Weren't they considered close enough to equal not counting the bug?
I'll do some research, but I suspect that it will mostly be a matter of your gear.
Fire Mages can cast either Fireball or Frostfire Bolt as primary nuke in their rotation. The DPS difference is minor, but Fireball is theoretically superior by a small margin. Why's the difference rather small?
- Fireball and Frostfire Bolt cost the same amount of mana
- Fireball and (Glyphed) Frostfire Bolt do the same amount of initial damage
The only other difference stems from Glyph of Fireball and Glyph of Frostfire. Glyph of Frostfire Bolt adds a 3% damage over 12 seconds DOT (stacks 3 times) whereas Glyph of Fireball adds 5% crit.
The periodic damage of Glyphed Frostfire Bolt can crit, which leaves an Ignite. This is a very important point in practise because of Ignite Munching. More frequent Crits from minor, weak DOT's such as FFB - result in more opportunities for Ignite Munching. Be sure to read the Ignite Munching section for an understanding of why this can be very detrimental to Fire Mages. Theoretically, FFB vs Fireball might be deemed as an "X% difference" by sims - but remember that Ignite Munching can and will exacerbate that difference - which many sims do not account for.
Therefore, we can sum up the primary nuke debate by saying: Fireball as primary nuke is better. Not by a huge margin, but enough to convince most players seeking Optimal Play to use Fireball over FFB.
This is the the old version from the EJ sticky. Sounds like I was remembering correctly. Ignoring the bug, the difference was marginal. Assuming I'm not forgetting other changes, FB will probably remain on top. Edited, Apr 27th 2011 11:08am by Poldaran