Lore, one of WoW's community managers has posted an explanation of the secondary stat nerf that is now live on PTR.
The changes to secondary stat ratings in 7.1.5 have a few goals, and certain pieces are not yet in the current build.
Goal 1: Increase the importance of item level as a guideline for upgrading items. Moreso than in the past, large item level increases are not a reliable indicator of an upgrade due to the variance in power of secondary stats on an item. Increasing the amount of rating that you need per percentage of a secondary stat tips the balance of an item’s power more heavily toward primary stat. We’re okay with very small item level upgrades being a tougher choice, but some specs are currently passing up 15+ item levels in favor of secondary stats. That shouldn’t be something players are encouraged to do – with the occasional exception on rings and necks, which brings us to our second goal.
Goal 2: Improve rings and necks. The removal of primary stats from those slots on Legion gear means that your choices of secondary stats there are impactful, which we like. However, they still suffer from the problem of secondary stat distribution dominating the choice of which item to equip. We’ve increased how heavily item level affects the amount of stats on Legion rings and necks in 7.1.5, which will make significant item level jumps a clearer indicator of an upgrade on these slots. You’ll still find situations in which secondary stat choice is more important than item level for rings and necks, which is intentional; we’re just dialing it back a bit.
Goal 3: Don’t lower player power. This is a key part of the overall strategy that isn’t yet complete. Right now, on the PTR, player power is definitely down a few percent compared to live. The next build will have changes that increase the total amount of stats given by all items above level 800 to account for this gap, such that the overall power of your equipped items should be about the same (if not slightly higher) than it is currently in 7.1.
As you might expect, these changes will affect some classes more strongly than others. More overall character power will come from your primary stats than it did before, so all of your abilities will hit harder, even if they crit less or happen less frequently. Additionally, as we continue tuning for Patch 7.1.5, we’ll make adjustments as necessary on a spec-by-spec basis.
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