attribute (WoW)  

All characters (of a race and class) are created equal, but they do not stay that way. Eventually players start to get better gear, level up, and sometimes receive buffs from other players. These characters gradually become stronger due to increases in their attributes.

There are quite a few different attributes in the game, nearly all of which can be found on your Character Sheet. There are 5 primary attributes that are most frequently found on equipment, and then quite a few others that are slightly less frequently seen but no less important.

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Primary Attributes

The primary attributes are Strength, Agility, Stamina, Intellect and Spirit. Each of these affects your character in different ways, and some are far more significant to certain classes.

  • Strength (STR) adds 2 points to your melee attack power, causing your physical attacks to hit harder, and also increases the amount of damage blocked with a shield. Rogues and Hunters only receive 1 AP per STR instead of 2. Strength is an important attribute for classes that fight primarily with a melee weapon, such as Warriors and Paladins.

  • Agility (AGI) increases a character's chance to crit with physical attacks, their ranged attack power by 2, their chance to dodge, and their armor by 2 per point. Rogues, Hunters and Cat Form Druids receive 1 AP per AGI, including just 1 ranged attack power for hunters. Agility is important especially for Rogues and Hunters.

  • Stamina (STA) adds 10 health to the character. Stamina is extremely important to any class that wants to tank, or to any player engaged in PvP. Warlocks also favor stamina.

  • Intellect (INT) adds 15 mana to the character, and increases the chance to get a critical hit with a spell. Intellect is important for classes that go through mana very quickly, such as Mages and Shaman. As of patch 2.3, Intellect also impacts your mana regeneration.

  • Spirit (SPI) adds to the health and mana regeneration of a character. Because the effects of regeneration are situational, spirit is often considered the weakest of the five for solo and group play, but it is important for casters who depend on sustaining through long battles such as raid healers provided that their healing mechanic keeps them outside of the Five_Second_Rule. For instance, paladin raid healers who nearly never stop casting, and therefore are almost never outside of the five second rule, would get no benefit from spirit and would be better off selecting some MP5 which increases mana regeneration while casting (as well as while not).

Prior to Burning Crusade, it was uncommon to see attributes other than these on items before about level 50. Thus, a majority of the equipment your character will find while leveling will only have these five attributes on them.

Secondary Attributes

Secondary attributes work more directly than primary attributes, and are more targeted. Note that many of these abilities are "ratings," which is a way Blizzard controls the extended usefulness of an effect that works by percentages. It takes more points of rating to get the same effect at higher levels. For more specific information about the effects of each of these attributes, see the article for that specific statistic.

Defensive Attributes

Defensive Rating
Name Effect Rating @ 70
Defense +1 Defense Skill 2.37
Dodge +1% Dodge 18.92
Parry +1% Parry 23.65
Block +1% Block Chance 7.88
  • Armor is the most easily recognized. Armor reduces the amount of damage a character takes from physical attacks and appears on items of all levels.

  • Resistances reduces the effect of a particular school of magic against the target. With enough resistance, all damage is reduced by up to 75% and increases the odds that a full resist will occur.

  • Dodge Rating increases the likelihood of dodging. Likewise, Parry Rating increases the odds of parrying.

  • Block Rating increases the likelihood of blocking an incoming attack with a shield. Block Value increases the amount of damage prevented with a successful block, as well as damage dealt by abilities such as a Warrior's Shield Slam.

  • Resilience is primarily found on PvP gear, and reduces the chance to take a critical blow, either physical or spell, and also reduces the amount of damage taken from a crit or from a DoT effect.

  • Health regeneration is not a very popular attribute currently, since "restores X health every 5 seconds" tends not to be very useful if X isn't a rather large number, however this effect does continue to function in combat.

Physical Attributes

Physical Rating
Name Effect Rating @ 70
Crit +1% Crit 22.10
Hit +1% Hit 15.76
Haste +1% Haste 15.76
Expertise -1% Dodge/Parry 15.76
  • Attack Power (AP) directly increases the amount of damage dealt with attacks. Your character will have both a melee attack power (MAP) and a ranged attack power (RAP). Attack Power on items will affect both[1], and 14 points of attack power increases the DPS of your attacks by 1.

  • Crit Rating increases the odds of dealing a critical strike with melee or ranged. At level 70, it takes 22.1 points of crit rating to add 1% chance to crit.

  • Hit Rating reduces the chance to miss by 1% for each 15.76 points for a level 70 character.

  • Haste Rating reduces the delay between attacks. It takes 15.76 haste rating to add 1% to attack speed. Note that this does not simply reduce the attack speed by 1%. 100% haste is attacking twice as fast, not instant attacks.

  • Expertise replaced weapon skill ratings in version 2.3, and reduces the chance to be dodged or parried in melee combat. It has no effect on ranged attacks.

Spell Attributes

Spell Rating
Name Effect Rating @ 70
Spell Crit +1% Spell Crit 22.1
Spell Hit +1% Spell Hit 12.62
  • Spell Damage (or +damage), usually written in the form "increases damage and healing done by magical spells and effects by up to X," is the primary way a spellcaster increases the damage they deal. It may enhance some spells more than others, based on their cast time. (See spell coefficient.)

  • Healing is similar to Spell Damage, but specifically mentioning healing effects. The quantities of +healing are generally twice as high as basic spell damage. In version 2.3, all items with +healing also had a minor +spell damage component added to them so healers would not be defenseless in healing gear.

  • Mana Regeneration (MP5) adds mana to your character every 5 seconds. Unlike Spirit, mana regeneration always functions, but at a slightly lower rate.

  • Spell Crit Rating increases the chance to land a spell critical hit. At level 70 it takes 22.1 points of spell crit rating to add 1% chance to crit with spells.

  • Spell Hit Rating reduces the chance to miss (resist) with spells by 1% for each 12.62 points for a level 70 character.

  1. ^ Wands are unaffected by attack power
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This page last modified 2011-08-09 10:19:42.