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Rogues, how do they work?

March 15, 2011

Well, in addition to my hunter (who’s in Northrend now – god help him), I’ve begun to play a rogue and last night I dinged 30. I have to say, it’s definitely one of the most well-rounded classes I’ve seen in the game so far. I don’t know if it’s a function of the balance that’s occurred in 4.x, but I’ve not encountered anything that strikes me as silly over powered. Now, bear in mind that my PVP exposure has been a handful of games at the 10-14 bracket. When 4.1 comes out and there’s no movement penalty on stealth, then I may be singing a different tune.

My first spec attempt was combat. I did that for about 3 levels before getting tired of it. Sinister strike is just completely uninteresting. Blade flurry is pretty cool and the increased energy regen rate is nice, but it just seemed really slow to me. So, I respecced over to assassination. I have the two heirloom daggers, so I thought that it would be pretty fun to try. Well, I look at the first tier of talents, and one really stuck out to me. Deadly Momentum. This talent is so, so, so, so good for leveling. Let me explain why.

Ok, so let’s say you’re doing one of those quests where you have to kill 10 or 15 of something. You stealth in, ambush, then mutilate. Slice and Dice goes up, the monster goes down. Slice and Dice goes back to full duration and your crit chance (which should already be high) skyrockets to silly for mutilate, and you’re off to the races on the next one that’s close to you. So, you pop it with a mutilate, get another combo point, and then you’ve got your recuperate going. Well, your crit chance just went back up, both buffs just refreshed, and you’re free to just keep killing. You say, “Well, what if it’s far away?” You blow sprint and then you’re in it’s face. The class is just very, very good at closing gaps and killing things.

As you get into tier 2, you can snag Quickening for increased movement speed and increased healing (since you’re using recuperate). This spec just gets BETTER! I also snagged Puncturing Wounds to get me to tier 3. I think that’s a pretty reasonable choice. 15% more crit on your primary nuke is pretty nice.  Then you have to pick up Cold Blood.  Instant energy regen with a cool effect?  Just like the feral ability, King of the Jungle, you have to have it.

Well, now, I’ve picked up dual-spec and I’m going to try out Subtlety for a while. I’ve heard good things about it, and I think shadowstep is probably one of the coolest abilities ever. So, I started by getting Nightstalker and Improved Ambush. Tier 2 was Opportunity and Initiative. Tier 3 should be obvious: Hemorrhage. I’m not quite certain how much I’m going to like positional requirements. Shadowstep is supposed to be Shadowpwn, so hopefully that will help… but for doing randoms counting on the tank to hold the guy in one position may be asking too much. Side note: skip gnomeregan. It sucked before, and the redesign didn’t help too much.

My next goal is to start into the Southern Barrens, then go south to Dustwallow Marsh. I want to see how the story for Theramore shapes up. It looks like such an awesome zone, and it’s one of the ones I haven’t done since before patch 1.4, I think. After that, though, I don’t know where else to go. I haven’t done the new Tanaris yet, so that may be next. I did the Plaguelands last time, and that was ok, but I want to see some of the changes to the zones.

Links to my specs:

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