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Behold the Wrath of Percentaged Stats

Stats in Action, screenshot of then 10th anniversary molten core raid

Do I get stats? Do I not get stats? Do I need to put that label upon myself? No, I don't and that's why this post won't be short form.

I like what stats do and I like to play with them, none of this would get restricted with the UI changes. I like an Acrobatics stat that enables me to jump higher and longer distances, I like Dexterity that makes my character react faster, and Intelligence that enlightens the mystery of the Arcane Plane to my character.

And I think, in that regard the gear that's difficult to obtain (or takes a lot of time to obtain) should merely fine-tune stats. Basically, what people had achieved by optimal use of reforging should be achievable by crafting complex gear, getting it from more sophisticated quests, end game dungeons and raids. Switching stats for prioritising different play styles based on certain stats (a haste-based play style, a crit-based one, and so on) should be relatively easy, so you could develop a feeling for how which stat works.

As fas as I know, the change regarding stats merely consists in 1) HUGE NUMBERS for your current item level, and 2) removed display of the amount of stat point that gets converted into percent.

If we didn't rely on add-ons to show us all the secret math behind our stats in Legion, we could get into a state in which players actually test out how it feels to rely on one stat more than the other. It could be a step to put the player back into the role his or her character inhabits. There would be more focus on what you see and experience while playing your character, on an increase in cast speed that players actually can feel instead of “+5”. But that's rather hypothetical, it depends on what information we could still get about our abilities and stats in Legion, about what information will primarily get processed by new players, and how much influence we have on them. There are cases in which I hope we won't influence them because we all need to move on.

There's a lot of pressure not to work on yourself (which is a desire I believe should come from within yourself and is worthless if it's forced upon you) but to stick to very sketchy guides, not to think for yourself, but to obey. The removal of Reforging was a step away from that, because it put more emphasis on gear which wasn't as readily available as reforging. You couldn't as reasonably be expected to farm a certain piece of gear as you were to reforge stats.

The stat points weren't as important as the percentaged increase of stuff those stats provide. There#s very narrow use of those points and that's when you're min/maxing them. If you already are in that stage of gaming I think, it's okay to expect you to use an add-on for that (which you're probably doing anyway).

However, the emphasis on item level in the UI does concern me. It is concentrating all the superstition regarding numbers (of which there's a LOT in our community) into a single one. Therefore it goes against the advantages I see in the change I discussed earlier. It draws attention away from all the supposedly confusing other stats that still get listed in our character sheet (to remind us where we're coming from). The way it is designed the UI shows one number to be superior to everything else, which reinforces a problem we already are struggling with. Basically, it's signalling that Activision-Blizzard think, it's okay to discriminate players based on item level and they encourage us to do so.

My overall concerns are with a reduction of primary stats instead of making them do more than just BOOM, a Mastery stats that feel like “stat which does something”, and that a damage increase is all they do in the end. But honestly, that's not new coming from me, and I gave Activision-Blizzard plenty of access to how I think about that. I don't think it's against their vision of the game, there have been approaches in the past. So I guess, it's more a matter of how the community reacted to them. But this problem of mine is largely unrelated to the current UI changes.