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A new post by Eyonix on the official forums gives a lot more information of what is changing with stats and why than what has been provided up to this point. Many players have worried that the changes coming were too drastic, that too much simplification was going to take place. Many other players have been eagerly awaiting the changes complaining that many of the existing stats are too complicated to figure out. There has been only tidbits to go on until this point though. Now that we have been enlightened with more details, it’s time to take a look at the potential upcoming changes and make some educated guesses as to their impact.

To make everything easy to follow I am going to show a section of Eyonix’s post and then discuss it below. This way you can see what Blizzard thinks and then what I believe it means for the game. To do this there are three sections: stats still found on gear, stats removed from gear but still in the game, and stats that are disappearing completely. Please remember as I go through these stats that everything here is subject to change as we are dealing with an expansion that is not even in open beta yet. What is described here is probably only slightly more firm than jello.

Starting from the top, many players are already complaining about the stamina changes and what they mean to tanks compared to everyone else’s health ratios. I think everyone assumes that they mean tank gear, where they actually say plate gear. Do not forget that DPS Warriors, Paladins, and Death Knights currently have much higher health pools than say a Rogue or Mage. I believe that this is what they are referring too, not bringing everyone to tank level health. If this is in fact the case if it was applied now it would mean DPS / Healers would move closer to the 30-32k health points when raid geared, as DPS plate is. This would allow an extra hit before being killed, which is much needed as they are simply too fragile in some fights currently.

Spirit being removed from non-healer gear is a blessing to all players since it is a stat that no one other than healers really likes, but has to deal with due to its placement on items. The two exceptions seems to be Elemental Shaman and Balance Druids, but apparently they will have a mechanic in place to deal with it. Overall not bad as many players never did understand exactly how spirit converted to mana regen when compared to MP5. Now that it is just healers that need to look at it, they already know how it interacts and deal with it already.

Attack power has always been a slightly weird bonus on items, since it is generally found on items with either strength or agility anyway. This meant the item was providing a double boost to attack power, one direct and one indirect, and it confused some players. It also factored in differently for different classes where some attack power was better than agility or strength and other classes liked agility or strength better than attack power. Worse yet, you can find many items that while they had agility, also had enough attack power so that players that should be focusing on strength still found the item to be an upgrade. Cleaning this up means less confusion on gear.

Spell power will also be gone from pretty much everything other than weapons. To me this will make caster gear feel kind of hollow as so much will be based on Intellect the stats display could look pretty bare. However leaving it on weapons allows some pretty big bonuses if they choose on one of the most important slots for a caster.

Armor penetration was always a strange beast, as many people never figured it out, and those that did stacked it like crazy. Worse yet, it was only ok in low values, but insanely good in high amounts. It got to be the stat for physical DPS and has already gone through several changes to tone it down. I always liked the complexity though of figuring out when in your gearing stage you should really focus on it, and how much you needed to get to make it worth while. I can see the issues it created though, all I can say is at least it will stick around in a reduced capacity to keep some interesting effects.

The block value change has been a long time coming, since two block stats confused many beginning tanks anyway. Also when tanks with shields stacked block value for trivial content like instances and heroics they could essentially run the instance without taking any damage other than on bosses. On the flip side on hard hitting raid bosses, a few thousand damage less meant next to nothing compared to higher dodge or parry values. Now that block will always mitigate 30% damage, there really is no need for block value.

The stat system in World of Warcraft is already a very simple one. While some stats interact in some pretty fun ways, the math behind them is all relatively simple to figure out and deal with. In fact almost to the point of being too simple already. This new simplification seems to me to be too much, but then again I always like math.

On the flip side, if you are one of the masses, this is a great change for you. In fact if I ever was going to just play for fun and not be my normal egotistical competitive self, I could potentially be for these changes. As it stands though, sorry my ego and competitive steak wins out. 

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