This post incorporates material from the Cataclysm Alpha. If that bothers you, please stop reading now.
Every sign points to there being a HUGE gear reset for Cata. Check this combat rating table out: (gathered by Whitetooth, author of the Ratingbuster addon, so pretty credible)
I’ll be talking about this more later, but yes, that’s 269 crit and 192 melee hit per 1%. Wow. If these ratings remain (and the penalties for attacking higher level mobs remain the same) then we’re looking at 1500ish hit for hitcap. My guess is that actually capping a stat will be exceedingly rare (which is in line with previous blue posts) With the ratings going stratospheric from 80-85, I could see DPS actually declining over those levels. I don’t think that’s Blizzard’s plan: they never want you to feel like you’re losing power, but they did want to rein in the rate of growth. In order to keep DPS relatively constant from 80-85, we’re going to need a lot of secondary stats on our gear.
Need more proof? How about the blue announcement that Dense Embersilk Bandages will heal 34,800 HP over 8s? Either bandages are going to be totally OP, or we’re looking at a dramatic increase in HP. (For comparison, Heavy Frostweave was 5,800 HP over 8 seconds.) Even accepting that dense bandages are a third tier of bandage not found in WOTLK, that’s still a significant bump. My guess is that they’re going to increase the amount of HP from +stam, probably to something like 20HP (instead of 10HP now). No clue as to actual numbers, but I’d say tanks at about 90K HP after the patch, with DPS around 60K, equalized between armor classes. At the end of Cata, tanks will be up to the 150K mark, with DPS at 100K or so.
For ferals, we’ll be back to the days of much slower CP generation, which eliminates FB from our rotations (yay) and decreases bleed uptime (boo). With our third mastery bonus being Bleed Damage increases, we may be in a spot where we have to look at other than 5-CP rips to maximize uptime. (Yes, this is handwavy.) Either way, ArPen stacking is dead. Of course, the whole archeology thing could change that up…hoping to see some more on that soon. As I’ve previously mentioned, I think movement is going to play a large role in Cata ( just like…Defile…oh god…), so we”ll be looking at a lot more focus on getting DoTs up quickly.
By the way, thanks to everyone who commented on my LK frustration post. The day after I posted that, the wow.com topic of the day was about people being stuck on LK…so I know we’re not alone. That’s the hidden downside of rolling a lockout, I suppose, especially if you get stuck in the same place. This reminds me a bit of Maly in my old guild, where we were consistently stuck on phase 3…it SUCKS to grind out the first few phases every time, to repeatedly die in P3. WoW needs a skip-forward button sometimes…a “hey, we’ve mastered this section, can we start the fight in P3?”