Trocar ganked you! He who stabs last, stabs best.


Excuses, excuses…

I wish I had a good excuse for not posting anything - no rogue news, or something of the like. Unfortunately that isn't the case. The new talent calculator was released with some major rogue overhauling (good stuff so far), Daxxarri posted some good information about upcoming shiv changes, and some damn gnome dragged me into some meme thing.

The reality is that I've had to take on a lot of additional duties at work which has been quite draining, limiting my twittering, theorycrafting, and even gameplay. Fortunately I've still been able to raid and have been able to keep on track with full Dragon Soul clears each week, but just haven't had much time to sit and write as much as I would like.

I'll be getting to all of this soonish... I promise.


Stealthing to Hiram Creed

I'm getting a lot of traffic from people looking for instructions on how to actually stealth to Lord Hiram Creed. Before I say anything more on the subject, I want to say this:


That out of the way, I previously posted about the engineering HALO route I took (and how my old PTR route has been made MUCH more difficult), but I realize there are many non-engineer rogues out there who are still trying to get the path figured out. Recently I came upon another rogues blog that has the best detailed instructions on how to actually stealth in to assassinate Creed. Squelchy has written an excellent guide with pictures showing the positions of the guards and patrols etc. If, after reading my above shouting, you still need stealth directions to get to Creed, check out his article, Slouching Toward Gilneas: the Stealther's Guide to Hiram Creed, part one. He hasn't posted about the actual combat with Creed, I assume that will be part two, but I have that covered in a previous post.

Squelchy seems to be a pretty cool rogue, and I'm glad I stumbled onto his site. There's just one problem with him. He's a gnome. I like gnomes, really I do... just I like them tenderized and fileted with a bit of garlic and butter. The most fun part of the dinner prep is the tenderizing, but I guess I'll let it slide this time...



If a Talent Tree Falls in the Forest…

So Ghostcrawler (Blizzard Lead Systems Designer, Greg Street) posted another Developer Blog today, "Seeing the Forest for the Talent Trees," that addresses many of the common questions about the new Talent Trees in Mists of Pandaria. Is it really true that he wants to see bad players publicly humiliated? Well it certainly seems that way from the direction the development is going.

What follows is my analysis of that Developer Blog, from a rogue perspective:


Pickpocketing Rings & Killing Hiram Creed

So, from the jump in hits from people searching for answers on the legendary questline I'm going to make a quick mini-post. First off, you CANNOT start the questline, nor can you pickpocket Hagara, in the LFR version of the Dragon Soul raid.  That out of the way, I can address the biggest question it seems - how to "Assassinate Creed."

I'm going to assume that you already got to Lord Hiram Creed one way or another, and are just looking for tips on how to kill him. For me it was pretty straightforward, I opened with garrote, he's susceptible to interrupts/CC/silence, built CP then used Recuperate. I then proceeded to wail on him, gouging to interrupt un-kickable casts, feinting damage, and dodging shadow breath. I'm using the standard 7/31/3 Combat build, though if you are having problems you could move the 2 points from Ruthlessness into Quickening for the 20% bonus to healing effects. I was flasked, pre-potted with Tol'vir, and used one healing potion mid fight. I also used a macro (will post it at the end) to Kidney Shot and immediately bandage - which only works if you KS him when you aren't standing in the Consuming Darkness. Don't be afraid to spend some money on this, you are already dumping 10k into it, what's a little bit more. Get consumables, Fortitude scrolls, etc! If you have friends that are willing to help they can buff you when you aren't phased, or give you consumables like lock-rocks.

So to summarize:

  • Get and use consumables - flasks, potions, scrolls, BANDAGES, etc.
  • Gouge his un-kickable casts to interrupt them.
  • Keep recuperate rolling ALL THE TIME.
  • Feint damage when you can.
  • Don't stand in purple shit.
  • Don't let him breathe on you.
  • Don't forget to bandage yourself.
  • If you are still having problems, ask friends to help with buffs, lock-rocks, etc.

Here's the macro I used:

/cast Kidney Shot
/use [target=player] Dense Embersilk Bandage

Good luck!


Dragon Soul Review & Legendary Changes

So, patch day has come and gone, and so has the new content. While I am glad for something different to do outside of Firelands, Dragon Soul was a bit of a let down. Sure, there were new and interesting mechanics, but there was no real difficulty. My guild went 7/8 the first night and only stopped there because some raid members couldn't stay any later. The second night we finished off Madness and now all sport the "Destroyer's End" title. We thought that the raids would be tuned harder for the release, since they seemed so easy on the PTR, but instead of making them harder, I think they made them even easier. I know that Blizzard is trying to be all inclusive, but isn't that what the LFR is for? Making things easier so everyone can do it that way, instead of taking away the challenge from those that like it? I'm hoping that the heroic modes offer a lot more challenge.

Note, all these reviews will be presented from a Combat Rogue in a 10m raid perspective:


Mists of Pandaria Rogue Talents and Specs

Blizzard just released the Mists of Pandaria Talent Calculator, so after all the speculation we now have an opportunity to really see what they have in store for us rogues. One would think that with all the negative rogue feedback, they would have made some changes, and they did. But what were the changes? Why nerfs of course! Well, there was one little buff to a talent in there but really it is only a PvP benefit, as I can't see any raid rogues choosing it.

The new Talent Calculator does also give us a glimpse into what our specialization skills will be, but those too are... underwhelming. I've gone through and pulled out some highlights for review, but with Bashiok saying "We wanted to take... everything... away from... your... gameplay..." (More on that in the summary below) we can see that we have a long road ahead of us.

Oh yea, I don't go into many details regarding Subtlety spec, but that's because I don't raid Sub. The information is here for all specializations however, read through it all and see for yourself:


4.3 Rogue Gear and Consolation Prizes

Blizzard just posted an official 4.3 Patch Preview which summarizes the upcoming changes, and with the patch just around the corner, I thought I would compile a list of the new rogue gear made available. This information is all from the PTR so is subject to change, however with Blizzard pushing part of the patch download already, I don't expect many changes, if any at all. But this list is just that, a list, a compilation and not a detailed analysis for Best in Slot gear. I have my "napkin math" idea of what will be the best pre-heroic gear based on current stat weights, but those too may change somewhat.

Blizzard's official preview doesn't go into stat specifics, but is more of an overview. It includes a (very) brief preview of the Fangs of the Father quest-line, and an update on how Valor points will be doled out. Now, I'm not opposed to changing how Valor is issued, but one statement Bashiok made stood out: "Our goal with these changes is to move Valor back to the original intent of currency rewards as a consolation prize..."

Now, I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to that statement if, however, it was accurate. But by my napkin math, there are four pre-heroic BiS items that will need to be purchased with Valor Points, two of which have NO ALTERNATIVE. That means, at best, I will still need to buy at minimum two items just to fill empty spots. I'm not certain about other classes, I haven't analyzed the gear of any other class, but any class with Agility as its primary stat is going to need these two items as well. (Again, my data comes from the PTR, so Blizzard may slip a drop or two in before the actual release, but it's unlikely.) So the way it comes across to me has Bashiok saying: "Rogues need a consolation prize." (I see my next headline now...)

Once 4.3 actually hits and we have final numbers we'll be able to fine tune everything and have a more accurate BiS list. Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and won't NEED to buy the Valor items to fill empty spots. In the mean time, peruse this and make your own assessments.


Live Q&A II – A Rogue Perspective

Today's Q&A was on "Class Design & Balance" in the upcoming Mists of Pandaland expansion so there was actually a bit more meat on the bones they tossed the rogues this time. Not a whole hell of a lot, but enough to keep us gnawing.

I was even more prepared this time with (what I thought was) a well crafted question that could be appreciated by all the pure DPS classes. Since I came in a bit later, I scanned the whole log to make sure my question wasn't asked and even added relevant bits from the previous answers given: GC mentioned earlier that you "want to make sure there are pure DPS classes in raids" and that "will take steps to make sure the pures don't vanish." Can you elaborate further on this? What sorts of things will make it more viable to take my rogue over a feral druid that can pop out and drop an emergency tranquility as well as provide the raid with an all around 5% buff? Is this something you plan to address by buffing the utility of pure DPS classes or making their damage a bit above the others to compensate for the lack of utility?

Did we get an answer? Let's take a look shall we?


So ya wanna be Batman? (Rogue Legendary – Part 1)

WARNING: SPOILERS!!!! If you are into all the lore and don't want to know anything about the upcoming story, don't read this. I'll avoid including superfluous lore here, not because I care about spoilers, but because I'm not a lore nerd. (Not that there's anything wrong with liking the lore at all, hell I'm on a RP server!) Also note that this is all based off the PTR. Things are subject to change. More than likely, Ghostcrawler is going to take out his fornication desires on the collective asses of rogues again and make it harder. (They already raised the number of Shadowy Gems required to 333, up from 50, and c'mon it's pretty damn easy so far.) And not all the quests and items are in the Wowhead PTR database yet, so I can't link to them.

Okay, warning out of the way, lets rock...


Live Q&A – A Rogue Perspective

So, Blizzard hosted it's first Live Chat Q&A this afternoon, and I had high hopes. While I was disappointed that they didn't go into as much detail as I would have liked (or answered my question about upcoming Rogue utility), the overall experience was very positive and I hope they continue to do this in the future. There were a couple things pertinent to those of the shadowy nature from the CoverItLive MoP Q&A today...