Cataclysm Changes for Shamans
We’ve known for a while now that Cataclysm is going to revamp our stats, with the goal of removing some unnecessarily complicated stats. Blizzard has just given a much more detailed overview of these changes, which you can check out at MMO Champion here.
First, the most stunning change for us resto shamans:
MP5 – This stat will be removed from the game completely. Holy paladins and Restoration shaman will be redesigned to benefit from Spirit.
I think I had heard this was happening, but seeing it in blue text kind of drives it home. It’s going to take some time to get used to this one. I liked Mp5. It made sense to me, and seeing it on mail gear pretty much meant: this is resto shaman gear, you should roll on this! We’ll probably see the same thing happen to mail gear with spirit now, but at the moment that just sounds kind of gross. In the end, however, as long as they give us a talent that properly converts spirit into useful mana regen, I don’t think we’ll miss our Mp5.
Spell Power – Spell Power is another stat that you’ll no longer see present on most items. Instead, as mentioned above, Intellect will grant Spell Power. One exception is that caster weapons will still have Spell Power. This allows us to make weapons proportionately more powerful for casters in the same way they are for melee classes.
Intellect will now provide most of our Spell Power, so this doesn’t seem like too much of a change in practice. Intellect will also grant less mana. I’m not seeing anything that is going to provide more mana, while the post does mention that they are changing mana regen mechanics. As a result, my guess is that managing our mana will become much more of a problem, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
We are likely to get a pre-Cataclysm patch that overhauls our existing gear and talents to align with this new system. Here’s what Blizzard says:
If you are a healer, expect to see:
- A lot more Stamina.
- All of your Spell Power converted to Intellect and Stamina.
- Spirit instead of MP5. You’ll probably be happy with Spirit, though, because mana regen is going to matter more than it does currently. Healing paladins and shaman will benefit more from Spirit than they do currently.
More stamina is good, but it may just mean we see more raid damage in Cataclysm encounters. So, I wouldn’t necessarily expect more survivability. The spell power to intellect conversion will hopefully be seamless. I wouldn’t go changing all your gems over to Intellect or anything; I’d wait and see how this shakes out.
Finally, there’s an interesting change for Elemental shamans, which is now my offspec. Apparently, Elemental shamans and Balance druids will also see spirit on their gear (while all other ranged DPS will not). They will have a talent to convert spirit to hit. This means that we will compete directly with them for our gear.
My first reaction is that this will leave Elemental shamans out in the cold because raid leaders will want the “healing gear” to go to the healers. However, it probably can’t get worse for Elemental shamans. Right now us Restos get all the Mp5 gear we want, and then we also roll against them on the mail haste/crit gear, since it is often better for our throughput. At least with this change, we’ll all be going after the same gear, and raid leaders will just have to adjust.
I notice there’s no mention of shadow priests. I assume the plan is to have one set of mail gear for casters, and one for DPS. The caster gear will have intellect and spirit, which healers will turn into regen and DPS will turn into hit. Same story with the leather gear. Cloth will likely have two sets of caster gear: intellect only for DPS and intellect and spirit for healers. This makes some sense, since mages and locks also need cloth gear, but leather and mail each have one DPS class and one healing class, so this is a way to consolidate gear.
Now that Blizzard has come out with these details, expect more info to follow, and more speculation all over the place. It will take some time to adjust to these changes for sure. For now, I’d say you should acquire gear as normal, and play the game that we have. But, this is definitely getting me excited for Cataclysm!