Staves vs. 1H+OH for healers in Cataclysm

90 Draenei Priest
9370
Not too long ago, all healers used 1H + OH items instead of staves. The 1H + OH combinations were strictly better.

Then, Blizzard introduced a staff-only enchant [http://www.wowhead.com/item=45059] that was better, and that leveled the playing field somewhat.

In Cataclysm, there is no staff-only enchant. And, to make matters worse, there is now an off-hand enchant that gives 100 intellect.

Does this mean that staves will once again be sub-par for healers? It seems like a shame. Or, is Blizzard doing something to address this?
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85 Blood Elf Mage
4825
Will depend entirely on staff itemisation. THey could very well bake in the value of the enchant in every staff and it would work beside the fact everybody would want the staff to save 1 enchant worth of amts...
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90 Draenei Priest
9370
Will depend entirely on staff itemisation. THey could very well bake in the value of the enchant in every staff and it would work beside the fact everybody would want the staff to save 1 enchant worth of amts...


That doesn't seem to be the case.

http://www.wowhead.com/compare?items=59459:67149;59525

Once you factor in the 100 intellect OH enchant, it's quite clear which one wins.
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85 Human Priest
8425
IMO, itemize for whatever you are lacking.

MH/OH combo came into vogue because throughput was higher with this combination. Staves always had more significant base stats, which meant in most cases, better mana regen. If you don't need this, then there's no point to itemize for it, and especially in Wrath, you didn't need this most of the time.

If you can get a 2Her that is better than your MH/OH for the content you are running, for your play-style, then use it. And also the reverse is true. Hopefully this will lead to LESS gear homogenization as we progress (but agreed, it will also depend on what enchants we see available).
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90 Draenei Priest
9370
IMO, itemize for whatever you are lacking.

MH/OH combo came into vogue because throughput was higher with this combination. Staves always had more significant base stats, which meant in most cases, better mana regen. If you don't need this, then there's no point to itemize for it, and especially in Wrath, you didn't need this most of the time.

If you can get a 2Her that is better than your MH/OH for the content you are running, for your play-style, then use it. And also the reverse is true. Hopefully this will lead to LESS gear homogenization as we progress (but agreed, it will also depend on what enchants we see available).


Of course, if you come across a staff that is better than your MH/OH combo, even when factoring the OH enchant, there's no reason not to use it.

My complaint is that in the general case, when comparing combinations of the same item level with the same secondary stats, staves will almost always be the poorer choice.
Edited by Treela on 11/26/2010 11:04 AM PST
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85 Human Priest
8425
Of course, if you come across a staff that is better than your MH/OH combo, even when factoring the OH enchant, there's no reason not to use it.

My complaint is that in the general case, when comparing combinations of the same item level with the same secondary stats, staves will almost always be the poorer choice.


Not always.

Even as thing stand, as a priest, I expect to have a weapon swap tied to Inner Will/Inner Fire. If things stand as they are now, I will be swapping to a stave with a regen enchant tied to Inner Will when I am running low.

This used be achieved with an addon called casterweaponswap in TBC. The functionality of this addon was broken, but the combat strategy is still valid.
Edited by Valetudo on 11/26/2010 11:09 AM PST
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
13315
Looking at itemization of both staffs and MH/OH... without the enchant they give nearly the exact same amount of Stam/Int/SP/Secondary Stats (staves have a ~18 point itemization advantage, of that only 4 points are Int). You add in an offhand enchant for +100 int... now Staffs are obsolete, unless they are legendary.

In general, a higher Ilvl staff will beat out a lower ilvl MH/OH however, which means for guilds that don't use zero-sum dkp, staffs will be very nice temporary upgrades. People will staffs rolling on equal ilvl MH/OH's will lead to more than its share of drama in many guilds though.
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90 Night Elf Druid
14130
In general the issue with Stave vs MH/OH hasn't just been the enchantment, but also that the way itemization works MH/OH is implicitly better because MH/OH usually gave a large fraction of the stats that Staves did while also providing more spell power. With the +100 Int enchant this just continues.

I think the best solution here is to allow Staves to extract more Spellpower from their item level (more than the rounding error that they seem to get as shown by Treela's comparison). So maybe Staves have about 5% or so more Spell Power than MH/OH combo. In the comparison above, that would mean +99 spell power over the MH/OH combo (and more as item levels increase) allowing you to choose MH/OH for a better stat mix instead of as an instantly better solution. It would also give DPS more of a reason to use Staves, which would help spread out the gear competition a bit more (as DPS would always choose the combo with more spell power, which would currently always be the MH/OH combo).
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
13315
Not always.
Even as thing stand, as a priest, I expect to have a weapon swap tied to Inner Will/Inner Fire. If things stand as they are now, I will be swapping to a stave with a regen enchant tied to Inner Will when I am running low.
But because the Int to offhand enchant yields such high stats, you'd always be better off swapping just your mainhand and staying with a MH/OH combination, over using a staff.
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85 Human Priest
8425
But because the Int to offhand enchant yields such high stats, you'd always be better off swapping just your mainhand and staying with a MH/OH combination, over using a staff.


It really depends on what 2H enchants there are. I haven't seen any yet, except Mighty Agility.

In light of that, you're right. "Even as things stand", I will probably swap MH. I am (perhaps incorrectly) under the assumption that all the enchants are not yet patched in. If they are, then the lack of 2H enchants is a gross omission which should be addressed.
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90 Draenei Priest
9370
But because the Int to offhand enchant yields such high stats, you'd always be better off swapping just your mainhand and staying with a MH/OH combination, over using a staff.


It really depends on what 2H enchants there are. I haven't seen any yet, except Mighty Agility.

In light of that, you're right. "Even as things stand", I will probably swap MH. I am (perhaps incorrectly) under the assumption that all the enchants are not yet patched in. If they are, then the lack of 2H enchants is a gross omission which should be addressed.


http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/1679-Enchanting-Cataclysm

Most of the Cata enchants seem to be proc-based. So, healers will be able to choose between Power Torrent and Heartsong. There's no reason why either enchant will be better for a staff than it will be for a 1H, unless there is some wacky mechanic Blizzard hasn't announced yet where the caster enchants proc more often on 2H weapons.
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85 Troll Priest
7090
There's no reason why either enchant will be better for a staff than it will be for a 1H, unless there is some wacky mechanic Blizzard hasn't announced yet where the caster enchants proc more often on 2H weapons.


Eh, I know the tooltip for Flametongue Weapon used to say something about how fire damage would scale up with weapon speed. So not too far-fetched to think these procs could scale with weapon speed as well.
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