Mar 042012

Some quick notes about the stat changes announced in the latest Dev Watercooler. (This “work” thing that adults do sucks. I’m in a ‘write, play, sleep; pick two’ situation right now.)

Spell Resistance

  • Spell resistance is gone. There are no buffs that improve it and there shouldn’t be much, if any, spell resist gear left. We always thought the system was hard to understand and we weren’t getting much gameplay out of it. Now taking a step back, we can imagine how to develop a game where you’d want various forms of resist gear for certain situations and opponents. Resist gear could potentially be interesting, but it isn’t currently in World of Warcraft — the game has just been moving away from that sort of thing for years.
  • In the absence of spell resistance, there is no need for spell penetration on gear, so we’ll remove it as well.

I’m mostly in favor of this, but I think it makes the game less interesting for tanks. There’s been several bosses where it was necessary to juggle magical mitigation with physical mitigation, which led to some hard choices (Heroic Sindragosa springs immediately to mind). I’m usually in favor of simplifying uninteresting mechanics, but I’m not sure this one was uninteresting. If anything, I’d have liked to see all the schools collapsed into a single “Magic Resistance” stat that didn’t function in PvP (because, yes, Spell Penetration was dumb.)

Hit and Expertise

  • We still think having stats that can be capped is a good game design. Rather than focusing solely on stacking your best stat, you have to decide how valuable it is to hit your target before you go back to stacking your best stat. However, we are making some changes.
  • Hit and spell hit will no longer be separate stats. The hit stat negates melee miss and spell miss.
  • Expertise will negate dodge and spell miss, then parry.
  • Expertise will be listed as a percentage, just like hit, instead of having an intermediary stat.
  • We are normalizing hit with expertise, so that 1% of each stat will require the same amount of rating.
  • We are normalizing melee and spell hit, so that spell miss is equal to melee miss plus dodge.
    • Against an equal level creature: 6% spell miss, 3% melee miss, 3% dodge, 3% parry (from the front only), 3% block (from the front only).
    • Against a +1 level creature: 9% spell miss, 4.5% melee miss, 4.5% dodge, 4.5% parry (from the front only), 4.5% Block (from the front only).
    • Against a +2 level creature: 12% spell miss, 6% melee miss, 6% dodge, 6% parry (from the front only), 6% Block (from the front only).
    • Against a +3/boss level creature: 15% spell miss, 7.5% melee miss, 7.5% dodge, 7.5% parry (from the front only), 7.5% block (from the front only).
    • Ranged attacks will be able to be dodged. Hunters will benefit from expertise and will have it on their gear, which will also allow hunters and Enhancement shaman to share gear more easily.

I like these changes. Essentially, they listened to my rant a little while ago about how it wasn’t fair that bosses could dodge melee attacks but not spells. :) Actually, I think that’d make even more sense from an intuitive perspective; make spell and melee miss the same, but make dodge apply to spells as well. Of course, that probably breaks other stuff I’m not thinking about right now.


  •  The chance to block will be handled by a separate combat roll for each attack that is not avoided. In other words, we first determine if an attack misses, or is dodged or parried. If it is not, then the attack has a chance to be blocked.
  • This gives block a consistent value, regardless of avoidance. Currently block becomes more valuable the more you have.
  • Block will also have diminishing returns, much like dodge and parry. This doesn’t mean that the value of block will go down as you get more block. It means that it won’t go up by as much when you get more block.
  • We don’t expect Protection warriors or paladins to get “block capped” other than during temporary effects, such as mastery procs on trinkets. Block tanks will be balanced around this change. Our intent is to make playing block tanks more fun, not to nerf them.
  • Also notice how Shield Block and Shield of the Righteous have changed in Mists.

While I don’t think this change accomplishes what it says it’s going to (Theck has extensively discussed how changing to a two-roll system couples block to avoidance, and I won’t rehash that here), I’m not actively opposed to it. I do want to see how this affects masteries, however. If bullet 2 above read “This enables us to better balance tank mitigation for block and non-block tanks,” I’d have no problem with it. Really, the block problem wasn’t the implementation, it was the overly generous mastery scaling that allowed for capping. I’m not really seeing a change here; if wars/pals can get block capped with a trinket proc, then that better mean “in the last tier of heroic gear,” or they’ll just be capping again.


  • All spells and abilities will crit for double damage, baseline. There are a few exceptions where crits can get larger, but the default is x 2.0 for everyone.
  • This means that Enhancement shaman spells and rogue poisons will crit for double damage. Rogue poisons will also use the melee hit chance.

No complaints.


  •  We are renaming this stat to “Defense (PvP)” or possibly “PvP Defense.” All players will have 30% base Defense, the same way all characters have some base Stamina.
  • PvP gear will have Defense on it, as well as a new stat, “Power (PvP).” Power increases the damage you do to other players as well as the healing you do to other players in PvP situations.
  •  If you have a lot of Power, you’ll do more damage to other players, but they likely have Defense as well. If you fight players in lots of PvE gear, they’ll take more damage. Likewise, a player in PvE gear won’t have enough Power to effectively penetrate your Defense.
  • The names PvP Power and PvP Defense may not be final, but we’re leaning towards going with stat names that are obviously PvP-related, rather than “fluffier” names that might not be as easy to grasp. We want it to be clear to players that neither Power nor Defense have any relevance when fighting creatures, such as in dungeons or raids.
  • PvP gear will be lower in item level than PvE gear of an equivalent tier, however the Power and Defense stats will make sure that PvP gear is more powerful in PvP (both offensively and defensively) than PvE gear. In our budgeting system, the PvP stats will be free rather than causing other stats, such as Strength or haste, to be smaller as a result of including Power or Defense.
  • The goal of this change is to make it easier for a PvP player to participate in PvE, or for a PvE player to get started in PvP. Currently, we feel it is too large a barrier to go from one to the other, and the result has been that we see more and more players choosing to focus exclusively on only PvP or PvE. In earlier expansions, it was more feasible to use PvE gear in Arenas or Battlegrounds until you acquired the more useful PvP gear. The same was true of being able to use your PvP gear in a dungeon or raid until you acquired something better. In Cataclysm, stepping into PvP with no PvP gear would result in a player being so ineffective that it was difficult to even make progress towards acquiring PvP gear.
  • For the higher-end of PvP or PvE (say Gladiators or heroic raiders), we believe those players will still gravitate towards the dedicated PvP or PvE gear. It is the players who are working towards those two end games that will benefit more from some cross over.

Uhh….what? Can someone explain to me how bullet 3 (Players in PvE gear take more damage and do less damage, since they have less PVPP/PVPD) and 6 (We want players to be able to use their PvE gear in PvP) make any sense? Other than that, this change is mostly cosmetic, and makes gearing look very similar to SWTOR. I don’t really get the point of having two stats…why not just have the PvP stat (whatever you call it) buff both resistance and damage done? Reforging, perhaps?

  8 Responses to “Stat changes in Mists”

  1. I am probably wrong, I but I seem to remember having to choose between PVP Defense and PVP Offense as separate stats. So PVE players will either die easier OR do more damage to PVP players, instead of both.

  2. The problem with spell resist gear was that it was too binary. Either you really needed it or you didn’t. Even Heroic Sindragosa was kinda “ehhhhhh” since it was by and large far more effective to just stack Stamina.

    Hit+Exp was done mostly for Agility Mail (Enh Shaman / Hunters) and Str DPS gear (UH DKs). That’s fine.

    Block now has diminshing returns, so they won’t be passively capping. What’s more likely to happen (at least in current state) is for Bears to SD cap (ie. have it up 100% of the time). There will be some substantial nerfs to our rage generation (mostly from autoattacks) to prevent this from happening.

  3. I think the way the PVP bullets about people in PVE gear taking more and doing less damage and about them wanting people to be able to PVP in PVE gear jibe by considering the 30% base PVP defense stat baked into your character.

    They don’t want you to have to craft/farm up a full set of PVP gear before you can even step into a BG without getting mercilessly slaughtered. Think of it as the current system, only your character has 1500 resil without wearing any PVP gear. This means that you could jump in a BG with a full set of raid gear on becuase you don’t have any PVP gear yet, and while you would still get hit harder than the people in pvp gear, you’d have a decent health pool and dmg output (unlike if you crafted the crappy pvp blues) and a decent PVP defense base to get you by while you slowly started adding in PVP pieces from the current tier.

    On the other side taking resil off the item budget ensures that PVP gear is viable to jump into PVE content with.

    Then add in the PVP power stat to ensure PVP gear is always BiS for PVP, and lower the ilvl of PVP gear slightly to ensure PVE gear is always BiS for PVE, and you arrive at their new design.

    The only reason I can see for the two seperate PVP stats is that it sounds like they’re giving you a base PVP defense but not a base PVP power, so they made two stats to reflect the two numbers that will be in your char sheet and be different. I’m assuming you won’t be able to reforge to/from either (much like the curent resil).

  4. It’s pretty simple PVP gear has historicly fallen off in terms of damage to PVE gear. With this model which is Swtor’s modle PVE gear will do less damage to a person in full PVP gear based solely on the fact that they don’t have any PVPP to break through their PVPD.

    PVPP multiplies damage done to a player so a person in full PVE gear running around in a BG is more likely to get one shot.

    Your right though this is SWTOR’s expertise modle and while splitting it into 2 stats might be fun for Tank Spec’d RBG’rs I imagen this will be melted into one stat before release.

  5. I like this comment: “stat names that are obviously PvP-related, rather than “fluffier” names that might not be as easy to grasp”

    So the developers think that people get too confused over the name of a stat and need it pointing out what exactly it means? Just get a little more condescending Mr Dev Guy. :)

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