Back in the day, before the fall of the Lich King, you had to be clever with your itemization, gems, and enchants. There was a rather interesting trade off where you had to decide whether to exist as much as a percentage point over the hit cap, or risk going a few scant points under. Entire posts were written debating the merits of being close to cap against being over cap. Snow fell only on uphill slopes that I, of course, walked on to get everywhere. It was a golden age of snowshoes and tough moral dilemmas.
However, what I call interesting, a lot of other people call blatantly annoying. What's worse than getting the new, awesome, super shiny upgr- Oh it has no hit on it. Damn. Burn it all to fel. Enter reforging. The salve to our irritable bowel syndrome. The panacea to our collective case of conjunctivitis.
Being Catholic, my initial reaction to change was one of intense fear and suspicion. It is something that is bred into me like an overactive sex drive and a love of the "occasional" drink, as well as an affinity for the pleated skirt. What was wrong with the old ways? Doesn't too easy = bad = sin = anger = fear = the dark side? Isn't there some sort of inherent nobility to my suffering? HAS EVERYTHING I'VE EVER DONE BEEN FOR NAUGHT?!
Okay, I'm catastrophizing. But seriously, I'm the type of person that sometimes struggles with change. I had my old system worked out and working for me, and then they had to go and gunk it up. So I did not welcome reforging with open arms.
Yet, now that I'm max level and beginning to to tweak gear for raiding, I'm starting to see it's allure. No longer am I pigeonholed into lesser gear for fear of losing my cap. No longer do I develop a twitch when the new epic trinket awards me with a whole percent of wasted hit points. I simply reforge, and then I'm done. Or unreforge (isn't that just "forge"? IDK).
The beauty of reforging is that it allows you to mess around with numbers to try and hit the cap exactly on the nose. It's still a bit challenging, as you can only get so much from each piece. In fact, it sort of becomes a game within a game as you try to work the puzzle pieces together to fit perfectly (as possible). Right now I have achieved a scant 0.04% overage. I was irrationally excited by it since, after purchasing the scarily hit free Justice Point hand upgrade, I knew full well that the loss of hit from the slightly worse piece it was replacing would be a challenge to make up. In the past, I would have just ignored the upgrade, because no way would I be able to gem/enchant swap enough to make the purchase worthwhile, sinking tons of gold into the process and probably ending off with a worse itemization than when I started.
Now, though... WAHOO REFORGING!
Being still somewhat resistant to change and extreme measures for min/maxing, I wanted to pass along my simple rules for reforging. These rules are supposed to be the "basics" when you're mucking around for hit cap. Sure you could reforge everything to the best stats possible, but I'm not dealing with that right now. I'm deriving these from my current stat progression (found in the guides up there on the left), so they may change over time. I want to try to keep it simple though...
Affliction Warlock Hit Reforging Rules of Thumb
- If you need more Hit, try to steal it from Mastery. Mastery is the worst.
- If you can't steal Mastery, get it from Crit or Haste (you can get into Haste plateaus if you want, but I'm not worrying about that yet, I'm still switching gear too frequently).
- If you have too much Hit, unreforge or put some back into Crit or Haste. Forget Mastery.
- Corrupt things for Profit
- A clever Demo lock told me we should shoot for 1996 Haste. Meander around this rating if you want.
- Crit and Mastery are about on the same level, so steal from either of these for Hit.
- Too much hit? Unreforge or metamorphosize some into Haste.
- Enslave things for Profit.
- Melee hit cap is 8% and Expertise cap is 25 (check your mouseovers).
- Steal it from Haste.
- Pop it back into Mastery. Bwuh? Yeah, Mastery is actually decent here. Or my fave, Crit, is always good.
- Freeze things for Profit.