In the beginning, there was a raid. In this raid, there was a mage. The mage came every week to the raid, devoting her time and effort to improving her DPS and pulling her weight. The mage loved all her raid companions. She buffed them with intellect and gave her favorite holy paladin Focus Magic. She didn't stand in fire and at the end of the raid, she put up a portal to a safe city so that the other raiders could rest and repair their gear.
One raid, a [Stick of Awesomeness] dropped. The warlock and the shadow priest got very excited, as did the mage. The hunter snickered that it was a hunter weapon since hunters could now use staves. The casters glared at the hunter.
The warlock said "I can summon candy for the raid. I have a pet for every task, and I have DOTs and spells to kill the bad guys. I should get the staff."
The shadow priest said "I can heal if I'm needed. I also do passive healing with my damage spells. I have three buffs for the raid to protect them from dying. Let's not forget I lower the hit cap for everyone in the raid with my Misery. I should get the staff."
The mage said "I blow things up, sometimes with arcane damage, and sometimes with fire! I can also kite things with my frost spells and slow. I give everyone a little bit more smarts with my Arcane Brilliance and I help you all get home when we're done. I should get the staff!"
The raid leader thought and thought. He thought some more. He consulted the other officers. They all thought for a very long time... and then called a break in the raid so they could think just a little longer.
The mage put up a portal and quickly retreated to her super secret research library and laboratory. She started pulling out the books and looking over her old experiments, searching for the edge she needed to help the raid and prove her usefulness. She searched and searched to no avail until she came across an old cookbook.
As she opened up the cookbook to her Grandmother's Famous Strudel recipe, the mage had a good idea. Sometimes the raid needed comfort and nothing made her feel better than eating a warm piece of strudel. Sometimes they also needed a little extra mana and health before a long fight. The mage got a very good idea. She worked at her laboratory and her stove very hard until the break was over.
As they all returned to the raid, the mage was smiling. She approached the raid leader first and said to him "Don't make your decision yet! I have something new for the raid. The warlock can summon you candy, but I have something different." She opened a portal of refreshment and summoned a table of strudel.
The raid was perplexed. They approached and picked up the strudel. They ate it and regained mana and felt comforted. The raid saw that it was good.
Wiping the strudel crumbs from his face, the raid leader stepped forward. "You have all done well. We are pleased to have you in our raid. We are all impressed with your skills, your DPS, and your contribution to the raid. We are certainly impressed with your new strudel, mage. It is a fabulous new invention and tasty too!"
The mage beamed.
The raid leader picked up the [Stick of Awesomeness] and held it aloft. "The winner of the staff is....
"THE BOOMKIN! Because he had more DKP than the rest of you guys."
The boomkin burst into dance. "w00t! PHAT LEWTZ!"
The moral of the story is no matter how much you do for your raid, sometimes you don't win the loot. I actually wrote all this to talk about strudel. The other day I was perusing the blue posts and ran across a post in which someone asked a blue why mages weren't fat after consuming all that strudel. The answer to the post by a blue said something along the lines of "mages aren't fat because it disappears after they log out for 15 mins. You can't get fat off something that doesn't exist!" This is brilliant.
The post got me thinking. There's no real lore as far as I know about mage summons. It's a fun little utility thing we do. The problem with it is that it's also one of those things that's just EXPECTED of us. You go into a raid, you put down a table. The raid finishes, you put up a portal. When you join a group, you buff everyone with Arcane Intellect or Arcane Brilliance. It's a good thing they didn't make mana gems trade-able, or you'd be handing those out too. For mages, the immediate demand of "Strudel plz" is as bad as a healer's "Rez plz" before you can even get mana back to cast the spell.
For a while, I went on a strudel strike and refused to put down a table for random pugs. After a while, I realized how stupid and petty this was and now I just automatically put down a table once I pop in a raid or group, PUG or otherwise. As much as I resent being a vending machine and a taxi sometimes, it is part of our job. It's one of Blizzard's double edge gifts to us and pissing off your group isn't going to get you anywhere.
While strudel doesn't affect our DPS, it is a part of a mage's performance and it helps out a raid. Strudel gives more mana and health per second and total than most foods, save a few. It also combines health and mana in one click. If you think about it, this is going to get people up faster after a wipe and get your casters' mana back faster in between pulls. A faster raid gets more loot and more shots at whatever progression they're working on. Granted, there are plenty other things to get in the way of time, every little bit helps.
So Blizzard, where is the lore behind this? I don't read the manga or the novels or the comics, so if anyone has any information on this, please let me know.
In the meantime, I've created my own lore to fill in the blanks. No, I don't mean the above story, as well written and truthful as it is. Since the blue post (which I cannot relocate) said that the sustenance given by strudel isn't lasting, that got me thinking. Perhaps strudel is just a meal to get you over a hump until real food can be located and ate. Think of it this way - if you eat only sugar for a period of time, you're going to end up having a crash eventually from the lack of other nutrients. There's a lot more needed by your body than carbs. They can't really keep you going indefinitely.
In the same way, Strudel would also cause a crash, but it'd be much more brutal, like starving someone slowly. Eventually the pseudo-nutrient given by the strudel would disappear and wouldn't really do the mage (or otherwise) any good to sustain them. However, if one continued to eat strudel over a long period of time, they'd remain alive. This would also have consequences though, one of which I thought would be particularly interesting.
Say mages way back when strudel was first invented wanted to find out what happened when they did just that. Eventually, they'd start hallucinating and I imagine that since strudel is a rather magically imbued food, their hallucinations might also have some meaning. So putting yourself in a hallucinogenic state from a strudel bender might also give you magical visions, be it of the past, present, or future. It might also have other side affects, more dangerous ones including permanent damage to the mage, just like malnutrition would.
So this way, strudel would be useful in more than one way for mages or anyone else who might be feeling brave enough to try it. It also opens a small RP door for people playing mages, a way for them to see what's going on elsewhere or what might be. I love little things like that. Creativity is what RP's all about and if you can use what you have to make something new and interesting, that's the ultimate prize.