We all know about the current lackluster state of rogues. Blizzard has recognized it and dataminers have pulled out some changes to the rogue class that should hit the PTR when it comes online. Most of the changes are buffs, and they are being tested for inclusion in the next patch.
Before I list the changes, I’ll start by saying that there are no apparent changes to our energy regeneration. That has been the biggest complaint by rogues since MoP launched. It looks like Blizzard is trying to compensate by giving us faster ramp-up time and better mobility, but I think that with slow energy regeneration the class will still feel clumsy.
With that out of the way, here’s what we’re seeing in the PTR data:
First, one problem being solved is the Preparation vs Shadowstep issue. Since MoP put them on the same tier of talents, many rogues have complained at the need to choose between them. In the PTR data, Preparation has been made into a baseline ability learned at level 68 by all rogues.
There are two new talents that have been found in the data.
One is Hit and Run. It allows us to teleport to a targeted location. Then we will quickly teleport back to our original spot by hitting the skill again, or we will automatically be teleported back after 10 seconds. This is a nice mobility talent. It will help on those fights where you have to run-out-then-run-back-in. I’m always jealous of ranged dps on those fights. (side note: these type of abilities are hard on people who run with their keyboard, since you’ll certainly have to use the mouse to target the teleport) Since Hit and Run is a mobility talent, it will likely replace Preparation on our 4th talent tier.
The second, which really sounds useful, is Marked for Death - a level 90 talent This ability instantly gives us 5 combo points on our target. More importantly, it resets when that target dies. Its similar to our old Premeditation talent, but stronger.
This talent serves two purposes. In raids, it significantly reduces our ramp-up time. We can get a 5-CP SnD, Rupture, or Envenom (depending on spec) up in the first moment of the fight. When soloing or in small group content, it allows us to hit hard on our first attack, instead of building up combo points just in time for the target to die. Since the ability resets at the targets death, we can use it over and over when soloing or killing trash mobs.
In other changes, Deadly Throw will interrupt spellcasts with at least 3 combo points instead of 5. More combo points means longer duration on the interrupt. As another change to our ranged toolkit, when we attack from at least 10 yards with Shuriken Toss, the Shuriken Toss damage is doubled and all of our auto-attacks will become shuriken throws for 10 seconds. That’s interesting, and adds a small amount of auto-attack damage when we are forced out of melee range.
If all that sounds great, there are some nerfs as well. The big one is that Blade Flurry’s cleave damage is reduced from 100% of normal damage to 25%. Sorry to my Combat bretheren. The main reason to play Combat has been for multi-target cleave fights. I’m not sure how Combat damage will compare if this change goes live. Will it bring Combat “back to the pack” or will it crush the playability of the spec?
There are other, smaller changes in the mix which I won’t detail here. If they make it through the PTR testing process I’ll worry about them then.
Remember: all of this is not even on the PTR, and will have to go through playtesting before it goes live. None of this is set in stone. I’m still hoping that we get some love for our energy regeneration, because without it I’m not sure that any of these changes are a big enough draw to pull players back to the rogue class.