Some good discussion happened on this topic both in my own previous post on the subject, and in a forum thread I posted today. I wanted to summarize some of the ideas that came out of it to prompt further discussion. I have not reproduced every idea; there were a few that seemed likely to be deemed too complicated to put on a tooltip, and there were a few focused on lifting the Crit cap, something GC has said they don't want to do. Most, however, are represented here in abbreviated form.
Most of these ideas are not mine! Please read the linked posts to see the many people responsible and some more detailed discussion of the ideas.
Excess Haste Conversion
One common suggestion has been to cap Frost's Haste at 50%, and convert any Haste above that point into Mastery or a straight percentage damage multiplier. This has the advantage of being simple and solving the Haste problem completely — it becomes impossible to exceed the cap. But it may make gearing somewhat oversimplified: you don't really have to think about Haste at all. You just take as much as you can find. That may not matter; working around the Hit and Crit caps may be enough.
Have Haste Reduce Cooldowns
If most of our casts can't benefit from haste, perhaps more of our cooldowns should:
- Icy Veins
- Frozen Orb (this is one of the simplest and most popular suggestions)
Have Haste Increase Fingers of Frost Procs
This idea came from a couple of different people, but the most completely formed idea was that FOF should work with the RPPM system. Haste thus increases the frequency of our hard-hitting casts, helping make up for the fact that the casts themselves can no longer benefit past the cap.
Another idea is simply to make Mastery more attractive so that carrying so much haste won't be as appealing. Some ideas include:
- Improve the Water Elemental's benefit from Mastery
- Change Icy Veins to cause bolt spells treat targets as frozen, to allow more spells to benefit from Mastery
- Apply bonus damage to targets affected by the Frostbolt debuff and/or chilled, rather than to frozen targets
Change Brain Freeze
More correctly, the suggestion would be: remove an instant cast from rotation. But out of Ice Lance and Brain Freeze FFB, the latter seems the more likely. The idea is simply to reduce the amount of damage coming from instant and 1.5 second casts, so that more damage can benefit from more haste. Some ideas include:
- Replace Brain Freeze with a hard-hitting, short-cooldown rotational spell with a cast time.
- Instead of proccing an instant FFB, proc an instant Frost-damage DOT. The cast wouldn't benefit from extra haste, but the DOT ticks would; it avoids the problem of extra burst, and gives Frost some multidotting capability, though subject to RNG. (Also makes Frost Bomb a viable option even when the best trinket is triggered by DOTs.)
Change Icy Veins
This is almost certainly in the cards already; Ghostcrawler hinted as much in the Totemspot interview:
The Glyph of Icy Veins helps with that, but there will pretty much always be some instants in your rotation, leading to some haste soft capping, but it is potentially too easy to reach that with the number of temporary haste effects we’ve given out lately. We don’t really like that that Glyph becomes (unintuitively) “mandatory” once you’re at a certain gear level, but it’s a necessary evil for now.
But how to change it? Some ideas:
- As mentioned above, Icy Veins could make bolt spells with a cast time treat the target as frozen.
- A variant on that idea would only treat targets as frozen if they were permanently immune to freeze effects.
- One idea I had in beta was to reduce the haste bonus by half, and compensate by increasing the crit damage bonus. To smooth out the RNG, it could still launch triple bolts (at 1/3 damage), each with a separate crit chance.
Baseline the Icy Veins Glyph Effect
This is one relatively complicated idea I'm including here because it generated a lot of interest and discussion. The basic idea, if I understand Akraen correctly, is this:
- Frost will always cast various spells (like Frostbolt, Ice Lance, FFB) in triplets, as it currently does with glyphed Icy Veins.
- Haste, rather than reducing cast times, will instead increase the number of spells cast. So at a certain amount of haste you start casting four bolts per cast, and with more you get up to five, etc.
There are all sorts of potential issues and problems here, but I think there's a strong idea there that's worth exploring.
Water Elemental Enrage Generated by Crits
Another very popular idea! Depending on the strength of the effect, it could happen after every crit, or after a given number of crits. Improves interactivity with the pet. Various possibilities suggested:
- Simply have it do more damage while enraged
- Increased casting speed while enraged
- Enrage enables a new spell that must be cast manually by the Mage and deals high damage
- Enrage enables a new spell that applies a debuff to the target that amplifies the Mage's damage
Increase Cast Times
A simple suggestion: Increase the cast time on Frostbolt, with a damage buff to compensate. More time spent casting Frostbolt means more value from haste.
Reduce the Global Cooldown
A common suggestion, but probably not practical; Ghostcrawler has mentioned in the past that the game simply doesn't handle very low GCDs very well.
Any of these ideas spur some new thoughts?