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Musings on Maging

October 18, 2010

My Weekend

Alright, so this weekend, I went on a WoW binge.  I stayed up until 3:30 in the AM on Saturday playing the Mage.  Then a similar time on Sunday.  I managed to get through 76 and halfway through 77 the first day.  I hit 80 about mid afternoon on Sunday.  I was going to PVP, but apparently there are some undocumented features in Battlegrounds, such as making my client crash when approaching the gold mine in Arathi Basin.  That, my friends, is an amazing feature.  I love it.

So, that prompted me to suck it up and venture into the random dungeon queue.

That’s going to remain it’s own statement, since I want to emphasize it.  I’ve come to loathe the random dungeon experience.  I recognize that in terms of accomplishing it’s function (allowing people to get into the dungeons without having to specifically find 4 other people on the same server that want to play at the same time) that it’s a pretty good thing.  Generally, I had good times, too.  I’m not going to say that they were great, but it did make the leveling process faster.

Anyway, I digress.  My general play experience for this character was frost, since… you know, PVP/leveling as frost is really, really, really, really easy.  It does take a little getting used to, but once you do… well, the results speak for themselves.  With my secondary spec, I decided to go arcane.  It seems straight forward, and it provides a lot of versatility and added value to a party.  Focus magic, for example, got me numerous thanks from the people that knew what it did.  As well, the new food (combined health/mana regeneration for those of you that haven’t gotten any, or keep getting crashed when trying to use the mage table), is a pretty nice gift for folks that ask for it.

Arcane spec in hand, I pressed the button to queue for a dungeon.  Well, let’s just say that I met some shining example of WoW’s best and worst.  There was one incident in the Oculus that I’d rather just forget, and then there was the tank that wanted to do CoS and as soon as we got into the instance dropped.  However, I made it to 80 with these events as a reminder of what not to look for when playing the game.  It also made me appreciate the folks of Surreality, even though some of them are a little more special than others.

Elam told me to get ready to top the meters without trying even against ICC geared… people…  Well, I think I get the general frustration with going into random heroics and seeing people put out sub 1k dps.  The mage is woefully undergeared, but I could hit 3k reliably.  Before 80.  I haven’t even done a random heroic yet.  I have… well, you can see my gear for yourselves.  Pressing buttons isn’t hard.  You mash a few buttons in a sequence.  If you have questions about the sequence, you can ask, and generally other folks know what they are.  I’m not the best player in the world, and I have very little experience with this class.  However, it seems really straightforward (especially with Nate’s help on understanding a few key things).

Let me get back on topic.  I like maging.  If that’s a term.  If it isn’t, then it is now.  My next goal is to read up on the fire spec and decide whether I want to drop frost… oh, that and get glyphs.  I’m not looking forward to that process.  It shouldnt’ be too bad, and I did make almost 1k gold just over the weekend.  As a whole, the experience was good… just remind me to read this when I say, “Oh, I’m close enough, I can just get it this weekend.”

On Leveling in General

I’m sure that there are some questions about post 4.0.1 specifics, and I’m going to be honest:  My impressions are simply anecdotal evidence.  It seems<b> that scaling spells with new abilities being thrown in rather than training ranks is a LOT better system.  For example, I noticed that as the levels went up, the numbers for abilities was increasing as well.  That’s good news, right?  I don’t have to go train an ability, it just gets “better” as I get “better”.

It also changes the focus of leveling, a little.  In my mind, pre-4.0.1 leveling was about getting better at your abilities and adding in new abilities.  You had big problems with dual speccing and remembering to go buy specific ranks of skills you may never have used before (due to talents and their ranks of specific spells).  You don’t have to do that anymore.  It speaks to how foreign an idea that having two specializations was when they released the feature.  Now, it seems like an integrated part of the leveling/playing mechanic.  Rather than going out and paying to get better at what you do, you just unlock a new ability.

OH!  And the new invisibility is awesome.  You can see what’s going on around you!  I was a little confused when I pulled aggro (I’m not going to go any further than “It happened quite a few times.”), and I went to press the button at 76 and 77, but there was no button.  Hello, Ice Block.  Anyway, I looked in the spell book and it said 78.  So, I stuck it out, waited, and then bought it when I could.  Ho-lee eff.  Not only did it drop threat, but I could still loot and do all sorts of other fun things that weren’t combat related.  So, yeah, big improvement there.  Mage with stealth?  Yes, please!

One of the other things that I’m kind of perplexed about is how the new Justice Point stuff will work long term.  I came out of leveling with just over a hundred justice points, but I really don’t know whether or not it will be enough to get anything useful.  I may do a few heroics while I’m doing the stuff for Hallow’s End, but I’m kind of over running dungeons until my eye’s bleed.  I’ve been down that road, and I’m not really keen on doing it again.

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