I'm a regular PuG invitee to another guild's raiding team. I'll only keep my place as long as their guild is short of raiders, and as long as I'm doing great damage to our enemies, so of course I'm keen to make every improvement I can. Last Wednesday I was looking on wowprogress.com to see what mages were ahead of me, when I noticed something I should have noticed a long time ago. The top mages are all fire spec.
When I was levelling, I was levelling as a frost mage. It's great for solo levelling, because you have so many defensive moves. But one day, in the Borean Tundra, I grouped with an arcane mage to down a particularly truculent elite, and I was blown away by his damage output. I went arcane the very next day, and saw my own damage output increase by about a fifth. After that, I just couldn't get enough arcane magic. All through the Wrath of the Lich King, I raided as arcane and was always high on the damage meters. I loved the arcane spec. Then came the Cataclysm.
In Cata, I had a hard time reaching competitive DPS levels, and got replaced in my raid. This was about the same time that Larísa's performance was called into question by her raid leader. I tried out the fire spec, and it was certainly an improvement in DPS at the target dummies. On the strength of showing our raid leader what my numbers were on the target dummies, I was invited back. But I wasn't really happy in fire, and switched back to arcane once my stats rose enough for it to become more competitive again.
So last Wednesday after noticing that all the top mages on my realm were fire mages again, I tried out a fire spec once more, and was blown away by the awesome amount of damage I was able to do to the target dummies. At the weekend, I tried it out in earnest against moving targets, and well ... it was a severe disappointment. I just couldn't reproduce the damage I'd been doing to the target dummies. I checked that my bombs were up, I checked my rotation, I checked my glyphs, I reforged my gear, but nothing helped.
And then I discovered that between my time on the target dummies and the weekend, Blizzard managed to fit in a massive nerf to the fire spec. Oh, well. Back to Arcane.