Blizzcon 2013 – Itemisation Overhaul

The gear players receive in World of Warcraft has undergone change after change over the past few expansions. Hit and expertise have changed functions and values, Spirit became an option for caster damage classes, Mastery gave us more diversity in gear, and much more.

Enough is enough, say Blizzard.

First and foremost, developers have stated that Dodge, Parry, Expertise and Hit did not seem like fun stats to have and manage for your character – so they are gone.

The other feature to go the way of the dodo is reforging. Blizzard have stated before that they feel that reforging has not given players the customisation option that they envisioned, and is instead another min-maxing tool with little alternative – especially with addons like reforgeLITE which optimise your reforges for you.

You what mate?
You what mate?

Say goodbye to your 2 million Chaos Bolt crits – the item squish is being implemented in Warlords of Draenor. Blizzard have emphasised the fact that your relative power will remain unchanged – everything else in the game will be scaled down alongside it. A mob on the Timeless Isle will still go splat within 10 seconds, it will just have a lot less health and you will not hit as hard. As the game has progressed, and the huge leaps in numbers between tiers and expansions has inflated, developers were at risk of hitting coding limitations with numbers so big.

Players can still enchant gear, but the amount of items which can be enchanted will decrease. To match this, the items which can be enchanted will have a greater number of enchantments available.

Items will now have one gem slot on them, and gems will become more powerful as a result. Socket bonuses are on the way out too, as are meta gems.

This just in - diamond no longer girl's best friend.
This just in – diamond no longer girl’s best friend.

Perhaps the most useful change in terms of bag space – gear will now change dependent on your chosen specialisation. No more Player-versus-Player Restoration set, then a separate set for Enhancement – the stats will change dynamically as you change spec, meaning your bags can be free to house all the other useless tidbits that you find throughout the game!

Rings, necklaces, trinkets and weapons are going to be more role focused, meaning they should be keeping their stats.

Armour has been a stat that Blizzard have struggled with, but they intend to make it a very desirable stat for tanking classes and damage reduction. Spirit is also getting the same treatment for healing specialised classes.

Turns out having more armour does protect you - who knew?
Turns out having more armour does protect you – who knew?

New tertiary stats are being introduced, and they do not count towards the item level budget on items. These include:

– Lifesteal: Much like the weapon enchantment of the same name, your attacks have a chance to steal a portion of your enemy’s health as a percentage of damage dealt to the enemy. Essentially, your attacks will pinch a bit of their health, and the more Lifesteal gear you have, the more you’ll nick.

– Avoidance: Rather than being flat out avoidance of damage, this stat will absorb a percentage of area-of-effect damage – rather useful for a lot of raiding encounters.

– Sturdiness: Those who get into the wars a lot will appreciate this one – durability damage will be lessened if you have gear with this stat on it, meaning a slightly less daunting repair bill after a raid.

– Speed: Rather self-explanatory, this one makes you move faster. Increased movement has been worked into most major boot enchants at max level, but probably not any long with the introduction of this stat.

– Cleave: Cleave increases your area-of-effect damage dealing capabilities, pure and simple. No relation to High Overlord Saurfang’s preferred method of attack.

These are by no means definitive, so keep an eye out for any changes. Also, are there any stat concepts you would like to see introduced in Warlords of Draenor?

Author: graemefinch

Teacher, avid Warcrafter, gifted Dungeons and Dragons character creator. Passionate about all things high fantasy and RPG.

2 thoughts on “Blizzcon 2013 – Itemisation Overhaul”

  1. I think some hardcore players will not like seeing things like parry and dodge vanish. I knew a lot of players that worked hard to get those things capped.

    1. Indeed – it’s quite frustrating to get to know a way of gearing yourself, only to have to learn something else for the next expansion too. Hopefully this will be a more permanent approach, especially if they’re scrapping the stats altogether.

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