Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cataclysm - Some Stat Changes Announced

First and foremost, for the full blue post please go here Forum Post 

Read it once, read it twice and then lets talk about it.

My initial response on the first read through was;
"Well Hell! Let's just all get a shield, wear mail and call it a day." The stamina stat changes lead one to believe that we shall all be equal. Or equal-ish. And..."Crap, those poor elemental shammies and balanced druids will have to do the same thing my warlock does now with spirit to spell power conversion, except it will be spirit to hit. Haven't we just moved the problem to somewhere else then?" I disagree with the spirit to anything conversion, having had to do it for all of Wrath. I felt stupid looking for spirit at first but have now gotten used to it. Frankly, converting one stat to another is frustrating. There must be an inherent gearing problem here somewhere that no one is talking about. Perhaps spirit itself IS the problem? I thought we were eliminating those this time around?
Finally, after the first read through I find I am terribly disappointed. These changes seem somehow so much more homogenizing than I expected. They also seem, at first glance, to be just as confusing as the stats we're currently working with. Block rating?? I had to scroll back up and reread what the hell that was in the first place. It's 30% plus something??

Ok so now I'm going to take a break. Go have some lunch. Let the initial shock wear off of seeing not at all what I expected to see. Then I will be back and reread this and see if it makes a bit more sense.

And Poof! We're back!
I have taken the afternoon to think about all this and have reread the post. My initial reactions still hold pretty much true. I read this out loud to my husband and the questions he through out were very close to what I had rolling around in my cranium.
Rather than rehash the whole kit and kaboodle, there are brief areas I'd like to look at.

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. 
  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. 
Lead me to believe that I WILL be a tanking warlock! Now, where did I put that sword?

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. 
What IS this? I guess I'm going to have to wait for EJ to find out what the formula is? Or how/what this means to me?

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.

OK, so either get rid of them or don't get rid of them. This "It doesn't exist but it does" shit, doesn't cut it for me.
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.  
Happy with all of this but Weapon Skill. So I was just born knowing how to wield a mace?

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.
I can only say, "I'm sorry". Having had to put up with the spirit to spell power conversion throughout Wrath I can only wish you the best with this one. My opinion of the gear issues stated above still stands.
In my mind I see a big chart on a wall with diagrams and arrows and stats and gear all over the place. There, right on the bottom right edge is a hole. Oh? We'll give that to balanced and elemental. The warlocks got moved to this (pointing at chart) gear spot over here with intellect and cloth gear. we're going to lump them in with mages until we can get this crazy shard UI figured out. Now what do we do with mail again? <scratch scratch>

OK. Now that I'm done being Negative Nancy over here....I had an expectation of a very pared down system harkening back to the days of vanilla wow. Where the core stats modified everything and all this mumbo jumbo didn't exist so much. Or was that all in my mind? It's possible after all that I'm romanticizing the pre-BC days. I really didn't spend any time raiding in them so I could be way off base here.
This is what I pictured.
Stamina = HP, possible defensive additions
Strength = defensive of some sort, block, melee crit
Agility = attack power, melee haste (after all what does agile mean?)
Intellect = mana pool, spell power, spell crit?
Spirit = mana regen
That's it. That's all that resides in my little brain. Hit can go away along with haste. Make it all a base modifier such as the 2 Stam=1AP.
I understand the need to boost through gear and I'm not trying to be dumb. However, in some cases the current proposed changes seem dumbed down to me. Scaling armor differently is a prime example. So much of what I am, what I do, and where I stand in relation to my group and mobs/bosses is based on my clothie status, that I'm kinda left without words. (You can now stand in the stupid, stupid. Oh god, I didn't just say that did I?)
No, I'm being overdramatic here. I don't expect this to be that massive that we can all go tank. But it sure reads like that at first glance.

In the end I am relying on Blizzard to make the right choices, and in a way I trust them to. I fear that they may be heading down the long slow road to death and I pray that is not the case. Truly I do. I hope that this glimpse is just a small piece and that the puzzle it fits into is much greater than the sum of it's parts.
Ever the optimist in the end.

*All excerpts are from the original post by Eyonix on 03/01/2010 and are the property of Blizzard Entertainment. The post, in its entirety can be viewed through the link provided at the beginning of this post.

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