Why Play a Rogue?
March 3, 2009 16 Comments
I was giving some thought to writing a guide on how to bring a rogue from its infancy in level 1 all the way to its maturity in level 80. I realized that before I tackle that venture, it might be nice to answer the question, “Why should I play a Rogue?” It’s true the class isn’t for everyone and there are plenty of people out there playing the class that don’t have a clue what they are doing. Before I digress into the essence of how the class works and why anyone would want to play it, I’m going to discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of the class.
- Strong Damage Dealer – While Rogues now have a fair amount of utility abilities, their main job is to destroy whatever they happen to be targeting.
- Poisons – Rogues have access to a variety of Poisons that either augment their damage or cripple their opponent.
- Stealth – Rogues can use stealth to bypass obstacles that most classes have to deal with.
- Bag o’ Tricks – Rogues have numerous tools at their disposal to completely incapacitate an enemy. They can also lessen or even negate the abilities that their opponents use on them.
- Limited Area of Effect Damage – Rouges have one true AoE ability, Fan of Knives, and it isn’t trainable until level 80. Catacylsm is supposed to see less reliance on AoE damage by groups, but while questing or leveling (again to level 80), only Combat Rogues can hit more than one target at a time.
- Dual Wield – Rogues deal with a massive hit penalty, from level one for being a dual wield class. This is typically only overcome near end game.
– Why Play a Rogue? –
The Essence of the Rogue
One pleasant afternoon in Grizzly Hills two trolls are going about their business patrolling ruins. They hear a sound, and alertly turn toward it. One of the trolls is instantly incapacitated by some unknown force, but the other is too oblivious to even notice. Out of the shadows behind him appears a dark figure who begins a furious assault of swift jabs with daggers. Then, as quickly as he appeared, the dark figure vanishes, the troll dead on the ground where he once stood.
The other troll regains consciousness and continues on his route as if nothing happened. Without warning, the figure reappears behind him and begins his assault. At first the troll is stunned and cannot move, but quickly regains his movement, only to be stunned again. He is more resilient that his counterpart and survives the first wave of attacks, albeit wounded by the intruder.
Once again able to move, he turns and is about to begin his assault on the shadowy figure when his eyes are gouged. Regaining his sight, he begins to attack his assailant only to miss wildly as the other combatant evades almost all of his attacks. Nearing death, the troll enrages, finding that most of his blows are landing and devastating his attacker. Just when it appears that he is going to claim a narrow victory, he is blinded by powder thrown in his eyes. When his vision returns, he notices that his situation is hopeless, as his opponent has mended his wounds and begun to attack him with greater speed. A moment later the battle is over and the Rogue steps back into the shadows and is seen no more.
When grouped or raiding, the roles of a rogue change, but that short passage describes perfectly the life of the solo Rogue. Rogues live their lives in the shadows, exiting only to defeat an opponent. The excitement of being a Rogue comes from knowing how to evade both your enemy’s detection and their attacks.
If you want to play a character that requires expert timing, precision movement, and causes general mayhem, the rogue class is for you. But, you should play a rogue only if you understand and accept the following concepts:
1.) A rogue uses stealth to avoid detection and change the circumstances of battles.
Stealth does not mean invisibility or invincibility; if you walk in front of a hostile mob that isn’t a lower level than you, it will see you and attack you. This is why you get the distract ability, to alter the direction that mobs are looking, so that you can sneak past them, or get their backs turned to you.
From stealth you can change the fortunes of your next battle. By sapping one member of a group of patrolling mobs, you can separate it from the group and pick them off one at a time. Stealth is all about controlling the fight before it begins.
2.) Rogues show no mercy to their opponent, crippling them whenever possible.
As a rogue, you can be as nice as you want to your friends, but you must be ruthless when taking out your enemies. You have more stuns than you can count, and if you want to minimize the amount of combo points you spend on Recuperate to heal, you’ll use them. Cheap shot, Kindney shot, Gouge and Blind are not abilities that should be dormant in your spellbook. Bind them to keys and use them.
3.) Rogues use poison to increase their damage.
Poison contributes significantly to a Rogues DPS, even more so if you for Mutilate Rogues. If you are not using poisons, you are crippling your own damage. Rogues are the only class that can use poisons, so make sure you’re using them.
– Conclusions & Advice –
Hopefully I’ve painted a pretty clear picture of the silent assassin that a Rogue can be. It’s also true that a Rogue can be more of a swashbuckler and act more like a Warrior. Warriors charge in an decimate a group of enemies. While Rogues can do this to a certain extent, the tools Rogues have to take out groups of enemies are on several minute long cooldowns. There’s nothing wrong with playing a Rogue that way but expect more downtime to heal and wait on cooldowns.
The supporting cast of abilities for a Rogue can be just as important as the innate ones you’ll get from leveling and talents. For professions Leatherworking and Skinning are good for gear, but I chose Herbalism and Alchemy on Samuel for the buffs and health potions. I also leveled Cooking, Fishing and First Aid. Being able to quickly bandage and make your own food is very helpful while soloing. Having all of these abilities were almost a necessity for leveling, and while their importance has been a bit diminished in the age of Recuperate, they’re still valuable assets to have.
You can play the Rogue class many ways, but for me, I play it because I value the art of moving in and out of the shadows and swiftly dispatching my enemies before they even know what hit them.
I’m SamuelTempus, and because I enjoy being master assassin, I play a Rogue.