Serious question, here.
What the hell is the big deal about consolidating the amount of junk found on armor these days? People seem to be freaking the hell out over all the stat changes that Cataclysm will bring us.
It’s one thing to freak out about LOSING YOUR MANA BAR (I’m a hunter at heart; this totally freaks me out) but it’s quite another to freak out about attack power being derived entirely from agility or strength and spellpower from intellect.
Things aren’t really changing all that much, people. Hell, for hunters (apart from the mana bar to focus bar change), things are going back to how they were in Vanilla! 2AP for 1 AGI? YES, PLEASE. (I am still freaked out by the focus bar and even this 2AP per 1 AGI thing isn’t un-freaking me out.)
I don’t know about you, but this “armor penetration” thing always confused the crap out of me. I knew it was good and I knew that if you hit a certain level of it without procs that Marksmanship was totally overpowered, but since I don’t raid primarily as a hunter, I haven’t paid much attention to it. I gem agility and I’m survival, end of story.
I do hope, however, that hunter mail will not have Expertise on it. It would be like, I don’t know, being a death knight tank who has a piece of gear with shield block on it, you know? ;D
Speaking of tanking, I’m not freaking out about it, but I’m not sure I like the complete removal of Defense Rating. Has it always been a serious pain to become crit immune for various tanking classes? Yes. But that was part of the challenge! I remember getting gear lists from my two main tanks in BC as we headed into Serpentshrine Cavern and I sat there for two hours doing the math to gear them/gem them/enchant them properly to ensure they were crit immune AND resist capped for Frost or Nature, depending on which phase of Hydross they were tanking. And I did the same for them when they tanked the flames on the Illidan fight.
It was freaking HARD, but not impossible, to get to 490 defense plus 295 resistance. It took juggling of gear, gems and enchants. I always told my tanks to never, ever throw anything away from their previous tiers of gear so that they could be used in a resist set. Blizzard always has a couple of resistance fights, so it never makes sense to throw away something that can be retooled into a resistance item.
But then, have we really seen a resistance fight in Wrath of the Lich King? Nothing in Naxx except that Sapphiron became a bit easier with a piece or two of Frost Resistance gear. Didn’t need any for Obsidian Sanctum or Eye of Eternity. Again, only Hodir’s fight really benefitted at all from any kind of resistance in Ulduar, but it was easily doable without. TOC required no kind of resistance gear at all. And thus far, the only fight in ICC that I’ve seen that could really benefit from say, one piece of Frost Resistance gear is Sapphiron. But, uh, no gimmicky fights, really.
I also see some issues. The devs have said:
“Defense – Defense is being removed from the game entirely. Tanking classes should expect to become uncrittable versus creatures just by shifting into Defensive Stance, Frost Presence, Bear Form, or by using Righteous Fury.”
So… just by turning on Righteous Fury, I’m going to be crit-immune from bosses? Even while casting? (Which currently opens you up to being crit, even if you have 540 defense, because you cannot parry or block while casting — which means, idiot paladin tanks, you do not ever cast Exorcism while in melee range of the mob. At least for now. :P)
The only way I could see that this could be “properly” done is if you have two kinds of Defensive Stance, Frost Presence, Bear Form and Righteous Fury. One kind would be untalented; these are the base abilities that come with the class. Defensive Stance would reduce your damage taken, damage done and increase your threat. Frost Presence would improve your armor and your stamina and your threat, Bear Form would retain all its goodies and Righteous Fury would still cause additional holy threat.
But if you then added talents deep into the protection trees of warriors and paladins, the feral druid tree and… I guess all three of the DK trees… then you could do this:
Improved Defensive Stance: Adds 10% bonus stamina and reduces the chance to be critically hit by melee attacks by 6%.
Improved Righteous Fury: Adds 10% bonus stamina and reduces the chance to be critically hit by melee attacks by 6%.
Survival of the Fittest: unchanged, basically.
Improved Presence: While in Frost Presence, you receive 10% bonus stamina and your chance to be critically hit by melee attacks is reduced by 6%.
Or something. I just find something wrong with the idea that I could just turn on RF and be able to tank something (albeit poorly) in my holy gear without being crit. I find that it is a disservice to all the people who have ever tanked before, who have struggled to find that last piece that will pop them over the required defense numbers so that they’d be immune to crits by heroic or raid bosses.
Then again, while playing on Argent Dawn last night, I realized that the Defias over in Northshire are neutral and don’t aggro you. Humans who are levelling now for the first time have NO IDEA how painful it was to gather Milly’s Harvest or even CLEAR to Garrick Padfoot, when all those mobs were aggressive.
This, more than basic stat changes, is what truly concerns me about the direction of the game. Are they opening it up to more people, making things more accessible to others? Yes.
But in so doing, they seem to be disrespecting the hours and hours of effort, of blood, sweat and tears, that their old playerbase put in.
It’s not to say I haven’t benefitted from the dumbing-down of WoW, because I have. My hunter didn’t have to wait 6 hours between demon spawns for the Rhok’delar quests. My druid levelled uber-fast, getting a mount at 20, getting an epic mount at 40 and got the Tome of Cold Weather Flying at 68. I’ve had dual spec on my druid and shammy since they were both level 40.
But, I am a sucker for memories. I remember attuning practically all of my old, old guild to Molten Core. I ran Jailbreak for Ony attunements more times than I can possibly count (and still hate Reginald Windsor TO THIS VERY DAY.). I remember succeeding in the 45m Strat Undead run with seconds to spare — and then it bugging out (Baron died, Ysida Harmon lived, but had a grey question mark over her head instead of yellow. Turns out that my pet or our warlock’s pet got the killing blow, causing it to bug.).
Those were all amazing memories. Even the bugged-out Baron kill. Even the 502 times it feels like I ran BRD.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, in WoW has compared to the fun I had pre-BC. Sure, some things came close (downing Vashj, Kael, Archimonde, Illidan, becoming a Hand of A’dal), but while I felt accomplished during most of BC, it never quite felt as epic as my first Lucifron kill or my epic bow quest or, for that matter, dinging Kurn 60.
So to hear that they’re messing with stuff that’s been in the game since I started playing, to hear that NOW, five years plus after releasing the game, NOW they decide to give hunters a non-mana resource system, NOW they decide to remove defense, NOW they decide to stop with the gimmicky resist fights… It disrespects the hours I’ve put into this game. It rewrites history. “Do you remember the epic battles between Tarren Mill and Southshore” will become “Hah, do you remember that thing called an ‘attunement’?!” or “What do you mean, hunters used to DRINK?” or “What the hell are you talking about, defense?”
And honestly, this all makes me sad. I guess it’s inevitable that things will be changing on a grand scale, because they’re basically redoing all of Azeroth… but some things, even some annoying things, shouldn’t change.
… having said all of that, I still don’t have a problem with most of the changes dealing with armor stats. :P