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Posts with tag combat

Encrypted Text: Combat and Subtlety under Siege

Encrypted Text Combat and Subtlety Under Siege WEDS 109
Every week or two, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Scott Helfand (@sveltekumquat) will be your shadow on this treacherous journey; try not to keep your back turned for too long, and make sure your valuables are stashed somewhere safe.

When we last left our devious, poison-festooned heroes, they were assassinating the heck out of every raid boss in sight, much as they have been this entire expansion. Assassination has been the spec of choice for raiders of all stripes in Mists -- but might Patch 5.4 change the balance?

The answer may depend as much on you as on the gifts that WoW's designers wrapped up and handed us for the new patch. Combat and subtlety both are looking like perfectly good options in almost every situation. Unless you're with a group that is seriously trying to squeeze every last drop of damage out of its DPSers, and you're already playing your spec perfectly, your main criteria for which spec to use should rely on 1) whether you enjoy it and 2) whether you've got the right gear for it.

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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

Mists of Pandaria: Guide to Rogues

glowing rogue
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.

While Mists of Pandaria is still actively being developed and patches are dropping regularly, the rogue of tomorrow is starting to take its final shape. The amorphous blob of shadow that we see on the horizon is congealing into something resembling a functioning class. In fact, rogues have been receiving fewer changes these past few weeks than any other class. I'm not surprised by this fact, as there's really not much to improve upon when we're already a model class.

With talent choices reduced to a half-dozen easy decisions, there's really not much you can mess up while playing your rogue in Mists. I like to think that you can break a class down into three basic categories: customization, enhancement, and execution. You need to pick the talents and glyphs that best suit your situation, gear up with the right gems and enchants, and finally push the right buttons.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Mists of Pandaria

Addon Spotlight: More information from Visual Combat Table

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

Tanking used to be inaccessible because of the numbers game -- mitigation numbers that were hidden away in the great unknown. Players had to rely on the stalwart parsers and number crunchers over at EJ, Tankspot, Maintankadin, and all sorts of websites in order to inform the community about these magic numbers on defensive stats to let a tank do his job. Nowadays, hit and miss numbers are easily displayed for players, and defense as a statistic to worry about is gone forever.

That all being said, the tanking game is still a numbers game, but this time it is more nuanced with the introduction of mastery and the ability to mitigate most damage a tank takes. You've seen numbers being thrown around and you may or may not know what they mean. Well, Visual Combat Table (VCT) is here to make sense of those numbers for you. Tanking is soon to become another hot commodity role to fill in the upcoming Raid Finder, so arming new tanks with mitigation knowledge is always a good thing.

My introduction to VCT started with an email from its creator letting me know about its existence and the role he felt the addon played in the tanking community as a whole. While reading his email, I thought back to my first few weeks of tanking in Cataclysm and realized that for all of the information the game was showing and telling me there still was a great deal that I was struggling with. I wanted more information, and sifting through forum threads wasn't giving me a quick enough answer.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Encrypted Text: Blade Flurry is broken

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 topics you'd like to see covered!

Whenever I think of the current state of combat, I recall rogue blogger Aldriana's insightful post from when the Blade Flurry change was first announced. Blade Flurry has always been the spec's signature ability, but now it's transcended into its only ability. Combat rogues currently fluctuate between "just ahead of subtlety" and "best in the game" based on whether or not Blade Flurry works on a particular encounter. Blade Flurry makes or breaks combat rogues, making it incredibly unbalanced.

Combat rogues are lucky that Magmaw and Halfus are relatively easy heroic encounters, because doing six-digit DPS on Sinestra would've certainly drawn the developer's attention. At one point in time, Blade Flurry was simply an extra perk of the combat tree. You could pick up some extra damage if there was something nearby to cleave, but it rarely decided your outcome. Even on ideal Blade Flurry fights like the Twin Val'kyr, combat rogues weren't that overpowering. The new BF design is impossible to balance against.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

The Art of War(craft): Introductory guide to fighting rogues, Part 4

Zach thinks rogues are dastardly, sneaky and will backstab you at the first opportunity. Take this guide, for example. Rogues just ambushed Zach with a ton of useless information. I mean, they're just stabby little things, aren't they?

This final part of our exceptionally long introductory guide -- who would've thought rogues could be such a long subject? -- we'll talk a little more about rogue playing styles, the different specs, and ways on how classes can counter them. I mentioned in the very first part of this guide that taking away a rogue's opener is important. If you have means to detect rogues in Stealth, make sure to use it and have instant cast abilities ready to quickly break them out of it as soon as you do.

An obvious fact that bears mentioning is that rogues are a melee class. They can't do you any real harm when you're outside of melee range, so the obvious strategy would be to kite them. Rogues have some abilities that allow them to break out of roots and snares, but these are all on relatively long cooldowns, so don't be afraid to reapply them. Even as a melee class, you'd want to keep applying a movement-impairing effect such as Hamstring or even Judgement of Justice. Impaired movement takes any PvP player out of their groove, and it disturbs rogues who must always have the ability to chase or flee.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for spirit and MP5

One of the challenges for many novice level healing druids and priests is figuring out what provided more mana: X MP5 (which stands for mana per 5 seconds) or Y spirit. However, in Eyonix's post about Cataclysm stat changes, MP5 will be completely removed from the game. Healing paladins and shamans normally relied on slight amounts of MP5 on their gear. Instead, their gear will now pack spirit which will affect their mana gains.

Say again?

Yes, you heard right. MP5 is being removed. It will be gone. Fist pumps and high fives all around!

In any case, when the next expansion comes around, everyone will need to relearn the entire mana regeneration mechanic. Thankfully, it should be much easier this time around. Spirit is the main stat which will contribute to mana regeneration since intellect provides spell \power. It is too early to provide any advice or guides since we can't actually see the changes in action just yet, but the basic idea is that healers will be stacking a combination of intellect and spirit to increase healing throughput as well as mana regeneration.

Lastly, for the druids and shamans:

Eyonix
If you are a Balance druid or Elemental shaman:
  • You will still share gear with Restoration druids and shaman.
  • Your gear will have Spirit on it. It won't have Hit on it.
  • You will have a talent that converts Spirit to Hit. We will adjust talents accordingly so that you want about as much Spirit as, say, a warlock wants Hit.
  • Hit on rings and other such gear will still benefit you.
  • Raid buffs will no longer boost Spirit, so you shouldn't find yourself unexpectedly over the Hit cap because of buffs.

I wonder if this means Prayer of Spirit will be removed. All in all, I'm very excited about the regeneration changes. It'll make things much easier for players to understand (like me)!

Anyway, the line of thinking here regarding the removal of raid spirit buffs is this: Since spirit will be providing elemental shamans and Balance druids with hit due to a talent conversion, any raid buffs which boost spirit will presumable bump their hit and put them over the hit cap which isn't a good thing since any surplus points will be considered wasted.


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm

Keybindings and how to change them


Xella has a great post over at WoW LJ about keybindings, and it got me thinking. I play with what I thought was the "standard" way -- with the left hand sitting on the home fingers of Shift, A, W, D, and the spacebar, and then jumping up to the 1-6 (or further down the number line if necessary, though truth be told, I usually mouse-click those when I have the time to do so) to hit various abilities. But xella does it very differently -- she maps her fingers to the top abilities keys, using only her ring finger for movement. I would probably never have come up with that on my own (my habits come directly from FPS games, where the 1-6 keys are mostly for weapon switching, something you don't do quite as often as casting abilities), but it does make a lot of sense, even if xella says her ring finger, with all of those movement motions, is getting somewhat worn out.

And then she hits on something else I've been dealing with lately, too: changing what you've got. Setting up your keybinds is one thing, but actually changing them can be tougher.

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Filed under: Tips, Tricks, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Hardware

Class Q&A: Rogue

The class Q&A series continues with Rogue, the stabbiest class. Look for a more complete analysis later; for now, here's a quick summary, with the full Q&A after the cut. Priest is now the only class left, but don't despair, my clerical friends – I'm sure they saved the best for last. I hope.

  • Rogues are for DPS. Historically, they have been "selfish" - little group utility. Right now they have better utility and synergy.
  • They've always been strong in PvP, because of stealth, stun, and burst.
  • The devs are happy with the way the combo point/finisher system is working right now.
  • A proposed solution for Vanish! "...Vanish puts you in stealth for 1 second minimum no matter what else happens."
  • Hunger for Blood is meant to boost PvE damage without doing much for PvP, and as such it works, but is boring. Changes are in store for the long run. They want it to be more reactive, and also put it back into PvP.
  • They would like to make Subtlety competitive in PvE, but if they make it too good players will all switch to it because of the utility. Long-term, some Sub utility might become core, or some damage from other trees might become core so the choice is utility vs utility (not utility vs damage).
  • Rogues underperform in dungeons, as a consequence of scaling so well in raids. If you're not doing good DPS in raids, "the problem exists between the chair and the keyboard."
  • Rogues are too survivable when they can use all their tricks on one target, and too squishy when they can't. Long-term, they want to move some survivability to passive abilities.
  • Combat Daggers is dead because Blizzard thinks that it was clunky and unfun.
  • Don't expect more class-specific content any time soon - they would like to do it, but it's low on the priority list.

The full Q&A from Ghostcrawler and friends is below.

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Filed under: Rogue

Spiritual Guidance: Tools to evaluate a Discipline Priest

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new UI and addons blog for WoW. After a minor hiatus, Matticus examines the pain that many Discipline Priests experience: That they're just not good enough and how to even the odds.

Apologies for the lengthy delay. I needed to grab some field data which took way longer than it should have. Coincidentally enough, Amanda Dean wrote about this very same issue a few days ago concerning healing meters and Discipline Priests. It still makes me sad every time I read about this. A raid leader or heal leader asks a Discipline Priest to go back to Holy because they feel their performance isn't good enough. In most cases, I think it's just them not truly understanding how Discipline works. It has always been about prevention not healing.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Top 3.1 specs so far from 3D Armory

Not to be outdone by TalentChic, the folks at 3D Armory also sent us their lists of what the most popular builds are in the game after patch 3.1, and since everybody seems to be build-hungry lately (and why not -- we each get two!), here they all are.

Warrior: Fury 18/53/0.
Paladin: 0/0/0, which means you need to log in, Paladins! Also 51/5/15 for Holy.
Hunter: 0/0/0 wins here, too, but Survival (6/14/51) comes in next.
Rogue: Combat 15/51/5.
Priest: 14/57/0 for Holy.
Death Knight: 17/0/54 Unholy.
Shaman: Elemental 57/14/0.
Mage: 0/53/18 Fire.
Warlock: 0/41/30 Destruction.
Druid: 14/0/57 Restoration, which surprised me.

Keep in mind that these are from only a small sample of the game, so they're not the most popular specs in the game, just the most popular among those surveyed by the 3D Armory. And unfortunately, unlike TalentChic, it doesn't look like there's any way to see where the points are going, just the distribution of points among the trees (though that reminds us that Blizzard probably has some amazing point-by-point stats on how popular talents are).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Raiding, Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Analysis of stated 3.1 rogue changes

All right, rogues. So by now some of you have likely read our list of 3.1 changes for our bloodthirsty class, and if not, you should! Right now! Make no mistake, these are some very cool changes, and even if this is the whole list (it's not), I'm pretty happy with how things are shaping up--not just for rogues, but for all the classes mentioned so far.

If you haven't read through them yet or if you're not a big theorycrafter, you can take a moment and read through our analysis of how 3.1 will (so far) affect you, the rogue.

Let's have a look!

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Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

WoW minis wins Game Product of the Year

Diamond Comics, a big distributor of comics and collectables, has given out its Diamond Awards for 2008, and Upper Deck's WoW minis game is a winner. The game won Game Product of the Year -- Upper Deck says that "not only did it capture the hearts of World of Warcraft fans across the globe, it also redefined the entire miniatures category."

We'll have to take their word for it (as we haven't played that many minis games before), but the game was a lot of fun when we played a round of it at BlizzCon last year -- it's kind of a mix between turn-based strategy (in that you take turns moving your characters and attacking or defending) and Arena play (in that lots of the character abilities are borrowed straight from the ingame classes). We can speak to the quality of the game as well -- the little miniatures look great, and the game boards and cards were very colorful and well-done.

So grats to Upper Deck for picking up the Diamond Award for their new minis game (the company also nabbed a few other awards for their Marvel Masterpieces cards and their sports card lines). If you'd like to check the game out, you can pick up starter packs at most hobby and game stores, and Upper Deck periodically offers events around the country. Some of which we often post about here on WoW Insider, so stay tuned.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, PvP, Contests, WoW TCG

Rogue, cat, arms warrior DPS to be buffed

As of WoW 3.0, all DPS specs are supposed to be providing competitive DPS; this is one component of "bring the player, not the class." Overall I'd say this has turned out pretty well, although within class it still has some issues - almost every mage seems to be Frostfire right now, for instance, and Mutilate rogues are far and away out-damaging other rogue specs. To a certain extent this is probably by design; Subtlety's strengths in PvP, for instance, might make up for its lower raid DPS.

However, there are some melee that Ghostcrawler has just said are "a little low" in DPS:

  • Rogue
  • Cat Druid
  • Arms Warrior

The more awake among you may have noticed that "Rogue" is not a spec. However, I'm reading that as "Combat (and possibly Subtlety) rogue," since the blues have said in a few other places that they're pretty happy with where Mut is right now and that Combat is underperforming.

Ghostcrawler goes on to say that changes are coming to these classes/specs, although of course we don't have specifics to share with you at this time. When we do, you know where to find us. But until then, what changes do you think would help even out the low DPS? And no, "reroll Death Knight" doesn't count (as much as I love mine).

Filed under: Druid, Rogue, Warrior

The many uses of Shadowmeld

Phaelia's got a guest blogger over at Resto4Life who's extolling the many virtues of Shadowmeld, definitely one of the more OP of the racial bonuses after the big change with the Wrath release. Previously, the spell could only be used out of combat, which made it very useful for, umm... hiding while AFK? But with the change of letting you use it in combat as a temporary threat wipe, the skill really opened up to be extremely useful for all sorts of things. If you're a Night Elf and you don't have Shadowmeld on your action bars, it's time to put it back.

Flipping on Shadowmeld has its disadvantages (almost any action takes you out of stealth and puts you back into combat), but if you need to duck out of combat for a quick drink or a quick change of gear, you can do it. And it can easily buy you some extra time to summon a mount or get away from trouble if you happen to be in PvP outside. And while it's not quite as powerful as Vanish, you can even use it in the Arenas to drop out of combat (hidden, as when you start drinking you'll lose your stealth), and grab a few seconds of drinking before you get brought back into the fight.

None of these uses are exactly gamebreaking -- the Shadowmeld action is pretty fragile, so you're going to have to be fast if you want to put that second or half second of dropping out of combat to good use. But when time is short and you've got to use every little ability you have, it's important to have Shadowmeld around. Ducking out of combat for just a moment might be just the boost you need.

Filed under: Night Elves, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, NPCs, Buffs

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