MMO-Champion - Gear Changes in Warlords of Draenor
Gear Changes in Warlords of Draenor
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
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 starts, 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.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Gear Changes in Warlords of Draenor started by chaud View original post
Comments 398 Comments
  1. Rye25's Avatar
    Awesome work guys.. Your doing a great job on this expansion...Don't give in to people complaining before they even experience it...Your making all the right moves..I haven't been this excited in a long time!
  1. Damerflinn's Avatar
    I don't like the idea of it being "ok" for someone to use a piece that doesn't work for them just because it is only a ring or a necklace. It's one of the most frustrating things in this game. Wiping on a boss in a dungeon, or an LFR and looking at the healers gear, or the tanks gear, and seeing that half of it are stats that don't help them. Typically if a DPS is doing something like that, it's not as big of a deal, a 496 DPS in LFR will be fine, but a 496 Tank won't be. Adding in this new idea that having the correct stats for your spec is only for "min maxers" is going to make this even worse. You are going to start seeing people in LFR that have all their rings and back piece and trinket be for a healing spec, while pulling shit DPS, or not surviving as a tank, and everyone else is expected to carry them.

    And maybe an even bigger question, is what about Valor gear, and PvP gear, will it have these tertiary stats on it? Will it be a random chance when you purchase that Valor or Conquest (or the WoD equivalent) to have these tertiary stats? Or is Valor going to just be something that you only use to upgrade pieces you get from drops, because you just get more value out of scaling up a piece then replacing a piece that may be a much lower itm lvl. It seems like gearing is going to be a major pain in the ass from a RL PoV. Do you just ignore these extra bonus stuff, and go with who that piece is best itemized for, or do you let that Tank or healer grab that piece that isn't really itemized for them, but has the tertiary stat that works the best for them, or that they want.

    Obviously early release info, is early info, and much will change, but it seems like they have really opened a can of worms here, and I just hope that we don't spend the entire expansion waiting for them to fix this new system, when honestly the old gearing system was fine, and didn't really need an overhaul.
  1. Tarruin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Baracuda View Post
    I just think multi-strike sounds kinda silly, everything else is cool.
    It's the Trinkets from 5.4 example ~ Haromm's Talisman (Which I love)
  1. nightfalls's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Damerflinn View Post
    Obviously early release info, is early info, and much will change, but it seems like they have really opened a can of worms here, and I just hope that we don't spend the entire expansion waiting for them to fix this new system, when honestly the old gearing system was fine, and didn't really need an overhaul.
    Right, they do a lot of really really sweeping and unnecessary changes. Not just "forged" but now "forged," PLUS sockets (which they are saying will be even bigger than now!!) PLUS tertiary stats (it's not like movement speed is trivial, it's huge).

    I can already see it, "legendary" guy with his movement speed items he loot-hoarded from his guild, sockets (which matter more than they do in CM), and forged items. "Bring the gear, not the player." All "0.1% trifecta" gear goes to the person in a relationship with the GM. Incoming more loot drama/guilds falling apart.
  1. Nymrohd's Avatar
    Tbh sounds a bit like too much RNG for gearing.
  1. Caliph's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Madruga View Post
    I have a feeling that, instead of simplifying the system, it is becoming much more complicated...
    i agree. If you want to simplify it take all the tertiary stuff and make them part of spells or spell combos with other classes. for gear just leave the primary and secondary stats even if secondarys are only on off pieces. And why bring back ap and sp just make it str/agi/int.

    without reforging this is just another long treadmill.

    Blizzard is pretty slick gearing optimally will imo be worse and just a longer grind.

    Of course, we'll have to wait and see what beta brings.
  1. nightfalls's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nymrohd View Post
    Tbh sounds a bit like too much RNG for gearing.
    It really is, especially as someone excellently pointed out (I don't remember who), unlike Diablo, we don't get unlimited boss kills for loot a week anyway. I'm not against some RNG for gearing, but this just sounds like a LOT. Can't my Bracers of Broken Doubt just be... Bracers of Broken Doubt?

    (Also I mentioned trifecta but in reality there's EVEN MORE rng because you have desirable versus crap tertiary stats too...)
  1. Vightnic's Avatar
    This seems like it really fucks over the min/maxers. Glad I'm not one of em.
  1. Rathimis's Avatar
    I thought warforged was/is enough RNG
  1. Tahuun's Avatar
    Don't get me wrong. I like the game and will probably sub for WoD, but I don't like how they justify this gearing change by saying it will simplify the system while it will actually do the opposite, forcing those who pursue the best stats to endlessly grind. People who don't care about full gear potential won't be affected, but then again, this change is not about them as they may not even be using reforge/gem their items.

    Not to be overly negative, I am happy that hit/exp will disappear and be replaced by some fun stats like cleave.
  1. nightfalls's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rathimis View Post
    I thought warforged was/is enough RNG
    This. It really is enough. Now you get 1) even WITHOUT any modifications there's more RNG since lack of reforge exacerbates "good secondaries versus bad." 2) With gems, RNG is a huge factor. 3) With tertiary stats you need a stat then you need the right stat.
  1. moetwithmedusa's Avatar
    Sounds like EverQuest.
  1. Toyoka's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ZenX View Post
    Why don't they just drop shards/trophies from bosses and make us forge our own gear similar to D3 crafting while at it.

    The idea may be noble but the drama that this change is going to bring is going to tremendous. Think of it, half your raid consists of leather wearers, in case RNG screws you over you probably will be stuck with sub-optimal gear all-tier long regardless and this will be the icing over the cake considering loot drama due to these shared items having the elusive stats.
    I'd say you'd actually gear faster. You're competing with others for armor types now mostly, not stats on top of armor type anymore. More people will get their gear faster because they aren't waiting on certain stats (technically). And so "wasted" gear (in which no one needs a roll on either because they already have it, or no one can use it) is mostly abolished because useful gear will drop a lot more often, because its stats are more ambiguous. Depending on what you run, you will have an even greater chance at loot as well.
  1. Feindy's Avatar
    thats bullshit, as if there wasnt enough of rng in gearing already. having a chance for extra powerfull sockets, extra stats and warforge will make gearing up a nightmare
  1. Spiralphoenix's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tahuun View Post
    Don't get me wrong. I like the game and will probably sub for WoD, but I don't like how they justify this gearing change by saying it will simplify the system while it will actually do the opposite, forcing those pursue the best stats to endlessly grind. People who don't care about full gear potential won't be affected, but then again, this change is not about them as they may not even be using reforge/gem their items.

    Not to be overly negative, I am happy that hit/exp will disappear and be replaced by some fun stats like cleave.
    Extending the grind isn't the same as complicating the system.

    The new system is far simpler. No caps, no reforging.

    Plus, it's really not extending the grind. Getting the ideal tertiary bonus or whatever will still be a pretty minimal increase. They won't be required just as "Best in slot" isn't required now. It's just an added bonus when farming content you've acquired all the gear for, so that you can still have some excitement in the drops every once in a while - just an extension of what thunderforged/warforged is now.
  1. Pickwickman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by voidspark View Post
    This. It really is enough. Now you get 1) even WITHOUT any modifications there's more RNG since lack of reforge exacerbates "good secondaries versus bad." 2) With gems, RNG is a huge factor. 3) With tertiary stats you need a stat then you need the right stat.
    "Nigga we need the people that stop after they're done with a tier to play a couple months more so that we can cram another tier in instead of losing cash." - Blizzard

    Kinda what's up.
  1. Shockeye's Avatar
    I have quite a few concerns over this system and I do not see how this over-wrought and clunky design is better than the reasonably elegant and simple reforging system. Reforging gives players choice, the proposed system puts us even more victim to RNG with what we get.

    The examples in the blue post are very worrisome in that there's a real sense of "oh you'll be fine with just ok pieces" and "well if you prefer Crit over Haste for your spec you'd better keep at it!" as the RNG gods cackle and wring their evil fingers.

    I play a Shaman healer, and as such I recognise that Haste is good, Mastery is mediocre and Crit is fantastic, and by and large I can tweak my gear via gems and reforging to optimise my performance. But Blizz decide "we want you to have a lot of Mastery, so here's a crap tonne of Mastery gear" there's nothing I can do about it except wallow in frustration at the failure of the right loot drops.
    And also as a healer I know how blind Blizzard are to the importance of Spirit on healer gear given the absurd selections on the personal loot system and how rare a Spirit piece is on Timeless Isle loot despite the assertion that it's "good for my Restoration spec".

    This system is a huge step back to being forced into what Blizzard think our class benefits from rather than what the player feels. I do not like this one bit. I hope there is a massive re-evaluation by Blizz on this. And given their reasons for dropping reforging (because math) are so weak, this whole proposal is just foul.
  1. kejer's Avatar
    tl;dr
    10 characters
  1. Bloodscore's Avatar
    This concept will probably take off like Path of the Titans did...
  1. quras's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nymrohd View Post
    Tbh sounds a bit like too much RNG for gearing.
    I think you're right. Like the new no flying till some random future patch date, the new RNG gear trumps just the normal RNG gear gathering by adding in yet another factor. Blizzard plans to extend content through some extremely warped methods.

    What is another way to make sure you don't feel complete. Make add another RNG to getting gear.

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