Archive for March, 2012


Rogue specs in Mists of Pandaria Beta

After the download process and login, I found myself standing in Stormwind.  Unfortunately, I also found myself looking at the default Blizzard UI.  It made me realize how much I have customized my own UI, and how difficult it will be to play without my add ons.

Also on my screen was the obligatory, “Your talents have been reset” message.  So, my first order of business is to check that out.

I   Baseline abilities vs. talents

Blizzard is really trying to get rid of cookie-cutter talent specs in MoP.  What they have done is taken a lot of the must-have talents and rolled them into baseline abilities for each spec.  For example – have you ever seen a combat rogue who doesn’t have Blade Flurry?  Of course not.  So why waste talent points on that?  Just give it to all combat rogues at the appropriate level.

When you choose a spec, you are given a list of the baseline abilities for that spec.

Here are the abilities for assassination rogues:

Here they are for combat:

And here are subtlety:

You’ll see that almost all of the “must have” talent choices for each spec in Cataclysm are now given to the rogues baseline.  There is one notable exception that jumped out at me  – Shadowstep.  That’s not baseline for any spec, but can be chosen by any rogue in the talent decisions.  That’s right – all rogues can have Shadowstep!

You’ll recognize almost every skill that is listed there.  There is not much that is brand new.  Some have been tweaked a bit.  Here’s a couple of new ones for assassination:

Those look like they will have a nice little synergy.  Dispatch will replace Backstab as the execute-phase attack for assassination rogues, and Blindside makes it so that Dispatch can also be useful at other times during the fight.  It creates a more active attack model – rather than robotically following a set attack rotation, we’ll want to deviate from our pattern whenever we get a Blindside proc.  I expect we’ll see the theorycrafters figure out the Dispatch vs non-Dispatch damage output, just like they did with Revelaing Strikes and Rupture in past expansions.

I noticed that Revealing Strike has been tweaked:

The base damage of the attack has gone down (75% weapon damage down from 125%), the 35% buff to your next finisher is the same, but they added an 18 second secondary buff that increases your likelihood of getting combo points.  That’s a nice little perk, but with only a 20% chance  for an extra CP its a little random as to how much help it will be.

Also, Hemorrhage was altered:

The base damage of the attack is reduced slightly.  Rather than Hemo giving increased bleed damage, it just adds a DoT based on the attack.  I don’t play subtlety myself, but this seems to be a significant change.  On one hand, it makes Hemo stand on its own, rather than require you to keep both Hemo and Rupture tied together to maximize its effectiveness.  However, the “direct strike” in the description is unsettling.  If that refers to weapon damage it seems to me that this would not scale well with attack power.  If “direct” strike” includes all damage modifiers then it would be better.

However, Hemo is no longer a debuff  that can help the rest of the raid.  I know that the whole raid buff/debuff system is being streamlined and I haven’t had a chance to check that out yet.  I hope that this is being replaced with something else that gives rogues some utility.

Next post will show the talent trees.


I’m going into MoP completely in the dark

As soon as I said that I was in the beta, I had people asking me about preferred talents, and which features I planned to check out first.

Interesting  thing.  I have no idea.  I don’t even know what’s available.  I have done virtually no preparation for MoP.

My WoW time has decreased as my kids have gotten older.  I’ve had to give up some of my peripheral WoW-related activities.  Blogging, for example, has largely been ignored.  Also, doing advance research on expansion talents that may change 10 times before release is an activity that never materialized.

When I got the beta invite I was tempted to hurry up and cram in all the research I could while the client downloaded.  Then I changed my mind.  I decided to go in pretty much blind and see how that changed my perception.

I’ll let you know as things catch my eye.


OK, now I’ll have something to post about


MoP Beta… soon

Things are happening fast.  On Monday Blizzard lifted the press NDA and a torrent of MoP information was released.  Then by Wednesday it became clear that the beta servers were about to go online.

Once I get into the MoP Beta I’m sure that I’ll have a lot more to say.  I bought the Annual Pass, so I will get invited at some point, but there’s no telling exactly when.  Expect more updates to the blog once I have some first-hand rogue observations.


Professions covered? Check.

I got my sixth toon to the level cap this weekend.  I really had no desire to level through Outland, Northrend, and Cataclysm zones again.  I did it because I needed one more toon to complete my set of tradeskills.

Now I have these toons:

  • 85 rogue (main) – skinning, leatherworking
  • 85 priest – herbalism, tailoring
  • 85 paladin – mining, engineering
  • 85 rogue – jewelcrafting, alchemy
  • 85 mage – inscription, enchanting
  • 85 druid – mining, blacksmithing

Blacksmithing is the last one I was missing.  At the moment, I might be able to scratch out some profit on belt buckles, but I don’t expect much in the tail end of Cataclysm.  Since the main focus of my playtime is now goldmaking, this puts me in a position to take advantage of whatever markets open up when Pandaria comes out.

As a side note, I leveled my druid almost entirely as a healer with short queues in LFG.  I found druid healing to be more fun than priest healing.  Most of my alts are just bank/crafting toons that never leave Stormwind.  However, I do think I’ll actually play the resto druid and get it geared.


More Rogue Fun on the Epic Dagger Questline

Having completed the Cluster Clutch quest, I was taken to another stealth-sap-distract run leading to a solo combat, much like the one we all did previously in Gilneas City at the start of the questline. The new quest is Blood of the Betrayer and it takes place in Deadwind Pass.

First comment – I wanted to do it completely cold without reading any strats or guides.  In the end I had to look up a guide because I COULDN”T FIND THE ENTRANCE TO THE CELLAR.  The quest sends you to the town outside of Karazhan.  You’re phased, and the town is full of 85 elite mobs and wandering pats (just like Gilneas City was when we did the Assassinate Creed quest).  However, I had no idea where I was supposed to go.  I wandered around for almost a half hour before I gave in and looked up a guide online.

Next, the stealth part this time was significantly easier right up to the end.  That may be because of my experience from the first go-around, or it may be that the mobs weren’t as tightly packed.  It does get tricky in the hallway right before the mob you have to kill.

The fight itself was much like the Creed fight in Gilneas.  You’ll have to use all of your rogue abilities – kiting and bandaging, Recuperate, Stun, Blind, Cloak, Shiv, and even Expose Armor.  This time around, though, you’re given some assistance.  You get warnings like, “She’s casting Arcane Infused Armor!  Expose her Armor!” and they tell you what to do.  I’m not really sure if those warnings were from the game or from DBM, honestly.

Also, this time I went prepared.  When I killed Creed in Gilneas I wasn’t expecting how many times I would die figuring out the fight, and I ran out of consumables.  This time I went in loaded with food, potions, flasks, and bandages.  I had a Travelers Tundra Mammoth so I repaired before each attempt at the stealth run.

Once I got through the stealth part into the fight area, I did die 6 or 7 so times while learning the ins and outs of the fight, but managed to eke it out in the end before I was forced to repair and re-do the stealth run.  That’s much better than I did on Creed when I was forced to hearth out and repair TWICE before figuring it out.  When I did Creed, I tried it a bunch of times in Mutilate spec before I learned that Combat or Sub for Imp Recuperate was necessary.  This time I went in with my Combat spec from the start.

So, after a couple of hours of stealthing and about 45 minutes of fighting a dragon in a basement outside of Karazhan, I am now the proud owner of The Sleeper and The Dreamer.  I am 3/60 on the next collection quest, and that has a one-per-Dragon Soul boss drop rate.  That puts me at 57 DS boss kills to go.  For my guild, that’s probably 9-10 weeks.  I only hope we keep raiding for that long without losing our raid team to the end-of-expansion doldrums.


Slowly Getting There

As all rogues recall, Patch 4.3 was released in late November of 2011 with great fanfare.  With the release of the patch, came the questline to get the legendary daggers.

Every rogue worth his stealth did the opening steps of the questline in the first few days.  Then you had to get to Hagara and pickpocket her, then do the wonderful stealth run through Gilneas City.  A lot of us who play a rogue as our main had all of that done within a couple of weeks of the patch, and we had earned our first stage epic daggers – Fear and Vengeance.

Then came Cluster Clutch – the collecting quest in the Dragon Soul raid.  It cannot be completed in LFR so the rate that you finish this is based on how many bosses you can kill each week on normal or heroic difficulty.  This is where the hardcore raiders can pull ahead of the rest of the rogues.

At an average of about 6 Shadowy Gems per boss kill (assuming 10-man raids) this quest required you to be there for about 56 kills.

I’m happy to say that I completed this quest tonight.  It took me nearly three months.  My casual guild has not been doing full clears each week, so my progress has been steady but not rapid. In fact, we just got our first Deathwing kill on normal tonight, so it was a double-bonus for me.

I’m curious where other rogues are.  I think that a lot of them just got their first stage daggers and called it a success at that point, with no intention of moving on to later stages.  Then I think that many other rogues want to keep moving forward, but the mid-expansion lull may bring them to a halt as they have trouble forming raid groups.

This weekend I expect to do the next stealth run (near Karazhan) and hopefully get my next-stage daggers.

So, where are you in the questline?


Classic WoW:
Dinaer - 11 Assassination Rogue
Cepheid - 13 Prot Warrior
Cartho - 11 Elemental Shaman

Retail WoW:
Dinaer - 120 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Cartho - 120 Elemental Shaman (US - Quel-dorei)
Derence - 120 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 120 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 120 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 120 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
March 2012
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