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Encrypted Text: The rise of the ranged rogue

shuriken
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 original Shuriken Toss never made sense. Why would rogues, a purely melee class, want a single ranged attack? We don't have the supporting toolbox to make the transition into a ranged DPS spec. Melee uptime is our top priority. Because of our reliance on our melee attacks, mobility is our most requested feature. Why would a class want Shuriken Toss when they can have Shadowstep?

Patch 5.2 is turning a one-off ranged ability into everything a rogue needs to attack targets from range. If you use Shuriken Toss on a target that is farther than 10 yards away, your auto-attacks gain a 30-yard range for 10 seconds. The auto-attacks turn into tiny shuriken that you throw at your target. These shuriken have several special properties, but the extended range is obviously the most important aspect of the ability. With Shuriken Toss, ranged auto-attacks, and Deadly Throw, rogues suddenly have a ranged repertoire.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Shuriken Toss' unlikely popularity

throwing
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'm not very happy with how the rogue talents turned out in Mists. Rather than new utility or cool features, we saw our old abilities given back to us, except that they were made mutually exclusive. The level 90 tier was particularly disappointing, as it focused on improving our quality of life instead of adding new functionality. Paladins get Boundless Conviction for free, and yet we're paying for Anticipation. I have yet to meet someone using Versatility. Couldn't we just see Redirect's base CD lowered to 30 seconds and call it even?

The worst talent of the bunch seems to be Shuriken Toss. Why would you use an ability that's significantly weaker than Mutilate? The surprise is that assassination rogues don't care about how much damage Mutilate does; mutilate is only their 7th-highest source of damage. Shuriken Toss, on the other hand, generates more combo points per energy than Mutilate. Shuriken Toss still procs Deadly Poison, which makes up 40% of our overall damage. Rogues across a variety of gear levels are reporting Shuriken Toss results that are at or near Mutilate's performance. Update: Due to last night's PTR updates, Shuriken Toss will no longer proc Seal Fate when in melee range. As such, Shuriken Toss will not be viable after patch 5.1 goes live.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Player versus NPC health


A comment left by Argent on my article about the maximum amount of stamina got me thinking. How does player health stack and scale against NPC health? I quoted 17,500 unbuffed health as a good target for maxed unbuffed stamina, which equates to about 22,000 health fully raid buffed (possibly more depending on group, consumables, and talent composition).

So, let's take a look at what some mobs are that have around 22,000 to 23,000 health. Remember, this is as much as a fully equipped tier six warrior will probably have in raid.
If you want to just go by unbuffed numbers, some famous mobs that have around 17,500 health include:

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Instances, NPCs

Breakfast Topic: How are you celebrating St. Patrick's Day in game?


Today is St. Patrick's Day, and I'm sure my Irish Catholic grandmother will be proud of me when I show her this Easter holiday that I've managed to write something up on this Irish celebration. In fact, pictured above is my Irish leaning main character Osullivan overlooking the green river in Chicago. My friends in Defenders of The Pass over on the Eldre'Thalas server have teased me for years with green beer, and today, I'm going to have one and salute them all. /cheers!

While there isn't any official World of Warcraft holiday for St. Patty's Day, festivities are bound to be popping up everywhere. Perhaps some merry drinking, maybe a few kisses to a stone, or maybe everyone rolls a red headed female dwarven warrior and dances around a bit.

Besides my real life green beer that I'll be enjoying (most likely a Budweiser Select with green dye), I'll have to saunter over to a tavern and pick up some sort of Potent Ale. I think I'll drink it right before I go off to pull Archimonde, no doubt causing everyone to yell in bewilderment over vent.

What are you doing in game for this St. Patrick's Day? And if you can, share with me and tip back the ol' glass at 9:00 EST tonight!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Humor

Around Azeroth: At the altar of the Blood God


When I first saw the tiny thumbnail of this screenshot in my mailbox, I wondered what new, cool instance it had come from. Obviously I hadn't seen it before -- those high-reaching columns of green light with a warm yellow glow coming from the ceiling in the middle. The unfamiliarity wasn't immediately dispelled when I clicked on the screenshot, though I can now tell you that the image came from the very heart of the Sunken Temple, right at the altar of the Blood God Hakkar.

I have been there before... more than once, in fact! But it is apparently one of Azeroth's instances that I've avoided so much as to be unable to recognize it without explanation. Fortunately, Kragragh of Ataraxis on Undermine, who sent this shot to us, also provided me with location information! (If I realized ST had such amazing ambiance, perhaps I'd visit more often. Maybe it's a sign that I need to upgrade my video card?)

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth or Outland that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com! Or perhaps you'd just like to see more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

A Guide to Frustration-Free Instances

Sehojan from Khaz Modan over on the forums says he likens most of his ST runs to hell itself. A few others mention Gnomer, and I've had my share of bad runs in there, but lately BRD has been giving me headaches left and right. Here's a few tips to make your runs through instanced dungeons (some of my favorite stuff in the game) a little easier.

-Forget PUGs. I know, you've heard this before, but if you really want your instance runs to go well, pick up groups just aren't going to do it, period. Get yourself a guild (make sure it's not a "pickup guild"-- a quick test is to see if they have a website and forums), and it'll make instance runs much, much easier and more fun. If you have to have a PUG, try to stick to friends and people you've grouped with before. Random LFG is more like "looking for trouble."

-Study up. There are guides, maps, and strategy all over the place for every instance in the game (yes, even RFC). Look at them. Know the routes, know the mobs, know the quests-- where to go and what to do. Not only will it help the group go smoother, but it'll help you with looting, too. Things are much more fun when you know what loot to hope for-- and you get it.

-Have a leader. If you've done the studying, it's probably you, but the best way to make sure an instance goes well is to choose one person to lead and have everyone follow them. One person chooses a route, one person assigns targets, and one person calls pulls. Organization is the key (which is usually why PUGs don't work).

-Prepare! The boy scouts were right: Repair before you go into an instance. Get together to share quests and buff. Make water and food, make healthstones when needed, keep an eye on soulstones, shaman bring ankhs, locks bring shards, and hunters bring arrows.

-Be patient.
There's a lot of reasons to get frustrated in instance runs: wiping, not getting the loot you want, people making mistakes, people leaving early. Don't let it get to you. If you do a few instance runs and things go south, go solo for a few levels, come back, and it might make all the difference in the world. Instances, especially high lore stuff like Maraudon, Scarlet Monastery, and the Sunken Temple can be some of the most fun parts of the game. Have fun in there, and don't fret the small stuff.

Instances can be tough, but when you're in there with a great group and you know what you're doing, they're definitely worth it. Following these tips will help you do just that.

Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Instances, Quests

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