Archive for the 'Rogue' 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.

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%).
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.

 

 

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.

25
Feb
13

What now?

I don’t mean in game.  I mean with this blog.  I’ve been running the blog since 2008.  My play has gone through many stages since then.  My current playstyle doesn’t give me a lot to talk about.

Starting in BC and then through Wrath and Cataclysm I stayed fairly well at the forefront of the game.  I wasn’t a hardcore raider, but I was very knowledgeable on the game in general and the rogue class in particular.  While I have never done heroic raid modes, I think I was informed enough to know how rogues would perform and I was qualified to give pretty good advice and recommendations on all aspects of rogue play.

Now I have gone full casual.  My raid team just last week downed Elegon on normal mode, and now we’re slowly learning Will of the Emperor.  By the time patch 5.2 comes with its new raid tier, I will only have seen 6 of the 16 bosses in the current tier.  I haven’t even done the other ten on LFR.

I could write a great post on how to maximize rogue dps on Elegon.  I do really well on that fight.  However, at this point in the expansion, is that post even needed?  Many rogues will be raiding Tier 15 next week.  I expect I won’t even take a peek in there for a month or more.  What can I offer in this blog that is useful to the rogue community?

The game has been so homogenized.  There is little in the PvE game that is unique to rogues.  Most melee classes are pretty similar in tactics and strategies, and that information is readily available on Icy Veins or Elitist Jerks.

With little to offer the rogues of WoW, I’m struggling to find a reason to post here.

What now?




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 2014
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