Cata Stat Weights – It Begins

I see no need for a prelude, as the title is self-explanatory enough, and I’m sure this is the sort of information people are quite eager for (as I know I was). May as well just jump straight into it.

A simple disclaimer: matters could certainly change between now and the expansion’s release. This information is all accurate as of the current beta build, however, and I would be surprised if anything radically shifted (although, as you’ll see, stat balance isn’t too hot at the moment, so it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if weights were to get fairly well tweaked).

[Unholy 2H]

As it is at 80, so it almost identically stands at 85:

Strength >Hit Rating > Haste Rating > Crit Rating > Expertise Rating > Mastery Rating

This order held true at every tested gear level; blue ilvl 333 (pre-heroic), blue ilvl 346 (pre-raid), and purple ilvl 359 (pre-hardmode). Hard mode itemization isn’t yet known, but the jump shouldn’t be significant enough to make anything change, although in later tiers we’ll likely see haste go down after a point and expertise relatedly go up, much as we’ve experienced at level 80.

One might be wondering what’s so interesting. After all, isn’t this nothing more than what we’ve already been growing used to? On the surface, perhaps so, but once you look at the actual numbers… that’s where you’ll notice the huge change between now in Wrath and then in Cataclysm.

I won’t hash out all three variants, as they’re not that different and I don’t want to bother you with a huge wall of digits. They’ll be in the EJ guide come the 7th. The following are the specifics for the purple ilvl 359 (pre-hardmode) build:

Strength: 3.10
Hit Rating: 1.65
Haste Rating: 1.10
Crit Rating: 0.80
Expertise Rating: 0.69
Mastery Rating: 0.32
Attack Power: 0.68

It’s important to remember that these weights are all in terms of dps, not AP, and that’s how I’ll be discussing all stat weights from now on. I’ll be making a blog entry over the weekend or early next week explaining why the change, although you can see a bit of my reasoning in yesterday’s post or in a reply I made on the EJ thread. It suffices to say that weights being in AP is simply illogical, and although that may be what people are accustomed to, that’s the sole reason not to change, whereas there’s a million benefits to be gained by doing so. Staying with AP would be somewhat akin to those of us in the U.S. still using our system of measurement as opposed to not just transitioning to the metric system. It makes no sense!

If, however, you wish to see how these compare the current weights, since I haven’t redone those into dps, multiply by the inverse of AP’s value – i.e, 1/0.68 = 1.47. Similarly, if you wish to see how current weights, simply multiply them by whatever AP’s value is – 0.85 if you’re looking at EJ.

Anyways, if you make either of those conversions (and even if you don’t), you’ll notice one key facts: strength is more or less the same while all of the secondary stats are (relatively) much less valuable. The main cause should be fairly obvious: the conversion rate for ratings went way up (although I would still argue they’re too low; ~18% haste in normal t11 likely means we’ll end the expansion with as much as we currently have!).

The consequences?

Higher ilvl str items will almost always be superior to lower ilvl str items, even if the former is mastery/expertise (the worst secondary stat combination) and the latter is haste/hit (the best secondary stat combination). In some cases, a higher ilvl str tank item may even be superior to a lower ilvl str dps item, if the first has hit, expertise, or mastery as one of its secondary stats. When I make these comparisons, I’m not talking about tier 14 loot versus tier 11 loot; of course gap that drastic will outweigh certain factors, as is the case right now. I’m talking about tier 12 versus tier 11, or even tier 11 hard mode versus tier 11 normal mode, and that’s what makes it so interesting.

On top of that, there’s gemming. Essentially, aside from meeting our meta requirements (and, as it currently stands, Unholy will use Engimatic over Chaotic), we’ll ignore socket bonuses unless the socket bonus is strength. Otherwise, we’ll go red gems all the way – even if we’re not hit capped (that would simply change reforging).

It will be an interesting expansion for gearing decisions, that’s for sure.

[Frost 2H]

Somewhat different from level 80, although most of the changes hearken back to the rating conversion nerf:

Strength > Hit Rating > Expertise Rating > Haste Rating > Mastery Rating > Crit Rating

This too stayed constant regardless of tested gear level. Extrapolating from my results, there will come a time when Mastery surpasses Haste, but that won’t be until tier 12, or perhaps even tier 13. It’s nothing to worry about for entry raiding.

Strength: 2.04
Hit Rating: 1.39
Expertise Rating: 1.20
Haste Rating: 0.88
Mastery Rating: 0.78
Crit Rating: 0.66
Attack Power: 0.65

Much of what was said for Unholy also applies here: while Strength held constant, every single rating plummeted, and because of that gearing choices will come down to ilvl above all else (i.e, secondary stats), and gemming will be red all the way except for meta purposes (Frost 2H will use Engimatic as well) and strength socket bonuses. To hit the hit and expertise caps, you’ll reforge to it – and if you can’t reach them through reforging, it’s likely not even worth sacrificing strength (via gemming or lesser ilvl gear options) to bother with it!

[Frost DW]

Last, but not least:

Strength > Hit Rating > Expertise Rating > Mastery Rating > Crit Rating > Haste Rating

Aside from haste being superior to crit at lower (blue ilvl 333, for example) gear levels, the order stays constant once again. The reason for haste being subpar is simply GCD capping issues!

Specific numbers in raid level gear:

Strength: 2.40
Hit Rating: 1.59
Expertise Rating: 1.38
Mastery Rating: 0.84
Crit Rating: 0.64
Haste Rating: 0.48
Attack Power: 0.80

Once more, essentially all of that was said for Unholy and then for Frost 2H applies here. The only difference is that Frost DW would use Fleeting as their meta instead of Engimatic, but that’s a minor point.

[In Sum]

Strength for the win, basically. Learn to love it and all the consequences of it being so far superior!

Next, as stated, I’ll be going over the new stat weight format, but after that, expect a post delving into how the three specs compare to one another in terms of actual dps. Here’s a teaser: two are more or less one balanced, while one is >10% behind. Guess who!

35 Responses to Cata Stat Weights – It Begins

  1. Ashe says:

    There’s something I’m trying to wrap my head around, but depending on what way I look at it, I come up with different answers. I think I figured it out towards the end maybe?

    Basically, crit rates are very low at 85. My DK premade in i359 epics has 5.45% without buffs, 7.71% with HoW…let’s say 15% or so in a raid? I dunno, just guessing. Well, don’t forget that the raid boss has 4.8% crit reduction.

    I don’t know quite how to phrase this, but…Where do you “take” that crit reduction away from when you are talking about the value of crit rating?

    If I think about it from an ubuffed point of view: I have 891 crit rating, which gives me 4.97% crit (the other bit comes from agi); but against a boss, that 891 crit rating is ACTUALLY only giving me 0.17% more crit due to the depression. If I was magically able to reforge all of that crit rating away (even though that is not possible), I could gain 891 points of haste or hit and only lose 0.17% crit chance (since there is no negative crit chance). I.E. that crit rating is absolutely atrocious!

    But if I look at it another way, raid buffed with 15% crit, I’d have a 10.2% crit chance on the boss. If I reforged that 891 crit rating away, I would lose the full 4.97% crit that it gives. So now that crit rating is at full value. But so then where do you “take” it from? Do you look at it as the warr/druid buff only gives 0.2% crit then? I guess you kind of have to?

    So basically, all the buffs and your agi form your baseline crit, which “fills in the hole” so to speak, and your gear crit rating can then maintain its full value. So as long as you’re getting >4.8% crit from buffs alone, your crit rating isn’t diminished. Is this the correct way to look at it?

    So does this mean that if your 10man raid doesn’t have a feral or fury warr (which is entirely possible), that crit rating suddenly has a significantly decreased value for you? Since the crit from your buffed agi won’t fill that 4.8% hole, some of your crit rating has to, diminishing it’s value on a per point basis.

    Side comment:
    They said they were going to scale bosses in each tier; I specifically remember them saying they would be harder to hit, I wonder if they are going to also increase the crit depression??

    • Consider says:

      It doesn’t matter where you consider the 4.8% crit depression to be coming from, your buffs or your gear; additional crit rating still still increase your crit by X%, be it directly or by “freeing up” a buff to do so.

      The only time it matters is, as you say, if you’re somehow below that 4.8% threshold (be it due to lack of buff or whatever) which, even with nerfed values, is extremely unlikely. HoW alone gives 2.5% at 85, and you’re guaranteed to have that. Thus all it takes is 2.3% from gear – about 400 rating – to stay above the depression line, and even reforging away from crit as much as possible (which you wouldn’t actually do anyways, as other stats are less valuable for all three specs) you can’t get below that mark in blues. Not something to worry about.

  2. Griefpb says:

    Just off the top of my head, I’m guessing Frost 2H is behind with the loss of all that haste.

  3. Rebellion says:

    I still wonder why blizzard hasn’t done anything for unholy mastery, the diffrence between str and mastery has a factor of almost 10 which is utterly ridiculous. You can’t tell me that they haven’t noticed that by now and people even claimed so during the early implementations.

    Does you calculation already factor in item budged or has that even been removed/steamlined with cataclysm ? I kinda lost my focus during my exams …

  4. Xfrost says:

    Consider, any chance of adding in hit values post 8% melee hit? As i’m intending to play DW Frost (even though i love 2h Frost way more – 10% is too big a difference, sadly) i’m afraid of us ‘running out’ of high value stats since hit is so easily capped as DW and once we hit expertise cap, all other ratings look pretty mediocre. Perhaps spellhit & autoattack hit might have some decent value(for DW) still when compared to Crit, Haste and Mastery?

    • Xfrost says:

      To further elaborate, assuming hit(for all specs) and expertise(for frost) is capped, reforging Mastery to Haste for Unholy results in a (1.10 – 0.32) = 0.78 dps gain per point whereas for DW Frost, reforging Haste to Mastery results only in a (0.84 – 0.48) = 0.36 dps gain per point. Unholy gains more than double the dps from reforging its worst stat to its best uncappable secondary stat when compared vs DW Frost!

      PS: This is a really good use of your conversion to DPS Values for stat weights ain’t it?

    • Consider says:

      Oh, yeah. I have them (and weapon DPS/speed values too) saved someplace. I just didn’t include them as they’re about as uninteresting as ever. Spell hit is about equal to haste for DW, iirc.

  5. Alex says:

    When you make a post about the DPS differences between specs, I think it’s a good idea if you mention all the assumptions you’re making regarding DK bugs: for instance, do you assume that Festering Strike is fixed and no longer increases Blood Plague and Frost Fever by 8 seconds? I’m almost sure you’re using Kahorie’s for these simulations, but I’m not sure which bugs the simulator implements in their fixed form or their bugged form. It might even be an idea to make a list of all the bugs that currently affect DKs, just so people know what the known issues are.

  6. Mark Miller says:

    There is talk of the lvl 80 meta being superior provided you don’t need to gem more then 2 blue hit gems / reforge hit onto any item.

  7. BloodyFox says:

    It’s versus, not verse 😮 (Sorry, it just kept popping up in your entry)

  8. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out. I plan on spec’ing DW Frost and I wonder how all three spec variations are going to compare throughout the tiers. Thank you, Consider, for all the work you have done here (and all DK theorycrafters out there!) I love what you do. =)

    -Xhaaj, Black Dragonflight

  9. Anonymous says:

    All heroic gear stats out on MMO now if you wanna do weights / Bis with those

  10. Grammar says:

    Since we are correcting it. . . The phrase is “suffice it to say” not “suffice is to say” as in “it suffices to say” not “”

    It is a subjunctive clause stating an opinion or a necessity and not a noun.

    Im also sorry but you type that in every post!

  11. Andeus says:

    As I feared, in my previous comment, 2H Frost bites the dust. And that makes Andeus sad. I think it’s weird that the 2H Frost situation has remained like that for this long, after all the work they did on the tree.
    If by some way, the spec had more free GCDs, would it be enough to alleviate that DPS gap? Or would it need a Mastery buff too?

    Oh well, I guess I’ll level again as 2H Frost and when the time comes to raid gonna go back to good ol’ Scourge Strike.

    • Rebellion says:

      Yeah.. I guess we all knew that balancing a tree for both 2h and dw would quite hard for blizzard to pull off, especially when they try to solve it by diffrent mechanics instead of fixing the scaling issues. My only hope atm is that dw frost won’t overshadow unholy as I’am not very fond of the playstyle as it is now. I still have my fingers crossed for 4.1.x.y. and a smal class overhaul ;). In the end it will come down to encounter design and buffs I guess ..

      Btw: I can’t help it but smile when I think back and remember all the people that keept reminding everyone else that things will surely change alot until release and kept saying that for the past 3 months.

      • Andeus says:

        I was one of them and to be honest I smiled too in the sense of “I told you so”. 😛 It might be a matter of perspective but things are better from how they were back then.

        Remember, Unholy hadn’t got it’s new niche with the whole Ghoul-DC interaction and Frost was plagued with the likes of IIT, not to mention Blood’s amazing RS change.
        The whole “IIT” thing is actually what I meant in my previous comment, they went all the way of removing stuff like that and shuffle things here and there and now they stopped while they are *so* close to get it working as much as Unholy. That’s what I find weird.

        Mechanics-wise DW and 2H Frost are not that different ( which shows from this blog post too! ) it’s just a matter of fine tuning some numbers here and there (i.e. secondary stats).
        We are one month away so it should be doable. I’m just worried they might try to focus on other things and leave it for 4.1.

        Or maybe it’s what GC mentioned recently, that DKs are a bit high DPS-wise, so first they are waiting for DW and Unholy to get nerfed in line with the numbers they want and then adjust 2H Frost. Even then, though, that would be a short term solution, since we are probably looking at a scaling problem here.

  12. Aesaa says:

    On your comment regarding higher ilvl tank pieces, it is also noteworthy that blizzard removes stats from an item when they add sockets. In the case of plate dps items that usually means removing strength. I only looked at a few examples from the heroic raid pieces on mmo, but you’ll notice for example that the tank boots have 20 MORE base strength than the dps boots do…

  13. Hinenuitepo says:

    I’ll just chime in to say thanks for making such a basic, yet obviously gargantuan improvement. APE and the like were understandable (I remember relying on them as a rogue reading Shadowpanther) and wondering why we didn’t use DPSE instead. Thanks for that.
    I was quite surprised to see str back on top by such a large margin until the reminder of how we have to ‘save room’ for 3+tiers of gear improvements…. can’t wait!

  14. Hinenuitepo says:

    I’m posting again (hope this thread isn’t dead) mostly because I generally don’t post at EJ, but happy to do so here.

    Thargos pointed out that looking at your Cata weights, it would seem that LW may be a very strong profession for us at 85. I’ve already dropped BS to allow me to mine my way to 85, but I plan to pick up the best complimentary profession to JC when I get there. I already have the mats for leveling both BS and Engi to 450, but if LW appears the better choice, I may go that route instead. Comments?

    • Sag says:

      Did Thargos weigh that engineers could take their item enchancements and enchant those same items? I’m not sure if that is still going on. My engineer is the last thing on my mind in game right now, but it was something that happened and, it seems like that would be very good.

      Why not go Eng/JC? I mean if you have most of the BS mats you’re probably pretty close to having the JC mats as well.

      • Hinenuitepo says:

        I kept my maxed JC; my plan is to pick the best of the BS/Engi/LW profs to compliment it. I’m unlikely to drop JC since I’m one of the primarly guild JCs, although I might be persuaded to do so if some other professions combination turns out vastly superior in Cata.

        I haven’t heard clearly yet whether Engi will be allowed to keep their ‘double enchants,’ but even so, the LW str enchant is a pretty massive boost that’s unavailable to Engi. That’s what I’m wondering about – which would be best.

      • Sag says:

        I guess because I can’t see the numbers for what a leatherworker’s embossment can get I can’t give a good opinion, but I do know that engineering always has some nifty stuff to work with. parachute cloak is worth it… then again I tend to jump off of things and then realize I am not mounted. It’s a problem and I’m working on it.

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