Dear YaWA raiding mages,
I would like to inform you that we, the mages, are going to go a slight transformation. Recent data, (elitist jerks, simulcraft code) shows that the highest damage spec is an arcane build (+3 i'll go into the +3 later). ffb and deep fire are very similar to damage output (deep fire gets no talent buffing to spell hit, so you need 3% more hit to cap).
What i would like to do, is run one mage as fire or frostfire (frost is way to weak right now to think about it) to get the 10% spell crit buff for the raid (arcane does not supply this). The other mages i would like to run arcane.
our one ffb or fire mage doesn't show up to raid, no 10% spell crit to the raid.
well, the point of this, is when 3.1 hits (we have a long while) i think that we, as a raid, need to max our dps to allow for smoothest and best progression. That means, that we, the raid, need to gear up to best in slot gear pre 3.1. best in slot gear for ffb spec is not the same as best in slot for arcane (well, most pieces are, but there are a few tradeoffs).
so, as mages, we need to maximize our dps, and our contribution to the raid. fire/ffb/frost mages bring 10% spell crit to the raid. we need that. however, if arcane is putting out 3-5% (100-200dps) than fire or frost fire, we only need one mage for the 10% crit buff.
by the way, the main reason why arcane is above ffb is due to itemization. best in slot gear puts a mage around 550-600 crit rating and 550ish haste rating. If it were possible (in better gear choices) to take 300 of that haste, and put it to crit, i feel frotfire (with ~75% raid buffed crit chance) would out dmg arcane. (i feel that if you took 300 of the crit and gave it to haste, arcane would be lower than ffb with the extra crit).
now, all this blabber might be insignificant halfway through the 3.1 content. if the spellpower jump is significant, and crit and haste only go up a small amount, fire will be king again, cuz dammit fireball scales soo damn well with spellpower (much better than any other mages spell (minus pyro which fire uses on procs), with the exception of AM, but thats not the main nuke).
however, after my rant, the conclusion is this (i.e. the important you should read part). one the day we start into 3.1 content, there will be one mage who throws the scorch debuff, and the rest will be running arcane (unless significant changes happen).
if you want to go arcane, lemme know. if you want to stay ffb, or go deep fire, let me know. I am planning on staying as the scorch debuff person (ie fireball/ffb), but i have no problems with going arcane, and i may try it out before 3.1 to get some first hand experience. i suggest we all try arcane out now before 3.1. I personally am planning on grabbing gear for frostfire, deep fire, and arcane.
this means there are 4 trinkets, 3 rings, 3 helms 2 chests and 2 pants 2 belts, 2 offhands, 2 wands. neck, shoulders, cape bracers, boots, one ring and weapon are constantly best in slot. There is a wonderful elitist jerks (i'll link it later) read on best gear for each build. The only real difference is how you gem the gear.
crit for ffb, haste for fire and arcane, although i reccoment intelect instead of haste for arcane gemming, lightly lower dps, but improves longevity, which i think will be more important in 3.1 than it is now, seeing as all the people doing the research are doing it in naxx, and theory crafting, with a fight time of 5 or less minutes. i think 3.1 mana management will be more necessary than it is now.
ok, that is the state of the mages, and i approve this message