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Posts with tag stat-and-system-change-analysis

Spiritual Guidance: Raid-ready 4.0.1 shadow priesting in 10 easy steps

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, your shadow-specced host Fox Van Allen copies Dawn Moore's latest column word for word and pastes it into Auto-Tune. After all those sour, holy-flavored notes are removed, what comes out is better than anything Jason Derulo could ever hope to achieve: priesting, perfected.

If you're a regular reader of Spiritual Guidance -- and I hope you are, because it's your page views that give me my special, magical powers -- then you know how excited I've been for patch 4.0.1. I've been beating it over your head for weeks.

Well, I can't tease you with it anymore, because that fabled new frontier of shadow priesting is finally here. It plays an awful lot like a new season of your favorite sitcom: entirely recognizable as that which you love, but with a few new twists. In patch 4.0.1, you create massive numbers of copies of yourself simply by moving around, your shadowfiend is on a variable timer and Betty White is your new anthropology teacher. (Change is confusing sometimes. Roll with it.)

With the way everything just changed overnight, it's all too easy for a shadow priest to feel in over his head. Worry not, though -- the magnificent (though self-aggrandizing) Fox Van Allen has you covered with a comprehensive, ten-step checklist to get yourself raid re-ready for 4.0.1. New stat values, new gemming guidelines and even new enchanting info -- it's all here, and it's all after the break.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks and the barrier to entry

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we have cause to reflect on something written by our esteemed colleague Archmage Pants: "Tanking is an interesting thing. It makes you hate everyone else in the party."

It comes as no shock to a longtime player that WoW's social culture is riddled with a number of real-life counterparts, and one of the more troublesome is something called the barrier to entry. In real life, this refers to the difficulty of becoming a qualified professional in a given field, and there are some jobs where the barrier to entry is very high indeed.

Take neurosurgery, for example. Ideally, you want to be completely sure of someone's aptitude for the job before you let them take a buzzsaw to your skull. Society relies on the grueling education and residency required to be a neurosurgeon to weed out anyone prone to use of the word, "Oops."

While there's nothing in WoW that comes close to the seriousness of getting a competent surgeon, most players would acknowledge that there are similarities between the RL and in-game version of the "barrier to entry." I'd argue that the comparison is strongest when you're discussing tanks. Tanks, and more importantly, beginner tanks who could potentially ease the tank shortage that causes lengthy queue times for DPS in the Dungeon Finder, have to hurdle a series of problems in the effort to become geared and experienced. Some of these problems are the result of deliberate design choices on Blizzard's part, but the larger share is the consequence of a playerbase that needs tanks but is (ironically) hostile to beginners.

Everyone wants an experienced professional. Nobody wants to be there for the learning process.

And if you're a beginner tank, there's a lot of crap in your way that Blizzard didn't put there.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for healing priests

We've all heard by now the changes Blizzard is planning for gear and stats in Cataclysm. While the stat changes are going to dramatically change how many classes work, causing many players to panic, as a healing priest my general impression was "nothing to see here; move along." I then took a sip of my tea and resumed playing shuffle board.

That's not to say nothing good is coming to us though...

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for DPS death knights

We've known for a while that we were getting some pretty sweeping stat and gear changes in Cataclysm. The other day, the blues over at Blizzard put together a nice little post that outlined all the big points of the revamp. As you might expect, there are a few changes that DPS death knights are especially going to want to watch out for. Let's take a closer look at the changes that are most likely to affect the DPS death knight.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for tanking death knights

We've known for a while that Cataclysm was going to feature some extensive changes to the stat and gear systems, and while we'd gotten bits and pieces of the whole picture before, the blues recently posted a massive breakdown of many of the changes. Death knight tanks will see a few things affect them as well, such as the complete removal of defense and a change to the workings of parry. Without further ado, let's break down the major changes that affect death knight tanking.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for retribution paladins

Well, the devs have recently announced the stat changes for all classes in Cataclysm. Surprisingly, retribution paladins are going to be the model to which some other specs are being changed. Being the model for something like this also means that not much about our spec is changing as far as gear goes.

Overall, the ret paladin gearing method has worked fairly well in Wrath. We no longer worry about wearing things like spell plate, we don't worry about intellect, and we get to wield big two-handed weapons just as Uther intended. Occasionally, we run into gearing issues where a couple pieces of attack power leather end up being better for us than what our plate gives us, but generally that's not the case.

Let's take a look at some of the specifics after the break and see what changes there are.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for shadow priests

Fire! Brimstone! Dragons! Heroic Van Cleef! The world is going to get turned upside down when Cataclysm hits, and the shadow priest spec is going to get turned upside down right along with it.

You've no doubt already read a bit about the upcoming stats changes with Cataclysm. As you can guess, a lot of these changes are going to hit shadow priests like a hammer to the face. The conventional wisdom of holding spell power in higher regard than all other stats is out the window, along with the spell power stat itself. And we may be facing a serious nerf to our legendary survivability.

Blizzard's given us a delicious sneak peak into the future of shadow priesting -- there's some good stuff, some bad stuff, and some who-the-hell-knows-yet stuff. Follow me after the break to get a glimpse of "Shadow Priesting 4.0."

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Filed under: Priest, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for warlocks

No doubt you've seen various articles about the changes to stats in Cataclysm. I'm sure everyone has been wondering what this will mean for warlocks. It doesn't matter whether you play a warlock right now or not, you know full well that you're going to level a worgen warlock sooner or later.

With that in mind you will want to know what gear to aim for, what stats give the best for each talent build and who else is going to try to deny you the items you know to rightfully be yours -- "The name is in purple - everybody knows that means the warlock gets first choice!". Well, I'm certainly not about to tell you, I have no idea. Frankly Cataclysm is still too far off to know. That said, we are starting to get some real good clues, so we'd better start investigating.

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Filed under: Warlock, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for rogues

I can't say that I didn't see this one coming. The Blizzard developers announced at the last BlizzCon that we'd seen the last of armor penetration and attack power, with the focus in Cataclysm being the simplification of stats. Eyonix recently posted a complete summary with all of the expected changes, and there's a lot to be digested. A few of our offensive stats are disappearing, the remaining stats are having their effect shifted, and all of our critical strike-based talents will see a nice bonus in PvP.

To top of all of these changes, Blizzard's throwing us a few bones that will have us excited regardless of what happens. The idea of 'weapon skill' is going away, so we'll be able to use any allowed weapon right from level 1, and we no longer need to grind up each weapon skill as we shift our focus. This should make swapping weapons while leveling quite a bit less painful, and will ensure that all weapon upgrades are usable right out of the box. Read on for details on the stat changes.

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Filed under: Rogue, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for resto shaman

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 does this mean for us exactly? More about that after the break.

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Filed under: Shaman, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for holy paladins

As you can see from the above image, I love intellect gems. The guild jewelcrafter and I don't even have to speak anymore. I hand him a stack of King's Amber, and he knows exactly what I want. "You sure you want ALL of these cut as Brilliant?" I laugh at his skepticism, he comes from the idea that gems are used to balance caps and maintain certain levels of ratings. Holy paladins have the easiest gemming strategy ever: Brilliant in every slot, every time.

If you've been reading this column very long, you know that I blame the current paladin playstyle on intellect alone. Because of its massive benefits, we really reduced our healing toolbox from two spells to one and a half: Holy Light and whatever else you decide to use when you're bored and the raid is at 100%. But oh no, what's this i read on Cataclysm brings with it a major stat rebalancing and intellect is in the cross-hairs?

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Filed under: Paladin, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stats and system changes for balance druids

Moonkin form may not be able to fly, but this balance druid is still up on cloud nine. It's another bright new shiny day in the World of Warcraft, and our feathery friend (you did know that Eyonix plays a balance druid, right?) made a post of epic proportions. How does it fair for us? Well, let's have a gander shall we?
  • Spirit is being completely removed from caster DPS gear in the next expansion. Caster DPS will no longer have to rely on the atrocious spirit stat for their mana regeneration, instead non-healers will have other methods of regaining their mana within combat. The latter part of this change is already true for PvE balance druids. Instead of spirit, we rely entirely on our crits to keep our damage flow pumping. I would expect that this is the type of system that Blizzard is going to go with, although it will probably be heavily adjusted since total dependence on the mana return from crits wasn't obtainable until higher levels of gear.
More after the break.

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Filed under: Druid, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for hunters

Blizzard has given us a bit more information about Cataclysm stats and exactly how they'll be changing. Reading between the lines it seems clear that the intent of the announcement was to keep the hunter community well-informed, and they then went ahead and tossed in some info about other classes while they were at it. But I think it's pretty clear they were talking to us.

Here's the relevant scoop for hunters:
  • Stamina: We'll have a lot more -- much closer to the plate amount. This will be true across the board for non-plate classes.
  • Intellect: We won't get it on gear anymore. Since, you know, we won't be using mana.
  • Attack Power: No longer on gear for "most items." AP will still be a part of the game, and we'll probably still have talents like Trueshot Aura that boost our AP, it's just not a number that we'll be seeing on our gear. Existing gear will have its AP converted into agility and stamina.
  • Resilience: This stat will finally become a pure PvP stat and will only work against players, and won't reduce crit chance.
  • Armor: The difference in armor between mail and plate will be smaller.
  • Gem Color: It's not certain, but hit rating gems are probably going to become blue gems, implying that hit/agility will be purple.
  • Haste: Will let us recover focus faster.
  • Mastery: We didn't get a whole lot of new information on this new stat, other than "...will allow players to become better at whatever makes their chosen talent tree cool or unique."
  • Agility: Will likely now give us 2 attack power and probably a slightly lower crit chance boost than it does now.
  • Armor Penetration: Going away entirely from gear. It'll still be in the game as talents, but not a stat that we have to pay attention to for our gear lists. Anything that currently has ArP on it will have that ArP converted into haste and crit. Keep in mind that haste is probably going to be more appealing to us when this change happens too.
Join me after the cut as we contemplate what some of these changes may mean for us hunters.

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Filed under: Hunter, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stats and system changes for DPS warriors

So, what's happening with gear for warriors who like to actually get to kill things in Cataclysm? I'm glad you asked, gentle friend. I'm glad you asked. Well, okay, whether or not you asked I was going to talk about it anyway.
  • If you've been using various leather or mail pieces with attack power, said AP is about to drop off of them. There will be no attack power on gear of any kind. Attack power will purely be converted from either strength or agility depending on class. This has been said before but it bears repeating. If gear currently has AP on it, that AP will convert to agi and stam.
More changes after the break.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for mages

I have to say, there's an awful lot in the just-announced Cataclysm stat and system changes to take in. But if you're anything like me, you're able to cope with that dense heap of information by narrowing your focus to what's really important: what does all this mean for mages?

Here's the short list of specific things we need to be aware of:
  • Stamina - Like all clothies, we'll be seeing a bunch more of it on our gear. The aim is to have our max health be similar to that of plate-wearing classes.
  • Spirit - We won't need it anymore. It'll be a healer-only stat, and we'll be getting our mana regen some other way. In other news, there is a God.
  • Intellect - Now grants spellpower, but will provide less mana than it does now. I assume this is to balance out our mana pools with all that extra intellect we'll be seeing on all our gear.
  • Spellpower - Gone from most gear, the only place we'll now be seing straight-up spellpower that isn't tied directly to intellect will be on weapons, and only to distinguish caster weapons from melee weapons.
  • Haste - Still around.
  • Critical Strike Rating - Still around.
  • MP5 - Gone.
  • Spell Ranks - Gone. Every spell will now have only one rank and will scale with level. The levels at which we learn many of them will change, to fill in the gaps.
  • Mastery - New stat that will be tied directly to your talents. Supposedly, no matter your spec or class, getting more of this will always, always make you better at whatever it is that you're best at. For me, this means getting more mastery will make my mage incrementally better at making fun of warlocks.
  • Existing gear - All of it will change to reflect this new statistical system, but we're being assured that the gear we have now will still be good for us. I have concerns about this, though.
Brief (as brief as you're going to get with me, anyway) analysis after the break.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

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