Eyonix buy wow gold made a series of posts today, detailing the stat changes that World of Warcraft players can expect when evaluating gear in Cataclysm, along with rationales. Rather than offering you my own commentary on this extensive change, I'll leave the bulk of the text below the cut. You can also read the posts on the WoW forums here.
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As many of you know from panels at last year 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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 want more Hit Rating on your gear or you 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 be able to convert one stat to 50% of another stat. While some conversions (like converting Stamina to Strength) won 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.
As with previous expansions, we plan to roll out these changes and modify all existing gear shortly before Cataclysm launches, though it 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.
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