass Invisibility and Mass Barrier which as the names imply allow you to cast Invisibility on your nearby allies or cast your Specialization’s Barrier on up to 3 nearby allies.

Arcane

Going into Fractures in Time, we want to focus on giving Arcane Mages a more consistent way to deal AoE damage without having to rely on Touch of the Magi or Radiant Spark windows where quick mob deaths or movement can greatly hinder their performance. Arcane also has a few talents that offer a variety of utility but felt inaccessible based on their position on the tree, pathing in the tree, or lack of points after filling out their chosen build. To combat this, we’ve shifted a few things baseline most notably Arcane Barrage and Clearcasting and updated the pathing on a few talents.

AoE

We’ve reworked Orb Barrage capstone talent into something a little more consistent and likely familiar to Legion Arcane players. Orb Barrage now gives your Arcane Barrage a chance per Arcane Charge spent to hurl an Arcane Orb at your target. This talent should give a much-needed way to both send out some consistent AoE damage while also giving a steady stream of Arcane Charge generation when fighting large packs. We’ve also added a new talent “Concentrated Power” which gives more purpose to your Clearcasting and Arcane Explosion while in AoE heavy fights. This talent causes your Arcane Explosion to echo an additional time for a % of its original damage.

Tree Layout

We’ve also updated Arcane’s tree to be a little more flexible when trying to pick up unique nodes that aren’t always directly throughput. We’ve shifted Arcane Barrage and Clearcasting baseline, untied Reverberate from Nether Tempest, added new connections from Nether Tempest, and removed the Arcane Power talent and folded its power into Arcane Surge. The goal with these changes is to give you a couple extra points to play with and create a more positive experience as you navigate through the tree enabling you to create a spec tree that fits your needs.

Fire and Frost

While this round of Fractures in Time PTR only includes Class and Arcane updates, aside from the damage re-distribution from the Rune of Power change, we have not forgotten about Fire or Frost. We have plans for them in upcoming PTR builds.

Fire

At the moment, Fire suffers from a one-build-fits-all talent tree. Which is problematic for a couple of reasons: the lack of choice/variety gets stale after a while, Ignite dealing large portions of damage in single target, and AoE makes it incredibly difficult for us to separately tune Single Target or AoE damage for Fire during tuning passes. Moving forward, we want to explore ways we can create alternative AoE builds that aren’t just Ignite stacking, reduce the amount of 2-point nodes to free up a few points, and shift some abilities baseline such as Flamestrike and Cauterize. These aren’t final or comprehensive changes, but hopefully give a good idea of our goals for Fire moving forward.

Frost

Moving forward with Frost we’re looking into the lesser picked talents that offer a different gameplay style compared to the “meta” builds but generally underperform. Talents like Ray of Frost and Glacial Spike offer unique alternatives to the standard rotation but given their current impact and lack of synergy within the tree they become a hard thing to opt into. Additionally, we’re taking a look into the “minimal Ice Lance” builds, as this shouldn’t be the correct way to play Frost. Ice Lance should be an impactful button that is played around rather than minimally cast due to the amount of modifiers of other talents and damage sources preventing it from being so. There are also some talents we want to reassess in the talent tree and instead move baseline such as Blizzard and Cold Snap. Lastly, the amount of talents required to make Icy Veins feel like a high impact cooldown is relatively high, we would like to take this opportunity to see if we can make it stand on its own a little more.


Thank you for taking the time to read this. This is just the start of Mage changes for Fractures in Time, and we have plenty planned for the future. As we navigate our way through the Fractures in Time PTR, we look forward to your feedback.

3 months ago - Kaivax - Direct link

After several rounds of updates to the Fire and Frost talent trees, each tree has seen a significant boost in power, which in turn has put their overall throughput quite a bit higher than their live counterparts. While some gain in power is to be expected due to these changes, their current tuning has them quite a bit higher than we intend. Due to this, in the latest build we’re reducing the damage of many of their spells to get us a better baseline to work from for the two specs. This should make it easier for us to continue to iterate on tuning based on internal and external testing as the Fractures in Time PTR continues to develop.

The intent with these tuning changes is not to disrupt the current flow, playstyles, or talent builds that have arisen with the updates but rather keep the relative balance and breakdown of abilities similar as the are now but with just a bit less output.

  • Fire
    • Living Bomb damage increased by 12%.
    • Pyroblast damage reduced by 12%.
    • Fireball damage reduced by 5%.
    • Fire Blast damage reduced by 12%.
    • Phoenix Flames damage reduced by 12%.
    • Ignite damage reduced by 6%.
    • Scorch damage reduced by 10%.
    • Flamestrike damage reduced by 10%.
    • Flamepatch damage reduced by 10%.
    • Unleashed Inferno damage bonus during Combustion increased to 50% (was 45%).
    • Fixed an issue that caused the Critical Mass effect to be granted the full value at rank 1.
  • Frost
    • Glacial Assault’s chance to trigger increased to 25% (was 15%).
    • Cryopathy duration increased to 60 seconds (was 30 seconds).
    • Glacial Spike damage reduced by 4%.
    • Ice Lance damage reduced by 12%.
    • Frozen Orb damage reduced by 12%.
    • Blizzard damage reduced by 12%.
    • Comet Storm damage reduced by 12%.
    • Ray of Frost damage reduced by 12%.
    • Flurry damage reduced by 12%.
    • Frostbolt damage reduced by 12%.
    • Fixed an issue with Thermal Void’s Ice Lance extending Icy Veins longer than intended.
    • Fixed an issue with the Icicle damage double dipping with Glacial Spike’s Mastery bonus.

Thank you for the great amount of feedback and testing during the Fractures in Time PTR. You’ve been instrumental to development of the Mage updates.






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