Archive for October, 2010

26
Oct
10

My Current Rogue Play Experience

I actually did some raiding on my rogue this weekend.  (not as much as I’d have liked… we need more tanks!)  I tried Subtlety for the first time since early Burning Crusade.  I also put Mutilate through its paces to look for changes.

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Subtlety is way complicated to play.  Trying to balance three finishers (SnD, Recuperate, Rupture) is difficult even with both SnD and Rupture glyphed.  And that’s on a stationary target.  If you are target swapping it is nothing but frustrating.

Also, clearing trash in Sub spec was like chewing tinfoil.  Even with HaT popping up a combo point every 2 seconds, Sub seemed to generate points slower than my Mut spec.  The debuff from Hemo is nice but unnecessary if you have a feral druid to apply Mangle.  Backstab is almost impossible to use on trash due to the positional requirement.  I’d Shadowstep to get behind, and then the mob would move and I was out of position again.

On stationary fights, my Sub dps was somewhere around 1500-2000 less than what I’d expect to do with Mutilate.  I’ll be the first to say that a big part of that is probably my lack of practice with the spec.  Also, you need a very good timer mod to track both the debuffs (Rupture and Hemo) and the buffs (Recuperate and SnD) in an easily visibly way.   I didn’t have one, so my attack management was not optimal.

I’d say that at this time Sub is interesting and more challenging than Mutilate, but also I think it has lower maximum dps, even if played well.   There is no way I would play it in a 5-man instance or solo, because without all the crits fueling HaT the combo point generation would be super-slow.

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Mutilate plays almost exactly the way it played before.  Mutilate-Mutilate-Envenom is almost all that you do on boss fights.  Throw in a Rupture every so often to keep that up.  Pop Vendetta on cooldown, preferably in conjunction with Heroism/Bloodlust.  (its funny that when Wrath came out, Mut was a very complicated spec to play, and now its so easy)

My first impression is that it feels… slower.  My energy regeneration seems slower.  I found myself often waiting for energy regen before I could use my next attack.  That created problems due to the new spell queueing system.

I’d be ready for my next Mutilate, autoattacking while waiting for energy to regen.  I’d spam my Mut key.. 11111111111 until the attack went off.  Surprise!  I had queued more than one attacke, so it did two consecutive Mutilates.  This caused some wasted combo points and definitely a hit on my dps.  I know in my head that I need to stop spamming keys, but years of muscle memory are hard to overcome.

In the end, my dps on Festergut in Assassination spec was pretty comparable to what it was before the patch.  It would have been a little higher, I think except (1) I had to bring spores out to ranged groups twice, (2) our raid makeup was horrible for melee dps buffs, and (3) I forgot to switch to Backstab at 35% to take advantage of Murderous Intent.  So if all had gone well I think my dps would have been a little higher than before.

My Vendetta-on-cooldown doesn’t feel like its as effective as the always-up Hunger for Blood was before.    Mathematically speaking, its not quite as effective as glyphed HfB pre-patch.  However, it should be close.  Even knowing that in my head, it didn’t feel close.

Maybe it felt ineffective because of how out-of-whack damage is right now.  The top of our damage meter was flooded with mages and ret paladins and feral druids.  There were players who are typically carried by our raids doing sub-par damage, but on this night they blew my dps out of the water.

As much as I hate to QQ, it was a little frustrating to finish in the bottom half of our dps when I had been at in the #1 spot on 99% of the fights we have done in Wrath.  I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t discouraging.  Still, I think I can do better, so I’ll keep refining things. and try try again.

18
Oct
10

Has this patch been a mistake by Blizzard?

By all appearances, World of Warcraft is still rolling along, with large number of subscribers.  Dalaran is laggy, which is no fun for us but is a sign that its filled with players.  Cataclysm is on the horizon.

And yet, I have a feeling that not all is well.  I have no scientific data for this, only anecdotes.  This is the third pre-expansion patch that I have experienced.  They always bring frustration and annoyance as add-ons break, abilities change, and mains become alts and alts become mains.  However, unlike past expansions, I don’t find that there is a corresponding sense of excitement as new shinys are introduced.  This feels different to than the previous pre-expansion patches.

In guild chat this weekend, here are some things I’ve heard.

Once person in my guild has played a hunter since vanilla WoW.  He said, “I just can’t motivate myself to log onto my hunter right now”

There is a druid in my guild who loves to heal so much that she never even got dual spec, sticking completely with resto for all of Wrath.  Her resto druid is her only level 80, also.  She decided to check out moonkin spec this weekend, not because she’s excited about the new Eclipse mechanic, but because she’s frustrated with resto.

There are an assortment of players in the guild who are less than thrilled with the state of their mains, and are exploring which alts they should switch to.

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All of that is anecdote.  Now we get into speculation and hypothesis on my part.

I think that there are a number of factors at work here.

(1)  The two-year wait between expansions is finally wearing on people.

There are a lot of people out there who are bored with WoW.  Some of them have been playing since beta, which is more than 6 years now, and they are just plain worn out.  Others started playing in Wrath, but have been running ICC several times a week for nearly a year and are simply fed up with the repetition.  I think that some of these players have been hanging on, hoping that Cataclysm would revitalize their interest in the game.

Instead, what has happened is that they now need to re-learn their class.  Or maybe they are a ret paladin and they have watched in post-patch raids as mages and warlocks double or even triple their damage output.  I fear that for some this is the “last straw” and is the final factor in their decision to give in to their waning interest.

And don’t get me started on the druid tree form debacle.

These players were on the verge of quitting, anyway.  This might just give them the final nudge.

(2) Wrath was too easy, and players are spoiled.

As we all know from the QQ in Trade chat, blog posts, forums, etc.. Wrath was too easy.  Players who knew essentially nothing about their class could still muddle their way through raids.  Players who did know a lot about the game still didn’t have to work very hard at picking up a new class or spec.  Attack rotations were easy, mana unlimited, threat limitless.

Now, in the post-patch world, its all changed.  Rotations are not simple or obvious.  Tanks are having mobs pulled off of them.  Healers are finding it hard to keep tanks alive.  Raids are wiping on farm content.  Classes that once led the damage meters are falling behind.

The frustration that this has caused, on top of the buggy instances and add-on nightmares, are making the game very difficult to play.  Still, all of this has happened before.  So why is this different?

(3) The kicker is that Blizzard didn’t give us the fun that we got in previous pre-patch expansions.

Lets look at the previous expansions for comparison.

Vanilla -> Burning Crusade:  In the pre-expansion patch 2.01, talent trees grew from 31 point to 41 points.  New spells and abilities were added.  Players respecced into their 41-point talents right away, which tended to make them overpowered for current content.  Most classes got significant overhauls, but most of them were improvements over previously existing flaws.  It was the first expansion, so it had a sense of novelty to it.  Much fun was had playing with new abilities.  The fun distracted us from the frustration.

Burning Crusade -> Wrath:  In the pre-expansion patch 3.02 talent trees grew from 41-point to 51 points.  New spells and abilities were added.  Players respecced into their 51-point talents right away, which tended to make them overpowered for current content.  Also, existing raid bosses were nerfed which allowed guilds to run content that was previously out-of-reach for them.  Much fun was had blowing through Black Temple and Tempest Keep in advance of new content.  The fun distracted us from the frustration.

Wrath -> Cataclysm: In the pre-expansion patch 4.01 talent trees were reduced from 51 points to 31 points.  Some new abilities and spells were added.  Players respecced, but found that it didn’t make them any more powerful than before, and in some cases less powerful.  Existing raid bosses are not changed (although Chill of the Throne was removed) so we’re still playing the same content at essentially the same difficulty as before.

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And there is where I think Blizzard messed up.  They didn’t give us anything all that exciting to balance the frustration of relearning our class.  All we got were mostly lateral changes, with not a whole lot to get jazzed about.

What motivation do players have to re-learn their class?  Are they going to study Elitist Jerks and pore over talent trees and reforging options just to go kill Marrowgar for the 200th time?  Once the expansion is here, we’ll learn our classes through the leveling process.  We’ve just got to hold on until that point.

Sorry, Blizzard.  This patch hasn’t excited us.  You’ve got a month and a half of damage control to do now.  You need to find a way to hold onto people’s interest until Cataclysm gets here.

13
Oct
10

WoW post-patch first observations

Yesterday (patch day) was, as expected, an all-day affair.  Servers came up around 8:00 local time and I was online by 9.  That gave me three hours to play.

My first task was making the game stable.  My add-ons were borked, of course, and I crashed repeatedly.  I eventually had to shut most of them off.  Dalaran was incredibly laggy for me (again, as expected) and I had trouble even crafting the new glyphs at the trainer in Dalaran.

QuickAuctions3 with the new modification managed to work, so I was able to post a lot of glyphs.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of other scribes who haven’t gotten the memo about the glyph changes, and they are still posting at pre-patch prices.  I’m going to have to wait until their stock is gone and hope that there’s still enough market left for me and the other big glyph sellers.  Or, I’ll buy them out and resell at a higher price.  I did sell 2500g worth of glyphs in the first few hours.

I checked out the new Guild UI.  Looks nice, although somewhat sprawling.  Before, the little functionality that it had was compressed into a single Guild Control pane.  Now its spread out over several panes.  Its easier to use, though.

I was all ready to add an Authenticator requirement to our officer rank.  However, it won’t let me do that while someone is in that rank.  I’m going to have to demote all of the officers to a different rank, add the authenticator requirement, and then re-promote them.   =/

I do like the fact that you can see the crafting recipes of everyone in the guild.  That’s only moderately helpful now, because a lot of crafters have most of the recipes right now.  It will be very helpful in Cataclysm as we are learning a lot of new patterns.

After messing with those features, I switched over to my rogue.  I ported to Darnassus which was, as usual, deserted.  I visited the trainer and picked up my new/changed abilities such as Recuperate and Leather Specialization and Mastery.  I expect a lot of players will forget to visit the trainers, and so they will be missing their Mastery bonuses from not learning the ability.

I did my new spec, and then flew out to kill some stuff.

The new Mutilate spec played exactly like the old spec.  Sure, I could have used Recuperate if I wanted to, but at the current state of the game we don’t need that when soloing.  The only difference is using Vendetta as an occasional cooldown instead of keeping Hunger for Blood up 100% of the time.

I’m not sure if this makes me happy or sad.  As I listen to my hunter and paladin friends lament about having to relearn their class, I think to myself “that’s fun!”   I wish I had more new stuff to learn.  I’ll have to try Subtlety to give myself a little challenge.

I’ll have to see how the class changes play out in a raid environment.  I hope to raid this weekend, but due to guild needs I may have to tank on my paladin instead of test-drive the rogue.  At the very least, I’ll run some heroics in Assassination, Combat, and Subtlety spec and see how they do.

Also still left to do: reforging, learning my paladin and priest, figuring out the best glyphs and gems

12
Oct
10

Summary of Rogue changes in patch 4.0

I’ve made a few posts about various changes that we’re seeing in the patch.  However, judging by the search terms that people are using to find the site, what is really needed is one overall summary.

So here that is…

 

 

What has not changed for Rogues in Patch 4.0…

In practical terms, there are not a whole heck of a lot of big changes.  We still use energy as our resource.  We still attack from behind.  We still use poisons.  We still want to be over the poison hit cap, and preferably expertise-capped.  I expect that playing a rogue will feel pretty similar to the way it did before the patch.

That’s because we were already perfect.

Combat rogues are still going to use their swords, manage their cooldowns (Blade Flurry, Adrenaline Rush, and Killing Spree).  Most of their attacks will be Sinister Strike and Eviscerate.

Mutilate rogues are still going to use Mutilate and Envenom more than anything else.

There still won’t be enough Subtlety rogues out there.

 

 

What has changed for Rogues in Patch 4.0…

We will have slightly different attack rotations.  Rupture will be used by all three specs.

We might want to get used to using Recuperate in our rotation.  While you may not need it now, it will be very useful once the Cataclysm happens.

New specs, of course.  Making a new spec is easy.  Go through your talent tree of choice, taking all of the talents that have an obvious impact on a damage ability that you use often.  Once or twice you will get stuck having too few points to go to the next tier.  When that happens, go back and add a couple of filler points that you like.  When you have 31 points in your tree, put the rest in either Lethality, Precision, or Relentless Strikes (whichever two don’t already have points).

Armor penetration is gone, as is Attack Power as a stat on our gear.  Agility is our big stat now.

 

 

Be More Specific!

Assassination rogues

Try this spec on for size.

Attack rotation: Get combo points and start SnD.  Mutilate until you have either 4 or 5 combo points.  Rupture.  If there is already Rupture and its not about to run out, then Envenom.  Repeat.  Switch to Backstab when the target is below 35% health.  Pop Vendetta during heroism or with Potion of Speed for a damage boost.

You probably want the glyphs of Mutilate, Backstab, and maybe Rupture or Vendetta.

 

 

Combat Rogues

Try this spec.

Attack rotation:  Get combo points and start SnD.  Sinister Strike to build combo points.  Rupture is your priority finisher, or Eviscerate if Rupture is up and still has enough duration remaining.  Use Revealing Strike as your last combo point builder right before your finisher to give a 20% boost to the damage of the finisher.  Combine cooldowns to get burst dps.  Keep in mind that Blade Flurry no longer gives haste, so it is useless on single-target fights.

Most likely useful glyphs are Sinister Strike, Rupture, and maybe Adrenaline Rush.

 

 

Subtlety Rogues

Try this spec.  Use daggers.

Attack rotation: Use Hemo once to get the debuff going.  Make sure you use it once every minute to keep the debuff up.  Start SnD.  You will be getting combo points from Honor Among Thieves.  Use Backstab to generate more combo points if you are not getting enough.  Keep SnD up.  Keep Recuperate up for the energy return.  Get Rupture going, and then hit lots of Eviscerates to refresh Rupture with Serrated Blades.  (yes, that’s three finishers – SnD, Recuperate, Evisc – that you have to rotate through).  Use Shadow Dance and spam Ambush for a damage boost when you have trinket procs or other +AP effects.

Glyphs are probably Backstab, Rupture, and maybe Shadow Dance or SnD

 

 

What else is important to know?

Hit rating conversions have changed.  See this post for new caps.

Reforging allows you to tweak your gear.  Haste is probably better than crit for all specs.  Socket gems with agi/haste and agi/hit, making sure to match socket bonuses.

Mastery is nice, but don’t go crazy reforging all your stuff to get Mastery Rating just because its new and shiny.  The conversion at level 80 is 45.906 Mastery Rating = 1 point of Mastery. So you have to get a bunch of Mastery Rating to see a significant effect.

  • Assassination Mastery is Potent Poisons:  Increases the damage done by your poisons by 20%. Each point of Mastery increases damage by an additional 2.5%.
  • Combat Mastery is Main Gauche: Your main hand attacks have a 10% chance to grant you an extra off hand attack. Each point of Mastery increases the chance by an additional 1.25%.
  • Subtlety Mastery is Executioner: Increases the damage done by all your finishing moves by 20%. Each point of Mastery increases damage by an additional 2.5%.

That’s about it for rogue-specific changes.  Now go forth and dominate the meters again!

12
Oct
10

First thing I’m going to do when I log on is…

 

/leave Trade

 

11
Oct
10

Hit Rating Change in patch 4.0

If you need a refresher on how hit rating works, go read my full-length mathy post about it from back in 2008.  Its changing now, somewhat.

First of all, the Precision talent is changing.  Currently it gives +1% hit chance per talent point, up to +5% total.  After the patch, Precision gives +2% hit chance per talent point, up to three points or +6%.  Also, due to the condensed talent system, not every rogue will have Precision fully talented.

Second, the conversion between melee hit rating and +hit % is changing.

Melee hit chance:

  • Wrath: for level 80, 32.77 hit rating = +1% hit chance
  • Cataclysm: for level 80: 30.76 hit rating = +1% hit chance (from Whitetooth at Elitist Jerks)

The spell hit conversion has not changed at all.

So, here is the end effect.  Assuming that we’ll all have more than enough hit rating to beat the specials soft cap, then all that matters is the poisons soft cap and the white attack hard cap.

The poisons soft cap is as follows:

  • if you have 3/3 in Precision, then its 289
  • if you have 2/3 in Precision, then its 341
  • if you have 1/3 in Precision then its 394
  • if you have no points in Precision then its 446

Remember that you can go over the poison cap and it still is a benefit to your dps, but not as much as it was when you were below the poisons cap.

If you have managed to load up with tons of +hit gear and you are closing in on the white attack hard cap, then these are the values to watch for.

  • if you have 3/3 in Precision, then its 646
  • if you have 2/3 in Precision, then its 707
  • if you have 1/3 in Precision then its 769
  • if you have no points in Precision then its 830

Remember that hit rating has no value at all if you happen to get above the white attack hit cap, because you have already eliminated any chance to miss.

11
Oct
10

Rogue Builds in Patch 4.0: Subtlety

Since the pre-Cataclysm patch is imminent, I think that it’s safe to treat the talent trees as fairly complete.  There should only be tweaks from here on out, rather than wholesale changes.  That means that its time to start looking at talent builds.

I haven’t played Subtlety since the early days of Burning Crusade.  Therefore, I’m not going to try and work out varying specs for different situations.  I will almost certainly give Sub a try during the two months between patch 4.0 and Cataclysm.  Here’s what I’ll likely do:

  • 3/3 Imp Ambush
  • 3/3 Relentless Strikes
  • 2/2 Initiative
  • 3/3 Opportunity
  • 2/2 Find Weakness
  • 1/1 Hemorrhage
  • 3/3 Energetic Recovery
  • 1/1 Premeditation
  • 3/3 Honor Among Thieves
  • 1/1 Preparation
  • 2/2 Sanguinary Vein
  • I need 1 more talent point to open up the next tier, so for PvE I’ll go with 1/1 Enveloping Shadows
  • 3/3 Slaughter from the Shadows
  • 2/2 Serrated Blades
  • 1/1 Shadow Dance

That opens up the other trees for me.  I only have 5 points left to spend.  So I’ll divide my points between 3/3 Lethality and 2/3 Precision.  It should end up looking like this.

When fighting with this build, you’ll want to keep the Hemo debuff on the target.  It lasts a minute now, so you can use Backstab as your main combo point generator.  Keep Recuperate up for the energy return from Energetic Recovery.  Also Rupture once, and then use Eviscerate to refresh Rupture for you through Serrated Blades.

All this is subject to change as new theorycrafting reveals nice synergies between talents.  Or myabe I’ll just change my mind.

11
Oct
10

Rogue Builds in Patch 4.0: Combat

Since the pre-Cataclysm patch is imminent, I think that it’s safe to treat the talent trees as fairly complete.  There should only be tweaks from here on out, rather than wholesale changes.  That means that its time to start looking at talent builds.

There are three talent builds that I’m looking at.

  1. Playing/raiding in the post patch 4.0 Wrath world, before Cataclysm.  For these two months, I’ll still be raiding in an environment that stresses mass-tanking, AoE damage, and little to no crowd control.
  2. Leveling 80-85 after Cataclysm is released.  This has to emphasize soloability and survivability, and mob control over sustained dps.
  3. Heroics and raids once I reach level 85.  Its hard to say how this build should look since I haven’t experienced that game environment.  From beta reports, it seems like survivability is still key and CC will be used.  I’m guessing that large health pools will emphasize sustained dps rather than burst.

The other thing to consider is that, ideally, all three talent trees will be playable.  With the current talent system, it should be possible to tweak the specs so that they all have similar damage output.

Even though I usually play Mutilate, my off-spec has always been Combat.  Here’s what I’m looking at in the near future.

Part 1: the last two months of Wrath

Here’s what I expect to spec into once the patch hits.

  • 3/3 Sinister Strike
  • 3/3 Precision
  • 2/2 Imp SnD
  • 3/3 Aggression
  • 3/3 Lightning Reflexes
  • 1/1 Revealing Strike (new attack!)
  • 3/3 Combat Potency
  • 2/2 Blade Twisting
  • 1/1 Adrenaline Rush
  • 2/2 Savage Combat
  • need 2 more points spent to open up the next tier, so I’ll go back and get 2/2 Imp Sprint
  • 3/3 Bandit’s Guile
  • 2/2 Restless Blades
  • 1/1 Killing Spree

That opens up the other trees for me.  I only have 5 points left to spend.  So I’ll divide my points between 2/3 Lethality and 3/3 Relentless Strikes.  In the end it looks like this.  This will play somewhat differently than Combat plays now due to the addition of Revealing Strike and the change in Blade Flurry.  However, it will still be based mostly on keeping SnD up and using Rupture or Eviscerate as finishers.

Part 2: Leveling 80-85

Once I start leveling after December 7th, I’ll need to change my priorities.  I need to be able to take or avoid damage as I solo mobs while questing.  I’m not trying to min/max my dps.

  • There is no immediate need to respec once Cataclysm opens up.  One thing that I might change is to drop points in Precision and move them to Imp Recuperate.  That depends on how Recuperate feels without the talented version.  In any case, since I’m not min/maxing my damage while soloing the points in Precision aren’t as vital.
  • At level 81 and 82 I’ll take 2/2 in Deadly Momentum.  Between Blade Flurry and Killing Spree and Improved Recuperate, I picture Combat rogues being able to move quickly from mob to mob and take on entire groups.  Thus, Deadly Momentum’s refresh of SnD and Recuperate will be awesome while leveling.
  • The obvious use for my points at level 83 and 84 is for Coup de Grace for harder hitting Eviscerates.
  • Once I hit 85 I’ll be respeccing to start running instances, so that last talent point at 85 is immaterial.

Part 3: Instancing at level 85

If the stories are true, and crown control is back, then my instancing/raiding assassination spec will need to be changed to include some attention to that.  Also, to help my healers preserve their mana, I’ll want to avoid damage as much as possible.

  • I’ll drop the points in Deadly Momentum and move them to fill up 3/3 Precision.
  • I’ll have two free points.  2/3 Ruthlessness looks appealing, since combo point generation has always been the throttle on combat dps.  Its either than or Imp Recuperate to help out my healers.  I’ll have to see how the damage looks at level 85 instances.
  • That becomes a 7/31/3 build

All this is subject to change as new theorycrafting reveals nice synergies between talents.  Or myabe I’ll just change my mind.

11
Oct
10

Rogue Builds in Patch 4.0: Assassination

Since the pre-Cataclysm patch is imminent, I think that it’s safe to treat the talent trees as fairly complete.  There should only be tweaks from here on out, rather than wholesale changes.  That means that its time to start looking at talent builds.

There are three talent builds that I’m looking at.

  1. Playing/raiding in the post patch 4.0 Wrath world, before Cataclysm.  For these two months, I’ll still be raiding in an environment that stresses mass-tanking, AoE damage, and little to no crowd control.
  2. Leveling 80-85 after Cataclysm is released.  This has to emphasize soloability and survivability, and mob control over sustained dps.
  3. Heroics and raids once I reach level 85.  Its hard to say how this build should look since I haven’t experienced that game environment.  From beta reports, it seems like survivability is still key and CC will be used.  I’m guessing that large health pools will emphasize sustained dps rather than burst.

The other thing to consider is that, ideally, all three talent trees will be playable.  With the current talent system, it should be possible to tweak the specs so that they all have similar damage output.

For me, I’ve been playing Mutilate almost exclusively throughout Wrath.  I’m most comfortable with the Assassination talents so I expect I’ll stick with that for now.

Part 1: the last two months of Wrath

Here’s what I expect to spec into once the patch hits.

  • 3/3 Coup de Grace
  • 3/3 Lethality
  • 3/3 Ruthlessness
  • 3/3 Puncturing Wounds
  • 1/1 Cold Blood
  • 3/3 Vile Poisons
  • 2/2 Seal Fate
  • I need 2 more talent pts to open up the next tier, so for PvE I’ll go with 2/2 Quickening
  • 1/1 Master Poisoner
  • 1/1 Overkill
  • 2/2 Murderous Intent (hello again, Backstab.  Good to see you again)
  • I need one more talent point to open up the next tier, so either 1/2 Expose Armor or 1/2 Deadly Brew
  • 3/3 Cut to the Chase
  • 2/2 Venomous Wounds
  • 1/1 Vendetta

That opens up the other trees for me.  I only have 5 points left to spend.  So I’ll divide my points between 3/3 Precision and 2/3 Relentless Strikes.  That ends up looking like this.  Overall, this build should play very similarly to the way Mutilate builds play now.   The big change will be to switch to Backstab as a finisher when the target is below 35% health to take advantage of Murderous Intent.

Part 2: Leveling 80-85

Once I start leveling after December 7th, I’ll need to change my priorities.  I need to be able to take or avoid damage as I solo mobs while questing.  I’m not trying to min/max my dps.

  • As soon as Cataclysm is released I’m changing my spec.  I’ll drop my 3 points in Precision, as hit won’t be of paramount importance while questing.  Those points will better be spent on 2/2 Deadly Momentum.  As long as I’m soloing I’ll get all the killing blows and that will keep my Recuperate and SnD going as I fight.
  • I’ll put my other point that was freed up when I dropped Precision into Relentless Strikes, bringing that up to 3/3.
  • At level 81 and 82 I’ll take 2/2 in Nightstalker.  Faster movement in stealth ftw!
  • I prefer to use a lot of stuns when soloing, so combo point generation is of paramount importance.  At level 83 and 84 I could take 2/2 in Initiative for the good burst damage after my opener.  However, if after playing through Cata for a while, I find that I’m not able to burn the mobs down fast enough without taking a lot of damage, then I’d consider moving those points to 2/2 Improved Recuperate for the extra self-healing.
  • Once I hit 85 I’ll be respeccing to start running instances, so that last talent point at 85 is immaterial.

Part 3: Instancing at level 85

If the stories are true, and crown control is back, then my instancing/raiding assassination spec will need to be changed to include some attention to that.  Also, to help my healers preserve their mana, I’ll want to avoid damage as much as possible.

  • Assuming that we’ll actually be asked to sap things, I’d drop the points in Deadly Momentum and move them to 2/2 Blackjack.
  • I can move the point in Improved Expose Armor to Deadened Nerves for heroics if the damage is heavy, as people are saying.  Otherwise I’ll keep it in Improved Expose Armor.
  • In heroics where I’ll be pushing dps on bosses I’ll want to get more hit, so points go back to 3/3 Precision.
  • 3/3 Relentless Strikes.
  • 2/2 in Improved Recuperate would work if its necessary to keep my health up.  However, I’d rather put those points into 2/3 Improved Ambush – not because I like Ambush, but because it opens up the next tier of Subtlety talents.
  • I can spend my last points on 2/3 Opportunity for a pure dps increase.
  • That becomes a 31/3/7 build

All this is subject to change as new theorycrafting reveals nice synergies between talents.  Or myabe I’ll just change my mind.

10
Oct
10

How Leading a Raid is like Coaching Little League

This past weekend I was helping out with my son’s Little League game.  He’s at the age where coaches stand out on the field with the kids while they play and try to coax them into doing the right thing.

As I’m standing there, I noticed how similar this was to raid leading.

In Little League, there are between 9-11 kids standing there who really don’t know what to do. Ideally, they will react on their own when the ball is hit. 

In reality, they will stand there confused until you give them directions.

In a raid, there are 10 or 25 players who should know what to do. Ideally, they will react on their own when fire/slime/bad shows up under their feet. 

In reality, they will stand there until you give them directions.

In Little League, the coach has to see the event, scan the playing field, and immediately call out the suggested response. Unfortunately, the kids most likely are not listening. In a raid, the raid leader has to see the event, scan the situation, and immediately call out the suggested reaction. Unfortunately, the players are most likely tunnel-visioning their dps abilities and are not listening.
In Little League, you can’t just call out a general set of instructions and expect them to be followed. For example, you can’t say, “If the ball goes to left side, then the play is to second. Instead, you have to call out the player by name and give him specific, personalized instructions. 

When the ball is hit to Timmy, you need to say “Timmy! Turn and throw to second!

In a raid you can’t just call out a general set of instructions and expect them to be followed. For example, you can’t say, “When Festergut gives out spores, someone needs to run out to the ranged group.” Instead, you have to call out the player by name and give him specific, personalized instructions. 

When Dkrulez gets a spore you need to say “Dkrulez! Run to the left side ranged group NOW!

In Little League, as sad as it is there is always that one kid that the coaches hope doesn’t get the ball. We try to explain things to him, but he just hasn’t developed the instincts yet. 

Inevitably, when the ball goes to him, no matter when we call out, he picks it up and holds it, confused, until the play is over.

In raids, as sad as it is there is always that one player that the raid leader hopes doesn’t get put into an important situation. We try to explain the fight to him, but he can’t seem to figure out his part. 

Inevitably, when he gets a spore/slime/void zone/bad he just stands there either unaware or waiting for someone to tell him exactly what to do, until he dies.

What I really need is for all the kids on the little league team to have a heads-up display of a baseball version of DBM. Whenever the ball is hit the display would show them where to throw it and what bases they should cover.

Then again, we already have that in WoW and it still doesn’t help.




Armory

Dinaer - 90 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Derence - 90 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 90 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 90 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 90 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
October 2010
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