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We've got spirit, yes we do!

Allison Robert

It's pretty routine to run across complaints in World of Warcraft communities about poor DPS showing up to PuGs. When I say poor DPS, I don't mean the unfortunate soul who just dinged 80 and is running around in greens far below their class' hit cap. You would reasonably expect someone's damage to be fairly lackluster under those circumstances even if the person concerned is a great player. By "poor DPS," I mean someone at 80 who shows up to your Naxx PuG in full epics rocking 25-man raid buffs who manages to stay alive on each boss fight with a Bloodlust/Heroism...and doesn't manage to break 4-figure DPS. I've seen it before, saw it again recently, and am fatalistic about its eventual reappearance.

Questionable gemming and enchant choices tend to abound with these players, as you'd expect, and the cry of "He gemmed for Spirit!" tends to follow them around. Fair enough; it does happen, but as someone who's been leveling a platoon of alts through a sea of /headdesk pre-60 itemization, I've wondered whether the abundance of Spirit on pre-60 gear leaves newer or inexperienced players with a false impression regarding its eventual importance in the endgame. And it's easy to see how they could arrive at that conclusion; the stat is everywhere!

You'll see it from 2H axes in Deadmines all the way to mail gloves in LBRS, and it's often allocated in equal or greater numbers over the stats you actually want. Any new player could be forgiven for thinking that, regardless of the class and spec they play, Spirit's worth having if it shows up in such abundance on every armor type. Worse yet, there's nothing in the game to tell them how few classes and specs make real use of it. I love Spirit on my level 80 Druid when she's Restoration and I tolerate it when she's Balance, but I despise it on my level 35 Hunter.

Blizzard's spent a lot of time tinkering with Spirit in the effort to make it more attractive as both a DPS and regeneration stat, but I wonder if, in the age of gear consolidation, it wouldn't make more sense to fold its damage contribution back into other talents and just use the more straightforward mp5. This certainly won't solve bad gemming choices at 80, but it does seem odd to keep using a stat that's useless for most classes, a more convoluted version of mp5 for regen, and whose damage contribution seems to be in the game mostly as a means of quieting players who wouldn't otherwise want it there at all.

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