Eclipse isn't nearly as bad as Mages. It might not be the best system, but it isn't actually broken--just poorly implemented. Frankly, the vast majority of the problem specified in that post would be solved by simply removing AoE from eclipse benefits and adjusting their dps accordingly.
The only remaining problem is the small variation in burn phases according to your eclipse state (since they aren't equal). But you should be able to ensure you'll be in the proper state when Heroism is used, assuming your raid has any kind of coordination.
This is just poor implementation, and doesn't even touch the Mage problems. Because, at the end of the day, your dps doesn't vary as much (and the only real issue is AoE), and the problems are such as you can at least somewhat mitigate them with planning. Not saying it's easy, but it's possible and viable.
Now consider Mages. (Quick disclamer: It seems Arcane is top DpS now, so I'll consider that too later)
1. Combustion. It's a HUGE portion of Fire Mage DpS and is on a 2 minute CD, so 2-4 a fight. Holding out for too long, and losing one, is a massive loss to damage done.
The ability sums the dps of your existing dots, and then tics for that amount every second for 10 seconds. As such, lacking just one of those DoTs is a pretty significant dps loss. Furthermore, two of those are crit-dependent. If they don't crit, you're essentially 2-DoTs down. Now consider the difference from buffs.
That's a pretty significant problem in and of itself. Why? Look at WoL right now. Combustion is making up 35+% of a Mage's DPS. That's MASSIVE. A bad combustion will easily ruin just about everything. The next highest is Fireball, which is about 25%.
2. It's RIDICULOUSLY RNG-based. The DoTs that matter are Ignite, Living Bomb and Pyroblast (and FFB if that's what you use, but I think it's always a dps loss to do so). Ignite procs from crits and only lasts 4 seconds. So you really need a strong one up. At LEAST from a single crit. Ideally, you'll have 3 crits running. That right there is a huge dps variance you can't control. Best case scenario also has 2 of these as Pyroblasts! (I think--I can't remember if it's possible. 2 FBs and a Pyro is at least).
So here we see that one aspect of the DoT can be doing only 33% of its max potential, with nothing you can do about it (and you'll never combust without an ignite, because it isn't worth it).
After that, we have the easiest part--Living Bomb. It's worth less than Ignite, and has a longer duration. The problem, though, is that you'll likely be fishing for ignite procs. Eventually, you'll find your day ruined because you get a great ignite setup, but see LB drop off JUST as you need to Combust the target (and don't forget lag).
Finally, there's the Pyroblast DoT. The least important part, but still dependent on the RNG to actually GET a pyroblast up.
Sounds pretty bad, right? An ability of which a single cast is 9% of your total damage done varying THAT MUCH?
That's not even the end of it! Because of the nature of spell queuing, and the irreparable coding issues of WoW, the system can EAT your pyroblast crit Ignite. When you queue a spell, it fires pretty much instantly after you fire the first one. This means that the two can hit too close together for ignite to recognize both crits, and you'll only get one of them (or neither--I can't remember which. I THINK only one though). So that's a huge portion of your potential damage for the fight gone due to bad code.
Now consider it all together. You need to line up, every 2 minutes, 2-3 crits for Ignite procs, Living Bomb and a Pyroblast DoT all in the span of 4 seconds so that you can use Combustion (which is ON THE GCD) to its maximum potential. Failing to do so, or holding out too long that you lose a combustion in a fight, is a ridiculous dps loss.
Oh, and you also need to be able to do all this during Heroism. :)
Of course, I say "do all this" when it's actually like 80% RNG...
Oh, and about AoE? Yeah, combustion is the main factor there too. You need to get a strong combustion going on a mob and then use Fire Blast to transfer it and the rest of your dots to all other targets in range. Still ludicrously RNG based, and its damage will fluctuate a lot according to what ignite effect is likely to fall off.
Believe me. Druids aren't nearly as bad as this. I LOVED my Mage in Wrath. I've barely touched it since then because Mages suck so bad right now. (They can put out numbers, but they aren't even remotely fun to play anymore, because they are just so broken--we've essentially just had our numbers buffed in every spec to mask horrible design issues).
Arcane is less broken, but still absolutely stupid. The whole spec revolves around spending as little mana as possible so that you can spam 1 ability for a small period of time (which MUST be the burn phase for you to not absolutely lose your damage potential). They also have no AoE potential.
[EDIT] What are you talking about? I'm not bored! SHUT UP!
I'm not trying to say Eclipse doesn't have issues, but it isn't "broken." That's just the wrong term. Poorly implemented? Perhaps. But it would be incredibly simple for them to address a huge portion of the problem, if they'd just admit that one exists. Remove sunfire and take AoE off eclipse and a huge amount of the issue is gone. The rest would be largely remedied by keeping you in one eclipse state until you reach the other. That would probably mean a new mastery, to be fair, because otherwise it would be an incredible stat. But nothing is wrong with the actual system--the problem is that your AoE varies too much between different states and that you can be caught in burn phases at a bad moment. That's not too hard to fix, really. They just need to actually accept that it needs fixing.
Mages require, essentially, a COMPLETE overhaul to fix their issues. Which likely won't ever happen. If they got one, I'd seriously consider coming back to WoW in a more committed sense. But they've butchered Arcane, and I was never really a Fire person (and absolutely hate what it became in Cata).
Edited, Jun 10th 2011 8:06pm by idiggory
Anyways, you all are horrible, @#%^ed up people
Never underestimate the healing power of a massive dong.