Archive for Cataclysm

Dissecting the Cataclysm stat changes for Holy Pallies

Posted in General with tags , , on March 1, 2010 by rocklawthepally

Like I’m any kind of an expert.  Well, I’ll take a crack at it.

EDIT OFF THE TOP: GC tells us this for spell plate (no, they are not getting rid of spell plate at this point, even if we are still the only plate spec to use it): “Int, Sta, Spirit, Haste, Crit, Mastery.”  That’s a lot to adjust to and some of that unfolds below.  This is a work in progress.  Read on…..

First, the removals, both from gear and from game.  MP5?  Seeya!  Happy that they’ve finally come up with a single, primary mana regen stat.  It will be interesting to see what happens with our other regen abilities, but since most of those are straight regen, and not based on any one mechanic, I think we should be good.

The removal of spellpower from gear  – sort of.  So spellpower is going away?  Not entirely.  It will be present on our weapons.  One presumes that gems will help make up for it – but here’s a Blue post with a little more detail:

“We take gem budgets out of the most attractive stat on a piece of gear, in order to avoid anything with sockets always trumping similar gear without sockets. As such, socketed tanking plate has less base stamina but with gems, you’ll almost certainly end up with more health than dps classes.”

Self explanatory, I think.  Things are looking to be a lot more blanaced, depending on what’s present in terms of stats on the gear.

As I read through the comments, and I’m taking a bit of a vacation from the narrative here, I found this gem:

“Holy paladins are still a special snowflake with regard to gear. We have explored alternative solutions, ranging from them not wearing plate to somehow getting spell power from Strength, but we don’t like any of those designs better than just having Holy paladins wear plate.”

Seems they have not yet firgured out what to do with us in terms of gear.  I’m fine with that – I love getting gear by default by being that “damn plate healer”.  I will go play my mage if I am no longer plate – I am the holy warrior and must be in the thick of things.

Here’s a whopper of a summary from Ghostcrawler his own self:

“Think about it like this:

DPS cloth: Int, Sta, Hit, Haste, Crit, Mastery (mage, warlock, Shadow priest)
Healing cloth: Int, Sta, Spirit, Haste, Crit, Mastery (Holy and Disc priest)

Melee leather: Agi, Sta, Hit, Haste, Crit, Mastery, Expertise (rogue, Feral druid)
Spellpower leather: Int, Sta, Spirit, Haste, Crit, Mastery (Resto, Balance druid)

Physical mail: Agi, Sta, Hit, Haste, Crit, Mastery, Expertise (hunter, Enhancement shaman)
Spellpower mail: Int, Sta, Spirit, Haste, Crit, Mastery (Resto, Elemental shaman)

DPS Plate: Str, Sta, Hit, Haste, Crit, Mastery, Expertise (Fury, Arms, Retribution, dps DKs)
Tanking plate: Str, Sta, Hit, Armor, Dodge, Block, Parry, Mastery, Expertise (Prot, Prot and tanking DKs)
Healing plate: Int, Sta, Spirit, Haste, Crit, Mastery (Holy paladins)

There will be exceptions. There might be some spellpower cloth with no hit or Spirit that healers and nukers may want. There will likely be Elemental tier sets with no Spirit. Jewelry and cloaks will be more class agnostic than actual armor pieces.

I wrote that quickly, so hopefully I didn’t mangle anything. :)

EDIT: You get a small mastery bonus for wearing the highest-armor gear capable for your class. Hunters in mail get a bonus. Hunters in leather do not.”

Back to the removed stats:

Spell ranks:  since they took away downranking, this makes sense.

Weapon skill: woot!  That’s more the retadin off-spec in me, but that’s a great move.

When it comes to Matery, Ghostcrawler says: “There is a small bonus for wearing “your” gear.  So a Balance druid who takes cloth will esseintially be giving up some free stats.  Sometimes that may be worth it to them (just as sometimes it’s worth it for a Resto druid to take that piece of +hit gear), but often times it won’t be worth it especially if it’s an upgrade for you.”

So, I get to continue to wear plate!

Hmmm – I may have to continue this in a later post.  I highly encourage everyone to follow the disucssion on the official forums here.

To be continued….

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BAM! The Big Stat Change Post from Blizzard

Posted in General with tags on March 1, 2010 by rocklawthepally

Well, here we go.  The Big Stat Change Post that Blizzard has said was coming for a while now.  Read on in all its glory.

Quote from: Eyonix (Source)
As many of you know from panels at last year’s BlizzCon and posts here on the forums since then, Cataclysm will bring about major changes to familiar character stats such as Intellect, Armor Penetration, Defense, and others, ultimately designed to make the effects of stats more easily understandable and make gear choices more interesting. As these changes will have a significant impact on how stats work and relate to one another, today we wanted to offer you a closer look at exactly what’s in store and explain some of the rationale before Cataclysm arrives.

The most obvious question these changes raise is “Why are stats being changed, and why now?” As the game has matured, we’ve run into increasingly complex issues with the current stat system. Many stats are inherently confusing, and the way they interrelate can feel convoluted. Attack Power, for example, currently translates to damage, but so does Armor Penetration. Defense provides five different statistical benefits of varying utility. Mana regeneration involves understanding multiple stats and rules and often ends up being irrelevant anyway. In addition, the difference between a “good stat” for a class and a “bad stat” can be extreme. Some casters want Haste but not Crit; hunters want Armor Penetration but not Haste. There are other overarching issues, as well, such as Intellect not being very exciting for casters despite it being a core stat — and these are just a few examples.

Our ultimate goal is make gear a more interesting (and less confusing) choice by making each stat valuable to more players. While the reasoning behind some of the following changes may be clear, we understand that you may have questions about some of the less obvious alterations, and we’ll do our best to answer any questions you may have here on the forums.

What You’ll See on Gear

Stamina – Because of the way we will be assigning Strength, Agility, and Intellect, non-plate wearers will end up with more Stamina than before. Health pools will be much closer between plate-wearers and other classes.

Spirit – Come Cataclysm, this stat should only be found on healing gear. Non-healing casters will have other systems in place to regenerate mana, and we are designing special solutions for Elemental shaman and Balance druids who often share gear with healers (more on this below). Raid buffs that currently boost Spirit (such as Blessing of Kings) will only boost the primary stats of Stamina, Strength, Agility, and Intellect. We are also likely changing the five-second rule and other quirks of the current regen system.

Intellect – Intellect will now grant Spell Power (more on this below). Intellect will also provide less mana than it currently does.

Haste – Haste will become more attractive for melee classes by allowing them to recover resources such as energy and runes more quickly. Our intention is for Haste to let you “do stuff” more often.

Block Rating – Block is being redesigned to scale better. Blocked attacks will simply hit for 30% less damage. Block rating will improve your chance to block, though overall block chances will be lower than they are today.

Parry – Parry no longer provides 100% avoidance and no longer speeds up attacks. Instead, when you parry an attack, it and the next attack will each hit for 50% damage (assuming they hit at all). In other words, Dodge is a chance to avoid 100% of the damage from one attack, Parry is a chance to avoid 50% of the damage from two attacks, and Block is a chance to avoid 30% of the damage from one attack.

Mastery – This is a new stat that will allow players to become better at whatever makes their chosen talent tree cool or unique. It’s directly tied to talents, so what you gain from improving this stat is entirely dependent upon your class and the talent specialization you choose. We’ll talk more about specific Mastery benefits in the future.

Armor – The way Armor mitigates damage is not changing, but the Armor stat has been rebalanced to mirror changes to the armor curve in Cataclysm. As a result, bonus Armor will go down slightly overall. We are also changing the mitigation difference among armor types so that plate doesn’t offer so much more protection than mail, leather, and cloth.

Resilience – This will only affect damage done by players and critical damage done by players. It will not impact crit chance, mana drains, or other such effects.

Strength, Agility, Hit Rating, Expertise, and Critical Strike Rating – These will all still appear on gear as well. Aside from situations mentioned elsewhere in this list, in general these will function similarly to how they do now, though the details — such as how much Hit Rating you might need to effectively combat high-level creatures (more on this below) — are likely to change.

Being Removed from Items

Attack Power – This stat will no longer be present on most items as a flat value, though it will still show up on some process. Strength and Agility, which will be present on items, will grant the appropriate amount of Attack Power (generally 2 Attack Power per point of Strength or Agility) depending upon which stat a particular class favors. Agility may provide less Crit than it currently does.

Spell Power – Spell Power is another stat that you’ll no longer see present on most items. Instead, as mentioned above, Intellect will grant Spell Power. One exception is that caster weapons will still have Spell Power. This allows us to make weapons proportionately more powerful for casters in the same way they are for melee classes.

Armor Penetration – This stat will no longer be present on items. Armor Penetration will still exist in talents and abilities.

Shield Block Value – This stat will no longer be present on items, since the amount blocked is always proportional to the amount of damage done. Talents and other effects might still modify the damage-reduction percentage from 30%, however.

Going Away Completely

MP5 – This stat will be removed from the game completely. Holy paladins and Restoration shaman will be redesigned to benefit from Spirit.

Defense – Defense is being removed from the game entirely. Tanking classes should expect to become uncrittable versus creatures just by shifting into Defensive Stance, Frost Presence, Bear Form, or by using Righteous Fury.

Spell Ranks – Spell ranks will cease to exist. All spells will have one rank and will scale appropriately with level. The levels at which you can learn certain spells are being changed in order to fill in some of the gaps, and we will be introducing some new spells to learn along the way as well.

Weapon Skill – This stat will be removed from the game completely. Classes will start with all the weapon skills they need to know and will not need to improve them.

What Else You Should Know

Combat ratings – All ratings will be much harder to “cap out” at maximum gear levels. Ratings will be steeper in Cataclysm, and creatures in later tiers of content will be harder to hit or crit, similar to how level-83 mobs are harder to hit or crit than level-80 mobs.

Reforging – While these changes will go a long way to making a wider variety of stats more attractive, we understand that sometimes you simply don’t want more Hit Rating on your gear or you’d rather have more Haste than more Crit. In Cataclysm, we are going to give players a way to replace stats on gear as part of the existing profession system. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll be able to convert one stat to 50% of another stat. While some conversions (like converting Stamina to Strength) won’t be permitted, the goal is to let you customize your gear more.

Gems – We are changing the gem colors of a few stats as a result of these adjustments. For example, Hit is likely to be blue instead of yellow. We’ll have more details on this in the future.

Changes to Existing Gear

As with previous expansions, we plan to roll out these changes and modify all existing gear shortly before Cataclysm launches, though it’s still too early to say exactly when. For the most part, the gear you have will still be good for you, though there will be exceptions, such as warriors using leather and mail armor.

If you are a tank (druids excepted), expect to see:

  • No more Defense on gear. Existing Defense becomes Dodge, Parry, or Block Rating.
  • No more Block Value on gear. Existing Block Value becomes Block Rating.
  • You’ll have as much Stamina as you’re used to, though you may notice your tanking plate has a bit less Stamina than a comparable piece of DPS plate, since we tend to take the gem budget out of your most attractive stat.
  • Bonus Armor on gear will go down slightly.

If you are a melee DPS class, druid tank, or hunter, expect to see:

  • A lot more Stamina. Bear-form Stamina scaling will be lowered as a result.
  • Strength if you wear plate. Agility if you wear mail or leather.
  • Existing Attack Power becomes Agility and Stamina.Armor Penetration becomes Haste or Crit.
  • No Intellect on melee gear. Hunters won’t need Intellect since they will no longer use mana. Shaman and Retribution paladins will get mana and spell damage in other ways.

If you are a DPS caster, expect to see:

  • A lot more Stamina.
  • All of your Spell Power converted to Intellect and Stamina.
  • No Spirit. You won’t miss Spirit, though, because you won’t need it for DPS or mana regen.

If you are a healer, expect to see:

  • A lot more Stamina.
  • All of your Spell Power converted to Intellect and Stamina.
  • Spirit instead of MP5. You’ll probably be happy with Spirit, though, because mana regen is going to matter more than it does currently. Healing paladins and shaman will benefit more from Spirit than they do currently.

If you are a Balance druid or Elemental shaman:

  • You will still share gear with Restoration druids and shaman.
  • Your gear will have Spirit on it. It won’t have Hit on it.
  • You will have a talent that converts Spirit to Hit. We will adjust talents accordingly so that you want about as much Spirit as, say, a warlock wants Hit.
  • Hit on rings and other such gear will still benefit you.
  • Raid buffs will no longer boost Spirit, so you shouldn’t find yourself unexpectedly over the Hit cap because of buffs.

Many lower-level items with nonsensical combinations of stats, such as Agility and Spirit, will be changed. We’re also updating quest rewards, trade skills, and loot drops to support better itemization for class builds that weren’t widely available or used prior to The Burning Crusade (such as Balance druids).

We’re aware this is a lot of information to take in, but this is still only a piece of the larger picture, and many of these changes rely on integration with other systems we haven’t yet discussed in detail. In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll continue to tell you more about these changes, along with all of the new and exciting features we have planned for Cataclysm.

Thought Dump: Blizzcon and Wow 2.0

Posted in General with tags , , , on August 27, 2009 by rocklawthepally

I’ve brought my baby druid out of storage and this got me thinking about what the game experience will be like come Cataclysm.  Now that I’ve had time to digest the changes announced at Blizzcon to some extent, it’s really quite extraordinary.  What this amounts to is a stealth World of Warcraft 2.0 without a total graphics overhaul.  By reworking the Old World and introducing lots of new content there, as well as overhauling the underlying stats/talents/races/classes, they’ve essentially given us a whole new game.

Because all players, regardless of how long they’ve played, have to take each toon they level (even if it’s only ever one), through Old World content, we all have our likes and gripes about it.  We all know it intimately, although those of us Loremasters know it better than most.  We’ve got all the flight paths and know the quickest route from point A to point B.  We know at a glance what zone we’re in or flying over just by the terrain or flora and fauna.  We know all the towns and cities like the back of our hand.  It’s our home, to be honest.  Regardless of how much time we spend in Northrend or Outland, Ironforge or Orgrimmar will always be where we feel most comfortable.

The actual changes are pretty staggering.  Sure there are new races and race/class combos and new zones with new instances and raids and other new content.  But they’re telling us they’ve reworked the entire rest of Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor to greater or lesser degrees.  Everything from all new quests to re-itemizing levelling gear (yay for no more agi/spirit cloth!) to remapping flight paths to flight itself in the Old World.  Think of the level of work that will require and the changes it implies.

Add to that the near total overhaul of stats and talents, with the removal of things like spellpower and defense and MP5 to the introduction of Path of the Titans and Archaeology and Mastery.  If you thought the introduction of one new class in LK was upsetting, getting the balance right on what seems at first a simplification is going to be a feat of tuning that Blizzard has heretofore never attempted.  I’m in awe of the sheer magnitude of it.

With Ony coming and Arthas to follow, we have much to occupy ourselves.  I’m currently back to progression raiding (more in another post today) and am looking forward to the coming Lich King content.  I hope I will get to see most, if not all of it.  But Cataclysm is gonna be just spectacular.  Can’t wait for the ride!

Cataclysm – Holy Crap!

Posted in General with tags , , , on August 22, 2009 by rocklawthepally

Spellpower?  Gone!  MP5?  Gone!  Holy Crap, what a major overhaul.  Granted, this is likely more than a year away, but the announced changes from Blizzcon yesterday are staggering.

The trailer is stunning.  Rather than bring us unknown places to play, they have decided to re-do the old world in such a way as to make it all seem new.  With Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms all torn asunder, we’ll be greeted with new vistas over every horizon.  Flying mounts in the Old World FTW!

And getting to go head to head with Ony’s daddy is uber cool :)

Oh, and we finally downed Ignis in 10-man and are working on Freya!  Back to progression raiding again.  Holy pallies rock again (although mana is a bit of an issue) – I can keep 2 tanks plus a bunch of the raid alive all at once!