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.


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. adam86shadow's Avatar
    I don't believe adding more grind is a good move
  1. DrahkenKahn's Avatar
    Since when is agi mail an "Aww, that dropped! DE it cuz no one can use it" thing on par with int plate? There are six mail specs. Four of them are agi. Only two mail specs are int, so why is that supposedly the more important one?
  1. MercKilsek's Avatar
    This just feels like RNG hell. Not sure I will like this as they are currently explaining it.
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vongimi View Post
    How is adding a crapton of stats "dumbing down the game"!??!?!?!?!? I'm not on board with the changes because I really like the "guarentee" of loot in WoW over other games like Diablo with randoms stats, but that doesn't make your interpretation any less horribly wrong.
    Either you didn't read the post or you have no reading comprehension at all. They are dumbing down the game to an insane degree. It's now just rng based loot with no customization, no min/maxing, no theory crafting. You get what you get and that's that. How is this hard for you to understand?
  1. Faldric's Avatar
    People complaining about D3s gear system? We should totally put that into WoW.

    It's the attempt to keep people raiding. People unsubscribe much quicker than they did in the past. They just look into the patch, complete its content (which other than heroic is extremely easy to do) and unsubscribe. With that system you will catch the ones that would murder for a BiS set.

    Some of that tertiary stats will probably never go live. AoE reduction for example. AoE has to be healable even when the raid has 0 AoE avoidance. So it either is such a substantial AoE reduce that its possible to trivialize AoE effects with it (which I doubt) or it will just be ignored. 3% saved AoE healing on one guy is nothing.
  1. ringpriest's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by iperson View Post
    This is exactly like diablo, except it's not. Almost all of your character power comes from primary and secondary stats which aren't random. Tertiary stats don't appear to be much more than flavor at this point. If you have any parses or even a sim that shows otherwise then feel free to show the class.
    So your defense of their gear changes is that they're irrelevant?
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Merlaine View Post
    No, just no - hate the idea already. We use who needs what loot from which boss to decide rotation in our raids. How can this system be used when everyone stands to perpetually gain from loot drops? There will also be much more competition for the items, which can lead to more arguments and more guilds falling apart. Stupid idea and should never have gotten off the drawing board >.<
    This is another problem. We have 32 people on our roster for our 25m and we rotate people in based on boss needs. This will completely screw up rotations and you need them in order to have a sane guild. If we have to bring a core 25 people in every week because they have the potential and always will to get an upgrade and have nobody on the bench there is no way I'm putting up with pugs coming in. I would rather just not raid.
  1. ringpriest's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vongimi View Post
    Um, considering this entire thread is full of people complaining that they are going the OPPOSITE direction than what you are complaining about, you might want to read the post again!
    Not quite the entire thread. See the post above, where someone is trying to defend this insanity with the "it's all fluff" defense.

    Anyhoo, my (tinfoil-hattish) theory, which I should have but did not expound on, is that Blizz is following their usual process: wreck secondary stats with this nonsense, then (an expansion or two down the road) throw up their hands, pronounce secondary stats "hopelessly broken" (while vaguely implying players are to blame) then "improve" things by eliminating them completely.
  1. Soeroah's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Fussel View Post
    Was the single blizzcon announcement I was most afraid for. Won't the gearing process be incredibly boring? Stacking 1 or 2 stats, gear adapting to spec, everything feeling so uniform, no more real loottables ...
    For me the core of an RPG is still gathering loot & having fun gearing your characters. It feels like this change will take a lot of that fun away. :<
    Not really. Makes it easy to get new gear, sure, but getting powerful gear looks like it will be just as, if not more difficult, than it is today.

    Kinda like making LFR gear drop a lot while making Normal gear have a chance to drop instead.
  1. tylenol's Avatar
    So that means there will be how many different variations of the same piece of gear? good luck getting that one piece for you as I don't believe WoW has a Mystic like Diablo 3 yet...
  1. rogas's Avatar
    About the new gear system:
    So we basically gonna gather gear the whole time? While hoping it's gonna be warforged, it has a gem socked, or it has a thirth stat on it?

    Damm, that's what i call an extremely boring and fustrating gearing system. We'll have basically no impact on our gear anymore. The only thing left for us to do is grind away and keep our fingers crossed. That's no fun at all...
  1. iperson's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by voidspark View Post
    Durability is flavor (I don't think repairs are unreasonably expensive).
    AoE damage reduction you can say isn't really that important for the most part (depending on scaling). So let's err on calling it flavor.

    Cleave... not flavor on many fights. It's actual damage and healing done.
    Run speed... useless on some fights but can be a godsend on others. Hint: This just makes it a godsend.

    Forgot one last one: Life Steal. For the most part, that's flavor (unless they screw up and have some 1000% damage taken mechanic in which case a healthy amount makes you an immortal).
    Every example you provided depends on the amount of stat provided. Do you know how much of the tertiary stat will be on an item? Or are you just assuming everyone at blizz is bad at math and will load so much of the tertiary stats on items that it will break the game?
  1. Karot's Avatar
    You're not going to be able to grind out a full set of a particular tertiary stat. They said this during the BlizzCon panel. It's just going to be a random fun bonus, which hit/expertise/dodge/parry and reforging are not. People going off without understanding the full concept is just worthy of a *facepalm*.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by rogas View Post
    About the new gear system:
    So we basically gonna gather gear the whole time? While hoping it's gonna be warforged, it has a gem socked, or it has a thirth stat on it?

    Damm, that's what i call an extremely boring and fustrating gearing system. We'll have basically no impact on our gear anymore. The only thing left for us to do is grind away and keep our fingers crossed. That's no fun at all...
    You realize that's called RNG, right? Which has always been the main factor in loot drops. The only way this would change is if they put all of the same drops up on a vendor and let you buy them with currency, so that eventually, if you're extremely unlucky with drops, you can buy all of the same gear for the time and effort you've put in.
  1. frag971's Avatar
    LOL This will lead to MORE disenchanting because noone will want to waste DKP on a crappy item without the perfect stat roll (gem+multistrike+warforged). Don't do that random stuff in wow, it doesnt work.
  1. aSynchro's Avatar
    Why not just remove int/agi/str from the game then ?

    ie: you loot a plate chest with +50 haste instead of a plate chest with +50 haste AND +80 int/str depending of your spec.
  1. iperson's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ringpriest View Post
    So your defense of their gear changes is that they're irrelevant?
    I'm not defending anything. The chicken littles are the ones who need to make their case if they want everyone to start running around like the sky is falling. Until you can provide some evidence that the tertiary stats will be added to items in game breaking amounts then how about you chill.
  1. markdall's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nevergiveup View Post
    I really hope they ll make some change in world pvp since PVE geared guys own easily full tyra pvp players...
    I propose the following changes to world PVP:

    1. PVP Resil and Power are gone. Save that OP garbage for RBGs and Arenas.
    2. All PVP combat interaction automatically scales the gear of all involved parties interactions to some lower level, say ((character level) / 2) * 10. So level 90s would be scaled to 450, level 100s get scaled to ilvl 500, etc. The formula doesn't really matter, the idea is to lower the gear level a bit and make PVP fights take a little longer. Only for PVP interactions though - PVE interactions would remain unscaled.
    3. No gear procs during PVP interactions.

    Next up: Dealing with griefers who attack you while you're tanking something (think world boss) - their damage comes in at a lower rate but if someone is healing you, is that other person's healing scaled? It would have to be. I suppose that'd be part of the penalty of playing on a PVP server. (So glad I no longer do!)
  1. iperson's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by aSynchro View Post
    Why not just remove int/agi/str from the game then ?

    ie: you loot a plate chest with +50 haste instead of a plate chest with +50 haste AND +80 int/str depending of your spec.
    You seriously can't see the difference? You do know that the biggest part of character power will come from primary stat differences between tiers.
  1. Orkwuzhere's Avatar
    "Hey guys, let's get rid of stats like Hit for...more bullshit stats players will still have to min-max and grind. Oh yea, we're going to make it more mandatory to have the 'right gems' even if our itemization is still a joke."

    Why bother getting rid of stuff like Hit if you STILL have to min-max with gems and the new, dumber stats like Cleave and Life Steal (Life Steal!? Really!?)!? Blizzard's not making it easier; they made it even more annoying.

    Maybe with 7.0, Blizzard will admit Mastery is one of the biggest pain in the ass stats that should have been removed with Hit, Expertise, and Parry for WoD. Screw Mastery (stupidest stat since Armor Penetration).

    They said this during the BlizzCon panel. It's just going to be a random fun bonus.
    It's not a fun stat when gear checkers like Mr. Robot tell you, "Raise Life Steal and Cleave or get the fuck out of raiding, you scrub." You still have to min-max no matter how much Blizzard tries to hide this (I don't hate min-maxing, but don't pretend it's easier with more bullshit stats Wow doesn't need).
  1. Vetis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Oldermark View Post
    Now you have a reason to keep playing.
    Welcome to the real world.
    by keep playing, you mean grind. In a fast hack and slash game you can run the same bosses all day for items it may work, in a game with lockouts, loot over 25 people and things its a just stupid. Grinding became an old idea in an mmo 5 years ago and should be dead now. its purely a way to extend content lifespan without actually extending or developing it, like achievements.

    also irony of welcome to the real world when talking about a video game.

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