Ok, so Blizzard posted it several days ago, and I have been really busy, so here’s my 2 on the situation.
Cataclysm Stat Changes
I’m not going to go over all the classes, just the ones that matter to me: tanks and plate dps (maybe kitty dps also). Lets just dive right into this. Italics are quotes from Blizzard’s post, found here.
Strength, Agility, Hit Rating, Expertise, and Critical Strike Rating - These will all still appear on gear as well. Aside from situations mentioned elsewhere in this list, in general these will function similarly to how they do now, though the details — such as how much Hit Rating you might need to effectively combat high-level creatures (more on this below) — are likely to change.
Stamina - Because of the way we will be assigning Strength, Agility, and Intellect, non-plate wearers will end up with more Stamina than before. Health pools will be much closer between plate-wearers and other classes.
Being Removed from Items
Attack Power - This stat will no longer be present on most items as a flat value, though it will still show up on some process. Strength and Agility, which will be present on items, will grant the appropriate amount of Attack Power (generally 2 Attack Power per point of Strength or Agility) depending upon which stat a particular class favors. Agility may provide less Crit than it currently does.
Spell Power - Spell Power is another stat that you’ll no longer see present on most items. Instead, as mentioned above, Intellect will grant Spell Power. One exception is that caster weapons will still have Spell Power. This allows us to make weapons proportionately more powerful for casters in the same way they are for melee classes.
Armor Penetration - This stat will no longer be present on items. Armor Penetration will still exist in talents and abilities.
Shield Block Value - This stat will no longer be present on items, since the amount blocked is always proportional to the amount of damage done. Talents and other effects might still modify the damage-reduction percentage from 30%, however.
Most of these stats will still be around, but not like they are on live. More than likely, its going to be on trinkets and weapons, but there’s not going to be a chest piece with 10% arpen anymore.
More After the Break
Going Away Completely
MP5 - This stat will be removed from the game completely. Holy paladins and Restoration shaman will be redesigned to benefit from Spirit.
Defense - Defense is being removed from the game entirely. Tanking classes should expect to become uncrittable versus creatures just by shifting into Defensive Stance, Frost Presence, Bear Form, or by using Righteous Fury.
Spell Ranks - Spell ranks will cease to exist. All spells will have one rank and will scale appropriately with level. The levels at which you can learn certain spells are being changed in order to fill in some of the gaps, and we will be introducing some new spells to learn along the way as well.
Weapon Skill - This stat will be removed from the game completely. Classes will start with all the weapon skills they need to know and will not need to improve them.
I can not explain how excited I am about the removal of weapon skills. Of course it happens after I maxed EVERY SINGLE DAMN WEAPON SKILL IN THE GAME on my main, but it makes it so much better for alts (GG fury warriors who go 60+ lvls with a 1h weapon, and suddenly have to lvl 2h weapon skills).
The loss of spell ranks worries me. An example would be mage food: will they change the food or spell to auto-scale according to the user’s level, or will you just be screwed if you make some food on your mage and try to give it to a friend’s alt. For the most part though, this is really welcome. I’m sure that Blizz will come up with something though.
The loss of MP5 is a good-all-around change. MP5 always seemed like a clunky stat, requiring a really stupid calculation or addon to figure out when spirit>MP5, and in general confused some new players.
Defense: Ah, the signs of a good tank and a bad tank. How much Def do they have? Do they have entirely to much? Not enough? Can they balance their gear to meet the minimum? For many tanks, this stat created a small mini game when it came to getting upgrades. There were several times that I got an awesome upgrade… except it left me crittable, and I couldn’t use it until I replaced a different piece, re-gemmed, or re-chanted.
Right now is a perfect example: what can I do to be able to use the T-10 chest (warrior), Pillars of Might, and the Boots of Kingly Upheaval. All are awesome in the stam and gem department, but all lack Defense. Will I be able to get all 3, with out re-gemming to much?
I personally liked this stat, but I can remember how confusing it was when I first started to tank. It going away will make it a much missed stat to veterans, but its good for the game in general.
Block Rating - Block is being redesigned to scale better. Blocked attacks will simply hit for 30% less damage. Block rating will improve your chance to block, though overall block chances will be lower than they are today.
Well, no more gimmicky un-hittable sets of gear for Anub’arak, or fights like that. The same for REALLY trivializing 5 mans, but at least block will be VIABLE FOR RAIDS!!! OMFG YES!!!!!
Parry - Parry no longer provides 100% avoidance and no longer speeds up attacks. Instead, when you parry an attack, it and the next attack will each hit for 50% damage (assuming they hit at all). In other words, Dodge is a chance to avoid 100% of the damage from one attack, Parry is a chance to avoid 50% of the damage from two attacks, and Block is a chance to avoid 30% of the damage from one attack.
I can’t say enough times how much I like this change. Parry has always seemed like that third wheel in the tanking stats. There, but never really wanted. Its definitely going to be a wanted stat now.
Mastery - This is a new stat that will allow players to become better at whatever makes their chosen talent tree cool or unique. It’s directly tied to talents, so what you gain from improving this stat is entirely dependent upon your class and the talent specialization you choose. We’ll talk more about specific Mastery benefits in the future.
I can’t say anything about this, b/c its still a rather large mystery to me. It looks really interesting though and I look forward to more info from the Dev’s about this stat.
Armor - The way Armor mitigates damage is not changing, but the Armor stat has been rebalanced to mirror changes to the armor curve in Cataclysm. As a result, bonus Armor will go down slightly overall. We are also changing the mitigation difference among armor types so that plate doesn’t offer so much more protection than mail, leather, and cloth.
I will cover the bonus armor change later on, but I think raising the armor on the other classes of armor will result in more balance in PVP and less caster deaths in PVE (loose adds).
Changes to Existing Gear
As with previous expansions, we plan to roll out these changes and modify all existing gear shortly before Cataclysm launches, though it’s still too early to say exactly when. For the most part, the gear you have will still be good for you, though there will be exceptions, such as warriors using leather and mail armor.
If you are a tank (druids excepted), expect to see:
If you are a melee DPS class, druid tank, or hunter, expect to see:
Where to start here… I guess with the thing that bothers me the most!
“You’ll have as much Stamina as you’re used to, though you may notice your tanking plate has a bit less Stamina than a comparable piece of DPS plate, since we tend to take the gem budget out of your most attractive stat.”
So a DPS piece will have as much stam as my tanking gear? What is there to stop me from taking that piece? Not like I have to worry about defense, and they said the overall stam will be the same, so that makes me think talents will modify our stam on the gear to what it is now…. so yeah. What’s to stop me from needing on DPS plate with higher stam values once my avoidance/mitigation stats are good enough?
I can not emphasize how much this is worrying me.
Bonus armor going down… this makes me a lil happy and a lil sad at the same time. It wasnt until TOC that we started to see an abundance of bonus armor, and even then, it wasnt really enough to make us change our gearing practice. Fast forward to ICC, there are 4 bosses that almost anyone can get to that do pure, almost 100% physical damage (if not all of them in the first wing!!) and that makes bonus armor as sexy as stam (almost)! But its clunky b/c unless you have a lot of it, it wont make a noticeable difference.
The changes to the other stats (dps gear more stam, agi/str gives AP, and the actual stat AP disapears) is really good. No more clunky stats that complicates choosing upgrades. For lack of a better term, its consolidation, and its the best thing to happen to wow now. If you doubt me, ask a DPS warrior or druid what they had to do when they get an arpen trinket: they had to 100% regem to reach the soft cap, then make up the missing AP from the changed gems somehow. It was annoying. Really, really annoying.
The final change that I want to cover, which is really exciting to me (especially for my kitty druid) is the change to Haste:
Haste will basically remain the same for casters. It is changing for melee classes, however. Haste will also allow melee classes to recover their resources more quickly, effectively letting them hit their buttons more often.
I like this. Alot. Right now,haste is such a stupid stat for most melee (yes, I know, some rouges make a mess in their pants over this stat), and if it was there, cool. If not, then oh well. The only thing I’m a lil worried about is with warriors: last night I was DPS on Saurfang, and I was rage capped the entire time. The only time that I dropped in rage was when I screwed up and used whirlwind near a beast and had to kite it out of the rest of the group. Not a big deal, but still. So what good will Haste do for a dps warrior? Thats yet to be determined, but I have faith.
So basically, I’m a little worried about some of the changes, but I’m really excited for most of them, and I look forward to getting my Beta key (PST!!! GET ME ONE!!) so I can really see whats going on with the changes and experiment with them first hand.
What do you think? Good? Bad? Just don’t give a rat’s ass?