Archive Page 2


Can WoW ever recapture that old feeling?

Blizzcon came and went this weekend.  As far as I know, I’m the only person in my guild (there might be one other) who bought the virtual ticket.  In guild chat Friday and Saturday night, no one was chatting about the new revelations unless I brought it up, and then there were only a few quick replies.  There was no excitement.  No buzz.

I don’t blame Blizzard for this.  They are doing all they can.  Coming up with new ideas for games within the game, taking us down lore paths that are fascinating and interesting, and streamlining the game experience.

I think much of the problem lies with the time between WoW and the old RTS games, Warcraft I, II, and III.

When WoW first came out, a significant percentage of players were drawn to it from their love of the RTS games.  I know I was.  Seeing your favorite Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness scenes and zones brought to life was a wonderful experience.  This is in addition to the EQ players that came over to WoW because it was the next Big Thing.

When Burning Crusade came out, I remember so much buzz being about the role that the old RTS games played.  The Dark Portal, Karazhan, Outland, and others were all prominent in Warcraft II.  Many players geeked out over this, even though Warcraft II was over 10 years old at the time of the Burning Crusade expansion.  The excitement was infectious, and others were prompted to look up the lore or read the novels to join in on the geekfest.

Similarly, when Wrath came out the characters and settings were taken from the Warcraft III RTS.  The Arthas storyline was a favorite, and dedicated fans of the RTS series couldn’t wait to face him.  The story was much fresher this time around – there was only six years between Warcraft III and the Wrath of the Lich King expansion to WoW.

For the Cataclysm expansion, the developers went with other figures from Warcraft lore – Deathwing and the Aspects.  However, this expansion, while steeped in lore, brought less connection to the RTS game series.  It still pulled characters from the classic stories as told in the novels.  However, in this expansion we see Blizzard drawing their lore very much from novels rather than their own prior games.

with Mists of Pandaria, it seems almost like the writers ran out of lore.  They created the continent of Pandaria out of thin air based only on presence of some peripheral characters in the RTS games.  At this point, they are making things up as they go, and the veteran players can sense it.  Gone are the familiar settings and characters.  Gone is the connection to the RTS experiences of the past.

Think about it – why is it that at every Blizzcon, players cry for the return of Alleria and Turalyon?  Why is there so much interest in fighting the Burning Legion again?  These are the heroes and villains that we are familiar with.

With that in mind, Warlords of Draenor is a good idea.  Bring back some of those classic names.  Go back to the days of Ner’zhul and Durotan as played out in Warcraft II.  Try to recapture that old feeling.

But, Warcraft II was twenty years ago, now.  Most WoW players haven’t played it.  In fact, the RTS games won’t even run on modern computers.  Even though a return to those settings is good in principle, I think we have lost a critical mass of the RTS players, and its getting hard to generate that excitement.


A return to loot distribution systems?

In Mists, (and even in Cata) my guild got away from using any loot distribution method other than /roll or need/greed.  In 10-man raids, the itemization on gear made it suitable only for two or three specific specs, and as a group of mostly friends we never had any drama.

In Warlords of Draenor, with larger raids due to flexible raid scaling there is bound to be more conflict.  Add to that thee revelation that gear will alter its stats based on the spec of the character that equips it.  That means that a single leather piece can be rolled on by ALL druid specs, ALL monk specs, and any rogues.  Depending on the secondary stats, a single plate drop could be rolled on by ALL paladin specs, ALL death knight specs, and ALL warrior specs.

Will this force us back to a loot distribution system?  I was happy to be rid of that for the past two expansions.  We used EPGP back in the day.  Might have to reconsider it.


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.

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.



  • 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 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%).


  • 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.


  • 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%).


  • 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).


  • 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%).

WoW Insider looking for a rogue columnist

Class blogs are falling by the wayside.  My own (now essentially deceased) blog is a good example.

One of the best rogue bloggers has been Chase Christian at WoWInsider.  He’s now retired and WI is looking for a replacement.  I thought I’d throw this out there for any rogues who might see it.


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.


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.



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)
September 2014
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