When gear drops, there will be a chance that it could have a tertiary stat that will not count towards its budget. These will be bonuses on items similar to thunderforged or warforged items that dropped in the last two raid tiers. These new tertiary stats will be different than what long time players have come to expect on WoW gear. These stats can include speed bonuses to movement, cleave (allows you to hit or heal an extra target), lifesteal (life on hit, similar to Diablo), and sturdiness (item doesn’t suffer durability loss).
The way enchanting and geming works is also changing a bit. Going forward, fewer items will be able to be enchanted but there will now be a larger variety of more powerful enchants. Similar to how enchants are changing, there will be fewer gem sockets on gear but gems will become much more powerful. Socket bonuses are being removed entirely as sockets will become a bonus (like tertiary stats) that can appear on items which will not count towards an items budget.
Lastly, the long debated item squish is finally happening. I discussed this in the last WoW Factor but here’s the skinny: all of the numbers across the board will be reduced, health pools, stats, damage done etc. However, the relative damage and stat benefits will remain unchanged - in other words, the percentage of damage you inflict on a particular enemy will remain the same. This change makes understanding and reading numbers much quicker and easier. Returning players unaware of this changed may be shocked at first when the numbers appear smaller but again, everything still feels and plays the same.
So what’s my take on all of these itemization changes? Simply put: I love them. First, I love that I will no longer need to fill my inventory with multiple sets of gear. I also really like the prospect of no longer needing to use add-ons or rely on websites as much to tell me how to best reforge, gem and enchant the awesome new drop I’ve been waiting for - I can just equip it and be on my way (unless it is enchantable or I happen to get very lucky and get a gem slot). I also don’t have to be bummed when a great piece of leather gear drops that goes unclaimed but could have been beneficial to me if one of its stats were different.
The removal of reforging is great - I felt the entire system never provided interesting choices or customization, it was just something that had to be done in a particular why to suit your class spec just like the old talent trees. The same is true for enchants and and gems - with more powerful choices, there is the potential to see some really cool benefits. The idea that gem slots and tertiary stats being completely random affixes to gear is exciting - it provides a reason to continue raiding or running dungeons even after you got the loot you wanted. The only question I have is how the inscription and jewelcrafting professions will adjust with these new changes. I am sure each will be able to craft new items to compensate for the decrease in demand of enchants and gems. Lastly, the item squish is great. After playing the Warlords Of Draenor demo at BlizzCon several times, I hardly noticed the changes other than the increased readability of everything. I played all the classes I am familiar with and noticed no change in damage output or time to take down an enemy. I think it will be well received.
That’s it for now but much more to be discussed in the next WoW Factor. Let me know what you think about the new features and changes coming with the next expansion in the comments below!
This weeks throwback item: Cloak of the Gathering Storm
Reza Lackey / Reza is a giant nerd who loves video games, board games, film and way too many other things. Works in the film industry, on some startups and thinks science is cool. Also launches rockets.