So a few weeks ago I posted that Ghostcrawler was a moron for the changes to rogues in patch 3.3. Now it seems that our awesome ‘Lead Systems Designer’ is doing the back-peddle faster than a centipide on a brakeless bicycle going downhill. Here’s what he has to say:

” … As many of you have suspected, we think rogue damage is too high. We will be making hotfixes to lower the maximum damage output of Assassination and Combat rogues. The Combat nerf will be slight. Both specs should still do just fine on damage meters (assuming skill, gear etc.) but shouldn’t be beating out other specs to such a large degree.”

Here is the link.

Now, we all knew that the mutilate buff was too over-powered. Blind Freddy could see it. But still they did it. And now we have the enevitable nerf. The problem is, as Daraia rightly points out, is that this will now mean mutilate rogues will have to re-gem all over again. Blizzard just seems to love to tinker with things. Lets tinker with this, lets tinker with that, lets tinker all over the bloody place. What they seem to fail to understand is that the continual tinkering, particularly when flying in the face of everyone else telling them that it will fuck things up, (as in the stupidly ridiculous rogue 3.3 buff), is that players are getting fed up with it. How do I gem, enchant or even gear up now when I have no idea if my decisions will be valid in the months to come?

There is one other little bit in Ghostcrawlers post that we cannot let slide by:

” … We’ll continue to refine and look at the Icecrown weapon procs.”

Lets look at a little item called Heartpierce This is for Assasination rogues, obviously, as it happens to be a dagger. Is there a similar item for combat rogues? Yes, it is called Black Bruise and it is a fist weapon. They could have made it an axe, they could have made it a sword, but they made it a fist. Sigh, oh well. We get what we are given. The proc rate on both of these items have been upgraded recently as they were proving to be a big pile of suck. Heartpierce is now considered BiS for Assasination rogues. The jury is still out on Black Bruise. If you want to follow the updates on the testing for these weapons you can follow the progress at Elitest Jerks.

Yesterday I spent the day in Darnassus. I also spent a lot of gold. On talent builds. I attempted every combination I could think of to test out my two new Ulduar weapons – to see if Sword/Fist could work. I tested the weapons without any buffs and I tested on the Heroic Boss combat dummy. I did use poisons though, as I wanted to give the fast off-hand a chance to proc this.

To begin with I tried Sword/Sword with a normal 15/51/5 combat sword spec. I used my new drop, Razorscale Talon as well as my trusty Hatestrike. Hatestrike’s speed is 1.60, so it’s not that fast. My average DPS was 2150 after a good few minutes thrashing the hell out of that dummy. I used a rotation of 2s/5e rinse and repeat. Just to keep it simple.

Next I threw my two fist weapons on, Greed and my other new drop, Kinetic Ripper. I kept the sword spec and got an average DPS of 1980.

Then I put my two new weapons on, Razorscale Talon in main hand and Kinetic Ripper in offhand – Sword/Fist combination with a normal sword spec still. The result was 2020 DPS.

Next I tried all three combinations once again, but this time using a combat 15/51/5 spec with Close Quarters Combat. The results were:

Sword/Sword: 2055 DPS
Fist/Fist: 2060 DPS
Sword/Fist: 2045 DPS

Then I tried my bastardized Combat Spec. I put 4 points in both CQC and Sword Specialization, while losing one point each from Endurance, Lethality and Combat Potency. The results were:

Sword/Sword: 2060 DPS
Fist/Fist: 2010 DPS
Sword/Fist: 2070 DPS

So after all that the very first combo that I tried was the highest DPS. Just to make sure, I went back and tried it again and still got an average DPS above 2100, and for some of it I was sitting on 2350-2400. Hatestrike is slower than Kinetic Ripper, but the faster fist still couldn’t make up for the mighty main-hand power of the Razorscale Talon.

So to sum up: It seems that your main hand weapon has a bigger overall effect than your off-hand, (even when using Fist/Fist the Kinetic Ripper couldn’t pull the worse main hand up), and Sword/Fist at this stage is a non event. Which is a shame; I like the Kinetic Ripper a lot. But in the bank it will stay until I get an awesome main-hand Fist drop. I’m going back into Ulduar tonight, so I may play around a bit again with these weapons and see what results I get.

Last night I jumped into Ulduar for the first time with my guild. We downed the first three bosses and then left off to have another crack at it on Tuesday evening. This run has caused me some problems, however. I got two weapon drops,Razorscale Talon and Kinetic Ripper.

So I have two new weapons from Ulduar, level 219 beauties, both of them combat rogue weapons, with one being a main hand and the other an off hand. Doesn’t get better than this, yeah?

Well, one’s a sword and the other is a fist and apparently sword/fist was broken a while back and never to be fixed again. So I woke up this morning and began to search on the net for info on this. And I’ve searched and searched and searched. And all anyone can say is that duel specs are dead. So I plugged these two weapons into Aldriana’s spreadsheet and I got some serious DPS numbers come up. Much more serious than my current numbers. So I am going to experiment, dear readers. Whenever a rogue asks on a forum post on which weapons they should use as a combat spec, more often than not the answer is to use the weapons that you have, and more often than not this is good advice to follow. So I am going to butcher my talent tree slightly and see if I can make these two beauties work for me.

I have one floating talent point which I can throw into CQC from Endurance. I am going to steal one point each from Lethality, Combat Potency and Sword Specialization to bring CQC up to 4 points. That is the plan. We will see how it goes. But if any of you have any advice on this to make it work, please throw it my way.

All in all I have three options:

Razorscale Talon/Kinetic Ripper. (Sword/Fist)
Razorscale Talon/Hatestrike. (Sword/Sword)
Greed/Kinetic Ripper. (Fist/Fist)

Oh the dilemma!

So coming up in the next patch are axes for rogues. It’s a little bit left field, but hey, we take what we can get, right?

Actually, all that this announcement has resulted in is rogues crying en masse on various forums about how this is a stupid idea. Apparently it is a stupid idea because:

It isn’t realistic and doesn’t fit in with the lore.

You can’t stab someone in the back with an axe or incapacitate a guard with one.

Axes aren’t concealable, (This made me laugh. Like my two huge swords are concealable.)

There are many others like this. Almost everyone says that the much better idea would have been to give shamans one handed swords, as this would have solved an itemization problem and taken nothing from rogues, amongst other arguments.

All I can say to this is, are you fucking kidding me? I mean, you seriously want to have another class rolling against us on swords? This would make you happy?? We got the huge end of the deal here and you guys are complaining? The Devs must be open mouthed in shock at this reaction. What do they have to do to keep you guys happy?

For me this is great news for combat rogues – it give us more options, and with the changes to the talent tree to accommodate it, (sword specialization will now be called Hack and Slash and also applies to axes), we could be seeing sword/axe as the new combat weapon combo.

Now so far in the game there is but one raiding axe in Ulduar, which is a main hand. But you can bet your little piggy bank that they will bring a bunch of other axes in to cover this. So we will have more goodies to choose from. More goodies, more options, more drops, more hot chicks … and we didn’t even ask for them. So they haven’t fixed vanish yet, well that is a bummer, but hey; I’m taking this new axe option with glee.

If you’re one of the rogues who have been complaining about this … well, I mean seriously:

Just do us all a favor and go roll a Death Knight.

I got a great drop in Naxx normal the other night. Torment of the Banished dropped for me, which is a big upgrade over what I had before. I stuck Mongoose on it immediately, the mats for which I had sitting in the bank ready for just such an occasion. On checking out my gear score on wowheros, I randomly clicked on the little upgrade button on the side of my new sword. What could be better than my new shiny sword, I wondered.

A lot.

There is big news for combat sword rogues. Ulduar has saved us. With the changes to Lightening Reflexes in patch 3.1, Sword/Fist and Sword/Dagger are no longer an option. Before this patch a lot of rogues wielding a sword in the main hand put Librarian’s paper cutter in their offhand due to its awesome 1.30 speed. Remember little boy and girl rogues, your off hand needs to be fast. And before Ulduar we had no choice but to stick a dagger or a fist in our offhand.

Welcome to the future. Welcome to the Rune-Etched Nightblade. With a speed factor of 1.40, this is a combat sword rogues wet dream. It has a 20% drop-rate off the Steelbreaker, so I recommend that you start camping that dude asap.

There are a few more great swords to be found in Ulduar. Serilas, Blood Blade of Invar One Arm, apart from having a stupidly long name is very nice indeed. The 2.60 speed is perfect for your main hand, nice and slow for proccing those poisons. A good dosing of hit, attack power and expertise, and a gem socket thrown in for good measure. Nice.

Some people are preferring Malice instead, but its 2.50 speed is just a wee bit too fast for a main hand for me. Of course, if it dropped I wouldn’t say no …

And finally, for a stupid amount of damage per second, check out the new Furious Gladiator Longblade for arena minded folk. 188.1 dps. Holy maloney. Might even tempt me to start playing arena’s ….

Only kidding.

So there are some new swords for you to check out. The full list is here. Happy hunting kiddies!