Right now, the only "interesting" options on gear are gem slot bonuses (do I use a sub-optimal gem to get the bonus or not?), procs (is BIG buff with 20% uptime better than SMALL buff with 100% uptime) and set bonuses (just how many ilevels are the two or four-piece set bonus worth?)
All other considerations basically come down to more ilevels=better, and the stat weights of hit/expertise/crit/mastery/haste/spirit will be calculated for you by the internet and balanced by reforging.
The issue is not hit or expertise ... it's strictly reforging. Honestly if not for hit or expertise there would be ever fewer interesting choices. I believe the majority of DPS specs have a priority stat that they favor over everything else and if not for hit or expertise all I would simply do would be to get as much of the primary stat as possible, and then as much of my best secondary stat, and then forget the rest. This was still a fact before reforging but at least I had to make some tougher calls (iLvL wasn't boss). If hit and exp are removed but everyting else left the same right now gear would get less annoying ... but be completely and utterly boring.
While I admit pre-reforging there were some completely bizarre circumstances that occurred ... but at least I had to always think about an item when it would drop. This was far superior, to me, to just simply scooping up everything with a higher iLvL, gemming nothing but my best stat, and then forgetting about it. Right now the gear game isn't a game at all ... it's simply about getting the highest iLvL possible and /snore.
The one thing worth considering given the parameters we currently have is a world sans both reforging AND hit/expertise. I don't know that this is a perfect solution but at least given all we've tried it may be the best one. I know that seems mighty regressive which always leaves people with a bad taste in their mouths but given how craptastic the system is right now it might just work fine.
First thing is: I loved this TWM.
On topic. I was thinking about how to make stats interesting the other day, and while you can't get rid of reforging tools at all, so "discovering" which stats are the better is interesting for only a few people. I think the best part of the stats is when they interact with the way you are playing your character, changing priories of spells and so on based on the effect of many plateaus that are very close to each other.
Lets say that we remove hit/expertises from the equation. And every piece of gear gives you 50, 100 or 150 of any haste, mastery, crit. Now lets say that you have a soft cap at 1000 for haste, so you reforge to haste, and you now can cast 3 times spell A before refreshing your debuff B, not only 2, but if you can reach 1100 mastery, spell C is better than casting 2 times A, so you only cast in once, but if you have enough crit, lets say 500 and 1300 haste, the way B interact with A makes the 3 cast of A more important than using C again.
Then the decision about how are you going to gem and reforge is not only about what is the best for your spec and talent selection, but what is the best for your gear and even what is the best for you as a player. Maybe I cant do the rotation with B,C>A but I can do the A,3 times B very well, so I'm going to force my gear to support that style. So in this situation I care how much I have of each stat. Addons will do the calculation in an automatic way, but knowing the result and how I'm going to use my character based on that results will make you think about my stats more than now.
Now about hit and expertise, I think that the best they provide isn't the hit/expertise cap, but the (unreachable) white hit cap something that you can look and see I can make my less-important (because they are "automatic") hits do more damage getting more hit but maybe making my special abilities more powerful with haste/mastery/crit.
If you are simulating your toon with each piece, however, there still isn't that much interesting about the gear. It would be a royal pain the rear to have to find the perfect balance at your specific gear breakpoints if they fluctuated that much but I'm not seeing it be that much more interesting. Maybe it would be interesting to have a rotation that changed from time to time, but can you imagine the LFR derpitude we'd see?
Personally, I really don't like the idea of holding on to older gear because it's itemized better either. While gear isn't my goal, I hate when there are no upgrades available to me in an entire tier for a slot. I hate having a piece I know they designed for my class but passing/disenchanting because the itemization sucks.
As it is, I haven't heard any suggestions before that I think would be more interesting than what we have already. We have a "best" stat but we have maintenance stats we have to take care of first. Prevents us from just absolutely maximizing one stat but isn't too complicated. I like reforging for exactly the reasons Lore mentioned; I hate having to collect multiple pieces to put on a better item.
The problem we have right now is you get a gear upgrade and you probably can't wear it right away. Even if you carry gems and enchants on you, putting on the new item will screw around with your hit/expertise/etc caps and might affect your rotation enough so that you end up doing less damage/healing/etc. Another problem we have right now is that reforging is tedious. If you want to min/max your reforges, you have to use some program or addon to do the work for you.
This is how I would fix the problem. I figured that the solution would allow us to get an upgrade and put it on right away (assuming we have gems/enchants available). If we could reforge on the fly without needing a vendor, we could get an upgrade and reforge it right away. Currently we get to choose which stat we reforge but we're forced to reforge EXACTLY 40% of that stat. We can't reforge 35% or 20% or whatever; we don't get to choose how much of a stat is reforged. I think that it would be better if we could reforge UP TO 40% of a single, secondary stat on an item into another secondary stat.
For instance, if we get an upgrade that lowers our hit below the hit cap, we can reforge whatever percentage of one stat on that item into hit until we get to the cap. With this solution, you could get an upgrade and start using it right away (after gemming/enchanting it).
Maybe give a reforge discount if you go to the vendor.
Another issue that wasn't brought up regarding the idea of if they got rid of expertise and by extension dodge and parry is that it wouldn't only affect pvp but it would also impact pve as those are important stats for tanks. Sure in this expansion active mitigation has pushed avoidance pretty low for a lot of tank specs, but I think it's still a pretty important aspect of tanking to dodge/parry a significant portion of boss attacks. Plus if dodge and parry were removed then there'd be absolutely no line between tank and dps gear and they'd have to therefore make sure that crit and haste are both of at least some value to all tanks (right now I think most tank specs may like one or the other but typically not both).
And similarly there may be issues regarding spirit, in that hybrids get hit rating from spirit in order to make spirit mail/leather sharable between healers and casters, but if hit went away so that elemental shaman no longer had a use for spirit then the devs would be back to making spirit mail for resto and non-spirit mail for elemental (and I doubt the devs want to recreate a situation where they're making items that are usable for only a single spec: reso shaman are the only spec that would use spirit mail just as holy pallies are the only spec that uses int-plate). I guess they could do something like giving the hybrids some other benefit from spirit but that'd either be a case of now spirit gives them haste allowing for double haste items or if the benefit was more unique to them then it'd just be a second mastery system. Or they could end up just removing spirit instead and making mana regen for healers work differently (either make another stat like haste increase mana regen or give mana regen some new mechanic), and wouldn't that be an unexpected result of removing hit, to remove spirit as well?
And at that point we've now removed every other secondary stat in the game except for haste, crit and mastery that are all useful to all specs of all classes......sounds awful shallow and dull to me (and a recipe for lots of drama when deciding who gets what loot).
Reforging changed gearing from an interesting mathematical NP-complete problem to just choosing the item with most stats on it (usually just the highest ilvl). A bit unfortunate, but I guess for the community as a whole everything is a lot easier now. I personally miss having to mix and match different pieces to optimally get to the hit cap.
The number of stats in general is just getting pretty low. It seems like they would have to add some new stats if they took out hit/expertise just to add any sort of complexity.
Leonard Bernstein huh.....gg