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. Saiona's Avatar
    What was wrong with how our gear currently works/drops...also keep reforging
  1. Ssateneth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Celista View Post
    Tertiary stats are seriously dumb. Beyond that, I think cutting secondary stats altogether (except for perhaps trinkets) and reducing primary stats to one critical stat per class would be the way to go (paladin- intellect; rogue - agility, warr - str, etc); it would reduce players to one set of gear per character and simplify the gearing process for hybrids who often play more than one spec.
    You do understand what you are saying? Basucillay you are asking for Stam and Int/agi/str on every piece of gear. Nothing else. Do you have any idea how BORING that would be? Where's the excitement when you get a new piece of gear? "oh boy, 7 more strength woo". No. Random stats are good. When you get a set of stats that are really good, maybe a trifecta, you will be like "OH BABY YES I LOVE YOU LOOT GODS". That's the excitement of loot. Otherwise, you will never be excited to see loot drop. There's no "what if" with just primary stats. They just are there. Differing secondary stats, and the randomness of warforged, sockets, and tertiary stats possibly showing up on gear makes loot exciting.
  1. Exxxa's Avatar
    I dont like movement speed stat, it will be really annoying in BGs and other pvp situations. As for the rest, i dont know, need to play it to see how fun it feels i guess. Though in the start it will be nice for my monk to change from dps and have ok gear for healer specc for example, even though second stat might be non optimal.
  1. Thevillain's Avatar
    Haven't read through all 18 pages here...But am I wrong when I see a demand rise for enchanting supplies? Seeing as more ppl will be rolling for the gear, less gear will be disenchanted and thereby enchant mats will be much more expensive?
  1. Tinykong's Avatar
    Looks like tier bosses are going to be even more annoying in 10 man. 1 non-token drop per week, and it might not even be that good considering the sockets/bonus stats/warforged bonuses.
  1. Electronicus's Avatar
    They could just avoid loot drama by making loot personal like raid finder and giving you a valid drop each kill, diablo style.

    I do hate the possible combinations otherwise and manual loot will take ages with people trying to work out which item is better and also feeling like a prat taking an item from someone else just because it has some odd tertiary stat difference.
  1. Sarevokcz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Synche View Post
    That is precisely their objective, it will now take longer to get full BiS items (truly BiS I mean, with the exact secondary stats you are looking for) and thus players will keep logging in and playing.
    Yeah, Im pretty sure most people wont take even harder grind as positively as Blizzard think they will. They will bleed hundreds of thousands of players every quarter if they keep sticking BS stuff like that. But I guess MoP has taught Blizzard nothing at all.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Ssateneth View Post
    Differing secondary stats, and the randomness of warforged, sockets, and tertiary stats possibly showing up on gear makes loot exciting.
    No, it just makes gearing more frustrating, especially in smaller raid sizes.
  1. Soulzar's Avatar
    As somebody who has played Diablo..... I am not too sure how excited I am to have true BIS items require 3 random Affix.
  1. Hextor's Avatar
    So they're turning this into a Diablo-like grind for perfect itemization? dafuq
  1. Kelathos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chauling View Post
    I'm frightened I'm going to have to make hours of grinding for an item with a gem slot or the sorts, depending on how powerful these things will be of course. D3 grinding, here we go...
    So what you're saying is you'll be farming raids every week for a chance at an upgrade?
  1. Kruman's Avatar
    Trifecta normal weapon is better than no-bonus heroic one?
  1. Darkinfinity's Avatar
    Well, I'll be happy when 70% of my bag doesn't contain gear.... (yeah being a druid is a pain..)

    Ohh what to do with all that bag space?!?!?!?! xD
  1. Kruman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Thevillain View Post
    Haven't read through all 18 pages here...But am I wrong when I see a demand rise for enchanting supplies? Seeing as more ppl will be rolling for the gear, less gear will be disenchanted and thereby enchant mats will be much more expensive?
    Maybe, but as they said far less items will be enchantable therefore less enchants total.
  1. Kuja's Avatar
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    Item Level (ilvl) pieces from new content are almost always superior to items from older content
    This is why I was afraid of item squish. You don't need to raid a new raid if you have gear from the previous raid, as the upgrades are so minor it's not even worth it.
  1. noskillz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vidmich View Post
    with 10% for each bonus you will get

    0.1*0.1*0.1 = 0.001 = 0.1% for all 3
    0.1*0.1*0.9*3 = 0.027 = 2.7% for exactly 2
    0.1*0.9*0.9*3 = 0.243 = 24.3% for exactly 1
    0.9*0.9*0.9 = 0.729 = 72.9% for 0 bonuses

    if they make it 33% as you suggested it would be
    3.6% for 3
    21.9% for 2
    44.4% for 1
    30.1% for 0

    imo 10% is better cause bonuses will be real bonuses and not ordinary stuff
    I don't think that's correct.
    The right way to think about this is: 1 out of 3 items (33%) has at least 1 bonus, which means you'll have a 1/9 chance to have a 2 bonus item, and a 1/27 chance for a 3 bonus item.

    1/27*100 = 3.7% for 3 bonus
    (1/9-1/27)*100= 7,4% for exactly 2 ----> (1/9*100= 11.1% with at least 2)
    (1/3-1/9-1/27)*100= 22,2% for exactly 1-----> (1/3*100=33.3% with at least 1)
    66.7% for 0

    I think this is pretty good considering TBC legendaries were 1% drops with perfect stats and sick procs
  1. papajohn4's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kuja View Post
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    Item Level (ilvl) pieces from new content are almost always superior to items from older content
    This is why I was afraid of item squish. You don't need to raid a new raid if you have gear from the previous raid, as the upgrades are so minor it's not even worth it.
    I think the "almost" is going to the very rare occasion that you have a drop with the most desired secondary stats and all 3 bonus on it...Also I don't see how this is TBC there were many times that a piece from previous raid was better than a piece from a higher ilvl raid...I also remember a blue trinket for druid tanks(badge of tenacity) that was superior from many epics in the first 3 raids..that makes the old content valuable even when new patch comes out.
  1. Erous's Avatar
    Well this sort of ruined WoD for me. I was excited at the notion of changes for the expansion but this just seems to dumb the game down more and make me less interested
  1. Spotnick's Avatar
    Just occurred to me they fix the problem with loot in dungeons with that thing. I'm assuming only healers will be able to need spirit stuff, only tanks will be able to need armor stuff.. and everybody can roll on the rest.
  1. schwank05's Avatar
    I love every change listed. Thank god Reforging is gone, I love that gem slots are reduced and the Meta's are gone, and JC is my most profatable profession. I hate having to regem/ reforge/ enchant after a new piece of gear comes a long.
  1. FeebleParadox's Avatar
    I find it hilarious that you all condemn reforging. But it's broke because it costs gold. You all just want to fix something for the sake of fixing something. If you removed the cost of gold to reforge something then it isn't broken. But then again, you are coming up with a "facebook" xpac with this build your home crap. The idea pool isn't very deep obviously. I won't be purchasing this new expansion. After Panda, I'm done. You guys had to raise the bar with all the new MMOs coming out. You haven't. You throw someone a treat expecting them not to be hungry. But what we want is dinner. Not a treat. A expansion without a new class or race isn't what your "consumers" want. So why would you do it? The game has a lot to do, but it becomes linear at some point which is why people get burnt out. The whole point of a new race and class is to draw people in. Make them want to level something from 1-90 and have them LEARN their class. But the brain-trust at Blizzard seem more like Google drop outs these days. I've been a bit condescending in this statement. But it seems Blizzard needs to have someone talk some sense into them. Thanks.

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