I am planning on rolling a goblin mage once Cataclysm hits stores and would like input on whether or not this is going to be a good decision for me to make. Are mages projected to be putting out good dps in raids? or will rolling a mage be a waste? Also is arcane projected to stay the most viable talent spec for raiding mages? Note: The highest level mage I have had was 29 so I am a noob to the class; also I don't have much raiding expereince so please bear in mind that I am not nor am claiming to be a veteran of any sort to end game content. Any and all suggestions/advice are extremely appreciated. Thank you.
From my experiences on the beta at least, mages will still be among the highest dps classes in raids. I seriously doubt arcane will be the most viable raiding spec for mages though, at least in the beginning. The AB spam technique that mages use on live now will be nowhere close to sustainable at 85, and I can't see a rotation with Arcane Barrage or the now-nerfed Arcane Missiles being quite like it was in wotlk. Could be wrong, someone else could probably clarify that better for you.
What I HAVE noticed is frost seems to be able to keep up with/ahead of dps, which is a welcome change IMO. From what I've heard fire is well-off too, but I never had a chance to try it out for myself.
The t11 geared simulations I have seen, show Fire to be tops, except for super long fights ( 1o min+ ) where Frosts better mana conservation puts it ahead.
This^^, I would not comment at all except to add in that arcane will be top damage in fights less than 3 minutes... but pretty much worthless on high mobility fights. EJ Calls arcane the lame duck of this expansion.
Fire is the most fun I've had playing my mage in ages, so much going on. However, I (and most mages I would guess) will be using frost for most dungeons because of CC. Fire has so much aoe that it would break aoe quite often. Frost has an extra 'oh shit' CC in deep freeze, and arcane has improved polymorph (Which is sooo awesome by the way, check it out).
Fire has much more mobility so you can run away though