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Encrypted Text: Advanced raiding, AEP and the Rogue DPS Spreadsheet

Two weeks ago, this column discussed how to prepare to raid on your rogue. Now it's time to discuss how to maximize your gear for raid DPS.

There are a lot of factors that go into balancing your rogue's stats. Agility, attack power, hit, crit, strength, weapon skill, and haste rating all increase your DPS, your most important contribution to the raid, while stamina, dodge, and to some degree resilience affect your survivability. All these factors make it somewhat difficult to figure out whether or not a piece of gear is an upgrade. Will losing this hit rating be worth gaining this attack power? How exactly will increased agility affect my DPS? And does dodge ever really matter?

Luckily, a few smart technorogues have come up with systems that take some of the guesswork out of this -- the Agility Equivalence Points system, and its big brother, the Rogue DPS Spreadsheet.

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Filed under: Rogue, Raiding, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: The poison quest primer

One of the most common complaints I hear from up and coming Rogues is how difficult the level 20 poison quests can be. For those of you who have already done the quest, I'm sure you still remember how tricky it was. Admittedly, for anyone desiring the easy way out, you can certainly get your level 70 guild mate to clear the tower for you after you pick the pocket of the mob at the bottom. Alternately, you can get someone only slightly higher than you to just follow along and heal you. Failing that, you can also get a group of like-level characters and take the quest out via sheer numbers. While all of these tactics are wildly successful, they do deprive you of one of the few occasions in the game when you actually have to truly use your Rogue skills to accomplish a truly Rogue-like objective -- making off with someone else's stuff.

For those who are stubborn (much like I am) and are determined to test your Rogue skills by doing the level 20 Rogue Poison quest solo, I will share the secrets of Doing This Quest The Hard Way. To me, it's much more fun that way, and is in keeping with the sneaky spirit of the class.

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Filed under: Rogue, Quests, Guides, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: How to lrn2raid

You've made a rogue, leveled it to 70, and have managed to finagle yourself a rogue spot in a raiding guild, which in itself may have required bribes/blackmail/sexual favors. Now you're standing in front of Kara, Gruul's Lair or SSC, and you suddenly realize: I have no clue what I am doing.

Like every other class, the rogue raid game at 70 is dramatically different from how you played when leveling. You can't expect to jump right into the raid and top the damage meters. Young padawan, you must learn to raid. And we are here to help.

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Filed under: Rogue, Raiding, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: The art of the stunlock

When I was but a young rogue, I shunned stunlocking in all its forms. "Only cowards stun their enemies," I would say. "I prefer to face the enemy head on." Then again, I also leveled to 60 as a dagger rogue who Sinister Struck and wouldn't stun, which serves as strong anecdotal evidence that I was stupid.

Then one day a kind fellow rogue took me under his wing and showed me that stunlocking can actually be an effective way of killing enemies, not to mention getting behind them once in a while to throw a Backstab or two. Eventually, I realized that stunning wasn't cheap -- it was the only way for rogues to survive. So for the benefit of my past self, and any other overly ethical rogues out there, I present a guide to the art of the stunlock.

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Filed under: Rogue, PvP, Guides, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Instruments of stabbiness

So you've decided to become a rogue. Roaming invisible through the darkness, lashing out in fury with your blades, the bane of casters in PVP, the most sustainable DPS in PVE, the most mispelled class name of all. You've picked your race, entered the game, rerolled your race because you noticed your stealth animations sucked, and finally started leveling. Then one day while you're grinding in Darkshore or running through Wailing Caverns, a nice weapon drops, and you finally have to face the question that all rogues must answer someday -- what kind of weapons do I want to use?

Whereas other classes are defined by their spec -- "I'm a feral druid," "I'm a prot warrior," "I'm a resto shaman" -- rogues are defined mainly by their choice of weapons. This is because we can only DPS, while many other classes can tank or heal as well. (At least until Dogan's Bandage Spec becomes a reality.) Plus, from my experience in-game, not too many non-rogues know much about rogue talent trees. ("So you're Assassination ... is that the one with the thing that lets you sneak up behind people?")

While you're leveling up early, you'll probably just use the best weapon you come upon, whether it be a sword, a dagger, a mace or a fist weapon. This is a pretty good strategy, since it gives you experience with all the different weapon types and helps you decide which one you like most. But eventually, you'll want to pick a type of weapon and stick with it for a while. No one wants to raid with the rogue who changes his weapons every time something new and shiny drops, and then spends the rest of the instance going "lol sword skill 230" and whacking at trash while the actual sword rogues and fury warriors who lost the roll seethe in anger and plot how to make him autofollow them off a cliff. So here's a quick guide to the types of weapons out there for rogues, their ideal specs, their plusses and their minuses.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

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