Remember Spirit? WoW Classic’s primary and secondary stats are a little different than what you’re used to
Okay, so you’re about to play WoW Classic and you want to know what the stuff on your gear means. Not only does WoW Classic have stats that no longer exist in the game, it doesn’t have many that debuted later. But the basic idea of primary and secondary attributes that was crucial to itemization in the original game is retained in the modern game, and should be comprehensible to players who never played back then as well as old timers like myself who were raiding Naxx 40.
But there are also systems that are wildly different now, and the way these attributes are calculated and interact with gear will definitely be something you’ll have to get used to. For example, in the modern game we use a rating system for secondary stats like Critical Strike, where it takes a certain amount of Critical Strike Rating to equal 1% crit. That amount goes up as you level so it takes more CSR to get 1% Crit at level 120 than it does at 119. This system encourages you to abandon older gear that doesn’t have enough of those ratings as you level, but it didn’t exist in vanilla — an item with 1% Crit on it will be as powerful when you’re level 60 as it was whenever you got it.
Changes like that make a big difference in how you level, so let’s talk about the attributes you’ll find in WoW Classic.
WoW Classic’s Primary attributes
In the current game, the primary attributes are Strength, Stamina, Agility, and Intellect. In WoW Classic, Spirit was also considered a primary attribute. You may be scratching your head and saying What even is Spirit, if you only played World of Warcraft after the launch of Legion, because it was removed in patch 7.0.3.
Strength in WoW Classic is useful for gaining melee attack power, which added to weapon damage.
- Druids, Shaman, Warriors, and Paladins: +2 AP for every point of Strength
- Rogues, Hunters, Mages, Warlocks, and Priests: +1 AP per point of Strength
- Shaman, Paladins, and Warriors: With shields, these classes had a chance to block 1 point of damage per every 20 points of Strength
Strength was useful for pretty much every melee class, with the plate classes (Warriors and Paladins) really prizing it.
Agility increased melee attack power, ranged attack power, critical strike chance, dodge chance, and armor. It was essential for physical DPS classes.
- Hunters: +2 ranged attack power per point of Agility
- Warriors and Rogues: +1 ranged attack power per point of Agility
- Rogues, Hunters, and Cat Form Druids: +1 melee attack power per point of Agility
- Hunters: +1% crit for every 53 points of Agility
- Rogues: +1% crit for every 29 points of Agility
- Druids, Warriors, Paladins, and Shaman: +1% crit for every 20 points of Agility
- Everyone: +2 armor per point of Agility
- Everyone (except Hunters and Rogues): +1% dodge per point of Agility
- Hunters: +1% dodge for every 26 points of Agility
- Rogues: +1% dodge for every 14.5 points of Agility
Essentially, almost every melee or tanking class wanted some Agility, with Hunters and Rogues absolutely slathering on the stuff.
Stamina is the simple one. For every point of Stamina you have, you get 10 hit points.
Intellect directly contributed to your Mana pool, and it was a must-have stat for all healers and ranged DPS — even Hunters wanted some of it, as they used Mana in vanilla WoW. Only Warriors and Rogues could ignore the stat outright. It also granted Spell Critical Strike Chance, with each class gaining 1% Crit with their spells at different rates.
- Everyone: +15 mana per point of Intellect
- Druids: +1% Spell Critical for every 60 points of Intellect
- Mages: +1% Spell Critical for every 59.5 of Intellect
- Paladins: +1% Spell Critical for every 54 points of Intellect
- Priests: +1% Spell Critical for every 59.2 points of Intellect
- Shamans: +1% Spell Critical for every 59.5 points of Intellect
- Warlocks: +1% Spell Critical for every 60.6 points of Intellect
Spirit, meanwhile, was the primary means to regenerate mana in vanilla WoW, and it will be so again in WoW Classic. Spirit also affected health regeneration when out of combat, but it is unlikely for a non-caster class to have enough Spirit for that to matter and it would be a very poor gearing strategy since you’d lose so much else to stack Spirit for a health regen benefit you’d only get out of combat.
Spirit was most useful for casters who could employ what we called the “Five Second Rule” — namely, Spirit started to regenerate your mana when you didn’t cast any spells for five seconds, even while you were in combat. So if you could either predict exactly when your healing targets were going to take damage so you have windows of non casting to regenerate your mana or if you could count on someone else to heal for a while and let you regen, Spirit was a solid means to regenerate mana, especially in big 40-player raids. Mana would regenerate every 2 seconds after that five second window had passed until you cast another spell, how much depending on your class and the amount of spirit you had.
Different classes had different formulas for calculating Spirit-based regen:
- Caster Druids: Spirit/4.5 + 15
- Feral Druids, Hunters, Paladins, and Warlocks: Spirit/5 + 15
- Mages and Priests: Spirit/4 + 12.5
- Shaman: Spirit/5 + 17
It should be noted that the Druid talent Innervate made it so you boosted your regeneration based on Spirit and didn’t have to wait for the Five Second Rule, and so it was very important for mana regeneration for healers back in classic.
WoW Classic’s secondary attributes
So far we’ve been talking about the five big shots, the primary attributes that a lot of our power derives from. But what about the secondary attributes?
Secondary attributes to pay attention to are Armor, Block, Dodge, Parry, Defense, Critical Strike Chance, Hit Chance, Attack Power, Spell Power, Spell Critical Strike Chance, Healing Power (like Spell Power, but for how hard your heals land), and more. Most of these are self-explanatory, but others you may need some help untangling.
Weapon Skill was literally meant to represent how skilled you were with a chosen weapon, and could be increased up to level 300 at level 60, or five times your level. But items with Weapon Skill, such as Edgemaster’s Handguards could push you past that 300 Weapon Skill and reduce the chance for bosses —which were all effectively level 63 — to dodge or parry your attacks. You also gained Critical Strike and Hit Chance for every point of Weapon Skill, +.04% per point.
Defense is long gone, but it was vital to tanking while it existed, because it kept bosses from destroying tanks. Defense pushed things like Crushing Blows off of the hit table and kept tanks from being critically hit. In order to push crits entirely off of the table, you’d need 440 defense at level 60 — 300 was the max for an ungeared level 60 player, so you needed an extra 140 Defense from gear. Combined with other avoidance (Dodge, Parry, and Block), Defense could help you keep from being Crushed as well, but it was a challenge to gear up a tank sufficiently to entire negate Crushing Blows. Each point of Defense gave 0.04% dodge, 0.04% parry, 0.04% block, 0.04% reduced chance to be hit and 0.04% reduced chance to be crit.
As a tank, you’ll want to balance your various Avoidance abilities so you’re not overly reliant on any one of them. Defense is a great stat, pound for pound, but you can’t just chase Defense and forget everything else, especially not at first — there simply won’t be enough of it.
Primary attributes affect many secondary attributes. For instance, you can derive your Melee Attack Power from your Strength or Agility, based on your class. You can also have gear that has Attack Power on it, and that AP on gear will add to both your Melee and Ranged Attack Power. For example, the Gloves of Holy Might (a rare world drop) had no primary attributes at all, but directly added +crit, +AP, and even more +AP when fighting Undead.
So how should I gear in WoW Classic?
Until you’re level 60, just go for your primary attribute and take whatever lucky drops you get that add to your secondary attributes. WoW Classic is going to mean getting through 59 levels before you really have to worry too much about secondary stats on gear — stacking Agility on your Rogue will likely be more than enough for a long time. But it’s worth knowing that these stats exist, and what benefits they have.
In many cases, you simply won’t have to worry too much about secondary attributes like Hit Chance unless you’re playing a specific class with a high miss chance — like a Rogue because of dual wielding — so it’s just not worth worrying about. Certainly while you’re leveling, it’s best to focus on the best of those big five primary stats and with those, more is always better.
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Filed Under: Attributes, Primary Attributes, Secondary Attributes, Stats On Gear, Wow Classic Gear, Wow Classic Primary Stats, Wow Classic Secondary Stats
The basic building blocks for your character are your Attributes. They determine your physical and mental aptitude.
The five attributes that define one's character are listed below. They are primary attributes that influence characteristics.
Warriors, Shamans, Druids and Paladins gain 2 melee attack power per point of strength. Rogues, Hunters, Mages, Priests and Warlocks gain 1 melee AP per point of strength.
Strength does not affect criticalhit chances at all. Strength does not improve your chance to block, but rather the amount of damage blocked when you succeed. This amount is determined by strength and by the block value of your shield.
- Increases your attack power with ranged weapons (not including Wands).
- Increases your armor by 2 per point.
- Increases your chance to score a critical hit with a weapon.
- Increases your chance to dodge attacks.
- Rogues gain a stronger bonus to dodge from agility than other classes.
- A useful formula for calculating the contribution of agility is AEP - Agility Equivalence Points.
Warriors, Hunters and Rogues gain 2 ranged attack power for each point of agility.
Hunters, Rogues and Druids in Cat Form gain 1 melee attack power per point of agility.
From the Developers
- Increases Armor Class by 2 for every point of AGI.
- Increases the chance of a critical hit with melee and ranged attacks. The amount of the increase is dependant on both class and level. For most level 60 character classes, approximately 20 points of AGI will increase your critical hit chance by approximately 1%. Rogues require 29 AGI for an additional 1% critical hit chance, and Hunters require 53 AGI for an additional 1% critical hit chance, but both of these classes also gain attack power from agility and the items available to them typically have much higher amounts of AGI.
- Increases the chance to dodge an attack. The amount increased is dependant on both class and level. For most level 60 character classes, approximately 20 points of AGI will increase your chance to dodge by approximately 1%. Rogues only require 14.5 AGI for an additional 1% dodge chance. Hunters require 26.5 AGI for an additional 1% dodge chance, but Hunters typically have a high amount of agility, as well as an Aspect spell that further increases their chance to dodge attacks.
- Increases health points. Each point of Stamina gives you an additional 10 HP.
- The first 20 points of Stamina grants only 1 health point.
This can be seen as you create a new level 1 warrior. The warrior has 60 health, and 22 Stamina, this grants the warrior 40 health bonus to his already existing 20 base health.
- Increases the rate at which you learn weapon skills. (Some people claimed here that it also increases the rate at which you learn other skills, including tradeskills, but Blizzard explicitly states "weapon skills" (source here). Until a source is given for any other claim, we should stick to Blizzard's words.)
- Increases your Mana points. Each point of intellect gives you 15 Mana points.
- Increases your chance to score a critical hit with spells. For mages, at level 60, 59.5 points of Intellect equal 1% chance to crit with spells, varies depending on class.(See Talshuler's Int Research)
- A recent post by Tseric gave the exact figures at level 60 for spell crit for all casters except paladins, they are as follows:
|Class||Expected Int at 60||Int per 1% crit chance|
- Also see Spirit for comparision to mana/ 5 second gear.
- Increases health and mana regeneration. Spirit affects all characters' mana and hit point regeneration rates in and out of combat.
- By default health will not regenerate in combat unless your race is Troll or you have certain types of spells or potions in effect (buffs).
- By default mana will not regenerate in a period of 5 seconds after casting a spell.
- A Priest with the appropriate talents can receive a spell damage and healing bonus of up to 25% of their total spirit.
- Also see: Formulas:Health Regen, Formulas:Mana Regen
- Attack (AR)
- Attack Rating.
- Power (AP)
- Attack Power.
- Damage (DMG)
- Weapon Damage.
- Defense (AC)
- Defense Rating.
- Physical Damage Reduction.
The general rule of thumb on how base statistics affect DPS capability is as follows:
- Strength will always contribute to the physical melee DPS for all classes.
- Rogues and Hunters can also use Agility in addition to Strength to increase their base physical melee DPS. Each point of Agility will contribute equally as a point of Strength.
- Druids in Cat Form can also utilize Agility to increase their base physical melee DPS. However, each point of Strength contributes twice the amount of DPS as a point of Agility.
- Agility is the only primary statistic to affect physical ranged DPS (bows, guns, throwing weapons) for all classes capable of using them. This becomes especially important for Hunters.
- Wand damage is not affected by a primary statistic.
See also: Formulas:Attack Power for exact calculations.
(Note - This is a generalization for base DPS only. Damage modifiers such as critical chance is not considered.)
- Agility will increase the chance to score a critical hit with both phsyical ranged and melee damage for all classes. See the Agility section for specifics.
- Intellect will increase the chance to score a critical hit with a spell. For a Mage at level 60 the rate is 1% per 59.5 points in intelligence.
- Agility will determine a character's chance to dodge an attack. Rogues gain a much stronger bonus to dodge than other classes.
Fighting with two weapons, using off-hand, two-handed
See the "Physical Combat" section of Combat.
The Basics of Stats for Mages
Before we begin, it should be said that gear in WoW Classic tends to be very unique, and as such, you will often be chasing very specific items, rather than simply following a stat priority list. Still, a more detailed explanation on each of a Mage's relevant stats will help you understand why those pieces are so sought after.
The stat priority for Mages is as follows:
Damage-based Stat Priority
- Spell Hit Rating (you will typically need 10% to cap hit against bosses, see below for details);
- Spell Critical Strike (150% damage chance on spell hit);
- Spell Damage (some spells scale better with it than others, but for the most part you will be casting spells that benefit greatly from it);
- Intellect (grants spell critical strike and increases your maximum Mana).
Priority of Other Stats
- Stamina (more health per point);
- Resistance (strongly reduces Magic damage taken of a specific element);
- Mana every 5 seconds (for Mana regeneration while you are casting);
- Spirit (health regeneration outside combat);
- Agility (dodge);
- Armor (less physical damage taken).
Getting a Better Understanding of the Stats for DPS Mages
Spell Hit allows your spells to land more often, which is a huge DPS increase, but keep in mind that you will always have at least a 1% chance to miss with spells. Depending on the level of your enemy, you might need more, or less Spell Hit to reach this 1% cap:
- For an enemy of the same level as you, 3% Spell Hit is needed to cap.
- For an enemy 1 level higher than you, 4% Spell Hit is needed to cap.
- For an enemy 2 levels higher than you, 5% Spell Hit is needed to cap.
- For an enemy 3 levels higher than you, which is the case of raid bosses, 16% Spell Hit is needed to cap.
Due to Elemental Precision being prevalent in Mage PvE builds, you will usually only need 10% Spell Hit to cap against bosses.
Spell Critical Strike
Spell Critical Strike allows your spells to occasionally deal extra damage. Due to Mage's critical strike damage multipliers, Ice Shards and Ignite, dealing critical strikes is huge for Mage DPS.
Spell Damage is applied to each spell based on its casting time.
The coefficient is calculated by dividing the cast time of a spell by 3.5. This is because a 3.5 second cast benefits from 100% of your gear's Spell Damage. For example, if you have 20 additional Spell Damage from gear, then this will simply affect your spells as follows:
- Damage Increase per spell cast = n * 20
- n = spell's coefficient
Instant single target spells typically only get around 43% of the benefit, with area of effect spells having an even greater penalty, while a cast time spell like Frostbolt gets roughly 81%. Meanwhile, a longer cast spell such as Fireball gets 100% of the Spell Damage in your gear as added damage.
This means that 100 Spell Damage on your gear would cause Fireball to deal 100 extra damage per cast, but Frostbolt would only deal 81 extra damage, using the same gear. A table with the exact coefficients for all spells in WoW Classic can be found in this reddit thread, by u/RobertVests.
Intellect is a good stat for Mages, as it increases total Mana pool and spell critical strike. The Mana pool gain is very significant during leveling and while AoE grinding, but not so significant during raids, where Mana regeneration and Mana consumables will typically play a bigger part in your sustainability.
For Mages, Spirit provides Mana regeneration, mostly when outside of combat, which is very useful while leveling but not so much for maximum level content.
Stamina is the only stat that will help you survive all types of attacks, and as such, should always be valued. Do keep in mind that due to Mage's low armor, your HP will tend to be depleted very fast by physical attacks.
Resistance, while inherently niche due to different bosses dealing different magical damage types, can be very useful while progressing specific bosses. Wearing resistance gear of a type makes you take less damage or even completely avoid damage when hit by that type of magical damage.
- 11 Jan. 2020: Reworked Spell Power's coefficient explanation.
- 29 Jul. 2019: Corrected some text typos.
- 30 Jun. 2019: Page added.
Classic intellect wow
.WoW classic - Stats and the stuff they do - Intellect!
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