Archive for the 'Mists of Pandaria expansion' Category

31
Dec
13

Sha-Touched Weapon… good or bad?

When we got our sha-touched weapons back in Throne of Thunder, we were, of course, excited.  The 500 Agility gem made those weapons super-powerful.

That was then.  This is now.

Now I’m a little annoyed.  I mostly run LFR and Flex raids.  The daggers that drop, although a higher iLvL, are not really an upgrade over the sha-touched dagger.  That 500 agility gem is overwhelming.

For this reason, I’m still running with my dagger from the previous tier.  Its a little frustrating to keep raiding without getting upgrades for that item slot.

Looking back, I wish that the sha-touched bonus was something that could be applied to future weapons, much like the capacitive primal diamond that I have for my head slot.

Its always interesting to look back on game features that seemed good when they were new and examine how they age as the game moves on.

03
Oct
13

Gold Proving Grounds for Rogues

In each patch there is something that catches my attention and gets me to focus.  In 5.4, it was Proving Grounds.

I went in there all cocky and sure that this was going to be a breeze for someone with my experience.  Turns out that the Gold level dps was a good challenge.  I actually ended up reforging, changing talents, and flasking up to finish it.

I only did it as assassination so I can’t give any specific tips about combat (is anyone playing combat?) or subtlety strategies.

General Tips:

  • I did find myself energy starved at certain times.  Most of the mobs are level 91-92 (except the Sha in the last two waves), so you can get away with not being hit-capped at 7.5%.  There is a reforger in the scenario instance.  I reforged some of my hit away to haste to help my energy regen.
  • Always get a Rupture going, even if just 1cp, for the energy return (Venomous Wounds).
  • MARKED FOR DEATH IS OP.  Once I made sure that Marked for Death was hotkeyed, the scenario got much easier.  Remember that the cooldown on Marked for Death resets if your target dies in under a minute.  ALL of the targets there last less than a minute (except the Sha), so you can start each mob with 5 combo points for great burst.
  • Potions are disabled, but you can use a flask and food buff.
  • Your gear is going to get scaled down to level 463.  Tier bonuses don’t work.  Meta gems don’t work.  For that reason, feel free to equip different gear than you would normally wear in raids, as long as its itemized well, gemmed, enchanted, and higher than 463.  Don’t feel the need to keep your tier sets together or that high level trinket you got from SoO if you can find something lower level with a better proc.

Specific Tips

  • Target the Banana Tossers first.  I used Cloak and Dagger to jump behind them, hit them with Cheap Shot, then Marked for Death for a 5cp Rupture.  Then I burned them down ASAP.
  • When you have a group of little virmen, you can leave them for last.  However, when you run past them you can Fan of Knives once or twice to get some poison ticking while you take care of other targets.
  • The only spell that you need to interrupt is the heal that is cast by Mystics.  The Amber Weavers conjure Amber Spheres, but they can help you if you maneuver right.  The Amber Spheres encase and stun whatever they hit, whether its you or one of your targets.  Whatever is encased takes extra damage.  If you can maneuver it to hit one of your targets, then you can burn it down more quickly.
  • The small banshees die really fast.  When they spawn you have to turn and get them, but you can stay on your current target for another second or two to either finish it off, or refresh Rupture to keep ticking while you’re attacking the banshee.
  • You’ll see little damage-buff items spawn.  In the gold challenge, one spawns after wave 3 and one after wave 7 or 8.  I encourage you to save them both for wave 10.  If you need them to get past earlier waves, then you’re probably not going to have the dps to finish the last wave, anyway.
  • The last wave is hard because the Sha has a shield up most of the time that is reducing your damage by 75%.  When he drops the shield, use all of your damage cooldowns.  If you’ve saved the damage buff items you should use one of those as well.
09
Sep
13

Patch 5.4 for Rogues

A rare post from me here.

Rogues are getting nicely buffed in tomorrow’s patch.  I find that curious, because on my assassination rogue I regularly out-dps players who are 10 iLvL higher than me in gear.  I thought that maybe it was going to be buffs targeted at Combat, which is the stepchild spec this expansion.  But no.  Its across the board.

I think that other classes are getting buffed as well, so this may be just a push to bump numbers up overall for the new raid tier.

 

General

  • Evasion now increases dodge chance by 100% (was 50%), cooldown has been reduced to 2 minutes (down from 3 minutes), and duration has been reduced to 10 seconds (down from 15 seconds).
  • Eviscerate now deals 10% less damage.
  • Fan of Knives damage has been increased by 25%.
  • Recuperate now restores 4% of maximum health every 3 seconds, up from 3%.
  • Sinister Strike deals an increased 240% of weapon damage (up from 145%), but now costs 50 Energy (up from 40 Energy).

Assassination

  • Assassination Rogues should no longer be eligible for any other weapon types except daggers in situations where loot is automatically awarded(Raid Finder, Bonus Rolls, Heroic/Normal Scenarios, and the upcoming Flexible Raid difficulty.)
  • Dispatch now deals 645% weapon damage (up from 460%).
  • Mutilate now deals 280% weapon damage (up from 200%).

Combat

  • New passive ability, Ruthlessness: This passive ability is learned by Combat Rogues at Level 32. The Rogue gains a 20% chance per combo point (100% chance at 5 combo points) to immediately regain 1 combo point while performing a finishing move.
  • Killing Spree targeting has been changed. If Blade Flurry is not active, Killing Spree will now hit the Rogue’s target 7 times or pick the closest eligible target if none had been selected. Killing Spree will continue to work as it has while Blade Flurry is active.
  • Revealing Strike now deals 160% weapons damage (up from 125%).
  • Vitality now increases Attack Power by 40% (up from 30%).
  • Fixed an issue where certain conditions can cause Blade Flurry to not deal damage to additional nearby opponents.

Subtlety

  • Backstab now deals 380% weapon damage (up from 275%).
  • Hemorrhage now deals 160% weapons damage (up from 140%); 232% weapons damage if a dagger is equipped (up from 203% for daggers).
  • Sanguinary Vein now increases damage against targets with bleed effects by 25% (up from 20%).

Talents

  • Burst of Speed’s cost has been reduced to 15 Energy (down from 30 Energy).
  • Cheat Death now reduces damage taken by 85% after activating (up from 80%).
  • Cloak and Dagger now allows the Rogue to use Ambush, Garrote, and Cheap Shot from 40 yards away (up from 30 yards).
  • Nightstalker now increases damage dealt by abilities while stealthed by 50%, up from 25%.
  • Paralytic Poison now stuns the target at 4 applications of the poison (down from 5 applications).
  • Shadowstep now has a reduced cooldown of 20 seconds (down from 24 seconds).

Glyphs

  • Major Glyphs
    • Glyph of Adrenaline Rush’s effect is now baseline and has been replaced with Glyph of Redirect.
      • Glyph of Redirect now reduces the cooldown of Redirect by 50 seconds (down from Redirect no longer has a cooldown).
    • Glyph of Blind now only removes damage-over-time effects that would cause Blind to break. For Rogues that also have the Dirty Tricks talent, this means Blind will no longer remove the Rogue’s poison or bleed effects.
    • Glyph of Crippling Poison has been replaced with Glyph of Sharpened Knives.
      • Glyph of Sharpened Knives now causes Fan of Knives to also damage the armor of its victims, applying 1 application of the Weakened Armor effect to each target.
    • Glyph of Debilitation has been replaced with Glyph of Recovery.
      • Glyph of Recovery increases the healing  received by the Rogue while Recuperate is active.
    • Glyph of Recuperate now increases the healing of Recuperate by an additional 1% (up from 0.5%).
    • Glyph of Sap has been replaced with Glyph of Hemorrhaging Veins.
      • Glyph of Hemorrhaging Veins causes Sanguinary Veins ability to also increase damage done to targets affected by Hemorrhage.
    • Glyph of Shiv now reduces the cooldown of Shiv by 3 seconds (was 2 seconds).
  • New Minor Glyphs
    • Glyph of Improved Distraction: Distract now summons a decoy at the target location.
    • Glyph of the Headhunter: Throw and Deadly Throw abilities will now throw axes regardless of the Rogue’s currently equipped weapon.

Class Armor

  • Rogue Tier-15 4-piece set bonus now causes Shadow Blades to reduce the cost of all abilities by 15% (down from 40%).
14
Jun
13

Long Time, No Post

Its been a month since I’ve posted anything.  It will probably continue this way for a while.  I’ve got nothing to say.

I still play the game.  However, my guild is stuck on Horridon for over a month now.  I haven’t done much in the game other than log on twice a week to raid an do occasional pet bettles.  I haven’t done a single bit of content that came out in patch 5.3.

With the summer here, I may find more time to play so I may get back  involved in the game.  As of now, I am so weakly connected to WoW that blogging about it rarely comes to mind.

When we get more details about flex raids, I imagine I’ll have something to say.  That upcoming feature has piqued my interest.

20
May
13

Horridon the horrible

In MoP, each raid has had its “roadblock” boss.  Mogu’shan Vaults had Elegon.  Heart of Fear had Garalon.  Terrace… well that didn’t have anything (on normal mode, at least).

Now in Throne of Thunder we are at a dead stop on Horridon.  I feel like this isn’t even the roadblock boss for most people, but it is for us.

I have issues with this fight, and not just because its a rotten fight for rogues.  Its also an annoying fight for just general playing.

(1) Horridon has a big ass.  Seriously.  I can’t tell you how many times my view has been blocked because this huge dinosaur has charged into my screen.  I have to keep adjusting my camera view during the fight to see around it.  Very frustrating.  I ended up playing with my camera zoomed out into the sky, but I really don’t like that perspective.

(2) Targeting is awful when adds are all grouped together.  In many add-based fights, you can simply AoE down a group of adds.  In this fight, that big group of adds has one tougher one in the group that you are trying to focus.  Finding him in that pile is a terrible chore.  Yes, you can write a targeting macro, but I consider that to be an inelegant kludge solution to an encounter design problem.

(3) Frozen Orbs.  Oh, to be a ranged class that can spread out and plink away at the Frozen Warlords without standing in the midst of Frozen Orbs.  Either I’m in the melee zone, dying to Orbs or I’m out of range doing essentially nothing.  This phase stinks for rogues.

I have yet to see past the third door, so I can’t even comment on the rest of the fight.

Maybe something will suddenly click and I’ll find a secret that I’ve been missing.  Until that happens, this fight annoys me more than any other in MoP raiding so far.

 

21
Apr
13

Rogue-only Easter Egg

I originally saw this on Reddit, then it was posted on WoW Insider.  There is a hidden bit of content in WoW that is a nod to the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.  Only rogues can access it.

For the full discussion including background and a thorough walkthrough, go to Chase Christian’s writeup at WoW Insider.  For the quick version, here are the steps:

  • Go to Ravenholdt Manor
  • Outside the Manor, find Reislek’s Ghost
  • With the Glyph of Disguise equipped, pickpocket Reislek’s Ghost and take his appearance
  • Go into the Manor and go to the basement
  • With the Glyph of Detection equipped, look for a sparkle near the floor in a corner of the room
  • Use Detection to reveal the ghost of Orsur
  • Talk to him.  He’ll think that you are Reislek.
  • You’ll get the Survivor’s Bag of Coins, which is a fun item to play with
  • Pickpocket humanoids to get coins to fill the bag (they fade whenever you change zones)

See the WoW Insider article for more discussion on how you can play with the coins.

 

 

13
Apr
13

My Opinion: LFR is ruining the game

What does that title mean?  Let me explain.  I’ve said this all before, but seeing GuildOx rankings really slammed the point home for me.

First – understand that I don’t consider LFR to be actual raiding.  Its more like sightseeing.  Yes, I know that LFR is tougher now than it was back in Cata.  However, the increasing Determination buff means that you can continue to screw up and you’ll eventually succeed despite yourself.  Its a nice way for everyone to see the raid encounters without being accountable for their performance.  Its a good thing.  I am not anti-LFR.  I don’t run it myself, but I don’t hate it.  Its an aspect of the game that is available if you want it.

However…

I recently went on GuildOx to see how my guild stacked up against other guilds on my realm.  I was surprised to see that, on Sen’jin which is by no means a dead realm, only 20 or so guilds have completed Tier 14 raids on normal mode.  In fact, my guild *just* killed Amber-Shaper Unsok this week on 10 normal, and we are only the 25th guild on the server to do so.

I’m not even looking at heroic modes.  Just normal.  If you have cleared T14 on normal and done the first boss in T15, then you’re a top twenty guild on my server.

WTF?

What does this tell me?  It tells me that guilds (at least on my realm) aren’t really doing progression raids anymore.  Since raiding is such a large part of the game, I can’t imagine that people aren’t raiding.  The obvious conclusion is that people are getting their raiding fix through LFR, and not so much in guild raids.

I have a problem with this.

In my personal vision of WoW, guilds and interpersonal interaction are the heart and soul of the game.  The need for cooperation to overcome obstacles is what the original raid encounters were built on.  Communication, people doing their job, everyone having a role… these were the skills that set the foundation for the more fun and challenging raid bosses.  LFR doesn’t have much or any of that.

I really, really don’t like this model.  Yes, LFR gets people into raiding, and that is a good thing.  But its being used as an expected part of the gearing path.  People run Thone of Thunder (LFR) in order to gear up for Throne of Thunder (normal).  What is this nonsense?  Run a raid to gear for the same raid?  How is this different than the ToC days in Wrath, when you ran 10 man to gear up for 25 man?

There isn’t even any sense of anticipation or buildup.  A new patch comes out with a new raid.  A week later it opens up on LFR.  Then… Boom!  In a couple of hours of pugging you have cleared the newly available raid content.  It trivializes the time and effort of raid design.

For me (and this is just my approach) I am looking forward to seeing Throne of Thunder.  I’m looking forward to figuring out the encounters one by one and progressing through it.  I’m looking forward to hearing the vocalizations of the bosses and getting to know their story and their personality.  I’ll see it when I get to it, after my guild clears tier 14.  All of that anticipation is lost in LFR raiding.

WoW is a great MMO.  WoW is a mediocre single-player game, and LFR has allowed it to drift into that mode.  LFR as a way into raiding is fine.  LFR as a true alternative to guild raiding is not in the best interests of the game, in my opinion.

(What?  You don’t care about the story and anticipation of raids?  You only care about gear?  This isn’t the blog post you’re looking for.  Move along.  Move along.)

08
Apr
13

Are you Entertained?

I still like WoW.  Love to raid.  Like to quest.  Like to battle pets.  Like to tend my farm.  Love to get achievements.

However, the game is not sucking me in these days.  On any given afternoon, if I have a few hours to spare I find myself being able to pass on WoW playing.  For the past seven years that was not the case.  I used to be online every spare moment.

Right now, I have very few goals that realy turn me on.  Everything is too grindy.

“But WoW has always been a grindy game” you will all say.  You’re right.  However, for a grind to be playable there has to be a goal – a carrot on a stick to make you log in and try to get a little closer each day.

WoW has become almost entirely a gear grind.  Why do dailies? To unlock gear vendors.  Why run LFR?  To get gear upgrades.  Why grind heroics?  To get VP for gear.

This is good for the majority of WoW players, it would seem.  It misses me entirely.  You see, I don’t care about gear at all.  That puts me in the minority, I know, but it is nonetheless true.  Gear is not, nor has it ever been, a draw for me.  I’ll get it when I get it.  That’s why I don’t run LFR.

And since that is the case, I have no carrot to make me want to log in each day.

I was all about Operation:Shieldwall while that was going on.  Grind or not, the story progression kept me coming back day after day.

I never missed a day on my farm.  Te rewards for Exalted reputation had me hooked.  Now I’m exalted.

While I was striving for a million gold, that kept me logging in every day.  Now that I’ve reached that goal… the AH is not so appealing.

The Isle of Thunder dailies have not captured me.  I don’t feel any inclination to go there and do dailies, other than the distant idea of getting to Exalted as a step toward the 60 Exalted reputations achievement.  I think I’ve only done the dailies on that island four or five times – enough to get to Honored.

Even pet battles have lost their luster.  I was all into that for about two weeks – trying to get a good assortment of pets to max level.  Now that this is done, the idea of flying around two worlds to do repeatable pet dailies is not very appetizing.

I always log in for raid nights.  Other than that, its hit and miss.  Is it just me?  Are you all locked in on the gear rewards?

03
Apr
13

Are PvE rogues all the same spec now?

Look up and down the top dps parses for rogues.  Lots of assassination rogues tearing it up.  Nary a combat rogue to be found (no subtlety either, but that’s old news).

Recently my guild has been working on Garalon.  This is the quintessential cleave fight.  You target a leg and get a crit buff for doing so, and your cleave hits the boss.  When the leg dies, its damage is transferred to the boss, so all cleave damage is pure bonus.

At the start of MoP, combat rogues were putting up obscene numbers on this fight.  Patch 5.2 brought the big change – making the cleave do only 40% weapon damage (down from 100%) but affecting more targets.  Sure, it was a needed fix to a balance problem.  However, it has perhaps gone too far.

All the theorycrafters have emphasized that Blade Flurry is still a plus whenever you have two or more targets in proximity (and its effect increases for three or four targets).  Since Garalon has been the Combat Spec Fight in this tier, I completely regemmed and reforged for combat when we got to this boss.

After a number of tries and lots of practice, I was frustrated with my sub-par dps numbers.  So, this week I switched back to assassination.  Immediately, I gained nearly 20k dps without using any cleave.

Currently, I don’t see any reason to spec combat in raids.  Assassination is so far superior its not really even a discussion.  Since subtlety has again fallen out of use in PvE, I guess that means that all raiding rogues are or will be assassination spec.  World of Logs reports bear this out.  While there are still combat rogues out there, it looks like that spec is around 40k dps behind assassination in ToT raids.

Having specs a little unbalanced is routine and almost expected.  If two specs are producing numbers that are 5% apart, then you can justify using either one based on familiarity or gear or just preference.  However, if one spec is 20% ahead, as it is now, then its almost impossible to justify not using the top spec.

Until this is addressed (and it will be), I expect to see just about all raiding rogues in assassination spec.  That’s a shame – especially in a pure dps class.  I look forward to seeing how Blizzard balances things.

12
Mar
13

Rogues in patch 5.2

How patch 5.2 going for everyone?

This is my busiest time of year in my life outside the game.  My son’s baseball season is in full swing.  My work responsibilities are more significant in this part of the year than during other seasons.  I can barely find time to sit at my desk at home.

I’ve logged on enough to do the Isle of Thunder dailies once and have two nights of raiding in MSV and HoF.  That’s all the time I’ve spent in WoW so far since the patch.  I had to figure out a lot of changes by trial and error since I have not had time to keep up with them.

Right away in MSV, I noticed that my Combat spec did less damage than normal on Stone Guard.  That’s because of the change to Blade Flurry in the patch.  It now hits for less damage, but affects more targets.  On Stone Guard, when you’re hitting two or three dogs, you’re not getting the most out of Blade Flurry.  Damage is good, but not as spectacular as it once was.

I also noticed that my single target damage in Assassination spec was a little higher, but not much.  Assassination got buffed a bit in the patch.  I hear that Subtlety got a small buff as well.  I expect Blizzard to keep giving us small buffs until more people play rogues.  For those of us who still play our rogue mains, it just makes us that much more awesome.  However, I will also note that I wasn’t as far ahead on the damage meters as I usually am on some MSV fights, like Elegon.  I suspect that other classes got buffed as well, and maybe more than we did.

I was really surprised when I went to use Ambush as an opener and I teleported to directly behind the target without using Shadowstep.  That’s when I remembered that there were talent changes in the patch.  Preparation was removed as a talent, and now all rogues have it as a baseline ability at level 68.  Instead they added Cloak and Dagger in Prep’s old spot on the talent tree.  It works like Shadowstep built into your stealthed openers.  It essentially gives your openers a 30 yard range.

A change that I noticed while I was fighting Elegon was for Cloak of Shadows.  It now has a shorter cooldown (1 minute), but its no longer reset by Preparation.  That surprised me.  I usually use Cloak-Prep-Cloak to mitigate damage at the end of the fight when we’re burning Elegon down.  Didn’t work this time.

I was, as usual, dismayed when our raid got to Will of the Emperor.  I don’t like that fight.  At some point in that fight, I always end up far from my target with Vanish and Sprint on cooldown.  This time I specced into Shuriken Toss.  This gave combo points and also made my autoattacks into ranged shuriken throws.  I don’t think it was very effective, but it was fun.

Also on the Will of the Emperor fight, when we all grouped up to AoE heal through the Titan Gas phases, I threw down my Smoke Bomb.  It was just given a new ability – reducing incoming damage by 20% on everyone in its range.  I have a defensive raid cooldown!  That felt good.

There’s another talent change that I tried.  Versatility was removed as a top-tier talent and replaced with Marked for Death.  This gives 5 combo points to start with on the fight, so its much like the Premeditation ability on steroids.  A major difference is that when your target dies, Marked for Death resets.  That makes this good for burst damage in target-switching situations, since you can start with 5 CP on each new target.  Its not useful on most boss fight in PvE, but good in fights with a lot of adds that need to be bursted down.  That said, I tried to use it on Garalon’s legs, and the cooldown never reset when a leg died.  Is it because the legs don’t really “die”?  Is this a bug?  (not Garalon himself, but the lack of cooldown reset).

Most of the changes were not very noteworthy, although a lot of rogues are affected by the alterations to the talent tree.  The Smoke Bomb change is nice – I wonder how long it will take everyone to realize that it is there, so that raid leaders call for it at times of high incoming damage.




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)
July 2014
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