August 2009

So, who’s been running around collecting badges non-stop by running heroics? I bet a lot of you have. I’ve been doing a bit, but not enough to earn anything good yet. One thing that I have noticed is the amount of n00bs, (players who don’t know how to play their class when running in a group), with very good gear. It used to be that a players gear was a sign of their ability level. If they had top level gear then they were running in and clearing the hardest content.

Not anymore.

I have been running with DPS who cannot handle their threat, and can’t DPS much either. Healers who can’t heal, and the Tanks … oh my Lord, the Tanks. Thankfully there is a way to distinquish a n00b from a good player now.

The first 3 minutes of a Heroic Run.

Anyway, new patches with new raiding content always excite me for the possibilites of new swords for me to get my hands on. So I jumped on the internets and began checking out what had been added in the new patch as regards swords for me. And I got a bit of a shock. We got nothing. Now, fair enough there were a lot of swords added in Ulduar. But this patch consists of basically two types of weapons for rogues – daggers and axes.

Dagger rogues have long complained, and rightly so, that they had gotten the short end of the pointy bit in regards of weapon choice. Well, they need complain no longer. The new patch has 8, count them 8 new daggers for rogues to get their mitts around, (thought to be fair some of these are the same weapons just different versions for Horde and Alliance). Some nice ones in the list as well.

Combat Rogues can now use axes as well with the changes to the talent tree and sword specialization becoming Hack and Slash, which effects both swords and axes. So you could thus say that combat sword rogues did get some new swords. The only thing is, they’re not swords, they’re axes. So sword/axe, (or Axe/Sword), is now most certainly the new combo of choice. Let us not forget Axe/Axe for the really new-age sword rogues amongst us. What are these new pointy axes like?

All the Axe speeds are 2.60/1.50 as opposed to the off hand daggers being mostly 1.40.  The level 232 axes do 178.8 dps, while the level 245 axes do 196.5 dps. There are five new axes but at this point we only know where one of them drops. That is the Bloody Fury, which drops off Lord Jaraxxus in the 25 man version.

The full list is here.

So what is the new dream team of weapons for a combat rogue?

In my opinion the best combo at this point is the Hellscream Slicer mainhand with a Void Sabre in your off-hand. Having these two equipped should go some way to making up for all those n00bs out there!

Thank you Blizzard. I asked for this in an earlier post a few months ago, and they have come up with the goods. Heroic Deadmines! And Shadowfang Keep as well. Obviously with the expansion news coming out it will all be liable to change in the future, so it is somewhat pointless going into all of it in any great detail, and you can find constant updates on anyway. But just reading over the notes a few general points of interest have jumped out at me.

The Wrath of the Lich King expansion had a fundamental flaw – it enabled players and guilds to power-level their way through the content as fast as they could and then jump into the first raids. The new Cataclysm expansion is so big and varied that while players will still be able to run through those five levels to 85, they will really be missing out on a great deal of content. The new expansion is going to get us back into the Vanilla WoW zones. It will get us exploring and discovering again instead of just rushing through things. The new secondary profession of archeology backs that up nicely.

All this is well and good, but what about rogues? So far there are a few tidbits to chew on. Firstly, there are the two new playable races, the Worgen for the Alliance and the Goblins for the Horde. Both of these races can be rogues and their racials are interesting. Firstly the Goblins.

“Time is Money, cash in on a 1% increase to attack and casting speed.”

A 1% overall increase to attack speed is nice but when it is combined with the following two racials, things get pretty cool:

“Rocket Barrage, 30 yd range, Instant, 2 min cooldown, Launches your belt rockets at an enemy, dealing 30 fire damage.
Rocket Jump, instant, 2 min cooldown, activates your rocket belt to jump forward.”

Can you imagine these goblin rogues in battlegrounds? Jumping all over the place, (20 yards from what I’ve heard), firing rockets and doing damage, and combine this with rogue abilities such as sprint and vanish and I’m predicting that Goblin Rogues will be awesome in PvP.
Plus, one of their other racials is too cool for words:

“Pack Hobgoblin, Instant, 30 minute cooldown, Calls in your personal servant, allowing you bank access for 1 min.”

Onto the Worgen.

“Darkflight, instant, 3 min cooldown, activates your true form increasing movement speed by 70% for 10 sec.”

I’m wondering if this will stack with Sprint. Even if it doesn’t it basicly means that Worgen Rogues have double the sprint possibilities.

“Viciousness, passive, increases all damage done by 1%.”

Nice for PvE rogues especially. Who wouldn’t say hello to 1% overall extra damage? Still, I think that the Goblins have scored the jackpot on racial abilities. In fact, the Goblin racials are so good that I can’t but help thinking that they might be re-visiting all the racials overall, as these are so much better than anything else out there. Expect to see goblins running around this new expansion like we saw Death Knights running around the last one.

The other really interesting thing so far is the change to stats. Attack power will be eliminated and agility will now give two points of attack power. So I suppose we better stack agility like crazy and make sure we have Darkmoon Card Greatness. Armor penetration is gone, (I never really understood that one either), and Haste will now effect your energy regen speed. That last one is big. Haste is going to become super important to rogues. This will also most probably put an end to spreadsheets, though there is still that pesky expertise stat to continue confusing things. Then there’s this interesting snippet from the panal discussion with Ghostcrawler:

“Some classes have more hit through talents than others, will that be fixed? Ghostcrawler says its likely Cataclysm will get rid of those talents entirely.”

I suppose this means that we can say goodbye to Precision.

So that’s the first day from Blizzcon. Pretty interesting stuff. They haven’t said when they’ll release this, but my guess would be around April/May next year. I’ll continue to scour through the Blizzcon notes to give you any more interesting updates that I find.

With the release of the 3.2.2 patch notes, rogues have had the nerf bat swung around their head repeatedly.

And I am very happy about it.

The patch notes state that Fan of Knives will have its damage output reduced by 30%, and Throwing Spec no longer causes FoK to interrupt spellcasting. The Throwing spec nerf is obviously meant for PvP, (although it will have some effects in PvE), and while most bloggers are saying that this is meant as a big PvP nerf which has effects on PvE as well, I truely think that Blizzard has meant this to go acoss the board.

Fan of Knives has always given me the shits. I’ve said it in previous posts and I’m saying it again. It is an un-rogue-like ability. It was born out of Blizzard pandering to the whingers on their official forums who pleaded, begged, sulked and cried for an AoE ability for rogues. And they gave in, the morons. And we got Fan of fucking knives. And rogues passed from a class of skill to a class of one button spamming, at least on trash. So this nerf is awesome. We are back to where we should be. Single target dps, which means skill. It brings a little ability back in to play called positioning. It means you have to target select with care. Things which I have continued to do during the FoK dark time. But I was getting called out by other players. “Just use your fan of knives, get them down quicker.”

Excuse me? I am playing this game for enjoyment as well, you know. Not just as a dps spam meter. And I just stun-locked that healer that was going to heal the whole group, and then I interrupted that spell caster who was casting chain lightening.

“Yeah, lol, whatever, just use Fan of knives, okay”

I am so happy that Blizzard has done this. It means that they understand not only our class but the type of people who play it. Yes, WoW has had to pander to the masses a great deal. You can only get 11 million players if you do that. But at the same time they have kept certain apects of the game for the original gamer. Rogues are one of those aspects of the game. With Fan of Knives they were in danger of losing that vision. Thankfully with this patch they are back on the right track.