Fire or Frost, I wonder…..

I decided to do something new.

I have been playing Hunters as my primary class for the last three years. I have leveled a priest to 80 as well, but mostly because one was needed. I can heal. In fact, I do a pretty good job of it. Then again I can paint my house pretty good too, doesn’t mean its my favorite thing in the world to do.

I enjoy playing as Dps. I dual specced my priest Shadow/Holy just for that reason. I heal when needed, I just prefer Dps. Well, I decided to try out a different class. Something I have never run with before.

Lately I have been doing a ton of reading about Mages.

They look fun, so I rolled one.

It was fun, so I rolled another.

You see, I play on two different servers. Each one has a level 80 raid ready character (although RL has kept me from raiding for several months now) and a level 70 alt. Now they both sport a lowbie Mage as well. This put me in an interesting position to try and answer a question about leveling a Mage. Namely whether Frost or Fire is better for leveling.

Everything I read says frost has better survivability while fire kills faster. What I want to know is this, over the long haul will the extra survivability of frost outweigh the faster killing of fire? Will the speed of fire more than make up for the extra corpse runs?

I am in a unique position to answer this one.

I will level them both separately, one as fire and one as frost. We will look at where they are when they start and how things go along the way. I will also link both armory profiles in my sidebar. Actually Dechion is up already, Dech will go up after he hits level 10.

As with any good experiment though it needs some rules.

Both will start at level 20 fully rested when patch 3.2 hits, parked in a resting place as close as possible to where they would get their mount.

Dechion (Sidhe Devils, Keal’thas) will level frost.

Dech (Abyss, Draenor) will level fire.  

They will both be tailor/enchanters, and both will be at 225/225 before I start.

Neither one will fish or cook, but they may use buff food provided by each servers cook.

Their farming will be done by other toons, as will their AH work. They just level.

I will only level them when they are rested to keep it as fair as possible.

They will both have a set of the leveling shoulders, but neither gets the leveling chest or any other heirloom.

I should also level through the same areas, I just have not decided which yet.


So tell me, what do you think?


11 Responses

  1. Fire.

    Fire fire fire fire FIRE FIRE FIRE.

  2. You aren’t going to pick up much on Frost’s survivability for for a while, so Fire will start off stronger for you. Frost will still be safe mode, but it can’t necessarily do anything that Fire can’t also manage until about level 40.

    Fire actually gets survivability talents earlier than Frost does, first at level 20 with Impact allowing stuns, and then at level 30 with Blastwave. Level 40 though is where Frost gets Ice Barrier, and then there’s no contest on survivability.

    The difference in their leveling is going to be based on how you level them too. Fire does better with single targets, where Frost will dominate in AoE grinding.

    Leveling as Arcane is sort of like painting your house using a broom for a brush; it can be done, but it’s really not the right tool for the job.

  3. Commenting here, you probably already know what I would suggest 😛

    That being said, I feel that people aren’t giving arcane the love that it deserves when it comes to levelling. Arcane missiles really starts to kick in when you have 100% pushback protection. With Torment the Weak, you can start off with a frostbolt, followed by damage-boosted AM that can kill the mob in a single channel if you’re lucky. If not, you can just nova and wand the remaining health. And with clearcasting, it’s more mana-efficient than it leads on.

  4. Come to think about it in order to actually be good science I would have to level 4 at once. All the same race, no trade skills, same gear, one of each spec and one with no talent points spent as a control.

    But this is not really science so much as it is a reason to go blow stuff up with my new mages 🙂

  5. @krizzlybear And what does Arcane do when you pull multiple mobs?

    Frost kites everything by default and can reduce cd on Nova, Fire’s got Blastwave, Arcane has…?

  6. I leveled arcane and I agree that it is underestimated as a leveling spec.

    For arcane leveling you put a few talents in frost for crowd control (all you really NEED is Ice Floes) and then you have nice options when you accidentally pull multiple mobs(as soon as you get cone of cold, you’re made of win) and arcane’s superior firepower (TTW!) kills them faster than you could with frostbolt spam. It was fun, and not really inefficient.

  7. um, and I forgot to mention… if I don’t get arcane as a choice then…


  8. What, you’re not going to eat/drink conjured food and water?

    (By the way, I’m a Fire mage at level 71 and loving it. Planning to give Frost and Arcane a try…. eventually! ;D)

  9. Froooss…. Naaah just kidding… Fire.

    That said, I can’t wait to hear the results… not that I expect it to put any arguments to rest or anything, rather it will be nice to hear how you adapt to each when you switch…

    Some good stories in the works I think.

  10. @Gnomeaggedon I am thinking you may be on the something there.

    Instead of trying to make each one fit a mold I will try and adapt my play to each ones abilities.

    I am thinking it will be fun 🙂

  11. @psy: PoM polymorph, improved mana shield, arcane explosion, post-nova glyphed evocate, just to name a few. And when you’re high enough level, instant invisibility is awesome to have if you know that you’ve pulled too much to handle.

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