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Posts with tag fan-of-knives

Encrypted Text: Examining assassination's AoE rotation

crimson tempest
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.

Deadly Poison is everything to an assassination rogue. It makes up between 35-40% of our single-target DPS. Our mastery bonus, Potent Poisons, increases our poison damage and causes mastery rating to be our best stat by far. Our primary finisher, Envenom, is designed specifically to increase the amount of Deadly Poison procs we see. Mutilate, Dispatch, and assassination's other abilities are all minor players compared to Deadly Poison.

Deadly Poison is also the key to assassination's AoE performance, as it makes up over 50% of our overall damage. All of our AoE decisions have to be seen through the lens of maximizing Deadly Poison's damage. Fan of Knives is the key to applying Deadly Poison to several targets at once. When there are more than two targets around, we replace Mutilate and Dispatch with Fan of Knives as our main combo point builder and work from there.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Lifestyle of the Pandaria rogue

ogre dance
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.

After writing Encrypted Text for nearly four years now, I have gotten into the groove of writing about how rogues will handle upcoming expansions. The upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion looks to repeat most of the last two expansions' changes: a complete poison revamp, talent trees slashed to the core, and no news on our missing Swirly Ball. Wait, Swirly Ball is back? Everything I know about rogues just went out the window.

The developers avoid implementing major class changes via patches, preferring to deploy them via expansions. There's a natural separation between expansions that softens the blow of redesign a class mechanic. While rogues weren't fundamentally altered during Cataclysm's patches, there are already several changes brewing for us in Mists. We're gaining more raid utility, dropping a few outdated mechanics, and becoming more flexible with our abilities. How will these changes affect your day-to-day lifestyle?

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

Encrypted Text: Crimson Tempest revitalizes the rogue AoE game

crimson tempest
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.

For rogues, enemies come in one of three group sizes: a single enemy, two enemies at once, or several enemies at once. Subtlety rogues love to focus on a single opponent, combat rogues absolutely soar when destroying two targets, and assassination rogues are the kings of sustained damage on multiple targets. Combat's AoE damage to a group is pitiful, while subtlety rogues start falling behind the instant there's more than one target on the field.

The balance of rogue AoE today is determined by two abilities: Blade Flurry and Fan of Knives. These are currently our only two multi-target abilities, and so each spec's AoE potential revolves around these two moves. Mists of Pandaria is changing everything we know about rogue AoE by introducing a brand new AoE finisher, Crimson Tempest. In addition, the AoE hierarchy is also being shaken up via the revamping of Fan of Knives. The days of mindless FoK spam are over.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Rogues need to be number one

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 topic requests.

Back towards the end of Wrath, Blizzard shared with us a lot of information about the then-upcoming Cataclysm expansion. The new 31-point talent trees were unveiled, along with the mastery bonuses for each tree. The mastery bonuses were heralded as the ultimate balancing tool: Developers could tweak these numbers without touching a tree's talents. Mastery would ensure that any given spec could be tuned independently of the other specs.

The concept made sense, as buffing individual talents had a tendency to cause players to just cross-spec into those newly powerful talents. The other option at Blizzard's disposal is buffing talents that are deep in a talent tree, which works well since we can only go 10 points deep into our secondary trees.

In order to buff rogues in the upcoming patch 4.2, the developers have used both approaches. Our assassination and combat masteries are both being buffed by 5%. Deep talents in each tree, like Vile Poisons, Savage Combat, and Sanguinary Vein, are also being improved. Finally, subtlety rogues will see Hemorrhage's base damage improved by 40%, although it remains to be seen how this change affects the spec's viability.

Even with these buffs, combat and assassination rogues are still slated to be well behind most other classes. Rogues are generally middle-of-the-pack in DPS for most tier 11 bosses, and these changes will just make us "less behind." Other classes might ask us why being "average" is so bad. Average might be okay for a hybrid, but rogues need to top the meters -- not for our egos, but by design.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Top new, useful Cataclysm rogue abilities


Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the rogue class. This week, we discuss the new abilities that we'll see as we level up in the upcoming expansion.

As I've mentioned several times before, rogues are often thought of as the "cooldown class." We've got a plethora of abilities, with nearly one (or two) for every situation. We're then regulated via cooldowns attached to each abilities, limiting how often we can use them. This gives the rogue class incredible potency in short fights, when our cooldowns are able to be used in quick succession. However, we have often stumbled in longer encounters, when our cooldowns are only active for a small percentage of the overall fight. Blizzard has been working on resolving this by reducing both the potency and the cooldown of a few of our moves, like Sprint, to give us more flexibility.

The DPS model for rogues hasn't change at all since The Burning Crusade. The only real addition was the creation of Mutilate and Envenom, which have been staples for rogues for years now. While Fan of Knives was a fun addition at level 80, its use on anything but trash has been limited at best. It's unsurprising that even though we're receiving three new abilities in Cataclysm versus BC's two, they're still all cooldown abilities. However, our new spells are actually incredibly fun and useful. They also take some skill to use properly, which is something that the rogue class needs desperately to get back to. Using your abilities wisely should yield a large reward -- and with that thought, I will now introduce the 2010 graduates of the Rogue Ability Academy.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: The last percent

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we discuss how to maximize your DPS by using a few custom macros and clever use of your abilities.

If you've been keeping up on yesterday's patch notes, you'll notice that quite a few of the hybrid and caster ranged classes received some significant DPS buffs. They have been trailing in the ICC meters, and these changes were designed to bring them back within range of the rest of the pack. Rogues have still been stunning on every fight in Icecrown, but the competition is definitely heating up. The true test will be how we fare against the Lich King himself.

We've all heard about the hybrid tax
: Blizzard regrets mentioning it, and every druid and ret paladin brings it up when they complain about their position on the DPS charts. Some estimates put it between 5-10%, but obviously hybrid classes are currently designed to stay near the pure DPS without passing them up. However, how many rogues are actually doing their maximum theoretical DPS? There are several common mistakes or oversights that can cost us dearly. Read on for a detailed list of ways you're hurting your own DPS, and how to fix it before your next raid.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Leveling a rogue, level 71-80


Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the rogue class. This week, we talk about leveling a rogue from level 71 to level 80.

Your goal is firmly in sight: your rogue is ready to being his or her assault upon the Lich King's lands. With only a fleeting few levels between you and the level cap, these last few minutes are among the most important in your rogue's development. With nearly every trick available and our DPS rotations fleshed out, your rogue will be feeling more and more like the level 80 you are about to become.

All three talent trees are fairly viable for leveling, and so this is by far the most flexible period of the leveling process. As I mentioned in the last installment, experimenting with different specs, rotations, and playstyles will only become harder and harder to do once you reach level 80. During these important formative levels, max out your respect costs and give every build a fair shake. You'll be a better rogue for it in the end.

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

Encrypted Text: Macro guide for rogues


Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the rogue class. This week, we talk about a few of the most common rogue macros in use today.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've had the opportunity to play my rogue quite a bit more than I am typically able to. Brewfest and Onyxia have had me busy every night, helping my guild mates slay Coren Direbrew over and over again. I was able to pick up a Direbrew's Shanker 2.0, although it won't see much use, it's still nice to see one in my bank beside the previous versions.

I captured this bit of a World of Logs parse from one of the Onyxia attempts, where I was able to my AoE combination macro: it's a very deadly combination. Looking at numbers like these make me wonder if perhaps the great FoK nerf of 3.2.2 wasn't as heavy-handed as it was made up to be. With a Vanish fix on the horizon for patch 3.3 (who's PTR is coming "soon") and the red-hot topic of 'weapon swapping', I decided to do a bit of housecleaning and tidy up my macros and addons in anticipation.

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Filed under: Rogue, How-tos, Classes, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Patch 3.2.2 and the Great FoK Nerf

OnijinEvery Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we talk about the patch 3.2.2 notes and what Rogues can expect to see.

Fan of Knives, how I loved thee. If you haven't read the patch notes yet, you can find them in Alex's writeup. Rogues actually received a few changes this time (a deviation from the norm), and all 3 are nerfs across the board. One is a fairly innocuous change to Honor Among Thieves, which has actually be functioning incorrectly for the past few months. The other two are sweeping nerfs to Fan of Knives: directly by reducing the damage done by 30%, and indirectly by removing the Interruption effect from Throwing Specialization.

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

Encrypted Text: Fan of Knives mechanics deep-dive

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we talk about Fan of Knives, and how to get the most out of it.

One of the great Rogues on my server recently released a video, showcasing some unique world PvP clips. All of them involved aerial kills using Killing Spree and engineering items to blow up a target on a flying mount. I showed this video to a few of my friends who also play Rogues, and many of them were surprised that you could successfully kill opponents in midair, and that Killing Spree was even usable while moving.

The conversation that followed revealed that they were unaware of several other Rogue mechanics that aren't typically covered in your average "how to Rogue" guide or even completely understood by veterans who've been playing for years. I decided to do some intensive testing and exploration into a few of these mechanical anomalies that still elude even experienced raiders and arena combatants alike. I focused on Fan of Knives in particular, as this is the newest spell added to our arsenal.

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Filed under: Rogue, Tips, Tricks, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Rogue videos from Patch 3.1 PTR

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we look at some of the new animations coming in patch 3.1.

Since the departure of BigRedKitty from our site, we haven't had many new videos for you to watch while idling at work. I decided to step up to fill this gap in programming by FRAPS'ing some of my adventures on the patch 3.1 PTR. With several changes to Rogues in this latest content release, I wanted to stay ahead of the curve by testing the modifications out before they are deployed to live servers.

There were reports of new animations for several spells, as well as moves that had been changed mechanically. Catching any bugs that had slipped through QA was also a top priority. I copied my Rogue over to the PvP PTR realm and started shooting, and the results of that labor follow after the cut. A few caveats: all videos were shot without UI addons or keybindings, and so I do click quite a few of my abilities. I tried out five specs in about 30 minutes, and so my action bars are also disheveled. That said, let's review the videos.

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Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Odds and ends, Features, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Changes to AoE in patch 3.0.4

Ghostcrawler let us all know today of a few changes for classes that are being left out of the "AoE fun." He's only talking in relatively broad terms right now, and will give specifics later when things are more locked down.

Some of the changes include:
  • Shaman: Removing threat from the Fire Nova Totem and Magma Totem, and increasing the damage done by the Magma Totem.
  • Rogue: Fan of Knives cooldown removed. Daggers more useful for Fan of Knives.
  • Druid: Swipe will now be a baseline ability.
He mentions that these changes will be seen in the next minor content patch. Ghostcrawler also hints that they will be available in the next PTR push (which we're expecting relatively soon)

Filed under: Druid, Rogue, Shaman, Patches, Instances, Classes

Fan of Knives CD probably gone, Feral AoE coming

I'm currently working on leveling my priest right now (78 at the moment), so I haven't played with this ability first-hand, but Rogues get a fun tool to look forward to at level 80: Fan of Knives. This significantly helps address one of Rogues' long-time weakness: AoE damage. Sure, we're great on a single target, but it's very difficult to build up CP and use them effectively on poly-mob pulls, and Blade Flurry only goes so far. Hence FoK, which is well-timed given how much AoE there seems to be in Wrath. It also gives you something to do when you need to be at range, which happens from time to time.

But FoK has a ten-second cooldown, which certainly limits how much you can use it - for now. Ghostcrawler recently popped his crabby head into the Rogue forums to announce that "We think we are going to remove the cooldown of Fan of Knives altogether." Yay! I would assume this is going to be coming in the next patch, which they keep saying is coming before 3.1, the Ulduar patch. Patch 3.0.4 Rogues, now with ten times the knife-fanning action!

And as if that wasn't enough nice news from GC, he also said "in case it gets asked, Feral druids we haven't forgotten about your AE either." Hmmm, I say. I have also faced this issue on my druid in cat form - I don't really want to go Bear to Swipe, because then I run a high risk of pulling off the tank, but cat form has literally nothing that hits more than one target. I wonder what they're going to give us. Any predictions?

Filed under: Druid, Rogue, Patches

The Queue: Cooking, gardening, and Riptides

Welcome to the second edition of The Queue, our new daily Q&A column where we, the WoW Insider team, try to answer your questions about the World of Warcraft. We won't delay getting into things much today, but please note that I'm saving the lore-related questions you've all asked for Ask a Lore Nerd, which will be coming just later today (every Sunday). With that said, let's start with Gristor's question...

One comment about the size of Northrend... Finally, please, an answer: Is Northrend bigger than Outland? How much bigger/smaller?

It's definitely bigger, but I can't say for sure just how much bigger. The starter zones almost feel twice as large as Hellfire Peninsula was, but I can't say 100% confidently that Howling Fjord is twice as large as Hellfire Peninsula. It's just bigger, and it feels much, much bigger. Northrend feels absolutely massive.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Rogue changes in patch 3.0.3


Although not a ton happened to Rogues in this latest patch, we at WoW Insider like to keep our coverage well-rounded, so let's run down the Rogue patch notes.
  • Combat Potency now only works on auto-attacks (i.e. not Shiv). I think we can agree that all the shivving was getting pretty silly.
  • Fan of Knives is castable if you don't have a target, looks prettier, and no longer plays an impact on the caster. It also benefits from Find Weakness, and its cooldown was reduced to 10 sec.
  • Instead of making the rogue untargetable, Killing Spree now causes all players to lose targeting on the rogue and causes the rogue to be unstoppable during its duration.
  • Riposte's effect duration is no longer reduced by effects that reduce disarm duration.
  • Shadow Dance no longer increases the cooldown on various abilities that require stealth (Sap, Garrote, Ambush, Cheap Shot, Premeditation, Pick Pocket, and Disarm Trap). Feel free to Ambush as much as you have energy for, but don't get too attached to cooldown-free swirly ball Disarm Trap; that's getting nerfed for sure.
Overall, it's buff time in Rogueville, as it seems to be for nearly everyone else. The Combat Potency change is essentially a bug fix. FoK's cooldown was cut by two thirds, and you can't argue with a prettier effect. I'm not really sure what to think about Killing Spree's change. I guess it means you can still take damage, if the opponent can manage to target you, but I don't see it as a big deal. And I hear many players are still not particularly impressed with Shadow Dance, but I would expect Ambush's numbers to add up pretty quickly. Have any beta players played with this new version?

Update: missed one: Glyph of Shiv replaced with Glyph of Vigor, which gives 10 more extra energy if you have Vigor.

Filed under: Rogue, Patches

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