Rogue Q & A
July 8, 2009 9 Comments
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.