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. MrHappy's Avatar
    lol so much for people saying wow is being dumbed down. This actually requires more thought and complexity
  1. Yig's Avatar
    Now talk about the supposed visual armor updates.
  1. Shockeye's Avatar
    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.
    It absolutely is extending the grind. Tertiary stats aren't a make or break, but with the proposal that gems be a lot more powerful, the difference between the same piece with or without a socket will be substantial. This is significant for healers as well as gems will be an extra source of Spirit and healers all know how skewed Blizzard's perceptions on the necessity of Spirit for healers are.

    Without the ability to customise my gear, my grind for gear is considerably extended as I continue to try not even for BiS but for the right distribution of stats. This seems a clear grab for people to play longer, and it doesn't matter if they're happy or frustrated as long as they are subscribed.

    Do we know if socketed items will have a higher ilvl like Warforged does now? If not, then it's quite clear that anything not socketed is the weaker version of the item, so one player with the socketed bracers has a clear performance advantage over the player without, even though they have the same ilvl gear piece.

    This actually requires more thought and complexity
    How so? Gone is my ability to modify my gear towards a desired result. Gone is my ability to balance my stats, I only have what I'm given by RNG luck. Blizz stated they were removing reforging because it was "too hard" to figure out the math, when the reality is that the ability to modify gear led to shorter gear chase time and the use of non-Blizzard resources to maximise benefit. Basically reforging got their shorts in a knot by giving too much to the community.
  1. Outofmana's Avatar
    This sounds like the most useless change they ever made to WoW.
  1. SL1200's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MrHappy View Post
    lol so much for people saying wow is being dumbed down. This actually requires more thought and complexity
    Do you think so? Please explain how.
  1. Peeb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MrHappy View Post
    lol so much for people saying wow is being dumbed down. This actually requires more thought and complexity
    This doesn't require any thought at all. You pray for RNG gods and hope that you get warforged, socketed and tertiary stat piece. If you don't, welcome back next week. I see where they are going with this but that's way too much RNG. They really need to make quite a big chance for all the extra stuff or work it in with crafting or item that let's you add socket for an example or something. Otherwise it's 4 month grind for that one chest you've seen 10 times now but it just doesn't have the additional properties.
  1. michaelnbridget's Avatar
    If this is truly the case you should at least let us raid twice a week per difficulty level. If you are making it harder to actually get these warforged enchanted type pieces and to wait a whole week for that .1% is super annoying.
  1. talmar's Avatar
    To me it sounds very much like Diablo 3 gearing. You can have a crap ton load of possibilities for an item but only a few of them are really optimal.

    I can already see the WoW AH looking like the current Diablo 3 AH. Pages upon Pages of the same item, each with a different stat layout, and the one with a socket and tertiary stat and extra ability will be the one for 250,000 gold.
  1. Baracuda's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tarruin View Post
    It's the Trinkets from 5.4 example ~ Haromm's Talisman (Which I love)
    Meant the name, not what it does
  1. Shockeye's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by talmar View Post
    To me it sounds very much like Diablo 3 gearing. You can have a crap ton load of possibilities for an item but only a few of them are really optimal.

    I can already see the WoW AH looking like the current Diablo 3 AH. Pages upon Pages of the same item, each with a different stat layout, and the one with a socket and tertiary stat and extra ability will be the one for 250,000 gold.
    Yep. And that was a disaster.

    I don't want to raid more often than I do already, just to get a better balance of gear to allow me to perform my role.

    Here's hoping this system goes the way of Path of the Titans.
  1. Nevergiveup's Avatar
    I really hope they ll make some change in world pvp since PVE geared guys own easily full tyra pvp players...
  1. Tya's Avatar
    Excellent changes.

    The current gearing system is so brainless. Glad to see they're making gear interesting again.
  1. Blur4stuff's Avatar
    I can already see the WoW AH looking like the current Diablo 3 AH. Pages upon Pages of the same item, each with a different stat layout, and the one with a socket and tertiary stat and extra ability will be the one for 250,000 gold.
    If crafting is similar to its current state, there would only be as many items as there can be now. Players can't infinitely craft the good stuff. Just junk that no one would be looking at anyways.

    I don't want to raid more often than I do already, just to get a better balance of gear to allow me to perform my role.
    How would you be forced to raid more? They stated that the goal is for higher ilvl to always be better. How would you raid more than once per lockout as you do now on the same character?
  1. ZenX's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Toyoka View Post
    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.
    What will happen when the opposite is true. For example, you have a MW and WW monks, a rogue and a moonkin in your raid and it becomes apparent that haste is the top stat for all tree who are effectively on the same gear and skill-level, who will you give the item to and how long will it take for all these players to fill in this common item-slot with RNG in place?

    Furthermore, tier pieces as they stand cause drama, now they are in the plans of radiating it outward by making different classes to compete for even more items.



    By the way, I'm not even factoring in the effect of constantly required grind to get that perfect piece into this cataclysmic equation. While at it, they are removing reforging as well, essentially turning the game into a WoW with D3's game system in place for the gear threadmill.

    Cataclysm tried to take away such quality of life features from players and the players that were upset with them (around 1 million people) left.

    Thankfully, I'm a casual now that this will not affect me that much but it seems like the kind of change that will hinder organized raiding by a huge margin.
  1. nightfalls's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Pickwickman View Post
    "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
    Well there's some value to RNG and it is nice to think you might get an upgrade versus not... but there's a point. When the gear's like Diablo and you realize it's impossible to get good shit... I think it discourages people from playing the gearing game at all more than sticks them to another grind.

    The vast majority of guilds do not clear the raids before the next patch is out (or do so barely before) so I think that's incentive enough to keep plugging away.
  1. Cripster's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SoundOfGuns View Post
    Thats a problematic concept, and appears not really thought-out. Soo in a 25 player raid, we got a bear, a tree, a cat, a rogue, a healing monk and a tanking monk... and they all have to roll at the same armor-pieces? ...does Blizzard really assume that works? The only upsides on this whole concept seems to be: You dont necessarily need new items for your other specs and most importantly: Blizzard needs to think less about loot-tables. And i hardly doubt the first thing really mattered.
    Yes But consider in this current system, your Healing Monk wins a leather chestpiece with all his shiny stats on it etc, your tree gets the same next run, then the run after it drops again, what happens to it? It gets DE'd and its a piece of wasted loot. however under the new system, your bear, tank monk and rogue can all possibly use it. In the end it'll work out that everyone gears up quicker, just not right at the start of progression, but thats just my opinion on the system
  1. Ealyssa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MrHappy View Post
    lol so much for people saying wow is being dumbed down. This actually requires more thought and complexity
    Lol just how ? New system is :

    1) if more ilvl take it
    2) if secondary stat better than what you wear take it
    3) there's no 3

    Dumbed down gearing at work. Can't wait this new world were melee having spirit ring will only be "sub optimal"
  1. nekobaka's Avatar
    The gear changes particularly gear bonuses are great for those who deal with individual looting while has the potentially to cause a lot more loot drama in traditional group looting and might even cause more dissatisfaction with players who dont get the bonus stats and then see the better item drop and seeing it go to someone else. With the handling of off pieces there also seems to be far too much competition for pieces. While it is nice that it will be rarer for pieces to be unwanted it can promote additional drama over loot especially when healers are being given loot only relevant to them and pickings of non-spirit pieces. As a healer I think this is unnecessary imbalance in loot between group rolls.

    I am also wondering how is jewlcrafting going to change as players might not have any gems with the way the blog described. Enchants have been said to be reduced but still there for everyone with more stat varieties which might mean more space for customization and changing of enchants per spec.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shockeye View Post

    Do we know if socketed items will have a higher ilvl like Warforged does now? If not, then it's quite clear that anything not socketed is the weaker version of the item, so one player with the socketed bracers has a clear performance advantage over the player without, even though they have the same ilvl gear piece.
    I also wonder how it is going to work with ilvl scaling as the higher ilvl bonus gear will have an higher ilvl while those with gems or other bonuses will not. It would likely only impact a small fraction of the playerbase while still being a balance issue in the system. This kind of system works well for a game like Diablo but for WoW just opens up so much more issues. The past three expansions Blizzard has been trying to make getting gear less of a special thing and are now trying to spice it up and with it bring in a number of problems the developers was trying to move away from in the first place.
  1. Paloro's Avatar
    So how do they (devs) think this will effect loot distribution? Jimmy and Johnny both got a piece of gear last week, but Jimmy claims that this crit piece will give him 100 more dps then Johnny and it is his BiS. However, we still have Jack, James and Justin who don't really go for crit, but are lacking that item level.....
  1. Unholyground's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Spiralphoenix View Post
    Will be interesting to see what they do with Jewelcrafting. Probably a shift towards making a lot more Necks/Rings/Trinkets, since gems are going to be in such low demand. They'll have to drastically reduce the rate you get them as well or they will have no value whatsoever...
    Jewel crafting will likely also craft things that other professions will need. That would make the most sense.

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