Friday, June 01, 2012

Spirit as the Primary Healer Stat

Currently in WoW, healer and caster gear overlap. Both roles use Intellect as the primary stat. Intellect + Hit gear is considered caster-only, Intellect + Spirit gear is considered healer-only, and other Intellect gear can be used by both roles.

What if healers got their spell power from Spirit, rather than Intellect?

That would make Spirit a primary stat, not a secondary stat. It would make the division between healers and casters more obvious, and would have them chase their own unique gear.

From an aesthetic standpoint it would be nice, as each "attribute" is now a primary stat. Instead of having four of them be primary, and one secondary, which seems weird. It would be a lot easier for Blizzard to control healer mana regen, as both spell power and mana regen would key off the same stat.

It would prevent mistakes like when a healer takes a hit piece of gear, or a caster takes Spirit gear. It also wouldn't be that hard to adjust current gear, as a lot of healer gear has Spirit already.

Spirit gear would also balance melee gear. Right now, melee gear has a hard split between Strength and Agility gear, while caster/healer gear has a soft split. A hard split would make the number of people vying for each piece more equitable. Compare the number of people in a raid who want an Agility ring to those who want an Intellect ring. Usually there's twice or more people gunning for that Intellect ring. That means that the Intellect ring has to drop more often to keep things even.

There are several downsides to this idea, however. The biggest is that it does create several new categories of "single-spec" gear: Intellect leather (balance druid); Spirit mail (resto shaman); and Intellect mail (elemental shaman). As well, paladins would no longer be able to use caster swords. Druids and Shaman would need to collect separate DPS and healing sets.

It's probably too big of a change for Pandaria. But it might be a worthwhile change for the next expansion, especially if we get a new spell casting class that wears mail.


  1. It also doesn't work because it once again ties a single stat to both throughput and mana regen (Intellect today is far stronger than Spirit for mana regen for a majority of healers due to mana pool inflation), which Blizzard didn't like. So in MoP mana pools are static, and Spirit is for Regen and Intellect is for throughput. Other casters Intellect is for throughput and Hit is for, well, accuracy. By making the stats independant of one another, it allows you to pick and choose what to stack rather than always stacking a single stat, which is arguably more interesting, but not so complex as to drive people away.

  2. This seems to be advocating a return +damage and +healing gear. I thought this battle was already fought back in BC.

  3. It's not quite the same as +healing. +healing was good for *only* healing

    For healers, Spirit would give +dmg/healing (spell power), so you could still use it to power your dps spells.

    It would be like Agi and Str. Both stats give Attack Power, but for different classes/specs.

  4. The problem with focussing gear too much to a role in the past was that it ended up being wasted if you didn't have that particular class/spec along in your raid or dungeon (Holy Paladins being a prime example). Shadow priests etc. were specifically given a talent to convert spirit to hit so they could share gear. It might be less of an issue in MoP with the loot being less random.

  5. We have a problem with gear not equally hard for players and specs to get. This problem is bigger than for healers, so you are not pinpointing the problem. This problem is bigger in 10m than 25m, and 25m has their own share of other problems 10m doesn't have. In PvP the problem is virtually non-existant. For example, a holy paladin is easiest to gear up because all plate/int goes to him. The monk does add in, giving class armor type now 3-3-2-3 with mail only type with 2 classes. The mail users are also easy to gear up. It obviously also depends on compositons of 10m raiding guilds. Said problem is easily solved: make shaman and paladin share the same loot. Even if we get a 12th class in a future patch, the holy paladin is still in advantage in 10m raiding.

    "Intellect + Spirit gear is considered healer-only"

    Is incorrect. There are 6 ranged, 5 of whom are caster: warlock, mage, moonkin, shadow priest, and elemental shaman. The latter 3 convert spirit to hit due to a talent on a 1:1 basis. All these classes take this talent because it also has another important talent build-in (2 in 1). If you look at these 3 classes, it shouldn't be a surprise to you why precisely these 3 classes convert spirit and hit: to make them easier gear up their OS (even if they are healer with caster DPS OS). Spirit used to be a viable stat for warlocks and mages because it converted to hit for them too, this was changed in IIRC patch 4.0.1.

    There was a recent blue talking about healing in MoP. They're already changing intellect for healers in MoP. Spirit will be about regen, but intellect only increases the output (damage/healing) and not the amount of mana; your mana pool will be static. This further balances talents like rapture, and makes the last patch not faceroll for healers due to their huge mana pool. Said change completely destroyed affliction warlock on PTR because they went OOM and had to life tap a lot. From what I understood this has been fixed approx a week or so ago. My point is that there is already a lot of development on the subject you post about.

    Also, having my OS gear correct is already hard enough with tier pieces and reforges. I'd have to compete even more with warlocks and mages on the gear for their MS because all of the caster DPS are suddenly going to roll for int+hit and int. The healers would have to compete less on gear, but they cannot use their OS at all in start of new patch. The OS of a shadow priest is easier geared up than a feral druid with resto OS but that feral druid has the option to pick a guardian OS or moonkin MS. Plus, if you take for example strength users they can use all stats still on their OS (mastery is always good, just not optimal, too much stamina is wasted but increases survivability). This is similar as it is for spirit users. In your healer gear DPSing means you are over hit cap in patch 4.3, and healing in your DPS gear means you don't have enough spirit.

    In short, I acknowledge there are various issues making gearing up not an equal effort but I rather have flexibility in gear usage as it is now (reforging made it even more flexible; kudos), and leave the specifics to the trinkets. I'm also exciting about the intellect change in MoP because it will make healing late in expansion still challenging. If you want to get gear easily in WoW, roll a holy paladin or caster shaman. If you want to get gear easily in SWTOR, roll an imperial agent/smuggler (sniper or healer since the operative DPS specs are right now not viable).

    "As well, paladins would no longer be able to use caster swords. Druids and Shaman would need to collect separate DPS and healing sets."

    You're forgetting priest.

  6. @Fn0: wow man, if you edit that a little to make it sound like a "In response to Rohan's post: [link]" kind of thing you'd have a the beginnings of a blog there

  7. did they remove spirit conversion to hit? i haven't played i na while so not sure, but when I did play, i would prioritize intellect/spirit gear on my ele/resto Shaman, regardless of spec, because it allowed for less stuff to carry, where at one point the only things i would have to switch out were proc trinkets and a helmet.
    i remember my priest having the same general stat priority, since she got "spirit to hit" conversion talent as well.

    I'm not sure how much of an opinion i should have considering i no longer play, but.. I rather liked that system. it allowed for less wasted gear and more bag space.

  8. The following is just my opinion even if I don't write "I think" in most of the sentences for brevity. I apologize if I come as rude because of it.

    There are two basic issues with your proposal. First, it solves no problem. Unless you consider the aesthetics a problem, of course, because it does make the last attribute a primary stat indeed. The Str/Agi split would be better served by unifying them - after removing of range/melee distinction, the only relevant difference will be Agi increasing critical strike.

    Second, it causes quite a few problems by itself. First, it makes tuning the mana regen more difficult because it would depend on the same stat as spell power does. Considering Intellect is in the same position now and Blizzard has been trying to change it (see Talarian's comment for details) since WotLK or earlier, I think it's too early to just assume it will fail. I know Blizzard does not shy away from turning 180 when they don't think something works the way they wanted but it hasn't been tested in endgame yet so it is too early to say it will be a big failure and next expansion will bring back the old model without providing addition explanation of your reasons.

    The amount of secondary stats for healers would decrease. At the moment, melee classes use 5 (hit, expertise, mastery, crit, haste - plate tanks use dodge and parry instead of the last 2) and casters use 4 (crit, haste, mastery, hit/spirit). Healers would only get 3 if the change was implemented.

    Unlike the Str/Agi split which goes by classes (only druids get AP from both and no class gets dodge/parry from both) - i. e. the tank and DPS gear differs by secondary stats rather than primary, the Int/Spi split would go across classes, creating quite a lot of "single-spec" gear (at this moment, only holy paladins use such, 3 more specs would be added; holy paladins would also get "single-spec" weapons, spirit swords).

    I am still not convinced split of this kind solves anything but if I had to, I would split it the same way as Str and Agi are, e. g. creating a new stat, Wisdom, which would do the same as Intellect for druids, monks and shamans, and only keeping Intellect for paladins and cloth users. It avoids all of the pitfalls I mentioned.

  9. They should just use green font for spirit on the items. White font is reserved for primary stats. IMHO that's the main reason why the secondary stat spirit feels out of place.

  10. Rogues get AP from Str and Agi and I also assume Enhance shammies do too.