Let’s say it’s Tuesday afternoon/evening. The patch has gone smoothly (I’m an optimist) and the servers are back up. You log in and see your rogue. Nothing looks different at first glance. What should you do first?
First – Add-ons. Before you even log in, update your add-ons. A lot of add-on authors have written new code for the 5.0.4 patch. For those that haven’t, make sure to Enable Out Of Date Add Ons in your add-on management window.
Second – Talents. Once you are online, click on your talents. Not only will they be reset, but the talent “tree” will look nothing at all like what it has looked like for the past history of the game.
The nice thing about this system is that there are almost no wrong choices. Most talent decisions are for personal preference or playstyle. There is no need to go online and look up a cookie-cutter spec. Go down the list and choose the talents that seem most useful to you.
Third – Look at your Glyphs. Prime glyphs are gone. Major glyphs are interesting but not overwhelmingly powerful. They will likely change in usefulness from one encounter to the next. Minor glyphs have become much more varied and interesting. I recommend learning as many glyphs as you can to have them all available as needed.
Fourth – check your ability buttons. Some might have changed/disappeared.
All rogues got the new AoE ability Crimson Tempest, so add that to your bar somewhere. We all get Shroud of Concealment, which is a group stealth much like the one Illidan uses in the Well of Eternity instance. That will be fun for skipping trash packs in instances. Also, we all get Shadow Walk, which makes our stealth temporarily better. Find room for those abilities.
Assassination got a new ability (Dispatch), but lost Backstab, Sinister Strike, and Eviscerate. You probably didn’t have buttons for the last two, but you likely have an empty spot from where Backstab used to be. Put Dispatch there, since it serves a similar purpose.
Combat didn’t get anything new other than the ones listed above.
Subtlety didn’t get any new abilities, but they did lose Sinister Strike. They also lost either Preparation or Shadowstep, since you can only have one out of those two. Adjust your button bars accordingly.
Fifth – Check out the new Poison UI.
You’ll be able to apply one damage and one utility poison from the pull-out poison menu. They don’t go on any particular weapon. They’re just “there”.
Sixth – Check your hit and expertise stats. The numbers have been adjusted. For now it looks like you want to be at 7.5% hit and 7.5% expertise. Reforge away!
Seventh – Get yourself to an training dummy. You’ve got some new aspects to your rotation, even at level 85.
Subtlety had its rotation slightly streamlined. SnD and Rupture now last longer, making it easier to maintain their uptime. Your energy regen ability is tied to SnD now so you don’t ned to keep Recuperation up all the time.
Assassination has changes in the rotation from the updated Blindside passive ability. Whenever it procs, your Dispatch comes available and you’ll want to use that. Otherwise, the rotation is unchanged.
Combat has no significant changes. SnD lasts a little shorter for this spec. Revealing Strike has changed and gives an 18 second buff and you want to keep that up most of the time. Rupture does more damage than Eviscerate so you want to keep Rupture going.
Eighth – Sell your stuff that is now worthless
Since rogues are losing their ranged weapon slot, your Windslicer Boomerang is now useless. It will be a gray item in your bags, and you can sell it or Void Storage it for memories…
Ninth – Go out and stab stuff. And shadowstep.
There is no better way to get a feel for the class than to play it. Run a heroic that you haven’t done in a while. Queue for LFR. Since I never play Subtlety, having Shadowstep is amazingly fun.
Tenth – Try AoE Looting. You’ll wonder how we lived without it for so long.