Miniliss the mage hits 85

So, after my dissertation had been defended and I found myself with something resembling “free time”, I finally got my mage (Miniliss) to level 85.  Yes, I do understand the irony of the fact that while I have maintained a leveling guide for druids for almost 6 years at this point, Miniliss is only my third max-level character. In  my defense, I have a bunch of druid alts that I have used to test leveling guide components over the years that are scattered between level 1 and 70.

The hardest part of my mage, however, is trying to muster up the will to actually gear my newly dinged 85. I bought two BOE pieces (the boots & bracers), and now I have a couple other pieces I have picked up. However, the 5-man heroic PUGs are really “hit or miss”. It is a lot more fun to run stuff with my guild members than trying to solo queue, especially since my mage’s DPS is so bad in a mix of mostly greens and an average ilevel of 337.

I am, however, really enjoying the arcane mage spec overall. I’m also really excited to see how arcane mages are shaping up for MOP. For now, I’m perfectly happy with my largely 1 button spam rotation on my mage alt (yeah,  it’s a little more complicated than that, but only a little).

I also like how my moonkin pet is almost bigger than  my gnome mage. For now, I’m still not sure what character will end up being my main in MOP. It’s possible I could go mage for raiding, or raid as a resto druid, or raid as a moonkin. I’m really being indecisive, and it’s good that I still have a few more months to figure it out!

Posted in Leveling, Mage, Written By Lissanna
20 comments on “Miniliss the mage hits 85
  1. The Gecko says:

    Ah, mages. A modern arcane spec sounds quite interesting. I used to play that really interesting Arcane/Frost spec that emerged around Hyjal and lasted until around Sunwell… but that got squashed with the following expansion, and I haven’t played since they rejiggered talents again after that.

    Have you tried other specs at all since you hit 85 (or at least, high level)? They change quite significantly from what you probably tried in low level play. Not that arcane is bad or anything, but just to have the experience of giving them a shot.

    Aside from the TBC Arcane/Frost days, I really like fire for PVE. It always just felt like really solid, chunky damage, and had enough complexity between fireball fillers, maintaining LB & scorch (is that still a thing?) and using Pyroblast! procs to keep things interesting.

  2. Perrin says:

    Go make the Vicious Fireweave set to build up your iLevel to get into the Hour of Twilight instances. They’re a lot less hit and miss.

    • Clawesome says:


      The crafted PVP set is ilvl 377 and you may be able to get crafted i377 PVP rings, amulets etc too. At that point you’re more than decently geared for the 5 man HOTs and the 378 PVE gear in those will get you ready for DS or even LFR in no time.

      I’ve been able to raid DS 3 days after hitting 85 by doing this.

  3. Threa says:

    Congrats! :)

  4. Felade says:

    Yeah you can get geared in a day or two if you make the PVP set and leave it in your bag. A few runs of the HoT 5 mans and you’re ready for LFR!

    The problem I always have with Mages is – well, what happens when Fire does more DPS? Fire is so wedded to an odd proc on a proc rotation (its better in MOP, but not by much imo) which makes it probably the most RNG dependent spec in the entire game. I tend to avoid classes where I like only one of the DPS specs and not the other two (that would be frost for Mages atm) because its likely you’ll get forced into one of the specs you don’t like.

    Not that Druids are looking much better atm. Fae Empowerment (and really, Eclipse) just make that new Monk alt look better and better. Unless the healing is just terrible on a Monk I’ll probably just leave my Druid alone in MOP. I’m not nearly as invested in him as you are in your Druid though, Lissana.

    • The Gecko says:

      Well, RNG tends to average out over a large number of casts. Short-term on things like trash, it can be pretty variable, but on boss fights where you’re casting a lot, your numbers will typically be roughly where you expect them to be.

      The flipside to “you may have to use a DPS spec other than your favourite” is that “you will always be using a DPS spec”. The problem is one that any single-role class faces, that one spec will always be numerically superior… but you will always be playing a DPS spec. If a mage runs a spec 15% dps below optimal, they can just spec swap to optimal. If a multi-role class (like druids) run 15% dps below what you expect from DPS classes, they are likely to be pressured to change roles entirely.

      • Felade says:

        Fire’s RNG is more than just “oh well it averages out” because you need a proc on top of a proc for your CD to be decent. If you get a big ignite and a pyro and an impact proc and they’re all ready for a big combustion to be spread during an add phase, your DPS will be amazing. If they don’t all line up, its going to be terrible.

        Fire most definitely does not just average out. From what I hear its a little better in beta (you aren’t reliant on impact procs for spreading, for one) but I’m not holding my breath (or leveling my Mage).

        They usually do a pretty good job of making sure the one DPS spec isn’t absolutely terrible (it could be Ele Shaman terrible, but you’re pretty much guaranteed not to be Frost Mage terrible).

        • Lissanna says:

          I have to stay on my druid through the rest of dragon soul (and it looks like I may be back to healing more over the rest of the summer unless we recruit in a new healer soon).

        • Clawesome says:

          If its on trash you can fish for an ignite to spread your combustion with blast wave. And in Mists the reduced CD on Combustion will help even things out a bit.

          What I like about fire is how much there is to do while playing it.

          • Felade says:

            Compared to Shadow? Compared to Balance? Mages in general have pretty boring rotations, and being at the utter mercy of the RNG doesn’t make up for it in my book.

  5. gorrie says:

    Grats. My mage has got 25% xp needed to 85. Also arcane atm. I lvled fire till cata dungeons. Arcane hits harder for less work on bosses for me. I’ll go fire after lfr gear. My first dps class

    I wish I knew if I was healing on my shaman or druid in my core, we lost a good druid to real life. I’d come heal on either for Tuesdays for you.

  6. gorrie says:

    Awe. I’m free anyday but Weds/Thurs.
    That spine kill is being elusive. Personnel issues.
    It also keeps me from 25m. Even with 3 10mans its impossible to group for 25m sadly.

    Also idk if its the new icecream sandwich cell phone update or what but im having courser issues typing on here. It jumps around and makes editing a pia. Droid. It wont let me do stuff i want .

  7. tkc says:

    Just last week my Demo lock hit 85. The 10th 85 I have. One of every class. I’m such a geek.

  8. aramis says:

    I have 6 level 85s. My druid and priest have always led the charge with the latter being my pvp toon in years’ past. The rest of the 85s I jump on for boredom or to work in Jinxxer & Co. as a profession specialist. LOL.

    But the accountwide changes have really been siren-singing me away from my Druid main. And now the final three I’ve boiled it down to are remaining a Resto Druid, Shadow/Disc Priest, or a Monk healer. And I still can’t decide at this point.

    Guess a good ol’ fashioned “pro/con” list is in order, eh Rory? LOL.

    • tkc says:

      I’m in the same boat. I like my four healers, resto druid, disc priest, resto shammy, and holy pally. My disc priest is my current main but that was pretty much because I disliked what happened with resto druids in Cata. My holy pally is pretty much a PvP healer who does ‘okay’ at PvE. My resto shammy is fun to play too. All that said, I really like my disc priest.

      Then there is a part of me that would like to get back to my original main, a BM hunter.

      And I want a monk. Sheesh.

  9. gorrie says:

    I’m not gonna worry about mop till about a week out from release. What I saw in monk area ruined my taste for beta. I got the beta on Easter Sunday and played about 4 hours. Its not really enough time logged to hate mop. I just cant bring myself to go thru the nightmare download process again.

    I will either be druid or shaman heals. Doesn’t really matter what they changed. As long as druid doesnt get jacked again from the get go like cata.
    The thing that I hate most about druid right now is the 3 rejuv fast nourish. Its stupid hard to keep it up and 3 lb up on a tank. Mastery is up 100% of the time. And timeslips ease it. Only trade off.
    What was the point of making it like this? It hardly useful except on heroic spine for clearing debuffs.

  10. gorrie says:

    Continued. Phone wont let me place courser again.

    Vs shaman healing rain and riptide on cd and then healing wave or Ghw to clear debuffs. Not using chainheal at all.

    An equally geared shaman doing dispells and druid, heal for the same amount. And yet even with dispelling the shaman is easier to play and better on mana.

    So really why does druid have really overly complicated healing mechanics? ToL is awkward. Lb switching. Fast nourish. An upkeep mastery.

    Some of it is being changed but why wait so long and to do it in mop? They changed our mastery mid xpac Nd couldn’t up the duration until mop?

    • Lissanna says:

      the argument we needed to sell a longer duration mastery was that we were adding healing shrooms into all that preexisting management.

      Also, in dragonsoul, you shouldn’t be worrying too much about keeping up rejuv to speed up nourish. You really shouldn’t need to use much nourish in Cata-level content once you have enough mana to sustain casting healing touches instead.

  11. gorrie says:

    Wait how much do i need to sustain casting healing touch. Cause casting healing touch is gonna oom me pretty fast. I had enough int and spi to where rejuv cost plus 200mana was combat regened. Think it was like 3k spi and heart thrinket. Untill i reforged and speced. To 2035h and 2100 mastery. 2500spi plus trink.
    Had about the same output but needed a feral innervate on cd.
    I didnt have mana issues til heroic spine. I never even used nourish till h spine when my healing was so low and i had nothing else to do but cast nourish. Now i’m there with the shaman. We both are doing 22k with him doing dispells. Mana runs out during the transition roll for plate 3 with either spec and reforge.
    He has tull currents and spi totem. Im rotating every mana and thruput cd each plate or roll.
    Do i need to get to 4k-5k mana regen or something to do ht? Do i need lose mastery or haste to reforge?
    We get pretty far about 13 mil each for me and shaman and 10 mil for disc priest one one really good attempt.

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