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Posts with tag rogue-subtlety-encrypted-text

Encrypted Text: Breaking down Shadow Blades

shadow blades
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.

Shadow Blades is the most anticipated new rogue ability in Mists of Pandaria. We're finally learning a new technique for our combat repertoire, instead of simply picking up defensive cooldowns like Smoke Bomb or Combat Readiness. While I'm disappointed to see yet another cooldown in my spellbook, Shadow Blades actually sounds pretty cool. Who doesn't want to deal shadow damage to their enemies, piercing their precious armor in the process?

The truth is that while Shadow Blades sounds cool from the tooltip, it fails to live up to these expectations in reality. The damage increase in incredibly minor at best for all three rogue specs, and the gameplay mechanics end up being negligible. While I'm fine with our rotations staying mostly stagnant, many of you were hoping for something new to spark your interest. Shadow Blades seemed to be just the thing rogues needed in Mists. Unfortunately, Shadow Blades ends up writing a check for awesomeness that it is completely unable to cash.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: The 4 unspoken laws of rogue duels

dueling
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.

I used to read a rogue blog called World of Ming, where a rogue named Ming would explore our class' capabilities in the world of high-end PvP. My favorite posts were his deep-dives into dueling. Ming had the belief that the rogue class should be able to defeat any other class in a series of duels. If you wanted to fight Ming, you just needed to log onto the PTR servers to find him dueling outside of a major city.

Blizzard has often claimed that WoW simply isn't balanced around 1v1 combat. In fact, even the 2v2 Arenas are considered to be a lower tier of competition -- complete with lower compensation. The 3v3 and 5v5 Arenas are heralded as the truly balanced PvP platforms. In spite of Blizzard's disclaimer, the fact is that many people consider duels to be the ultimate form of PvP. The rogue-vs.-rogue duel has long been held as the truest test of skill between two brothers of the shadows. If you ever plan to engage in a rogue duel, you need to know about the sacred code of dueling conduct that every rogue should follow.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Rethinking the rogue image

clumped 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 questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

Rogues currently occupy an exclusive spot in the raiding world. We're the scrappy melee fighter, bumping shoulders with the plethora of plate classes standing behind the boss. Their metal armor clanks and clatters as they swing their hefty two-handers, while our leather flexes with our swift blows. While other melee classes focus on big crits and heavy hits, rogues are all about wearing their target down with a barrage of different attacks.

In Mists of Pandaria, our niche is going to get crowded. With the formalization of cat druids as a distinct spec and the introduction of windwalker monks, rogues will have some competition. All three of us wear agility-based leather, all three of us focus on melee damage, and many of our abilities and mechanics are shared amongst the group. How can rogues differentiate themselves from the growing pack of players out for our gear and raid spots?

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Ghostcrawler explains it all

ghostcrawler
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.

Greg Street, more commonly known as Ghostcrawler, is the lead systems designer for World of Warcraft. While we can never know exactly what his responsibilities are internally, we do know about his external presence: He is the authoritative voice concerning class design. Players flock to his increasingly rare blog and forum posts to read about the direction their classes are headed. There are a slew of developers working on WoW, but his words are the ones that seem to guide our fate.

In a completely unprecedented event, Ghostcrawler has been replying to dozens of posts in a Mists of Pandaria beta rogue thread. His posts are so frequent on this thread that he even had time to reply to my comment personally. He's shared several pages of information with us about rogue design in Mists, Blizzard's concerns and design for the class, and class design in general.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Preparation vs. Shadowstep

rogue wings
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 new Mists of Pandaria talent calculators are designed to promote tough choices. None of the new rogue talents are awful, and all of them will see play at some point. Deadly Throw and Shuriken Toss could be useful to attack distant targets. Paralytic Poison and Nerve Strike could allow us to reduce our target's outgoing damage significantly. The battle between Versatility and Anticipation will likely be decided on a fight-by-fight basis.

The truth is that all of these choices pale in comparison to the ultimate decision in the new rogue talent tree: Preparation or Shadowstep. Burst of Speed is certainly interesting, but it doesn't have the history of Prep or ShS. Subtlety's two signature spells are facing off in a battle of utility abilities. Putting both of these abilities on the same talent tier is sadistic, but we have to cope with the reality of this decision.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: We've been normalized

rogue flex
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.

Rogues have a long history of exploiting weapon speeds for their own gain. The Barman Shanker was farmed by thousands of rogues, becoming a rite of passage in the early rogue community. While its model was unique, nobody farmed it for looks. The Shanker's unusual 2.0 attack speed dramatically improved the damage of our Ambushes and Backstabs, providing us with an amazing amount of burst damage potential.

The slow-is-best phenomenon was cropping up with the other classes as well, and it started to create balance issues. Blizzard countered by introducing a new mechanic, normalization. By adjusting the attack power formula, instant attacks no longer favored slower weapons as heavily as before. Thus began the first of many changes that have led us here to the obsolescence of weapon speeds entirely.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Openers and the element of surprise

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.

One of the interesting dichotomies of the rogue class is use of Stealth. Stealth, and by extension, surprise, is paramount to rogue PvP and most of the rogue leveling experience. In these situations, the optimal strategy is to use an opener to gain an early advantage over your foe. Ambush, Cheap Shot, and Garrote immediately set the pace of the encounter. When fights only last a few brief seconds, Stealth tips that tenuous balance in our favor.

Once raiding enters the picture, the value of Stealth drops to near zero. Assassination rogues get a slight boost from using Garrote against a raid boss, but we're talking about less than a 1% difference. Combat rogues don't even bother using an opener at all -- all of the options are too weak. Subtlety rogues, who are designed around Stealth and openers, require the cooldown Shadow Dance to function. Stealth and its relationship with combat simply don't work in protracted battles.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: 3 Diablo monk moves that WoW rogues should steal

monk
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 many of you, I've been playing a monk all week. Every minute of my free time has been spent using my fists to dole out some serious justice. I've been alternating between twirling a staff and a pair of bladed fist weapons. Monks are a lot of fun to play.

I'm not talking about our furry panda friends from Pandaria, but rather the master martial artists from Sanctuary. While there are plenty of pandaren monk abilities that I wouldn't mind borrowing, the Diablo III monk's arsenal is quite appealing. Due to our mutual focus on martial arts, several of their techniques would fit right into our toolbox. There might not be any poisonous strikes or sneaky stabbing going on, but we're adept at kicking and punching as well.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Rogues can actually tank

tank 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.

In the original WoW beta, rogues were designed to be off tanks. Complete with a high dodge coefficient from agility and a buckler, rogues could survive quite a beating. Evasion was a tanking cooldown, and Vanish was a useful tank-swapping ability. Hunters worked similarly, also sporting bucklers and using Feign Death to lose aggro. Obviously, the developers scrapped both of these ideas before launch.

During The Burning Crusade, Gaeowyn broke the combat table by achieving unhittable status with 102.63% avoidance and using it to successfully slay Illidan. After that, the crew slew Gruul with just five people while it was still relevant content. In Wrath, Jider abused Shadowstep and our amazing damage output to solo several Naxxramas bosses. The upcoming Mists expansion looks to again revitalize rogue tanking, with the advent of the druid ability Symbiosis and our bonus ability, Growl.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: 2 Stealth secrets in Mists

worgen rogue stealth
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.

Our Stealth system, which has survived dozens of patches unscathed, is seeing some new action in Mists of Pandaria. In spite of the developers' previous attempts to normalize Stealth levels via the removal of Master of Deception, they're bringing some of that flavor back. Shadow Walk and Shroud of Concealment bring brand new elements to our Stealth repertoire.

Shadow Walk looks to improve our own personal Stealth capabilities, while Shroud of Concealment allows us to share our Stealth with others. The duo is the most exciting thing to happen to Stealth since Distract, and I look forward to finding new and unique ways to abuse both of them.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

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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Encrypted Text: An interview with Haileaus, the white knight of subtlety rogues

hail
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.

One of the developers' design goals in World of Warcraft is ability parity between PvE and PvP. The problem with this strategy is that it becomes very difficult to buff a dominant PvP class if it's performing poorly in PvE. Beast mastery hunters and frost mages have long been maligned in raids while being feared in PvP combat. No spec knows this story better than the subtlety rogue, which has simultaneously been the best PvP spec and the worst PvE spec in the game.

Most active subtlety rogues are quite content, as their main focus is PvP. Due to the stringent requirements of most raiding guilds, there are only a few raiding rogues that have stuck with subtlety through the years. In order to get inside the head of these persistent shades, I spoke with one of subtlety's most stalwart champions, Haileaus. He currently maintains the amazing subtlety PvE thread on the official forums and was the rogue who inspired me to try out subtlety raiding on more than one occasion during Cataclysm.

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Encrypted Text: Bringing fun back to the rogue class

durn
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 amount of fun that you can have on a rogue has been steadily declining since WoW's release. The original stunlock is gone, Swirly Ball was removed without any warning, and the Dungeon Finder effectively killed stealth boss runs. There are no more random chests for us to unlock, and our lockpicking levels up automatically. In Cataclysm, for the first time since launch, there was no epic weapon to look forward to through pickpocketing.

Mists of Pandaria is bringing fun back. With just three little glyphs, I've had more fun in the past 48 hours than I've had in years. Glyph of Detection reintroduces Swirly Ball to our arsenal, after years of fervent lobbying for its return. Glyph of Decoy leaves a copy of you behind when you Vanish to distract your enemies, just like our old friend, Archmage Vargoth. Finally, Glyph of Disguise allows you to copy the appearance of any humanoid that you use Pick Pocket on. There is nothing more fun than flying around, looking for new appearances to steal. I will never forget the first person I ganked while disguised as Durn the Hungerer.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: The Shock and Awe build

guards
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 have been raiding 10-man Dragon Soul every week, Wrathion should be handing over the Fangs of the Fathers any day now. Even the second rogues in most 25-man groups will be collecting their last Elementium Gem Clusters shortly. For many rogues, these daggers are the first legendary weapons that they've ever acquired. When you receive them from Wrathion, it might feel a bit overwhelming. What do you do with these weapons? What will they do to you?

There is a quote that's been passed down from thief to thief, assassin to assassin, and rogue to rogue for generations: "If your blades are happy, you're happy." You want your weapons to work for you, and not the other way around. You can't starve your blades, trying to forcefully adjust their diet to tolerate Morchok's rocky hide or Hagara's snow cones. If you want to keep your blades happy, you have to feed them what they really want: player blood, and lots of it.

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Encrypted Text: Shuriken Toss breaks all the rules

shuriken toss
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.

Raise your hand if you remember fighting against Shazzrah. I'm not talking about our recent bout with Shannox or even our old fights against Mother Shahraz. Shazzrah goes way back, to WoW's very first raid instance, Molten Core. Due to the frequent AoE explosions that Shazzrah unleashed, rogues couldn't engage him without being slaughtered immediately. While the rest of the raid fought the boss, I joined the other rogues in my group crushing Blindweed and making some food next to the Cooking Fire.

As a melee class, our biggest weakness for years has been that we can only deal damage to nearby targets. It's limited our ability to swap targets effectively, our ability to avoid point-blank AoE attacks, and our ability to attack any target that's not on the ground. Rogues, along with other melee classes, have actually been benched because of these limitations. These shackles and restrictions have bound our class since its inception.

Shuriken Toss has the chance to change all that. The new level 90 rogue talent slated for Mists of Pandaria might redefine what it means to play a rogue.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

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