Many have been assuming since the announcement of Invocation that the optimal Arcane playstyle will be to spam Arcane Blast until at sufficiently low mana to evocate reasonably, recharge, and repeat. I don't think the numbers make this nearly so clear as seems to be the popular opinion on the official forums.
The first two 85+ leveling zones opened up last night, and after a quick chat with Portal Panda in Stormwind to get there, I spent a little time in Pandaria, as you can see from the image. It’s quite a beautiful zone to look at and ride through, although performance is currently pretty choppy. I only did a little fighting for a single quest; one thing I can tell right now is that not having Improved Cone of Cold is going to take some getting used to. It also feels pretty weird using Frost Bomb, largely because of the cast time; I'm so used to Frostbolt being the only cast time spell I make significant use of that I need to break myself of the habit of feeling like I can move whenever I'm not casting Frostbolt.
The following numbers are guaranteed to change as beta progresses, but it’s useful to know them while testing and theorycrafting. Knowing mechanics and the numbers that feed into them can help us spot potential problems during beta; for example, in the Cataclysm beta, napkin-math theorycrafting quickly revealed that Frostfire Bolt was powerful enough to bump Frostbolt from the Frost PvE rotation. This was bad for the playstyle, and Blizzard soon made changes to both Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze to correct the problem.
I spotted this in the spell database last week, but apparently the big game sites are reporting it now, so people have started talking about it. Mages are gaining an ability called Nether Attunement:
Your spell haste also increases your mana regeneration, and the effect of mana restores from Mage spells.
Haste affects regeneration at the same rate as it affects casting speed. I have 8.52% haste, which increases my combat regeneration from 5000 to 5426 (that's actually off by one, but one-point rounding errors are common in the game).
Sorry for the lack of substantive updates this evening. I have been busy, though; I've laid out the content type and fields for spell data, and started work on the module code necessary to display it. Ultimately, I'm hoping to build a sort of "TheoryCraft-o-Matic Lite." It won't tell you anything about overall performance, but the plan is that you'll be able to plug in your level and a few stats and see average per-cast damage for each spell on the list. Or something along those lines, anyway. This'll be a fairly lengthy project.
One of the major goals in Mists of Pandaria is to have people customize their characters according to preference rather than as the solution to a math problem. To this end, glyph design has changed pretty significantly.
Prime glyphs are gone entirely; these were the ones where there was always a right answer. If you were an Arcane Mage, you glyphed Arcane Blast; there was no choice involved. And so, sensibly, Blizzard has eliminated such glyphs and will simply build the spells themselves to produce the desired numbers.
Ever since the initial introduction of the "bomb" tier of Mage talents, there's been a lot of speculation about how they measure up to each other in various situations. Now that we have some real (but likely to change!) numbers on the various spells we can use for AOE, we can really start to look at how they might be used, and how effective they are in combination with the various spells we can use to fill the GCDs they leave available.
Hello, and welcome to Lhivera's Library! After struggling for the umpteenth time to format a lengthy post about some beta observations, I decided to go ahead and fire up another domain and start doing some game-oriented blogging. The site isn't completely finished yet -- registration isn't open, so you won't be able to comment. I'll open that up as soon as possible. The site will support login via Twitter, if you prefer that to logging into Drupal directly.