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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 enhancement shaman

Breaking news: enhancement shamans get the dumb in Cataclysm. Intellect is gone! Are we becoming rogues with mana?

No doubt you've read the big changes coming in Cataclysm. At this point there are a few confirmed points with the rest falling into the "confirmed they'll be changing" category. What do these changes mean for enhancement shamans? Read on.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, 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 spirit and MP5

One of the challenges for many novice level healing druids and priests is figuring out what provided more mana: X MP5 (which stands for mana per 5 seconds) or Y spirit. However, in Eyonix's post about Cataclysm stat changes, MP5 will be completely removed from the game. Healing paladins and shamans normally relied on slight amounts of MP5 on their gear. Instead, their gear will now pack spirit which will affect their mana gains.

Say again?

Yes, you heard right. MP5 is being removed. It will be gone. Fist pumps and high fives all around!

In any case, when the next expansion comes around, everyone will need to relearn the entire mana regeneration mechanic. Thankfully, it should be much easier this time around. Spirit is the main stat which will contribute to mana regeneration since intellect provides spell \power. It is too early to provide any advice or guides since we can't actually see the changes in action just yet, but the basic idea is that healers will be stacking a combination of intellect and spirit to increase healing throughput as well as mana regeneration.

Lastly, for the druids and shamans:

Eyonix
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 wonder if this means Prayer of Spirit will be removed. All in all, I'm very excited about the regeneration changes. It'll make things much easier for players to understand (like me)!

Anyway, the line of thinking here regarding the removal of raid spirit buffs is this: Since spirit will be providing elemental shamans and Balance druids with hit due to a talent conversion, any raid buffs which boost spirit will presumable bump their hit and put them over the hit cap which isn't a good thing since any surplus points will be considered wasted.


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.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: Holy 101


Every Sunday (and the occasional weekday) Spiritual Guidance offers holy and discipline priests advice on how to wield the holy light and groove to the disco night. Your hostess Dawn Moore will provide the music.

There is this priest trial in my guild right now. He applied as a discipline priest but what we were looking for at the time was a holy priest. Unfortunately, he doesn't know how to play holy, so I'm exploiting my veteran status and making him learn it. Coincidentally, the big bosses also want all of us here at WoW.com to work on these 101 columns, so this kills two anything-but-birds with one stone. I really like birds, by the way.

The following is meant to be an introductory guide to the priest holy tree. It is not going to tell you what to do step by step (at least not until you get to the enchants section) instead it intends to show you some options from which you can get started. If you're already a veteran holy priest, feel free to add anything I left out in the comments so readers who use this column as a resource can get as much help as possible.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Everything I know about magic I learned from Rydia


When I was growing up, I was a total Final Fantasy geek. I can still remember the thrill I got when I first started playing Final Fantasy II (Final Fantasy IV to you purists).

I never paid much attention to stats aside from the basics back then -- there was no reason to. When I did take a look under the hood, though, what I found was easy to understand. Cecil beat stuff down with a sword, so he had a high amount of strength. Rosa was better at healing things than Cecil, because she had more will than he did. Rydia blew things away with black magic and summons, so she was loaded up with wisdom.

When I eventually got around to playing World of Warcraft, I went into it with a lot of preconceptions from my Final Fantasy days. This healing priest? Spirit. Makes total sense, that's a healer stat. When it was time to use the darker side of the priestly art, it was time to look for gear with intellect. It made logical sense from a Final Fantasy standpoint. And just like in Final Fantasy, the most important thing to pay attention to was how well a piece of armor protects you from attack. Right? RIGHT?!

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Better pet scaling promised in Cataclysm

Hunters and warlocks were given something to look forward to during the Blizzard developer chat on twitter this evening. The question was asked: "You mentioned pet scaling being added for patch 3.3 but due to time constraints, was delayed. Will this be in the next patch?" This is something that has been mentioned throughout the course of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion and hasn't been implemented yet. The reason? It is a fairly complicated procedure.
We'll try to do what we can. Technically it's just more challenging than you might think. For Cataclysm, we have on our list that 100% of stats scale. If they don't then certain stats just won't be as valuable for pet classes. At the very least, we can do stuff like convert your X into damage for the pet so every stat is valuable. Getting everyone to scale with every stat better is a major goal for the class team for Cataclysm.
With hunters, warlocks, and unholy death knights, there are a lot of talents and glyphs that affect the scaling of stats to your pet. If you allow certain stats to scale too well, you suddenly unbalance the class. If the stat scales poorly, then the class falls in the other direction. Every talent and ability that taps into these has to be checked to make sure it doesn't throw things out of whack. Considerations on diminishing returns on certain stats scaling would also need to be checked.

Overall, there is a lot of number crunching and statistical analysis involved in trying to find the right balance between all of the knobs that they need to adjust. However, the frustration of out-gearing your pet will hopefully be behind us either in an upcoming patch or
(more realistically) when Cataclysm hits.



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.

Filed under: Hunter, Warlock, Death Knight, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: The low level tank part 1


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown. For the next couple weeks we'll be taking a look at low level dungeon runners.

Cross-realm instancing is coming in patch 3.3 and along with it will be the ability for low level characters to finally find those level appropriate groups for old world dungeons. Being that those parties will need tanks, we thought we'd take a look at what an up and coming paladin needs to know about dungeons as well as what types of gear and stats to be on the lookout for. We're going to start with tanking and then move on to healing and damage-dealing in the weeks to come.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

WoW Rookie: Primary stats for beginners

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

Theorycrafters and experienced players, go away – no really, /shoo! Today's WoW Rookie is for brand new players or players who are embarking on a new alt with absolutely no idea which end is up. The topic: what stats should you look for on gear as you level up? With XP and levels moving so quickly these days, it's not a topic that bears deep reflection or rooting through gear lists online in search of exceptional pieces. Any time you devote to researching and going after specific gear will be rendered moot by equal time spent questing – ding, better gear at your disposal! Still, concentrating on the right set of primary stats gives you a solid foundation for steady, predictable game play and supports experimentation with different spells, specs and tactics.

The early levels (and by that, we mean "vanilla" WoW up through level 60) are all about basic stats (also known as "attributes"): agility, intelligence, spirit, stamina and strength. As you level, you may run across the occasional piece of gear that boasts a fancy attribute like spellpower or attack power. Consider it extra flavoring; you'll meet veteran players who swear by the stuff, but it's not mandatory. Equip the piece if the basic stats are also solid, and carry on. Most early pieces that boast more interesting stats were added later in the game's evolution. The basics remain the fuel for your pre-60 leveling fire.

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Filed under: Tips, Features, Leveling, WoW Rookie

A macro for stacking parry or dodge

I haven't played a tank in a while, so I haven't had to mess with stats at endgame for a long time. Though my paladin is slowly getting there, so this little macro over at Honor's Code might come in handy. Parry and dodge are very similar abilities -- both of them help you to completely avoid damage from bosses as a tank. But they do have a very few important differences (Parry speeds up your next attack swing, and is affected by diminishing returns at higher levels of the stat), so when you're gearing up at endgame, you want to make sure to balance them out in the right way.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Tips, How-tos, Death Knight

GC clarifies ArPen's stat removal and others


Ghostcrawler's hoping this answer "gets read," so we'll help. A player asks why Blizzard is worrying about armor penetration with the Scourge Strike ability -- isn't, they ask, ArPen getting removed in Cataclysm like we heard at BlizzCon? The answer is basically no: Armor Penetration rating is getting removed from gear (along with Block value, Defense, Attack Power, and a number of other gear stats), but Armor Penetration as a stat is not getting removed from the game. Talents and other abilties will still depend on removing and penetrating armor, even if your gear selection won't revolve around it. They'll still be balancing it, but as players choosing gear, it won't be a part of our calculations there.

Make sense? Just because you don't see, say, Attack Power on gear doesn't mean you won't have an Attack Power number governing how much damage you do. It just means that the AP you have will come from stats like Agility and Strength (depending on your class and a number of other factors) rather than gear adding directly to AP. Of course, as Ghostcrawler says, these changes aren't even coming until patch "4.0" and the Cataclysm expansion, so there's still lots of gear choices and balancing to do before then.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Buffs, Death Knight, Forums, Cataclysm

Searching for the most popular server


Kris over on the WoW LJ has an interesting question: what's the most popular server in the game? Blizzard never has (and likely never will) singled out one server as the most popular in the game, as the QQ that would ensue might bring the forums down (not to mention that it must change pretty often, as people transfer and reroll on other realms. It seems that everyone on a high population server thinks they must be top dog when they see queues during prime time, but the most widespread concrete numbers we have are probably from the unofficial Warcraft Realms census: they claim that, with over 35,000 characters on it, Whisperwind is number one.

Of course, even that can't be trusted -- those numbers are picked up from the site's addon, all within the last 30 days, and it could just be that WR has more info about more people on that server. But at the same time, I'd guess that Warcraft Realms' numbers are in the ballpark, as long as you're talking about Yankee Stadium. Whisperwind, Cenarion Circle, Stormrage, Moon Guard, and Proudmoore are all big servers, I can promise you anecdotally, while Laughing Skull, Blood Furnace, and Malorne are definitely at the other end of the spectrum. As for a most popular realm, there probably isn't one specifically (it changes periodically, if not even at different times of the day). But if your realm is near the top of Warcraft Realms' list, it's probably busier than the others.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Instances

BG Hero tracks your battleground activity


I'm really impressed with BG Hero. We take a look at these stats sites pretty often, but I have never seen a site targeted strictly at PvP data like this one, and with such a clean and interesting view. Unfortunately, it's still getting off the ground, so we're probably going to give the server a run for its money with this link, but give it a few days and head back there when they've smoothed things out.

It'll track your plays and wins in each BG, obviously, but you can also get a whole bunch of graphs and numbers about how you're doing each time you play, including HKs per BG, and killing blows per battleground that you play. The app also tracks your totals daily and weekly, so if you get your character in there and let it update over a period of time, you can see just how you're doing. Pretty amazing stuff if you've been playing a lot of battlegrounds lately (and with the extra XP in there, why wouldn't you?). We're told the site is still being worked on, so expect more updates soon (and Phood is keeping info flowing on his blog), but in the meantime, it looks like a great way to look at your BG progress in more detail.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Leveling, Battlegrounds

Spiritual Guidance: What the future holds for Priests


Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a UI and addons blog for WoW. What will Cataclysm hold for Priests?

I'm back from Blizzcon! There's been a ton of big announcements which will mean future impacts for Priests whether you heal or dish out damage. Let's take a quick look at what we know.

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Filed under: Gnomes, Tauren, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, BlizzCon, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: Stats vastly simplified

It looks like Azeroth is not going to be the only aspect of WoW that's destroyed in Cataclysm. The developers just announced in the Class, Items, and Profession panel that half of WoW's stats are getting tossed out the window. Here's the breakdown:

  • Attack Power on gear is gone. Instead, some classes will get 2 AP from each point of Agi (Rogues, Hunters, Shamans, Druids), and other classes (presumably Warriors, Paladins, and Death Knights) will get 2 AP per point of Strength. Side effect: no more plate wearers stealing your gear
  • Spell Power is gone. It comes from Int now.
  • MP5 is gone. Spirit is the mana regen stat, and all classes that need it will get some form of Meditation. (Hunters, never fear - you don't use mana any more. More on this in a separate post.)
  • Armor Penetration is gone. That one was just confusing.
  • Defense is gone. Tanks are now defense-capped from talents, like Druid tanks.
  • Haste now increases your rate of resource regeneration (mana, energy, rage, runes, focus).
  • Block Value is gone, but blocks now mitigate a percentage of damage.
  • Stamina is going to be more equal across different armor types - no more "plate HP envy."

Whew, those are some massive changes. I'm very much in favor of this sort of streamlining; the number of stats in game was getting a bit silly. This back-to-basics approach is refreshing. It's going to take some balancing, sure, but I think it's the right way to go.


BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!


Filed under: Items, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

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