New World of Warcraft Mage Talent Trees
Take a peek at the upcoming changes.
by Tom McNamara

May 4, 2006 - Someone at Mythic once said (paraphrased) that you knew an MMO was balanced when all the character classes were complaining at the same volume. Although World of Warcraft doesn't have nearly as many character classes, its talent system effectively allows for sub-classes. A priest, for example, can specialize in healing or damage, while a warrior can specialize in two-handed weapons, a sword and board, or dual-wielding one-handed weapons. And over the course of WoW's lifetime, each character class has gotten a periodic "talent review" by the dev team. Sometimes the changes are small. Sometimes, as with the adjustment to the mage talents outlined below, the differences are significant enough to waive the in-game fee for talent point distribution. What follows is directly from Blizzard, minus the notations in italics that highlight the differences between the old and the new versions of the mage talent trees.
In a nutshell: Nine talent points have been freed up, thanks to several talents being changed from five increments to three or four. Arcane Explosion is now instant cast, and the talent that used to reduce its casting time now adds a critical hit boost. Evocation will be buyable from a trainer. A couple abilities have been removed, but those extra nine talent points mean you can max out a few abilities that were previously inaccessible. It may be advisable at this point to let warriors purchase Tactical Mastery at a trainer.

Whoops, I said that with my outside voice again!

Patch Notes:
• Due to significant talent changes, Mages will have all talent points refunded and can be respent. Training costs for all talent spell replacements have been significantly reduced.
• Arcane Explosion is now instant cast and will no longer remove the Presence of Mind effect when used.
• Evocation - Is now available to all mages (via trainer), starting at level 20.
• Conjure Food now has a new rank (Rank 7) available in Stratholme.
• Frost Ward now has a new rank (Rank 5) available as item loot in dungeons.
• Mana Shield - Damage taken will now be absorbed by other absorb spells (e.g. Ice Barrier, PW: Shield) before being absorbed by Mana Shield.
• Dampen Magic - Damage and healing reduction increased on ranks 3 through 5.
• Amplify Magic - Damage and healing bonus increased on ranks 2 through 4.

Arcane Talents

Tier 1

Arcane Subtlety
Reduces your target's resistance to all your spells by 4/7/10, and all of your spell criticals cause 17/34/50% less threat.
Note: Functionality has been significantly altered.

Arcane Focus
Reduces the chance that the opponent can resist your Arcane spells by 2/4/6/8/10%.

Improved Arcane Missiles
Gives you a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to avoid interruption caused by damage while channeling Arcane Missiles.

Tier 2 (No changes)

Wand Specialization
Increases your damage with Wands by 5/10/15/20/25%.

Arcane Concentration
Gives you a 2/4/6/8/10% chance of entering a Clearcasting state after any damage.

Tier 3

Magic Attunement
Increases the effect of your Amplify Magic and Dampen Magic spells by 25/50%.
Note: This talent previously only affected Dampen Magic.

Improved Arcane Explosion
Increases the critical strike chance of your Arcane Explosion spell by an additional 1/2/3/4/5%.
Note: AE is now an instant cast spell, so this talent has been altered to add +crit instead of casting time reduction.

Arcane Resilience
Increases your armor by an amount equal to 50% of your Intellect.
Note: Evocation, previously in this location and now a trainer spell, has been traded for one that also gives mages an armor boost.

Tier 4

Improved Mana Shield
Decreases the mana lost per point of damage taken when Mana Shield is active by 10/20%.

Improved Counterspell
Gives Counterspell a 50/100% chance to silence the target for 4 seconds.

Arcane Meditation
Allows 5/10/15% of your Mana regeneration to continue while casting.
Note: Previously five increments of 3%, freeing up two talent points to spend elsewhere.

Tier 5 (No changes)

Presence of Mind
When activated, your next Mage spell with a casting time less than 10 sec becomes an instant cast spell.

Arcane Mind
Increases your maximum Mana by 2/4/6/8/10%.

Tier 6

Arcane Instability
Increases your spell damage and critical strike chance by 1/2/3%.

Tier 7

Arcane Power
When activated, your spells deal 30% more damage while costing 30% more mana to cast. This effect lasts 15 seconds.
Note: Damage and mana cost have been reduced by 5%.

Fire Talents
Tier 1 (No changes)

Improved Fireball
Reduces the casting time of your Fireball spell by 0.1/.2/.3/.4/.5 seconds.

Gives your Fire spells a 2/4/6/8/10% chance to stun the target for 2 seconds

Tier 2

Your critical strikes from Fire damage spells cause the target to burn for an additional 8/16/24/32/40% of your spells damage over 4 seconds

Flame Throwing
Increases the range of your fire spells by 3/6 yards.

Improved Fire Blast
Reduces the cooldown of your Fire Blast spell by 0.5/1/1.5 seconds.
Note: Previously in five increments; two skill points freed up.

Tier 3

Increases the critical strike chance of your Fire Blast and Scorch spells by 2/4%.

Improved Flamestrike
Increases the critical strike chance of your Flamestrike spell by 5/10/15%.

Hurls an immense fiery boulder that causes 148 to 195 Fire damage and an additional 56 Fire damage over 12 seconds.

Burning Soul
Gives your fire spells a 35/70% chance to not lose casting time when you take damage.
Note: Previously three increments -- 25/50/65%. One talent point freed up.

Tier 4

Improved Scorch
Your Scorch spells have a 33/66/100% chance to cause your target to be vulnerable to Fire damage. This vulnerability increase the Fire damage dealt to your target by 2% and lasts 15 seconds Stacks up to 5 times.
Note: Previously five increments of 20%. Two more talent points freed.

Improved Fire Ward
Causes your Fire Ward to have a 10/20% chance to reflect Fire spells while active.
Note: Was previously 20/35%.

Master of Elements
Your Fire and Frost spell criticals will refund 10/20/30% of their base mana cost.
Note: This is a new ability and, interestingly, affects more than one talent tree.

Tier 5 (No changes)

Critical Mass
Increases the critical strike chance of your fire spells by 2/4/6%.

Blast Wave
A wave of flame radiates outward from the caster, damaging all enemies caught within the blast for 160 to 192 Fire damage, and dazing them for 6 seconds.

Tier 6 (No changes)

Fire Power
Increases the damage done by your fire spells by 2/4/6/8/10%.

Tier 7

When activated, this spell causes each Fire damage spell you cast to increase your critical strike chance with Fire damage spells by 10%. This effect lasts until you have caused 3 critical strikes with Fire spells.
Note: Significant functionality change. This used to grant a 100% chance to crit with your next fire spell. The cooldown is not listed.

Frost Talents
Tier 1

Improved Frost Nova
Reduces the cooldown of your Frost Nova spell by 2/4 seconds.

Improved Frostbolt
Reduces the casting time of your Frostbolt spell by 0.1/0.2/0.3/0.4/0.5 seconds.

Increases the duration of your Chill effects by 1 second and reduces the target's speed by an additional 4%/7%/10%.
Note: Additional speed reduction is new.

Tier 2
Note: Improved Frost Nova has been removed.

Ice Shards
Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Frost spells by 20/40/60/80/100%.

Frost Warding
Increases the armor and resistances given by your Frost Armor and Ice Armor spells by 15/30%. In addition, gives your Frost Ward a 10% chance to reflect Frost spells and effects while active.

Gives your Chill effects a 5/10/15% chance to freeze the target for 5 seconds.
Note: Previously a Rank 6 item. Was also previously five increments of 3%. Two more skill points freed up. Winter's Chill moved to Rank 6, with adjusted functionality.

Tier 3

Piercing Ice
Increases the damage done by your Frost spells by 2/4/6%.

Cold Snap
Instant, 10-minute cooldown
When activated, this spell finishes the cooldown on all of your Frost spells.

Improved Blizzard
Adds a chill effect to your Blizzard spell. This effect lowers the target's movement speed by 40/60/75%. Lasts 4.50 seconds.
Note: Movement speed reduced by an additional 5%. Effect duration tripled.

Tier 4
Note: Improved Frost Ward has been removed.

Arctic Reach
Increases the range of your Frostbolt and Blizzard spells and the radius of your Frost Nova and Cone of Cold spells by 10%/20%.

Frost Channeling
Reduces the mana cost of your frost spells by 5/10/15%.

Requires 3 points in Frostbite
Increases the critical strike chance of all your spells against frozen targets by 10%.
Note: Apparently now only one increment.

Tier 5 (No changes)

Ice Block
You become encased in a block of ice, protecting you from all physical attacks and spells for 10 sec, but during that time you cannot attack, move, or cast spells.

Improved Cone of Cold
Increases the damage dealt by your Cone of Cold spell by 15%/25%/35%.

Tier 6

Winter's Chill
Gived your Frost damage spells a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to apply the Winter's Chill effect, which increases the chance a Frost spell will critically hit the target by 1% for 15 seconds Stacks up to 5 times.
Note: Previously added three increments of 4% speed reduction to Chill effects. Was a Rank 2 item.

Tier 7 (No changes)

Ice Barrier
Instant cast, 30-second cool down
Instantly shields you, absorbing 454 damage. Lasts 1 minute. While the shield holds, spells will not be interrupted.


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