I just want to get excited for a moment about some of these changes. The simplification and adjustment of classes is really cool and something I am very much looking forward to seeing implemented.
- Spell power is all but being removed and Intellect will be a caster's key stat; this will simplify gear choices and having a powerful caster weapon will seem much cooler!
Only healers will benefit from Spirit; MP5 is being completely removed, as is the FSR*.
Armor Penetration will only come from talents
Mastery is going to be a really cool addition; there will be much more choice in talent specs and this will allow for a greater range of viable playstyles
There will no longer be ranks of spells, but spells and skills will get stronger as you level -- think: heirloom items.
Weapon skill is finally being removed! This is an excellent move on the developers' part, as it should have been removed from the game a long time ago
The addition of Reforging will make gear choices so much more interesting!
Gems are being changed to reflect the stat changes and to improve slotting; this in itself is something to get excited about, as Jewelcrafting should become a whole lot cooler (hopefully this means there will be far fewer high level gem recipes to learn!) and meeting the requirements of meta gems will not be such a sacrifice anymore!
* The five second rule, where casters must have stopped casting for five seconds before passive mana regeneration activates
The changes to gear before Cataclysm hits also has me excited. I'll summarise what Eyonix said in his post:
- Plate wearers will want to wear only plate because only plate will have favourable stats
Tanks will no longer see defense or block value on their gear
Mail and plate will have no intellect whatsoever; hunters get focus instead of a mana pool (we knew this a long time ago, but it is still exciting!) and caster shaman and holy paladins will have talents that give them bonuses to mana
Mail, leather and cloth wearers will see a substantial health increase (40k health mage?)
Absolutely no spirit for casters!! Let mages rejoice across the world!
No MP5 for healers
More information is going to be released as they continue to work on all of the huge changes and new stuff for the expansion. When patch 3.4 hits, we should see the initial changes take place and will have time to get used to the new stats before Cataclysm comes out.
Gaiwyn of Proudmoore