Since BBB was so kind as to re-post the blue post yesterday, I'm going to link to him as the source of my contemplation. Having browsed the announcement casually, let's look at what this means for Warlocks (today), Protection Paladins (tomorrow via Fuu), and Death Knights (Thursday). Before we do that, though, I'd like to make sure to note that like everything else Blizzard does, this is subject to change. With that being said, I think you can take a lot of this information to the bank since it is very non-specific and more about the general directions they want to go. Thus, I'm going to try to keep my musings general as well. I'm sure Fuu will do her own thing.
Here is the simple summary from the post:
If you are a DPS caster, expect to see:
* A lot more Stamina.
* All of your Spell Power converted to Intellect and Stamina.
* No Spirit. You won’t miss Spirit, though, because you won’t need it for DPS or mana regen.
These changes really represent a Big Deal for 'locks. It looks like a lot of the gear we prized will be changing. Is it for the better though? If they follow their word, I would say this could be great for 'locks. Here's why.
Dumping Spirit is good stuff. She's always been a fickle friend at best, and a dirty whore at worst. We need her, but we don't. We're curious, but at the same time we're cool. At least we'll be able to stop doing freaking 1/3 calculations for our gear. (0.33, repeating of course). The basic thing here is that it's one less stat to worry about for DPS, and that would be a welcome change. The only danger here is that some of our more Spirit heavy gear gets redesigned with healers in mind and thus becomes worthless to us.
Spellpower converting to Stam and Int is probably the best case scenario for 'locks. Since Int would be the "new" Spellpower AND it would still dictate mana pool. This is good. Having some convert to Stam (I assume to keep proper balance) is not wasted for us, since we can Life Tap. Thus it should be all around good news for us. Not to mention just having more hit points is a win as well.
Haste, Crit, Hit... those will likely still be good for us, but will be firmly "supporting" stats. This should let us be able to tweak them with reforging (more on that later), but depending on how that works, it could be really awesome. I'm so incredibly sick of carrying alternatively high and low hit numbers. I'm either wasting a ton or trying to scrape together more from somewhere. If we really could just tweak these stats it would be great. It's also important to note that Blizz intends to make it harder to "cap" stats (like hit), so we may be looking at cases where you just shoot for certain levels of "sufficiency" that depend on what level of raiding you're currently doing. I think the idea here is to decrease the dependence on "supporting" stats, so it just won't be as good perhaps.
So here's the old:
Hit (until capped)>SP>Haste>Crit>Spirit>>Int.
And here could be (emphasis on could) the new:
Int>Hit (until sufficient)>Haste>Crit>>Stam
It's simpler, cleaner, and puts clear emphasis on the "Major" stats with Int being top dog. It's also not completely boring. Still, this is total speculation.
Filed Under Misc
There are two concepts which I'll touch upon both today (for 'locks) and later (for DKs): Reforging and Mastery.
Reforging is what Blizzard is calling their general directive whereby they'd like to allow players to tweak the "support" stats on gear. They're really vague on how this will be implemented (in other words, it's still up in the air), but let's just assume there will be some type of reforging available in the not-so-distant future. As mentioned above, it would be really nice to have this option. Say we reach a level of hit that we feel comfortable with, then we could switch some of that to haste or crit as needed. Blizz intoned that there will probably be a trade off of some sort for doing this (it won't necessarily be a one to one swap, maybe you'd only get a half point per one point of the previous stat), so there should be some interesting choices involved.
Mastery is rumored to be a new stat that will "allow players to become better at whatever makes their chosen talent tree cool or unique." You can interpret that as well as I can. For a Warlock, maybe this stat will make us more evil. Perhaps Dots will get a bonus for Affliction 'locks, or maybe it would be something as simple as for Demonologists, the Demon for gets to look increasingly badass. Who knows? They indicate that it'll be some way tied to talents, so we could see things where you get a simple bonus multiplier based on your "mastery" level. I would guess this stat might be hard to come by and not malleable like "supporting" stats.
So what should you do now?
We don't know when, exactly, these changes are going to roll out. They may be in a patch next week (remotely pos-si-ble, but unlikely), they could be several weeks before the expansion (likely, since it would follow the trend set by TBC), or they could be with Cataclysm proper (perhaps equally likely, though I would think to do the tweaking stuff "in preparation for" the expansion). There is no time line. When the changes are actually release (and what they are in their final form) definitely dictates how much it affects us. If there is considerable time stuck at level 80, you will most likely be using "old" gear. If not, then what to do now matters less.
With that being said, I want to have in my mind what I should do if the changes are coming sooner rather than later. The answer there: nothing really, except beware of taking any obvious "healer" gear that may be good for you now. There should be a bigger separation between healer and cloth DPS gear in the future as itemization changes. It's probably a safe assumption that your class's tier gear will be re-itemized with your class in mind, but that is probably the only gear claim you could safely anticipate. Other pieces may surprise you with who Blizz actually intended them for.
Besides that? Just wait and see with the rest of us. Even if you could puzzle out Blizz's mind, you're more likely to simply out-think yourself, and even when we think we know what Blizz is going to do, they have a habit of still pulling out surprises.