BlizzCon Wishlist/Predictions

With BlizzCon coming later this week, we’ll soon be inundated with information about the next expansion.  Or at least, I think most of us assume that Friday’s “World of Warcraft: What’s Next?” presentation will reveal the next expansion.  I guess it’s possible that they’ll do something completely different, like announce that the entire WoW dev team is being transferred to project Titan and that WoW will go free-to-play with user-generated raid content.  But that seems pretty unlikely.

So in the spirit of being able to look back at old posts and say “told you so,” it seemed like an appropriate time to make some predictions about what we’ll be seeing on Friday. I’m not going to speculate on the name or theme of the expansion, because frankly, lore isn’t exactly my wheelhouse.  Instead, I want to focus on mechanics.

I’ve split each main idea up into two sections: a Prediction and a Wish List.  The prediction is the general thing I think we’ll see, whereas the wish list is more of a “this is what I’d do if I were trying to address the issue.”

Hit & Expertise Changes

Prediction – I think we’ll see a change to either hit or expertise to alleviate the awkwardness of reaching both caps, and especially to try and minimize the need to use an optimizer like AskMrRobot to reconfigure your entire gear set every time you get an upgrade. It’s also just sort of weird from a systems point of view.  The best description of the problem I’ve seen can be attributed to Hamlet of EJ/Druid fame. To summarize his point: there are two systems in the game (gemming and reforging) whose primary job is to ensure that players always hit their target. In other words, these two mechanics are both trying to subvert/fix a third mechanic, which is the hit cap.

Blizzard sources have been offering up comments about this problem all expansion, so we know it’s on their minds.  It’s not a huge stretch in logic to guess that they’ll try to fix it in 6.0.

I don’t think it’s likely that both hit and expertise will go away, though.  There’s something to be said for the planning/preparation aspect of having to dance around hit and expertise cap.  But it’s far more painful than it has to be due to the way itemization is allocated.  Each item can have an essentially random amount of hit or expertise rating.  Sure, it’s constrained by a formula, but only mildly, and you can have almost any amount of hit on an item by adjusting the other stats to compensate.  That’s the reason it’s a problem – it’s not a trivial problem to figure out exactly what needs to change on other gear when you replace an upgrade.  As anyone who’s worked on optimization problems in the past will tell you, once you have multiple parameters and several caps to consider, the math gets really ugly.

Wish List – My solution to this problem would be to make two significant changes.  The first is to remove the expertise-capping problem.  Rather than requiring 7.5% hit and 7.5% expertise, I would just require 15% hit for melee.  The first 7.5% removes misses, the second 7.5% removes dodges, just like expertise works currently with dodges and parries.  This removes the “two-cap” part of the problem and vastly simplifies the solution space.

I wouldn’t remove expertise as a stat, though.  I would convert it into another combat benefit.  Potentially something like The Secret World’s ‘Crit Power,’ which increases the damage you do with a critical strike.  Instead of crits automatically doing double damage, they could do 150% damage baseline, and each point of expertise increases that by 1% (i.e. to 151%).  They’ve already laid the groundwork for this sort of effect with the crit amplification trinkets in Siege of Orgrimmar, which might be an indication that they’re testing the waters for this idea.

Finally, I’d make one slightly more radical change to the way hit is itemized – I would quantize it.  In other words, let’s say that we need 10,000 hit rating to cap (choosing a nice round number).  Items would never contain a random amount of hit rating.  There would be nothing in the game that gives 2751 hit rating, like there could be currently.  Instead, hit rating only ever shows up in multiples of 1000.  A piece of armor could have 1000 hit rating, 2000 hit rating, 3000 hit rating, and so on.  The stats on the piece would still be bound by the itemization formula, so the second stat would just soak up the rest of the item budget.  In other words, a pair of hit/crit legs with 3000 hit would have more crit than a pair that had 4000 hit.

Similarly, gems would have even multiples, maybe 1000 each.  Getting a new upgrade would then generally mean you need to swap a few hit gems around, but the math would be very easy – just replace N gems, where N*1000 is the amount of hit you need.  Reforging could work as-is, though it would probably be easier if the amount of reforge could be increased to 50% just so that you could reforge hit to other things without getting odd amounts of hit.  While you could reforge a non-hit piece (i.e. crit/mastery) into hit and get an odd number, in practice this shouldn’t be terribly necessary since you could just gem for it.  There could always be edge cases where it’s slightly more optimal to do so, but for the most part they’ll be insignificant enough that all but the very hardcore could ignore them.


Tanking Mechanics

Prediction – I think that we’ll see Warriors and Death Knights get the full “DPS tank” treatment that Monks and Druids, and to a lesser extent Paladins, have gotten.  It’s clear from Mists that tanks love this new model, especially when paired with active mitigation.  They opened a Pandora’s Box when they gave Paladins Sanctity of Battle, and rather than close the box they decided to embrace the new paradigm, even putting haste on our gear.  The success they’ve had with Paladins, Monks, and Druids will lead them to drive the remaining two “old-school” tanking classes in the same direction, fully embracing DPS stats like crit and haste as true tanking stats.

Wish List – There are lots of ways they can pull this off, so it’s not worth trying to go into too much detail.  But it’s clear that Riposte is just a band-aid for tank DPS, not a true active mitigation tie-in.  I would probably do something like tie critical strike rating into crit block chance, which indirectly ties it into rage generation, and a similar crit->resource conversion for Death Knights (maybe triggering Death Runes?).  But the sky’s the limit here, just because the problem is so open-ended.  The end goal is clear though – make all tanks value crit/haste/mastery gear so that DPS fluctuations over a tier or expansion are less significant.

As for Paladins, I think we’re pretty well-off already.  At most I might give us a more direct tie-in with crit.  Right now, it has some value via Eternal Flame, but it’s not a large amount.  If Seal of Insight and Sacred Shield could also crit, then it might have a reasonable (if not substantial) value to a tankadin.

Which leads us into our next section….

Dodge & Parry Changes

Prediction – I think we’ll see Dodge and Parry reduced in significance for tanks.  Passive mitigation and avoidance have never been all that interesting or dynamic for the tank, and that’s no better exemplified by the envy our Warrior and Death Knight brethren have been communicating to us with dagger stares all expansion.  I think that next expansion will have a stronger emphasis on “active” avoidance triggers like Grand Crusader while also reducing the amount of Dodge and Parry showing up on gear.

Wish List – Those last two thoughts may seem inconsistent, but they’re really not.  To explain: I think that avoidance should show up less on gear than it does now (and more haste, mastery, and crit in its place), but the avoidance that does show up should also be more powerful.  One of the big problems with avoidance is that we have so much of it on gear that we’re already feeling stung by the diminishing returns curves.  If we had far less of it itemized on gear, each of those rating points could be more powerful, and thus make it a competitive stat.

How would I go about doing this? Well, for starters, I would nerf the Strength-to-Parry conversion rate (and similarly the Agility-to-Dodge rate for Druids and Monks).  Free avoidance from gear is what we’re trying to mitigate, so having that giant source of it is detrimental to our goal.

The other thing I’d do is make sure that dodge and parry were mutually exclusive on gear.  In other words, you would never get a dodge/parry combination item.  Parry and dodge would always be paired with something else – hit, expertise, crit, haste, or mastery.  This effectively halves the possible amount of avoidance on gear, which means each point can be almost twice as effective.  Thus, the rating conversion could be brought back down on-par with the other secondary stats.  That would let dodge and parry feel like important stats again, because you’d really feel the difference between a low-avoidance build and a high-avoidance build.

Item Squish

Prediction – It’s not really a huge surprise, since we know this is coming.  Hopefully we’ll learn more about the actual details at BlizzCon.  But in any event, I predict we’ll get that information on Friday.

Wish List – There’s a huge parameter space here, so it’s not really worth speculating on exact mathematical details.  For example, they could just slash the item level increases for everything pre-MoP so that we’re back to something in the 200 range.  Or they could just completely re-tune the formula used for itemization (though that has its own side-effects).  Or they could do some sort of time-warp-esque trick where stepping into a new expansion automatically reduced the ilvl of previous-expansion gear, such that next expansion starts at ilvl 100 again.  Or a million other possible solutions.

My guess, though, is that it’ll be something permanent rather than a phased effect.  In other words, each item will get a new item level that’s significantly lower than the current value, and the tuning of all content in the game will be squished according to the same formula so that DPS and healing expectations are more or less unaffected.

Everything Else

I have lots of other expectations too, but most of them are pretty banal.  For example, I don’t expect an overhaul of our basic mechanics (holy power, active mitigation, etc.) or talents.  We’ve gone through a lot of iteration over the past two expansions, but the last few patches have seen very minor adjustments in terms of core class mechanics, so I expect we’re pretty much where the devs want us by now.  I expect we’ll get some new glyphs, possibly a new spell at 95/100 (or whatever the new cap will be), but that’s pretty bog-standard by this point.

I suspect we’ll finally see new character models, which is interesting, but not really a mechanics thing.  I don’t really have any idea if we’ll get a new class or new races, but my guess would be that new races are more likely than a new class since Blizz seems to alternate.  If they do add new races, I hope they take that opportunity to re-balance racial bonuses to be less significant in combat.  And I’d guess that we’ll see some new feature that utilizes the level-scaling tech that’s been observed in bugged instances over the past month or so.

That’s all I have time for now, gotta pack for BlizzCon.  If you’re going, be sure to plan to attend Palapalooza! on Saturday at 4PM at the Meeting Stone, where you’ll be able to meet myself, Anafielle, and Meloree, our friends Rhidach and Antigen (from the Righteous Defense blog), and a host of paladins that are a lot more famous than we are (Treck, Slootbag, Absallom, and Towelliee, and Kerriodos have all said they’d be there)!

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43 Responses to BlizzCon Wishlist/Predictions

  1. Mechaninja says:

    I can’t find it now, but I’m almost certain GC said dual avoidance itemization is dead in 6.0.

  2. Lightsir says:

    What about the amount of spells? I think they once said that there was a thought on reducing it.

    • Theck says:

      I suspect they’ll do some more cutting of niche stuff. Esp if they want to reduce stuns/fears/etc. for PvP, those will probably be the first to go.

  3. Glôîn says:

    I also hope they reduce the abilitys a bit. I mean the <30sek cd abilitys. In the relation to the DK for example who uses about 4 main spells the whole time, we Prots are using about 7-9 ability all the time plus watching and refreshing EF with an eye on the BastionStacks. And thats all with an 1sek gcd. It feels very much like playing the Roadrunner. (While DK-Tanking is more like WotLK ArcaneMage) The Truth must be in between i guess.

  4. Glôîn says:

    3min to slow i guess……;-)

  5. Shadanah says:

    I don’t mind having lots of things to do as a Prot Pally. TBH, it’s one of the things I like about being a Tankadin. I’d be disappointed to see less, at least from a raid perspective. I was hoping you’d predict which change will be the one that most changes how we tank (as the Haste/Active Mitigation changed our Avoidance build).

    Also, how likely do you see the “possibility” you made off-handedly at the start: player-created raid content while the dev team goes to Titan? That seems unlikely to me, if only because they have already implied certain changes they’re working on… odd to suddenly abandon ship after spending resources on fixing it up even more.

    Have fun at Blizzcon! Don’t forget to tweet!

    • Theck says:

      That was actually intentionally made up to be a ludicrous, non-realistic example containing all the buzzwords I could think of. I honestly don’t think we’ll ever see user-generated content that matters in WoW (i.e. zones and boss encounters). I could be wrong, of course, but without someone to wade through the swath of user-generated crap to find the gems, it would be a giant clusterfuck.

  6. Crozekiel says:

    Honestly, I tried tanking a bit in the last 2 expansions and hated it with a passion both times. I was forced into it, very reluctantly, this expansion and just by complete chance, the only class I had capable was a paladin. I have honestly loved it. They are definitely doing it right in my book right now. I hope you are right, and they like were we are, and bring warriors and DKs in line with us instead of the other way around. That being said, I have heard a ton of whining every time I roll MS on “DPS Plate” and most of that is from a holy pally that wants a decent Ret OS. I could only imagine the crying I would have to hear if we had a main spec melee dps in the group. Not sure how they could really fix that, nor do I think its something that needs to be fixed on blizzards side (what needs to be fixed is plate dps’ expectations of what gear is “theirs”).

    Anyway, have fun at Blizzcon and thanks for running this awesome blog!

  7. Crozekiel says:

    Oh, I completely forgot! The idea you had for Hit, going to 15% for melee, would that then need to go another 7.5 percent for tanks to get above parrys? or would 15% be the cap for everyone? Just curious what your thoughts are since tanks have to get more hit/exp currently than almost anyone else (except maybe dual wield? I don’t know what they need), and if you think that is reasonable and should be how it is or not.

    Personally, I find the positioning requirements as melee dps (on the rare occasion that I do melee dps) quite frustrating. Melee are already at a disadvantage having to chase down the boss or adds to stay in melee range, and then if the boss spins for some reason, you have to stick on his butt to maximize dps. Honestly, I know you more write about tanks, but melee dps seem to be at significant disadvantage to their ranged brethren quite often due just to fight mechanics, and adding in more disadvantage in basic mechanics doesn’t help their case. Most raids I see (at least on my realm) won’t take very many melee dps, and wouldn’t hesitate to skip taking them entirely if they can manage.

    • Theck says:

      I was thinking tanks would need 22.5%, just like they do now. But that wouldn’t have to be the case. I think it makes sense though, because all of those dual-avoid pieces have to have one avoidance stat replaced with something, so one way tank gear could be differentiated is by having higher hit amounts.

  8. Talarian says:

    “The first 7.5% removes misses, the second 7.5% removes dodges, just like expertise works currently with dodges and parries.”

    Unfortunately, this solution leaves us dual-wielders in the cold (my poor maligned Enhancement Shaman, woe!). Currently we can continue to stack hit past the cap and it’s not useless to us because it reduces our off-hand misses as well. Granted, it’s not as big a deal anymore–in Wrath it was actually advantageous to stack hit for Enhance until you were pretty much capped for both off-hand and main-hand hit, but our white damage at the time was also like 50% of our total damage done, whereas these days it’s more like 10% – 15%. So it’s probably not a big deal.

    Enjoy Blizzcon!

    • Çapncrunch says:

      Why would it leave dual-wielders in the cold? Hit beyond 7.5% could still increase white hit as well as dodge/parry. Expertise currently has both sequential and parallel effects, so there’s no reason they couldn’t do the same thing with Theck’s suggestion for hit.

      Right now expertise sequentially negates dodge, and then rolls over into parry, but also affects spell hit at the same time regardless of whether you’ve fully negated dodges or not. Likewise right now hit affects all forms of hit: special/ranged hit, DW/white hit and spell hit, all simultaneously. There’s no reason they couldn’t let hit still function exactly as it does now, except tack on the additional effect that once special misses are fully negated it starts to reduce dodge chance and after that parry, without touching/changing the way hit interacts with DW/spell hit.

      0~7.5% hit reduces chance for specials, autoattacks and spells to miss
      7.5~15% hit reduces dw-autoattacks and spells to miss as well as reduces chance to be dodged
      15~22.5% hit recudes chance for dw-autoattacks to miss as well as reduces chance to be parried
      22.5~26.5% hit reduces chance for dw-autoattacks to miss.

  9. Duncan says:

    Re-following you on Twitter now.

    I had to take a break from Bunnypalooza!

    Safe travels T-man!


  10. Çapncrunch says:

    Another possible thing I think they could do in regards to dodge/parry, which I’ve tried to say on the forums before (though I always seem to be misunderstood or people just seem blinded by how bad the stats are now instead of realizing that I’m talking about ways to make them not be so bad), is to tie them in, in some form, to the active mitigation model. Grand Crusader is only the tip of the ice berg for what they could do.

    First of all, despite what some people seem to think, “active mitigation” does not automatically mean “haste” or hitting our buttons more frequently. All it means is that the buttons we hit (or at least the main ones) have a non-trivial impact on our survival. SotR and the holy power system alone compose our active mitigation model (SS and WoG/EF as well to a lesser degree). Haste isn’t our active mitigation, it just happens to be a stat that benefits our active mitigation.

    Anyways, what does this have to do with our passive mitigation stats (dodge/parry)? Well, everything. One misconception is that dodge and parry can only have passive effects or are limited to avoidance-based procs (like grand crusader), but that isn’t true at all. They can tie any sort of benefit directly into our dodge/parry % without being dependent on actual dodges or parries. For example, if they wanted to they could nix the whole haste-tank thing and change Sanctity of Battle to be based on our parry% instead of our haste%. This would effectively make parry as valuable to us as haste is now, and it would still be a consistent and non-rng benefit. Do I think they’d do this? No, I think they’ve leave haste where it’s at, but it’s just as example for how they could make avoidance stats have non-rng/proc based benefits in the active mitigation model.

    But there are still plenty of other things they could do to make dodge/parry more compelling. It’s hard to come up with many examples for us right now since our toolkit is pretty nice already and any additions would either be insignificant or overpowered (ie I could think up some way to make dodge and/or parry provide a consistent source of extra holy power to make it closer to haste or mastery in value but then we’d just be swimming in holy power). Plus, if they were to add/change some mechanic to make dodge/parry significantly stronger than they are now, they’d also need to pair the change with nerfs in other areas to compensate. (it’s not like we NEED a buff right now).

    Another thought that I’ve been having lately, and I could just be way off as I’m not doing heroics, but so far this expansion it seems like active mitigation is just too strong. It seems as though having so much direct control over our survival let’s us just shrug off just about anything that a boss throws at us. It used to be that every couple of minutes in a fight a boss would through an ability at us that we needed to use a mere 20% cd for to help us survive it, and now bosses can through abilities like those at us every 20 seconds (or less) and it doesn’t matter because we can cut it in half with SotR. Again I know I’m not doing heroics but I haven’t had any situation come up where we wiped because I died, my deaths usually come as the result of healers and/or the rest of the raid dieing (and even then only sometimes, I’ve held a few bosses solo for a minute+ before finally being overwhelmed or getting yelled at by my RL to just die so we can pull again).

    • Crozekiel says:

      I have had similar situations in normal modes actually… In fact, there have been several sloppy boss kills in which I was the sole survivor. Like 3 of our Galrakas kills, I “solo’ed” (with the help of the npcs) the dragon from anywhere from 20%-40%. Just the other night, we lost pretty much all of the raid on blackfuse, and I finished the last 5% or so alone. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I really like the way tanking is right now, but I guess I see what you are saying. That is also with a 4-set bonus and an average ilvl above what normals drop though (555 with flex 4 set, 558 with just a 2 set), so maybe its like that because I should probably be working on a few heroics.

      • Çapncrunch says:

        It’s funny you mention that, as every one of our N.Galakras kills so far have been with me and our other tank as the only ones standing and from similar %s. It’s just kinda sad that especially on that boss it’s like he’s not even hitting you. Sure I’m similar geared to you and the 4-set is great, but I don’t think the 4-set is quite *that* good, I mean even if I had had to actually spend 3 hp on those EFs instead of an extra SotR twice a minute after everyone died I still don’t think I’d have been in any danger of dieing.

  11. Sol says:

    I’d like to see crit go as a stat, with hit over cap becoming critical chance. Healers could either gain crit from spirit (likely too good) or they can start putting hit on healer gear and it would translate directly to crit. I think this would go a long way to solving the massive reforge issues that arrive every time a piece of gear with hit is gained or replaced at the moment.

    • Theck says:

      At that point, one has to ask what the point of hit rating is. If you do some simple “hit over cap converts to crit” you may as well just toss out the entire hit system and eliminate it. Everyone hits 100% of the time and rating conversions just get a little steeper across the board to compensate.

    • Crozekiel says:

      Plus that wouldn’t get rid of the reforging to hit cap problems, since crit ends up being a garbage stat for several classes. It would also create a situation where there is no gear specifically for caster dps, but there would still be gear specifically for healers. It seems to me, you would likely need to give everyone the “spirit becomes hit for dps roles” that only hybrid classes get now.

  12. Schroom says:

    I think they will make Professions account bound, so you have access to every profession you learned on an alt. also you can swap those profession, you learned on one of your toons between each other. re-balancing the profession bonuses if one profession is “better” all of a sudden than an other.

    kinda like the glyph system, but with professions and their bonuses.

  13. Dalmasca says:

    Wow, how do you feel now that they’re axing Hit/Exp? Relieved? I think it definitely opens up a lot of budget/design room to play up the other stats, including new ones like Cleave and Movement Speed.

    • Theck says:

      A little surprised they went as far as they did with it. I’d have kept hit and used the quantized setup I suggested just to keep a little more item diversity, but maybe the addition of amp/multi-strike will be enough to offset that.

      • Dalmasca says:

        Ya, I think it greatly depends on how much impact those secondary and tertiary stats are. If reforging is no longer around in 6.0, determining and obtaining BiS items might be considerably more difficult.

        Still, I’m excited at the more diverse model.

      • Çapncrunch says:

        I’m surprised as well about them completely axing hit and exp. But the more I think about it the more it makes sense, and the more I realize how little hit and exp really did for us aside from make things unnecessarily complicated.

        Think about it all hit/exp really do currently is make it so that every dps (well virtually every dps, there are a few outliers) have 5100 stat rating that they have to set aside to ensure they hit their targets, and tanks have 7650 for the same reason. As you gear up and improve your character these numbers stay the same, they don’t continue to improve over time, they just sit there. Every time you get a new piece of gear you need to readjust your gear and shift stats around so that you still have the same amount. Just replaced your haste/crit boots with haste/exp boots? Well you didn’t actually gain any exp because you just shifted things around and actually gained some haste or crit or mastery.

        They could remove hit and exp right now and just lower the item budge on all items a bit so that you have 5100 (or 7650) less total secondary stats than you currently do and we’d effectively be in the same boat we’re currently in. The only difference is we wouldn’t have to reforge/gem/enchant our gloves. chest, helm and bracers just because we got a new pair of boots.

        Reforging simply made secondary stats a bit too fluid to make hit and expertise worthwhile or interesting. Instead it just turned them into a boring math problem that we use a website or addon to solve for us. The only time we really care at all about how much hit or exp is on our gear is when we have way too much of it that we can’t get rid of all the excess (ToT ret pallies say “hi”).

        Back before reforging existed hit and exp were a little more interesting because we had to make do with what was on our gear, and we only had gems and a few enchants to fine-tune it. But that carried the issue of upgrades that were dependent on other upgrades, ie “those boots would be an upgrade but they have exp on them that I don’t need, so they’re not really worth wearing until I get these other shoulders to replace my exp shoulders I have now”, which while perhaps “interesting” isn’t particularly fun (especially when you factor in various loot systems that groups may use, do you really want to spend dkp on an item you won’t be able to use until you get another item, which you won’t have the dkp to get anyways?)

        It just seems that the more I look at it, hit and exp don’t really do anything but make a mess and force us to use programs to make sure we have the right amount. Now while I do think gear will get a little shallow with only haste/crit/mastery on it, it’ll also be refreshingly simple to deal with upgrades, simply make that item as best as it can be regardless of your other gear. How nice that would be again! To not have to modify every other piece of gear to accommodate one new piece.

        • Crozekiel says:

          The interesting thing I am waiting to see is how they balance the tertiary stats they are adding. I mean, cleave seems like a definite dps / threat increase stat. Life steal seems like something every tank (and possibly dps, depending if life steal is above your normal damage done or if it is a percentage of normal damage done) will want a ton of as well. It should be interesting.

          • Çapncrunch says:

            I haven’t looked over everything, but from what I understand the tertiary stats are like a random extra thing that items will sometimes have but aren’t a part of the regular stat budget. In other words a boss will have plate haste/mastery boots on his loot table, and normally that’s all they are, just plate boots with stam, armor, haste, mastery and whatever primary stat your current spec uses. But sometimes it might also have cleave on it, or run speed, or life steal, etc.

            So you wouldn’t really be able to plan around stacking one or another, as they’ll just be random as to which (if any) happen to be on a piece of gear. Sort of similar to how thunder/warforged items currently work, except instead of just a raw ilevel/stat increase it’ll be a random tertiary stat.

    • Fredrik says:

      Im not sure wether im going to laugh or cry. Honestly, removing hit, I believe, is a huge mistake. I was hoping they would build more around dodge/parry gain than completely removing it, as dodge/parry is the core tanking stats, and has been since vanilla.

      Atleast I feel awkward when I get haste/mastery items in cost of a DPS needing it equally much. Same goes for trinkets, and especially Thok’s. As its BiS for all strength melee and protection paladins. Which just feels weird.

      All in all I was hoping for a “warrior dodge/parry gain lookalike”, if that makes any sense.

      Im sorry for my language, but im not english/american.

  14. Keres says:

    I’ve tried to keep a handle on what was said at blizzcon but one question seems to not have been answered specifically, on the information that I can find; Did anyone say how dodge/parry was going to work, as in how or if we will get more of it as we gear ourselves out?

    What information I have found just says that bliz thinks avoidance is cool as a tank but not on gear and as stats itself it will be gone.

    Does this mean then that we will have a static amount of avoidance that does not scale, similar to our miss chance, or does it mean that it will scale based on your primary states, like currently how dodge and parry are gained based off of agil and str, or does this mean that, like monks and druids, some of our active mitigation will be *passive* in that using certain abilities will boost dodge or parry chance by a static/variable amount?

    Seems to bring out an interesting situation, regardless of answer. Anyway, anyone know by chance if more was said on the subject that what is on the fansites?

    • Xfighter says:

      As far as I can remember, and without digging through the VoDs, I think GC stated that they feel avoidance does have its place, and I’m pretty sure that we’ll still be getting some of it through the Str/Agil that we are currently.

      I also remember vaguely hearing something about they are still determining what will ultimately boost our avoidance up when its all said and done, and that they didn’t have it all worked out yet, other than really liking the AM model (and by assumption that they will be pushing that a lot more anyways – so maybe dodge/parry ultimately play a very small role so the base we get from conversions is all we really need?)

    • Dalmasca says:

      My guess would be the same as Xfighter’s. They haven’t confirmed exactly how dodge and parry will work, but it would make sense for them to continue scaling off Str/Agi (perhaps even more than before).

      This would continue our modest passive avoidance gains as we gear up while active mitigation mechanics draw on the other secondary stats.

      It’s hard to say, given the diversity of current avoidance/mitigation mechanics. We have no way of knowing which of those will survive to 6.0 in their current form and how they will interact with each other overall.

  15. Ulrik says:

    I’d think it more likely that they’d remove dodge/parry scaling from primary stats as well. Increasing avoidance levels is what brought us Sunwell Radiance, after all.

    Savage Defense and Elusive Brew is more how I picture them handling avoidance going forward.

    • Dalmasca says:

      I agree that the active avoidance abilities will probably have a greater share of overall avoidance in the future. However, the passive avoidance from primary stats is still a good mechanic to keep. It’s very similar to auto-attack for melee dps. If you recall, during Monk development, they didn’t have auto-attack, but Blizzard decided they didn’t like how that was performing. GC explained that they like having some baseline performance mechanics so less-skilled players don’t lag so far behind. You could make the case for auto-crit and auto-proc mechanics being in place for the same reason.

      Moreover, the scaling/cap issues in any other expansion were more a result of the extra tiers/ilvls of gear that were not planned for. Reforging actually exacerbated this issue in the case of paladins block-capping in Cata, making it more prevalent.

  16. Keres says:

    Perhaps, however the issue with Sunwell, by the Devs admission, was that they created a tier of gear on top of the highest tier that they intended for the expansion. This lead to the players having capped out stats like Armor, for druids (though I think every expansion Druids at least have hit the armor cap), as well as reaching levels of avoidance that prevented the tanks from even getting hit, under certain situations.

    If the devs have planed out the entire expansion, and the next couple from some of their statements, I think they may have learned their lesson, with regarding gear scaling.

    Think of what they have said regarding the raiding scene in WoD, granted it is early to not say that everything they say is subject to change; They have confirmed the tiers will have four raiding levels (LFR, Norm, Heroic and Mythic), valor upgrading looks like it will stay and “warforged” will still drop. If they keep those three as rules for the gear, and the fact that we can’t get additional dodge or parry on gear anymore, then we can surmise that even if we only keep getting parry from Str, we’ll have about 25-30% parry, at current scaling, by the end of the expansion. This granted assumes that we will have the same relative amount of strength on our tank gear that we have currently and that the formula for converting it to parry scales appropriately.

    …you know what, that seems like a lot of things to count on before even the beta for the expansion is released. Guess we’ll have to be patient. :)

    Still I think that the devs have learned from the outcry of past “raid instance” buffs that either limit or increase player power and won’t likely do it again.

    • Çapncrunch says:

      TBC: they added an extra, unplanned tier
      Wrath: they added an extra, unplanned tier, AND added heroic difficulty raids
      MoP: they added thunder/warforged items and introduced flex difficulty which pushed ilevels higher than originally planned

      Their track record for “having planned out the expansion and where gear/stats are supposed to end up at the end” is not a promising one. The only time they didn’t end up inflating ilevels further than the original plan was Cata, and even then being the first expansion with reforging let squeeze more stats out of our gear than previously which basically created the same issue with scaling.

      I’m not saying they don’t have a plan for how gear will progress over the course of the expansion, I’m sure they do. But I also think that there’s a very high likelihood that they’ll wind up adding something new over the course of the expansion that will toss that plan out the window.

      • Daeva says:

        Adding Flex didn’t raise item ilevels one bit. The jump from T15 -> T16 normal (496 -> 522, 26 ilevels) is essentially the same as T14 -> T15 normal (522 -> 553, 31 ilevels). All that Flex did was slide in the middle of that jump. If you wanna blame something for the 5 ilevel difference in the jump, either blame the 489s clogging up T15, thunderforged items for bumping up ilevels, or item upgrades. If Flexible had not been implemented, T16 normal loot would still be 553 ilevel.

        • Çapncrunch says:

          Flex played a role as well. There was a blue post that discussed their reasonings for why they choose the ilevels they did and it mostly centered around wanting to make sure that each difficulty provided meaningful rewards to certain groups of raiders while not making too much feel “mandatory” for those above those difficulties, as well as making sure that the progression steps between the 4 difficulties were meaningful steps as well. This meant that they had to squeeze 2 steps between LFR and Normal where they used to only have 1. And sure while the existence of thunderforged gear was another reason to increase the gap, as well, I think it’d be silly to think that if thunderforged didn’t exist that they wouldn’t have still given flex some extra wiggle room to let it be it’s own difficulty.

          That’s why I listed them both as reasons for ilevels being pushed up higher than planned (also valor upgrades shouldn’t have been a factor, as they were planned before MoP came out, even though they weren’t ready in time for launch).

          • Daeva says:

            I dug up the blue post in question here:

            The important bits are the second and third paragraph. Normal ilevel landed where it was because it was meant to be a step above Throne of Thunder Heroic. Flexible doesn’t even come into the discussion until after Normal’s ilevel is set up, and Flexible is just placed at the midpoint between LFR and Normal. Removing Flexible from the equation wouldn’t budge Normal an inch because the point of the Normal ilevel being in “the low 550s” is to ensure that normal drops are a significant upgrade from Heroic T15 loot. If Normal SoO loot was 540, it would have had to be perfectly-itemized to not just get sharded on the way to Heroic loot.

            Also note that Watcher’s example of Heroic Thunderforged being 549 is for a 2/2 upgraded piece; Heroic loot from Throne of Thunder is a base ilevel of 535, or 541 for Thunderforged.

  17. Raed says:

    @Theck: Is getting the T16 4pc through some flex pieces worth not using individual items that have an higher item level. For example I have the normal chest and hands, but my helm and legs would be flex. And I have helm and leg gear that stat wise is better as they are pieces from SOO normal. Thanks for the input.

    • Crozekiel says:

      t16 4pc is amazing for prot. I went from warforged helm and a normal chest to flex tier pieces and I actually felt the survivability increase, and also noticed a dps increase. Uptime on EF is nearly impossible to ruin, and so many more SotR. If you are on the fence whether this would be the case for you, try looking yourself up on and see whether you gain or lose points for the set bonus. I would wager you gain a fair amount.

  18. Theck says:

    It really depends on the exact pieces. The 4-piece is a huge survivability gain, so unless you’re comparing flex gear to heroic/warforged gear, it’s probably better to stick with the 4-piece.

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