The road to 90

So, I just dinged 90 with 1.5 zones to go (2.5 if you count the 90 zone “Vale of the Eternal Grind”) and only a single dungeon finished so far. I’ve done most of the playing with rested experience.

At all times I wore the equipment I used during the lvl85 endgame content to see how much the character strength really depended on gear. We all know how important gear is, but I wasn’t really ready for this result, because my character actually got weaker with each level. The hit points increased and I got a few (about 3-4) agility points per level, which didn’t do anything.

That was pretty much what I expected

Just like before, I’ve lost dps, speed, haste, energy regen, hit chance, crit chance, expertise, mastery and dodge while gaining some health. Parry stayed the same (I got a .01 boost from 88 to 89) as did stats like armor and attack power. AP actually rose ever so slightly due to the higher agility, but haste fell so fast, the higher damage didn’t stop the dps from falling.

Now for the final piece to the puzzle, let’s compare the lvl85 and the lvl90 stats side by side:

Impressive!

Okay, I’ve gained health, that’s nice, now what actually increased?

  • Health: 74%
  • Parry: 0.01%
  • AP: 75
  • Damage: 13-14

Except for the 103000 hitpoints, that’s not really anything to brag about, a single item with a negligible agility boost would have done the job.

 

But a lot of other stats decreased while leveling my character from 85 to 90….and they decreased a lot!

  • DPS: 328 (main hand), 280 offhand. I’ve lost 608 combined dps by gaining 5 levels, very nice
  • Haste: 13.98% to 16.03%, which reduced the stat to half of what it used to be. This resulted in my attacks slowing down from 2.00/1.38 to 2.24/1.55 and was subsequently responsible for my dps drop. Oh, and it’s not a drop by almost 50%. Your base haste is 10%, so I lost a lot more!
  • Energy Regen: 1.53 per second, down to 12.65. This doesn’t sound too bad, however it takes huge amounts of haste to raise energy regen even a little, so this drop is quite significant. Your base energy regen is 12.00, so I lost almost everything I had in this stat.
  • Hit: 6.13% down to 2.64%. Almost all my hit went down the drain, sweet!
  • Crit: 17.3% down to 5.91%. While crit is a pretty useless stat for combat rogues, losing almost 75% of the stat is harsh
  • Expertise: 5.05% down to 2.18%. Again, almost 70% of expertise were lost while I gained 5 levels
  • Mastery: 7.3% down to 19.11%. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? But consider this: You already have 16% base mastery at lvl90, so it went down by 7.3% to 3.11%, again a ~70% loss
  • Dodge: 15.88% down to 9.40% with a base dodge of 3.24%. Ouch, just…ouch.

 

This goes against every convention established by almost every other rpg I’ve seen. Your character isn’t just depending on high level gear to get stronger, no you also have to get new gear to avoid getting weaker as you level UP! That’s ridiculous. I know, my character is still just as strong against lvl85 enemies as before, even stronger due to the higher health pool (and increased dodge…NOT), but the stat inflation has resulted in stat caps being easily achievable. When rising the level cap and increasing the item level even further by huge steps, Blizzard is forced to increase the required hit/expertise etc. to reach the cap or a certain percentage by a lot, or we would all run around with 100% hit&crit if the ratio didn’t change. But come on, Blizzard, isn’t there a better way to achieve this? If you didn’t inflate item levels and stats (another topic *whee*) by such ridiculous amounts, it would probably work better and it would also prevent the (fun, but completely idiotic) ability for a single mortal to clear old 40 man raids with ease and slay Ragnaros or Illidan during a coffee break. People lose all respect for previously epic encounters, which is a shame, but as usual, it’s a topic for another day.

By the way: I’ve already collected an average iLvl of 430 and I haven’t even started the highest level zone (Dread Wastes) yet. The iLvl requirement for heroic dungeons used to be 440 and I easily achieved this just by finishing all zones and visiting each dungeon once on another character. Why in the world Blizzard would lower that requirement to 435 is beyond me, but I’ve actually read complaints from people who were unable (!) to get to 440 without a lot of work…I…I just…what? Really?

But it’s not like you’d need a high iLvl to complete these so called “heroics”…