We've also seen some more information in a blue post about Druid masteries in Cata, which have been added in the most recent beta.
- Restoration - Increases the potency of your heal over time spells by up to 20% based on the current health level of your target (lower health targets are healed for more). Healing increased further by mastery rating.
- Feral - Increases the damage absorbed by your Savage Defense ability by 32% and increases the damage done by your Cat Form bleed abilities by 20%. Absorb and damage increased further by mastery rating.
- Balance - Increases the bonus damage from Eclipse by 12%. Damage increased further by mastery rating.
It will be interesting to see just how these stats work out in Cata. All of these bonuses are increased by Mastery rating on gear, but how Mastery rating will be prioritized in terms of gems (and possibly enchants) and gear will take some analysis. All of the talents and related stats and spells are in flux in the beta, so it's difficult to get a firm grasp on just how things will work and balance out when Cataclysm finally drops.
Just reading over the Masteries as they are at the moment, it looks like there will definitely be caps as to where it will be ineffective/wasteful to pass a certain level of Mastery rating. I'm noticing this particularly for the Restoration Mastery, where HoT spell potency is increased 'by up to 20%' - the 'by up to' being the key phrase in there. Whether that is fully intended and how much it will change is still up in the air, but it is highly unlikely that stacking pure Mastery rating will be desirable for any spec. The Feral and Balance masteries seem to have a set initial bonus which is increased by additional Mastery rating (rather than up to a set point) which is likely to have a cap as well. As Cataclysm gets closer and actually drops, I'm sure theorycrafting will get into full swing and determine just where the caps will be.
Balancing stats should become a bit more manageable with the advent of Reforging (which you can see an update here on MMO).
This is one image from MMO Champ showing the change in stats - for those who don't know, Reforging will allow you to reduce a stat on a piece of gear in order to add in another stat. As you can see in the image above, on this piece of gear the player has reduced their Haste Rating in order to add some Hit Rating. This will be a helpful feature for optimizing gear for your needs, particularly if a piece doesn't look all that good at first glance. You can Restore an item's original stats after Reforging, which so far is looking like you can do so as often as you wish, so any changes you make will not be set in stone.
There was also a post over at WoW.com letting us know that Cataclysm is still on track for a 2010 release. Mike Morhaime, Blizzard's CEO, is quoted as saying:
"... I'd like to point to the release of Cataclysm, being our best expansion yet for World of Warcraft. Although an exact release date has not yet been announced, we're on track to launch the expansion by the end of the year. As with all Blizzard games, though, we won't release until it's ready."Some good news there!
I'll keep this post brief and wrap up with another good reminder on account security from Blizzard; Password Security Information. Good advice as ever, to use a different password for your WoW account than you use on your email accounts or anything else. In the horrible event that your WoW account does get hacked, you don't want those hackers rooting around through your emails or personal information as well! Be sure to keep yourself and your information safe!
More posts to come soon!