Part 1 - Character choices.
When the next expansion comes out armor will be different. It will be armor type. As in plate is plate, mail is mail, leather is leather and cloth is cloth. No more will there be intellect plate, parry plate and strength plate. It will just be plate and parry will be gone all together.
When you are in tank or retribution spec your paladins plate will have strength as its main stat. When you are in holy spec on your paladin your plate will have intellect on it. The removal of dodge and parry mean DPS and tanking strength pieces are the same and the fact the gear dynamically updates based on you spec when you are in holy that strength becomes intellect.
Easy enough to understand and something I have been a vocal supporter of for many years now. I think my support came from the fact that I got sick and tired of seeing all this intellect plate drop when we did not have a holy paladin in the group or seeing all this intellect leather drop when we did not have anyone that could use it. So often we would kill a boss for the first time and it would, to our dismay, drop 2 pieces that no one in the group could use.
I can really get behind the plate is plate design. But it will have an impact on how we play the game and how raiding could very well change thanks to it. First up, the individual take on how your play your character.
For me, the first thing that came to mind is that my shaman can return to her roots as enhancement. My shaman first reached max level in wrath. I was enhancement back then and that was all I ever was. I always liked the game play of enhancement even if the dead spots in the rotation would infuriate me beyond belief. As someone that does not like being melee an enhancement shaman was something different for me and I really enjoyed it. Odd being I hate melee right?
When cataclysm came about and we lost nearly every raid healer we had I was forced to work on another healer. My shaman was one of the early characters to hit 85 so I started to build a healing set for it even having never healed with it before. Soon I fell in love with shaman healing and my shaman was basically a healer main spec from that point on. I was able to gear up my enhancement spec well enough in cataclysm and would even play it from time to time.
When mists came out I leveled as enhancement but worked on getting my healing gear as soon as I hit 90 because now I was a healer main spec. I figured I would get my enhancement gear later. With the reputation requirements, the time sink of dailies, and so much to do to keep up there was no way I was able to keep up two complete sets of gear on an alt. I fell way behind on gearing for enhancement. I did enough to make sure my healing set kept up but my enhancement spec was brutal. So much so I stopped even questing, it would take too long to kill things.
I made the decision, unhappily, to ditch the only spec I had ever known for elemental, because at least I could use my healing gear for my elemental spec and still do okay. Sure, the 50% hit rating was a tad bit overboard, maybe, you think? But at least I could kill stuff at lot quicker in 500 item level healing gear as elemental than I could in 460 enhancement gear with some green pieces still. And enhancement went the way of the dodo, never to be seen again.
As long as gearing was like this I had no intentions of ever seeing myself play enhancement again. But never say never. Enter warlords and me having the ability to say goodbye to elemental, a spec I never really liked anyway. Enhancement here I come.
But what if I stayed elemental? My elemental set would surely be much better because now that hit is being removed I would not be bogged down by nearly 50% hit rating when I used my healing gear as elemental. I might be putting out 120K instead of 80K thanks to all those stats no longer going to waste.
But wait, there is more, I could also use all that healing gear to be enhancement again. Thank you for opening the doors once more to return to the only spec I had known for DPS as a shaman. I am looking forward to the day I can once again be enhancement and not have to build an entirely different set for it.
Not all is fine and dandy in dynamic armor world however. From what they said I would still need to get a neck, rings, trinkets and weapons for my enhancement set but at least it is no longer a case of needing to get everything, just some things. And that opens so many doors.
My shaman can return to enhancement. My druid could have its first healing set since the start of cataclysm, which oddly enough I still had in my bank until I cleaned it out a few weeks ago. My paladin could be holy again for the first time since wrath. I can finally test out monk healing because the only reason I have not is because it uses a different set of gear.
Will dynamic armor change the way you play your class?
Will you test a spec out that you never have because you will already have most of the gear for it?
If you have never healed or tanked before will you be willing to now that you basically have a healing a tank set already?
End of part 1