Look up and down the top dps parses for rogues. Lots of assassination rogues tearing it up. Nary a combat rogue to be found (no subtlety either, but that’s old news).
Recently my guild has been working on Garalon. This is the quintessential cleave fight. You target a leg and get a crit buff for doing so, and your cleave hits the boss. When the leg dies, its damage is transferred to the boss, so all cleave damage is pure bonus.
At the start of MoP, combat rogues were putting up obscene numbers on this fight. Patch 5.2 brought the big change – making the cleave do only 40% weapon damage (down from 100%) but affecting more targets. Sure, it was a needed fix to a balance problem. However, it has perhaps gone too far.
All the theorycrafters have emphasized that Blade Flurry is still a plus whenever you have two or more targets in proximity (and its effect increases for three or four targets). Since Garalon has been the Combat Spec Fight in this tier, I completely regemmed and reforged for combat when we got to this boss.
After a number of tries and lots of practice, I was frustrated with my sub-par dps numbers. So, this week I switched back to assassination. Immediately, I gained nearly 20k dps without using any cleave.
Currently, I don’t see any reason to spec combat in raids. Assassination is so far superior its not really even a discussion. Since subtlety has again fallen out of use in PvE, I guess that means that all raiding rogues are or will be assassination spec. World of Logs reports bear this out. While there are still combat rogues out there, it looks like that spec is around 40k dps behind assassination in ToT raids.
Having specs a little unbalanced is routine and almost expected. If two specs are producing numbers that are 5% apart, then you can justify using either one based on familiarity or gear or just preference. However, if one spec is 20% ahead, as it is now, then its almost impossible to justify not using the top spec.
Until this is addressed (and it will be), I expect to see just about all raiding rogues in assassination spec. That’s a shame – especially in a pure dps class. I look forward to seeing how Blizzard balances things.