Cataclysm is right around the corner, and with it comes sweeping change for every class whether it is talents or itemization. Restoration shaman are no exception to the rule and several of the changes will affect us and how we choose gear. Take some time to read through all the stat and system changes happening, but for right now lets talk about how this affects restoration shaman.
Here's the list of things we need to be aware of:
- MP/5: Gone
- Spirit: Now the regen stat of choice for all healers, gear with spirit is specifically healer gear.
- Spell Power: Gone from all items except for weapons, marking specific weapons as caster items.
- Intellect : Spell power is now derived from intellect, making this stat very important
- Haste: Still around.
- Critical Strike Rating: Still around.
- Spell Ranks: Gone, Spells will now grow with you as you level. Levels at which you can learn spells will be changing.
- Mastery: This is a specialization stat found on gear. Mastery allows for you to be better at your defined role
- Existing gear: Your existing gear will be updated to fall in line with these changes before Cataclysm is released
What this means for resto shaman:
Stamina: With everyone getting more stamina we will see the evening out of health pools. Blizzard has said many times that they want to see mitigation through other stats and talents, and would like to see an increased overall raid health total. As a healer this means you'll have a better chance to predict incoming damage and plan your heals and heal priority accordingly. This also means that you will see players being one-shot less often and give you more time to land heals on them. This also means that you are less likely to die from a stray boss ability and it lets you focus on your job of healing that much more. This is a very good change for us.
MP/5 & Spirit: MP/5 has been a restoration shaman go to stat for as long as it has existed. Resto shaman gear has featured this stat many times over and has clearly marked it as gear for set aside from a healing minded totem thrower. Now instead our gear will come with spirit, and our talents and abilities will be changed to reflect this shift and we will see our mana regen derived from spirit now instead. Time to get ready for Spirit Fingers!
Intellect & Spell Power: Spell Power was another one of those stats that was present on all of our gear, but now Spellpower is being removed from all except weapons. Instead now we turn to intellect as our main source of spellpower. This may result in lower mana gained from intellect as we know it in order to even out the massive amounts of Int we will be seeing on gear.
Haste & Crit: Luckily for us, these stats are staying around, so not much will be changing on that front. You will still obtain the same benefit from them you do now.
Spell Ranks: The removal of spell ranks is actually beneficial for our particular specialization. Leveling as a restoration shaman was always a bit of a chore just due to the limited spells and the time between ranks. There were several levels in which the spells just weren't quite enough and you didn't get a rank up for a while. Instead now the abilities are being redone to increase with level. This means a smoother transition between levels and an easier time healing your way through your levels. I for one look forward to this change.
Mastery: The mastery stat is something that will allow you to be better at your chosen specialization. This equates to free stats found on "your" gear. Ghost crawler I think said it best.
This will help us further define what is "our" gear and will help cut down on other classes claiming "our" gear for themselves. I look forward to this change and the further defining of where loot should be allocated.
Reforging: I will mention this briefly here. This new ability will allow us to move stats around on gear, allowing us to tweak each piece just that much more letting us shift certain stats around, like converting Haste into Crit. As more information on that becomes available we'll let you know, but the bottom line is this will enable you to further customize your gear to your specified role.
Existing Gear: Rest assured change is coming, we just don't know when yet. When it does come, it will come before the release of the expansion. At that time the gear we are wearing will be altered to fit the model Blizzard has set down at the time of change. You can expect to see some of the following things when this happens.
- A lot more Stamina.
- All of your Spell Power converted to Intellect and Stamina.
- Spirit instead of MP5, but since our talents and abilities will already be changed to benefit from spirit, this change shouldn't be that scary to you. In fact you will probably look forward to it.
Things may change between now and the release of the update, try to keep that in the back of your mind as you read through all the information that comes out. Conversion numbers may fluctuate, stat scale may vary, but you can be certain that somethings will change along the way.
We still don't know exactly how much Spirit will equal what amount or regen, or how much SP and mana we will receive from Int. In time all this information will become available and you can bet we will keep you up to date with each change.
I will finish by telling you I personally find this very exciting. The consolidation of stats reduces complexity of gear choices, but allows for a whole new depth. New players will find it easier to determine what is an upgrade on the fly, while veterans and number crunchers will have all the information they need to figure out the specifics with theory crafting as they do now.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.