Cataclysm changes a lot of things in terms of stat values - far more than they were changed from TBC to WotLK. While this doesn't have a huge effect on bears (the tank changes were largely around block, which bears don't have), the cat changes are pretty massive.
Agility provides 2AP
AP is gone completely
DPS of a weapon is used to calculate base ability damage
Arpen is gone completely
All bleeds can crit
Mastery exists and improves bleed damage only (the opposite of arpen, basically)
Haste improves energy regeneration as well as attack speed (ETA)
With all that, I thought I'd go through a series of articles that talks about the various ratings and what they mean. Note that I am not going to evaluate them based on the current values of damage, as they are no where near current. Instead, I'll evaluate them based on what they would do given a certain plan. That plan is based entirely on our current ratings of damage, with the savage roar change factored in.
Currently my damage spread (I'm close to BiS, so take that into consideration) is something like this:
Ferocious Bite: 6%
Savage roar is being changed from a 33% boost to all damage to a 53% boost to melee only. The new breakdown just from that would be:
Ferocious Bite: 4%
I'll be using these numbers to showcase the relative strengths and weaknesses of ratings. Note that this is in no way a perfect scenario of what Cataclysm will be like in terms of damage spread. Here's some quick thoughts on that, however:
- I do believe melee damage will increase and yellow damage will decrease due to how Savage Roar now works.
- Ferocious Bite will likely increase in use due to the lengthening of duration of rake and savage roar and the effects of Nom Nom Nom.
- Because dots cannot be clipped, the uptime of dots should be very high - close to 100% with a near optimal rotation. This should increase bleed damage a small amount.
- Because there is no armor penetration, non-bleed damage will decrease some.
- Combo points are going to be harder to come by instantly; 4 or 5 yellow attacks are going to be necessary to get 5 CP easily due to less crit%, at least to start.
- Hit and Expertise may be required depending on whether refunds on yellow attacks still work. I suspect the refund will be built in, but it may not be.
Now, here are the specific effects of each stat as you gain them:
- At level 82, it takes 79.15 crit rating to give 1% crit
- All of your direct damage melee attacks crit 1% more often (for 220% damage)
- All of your bleeds crit 1% more often (for 200% damage)
- Shred, mangle and rake provide 1% more double combo points
- At level 82, it takes 56.5 haste rating to give 1% haste.
- You attack with melee attacks 1% more often
- Your Omen of Clarity has a greater chance to proc
- You regenerate energy at a rate 1% greater
Your bleeds tick 1% faster(removed per GC recent comments)
1 point of mastery:
- At level 82, it takes 79.15 points of mastery rating to get one mastery point.
- All of your bleeds do 2.5% more damage
1 point of agility:
- At level 82, it takes 143 points of agility roughly to get 1% crit.
- Increases your attack power by 2x, increasing all damage by a small amount.
1% worth of hit:
- At level 82, it takes 53.2 hit rating to give 1% hit.
- Increases your chance of all abilities hitting by 1%, up to a cap.
- Does nothing for bleed damage
- Increases your chance for spells (FFF, hibernate, soothe) to hit by 1%
1 point of expertise:
- At level 82, it takes 14.05 expertise rating to give 1 expertise skill. (The assumption is that this is the same value for hit as 4 expertise skill would be)
- Increases your chance of all abilities not being dodge (or parried) by .25%, up to a cap
- Does nothing for bleed damage
- Does nothing for spells (growl, FFF, soothe, hibernate)
Of these, does something stand out to you? It certainly does to me. My theory going into this is that haste is going to be a very, very desirable stat for ferals - possibly the most desirable stat by a long margin. In the next few articles, I'll explore that.
Of course, this can be adjusted for ferals or whoever. The problem is that haste isn't that valuable for a lot of other classes due to the energy regeneration. My suspicion is that they're going to nerf that part hard once they see ferals and rogues going nuts with haste, but it'll be a while.