Balancing Act

Yes, Rogues were hit with the “Balance” stick over the past week. However, I will say the changes didn’t hit as hard as I feared. Or, it’s possible that I just braced myself for it more than I realized.

The base numbers coming down through the “internetz” is that it works out to about a 7-8% drop in Mutilate damage and a 2% for Combat.

/shrug

Nerfing and Balancing are just a part of life in any MMO really. The part of this change that bothers me is really the fact that the developers stated that it was due to their notice of guilds stacking rogues for certain encounters. A lot of those guilds of course then benched or kicked the rogues and brought other classes. I was trying to find the quote so I’m not just slandering the posters in blue, but I’ve been unsuccessful for the moment.

Things like this do make feel a bit for fellow rogues not as lucky as I. Sure, we’re all stealthy loners that love the shadows, but we do enjoy some group play now and again. Thank you to my guild’s officers for your wonderful job at keeping the class balance and maintaining the roster and attitude we have. It’s a pleasure to stab for you.

Although Ghostcrawler did get a snappy new sig from the Rogue “hotfixes”:

“Blizzard’s solution was F) Destroy the sun.”

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=22418944030&sid=1&pageNo=15#280

Will I lose my Rogue card if I claim to not care whether I’m first or 10th on an addon damage meter as long as the boss dies or the encounter is successful?

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Likes and Fixes…Patch 3.3

And today we get a round of fixes (nerfs ;)) to the previously released Patch 3.3 Frozen Halls dungeons and Icecrown Citadel raid encounters as well as some extra rewards for actually remaining in those Oculus randoms that pop up now and again.

The highlights and a LINK back to the source.

1/5/10

  • The Lady Deathwhisper encounter has seen the following changes in the 25 player normal version: mana pool has been reduced, the health on all adds has been reduced, and Adherents will wait a little longer after spawning before they start casting.
  • Interrupting a fireball being cast by the Ymirjar Flamebearers in normal and heroic Pit of Saron will no longer make them instantly cast Hellfire.
  • The ghost waves at the beginning of both normal and heroic Halls of Reflection have undergone several changes that should make them easier to defeat such as preventing 2 mages or 2 mercenaries from spawning in the 5 mob pulls, a shorter duration of the spectral footman’s shield bash, and the spectral mage’s flamestrike having a longer cast time, shorter duration, and (in heroic) doing less damage.
  • The Oculus loot improvements posted here have been made: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=22418861894&pageNo=1&sid=1#0

So now I feel kind of bad for being all kick happy on the PoS mobs. It’s a bit  juvenile, but seeing people post LFG H-PoS really makes me giggle inside. Also, I don’t think Lady Deathwhisper needed a nerf. It was the only fight in the first wing of ICC that really felt challenging. Oh no, it takes a few wipes to down that? We have to make it easier. Seriously guys, I didn’t love the M’uru wipe fest either, but Lady D was no where near that kind of harsh. (People who claim to have loved M’uru are 1] Sadists-in a bad way and 2]suffering from long term memory issues.)

So a couple of weeks into Patch 3.3 The Fall of the Lich King, I definitely have my likes down:

1. Mutilate. Mutilate. Mutilate – I absolutely love playing this game as a Rogue wielding daggers. I was a bit ignorant in TBC. Thus, why I subjected myself to Combat Daggers up until Lady Vashj. O..M..G…though. Mutilate is so good right now, it feels sinful to use it. Like dps-ing with really good chocolate or scotch.

2. Gunship Battle – Oh ye who complain about vehicle fights, leave your complaints at the teleporter. This fight has it all. Portals with spawning mobs, Cannons and cannon fodder, Battle mages, Faction warfare against Flying Gunships, and last but now least gas-powered ROCKET PACKS. My only regret is that I don’t have a raiding toon Horde side to see this fight from that angle, too.  As melee, I get to zip back and forth between the two ships taking down battle-mages, rocketeers, and axe throwers. Now this is gaming.

3. The opening emote sequence to ICC – Yeah, Trial of the Crusader/grand crusader and its four raid ID’s has me tired of Tirion’s emoting speeches, too. But this starter scene between him, Muradin, the Lich King, and our fallen friend Bolvar almost makes it worth it. I’m loving watching this story unfold.

4. Professor Putricide – I should probably be worried, but I’m really looking forward to stepping through the gate leading to the Plagueworks of ICC and this boss that was barely tested EU side PTR. For once, we don’t have massive amounts of PTR strats and raid kill videos. We have a basic ability list, and we’re going to have to figure it out. In 10 attempts or less. Looking forward to the intensity.

TL;DR version – Mutilate = sinfully good, Gunship Battle = stellar, My anticipation level for the rest of ICC = high

As always, happy raiding!

Ventrilo

Voice chat is what really makes MMO’s or any online gaming and raiding guilds fun. Even though our guild is really good about remaining quiet for the raid leader and officers during our raids, the sounds you hear when we beat something worked on is a big part of the fun in team play.

A guild member was nice enough to fraps Monday’s Heroic Anub kill…including vent. This is a transcript of the last 5% of the fight: (which may bore a lot of you, but I like having the record of it :D)

Main Tank Druid – Penetrating Cold 3 seconds

Melee Class Lead – Watch MT, he’s low!

(main tank dies – boss at 3%)

Warrior OT (raid leader) – Taunting, Shield Walling, Got it! Pally OT get all the adds!

Paladin OT – I CAN’T

(both rogues tricks and FoK the adds to the Pally)

Pally OT – Stunning the adds.

Warrior OT – I’m dead. 1% Burn him, go go.

(all 3 tanks, and half the raid is dead)

Main Tank Druid – WTF seriously? He’s almost dead.

Warrior OT – DISPERSION PRIESTS. DISPERSION.

(More people drop dead to either agg or penetrating cold)

(5 raid members alive – 2 rogues, 2 hunters, and resto shaman that popped back up)

(The rogues die, Shaman dies again, 2 hunters left)

Warrior OT – Go Hunters. Burn him!

(Hunter 1 dies, 10k health)

Anub dies,  Last hunter dies, Achievements pop

(various general screams, shouts, and other excitement)

Me – *laughs* That’s awesome, the whole raid’s dead.

Main Tank Druid – OMFG I love you Hunter #2! I EFFING LOVE YOU, MAN!

Shadow Priest – I’m screenshotting that. Just like that.

Resto Shaman (that popped up) – I rezzed! I THREW FLAME SHOCK AND LIGHTNINGS AND EVERYTHING I HAD AT HIM!

(various I’m so screen shotting this)

Raid Leader – Go ahead and release gang. We’ll loot after everyone’s in.

Patch 3.3 LIVE

Patch 3.3 hit live servers this week, and was relatively smooth for a patch day. I love my guild leaders for not scheduling a main 25 raid for us on Tuesdays, so we get a bit of a cushion from UI rebuilding and laggy servers.

Most notably Patch 3.3 introduces:

1. Icecrown Citadel (Tier 10) 10 and 25 man raids and a new 3-wing 5 man dungeon The Frozen Halls.

2. Dungeon Finder and random heroics with PuG’d party members from your server’s battlegroup.

The Rogue class changes also bring with them some adjustments to our game play. You can read an update to the EJ Simple Questions/Simple Answers here. The basic combat spec changes to 20/51/0 and is edged out by Mutilate for top DPS in PvE encounters.

I had my first opportunity to run ICC 25 man last night. Our guild was the second on the server to clear all four available bosses in one raid night despite our Wednesday start. In 2 hours and 15 minutes of raiding we cleared through Deathbringer Saurfang then finished with the weekly Instructor Raz raid quest in Naxxramas.

Some notes on ICC:

1. Gorgeous music. Yeah, I know. I don’t play with music on all the time either. But you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t zone in early, and take a second to listen.

2. The Rogue Quartermaster is a gnome! Hell yeah represent….uh. I mean yeah the Tier 10 set looks bad on that rogue, too. 😉

3. GUNSHIP IS AWESOME – It goes down in my book as the most fun vehicle fight…ever, ever, ever. Jet packs, cannons, faction fighting. It’s a blast. Even if our chest was bugged and we didn’t get any loot or emblems for completing it last night, lol.

4. Take the time to watch what happens between after you kill Deathbringer Saurfang. Tragic.

So excited to see what else the Citadel has to offer. So far, so good. I know better than to complain about the ease of defeating these encounters. This is still normal guys. Heroic hasn’t opened yet. 😉

Happy Raiding! And Happy Holidays!

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.

 

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:

http://elitistjerks.com/f78/t77307-anubarak_hard_mode_tips/

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!

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!)