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Encrypted Text: Fresh patch 4.0.6 PTR notes for rogues

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 rogue questions you may have.

Have you ever read Blizzard's patch notes and wondered exactly where the developers are going with certain changes? We're all familiar with the fact that subtlety has been lagging behind the other rogue specs in DPS. It's actually still seeing some use in top guilds on healing-intensive encounters, due to Enveloping Shadows giving us nearly permanent Feint on top of 30% AoE damage reduction. The fact remains that subtlety has largely been a PvP spec outside of very specific situations, although it's a quite potent PvP spec. The patch notes show us that the developers obviously want for subtlety to be more competitive in PvE -- no surprise here.

What I don't understand is the new Blade Flurry mechanic. On the PTR, Blade Flurry no longer has a fixed duration, meaning that you can have it up 100% of the time. While yeah, it sounds awesome, it also opens up huge balancing issues. It means that any time there's a raid encounter with more than one target, we're stuck swapping to combat. There are plenty of other classes with similar Cleaving abilities, but none as powerful as Blade Flurry. While I'm all for spec diversity, I'd rather not waste development time on something that's certain to be cut once it makes it to live.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Tools of the rogue's 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. Email Chase if you have any questions or want to submit a great screenshot.

If you've been plugged into the rogue community for any length of time, you're familiar with some of the common thoughts that we share as a class. We're all very thankful that Cloak of Shadows is now a 100% immunity to spells, that aggressive min-maxing is part of our culture, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that our most pressing concern is getting Swirly Ball back. I would mention our years of torment waiting for a functional Vanish, but it's working now, and I don't want to jinx it.

We don't always see eye to eye on every detail, though. While I imagine the rogue as a brutal killer, some prefer to think of our class as a group of honorable assassins. One of the most common ideas that I've seen but not understood is the obsession with daggers. I've heard the old standby of "a rogue not wielding a dagger isn't a rogue" a million times, but I just don't get it. Maybe it's combat talking. I even lobbied at BlizzCon for the devs to implement quick off-hand axes and swords, but the request fell on deaf ears. Like it or not, rogue weaponry has evolved.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: BlizzCon news for patient rogues

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. This week, I'll be sharing my report from BlizzCon 2010 for rogues.

As a member of our shadowy brotherhood, my duty to investigate and report on the rogue class is never over. Even though I was enjoying the festivities at BlizzCon 2010 and testing out the new demon hunter class in Diablo 3, I still made time to take care of business. The class Q&A panel is one of the best places to communicate directly with the WoW development team, and so I staked my place in line before the prior panel had even ended.

When my turn finally came, I had to first pay my respects to the developers. I had asked them at the prior year's BlizzCon if we would ever see a Vanish fix implemented, and Ghostcrawler avoided promising anything. Fast-forward a year and we finally have a Vanish that I'm proud to call my own. I opened my time by giving them their much-deserved thanks. I then took the opportunity to ask about something near and dear to my heart: off-hand weapon speeds. Axes and daggers were simply never meant to be used at the same time. Their art styles don't even match!

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Finding combat's missing damage

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 you'd like to see answered.

With patch 4.0.1 in our rearview mirror, we've had over a week to fix our addons and get our houses in order. I've already had a few decent raid DPS parses forwarded to me by subtlety rogues, who are finally able to actually do reasonable DPS. Traditionally, there has always been a few "bad" specs in WoW, but subtlety was so bad that it was tier below the other bad specs. Its arrival has brought back several of my old friends from retirement, who were looking forward to the frenetic rotation of finishers.

Assassination rogues have been enjoying the synergy between Vendetta and cooldown like Bloodlust, and their relative DPS is still decent. The addition of Rupture as a finisher and Backstab as an alternate generator has their rotation shaken up a bit, but still easily manageable. I actually found the Mutilate-centric build to be pretty fun to play after the patch, and I'll be using it to raid with for the immediate future. However, it wasn't assassination's playstyle that caused me to promote it to my main spec, but rather combat's current weakness that drove me to enchant my daggers with Mongoose.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

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