From professions, the discussion moved on to items and balancing them in the World of Warcraft. John discussed any topics including how Blizzard goes about creating items, stat changes since burning crusade, the token loot system, and upcoming changes.

Items and Stats

The discussion started with a chart to show the huge amount of variety in items in the game currently. While we all know there are lots of items, the numbers are quite impressive.

Item Quality
# in WoW
Added in BC

Besides the quality of item, they also have to balance them between PvP and Raid availability. Which is one thing that they do not feel they did well to start with, but feel they have corrected it. Their current philosophy is that PvP should not require players to raid to get the best gear. Also there should be equal but different progression in gear for both PvP and Raid players.

When designing an item they start by looking at its starting pool size. To determine the starting stat pool size they look at the item level, quality and slot. All of these effect how much of a stat pool the item will have. Once the stat pool is determined they then look at what the item is meant to be used for and start allocating points.

Burning Crusade Stat Changes

One of the big changes that has taken place in the World of Warcraft since launch is in the way item points were assigned. Blizzard looked closely at itemization and how it was being effected by higher and higher level items. Two major things were noticed. First was that players were going for more and more offence due to the distribution of points on gear being equal. If you had to choose between 25 stamina and 25 strength on a DPS warrior, you know which would get picked.

The second was that with players causing more and more damage due to selecting offensive stats PvP was getting to be an insta kill affair, which was not fun for anyone. This lead to two major changes the first being with the way stamina spent an items points and the second being with the addition of the resilience bonus.

Stamina used to count as a regular stat so if an item had 50 stat points assigned to it it could be assigned in the following ways.

50 Stat Point Pre Burning Crusade Allocation
+50 Stamina

+34 Stamina, +33 Strength

+26 Stamina, +26 Strength, +26 Agility

The decision was made to decrease the cost of stamina on items to help solve the insta kill issue. So the ended up giving stamina as a stat at roughly 1/2 cost, as shown below.

50 Stat Point Post Burning Crusade Allocation
+75 Stamina

+51 Stamina, +33 Strength

+39 Stamina, +26 Strength, +26 Agility

This allowed for players to have enough health to survive some burst damage while not sacrificing other stats. The second part of the change was the addition of resilience to solve the crit issue. Resilience allows you to ignore a percentage of all critical hits, and a part of the critical hit damage.

It was very interesting to hear how resilience evolved from early implementations, where it was either too good, or no one noticed it working. After several tries they settled with the current implementation. However a change is coming! Currently damage over time (DOT) effects are not effected by resilience. In a very near patch, resilience will be expanded to include the ability of stopping a percentage of DOT damage.

Token System

Token System Issues

The token system came into play as a way for blizzard to combat gear being wasted in raids. Zul'Gurub was the first trial and it has been tuned through the subsequent raids and heroic instances. Currently Blizzard is fairly happy with the system and we should expect more of the same with only minor tweaks.

One tweak to be expected is a redistribution of which classes need which token. When they first did the allocation it was 3 classes per, with no consideration to how many sets would be competing for those tokens, or what the player population was for the classes. These options and more are being looked at and while some tuning has already happened, we should expect more in upcoming raids.

Things to Come

Free +damage for Healers!

The last part of the discussion panel focused on upcoming changes with items. While Blizzard is very happy about how stamina and resilience works not, they are not so happy about spirit and +healing.

Spirit is not heavily used as it requires down time to take effect, and is largely ignored by players. Blizzard is considering several options on how to improve its usefulness. Some of the ideas floated around were increased health/mana regeneration rates, or a contribution towards your +damage or +healing ability. Apparently other ideas are floating around as well and we may see something before the next expansion.

In regards to the +healing stat, Blizzard has seen and heard all the healers complaints that they can not grind or do anything other than heal. If they want to they need complete gear changes which are hard to collect at the high levels. To address this they are very strongly considering free +damage on all healing gear. So if you had a chest piece that currently provides +100 healing and other stats, under the new system it may also provide 40 or 50 +damage as well. Numbers are being worked on. The stated goal though is that healers can come out of an instance or raid and immediately go grind or solo quest without needing entire new gear sets.

Have questions, comments or suggestions about this or any other article? Thought of something that has been missed? Found an error? I would love to hear from you! Please post in our Forums, or email:

Byron "Messiah" Mudry at [email protected]

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.