Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Still QQing After 4.0.1

The much anticipated 4.0.1 patch has finally been released, and I know this not just because I check MMO-Champion as often as a germaphobe washes his hands, but also because the forums are aflame with people asking "which stats r gud nao?" The answers are here, so quit clogging up the boards with your redundant posts! And don't let their modesty fool you, the people over at EJ are mathematical gods. In fact, if they turned their efforts into proving the Unified Field Theory we could all be on a warp ship to Alpha Centauri within the week! Not really. So 4.0.1 has finally come, but don't worry because even in this golden age there are still things to QQ about.

40 Yard Range

To me Cataclysm seems kind of...unfriendly to rogues. One thing I've noticed is that a ton of spells have had their range increased to 40 yards. It's actually hard to find a single beta build where some spell wasn't upgraded in this manner, and it's just bad for us rogues. This means that ranged are going to have a larger area in which to kite us, are going to be able to initiate combat from a farther distance, and tag us from a further distance to prevent stealth.

This is definitely an example of PvE and general ease of use getting in the way of PvP. I can kind of understand why they did it: they want to make the game easier (read: more faceroll) for casters. In the past spells had wildly varying ranges, and casters had to be aware of those ranges. In order to fire off certain spells they had to reposition themselves, but if everything has a 40 yard range they'll barely have to move at all. If you're within 40 yards you will be in range, end of story. It's just an ease of use thing, but still...I think it's removing a layer of complexity for casters, and as kind of a side-effect it hurts rogues along with pretty much every other melee class.

I just think that 40 yards is too much. That's an insane amount of range, and that's part of the reason sapping is so difficult even in WotLK arenas. The teams rush out, a mage fires off an Ice Lance (it's 40 yards talented) or some other spell-of-ridiculous-range, and your chance at sapping is gone. Except now it's going to be like that with every single caster you meet. Not cool Blizz, 30 yards should be the maximum, and every once in a great while you give out a 35 yard spell and that's like getting a pony, but 40 yards? That's like getting a pony on a jet ski, it's too much. I have no idea what fighting as caster is like post-4.0.1, but I have an inkling that it's going to be a bitch.

Dude, Where's My Procs?

Rogues are often the last holdout for a variety of antiquities. We were, for a long time, the only class without a heal. Now that's been taken care of, but other oddities remain. For example, we're the only class that has to wait until level 80 for decent AoE ability, we're one of the two classes that doesn't have a pet of any kind, and we're also the only class (that I can think of off the top of my head) that has no procs. We don't have a single proc! We had one in the past, called Riposte*, and it was terrible and no one ever used it, but now even that's gone. So procs.

I guess you could say that things like Seal Fate and Ruthlessness are procs, but that's true in the same way the a lion and a house cat belong to the same genus, but which one would you rather sick on your worst enemy? Ruthlessness is getting close, but that's not my idea of a proc. A proc is something that gives you free damage...preferably immediately. Brain Freeze, Art of War, Revenge, and Rime, those are procs...and Ruthlessness looks sickly in comparison.

Honestly Subtlety still harbors some terrible talents. Elusiveness should be baseline, Initiative should be shoved off a cliff, and Enveloping Shadows should be tied to it. I was hoping that one of these Bad News Bears would get replaced by a new talent that offers a real proc. My idea is to have a proc that momentarily turns Backstab into Ambush. Is it perfect? No. For one thing it kind of conflicts with Shadow Dance, but it's something, and rogues need that something, because I can say from experience that procs are awesome.

In Closing

I haven't gotten to play the game in a while, and I certainly haven't been able to test out 4.0.1. I just felt that now that a major patch has been released I could safely QQ without it being immediately deflected with, "it's still in beta, you moron." There's still other topics I could gripe about, but I'm guessing at 85 they're going to smooth out somewhat, so I'll restrain myself. I actually have high hopes for Cataclysm. It seems that a lot of other classes have received some pretty major buffs, but when you sit back and think about it rogues have gotten a lot of buffs as well, so we'll just have to see how it pans out. Soon I will give the changes the ultimate test know...actually playing the game, and when I do I'm hoping rogues will be in a better place then when I left.

* I'm actually not entirely sure that Riposte is gone. It actually appears on Wowhead both in the live and Cataclysm sections, and none of the comments are giving me a straight answer as to whether or not it's still in the game.

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