This is very much a PTR experiment, but we are going to try moving Blazing Speed to the top talent tier to replace Scorch. Scorch will become a baseline Fire spell. Blazing Speed’s old position on the talent tree will be replaced with a new talent.
The new talent is currently called Flameglow, and it is a “permanently on” ability that reduces all damage taken by a flat amount, based on spellpower, up to a maximum of 30% of the hit. The intent is to give mages a passive defensive option, and also one that varies with the frequency of incoming damage. Remember, mages must give up Temporal Shield or Ice Barrier to take the new talent.
We agree with the feedback that Blazing Speed makes more sense grouped with the movement talents than with the defensive talents. In addition, we have buffed Ice Floes already from live, and we have added an additional perk that spells cast within the first half a second of Ice Flows don’t consume a charge. Currently if you’re making use of spell queuing, it’s easy to waste the first charge, so this fix is intended to help with that.
That brings us to Scorch. Sorch feels really valuable to many players (above and beyond Arcane using it rotationally to avoid dropping stacks), but we’re concerned that it feels more valuable than it actually is. Yes, Elemental and Hunters can do a lot of damage while on the move, but not every spec in the game needs to do so, and mages have a lot of other advantages. Mages do have several tools to deal with movement, such as several instants and abilities such as Blink and the tier 2 talents to minimize movement time. We’d rather seem mages plan, move quickly, and plant rather than just stay moving all the time. Scorch preempts all of those tools and has the added psychological benefit of feeling like you’re always doing something, and because of that feeling of being productive, we’re concerned you have less motivation to minimize movement. Mathematically, if you’re making full use of your available tools without Scorch, Scorch isn’t much of a benefit of all, and we think the mage class would feel and play better overall without Scorch as a crutch. We debated removing Scorch completely, and we still might, but we’re sensitive to the fact that so many mages are using Scorch today and might not understand or appreciate its loss. As a compromise, we’re going to try Scorch as Fire only to preserve the gameplay for players who really like it and to help differentiate the Mage specs a bit more.
This is a big change, and the kind of thing we might revert if we and you don’t like how it plays. Try it out and let us know.
Personally defensive talent like this is a warm welcome and moving Blazing Speed out of tier2 talents to tier1 sounds nice. Also with PoM->RoF nerf Blazing Speed starts to look really nice option.