Friday, June 3, 2011

Reforging and You!

In my opinion the single largest change to the game when Cataclysm was released was the addition of being able to reforge items.

Everything else this expansion you could call hit or miss.  Some people like the new questing and some hate it.  Some people like more difficult dungeons and some hate it.  Nothing in the expansion can be called a plus to the game by everyone except for one, reforging.

No matter who you ask they will say that they like reforging.  If anything the only two complaints you might ever see is that you can not reforge resilience or main stats but both of those are easily explained away.

The reason you can not reforge to or from resilience is because it would start to blur the line between PvP gear and PvE gear, that is a reasonable explanation if you ask me.

The reason you can not reforge to main stats is because that would be the only thing people ever reforged to, at least as DPS for sure.  The main stat for a DPS is always worth so much more then any secondary stat (except hit maybe).  So that too is acceptable. 

So what exactly is this reforging that I consider to be the best thing to be added in Cataclysm?  I am glad you asked.  The following is a little guide to reforging for those that might need a little information on it.

What is Reforging?
- Reforging is the act of changing one secondary stat into another.

What are Secondary Stats?
- Critical Strike, Haste, Mastery, Hit, Expertise, Dodge, Parry and Spirit.  Basically almost anything that is a bonus stat on gear, with the exception of Spirit that still appears as a normal stat on gear.

Where do I find the person that reforges my items?
- They will always be near the enchanting trainer in main cities.

Can I reforge all of one stat into another?
- No.  40% of a stat can be reforged into another.  For example, if you have 100 critical you can reforge 40 of that into any of the other options as long as that stat is not already on the piece of gear.

What do you mean if that stat is not on the gear?
-  If a piece of gear has critical and haste on it that means the allotment for those two stats are already there and no more can be added to them.  So you can reforge the critical into anything except haste or the haste into anything except critical.

What if I want to reforge the haste and the critical into mastery?
- You can only reforge 1 stat per item.

Does that mean if I change my mind I am screwed?
-  Not at all.  You can restore your item to its original stats at any time and reforge it differently if you want.

Why would I want to reforge?
- Hit rating might be the number one example of why people want to reforge.  If you are below the hit cap you can reforge something else into hit so you can get to hit cap.  If you are over the hit cap you can reforge some of the hit off your gear into something more useful as any hit rating over the cap is wasted itemization.

What items can I reforge?
- Every item you own.  If it has a secondary stat from the above list then it can be reforged.

So I can reforge my trinket that has 1710 critical on use?
- No, that is an on use critical and not a base stat critical.  If the stat is an on use stat or a random proc stat it can not be reforged.

Does reforging have anything to do with why tanks seem to be needing on DPS plate?
- Yes.  It used to be that a tank would never need on an item that had hit.  However, with mastery being such a huge stat for tanks now they are rolling on items that have hit/mastery or basically anything/mastery and then reforging 40% of the hit away into dodge or parry.

Does that mean I can need on Tank gear and reforge the dodge/parry?
- Absolutely not. There is a difference.  A tank can use the hit but dodge or parry is better for them whereas a DPS can not use dodge or parry at all.  So you will end up with 60% of a wasted stat even if you reforged 40% away.

Is there an unwritten rule to that gray area?
-  Yes, there is.  If you can use all the stats on the gear you can need on it even if you plan to reforge one of the stats that is of little use.  Like a tank reforging hit.  They can still use the hit but dodge or parry are so much better.
- Some examples of things that are wrong to need on.  A non tank needing on anything with dodge or parry is wrong.  A hunter needing on anything with expertise is wrong. A warlock or mage needing on anything with spirit is wrong.  In all those cases the stat has 0 use to them.  If anything has a stat that has 0 use to you on it then the unwritten rule is you do not need on it.

Why is reforging so exciting then if all it does it turn one stat into another?
- Every class/spec has stats that benefit them more then other stats.  I will give a few examples of why reforing has changed the entire face of the game.
- On my hunter I need more haste in my MM spec then I do in my SV spec.  As such I have many items reforged to haste to reach that perfect number I need to aim for while in MM.  If I switch to SV I have too much haste.  Now instead of having two sets of gear, one for my MM and one for my SV I can keep one set of gear and if I switch from MM to SV I just remove some of the reforging I did to get haste.  It is a lot easier then having two sets of gear.
- As I mentioned earlier, for many classes hit rating is very important.  When you got an upgrade the first thing you did was try and get yourself as close as possible to the hit rating cap without going over too much.  This was usually done with enchants and gems.  One new piece of gear might mean switching out a few gems and a few enchants each time you get new gear.  Now it just means reforging a few pieces of gear.  Much easier and much more cost effective.

So is hit the main thing it is for?
- Absolutely not.  Reforging can be used for numerous things.  Some class have certain plateaus for haste where haste is their most important stat at that exact level but it worth less before or after it.  Reforging allows you to get as close as possible to that cap.
- For example, on my Shaman 916 is a magic number for haste.  Being I can reach that number easily that becomes my highest priority stat until I get to that point and the least priority after I do being I can not reach the next haste level with my current gear.  So I reforge to get myself to that number.  Either reforging into it to get there or away from it to give it to something that is more useful for me.

How do I know what to reforge?
-  It is based on the class/spec you play.  There is no hard and fast rule for what needs to be reforged.  If you look over your class forums on the official site, MMO-Champion, Elitist Jerks, or any other resource you will likely find a break down of your priority of stats.  You would then reforge to take advantage of those stats that are best for you.

Does reforging really make much of a difference?
-  Yes it does, it allows you to better align your stats so that you are always getting the most out of what you have available to you.

Say I already reached my caps for hit or haste or whatever, is it still worth it?
- Once again, yes.  Some stats will always be better then others.  If your class values critical over mastery you will always want to reforge all your mastery into critical.

What if the item has critical and mastery then I can not reforge my critical into mastery because the item already has mastery?
-  This is where the delicate game of reforging starts to come into play.  If you can not reforge your critical into mastery because both are on an item you can still reforge your critical into something else and then start playing the reforging game.

What is the reforging game?
- I am glad you asked because the reforging game is why I wanted to write this guide.  I've always found it fun to try and figure out what is the best combination of stats and how I should go about getting them.

The Reforging Game:

Using the example above where you've got a new piece with critical and mastery and you want more mastery but can't get it becuase there is already mastery on the item you can reforge the critical into something else, lets say hit and then reforge hit off of something else into mastery.

That is the reforging game.  It is the mixing and matching of stats to get the most out of it.

You reforge off the critical into 40 hit rating.  Now being you where already at hit rating cap you are 40 over cap.  So you go to another item, say one with hit and haste and reforge the hit off of that, as long as it is 40 or less so you keep hit cap, and make it mastery.

So while you could not reforge the critical off of that piece into mastery because it already had mastery on it you still managed to get the mastery from it by reforging the critical into something else and then taking that something else off another item and turning it into mastery.

It is basically taking the long route around getting that critical into mastery anyway, you just have to play the reforging game to get there.  This is why reforging is such a powerful tool.  You can do anything as long as you can figure out how to mix and match the numbers.

The Quick Fix:

Reforgenator is an addon I have found that takes all the work out of the reforging game.  It uses the stat breakdowns from elitist jerks to decide what is best for the spec you are in and it tries its best to get you the exact numbers you need.

You can choose for it to give you the best breakdowns for dungeons or raiding.  I suggest always using the raiding option and always using the consider all items option as well.

You might look at this and ask why would you really want to go through all this trouble just for an extra 40 mastery but I look at it as getting myself 40 more of a stat that is good for me and anything that is more of something better for me is good, isn't it?

5 Reasons why reforging is the most powerful tool in the game right now.
1) Easier to reach hit/expertise caps.
2) Easier to reach those magical haste numbers.
3) For some dual specs it limits the amount of different gear you need to carry around.
4) Ability to stack your best stat on every piece of gear.
5) Cheaper then regemming and reenchanting each time you get new gear.

Anything that offers you complete control over your stats is a powerful thing.  While this does not offer you complete control over all your stats it offers you a great deal of control over it.  That is why it is powerful and that is why all good players use it to the best of their ability.

Reforging can be your best friend if you just take the time to get to know it.

Reforging + You = Together Forever.

It's like a love story.


  1. I love the reforging minigame of getting just over the Hit or Expertise caps without wasting too many extra points. Not only is it true maximization, I find it very satisfying to end up with 0.01% extra Hit, or no extra Hit at all. :D

  2. Ohh yes, the inner OCD in me comes out when it comes to tinkering around with tiny marginal details like hit/haste cap, nice article, hopeflly we can get more min/maxing people on the go and up the quality of instance pugs. A small reforging can make a work of differance to your DPS.

  3. I am probably not understanding the Reforging mini game at all.

    If I may post an example, I've seen this:

    +459 Crit Rating
    +100 Mastery Rating
    +70 Expertise Rating
    +45 Hit Rating
    +38 Haste Rating

    -277 Expertise Rating
    -270 Hit Rating
    -165 Haste Rating

    Seems like a lot of Net loss there...

  4. @Anon - Both equal 712 so it is the same.

    Without knowing all the numbers I can not completely be sure but I would guess it adjusted hit, expertise and haste to get near caps and then boosted up your highest priority secondary stats as needed.

    At least that is how it appears to me.