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[US] Feedback: Mage Updates

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[US] Feedback: Mage Updates

In this thread, we’ll be testing and talking about Mages in The War Within. Look here for posts from the development team as adjustments and bugfixes are made throughout the testing period.
Please note that off-topic or inappropriate posts will be strictly removed.

Thank You

Before we continue testing The War Within, we’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who read and responded to the Hero Talent previews we posted over the last few months.

Looking to the Alpha

In this first Alpha build, every single class has at least one new Hero Talent tree available for testing, with the rest coming in the following weeks. We’re asking testers to initially keep several things in mind:

There are UI elements on the talent panel that are placeholder, including things like talent icons, text, or final UI art.
Some talents may not be functioning yet, or may be marked as not yet implemented (NYI)
New spell visuals and audio for several new Hero Talent trees are still a work in progress. Many trees are using placeholder assets for now that will be updated over the course of Alpha.
There are some talents that are not fully tuned yet. This is expected, and we will implement tuning adjustments throughout testing.

The combat design team has two big areas of focus right now that we are prioritizing over other concerns such as tuning or generic class updates/maintenance:

Finish building the remainder of the Hero Talent trees that are not yet available.
Fix bugs that are blocking testing of new talents.

With the Alpha build being playable and all of the discussion that will occur around the flood of data, we wanted to reiterate that the responses to our blog previews were highly valuable. The feedback we received allowed us to make some early improvements or revisions while we didn’t yet have a public test environment. It allowed us to take some big early swings on certain trees, and then react to early feedback quickly.
Going forward, we aren’t planning to publish any additional Hero Talent previews in blog form, since we’ll add the remaining classes to the Alpha as soon as they reach their ready-to-test state.

Working from Feedback

Several Hero Talent trees have received changes after reading feedback to the blog posts. Some of these were tuning changes to ensure that the Hero Talent tree felt competitive, while others were significant design changes. The feedback thus far has been of great benefit to us.
Going into Alpha, we feel good about the shape of the Hero Talent tree designs. Keeping a consistent number of utility and defensives nodes across all trees, having parity between number of choice nodes, and the overall structure of the trees are things we’re confident in.
We’re also working on tweaking some core class designs as well. In some cases, it was necessary to make adjustments to the class or specialization talent trees before significant work was done on a Hero Talent tree. In other cases, we did work seeking to improve base class talent tree designs.

Alpha Feedback

Now that we’re in Alpha, we’re looking for feedback on how it feels to playtest these trees. We’re specifically curious about:

Hero Talents that you feel are “required” for your spec in a type of content, such as raiding or Mythic+, or that push you towards picking a specific tree.
Hero Talents that create frustrating or unsatisfying gameplay or rotations for your spec.
Hero Talents whose functionality is confusing, unclear, or difficult to track during gameplay.

Throughput comparisons of Hero Talent trees are helpful, but we’re more interested in gameplay, feel, and choice feedback at this stage. Also, when possible, we appreciate it when you focus posts or articles on a single spec and Hero Talent tree, rather than combining feedback about multiple issues.

Again, Thank You

We greatly appreciate all your feedback on Hero Talent trees and are very excited for you to see everything else we’re working on. Thank you!
– The World of Warcraft Combat Design Team

Forum Avatar

Kaivax
Community Manager

#2 – April 19, 2024, 8:29 p.m.
Blizzard Post

Hello mages!
We have some updates coming to the Alpha in the next few weeks and want to give you an early look at a significant talent shakeup.
These changes will be almost exclusively specialization tree changes, but the goals are similar across them all. In general, we’re happy with the core gameplay of each mage specialization. These changes aim to elevate existing gameplay, provide choice, and ease frustration.
Goals

Allow you to acquire each specialization’s core gameplay with less talent point investment.
Simplify rotational complexity.
Provide tools to help you adapt your damage profile to better match a given encounter.
Provide competitive choice nodes that let you opt-out of complex gameplay.

Mage Class Tree
So far there is one change in the Mage class tree:

Temporal Warp is being removed.

Temporal Warp has some experiential issues we aren’t happy with, like mages not being able to use it in raid fights where Time Warp is not used at the start of the fight. We’re also unhappy with the significant APM requirements it creates, and how failing those might snowball into substantially reduced damage over the course of a fight.
Mage damage overall will be tuned taking Temporal Warp’s removal into account as these changes roll in.
Arcane
The Arcane spec tree will be receiving updates aimed at providing more options for players who enjoy the fantasy of Arcane and want to play it without some of the demanding elements of its current playstyle.
Arcane has a lot of inherent complexity with mana management, and that complexity is not well represented in the spec tree. Talents that might seem simple to manage on other specs become a headache to juggle alongside Arcane’s burns and mana management. This, paired with the new elements being added by Hero Talents, make it seem like the right time to address these issues.
We’re still working on the changes, but we can share this: Radiant Spark will be redesigned to be much simpler. It will also have a competitive choice node for people who do not like the scripted style of gameplay it incentivizes. We’re also looking at increasing the power of Arcane’s procs and giving them more exciting procs, such that responding to them as they come up is almost always the best move, even in your burns.
Fire
Fire will likely be the first to test new changes. These changes are targeted at giving Fire more talent options, particularly in AOE. We want you to be able to assess the encounter and adjust your talents accordingly, and that means being able to alter how good Ignite/Flamestrike/Phoenix Flames are at different target counts. We’re also taking a look at Fire’s suite of maintenance buffs and culling a select few of them.
Frost
With the exception of a few talents, which we’re looking to address, we’re feeling good about Frost’s gameplay and tree. Our first batch of changes for Frost will be small in scope, and targeted at adding a new build that should reminiscent of the Deathborne playstyle from Shadowlands, while also freeing up some talent points.
Thank you for your continued feedback, and we’re excited to hear more from you in the weeks to come.

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