Moonkin and Spirit:
If you are a Balance druid or Elemental shaman:
- You will still share gear with Restoration druids and shaman.
- Your gear will have Spirit on it. It won’t have Hit on it.
- You will have a talent that converts Spirit to Hit. We will adjust talents accordingly so that you want about as much Spirit as, say, a warlock wants Hit.
- Hit on rings and other such gear will still benefit you.
- Raid buffs will no longer boost Spirit, so you shouldn’t find yourself unexpectedly over the Hit cap because of buffs.
From a macro perspective I think it is the right choice. I would love to not have to deal with Spirit, but I agree that Blizzard can't justify building an entire set of gear drops that on average only one raid member will want. The best solution is to find a way for Moonkin and Resto's to want the same gear. Blizzard hasn't been successful with that in WotLK, but this Spirit = Hit idea is quite interesting and just might work. That said, the devil is in the details, and it will be interesting to see how Blizzard implements this. It has a lot of potential but I also see some pitfalls that I think Blizzard should avoid.
- Will Spirit truly be an optional stat? How will they itemize for Spirit on non-tier set leather caster gear? - Currently, spirit is pretty much a standard stat on non tier set caster leather. In all of ICC there is only one leather caster item without spirit that drops off of a boss. If that trend remains then I worry we will have an over abundance of Hit chance just like we do now.
Ghostcrawler, did post later on in the tread and say that some cloth would likely have neither Spirit or Hit that both healers and DPS might want. He also said some the Elemental Tier set will like not have any spirit as well. Assuming these comments hold for Druids as well should alleviate some of my concern. Reforging should make this less of an issue as well.
- Will there be spirit on the Moonkin tier sets? - I don't have a problem with the answer being yes, as long as it isn't on every piece and there are quality non tier pieces without spirit.
- Will 1 spirit = 1 hit rating for moonkin? If not, what will make up for our lost itemization? How will they account for the base amount of Spirit every player has? - The answers to these questions could have a significant impact on how moonkin scale in Cataclysm. I hope they go with the 1 to 1 conversion, and consider the base spirit we start with to be some thing like balance of power. Some sort of conversion equation would make scaling interesting, because I don't think they could come up with a formula that would be relevant for both Tier 11 and Tier 14. Plus, we would be losing itemization points if both stats keep their current valuation.
I actually really like this announcement. You may remember a post I made a few months ago where I asked if Chill of the Throne went far enough. In that post, I proposed that it should also reduce our chance to Hit, Crit, and the speeds of our casts. This would allow all classes to scale with gear better and prevent some classes from having cap issues.
Combat ratings - All ratings will be much harder to "cap out" at maximum gear levels. Ratings will be steeper in Cataclysm, and creatures in later tiers of content will be harder to hit or crit, similar to how level-83 mobs are harder to hit or crit than level-80 mobs.
In the end I got a lot of angry comments and most people were fairly dismissive of the idea, but I stand by it. It seems a little odd to me that the easiest bosses in an expansion are just as easy to hit or crit as the hardest. On top of that, we have to make a lot of effort to hit cap early in an expansion, but in the end of the expansion we can blow past the cap with no effort at all. I like the idea of needing more Hit Rating/Spirit for the higher levels of raiding. In the end I think it should make moonkin gearing a little more interesting then the set of defaults we have now.
Reforging - While these changes will go a long way to making a wider variety of stats more attractive, we understand that sometimes you simply don’t want more Hit Rating on your gear or you’d rather have more Haste than more Crit. In Cataclysm, we are going to give players a way to replace stats on gear as part of the existing profession system. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll be able to convert one stat to 50% of another stat. While some conversions (like converting Stamina to Strength) won’t be permitted, the goal is to let you customize your gear more.Most of this has been said before, but I think it may be the saving grace of Cataclysm gearing. Think about the gear choices you could make if you convert half the hit on the Tier legs to Crit or Haste. It would open up a whole lot more options on how to gear your moonkin. All of the other items with hit rating would then be an option, instead of ignored due to wasted itemization.
The one thing I did found most interesting about this section was an omission. If I remember correctly, at Blizzcon they said you would only be able to convert the stat to a stat a stat that was not already on the item. Therefore you couldn't change Haste to Crit on the most popular caster gear. I will be pleased if they have really dropped that condition.
Gems - We are changing the gem colors of a few stats as a result of these adjustments. For example, Hit is likely to be blue instead of yellow. We'll have more details on this in the future.
No surprise. This had to happen or red and blue gems would become mostly useless to caster DPS. My guess is that Int will become a red gem. This way all of the "power" stats like Agility and Strenght will fall under one gem. Moving hit rating to blue makes sense to combine it with spirit, and I bet that crit rating and haste rating will stay yellow.
Side Note: The updated gear list is on its way. I was given the list weeks ago, but I've recently been slammed at work and news comming out of blizzard. Therefore it is taking me a little longer then expected. Sorry for the delay