Cataclysm, Stats, blah, blah, blah.

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

5 Replies to “Cataclysm, Stats, blah, blah, blah.”

  1. A quick one on tanks:
    (All information is based off the new stuff posted, and the old stuff from BlizzCon)
    My understanding is that mastery is what will be making tanks tanks crit immune, etc. Mastery will make you better at what you do, be it DPS, heals or tanking, and it will know what to make you better at based off of where your talents are spent. So to be a tankadin, you have to go down the prot tree. Not because there will be a talent like survival of the fittest, but because if you don’t you will simply not be crit immune etc. They kept on talking about removing the pure stat boosting talents in favor of talents that do stuff (I assume they mean proc/use talents, and possibly talents like the glyphs that modify how a spell works). All of the pure number buffs we are used to will instead come from mastery.

    That all said:
    I understand where long time players are coming from, missing the amount of devotion that was required to raid during vanilla, and even BC. I understand why people vent about. Khaas at has a good post on it today.

    However, I’m not a ‘hardcore’ raider. Never was. I didn’t actually raid till Wrath (mainly b/c I don’t have the patience to deal with guild drama). Yesterday I got to tag along and heal for another guild (10 man, they haven’t dropped Rotface yet I think) where I got to: one shot all of ToC (first time I have seen even Faction Champs), do Ony (some one from the guild still needs her head), and the weekly raid (ignis). And in the past I have seen up to Rotface with them.

    Obviously the game is more accessible these days, and I think I have to like it because it benefits people like me a lot. I also think they need to come up with some way to reward those players that want to put in the time and effort, and not just something as simple as hard modes. I think hard modes are a great start, but I hope that they improve on them some how in Cata…

  2. Thorim-25-hardmode when it first came out had everyone wearing a piece of frost resist gear. I think we also had them doing the same for Hodir-25-hardmode, since we used 4 healers for that fight. Ah, the memories…

  3. “It was freaking HARD, but not impossible, to get to 490 defense plus 295 resistance. It took juggling of gear, gems and enchants.”

    Oh yeah – I had a set of gear I used on my warrior tank at the time. I had a clown-suit set of gear that was gemmed with void-resist crystals, and all other kinds of goodness (I used the 3 socket dagger from Kara). I was able to single tank both phases, but it was always a juggle.

    I really don’t think that changing the gear sets diminishes the work done by us in previous expansions and raids. That’s like saying nerfing an instance or giving out T9 gear when T10 is available reduces the efforts of folks who raided for the gear. The game changes, and I think it is mostly for the good.

  4. thansal:

    Obviously the game is more accessible these days, and I think I have to like it because it benefits people like me a lot. I also think they need to come up with some way to reward those players that want to put in the time and effort, and not just something as simple as hard modes.

    I do like that it’s more accessible, don’t get me wrong, but I REALLY agree with what you’re saying about rewarding people with something beyond hard modes. I hate hard modes. I especially hate TOGC and that instance’s hard modes. I don’t think killing the same boss with a different strategy or set of rules is a reward. I think of it as dumb.

    Sarth was different — that was the first hard mode anyone saw and it was something you could change. You could do 1/2/3 drakes up and each drake being up changed something, altered the strat. So it wasn’t just a Sarth kill, it was Sarth + 1/2/3 drakes, leading to four different fights. It changed EVERYTHING. It’s not like, you know, Northrend Beasts, where the impale hits harder and you don’t get a speed boost for Icehowl.

    I do like the accessibility of the content, though, because it makes for easier recruiting, for example. That’s important for guilds and I recognize it. But I don’t like that “heroic” gear and “hard modes” are the “reward” for being dedicated to the game.

    I’ll check out that link too, btw. Thanks!


    Ah, righto, Sif and the blizzard. I think my Bronzebeard guild only tried hardmode a couple of times, so I forgot about Sif. :) I can see how that would be useful, but it doesn’t require 365 or whatever of some form of resist gear. :)


    That’s hilarious that you solo-tanked both Hydross phases! I would have loved to see your gear set! I was the idiot who tanked the adds for a few resets in there, so my set was probably almost as silly. :)

    As to my feeling that it diminishes the work we’ve done in the past… I suppose I should really say that it’s *my* feeling. It’s certainly not fact, but it’s how Blizzard is making me feel at the moment.

    I DO like that T9 is easily accessible. I think it addresses a huge problem from BC in that if someone wanted to apply to a Hyjal/BT guild, they needed to be, at minimum, in SSC/TK gear (T5) in order to make any kind of impact. I lost a few raiders because I could NOT bring them to Hyjal/BT because they weren’t pulling their weight and they didn’t want to go to SSC/TK because it was boring.

    I think a lot of the changes are mostly for the good, but I’m not sure I agree with the overall dumbing-down that leads to some of the “phenomenal” puggers I’ve run into. ;)

  5. Here is just a theory on why Blizzard is going down the path to trivializing all aspects of the game…

    Blizzard no longer believes that WOW is a game, but rather is a social network wrapped in an MMO. So game play is becoming simplistic and almost secondary to more social aspects such as in game events, holidays, or activities that can be done with smaller groups of people.

    Blizzard has “hastened” the transition of its game into a social network over challenging content and game play by creating an environment where loyalty is NOT rewarded but actually holds a person back. With instant server transfers, no penalties for leaving a guild, and name / gender/ faction changes its all made guild hoping rampant for even the most serious of raiding guilds. And this has lead to people becoming LESS patient when taking on new content. Can’t kill a boss with your current guild, ninja transfer and you can be instantly three bosses ahead of where your current guild is. Then in a few months jump ship again with a new name, race, gender, etc, when you’re existing guild bottoms out.

    Serious long-term raiding guilds are going to have issues in the expansion. And I can foresee that even smaller guilds with tight-knit groups are only going to fair a little better. Guilds and those that make them up are going to have to evolve to this new reality and finds ways to counter act these forces. There are plenty of ideas for how this could be handled, and I would love to start a thread to discuss this more.

    But Kurn is lazy…no forum for us!

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