Originally posted this on the PTR forum so a lot of the writing is geared more towards that audience, but I thought I might as well post it here as well:
There's a concept I think of as "cooldown commitment" when it comes to dealing damage that I think is really important to recognize. Most burst sequences require that you blow a lot of cooldowns before the damage ever arrives. Warrior's have to blow Avatar/Reck/Trinket/Skull Banner/etc. to swifty people. Rogues have to blow shadow blades + dance. Mages on live have to blow trinket+orb+deep freeze+icy veins+alter time. This is the standard damage model for burst.
In 5.2, Mage cooldown commitment for our biggest burst is quite low. We can turtle until Incanter's Ward is fully absorbed (very easy to guarantee), nova or frostjaw someone, and our only serious cooldown we have to commit for max burst is a damage trinket before our first Frostbolt. If you want to be conservative, your first Frostbolt doesn't really need to have trinket popped, you can just cast it and trinket+icy veins afterwards. Once that frostbolt is in the air, then you can decide to commit to the burst attempt depending on what defensives were used in response to the impending frostbolt. Either you use none, and you baited their cooldowns for nothing, or tons, and you blow people up with pom+alter time+deep freeze frostbolt shatters.
We actually don't have a spare GCD in our 'standard' 5.2 burst sequence to use things like Frozen Orb. That can be saved for in between bursts to build up procs and increase our sustained damage. You can risk telegraphing your burst by using it before the first frostbolt, but it's not usually a good call.
The standard burst model is still fairly difficult for most players to deal with, as few of them require incorruptible casts. This results in a lot of forum QQ because the average player can't tell when huge burst is coming based on subtle instant cast CDs, but is fairly easy to figure out if you're paying attention to the right stuff (Did that Mage use alter time with FoF/BF up? Did that Warrior use Avatar+Reck or just Reck? Did that Rogue dance with shadow blades up?). The 5.2 Mage model has the opposite problem: very little cooldown commitment, but interruptible. The result is that we can try, over and over again, to set up game ending burst, and the first time it isn't recognized and prevented, the cooldown barrage follows and you die without being able to control your character.
These kinds of subtleties aren't usually discussed on these forums and this is probably better suited for its own topic, but 5.2 is going to give a lot of people grief because whereas right now, Mage burst is a game ending threat vs. well geared players every 1.5-3 minutes, on PTR right now we're ALWAYS a threat as long as we save our important burst cooldowns for the times when our small cooldown commitment damage combinations are still enough to guarantee a kill when appropriately followed by uncounterable burst.
One could argue that this is the upside of opening up your defensive tree to interrupts, and that there's going to be times now when we get blown up with no ability to react because we committed our Frost tree to a kill attempt, but I'm not sure that's a big enough disadvantage with interrupts being a shorter duration now than they have been in the past when Mages casted (interrupts used to be as long as 10 seconds).
Food for thought!
edit: The more I think about this problem, the more I see the 'frostbolt does better damage than instants' model maybe only making sense in an environment where melee don't have too-high uptime, and healers actually have to cast. But right now, instants STILL need to be very high, or else every game becomes "train the mage" with guaranteed success. Frostbolt as an ideal spell to cast, and instant casts less threatening than they are now, may be a design that has to wait for 6.0. I'm worried for how they'll adjust the class in light of Frostbolt's buffs, there's no clear path towards an effective class that is neither too strong nor too weak at high levels of play, with Frostbolt staying how it is right now.
You bring up a good point, but just last week i was wondering Has anyone else realized that Ret pally's are the only two handed melee who really get shafted on the weapon chain deal? Dk's have their runes, warriors their glove bonus, and the other melee have two weapons to put it on their off hand. I guess an argument can be made that warriors damage is ALL melee weapon damage.. but what about DK's in comparison to ret? Just a thought
Why? Even with experience reductions and heirlooms the fact is that it simply takes to long to level from 1-90. Say a new patch comes out and I really want to play a new class. The time investment to create a new character 1-90 is going to take 30+ hours game time. (Excluding RAF) Then what? Gear! Time to start gearing that fresh level 90! Assuming you don't have any honor from leveling (ie not doing what this thread mentions) You will need 20500 honor to get in full blues! Who cares that your weapons are green and that you will still get one shot, you are still on the right path. At about ~350 a win you are looking at 58 wins. (Remember this is wins) An average game is what 10 mins, including the que? So there is another 10 hours of uninterrupted wins to get in blues. But wait! There is more! Tired of getting 1 shot? Now you can upgrade your gear for the cheap price of 1500 a piece! So lets tack on another 18000 honor! For a total of 38500. I know my math is not perfect, and there are other factors such a TB, the daily win etc. But these factors also are just for wins. All in all you can get geared in about 110 wins or about 20 hours of wins. This is ridiculous and is the reason why so many players bot.
As Paws mentioned earlier honor should be usable for exp boosts. I am all for this idea, but want to take it a step further. My main mage is honor capped 90% of the time. I usually burn the honor on BOAs I already have, because why not? I would like to instead buy a BOA honor boost. Say 1000 honor for a 2x increase in honor gain for 1-2 hours. Blizzard can sort out the specifics, but I would like to be able to gain more honor on my alts as a result of my main.
TL;DR Make leveling/grinding easier and there will be less bots.
What is the point of tweeting a thread to him? Unless he was born with a disability it is an obvious issue to arena players that developers are aware of yet do not find to be an issue to balance or design.
Especially after this redonk upgrade system, making arena points equivalent to RBG points is a simple fix. They should increase point gain by another 10 or 15% or lower item costs to 1000 1500 and 2000. We are how many weeks into the season and people are just now finishing their gear after doing max cap RBGs every week, ie. Phil on this thread.