Quick Thoughts on the proposed Gear Changes

My first thoughts on reading Blizzard’s new blog post about itemization changes in the next expansion can best be described as “NO NO NO NO NO” said in a tone similar to that of a certain raid boss. Once I’d stopped throwing my toys out of the pram, I decided to step back and unpick the aspects I find most concerning.

1. Spirit otherwise known as some healers are more equal than others

Secondary stats on armor pieces will also no longer include Spirit, nor will they include Bonus Armor, which are reserved exclusively for non-armor pieces (which are explained below).
Non-Armor Pieces: Weapons, Rings, Cloak, Necklace, and Trinket 

Secondary Stats
The information about secondary stats on armor above also applies here. In addition, Spirit and Bonus Armor can appear on these items. Spirit is only useful for healers. Bonus Armor is generally only useful for tanks. A Spell Power piece without Spirit may be attractive to healers or may be attractive to DPS casters instead.

  • The intent of including Spirit and Bonus Armor on these pieces is to make sure some items are still valuable only to healer and tank specs, helping to make sure they don’t have too much competition for gear against the more numerous DPS players in a given group. These are also stats we consider interesting, because how much of each of these stats a tank or healer might want is more subjective. For example, one tank in a group might prefer more Bonus Armor while another might prefer more Haste.
  • In the case of Spirit, imagine that stacking Spirit on every non-armor slot will give you more mana regeneration than you would reasonably need. That is to say, you likely won’t need Spirit on every single spot in order to function as a healer.

So in a nutshell, the only items with spirit on them will be the incidentals. The only way in which this will work is if all healers require virtually the same amount of spirit to function properly in a raid environment. In the last nine years of WoW this has not been the case (ignoring those healers who didn’t need spirit to start with) so that doesn’t inspire confidence now. Their use of “likely won’t” is even more concerning. I suppose I want the ability to stack spirit if I choose rather than having to accept that someone else thinks that X is a suitable maximum for any given level of content. What I want is likely to vary from content to content and fight to fight and yes I know I’m picky.

2. Secondary stats set in stone

  • Secondary stats don’t change based on spec on armor pieces (or any piece).

What I want on my dps spec is unlikely to be optimum for my healing spec therefore I will still require the bag space to carry around two lots of gear.

3. RNG is not exciting. It’s frustrating, annoying, petty and generally irritating (see Timeless Isle) but not exciting.

  • The design intent of these additional qualities on items is to make itemization more exciting and to give it more longevity. Rather than waiting weeks to get a breastplate, you might get one pretty quickly—but to get a true “best-in-slot” item will take much more effort and a bit of luck. Here are a few more points to consider for these properties:

I’d rather wait 15 weeks for the item I want to drop rather than get 14 second rate versions. Assuming (which I know is dangerous) that there are still haste caps, then the ebb and flow as you attempt to get lucky with the pieces you really want will get old fast. I’m also curious about how the tertiary stats will work as for example as a Healer I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want life stealing on anything and the same could potentially be said for cleave.

4. PvP gear

Although there was no mention of PvP gear in the post, I find myself wondering if the intent is to make that a lucky dip too in that you buy a token with your currency and then with fingers crossed hope it turns into something useful. If not then more people might be drawn towards PvP gear simply because you can see what you’re getting before hand. Although if PvP gear continues to be of a lower itemization than PvE this might allay that.

That said, we aren’t even in beta yet. The next few months most definitely will be interesting and in the words of rather annoying robot from Ulduar..

I’m ready to play!