With patch 3.3.3, mages everywhere are reeling and waving angry pitchforks at the Blizzard programmers.


* Frostbolt: Spell power scaling on this spell has been increased by approximately 5%.
* Talents

o Arcane

+ Arcane Empowerment: This effect is now passive instead of being a proc off of critical strikes. The self damage buff remains unchanged.
+ Incanter's Absorption: This talent now only grants additional spell power when damage is absorbed by Mana Shield, Frost Ward, Fire Ward, or Ice Barrier. The limit of 5% of the mage's health on the spell power buff has been removed.

o Fire

+ Burning Soul: Threat reduction is now 10/20%, up from 5/10%.

o Frost

+ Brain Freeze: This talent now allows your next Fireball or Frostfire Bolt to be instant and cost no mana. There is a small internal cooldown to keep the Frostfire Bolt from immediately triggering Brain Freeze again.

 Ok, so not all mages, but arcane mages specifically.

+ Incanter's Absorption: This talent now only grants additional spell power when damage is absorbed by Mana Shield, Frost Ward, Fire Ward, or Ice Barrier. The limit of 5% of the mage's health on the spell power buff has been removed.

Yeah, that part.  The Incanter's Absorption nerf.  So currently, this amazing talent will allow a mage a gain in spell power whenever any sort of shield or ward absorbed damage.  There's also a limit on how much it will allow.  This was amazing if you had a disc priest in your raid who liked you enough to keep you bubbled or in certain fights like Twin Valks in TOC.  I've done 12k damage on that fight alone while having this talent maxed out.  Unfortunately, with the nerf, Blizzard is taking a limited damage buff and making it even more limited from the look of it.

Let's look at the changes:
  • The changes in the actual absorb will be limited with the new talent.  Instead of any type of absorb from any type of shield, now only the mage's own absorbs will apply.  So that means the absorbs from priest/paladin bubbles as well as magic absorbs from the light/dark auras in Twin Valks.  The available absorbs for mages are Mana Shield, Frost/Fire Ward, and Ice Barrier.  Mana Shield is fine, except it subtracts from your mana when you absorb damage.  Frost/Fire Ward are short cast spells, lasting only 30 seconds with a 30 second shared cooldown.  They also have limited absorb amounts that end up being less than PWS.  Ice Barrier is a great spell, but it requires you to go a ways into the Frost Tree, so while this is still viable for two tree-ed mages who don't go deep in either tree, it's not really viable for a mage deep in either tree -- both talents are on the 7th tier in their prospective tree.
  • The second change is the removal of the health limitation.  This is great!  Accept it's basically a moot point.  My mage has 18,463 unbuffed health.  Currently the SP buff from my IA can't exceed 5% of that or 923 spellpower.  Max rank PWS has an absorb limit of 2230 damage.  Assuming you took that all in one hit, you'd get a buff of 334 SP (fully talented IA) for 10 seconds.  These little buffs do stack so after three such hits if your priest has the talent to put up the shield again in 4 seconds.  So you could keep stacking them up to 3 times in theory before the limit was reached.  For the sake of being thorough, with Ice Barrier's absorb up to 3300 you could get 495 spell power with a one minute cooldown, excluding Cold Snap.  Mana shield absorbs up to 1330 damage, so 199 spell power.  Frost/Fire Ward absorbs 1950 damage, so 292 spell power.  With the cooldowns on the available spells with this nerf, it would be difficult to reach the health limit anyway without rolling all the cooldowns one after another.  I can certainly see why they put the limit in before since mages were soloing Naxx with it, and I can understand why they're taking it away now since it doesn't matter.
This is frustrating.  I know it's not a huge thing their taking away, but that's probably why it bothers me.  With these changes, Blizzard is taking our edge.  There's another mage in my guild who raids regularly and used to top the DPS charts.  Now he's falling behind other classes, before this change -- Ice Crown Citadel is not so mage friendly with all the movement requiring fights.  With this little buff our Disc priest could give him a little help to catch up.  I have a wonderful holy pally friend who hits me up with a Sacred Shield "70% of the time" according to her <3.   My point is this: Mages aren't the top DPS class right now.  We're not abusing this talent and we only have an edge on a few fights, but people still complain on the forums -- they whine and bitch till there's a nerf.  Well congratulations, the nerf bat has officially targeted mages.  We only have one viable raid spec and let's make it a little bit worse for it.

So Blizzard, I say to you "Fix Fire First, Then Nerf."  Kthx.