Cataclysm: Stat Simplification

The first topic I’m going to tackle this week is the huge change to gear itemization for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the third expansion of World of Warcraft.

According to the Class, Items and Profession Panel at BlizzCon, stats on items are going to be greatly simplified.  Here are the major points:

  • Attack Power will be gone.  Instead, Attack Power will come from stats such as Strength and Agility.  In addition, Agility will grant Druids, Rogues, Hunters & Shaman 2 Attack Power per point of Agility, much like Strength does for plate wearing classes now.
  • Spell Power will be gone.  Spell power will now come from Intelligence, as will mana pool.
  • MP5, gone.  Mana Regeneration will now come from Spirit and all classes will get a Meditation-like ability.
  • Defense, axed.  Anti-crit will now come from talents like the Druid’s Survival of the Fittest.
  • Armor Penetration, bye bye.  Apparently this stat was too confusing.  Will be replaced by “Mastery”, a stat that “makes you better at what you do”.
  • Haste will be changed to increase the rate at which you regen rage, energy, focus & runes.
  • Block Value will go the way of the dodo.  Blocks will not block a percentage of the damage.
  • More Stamina for EVERYONE.

My Thoughts

Honestly, I go back and forth depending on the moment I’m in.  On the one hand, this is dumbing the game down.  There can be no doubt that this is the case.  When you reduce the number of things players have to think about when gearing, that is by definition dumbing the game down.

Now the question I have to ask myself is whether or not that is a bad thing.  Does it matter to me that Joe Idiot will have no doubt which of his items is an upgrade with no thought whatsoever?  Not so much, no.  I will say that I do enjoy thinking about gear and deciding which item is better.  So that kind of sucks.  I like a little complexity, even though I can recognize that things were getting a little too complex.

These changes won’t be much of a stretch for anyone that leveled.  As I was leveling, the amount of gear I saw that had extra attributes (like Attack Power, Spell Power, etc) was very small.  Most gear, when leveling, has primary attributes such as STR, AGI, & STA.  I saw a LOT of those items as a Warrior leveling up.  Did I have fun with that gear?  Sure.  It was just as exciting to see an item that took a huge jump in those attributes as it is to see an item with a lot more ArPen now.  In fact, it may have been more exciting.

I said this in guild chat the other night, and I’ll say it again.  I’m not going to preemptively quit the game over itemization changes.  I’ll give it a shot and see what I think.  In fact, I probably wouldn’t quit the game over itemization changes ever.  Lack of things to do and bugs are what would drive me to quit.

Questions Going Forward

What about other tanking statistics like Dodge, Parry, Hit & Expertise?  Will they hang around or be rolled into other stats?  Agility already grants dodge for everyone and Strength grants Parry for Death Knights.  There’s no reason why they couldn’t roll that into Paladins & Warriors.

As for Hit and Expertise, I’m not so sure.  In one Q&A I’ve read they state that hit-granting talents will likely be removed.  Does that mean hit as a whole will be removed or just those talents?

In my opinion, Expertise is nearly as confusing as ArPen.  Will it be gone or will we just have to deal with bosses dodging and parrying us?  Or, will bosses no longer dodge and parry from behind?

In my humble opinion, the main thing we can take out of this weekend is that we still know very little, at least mechanics-wise.  It’s time to take a wait and see attitude and…well…wait and see.

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3 Responses to “Cataclysm: Stat Simplification”

  1. Stuff like hit and armour pen (and i asume expertise) will be rolled into the new talent mastery system – each talent tree will have 3 stats (judging by the pics i saw of the new talents pane) that will get passive bonuses the more talent points you spend in that tree.

    It puts the focus on juggling and theorycrafting back to talents and abilities rather than gear.

  2. Funny post and i guess all your problems are solved now =) Current cataclysm state is zero hit rating, almost zero expertise and dodge/parry is a bit better then in case of caster class like mage and yeah crappy block as 30% – 40% dmg reduce from time to time. And yay vengeance clearly stating you must be taking damage all over again otherwise it doesnt work and thus you got problems with aggro.

    So all in all cataclysm edition looks like this:
    You cant hit anything – zero hit rating.
    If you manage to hit something at all you got your attack parried or dodged by boss – almost zero expertise.
    If you block something its not a big deal because you are still taking huge damage – crappy block chance fixed around 30% – 40% or 50% – 60% (paladin holy shield/warrior crit block)
    If you somehow manage to get decent avoidance stats you cant hold aggro because you dont have vengeance and casters can do 40K DPS while you are around 8 – 9 K DPS.

    But most annoying cataclysm fail is the fact that my hands hurts from furiously pushing buttons as in compare to WOTLK where ive had plenty of time to think my moves.

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