I was recently inspired by a guild member - at first I merely assumed he was an Arcane Mage, as I saw him during certain fights using the typical Arcane Mage rotation of 4 Arcane Blast's followed by Arcane Missles. It wasn't until I saw him in ToC 10, against Anub'arak using Fire based abilities throughout the entire fight I realised he had a Fire Dual Spec, and his DPS was still very, very high. He's one of the highest DPS in my guild, and talking to him - it seems that he's learned which fights require a Fire playstyle and which require an Arcane playstyle.
He then went on to tell me that he's got two different gear sets, as they require different gear. He's put a hell of alot of effort into his character and it certainly shows.
So, I made a Mage and am currently in the process of leveling it - Hadouken. Leveling as Fire, partly so I can get used to it leveling, and because I hear leveling as Arcane is... well, he said "nothing short of stupid". I know that Frost is seen as "the leveling spec", but oh well - I have my reasons for leveling Fire.
I just want to know - what exactly can I expect as both an Arcane Mage at 80 and as a Fire Mage at 80? I asked him how they differ and he said "It's hard to explain.".. so, can anyone explain?
Well until you are in atleast mostly 251s you will have your set for Arcane and Frost, and your set for TtW/Fireball (This is because you can't meet Arcane/Frosts haste requirement and fires crit with one set). Arcane and Frost work best if your haste is over 700 and for fire you need 30% Crit unbuffed (NO Molten Armor). In Arcane you cast Arcane Blasts until you get a Missle Barrage proc, only cast arcane missles if you have atleast 3 AB stacks. Throw Arcane Barrages when you are on the run, this will save you 100dps on rotface. As Frost you get brain freeze which you pop off when ever (Not if you have FoF), when FoF procs cast two frostbolts then hit deep freeze on the ghost charge. Deep freeze is fun because once you get 264s you can look at 60k crits on Blood Queen. Fireball you apply living bomb, then scorch, and spray fireballs until you get a hotstreak. Pop your hot streaks off right after a fireball cast completes or on the run. Pretty simple.
Knowing me and how I gear a character, I tend to gear them up to 232, 245 gear before I start raiding, and then throw them straight into ToC 10 and ToC 25 for more gear. And I'll probably do that for both a Fire and Arcane Spec, so I can pick and choose which spec to go in..
Oh I can't wait get -yet- another char to level 80 :3
I ain't ever planning on going Frost though :P I understand how it works, it just doesn't appeal to me..
Leveling as Arcane stupid? Stupidly good I hope you mean.
I had a blast (no pun intended) while leveling my mage as arcane in a relatively timely fashion (64-80 in 2 weeks tops).
Just basically threw all points in to arcane to get all of the defensive abilities it offers;
Slow, Instant Invis, Evasion blink, and MASSIVE burst (yes even at low lvl).