Update Aug 13: Blizzard has removed secondary stats from Flasks, and reduced the amount from enchants and food. The point of my original post is kind of moot, but I’ll leave it up anyway. You can still customize your secondary stats, just not to the high degree you could earlier in beta.
I have a love-hate relationship with reforging. I love using it to min-max or make a piece of subpar gear into something decent. I hate having to juggle hit and expertise caps (and having to use a reforging calculator to do it perfectly). Without hit and expertise, reforging is just about customizing your stats. No calculators or external tools required. All the good, none of the bad. So you can understand why I was initially a little disappointed at its removal.
I know the goal was to reduce the amount of extra work needed to be done in order to make a piece of gear usable. When you don’t need to valor upgrade, reforge, gem, and enchant something you can just equip it as soon as it drops. Unless, of course, it’s a neck, ring, or cloak. Then you’ll want to make sure you have an enchanting scroll ready for it.
Blizzard wasn’t kidding when they said they wanted fewer but more powerful enchants.
Consumables and Enchants in Warlords
Consumables on live servers are centered around agility. You can get 1300 agility from these, not that much when you have hunters running around with 30,000 agility. Enchants are also weak in the grand scheme of things. For example, 180 crit rating on a cloak when a hunter specializing in crit may have as much as 15,000 crit rating. Just a drop in the bucket. Let’s look at consumables and enchants in Warlords:
- Flasks: 400 (cheap) or 500 (expensive) in any secondary stat
- Food: 125 (cheap) or 150 (expensive) in any secondary stat
- Neck: 131 in any secondary stat
- Rings: 94 in any secondary stat (150 total)
- Cloak: 250 in any secondary stat
So you can get 1219 secondary stats from consumables and enchants. Cool, but what does that number mean in a post-squish world? Well, the ilvl 660 cloak I was wearing had 89 crit and 77 mastery. That ought to put a 250 crit cloak enchant into perspective.
On live servers, my gear is dominated by haste and mastery, with crit being the lowest of the three. Without any reforging I have a 36.8% chance to crit. By prioritizing crit in the reforging, I can bump that up to 43.6%. That’s almost 7% crit from reforging.
Now let’s look at how much I can modify my stats in one direction just using raid consumables and enchants in Warlords at level 100. I used consumables and enchants appropriate to each spec’s secondary stat attunement in order to see the largest gains. I also had full raid buffs active.
Beast Mastery (Mastery):
- Without consumables/enchants: 41.8% increased pet damage
- With full consumables/enchants: 65.2% increased pet damage
- Without consumables/enchants: 29% chance to multistrike
- With full consumables/enchants: 48.4% chance to multistrike
Marksmanship (Critical Hit):
- Without consumables/enchants: 32.5% chance to crit
- With full consumables/enchants: 44% chance to crit
Even without reforging it’s still possible to heavily weigh your stats in one direction, or even mix and match when it makes sense. You don’t have to focus on your specialization’s attunement either, but you’ll get a small 5% bonus if you do. For example, I was able to boost my haste from 14% to 26% as BM.
Become friends with your local enchanter and alchemist
These gains are big enough that I think I’d want to be using at least the cheap flasks and food at all times, even outside of raids. I like being able to customize my stat load out to such a degree, but I’m not sure I like that kind of reliance on consumables.
It’s to the point where I’m seriously considering dropping my jewelcrafting for alchemy. Furthermore, leveling cooking will be one of my first priorities after dinging 100.
Instead of using a reforging mount or porting back to town, you’ll want stacks of enchanting scrolls on hand for any time you need to switch specs. I can see the enchanters rubbing their hands in anticipation already.
I’m not saying I want this nerfed — I really like being able to min-max these stats — but I hope the relative cost of consumables and enchants is made slightly lower to compensate for their frequent use.
As with anything on beta, this is all subject to change.