Some nice changes here for us, these changes are entirely buffs save for a minor nerf for the Improved Blizzard talent. Ghostcrawler stated that these changes are mainly designed to bring Arcane back up to be a viable DPS spec, alongside Fire, Frost and Frostfire. Below are the announced changes and my take on them:
Change number one: Evocation’s cooldown reduced to four minuets
Obviously a buff, this will help Mages that are still suffering mana issues, although I feel this is a bit of a cop-out, with Blizzard still ignoring the lack of use for Spirit we suffer from. (Check out Euripedes’ posts on ideas to make Spirit useful, parts 1,2 and 3)
Change number two: Arcane Flows now further reduces Evocation’s cooldown by another minuet and a half:
Again a buff to Arcane Mages, but I again feel that this is just Blizzard avoiding the problem of Spirit.
Change number three: Arcane Blast overhauled to spice up Arcane rotations:
This is a very intresting change. Now, instead of increasing the damage and mana of AB when you cast it, it increase the damage of your next Arcane spell by 15% (stacking 3 times) and increases AB’s cost. Arcane Blast itself does not consume the effect. This should make raiding as Arcane much more interesting, bringing Arcane Blast back as a mana dump spell, but removing the focus upon it that was present in TBC. Now you can rotate it in between Barrages to create a flat 15% damage increase or maybe when Missile Barrage procs, would it be worth stacking AB 3 times then using Arcane Missiles? I’m Elitist Jerks will figure that out soon.
Change number four: Torment the Weak now works with AB and all slowing affects:
This looks to be a big buff for PvP as now almost any class can allow you to do more damage on a target. Perhaps with the changes to Evocation, keeping Slow up on a raid boss to take advantage of this talent will now be more viable?
Change number five: Elemental Precision renamed to Precision, works with all spells:
I imagine that this was changed to fix the FFB bug, where FFB would get 6% hit from this talent. Still, as you wanted to cap your fire spells anyway I don’t see this as a nerf. If anything it’s a buff, helping non-arcane Mages’ Sheeps from missing. It also potentially allows Arcane Mages to achieve 6% hit from talents, if they are willing to put 8 points in Frost. It does however mean that it is unlikely that it will be moved back to the first tier of the frost tree, to make it less attractive for Arcane Mages to do that.
Change number six:Improved Blizzard reduced to give 20/40/50% snare (from 30/50/65%):
A nerf but not a huge one, this will only really affect AoE grinders but even then, it’s not a huge blow. With Permafrost and Chilled to the Bone it’s total snare is reduced by 15%. I’m not sure what affect this will have on PvP Mages, but I don’t think it’s a big nerf. (Of course I may be wrong on that, not being a big PvPer.)
Overall I think this patch is pretty good for us. Still no changes to the pants on head retarded AI for Mirror Image but ahh well. Here’s a link to the post for those that want the news straight from the horse’s mouth: