One of the many changes coming with Patch 6.0 and as part of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor is a massive stat squish.  What exactly is a stat squish and why should you care?  Good questions, let’s take a look.

What is a Stat Squish?

A stat squish is pretty much what it sounds like, squishing or compressing stats down.  Essentially, if you were to consider a character with 1,000 strength, after a 90% squish, it would have 90 strength instead. 

Pretty simple in concept, right?  What happens to all the enemies that you have to fight our there though, won’t they be much harder to fight?  The simple answer is, no.  They will be getting the same squish applied to them, and therefore their health, damage ability, and other stats will all drop by the same percentage.

What does this squish apply to?

This will pretty much apply to everything.  While the exact percentage of the squish is still unknown, the numbers being thrown around are that the new stats will be about 10% or 15% of what they are now.

This means that everything that boosts stats needs to change. Gems, enchants, potions, consumables, buffs, and more, will all scale back by the same amount.  Gems that provide 320 of a stat now, might only provide 32 or 48 after the 6.0 patch.  This of course applies to players, NPC’s, and creatures in the game.

OMG I like hitting for 1,000,000 damage! Why is Blizzard nerfing me!

First off, get it out of your head that this is a nerf.  By definition a nerf is something that makes you weaker, this doesn’t.  Since your damage output will do down in a direct relation to the enemies you face, you will still be on equal footing as you are now.  The numbers will be lower, but they will match up the same as they do now.

This is the proposed squish by Blizzard for characters power levels both before and after the stat squish.

Now, onto why Blizzard is doing this at all.  The very simple answer is that they almost have to.  Sure, they could let the numbers keep escalating as they have, but that is really kind of silly.

Sure we all like seeing big huge numbers fly by on the screen or in the DPS meters showing how awesome we are doing, but really who can make sense of them any more. Seeing numbers like 423,746 fly by in a huge maze of digits on the screen is hard to comprehend.  Trying to calculate in your head how much that matters against a bosses health of 32,000,000,000 is even harder.  The human brain just cant comprehend big numbers like that easily or quickly.  If I however told you that you did 5 damage to a boss with 320 thousand health you would get it right away.

How did it get this bad?

Again the answer is fairly simple, it got that way due to all of us players wanting noticeable progression.  It also got that way due to the fact that World of Warcraft is 10 years old and has gone through multiple expansions, patches, and upgrades.  It started off as a simple system, and actually still is, but kept growing exponentially.

Noticeable progression in many cases meant your gear could get to be about twice as good with each expansion and sometimes even during an expansion cycle due to multiple major raid patches.  After 4 expansions and several major raid patches, that means that stats have had time to grow exponentially.  If the best you could have had initially was 200 strength, after doubling it even just once per expansion and 4 times for major raid patches, the new max strength would be 51,200! Which is not really that far off from where we currently are.

While it was important to all of us that we got significantly better when we levelled from 60 to 70 when the first expansion came out, does it really matter any more?  Does it matter that tier 4 raid gear was twice as good as tier 2 raid gear? Would it be just fine at this point if the progression was smooth the whole way from 1 – 90 and then start ramping up with new raid gear?  In almost all ways, it would make no difference to anyone.  There is one exception that many players have already thought of and that will be talked about next. Other than that one exception though, a flat progression system through all previous levels would probably not even be noticed.

This new flat or linear progression is what exactly what Blizzard is proposing with the stat squish.  From 1-90 it will be a completely smooth line, and then start ramping up from there.  So your character at level 100 will be about twice as powerful as it was at 90.

What about those players that like soloing old content?

This is one area that the stat squish could hurt players.  There are many players out there that really like going back and soloing old raid content, and this is only possible due to the level of gear and stat inflation that has occurred.  After all, a raid that was meant for 25 players means you need gear at least 25 times better than when it was released to be able to solo it. 

Luckily Blizzard has considered this and will be applying a buff to your damage against lower level creatures and a buff to your defence against damage from them.  This will make it possible for those players to still solo old content in much the same way they do now.  It will be difficult, but still manageable.

So, is a stat squish good or bad for players?

In my opinion a stat squish at this point is a great thing, for several reasons.  The ones most important to me as a player are:

  • Easier to understand numbers on DPS / Healing / Threat charts
  • Easier to understand numbers onscreen for instant feedback
  • Smaller numbers to cope with when looking at Boss health numbers
  • Easier to understand at a glance gearing numbers.

As you can see health numbers for bosses will be much smaller and therefore easier to read and understand.

As you can see, it comes down to one basic thing, smaller easier to read numbers.  There is no real change to the overall way the system works taking place, it’s only a division by a percentage and then starting over.  This is critically important when you start thinking about the next doubling of stats, and then further doubling after that.

Currently if your character is capable of dealing a 500,000 damage crit, if Blizzard kept with the same doubling process your new crits would have to me 1,000,000 then after the next it would be 2,000,000 then 4,000,000 and so on.  If all other stats go down, would it not be better to see numbers like 500, 1000, 2000, etc?  That’s what the stat squish will do.

Sure, we can all understand big numbers, I am not implying that we are all stupid.  It’s just far easier to understand shorter smaller numbers.  Sometimes simpler really is better, and I firmly believe this is one of those times.

The only real downside of the pending stat squish is that currently you may have 20,000 strength and then when the squish happens you might log on and see 200 strength. Simply because we are used to seeing huge numbers, initially it will look like our characters are weaker. It will take a while for that perception to pass, and for the moans of "I used to do 20,000 DPS, now I only do 2,000 DPS, this sucks!" to pass. Once that initial shock of seeing small numbers is over though, you will probably not notice any other difference.


The Messiah has had his say on the upcoming stat squish, how about you.  Do you view it as what Blizzard advertises it as, a simple squish of numbers, or do you view it as a nerf under a different name?  Let us know by commenting below.

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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.