Initial Testing: Combat vs. Assassination
April 16, 2009 14 Comments
After fixing my problem from the other night a.k.a /facepalm and grabbing a couple of Titanium Weapon Chains for my Combat weaponry, I got to work with some initial tests between Combat and Assassination DPS. As far as the gear used for the test, I’ve got 200 iLevel gear (one 213 piece), gemmed and enchanted reasonably. That should give you an idea of how your gear compares to mine. I suspect that many of you have better gear, as I spend a good deal of my raiding time playing my Paladin as a tank or healer.
Anyway, here’s some information about the tests:
- Other than weapons, I used the same gear for both tests. Please note that my gear is tuned for Assassination, which means I’m way over the expertise cap for Combat when I switch specs.
- All tests were 10 minutes long. I did go a second or two over in some tests to allow finish part of a rotation, but never more than five seconds over.
- The tests were conducted against a level ?? (83) boss Combat Dummy.
- I used Instant Poison on my main hand, and Deadly on my off hand for each test.
- The DPS meter I use is Recount. If you are not familiar with it, it’s definitely worth the download.
– 3.1 Assassination –
Spec: 51 / 13 / 7
Glyphs: Slice and Dice, Rupture, Empty (Hunger for Blood glyph not available to me yet)
I switched my Fleshshaper to my main hand and my Librarians Paper Cutter to my off-hand. I’ve got a wide variety of other daggers to test as an off hand, but based on what I’ve seen so far, Blizzard seems to have fixed the speed > damage for the main hand.
This is a hundred DPS or so better than my pre patch tests (If I had given it thought, I would have saved some data from then…). 2200 DPS in 200 iLevel gear with no buffs is not bad at all; with the HfB glyph, it would be closer to 2300 DPS. In a party or raid, depending on buffs, and the mobility of a Boss, that should translate into 3500+ DPS.
Better gear than me, but not getting the same results? Here’s the rotation I used:
Start:Garrotte -> HfB -> SnD -> Mut -> Env
Main Rotation: Mut to 4/5cp -> Rupt; Mut to 4/5cp -> Env
I easily kept Hunger for Blood up; Rupture should be up close to 100% of the time. Just remember to refresh it when it gets below 10 seconds.
– 3.1 Combat –
Spec: 7 / 51 / 13 (I used Close Quarters Combat; you should use the weapon specialization to match your weaponry)
Glyphs: Slice and Dice, Rupture, Sinister Strike
Yes, I used two rotations, and with a 28.2 DPS difference (about 1%) they’re pretty even. The difference is likely luck based on the Random Number Generator. Anyway, Combat is back! I can’t give a definite answer that it’s better or worse than Assassination though, as my Assassination tests show that with the right glyphs I’d have about the same amount of DPS for both specs.
The first rotation was something I decided to try last night, and it surprisingly worked well:
SS -> SnD; SS to 5cp -> Rup; SS -> SnD; SS to 5 cp -> Env
Slice and Dice never went down and Rupture was up long enough for me to Envenom every time. Compared to the 2nd rotation, the trade off is more Envenoms for less Sinister Strikes.
Rotation 2 is a fairly standard rotation, but I hit a problem called “not enough energy.” This rotation is to use 5 combo points for all 3 moves and looks like this:
SS to 5cp -> SnD; SS to 5cp -> Rup; SS to 5cp -> Env
Again my issue here was that I wasn’t generating energy fast enough, which means I couldn’t generate combo points fast enough to use Envenom every time. I often needed those 5 points to refresh a then gone or a soon to be gone (2 seconds or less left) Rupture. You may not have this issue if you have enough haste and/or Sword Spec.
Combat is in great shape, though I’m not yet convinced that is necessarily better or worse than Assassination. It will take some more tests to determine that. It’s certainly much more viable for raiding now. In either case, both specs are raid viable and if you’re more skilled/prefer one over the other, you’ll likely do fine.
Another point that was made by another Rogue in my guild, “you should probably go with whatever spec you have the better weapons for.” That’s a very valid point. If you have really great daggers, and really terrible swords/fists, Assassination is probably going to give you better DPS, and vice versa.