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Encrypted Text: Rogue Is

kicked
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

Word on the street is that the old rogue finally hit the dirt. Nobody is exactly sure how it happened. Did he get a little too cavalier in a duel with Rossi and eat the wrong end of a two-handed Overpower? Did Frostheim land a lucky Flare/Freezing Trap combo after seeing him slinking in the shadows? Did some hotshot mage get lucky and land the ultimate Shatter bomb while his cooldowns were recharging?

Or did he simply Vanish into thin air? Did anyone actually see the body? Were they able to identify his daggers by comparing the multitude of scrapes and scars? Was there a trace left behind to prove he was ever really here? That's the funny thing about rogues: you never know when they're dead, or just in repose.

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Encrypted Text: Readiness gone, Preparation next?

preparation
As part of the pre-Mists patch 5.0.4, in August 2012, hunters were given Readiness as a baseline ability. Readiness is a carbon copy of Preparation, which has been a rogue workhorse for years. While I am typically hesitant to give hunters any more ink, there's something interesting for them in the patch 5.4 PTR notes. Readiness is being removed from hunters entirely, and their cooldowns are being rebalanced to compensate. An ability that was considered so crucial that it was made baseline is being pulled completely just a year later.

Cooldown management has been an integral part of the rogue class since day one. Preparation has been our go-to PvP ability since its inception. The entire World of Roguecraft video series was predicated by how amazing Preparation is. A rogue with full cooldowns is a deity, a rogue without cooldowns is a pushover. When Preparation was made baseline in patch 5.2 (January 2013), I was certain that the once-optional ability would be a permanent part of our arsenal. Now, I'm wondering if Preparation's next on Blizzard's chopping block.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Patch 5.4's new Killing Spree and rogue glyphs

blade's edge arena
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

Killing Spree has been killing rogues since 2008. While assassination rogues are discussing the best opportunities to use Vendetta and subtlety rogues are planning their Shadow Dances, combat rogues are just hoping their cooldown won't throw them off a cliff or into fire. I remember when rogues simply didn't play combat when fighting Magmaw. Killing Spree on Garalon? Only if you had a death wish.

The Glyph of Killing Spree fixed most of these errant deaths, but didn't fix the root problem: Killing Spree takes away control from the rogue. We're not capable of choosing our targets or our destination when using Killing Spree, which makes it a liability in high-stakes situations. The new PTR version of Killing Spree looks to change that. The normal Killing Spree will turn into a powerful nuke on a specific target, while Killing Spree under Blade Flurry's influence will result in the random attacks we're used to.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Rogue tier 16 set bonuses reviewed

tier 16 coupon
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me or tweet me with questions or suggestions of what you'd like to see covered here.

Set bonuses are the perfect time for Blizzard to experiment with fun class effects. They're in use by a limited set of players, they can be tuned specifically for a particular tier, and the bonuses are ephemeral. Class changes are much harder to implement quietly and they're even more difficult to roll back if undesirable. Tier set bonuses are a cultured petri dish for new ideas to grow, or to be sterilized. Our new tier 16 set bonuses are just such an experiment.

The two-piece bonus saves us energy on our combo point generators, and has some very interesting interactions with each talent spec's mechanics. The four-piece bonus also changes based on our spec. Killing Spree's damage ramps up significantly, which will pair nicely with its new Blade Flurry interaction. Vendetta's mastery-stacking bonus will add some teeth to assassination's burn cycle. The Backstab/Ambush combo pack, however, is easily the star of the show, and the start of an important conversation.

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Encrypted Text: Combat and the GCD

t15
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

The three rogue specs share many common mechanics. They all follow the same formula: generate combo points, use finishers, activate your cooldowns when they come up. The real differences between the specs only show up once you start playing them. Assassination is well-known for being more relaxed and favors pooling energy over spamming attacks. Subtlety rogues have a knack for massive burst damage via their complex cooldown, Shadow Dance.

Combat is arguably the simplest of the three specs, and is often characterized by its fast-paced gameplay and high actions-per-minute rate. Adrenaline Rush, which has been combat's signature cooldown for years, is designed to let you push buttons even faster. Assassination's Vendetta lets you hit harder, subtlety's Shadow Dance lets you use openers, and Adrenaline Rush doubles the numbers of buttons you can push. Unfortunately for combat, the concept of "push more buttons" can't scale forever.

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Encrypted Text: We'll always be the bad guys

rogue pvp
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

I remember the first time I ran into a warlock in vanilla WoW. We were both around level 40, and I met him in an Uldaman run. I didn't even know the class existed until he responded to my advertisement in trade chat. During the dungeon, he was constantly Fearing mobs into other groups, accidentally tab-targeting and tossing DoTs on patrols, and letting his pet steal aggro from the tank. My first impression of warlocks was a negative one, and it took a long time for that prejudice to subside.

Most players' first experience with a rogue will be on the receiving end of our daggers. Whether it's in a battleground or in the open world of a PvP server, rogues are killing thousands of players per hour. If a rogue gets the opener on an unsuspecting player, it's not a pretty sight. The target will be ambushed from nowhere, stunned, slowed, interrupted, poisoned, and bled to death. Being killed by a rogue isn't a fun experience. You're hit with the shock of surprise, denied control of your character, and incredibly restricted. It's easy to see how a player's first experience with a rogue could leave a bad taste in their mouth.

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Encrypted Text: Rogues and RPPM

Encrypted Text Rogues and RPPM WEDNESDAY
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

If you have any questions about what gear you should use or about your specific DPS stat weights, you should use Shadowcraft to get the answers. WoW is a game with dozens of different mechanics and complex intersections. There's no way to guess or intuit what's right for your rogue. Every rogue has different access to gear, and you're always limited by what actually drops. You shouldn't focus on trying to theorycraft in a gear vacuum, because the gear you currently have is important in planning the proper upgrade paths.

That said, there's no reason you shouldn't understand some of the underlying mechanics that determine what gear and stats are good for you. The newest mechanic in WoW is the Real Proc-Per-Minute (RPPM) system, which affects several proc-based effects like our weapon enchants, trinkets, and the legendary meta gem. RPPM is a very different system for procs than we've seen in the past.

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Encrypted Text: Mastering Tricks of the Trade macros

tricks of the trade
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

Tricks of the Trade is a strange ability for rogues. Why would we sacrifice our own damage (by spending energy) to boost the damage of someone else? Aldriana and Pathal have both spoken out against TotT's misguided benevolence and its boring mechanics. Rather than being a situationally-useful ability that we pull out when the time is right, TotT has become a set-and-forget chore that we just auto-cast on the second-highest DPS in raid.

Lore issues aside, Tricks of the Trade is a pretty good ability. Used properly, it can greatly accelerate the rate that tanks pick up aggro, which makes dungeons and raids just a bit easier. While it's a DPS loss for the rogue casting TotT, it's a net gain for the raid's DPS, and that's a sacrifice that we'll have to make. It's also incredibly potent in PvP; granting an ally a 15% damage boost is a pretty big deal.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Five macros every rogue should know

macros
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

Macros are designed to allow a player to combine commands and modifiers (targeting, non-GCD abilities) with regular abilities in a quick and efficient manner. Macros can't make decisions for you. There is no macro that will automatically switch between Mutilate and Dispatch for you on the fly. There is no macro that will use Revealing Strike when it fades and Sinister Strike otherwise. Macros aren't intelligent – they have to be told what to do.

Pure classes tend to have fewer abilities than hybrids, and after the merging of spells like Envenom and Eviscerate, our action bars are sparse. The average raiding rogue might only need a dozen or so abilities per encounter, and that's including defensive cooldowns. A typical assassination rotation consists of Mutilate or Dispatch, Rupture and Envenom, and a few Feints or Cloaks per fight. Rogue macros tend to focus less on day-to-day rotation assistance and more on strategic abilities and cooldowns.

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Encrypted Text: Why mobility doesn't matter

sprint
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

Brian Holinka, who is quickly becoming the most frequent tweeter on the dev team, recently talked about Shadowstep and rogue mobility in a series of tweets. Mobility is one of those things that gets trotted out every time a melee class starts talking about PvP balance. One melee class has a teleport, another has a snare break, yet another has a speed boost –- no two melee classes are equal. I'm sure we all remember ret paladins complaining about their lack of a "gap closer." The problem with mobility is that mobility doesn't matter. Well, not really.

What really matters to a melee class is uptime. Our goal isn't to have 100% mobility, it's to have 100% uptime. We want to be attacking our target as often as possible, and that usually requires being in melee range. Looking at mobility in a vacuum is missing the forest for the trees. Mobility is just one of the tools that we use to achieve a high melee uptime. All of our other abilities, like CCs, stuns, and slows are critical components to maximizing our uptime. Shuriken Toss is the exact opposite of mobility, but its strength comes from increasing our uptime despite being out of melee range.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

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