First Impressions of Fire

Read yesterday’s post if you’re confused as to why an arcane advocate is playing with fire.

Um…. it’s hot?

Actually, my first impression of speccing fire was more along the lines of:

OMG I fucking hate this shit! What asshole is responsible for this insanity?!?!?!

And that was just looking at the glyphs in the auction house.

I was able to make one of my glyphs on my scribe alt, but he’s not high enough level to get the good stuff.

So I’m perusing the AH and see that all the glyphs that normally sell for 10 – 30 gold are listed for anywhere from 60 to 100 gold.

This is a whole new level of highway robbery. This is highway robbery with a side order of skull fuckery and a garnish of ankle grabbing, hold the lube.

(I had the mats for the other two that I need, but can only find a scribe to make one of them. And I didn’t even find him until an hour after I visited the test dummy. Even later I found a friend that had an alt to make the other one.)

Spend a few minutes writing down where all my spells currently are so the stuff that stays the same will end up in the same place between specs – spell steal, remove curse, those goodies.

Take a deep breath and unlearn my arcane PvP spec.

Perform a little copy-cat work using my mage buddy as my model. Smile for the camera, Dark!

Ponder long and hard where to assign spells on my action bars.

Switching out Arcane Blast for Fireball was a no-brainer. Main nuke to main nuke.

Getting the others was a little harder.

I lost Arcane Barrage (/cry) and gained Living Bomb, both instant casts so a nice swap there.

But now I have Pyroblast for those Hot Streak moments and Scorch has gained a whole new level of importance.

For now, Scorch and Arcane Missile have been swapped out and Pyroblast is sitting in no-man’s land where I keep the small collection of spells that I actually click on. (Please don’t kill me for clicking, I can’t figure out where to put it that I won’t freak out and hit 10 other, incorrect, spells.)

I face down the target dummy. Not the level ?? BOSS target dummy, I know my hit rating isn’t good enough for that.  I decide to pick on one of the smaller ones.

Sheesh, I’ve been fire for less than 10 minutes and I’m already turning into some sort of sadistic bully.

Cast Living Bomb, cast Scorch twice to get full stack of debuff up (I’m glyphed for it!), cast Fireball and wait for stuff to fall off or be refreshed.


On my target, all I see are all these little debuffs with big numbers on them counting down their expiration. All the debuffs are reddish-orangish in color and the all look exactly the fucking same unless I squint really hard, at which point it’s too late to refresh Scorch because the stack fell off while I was trying to figure out which one was Living Bomb. And this is just with MY debuffs up there, wait until I get into a 5-man or worse, a raid!

/me tears hair out

Someone in guild chat has the misfortune to ask me how I’m liking it.

I let them know exactly what I think of this stupid gawddamn spec.

Deep breath.

This is why we have add ons.

Set things on fire smarter, not hotter.

After an eternity of twiddling with DoTimer (the mechanic to give me the alert I wanted wasn’t quite as intuitive as I thought it was), I now have spiffy alerts.

I didn’t need no stinking alerts when playing arcane, I was able to keep track of my stacks and my Missile Barrage procs just fine, thank you very much.

Playing fire is now the spastic DPS version of healing for me.

When I heal, I’m mostly engrossed with little party frames, merrily playing whack-a-mole with their health. But it feels like I’m doing something important, which, as the healer, I am.

When I was unloading balls of fire on the target dummy, I was completely focused on the center of my screen, playing whack-a-mole in response to the messages that appeared and feeling like I was one frayed nerve ending ready to just lose it and go ballistic.

OMG, cast Scorch before that shit falls off!
Ahhhhh! Click! Click!
OMG, quick, don’t cast too soon, let it drop off first!
Oh shit! I still have to throw in an arcane torrent and mana gem in here. Where the hell do I do that?
Mirror Image!!! Still the stupidest things ever!!! (As they merrily run over and start attacking a target dummy that was innocently standing off to the side. /facepalm)

Arcane feels so much smoother to me, this is frantic and uncontrolled. Yes, they each fit my interpretation of the flavor of each power source very well.

Casting Arcane Blast I am master of raw magic, beholden to no element!

Casting Living Bomb I am an absolute spaz. Fire! Fire!

I have no idea how Dark sounds so cool and collected on vent. I’m probably going to end up screaming and crying 20 seconds into a run. Thank god for push-to-talk on the mic.

One of the things that I did not miss from fire back when I leveled it was the suicidal tendencies that it brought out in my play style.

As a fire mage, I was constantly taking on too much and getting creamed in the process.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this character flaw will return and I’m going to end up as a dirty little pile of ash on the instance floor.

Arcane has spoiled me with little threat and an abundance of spellpower.

I just lost about 200 spellpower and quadrupled my potential threat output.

My apologies to those that are with me during my learning curve, I hope your religion allows for your remains to be cremated because we’re all going down in one big fucking ball of fire.

No roasted marshmallows, those are gross!

No roasted marshmallows, those are gross!

Just got out of H UK with my new fire spec. Here’s the parse:

Be sure to check out my epic death in less than 12 seconds on the Dalronn/Skarvald fight.

So how do I feel about fire now that I’ve got a run under my very sexy belt? (I’ll post about the sexiness of my belt later.)



I cannot adequately express my loathing and disdain for this spec.

I’m going to have to invent words for the lows to which this has sent me. It is smarklertuff.

I felt useless and retarded. Like, full on, suffering from brain damage, incapable of functioning in polite society, sofa-king-we-todd-ed.

With the amount of swearing I did last night I think I have a case for being diagnosed with Tourette’s.

And of course, my supportive guildmates – knowing that I’m testing a new spec – are playfully chiding me for not being on top of the meters.

I was a breath away from threatening to gut the hunter’s pet and strangle him with his own cat’s intestines.

After the run, I could not log out fast enough.

With this particular tank, I can’t even sneeze in arcane spec without pulling aggro, it’s only going to be worse with fire.

Trash pulls are horrible. Nothing is going to live long enough for Living Bomb to be worth it. I can’t open with Blizzard or Flamestrike because of the tank-aggro issue.

So I Fireball a couple times, then switch to AoE. But by then the first target is dead, so there aren’t enough targets to make AoE worth it anymore. Besides, the hunter has pulled aggro. Back to Fireball.

Fireball casts sooooooo slow compared to Arcane Blast. OMG. Watching paint dry, type a message in chat, take a drink, and pet the cat slow.

Oh look, it’s dead before I finished casting. I would have used Fire Blast to finish it off, but it’s still on cooldown from the previous mob. Ice Lance?

By the time we would get to a boss, I’m stuck in a daze of casting fireball and forget to toss out Living Bomb and Scorches first.

Every 3 Fireballs I’m glancing at my mana to see if I should clear my stack or keep burning.

Clear my stack of what? I have no Arcane Blast debuff. Guess I’ll just cast another Fireball.

I will admit, I had NO mana problems. I cast Arcane Torrent once more out of boredom than anything else and most eating was done because I was either down in health or everyone else had stopped to eat. Might as well chow on some strudel.

I’m not a quitter and I know that one heroic is hardly a test of a raiding spec.

I’m already saved to a Naxx 10 this week, hopefully early next week I can get into another and really put this to the test. But I’ll be honest, it’s not looking good for FotM Fire right now.


15 comments on “First Impressions of Fire

  1. Millea on Bloodhoof says:

    This is why I haven’t tried demo or destro. I wish you luck, but I hope you go back to what makes the game fun for you.


  2. Dark/Soth says:



    Alright, now that I got that out of my system.


    Seriously now. (Deep breath)



    Ok, so it was a rough first run with a tank that you not only significantly outgear, but notoriously is a very low threat tank.


    Arcane = Not so much.

    First things first, get EventAlert. It pops up neat icons when Hot Streak is available. Hot Streak procs are key to your dps. Secondly, Fire is not the best 5-man spec. AoE madness every pull makes living bomb far less effective. Bosses are a different story. Assuming the tank doesn’t threat-cap you, you should see upwards of 4k dps easily. Scorch ONCE (assuming you are glyphed), not twice like against the dummy you mentioned, cast Living Bomb, fireball, pyroblast on procs, refresh living bomb every 12 seconds and scorch as needed. You’ll get the hang of it. I highly recommend trying a different 5-man with more mage friendly pulls and single target pulls you can use living bomb on. Hmm, Violet Hold would be perfect. Its a little hectic, but I think you can handle it. Maybe.

    Also, yes, Glyph of Living Bomb is ridiculously expensive. When 3.1 first hit and the glyph was released, I paid 150g for it. it doesn’t surprise me that it hasn’t come down much.


  3. Dark/Soth says:

    I could be convinced to tank Violet Hold for you. Only if you promise to hold back on the QQ and ask questions if you get flustered. =p

    Oh, and there are people that are inflating the glyph market on the rarest, most sought after glyphs? I never would of seen that coming. /sarcasm


  4. Magejuego says:

    If you can make them on your alt, do it. Undercut him where it hurts. He’s trying to get a monopoly on glyphs. If you undercut him enough he’ll lose out.


  5. Magejuego says:

    Also, concerning Fire: you need a good tank. One that makes a crapload of threat. Get Omen if you don’t have it and ride the threat wave until it’s at 125%, then Invis and drop it all. Cancel it after you’re fully invised and get back in the fight. It’s worth it to wait for the tank to take 10 seconds to get a big aggro lead while you do nothing if it lets you go balls-out (metaphorically speaking for you) DPS for a few minutes.


  6. jong says:

    I like this new-spec series, because I can learn stuff. My mage is 27 now. I picked fire because the fire animation looks the coolest.


  7. some orc says:

    O.o u might make me a dirty pile of ashes


  8. gnomeaggedon says:

    It’s funny what you get used to… I find Arcane all sorts of flurry of activity that I can’t keep up with… keep reaching for buttons that are no longer there etc…

    5 mans, as mentioned above, aren’t really the best place for Fire (of either variety), you just start warming up and it’s all over.. likewise, with Arcane, any point in a boss fight is a good point to blow cooldowns, but with fire, you really want them to be available for the last 35%, but this raises two issues.

    1) The fights don’t last long enough for you to blow cooldowns twice, so you hang onto them for that last 35%
    2) That last 35% goes so fast that you don’t get the full use of them anyway…

    Whereas with Arcane, you can pretty much pop them at the beginning of the fights, just AB all the way, and the boss is down.

    Of course it’s the threat “management” and the RNG nature of fire that really makes it fun… once you get over your control issues ;-) and learn to ride that rollercoaster fire threat wave, it becomes a hoot.


  9. Heps says:

    You are upset because you have to manage timers and not spam the three same buttons over and over again? Please don’t roll rogue….

    Can’t wait to see DPS meters once you get used to it and become pro! When you bring the world server down from dpsing patchwerk too hardcore, you will be at peace again……


  10. Troutwort says:

    Good luck with the new spec! Sounds…hectic.

    (P.S. – I don’t like fire spec either)


  11. Dark/Soth says:


    I did over 5400 on Patchwerk. Server still didn’t crash. How much do you have to do exactly? =p


  12. Heps says:

    I believe this warrants the general reply of….

    “…over 9,000!!!!”


  13. Darkdalamar says:

    T-Dub (Heps),

    Epic fail. Lawl.


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