In the following series, I’ll be looking at the way that the Frost Mage specialization has changed between Cataclysm and MoP I’ll be handling this via a series of small posts. Today’s is regarding the initial impressions moving from Cata to Mop. I’ll look at specializations and talents today, and do a quick test run on a level 80 target dummy1.
First of all, as Grimm mentioned earlier, the human character screen is different. I like it – it gives a better “feeling” for the city of Stormwind. While that may just be the newness of it all, possibly, I don’t really think so. It’s pretty!
Yes, that’s my squid on a stick. Told you I wasn’t geared! But here’s something that confuses me. I thought I read that we were losing our 2H slot and using Wands for our mainhand weapon. The slot for the wand is gone, but I still had it and can still equip it. I can also unequip my staff and reequip it, so I’m guessing it’s not being enforced yet2. Or, possibly, we can choose between wands, daggers, staves, and one-handed swords. That’s more than I was lead to expect!
Right, then. On to magery!
The Spec Selection layout is much improved, and makes it very clear what each spec brings to the table. I am somewhat amused that the secondary talent tab defaults to a Hunter spell’s icon (autofire?).
The interesting thing is, all spells you can use are now collapsed to a single spellbook tab. Unfortunately, they haven’t gotten around to alphabetizing them yet, so you kinda have to hunt a bit for spells you’re looking for.
Also noteworthy is that spells that are in principal from other schools, such as Arcane Blast, are on all tabs for all specs. For example, there is a portal and teleport spell on each tab, as well as Polymorph. This works well, I think, but maybe they should just get rid of the other tabs altogether.
On the other hand, it might make things clearer if all but the school’s spells were on a tab marked “common” or something like that.
Sadly, at the moment our only potential level 90 spell – Alter Time – appears to be a multi-school spell rather than specific to our spec. That’s a shame. What a missed opportunity to make a serious spec statement.
The Talent Pane is reduced to six tiers from which you may select ONE talent each. That gives you a total of six talents by the time you hit 90. They are presented every 15 levels, starting at 15.
As you may be able to tell from the image, unlearning a talent no longer requires a complete respec. Instead, you can spend a Dust of Disappearance to unlearn, and presumably relearning is free. I haven’t tried yet because there is some confusion on my part as to what is and isn’t working in respec-land.
I’ll go into each tier in detail in the next installment, but here’s the upshot. At each tier, you get to choose from one of three talents. Each is flavored just a little differently, presenting (usually) a real choice in how you play the game. Some talents are clearly favoring raiding, or PvP, or that “fun” factor that Ghostcrawler loves to go on about.
As I said, I’m going to go into detail in the next installment. For now, here’s an image that provides a look at the new Frostfire Orb graphics. Well, the spell itself has been replaced with Frozen Orb, but it currently has the same icon, which is telling.
That’s the same graphic that Toravon the Ice Watcher used for his AoE attack.