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Posts with tag wow-rogue

Encrypted Text: Learning the rogue calculus

rogue 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.

You don't have to be good at math to play a rogue. Anyone can log into WoW and create a rogue. You can get all the way to level 90 and into raids without ever having to do any addition or long division. You can do dailies and dungeons simply by using the highest ilvl gear available and ignoring everything else. Rogues are played with a keyboard and mouse, not a pen and paper.

However, if you want to wring every last drop of DPS out of the class, you're going to have to get your hands dirty with numbers. I love when a class' design forces the player to make tough choices. The choices that we make as rogues, when you think about it, are really just math problems. The secret to making good choices is to do the math ahead of time. You don't want to be faced with an unexpected set of fractions in the middle of a tough raid encounter.

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Encrypted Text: Adjusting your rogue to patch 5.2

sha on head
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.

Patch 5.2 only came out three weeks ago, and there's already talk about what's coming in the next patch. While the new PvP gear changes are interesting, we still have to deal with what the last patch dealt us. Rogues typically receive fewer changes than the other classes, for better or worse. When we have a patch like 5.2 that introduces several updates and new additions, there's naturally a period of coping with the changes.

Marked for Death is an amazing talent for chewing through mobs, if you remember to use it. I tend to use it to dispatch a few enemies while doing dailies, forget about it for 5 minutes, and then I remember it, and wonder how I forgot in the first place. With the Glyph of Deadly Momentum, I feel that rogues are the most efficient solo class in the game. We can keep Slice and Dice up permanently, and with Rupture applied immediately, we're dealing full damage right off the bat.

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Encrypted Text: The incredible, indestructible rogue

rogue tank
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.

There used to be a saying amongst healers: "It costs less mana to rez a rogue than to heal one." Rogues were the only non-plate melee class (shaman and druids were healers), and our leather armor didn't absorb heavy blows. I remember gearing my first rogue specifically for stamina and fire resistance. I wouldn't be invited to the raid unless I could meet the 4,000 HP minimum health requirement. If I accidentally stole aggro, I would be squashed like a grape.

Times have changed. Rogues are now the most durable melee class, and it's not even close. Enhancement shamans and fury warriors can't toss on a shield without severing all hope of dealing competitive DPS. Rogues are capable of dealing nearly their maximum damage while taking less damage than any other class in the raid.

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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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Encrypted Text: Examining our tier 15 set bonuses

rogue tier 15
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 Nine-Tail Battlegear is our new tier 15 raid set, and it's beautiful. The nine-tailed fox is a famous Asian mythological creature. The animal is known in many cultures for its trickery and cunning, both of which are famous rogue attributes. They're also known for frequently running from hunters and their pets, which is another one of our pastimes. I think that our opponents are likely to find the sharp-toothed fox snout on our helms to be quite imposing.

Our tier 15 set bonuses are very interesting, and much more exciting than our tier 14 bonuses. I've never been a fan of the simple "Ability X does Y% more damage" set bonuses. Our two-piece bonus is unlike anything I've seen before, and our four-piece bonus has already been the topic of much discussion between the rogue community and the developers. All three rogue specs are receiving sizable buffs going into patch 5.2, and with some fresh new set bonuses to look forward to, exploring the Throne of Thunder should be a good time.

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Encrypted Text: Blade Flurry math in patch 5.2

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.

The new Blade Flurry that's on the PTR is by far the most exciting update for combat rogues in at least a year. The current version, which still isn't finalized, allows 40% of our melee damage to be cleaved onto up to 4 targets at once. It's a significant step up from the old Blade Flurry when we're facing a handful of targets, but what about in a regular cleaving situation?

In order to do the math for Blade Flurry, you have to figure out what you're gaining and what you're giving up by activating it. Blade Flurry increases our melee damage by 40% per target, but not all of our attacks are replicated. Our autoattacks, Shadow Blades, Main Gauche, and most of our other abilities are all affected by Blade Flurry. Notably, BF doesn't apply to Deadly Poison or Rupture. While many combat rogues are ignoring Rupture today, it will likely be worth using once we have our 2-piece tier 15 bonus, which extends its duration.

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Encrypted Text: Examining assassination's AoE rotation

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.

Deadly Poison is everything to an assassination rogue. It makes up between 35-40% of our single-target DPS. Our mastery bonus, Potent Poisons, increases our poison damage and causes mastery rating to be our best stat by far. Our primary finisher, Envenom, is designed specifically to increase the amount of Deadly Poison procs we see. Mutilate, Dispatch, and assassination's other abilities are all minor players compared to Deadly Poison.

Deadly Poison is also the key to assassination's AoE performance, as it makes up over 50% of our overall damage. All of our AoE decisions have to be seen through the lens of maximizing Deadly Poison's damage. Fan of Knives is the key to applying Deadly Poison to several targets at once. When there are more than two targets around, we replace Mutilate and Dispatch with Fan of Knives as our main combo point builder and work from there.

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Encrypted Text: What would make you play a rogue?

visuals
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.

Everyone has a different idea of what the perfect rogue consists of. I know plenty of rogues that wouldn't play the class without its subterfuge and stealth tactics. Other rogues focus entirely on our combat mechanics and couldn't care less about our burgeoning bag of parlor tricks. There are PvP-focused rogues that will never Pick Pocket their targets, and there are PvE-centric rogues that have no idea that Shadow Walk was ever introduced.

The question is what makes us play rogues? What would make new players try out the rogue class? Every player has their own reasons for picking the rogue over the other classes. What changes could be implemented that would bring in more players? Ghostcrawler has indicated that the relative power isn't correlated with our population stats. If cranking up our damage by 20% wouldn't increase the number of active rogues, what would?

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Encrypted Text: Cat and mouse in rogue PvP

rogue pvp
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 deal maximum damage when in melee range of their opponents. The new Shuriken Toss is potent, but it's still no substitute for melee uptime. Ranged classes want to keep rogues at bay, while rogues want to close the gap as soon as possible. Rogues will beat a warlock that stands still, but a slippery mage can defeat us. When it comes to PvP, it's all about location, location, location.

Mobility has become a back-and-forth battle between rogues and ranged classes. We compensate for their slows and snares with our Crippling Poison, while they counter our stuns with their teleports and trinkets. Rogues can use Shadowstep to close the gap, only to be rooted in place and left out in the open. Rogue PvP has become a mobility cooldown dance, as we try to snuggle up to our targets and they try to play hard-to-get.

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Encrypted Text: Rogue basics in patch 5.2

argent
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.

With one glance at the notes, you'll see that rogues are obviously the class getting the most updates in the upcoming patch. There's an unusual number of changes coming our way. I'm used to a few terse sentences under the brittle yellow Rogue heading in the patch notes. Currently, we're facing paragraphs of tweaks, a handful of completely new abilities, and even redesigns of old techniques.

None of the changes should affect our core DPS mechanics. Our rotations are going to stay exactly the same, our weapon and poison changes won't be changing, and we'll want the same stats on our gear. Combat and subtlety rogues were both slightly buffed, but all three specs should be competitive in PvE. Many of the changes should significantly increase our stock in PvP, via both offensive and defensive improvements.

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Encrypted Text: Smoke Bomb's new trick

smoke bomb
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.

Kick will cost zero energy in patch 5.2, bringing it in line with most of the other melee interrupts in the game. Ghostcrawler indicated that as PvE utility ability, Kick should be free to encourage regular usage. In PvP situations, Kick was already the straggler in the process of becoming free, not the forerunner. Blade Flurry's new 4-way 40% cleave allows us to deal 260% of our normal melee damage to 5 targets. Combat's cleave is still quite potent against two targets, but now excels when facing small groups.

In addition to these improvements, Smoke Bomb is learning a new trick. In patch 5.2, Smoke Bomb will reduce damage taken by our allies inside the Smoke Bomb radius by 20%. While Tricks of the Trade has always been a valuable addition to our arsenal and we have several buffs and debuffs, the new Smoke Bomb is our first true raid cooldown.

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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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Encrypted Text: Subtlety doesn't need a buff

Encrypted Text Subtlety doesn't need a buff 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.

You would have to be pretty dumb to play a subtlety rogue right now, right? If you check out World of Logs or DPS Bot, it's one of the game's worst specs. Subtlety is ranking down there with frost mages, as usual. Blizzard is buffing Sanguinary Vein by 4% in patch 5.2, which results in a slightly smaller overall buff for subtlety. Toss in a couple of extra Vanishes from baseline Preparation, and you're looking at a reasonable DPS boost for sub rogues. But how can a few percentage points of damage make up for the 50% gap that subtlety is showing on the meters?

Subtlety is not doing just 50% of assassination or combat's DPS. In fact, top subtlety rogues are parsing right up there with the best assassination and combat rogues in the game. Subtlety's problem is self-fulfilling: the rogues with the most skill and the best gear aren't playing sub because it looks bad. Subtlety looks bad because there are so few parses from rogues with the appropriate skill and gear. Most subtlety parses are from poorly played rogues in PvP gear that are just soaking up valor points and leather gear.

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Encrypted Text: It's time to eat cake

preparation
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.

Preparation
has always been our most controversial ability. From the early episodes of The World of Roguecraft, to the chart-topping AR/Prep days of BC, to our recent Prep vs Step conundrum, Preparation has always been the focal point of rogue cooldown discussion. Many rogues have advocated removing Preparation altogether and adjusting our cooldowns to be potent without it. Several other classes don't see the ability as a fair technique, lending itself to our image as a cooldown-reliant class.

Blizzard clearly has other thoughts on the matter, as the ability will become baseline and available to all rogues at level 68 in the upcoming 5.2 patch. If I was making a list of rogue talents that might become baseline abilities, Preparation would've been all the way at the bottom. Many vocal rogues have been asking for Shadowstep to be added to every rogue's repertoire to resolve the Prep vs Step debate, but I don't think anyone saw the reverse happening. The decision to baseline Preparation is a clear buff for rogues everywhere.

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Encrypted Text: Santa Ghostcrawler kills Blade Flurry

santa 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.

Apparently rogues haven't been getting the message. Year after year, as punishment for our evil deeds and shady dealings, we've only received coal in our Winter Veil stockings. We were not deterred, as we simply pickpocketed good presents from everyone else. A frustrated Greatfather Winter, tired of our shenanigans, finally turned to his manager. Santa Ghostcrawler, with the rumored Naughty List tight in his grasp, set about enacting a Winter Veil surprise that rogues would not be able to ignore. A 75% nerf to Blade Flurry in patch 5.2 did the trick.

Melodrama aside, Blade Flurry was broken. While I would've preferred to see the ability spread to all three rogue specs and balanced appropriately (back to a cooldown?), Blizzard went in a different direction. Blade Flurry remains firmly a combat-only ability, but the edge it held over assassination and subtlety has waned significantly. Combat is no longer shackled to purely two-target gimmick fights, and assassination and subtlety rogues no longer need to respec and reforge multiple times per night to flex for Blade Flurry. The net effect is incredibly positive for rogues as whole, and we should be embracing this change.

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