|Human, Gnome, Draenei, Troll, Undead, Blood Elf
|Frost, Arcane, Fire
Magic has long been a part of the world of Azeroth, coming in different forms: Demonic magic, natural magic, elemental magic, arcane magic and more; mages draw upon the latter for their power. Harnessing the power of fire, frost, and pure magical energy, mages wield powerfully destructive spells in combat.
Mages are known primarily for their damaging spells, but are also capable of certain other arcane manipulations, such as teleportation and the conjuration of food and drink.
The three talent trees available for mages are Arcane, Fire and Frost. Fire tends to focus on raw damage capability with the ability to control an enemy completely for short periods of time through talents such as Impact and Dragon's Breath. Frost is slightly more defensive in nature, slowing enemies down or freezing them completely so they cannot harm the mage or others; as such it specialises in dealing with melee classes and monsters. Arcane has a wide range of talents that focus on improving the mage's support spells, mana regeneration and overall offensive power; however, if a mage chooses to focus on arcane damaging spells they increase their firepower a great deal at the cost of mana efficiency.
Mages can do a tremendous amount of damage, especially utilising area effect damage. However, they are limited by their mana pool and can eventually run out of mana, becoming almost useless unless they can regenerate by using Evocation or a mana gem/potion. More importantly, mages are very frail if caught off guard. They focus on avoiding damage completely through damage absorbing barriers, Iceblock, Blink, Frost Nova and snares. In this way they keep melee at a distance and help mitigate some of the damage done by spell casters; they lack tools to deal with ranged physical damage, however. They can either excel or struggle in PvP, depending on the situation; if the mage is taking damage then he has to resort to using mainly instant cast spells, which radically reduces his effectiveness.
The primary role of a mage is normally to deal damage, especially in situations that call for area of effect damage. However, often the most important reason to bring a mage to a group is Polymorph, aka "sheep", which disables a humanoid or beast target. Since most instance enemies tend to be humanoids, mages are appreciated for their ability to apply an easily-repeatable crowd control effect with no restrictions.
In a group, mages are expected to conjure enough water for the group's other mana-users, and portal the group out when they are finished.
Mages have very few special class quests. There is a quest at level 60 which teaches the mage a higher rank of Conjure Water, which has become obsolete with the advent of the Burning Crusade. There is also a series of quests around level 40 from the human mage Tabetha in Dustwallow Marsh. She will speak to either faction.