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Saturday, April 23, 2011

End Game PvE Mage Guide

In this guide I will cover stat priorities, itemization, damage parsers, macros and the best specs and their rotation. This guide is meant for people who want to progress as a mage in end-game PvE. I will not be addressing PvP or solo PvE.

Stat Priorities Itemization:

Spell power is an additive. while Crit is multiplicative. Spell power will give you X more damage to your spells, but Crit will give you Y% more damage to your spells. For example:
Lets say you have 1000 SP and 25% chance to Crit.
If you cast a spell with 100 base damage (damage listed on the tooltip) that has a 100% efficient to SP you will do:
1100 Damage. 1000SP + 100 Base damage.
Now with 25% Crit you have a 25% chance to do 50% more damage (80% if you have the Tempest talent). Which means on average your 25% Crit causes your spell to do 12.5% more damage (50% damage x 25% chance).
If we add that into our first equation (1100 Damage = 1000SP + 100 Base damage) we get something like:
(1000SP + 100 Base damage) x (1+ 12.5%) = 1237.5 damage.

True stat weights are always based on your current gear, but the general rule of thumb is:
Focus* > Sp > Int > Crit & Wisdom
*Focus is only good until you reach the cap for the content you are doing.

When comparing items keep in mind:
Focus until cap is worth at least double any other stat.
2 Int = 1 SP + 2 Crit
1 Crit = 0.0379% chance to Crit.
2 Wis = 1 SP + 3 MP10 (Mana Per 10)

Relative Stat Weights are (Taken from:
1 Spell Power = 1.00
1 Intelligence = 0.71
1 Wisdom = 0.50
2 Spell Crit = 0.41

Focus Caps
Tier 1 and Expert Rifts: 100
Tier 2 and Raid Rifts: 150
Raids (Greenscale's Blight): 200

Damage Parsers

If you don't have one, get one.
The Rift Junkies RiftParser is a solid light weight parser:

If you want to get in depth use Advanced Combat Tracker:

Go here:
Download and install.
Go here :
Scroll down to the plugins and download the Rift plugin.
Save the Rift.cs file somewhere you can find it.
Open ACT (Advanced Combat tracker).
Close the ACT Startup Wizard.
Go to the Plugins Tab in ACT.
Click Add Plugin and browse to your Rift.cs file you just downloaded.
Click the Enabled check box.
Go to the About tab and click Open Log.
Browse to CombatLog.txt in your RIFT Game folder.
Go to the Main tab and enjoy the amazing parser.

If you can't find CombatLog.txt type /combatlog in game and then go hit something so Rift will generate the log.
You will need to type /combatlog every time you restart the game to get a parser to start parsing.
Check the ACT website for detailed information on using it(

Specs and Rotation:
The 4 specs below are the ones that I use on a day to day basis. In each case there are ways to adjust the spec to fit a specific encounter or play style but if you use these specs you will be a competitive raider.

Single target damage:
Use the Skeletal Zealot pet.
Life Leech > Looming Demise > Necrosis > Dark Touch > Defile > Neddra's Grasp* > Neddra's Torture > Spam Void bolt > Repeat starting with Necrosis. Only refresh Looming Demise every 60 Seconds.

Alternative Necro/Lock Spec:
This spec is higher single target damage but is less mobile and relies more on pets.
Life Leech > Looming Demise > Necrosis > Dark Touch > Neddra's Torture > Soul Purge* > Spam Void Bolt
Only Soul purge if you have 80+ charge and your DoTs have 8 or more seconds remaining.

*Only use Neddra's Grasp if the mob uses 3 or more abilities in 15 seconds. 3 Abilities is roughly equal to one void bolt of damage so it is no loss, while 4 - 5 is obviously more damage then a void bolt.
Use Sacrific Life: Damage early and right before a DoT refresh.
I macro Neddra's Torture to Void Bolt:

/cast Neddra's Torture
/cast Draining Bolt
/cast Void Bolt

If you are on a fight where the melee pet will die use the Shadow Revenent. If you are on a fight where both pets will die this spec is still very good damage but to really min/max use the following spec:

Ele/Stormcaller, Dungeon Runner Spec:

This spec is possibly the best AoE in the game. It works more like a cleave then a pure AoE spec but can accomplish both. The single target is about 80% as good as a the Necro/Lock spec above (closer to equal with proper use and timing of cooldowns) but the burst damage is unbeatable.
Our mages use this spec for the bomb phases on Infiltrator Johlen and were able to pull 2k+ DPS on the bombs.

Rotation for single target is Raging Storm to build three electrified stacks, Ice Shear to apply debuff.
From there it's:
Ice Shear > Forked Lightning before Electrify stacks fall off > Lightning Strike > Cloudburst Spam

Lightning Field in the place of Cloudburst is better DPS but uses significantly more mana which causes it to be a DPS loss over a longer encounter when you have to use Channel Elements. To really min/max always use a mana potion instead of Channel Elements (Obviously only worth it on progression fights).
If you have more then 400 Spell Power, Forked Lightning is more damage then Thunderbolt even though the Tooltip says otherwise (The spell efficient on Thunderbolt is 27% while Forked Lightning is 34%).

Rotation for multiple targets (Use if there are 3 or more targets. Trash packs in dungeons are perfect):
Lightning Storm > (Lightning Field > Forked Lightning x3) Repeat until Lightning Storm is off CD or until everything is dead. I sometimes add Burning Ground before Lightning Storm, it appears to be a DPS Increase but it is not significant. It does however, do less damage which means less threat, so you don't have to wait as long for the tank to get aggro to cast it.

Use Static Flux when around 90+ charge, and Intensify Elements and Static Discharge on CD.

Macro for Lightning Strike and Cloudburst, this is your spam nuke:
#show Lightning Strike
cast Lightning Strike
cast Cloudburst

Healing spec:
For an in depth Chloro guide go:
Note: Call of Spring does not affect your Lifegiving Veil heals, only your Bloom, Flourish etc. The points are better spent in Raised in Nature (+End) and Biting Cold (+Crit).

Priority system:
1. Keep Radiant Spores up. (They do not stack, so make the Chloro mage who didn't read this guide be the buff *****)
2. Natures Touch.
3. Whithering Vines
4. If you have charge use Entropic Veil.
5. Vile Spores

Basically you are finding things to do while Nature's Touch is on CD.
Since the GCD is 1.5 seconds and the CD on Nature's Touch is 2.5 seconds you have a choice between casting Nature's Touch. You can cast one spell and wait a second for Nature's Touch, or you can cast 2 spells and have Nature's Touch, come .5 seconds later. It will usually come down to how low the Tank's health is.
If you haven't already go into Settings > Interface > Combat > and check "Cast on target's target". This allows you to target the Tank and your damaging abilities will go to the Tank's target. This way you can use your heals, dispels, etc on the tank without switching targets. This does not work well on trash, but is fantastic on bosses.

Archon Spec. Aka Buff Bi***
More Damage:
More Health:
I've found the spec with more health to be life saving in many Greenscale's Blight encounters, especially on Hylas or even Greenscale to a lesser degree.

Setup the following macro:

#show Surging Flare
/cast Earthen Barrage
/cast Volcanic Bomb
/cast Surging Flare
/cast Leeching Flames
/cast Pillaging stone

Now your rotation is mind numbingly simple:
Keep all your buffs up > Debuff the Target > Spam Macro
Since all your group buffs actually debuff you, it is very important you debuff the target. It is also important inform your group what buffs you provide so they don't waste GCDs applying them.

The macro system in Rift is not as powerful as some players are used to from WoW. There is no castsequence or reset timer. However, you can still simplify rotations or increase your efficiency.

All macros need to include "suppressmacrofailures" unless you enjoy a lot of chat spam. This goes at the very top, or right after "#show spell/ability name".

Example Macro:

#show Void Bolt
use Awesome Trinket
cast Void Bolt

You can direct spells/abilities to specific targets using "@<something>"

cast @focus Transmorgophy
cast @targettarget Bloom
cast @mouseover Nature's Cleansing
cast @focustarget RandomSpell
cast @lasttarget RandomSpell

While there is no castsequence you can fake it with some spells. When you press a macro the game engine will read each line one at a time, but once it reaches a spell/ability it can cast it will cast that line and then disregard the rest of the macro. For example Static Discharge has a 2 minute cooldown while Void bolt has no cooldown. In the following example:

Macro A:

cast Void Bolt
cast Static Discharge

Macro B:

cast Static Discharge
cast Void Bolt

In Macro A Static Discharge will never be cast because the macro will always stop after Void Bolt is cast. Macro B is the way to go. The best example is:

/cast Earthen Barrage
/cast Volcanic Bomb
/cast Surging Flare
/cast Leeching Flames
/cast Pillaging stone

Pillaging Stone is the only spell that does not have a cooldown. So the first time I press the macro it will cast Earthen Barrage, the next time I press the macro it will cast Volcanic Bomb, then Surging Flare, and so on.

You can add button modifiers to spells/abilities in macros:

cast [shift] Life Leech
cast Void Bolt

If I press the above macro it will cast Void Bolt. If I hold shift and press this macro it will cast Life Leech.

This should be the basics of macros.. just try stuff, there are a million possibilities.

Thats all folks.

Recommended Leveling Guide...

Hey guys, if you are needing a good leveling guide that will get you up to 50 fast then I would recommend using xerxes guide. Most of the same leveling paths and quests lines that I used to level up are written out in this guide. I bought it a little while ago to check it out and see if it was any good and I was really impressed. Its too bad I didn't have this guide when I was leveling up, it would have saved me days of headache.

Click Here to check it out


  1. Very nice guide thank you.

    1) Macro's: I had some trouble using "#Show" as the first line of the macro. Are you certain that works in Rift? I tried a few variations but got an error everytime.

    2) Focus: Are you 100% certain of those 100/150/200 numbers? I have seen people claim less and some claim more is required. I did a raid rift last night with 154 Focus and had a noticeable amount of resists. I changed out two pieces that took me to 207 and had no resists.


  2. #show has stopped working on all new Macros. I don't know if this is an intended change or a bug. I hope it is just a bug because green apples are filling up my bar...

    There is a lot of argument over Focus and until we get a target dummy that is raid boss level we won't know for sure. Some one I trust claims you need 201 Focus for any raids. I just always run 220 because that is the supposed cap on River of Souls.

  3. Thanks for putting this up, the Rift forms are almost useless for pve info with all the pvp hate flinging.

    Your rotations are simpler then what I've been going through - Can't wait to try it out.

  4. Excellent guide. Been using this for the past couple weeks (when I found it on RiftJunkies) and it has been a great help.

  5. #show Lightning Strike
    cast Lightning Strike
    cast Cloudburst

    this macro don't work for i just suck?

  6. First use Ive stopped updating this one.

    I have no idea why it doesn't work.. what exactly goes wrong with it?

  7. Hello,

    I'm curious about two things- your spell power (sp)rating of 1.0 for stats and your damage calculation for 1000 sp.

    I have 800 sp, so I deal 160 damage per second of cast time, plus the base damage. So take the spell icicle at ~120 damage and a 2.5 sec cast.

    At 100% efficiency I would be dealing 160*2.5 + 120 = 520 damage per nuke. In actuality I deal about 350.

    This is nowhere near the 1100 damage you calculate (it would be nice if your numbers were right, though).

    So why weight spell power as 1.0 when most spells a mage uses will have a coefficient of about 30%? It ends up meaning that if I increase my 800sp by 200 to 1000 sp it would deal about 60-90 more damage per nuke. This of course would come at the cost of crippling your spell crit which would multiply damage by 1.5 (1.8 with tempest).

    It makes far more sense to get sp to 650+ and then focusing on spell crit gear, because any additional spell power gain would be marginal while spell crit gains would greatly raise dps.