Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Patch 4.2: Rage of the Nerfbat

Up until a couple weeks ago the changes to the rogue class in patch 4.2: Rage of the Firelands were pretty minor. As I've said before we got a small buff to Blind and a bug fix and that was it. Now, however, Blizzard has released a new set of patch notes and I almost wish we could go back to having just the two sentences. We were riding high up until now, but at last the nerfbat has come, and it's hungry...hungry for survivability.

The Nerfman Cometh
  • Cloak of Shadows cooldown is now 2 minutes, up from 90 seconds. In addition, Cloak of Shadows is no longer on the global cooldown.
  • Combat Readiness and Cloak of Shadows now share a cooldown.
  • Elusiveness now reduces the cooldown of Cloak of Shadows by 15/30 seconds, up from 10/20, and now also reduces the cooldown of Combat Readiness by 15/30 seconds.
Well, gee, thanks for taking it off the GCD! Oh wait, it's still a tremendous nerf. When I first read this I honestly wanted to quit. I've calmed down a bit since then, but this change is still total bullshit. First off...I don't understand the crusade against Cloak. Casters cut through me like a hot knife through butter, and cloak is my first and last line of defense. And for god's sake it only has a five second duration! and yet they feel the need to nerf it? Again? Give me a break.

Secondly, combining the cooldown of Combat Readiness and Cloak of Shadows is the worst idea. They don't even protect you from the same type of damage! Top rogues have chimed in and mirrored my sentiments. CR is already weak in high level arena because by the time it's stacked up you're already dead. So, as many others have said, I believe this change means we'll be using Cloak most of the time. It's simply too good in comparison to CR.

I'm hoping for a revert. After all I feel like Blizzard has gone back on a lot of nerfs this patch or at least ameliorated them (word of the day). For example, the Spellsteal nerf was changed to a much less punishing fix. Perhaps they'll revaluate their horrible decision before 4.2 goes live.

The Silver Lining

  • Assassin's Resolve damage bonus has been increased to 20%, up from 15%.
  • Vile Poisons now increases poison damage by 12/24/36%, up from 7/14/20%.
  • Savage Combat now increases attack power by 3/6%, up from 2/4%.
  • Vitality now increases attack power by 30%, up from 25%.
  • Sanguinary Vein damage to bleeding targets has been increased to 8/16%, up from 5/10%.
  • Hemorrhage now deals 155% weapon damage (225% if a dagger is equipped), up from 110% weapon damage (160% if a dagger is equipped).
Okay, so the update wasn't all nerfs. There were some buffs as well, but as far as I'm concerned Blizzard put a minimum of effort into these. They simply fiddled with some numbers and called it good. Of course this will make us more competitive, but I feel like it just isn't enough. After reading Aldriana's latest blog post I hunger for better target switching and heftier burst. However, instead of taking this opportunity to implement changes to that effect they settled for a harder hitting status quo.

Actually, out of all these I find the Hemorrhage buff to be the most interesting. Does this mean Hemo swords will be viable again, and that Hemo will replace Backstab? I honestly hope not. I despise using swords, axes, maces, or any other type of crude weaponry. It makes me feel like a wannabe warrior. Another possibility is using Hemo as normal damage, and using Backstab for burst. I'm not a fan of this either as it overcomplicates matters and I have a feeling that if Hemo is competitive enough to be used that often many will simply use it all the time (after all, as Reckful has proved, rogue damage doesn't really amount to much in arenas).

The third option, and the option I like best, is that we'll simply continue to use Hemo as a last resort when there's absolutely no way to position behind our target, but it will simply do more damage than it currently does. More damage is always a good thing in my book.


Either way, I think rogues will be "fine". I was actually amazed at the lack of rage threads about these nerfs. If it had happened to paladins, believe me, we'd have drowned in tears by now, but rogues aren't prone to such dramatic displays (well, at least rogues in general). I think of rogues as cowboys gazing stoically over the desolate landscape while chewing a piece of straw despite the fact that we came home after a long cattle drive to find our whole family murdered by Injuns. That doesn't phase us, it just fills us with righteous anger. We'll just bide our time, and wait for perfect moment to strike once again.

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