Aug 222009

Thanks to Lissanna with a very nice liveblog of the panel that I was following since work blocks MMOC for me </cry>

Mechanics Changes

  • MP5 removed. Regen now based off Spirit. Spirit removed from DPS caster gear.
  • Spellpower removed. Throughput now based off Intellect.
  • Attack power removed. Damage now scales based on Agility (leather/mail) or Strength (plate)
  • Defense removed. Crit immunity via talents.
  • Armor Penetration removed.
  • Haste now increases rate of energy/runes/rage/focus regen (Ret/Enh will be compensated somehow)
  • Block value removed; Block becomes a % mitigation stat.
  • Reforging added; crafters will be able to reallocate stat points on own and others gear, with limitations (can’t stack a stat)

Wow. Let that one sink in for a while.

Okay, I’m both excited and worried about this. This is obviously directed at a goal of 1 stat per concept. (STR= power, AGI= avoidance (and power for leather/mail), STA=health, INT= spellpower, SPI= regen.) While this makes things like gear balancing and such easier for the developers, it also reduces a lot of gearing complexity. I seem to remember a blue post from early in WOTLK that said that the devs used gear itemization as a balancing mechanism, and another that said choosing between AP, ArP, haste, crit, etc. was part of the fun/challenge of the game. They’ve obviously moved away from that. While I think the majority of the playerbase will appreciate the change, this really increases homogenization, and eliminates alternate gearing strategies. (For example, kitty druids now benefit most from +agi, but fully raidbuffed with the proper trinket, can benefit most from +ArPen.) Hopefully the complexity is restored with the mysterious  “mastery” system.  The reforging system is moderately interesting, but you know the best configuration will be quickly theorycrafted, and we’ll all end up there, so meh.

The haste change is welcome. That’s what haste is SUPPOSED to do, make you “faster.” Swing speed buffs aren’t really that noticeable; faster ability usage is. Thankfully, this should hopefully finally kill the idea of ability ‘rotations,’ and swing it over to priorities. Finally, I’m not in favor of the block change as currently stated. Block definitely needs reworking, as the flat damage reduction is terribly hard to balance. (As explained in much more detail by Kalon). Unfortuantely, with defense gone, block just sounds like a clone of armor at the moment.