Changes we will see in Cataclysm

Today Blizzard gave us the news on how they intend to change gear (and by extension, some talents) for the various classes in Azeroth. Most of these were already known of course, but it never hurts to get a good overview of what we can expect to gain (and lose) once we put that shiny disc in our CD-drives.

  • Stamina on non-plate gear will be slightly increased, to create less of a difference between cloth and plate DPS characters. This should allow us a few more hits as well, meaning more leeway in raids.
  • Spirit will be found only on healing gear – DPS casters will not need it. Considering that at least one of our glyphs and some major talents we have revolve around Spirit, I can see this as being a bit of a problem. Either our talents are changed to use some other stat instead (Stamina or a %-based proc off existing spellpower) we are going to be needing on the healing kit. Sorry! It also means bye bye Prayer of Spirit.
  • Haste will allow us to increase our mana regeneration as well as casting speed. This will lead to some interesting maths as we try to figure out the perfect curve between casting our mana bars dry and having infinite mana.
  • Intellect will provide Spellpower, there will be no more spellpower on gear. It will also provide less mana per point of Intellect. This means we will be looking to stack Intellect before anything else, closely resembling a Discipline priest.
  • Mastery is a new stat which simply governs how good you are in doing what you do – it will rack up as you put more points into your favored talent tree.
  • Resilience now works only against players.

Well, that’s quite something. There’s a few spots where we will hit a snag, especially if pieces we have that are designated as “healer gear” suddenly become of lesser value to us. And then, there’s a few talent issues:

  • Spirit Tap and Improved Spirit Tap will not affect Spirit anymore, since Blizzard says we shouldn’t need it anymore. My guess is this will be flat mana regeneration increased by critical hits and killing opponents.
  • Twisted Faith allows Spirit to contribute to your Spellpower – my guess is this talent would be based on Intellect instead or (more warlock-like) on our Stamina.
  • Meditation would be strictly healer-only I guess. I’d imagine that to prevent such a talent to be useful to non-healers, it would be an ability deep in the Holy and/or Discipline trees. Fortunately, this would give us quite some extra talent points to play with in the Shadow tree as well.
  • Glyph of Shadow: This glyph currently increases our spellpower by 30% of our Spirit for a time after scoring a critical hit with a direct damage spell. This dovetails nicely with (Improved) Spirit Tap, which probably will be changed as well. In my opinion this could either be a passive %buff to damage (5% for instance) or become based on a percentage of our Stamina instead.

You might be wondering why I’d suggest Stamina as a useful stat for DPS by coupling it with these talents. Well, Shadowpriests have a history of being quite survivable and having a lot of health for a clothie, so it would make sense. If you’d be looking at complete rewrites of abilities, I ‘d love to see something like the following:

  • Spirit Tap: When you kill an opponent that gives honor or experience, you instantly regain 2% of your maximum mana.
  • Improved Spirit Tap: When you score a critical hit on Mind Blast, Mind Flay or Shadow Word: Death, you gain a bonus to Haste equal to 10% of your Intellect.
  • Twisted Faith: Damage done by your Mind Blast and Mind Flay is increased by 2-10% while your target is afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain. In addition, it increases your Spellpower by 4-20% of your Stamina.
  • Glyph of Shadow: When you score a critical strike with a non-periodic spell, you have a 25% chance to cause the next Shadow spell you cast cost no mana.
  • Dark Whispers (New talent): When Power Word: Shield on you is dispelled or completely used up, your next Mind Blast will become instant cast. (Or could be combined with Shadowguard, as below, making that a prerequisite)
  • Shadowguard (Old troll racial): Creates a ward of Shadows around you with 3 charges. Each time a melee hit is scored against you, one of the orbs discharges, dealing X Shadow damage to the attacker. This damage causes no threat.

Either way, time will tell what our gear and talents shall look like come Cataclysm. Rest assured that Blizzard will probably be taking a good look at Shadowpriests and Warlocks (as they have with Boomkins) to make sure that the Spirit disparity will be solved. I can’t wait to see what changes for character races will be in store! ^_^

8 Responses to “Changes we will see in Cataclysm”

  1. Addendum:

    This would mean our gearing priority would be: Hit (Until cap), Intellect, Haste, Crit.

    I can forsee some issues with activating our metagem, if it still requires 2 blue gems. One can be fixed with a Nightmare Tear (+10 to all stats) but if Spirit is no longer useful to us, the value of that gem goes down. MP5 will be removed, so a Spellpower/MP5 gem also is not an option. This probably leaves the Hit gems becoming an attractive option, if Blizzard does indeed change those to Blue gems. This of course, will only hold until you reach the Hit Cap.

    Last but not least, if there is any benefit to be gained from Stamina for Shadowpriests (other than extra HP) I’d say +Spellpower/Stamina gems would become the best to get after that.

  2. This is the first time I see haste increasing regen, where did you read it? I’ve only heard that dps gets “other ways of regen”, never noticed it linked to haste as then healers would have two regen stats.

    Spirit tap getting reworked shouldn’t really matter. It’s pure awesomenes at lower levels, it’s even enough to allow my holy priest stay 80%+ mana when doing random 5-mans at lower levels. I’m quite certain they keep the basic principle of killing blow granting regen boost but will base it on something else.

    As for talents, I’d like to see a few talents moved around so that spriests won’t have to waste points in relatively useless “healing” stuff in other trees. E.g swap around spell warding and meditation allowing shadow to go deep enough into disc to get stam boosts, damage mitigation and even mental strength. Yea, talents will see a major rework but would be nice to become even more indestructible than we are already while also boosting our damage through +int talents from disc :)

    • You are correct, I digged deep in the archives of MMO-Champion and WoWWiki, and only found the Haste benefit for ranged/melee classes, not casters. The linked post states “Haste will become more attractive for melee classes by allowing them to recover resources such as energy and runes more quickly”, i.e. from Warrior white hits and enhanced Rogue energy regeneration. This means we’d lose a chunk of mana regen in addition to the loss of Spirit, since quite some of our passive mana regen still comes from Meditation.

      As for Spirit Tap, I think reworking it would be necessary. We would no longer gain mana regen and damage bonuses for Spirit (assuming Blizzard indeed wants to wean us off Spirit), making Spirit Tap useless for us. In fact, if they did not change it, rather move that to the Holy tree altogether. As it is, it is in the Shadow tree and thus should give us some benefit.

      That is why I imagined some sort of “2% max mana from killing blow” idea, like how the heirloom items work.

      I assume Blizzard will make sure we want nothing out of holy, but love Discipline as companion tree (like now). Without the need for Meditation (which would be less/not useful to us with the proposed changes) and 5 extra talent points, I can see a lot of bang for the buck there, for both PvP and raids.

  3. For gems I can see them reworking a few things. Having haste, crit and hit all be yellow isn’t particularly nice. I can see one of them turning blue

    • The post I linked contains a statement that they’d probably turn the Hit gem blue. This will work wonders to activate our meta until we can reach the new hit cap without them, then we’d need to find solid alternatives.

  4. I also just re-read the piece and found out that Mastery seems to be tied to wearing “your” armor type, to discourage boomkins from wearing cloth and healadins from wearing mail. Essentially you can still do it, but you would be giving up the free “mastery” bonus.

    I think GC already hinted at that earlier by saying that when Wrath ends, people should take careful consideration of what gear they considered “best for them”, and stick to their own armor type.

    • They also said Cata is far away and we shouldn’t really worry too much about leveling gear. SWP stuff was kind of nice in Naxx, yes, but having significantly lower manapool than I would have had in quest blues it probably hurt more than it helped.

  5. Thanks for writing this blog and such informative, captivating posts.

    From an avid reader, my gratitude.


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