If we wanted to PVE, we needed to spec fire. Reason? Arcane had terrible mana efficiency and Frost had poor DPS.
If we wanted to PVP, we needed to spec frost. Reason? Frost had Ice Block, which gives us survivability so we can last longer than 3 seconds in an arena.
This will all change in a couple weeks when the 2.3.2 patch hits.
There are a few nice improvements we're making to the mage class in patch 2.3.2 (a small patch that will be on the public test realms soon) and we wanted to share them with you. First, we'll start out with two changes affecting all mages. Ice block will become a core ability, trainable by all mages at level 30. Additionally, conjure mana (rank 6) will restore 1800-3000 mana and will now have three charges, meaning you can use it three times before having to create a new one.The 2.3.2 patch notes are up, further clarifying these imminent changes.
To be sure we're clear here, yes, the same cooldown will still apply between usages. :P
Cold snap will be moved to Ice block's position in the talent tree and its cooldown will be reduced. As a side note, it will no longer reset the cooldown on fire ward. Moving in to Cold snap's spot will be a brand new ability called Icy Veins. This new ability will decrease casting time for all spells by 20% and increases the chance that chilling effects freeze the target by 25%. It's an active ability, lasting 20 seconds and has a 3 minute cooldown.
That's right. Trainable Ice Block. Pretty soon, fire will be a viable choice for arena PVP. This will be a HUGE change for non-frost mages everywhere.
And how about Icy Veins? The cast time bonus will give a much-needed boost to frost DPS for PVE. The freeze chance bonus will be amazing for PVP.
I have more on the mana gem improvements here.
What do you think about these mage changes?