I was bored. Feel free to mention anything I overlooked and I'll tack it on somewhere.
3. New Spells
TLDR: Spellpen (until ~200) > +hit (until 4%) > Int/Crit > Mastery/Haste.
What is the Spellpen cap?
The upper cap is 240 (195 from Paladin/Shaman/Preist + 45 from Mage Armor). Anything above 200 will probably do you, but there's no harm in having the extra 40.
What is the +hit cap?
4% and you can get it from gems, reforging or items, it's pretty easy.
What's better Haste, Crit or Mastery?
Short answer? Cirt.
Long answer? Each stat has different things it can offer you;
Crit: The general consensus right now is that Crit is king, second only to Int (maybe) for most desired PvP damage stat. The changes to Shatter and Resil (no more -crit chance) have changed Crit from an almost worthless dump stat into our premier choice. You'll want at least 20% crit in PvP and stacking it doesn't really start to lose it's appeal until you reach 25-28%.
Haste: It's still really good, almost good as it was in Wrath. Faster casts and quicker GCDs have always been a huge boon to Mages. Sadly with the rise of crit it's unlikely we'll ever get back to the days of passive Hero/Lust. A few Mages are still stacking it, but for most it's been relegated to a second pick. Something to think about grabbing once you have enough Crit.
Mastery: Kind of a dump stat at the moment, nobody is really going out of their way to get it. It's not bad, in fact it's probably one of the better Mastery stats in the game since most things we attack or burst on are going to be frozen. Alas good as it may be it just can't compete with Crit or even Haste. Take what you get on your PvP gear, but don't go out of your way to get more.
How much Resilience do I want?
A lot, Resilience is better than it's ever been before. Of course no matter how good it might be you get zero benefit when no one is attacking you, but there arn't many comps a Mage can run these days where he'll be anything other than the favored target.
Most of us are running between 2.8 and 3.4k. I wouldn't go out of your way to gem it at the moment, just take what gear gives you then swap on a trinket or two if you think you need a bit more.
What Meta should I get?
Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond or Destructive Shadowspirit Diamond depending on how much you want to monkey around with Gems, but note that if you take Reflect Meta you won't have it long. The next client patch is adding a +Int/+Crit Damage Meta and all the +crit damage Meta Gems will only require 3 Red so it'll be between Chaotic and the new Meta at that point.
What should I gem?
As a general rule of thumb Int in Red, Int/Crit in Yellow and a mix of Int/Crit/Hit/Pen in Blue depending on your needs. Keep in mind that with the current socket spread on our gear you'll have to use Blue in you Belt Buckle if you're using the Chaotic Meta.
What cloak enchant should I get?
Skip +70 Spellpen, it's budgeted poorly and one Spellpen item plus one Gem will get you to cap.
Between +50 Int and +65 Crit it's a tossup. They're both good, I'd go with +int for now just because it's a ton cheaper.
What should I spec?
Here's the 0/0/27 skeleton for PvP Frost, after this you have a few options. In the frost tree most Mages are bouncing between Frostfire Orb and Early Frost. EF gives you the quick snare, but it's a ton less burst DPS than FFO (proc spam ho!). That's assuming FFO works and doesn't bug out and fuck you over (It'll do this a lot). For the last point you can pick between 1/3 Enduring Winter or 1/2 Piecing Chill. Once you've got 31 in frost there's a few cookie cutters to choose from;
9/0/32: More mobility and Burst from Imp Blink and Invocation.
2/8/31: Pushback resistance and extra control from Burning Soul and Impact. 1/2 in Blazing Speed since there's no better place to put it (Note: BS kinda sucks now, doesn't remove snares)
7/3/31: Balanced, has mobility and pushback tank. Least offensive pressure, but less worry about getting spells off and moving into position.
What are some good Arcane or Fire specs?
There are none. Sorry folks, but Frost is just too far ahead of the game at the moment. Between bust or sustained Damage, control, survivability, mobility and endurance Frost Mages come first in at least half the categories and is very competitive in everything else. Spec whatever you want for a larf, but Frost is the only option right now if being optimal is your goal.
3. New Spells
What do our New Spells do?
Flame(Frostfire) Orb: As the tooltip notes it fires forward from where the Mage is facing. It will float forward about 30 yards before dissipating unless it finds a target. When something comes in range of it's laser beams (bout 7 yards) it will stop and attack. Once that target is dead or moves out of range the Orb will move on, or it'll stay and float in place, or it'll get stuck on a crack in the floor, or it'll just vanish. Yes Orb is kinda buggy.
Ring of Frost: The mechanics of this spell are a fair bit more complex than what the tooltip covers.
- The 12s duration begins when you cast the spell, not when the 3s "activation" triggers.
- The effect of the spell is a ring, nothing will be frozen unless it crosses over or is caught standing in the visible spell animation. Standing in the middle will not result in getting frozen until you touch the edge of the circle.
- The spell has a built in cooldown on re-freezing targets. Once a target escapes from the first freeze they cannot be frozen again for about 3s, this immunity appears to apply to multiple Rings.
- The spell is on the same DR as Polymorph, any spell or effect that falls under the Disorient category of diminishing returns is affected by and will affect Ring of Frost.
Time Warp: It's Bloodlust/Heroism, obeys all the same rules, restrictions and cooldowns. Only difference is it's a Mage casting it... Oh and it has different Icon.
What should I be doing in rated BGs?
Having lots of fun. Aside from healing there is nothing Mages arn't good at in a Battleground setting. Stupid CC and area denial, strong against assist training, good ranged damage, crazy mobility and endless endurance. Mages make great trouble shooters, attacking nodes, defending nodes, running interference for Flag Carriers or slowing an attack wave. If someone isn't giving you direction look for a place something isn't being done and do it.
What 3s Comps are Good for us Now?
3v3 for Mages is wide open at the moment. This is due in large part to Mage Armor giving us enough endurance to hang with long game teams like Warlocks have always been able to. Other stuff like Warlocks losing defensive dispel and better instant damage helps too.
WMP works, RMP works (and will work better when Priests get buffed), MLD, MLS, Shatterplay, MLP, it all works at the moment. Enjoy the flexibility that comes with never having to worry about your mana supply.
Edited by nim, 13 June 2012 - 12:51 AM.