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Fire Troubles.Follow

#1 Feb 28 2011 at 1:16 AM Rating: Decent
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Hey guys, it's been a while since I had an active Mage, and boy I'm having a great time again. Unfortunately I have to play Ally, but then again that does allow me to play a Gnome.

Anyways, I'm having trouble - a LOT of trouble - with Fire.

On a dummy, I can get 7-10k indefinitely as fire, but the thing is I can get that with Arcane easily. In fact I can pull almost exactly 9K DPS cosistantly on a Raid Dummy indefinitely keeping 100% Mana. For Heroic boss fights I can push that number well into the teens relatively consistantly. The thing is, my Damage matches those DPS numbers. RARELY am I not casting or waiting for GCD.

So after looking at StateofDPS as well as a lot of guides, you'd think I could pull at least similar numbers with Fire. I can't. Some bosses, easy bosses, I've gotten as low as 6k DPS - Stonecore OWNED me - under 8kDPS overall: horrible. Entire boss fights with no Hot Streaks, horrible AoE RNG, and me asking myself how people are pulling these numbers on raid bosses!

My Mage is a baby - he's 14 hours played at 85. Dinged him 3 days ago. I've read and watched a number of reliable guides, and I'm trying my damnest to use my character correctly, but I'm finding myself starting Heroics as Fire and ending them as Arcane because I'm just ashamed of my Damage -- NOT DPS -- Damage. Arcane all the way through I have a decent shot of being top total Damage Done (just depends on who I'm playing with). Fire, I'm often last. Arcane I feel that if I pull threat I'll be OK - if I pull agro as Fire I'm dead or Iceblocked. Maybe I'm still not comfortable enough?

This is my Mage, Arcan. Am I just way too low gearscore to play with fire? Are my expectations wrong, should I play as Arcane in Heroics and leave fire for raiding? I need to learn this - but this learning curve is not allowing me to pull my weight. I'm not that much of a dumby that I couldn't figure this out, I don't think. The rotation is simpler than most DPS classes, and is not all that different than the old FFB that I used to top 25 mans with.

I have Power Auras setup with CDs, Procs, and even a mini alert when it's a good time to Combustion. I'm trying to never stop casting, I'm reapplying LBomb almost instantly after it goes off, I'm keeping Scorch crit bonus up, my Spec is a common one from a Guide, and I'm trying my best to pay attention to stat-weight (keep in mind how new my character is.)

I've found these boards to be a very supportive but critical tool in the past, and I really appreciate any tips you all have. I am simply frustrated after at least 2 hours of pure rotation practice on dummies, and a half-dozen attempts to do a heroic as Fire. Maybe in a few more days I'll just get the timing down =\
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#2 Feb 28 2011 at 2:19 AM Rating: Good
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A. If your mana is always at or near 100%, you aren't using an optimal dps rotation. Your mana should be going down consistently, being brought back up with Evocation as needed. Raid buffs should extend the amount you can go. If you are hovering up top, you can only be severely gimping your dps. Fire is not like Arcane, who tries to keep their mana topped for everything but the burn phase. Fire has a burn phase too, and you may try and keep your mana pool static for short periods to ensure you have enough for the burn phase, but other than that it should be decreasing. Ideally, your mana pool finishes a fight at 0.

What priority system are you using?

B. You have several pieces of gear that can be reforged for a DpS buff. You should do so. Remember that 1% hit will be 900 more damage (probably less, because you give up stats to get it, but you see my point). And get new bracers asap.

I'd drop the socket bonus in your robe for a pure +40 int gem. Ditto for your pants, and your trinket. The bonus doesn't make up for the lost int in any of these cases.

C. Your should grab the Burning Shadow meta.

D. You have pieces of equipment not enchanted. I get not wanting to blow the money for huge enchants if you plan to replace the gear right away, but why do so for gems and not enchants? Grab a run speed enchant for your boots (or +50 hit, but I'm a BIG fan of run speed buffs). You should enchant your wrists for int, put a socket in your belt, get Power Torrent for your wep, 40 int for your offhand, get your rep up for your head/shoulder enchants. We're looking at several hundred int here, each of which is worth about 5-6x any single point of any other stat point.

E. Go here. Read everything, but particularly the parts about Combustion, Ignite munching, and mana management.

Edited, Feb 28th 2011 3:20am by idiggory
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#3 Feb 28 2011 at 4:45 AM Rating: Good
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Getting a well timed combustion is amazingly important. As mentioned already, your gear should be reforged a bit. Compare our gear, despite being at the same gear level. Compare where we are on two of our most important stats.

Where you have 3826 Int, I'm sitting at 4509. Additionally, where you have 15% crit, I'm sitting at almost 20%. Thanks to ignite munching, there's a point where crit stops being as valuable, but I don't think either of us are at that point yet. Right now it's just important to get high enough on there to be consistently able to put up a high level Combustion often.

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get Power Torrent for your wep
At 9k gold average price for that enchant on my server, I disagree. Hold off on that for an epic. However, while I'm not 100% sure that it's the case still, I do know that at one point the old spellpower enchant beat the **** out of the newer Hurricane enchant.
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#4 Feb 28 2011 at 10:07 AM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
Getting a well timed combustion is amazingly important.


And that's why it sucks some times. I've clicked combustion at 18k (According to Combustion-Helper) only to see the indicated combustion number change a milisecond before....

The current state of Ignite & Combustion... with Ignite munching and Combustion on a 2 minute CD...

You can look like a total hero or a complete failure based on the RNG. And for Combustion - you only get 1 per boss fight (Heroic) and maybe 2-3 in a raid.


And it's not like burning HoPo as a Paly or 5-stacks as a rogue/Cat. It's a 2 minute freaking CD!

Back in wrath - when Arc ruled, the status of fire (And Combustion/Ingite-munching) was a non-issue. Now that fire is #1 - they need to fix this issue.
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#5 Feb 28 2011 at 12:03 PM Rating: Decent
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Thanks for the replies.

I put Hurricane on there because it seems to work well for both specs, and I'm finding myself having to go back and forth a lot.


I'm not trying to keep full mana. On fire, when I say indefinitely I mean by weaving Scorches in to conserve mana, and using my Mana gains on cooldown. For Arcane, obviously I don't mean 100% mana but ~95% mana indefinitely, which is generally accepted as the "Cruise" rotation until you're ready to burn. Arcane isn't where I'm having trouble, not that I can't improve but I'm just trying to get Fire up to my Arcane level.

I'll work on getting that crit up. As for the Int, Poldaran, you just have better pieces than I but I see your point. Those are some nice Trinkets! That Int also helps boost that crit, and I'm definitely going to take the advice on Gems. As for Power Torrent, I have an Enchanter and even he doesn't have Power Torrent yet: I'm not putting that on a weapon until I have at least a 359 weapon -- waaaay too expensive.

I guess there's no tips for rotation? It feels like when I'm fire I get agro way too quick, and then I have to do emergency measures that severely drop my DPS, where as Arcane it really doesn't bother me or adversely effect my DPS. I understand Mirror Image, but after I blow that and we move to the next group, that option disappears. Maybe I should start using FFB for the snare - that slow movement speed is why I feel so comfortable with Arcane.
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#6 Feb 28 2011 at 12:24 PM Rating: Good
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If you are pulling aggro, than the issue isn't your DpS, it's that you aren't attacking the proper target or are attacking too soon. You should not need a snare if your tank and you are competent.

Use an /assist macro, so that you are always attacking your tank's target. Give him time to get initial threat. Always follow kill orders. Install a threat meter.

You shouldn't be approaching these situations as "If I pull threat I'll be okay as Arcane." You should approach them as "I shouldn't pull threat, so it's a non-issue, especially because I can Ice Block or Invis if I **** up."

Plus, you shouldn't be pulling threat as one but not the other--Arcane no longer has threat reduction built in. Plus, Arcane opens with a larger burst phase than fire does--you should be FAR more likely to pull threat with it than Fire early on.

If you are pulling threat later, then it doesn't matter what your dps is--you are capped. Whether or not you COULD do more is a non-issue if your tank isn't putting out enough threat.

Plus, remember that MI will share your threat while it is up, so it is important to use it (especially during burst phases). And Invis will drop your threat. If you are threat capped, use it. It's better to lose a few seconds of combat and be able to go all out afterward than to sit there and spam Scorch because you can't do any more.

And the rotation is in the link I provided above.
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#7 Feb 28 2011 at 2:51 PM Rating: Good
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tzsjynx wrote:
I guess there's no tips for rotation?
Stop scorch weaving. Only scorch when moving now(or if you're feeling paranoid, you could throw a scorch in between a fireball and a Hot Streak pyro to avoid the ignite munch, but that's probably unnecessary) or if you hit a dry spell and the crit debuff is gonna fall off.

tzsjynx wrote:
Maybe I should start using FFB for the snare - that slow movement speed is why I feel so comfortable with Arcane.
For soloing, definitely. I always pull with an FFB barring fighting for mobs when doing dailies. Just makes life easier. For instances, well you have a ramp up time involving LB and the initial scorch. That should be plenty of time to establish aggro for a tank. Be a fire mage, live dangerously. Dance upon the razors edge. If your tank isn't crying, you aren't doing your job!

Err, well maybe that's too zealous, but you get what I mean.



tzsjynx wrote:
As for the Int, Poldaran, you just have better pieces than I but I see your point.
Actually, that's not the majority of it. What's the real killer is Herbalism vs, say, Jewelcrafting. May not be something you're willing to change, but it's what it is. One thing you can change, however, is to go back and do all the quests in Mt Hyjal. You should be able to get right around revered to get the helm enchant just from questing. I did that whole zone the first night it was out while fighting other folks for mobs, so in bite size chunks at 85, you should be able to pop that to done pretty darn quick. That's a nice and easy 60 int(and 35 crit!) boost you'll be able to use on any hat you get.

Out of curiosity, have you constructed your endless flask yet and do you use it every time you instance?
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#8 Feb 28 2011 at 5:20 PM Rating: Decent
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I have yet to step foot in Hyjal. The Arcanum is great but it didn't fit into my plan of getting Heroic ready at dinging 85 (which I was.) Therazane I'll get rep by dailies which I've been doing, and Hyjal will fall in line with free time after my Dailies.

I LOVE Hyjal, it's just not that great for me. As you can see I still have a 333 Helmet so it's going to get replaced quite soon anyways. So you're absolutely right that Arcanum is in my plans I just haven't gotten there yet.

As for threat - No I'm not attacking the wrong MOB. I don't know why Fire seems to pull threat so often, and like I said I do pull threat all the time with Arcane as well but I do not skip a beat when it happens: often, in fact, it's an overall boon to the group if I can maintain control as it reduces DPS to the tank.

I have a Tank, and I never seem to have problem with keeping threat off Fire mages... so I am very befuddled at the fact that they are having a tough time when I'm fire. Perhaps its the constant DOT damage that they are unable to keep up with - but as I said it's not a lot.

Also, on multi-target pulls I'll spread LBomb and Ignite with Impact, and this can sometimes grab agro as well - but I do refrain from doing this until it seems the tank would have had ample time to grab threat. Perhaps the tanks I've been running with just sucked.

Also, yes Pold I do have the endless flask and I keep it up all the time. Herbalism is definitely not a great boon to me but Lifeblood does add extra pow, especially when Arcane as I pop it at the same time as Arcane Power for mucho damage.

I'll try FFB instead of Fireball, sticking to one target and if I grab threat so be it. It's just going to be hard to beat Arcane - ran 3 heroics today with 12 13 13 as Arcane. That's more than most Mages I see when I Tank/Heal.
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#9 Feb 28 2011 at 6:02 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
I have yet to step foot in Hyjal. The Arcanum is great but it didn't fit into my plan of getting Heroic ready at dinging 85 (which I was.) Therazane I'll get rep by dailies which I've been doing, and Hyjal will fall in line with free time after my Dailies.


Getting your toons their rep enchants should be one of your top priorities to getting yourself heroic/raid ready. They're a cheap way to easily add a large stat boost. Too late now, but keep it in mind for future toons. (Note, scribes don't need to bother with shoulder enchants, just head).

Quote:
I LOVE Hyjal, it's just not that great for me. As you can see I still have a 333 Helmet so it's going to get replaced quite soon anyways. So you're absolutely right that Arcanum is in my plans I just haven't gotten there yet.


Move it to top priority, or right around there. It shouldn't be low on your list.

Quote:
As for threat - No I'm not attacking the wrong MOB. I don't know why Fire seems to pull threat so often, and like I said I do pull threat all the time with Arcane as well but I do not skip a beat when it happens: often, in fact, it's an overall boon to the group if I can maintain control as it reduces DPS to the tank.

I have a Tank, and I never seem to have problem with keeping threat off Fire mages... so I am very befuddled at the fact that they are having a tough time when I'm fire. Perhaps its the constant DOT damage that they are unable to keep up with - but as I said it's not a lot.


Do you have a threat meter and are watching it? It isn't really hard to see if you are creeping up on the tank. If need be, lay off AoE and just focus on his top one or two targets.

The thing is, the threat changes are such that they aren't really noticeable to tanks but very much so to DpS. The tanks still do everything they can to generate threat--that's the same as it was in Wrath. Only the DpS jobs have changed (actually having to watch it).

Quote:
Also, on multi-target pulls I'll spread LBomb and Ignite with Impact, and this can sometimes grab agro as well - but I do refrain from doing this until it seems the tank would have had ample time to grab threat. Perhaps the tanks I've been running with just sucked.


Tank's AoE threat output is much lower in Cata than it was in Wrath (particularly for Bears). If spreading these grabs you threat, then it is because the tank just isn't putting out enough to grab them at all, really. Tab between mobs and check Omen before you choose to AoE.

Quote:
Also, yes Pold I do have the endless flask and I keep it up all the time. Herbalism is definitely not a great boon to me but Lifeblood does add extra pow, especially when Arcane as I pop it at the same time as Arcane Power for mucho damage.

I'll try FFB instead of Fireball, sticking to one target and if I grab threat so be it. It's just going to be hard to beat Arcane - ran 3 heroics today with 12 13 13 as Arcane. That's more than most Mages I see when I Tank/Heal.


Don't switch to FFB when grouping--it's a significant DpS drop. Just focus on waiting to engage until you are sure you won't pull threat, and think about how much damage your spells will do in relation to the tank. If you are pulling threat now, FFB probably won't do much. A snare might up your survivability, but that's just masking the problem.

Also, Arcane performs better in Heroics than in Raids, from what I understand, for total damage done--because you spend quite a bit of time going full out (but remaining near 100%, as the fights are short). Extended boss fights, where Arcane's mana will really dip, is where they fall behind. And they aren't scaling as well as Fire is.

I think you just need to learn to hold back longer (and I don't mean that to say you are unskilled--the temptation to blow up everything you see is strong, lol). That should solve the majority of your problems. And you might need to accept that your full-damage AoE rotation might not be something you can really do outside of a raid environment, where a tank has high vengeance stacks fast, with misdirection/tricks up, and maybe even Thorns adding more.

If you are having threat problems on a boss after waiting 10 seconds to engage, while scorch weaving, then there's nothing you can do--your tank sucks.

Also, be sure to never be in melee range. While outside it, you can do 20% more threat before a mob heads towards you (compared to just needing to exceed the tank's threat in melee range)
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#10 Feb 28 2011 at 6:34 PM Rating: Decent
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I did my Therazane dailies already, so I'll start chipping away at Hyjal tonight. It really only takes 3-5 hours to do the entire zone, and that will get me to Revered /cheer!!

I do appreciate all the help.

Looks like I need more Int/Crit, and those suggested upgrades will help achieve that. I will give the tank a bit more time to secure threat from here on out and just do my best to succeed as fire. I really like the play style of both, I just don't like the end results of Fire but it's something I'll learn to play as best as I can because the end results are unanimously in it's favor.
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#11 Mar 01 2011 at 8:16 AM Rating: Good
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Just a point or two:

1. On most fights I will open with a Force-cast Pyro. Meaning a 6 second cast. In a raid w/ guildies, you can easily give the tank 3-4 seconds (means you start Cast as he was running in). I follow this with an immediate LB. You're GCD will have reset - so Technically the LB will apply to the target BEFORE the Pyro - due to flight time.

2. At this point assess the situation. Have several adds spawned and would this be a good time to fish for an Impact Proc? If yes, Cast AOE. Are there several adds, but your current Ignition value sucks. If yes, cast Fireball. Is this a single target fight and you just wanna get a big ignition prior to casting Combustion? If yes, Spam Fireball.

The thing that makes fire wierd, for me, is that it's a bit more of a thinking game. (not saying that you are not thinking)

I've read that casting Flame Orb can actually increase Munching (EJ - dont ask me to find it - their posts are too long), so when fishing for a big Combustion - Is flame orb optimal?

At what indicated Combustion value is it just simply a "GO". (Meaning - A well timed 18-25k *Indicated by Combustion helper* Combust will massively spike your Damage. But if you spend 2 minutes fishing for that value - you will Lose 1 or more combustions - due to the length of boss fights. At what Value/Time should you just cut your losses and fire it.) So at 30+ seconds In, with a value of 6k or greater - just go for it.... It's better than Missing an entire 2 min CD Combustion???

Does troll racial function with Combustion? Should troll racial be used to hastily stack big 'indicated' combustions - or would it be of more value to use it with the combustion? *This is going to be a function of Crit and Haste - I guess.
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#12 Mar 01 2011 at 12:04 PM Rating: Decent
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It's not that I'm unable to think, just that I'm not as clear as what to think about. Arcane is much simpler in this regard, at least for me.

It seems like, to me, that you guys Fish for a strong Combustion, then go into a different phase while Combustion is on CD fishing for Pyroblast! procs. While it makes sense, I'm not liking the lack of control for clutch points. I had a heroic where I stuck it out as fire and felt that I did really good, and ended with about 9800. Right after that, I did Vortex Pinaccle as Arcane after picking up 2 upgrades and ended with an astounding 16800dps overall (38% damage done).

I'm simply convinced that a combination of the nature of Heroics and my gear level is restricting the potency of Fire. I'm going to stay Arcane and check in on fire every once in a while to see if my gear has gotten the point where it works on a competitive level. I'm definitely expecting to have to use fire for Raids, though.
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#13 Mar 01 2011 at 1:27 PM Rating: Good
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Have you run yourself through Rawr?
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#14 Mar 01 2011 at 2:34 PM Rating: Decent
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I'm not raiding yet with Arcan.

I do love RAWR and I'm considering using it for Heroics soon, but from my past experiences its oblivious to the hardships and special situations that arise in Heroics. Maybe they've fixed that =)

I'm raiding with my other characters tonight and tomorrow so maybe I'll grab RAWR on Thursday.
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#15 Mar 01 2011 at 2:59 PM Rating: Decent
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Hmmm, frost is already producing 9K for me in normals, I'm VERY curious to see where it goes in 12% of a level....
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#16 Mar 01 2011 at 7:28 PM Rating: Good
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I do love RAWR and I'm considering using it for Heroics soon, but from my past experiences its oblivious to the hardships and special situations that arise in Heroics. Maybe they've fixed that =)


If you augment the the boss levels and fight timer appropriately, it shouldn't be that far off. The RNG is obviously a factor, of course.
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#17 Mar 02 2011 at 8:51 AM Rating: Good
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tzsjynx wrote:
It seems like, to me, that you guys Fish for a strong Combustion, then go into a different phase while Combustion is on CD fishing for Pyroblast! procs. While it makes sense, I'm not liking the lack of control for clutch points. I had a heroic where I stuck it out as fire and felt that I did really good, and ended with about 9800. Right after that, I did Vortex Pinaccle as Arcane after picking up 2 upgrades and ended with an astounding 16800dps overall (38% damage done).



And this^ is why I don't like our current state.

Last night on Halfus, I pulled 30k (Due to good Combustions and the nature of the fight) but went to a heroic afterwards and couldn't get my indicated combustion (from combustion helper) to get above about 6k.....

If the RNG hates you, you're just out of luck...
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#18 Mar 02 2011 at 3:57 PM Rating: Decent
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If you hate the RNG, Frost still does decent DPS even without BF procs >.>
It's no fire, but it's no arcane.
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#19 Mar 02 2011 at 9:48 PM Rating: Good
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http://stateofdps.com/

The two are essentially equal at this point. And god awful. Some fights Arcane does more, some fights Frost. Overall, Frost is ranked 1 place higher than Arcane, which is only higher than Sub Rogues.

I really don't get it. I understand why it can be difficult to balance properly as the numbers get closer--you have to deal with the RNG, fight mechanics, various specs/gear stuff, etc. I'll grant that it's harder to balance someone who is +/- 2k from the sweet spot.

But both specs are doing SEVEN THOUSAND DpS less than they should be. That's the kind of situation where it's pretty easy to buff them--because it's nearly impossible to overshoot it at that point. I mean, they could probably double the overall damage of Frost bolt/Arcane Blast right now and still end up under the mark...

It's ridiculous. And with Fire being so RNG dependent (meaning, not fun), it's just not okay.

This is why I'm not leveling my Mage yet. Well, this and the fact that leveling as Horde made me so angry I had to stop. But, vice versa, I've found that I'm actually proud to be doing many Alliance quests nowadays.
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#20 Mar 02 2011 at 10:49 PM Rating: Decent
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Remember, StateofDPS shows the top of the top. MOST people will probably average in the 15-16K range if they're raiding (assumption).
At that point, a lot of specs are going to be a lot closer than they are at the top. It's very obvious in Fire's case, with the 'lower' DPS at low gear levels.
Frost, though, will always get worse as PvP gear gets better. They refuse to split spell effects into 'pve' and 'pvp' and it hurts certain specs of classes, such as frost, in pve.
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#21 Mar 02 2011 at 11:18 PM Rating: Good
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Frankly, I don't get why they don't. They essentially have with all CC abilities (sure, they didn't technically change the ability, but DRs +reduced duration amount to the same thing).

It's so annoying. >:(
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#22 Mar 03 2011 at 1:02 AM Rating: Decent
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idiggory wrote:
Frankly, I don't get why they don't. They essentially have with all CC abilities (sure, they didn't technically change the ability, but DRs +reduced duration amount to the same thing).

It's so annoying. >:(


I highly agree. There ARE a number of things that operate with different numbers/mechanics when dealing with PVP versus PVE, it just seems stupid that they wont just come out and do that with Damage spells.

I DON'T want them to change Arcane into another boring cruise or wait for Procs spec with no control - they've already smoothed it out WAY too much - but it's absolutely stupid that we must trade that control on the throttle for 30% damage. It would be nice if they implemented some effects that boost Frost and Arcane for PVE at least to relative competitiveness.

The fact that pretty much every Hybrid beats us out on damage is just stupid. I understand the immense power of Arcane and Frost in PVP, but it could be very simple to fix.

Arcane Missiles NEEDS to be more valuable. It would be nice if we could cast it while moving and continue to fire all 5 missiles to compete with Scorch movement. Many of frosts abilities which excel in PVP are just plain underpowered in PVE.

That being said, Combustion needs to be on a MUCH shorter cooldown or have some sort of Proc at least to reset it. In this case, it's potency can be reduced slightly to make up for the additional control, but the fact that 1 slight mistake based on a fraction of a second can cost the Mage so much damage with no way to rectify it just seems stupid.

Edited, Mar 3rd 2011 2:05am by tzsjynx
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#23 Mar 03 2011 at 5:09 AM Rating: Decent
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Problem with frost is that it WAS doing fine. They nerfed the mastery SIGNIFICANTLY because they couldn't balance it for PvP.
Personally, it's annoying that my game gets nerfed for a little mini-game like PvP, but as long as it's above Arcane on average, I'm happy. Purple whirly bolts, psh.
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