Lhivera’s Library

Adventures in World of Warcraft, Dragon Age, the real world, and beyond

The Level 90 Mage Talents

Saturday, September 29 2012 at 10:15am CDT

The level 90 Mage talents — Invocation, Rune of Power, and Incanter's Ward — were controversial in beta, and they continue to be controversial in the Mage forum now that people are hitting level 90 in the live game.

For a bit of history, the level 90 talents were introduced in the second major version of the Mage Mists of Pandoria talent grid. The Polymorph tier had been widely panned when the original grid was introduced, and many Mages had also made clear that we preferred to have thematic options available; many Frost Mages wanted Frost talents, many Fire Mages wanted Fire talents, etc. However, there was also general agreement that certain Arcane utility spells felt sufficiently universal that they didn't present a thematic problem for any spec. Polymorph was one such spell, but very few people liked those talents. A tier of talents modifying Evocation was a popular suggestion, and Blizzard ran with that idea.

The New Mage

Sunday, August 26 2012 at 11:09pm CDT

The Mage class got a significant overhaul for Mists of Pandaria, but if all goes well, it won't feel like a drastic change. Unlike the Warlock overhaul that involves significant changes in design, the Mage overhaul was instead an attempt to preserve the essence of the existing design while replacing a lot of the machinery under the hood. On the eve of the 5.0.4 release, I wanted to reflect on how the class is evolving, what I think has gone well, and a couple of things that I think can still be improved. This will, of course, be from a PvE perspective.

Lhivera’s Compendium

Saturday, August 25 2012 at 3:22pm CDT

Sorry it's been so quiet here for so long; my limited game time has mostly been dedicated to testing, improving SimulationCraft, and working on this thing I'm about to show you.

Lhivera's Compendium is the evolution of my old stickied "Non-Obvious Mage Mechanics" thread from the Mage forum. It's not intended to teach you how to play a Mage well — I'm a terrible teacher, other people do that sort of thing much better than I do — but rather to explain how various Mage mechanics and abilities work. It isn't complete, and will probably always be a work in progress, but there's enough there for people to start taking a look at, and there's a form where you can pose questions that aren't answered if there's some Mage mechanic that you don't understand.

The State of the Sim

Saturday, July 14 2012 at 7:00pm CDT

Thanks to everyone (there were many of you, some on the forums, some here, some via email) who helped improve the simulation profiles. No sim results can ever be considered "final," of course, but between profile improvements and bug fixes to the sim itself, I think we can say we're zeroing it in pretty nicely. And so I wanted to show you where the Mage simulation numbers stand at present.

Top build for each spec, with stat values
Twenty-seven combinations of spec, L75 talent, and L90 talent

Arcane Crowdsourcing

Friday, June 29 2012 at 4:26pm CDT

I've put in a fair amount of time the last couple of days working with the SimulationCraft devs to get the Mage profiles functional. Not good and optimized, just functional. There's work to be done on all three profiles to improve both the gear configuration and the action priority list.

If you'd like to help, there are a couple of ways you can.