Hai guys and welcome to a very special blog post for Runzwithfire.co.uk. Why so special you ask? Well today marks the one year anniversary of when I posted my first article up on this site and, to quote the achievement name, what a long, strange trip it has been. When I first started Runzwithfire.co.uk I intended it to really be a site where I could stick up my machinima as and when I got the time to produce it; sadly my work schedule (combined with my home life and WoW schedule) are not quite so forgiving on me and I rarely get the time to produce all the machinima I want. Our guild promotion video has been 9 months in production so far >.<
So rather than let the site wallow away unused I decided I would blog, after all I was already hijacking people's comments pages with my lengthy views (rants?) on things occurring in the world of Azeroth, why not save other people's server space and create my own blog? It started with a warm post introducing myself and why I wanted to blog and my experiences playing in WoW and it garnered a small following mainly of guildies and a couple of notable fellow mages. Since that time, however, I have refined what I have wanted to do with the blog and found myself writing more and more guides to being a mage, giving my views on the latest patch notes (usually where it affects mages), highlighting other blog posts which I believe people should read (again usually with a magey bent to them) and... awwww hell I admit it I just like anything with mages involved. As the blog evolved, so has my readerbase, and with that evolution has come expansion. A new post will now get about 300 pageviews in the first few hours - sure it's not much compared to many other (better written lol) sites and there are never all that many comments (I take that to mean everyone agrees with me. What's that? I'm right? Thought so!) but people were reading, they were finding the information I wanted to share with them useful.
First thing's first; guys if you have been playing WoW for any length of time then this article will be of very little use to you as you will already know how glyphs work and what Mage glyphs there are. You probably already have them. Again this is just an update of my previous glyph article and is designed for new players or those who perhaps want more information on the types of glyphs available for Mages.
This said the next article I'm looking to throw up here will be Arcane Mages for PvE so stay tuned :)
The Glyph System
The glyphs available to your character now fall into three categories that can be best described as this:
Prime: These are the uber glyphs, they will directly improve damage (or healing, if you're into that kind of thing) output. Alternatively they may grant an additional ability to a spell.
Major: These feature spell changes but are usually only a slight improvement when compared to Prime Glyphs. Some will result in a 'trade off' eg. greater direct damage for the removal of a DoT. Other examples include increasing the utility of a spell such granting Blink an extra 5 yards.
Minor: These are either cosmetic or give some form of convenience such as removing the need for a spell's regent or reducing mana cost.
Once you learn a glyph you learn it forever (a bit like learning a recipe for your professions); this is to allow you again more versatility so you can adapt to different situations. The only proviso is that now you must buy Dust of Disappearance for 10g (reduced by faction reputation) to remove one of your Prime Glyphs so you can replace it with a new one. For lesser glyphs the Vanishing Powder is used. The video below is slightlu outdated but does explain it quite nicely.
OK everyone very clear on all this so far? Good.
So let's try and work this through by spec for the prime and major glyphs for each spec. That is not to say that if you're a Fire mage you can't glyph Mage Armour, if you're having DPM issues you should absolutely glyph Mage Armour - it's just easier for reference purposes. I'll leave minor glyphs til the end cos they're mostly cosmetic.
Remember, this is not a guide to the best glyphs for each spec (although I'll make brief comment) as I will do spec builds when I cover the Arcane, Fire and Frost trees separately. This is just an overview so that you have a reference of what all the glyphs do.
This article is designed to give a basic overview of the Mage Class and its various specialisations; it is very much an introductory article to being a Mage in Patch 4.2 and is really designed for those who have never really played the class or have not touched it for a long time. Its planned that this will be the first in a series of updated posts for Mages detailing the different specs for both PvE and PvP in Patch 4.2.
Why Play As A Mage?
Playing as a Mage is probably the most fun you can have as a DPS class with your trousers on (and sometimes without, but that depends on personal circumstances). The Mage class has a wide and varied 'box of tricks' which add much need utility to most groups, which are also a boon to you during the levelling process too. The key Mage abilities of reliable and reapplicable Crowd Control, interrupt capability, buff stealing and decursing (yes we can decurse, there are just far too many lazy Mages that don't bother) combined with a strong ability to kick out high DPS means that we are one of the most versatile 'pure' DPS classes in game. Travel in game is also a breeze thanks to the Teleport and Portal spells that allows you and your fellow party members rapid travel to all of the faction and neutral capitals. Oh and we have Bloodlust now... *cough* I mean Time Warp.
In absolute truth, Mages don't require a high level of skill to produce reasonable DPS which makes it a good choice for beginner players; it's pretty much a case of cast spells and watch the nuke. But as you progress in your studies you will find, as with most classes in WoW, that there are additional layers of subtlety that define the differences between ok Mages, good Mages and absolutely awesome Mages. Of course this all boils down to how you approach your spell casting rotation, talent choices, gear choices, knowledge of the mechanics in Boss Encounters and the strategy you should adopt within those encounters. As I said, it doesn't take a lot of skill to produce reasonable DPS, an untrained Mage will do more damage than an untrained Shadow Priest for example, but to really excel at the class? Well that takes practice, knowledge and a willingness to do a little bit of research.
Would have kind of liked putting this one in a vlog, but stuck in work so I will use my designated smoke break time to keep you guys up to date. I'm nice like that :)
Now you may be a PvP'er, you may not be a PvP'er. You may be the kind of PvP'er that doesn't do Arena but likes to get the honour gear for Battlegrounds. You may be the hardest of the hardcore and look to gear up with the latest conquest point gear as soon as possible so you head straight to the top of the arena ratings. To be honest, it doesn't really matter what kind of PvP player you are the chances are that if you have spent any time at all over the past week grinding honour for the Vicious Gladiator Season 9 gear then the latest news regarding PvP is likely to infuriate you.
What am I talking about? The chances are that if you're on an EU server (or you're not interest at all in PvP) you have no idea what I'm talking about at all because we get the new arena season patch today. So sit down, get a stiff drink, remember that stiff upper lip and prepare yourself.