The winds of change soon arrive upon Azeroth. By custom, Blizzard introduces major system updates ahead of an expansion's release, and the sweeping overhauls of the pending Warlords of Draenor (opens in new tab) are the vanguard of the upcoming patch 6.0. In an official post (opens in new tab) , Blizzard described what the patch brings for Alliance and Horde players, including the much-publicized slimming down of stats and a reworking of raid difficulty tiers.
The crunching of stats is perhaps the most visible aspect of Warlords, and the 6.0 update will implement an overall reduction of anything number-related—strength, mana, health, and so on—to shore up power bloat and a steady creep into " ridiculous-bananas-bonkers (opens in new tab) " territory. As Blizzard has clarified in the past (opens in new tab) , its reductions won't affect a character's overall output. Other secondary stats such as hit chance and expertise are getting the ax, and numerous class abilities will consolidate into passive bonuses to reduce UI clutter.
On the raiding side, the climactic Siege of Orgrimmar encounter will utilize the new Normal, Heroic, and Mythic difficulty hierarchy. Normal and Heroic continue the current grouping system of finding cross-server players through the Group Finder tool, but Mythic is a throwback to classic WoW raiding of yore with a fixed 20-man team formed from guild members or players from your home server. It represents the pinnacle of challenge for end-game content and a nice re-focus on returning raiding accomplishments into the hands of capable guilds.
Read the rest of Blizzard's post (opens in new tab) for more info on patch 6.0. Also, check out Chris' thoughts on World of Warcraft's fifth expansion.