Archive for June, 2012


Streamlined Hit Cap for Rogues in Mists

Ah, the hit caps.  This has always been a great source of math for rogues.  When a new rogue asks, “What’s the hit cap?” there is usually a knowledgeable veteran who can chime in.  Yellow hit cap, poison hit cap, white hit cap.  Sounds a little like a Dr. Seuss book.

Amid all of the Mists of Pandaria information coming out, a line in a Ghostcrawler blog post stands out…

 Rogue poisons will also use the melee hit chance.

That’s a pretty big change for us.  It’s so significant that a lot of rogues thought (and still think) that it was an error when it showed up in the Ghostcrawler post.

Poisons have always been considered spells.  In the past we had to make sure that we were over the specials hit cap, and then nestled right up to the spell hit cap for our poisons.  Going beyond the spell hit cap had little benefit.  Due to dual wielding penalties, there was little possibility of reaching the white attack hit cap, and we got more benefit by increasing haste or mastery.

Now, if that line from Ghostcrawler is to be believed, both special attacks and poisons will have the same hit cap, which appears to be 7.5% for melee attacks.  Thus, we should only have one soft cap to worry about for hit chance.

There is still a lot of discussion about this.  Poisons have been treated as spells for so long that the rogue community overall is in a “wait-and-see” mode.  A lot of rogue forum posts still say that poisons will need a higher hit cap, or at least added expertise to boost them.  Lets say that the jury is still out, pending further testing and refinement in beta.

P.S. – it seems like we’ll need just as much expertise as hit.  Against raid bosses, there is a 7.5% dodge chance to go with the 7.5 % miss chance.  To be truly “capped” we’ll need the +7.5% hit and +7.5% expertise to make sure that our special attacks and poisons neither miss nor are dodged.


Thoughts on the trinity of roles

After six years of playing mostly dps, in this expansion I’ve done some fair amount of raid tanking (paladin) and raid healing (priest and druid).  I’ve watched as Blizzard has tried time after time (unsuccessfully) to balance the number of tanks and healers with the number of dps.  Its really made me think about those roles and how they play.  To me, playing a tank vs a healer vs a dps are like playing three completely different games.  There is very little in common.  Thus, its not surprising when people who play only dps aren’t considerate of their tanks or healers, healers don’t heal the way tanks and dps want, and tanks don’t always maneuver the way that dps likes.

Here are the three different games that are being played:

As a Tank: You vs the Game Designers

There was once a time when tanks had to be proficient at generating threat and holding aggro, or quickly picking up multiple mobs.  In today’s climate of infinite threat and AoE tanking abilities, those skills are gone.  Instead, tanks have to learn to dance and taunt-swap.  I consider this, “playing against the game designers”.  A tank has to go through a prescribed set of maneuvers and movements as set forth by the designers to accomplish the task.  The tank can largely ignore what other players are doing, except in fights with adds who have to be taunted off of the healers.

As a DPS: You vs Yourself

DPS has the reputation of being the easiest role.  That’s because very few fights have strict damage output requirements.  Most of them can be completed if you are down a dps, or if one is underperforming.  I’ve done 99% of my raiding as dps.  When a dps plays, he can mostly ignore what the tanks are doing and completely ignore what the healers are doing.  While there are some dance moves to learn, the majority of a dps’ job is to use his abilities in a way as to maximize output.  I call this, “playing against yourself” because you know you’ve done well if your output is greater than the last time you did the fight.  You’re always competing against your own past performance.  In most cases, other than some buffs/debuffs, the other players have very little to do with your performance.  Its not a “team” role.

As a Healer: You vs the Other Players

Healing is completely unique.  Not only do you have to do the dances that the designers have put in, but you also have to do it while watching what everyone else is doing.  Healing is the only role that can be made significantly harder based on the actions of the rest of the raid (you could argue that tanking has some of that as well, but not to the extent that healing does).  If players stand in bad stuff, if they fail to use survival cooldowns, if they ignore important mechanics – all of that puts the onus on the healer to “fix it”.  I refer to healing as “you vs the other players” because they can make your job easier or harder by their actions.

Its no wonder that the number of people who play tanks and healers is so low.  DPS is almost a solo game, and puts the least responsibility on the player.  Healing is the one most impacted by “bad” players.

How can this be fixed?  Other than wholesale changes to the game, I don’t think it can.  If healers had a passive healing model – like the more damage they dealt the more healing they did (much like Atonement), then that might be a progressive change to break out of the current roles.  Or if more classes could take a beating, even for a short time (like Rogue evasion) then tanking might not be so stressful.  Other games have tried, but I haven’t heard anyone raving about how a game has truly broken out of the trinity of roles.

So as we move forward into MoP, we’ll have more of the same.  I do think that every DPS should try leveling a healer and a tank, for a better perspective on those roles.


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)
June 2012
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