Thursday, March 01, 2012

Pandaria Stat Changes

Ghostcrawler has posted a Dev Watercooler about upcoming Stat Changes in Mists of Pandaria.  Here are some reactions.

Spell Resistance

No more spell resistance. Pretty much the culmination of many years of moving in this directions. In the beginning everyone had to collect Fire Resistance sets for Ragnaros. Then only the tank had to collect resistance sets. Then maybe only one or two pieces for one or fights. And now none.

I'll kind of miss it, even though it was a lot of running around for a single fight. And then, finally completing your tank's set and watching him leave for another guild was terribly annoying.

Paladins also lose our Resistance Auras. However, Aura Mastery has been changed to reduce elemental damage directly, so we won't see any great change.

Hit and Expertise

I really like the linear nature of increasing hit requirements. Previously, there was a large step between +2 levels and +3 levels, especially for casters. This invariably caused issues with people learning to raid.

I like the consolidation of spell hit and hit into one stat. It's a lot simpler and straightforward. Same with the normalization of Expertise.

Being able to dodge arrows is also a welcome change, and having Hunters being able to use expertise will make gearing them and shaman a bit easier.

Casters using Expertise to reduce spell miss is a little bit weird. But it does give them another stat to play with. It's interesting that there's a slight difference in Hit and Expertise between casters and physical. Casters need a combination of Hit and Expertise that adds up to 15%. Physical needs 7.5% Hit and 7.5% Expertise.


The double roll is actually how The Old Republic handles block. This probably makes block a lot harder to cap out, especially with diminishing returns. It may also devalue block, depending on how it's calculated. If 20% block means that 20% of hits are blocked, compared to 20% of attacks being blocked, that means that as you add more dodge and parry, the number of blocks goes down.

Update: Theck has a really good critique of the new block, with actual math demonstrating the point above.

It's also interesting to note that abilities like Shield of the Righteous now guarantee that the next hit will be blocked.


Resilience is now becoming two stats: a PvP Offense stat and a PvP Defense stat. It's interesting that they are explicitly calling out the stats as a PvP stat. I do hope it cuts down on the number of tanks in PvP gear.

This is somewhat similar to the The Old Republic model, only they use a single stat for both sides. Having two stats might make tuning a little easier. Like if Blizzard wants PvP to speed up, they can reduce the value of defense, or increase the value of offense. Plus it gives two stats to play with for gemming.

The two stats will also be free in terms of cost. But the PvP item will be a slightly lower ilevel than the PvE item. But the PvE item will lack the two PvP stats. So gear will look like this:

PvE Item
100 Str
100 Sta
100 Haste
100 Critical

PvP Item
90 Str
90 Sta
90 Haste
90 Critical
90 PvP Offense
90 PvP Defense

So the PvP item is strictly worse in PvE, but is pretty close, and not as bad as PvP stats are today. And the PvE stats lack the Offense and Defense stats to really function well in PvP.


I think the PvE changes are pretty good, smoothing out the game and making it more intuitive, while giving classes more stats to play with. As for the PvP changes, they look good, but we'll see how they turn out.

The problem with PvE/PvP gear is that Blizzard wants the low end to be able to use either armor in either setting, but wants the high end to strictly use the relevant type. That's a pretty hard goal to hit.


  1. The expertise to spell hit deal isn't for casters, it's for Enhance Shaman and rogues, who have to hit the spell hit cap and the expertise soft cap. The basic melee hit cap + the expertise soft cap will also give them the spell hit cap. I think it's a phenomenal solution to a rather annoying problem, and as long as they don't put exp on int gear, it'll never come in conflict with traditional casters.

    I'm a little more aprehensive at the idea of putting block on a second roll, AND giving it diminishing returns. Either one might be needed, but implementing both runs the risk of rendering mastery for shield tanks into a stat that they actively avoid.

    I'm a little confused about their decisions with resiliance. Their stated goal is to try and blur the barriers between pve and pvp gear, and that's a goal that I don't agree with. Making PvP have double coefficients, like Expertise does in Swtor, makes the gap between someone with a lot of the pvp stat and someone with none of the pvp stat even greater. As it stands, resil doesn't increase the damage that you do to other players, and stacking resil in a way gives players baseline resilience because it reduces the amount of throughput that the player is capable of, but now, a player with a lot of PvP gear won't suffer that loss of throughput in PvP, and will still have solid defenses.

  2. This would be the perfect time of finally removing the hit stat and having spirit affect the chance to hit. For all classes.

  3. Rennaissance Man has the right of it I feel. Making Resillience into defensive AND offensive seems like it will worsen the problem of PvPing in the wrong gear, not fix it. I do see it working if the piece of PvP gear you made up looks more like

    90 str
    90 stam
    100 Haste
    100 Crit
    20 PvP Offense
    20 PvP defense

    Assuming PvP offense scales similar to str/agi/int and defense scales similar to having more health, this piece would be slightly worse for PvE in terms of raw stats, but slightly better at PvP, giving you an equivalent of 110 str and stam against other players. The difference would be slight, but would add up over an entire set of PvP gear.

  4. @RenaissanceMan, it gives them two dials to turn. Remember that players will get 30% PvP Defense baseline, and presumably 0% PvP Offense to start with.

    That means that low-rank or introductory PvP is balanced around 30/0. In theory, that should slow down low-rank PvP, making it an easier experience.

    High level PvP will be 30+X/Y, which is a different ratio, and will result in a different environment.

    In theory, you can adjust the values of both stats to produce different environments at different points. Of course it is an experiment, so we'll see how it will turn out.

  5. They really should get rid of expertise and just make it all hit. And then make hit and spirit interchangeable. It's pretty weak to have it this way; as it stands expertise seems really stupid and limited compared to hit, especially when everything is balanced so that everyone needs exactly the same amount of miss/dodge/parry removal.

    It also makes gearing more annoying for melee; having two caps is harder to manage than having one.

    if it's tanking threat that is the concern, just make hit remove miss, dodge and then parry in that order. I guess the only thing that expertise wouldn't do is double dip below the dodge cap, but I'm okay with that.

  6. Interesting changes, which is in line with the changes that they seem to have been making for the last few expansion. Streamlining stats and making it easier to gear. It probably drivers the min maxers crazy as they have to re-theorycraft everything they just theorycrafted.

  7. There is only one class/role combination which rolls for int plate gear and that is the holy paladin. It is a complete joke to gear up this spec. For example if I go tank on my paladin and we don't have an other paladin (not unlikely!) all the int plate gear is 100% mine, and if there is a retri who wants it for OS we both roll for it, but that is not very common. All other specs share gear with other classes or specs. And if your paladin is holy and int plate gear drops its 100% yours in a 10man. In begin of Cata this lead to my paladin alt I barely played (a few BH + BWD/BoT) having better gear than most of my other alts. So they fix Expertise on mail so the mail agi gear can be shared between hunter and enhancement shaman -a good thing- but they do not or have not fixed this blessing (or curse, depending on your viewpoint; since in a 10m guild this means lots of disenchants) for the holy paladin.

    The problem with the gear in general is that the more you play the game the more powerful you become. So your stats increase because of better gear, same with other players (PvE and PvP). And then they want to make entry more accessible by either easy conent or by nerfing the gear upgrades (which then gives no incentive to do the content).

  8. This will be very messy and complicated for Hunters. Primarily because of the difference in damage dealing classification. MM are almost entirely physical, SV are almost entirely magic/spell, and BM is a mixture dependent on gear/level.

    This is contrary to the simplification the Devs claim is the goal.