resto druids right now are in a position similar to s11
we arent shit
but comparably, we are out performed by other healers
as someone mentioned, there is a limited # of comps we can run right now. in order to break that paradigm, you would have to run with the top players of a specific class (as starship is doing atm in 3s with jah and pikaboo). basically, outside of running with the best possible players, you are forced to run with mage/spriest/warrior/warlock
Aight, as requested on the PvPTR thread earlier, I will be giving my own feedback about Frostmages in 5.4. The opinions on this post are my own and I will try to cut down Frostmages into grasslevel in theory, so that it should be easy to read for any level of player.
A short about me, I am an enthusiast theorycrafter. In short, I love asking "What was the logic someone thought when making this", "What drove the person doing this" and "What does this affect in the whole big scheme".
For this post, I've done about 25-30h of PTR testing.
-Great setup potential for damage
-Great on-demand burst
-Rather squishy with only one real defensive cooldown
-Zero damage outside of on-demand burst (the 1 out of 10 games midgame proc fishing can be good)
-No real damage if not set up at all
Alright, so.. Above I've cut down Frostmage into easy-to-recognize words and sentences and I believe we all can agree to. Currently in 5.3, Frostmages have the damage to kill a target who doesn't have defensive cooldowns left and is not getting peeled at all with the short cooldowns of Mages. This damage is easily seen and with defensive cooldowns or peeling, is easily stopped or completely negated. This is why every single meaningful damage Frostmage puts out has to be set up; which is done by controlling the enemy healer by either Poly/CS'ing him or going on him with Deep Freeze. Any little interrupt, pushback, stun; any control effect really will stop your team-mate from dying.
Playing comps like FMP gives you a massive control potential aswell; Deep into PoM RoF/Poly into CS into Nova/Rof/Poly and then your partner takes over for a while and your control is off from DR already.
Mages don't do any damage at all outside of the on-demand burst. Frostbolt casting is in most of the cases not worth it or impossible and you need to save your procs for damage later when you and your partner is ready to go. Some rare cases, you can sit midfield and spamcast Frostbolt and fish procs and can force alot of stuff yourself, but this should never happen in theory.
Mages are also very squishy but that is covered mostly with the mobility and control. But Mages are still very squishy and often when you see two classes connecting on to the mage even for a split second, that's Ice Block forced.
I won't be going into Datamined info, only what is said on us.battle.net PTR Blogs.
Frost Bomb now deals 70% damage to players (up from 60%).
Living Bomb now deals 85% damage to players (up from 70%).
Nether Tempest now deals 85% damage to players (up from 70%).
Temporal Shield now also reduces damage taken by 15% while active in addition to existing effects.
Glyph of Blink now increases distance travelled with the Blink spell by 8 yards (up from 5 yards).
Glyph of Remove Curse now increases the damage dealt by 15% after successfully removing a curse (up from 10%).
Glyph of Spellsteal now heals the Mage for 5% of their maximum health after successfully stealing a spell (up from 3%).
Mastery: Frostburn has been redesigned. Fingers of Frost now increases the damage of Ice Lance by an additional 2%, Brain Freeze increases the damage of the instant cast Frostfire Bolt by 2%, and damage done by the Mage's Water Elemental is increased by 2%.
The effect of change
I will be covering only the Mastery change, because the rest are just small and marginal changes.
What Mastery change does to Frostmages?
Casting is yet again worthless, Frostbolt can be, without any exaggeration, removed from the bars. My Frostbolt does 25k crits on Deep on PTR. Ice Lance is around the same
Deep Freeze no longer increases Frostmages damage. Bursting into Deep is gone
On-Demand burst has been lowered to cover almost nothing, without any kind of compensation
I have said on Twitter to Holinka, that Frostmage is now a sad version of Elemental Shaman and the worst caster on PTR. Why did I choose exactly those words?
Because; procs are procs, they are RNG. There's two abilities that gives us FoF procs on-demand and those are Orb and Freeze. Bomb spells give us RNG Frostfire bolts. Frostbolt and Blizzard give us RNG FoF procs. So there's 1min CD and 24sec CD that gives us reliably procs and rest is just RNG.
What was the answer from Holinka to this?
"That's being terribly dramatic"
So, let me say this again. Frostmages have been built around on-demand damage and control. With this Mastery change, the on-demand damage has been taken away.
What does this mean then? Frostmage is now a procmachine, heavily relying on procs to have a chance to kill. A Frostmage is no longer in control of the damage he puts out. It can be double FoF and one Brainfreeze proc into double FoF and 5 Brainfreeze procs.
On live 5.3 currently, if all cooldowns and trinkets forced and no peeling is available, Deep + Orb + Alter Timed procs gives you almost guaranteed kill. Just a Deep wont be guaranteed, most of the times your target stays alive. Also, once your killtarget/healer is out of the control, the killwindow is shut down, and you have to start building the killwindow again.
On 5.4 PTR, my Deep + Orb + procs with Alter time cuts about 50% of someones HP. Even a Treantstun that I blink afterwards reduces the damage I do into Deep + CS to about 20%.
My own thinking why this was changed is because of low-mid experienced players. Deep + Orb is a damn powerfull skill currently and inexperienced players have huge trouble surviving this. This is why you see twice a day streams with titles such as "1v2 mage" and those are multiglad/r1 level players who play at 1k-1.5k MMR against players who have no idea how to use defensive CDs or stop the damage.
My own opinion how to change the damage that Frostmages can dish out:
Mastery: Frostburn. Passive Your Frostbolt, Magebomb spells, Ice Lance and Frostfire Bolt gain Frostburn effect when casted on a Frozen target, increasing the damage done to the target by n%
What does this change you might ask? Well, for starters Frozen Orb lost it's Mastery completely, resulting in about 15k Orb crits maximum.
Secondly, compared to current 5.4 PTR Mastery, it still promotes casting and isn't such a "magekiller" gamechanging.
Also, Deep Freeze will remain as it is: A damage cooldown that gives Frostmages the required killwindow building gamestyle which is still the reason you might want to have a mage in the team.
I hope I've cleared out my opinion clearly and I do want to see a slight nerf to Frostmages damage, but it shouldn't be on the massive scale it currently is on PTR. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated and I encourage the discussion about Frostmages PTR state kept on one thread to keep the voices of the community in one place, so it's easier for Blizzard employees to read it (yes they've said they read Arena Junkies aswell)
They really should just remove mage bombs, replace that spot in the talent tree with something else. Remove incanter's ward and that whole section of the talent tree and replace it with something else. The mage level 90 talents are not in any way interesting at all, are annoying to use, and causing burst problems.
People complain about mage instant damage, but you have to remember how much the game has changed. Instant damage is the norm now. In order to go back to casted damage, they would have to remove tons of crowd control, gap closers, and some interrupts. It would be a huge change for the game mid expansion and they've said it's something they most likely won't do in the middle of a patch cycle.
No permanent water elemental or a nerf to the pet freeze talent would completely murder mage viability without significant buffs elsewhere. The problem with mages is how they are designed this expansion. There's no way to skirt around it and tweak any one thing.
-Frostbolts were damage. They procced FoF, they benefit from FoF. Ice Lance was not even important, to the point where you shouldn't even use ghost lance in WotLK during S8 unless you wouldn't be able to get another fb off or had to reposition. It lowered your damage output. Frostbolts doubly important because their damage outside of shatters was identical to their damage inside of it. FoF just upped crit chance.
-R1 frostbolt with winter's chill (stackable or not) offered debuff protection through variance. I say variance instead of RNG because a good healer would start dipselling before the poly debuff came on fairly often. Variance isn't inherently bad, rng like 90% cloak is because it offers no control to the players on either side. With something like r1 frostbolt the mage was consciously applying more debuffs, and the healer was consciously removing or not removing those debuffs. The outcome was not completely controlled, but players could impact the outcome at either phase and the results of the actions are very clear to anyone who understands even basic math.
-Water elemental used as a burst cooldown or to seal the game. It was important to summon it and nova immediately so you could get a second nova out of it (or a third if you speced that talent, which wasn't very common outside of tournaments.)
-Mage designed around maximizing fof procs and shattering in to every root you can get your hands on. If FoF is up lance, if FoF is down shatter with BF, cast frostbolts whenever possible in to shatters. Casting outside of shatters isn't very rewarding or useful because your spells only do good damage (relative to cast time/how often they will be stopped or line of sighted) in shatters.
-No dispel protection at all. You either play with a class that has dispel protection (warlock), offers ghetto dispel protection through tons of debuffs (spriest, etc), or you play with a class that puts out obscene pressure on its own and burst people down during instant cc.
-Mage unable to stack haste because frostbolts aren't damage anymore, shatters are. We all know a shatter with a frostbolt hurts a lot more, so why no haste? Because shatters are limited by cooldowns not by your cast time or gcds. This has even further negative effects on cc, which is harder to get off than the healer's already shorter gcd to remove something with a long cast time and shorter duration than ever. This effect snowballs with curse removal, where warlocks can spam two curses in 2s while you can remove one in 1.5 - tried to remove a hex lately vs lock/rsham?
-Which brings us to permanent water elemental. I'm surprised any outlast comp hasn't noticed that the elemental has 70k hp and a 3 minute cooldown. You kill the water elemental and the mage is useless until it comes back up unless your team is completely incompetent.
The end result of this change is clear. Mages do sort of subpar damage overall, but have obscene burst damage that can not be stopped. Mage control is really hit or miss. Mages peeling alone is pretty crap unless you are going to blanket or deep the healer while doing it, and even then they decided to give many classes from 8-40 seconds of "full retard" outs. That is to say, outs that take no planning and can't be stopped by player skill. New vanish, smoke bomb, most healer cooldowns, new IBF, glyphed AMS (obscene uptime), feral druids just going through rof like it isn't even there, things like that.
Anyway, cata has tons of problems I see no need to single out mages as much as people do. Blizzcon is not going to have a mage team win because they are not viable against dot teams played well. If you want to look at something out of control in cata look at warlocks, feral druid mobility/cc, rogue damage (+smoke bomb), or the design of every class in existence for the expansion. Mage is one of many flawed pieces, and I don't see them redesigning a class that is working near the end of the expansion.
People single out mages because their burst is too high and they are always paired with classes that are actually broken. I'm not defending mage burst, but if you nerf mage burst then mage is no longer a viable class because that's all mages have going for them at this point. They have a strong instant cc suite as well, but that alone can't get kills unless they overbuff warriors or something.
train lock, swap to rogue only whenever you cant get on lock then you swap lock whenever hes back in the game, have your hunter use a monkey for extra cc and coordinate a burst with monkey stun -> scatter trap -> clone -> silence on shaman, u should rape the lock :>