So, a few days ago I wrote a lovely opinion piece on what a new level 80 Mage should do whilst being showered with Emblems of Triumph. And I actually recieved a few comments that did not tell me to, “Go play Pictionary or something…”
One particular comment came from Metaneira, in regards to the T9 set bonus for Arcane mages. To quote:
Also, the T9 set bonuses do best suit fire mages, but even arcane mages will benefit more from 4pc T9 than 2pc T9 + the two 245 pieces. At least that’s what the math tells me, even though it seems unlikely.
So, I thought I would put that theory to the test.
Questionable testing procedures and results by the horribly unqualified to follow.
Why those particular two? Well, my existing hood is the Hood of Smoldering Aftermath, which happens to have the EXACT same stats as the Sunstrider’s Hood of Conquest – only better. Firstly, I had managed to already have the T9.25 gloves and leggings from VoA. The T9 version of the legs and gloves are some of the better gear you can get without having to raid, anyway, so it seemed to be a more “ideal” set-up for a gear composition. Despite me having the ‘Triumph’ versions of the hands and leggings, it can be assumed that the DPS trends would be the same; we are mostly looking at the benefits of the 4-piece bonus. All the other bits of gear remained the same and the enchants on the relative pieces of gear were also identical.
Test procedure was fairly simple. As I basically was trying to compare gear and a set bonus, I didn’t bother use use any trinkets or cooldowns for this test. My only buffs were Molten Armor and Arcane Intellect. My spell rotation was also very simple. Arcane Blast x4 and then use Arcane Missiles if Missile Barrage proc’ed. If MBarr didn’t proc, I would cast Arcane Barrage and clear my AB stack and start all over. This isn’t ideal for DPS’ing, but it would preserve some mana and thus allow for somewhat longer testing. The clock was stopped and numbers recorded when I was out of mana.
Let’s take a look at the results:
|Old Way||New Gems||4 x T9|
So the “old way” was basically my previous set-up. I had almost exclusively gemmed for +haste and I didn’t think about socket bonuses. Although fun to shoot purple sparkles like a sonuvabitch, it wasn’t ideal for DPS. I only have 3 runs because I botched #4 and #5 by forgetting to reset my Recount. HUUURRR. Aaaanyway, I regemmed for Reckless Ametrines (+SP/+haste) in red or yellow sockets and I would use Intricate Eye of Zul (+haste/+Spi) in blue sockets. Although these may still not be “ideal”, but as the test results show, it still made a pretty significant difference.
Now the testing I was really getting at was between “New Gems” and the “4 x T9”. As the numbers clearly show, and just as Metaneira suggested, switching to get the full T9 bonus is even beneficial for Arcane mages. It should be noted that my spell power actually dropped slightly from ~2560 to about 2550 and my haste droped from 923 down to 852 between “New Gems” and “T9”, respectively. And the overall DPS still went up! So, even with the lust for +haste, it seems a good +5% Crit to Arcane’s two primary nukes (ABlast and AMissiles) can make a pretty significant difference. As for my some pretty big variations in my runs, well, of course part of that can be attributed to human error. But I also think a little bit is a result of a bit more dependence on the RNG for those extra crits.
So, despite the fact that I still feel that getting the 4 x T9 bonus will get more mileage for a fire mage, getting the T9 set will still benefit mages of all kinds.
Get your mage suited up if you haven’t already! 😉
(I would really like to do a comparison between my Arcane and Frost spec because they both love haste, but the testing dummies can be “frozen” and thus won’t see the damage from Deep Freeze. I am one sad panda.)