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Posts with tag shadowstep

Five more must craft neutral Hearthstone cards

It turns out that people get oddly passionate about card lists, which is honestly a pretty great sign for Hearthstone. The first list we dropped two weeks ago was met with agreement, and also a lot of 'where is this card?!', despite warnings that there would be more to come. There was also some disagreement with the Wild Pyromancer choice, but I'm hoping that Amaz and his skilled use of the fiery minion at Dreamhack Summer has opened some eyes. It's incredibly powerful with the right complements.

This week we'll take a look at another five sub-epic cards no one should be without. The only ranking to the list is mana cost, so we're not saying that one's more important than another. That decision is up to you and what decks you want to play.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Encrypted Text: Five macros every rogue should know

macros
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.

Macros are designed to allow a player to combine commands and modifiers (targeting, non-GCD abilities) with regular abilities in a quick and efficient manner. Macros can't make decisions for you. There is no macro that will automatically switch between Mutilate and Dispatch for you on the fly. There is no macro that will use Revealing Strike when it fades and Sinister Strike otherwise. Macros aren't intelligent – they have to be told what to do.

Pure classes tend to have fewer abilities than hybrids, and after the merging of spells like Envenom and Eviscerate, our action bars are sparse. The average raiding rogue might only need a dozen or so abilities per encounter, and that's including defensive cooldowns. A typical assassination rotation consists of Mutilate or Dispatch, Rupture and Envenom, and a few Feints or Cloaks per fight. Rogue macros tend to focus less on day-to-day rotation assistance and more on strategic abilities and cooldowns.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Why mobility doesn't matter

sprint
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.

Brian Holinka, who is quickly becoming the most frequent tweeter on the dev team, recently talked about Shadowstep and rogue mobility in a series of tweets. Mobility is one of those things that gets trotted out every time a melee class starts talking about PvP balance. One melee class has a teleport, another has a snare break, yet another has a speed boost –- no two melee classes are equal. I'm sure we all remember ret paladins complaining about their lack of a "gap closer." The problem with mobility is that mobility doesn't matter. Well, not really.

What really matters to a melee class is uptime. Our goal isn't to have 100% mobility, it's to have 100% uptime. We want to be attacking our target as often as possible, and that usually requires being in melee range. Looking at mobility in a vacuum is missing the forest for the trees. Mobility is just one of the tools that we use to achieve a high melee uptime. All of our other abilities, like CCs, stuns, and slows are critical components to maximizing our uptime. Shuriken Toss is the exact opposite of mobility, but its strength comes from increasing our uptime despite being out of melee range.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: How to play a rogue in patch 5.2

Encrypted Text How to play a rogue in patch 52 WEDNESDAY
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.

Now that the patch is live, we know which changes made it and which were cut in development. Vitality's buff was cut in half, but combat rogues are still sitting quite pretty. Assassination had a last-minute 10% boost to its damage via Assassin's Resolve, which should ensure that the spec performs well. Subtlety's Sanguinary Vein buff also stayed put, which should increase the number of subtlety rogues raiding in this tier.

Along with the purely numerical changes, we also have to factor in our new set bonuses, talents, and ability changes that arrived with the patch. Rogues received more changes than usual in this patch cycle, and I am hopeful that we'll continue to excel in PvE while also gaining ground in PvP representation. Patch 5.2 is full of cool new tools for rogues, which has me very excited for this raid tier.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Rogue questions, rogue answers

bloodrazor
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.

Why don't our poisons last forever, like death knight weapon runeforging?

New rogues have no idea how easy they have it. Back in my day, rogues had to hike uphill in the snow to a special poison vendor hidden deep in the bowels of the capital cities. Once there, we had to look at our shopping list of obscure reagents to figure out what to buy and in what quantities. Rogues had to combine these ingredients in vials, creating one poison dose that faded every time we zoned. Vanish also consumed a vendor reagent, and we had to farm up Blindweed Fadeleaf ourselves in order to use Blind at all. Once you've died because you didn't have any Blinding Powder in your bags, you see class reagents differently.

The fact that poisons no longer consume bag space in Mists of Pandaria was considered to be a boon. Poisons are easier now than they've ever been before.

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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: 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: How to run the Molten Front

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 topics you'd like to see covered.

Varian Wrynn isn't happy. He sent his best and brightest men to the Molten Front to assist the Guardians of Hyjal in invading the Firelands, but all he received back was a stack of casualty alerts. The cause of death on each report was the same: several deep dagger wounds. As Varian assigned more soldiers to the Molten Front, he simply received more body bags in return. Varian confronted Garrosh about the issue, claiming that the Warchief was breaking their peace accord by using assassins in the Molten Front. Garrosh feigned ignorance and promised Varian that he'd find the perpetrator and have him properly handled. The next day, I received a post from Garrosh himself. It was brief: "Lok'tar, brother!"

I've read several articles that claim that world PVP is dead and has been for a long time. The truth is that world PVP is alive; it has simply transitioned into a seasonal event. With the release of the Molten Front quest hub, Blizzard's developers directed a ton of level 85 players into a zone where they can't use their flying mounts. If that doesn't count as revitalizing world PVP, then I don't know what does. I spend every spare moment I have plunging my daggers into the questers' ribcages. There's a plethora of targets available, with new enemies zoning in every minute. World PVP hasn't been this active since the Isle of Quel'Danas, and that means I have a lot of catching up to do.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: The subtlety experiment

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, or hate mail if you play subtlety.

Over the past few years, I've been accused of playing favorites with the rogue specs. During Wrath, I was characterized more than once as the ArP-mongering combat rogue who neglected Mutilate builds. In Cataclysm, I'm supposedly the devoted assassin who never gives combat or subtlety a fair shake. The truth is that I don't care what spec I'm playing, and I'll play whatever gives me the best results.

I played Mut/Prep, HARP, and even pure subtlety in the arena during The Burning Crusade. I've raided extensively as both combat and assassination, and I've leveled my rogues (plural) with each of the three specs, as well. I frequently swap specs. I love combat for solo PVE play, while subtlety holds a special place in my heart for ganking and world PVP. I currently raid as assassination simply because it's how I get the best results. I'm not alone in this philosophy, as most rogues will do whatever it takes, including a respec, to get the most out of their characters.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Breaking subtlety's cipher

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. If you're looking for information on patch 4.1's rogue changes, take a look at my previous writeup.

I spent the majority of my time during The Burning Crusade as a subtlety rogue. Hemorrhage provided me with the damage I needed to crush anyone wearing cloth. Shadowstep allowed me to keep up with even the most slippery druids. The shadows were my ally, and I Cheated Death more than once. The Mutilate build that rules today's raids was still in its infancy, while combat was the only viable raiding spec. Even then, subtlety couldn't hope to compete, and our only purpose was to slaughter the opposing faction with stealth and grace.

On the timeline of WoW, subtlety did enjoy one blip in the PvE spotlight. During the early months of Wrath, a bug with Honor Among Thieves made subtlety rogues the best DPS class in the game, at least when stacked in a raid environment. Once the loophole was closed, the spec was relegated back to its PvP-only jail cell. Cataclysm was heralded as the new age of True Balance, with every spec getting a slice of the DPS pie. Unsurprisingly, the rogue utility spec of subtlety is still falling behind (along with frost mages, our old rivals for the bottom spot). The meters can be deceiving though, as subtlety is nowhere near as limp and lifeless in a raid as it once was. There's talk of high-end rogues even choosing to play subtlety. The whispers of the dead spec's long-waited return have been spreading through the shadows of the rogue community like a bad rumor.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Answers to your pre-Cataclysm rogue questions


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, like how to get yourself out of a straightjacket with only your mace.

With just one month remaining until Cataclysm's release, everyone is getting ready for WoW's latest installment. I have been working on refining my leveling builds for my characters, preparing heirloom gear for my upcoming goblin shaman, and solidifying my guild's roster for January's inaugural raids. Cataclysm will be the biggest expansion yet, and there is no lack of work to be done.

Many of you are doing likewise, adapting to the changes introduced in patch 4.0.1 and planning for the future. I have been receiving a ton of great questions via email about best practices moving forward. While some things are still up in the air (like combat's viability), most of the changes are settling down, and we can really start to make plans knowing that it's unlikely we'll see any new major changes.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Patch 3.3.3 changes mean subtlety is back

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 upcoming patch 3.3.e changes, and what they mean for subtlety.

I promised myself I would never say this. When I took up the mantle of Encrypted Text, I knew that with great power comes great responsibility. It was my duty to ensure that accurate information reached the readers of this column, and to keep them abreast of upcoming changes. The other sites could do as they pleased: I would remain steadfast.

Unfortunately, as we all know, Blizzard loves to shake things up when they feel that the status quo is stale. The recent subtlety changes are an example of this. Because of those changes, I have to break that promise that I made. Today, I am forced to say something which I never thought would be seriously true. Today, I am telling you that hemo daggers is a viable spec.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Leveling a rogue, level 11-50


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 11 to level 50.

As we discussed in the comments last week, rogues play fairly simple for the first several levels. Without any real finesse techniques and the simplest of opponents, there's no reason to do anything besides run up to an enemy and just start swinging away. It may not seem very rogue-like in nature, but that is because low level rogues are still learning the tricks of the trade.

The trip from 11 to 50 will be much of the same. We receive a few awesome new abilities that help us in a few situations, but until level 50, we don't really see any of rogue that you can expect to play at 80. Luckily, at 50, you get a completely new skill set that will rewrite how you play your rogue. With the mount changes to allow low levels to ride epic mounts, you'll be jetting around and having a great time questing and finding enemies to slay. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, you've still need to get to level 50 first, and so read on for full details on the process.

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

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Rogue

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-second in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Rogues are the masters of shadows. While two other classes actually use the shadow as a source of magical power, it's the Rogue who can potentially live and breathe the shadow, and make it an essential part of who he or she is what he or she does.

"The Shadow" as a concept, could mean a number of different things to your character, however -- anything from literal shadows that he or she might disappear in, to underground networks, knowledge of the street, and secret societies few others know about. An advanced rogue might even possess an intimate relationship with "the Shadow" as a mystical force he can wrap around himself in as a kind of cloak, or step through the shadows to appear behind his enemy in a flash.

In fact, your rogue may not even use the term "shadow" at all, and may simply think of himself as a simple bandit, thief, pickpocket, detective, scout, special agent, assassin, bank-robber, or even a venture capitalist. In fact, the Rogue class is suitable as a broad catch-all class for a number of seemingly unrelated character types, from a court jester to a penniless tourist.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Lore, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Shifting Perspectives: The Druid of 2008


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, our author is completely spaced out on cold medication, and is somewhat concerned that her raid performance has improved under the circumstances.

The time has come (the Allie said)
To talk of many things.
Of Roots and Bash and Travel Form,
And Strength (which scales with Kings).
Why Tauren cat form sucks so hard,
And whether trees have wings!

And, yes, before anyone asks, I'm tripping on too much cough syrup and ibuprofen after receiving a belated viral Christmas gift from a relative. So I'll just put this out there right now; this column's probably on the weird side. I took a long look at all three Druid specs over 2008 and saw a few sad things, a few happy things, a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants, and now I'm channeling the famous Mary Tyler Moore episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust," and that has to stop because I do not believe Mary Tyler Moore ever played a Druid.

If you're completely uninterested in reading an account of any spec that's not your own -- although that would make me weep into my little cup of generic label cough syrup -- here's a set of quick links to each:

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, The Burning Crusade, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

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