Earlier in the week, Blizzard released a preview of the talent trees for rogues.
Unlike Wrath, this is not a major overhaul. When Wrath came out, then level cap was going up by ten, which added whole new tiers of talents to the trees. In Cataclysm with the level cap only going up by 5, they have bulked up the trees a bit but not made them any “taller”.
Here are some of the interesting changes in the assassination tree:
The first tier stays the same. Second tier loses Blood Spatter (now a deep Sub talent) and replaces it with Deadly Momentum.
Deadly Momentum (2 /2) – After killing an opponent that yields experience or honor, gives you a 50/100% chance to refresh your Slice and Dice or Recuperate abilities to their original duration.
Most of us stay away from the “after killing an opponent” talents unless we’re soloing. I don’t see this one being used by most rogues.
Also in this tier, Puncturing Wounds is moved up a tier higher. Its replaced by Blackjack.
Blackjack (2/2) – Even after your Sap wears off, its effects linger on enemies, reducing their damage done by 25/50% for 5 seconds.
The big question here… will we be using CC, as Blizzard promised? If so, this isn’t bad. Although we won’t ever be sapping bosses, and damage reduction on trash mobs might not be the most useful talent. Its good for PvP, though, where Sap is used all the time.
Vile Poisons got some love.
Vole Poisons (3/3) – Increases the damage dealt by your poisons and Envenom ability by 7/14/20% and gives you 33/66/100% of the normal chance of applying poisons from your equipped melee weapons when using Fan of Knives.
If you remember, Fan of Knives is being changed so that your ranged weapon gets poison, and FoK uses the poison from your ranged weapon rather than melee weapons. According to this talent, FoK would apply poison from your ranged, and both melee weapons. Interesting… very powerful for AoE, and useful for applying poisons in PvP. Could rogues be AoE monsters again?
Improved Expose Armor wasn’t changed, but it was moved much higher in the tree, up to the 7th talent point tier. Blizzard is going to make this ability easier to use,
Expose Armor (3/3) – Gives a 33/66/100% chance to refund all combo points used when performing your Expose Armor ability.
Neat! Free EA. Makes it less distasteful to use when you don’t have a warrior around.
Probably the most interesting change is the removal of Find Weakness, replaced with Murderous Intent.
Murderous Intent (2/2) – when you backstab an enemy that is at or below 35% health, you instantly recover 10/20/30 energy.
So Backstab becomes our execute, to be used when the target is at low health. Interesting. Changes our build and rotation.
A talent was added at the 45-point tier – Venomous Wounds.
Venomous Wounds (3/3) – Each time your Rupture or Garrote deals damage to an enemy that is afflicted with your poison, you have a 15/30/45% chance to inflict 1 additional nature damage.
Are assassination rogues back to using Rupture? If so, this is a nice talent. We may see some assassination/subtlety builds that use Hemo and push bleeds, I suppose. This may be too deep in the assassination tree to be useful, there.
The final change in the assassination tree is the removal of Hunger for Blood, and replacing it with a better talent – Vendetta.
Vendetta (1/1) – Marks an enemy for death, increasing all dmage you deal to the target by 20% and granting you unerring vision of your target, regardless of concealments such as stealth and invisibility. Lasts 30 sec. 2 minute cooldown.
What I didn’t like about HfB is that we are balanced around its 8% (glyphed) damage bonus. If you are ever in a fight where there is no time to apply bleeds, then your damage is 8% less than what it should be. This is especially true in pvp and trash fights. With Vendetta, we can turn on that buff as needed once every two minutes – no bleeds required.
In a 5 minute boss fight you’ll get to use it three times – once at the start, once at 2 minutes, and once at 4 minutes. Thats 1.5 minutes of a 20% buff, rather the old way, which was an 8% buff all the time. Mathematically the HfB is a little better on long fights, but you can time your trinkets to coincide with Vendetta also for increased effect.
That’s enough for now. I’ll do the other trees in separate posts.