Post edited to make things clearer due to reader comments.

Professions and Stats

Today I was waltzing around one of the cities when I noticed a rogue spamming chat with, “DPS wants to run any heroic 5 man”. This went on for a while until I felt pity for the poor soul, invited them into a group and set up the group to run the Heroic of his choice. He said any heroic was fine. When pressed he admitted that he had never run a heroic before, or any instance in Northrend for that matter. I looked at his gear – it was PvP. Okaaaaaay …

So we went into the Violet Hold – no point in him getting lost on the way out to The Nexus or something. He managed to put up an awesome barrage of around 650 DPS. DPS stands for Damage per Second. 650 at level 80 is not good. It’s not that good at level 70. So we ran him through and then I did the dreaded whisper of, “If you want some help I can give it to you.” Thankfully he responded really well, and we spent some time going through what he needed to do to get his act in order if he wanted to progress to raiding. So in this series of threads I am going to include the basics, and I mean basics of getting your DPS up to scratch and what it should be. If some of this seems really obvious to you, it’s probably not obvious at all to the other guy.

Professions

The first thing I’m going to talk about is which professions a raiding rogue needs. Now if you already have your professions leveled and are quite happy with them, then that’s fine. But a fair number of players that I meet haven’t leveled any professions past the basics. In some cases, they haven’t leveled any professions at all. And your professions, apart from making you money, can give some handy advantages to your character. If you look at any top rogue in the armory, you can bet your life that they will most probably have Enchanting and Jewelcrafting as thier professions. The reasons for this are many.
Enchanting gives you a 40 attack power increase to your own rings, that’s 80 extra attack power. Attack power is very important, it is one of the big three stats that you will need to focus on. Apart from this benefit, you can enchant your own gear and now sell enchants as scrolls on the Auction House.
Jewelcrafting, (JC), lets you craft unique JC only useable gems. You can equip three of these at any one time. Which one interests us? The Delicate Dragons Eye gives us a huge 34 agility, and agility is the next one of the big three stats that we like. This fits into a red gem slot. It’s important to put the right gem into the right slot as it will give you a slot bonus, though sometimes it can be worth skipping the slot bonus altogether, and this post from Zaltu explains why. There are red, yellow and blue slots. Some gems, such as orange ones, fit into two different slots, in this case red and yellow. The awesome thing about this design is that you can use it at 350 JC skill. Another great thing about jewelcrafting is that you get a daily quest which nets you around 13 gold for basicly doing bugger all and gives you a token which you can use to learn high end designs. That daily quest is very important to you, because I’m sure that you have a gathering skill right now and you don’t want to drop it as it’s your cash cow. Wrong, not any more. Daily quests are your new cash cow as well as selling your jewels and enchants. So you’re going to level up cooking and fishing while you’re at it. More on those later.

Now for the big information: You can level these together. The items that you create while you’re leveling jewelcrafting you can then disenchant and use the mats to level enchanting. Here are some good leveling guides for Enchanting and Jewelcrafting. The trick is to use mining to collect the mats for jewelcrafting beforehand, or you can simply buy them off the Auction House. Don’t buy off the Auction House on weekends, as it is more expensive. Once you have all the mats, simply start leveling away. Any extra mats you can sell off on the Auction House.

So what enchants should you use and what gems should you equip? Remember I said that there were three crucial stats for rogues? These are Attack Power, (AP), Hit Rating, (hit), and Agility. You need to concentrate on these, both with your gear and your enchants and gems. There are other stats as well such as expertise, haste, critical strike,(crit) and armor penetration, but these will come along well enough with your gear itself. Lets go through each of them one at a time. I am not going to go into the detailed math here. This is going to be as simple as possible. It’s confusing enough as it is.

Hit Rating: You need to be able to hit stuff without missing, and that’s what your hit rating is all about. There are different levels of hit rating, which are commonly referred to as hit caps. The first thing though that you should realise is that any half decent rogue, whatever their spec, will have all 5 points in Precision on the combat talent tree.

Your base hit raiting is 99, (66 if there’s a weird Draenei in your party due to their Heroric Presence racial ability). This means that your yellow attacks don’t miss. This is good. If you’ve got this covered you can run Heroics.

The next cap to aim for is the poison hit cap, which means that your poisons don’t miss. This is 315. The white attack hit cap is unattainable at this stage. You could reach for it but it would be to the exclusion of all other stats. This guide from WoW.com is a good start, although I disagree slightly with Christian concentrating on Expertise. Expertise will come of its own accord at this point. Don’t fret it. For what it’s worth, the expertise cap is 214. Anything over this is wasted, as is anything over 315 hit. With high end gear now, you’ll go over these anyway without gemming or using enchants.

What enchants should you use? I could write this all out myself, but this post is getting long and Zaltu has done it already. Check out his awesome list.

Gems are a bit easier. I gem Agility, a bit more Agility and then throw in any more Agility that I can get my hands on. Agility is the base component of AP and Crit. So you want it. The meta gem that you want is the Relentless Earthseige Diamond. This gem requires a red, yellow and blue gem to be equipped in other items of your gear to become activated. You don’t actually have to have three different gems though, as some gems can match two slots. The Balanced Twiglight Opal matches a red or blue socket leaving only a yellow socket to match up. Or you can use the Nightmare Tear or the Enchanted tear,to satisfy one of the meta gem slot requirements. Remember, if you are missing a gem slot as you do not have enough items with gem sockets, you can equip the Eternal Belt Buckle to add a missing slot, (though if you clicked the enchantment link earlier you would already know this.)

That’s enough for now, Part 2 will talk about Talent builds, Glyphs, Poisons and Cooking.