Cataclysm Rogue Preview – New Talents
April 14, 2010 12 Comments
I’m fairly certain that most, if not everyone, has read the Rogue preview for Cataclysm and I’m a little late to the part y on this one. First off, I’ll be looking at the new Rogue talents for the expansion. We have three new talents that are currently being worked on for Cataclysm. Whether or not they make it into the game is something we won’t know for a while, but in the time being, let’s take a quick peek at them…
– New Rogue Abilities –
Redirect (available at level 81): Rogues will be getting a new ability to help them deal with changing targets. Redirect will transfer any active combo points to the rogue’s current target, helping to ensure combo points aren’t wasted when swapping targets or when targets die. In addition, self-buff abilities like Slice and Dice will no longer require a target, so rogues can spend extra combo points on those types of abilities (more on this below). Redirect will have a 1-minute cooldown and no other costs.
It’s really annoying to have a mob die right before you get a finisher off and watch four or five combo points just go to waste. This ability fixes that, allowing the transfer of those unused points to the next target. Initially I was irritated that we would only be able to do this once a minute, but upon further thought, it really shouldn’t be much of a problem. In most cases where you are fighting enough mobs to warrant a large amount of target switching, you’d probably be using Fan of Knives anyway, and in other cases, such as the trash mobs in the Blood Wing of ICC, the mobs would die slow enough that you’d probably be able to use this ability twice if needed.
The place I see this ability making the most impact is in PvP. Being able to build up Combo Points while controlling one player only to Gouge or Blind them and peel to quickly to burn another player down, while transferring those points is, quite frankly, just filthy. Depending on just how effective Rogues are at using this in Arena, it might get completely locked out of use there, especially with all of the survivability that’s being thrown our way.
Rogues have been asking to unlink Combo Points from targets for a while, and while this isn’t exactly what most of us were envisioning, it is a step in the right direction. As for the brief mention of Slice and Dice, you will be able to activate it (and a few other abilities) using Combo Points that are still active from a dead mob, or even on a mob that isn’t your current target. This does not mean that you can store combo points on multiple mobs. Performing a combo move on a new target will still reset your combo points to that target. I’ll be talking about this more in another post.
Combat Readiness (level 83): Combat Readiness is a new ability that we intend rogues to trigger defensively. While this ability is active, whenever the rogue is struck by a melee or ranged attack, he or she will gain a stacking buff called Combat Insight that results in a 10% reduction in damage taken. Combat Insight will stack up to 5 times and the timer will be refreshed whenever a new stack is applied. Our goal is to make rogues better equipped to go toe-to-toe with other melee classes when Evasion or stuns are not in play. This ability lasts 6 seconds and has a 2-minute cooldown.
I won’t say that this is a purely PvP talent, but it’s pretty close. I can see some situational use leveling or if you’ve gone and pulled aggro in an Instance or Raid. Beyond that, some inventive players might be able to use it while chaining mobs so that the buff doesn’t drop for the 30 second limit that Blizzard has imposed for it. All that said, most of the players leveling from 83-85 outside of battlegrounds probably won’t bother much with it. I’ll probably level from 80-85 Subtlety if it’s anything like the leveling I’m doing on my second Rogue, and probably won’t use this much myself either.
As far as PvP is concerned, I’m sure it won’t take long for other players to figure out what this looks like, and follow the Rogue around for 6 seconds while not hitting them before unloading again. It looks really cool on paper, but until I see how other players react and counter this ability, I’m not sure how well it will work. Even if this ability does work as planned and is effective, I’m not sure how I feel about it, as it’s just another transition into making the Rogue and leather-clad Warrior.
Smoke Bomb (level 85): The rogue drops a Smoke Bomb, creating a cloud that interferes with enemy targeting. Enemies who are outside the cloud will find themselves unable to target units inside the cloud with single-target abilities. Enemies can move inside the cloud to attack, or they can use area-of-effect (AoE) abilities at any time to attack opponents in a cloud. In PvP, this will open up new dimensions of tactical positional gameplay, as the ability offers a variety of offensive and defensive uses. In PvE, Smoke Cloud can serve to shield your group from hostile ranged attacks, while also drawing enemies closer without the need to rely on conventional line-of-sight obstructions. Smoke Cloud lasts 10 seconds and has a 3-minute cooldown.
This is probably the coolest ability I’ve seen for us in a while, but I’m trying to not get overly excited about it. Unless Cataclysm levels everything to the ground, using line-of-site is still going to be a viable option, and in most cases, probably still the prefered method tanks have for pulling. Also, with the ability only being available at the level cap, there will be little chance to use it while soloing. So, while it is a really interesting ability as far as PvE is concerned, a 3 minute cooldown and sparse situational use may mean that it’s not used a lot.
This might have good use in PvP, but it could also backfire miserably. I can see the worst case scenario now:
Everyone groups up as a Rogue uses Smoke Bomb. Five people are now standing in the same area taking the punishment from any combination of Blizzard, Rain of Fire, Death and Decay or Volley.
Those abilities probably won’t immediately kill your party, but your group would be in trouble for sure. I’m not saying that this ability is useless, I’m just pointing out that depending on use, you might be opening yourself up to more trouble than it’s worth. Used wisely, this ability may prove invaluable, but time will tell on that one. Still, I have to admit, it’s a really cool ability.
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I’ve got to say that overall, I’m pleased with the new talents. They address some concerns Rogues have been voicing for a while. It will be interesting to see if these changes make a difference in how many people play Rogues, as Rogues are currently one of the least played classes in the game. Either way, it should be interesting to see if and how these new talents look when Cataclysm ships, and what changes to the Rogue play-style they bring.
I’ll be looking at the other information from the preview in my next post. Hopefully I’ll see you there.