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Is reforging a hit or a miss?

It's always the same. Just when I get everything all sorted out neatly, a new piece of upgrade gear drops. If I win the gear, the next half-hour or so after raid is spent digging up gems, cutting them to the appropriate cut, then nabbing enchant mats and making sure the item is enchanted properly. And after all that is done and I put the gear on, I log out and back into the game so that the armory updates. Then I alt-tab out of the game and pull up my reforge site du jour (rogues, Shadowcraft is an amazing, amazing thing), put the window on my second monitor, tab back into the game and reforge it all.

And hopefully when I'm done with all of that, I'll have precisely enough hit to cap without going over, and all of that useless crit will be a thing of the past. It's not a hugely complicated process, but it is a process -- one that I repeat with each new piece of gear I obtain. I generally get far more out of reforging than I ever did with simple gemming and enchanting from the Wrath era. However, I also understand all these different stats and which ones are good, something a new player might not be aware of.

So is the reforging process a hit with this expansion or a miss?


The Grumpy Elf isn't so grumpy about reforging -- in fact, he thinks it's one of the hits of the Cataclysm expansion. And he's got some very, very good points about the topic. Reforging has definitely made keeping control of your secondary stats far more efficient, and it makes it easier to choose gems and enchants that work best for you. On the one hand, that's fantastic, and I wholeheartedly agree with that assessment. I have never had more control of stats as I do right now.

I remember the days of Wrath and how complex it was to get gear. You wanted a specific piece of gear for a specific set of stats to reach a specific number. While you waited for that ideal piece of gear, you had to make do with whatever gear you happened to find and hope that the numbers added up. For example, rogues look for a specific amount of hit at all times. If you couldn't make it to the ideal hit number with gear alone, you had to gem for hit, as much as you could, in the hopes that you'd reach that ideal number.

With Cataclysm and reforging, that guesswork has been alleviated. Now you can reforge stats you don't want to stats that you need. The only inherent problem with this is that the system, while admittedly easy to use from an interface standpoint, requires you to know the numbers and stats that you want to reforge for. And that requires either intimate and innate knowledge of your class or a trip out of the game altogether to a website where people research all this stuff. There is nothing in the game that tells a newbie assassination rogue, "Hey, you probably don't need crit at all."

Should that be something that's put into place? Should the reforgers perhaps make subtle recommendations to new players on what they ought to be after? Not an outright refusal to reforge, of course, but perhaps seeing a mage reforge all crit to stam could result in a snooty "... Are you sure about that?" from the ethereal reforgers.

In the end, though, I can't really argue with The Grumpy Elf's assessment -- we have never been so in control of our gear and the benefits we gain from it. Reforging is an incredibly useful tool that allows players to have a say in what their gear does for them, rather than simply hoping for that one ideal piece that never, ever seems to drop.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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