This is the second in a series of posts about the things that cataclysm hit the nail on the head with this expansion. Many people may like or dislike certain things that where done in cataclysm but sometimes some of the best changes go basically unnoticed or taken for granted. It is always easier to overlook the good things.
Past posts in this series:
Miscues: I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX
Cataclysm Hits: I: Spec Selection
Secondary stats, I own you.
Reforging has made a world of difference in the game. So much so that people do not even realize how much it has done for them. It is the perfect example of something that was so good that it gets over looked. Sure, people notice it, they like it, but do they really realize how much easier it has made the game for them? How much of a huge update to the game this really was?
At face value what reforging looked like to people was just a way to turn one secondary stat into another and really if that is all it was it would still be an amazing addition to the game. If you are a class that heavily favors critical strike and really has no need for mastery you would change that mastery on the item over to critical strike and be done with it.
To most people, that is all reforging is and in a way, yes, that is all it is. You change one stat for another. To people that look deeper into things, reforging is so much more and that is why it is, in my opinion, the biggest hit in cataclysm.
Reforging made upgrading gear a lot easier. How so one might ask? If you were that aforementioned class that favored critical strike you might be hit with a perplexing option when upgrading if you where wearing an item that had 200+ critical strike and something dropped that had a little more of your main stat but no critical strike. It would become something that you would need to research and hope someone did the theory crafting on it already.
Would the small increase of your primary stat be worth the huge loss in critical? Now, with reforging, upgrading is a lot easier. Main stats are main stats for a reason. They are usually huge for any class, so a little bit of a main stat combined with the ability to reforge whichever is highest in the secondary stats on the item into critical strike, 40% at least, made this an easy decision. 99 out of 100 times the higher item is the better item because of the ability to reforge. For people that do not want to spend time researching reforging took a lot of the guess work out of the game.
Another huge advantage that reforging gave people is the ability to customize the plateaus that one might need to be at. You need 8% hit or 960 haste to be at an ideal number, reforge into it. Gone are the days of having to work your butt off for a certain drop because it is a better fit for the numbers you need.
You got a great new pair of bracers with no hit on them but there is another pair out there that has the same main stats plus hit that would make sure you were still at hit cap so farm away it is. This even goes back to the making upgrades easier like I mentioned before. No more, "those bracers would be a great upgrade if they had hit", now it is "those bracers are a great upgrade for me after I reforge all that mastery off them into hit".
The fine tuning of getting those those numbers are made much easier with reforging as well. Need that 960 haste number? Reforging makes it that you can get there as close as possible. The old way to playing around with gems and enchants and hoping to get as close to it as possible are gone. No need for that. Just reforge and get it.
This brings us to another high end concept of reforging to get it that most people do not even consider. If you are looking for that 960 haste number and are sitting at 920 but the only thing you can reforge haste into will give you 80 putting you at 1000 you used can just say, cool, I am over 960 or you can look at reforging haste off of items. Yes, reforging what you need off of items can really help and many people, unless they use a site or addon, never notice that. Reforge the haste off of something else into your next best secondary stat and get closer to 960. Lets say one item has 100 haste, reforge 40 off of it and you are at 960 exactly and you have 40 more of another secondary stats. Remember, 40 more of another secondary stat even if it is your worse secondary stat, is better then wasted itemization elsewhere sometimes, even more so if it is hit because anything over cap on hit is 100% useless.
But wait, there is more. Reforging made our lives easier in other ways as well. Gems and enchants can cost a lot. Anyone that tried to work out the numbers perfectly before reforging was introduced will tell you how often they needed to change two or three or even four gems or enchants when they got one piece upgraded so they could reach hit cap again or that special haste plateau. Now it is more like you gem and enchant for the best stats for you and anything else, you reforge for. No more do you need to change your gems and your enchants on your bracers, hands and boots just because you got a new set of pants that didn't have the ideal stats on them.
It just generally made choosing gear easier. It made choosing gems easier. It made choosing enchants easier. It made writing guides to help people know what to choose easier. With reforging there is now a best gem and best enchant. It is no longer "this is the best gem if you are already hit capped but if you need hit use this one." It just made the game simpler, at least for those smart enough to use it.
With all the additions to the game that have made it easier, for lack of a better word, like flying or instant groups with dungeon finder or what have you nothing has ever made the game easier then reforging without anyone ever complaining about it. People complain about flying in the old world. People complain that dungeon finder ruins community. People complain about many things that made the game easier and they very well might have a valid reason to complain about it. Reforging made the game easier and no one ever complains about it. Maybe the, "I wish it changed it all instead of just 40%", but that is about it. More a wish or a desire, not really a complaint. No one would ever get their panties in a bunch over reforging and lets face it, anything that makes the game easier people will complain about. Everything... except reforging.
So if you are playing cataclysm, like it or not is irrelevant, and ever felt like this seems kind of cool but then dismissed it because it is just something that seems like it has always been there, maybe it is one of the cataclysm hits, like how reforging has made your life so much easier.