Spirit-to-Hit talents: A Gearing Imbalance

I’ll say it right away: I hate Spirit-to-Hit talents. I despise them, even when I play as a Shadow Priest or Balance Druid. It feels wrong. I feel dirty when I have to adjust my healing gear to get as close to that 1748 Spirit rating as possible. It’s just not natural.

Being a healer at heart, Spirit for me has always been a regen talent. You need more mana? Stack more Spirit. This has always the philosophy for most healers. It’s a healing stat. It always has been.

But with Cataclysm, Blizzard brought in the idea of Spirit converting to Hit rating for our DPS Druids, Priests, and Shaman. While the main idea was to make gearing more flexible and less tedious for these classes, I think it also might have made it OVERLY flexible.

Hybrid DPS have more gear options

These hybrid DPS specs have more gear options than pure DPS classes and healers. They have the ability to roll on gear that has Hit rating, Spirit rating, or neither. That’s 3 options. In fact, they are only limited by armor-type and trinkets. Rings and necklaces? They can roll on ANY of them as long as they provide Intellect.

Mages and Warlocks have 2 choices for gear that prioritize Intellect: Gear with Hit rating and gear without Hit rating. They are also limited by Cloth. In comparison, Shadow Priests can also role on the same gear, but they also can roll on healing gear as well.

Healers also have 2 choices for gear: Gear with Spirit and gear without Spirit. Hit rating is out of the question, but we still compete with our DPS counterparts for gear since they can roll on Spirit gear.

Reforging eliminates the need for Spirit-to-Hit talents

With reforging, there is no need for these talents anymore. Hybrid DPS classes can easily reforge gear that lacks Hit rating. We’ve seen quite a bit of gear that lacks Spirit or Hit rating in Firelands and it keeps it quite neutral for both healers and DPS.


I know many raiders will read this and think “WTF are you high?” The current Spirit-to-Hit talents are very CONVENIENT for raids. It allows healers to switch to DPS roles and vice-versa seamlessly depending on raid needs and doesn’t require fiddling with gear as much.

But while it’s convenient, it’s also imbalanced for gearing. Hybrid DPS have greater opportunity for gear and that is an issue that I believe Blizzard should address.


5 thoughts on “Spirit-to-Hit talents: A Gearing Imbalance

  1. Priests may have more flexibility, but shaman & moonkin don’t have the option of +hit leather or mail. Blizzard doesn’t make that gear. Blizzard would have to make that gear if they took away the spirit-> hit conversions. We can’t get enough hit rating just from reforging alone, and we shouldn’t have to be stuck with that inflexibility in gearing to be more fair to two cloth caster specs. Shadow priests didn’t originally have the spirit -> hit conversion. They added it in Beta, because it was too hard for priests to maintain multiple gear sets without it.

    The spirit -> hit conversion is necessary for elemental shaman & moonkin because they would have to make special gear for each of those two specs if they got rid of the talent. Shadow priests have the option of +hit cloth which doesn’t exist for leather or mail-wearing casters.

    • I think ultimately what I’d like to see is more neutral gear for all specs. If ALL Intellect Leather pieces lacked Spirit and Hit then you could reforge secondary stats to your preference. It could work if Blizzard tweaked the amount of Spirit and Hit rating that was reforged over that way healers won’t feel like they lack Spirit.

      Honestly I’m probably more bitter about accessory pieces like Necks and Rings. Hybrid DPS can lay claim to any of them, while Pure DPS and Healers have some restrictions. I just hate that some class specializations have more options for gear than everyone else with tanks being an exception (because they have their own gear for the most part).

  2. Yeah, I was about to say the same thing as Lissanna. I can maybe buy the arguement on the cloth side but introducing int/hit mail and leather drops would just frustrate everyone. Gear for single specs would mean hassles gearing those specs or alot of sharded gear.

  3. There’s still the issue that accessories with either spirit or “neither spirit nor hit” have a disproportional number of spec wanting them. And the issue that holy plate services only 1 spec and is no good at all for dps.

    The current design of who wants what armor has significant issues that are starting to really show now that there are only 7~ bosses per tier and thus quite a limited amount of loot. Looking forward to their next major design overhaul, hopefully in 5.0.

  4. I’m dumbfounded that anyone could look at a tier with as few gearing options as this one and still decide that even a few specs need *fewer* options for gearing.

    Yes, some classes are more flexible in gearing. That’s a good thing, not a bad one. Less flexibility is a step backward. And at least those classes that share drops are less susceptible to being screwed over by the designers going insane and simply not placing certain slots. (melee dps shoulders, anyone?)

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