Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rogue MoP Talents Revamped!

What is this? A post about rogues on Rogue QQ? Wasn't this blog supposed to get turned into a Starbucks? No my much as I love overpriced coffee, it's still a blog primarily dedicated to discussing all things rogue. As such, I feel compelled to write about the recent changes to the mists talent calculator. There has been a change avalanche, and, for once, rogues received a nice little piece of that avalanche. So as long as I'm snowed in with no food or water, with no rescue in the foreseeable future, lets discuss these changes.

First off, I'm going to say I'm not going to discuss every single change made. There's simply too many! If you want to see every single last one then simply check out the MMO Champion post for a detailed breakdown, or you can examine the mists talent calculator. There's also a bunch of info on a new Shiv mechanic, poisons, and other rogue-related miscellany in this thread.

Back From Whence You Came!

First thing I noticed was that Shadow Dance, Vendetta, and Killing Spree all went back to their respective trees and will be available at level 80 in each. I actually find myself supporting this move. From the very beginning when they released the mists talent calculator I found it very odd that the specs' iconic "ultimate abilities" were suddenly available to all. That kind of cross-pollination disturbed me. A combat rogue shadow dancing? A subtlety rogue with a vendetta? It was end-of-days shit! Fortunately, we can delay the apocalypse a bit longer because all has been set right.

Plus...being available at 80 is much better than 90. I mean...what kind of reward would that be? Congratulations for conquering another five levels of World of Warcraft! Here's an ability you've been using every day for the past four years! Level 80 might be a tad late however. Warrior's "ultimates" are in their talents as well, but they're available at level 60!

In With the New

Three new abilities have filled the void left in the level 90 tier. First off we have Shuriken Toss, our first-ever ranged cbp generator. Coupled with Deadly Throw rogues actually have somewhat of a ranged rotation. However, I don't understand the point. It could be situationally useful, but that's about it. I almost wish they'd put an enrage dispel on this ability seeing as hunters have Tranquilizing Shot, and I've always thought we should have access to one as well.

The second is called Versatility. This talent causes Redirect to have no cooldown. "Wow, that's cool," was my first thought, and, "this is dumb" was my second. This is going to require the creation of at least half a dozen macros that couple Redirect with my cbp generators. A simpler solution would be "cbps now belong to the rogue instead of the target." It's the same thing, except without all the fuss.

Finally, we have Anticipation, which I think is the clear winner of this tier. It allows us to store five additional combo points past the five combo point limit. When the first five are used, we receive whatever we stored up. This means two things: double finishers and no wasted combo points. It's a superior in PvE because the ability to never waste a cbp has got to be mathematically superior to these other two sorry excuses for talents, and the ability to store up cbps for a massive timed burst will be great in PvP.

The Masters of Stealth

There's a line from our in-game class description that has always stuck with me. It says rogues are "the masters of stealth" (back off kitties!). Seems like we're looking to maintain that title in mists with a couple new stealth-centric abilities. First off there's Shroud of Concealment, a new ability learned at level 87. It allows the rogue to grant stealth to party and raid members within 20 yards. Pretty awesome.

The second is called Shadow Walk, and will be available at level 72. It will increase our stealth effectiveness for 6 seconds. I have to say I'm a bit underwhelmed by this ability. First off, it's not that useful...the whole stealth game seems to get depreciated with every passing expansion. In the olden times, whoever got the opener won the fight, done deal. Nowadays, that first strike is a lot less important. Plus, this is just another cooldown I'll have to cram onto my bar, but I might forgive the overcrowding if it allows me to finally stealth past detectors.

A Class Buff of Our Own

There's certain buffs that are associated with certain classes. When you think of mages, for instance, you think of Arcane Intellect, and shamans will be forever linked to Heroism/Bloodlust. Now rogues are finally tying the knot with a buff called Swiftblade's Cunning. It bascially turns us into a Windfuy Totem, and it's available to all specs at level 30. This means rogues will finally bring a class-wide buff! Bring a rogue, get a haste buff, simple as that. Unfortunately, it seems like those other spec-specific buffs (like the 5% crit from HAT) are being removed, but if that's what it takes to get Windfury I'm cool with it.

Poison Overhaul

There's no way I'm going to cover the vast amount of information presented by blue poster Daxxarri in this thread, but I'll go over the parts I find interesting. Shiv, in addition to its enrage dispel, now injects your target with a "concentrated form of your active Non-Lethal poison." Seen here:
  • Crippling Poison – Reduces the target’s speed by 70% for 12 seconds.
  • Mind-Numbing Poison – Increases the casting time of an enemy's next spellcast within 8 seconds by 100%.
  • Wound Poison – Reduces the target’s healing received by 50% for 6 seconds.
  • Leeching Poison – Instantly restores 5% of the Rogue’s health.
  • Paralytic Poison – Roots the target in place for 4 seconds.
Those are pretty awesome. If you're confused about the "non-lethal poison" bit, I'll explain. In mists, we'll be able to coat our weapons in two different poisons at once. One lethal (meaning Instant or Deadly), and one non-lethal (all the poisons listed above). Notice Wound is currently listed as "non-lethal" meaning we'll have to choose between a MS and the other non-lethal poisons, but there is hope as Daxxarri did mention that they may re-introduce wound's damage component, thus putting it back in the lethal category.

Daxxarri also dropped a few more bombs. Blizzard wants to make dual wielding two slow daggers an option for the daggers specs, and is thinking about introducing a way combat can "at least have the appearance of dual wielding swords/axes/maces." Furthermore, rogues could gain an offense dispel using the new shiv mechanic, mostly likely using Mind-Numbing.

New Glyphs?

I've seen a lot of abilities changed in this new revamp that suggest many of our old glyphs are simply being rolled into the abilities. For instance Shadow Dance is now lasts 8 seconds, instead of 6, and similarly Mutilate is down to 55 energy, from 60. This just has me wondering...what new glyphs will take their place? I'm excited by this notion that we'll soon be receiving a slew of new glyphs, rather than just keeping the old ones in place for another expansion.

Odds and Ends

They revamped Expose Armor....again. It's now a cbp generator that acts like a sunder. I have to say I like it better in this new incarnation...I might actually consider using it. However, I do think they should increase the duration. It currently lasts a measly 30 seconds, while a feral druid's Faerie Fire, which does the same thing, lasts 5 minutes!

Deadly Poison no longer stacks. It's simply a dot now, just like any other. Consequently, Envenom's damage is no longer dependent on DP stacks, in fact, your target doesn't need to be poisoned at all...which I see as a big win for assassination leveling and questing. I've had many a mob die before I could reach five stacks.


Phew, I think I talked about all the most interesting changes. Rogues made out like a bandit with this revamp. You can see we were one of the classes that got the most love. For once, I'm actually happy with, nay overwhelmed, by the amount of rogue changes. I hope Blizzard hasn't worn themselves out and are able to actually balance these radical changes, but from what I see today I think rogues will enjoy a strong start in mists. Hopefully it will be enough to fend off those undoubtedly OP monks.

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