Blizzard has been constantly working on class balance in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, with a great deal of changes needed after the massive overhaul the game faced with the new expansion.
With abilities brought back after the Great Unpruning and adjustments to talents, balance is up in the air right now. As Blizzard continues to try to get things more in line, they’ve brought a few changes for a variety of classes.
The biggest of these changes is a flat buff to the damage of Frost Mages in particular. As the spec currently sits at the very bottom of the damage specializations for Castle Nathria, a buff is badly needed.
The buff in question is a 9% flat increase to damage, affecting all damaging abilities for Frost. This buff is not being applied to Fire Mage or Arcane Mage, both of which are doing well in the damage rankings and not nearly as in need of a buff as Frost.
It’s also important to note that this only affects damaging abilities and not every last ability that the specialization has. Frost won’t see a change to their defensive or utility abilities, with the 9% increase only affecting damage dealt.
Blizzard has posted class tuning for January 12!
Assassination Rogue: All damage abilities increased by 8%.
— Wowhead (@Wowhead) January 8, 2021
Despite this buff, however, many feel that they’re far from enough to bring the specialization back into its former effectiveness. For example, one of the major issues the spec has been having is survivability, which this does little to fix.
Of course, survivability is inherently easier if you can kill whatever is trying to kill you first, so the damage increase will help with that issue. Other issues include the fact that the spec is dominantly based on getting abilities to proc.
The majority of the time as a frost mage is spent casting frostbolt, waiting for the ability to proc other abilities. Otherwise, players need to pop their cooldowns to be able to do any considerable damage, leaving lengthy moments of downtime between cooldowns and effectiveness.
Not only is this arguably ineffective, as an extremely unlucky player can go quite some time without a proc to let them cast something other than frostbolt, it’s also rather boring. Compared to other classes and specs, simply casting one ability while waiting for others to appear is just not very satisfying.
That isn’t to say that the damage buff isn’t welcome, or that it’s a useless buff – Frost Mages desperately needed to have their damage increased, but their low-tuned damage is far from the only reason they’re sitting at the bottom of the Nathria DPS rankings.