New Combat Rogue Guide

I love the posts over on StratFu. The boss guides are awesome, and Kyth’s blog posts are both amusing and informative. Plus, the guild just seems to have a great attitude and sense of community.

Today a new guide to the Combat Rogue has been posted by Ellyee of Fusion.

Raiding as a Combat Rogue

The guide hits all the high points that make Combat such a successful raiding spec including chaining and managing your cooldowns, hit and Armor Pen numbers, and the basic ability prioritization that should be used.


Patch 3.3 – Icecrown Citadel Raid Access

I’m back from sunny FL to the wonderful cold, autumn rains, and the big buzz in the WoW raiding community today is all focused on Daelo’s post about Icecrown Citadel and Blizzard’s plan for Boss availability and attempt limitation in the instance.

Here is the post in full as well as a link to the original:

Icecrown Citadel testing has been progressing very well over the last few weeks, and this has been a huge help to the encounter design team. I want to thank everyone who has logged onto the PTR and tried the encounters there.

As we’re now getting closer to the release of 3.3.0, I wanted to talk about our plans for access progression within Icecrown Citadel. Icecrown Citadel is going to be broken up into four distinct sections: The Lower Spire, Plagueworks, Crimson Hall, and Frostwing Halls. We plan on releasing these four sections of Icecrown Citadel over time and not all immediately when patch 3.3.0 goes live. At this point I can’t give precise dates for these release dates as they are determined by when patch 3.3.0 goes live. Once dates are known with more certainty, I’ll update the community so they can plan appropriately.

The first section that opens will include the Lord Marrowgar, Lady Deathwhisper, Icecrown Gunship Battle, and Deathbringer Saurfang encounters. Progress beyond that point will be prevented for several weeks. Then the Plagueworks will open with Rotface, Festergut, and Professor Putricide becoming available. After another period of time, the Crimson Hall will open and you can then fight the Blood Princes and Blood-Queen Lana’thel. The final Frostwing Halls unlock then occurs after that, making Valithria Dreamwalker, Sindragosa, and the Lich King available. We believe a staggered release of the content will allow players to experience Icecrown Citadel at a sustainable, measured, and ultimately more enjoyable pace.

There are other elements that gate access along the way. Players may not attempt any Heroic versions of 10 player encounters until they have defeated the Lich King in a 10 player raid. Similarly, players must defeat the Lich King in a 25 player raid before they can attempt a Heroic 25 player encounter. So players must master every normal difficulty encounter in Icecrown Citadel before attempting Heroic difficulty.

The Lich King may not be attempted until Professor Putricide, Blood-Queen Lana’thel, and Sindragosa are defeated. Furthermore, the Heroic difficulty of The Lich King encounter may not be attempted in any week unless the three aforementioned encounters have been defeated in Heroic difficulty that week.

The Ashen Verdict provides reinforcements and material for players to assault Icecrown Citadel, but this support is not endless. Raids will have a limited number of attempts total each week to defeat the four most difficult encounters in Icecrown Citadel: Professor Putricide, Blood-Queen Lana’thel, Sindragosa, and the Lich King. As these boss encounters are unlocked, the number of attempts available per week will increase. The initial number of attempts provided for defeating Professor Putricide is only five. When Blood-Queen Lana’thel unlocks, the amount of total attempts remaining will increase to 10. Then when Sindragosa and the Lich King unlock, 15 total attempts will be available to defeat all four bosses. After a raid has exhausted their attempts for the week, the Ashen Verdict must withdraw their support and the four most difficult bosses all despawn and become unavailable for the week. The limited attempt system is a feature of both Normal and Heroic difficulty.

There will be no explicit rewards for defeating the Lich King with a specific number of attempts remaining as there was with Trial of the Grand Crusader. There will also not be an achievement to complete Icecrown Citadel without being defeated by a boss encounter, or letting a raid member die. (i.e. A Tribute to Insanity).

In the weeks and months after all twelve encounters are unlocked, additional attempts against the final four boss encounters become available. This represents the Ashen Verdict growing more powerful and gaining a stronger foothold in Icecrown Citadel. To further help raids, Varian Wrynn and Garrosh Hellscream will begin to provide assistance by inspiring the armies attacking Icecrown Citadel. This is represented as an additional zone wide spell effect applied to all players that will increase their hit points, damage dealt, and healing done. This effect will also increase in effectiveness over time. Players may opt out of the spell’s effect if they so wish.

My thoughts:

1. I actually have no problem with the Gating concept. It seems to fit well with the story they are attempting to build with the Ashen Verdict. It also saves guilds from feeling like they have to devote 24 hours to the raid instance for “first” kills. Although that would probably be the argument that top world and regional guilds would have against the “gating” idea.

2. A limit of five attempts seems a bit ridiculous. People are in raiding guilds because they enjoy raiding. If our time is too limited, you have the problem of boredom and losing core team members. Basically here, I just hope they know what they are doing and the potential pitfalls.

3. The buff that will gradually increase is a built in nerf. I don’t see the point of limiting the instance and building in a nerfing mechanic.

4. I’m still excited to see Icecrown Citadel. I’ve avoided too much spoiler information because I want to enjoy it. However, I’ll have to start researching boss abilities to ensure that my role is covered for my guildmates in our limited attempts.

5. I’m really glad they removed the Insanity and Immortality type of achievement. I dislike the dissention it could cause for raid teams. Making what should be farming run stressful and aggravating. This mechanic has not affected my guild yet in ToGC since we are still working on Anub, but I know it wasn’t fun for friends I have in other top guilds.

As always, it will be interesting to watch both the community feedback and the instance itself unfold. What an explosive 5th anniversary. πŸ™‚




The Astral Walker

We proved the worth of our world, Azeroth, tonight to Algalon the Observer.

He had this to say:

  • I have seen worlds bathed in the Maker’s‘ flames. Their denizens fading without so much as a whimper. Entire planetary systems born and raised in the time that it takes your mortal hearts to beat once. Yet all throughout, my own heart, devoid of emotion… of empathy. I… have… felt… NOTHING! A million, million lives wasted. Had they all held within them your tenacity? Had they all loved life as you do?
  • Perhaps it is your imperfection that which grants you free will. That allows you to persevere against cosmically calculated odds. You prevailed where the Titans’ own perfect creations have failed.
  • I’ve rearranged the reply code. Your planet will be spared. I cannot be certain of my own calculations anymore.
  • I lack the strength to transmit the signal. You must hurry. Find a place of power close to the skies.
  • Do not worry about my fate <name>. If the signal is not transmitted in time re-origination will proceed regardless. Save. Your. World.

Upon our hunter’s transmission of the Reply-Code AlphaΒ  in Dalaran:

Rhonin says: We received Brann’s message and we begun preparations.
Rhonin yells: Citiziens of Dalaran, raise your eyes to the skies and observe.
Rhonin yells: Today our world’s destruction has been averted in defiance of our very makers.
Rhonin yells: Algalon the Observer has been defeated by our brave comrades in the depths of the titans city of Ulduar.
Rhonin yells: Algalon was sent here to judge the fate of our world.
Rhonin yells: He found a planet whose races had deviated from the titans’ blueprints. A planet where not everything had gone according to plan.
Rhonin yells: Cold logic deemed our world not worth saving. Cold logic however does not account for the power of free will!
Rhonin yells: It’s up to each of us to prove this is a world worth saving! That our lives… our lives are worth living!

And on that note, RogueRaider is taking a nice jaunt to the sunny beaches of Florida for a week. Happy Raiding and living! πŸ™‚

*credit to for the in-game scripting*

Trial of the Grand Crusader – Anub’arak

You’ve made it through the 4 boss trials Tirion set forth to test our strength for the upcoming confrontation with The Lich King in Icecrown Citadel, but the fight isn’t over yet! After your raid defeats the Twin Val’kyrs and their orbs and shields of devestation, the Lich King enters and threatens to steal your soul.

Enter Anub’arak. This fight will test your raid’s ability to maximize positioning, tanking, healing, effective AoE damage, and ability to burn Anub to 30% and get to phase 3 with a minimum of burrow phases.

This is a great, intense fight for the rogue class and allows us to use our new WotLK abilities to their max potential. There is an awesome discussion going on over at the Rogue theorycrafting area on Elitist Jerks which you can read at the link posted below:

We started worked on our first full night of attempts, and were pleased with the progress we enjoyed. All that’s left to continue building on our phase 1 and 2 success, and manage DPS and healing to finish out phase 3.

I chose to run two combat specs in our first night of attempts to get some raid testing on which would grant me the most success in achieving my role. Rogues are generally expected to help provide great initial threat for the add tanks through well-managed usage of Tricks of the Trade combined with our combat abilities and cooldowns such as Fan of Knives, Blade Flurry, Adrenaline Rush, and Killing Spree.

I ran the 15/51/5 Combat CQC spec, and for this fight I dropped glyph of Rupture for glyph of Fan of Knives. A good majority of my guild’s strat for this fight relies on quick burn of the 4 adds that spawn in two cycles in Phase 1. With three rogues in the guild and a three tank strategy, we had no issues with add tank threat. After completing some more research, I’ll be throwing the poison combat build 18/51/2 in my dual spec to test the increase in poison damage in conjunction with so much FoK spam.

Looking forward to more work on this fight over the next week, and best of luck in your raiding adventures!

One More Dragon Pic

I’ll try to keep these to a minimum, but this is one of the most exciting moments for me. We’re not world first or server first, but we worked hard as a team and it was rewarded!

Heroic Glory of the Ulduar Raider! We defeated Yogg with only Thorim to guide us. πŸ™‚

Heroic GotUR

Heading into the Home Stretch

For a sort of World Series themed post, I think we all believe that the Wrath of the Lich King expansion is heading for home with what is probably the last major content patch before Cataclysm hits Azeroth moving closer to live.

I haven’t done a list post in a while, and I love some lists! So here are my favorite memories from Wrath of the Lich King:

1. Veteran of the Wrathgate

If I didn’t love WotLK until this moment, at 74 it captured me. The series of quests that start in Wintergarde Keep with my Rogue assisting the 7th Legion at the foot of Naxxramas, and leading up to the ill-fated joint Horde/Alliance assualt led by Bolvar and Saurfang on the Lich King at the Wrathgate captured my imagination. I enjoyed the series equally on my two alts that I levelled to max. This is truly the most epic chain I think I have experienced. I was a part of history, and a part of the world.

2. In the mountains

Catch phrases are fun. From the many wipes on Thorim and his hard mode, every guild enjoyed some form of joke at the forgetful Keeper’s expense. IN THE MOUNTAINS…this one lives on as an inside raider joke and an Elitist Jerks Blizzcon Tee.

3. War of the Fish Feasts

Fish Feasts. A buff food feast that can be shared by your entire team. Raiders old and new love you for providing this feast of less grinding for raid buffs. And sometimes your worth more than one. Grats to one of our hunters who won the coveted 5 dkp prize for spelling our guild’s initials out in fish feasts, and gave us all a screenshotted raid memory.

4. Firefighters

More than any of the Ulduar hardmodes, I’m going to take this Mimiron hard mode fight with me. It requires a coordination and personal accountability that isn’t to be found in many of the WotLK raid fights. It was sometimes frustrating, and we worked on it for hours. The kill was a blast.

5. Defeating the Twin Val’kyrs

Another favorite raiding moment, we struggled for several raids to manage the Twins Pact a moment when the raid has to burn down a shield and interrupt a healing cast. On our kill, the MT for Darkbane died at 11%, our last special was a light shield with 6 DPS down, and we managed to burn it and get the kill. Epic shouting and rejoicing for all. Luckily for our raid leaders nerves, subsequent kills are cleaner.

6. Massive Sinster Calling Runs

Everyone became more helpful and friendly than usual doing multiple Headless Horseman runs to ensure that those working on “The Hallowed” could achieve their goals.

7. Battleground Experience

I am having a blast levelling my DK that would probably have sat untouched. My significant other and I have taken our toons from 58-69 (thus far) mostly by taking advantage of the new PvP levelling system. You meet interesting people to be sure, and it’s a great break from the grindy feel of questing.

I’m sure I’ll have many more things to add with the 3.3 Icecrown Citadel Patch experience. Overall, I’m playing less and having more fun than I did in TBC days, even if I do miss some of the raiding aspects that made TBC fun. Things I wish would go away forever? Gear scoring and people that live for trade chat trolling. πŸ˜‰

Tier 9 for Rogues – Our optimal setups

Optimal builds for Rogues in PvE have always hinged on the weapons available to us. We are in the unique position in Crusader’s Collesium of having various weapon setups to choose from. Despite the slight outcry from the raiding community of the repetitiveness of the instance, Rogues play some key roles in several of the fights. So, it is a great instance for us as far as our role in the raid as well, but back to the gear!

As always the theorycrafting team over at Elitist Jerks, has provided us with best in slot recommendations and our optimal setup based on the gear currently available to us.

You can find this information here, as well as a great discussion on the EP values used to determine the information. There are also links to the most recent versions of the Combat and Mutilate spreadsheets.

The most common builds in Tier 9:

15/51/5 Close Quarters Combat – MH Fist weapon of slow speed (2.6 or higher) and OH Dagger of fast speed (1.5 or lower)

15/51/5 Mace/Dagger Combat – MH Mace of slow speed and OH dagger of fast speed

15/51/5 Hack and Slash Combat – MH Axe of slow speed and sword or axe OH of fast speed

51/13/7 Mutilate – MH dagger of slow speed and OH dagger of fast speed

While I am far from having best in slot yet, I have picked up a nice set of item level 245 gear. I was able to grab, The Grinder, from 10 man Trial of the Grand Crusader last week. My set up for this week’s raiding will be the 15/51/5 Combat Mace/Dagger setup. I’m going to try the ruptureless cycle that is discussed here at the end of the BiS discussion.The real thing to take from all of the discussions is that we are no longer on set rotations for combat. You have to have 100% uptime for Slice and Dice, but to pull the massive numbers we are capable of prioritizing finishers, energy pooling, and watching your trinket procs is the key to maximizing your output as a rogue.

We’re also getting ready to start our attempts on Heroic Anub in 25 mans. I’m really looking forward to the fight as it appears to have very tight tuning, and there are some interesting strats being tossed around in the raiding community.

Best of luck in your raiding adventures!

(All credit for this information goes to the EJ team including Aldriana especially, just a bit of my usuage of it and easy access to the links to the info!)