After the download process and login, I found myself standing in Stormwind. Unfortunately, I also found myself looking at the default Blizzard UI. It made me realize how much I have customized my own UI, and how difficult it will be to play without my add ons.
Also on my screen was the obligatory, “Your talents have been reset” message. So, my first order of business is to check that out.
I Baseline abilities vs. talents
Blizzard is really trying to get rid of cookie-cutter talent specs in MoP. What they have done is taken a lot of the must-have talents and rolled them into baseline abilities for each spec. For example – have you ever seen a combat rogue who doesn’t have Blade Flurry? Of course not. So why waste talent points on that? Just give it to all combat rogues at the appropriate level.
When you choose a spec, you are given a list of the baseline abilities for that spec.
Here are the abilities for assassination rogues:
Here they are for combat:
And here are subtlety:
You’ll see that almost all of the “must have” talent choices for each spec in Cataclysm are now given to the rogues baseline. There is one notable exception that jumped out at me - Shadowstep. That’s not baseline for any spec, but can be chosen by any rogue in the talent decisions. That’s right – all rogues can have Shadowstep!
You’ll recognize almost every skill that is listed there. There is not much that is brand new. Some have been tweaked a bit. Here’s a couple of new ones for assassination:
Those look like they will have a nice little synergy. Dispatch will replace Backstab as the execute-phase attack for assassination rogues, and Blindside makes it so that Dispatch can also be useful at other times during the fight. It creates a more active attack model – rather than robotically following a set attack rotation, we’ll want to deviate from our pattern whenever we get a Blindside proc. I expect we’ll see the theorycrafters figure out the Dispatch vs non-Dispatch damage output, just like they did with Revelaing Strikes and Rupture in past expansions.
I noticed that Revealing Strike has been tweaked:
The base damage of the attack has gone down (75% weapon damage down from 125%), the 35% buff to your next finisher is the same, but they added an 18 second secondary buff that increases your likelihood of getting combo points. That’s a nice little perk, but with only a 20% chance for an extra CP its a little random as to how much help it will be.
Also, Hemorrhage was altered:
The base damage of the attack is reduced slightly. Rather than Hemo giving increased bleed damage, it just adds a DoT based on the attack. I don’t play subtlety myself, but this seems to be a significant change. On one hand, it makes Hemo stand on its own, rather than require you to keep both Hemo and Rupture tied together to maximize its effectiveness. However, the “direct strike” in the description is unsettling. If that refers to weapon damage it seems to me that this would not scale well with attack power. If “direct” strike” includes all damage modifiers then it would be better.
However, Hemo is no longer a debuff that can help the rest of the raid. I know that the whole raid buff/debuff system is being streamlined and I haven’t had a chance to check that out yet. I hope that this is being replaced with something else that gives rogues some utility.
Next post will show the talent trees.