What's A Hit Cap And What Are Stat Caps?
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What\'s A Hit Cap And What Are Stat Caps?

So what's a hit cap or a stat cap anyway? It's not something you wear, it's a value.

In the World of Warcraft you have various stats that define your capabilities. The "Primary Stats" are Strength, Intelligence, Agility, and Stamina. There are no caps for these stats. Gaining more in any one of them is always better. (The other stats are Hit, Expertise, Critical, Haste, Spirit, and Mastery.)

A cap is the point at which gaining more of a stat does less for you or even nothing for you. "Hit" is a stat that has some sort of cap for every character in the game. Hit determines whether or not you miss your target. There is a small chance to miss whatever you're attacking and increased Hit Rating reduces that chance. Your Hit cap is the point where you will no longer miss and additional Hit rating will do you no good at all.

For example, if you are a Mage and you're blasting away at a boss in a raid you have a Spell Hit cap of 15%. Ever point of hit below that 15% is very important as every bit of damage is important. Every point over 15% is useless to you. That's what's referred to as a Hard Cap. (Not a Hard Hat, that's something completely different. ;) )

A Soft Cap isn't something you wad up and stick in your pocket. It's the point where you suddenly get less value from a stat, rather than no value. Any class that dual wields weapons (Rogues, Fury Warriors, Enhancement Shaman, etc.) has a Soft Hit Cap at one number after which they get less value from their Hit rating. These characters will have a 7.5% Soft Hit Cap for that raid boss (3% for PvP) with their main attacks. They also will have an "auto-attack" using their paired weapons. The Hit cap for the auto-attack is 27% hit rating.

So these dual wielding types will have the "soft Hit cap" of 7.5% and a "hard cap" of 27%, after which they get zero benefit from additional Hit.

Spell casters, such as Mages, don't have an auto-attack and they don't dual wield weapons so they only have the one Hit cap, 15% Vs raid bosses and 6% Vs same level enemies (such as in PvP.)

Melee types with two-handed weapons will have a hard Hit cap of 7.5% Vs that boss and 3% in PvP. Again, those dual wielding types have that number as a soft cap and then that 27% as the hard cap.

What About the Other Stats?

Other than Expertise, these stats fall into the "more is better" category, though there might be points where a certain amount is definitely better than a lesser or greater amount.

  • Spirit has no caps. If you're a caster who needs spirit (generally healers) then you just pile on as much as you can until you're happy with your mana usage. The amount of Spirit you want might be very different from the other guy.
  • Expertise goes against your enemy's chance to dodge or block your attack. For melee types it's the same as hit. Against opponents with higher dodge skills there will be some value in gaining additional Expertise. Tanks will want higher Expertise than other melee types. Casters roll their Expertise into their Spell Hit number. Additional Expertise (Spell Hit) will be of no use.
  • Haste doesn't have a hard or soft cap, by that I mean one that applies to all characters. Generally speaking, Haste speeds up everything you do, how fast your spells are cast, how much time you have to wait between attacks, and so on. Spells that do damage or healing over a period of time will act faster with more Haste. With enough Haste most of these spells will do an extra "tick" of damage or healing. For example, a heal spell that does 6 "ticks" over 12 seconds might do 7 ticks with enough Haste. That can be called a soft cap, though people also call it a "breakpoint." Depending on your spell set you might have several breakpoints that you can cover with enough Haste.
  • Crit (Critical Hit rating) only rarely has a cap for any given class. Mages, on the other hand, do have one due to their Shatter ability. That ability doubles their basic crit rating and then adds 50%. So a crit rating of 25% gives them a 100% chance to crit when using Shatter. That's a soft cap. Additional crit does add value, though other stats might be more valuable.
  • Mastery doesn't have a cap, hard or soft. If your class values Mastery then it's generally a "more is better" stat. A Protection Paladin, for example, will want as much as possible.

So really that's about it. The cap is just the point there you get less or zero value from getting more of that stat. For any class other than a healer you will want to be at the Hit Cap. No one like to miss, after all. Especially if it was that big blast or important interrupt or something.

The values of reforging is that it will allow you to get much closer to you Hit or other caps (or breakpoints) than you could just by swapping gear back and forth, making you that much more effective.

And that's the goal. To be more effective. Good luck!


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