Inside the Item Squish – Comparisons, Math, and Stats!

With Warlords of Draenor patch 6.0 fast approaching, its time to sit down and take a look at exactly what the item squish has done to our characters. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the squish dramatically effects the face of the numbers, but there are quite a few differences that I didn’t expect when the concept was proposed and discussed so many moons ago.

It was originally hypothesized to be about a 10 fold squish, and even with the outliers it still comes very close, but as any good math and science collaboration, you need to understand the results and why they may or may not be flawed.


Right Click and Open in New Tab!

So let’s walk through this so we can all understand exactly whats happening. Step one, right click the image above and open either in a separate window or tab so you can follow along as we go through it piece by piece.

Health Normalization:

The first outlier we come across is the Health Pool and despite its admitted difference its actually not as abnormal as we would expect. For those not aware, Blizzard purposefully doubled health pools after the squish to facilitate the new Healing and PvP Models, but as of this test, it appears that they weren’t actually doubled. Perhaps “doubled” is just what everyone assumed, and its more realistic to think they had said “increased.” Either way, without sources, its all hearsay.

Its also possible the 10x squish then 2x increase could have came only at level 100 along their projected curve, as its also been said that the goal is the create a linear pattern for the game to follow from level 1 to level 90. This is, in my opinion, of course a mandatory progression we must occur, but it certainly makes this a whole lot more difficult to decipher, and may end up leading to complications for the month of 6.0 Mythic SoO we will undertake.

All in the name of balance, I suppose!

Primary Stat Variance:

The second outlier is without question the most bizarre. Highlighted in red is the difference and percentage of Strength changed in the squish. For those not well versed in mathematics, ITS A POSITIVE NUMBER. I went from having 256 strength on live, which seems impossibly low for how crazy the numbers are currently, to having 406 in 6.0!?  A net gain of 150 of a stat I barely have ANY of while all around it others are being chunked down to 10 percent or less.

To illustrate this point even further, examine the ratio of the stats in both patches.

Patch 5.4:
Strength : Intellect
256/35825= 0.7%

Patch 6.0:
Strength : Intellect
406/1807= 22.5%

So what does it mean? Frankly, I have no idea. Its very likely that I am overlooking some strange passive like “Intellect gives strength for Holy Paladins” or something like that, but even if that is the case, whats the point? Does this mean that other specs have this enormous increase in stats the gain no benefit from? At least I can now melee the boss off the pull and contribute a bit more!

Crit and Spirit+Regen Differences:

The final real outlier we see here is the massive swing in Critical Strike Chance as well as how Spirit and Regen are handled now.

Take a good look at the numbers pre and post squish and you can probably already tell something is very off, especially the spirit to mana regen correlation.

A sufficient explanation is that the relationship between the two has obviously changed, but there is more then just that happening. What you are seeing is the first indicator of the linear stat progression scaling, and the blatant difference is because of the previous exponential model.

When the squish happened, so does the adjustment of where level 90 is in the overarching stat continuum, and when the new max level becomes the norm, this correlation will likely find its place in the standard distribution, but as of right now they both are outliers above and below the curve.

Spirit is easily explained, however. Simply put, my gear set went from containing every single piece with spirit to now only having 1 ring, a cloak, a neck, and a trinket that will proc spirit. This is not a part of the item squish, just a change in the way gear will operate.

The same thing can be said then about Critical strike. As nearly every peice I had was either haste or mastery + spirit, all the spirit on the gear previously has been changed to Crit. Especially reforging gone, this leaves me with a great deal more critical strike then I would ever want, but hopefully optimization of this 4 week gear set isn’t something I need to be concerned with!

In terms of definition, the fact that I have less spirit is simply because of the lack of it on gear, and the dramatic increase in regen is because they places us in a lower part of the curve to help prevent mana issues while leveling with potentially no gear.

For the record, this is typical and happens every expansion. Just seems weird because the squish and its interactions.


As you can see, the average reduction is about 21k, which can’t be considered relevant on its own without refering also to the percentage of fixation, being just shy of 10 percent. For the record, the outliers are omitted in percentile calculation, otherwise it would be an absurd number, but since crit and spirit are inversely correlated, they must either be both included or committed. I chose to include both.

Regardless, the original approximation was that 10 percent would be the output goal, but seeing 8 percent seems even better. This proves the squish to have done its job in my opinion, as any lower would be absurd to consider, let alone calculate a trend to follow out of. People constantly clamor about wanting to see 7 intellect on a chest piece again, but in reality, if they did that, it would break the entirety of the previous game. Its just in no way feasible. A 8-10 percent squish now means that even as the numbers begin to creep into the exponential range again, we can sit comfortable for some time before needing to worry about health pools being so large that they have to break the fight up into 10 phases.

Looking at you Garrosh!

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