Patch 3.2.2 is on the PTR. As with all patches, anything that is up now can possibly change as it is tested.
However, even if these changes do not make it to the game in exactly this form, Blizzard has shown that they feel that rogues need to be taken down a peg, particularly in PvP. The changes are not overall damage nerfs to all rogues, but are pushes to force some situational playstyle changes.
Here are the three announced changes:
(1) Fan of Knives: The damage done by this ability has been reduced by 30%.
I guess this has been a long time coming. I don’t think anyone intended rogues to be the top AoE class. But 30%? Ouch!
This is of minor importance in PvE, because its mostly useful for trash. Sure, it will be sad to fall below the mages and warlocks on the trash pulls, but boss fights are where you make your damage meters jump anyway. I think it really hurts in PvP though, where FoK is used to good effect. Rogues will still use it to apply poisons to groups of opponents, but it won’t have those sexy damage totals anymore.
(2) Throwing Specialization: This talent no longer causes Fan of Knives to interrupt spellcasting.
Boo! Yet another reason to stop using FoK in PvP.
The above two talents send a clear message – rogues are great single-target damage dealers, and should not be running around hitting FoK in every situation during PvP.
(3) Honor Among Thieves: A 1-second cooldown is now enforced on how often a rogue can gain combo points from his party via this talent.
Again, this has probably been a long time coming. HaT is a gimmicky build and I suspect that the developers didn’t intend it to play like it does. Now the question will be asked… is subtlety still (and I hate this term) “raid viable”? Is that one second delay a crushing blow to the HaT build?
I don’t play HaT, but I suspect it will still work, although you’ll actually have to build up some of your own combo points rather than just hit Eviscerate all the time. I’ll be watching the analysis on EJ to see their evaluation.
No one likes to see a patch where we get all nerfs and no buffs. For me, personally, this is very minor since I don’t play HaT and I don’t PvP too often. I’ll live with the nerf to trash pack damage. To a rogue that raids in subtlety, this is bad. To a PvP rogue, this could be really annoying. How much will these changes affect you?