The Other Side of the Coin

I am, and have always been an Alliance player.  It’s not that I have any grudge against the Horde, I’ve just played with people that have also always played Alliance.  I’m primarily a PvE player, and I’ve thoroughly played through most if not all of the Alliance quest-lines over the years.  I know practically nothing about the Horde side, and I intend to rectify that issue.

I’m not going to faction change any of my characters, but I did recently have an idea.  Patch 6.1 and the new heirloom system will make it very easy to roll a new Horde Rogue.  I intend to level through at least one character Horde-side in this patch, maybe more.  I haven’t leveled a Rogue from scratch since BC, and if nothing else, it will help me write and update a lot of very out of date material on the blog.  I don’t foresee any live-streams (I think watching me level would be less than exciting), but I do plan on blogging about the experience.  I could use a little help getting started though.

I am full on Lightbringer and I don’t want to delete any characters to make room.  I want to know if anyone could recommend a good US server (PvE or PvP) that has a healthy population of Horde Players, but isn’t overcrowded.  Also, I really am interested in learning more about the Horde culture and lore.  If there are any zones or quest hubs that are unique to the Horde side that I should go out of my way to see, let me know.  Finally, does anyone have a race recommendation?  The easy choice would be Goblin, as I see them as the Gnome equivalent, but I’m open to anything, excepting Pandaren.  Nothing against Pandas, but I’ve already seen that starting zone.

Anyway, I’m excited to get this started soon, so let me know if you have any suggestions that would help.


– Sam

P.S. – Wouldn’t a BoA (Unique) 16 slot bag be a great addition to the game?

Baby Rogue: Cataclysm Edition

The Cataclsym happened, and for one reason or another, you’ve decided to level a Rogue.  If you’re unfamiliar with the class, and you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come (I hope) to the right place.  In this post, I’ll be discussing the basic mechanics behind the class, the abilities you’ll get in the first 10 levels, and strategy for surviving those levels as well.

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I’m happy to report that I’m steadily chugging along with the leveling game when I can, and I’m about to hit 82 myself.  There’s a few people in the guild that have done the take a few days off work / I’m in college and can stay up indefinitely to get to 85, but that’s not an option for me at the moment.  Sam will likely be 85 this weekend and I’m totally ok with that.  Then comes the whole gearing process.

I’ve also got a plan to get the rest of my alts to 85 before February by leveling each of them one level at a time so that I never run out of rest experience.  Why spend the time to do that?  Every profession at 525.  That’s why.  It saves a ton of money to craft things yourself, and also, you can make a good deal of money if you want.

Anyway, my first impressions are largely positive.  While I didn’t expect (or want) Blizzard to completely remake WoW as a brand new game, they sure have given it a heck of a make-over.  I spent the few week leveling my Bank Alt Warrior from level 25 to level 72.  I got a good sampling of the changes to the old world, and again, found the changes to generally range from good to great.  In the last two days, I’ve noticed more of the same in the two starting zones.

Really my only complaint so far would be realm specific.  On my (PvP) server, my faction is outnumbered somewhere between 5 to 1 and 10 to 1.  Needless to say, I spent most of the first day leveling Archeology and running dungeons, because questing, even stealthily, wasn’t possible.  It wasn’t as bad yesterday, but I spent a good deal of time playing Mr. Sneaky Sneak.  This is going to sound like an exaggeration, but it’s not; it was very disorienting to be the one Alliance Player surrounded by forty or so Horde upon landing in Hyjal. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about world PvP.  I actually enjoy it.  What I’m upset about is the non-response we’re getting from Blizzard about at least attempting to keep some balance between the populations on PvP servers.  Sure, I could server transfer, but that’s expensive for me and my guild, and would probably be the deathblow to the server, as we’re one of the last remaining larger, stable guilds on our side of the server.  Blizzard has already commented on the topic, saying that’s just PvP, but to be honest it’s not.  In our case, it’s more of PvR, or Player versus Raid.  It will be interesting to see if it’s still an issue in a month.

Anyway, the Horde won’t keep my from 85, and I’ll be there soon enough.  My Assassination spec is doing ridiculous damage in instances and the Combat spec is leveling with efficiency.  I am Curious how everyone else’s leveling is going, so pop a comment if you desire.

Happy Trails…

– Sam

Getting Past Level 10

There was a discussion in guild chat (SAN-US) a week or so ago about how new players to the game tend to not make it past level 10 before they decide that WoW is not for them.  In the course of that conversation the idea was brought up to post about it, so here I am doing just that, from the Rogue perspective.  I’ll warn you though, you’re in for a Wall of text.

Having struggled through the starting zone leveling Sam (my first toon), I was surprised at how much easier the “kiddie pool” area in Dun Murogh was this time around.  Nothing in the starting area is hostile, so you can pick and aggro what you choose.  Because of this, getting to level 5 isn’t too much of a problem.  However, getting from 5-10 can be a challenge, and it’s my guess that’s where people lose interest.  Today, I’ll talk about my perspective on this issue and throw out some tips / tricks that might make life a bit easier for the lowbie Rogues out there.

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You Just Never Know

Every now and then something happens in game that you just don’t see coming.  This can be everything from a member of the opposite faction sneaking up to you to unforseen opportunities of many kinds.  Let me set the stage for you…

It’s Sunday night,  I’ve got about an hour and a half before entering dreamland, and I decide to hop on my warlock and finish leveling in Howling Fjord.  A guildie whispers me and asks if I want in on an Azjol Nerub they’d be going to, and I said sure.

I’m finishing up some quests while the rest of the group forms and I see an Aliance Warrior killing the mob I need.  I decide to help the guy out, and somehow the mob never goes grey to me.  I would have invited him, but I wasn’t lead, and wouldn’t have been able to drop group fast enough to get him invited.  I ask him if he got credit for the kill and he says no.  Feeling like a jerk, I said I’d fly around and try and find the respawn.

I do, and help him kill it, then go on my way after a wave of thanks.  30 seconds later I realize we’re still looking for a DPS for our group and whisper the Warrior.  He says maybe some other time as he doesn’t have much online time left.  I assure him that it will be over in 25 minutes or less, and he decides to go for it.

We get to the instance and get everyone summoned, and I don’t explain a thing.  The Warrior’s DPS isn’t all that great due to a combination of poor gear and some weird hybrid spec, but he’s not doing anything that’s endangering our group.  Besides, between me and the DK, we’re pulling enough DPS to 4 man it anyway.  After finishing the first boss, he whispers me and says “this is crazy.”  I reply, “yeah, but fun though?” and get an affirmative.

We finish the whole instance in less than 20 minutes, and then he drops the bombshell.  This was his first instance.  Ever.  This thought kinda blew me away.  He’d mentioned earlier that this was his first toon and that he’d never been to AN before, but I had no clue that he never instanced.  So I went from being the guy that stole his quest mob (by accident, admittedly) to the guy that took him to his first instance group, which he apparently really enjoyed.

I also felt kinda bad that I had marooned this guy halfway across the continent without flight paths, so I escorted him to Star’s Rest, followed by Valience Keep.  I had him fly back to Dragonblight, and then brought my mage down to port him to Dalaran before sending him on his way to hearth.  I added him to the friends list and hope to see him again soon. 

 Anyway, I guess my point is, you never know who’s on the other side of that toon at the computer, and sometimes you might just get the chance to be that guy (or gal) who lets someone experience something cool for the first time.  So,  if you take some chances every now and then, who knows who you’ll meet or what you’ll end up doing.

– Sam

Stream of Consciousness

I’m done with post planning, and I’ve had a plethora of time to play.  What that boils down to is that I am having so much fun playing the game and doing other non WoW things, that I’ve not been here in a while.  Well today, I’ll cover what I’ve been up to, some reader mail, and see if we can’t get this whole posting thing back up and running…

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Math: Subtlety, Daggers, and Hemo; Oh My!

I’d like to clarify a few things today with the reasoning behind my Subtlety leveling guide.  I’ve caught some flak for using Daggers with Hemorrhage, and rightfully so.  Using Hemo with Daggers is vastly inferior to using it with a slow weapon, such as a Sword.  I would never recommend that anyone use Dagger Hemo in a group or raid; however, the Subtlety guide was written for someone to solo content, so different rules apply.  

Still, if Hemo isn’t as good with Daggers, why would I spec for it, and worse (gasp!) use it?   I’ll explain that using the numbers within the game.  Before we get started, a few explanations:

  1. I’ll be using level 80 abilities to keep it simple.  The Attack Power and Crit numbers are obtainable in blue /crafted epic gear with proper enchants.
  2. I will not be calculating white damage or armor mitigation.  I’d rather spend my time playing the game than number crunching, and they should pretty much cancel themselves out.  If anything, my damage estimates should be on the low side.
  3. As previously stated, I know that Hemo works better with Swords and I’ll show the math to prove it.   Please refrain from being redundant and commenting on how Hemo is better with Swords.
  4. Hemo was never considered to be a main ability in this build, like Ambush and Eviscerate are.  It’s main use is combo point generation, and even at that, it’s not used often in this build.

Let’s get started; you might need an Advil, though, this is math intensive :

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Leveling a Rogue: Leveling Subtlety 10-80

*** Upadated 3/31/10 ***

As of the latest patch, Subtlety has become a much stronger spec.  Prior to 3.3.3, subtlety required the use of weapon swapping to get the most out of it.  However, it has been retooled so that it is best used with daggers.  Becuase of this, leveling as Subtlety can be as easy or easier than leveling with the other trees.  Today we’ll take a look at a subtelty leveling spec that you can use if you’d prefer to play as a silent assassin.  It features an emphasis on stealth, and while it’s mainly built for PvE, it does include tools for PvP use.

If you would rather just charge in and try and take out a ton of mobs at one time, this spec is not for you.  I would suggest a Combat spec to level.  If you are looking for a  fun spec that will let you release your “inner Rogue” to dispatch your opponents quickly and return to the shadows, then keep reading…

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The Subtlety Guide is on its Way

notesThanks to all that gave their input on the Subtlety leveling guide.  I really do appreciate the help with a tree that seemed so foreign to me a few weeks ago.  The guide is currently being written, and I hope you enjoy it when you get the chance to view it (later today I hope).

I’m continuing my leveling of the Borean Tundra Sam to see how it works, but I’m fairly confident that it’s a viable spec.  I’m also pretty sure it’s going to be a blast to play as well.

The guide is about halfway typed up already, and I hope to have it out a little later today, but even using the same skeleton for each guide, 2000+ words is a lot to type and format.  Anyway, I’m really looking forward to trying this spec and seeing how it alters my playstyle. 

– Sam

Subtlety, It’s not for everyone.

notsubtleI’m working on writing my Leveling a Rogue:  Leveling Subtlety 10-80 post, but I’ll admit, it’s proving to be a chore.  You see, I’ve never fully embraced the Subtlety tree before, and I’ve definitely not considered it as a leveling tree.  Don’t get me wrong, Subtlety as a tree is awesome;  I’ve just never been a huge PvP player on my rogue, and it’s clearly more geared for PvP.  I haven’t really given Arena any serious consideration, as I have enough on my plate with three 80’s, a guild, a blog, etc.

All of that being said, I’m working on it, and hope to get it out by tomorrow.  It’s interesting to discuss an unfamiliar spec in regards to leveling, when I know so few people that use it that way.  If it looks fun enough, I’m crazy enough to try it myself.

Update:  I’m going to post what I think would be a good leveling build tomorrow.  I’m trying to force myself to use a 5/15/51 build, but it’s very hard to decide which talents to pick for a leveling build, when it’s important both to survive, and do massive/fast damage.  I think I might have to continue my leveling on Borean Tundra to get a better idea.  Any thoughts from the Rogue community would be greatly appreciated.

– Sam