Tag Archives: wotlk

Spellpower and You: Gearing in WotLK

Note: this post contains information on Wrath of the Lich King. However, it’s not really ‘spoilers’ as such, and I recommend you read it anyway in the interests of being prepared.

One of the big changes in Wrath of the Lich King is a revamp of gearing and the way gear stats are handled. This is for a number of reasons – such as making hybrids more flexible and making gear pieces more useful – but here’s the basic summary for holy paladins (and, well, all healers and casters).

The Theory

  • Spell crit, spell hit and spell haste ratings are disappearing. Crit, hit and haste ratings now affect both spellcasting and physical abilities.
  • +heal and +dmg/heal ratings are disappearing, and being replaced with spellpower, which affects both spell damage and healing.
  • Existing items with +healing are being translated to spellpower stats instead; it’s not a direct 1:1 translation, so on Wrath Day you’ll end up with a lot less spellpower than your current +heal.
  • This is not a problem, because other mechanics are being revamped to account for it (for instance, healing spells are getting a much bigger boost from spellpower).
  • Existing items with +dmg/heal are being translated to spellpower as well, at close to a 1:1 transition.

The Practice

On Wrath Day, you’ll see a big change in your stats: no longer will you have Spell Crit or Spell Haste, and your giant +Heal will turn into a much smaller Spellpower number.

Let’s take a look at a sample healadin with a fairly standard 42/19/0 build (based off my own character), Here’s a warcrafter.net sandbox showing the paladin in a fully gemmed and enchanted set of Karazhan gear (including some gearing choices I wouldn’t actually make, but I’m sticking to the Kara-only guideline).

Examplia, as we might call her, has the following vitals:

  • Health: 7,717
  • Mana: 10,427
  • Healing: 1734
  • Spell Damage: 703
  • Mana Per 5: 113
  • Spell Crit: 16.34%

On Wrath Day, she’ll have the following:

  • Health, Mana, Mana Per 5: unchanged
  • Spellpower: 1078
  • Crit: 16.34%

So, you can see that her base stats and regen remain unchanged, while her +Healing turns into Spellpower at a ratio of about 1.6 : 1. Her spell damage increases, which means her effectiveness as a shockadin may also increase (depending on how much benefit Seals and Judgements will derive from spellpower, which is still being revised).

(Remember, of course, that Blizzard may revise items differently depending on the gear in question. Examplia is wearing Karazhan gear, which was designed two years ago when The Burning Crusade was being developed; characters in gear from Sunwell Plateau or badge purchases from the Isle of Quel’Danas may see different tweaks, as Blizzard’s developers had eighteen months’ more experience when developing those items.)

The Effect

What does this mean? Well… we don’t entirely know yet. (All that math for nothing!) Blizzard have said that the change of condensation of +dmg and +heal into spellpower won’t reduce healing output; I haven’t seen any equivalent statements about the effect on shockadin DPS, so it could yet be an improvement, reduction or no real change at all.

What we do know, however, is that existing gear will be more versatile, and upcoming gear will be useful to more people.

Compare a couple of items:

Previously a healing shield and its DPS equivalent, in Wrath of the Lich King these items will be all but identical – which means if you only ever got one, now it will do dual-duty. This effect can be seen in a lot of other places as well:

As you can imagine, once healing and spell damage are condensed into Spellpower a lot of DPS caster items suddenly become excellent for holy paladins. Compare the Karazhan rings; all of a sudden the Violet Signet of the Archmage is suddenly better for a holy paladin than the Violet Signet of the Grand Restorer, as it has Crit Rating instead of Spirit.

Obviously, this effect will become less important after Wrath Day as people start doing quests, running instances, and upgrading their gear – new caster/healer gear in Wrath only comes in one flavour, and that’s Spellpower. However, the better your gear is on Wrath Day, the longer you’ll take to upgrade it, and the easier you’ll find questing and instancing in the meantime.

In closing, I note that I expect paladin gearing-up to be bunches of fun at level 80. No more getting stuck with stacking mp5 until you hit Tier 5; now all those caster Crit/Spellpower items will be just as tasty for us!

What will I do on launch day?

Because I’m kind of twitchy about planning for things in advance, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’m going to tackle the early days of Wrath of the Lich King. I didn’t do too well when TBC was released; I was burnt out on levelling from a last-minute push to get an alt to 60 (she dinged 60 literally 8 hours before TBC went on sale), and health issues made it difficult for me to concentrate or focus properly during the early days of the Burning Crusade. As a result, it took me nearly six weeks to hit 70 on Sailan, my main (although two weeks of that was a hospital stay, to be fair).

Obviously, I don’t wish to repeat that when Wrath of the Lich King is released, and as a guild leader I can’t afford to. So I’m trying to decide how best to meet my goals.

Logically, that would mean playing Sailan and no-one but Sailan until she hits 80, and then starting on the instance-and-rep-grind gearing treadmill until she’s ready to enter Naxx.

However, I also really enjoy crafting, and this is where it gets complicated:

  • Sailan is currently a jewelcrafter & alchemist.
  • Alchemy is handy, but our guild has a lot of alchemists, and I’m pretty bored with it. Even before the Potion Sickness debuff news, I’d been seriously contemplating dropping Alchemy.
  • I’ve been planning on replacing Alchemy with either Blacksmithing (if it has decent craftable epics akin to Tailoring and Leatherworking’s star performers) or Inscription. Unless Blacksmithing is insanely good, it’ll probably be Inscription.
  • My mage, Sathandra, is my gatherer (a miner/herbalist with an epic flying mount, hooray!).

So I have two choices. I can try and level Sathandra concurrently with Sailan (probably dualboxing) so I can keep those steady supplies of herbs, ore and gems flowing in. Or, I can sit on my hands while I’m levelling Sailan, keep the tradeskill addiction at bay, and then turn around and level Sathandra as soon as Sailan hits 80 (when I’m not instancing, anyway).

Neither is a great option, and I’ve been going back and forth on this issue for months now. I’m starting to think my best option is to save up a ridiculous amount of gold in advance and just buy Sailan’s tradeskill mats until I can start gathering on Sathandra, but that nearly bankrupted me in TBC!

Decisions, decisions…

Inscription Guide

Note: this post contains spoilers for Wrath of the Lich King.

This is the first of a two-part guide to Inscription, the new tradeskill being introduced in Wrath of the Lich King. The second part will cover specific recipes, required mats, and a recommended path for levelling the skill as efficiently and quickly as possible – however, that’s a fair way off, and won’t be published until the list of recipes is reasonably complete. This post will be updated as more information comes to hand.

Last Update: 30 July; beta build 8681
If you have questions, feel free to contact me.

REVISED Inscription Guide

For the full list of Inscription recipes and the complete Inscription Guide, download the guide as a PDF file here: inscription10.pdf. (The full guide is in PDF form because frankly, it’s almost impossible to format all those tables as a blog post.)

Otherwise: read on for the original post.

Note that I’m calling people with Inscription ‘inscribers’, because ‘inscriptionists’ sounds clunky. If the community standardises on a name I’ll change to that.

Continue reading Inscription Guide

For Arthas!

I’ve just played through the Death Knight starting area and quests on Siaka, my Draenei Death Knight. I have to say it: this is the single most fun and immersive in-game experience I’ve ever had. I tend to think almost everyone should roll a death knight – even if they have no desire to play one long-term – and at least play through the starting area, to experience this for themselves.

For those of you who want spoilers: rather than reinvent the wheel by trying to show off the content myself, I point you to Lume’s blog; he’s posted an in-depth review, including videos of some of the pivotal scenes.

Inscription Is In

Well, Inscription is now available in the current WotLK build, which is good news for those curious about the profession.

I’m just waiting for character copy to be working again so I can copy my herb banker across, and then I’ll be starting work on Inscription over the weekend. Watch the skies for an Inscription levelling guide.

A Posting Note

I know not all of my readers want to be spoiled for Wrath of the Lich King, so I’m going to be posting any spoilery WotLK stuff behind a “read more” jump cut tag, and the first line will warn of spoilers (for those reading from a feed reader).

That’s all, carry on – and good morning to you all!