And by far the biggest concern in the comments (both here and at the WoW forums) was that this was way too big a hit on the starting druid and the midrange druid, and that they'd be hurt the most. (the second was 'would this be fun and is it even necessary, which I'll address tomorrow).
Before I give the answer to this, I want you to think about this for a bit. For starters, I gave an example of a druid not in BiS (myself) and compared them to other tanks and how they were - and trust me, I'm no where near best in slot geared. That gave an idea of what the scaling would be like if you didn't go full stam on everything - it was almost 2.5k difference compared to the best in slot full stam gearing druid.
Now, think about what the actual change does. It emphasizes stamina on leather first and foremost - that's unchanged. It then nerfs stamina from gems, enchants, and buffs.
Lower level gear, by comparison, is not affected nearly as much. There aren't nearly as many gem slots as higher tier gear (point of fact, this is one of the biggest ways that items are an upgrade for bears right now - if they have another gem slot). If you're starting out, you're not going to have the best enchants in the universe. In a heroic, the only buff you're going to count on is mark of the wild.
In short, the worse-geared druid will be affected by it, but not nearly as much.
That's the theory. Let's look and see what it's like.
First up, a bear geared in some of the better gear that they can get that is not a BoP from heroic or above, is not crafted with Ulduar items, is not from a raid or is otherwise easy to get. Note that some of this is expensive - the trollwoven set is expensive, after all. But it's worth it, and it's reasonable otherwise to assume a tank would try and get some of these. The enchants are cheap and favor stamina to some degree simply because the agility enchants are expensive. No profession bonuses are used, and rare gems are used only in a couple places and aren't perfectly ideal. This also means that the total stamina multiplier doesn't include kings, so the total stamina is .1486x normal, and the non-bear multiplier is only 1.189.
Again, gear lists at the end.
Now, here's the best in slot values (just the totals)
That's right. Compared to the best in slot stamina, the preheroic only loses about 132 stamina directly from leather. Part of that is using the Polar chestpiece - which is perfectly normal for early bears to do. Part of it is simple: there simply isn't that high of scaling between stamina pieces per itemization level.
But look at the gems! 461 stam just from gems. And the nonleather pieces are huge too - 457 stamina difference. And that's the part that's getting nerfed the most.
The final numbers for the preheroic geared bear with few enchants are thus: they start at 23.2k health. With the nerf, they lose 2420 health, bringing them to 20.6k health. That's a bit low, I think. One easy way to fix this would be to include the base stamina (121) as part of the bear multiplier. They'd then go to only losing 206 stamina total, or 2060 health and bringing that preheroic-geared bear to just about 21k.
Now a reasonable comeback here is that, much like the heavy clefthoof set from TBC, bears could be forced to depend on the Polar set simply because it gives way too much stamina. And that's fair. It may be reasonable to simply apply the stamina bonus on all gear but not enchants, gems and buffs. That would help quite a bit in the low-end case, still nerf those best in slot druids with massive enchant and gems, and help scaling otherwise. Just food for thought.
Okay, what about a more modestly geared druid than yours truly? I'll try this with one of the forum naysayers - Azshannya of Kirin Tor. They're modestly geared, only having a couple of pieces from Ulduar 25, a couple from U10, and the rest from Naxx and various other places. They've gone another route, choosing to maximize armor whenever possible. They start out at 44172 total health after buffs (again, 25-man). What do they get knocked down to?
Again, comparing to best in slot:
The leather total doesn't increase that much. The gem gulf is still ridiculously huge though. Might be interesting to consider just nerfing gems, no?
However, the total comes to something a bit alarming - this druid would lose about the same as what I would - 4450 health. That's quite a bit, bringing them down to just above 40k health. Is that reasonable?
It might be. The thing is, this druid didn't gear for stamina only. They don't have a second stamina trinket, their professions aren't stamina-centric (at least one of them), they've enchanted for armor and avoidance over stamina in many places, etc. Whereas that comparable warrior or paladin is putting stamina in every single slot they possibly can. It might be the case that this is too much, too. Is it fair that warriors have to gear for nothing but stamina, but bears have the luxury of branching out? I don't know. It feels like this might be a bit too extreme to start with. Then again, one of the goals was to nerf bears so that they wouldn't have to be nerfed again.
On some of the commenters (Nandy and others) that mentioned that they're only 3k ahead of other tanks in their guild - I'm really curious now. My suspicion is that there are either buffs that are missing or that the gear isn't perfectly full - on stamina centric, or professions aren't. I could be wrong, in which case this would put that bear behind the warrior. But again - might not be so bad.
Anyway, tomorrow I'll talk about the fun factor of it a bit more - where the summary is "My wife is more often than not right".
|Head||Eviscerator's Facemask||Weakness Spectralizers|
|Neck||Torta's Oversized Choker||Mark of the Unyielding|
|Shoulders||Trollwoven Spaulders||Valorous Dreamwalker Shoulderpads|
|Chest||Polar Vest||Tunic of Indulgence|
|Waist||Trollwoven Girdle||Belt of the Tortured|
|Legs||Mind-Expanding Leggings||Proto-hide Leggings|
|Wrist||Drake-Champion's Bracers||Thrusting Bands|
|Hands||Handwraps of Preserved History||Dislocating Handguards|
|Finger1||Ring of Earthen Might||The Leviathan's Coil|
|Finger2||Iceforged Battle Ring||Gatekeeper|
|Trinket1||Goblin Rocket Launcher||Essence of Gossamer|
|Trinket2||Scarab of Displacement||Defender's Code|
|Back||Durable Nerubhide Cape||Cloak of the Shadowed Sun|
|MainHand||Stave of Shrouded Mysteries||Origin of Nightmares|
|Ranged||Idol of Terror||Idol of Terror|