Cataclysm Gear changes for druids

So, they announced more details about their plan for Cataclysm gear, which has set off a posting frenzy across the WOW community.

Most of it was stuff we already knew. The summary is that they expect bear & cats to share gear, while they expect resto & moonkin to share gear. This sounds great in theory, but is likely going to cause problems in the long run, and it’s going to take months of Beta testing everything to get all the “nobs” tweaked right to pull this off.

However, please keep in mind that we have multiple months to get everything working right, and that there will be some variety & customization for our gear, and that the sky is definitely not falling (well, except for moonkin who can make stars fall out of the sky on demand).

Overall, they seem to be simplifying gear to a great extent. First, please realize that this is only a plan, and that some things will change between this post & Cataclysm being released. Here’s a rough summary and analysis, rather than a copy/paste of that thread. If you want to see what exactly they said, then go read the original thread. Below combines some of the knowledge from earlier posting, along with what was released today. In all cases, the existing stats on gear are going to change. However, you should wait until we know what individual pieces will look like before you start stocking up on additional gear. There will be several months to get things all straightened out before things go live. Cata is still a long time away.

For cats & bears, stats on leather armor will include:

  • Cat & bear gear will have roughly the same amount of stamina, which will be high like the other classes (so bear won’t need as much additional scaling for stam).
  • Leather gear for cats/bears will likely have a mix of: stam, agility, crit, haste, mastery, hit, & expertise.
  • Bears may need to gear for STR accessories for more tanking-related stats shared with other tanking classes (though bears still can’t block/parry), but this point still isn’t entirely clear. Dodge rating would probably only be on the STR items.
  • Resilience will still be good for PvP.
  • Haste will be a more attractive state for melee specs.
  • Reforging will help with getting your bear & cat sets to have the right combination of stats. However, reforging won’t be perfect (IE. you won’t be able to convert all of that yucky parry/block into dodge at a 1 to 1 conversion rate).

For Resto & Moonkin

  • We’re expected to gear basically the same between resto & moonkin (they said that before WotLK; we’ll see how well that actually works out).
  • Leather caster gear will have a mix of: Int, stam, spirit, haste, crit, & mastery.
  • Resto druids will be happy, and not much is changing for them in terms of gear stats, and everything is happy in tree-land.
  • Moonkin (and elemental shaman) won’t have hit rating itemized on their leather/mail. Instead, we’ll have talents that convert spirit to hit rating. We can still use DPS caster accessories with or without hit on them as needed.
  • It is likely that there will be some leather caster gear without spirit on it (I really hope so). If moonkin ends up with too much spirit (ie. hit rating) from gear, we can either complain to get more non-spirit items, or we can suck it up and reforge (and take the 50% stat penalty) to convert spirit to another more useful stat. However, until we see what happens to the gear, we just have to trust that in most cases, gear will be itemized in a way that makes sense. Also, if other casters end up with too much +hit rating gear, they will have to do the same thing, so it should balance out in the end.
  • My bet is that we’ll end up needing to reforge a couple pieces of gear to get a decent set, but I’m hoping that reforging works out right in the end.
  • We lose mastery if we pick up cloth instead of leather.
  • Spell penetration & resilience will be available for PvP gear.
  • It should be harder for moonkin to reach the hit/haste/crit caps in Cataclysm compared to now.

More About Reforging (ie. what people should be concerned about right now):

Reforging is really what all of druids dreams for the future are tied up in. Bears will need reforging to turn Warrior tanking items into druid tanking items, or to turn rogue leather into tanking leather. Moonkin still won’t have gear perfectly itemized for them, and will need reforging to turn healing gear into moonkin gear (especially for balancing around the spirit/hit cap). For bear druids, there needs to be some way to turn STR accessories into better things for bears without losing itemization points along the way, since bears are likely going to be expected to use them (ie. parry & block rating need 1 to 1 conversions to dodge for bears, or bears will be more limited in the gear they can tank in).

In conclusion:

This isn’t really anything super new or shocking. We have had huge changes to our stats every expansion, and we have survived every time in the past. Cataclysm will bring new and exiting changes, and nothing marked for Cataclysm is set in stone yet. They could make it through part of testing and realize something just isn’t working right, and completely change it to something different. That’s just part of the game, and we’ll adapt just like we always do.

6 Comments

  1. Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    I’m actually glad for the changes. Because, while tier-gearing will still cater to an individual spec, the non-tier and off spec items seem to be universal which will help those dual-spec restokins with gearing for both specs.

    The only problem I foresee is trees and boomers fighting it out on rolls for gear upgrades because they’ll esentially be wearing the same gear (because as stated, the spirit on a gear piece can be translated to hit by the new talent that will be in the boomer’s tree). How this problem will be solved is still yet to be seen, but as of now, I think it might get a little hairy until a clearer line is defined of what gear is intended for a Boomkin and what is intended for a Tree. This has always been an issue, but it tends to get worked out by the raid and the loot master (my thinkin is just in terms of a PUG situation).

    I look forward to seeing what sticks and what doesn’t.

  2. Posted March 2, 2010 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    I am also kind of liking the look of the changes. I don’t think it’s a big deal that trees and boomkins will be conflicting for gear upgrades, it’s probably preferential to having all druids competing for the best cloth armour and sorts out that whole “armour prio” debate I guess.

    I’m optimistic that we will have at least a few viable combinations that won’t require vastly over or undercapping spirit(hit), and am optimistic that I will be able to reduce the amount of offspec gear I carry around to a degree :)

    Those bracers from Dreamwalker aren’t looking so bad for 4.x now :)

  3. Kaug
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    The penalties to mastery for wearing the wrong armor are just plain dumb. IF blizz would make better gear we wouldn’t have this problem. Most of us cross the cloth line because the cloth IS BETTER, not cause it drops first. Where this is roughly equal leather and cloth i wait for the leather and\or ‘roll save’ on the cloth version. This is a much bigger problem on my shammy alt where most drops, almost all badge and crafted mail is Resto mail with TONS of MP5

    A better solution would be to have a penalty for wearing gear UP the armor chain. So if a mage equips leather gloves, the penalty ends up reducing the armor and maybe stam, such that it is equivalent to(or possibly slightly worse than) the cloth gloves of same ilvl

    Lastly, the spirit to Hit is a good idea, but they should do it to\for clothies too. Otherwise healing priests will become the new class with unique loot just for them, and shadow priests with heal offspecs will become the loot whores, having to build 2 sets of contested gear where others, in theory, don’t. IE Resto\Ele shammy and Tree\Boom will be able dual use some\much\?? of their non-tier gear. Kind of like how pallies share tank\ret gear but have their own healing gear no one else can even use.

  4. Wraden
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I just wanted to add a blue response you missed, that was buried in the bazillion replies on page 54 or so.

    “Feral attack power will be gone. The damage of the weapon affects cat and bear attacks like other melee classes.”

  5. Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    What I’m really excited about is the potential for reforging to mean I can use gear even after I replace it. If I get the Staff of Uber-Healing to replace my Dagger of Lots of Life, maybe I can convert the now-useless spirit into hit for my Balance set, which I expect will lag behind my healing gear just like it does now. I’m sure there will be drama when dps roll on healing gear because they can reforge it, but I’m just thinking about my own soulbound gear, and how sad I’ve been sometimes to give up a piece I worked so hard to get when an upgrade comes along.

  6. Posted March 5, 2010 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    “balancing around the spirit cap”

    Haha there’s a new one =P

    Just the fact that I can boomkin dps in my resto gear may convince me to try it again.. but I doubt it. They’re fat.