At Blizzcon the new WoW expansion was announced, along with a ton of changes. There was talk of getting rid of stats on gear like Armor Penetration, Attack Power, etc and just having Agility give Shamans attack power.
No more Intellect on gear
But there was also some pretty significant changes announced for Hunters, who will no longer use mana, but instead focus similar to a rogue. So what, my hunter is retired right, what do I care?
I'm still using his gear, see. Well, ok, my enhancement shaman is using mail gear, with AP, int and all that good stuff on it, the same mail items that hunters currently use. The gear that, in Cataclysm, will no longer have any Intellect on it, because hunters won't be using it. Neither will Enhancement Shamans. The panel I watched on a stream said we were getting changes similar to Retribution Paladins (insert predictable Nerf joke here) to cope with pure Agility gear, so here are my thoughts on what this entails.
Talent-wise we currently have Mental Dexterity which converts Int into Attack Power, making the Int on mail attractive. We get some spell power and mana pool size from the Int on mail, but also attack power. Since 3.1, Retribution Paladins have Sheath of Light which appears to be the reverse, converting attack power into spell power (much like Mental Quickness). Ret Paladin gear doesn't have any Int, it is all strength and stamina (and those exotic stats which should be disappearing), so pure melee stats. I think our gear will be similar - with Agility and Stamina on it and no Intellect, so our spell power will come entirely from Mental Quickness, which will perhaps get a small buff.
However this leads to questions about our mana pool size. Kam has 11.7k mana, whereas our full-time Ret Paladin has 5.7k, so a whole lot less. How on earth does she not go OOM all the time? Firstly she has guaranteed replenishment from Judgements of the Wise and we all know how good replenishment is. Secondly she will be using Judgement of Wisdom in PvE for yet more mana return. Currently 11k is just enough for Kam if I use Shamanistic Rage on every cooldown, so if my pool gets cut in half something else needs to change. Will we also get a replenishment talent in common with our melee spellcaster hybrid brethren (please oh please)? Maybe a more effective Shamanistic Rage? Or maybe the new "Mastery" stat for the Enhancement tree will reduce the mana cost of spells? I can rule out a flat spell cost reduction, because Elemental use a lot of the same spells Enhancement do, and Elementals do fine for mana.
Personally I'm hoping for replenishment coupled with the current SR and Imp SS to make up for a smaller mana pool.
No more Attack Power, just Agility
Blizzard reckon they want Shamans to get 2 attack power from 1 agility, so they will put agility on gear instead of attack power. Except for maybe rings and things they want to share among melee classes (so cloaks, trinkets, necklaces and rings). Hopefully this also goes for critical strike rating.
Kam has 1885 of attack power from gear, if this were all from agility (at 2 ap per 1 agility) he would need an extra 942 agility. Now given agility also increases armour by 2 per point, critical hit change (83.33 agility for 1% according to wowwiki) and chance to dodge, either we will become critting, dodging, armoured machines of wind fury crits, or Blizzard are going to adjust some of these conversion figures. For interest, currently that 942 agility gives 1885 armour (21% extra), 22% extra crit chance, and ... some more dodge (the formula is complex, feel free to work it out yourself!), so clearly Blizzard will be adjusting things.
This new Mastery stat replaces Armour Penetration (hurrah) and "makes you better at doing what you do", so it will probably get assigned a weight relative to how much it improves our DPS.
I am a little confused over this one. On one hand they want spirit to be mana regeneration, but not for mages and warlocks. Blizzard said Haste improves the rate of regeneration of energy, runes, rage and focus. Because mana is not mentioned there, I guess us mana users will be relying on our active regen skills like Shamanistic Rage and Haste may be useless to us.
Well those are my thoughts, please share yours here or on your blog. For sure things are a changing.
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