Arcane Fortitude

In the Mage Q&A there was talk about the Arcane tree being a little bloated:

Community Team: Now let’s jump to some questions about specific talent specs. Firstly, the Arcane tree is widely considered too bloated. It seems that, over time, the talent trees of all classes have really evolved to provide plenty of different options with fewer five-point talents to allow for greater customization. There are several flavorful talents in the Arcane tree (i.e. Student of the Mind, Magic Absorption, Magic Attunement, Incanter’s Absorption, etc.), but many players feel that they cannot afford to spend points in such places since many of the most necessary damage-dealing talents require five points.

How do you feel about revitalizing the Arcane tree to thin out some of these five-point talents?

Ghostcrawler: Arcane is a little bloated. If you take all of the damage and mana talents there aren’t many left to spend on the more fun or cool talents. We recognize that it’s hard, for instance, to have a single Arcane build that can work in both PvE and PvP. To be clear though this is a problem with several of the talent trees and not a problem with Arcane alone. If you look at say the warrior Protection tree or the paladin Retribution tree, those provide a model for where we’d like to take talent trees in the future – fewer talents overall and plenty of points to spend on fun play-style choices that really do feel optional rather than talents you need to make your spec function. Also note that fixing some mage mana issues might make some of the mana talents feel less mandatory.

Was there an answer in there? I was looking for a simple “yes, there is bloat and we are going to make some 5-point talents only take up 3 points” or a “no, you’re an idiot and your arcane tree is working as intended.”

I would love to see Arcane Mind and Mind Mastery reduced to 3 points each, that would rock my socks.

But… why limit bloat removal to trimming down points when we can remove some useless crap in the tree altogether?

Which brings us to Arcane Fortitude.

This little guy hangs out in tier 2 of the Arcane tree. Smile and wave!

Increases your armor by an amount equal to 50/100/150% of your total intellect.

That sounds pretty cool, right? More armor means more damage mitigated, right? As a mage I’ve probably got a good chunk of intelligence, right?

Now, armor only mitigates physical damage dealt. It does nothing for the random AoE getting thrown around or the stray Shadow Bolt.

So how does this talent work in a raiding environment?

Let’s say you’re an idiot mage standing next to the tank on Sapphiron in Naxx and you eat a 15K cleave without this talent.

Let’s also say that your current armor is 2029 and your Intelligence is 1123. (Well, your intelligence is pretty damn low if you’re standing next to the tank here, but your chracter has an Intelligence of 1123.)

Why  2029 and 1123? Because it’s my armor and unbuffed Intelligence and I’m too lazy to log in and buff it up. My example, my numbers.

Per the Damage Reduction Formulas page over at WoWWiki, we get the following formula:

%Damage Reduction = 100 / ((467.5 * opponent’s level – 22167.5) / Armor +1)

Notice that your level means jack, it’s all about the level of Sapph – who happens to be treated as an 83.

Plug in some numbers… do some rounding (I’m rounding down since I’m pretty sure that Blizz doesn’t like rounding up)…

And we get a damage reduction of 10.87%.

For our 15K cleave in our normal snazzy duds, we reduced the damage from 15K to 13370, saving 1630 HP.

Of course we wiped since the mage was stupid and probably wasn’t removing the curse off any one either.

Respec and try it again with this talent.

We now have 3713 armor to plug into the equation…

Reduction of 18.24%.

Let’s be stupid again and eat another 15K cleave. For the sake of science.

Now we take 12264, saving 2736 damage.

For spending 3 talent points, we reduced the amount of damage taken by 1106.

That’s it?

3 talent points and we saved 1K hit points – and only because we were camped out in front of Sapph to eat a cleave.

Most of the damage we take should NOT be of the physical variety in a raiding environment. There are random charges and poison harpoons and whatnot that always seem to come my way, but the majority of the damage I take in a raid is unavoidable AoE/magical crap. If I’m taking physical damage, it’s because the tank is already down and I didn’t get the fuck out of Dodge soon enough.

In my opinion, if you’re looking for a talent in the arcane tree to reduce damage taken as a mage, you’re better off with Prismatic Cloak, reducing ALL damage taken and reducing the time it takes for Invisibility to fade out (i.e. getting the fuck out of Dodge).

For questing or farming, a level 80 would do 40 less points of damage on a hit of 500. If you’re taking on 1 at a time, you’re probably not in trouble anyway. If you’re farming a gabillion buggers at once, this might cut down on the sting a bit.

But is it really worth it? I don’t think so.

But now here’s where it’s tricky for me.

What about in PvP?

I would have to log in to get my PvP stats, but I know my armor goes up and I’m pretty sure my Intelligence goes down. (Proof that PvP makes you dumb?) The lower the Intelligence score, the less useful this talent is.

In the 2s bracket, I probably get matched to a melee opponent 50% of the time.

Using the armor and Intelligence values from earlier, without the talent I can reduce a 4K smackdown into 3530 and with the talent it hits for 3216 – the talent can save me 314 HP off a 4K strike. (Remember to change the opponent’s level to 80 in the formula!) And this is not including resilience because that would make my brain explode.

I think that could be useful if I ran with a healer. Maybe.

I was still in a bad enough spot to take the hit, will that 314 points make or break me? It would be better for me to not get hit in the first place… if I get caught by a melee without an escape mechanism up I’m toast anyway. This talent *might* let me take one more hit, but I would have to sacrifice talents and lose mobility, damage, or survivability elsewhere. And with the upcoming (possible) changes to resilience, will this even be necessary?

How about we just scrap this talent all together? If they really want us to have a way to reinforce the tissue paper we call armor, blend this with Magic Absorbtion or Arcane Shielding.

Or let us wear plate.

C’mon Blizz, make it happen!


5 comments on “Arcane Fortitude

  1. telanarra says:

    The day blizz lets mages wear leather, mail or plate is the day i
    1)start keeping kosher
    2)visit my parents more often
    3)reroll as a gnome


  2. Dizza says:

    Should be reworked to be similar to Blessed Life. 4/7/10% change to reduce damage by half by all attacks. Since, that will probably happen the same day Telanarra rolls a Gnome… we might not see it in our lifetime.

    However, being hit by three killing spree rogues while running around in potato sacks with that kind of talent; we might live five seconds longer for them to stunlockownandmoveon.


  3. Dizza says:

    I just realised that I can’t edit my bloody comment. :( I meant chance, not change.


  4. gnomeaggedon says:

    How about 3 new ranks of polymorph…
    Rank 1: No healing
    Rank 2: Can now melee on your behalf.
    Rank 3: Like Mind control.

    Don’t know why I am suggesting this… just came to be while I was trying to think of something sensible.


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