WoW 3.0 PTR testing and new Frost Spec
by Tachyon on Mon. 22. September 2008, 01:30
Filed under: mage, talents, spec, raiding, wotlk, ptr, deep freeze, patchThis weekend, I did some testing on the public test realm (PTR) with patch 3.0, in order to test the new frost talents, and have some fun with Blizzard now critting (it's about time!)
On visiting the mage class trainer, I was surprised to find new spell ranks for Frostbolt, Fireball and Arcane Missiles at level 70, haven't heard of that before.
- Frostbolt rank 14: 630 to 680 Frost damage
- Fireball rank 14: 717 to 913 Fire damage + 92 Fire damage over 8sec
- Arcane Missiles rank 11: 280 Arcane damage every 1 sec for 5 sec.
Also the new battleground (Strand of the Ancients) is now in the game, though I didn't test it yet, as my addons are quite in a mess due to incompatibilites. I didn't take the time to fiddle with the UI and find out new hotkeys for most of my spells (Bartender3 wouldn't load), so I'd be handicapped for PvP anyway.
I finally decided what frost spec I'd take when 3.0 goes live. My focus is still on raid PvE, but I also took some PvP talents and included meaningful talents for a Blizzard AoE spec.
My new WoW 3.0 spec:
Improved Frostbolt - Rank 5/5
Reduces the casting time of your Frostbolt spell by 0.5 sec.
Must have talent. Reduces the Frostbolt casting time from 3 to 2.5 sec, which is a 20% DPS increase.
Ice Floes - Rank 3/3
Reduces the cooldown of your Frost Nova, Cone of Cold, Ice Block and Icy Veins spells by 20%.
Reduces the Frost Nova cooldown from 24 to 20 sec, Cone of Cold from 10 to 8 sec, Ice Block from 5 to 4 min, and Icy Veins from 3 to 2:24 min.
It's not a must have talent, the only component that makes it wanted for raiding is the reduced cooldown on Icy Veins (to maximize DPS).
Ice Shards - Rank 3/3
Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Frost spells by 100%.
Must have talent. Makes your frost spells crit for 200% of the normal damage, and with the Chaotic Skyfire Diamond metagem even for 209%.
Frostbite - Rank 3/3
Gives your Chill effects a 15% chance to freeze the target for 5 sec.
Neat for solo/PvP situations, useless for raiding (as boss mobs can't be frozen) - unless you combine it with Improved Blizzard, giving each tick of it the chance to freeze the target, which means superb AoE crit chance with Shatter.
Elemental Precision - Rank 3/3
Reduces the mana cost and increases your chance to hit with Frost and Fire spells by 3%.
Mandatory for PvE. I'm not sure whether the Elemental Precision Ghost Hit (+6% instead of +3% for Frostbolt) still applies in 3.0/WotLK, but I doubt so.
Spell hit chance is no longer capped at 99%, so for raiding situations, you need +17% hit (214 Hit Rating @ lvl70, 446 Hit Rating @ lvl 80), or +14% hit with 3/3 Elemental Precision (176 Hit Rating @ lvl70, 367 Hit Rating @ lvl 80).
Piercing Ice - Rank 3/3
Increases the damage done by your Frost spells by 6%.
Must have talent, no discussion.
Icy Veins - Rank 1/1
Hastens your spellcasting, increasing spell casting speed by 20% and gives you 100% chance to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting. Lasts 20 sec.
Must have talent.
Improved Blizzard - Rank 2/3
Adds a chill effect to your Blizzard spell. This effect lowers the target's movement speed by 50%. Lasts 1.50 sec.
Adds a snare effect to Blizzard, making the affected targets stay longer in the spell's area. The snare allows it also to proc Frostbite, combined with shatter this will turn Blizzard into a crit galore feast!
Arctic Reach - Rank 2/2
Increases the range of your Frostbolt, Ice Lance, Deep Freeze and Blizzard spells and the radius of your Frost Nova and Cone of Cold spells by 20%.
Must have for PvE (Frostbolt) and especially for PvP (Frostnova, Cone of Cold). Too bad it only increases the range of Blizzard and not its radius.
Frost Channeling - Rank 3/3
Reduces the mana cost of all spells by 10% and reduces the threat caused by your Frost spells by 10%.
Must have for PvE, the thread reduction is vital. It's now even better than clearcast, as you get the mana reduction directly, no wasted procs.
Shatter - Rank 3/3
Increases the critical strike chance of all your spells against frozen targets by 50%.
This. Is. SPARTA! The bread and butter of a frost or elemental spec (since patch 1.12 it increases the crit chance also for non-frost spells), mother to all shatter combos, and now also useful in raids, thanks to the Fingers of Frost talent. And it now only costs 3 talent points, and no longer has a prerequisite talent.
Cold Snap - Rank 1/1
When activated, this spell finishes the cooldown on all Frost spells you recently cast.
Allows you to gain more DPS by increasing the Icy Veins and Water Elemental uptime in boss fights, and saves your back in PvP fights by resetting Ice Block / Frostnova.
Cold as Ice - Rank 2/2
Reduces the cooldown of your Cold Snap, Ice Barrier, Deep Freeze and Summon Water Elemental spells by 20%.
Indirectly increases your DPS due to the reduced Cold Snap and Water Elemental cooldown. For two points, a must have, even for PvP, as it reduces the Ice Barrier cooldown from 30 to 24 sec.
Winter's Chill - Rank 3/3
Gives your Frost damage spells a 100% chance to apply the Winter's Chill effect, which increases the chance spells will critically hit the target by 2% for 15 sec. Stacks up to 5 times.
Up to +10% crit, now for all spells. Too bad it doesn't stack with the new Improved Scorch (+10%) or Boomkin aura (+5%). Might help your fellow fire raiding comrades, as they can skip adding Scorch into their spell rotation and just gain the effect from Winter's Chill. Sideeffect in PvP: WC is an additional debuff, making it harder to remove more important ones, such as polymorph.
Shattered Barrier - Rank 2/2
Gives your Ice Barrier spell a 100% chance to freeze all enemies within 10 yds for 8 sec when it is destroyed.
I'd say this is a PvP-only ability, but an incredibly powerful one. Adds a third way to nail your opponent to the ground (besides Frostnova and Frostbite), which helps shattering or deep freezing. It's also good that the effect just freezes the opponents, but doesn't do any damage, so it won't break sheep on any target it hits.
Meele will hate you for this, as soon as they slice away your Ice Barrier, they get frozen, allowing you to gain distance again.
Ice Barrier - Rank 1/1
Instantly shields you, absorbing x damage. Lasts 1 min. While the shield holds, spells will not be interrupted.
- Rank 6 (Level 70) absorbs 1075 damage
- Rank 7 (Level 75) absorbs 2800 damage
- Rank 8 (Level 80) absorbs 3300 damage
Never leave the house without it!
Arctic Winds - Rank 5/5
Increases all Frost damage you cause by 5% and reduces the chance melee and ranged attacks will hit you by 5%.
Nice, a plain +5% dmg, take it.
Empowered Frostbolt - Rank 2/2
Increases the damage of your Frostbolt spell by an amount equal to 10% of your spell power and increases the critical strike chance by an additional 4%.
Improves scaleability by adding +10% to your spell power. The crit chance used to be 5% for rank 5 points before patch 3.0, now it's only 4% but only requires to points.
Fingers of Frost - Rank 2/2
Gives your Chill effects a 15% chance to grant you the Fingers of Frost effect, which treats your next 2 spells cast as if the target were Frozen. Lasts 15 sec.
Now that's cool, a 15% proc which allows you to cast 2 spells that profit from shatter, even if the target can't be frozen. That's 2x Frostbolt, or 1x Frostbolt + 1x Deep Freeze with almost guaranteed crits.
Brain Freeze - Rank 2/3
Your Frost damage spells have a 10% chance to cause your next Fireball spell to be instant cast and cost no mana.
This is the most weird talent in the new frost tree. With 3/3 ranks, the proc chance is even higher, 15%. When Brain Freeze procs, you've got 15 sec time to release an instant fireball for free. Untalented fireballs won't do much damage, and only crit for 150% base dmg, but the instant cast (1.5 GDC instead of 3.5 sec casttime) evens this out. Don't expect too much DPS increase from this, the talent only shines because the fireball costs no mana, increasing your overall mana efficiency (DPM).
For PvP this is actually funny, having a little 'PoM Fireball' ready which can be cast while moving, that alone makes it worth taking it.
Might make spell rotations a little tricky, as you don't want to waist the Fingers of Frost proc on a Brain Freeze proc, so watch your procs carefully.
Summon Water Elemental - Rank 1/1
Summon a Water Elemental to fight for the caster for 45 sec.
Squirtle, friend to all frost mages. Will bite nastly rogues into the ankles while they stunlock you, helps you range-shattering with its ranged nova, and add its little share to your raid DPS. Must have.
Improved Water Elemental - Rank 3/3
Increases the duration of your Summon Water Elemental spell by 15 sec and your Water Elemental restores mana to all party or raid members within 100 yds an amount equal to 0.6% of their total mana every 5 secs.
PvE only. Increases WE uptime, and adds a little manareg to the party (for a lvl 70 mage with 10000 mana, it's 60 MP5).
Chilled to the Bone - Rank 5/5
Increases the damage caused by your Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt and Ice Lance spells by 5% and reduces the movement speed of all chilled targets by an additional 10%.
Another 5% plain damage to your main nukes, and adds an additional snare which comes handy for your Blizzard (with 2/3 Imp. Blizz., it's 60% snare).
Deep Freeze - Rank 1/1
Causes x to y Frost damage and stuns the target for 5 sec. Only usable on Frozen targets.
- Rank 1 (lvl 60): 694 to 806 Frost damage
- Rank 2 (lvl 66): 787 to 913 Frost damage
- Rank 3 (lvl 72): 1018 to 1182 Frost damage
- Rank 4 (lvl 80): 1319 to 1531 Frost damage
Stunning your target means totally incapacitating it, so you can do anything to it (paint a moustache on its face, untie its shoelaces or just nuke the living daylights out of it without breaking your CC).
Even better, the freeze effect won't be broken on the target by damage, thus you have 5 sec of shatter opportunity. The Deep Freeze cast will also be affected by shatter, and you enter the global cooldown afterwards as DF is an instant cast spell, so 3.5 sec remain to unleash another Frostbolt/Ice Lance combo, or 3x Ice Lance if you're really quick.
The damage component of Deep Freeze gains 1.5/3.5 = 42.857% of your spell power.