Cataclysmic Previews – The Stats Are Changing

We interrupt the regularly scheduled post for the following preview of Cataclysm Stats…

Yes, the big news that hit yesterday was the cataclysm stat changes incoming.  Read on, and lets take a look how it is going to change Ret and how it works.

Stamina –  Expect to see a LOT more of it.  The big plan for cataclysm is to change the healing game, and the way they are going to do it is to make HUGE health pools, and really tone down healing throughput.  This means that we are going to be able to take a few hits (no that does not give you an excuse to pull aggro), but at the same time, its going to take really efficient heals to get you, and the tank, back up to full health without burning through the mana.  Also expect to see more overall stamina on DPS plate than tanking plate.  This is because they always allocate gem slots out of the most desirable stat (stam for tanks).

Prediction:  Tanks will be silly enough to roll on DPS gear, especially early in the endgame where they will be trying to gear up.

Haste – For casters, this will function much the same.  But for Melee, it will regenerate resources such as Energy or Runes.  The idea is that if you get it you can do stuff more often.

Lets take a closer look at that change.  Haste is going to regen resources for Melee – so in our case it would be Mana.  I doubt it will do that, but just for the moment lets take it at face value.  The problem with this design is that Ret Pallies are currently not limited by mana.  Mana is not a problem, AT ALL for Ret.  I never use Mana Pots anymore, like I did back in Naxx.  I hardly ever run out of mana, the exceptions being when I am in an intense situation, where healing on my part is required, or I simply cannot afford the extra GCD to press my regen button.

So mana resources are not what limits us.  Its the GCD.  And unless they change haste to effect the GCD (possibly through talents), haste is going to remain the same for us.

Prediction:  Haste will remain an important stat for us, but it will not effect the GCD.  Stat ranking and weight remain the same.  However, with Armor Pen going away, we can easily obtain the haste we need to get our SoV stacks up, and we will become more crit heavy.

Spirit – On the lines of regen, I simply have to mention spirit.  Spirit will become the all in one regen stat for healers.  Other casters will obtain another regen methods, like paladins have now.  This will be somewhat important for holy paladins, but not even be present on Ret gear at all.  Nothing to worry about here, folks.  Move right along.

Spell Power – Going away.  It will not be present on any gear other than healing weapons.  We will still retain Spell Power as a game mechanic, and Ret will get SP from AP just like they do currently, enabling us to use our heals in emergency situations.

Prediction:  No change for us

Armor Penetration – Gone.  It will still be in the game, as a talent only effect (Probably be aimed toward PvP).  Existing Armor Pen will be transferred over to Haste or Crit.

Prediction – If my prediction for haste holds true, we will easily pick up the haste we need to get our SoV stacks up.

Attack Power – Being removed from items.  Existing AP items will be transferred over to Agil.  Not a BIG thing for us, but it will do two things.  First, Agil is going to provide less crit than before, so strictly Agil items are going to be less desireable.  Secondly, without the AP, Hunter weapons are pretty much OFF LIMITS for paladins – No more Pole-Arm Weilding Pallies.

Prediction:  Hunters finally get to say “That is a hunter weapon” and only argue it out with kitties.  Any gear that has Agil will be undesireable for Ret’s.  Less overlap of gear.

STR, Agil, Crit, Hit, Expertise, Crit Strike Rating – No Change, other than it will be harder to cap out things.

Prediction:  Hit is going to (no pun intended) hit us harder than most classes.  Perhaps this is where haste comes in for “regen of resources”.  If we miss a single judgement that is a MAJOR hit to our mana pool, 25% to be exact.  The point of Ret combat is to always have that Judgement hit, above all else.  We are always using the mana, we always have to regen it.  I hope that designers take this into account.  Its not just about pure dps of the judgement, its about regen, and about being able to take the next swing.  If they are going to go the route of making it near impossible for us to be at hit cap, then we will need a higher overall regen.  Otherwise, we risk standing and auto-attacking.

Mastery – We have yet to see what this is going to be.  This may turn out like the “synergy” bonuses that came late in the game for Diablo 2.  And I didn’t like the way it was implemented there.  Hopefully this will be more well thought out.

Prediction:  ???

Quality of Life Improvements

Weapon Skill – Going away completely.  No more swinging for hours and hours trying to lvl up your weapon to the point where you can dps.  If its an upgrade, equip it on the spot.

Reforging: My love/hate relationship with blacksmithing is widely known.  Its incredibly useful in early game (by early, I mean everything but endgame), but for endgame, unless you are a cunning edge raider, its a pile of dung.  Hopefully they put reforging firmly in the hold of Blacksmiths, and we might just make a profit.

But more so than that, this will make high ended gear VERY exciting.  We get to customize our gear even more.  Definately, the experts will be set far apart from the rest.  Good geared people are going to hit like trucks, because they have tweaked the armor perfectly.  Sorely geared people are going to be noticed straight away.

Removal of Spell Ranks – I am on the fence on this one.  On one hand, it is a quality of life improvement.  No more training just to get a higher lvl spell.

On the other hand, they are removing a mechanic from RPG that has been there since the very beginning.  It is exciting to know that  you have trained “Faceroll, LVL 2” and will do more DPS.

On the third hand, they say they will fill it out with new skills.  And you know what, I can’t imagine fitting any more spells on my bars.

So, that is it for the stats for cataclysm.  Some interesting things are definitely possible, but we will just have to let things play out.  I imagine that they are going to have to tweak things quite a bit before getting it 100% down 🙂

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