Mage Leveling… What to do?
EDIT2: Since this was published, much has changed about the Mage class and much of this is no longer valid. If you’re looking for a more updated guide, go have a look at this post.
EDIT: Okay, I’ve been working on this post for a few days, but since I originally wrote some stuff has changed.
Well, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I have enough alts to overthrow any legitimate government, and yesterday I decided to hop on the Mage for a bit. Fikkel, my new Undead Mage on Coilfang has now hit level 10 11 and it will soon be is now time to start spending my talent points. Seeing as how the Mage class is the class I’m most familiar with, I do have a bit of an idea about what each of the specs brings to the table, and what the strengths and weaknesses are of each.
Up front: I have to say, that I’m only considering one of two now considering one of three specs. In no particular order, they are the PoM-Pyro spec, a Frost AoE grind spec and an Elemental spec. The PoM-Pyro spec is very familiar to me. It is the spec I used from level 13 to 55, and from 65 to 70.
Sidebar: From 10 – 13 I didn’t know where I should put talent points and so they were in the Arcane tree until a level 25 Mage rolled up to me, asked my spec and then did a /roflmao… “noob, fire is the ONLY spec. Not knowing any better, I went back and switched to Fire, where I stayed until I was able to get clearcasting and PoM.
Addendum: I realize that at level 13, there is no such thing as a PoM-Pyro spec. So for clarification, I started off Fire, spec’ing to PoM-Pyro when it became available.
At level 55: I switched to the Frost build. It was a tough decision. I had no idea how to play frost, but I wanted to give it a serious go to learn how. I ‘knew’ that Frost was ‘THE’ pvp spec and if I wanted to pvp at 70, I’d likely have to take Frost.
At level 64-65: I was working on the Nesingwary quests in Nagrand and I remember thinking that it was taking forever. I wanted to kill things faster, and decided that it was time to go back to the PoM-Pyro spec that I knew so well. It was my securty blanket. Sooooo warm and cozy.
Frost AoE Grind: I’ve heard great things about this spec for leveling. And I’ve really only seen it in action once, but it was an amazing sight. I was doing part of the Linken quest line that requires you to go kill a water elemental in Tanaris. You know the one, out by all the pirates. This was on my hunter, and while I was high enough that none of the mobs bothered me, there was a mage who was there doing his thing. Well, I happened to see him pull upwards of at least 20 mobs. I remember thinking, “wow, this poor pr!ck is totally screwed.” I have to admit that I didn’t bother to help, but I did stop to watch what would happen. Well he froze the doomed pirates as any good frost mage would do, and he whipped up a Blizzard the likes that Tanaris has never seen. And I’ll be damned if only one of those damn mobs ever made it close enough to breath on this guy. Took him a minute or two to loot them all. “Now that is some crazy stuff that I had no idea my own Main’s class could do” I remember thinking to myself.
Elemental Spec: Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to kill myself and roll a Shaman. Don’t bother waiting. This spec utilizes the destructive power from the Fire tree and combines it with the survivability and control of the Frost tree to give you some nice options and versatility. (Note: While I’ve been aware of this spec previously, I have to thank Euripides (soon to be) of the Shattered Sun for suggesting it when I posed him this question. Also, since I haven’t tried this spec at the end game, I have no idea what it is truly capable of. Euripides, however has done an excellent review of this spec and if you’re considering trying it, you should give it a read here.)
Now: So this is where I’m at. I realize that starting out Frost is a far cry from being able to utterly destroy 20 plus mobs at once, without a scratch on me, but eventually, I will get there. The added bonus of Frost survivability on a pvp server can’t be ignored either.
Final Verdict: I still don’t know? I was originally leaning towards going Deep Frost unless someone could provide a really good arguement talking me out of it. However, since I re-read the post about the Elemental(Mage) Spec its been creeping in the back of my mind as something that I’m curious about giving a shot. The POM-Pyro spec seems to be off the table unless I can be convinced that it is the end all spec all of a sudden.
Your Thoughts: So let me know what you think. Anyone got any experience with a Mage. Please keep in mind that my character is still a lowbie and by deciding to pick either spec, it will still be a considerable amount of time before I’d be able to pick up most of the talents required to make either of them truly shine. But all comments are welcome!
EDIT: Since I’m posting this from work I can’t access a number of sites to link some of the builds I’m considering. I’ll try to post them when I get home tonight.