Gear Changes in Warlords of Draenor

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Community Manager
Now that BlizzCon is over and Warlords of Draenor has been unveiled, we’ve been getting some additional questions about the gear changes currently planned for the expansion. To help shed some more light on what you can expect, we thought we’d take a bit of time to clarify a few things.

Keep in mind that as with anything still in development, the information we share now will likely change as we progress, but this should help give you a good understanding of our goals and thinking.


Armor Pieces: Head, Shoulders, Chest, Legs, Gloves, Belt, Boots, and Bracers

Primary Stats

One of our main intents for primary stats is to make sure that higher Item Level (ilvl) pieces from new content are almost always superior to items from older content. Further, the changes we’re making to primary stats will help make pieces more universal, so groups will find gear drops more useful more often. This means you’ll be disenchanting less Intellect plate (only usable by Paladins today) or Agility mail (only usable by Hunters and Enhancement Shamans today). As we discussed at BlizzCon, we’re accomplishing this by making it so primary stats for a given piece of gear will change based on your current spec, though it’s likely that only new gear added in Warlords will work like this, as it might be impossible to implement this for all existing gear. Here are some additional points to know regarding the changes to primary stats:

  • Armor pieces will always have some amount of Stamina and Armor value.
  • Armor pieces always have Strength, Intellect, or Agility as a primary stat. Plate has either Strength or Intellect. Mail and Leather have either Agility or Intellect. Cloth has Intellect.
  • In the cases of Plate, Mail, and Leather, the primary stat will change depending on your current spec. Specifically, casters (including healers) will get Intellect, and melee or tank specs will get Strength or Agility.

  • Secondary Stats

    Our intent for secondary stats is to differentiate pieces that occupy the same slot, allow for player customization, and to further differentiate specs within a class. Here are a few important points regarding the changes that are currently planned for secondary stats:

  • Secondary stats don’t change based on spec on armor pieces (or any piece).
  • Secondary stats on armor pieces can still include Haste, Crit, and/or Mastery.
  • Secondary stats on armor pieces will no longer include Hit, Expertise, Dodge, or Parry. These are being retired in Warlords, and will likely be removed even from existing gear.
  • Secondary stats on armor pieces will also no longer include Spirit, nor will they include Bonus Armor, which are reserved exclusively for non-armor pieces (which are explained below).
  • In addition, secondary stats on armor pieces may include several new stats we are exploring such as Readiness, Amplify, and Multi-strike. Technical Game Designer Chadd “Celestalon” Nervig has been sharing more details about these on his Twitter account.

  • Additional Properties

    Armor pieces may have three other properties at random. First, items may be higher Item Level than normal. For sake of this discussion, we’ll call these items Warforged for now.

    Second, items may have gem sockets. Unlike gem sockets today, gem sockets in Warlords of Draenor will be rarer but more powerful. There will be no socket bonuses, but we are strongly considering requiring the right color gem for the socket. All gems will grant secondary stats, including Spirit and Bonus Armor (see below).

    Finally, items may have tertiary stats. These include things like a bonus to Movement Speed, Sturdiness, Life Steal, Avoidance (less AoE damage), and Cleave. Because of the rarity of tertiary stats, stacking them to produce (for example) a Movement Speed set will take enormous effort.

    The design intent of these additional qualities on items is to make itemization more exciting and to give it more longevity. Rather than waiting weeks to get a breastplate, you might get one pretty quickly—but to get a true “best-in-slot” item will take much more effort and a bit of luck. Here are a few more points to consider for these properties:

  • We haven’t decided on exact numbers yet, but for the current discussion, assume something like a 10% chance for an item to have an additional property. It’s possible for one item to have all three of these properties, but the chance of that is very small.
  • The properties are determined at the time an item is looted (and possibly even includes crafted gear). For example, if an ogre boss drops two copies of the Bracers of Crithto, one might be a normal version, while another might have a tertiary stat.

  • Being Warforged, having a socket, or having a tertiary stat do not count against the stat budget of the item—they are strictly bonuses. The item will not have reduced primary or secondary stats in order to have these additional properties.

    Set Bonuses

    Similar to primary stats, set bonuses will also change depending on your current spec. This means a Paladin may only need one tier set rather than one for Holy and one for Retribution. It also means that set bonuses can be more tailored towards a spec. For instance, Marksman Hunter set bonuses can have different bonuses or different numbers than a Survival Hunter set. Like today, not every helmet, chest piece, or other piece of armor that drops will be part of a tier set.

    Non-Armor Pieces: Weapons, Rings, Cloak, Necklace, and Trinkets

    Primary Stats

    In general, most of these pieces will not have Strength, Agility, or Intellect. Instead, they may have Attack Power or Spell Power to make sure they are more universal. However, our current thought it to keep primary stats on weapons so that they continue to feel iconic and special. Many of the items will have Stamina as well.

    Secondary Stats

    The information about secondary stats on armor above also applies here. In addition, Spirit and Bonus Armor can appear on these items. Spirit is only useful for healers. Bonus Armor is generally only useful for tanks. A Spell Power piece without Spirit may be attractive to healers or may be attractive to DPS casters instead.

    The intent of including Spirit and Bonus Armor on these pieces is to make sure some items are still valuable only to healer and tank specs, helping to make sure they don’t have too much competition for gear against the more numerous DPS players in a given group. These are also stats we consider interesting, because how much of each of these stats a tank or healer might want is more subjective. For example, one tank in a group might prefer more Bonus Armor while another might prefer more Haste.

    In the case of Spirit, imagine that stacking Spirit on every non-armor slot will give you more mana regeneration than you would reasonably need. That is to say, you likely won’t need Spirit on every single spot in order to function as a healer.

    In the case of Bonus Armor, this stat fills the niche that Dodge and Parry fill today. We like tanks avoiding attacks as a mechanic, but it hasn’t proven to be a particularly interesting gearing strategy. However, we still want a dedicated damage-mitigation stat, and Bonus Armor will be it.

    Additional Qualities

    These items will also have a chance to have one of the additional qualities discussed above (Warforged, gems, and tertiary stats), and the information related to these qualities on armor still applies here.

    Examples

    A Holy Paladin has a raid tier set from the Blackrock Foundry. If she switches to her Retribution spec, the tier set is still functional, as the primary stats and set bonuses change. However, if she prefers Haste for her Retribution spec and Crit in her Holy spec (and is someone who enjoys the min-max game), then a single set of armor may not be optimal.

    For her healing set, let’s assume this player also has one ring with Spirit, a shield with Spirit, and a trinket that procs on heals. The trinket is almost useless in her Retribution set. The shield is also useless, since Retribution is designed to wield a two-handed weapon. The ring will be sub-optimal because Spirit is useless to a Retribution Paladin, but if it has another valuable stat (e.g. Haste), it may still be worth using—again depending on how min-max-focused the player is.

    A more casual player would probably be fine just using the trinket anyway and using a lower Item Level two-handed mace when she plays Retribution. A more min-max player would probably want separate rings, cloaks, trinkets, neck pieces, and weapons to use in the different specs. A very min-max player—such as someone competing in world-first Mythic raid progression—might even want different heads, shoulders, chests, and so on depending on the mix of secondary stats. This player might even swap out gems between the two specs.

    This may seem like a lot to take in now, but we’ll continue to watch feedback and answer any additional questions where we can. And again, keep in mind that as with anything still in development, this information or some of the details will likely change as we progress.

    As always, we welcome your constructive feedback, and we look forward to reading what you think.
    Edited by Crithto on 11/26/2013 2:12 PM PST
    90 Gnome Warlock
    8030
    Hmmm....
    90 Pandaren Monk
    14720
    The more I hear about this the more I get upset gear has no issues, I enjoy spending time reforging jemming, enchanting my gear. Stats are fine just why are you changing something that doesnt need changed? Mythic is fine with me even as a 10man raider. Its just plain stupid this idea keep gear the same you just want people to leave the game at this point making gear be more RNG then anything god damn blizz what is wrong with you. YOu guys have made good and bad but this is plain idiotic.
    100 Night Elf Rogue
    12150
    Sounds really cool but also sounds like instead of just being beholden to the RNG god for the a piece of gear to drop we also have to hope the right version of it drops, is that accurate?

    With so much gear homogenization does this mean that all classes wearing a specific type of gear are competing against all others of that type as well? So I compete against all forms of druids and monks for all leather gear? Or is a leather piece that has say Cleave a DPS given vs the same piece with Avoidance or something for a healing speced druid/monk?

    Will drops be common enough that, say if I wanted to build a very heavy cleave set that's something I could potentially work towards? Or are they so rare it's just a bonus?
    Edited by Zushiba on 11/26/2013 10:42 AM PST
    100 Tauren Druid
    21095
    Excellent changes!

    As a raid leader I'm happy about the easier gearing path & less DEing (at least for early drops), and as a player I'm excited for the sheer amount of variability in the gear!

    Vent already gets some excited "ooohs" when warforged gear drops, and I look forward to the over-the-top reactions if/when our first warforged-gemmed-tertiary piece of gear drops. :-)
    100 Undead Rogue
    17665
    In general, most of these pieces will not have Strength, Agility, or Intellect. Instead, they may have Attack Power or Spell Power to make sure they are more universal

    Why do that rather than just make them change between Strength, Agility, and Intellect? Some specs have bonus agi or str etc making all jewelry ap or sp makes their bonus weaker. Also it makes agi and int class have less crit doing it that way.
    Edited by Gank on 11/26/2013 10:47 AM PST
    100 Night Elf Hunter
    16200
    11/26/2013 10:30 AMPosted by Crithto
    A very min-max player—such as someone competing in world-first Mythic raid progression—might even want different heads, shoulders, chests, and so on depending on the mix of secondary stats. This player might even swap out gems between the two specs.


    Just looking for a little bit of clarification here. In this example are you referring to non-tier armor pieces being switched out or are the secondary stats on tier armor going to be determined by RNG on the looting of the piece instead of being static as they are now?
    67 Goblin Hunter
    18325
    This sounds way awesome. I love the idea of running farm content and having the chance something really super could drop.
    10 Blood Elf Paladin
    10
    since gem slots are going to be rare, can I get a free reroll from jewelcrafting to blacksmithing?

    gems are useless without slots, and all.

    oh, one more thing. agi users get crit from agility. int users get crit from intellect. but strength users dont get crit from strength, they get parry.

    can str users get crit from their primary stat as well? we seem to be the odd ones out. also seems logical considering dodge/parry are going away.
    Edited by Sanctifìed on 11/26/2013 10:45 AM PST
    90 Troll Hunter
    6035
    Doesn't seem like a huge change. People will adapt just fine :)
    90 Blood Elf Paladin
    8785
    11/26/2013 10:30 AMPosted by Crithto
    A Holy Paladin has a raid tier set from the Blackrock Foundry. If she switches to her Retribution spec, the tier set is still functional, as the primary stats and set bonuses change. However, if she prefers Haste for her Retribution spec and Crit in her Holy spec (and is someone who enjoys the min-max game), then a single set of armor may not be optimal.


    This right here is what is going to make the new expansion exciting for me. Instead of having to carry a full two sets of gear around, i will possibly only need to carry one around with maybe a couple alternative pieces with me due to secondary stats.

    Less bag space taken up, and less time gearing a toon and alts for both specs.

    Nicely done Blizz

    P.S. This would also be a perfect time to try out trio-specialization :)
    Edited by Timelord on 11/26/2013 10:49 AM PST
    90 Human Paladin
    8570
    Good news for me!
    I'm always playing the most diverse specs with my characters. Now me and my many alts will be able to utilize their off specs more effectively by using second hand gear.

    Also, If I get a piece of gear off of a world boss that isn't my exact spec I might actually find some use for it. :D

    +1 Thanks Blizz
    The more I hear about this the more I get upset gear has no issues, I enjoy spending time reforging jemming, enchanting my gear. Stats are fine just why are you changing something that doesnt need changed? Mythic is fine with me even as a 10man raider. Its just plain stupid this idea keep gear the same you just want people to leave the game at this point making gear be more RNG then anything god damn blizz what is wrong with you. YOu guys have made good and bad but this is plain idiotic.


    Reforging is an added step that feels more like a chore than anything else. As it is now it's "oh I guess I need more hit, I better go reforge for it." I'm perfectly okay with them getting rid of reforging, as all it does in it's current state is make getting upgrades more of a chore than actual fun.
    What did you guys do? Did you move the armor/item team over from D3?

    Sigh....

    Look setting up an armor set that does lifesteal or Multi-strike will have balance consequences both for PvE (my primary concern) and PvP. There is no way pushing out that infiinte variety will not end up with an 'Optimal' Set (not just BiS but designed optimal. Entirely Different Concept) and that 'Optimal' Set will become a requirement and those who dont have that and are cursed by RNG gods to not get it will eventually get sat.
    30 Draenei Priest
    4040
    Can I just ask what will happen to Spirit for Shadow Priests, where it is now a go to stat because it gets converted to Hit? With Hit going away, will it convert to something else, or will Spirit now be useless for us.

    This applies to some other DPS classes too.
    100 Undead Warrior
    HAM
    16985
    I'd just like to see how this plays out before passing any kind of judgment. I do question what drop rates on gear will be like though (as far as personal loot I suppose.) If we're clearly going to be subject to RNG on the stats of a piece of gear, will we also have to be hoping we even get gear at the same rates as today? It would like rolling the dice 4 times (gear or not, socket, ilvl bonus, tertiary stats) and it I feel like it could POTENTIALLY be extremely frustrating if certain modifiers were rare on top of even the chance of loot dropping. I know these modifiers are supposed to be a bonus, and even lining up all 3 should be rare, however I'm just concerned about the potential for RNG to become a huge whine factor.
    100 Undead Rogue
    17665
    Can I just ask what will happen to Spirit for Shadow Priests, where it is now a go to stat because it gets converted to Hit? With Hit going away, will it convert to something else, or will Spirit now be useless for us.

    This applies to some other DPS classes too.


    It will just be useless unless you switch to healing specs from what they've said.
    90 Night Elf Warrior
    9165
    The only thing that I don't agree with is the lack of Reforging. The way it's described leads me to believe that this will make gearing up a grind game while praying to the RNG Gods. Why not allow players to set Reforge stats based on their spec? (For example: On a piece of Warrior Plate with +50 STR and +25 STAM, I can set it to sacrifice a bit of stam for additional STR in Fury spec or sacrifice a bit of STR to balance out the STAM in Protection spec)

    If we're going to be limited to the watered down version of gearing, we need some sort of auxiliary options other than relying on RNG.

    What's going to be done about the Druid mastery that grants Bonus armor? Will I, as a Protection Warrior, have any sort of mechanic or stat to match that? If Dodge and Parry are rolled into Armor - Will my mastery (Block Chance) be on the same playing field? It seems like the Druid is getting 2 bonuses (+Armor = +Dodge & +Parry) compared to my 1 bonus (+Block).
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