Cataclysm Gear Economy

Well, I’m confident all of you have heard by now how stats are being changed around come cataclysm but in case you missed it

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, there are plans to streamline the statistics found on items. We want to remove all unnecessary stats, make all existing stats understandable, and make all “core” stats more appealing. Here are some examples of such plans.

•MP5: This will be removed from items and replaced with Spirit. All healers will be given a meditation-like ability.
•Spell Power: Spell Power is being removed from items as well. Don’t panic, we’ll be improving Intellect so that it provides mana and Spell Power.
•Attack Power: We’re removing Attack Power from items as well. Instead, we’re allowing Agility to provide the necessary Attack Power for leather and mail wearers. Strength will provide the appropriate amount of Attack Power for plate wearers. This means leather and mail items will no longer be desirable for plate wearers.
•Defense: The Defense statistic is also being removed from items so that players no longer have to worry about juggling around “the cap.” Tanks will receive the necessary anti-crit from talents, like Survival of the Fittest.
•Armor Penetration: This ability is too confusing and “mathy.” It is being replaced with Mastery, a stat that makes you better at what you do. More on that later!
•Haste: Will also increase the rate at which you gain energy, runes, and focus. Retribution paladins and Enhancement shaman will have a talent that allows them to take advantage of this benefit.
•Block: Block Value is being removed. Blocking will now always mitigate a percentage of damage.
•Stamina: Players will notice more Stamina on gear as Defense, Spell Power, Attack Power and Armor Penetration are removed.

Lots of changes here, but let us focus on the ones that affect us the most. First on the docket is MP5.

MP5 Is currently one of the prime stats for Restoration Shamans, so this change frightens me a bit I’ll be honest. There is just something dirty about the possibility of Mail caster gear having spirit *shudder*. That’s neither here nor there however. This will be the first time that Restoration Shamans will be stacking something for mana regen OTHER then pure mp5. We’ll be getting something like Mediation for all classes. it’s uncertain at this time whether this will show up as a new talent , or if it might show up in the new mastery system that has been talked about (more on that later). The stat will still be present on the character sheet, but will no longer be seen on gear.

Spell Power is also one of those prime stats for us. Expanding INT to be the root of spell power is interesting, but it does make a certain amount of sense. It does offer a boost in spell power right now as well as in crit and it does affect your mana pool size.  Right now we stack it to take full advantage of Replenishment effects. Seeing spell power removed from gear though is going to be interesting in and of itself. A lot of on the fly gear choices can be boiled down to how much more SP it gives you over your current piece (assuming similar stats in other regards). I’m certain that they will add an item to the tooltip noting how much SP an item is worth similar to how Druids see Feral Attack Power listed on items when everyone else doesn’t.

Haste will continue to affect us casters as it does now. Blizzard is happy with how haste worked out for us so you wont see much if any changes there.

Defense and Block, now I’m sure you’re asking yourself “how does this affect us, we are healers?” well I can assure you it does. Changing Defense to no longer be a geared stat is huge, and in my opinion a very welcomed change. I can tell you that there have been several times I’ve pugged a group and found the tank not defense capped, or defense capped but having rather dismal health pool. This change will help alleviate that. By letting tanks get their crit immunity through talents, it leaves them free to gear up stamina. This will also give some added mitigation from block which as it stands is convoluted and a stat that, to my understanding, is largely ignored by tanks.  After talking with my guilds main tank and guild leader, most tanks gear for effective health. As a healer I appreciate this, letting more tanks do this without worrying about losing a few points in defense is a HUGE boon to not just raids, but pugs and heroics as well.

Stamina for everyone! This is good for us as healers, I remember having to have stamina sets for certain fights just to be able to live through certain effects. Those days should be long gone. Effective raid health should go up and through the roof and our jobs as healers should get just a little bit easier. I look forward to not seeing mages and other clothies getting one shotted by some trash mobs *cough* The Descent into Madness *cough*

My concerns though, are for how gear will be distributed. Currently if a piece of Leather Spellpower gear drops, there is not really any question who it goes to. But if we are gearing up for all the same stats, how much blurring of lines will there be? I remember a time when I saw Paladins running around in cloth because it had better stats for healing. I don’t know if we can rely on things like haste and crit to separate that either, as now most of the healing classes tend to stack both (yes some more then others). I’ll be interested to see how this plays out. I eagerly await the changes if nothing else just to see how my gear is going to look before I put it on and look at my stat sheet.
So, what do you think? Excited about the changes? Hate them? Concerns or ideas?

That’s it for today. Until next time, Happy Healing!


21 thoughts on “Cataclysm Gear Economy”

  1. Something I’ve been thinking about with respect to Spirit/MP5 is that the Meditation talents they’re talking about could have different proportions of casting regen versus not-casting regen by class. Right now Shamans have very high MP5/OO5SR Regen ratios. Reducing that ratio to 50% without changing the _way_ we cast would pretty much invalidate us as healers.

    But there’s no reason to suppose we’ll cap at 50% conversion. They could easily give Shamans a more familiar 80% conversion rate, without needing the fiddle with the amount of Spirit on individual pieces of gear (which would tend to cause the rapacious Paladin problem).
    .-= Llyra´s last blog ..Shamans and Healing Assignments =-.

  2. This is nonsense. When the xp comes out i am cancelling my account and buying Aion.

    I spent time and money and stress getting geared up in 10 then 25 Ulduar only to see that gear get trumped by easy ToC, not to mention Conquest badges dropping from the sky. I saw a fresh 80 priest in blues walk in to ToC and walk out with gear better then mine, and i am GEARED…what a joke.

    Sorry Blizz, you fail…

    “Additional funds cannot be withdrawn, please try again later”

  3. I think the stamina change will be largely cosmetic. Like in BC, the relative lack of stamina on Wrath gear will phase it out early in the leveling phase. I’m sure damage from trash mobs and bosses will scale up enough to kill the mages about as often as happens now.

    Blizzard will never give up the joy of a dead mage or priest! That’s why there’s trash in instances–to kill the clothies :0)

  4. I don’t know how I feel about the stat changes, to be honest. I hated the change from healing to spell power, because now I am bidding against every single cloth DPS in raids for items with names like “The Lifebinder,” which would have definitely been a +healing staff back in the day. Now they want to consolidate stats even more?

    And I am amused that they nerfed spirit so hard and buffed mp5, only to say now that they are getting rid of mp5 and making spirit the main stat. LOL.
    .-= Fuyuko´s last blog ..The Journey to Insanity IV: That Time of the Month… =-.

  5. The idea of further gear consolidation from what they have now is absolutely rediculous. All of the stats, like AP, Haste, ArP, and SP are kinda what makes the game what it is. By consolidating in the way this idea proposes, it poses a problem of how exactly they will scales the gear in the xpac. Like right now, many 219 pieces are A LOT better relatively in terms of stats due to the fact that the 226 upgrades are so stamina heavy, especially for healers. With that kind of consolidation, it poses the problem of the dev’s slipping up and making a full ilvl tier of gear largely useless.

  6. @lostless I disagree. If it’s done right and the math is sound it will work out. Don’t forget those stats are still there they are just derived from different things (Int will = SP which is still a stat on the character sheet, just not on the gear). Making it simpler will also allow for clearer distinction between tiers. As you just pointed out some ilevel 219 pieces are better then 226. If this is done right, you’ll see a lot less of that particular problem. Right now they juggle a lot of stats on our gear. Stam, int, spirit, crit, haste, spell power, MP5. Consolidation could help them see disparity between sets like that much easier as they have less to balance.

    Ultimately only time will tell.

  7. I’m personally looking foward to the itemization changes in gear, i understand and share the concern about how this will affect the way to distribute loot around in a group (whether is a heroic/raid/etc) but then again, that has ALWAYS been a delicate matter, i’ve witnessed myself Holy Paladins rolling on cloth just because it was better than what they had (but at least it was after all the clothies passed on the item).

    So loot issues and QQing are always going to be there, but the fact that they are making the stats work in a simpler way will help new players/casual players have an easier time trying to decide when picking up a new piece of gear rather than having to go through pages of theorycrafting about their class/spec or even just following any equipment list they can find.

    As to the way Int will work makes perfect sense, considering the way Replenishment will affect it.

    @Fuyuko I’m sure they are testing what worked better (between Spirit and MP5), and looking at player’s reaction on both. Believe it or not, the devs at Blizzard don’t have all the answers, and with a game that is constantly in development is to be expected that things get a few changes before they actually settle in, specially with how Healing Classes currently have such different needs in terms of stats (not to mention player’s personal preferences even if they play the same class).

    And like Lodur says, only time will tell, all we can do is play the game now, worry about the expansion when is finally time for it.

  8. I hadn’t seen this tidbit of info, thanks for the post! It’s very interesting to say the least. I’m not sure why Blizzard looking to “dumb things” down more – I don’t think anyone really has a problem with the current stat system. Sure, the more obscure ones like Armor Penetration might not be necessary but Attack Power and Spell Power? They are possibly taking it too far.
    .-= We Fly Spitfires´s last blog ..Is Alternate Advancement Just An Illusion? =-.

  9. I didn’t say this but…I sort of like the itemization we’ve got, at least for healers. I recognize though, that we don’t have something like a hit cap or a defense cap forcing us to constantly shuffle gear.

    I know for tanks or dps it’s more mathy. I support bringing all classes into the possibility of eyeballing decisions like healers can in Wrath.

    I’ll miss spellpower though, I think that one was intuitive enough to leave in.

  10. I’m looking forward to the changes.

    They’re taking the stats off the gear, but not off the character sheet. At the very worse, there will be a bit of juggling to do between when 4.0 is released, and the actual expansion goes live. But at that point, Blizz may do an adjustment on the raid bosses, like they did before WotLK was released (reduced HP and reduced damage output from the bosses, wasnt it?).

    We might see a little less variety in drops, but given classes and talents, they will have different outcomes. We’ll deal with it, just like we dealt with it when healing and SP merged.

    It continues to surprise me when people post “If Blizz do this, then I’m going to quit”. Blizzard are always going to “do this”, and for a start, they’ll do it for everyone, and then follow up with adjustments. If you’re not getting satisfaction from the game play you’re doing now, or if you think that gear you’re working for now is going to help with lvl85 raiding, you might want to evaluate why you play the game in the first place.

  11. My only concern with this is that we will have 1 stat that vastly trumps all others. At the moment I stack int (Holy Pally), but there is also room to experiment a bit (stacking lots of haste or high sp FoL builds).

    In Cataclysm all this will go away as Int will be even better than it is now. I’m not particularly looking forward to just stacking 1 stat on all of my gear. Physical DPS look to be in the same place with agi stacking giving both crit and AP.

    But maybe I am just being pessimistic – I’m pleasantly surprised by all the Cataclysm stuff so here’s hoping that even though there are less stats, more of them will be viable ones 😉

    Also, higher stam will just be balanced out via higher damage. TBC had a big boost in stam but it didn’t seem to make healing any easier.

  12. I don’t know about everyone else but as a resto shammie now I already basically completely ignore mp5 as a stat since 3.2. I stack int(currently using the Pandora’s Plea and Talisman of Resurgence trinkets) and my mana in 25’s sits at 32k without any 25 man ToC gear as yet. With the changes to IWS and replen giving me a staedy 320 mp5, I find any changes to the mana regen system basically irrelevant. They can try and simplify mana regen stats all they want, stacking int still winds up as the best option available.
    That having been said, I won’t mind a boost to SP from int now(well, more than it does already, anyways).

  13. @Lissanna Nope, not new to WoW lol

    I am well aware of the concept of “gearing up” after new content…welll aware.

    Blizz has Spirit as most important mana regen stat
    Blizz nerfs spirit making MP5 very important
    Bliz will remove Mp5 and make Spirit only important stat for mana regen and other stats

    They are reversing themselves and backtracking then changing there minds.

    Not to mention Malfurion was essentially the LAST realm up last night..around 8:30 server? gimme a break.

  14. I got a different aproach now that I am tanking. I am concerned about Defense. Getting to the def cap is a bit of work and needs some knowledge to get the right stuff, enchants and so on. But this means especially knowledge of moves and abilities for each tank.
    I am afraid to see plenty of noobs saying they are tank juste because they have “THE” uncrit talent
    That means, an overhaul decreasing performance of tanks amongst teh community and a bad reputation due to the fact all plate wearers will have a “tanking specc” in talents but not necessarily the adequate gear …
    Only applying to pugs fortunately but still annoying IMO…

  15. Not true- anyone who is capable of tanking wont necessarily choose to tank- most dk’s (hell almost all it seems) are dps, not tank spec- and tank gear will still be tank gear- aviodance instead of a dpsers crit- it will just make it easier to start, which will help the tank shortage rather than hurt it.

  16. I’m excited to see this change. All they need to do is incorporate the comparison in their Blizz version of RatingBuster so everyone can see at a glance the change to the “hidden stats” like spellpower.

    If I only played healers I can’t say I would necessarily understand why they are doing this, but since my max level alts are a tank and a melee dps, I can completely understand. I can still remember taking 2 hours to get my husband to understand the differences and interactions of defense rating, defense value and defense cap (and the same for block, block value, and their ratings), or explaining armor pen to guildies. Most people just don’t take the time out of the game to really look into anything more than the basics. I certainly won’t mind spending less time on the math.

    There is one stat allocation that they did not mention changing though, and of all of the stats, I think it’s the most confusing: Resilience. Seriously, can’t we just build this into another stat as well?

    They will also be adding Mastery which, as far as i can understand, encompasses talent mastery that gives passive bonuses based on the amount of points you spend in a tree, and the Mastery stat on gear that bumps those passive bonuses.

    On top of that, we will have Reforging of gear to look forward to. I will be so so so happy to see hit take up less space on my gear and then be able to change some of my stam to hit if I want to, but not be forced over the hit cap by virtue of the gear’s intrinsic qualities.

  17. Removing defense and giving uncrittability through talents is bad. On the surface its great, but you now lose out on the dodge/parry/Block Rating and chance to be missed defense gives you. All fairly significant.

    However, BlockValue being removed and replaced with a percentage, perhaps to be increased with talents/set bonus’s. <——-Best. Change. Ever.

  18. LoL @ anyone who supports this lame idea!! Blizz wants to make all the gear the same with 3 different stats on it and you guys jump at it!?!?! How much more boring could you possibly make itimization? Blizz just wants another excuse not to have to create innovative and original gear options. There’s TONS of gear that I use for different sets due to higher crit or haste at the expense of lesser intell or lesser SP.

    Don’t get me wrong – I like a few things like the shield block thingy. There won’t be a “chance” to block. It will just always happen and the value of mitigation (I’m assuming) will vary with the stats you stack.

    I can see why they are doing this for the Melee/Physical DPS calsses, which is to say, they are trying to discourage each class from deviating from their proficiency of gear (No more AP on items… so basically warriors will never go for leather or mail items). Cool. Good change, Blizz. However, all casting classes will be fighting over pretty much the same items… regardless of the proficency required to use it. I know you might be thinking, “but the tallent changes will clearly dictate an emphasis on certain stats over the other another tallent sepc, thus limiting the desire to gear outside of a praticular class’ proficiency”, but, on the contrary, it will encourage us to do it more so than now ten-fold!! (I have to admitt that it’s pretty annoying having a holy pally roll for my gear cause it has all the stats they need… just wait till that’s happening five times as often)

    So you want a set of gear with high spirit to endure a long encounter? Great, go get yourself some cloth or leather and chant it with int/spirit gems. Tarded in every way.

    But what if my projection is wrong? Back to my first comment – every piece of gear will be the same… with the same stats… laaaaame! Let’s just give every class in the game similar healing and damaging spells while we’re at it just to be sure that we’re all on an even playing field.

    Call this an BIG over reaction, but i like the uniqueness of the healing classes out there [Shaman’s obvoiusly being the dominator ;D j/k guys!!] and I feel like this is going to normalize casters too much. Blizz tends to surprise me everytime they come out with a new idea, so I’ll just wait and see. From a farsight though it looks pretty boring if you ask me.


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