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Posts with tag rogue-dps

Encrypted Text: Rogues in theory vs practice

scribbles
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 goal of every rogue is to deal the maximum possible damage. In order to accomplish that goal, we have to figure out the best stat and rotation configuration. Discovering the best stat and rotation configuration would take weeks of work if done empirically. We can't simply apply brute force to make the issue go away. That strategy only works against mages and hunters.

In order to quickly determine the optimal configuration, many intelligent rogues have worked on modelling our damage and rotations mathematically. As WoW's mechanics and systems have evolved, so have these models. While they're getting more and more accurate at predicting rogue performance, they're still not 100% in sync with what actually happens in-game. Rogues are a class played with a keyboard, not a pen and paper.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Rogues are reluctantly leading the melee pack

blade flurry
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 were to ask a random rogue how the class is doing, you would receive one of a dozen answers. Many rogues are frustrated with the class' transition to passive damage and the meager number of actions we perform to maintain our rotations. I have met rogues that are both extremely disappointed and incredibly enthusiastic about how we're competing in PvP. For every subtlety rogue that longs to have Preparation back, there's an assassination rogue that is praising Shadowstep's usefulness.

If you take an empirical look, like our friend Rfeann suggests, you'll see that rogues are doing quite well in Mists of Pandaria. Assassination rogues are sitting at the top of the melee DPS classes in Mogu'shan Vaults, and of course we're untouchable on the combat-friendly Stone Guard encounter. We're not at the same ridiculous level of DPS as we were in patch 4.3 with our legendary daggers, but we're still making a name for ourselves against raid bosses. Why are so many rogues discontent when we look to be doing so well?

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: What Fangs of the Father could have been

stealth 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.

Every DPS spec in World of Warcraft is in competition with every other DPS spec. It doesn't matter if you're playing the pure DPS rogue or the hybrid DPS priest, you want to be at the top of the meters. For some players, being at the top of their raid's DPS chart is good enough. For others, they won't stop until they're at the top of World of Logs' rankings. World of Logs is like a world-wide Recount.

When the first few Dragonwraths were earned by casters, their stock on WoL saw a notable spike. The legendary staff's massive stats and spell-doubling effect were incredibly potent. Every caster with Dragonwrath saw their DPS skyrocket. When the first few Fangs of the Father were earned by rogues, it was largely anticlimactic. Heroic No'Kaled, which had already been obtainable for months, was a viable competitor to our legendary daggers. No legendary weapon has ever been pre-empted as quickly as our daggers were.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Remembering 2011 as the year of the 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, like how to sneak around wearing a gaudy sweater.

With 2010 fading fast, rogues apprehensively looked forward to Cataclysm and how it would shape 2011. We were the crowned kings of Icecrown Citadel, with armor penetration and attack power as our top stats and both assassination and combat battling for first place. Mutilate rogues still tied down by Hunger for Blood, and combat rogues were spamming Blade Flurry on cooldown for the attack speed increase.

Looking back, we have grown since Wrath. Each of the rogue specs has evolved and found a niche, and even subtlety can make a reasonable claim for a raid spot now. With the massive talent system revamp, the developers struggled initially to balance each spec against the others. Rogues entered into 2011 and Cataclysm with a whimper, as the loss of armor penetration and the conversion of attack power to agility was not as smooth as Blizzard would have hoped.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Rogues do it from behind

rogue stabbing rhyolith
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 best way to improve your DPS is to attack more. I'm not talking about stacking haste so that your attacks are swift as lightning, but rather about not missing any opportunities. In order for a rogue to deal maximum damage, he needs to be in melee range of something that needs to die at all times.

Staying in melee range can be difficult, as bosses are always tossing out pools of fire and knocking us back into the walls. Rogues need to be tenacious; we need to be vicious dogs that won't let go of our prey for any reason. We need to hustle between targets, minimizing the amount of time we see "Out of Range" at the top of our screen. In order to ensure that we're on our targets at all times, we need to learn about how melee mechanics work.

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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: Troubleshooting rogue DPS

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 suggestions.

Did you know that druids have four different, viable playstyles? They can heal, tank, and DPS in two different ways. While others might be impressed with their flexibility, we aren't. Rogues have learned that complete dedication is required to be the best. Do you know what else doesn't heal? A shark. Do you know what never tanks? A viper. Do you know what always attacks from melee range? A wolf. Rogues channel their predatory instincts while concentrating on a singular purpose.

The only issue with being so focused on DPS is that we don't have any backup plans. What do rogues do when they can't kill things in melee range? If you're familiar with the Shazzrah encounter from the days of old, then you know that a rogue who can't attack is completely useless. My guild used to have all of us rogues light a few campfires in the back of Shazzrah's room and cook food for the rest of the guild while they downed the boss. After years of training to kill, I was stuck wearing an apron and making Savory Deviate Delights. Rogues need to do good DPS in order to validate our very existence.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Steal these rogue tips

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 any questions you may have about our cloak-and-dagger class.

Rogues are a results-driven class. While napkin math and fluff may suffice for the hybrids, rogues need for their hard work to end in a DPS increase. There's no reason to perform at anything else than our best, and so every adjustment or suggestion is viewed through our critical lens of analysis. Every optimization is made in order to bring up that bottom line.

What's the best way to improve your DPS? What's the optimal strategy on a given boss fight? These answers are closely guarded secrets for many rogues. Luckily for us, we have other ways to extract information. World of Logs is a public repository of combat parses, and with a bit of know-how, we can mine this data for nuggets of wisdom. Many of the best rogues in the world don't even realize that all of their secrets are being laid bare. We can exploit this to increase our own skill and strategy.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Why good rogues take bad talents

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 effect of utility talents on a rogue's psyche.

If you've been reading my column regularly, you know that DPS should be the main focus of any raiding rogue. As a "pure" DPS class, we're really required to do amazing DPS or risk being sidelined for more useful classes. We're designed around the concept of maximizing DPS, and using spreadsheets and theorycrafting has become a core part of our class culture. I love putting my new gear upgrades into one of Aldriana's sheets and figuring out how to flex my gems and balance various stat caps. I know that there are a ton of rogues who feel the same way.

So why are rogues in the Cataclysm beta wasting talent points on Improved Gouge and Blade Twisting then? Why has the development team chocked our talent trees so full of fluff that we're forced to pick up junk talents just to progress down our trees? We don't need talents like Reinforced Leather if our healers are doing their jobs, and why make raiders pick up PvP talents like Improved Kick? Does this mean that Blizzard failed when trying to streamline the talent trees? Actually, it means exactly the opposite: they've succeeded in every possible way.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Shifting Perspectives: Class homogenization and the cat

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we poke the issue of class homogenization and wait to see if it pokes back.

Before the class announcements hit, I had drafted an article on what I would have loved to see Blizzard do for bears, cats and trees in Cataclysm. You've already seen the expanded bear portion, which was published a few days before the druid announcement was made (no one's ever accused me of great timing), but the cat and tree bits have been (as we say) overtaken by events.

We've already looked at the feral information released, so I don't think it's necessary to recap that. However, I'd like to take a closer look at the cat this week, in much the same way that we turned a critical eye to the Tree of Life's impending disappearance. As much as I generally counsel against reading my own work without access to a prescription stimulant or at least hard liquor, you may find the first portion of the Tree article helpful in giving some background on Cataclysm's class goals.

As a TL:DR on our previous feral analysis, seen through the lens of the tree article's conclusion on Blizzard's design intentions:
  1. Cat damage is in a good place, druids are happy that it's not a "faceroll" spec, and I think Blizzard is happy with that as well. PvE-wise, I don't think we have a lot to worry about.
  2. Many of the changes I saw have more interesting implications for PvP. This is the third expansion in a row where cats are getting more versions of rogue skills, in implicit recognition (I would argue) of the spec's uninspiring arena performance relative to its parent class.
Which leaves us with this week's question: When a spec is literally designed as a copy of a pure class, is a certain amount of class homogenization a good thing? Beware, readers -- arm-waving ahead!

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Filed under: Druid, Add-Ons, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Encrypted Text: How to use a spreadsheet

Every Wednesday (usually), 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 properly use a DPS spreadsheet.

Patch 3.1 is finally released, and there is a ton of new gear available for Rogues. The Argent Tournament has some great gear for newly 80 Rogues looking for solid-quality blues and epics, Ulduar has over 800 new items (more than all of TBC's raids combined), and Arena Season 6 should be starting next week. There's multiple new epics for every slot and for every playstyle.

With this sudden influx of new gear, the infamous Rogue spreadsheets have seen a huge increase in download traffic. While I haven't seen any officially updated sheets from our friend Vulajin, Aldriana has published a pair of new Mutilate and Combat spreadsheets. While not quite as pretty as Vulajin's, Aldriana's has all of the major features that you need to plan your gear upgrades. Read on for detailed instructions on how to use a spreadsheet.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Guides, Classes, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

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