Rogue Q & A

I’ve been reading the Rogue questions thread on the forum.  I’m not done yet, as it is extremely long, but I’ve got a good feel for the questions being asked.  Now I’m just waiting on a blue to Answer them.  I’ll share my take on some of the questions asked, as well as what I think the core issues our class has.

–  Rogue Q & A  –

P v P

Fix Vanish – This is mentioned in 75% of the posts.   I didn’t start playing until TBC, so while I’ve only lived through two expansions of a broken class defining ability, I’m fairly certain that I’m as sick of it not working as anyone that has been playing the two extra years is.

Vanish is as big a part of our class as Divine Shield is to a Paladin.  The notable difference between the two is that if a projectile is in the air when DP is cast, the Paladin takes no damage, while the Rogue casting Vanish will likely get  hit and is pulled completely out of Stealth.  A simple 1 – 1.5 second immunity to all damage wouldn’t be game breaking.  You could still be taken out of stealth by any type of AoE Fear, such as Howl of Terror, or Intimidating shout.  Obviously, breaking stealth while under the immunity would cancel the immunity effect.

PvP Survivabilty – We’re oft complained about because of our ability to “stunlock.”  What other classes (clothies mainly) fail to realize is that we basically don’t have another option.  We’re not warriors, so we can’t run around hacking away at a target that’s not stunned with all of our cooldowns blown and expect to survive.  Our main method of survival is control.  If we’re not controlling a target, we’re being killed by it.

With the upcoming change to Resilience, and the coinciding nerf to our burst dps, we’re going to need better tools to be able to survive longer matches.  Evasion isn’t nearly effective enough; if you’re stunned, it can’t help with attacks from behind, and doesn’t do enough to stop a hunter’s barrage of arrows. Also, the 10% chance for Cloak to fail (seems to happen more often than that) makes it more unreliable than it should be.

If our survivability is going to be based almost entirely on cooldowns, and we’re going to arena matches lasting longer due to resilience, we need some changes. Specifically, we need more effective cooldowns that rely less on RNG, on shorter cooldowns, at the cost of their duration.

Plate DPS – Although this has a lot to do with the previous topic, the reason I bring this up is our pitiful damage vs Plate DPS, which will only get worse with the changes to resilience.  I’d solve the problem with armor pen, but there’s the problem of being too strong against clothies.

Of the six melee classes, there are three plate wearers, one mail wearer and two leather wearers.  The 3 plate classes have a much higher representation than the three non plate wearers, and for good reason.  They can put out good damage, and they can take it too.  Despite their lower representation, Feral Druids can also up their armor to plate level while in Bear (albeit at the cost of their DPS).  What I’m getting at here, is Rogues aren’t nearly as represented as the plate DPS because, frankly, we’re the squishiest melee class.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that Rogues are the only melee class that by design don’t have any inherent or talented abilities to heal.  I’m not saying that we need a heal, just pointing out the imbalance, although the thought of a poison that leaches life sounds like a decent mechanic.  The only problem with the poison idea being that Wound/Mind is already needed.

Anyway, back to the issue, Plate damage mitigation + tanking talents + Resilience = our daggers (or whatever weapon you use) doing very little damage.  It wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t crit by Death Knights and Paladins by 7k+ damage while sporting around 750 resilience.  It’s a no win situation if you’re without your cooldowns, and it comes down to you and a Plate wearer.  We either need a change to how Armor pen works, or a way to do more of our damage as non-physical damage.

Weapon Availability – Melee classes are by far the most dependent on weapon upgrades for damage.  Due to our being basically forced into a Mut/Prep spec for arena, we are allowed to use daggers and only daggers for PvP.  No other class is pigeonholed into using 1 weapon for arena to the extent rogues are.  When the deadly weaponry was removed from purchase, the only equivilent PvE weaponry drops were from  Grobbulus 25 and Kel’Thuzzad 10 for a main hand (I’ve never seen either drop), or  Anub’rekhan 10/25, Sapphiron 25.  That looks like a lot of weaponry, but the drop rates on the items are low, and there’s a good chance that if they do drop in a pug group you’ll lose the roll.

Stopping the qq about how hard it is to get good daggers, look at how easy it is to get a 2h mace;  go to 10 man Flame Leviathan and grab an Ironsoul (or 2, they’re not unique).  Shamans have it a little harder, but can use multiple weapon types for melee pvp.  Druids probably have it the easiest with all of the weapons they can use for Feral.  I’m not going to go into depth on caster weaponry, but I will mention while upgrades to weaponry are good, they don’t have the same impact as a melee upgrade.  I do feel for hunters, as their ranged weapon is comparable to our main hand for upgrades, but there are more ranged weapons in the game than main hand daggers.

What does this all boil down to?  We either need more easily obtainable daggers, or the viability to spec into something other than Mutilate for PvP. I’d use my fists or even my swords if I could (they’re far superior to my daggers), but Mut/Prep is really the best way to go at the moment.

Make Subtlety viable again – Going full subtlety for Battlegrounds is fun, but it’s a joke in Arena.  Subtlety talents are tuned around daggers, like Assassination, but then there’s Hemo, which is laughable with daggers.  The whole tree, while filled with tricks that should be viable in arena, suffers from lack of any real worthwhile damage.

Full Subtlety has the potential to be a strong alternative to Mut/Prep for Arena, if the DPS could recieve a boost.  If left untouched, it’s basically a bag of tricks that great for gimmicks, but not for arena.


P v E

Dual Wield Specialization – Like Vanish, this topic affects PvP amd PvE alike.  As a class, we are forced to dual wield, which makes perfect sense as a Rogue.  What doesn’t make sense, is that while we are the only class who has to dual wield, we’re basically required to put 5 points in this talent, regardless of what tree we’re building a spec from.

In most builds you’re going to see a Rogue take Malice (5/5), Dual Wield Spec (5/5), and Relentless Strikes (5/5).  So basically the first 15 points are spent 5/5/5.  This prevents any Rogue specs of a 51/20/0 type.  Making Dual Wield Specialization a baseline talent would allow more builds to spend points on utility talents.

Rogue Utility – Tricks of the Trade was a great addition to our class, and does provide some utility for us, however, on the forums, the story is that there’s usually only one Rogue per raid, while the other classes have multiple representation.  While we do bring “overwhelming firepower” to a  raid, our über DPS is attainable by other classes that can bring more buffs, so why bring a Rogue?

I don’t like the idea of bringing heroism type buffs to a  raid, but I do agree that other than our DPS, there’s really not many reasons to bring the class.  I raid on my Paladin in our 10 man raids, not because I can tank or heal, but because Kings is too good a buff for my raid to miss because I’m on my Rogue.  Again, I’m not saying Rogues need Kings, I’m just pointing out that at the end of the day, Rogues bring the least to the table in the way of buffs, and in a raid, that makes a difference.

Less Melee, Moar Skills – If you look at a breakdown of our damage, #1 is almost always melee, and if you add up our poison damage, it’s almost always a majority of our damage.  My question to Blizzard:  Is there a way to spice up our rotation and give our abilities more damage, without giving us too much “burst?” I bring this up, becuase with this class design, our best damage is done standing still, a philosophy  (standing still) that Blizzard seems to want to move away from.

One idea for adding some more damage to our rotation would be to retool Hemorrhage as a baseline skill, that looks like this:

An instant attack that causes X damage increased by attack power and causes the target to Hemorrhage, increasing any physical damage dealt to the target by  75.  Lasts 10 charges or 15 seconds.

The damage the ability does should be enough that it would be worth your while to use, but not so much as to make you want to replace your other ability (Sinister Strike/ Mutilate).  Also, the increase of 75 damage is relatively low, and could afford a buff.



Rogues are in a good place damage wise in PvE.  As DPS is a overwhelming majority of what we bring to the table, that’s to be expected.  However, we are lacking a little in the utility department when compared to many other classes, and they’re catching up on our niche, DPS.

With the upcoming changes to Resilience, a viable spec alternative to Mut/Prep, and/or more sustained DPS will be needed to up our Arena representation.  In addition, with longer matches being the norm, our frailty outside of our cooldowns needs to be addressed.

It will be quite interesting to see how Blizzard chooses to address the issues of our class, and if those changes they deem necessary will be implemented before we see another expansion.  I love my class, but I’m not so naive to believe that we’re in the best shape we could be in.

– Sam

9 Responses to Rogue Q & A

  1. Stonedrake says:

    Oh, Samuel, just when I was feeling good about us again, you had to remind me of our problems. You hit every nail pretty squarely on the head.

    Nothing bothers me as much our lack of utility. I don’t run into the Vanish bug much. I don’t PvP much. But I do raid now, and I do feel like rogues lose out (at least in PUGs): Why bring a rogue when you can bring a druid with a combat rez, or a DK who can self heal, or mage that can bring a table?

    Ah well. None of that has made me stop playing a rogue before, and I don’t think it will now. I’d love to see us provide something to a raid though, besides massively squishy massive melee dps.

    Heck, if they just put in some stuff that made a rogues OTHER abilities useful! Getting rid of chests in instances I understand, but can’t we at leave have locked doors back? Maybe some randomly placed traps? Mobs that are especially susceptible to stealth (like we had on the poisons quest)? Something not to feel like an underarmored DPS warrior.

  2. samueltempus says:

    “Something not to feel like an underarmored DPS warrior.”


    When I’m raiding, I don’t feel like a rogue, because there’s very little need for me to sneak around and be very rogue like. It’s all about using my weapons to do massive amounts of damage, and not much else.

    This is part of the reason I started doing serious amounts of PvP. In a BG I feel very Roguish; However, after my cooldowns are blown I don’t feel very Roguish in Arena. If I can’t peel to Stealth, then I’m forced to follow my target (as best I can), and play Warrior again.

    – Sam

  3. vorn says:

    Hi Sam
    Very interesting site, i have taken lots of information from it since discovering it 2 days ago.
    I have hit 80 on my rogue this week and now want to get involved in some pvp, (some background, i have a BM hunter who is starting Naxx 25 atm, And an 80 priest who is nearly ready for heroics. Alliance- Nagrand server)
    The reason i started a Rogue is as a hunter i usually got my ass handed to me be the rogues in BG’s and i wanted some of that stealthy PvP action . 🙂
    So my rogue is combat swords spec as i leveled like that and i am buying the eviserator set atm (scuse spelling i’m at work ).
    So i thought i would wander into Wintergrasp and have a play and came across a fully gear horde warrior, get up behind him hit ambush ,sinister strike x4 then kidney punch sinister x3 killing spree and Damm he was only down half his health , then he got a shot at me and 20 seconds later i was dead 🙂 lessen i got from that ! start with the squishies till i have better gear 🙂
    Anyways nice site ,what do you think of pvp maces ?
    Armory = Pires Nagrand Oceanic

  4. chronic says:

    This all seems highly anecdotal. I appreciate that all you can offer is your own experiences, but what you’ve written here definitely does not match up with my view of the current state of the rogue class.

    In particular, I don’t feel bad about mutilate/prep being a strong spec. Every class right now has one spec that is by far the most powerful, it’s unrealistic to expect them to balance everything perfectly. You can definitely succeed as subtlety or combat in arenas if you want to. It’s not nearly as bad as a fire mage or shadow priest, so I don’t see how you can complain.

    I don’t think rogue survivability is really a problem, at least over and above the “you got WOTLK’d” nature of burst right now. Rogue pvp is about controlling the fight and not about trying to toe-to-toe plate classes. Note that controlling the fight does NOT just mean stunlocks or blowing cooldowns. Having said that, I don’t have any real problems going up against warriors or DKs when we’re both supported by healers.

    It also seemed a bit strange that you put “difficulty of acquiring weapons” in the pvp section when it’s equally easy for all classes to get whichever weapon types they want. The pvp weapons are (shock!) great for pvp, and with the tiered weapon system the crafted stuff is enough to get you the weaker arena weapons.

    I definitely agree that a vanish fix would be wonderful though :]

    One question: you mentioned a few times that “The 3 plate classes have a much higher representation…” and “more sustained DPS will be needed to up our Arena representation”. What representation figures are you basing this on? Certainly in my battlegroup rogue representation does not appear to be low, but I’m curious to see any data you have, or what you actually consider to be “low”.

  5. Crytz says:

    @Vorn You ALWAYS start on the squishiest class first. Unless your doing arenas and you want to cc the healer etc. Warriors/dk’s/pally’s pretty much all plate give us a hard time to kill and more often then not they will kill you first.

  6. samueltempus says:


    I haven’t been able to break 1540, and I haven’t won more than 40% of my games played in 2 weeks. I keep running into either double plate, usually Ret/Unholy, or Druid/Insert Plate class. Against the double plate, when I run out of ways to “control” one of them, I’m toast. Heck, if I’m without cooldowns, a good retadin can burst me down quickly.

    Against Plate/healer, I’ve tried three strats: Kill the healer, Kill the DPS, and peel to the other mid fight. All of these battles are taking 5-10 minutes, and 60% of the time (maybe more) end in a loss. I can’t seem to do enough damage to a healer by myself to kill them (even with hero), and my healer can’t afford to throw any real damage on the opponent trying to keep both of us up.

    I’ve got close to the best PvP gear I can attain right now, and I can complain about PvP weaponry, because the “attainable weapons” require I rating that I haven’t been able to reach. I’m not asking for Furious stuff, but being able to replace my Fleshshaper with a Deadly Main hand would be nice. Is it the only thing holding me back? No. But the countless times I’ve had someone under 500 health, out of energy and control options for the healer, only to see them healed for 14k with wound poison up in a matter of a few seconds is pretty ridiculous. Besides, the whole point was to note the descrepency between ease of obtaining a good set of daggers vs. a powerful 2h.

    That being said, maybe I deserve to be stuck around 1500. Maybe that’s my skill level. Maybe it’s my partner. I don’t know, but I’d love to know. It’s not a lot of fun to put hours a week into Arena, to play a majority of your games close, only to lose after 5-10 minutes and have the rating go nowhere. I’d say that part of the problem is the bracket I’m in (2v2), but you’re thriving in the same bracket.

    Clearly we’re in two different places when it comes to our class. I’ll admit that PvE is more my niche than PvP, but I’m a fairly intelligent guy, who reads up on the class, and is willing to do what it takes to win. I use vent, mouse turn, don’t click, and adapt to whatever the game throws my way. One would think that the gap between where we are wouldn’t be so glaring. If you’ve got any tips on how to close that gap, I’m all ears.

    – Sam

  7. Blasse says:

    “Fix Vanish – This is mentioned in 75% of the posts. I didn’t start playing until TBC, so while I’ve only lived through two expansions of a broken class defining ability, I’m fairly certain that I’m as sick of it not working as anyone that has been playing the two extra years is.”

    I ended up screaming my eyes out last night in the vent after this bug…
    Im playing Rogue, lock at 1600 rating atm nad going up.

    Under the atleast 200 games going up (mainly couse my lock m8 had 70 gear the first 100 games) I have loost soo many games couse of this bug it finely drove me insane.

    The game I was screaming at was when I was facing a hunter. At the start he had a lucky flare taking me out of stealth. But hey. Ill just vanish. ohh? w8? Nope I didnt but my CD is away. after taking 50% health in a mater of seconds I popped prep and the throwed another Vanish.. Or w8? Did I? The CD is gone (aswell as all my other CDs Prep finishes) but Im not in stealth.. No im running popping all the CDs I got find myself dead the other second.

    This might be a long text. But the way this went was in about 5-8 seconds. And me screaming couse this is not just couse it happed that time.. Its not the first time today me and my m8 got raped couse of this.

    And another bug you missed that has been there for aslong WoW has is the pet bug. All should know this one who played a rogue in arena and I know that The Blizz team know about it.

    A hunter/mage/lock for exampe sees me when Im not in stealth. He sends his pet after me.
    I pop !stealth! (Not vanish) and start running away from the pet. running.. running… No mater where I run or how far away the pet was from me at the start the pet ends up finding me taking me out of stealth.

    How can the pet find me? Blizz can’t meen that the pet should find me there?

    Another whine post From Blasse
    Sry for spelling and grama but I had to get this out somewhere couse Its driving me insane.

    – Blasse

  8. axSoul says:

    You’ve pretty much spoke for the whole rogue community!

    I’d have to (unfortunately) agree with Chronic about a lack of balance — to a certain extent. With the resil change, if they expect us to take down anything plate with any kind of a fight (speaking from a Muti/Prep standpoint), we’d have to blow most of our viable CD’s. To top that off, we might as well just walk away when we see a Resto Druid anywhere close by. I’ve tried taking down a Resto Druid even as the Hemo/CB sub spec and they /laugh as they continue to stay at full health and mana with me using every CD possible. So, with that respect, why not change one spec or another to handle this problem? We are a pure dps class with medium-light armor and no immediate healing capabilities, so why not buff our dps? I mean, at least a % armor pen/ ignore armor would be nice rather than a set amount (speaking of Serrated Blades/Hemo).

    One suggestion that I read and thought would be great would be was taking away the position requirement for Ambush. In literal terms, an ambush is a suprise attack, and if were breaking our stealth to make such an attack, why must we ONLY have to position ourselves accordingly?
    Another suggestion was making Ambush possible with weaps other than only dags but scaling it accordingly, as they did with Fan of Knives. For example, Ambush for 275% with a dagger equipped or 200% with any other weapon. You know, SOMETHING to at least spice sub up and keep Shadowdance from being so dagger dependent.
    One thing I personally thought of was a comeback of the mace rogue, if not make upcoming axe rogues have some armor pen capabilities.
    The rooted Shadowstep is still somewhat in question to me, seeing that it does fall in line with CD management, but a good rogue knows when and when not to use it.

    Regardless, its still just some suggestions to take the load off of Muti/Prep rogues with the upcoming changes. Reckful’s 3s (on Blackrock) clearly show how Sub can be potent in delivery, but I couldn’t imagine how it will change with the upcoming S7 gear. Guess we can wait for the hotfixes and see.

  9. Strømpebukse says:

    I agree that we should do more dmg, but if we get a two hand sword/mace it might be too slow, so i hope that we can get even more dps in stun or stronger attacs. And i like the idea of the vanish thing. So even more dps, stronger attacs or the ability to use
    Mail or plate.

    Strømpebukse 80 mut rogue

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: