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Attributes are the basic building blocks for a character's combat ability. The five primary attributes are strength, agility, stamina, intellect, and spirit. These five attributes along with armor appear on the character sheet under "Base Stats". These are often referred to as simply stats.

A number of secondary attributes affect specific areas of combat more directly, and are often influenced in some way by a primary attribute. Secondary attributes include critical strike rate, damage absorption, attack power, spell power, and many others.

All characters inherently have some amount of each attribute that increases with level depending mainly on class. For example, a mage will have more base intellect than a rogue, who will have more base agility. Increasing these attributes is mainly done with equipment, as well as temporary effects such as buffs, elixirs, scrolls, auras, and many other means.

Nearly all combat mechanics rely in some way on one or more character attributes. Increasing the appropriate attribute will increase damage done, reduce damage taken, increase healing done, affect a character's mana or health, or other benefits. Understanding how these attributes work is important for effective combat.

Addons such as RatingBuster [1] can show you the actual improvements in game to your Secondary attributes which are more directly applied to combat mechanics.

Strength Edit

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Strength (often abbreviated STR) has the following effects:


Strength does not affect the chance to land a critical strike. Strength does not improve the chance to block.

Agility Edit

AGI per 1% Crit
Class L. 60 L. 70 L. 80
Death Knight 20 33 62.5
Druid 20 25 83.33
Hunter 33 40 83.33
Mage 20 25 51.02
Paladin 20 25 52.08
Priest 20 25 52.08
Rogue 29 40 83.33
Shaman  ?? 40 83.33
Warlock 20 25 50.50
Warrior 20 33 62.5
AGI per 1% Dodge
Class L. 60 L. 70 L. 80
Death Knight  ?  ? 84.74576271
Druid Unknown 14.7 47.84688995
Hunter 20 26.5 86.20689655
Mage 20 25 58.82352941
Paladin 20 25 59.88023952
Priest 20 25 59.88023952
Rogue 14.5 20 47.84688995
Shaman 20 25 59.88023952
Warlock 20 25 59.88023952
Warrior 20 30 84.74576271

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Agility (often abbreviated AGI) has the following effects:

Agility Equivalence Points is a notable formula for calculating the contribution of agility. It might be outdated with regard to hunters.

Stamina Edit

Stamina (often abbreviated STA) has the following effects:

  • Stamina provides 1 health per stamina for the first 20 points of stamina, and 10 health per point of stamina thereafter.
  • Stamina also increases the health of a player's pet for classes with pets, although not from the player's base stamina (the stamina the player has without any armor or talent bonuses). They gain between 8.4 and 11 health per point of stamina, depending on the pet's type (see the hunter pet, minion and Risen Ghoul articles for details). There are other non-standard adjustments that can be made for stamina:
  • Stamina is the key attribute of tanks. It is useful to every class in PvP. Non-tank PvE characters should not actively seek out stamina, but some of it is found on nearly any piece of gear.

Intellect Edit

Class Expected
@ 60
L. 60
1% Crit
L. 70
1% Crit
L. 80
1% Crit
Warlock 200 60.6 81.92 166.6667
Druid 192 60.0 80 166.6667
Shaman 259 59.5 80 166.6667
Mage 286 59.5 80 166.6667
Priest 160 59.2 80 166.6667
Paladin 106 54 80.05 166.6667

Intellect (often abbreviated as INT) has the following effects:

  • Increases mana points. Each point of intellect gives player characters 15 mana points (except from the first 20 points of Intellect that provide 1 mana for each point instead). Warlock minions gain 1 mana per point of base intellect, imps gain ~4.9 mana for each additional point of intellect, while all other minions gain ~11.5 mana for each additional point of intellect.
  • Increases chance to score a spell critical strike. This increase varies by class and level; in general, the relationship is linear as intellect increases. The rate of increase is generally based on the amount of intellect a class is expected to have at a certain level, given by the following table.[4][5][6]
  • As of 2.4, Intellect will increase Mana regeneration; however, as detailed there, mana regeneration based on intellect is subject to diminishing returns, unlike mana regeneration based on Spirit.
  • As of Patch 3.0 every point of Intellect provides 1 attack power for Shamans with the talent Mental Dexterity (e.g., +70 intellect will give the shaman +70 AP) as well as Hunters with the talent Careful Aim.
  • Increases the rate at which weapon skills are learned. Before patch 2.0 this was listed in the tooltip, but it was removed after that. Despite this, tests show that intellect still increases the rate of skillups.[7] If you want to level a weapon skill, asking for an Intellect buff, or using a scroll never hurts.

Spirit Edit

Main article: Spirit

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Spirit (often abbreviated SPI) has the following effects:

  • Increases health and mana regeneration. Spirit affects all characters' mana and hit point regeneration rates in and out of combat.
    • Health regeneration from spirit is not active while in combat, except for trolls who gain 10% of their normal health regen in combat from the racial ability "regeneration".
    • Mana regeneration is active in combat except for the five seconds immediately after casting a spell (the five second rule). Some class talents and spells allow some mana regeneration during this period.
    • As of patch 2.4.0, Intellect will increase the amount of MP5 generated by Spirit.
  • Warlocks gain 30% of total spirit as additional Spell Power with Fel Armor, which can be further augmented by the 3 point talent Demonic Aegis giving 33%/36%/39% bonus. In addition to that, Glyph of Life Tap increases spell power by 20% of spirit, so a properly specced Warlock can get a total of 50% conversion from Spirit to Spell power. Spirit also increases the amount of health converted to mana when using Life Tap.
  • Mages can increase their spell critical strike by 35% of their spirit when using Molten Armor. This can be increased with Glyph of Molten Armor, increasing the critical strike chance by an additional 20% of spirit.
  • Spirit is moderately valuable to cloth-wearing classes, as well as to casting druids. Because paladins and shamans do not have a talent to regenerate mana while casting, spirit is near-totally useless to them. Classes that use a resource system other than mana have even less use for spirit, as it only affects their health regeneration outside combat.

Others Edit

Secondary attributes are player stats that affect combat directly. The five primary attributes only indirectly affect combat, by contributing to these attributes.

Combat skillsEdit

Combat skills are learned by experience, and have a base value capped at the player's level times five. e.g., a level 50 player will have a maximum defense skill of 250 that can be learned from combat experience.

Note: Druid weapon skill is always considered to be at maximum for its level while in feral forms; you will also not receive increases to weapon skill while in feral form as you aren't actually using it. Moonkin form does still use the equipped weapons however.
  • Defense skill - Defense is a player's proficiency at receiving melee damage. Defense contributes to an opponent's miss rate and critical strike chance. Each point of defense skill above the base level grants 0.04% extra chance to dodge, block, parry and be missed, and reduces the chance to be crit by the same amound.

Physical combatEdit

  • Weapon damage - Weapon damage is a property of the player's equipped weapon. Melee weapon damage is increased by enchants and sharpening stones. Ranged damage is increased with scopes and ammo or arrows.
  • Weapon speed - Weapon speed is a property of the player's equipped weapon and determines the time between attacks with that weapon.
  • Attack power - (Abbreviated as AP) Increases damage of an equipped weapon. Attack power is increased directly by gear and buffs with the attack power stat, and indirectly by strength and agility (only for hunters, rogues, shamans, and cat-form druids).
  • Ranged attack power - (Abbreviated as RAP) Increases damage of an equipped bow, crossbow or gun, but not wands. Ranged attack power is increased similarly to melee attack power.
  • Critical Strike - Percentage of attacks that will result in a critical strike. Crit chance is increased directly by critical strike rating, a combat rating, and indirectly by agility.
  • Hit - Increases chance to hit with melee weapons by a percentage. Hit chance is increased directly by hit rating, a combat rating.
  • Haste - Decreases the time between attacks. This effectively increases weapon speed, but has no effect on cooldowns. Haste is increased directly by haste rating, a combat rating.
  • Armor penetration - Reduces the target's armor, according to a somewhat complicated formula. Particularly valuable for classes that do mostly physical damage, like DPS warriors, Blood death knights and Marksman hunters.
  • Expertise - Reduces the enemy's chance to dodge/parry by .25% per point of expertise.

Spell combatEdit

  • Spell power - Increases damage and healing done with spells. The exact amount added varies with the spell's cast time or effect duration. Bonus damage can also apply to only a specific spell school, though items that do this are rare.
  • Spell hit - Increases the chance spells will hit their target. Spell hit is increased by hit rating, a combat rating
  • Spell crit chance - Percentage of spells that will result in a spell critical strike. Spell crit chance is increased directly by critical strike rating, a combat rating, and indirectly by intellect.
  • Spell penetration - Reduces the target's resistance. Spell penetration is increased directly by gear with the spell penetration stat. It is useful in PvP, not in PvE.
  • Mana regeneration - The rate at which mana is restored, both in combat and out of combat. Mana regeneration is increased by the stat MP5, which is an abbreviation for "mana per 5 seconds". Mana regeneration when not casting spells (for 5 seconds at least) is also increased indirectly by spirit and intellect. Mages, priests and druids have talents that allow a portion of this regeneration to continue in combat.

DefenseEdit

  • Defense - Increases defense skill. Defense is increased directly by equipment with defense rating, a combat rating.
  • Dodge - Chance to dodge incoming melee attacks. Ranged attacks cannot be dodged. Dodge is increased directly by dodge rating, a combat rating, and indirectly by agility and defense skill. Only tanks should use gear with dodge rating.
  • Parry - Chance to parry melee attacks with a melee weapon. Ranged attacks cannot be parried. Parry is increased directly by parry rating, a combat rating, and indirectly by defense skill. Only (non-druid) tanks should use gear with parry rating.
  • Block - Chance to block melee and ranged attacks with a shield. Block is increased directly by block rating, a combat rating, and indirectly by defense skill. Warrior and paladin tanks are the only roles that will benefit from block.
  • Block Value - Damage blocked by a shield. Increased directly by block listed on the shield and block value from other gear. Every two points in strength grants one point of block value. Warrior and paladin tanks are the only roles that will benefit from block value.
  • Armor - Decreases physical damage received. Increases your pet's Armor. Armor is always present on equippable items, such as chest pieces and shields. Shields and plate items generally have the most armor, while cloth items have the least. The base armor of an item is determined directly by its type (cloth, leather, mail or plate), item level and slot (chest, head, legs, etc). Some items have extra armor, which is indicated by the total amount of armor appearing in green on the tooltip. Rings, weapons, amulets and trinkets have no base armor, but may have bonus armor. Agility slightly increases armor.
  • Resistance - Decreases the damage taken from magical attacks.
  • Resilience - Decreases chance to receive critical hits, reduces critical strike damage. Resilience is increased through equipment with resilience, a combat rating. Resilience is found on PvP gear.
  • Health regeneration - The rate at which health is restored, both in combat and out of combat. Health regeneration is increased by the stat HP5, which is an abbreviation for "health per 5 seconds". Health regeneration out of combat is also increased indirectly by spirit.

Other information Edit

Attack power Edit

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Base statistics affect attack power (which contributes to DPS) as follows:

  • Strength will always contribute to the physical melee attack power for all classes.
  • Rogues, hunters and shamans can also use Agility in addition to Strength to increase their base physical melee attack power. Each point of Agility contributes the same as a point of Strength.
  • Druids in Cat Form can also use Agility to increase their base physical melee attack power. However, each point of Strength contributes twice the amount of attack power as does a point of Agility. Agility also affects critical strike percentage which directly affects Cat Form abilities such as Primal Fury. This gives an added artificial attack power.
  • Agility is the only primary statistic to affect physical ranged attack power (bows, guns, throwing weapons) for all classes capable of using them. This is especially important for hunters.
  • Wand damage is not affected by a primary statistic.

Critical Strikes Edit

  • Agility will increase the chance to score a critical strike with both physical ranged and melee damage for all classes. The amount needed per point varies by class.
  • Intellect will increase the chance to score a critical strike with spells. For a mage at level 60, the rate is 1% per 59.5 points of intellect.
  • Critical strike rating increases the chance for both spell and physical affects to score a critical strike.

Dodge Edit

  • Agility will determine a character's chance to dodge an attack. Rogues and druids (as of 2.03) gain a much stronger bonus to dodge than other classes.

Fighting with two weapons, using off-hand, two-handed Edit

See the "Physical Combat" section of Combat.

Patch changes Edit

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ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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