Hello, friends. My name is Sir Ian McKellen. If you are reading this fine young man’s blog, chances are that you recognize me from the blockbuster movie trilogy, Lord of the Rings. In LotR, I play the brilliant wizard, Gandalf. In researching the role, I have develloped a fine understanding of the arcane arts and sorcery. Unfortunately, I have also develloped an unnatural addiction to it as well. Thus, I am here to talk to you today about arcane addiction, and why it is a terrible phenomenon.
After the break: signs, symptoms, solutions.
In the world of Azeroth, all trained mages are attuned with the arcane energy that surrounds them and their environment. They are taught to harness this awesome power and manipulate it to their needs, and create spells of fantastic proportions. The consumption of mana, which occurs as a requisite for casting spells, eventually leads to mana dependency. What starts as the tiniest urge for mana use can snowball into an addiction of horrendous proportions.
How do I know that my mage is addicted to mana?
Gandalf, clearly not impressed with the state of arcane addiction in Azeroth.
In a recent patch, changes to the arcane blast mechanic has resulted in a huge increase in arcane DPS. While mages were overjoyed with the results they’ve been getting from Frostfire, the allure of stacked arcane blasts have resulted in more and more expensive spells that deal more and more damage. As a consequence, mana consumption and addiction in the World of Warcraft has reached catastrophic levels.
Some notable signs of mana addiction include:
- aggressive use of mana gems
- overuse of evocation, practically on EVERY cooldown
- glyphing mage armor and using it
- ninja-looting spirit gear from priests and warlocks
- saving dps cooldowns for heroism, then spamming arcane blast
- using evocation at the end of heroism, after a streak of spammed arcane blasts and missile barrage procs.
The list goes on and on. And while the signs of mana addiction are apparent to others, it is not recognized immediately by those who are affected themselves.
A case study
Bash Fizzleblock was well-known in the internether as a frost mage. Using his talents with cryomancy, he was once able to manipulate foes to his whim, controlling them with the unforgiveness of the deep cold. With his best friend Squirtle, they were an unstoppable team.
Then something happened one day. A friend from his guild told him he had a special “glyph.” This glyph happened to be so special, as it was discovered the day it was released in the game. Usage of said glyph would require the mage to respec arcane, and play around with the mana-heavy playstyle.
Bash said yes, simply out of curiosity. And the rest is history.
Now, Bashertin only cares about his own DPS, and has taken away a 10% crit buff from his PUGs. He casts evocation just as often as he used to cast Water Elemental. He laughs maniacally whenever he crits for over 13k. His friends have begun to worry, their pleas falling onto deaf ears. Whenever Bashertin is confronted, he simply casts his instant invisibility and runs away to a secluded corner, perhaps to spam arcane explosion on a pack of critters to pad his DPS.
Unfortunately, it will take a lot of careful intervention for Bash to admit his problem, but only when he realizes he has hurt his closest companions, he will understand the truth. Down the road, if his arcane abuse continues, he will surely be caught by Malygos, and will be tortured in some heinous way, perhaps thrown into a pit of taurens with steel-toed boots.
But how can I make a difference?
Arcane addiction has ruined Ian McKellen’s acting career; he is only 26 years old.
If you know a mage friend who has become addicted to mana due to speccing arcane, you are not alone. Many shadow priests, shamans, retribution paladins, and survival hunters have been victims of arcane addiction, being pressured by mages everywhere to keep up their replenishment in raids.
Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can follow to ensure safe recovery from addiction.
- Intervention. The mage needs to be aware that his lust for mana has made him reckless. Remind him of the time when he ignored Ormorrok’s spell reflection, and he died to a fully-stacked arcane blast+barrage.
- Confiscation. If you’re a high level scribe, do NOT sell glyphs of arcane blast. At least, sell them for an unreasonably high price. Those who are addicted enough to pay 200g for a glyph simply cannot be saved.
- Withdrawal control. In the first week of non-arcane specced raiding, remind the mage that he’s still topping the DPS charts with his adequately potent Frostfire bolt build. If he’s frost-specced, the autonomy of frostbolt spam will cause him to stop paying attention and watch TV during Patchwerk. Let it slide.
- Remind him that he’s not a warlock. Things could be worse.
You don’t need arcane to be happy; just ask sir Ian.
Arcane addiction is a real phenomenon, and it affects more and more mages each day. With proper intervention, counselling and auction house manipulation, mana dependency can be prevented, and raids can have a 10% crit buff again.
This is Sir Ian McKellen, reminding WoW players everywhere to play safe, and to at least give LotRO a try; I don’t like seeing my likeness represented in an unsuccessful video game.