I Like Knives

I’d like to semi-retract what I’ve said about FoKs (for those of you that don’t speak rogue… FoK = Fan of Knives) in the past. It sucks less than I previously thought. It’s very handy on pulls of 3+ mobs – provided there aren’t casters straggling outside of the 8-yard range. The damage from FoKs is nice and the regen ability of the combat tree makes using the skill very appealing. IOW you can’t spam it… but you can use it more than once every six seconds after your initial two or three uses.

It still costs WAY too much energy IMO and it’s a very short range…

The range is less troublesome as its possible to use it and still not break any CCs that may be bleating about. I know… who uses CC anymore??! Well, if you do a lot of unsteady PUG heroics – YOU MIGHT.

The energy cost is what I’d really like to see reduced. I’m only thinking of my Subtlety friends out there without the regen abilities of combat rogue of course… srsly though… 50e abilities suck.

Anyhow… it’s a good little AoE ability for a class that really hasn’t had one since they nerfed BF. Don’t believe me? Head to a heroic CoS and try it out for yourself!

^_^

p.s. AR + FoK = 15 secs of pure death… when’s that patch coming out? O THAT’S SOMETHING… imagine the decreased CD on AR + FoKs for clearing trash in raids (or heroics)… combat = moooovin’ on up (again). OFC boss DPS is still where it’s at in raids… so we’ll see how our sneaky friends fare in 3.10 (my priest will be praying for y’all).

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Rogue 3.1

* Hunger for Blood – instead of a self-buff; this ability can only be used when there is a bleed effect on the target. However, it has no stacks and grants a 15% damage bonus.   

The old HfB increased damage by 3% and stacked 3 times (at 30e a pop). (plus a bleed effect remover thingy)

OK HFB probably costs too much energy for three stacks and stacking on skills like this is just plain annoying (read – stupid). So, taking away stacks is good. But do mut rogues really NEED another 6% damage on top of the 9% already granted by three stacks?!? I don’t think so. Though I speak not from experience – only from combat jealousy. BUFF US PLZ?

p.s. please note it doesn’t specify (yet) that the bleed effect has to be the rogue’s to use this…

* Adrenaline Rush – the cooldown on this ability has been lowered.    

Speaking of combat buffs… /yay! /dance

Now I wonder, is the AR glyph being modified?

* Lightning Reflexes – reduced to 3 ranks. In addition to 2/4/6% dodge, this talent now also grants 4/7/10% passive melee haste.    

This is good… except now I have to figure out how to fit it into my spec >< /sigh I had it all worked out w/no partial talents! *grumble* /emo

* Killing Spree – while this ability is active, the rogue does 20% additional damage.    

Mmmm

Mmmm

MMMM

* Savage Combat – now causes 2/4% physical damage done.    

OK so is this replacing the current increase to physical damage on poisoned mobs? Do they still need to be poisoned? Or is this also replacing the AP buff (sad panda)?

* Mace Specialization – this talent now grants haste in addition to armor penetration.

Well they are trying to get us 4 viable weapon class options… (p.s. rogue really shouldn’t be using maces anyway if you want to get all RP about it…)

All and all it looks like we are getting some love… but will it be enough to keep combat competitive in the end game? It doesn’t seem like it TBH (at least not yet), but at least we’re on the path now.

The Culling of Time (or How I n00b’d it up in Strat)

I logged into my rogue Monday to do my dailies and got a tell from a friend “You guys got any DPS for timed CoS?” Of course, I immediately asked the most needy person in the guild….

(OK so <—— was actually the next thing I typed)

I get my summons and go on my merry way. The group was a PUG prot warrior, my friend the healer (23/48 priest – yay for my old spec!), another rogue from our guild and an enhancement shaman (also a friend). All melee… woah!

The run went great (if you ignore the fact that an enhancement shaman was beating me by about 200 DPS on the meters) right up till the end – when it was still going great for everyone but me. I’ve never really done a timed run, I’ve made a few attempts at one but something always happened and before the 2nd boss we would know it would be fruitless to continue rushing.

Anyhow, we got to the last stop arthas makes before Mal’Ganis when I noticed he had stopped and the rest of the group kept on a truckin’ So me being the thoughtful player I am, talked to him so he could catch up to the others.

It was then that I noticed the others HAD GONE THE WRONG WAY!!! OH EM GEE!! So, I’m all like “HEY, YOU GUUUUYSSS” (in true goonies style of course) “it’s this way… quick arthas is getting pwnd!” So my friend, the smart mouth, is like “no raiv he’s this way”.

Right about now is when it dawned on me… Mal’Ganis doesn’t drop the mount… it’s a special mob (shut up Chromie I don’t want to hear your “I told you so” anymore).

UGH.

Two seconds later I get an achievement, “The Culling of Time” (my second realization of what a noob I was because I’ve read this stupid thing like a bajillion times).

Immediately followed by my death.

I was out of range of the kill, so I didn’t get to roll on the mount. *sad panda*

That’s not it folks. Yeah, I know its kinda hard to be a tool at this point in the run… AMIRITE?

Some leather bracers dropped off the boss, which I only half glanced at and saw one or two stats that were melee-ish. I’m like asking the other rogue “care if I need on those with you?” I mean, my rogue is technically not my main anymore so I didn’t want to be rude now did I?

His response was a bit puzzling to me… “I needed them?” I’m thinking… hmm his bracers are less better (yes, I said less better) than mine… why wouldn’t he need those???! Maybe it’s because he’s a LW and he’s planning on crafting something better…

Thankfully I took a second look (and noticed everyone else greeding them as well) at them before making a ninja out of myself. I was thinking they were the epic leather bracers that drop in H-HoL…

Whew. I did manage to win the frost orb though!

raivyne Hangs Up Her HAT

That’s right… I have officially stopped raiding with my rogue. Incase none of you have figured it out yet… HAT is really unfun for solo daily quests and PvP (actually others may like HAT for PvP… I prefer combat myself). It has mild appeal for five man groups. The real fun of a HAT build is found while raiding IMHO. That’s where all the action and split second decisions are found (at least in a HAT build).

Since, I’m not raiding I’m back to my 7/57/7 build.

I’m not totally giving up on the spreadsheet… but it’s definitely on the back burner… My priest takes up most of my spare time right now.

Went to BGs Sunday night and had a blast with just me and a couple other guildies. We won all but one of our WSG games and managed to five cap AB four times in a row (thankfully the PUGs we got from other servers weren’t completely unintelligent). Further proof (to me) that even a small group of organized people can control the pace/outcome of a BG most of the time.

I almost got the achievement (in WSG) for 300k damage in a single BG, but missed the mark a bit. I can’t remember now that I’m away from the game if that achievement is WSG only or just general PvP… if it’s for any BG, it would definitely be easier to get in AB (as a guildie pointed out)… but most of the time in AB I can be found alone at the BS keeping watch and calling out incs… So, after the initial fight I don’t see much action. Occasionally I’ll go out with the “roaming death squad” to cap and help defend… but mostly I try to communicate (read: delegate) to the rest of the group. Mostly if we have a full (or almost full) premade for AB, I’ll go on the offense. Otherwise I just hide in the shadows.

Anyhow, I love playing combat spec in BGs. Cheerio!

Another Spreadsheet Revision

Revised the HAT spreadsheet again to fix a MAJOR issue with negative DPS resulting from negative CPs used… GG me.

Addendum to Original HAT Cycle Post

I just wanted to revisit my HAT cycle post and HAT in general.

First thing with the HAT cycle, you’ll notice as your group builds gear and/or as you move into 25 mans that your CP generation will increase drastically. This is a GOOD THING… it will also require some adjustment in your finishers. You may find that you aren’t able to Hemo or BS or w/e every cycle or maybe one cycle you get two in and the next you only get one. Maybe you think vanishing and getting a garrote off every chance is a waste of time, OK so don’t do it! I find the extra 30 or so DPS nice… but it’s only thirty-ish /shrug.

The key to this build is flexibility! Split second assessment of SnD and Rupture timers along with Vanish, ShS (if you took that) and other key cooldowns is key – you need to assess where you are at and where you will most likely be when the next finisher comes up. Are you 3 seconds left with SnD and 4 with rupture? What do you do? How will you maximize the uptime of those?? In that situation your answer could be to refresh SnD with w/e CPs you have right then… then pop vanish > premed > garrote and a quick rupture. What if vanish is on CD? Hmm??

My mission each boss fight is to keep Rupture and SnD at an uptime of 100% without overwriting a rupture tick or more than 4 seconds of an SnD timer. At the same time I wanna take advantage of my ShS cooldown every thirty seconds and get a 5 pt ShS evis off. I want to vanish and garrote every time I can. Pop my trinkets at every cooldown. I monitor all that and my CPs. I could go from 1 to 5 in four or five seconds… maybe I’ll have as long as 8 “this time.”

I scoff at people who think that unbugged HAT is a mindless spec that ruins everything that rogues are about. NAY I SAY! Rogues are about DPS and quick reactions IMO. This build delivers on both fronts. This is the ONLY rogue build I’ve played in which you are never sure what your cycle is going to look like from 100 > 0 on a boss. I LOVE THAT. It makes me think. It’s a lot easier to maximize your DPS when your cycle is set in stone… you already know what cycle maximizes it (and if you’ve been playing a rogue for as long as I have – you’ve known for a VERY long time). Are you bored yet? I was.

When your CP generation is sketchy… all that you’ve taken for granted is GONE. It’s almost like being in a BG and not knowing how many horde, and what classes, are going to roll into try and yoink your flag… who’s with you right then? What’s your best course of action to stop or seriously impeded that flag carrier? Maybe I like this build because I enjoy PvP a lot. I’m not the most uber leet rogue in BGs… but I’ve earned my dues and some respect along the way. I’ve also made a newb out of myself on occasion. This build will do the same to ya… Don’t believe me? Try running it and spamming your CP generator and you’ll see what I mean.

I wanted to add a quick note on group composure. We all know that BM hunters are “like ZOMG must have in my group”. Well, what if ya don’t have any? Hmm? Like those of us still raiding 10 mans and such… Run some WWS reports and analyze them. Find out who your heavy crit’rs are. Something you may not have thought of… AoE crits count! It’s a special attack… it counts. I love being in a group with DKs… Pally healers… RET PALLIES… even a disc priest… you get the picture… don’t rely on other people to tell you who should be in your group. Run the WWS (or even a recount review is better than nothing) find out who’s critting the most and persuade your raid leaders to swap groups around for your benefit… it can only benefit the raid in the end yanno?

In closing, for those wondering about how HAT DPS will work out after the bug gets fixed, I can only offer my experience as solo HAT… It’s very viable DPSwise, at least at my current gear and PvE progression level. It’s especially viable IMO for undergeared rogues; but it does seem to scale well too… I’ve picked up at least 500 DPS over all since my first raid as HAT (and i’ve been playing the priest more and more), some of that is probably experience but I’ve got some good upgrades along the way too. Until we move up in the world I won’t comment too much on the scaling of HAT. If you’re trying out solo (or later unbugged) HAT, I urge you not to give up after a raid or two if it seems lackluster… this build takes some getting used to. Expecially if you’ve been combat as long as I was and used to that energy regen. Or maybe you just like the assurance of a set cycle… that’s OK too – just not as fun IMO.

Rogue (partial) Talent Review (part 3 of 3)

Subtlety Talents

(Please remember that this review is rogue chick style… not your pre-processed, straight from the DPS factory opinion – IOW if you don’t like them… shove off! – don’t find them useful… read someone else’s review! – Think my intelligence is inferior… whatever helps you sleep better at night. You get the idea – I hope you enjoy them either way)


Tier 1

Relentless Strikes – 5 points – your finishing moves have a 4/8/12/16/20% chance per combo point to restore 25 energy.

If I had to think of one word to describe this talent it would be yummy. Every rogue under the sun needs energy and this talent brings it. At 5 talent points you are guaranteed 25 energy back for every five point finishing move you execute – that’s FREE rupture folks. I dare you to come up with a sane reason not to take this talent.

Master of Deception – 3 points – Reduces the chance for enemies to detect you in stealth.

Each rank buffs your stealth a little more. In the old days five points of MoD + nightelf passive stealth bonus could make you stealth like a level 64… got stealth enchants? Will travel – ANYWHERE! I was a sad panda when they put invisible eyeballs in the game. Anyway I don’t know the specific numbers on MoD these days, I mostly use this talent as a filler to get other talents in the sub tree. It’s PvP usage is a good bonus to me and makes it more appealing than other fillers.

Opportunity – 2 points – Increases the damage done with your Backstab, Mutilate, Garrote and Ambush abilities by 10/20%.

This is pretty much a must have talent for dagger rogues IMO and a worthwhile two points for other rogues. I use garrote a lot though… if you never do then it probably wouldn’t benefit you.


Tier 2

Slight of Hand – 2 points – Reduces the chance you are critically attacked by 1/2% and increases the effectiveness of your feint ability by 10/20%.

The changes to feint in the next patch will make this talent slightly less useless… After the patch rank 8 feint will also reduce the damage you take from AoE effects by 50% for six seconds. At two talent points it would reduce AoE damage taken by 60% (assuming I’m applying the bonus correctly). It’s still meh IMO, but may be a good option for arenas.

Dirty Tricks – 2 points – Increases the range of your Blind and Sap abilities by 2/5 yards and reduces the energy cost of the same by 25/50%

This is a decent filler option if you arena or PvP as sub spec. It’s PvE use is severely limited though (read: non-existant).

Camouflage – 3 points – increases your speed while stealthed by 5/10/15% and reduces the cool down of your stealth by 2/4/6 seconds.

Stealth is annoyingly slow and I am not a patient person. This makes my life a little easier and as a bonus has some PvP usage… You need a lot of points in Sub to get to HAT and many of them will be put in talents that are not really in the realm of PvE, this happens to be one of mine.


Tier 3

Elusiveness – 2 points – Reduces the cooldown of your vanish and blind abilities by 30/60 seconds and of your CloS by 15/30 seconds.

Cloak of Shadows is very useful in PvE as well as PvP… so is vanish. This is a well-rounded talent and a solid filler for any sub rogue.

Ghostly Strike – 1 point – A strike that deals 125% weapon damage and increases your dodge by 15% for 7 seconds. Costs 40e, gives 1 CP

This attack does a nice bit of damage, but it costs a lot of energy. I wouldn’t recommend it in a PvE attack rotation, but it could get you out of a jam in PvP. Low cost filler if you need one.

Serrated Blades – 3 points – Causes your attacks to ignore ?/?/8 armor per level of your target’s armor and increases the damage done by your Rupture by 10/20/30%

I haven’t done much theorycrafting in the way of ArPen as a PvE stat, but the Rupture increase is a solid benefit. If you’re going down into the sub tree, I really can’t think of a good reason not to take this talent.


Tier 4

Setup – 3 points – gives a 33/66/100% chance to add a CP to your target after dodging or fully resisting one of its attacks or spells. Can’t happen more than once a second.

This talent smells like a girl’s locker room. In PvE you’ll never need it (unless all heck breaks loose) and In PvP it will just tick you off. Why? It has to be YOUR target that you dodge/resist, murphy’s law has proven that you’ll dodge/resist everyone else’s attacks/spells – but not your target’s; nope uh uh not going to happen… until you switch targets of course! The talent is absolutely as useless as a bump on a pickle (IMHO) for PvE and BGs. It may be viable in the arena… but things happen so fast it’s likely to come up short in there as well.

Initiative – 3 points – Gives you a 33/66/100% chance to add an extra CP to your target when using Ambush, Cheap Shot or Garrote.

I have this talent; mostly because I consider it to be the least useless of a few highly unappealing talents. Three points is a lot to invest considering it only procs on your opener out of stealth (plus once every lousy two minutes if you’re a dancer). In terms of CP generation it’s very disappointing when compared with other talents. However, there aren’t many options to get you deeper into the sub tree.

Improved Ambush – 2 points – Increases the critical strike chance of your ambush by 25/50%

I think this is a decent investment for dagger rogues that are already headed down the sub tree.


Tier 5

Heightened Senses – 2 points – Increases your stealth detection and decreases the chance you are hit by spells and ranged attacks by 2/4%. Rank two stealth detection is more effective than rank one.

The damage reduction can be of use in certain raid encounters… The stealth detection is nice in PvP situations… particularly arenas. I take this talent mainly because I am slightly neurotic and I can’t take 2/3 Master of Subtlety – which is a much better talent option IMO.

Preparation – 1 point – When activated, this immediately finishes the cooldown of your Evasion, Sprint, Vanish, Cold Blood and Shadow Step abilities.

Its one point, it can be very useful; so if you’re already here – take it. Besides you need it for Sinister Calling.

Dirty Deeds – 2 points – Reduces the energy cost of your Cheap Shot and Garrote abilities by 10/20 and increases the damage of your special attacks by 10/20% on mobs below 35% health.

I use garrote a lot and cheap shot is a very expensive opener. The damage bonus to lower health targets makes this talent a very strong choice to get down deeper into the sub tree.

Hemorrhage – 1 point – An instant strike that deals 110% weapon damage and causes the target to hemorrhage for 15 seconds or 10 charges. Hemorrhage increases the physical damage taken by X (increases with trainable ranks).

Hemo would be a lot better if they would quit nerfing it… and if it didn’t have charges. I don’t know why they didn’t take the stupid charges away when they took away the stupid poison charges, but they didn’t – and we’re stuck with it. It’s a decent attack in terms of DPE, but those of us who remember how good it was have a hard time liking it in current form. Or maybe that’s just me.

Tier 6

Master of Subtlety – 3 points – Attacks made while stealthed, and for 6 seconds after stealth do 7/14/20% more damage.

This is a very nice talent, especially if you make use of your vanish cooldown during boss fights every time it is up. (Side note, I need to model this in my HAT spreadsheet). In PvP this can help you wreck havoc on a clothie that much more… That’s our mission in WoW right? To put a hurting on clothies? (I hope my priest didn’t hear that…)

Deadliness – 5 points – Increases your Attack Power by 2/4/6/8/10%

This is my second favorite talent in this tree (it’s technically third since I have two tied at first). Any rogue can benefit from more AP. If you’re deep sub and you don’t have this talent… you. Are. A. newb.

Tier 7

Enveloping Shadows – 3 points – Reduces the damage taken by AoE 10/20/30%

If this stacks with the new feint rank (I haven’t read up on that yet), a rogue can reduce the damage of AoE by 90% (80% w/out 2/2 slight of hand). That’s a lot of damage reduction. I haven’t done arenas in LK… but I don’t recall taking a lot of AoE damage in BC arenas… or BGs. There are some raid encounters that this would come in handy for though… then again with healers behind you a quick rank 8 feint is even more effective. I see where this would be useful if you take a lot of AoE damage, if you don’t… just use feint for that rare occasion IMO.

Premeditation – 1 point – requires stealth, adds 2 CPs to your target for 20 seconds timer stops when you get another CP on your target.

I think a HAT proc will stop the 20-second timer for this ability, but I haven’t paid enough attention to know for certain. I just know that I’ve yet to lose my two CPs.  Either way the cooldown resets after 20 seconds so you can always reactivate it. Coupled with Initiative it makes for a very nice combo – opener followed by immediate SnD or almost immediate other finisher. You need this talent for Sinister Calling. Take it if you’re going deep sub.

Cheat Death – 3 points – You have a 100% chance that an attack, which would have killed you, will only reduce you to 10% health. Additionally, you take up to 90% reduced damage – modified by resilience – for 3 seconds. Can only happen once per minute.

This is my I.W.I.N. button against the frogger slimes… or against any “oppsie” moment I have – and I have a lot of them! Pretty helpful for the Loatheb fight as well… or anytime a healer needs a split second longer to get to you and your self heal tricks are on CD. (Old WoW adage – a dead rogue does 0 DPS) I like this talent, plus it really annoys the other classes. I mean REALLY. The comedic value alone (from hearing all the griping about this talent) makes it worth having…

Tier 8

Sinister Calling – 5 points – Increases total Agility by 3/6/9/12/15% and increases the damage bonus of backstab and hemorrhage by 1/2/3/4/5%.

I assume this makes Hemo do 115% weapon damage… but I’m not certain if I am reading the tooltip correctly as it pertains to damage calculations. Either way the agility increase on this talent is scrum-deli-ump-tious. It’s tied with HAT for my favorite sub talent. I think you’d be a fool not to take it if you’re deep sub.

Waylay – 2 points – your ambush criticals have a 50/100% chance to reduce the target’s melee and ranged attack speed by 20% and movement speed by 70% for 8 seconds.

No more blinky-blinky escape mages! Mwuahahaha. This is a sweet PvP talent (not just against mages) and I wish it applied to garrote as well.

Tier 9

Honor Among Thieves – 3 points – When anyone in your group critically hits with a damaging or healing spell or ability you have a 33/66/100% chance to gain a CP to your target.

Better known as HAT. This talent tackles the weaknesses of the sub tree – crap damage due to poor regen and poor CP generation. I’m unclear whether group refers to party only or general group be it raid or party. I’m leaning towards group myself. I’ve been told/read it both ways, I haven’t bothered to find “the” answer yet. What I do know is that my CP generation went through the roof in a 25 man (vs a 10 man) when no other HAT rogues were present. If it was just party… why didn’t blizzard say party? Anyway… I guess it’s high time to hunt down an answer tonight (or tomorrow night). That aside, this talent makes raiding as sub a viable option. That hasn’t been a viable option since they normalized Hemo. (Remember the 2.1 days before BC release??? I dunno about you, but I was in rogue heaven) This talent is the only way a PvE rogue can justify a sub spec.

Shadow Step – 1 point – teleports you to your target (25 yard range) and increases movement speed by 70% for 3 seconds. Your next ability (with in 10 seconds) will do 20% more damage and cause 50% less threat.

I use this talent to do a ShS evis every thirty seconds… some people don’t like it. /shrug I’m already there… its one teensy weensy point that does about 30 DPS when used every cooldown on a five point evis. There isn’t that many talents that do 30 DPS for one talent point; so I figure why not?

Filthy Tricks – 2 points – Reduces the cooldown of your Tricks of the trade and distract abilities by 2/5 seconds and of preparation by 2.5/5 minutes.

How many times can we use Dirty, Filthy, Tricks and or Deeds in rogue talents???!!! Nice imagination blizzard… it’s like they ran out of steam in the naming department by the time they got to the end of the last rogue talent tree. LOL Anyway… if you’re going down to Shadow Dance this filler can be a good option. I would probably go another way, but YMMV.

Tier 10

Slaughter from the Shadows – 5 points – Decreases the energy cost of backstab and ambush by 3/6/9/12/15 and hemorrhage by 1/2/3/4/5.

Tackles the energy problem of the sub tree a bit more, probably one of the better talents for a rogue going Shadow Dance. Energy saved, is energy earned and we all need energy yanno?

Tier 11

Shadow Dance – 1 point – Enter the Shadow Dance allowing the use of Sap, Garrote, Ambush, Cheap Shot, Premeditation, Pick Pocket and Disarm Trap regardless of stealth.

This has a two minute cooldown. Ho-hum IMO. Maybe it has a cool animation… I don’t know I really haven’t spent much time thinking about this lackluster talent. If you like it, more power to ya.

***side note… you may notice that I sometimes talk about talents as they relate to the arena and other times i’ll say “might be good in the arena.” I know it seems like I can’t make up my mind if I know anything at all about the arena… that’s because I don’t. At least not right now in LK because I haven’t done any arenas since xpac. Basically I’m just tossing out the idea that a particular talent might be found useful in the arena but I can’t say from current experience. Arenas are fun, but I never got too deep into them what with running a guild, playing three toons, raising two kids, driving 80 miles one way to work and taking 6-9 hours worth of college classes a semester. Yeah, I know. imma slacker eh?

~rogue chick signing off to get my three hours of sleep for the week. >.>