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 Alpha  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! 🙂

*credit to WoWWiki.com 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:

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!

War of the Fish Feasts

We wipe. Working on progression so everyone is hurrying to the buff spot to get that next attempt in that could be the kill. Raid leader puts up the macro 45 seconds left to buff. As I check my poisons, make sure Vezax is focused, and check my buffs. I pan around for the guild fish feast. What to my wondering eyes should appear…Not one, but TWO fish feasts!

Usually our fishy goodness is handled by the guild holy priest, but this time our resto shaman beat her to it. As they argue out the waste of laying two platters of catfish in the buff spot, we wonder about the possible starving orcs in Kalimdor that would love some fishes. Classic raiding moments.

fishfeasts

Also, I Love the Smell of Saronite…especially in the morning. Now turning off some lights, and working on Yogg with just the nightlight on. 😉

Spreadsheet….wtf?

If you’ve played a Rogue in the World of Warcraft, you’ve probably had this statement thrown at you at least once, “Use the spreadsheet.”

Um…what? What is this mystical spreadsheet? How the heck do I find it? And best of all, WTF, it only lists epic raid gear.

Yes, my rogue friend. The spreadsheets available from the theorycrafting community over at Elitist Jerks are the best way to figure out min/maxing your character. However, if this seems intimidating or you can’t find your gear, you may need a resource that the more experienced and sometimes scary rogues on the official forums won’t send you to.

Zodar has put together an amazing reference for rogues trying to navigate their way through the mass amounts of PvE, PvP and other random gearsets available. His spreadsheets list gear based on AEP (agility equivalency points). There’s no plugging things in on your own or figuring out formulas in Excel. He also gives instructions and definitions of his meanings as well as some great starter info.

So if all the talk of spreadsheets is stressing you out, confusing you, or making you want to punch out your monitor. Head over to http://www.shadowpanther.net, and give those lists a try.

As much as I garner amusement from some of the threads on our official class forums, I remember being that rogue just trying to figure things out, too.

Another great community that’s a bit more forgiving to people that may not be hardcore raiders/pvpers can be found at http://www.roguespot.com. They’ll suggest the spreadsheets, too, but in a more forgiving and community driven way.

For the actual spreadsheets, head here:

http://elitistjerks.com/f78/t39136-combat_3_2_mutilate_3_1_spreadsheets/

Patch 3.2.2 Goes Live

Happy Patch Day!

Patch 3.2.2 is now available for download. This patch launches the Onyxia 4 year anniversary encounter updated to level 80 as well as some class talent changes for Rogues and a few other classes. Full official patch notes can be read here.

Don’t forget to download and update your out of date addons, and enjoy the crazy that is a WoW patch day! I’m so glad that our raiding schedule is Mon/Wed/Thurs….but my arena team is supposed to play tonight. 😦

No mention of whether talent point refunds will be given due to the class changes.

A great summary of how the 3.2.2 class changes will affect the current raid game can be found over at StratFu.

Changes affecting Rogues:

-Armor Penetration Rating: The amount of armor penetration gained per point of this rating has been reduced by 12%.

Rogues

  • Envenom’s scaling has been increased from 7% to 9% of attack power per combo point.

  • Fan of Knives: The damage done by this ability has been reduced by 30%.

  • Talents

  • Assassination

  • Master Poisoner: No longer increases the Deadly Poison application rate following a successful Envenom and instead now provides a 33/66/100% chance of preventing Envenom from consuming Deadly Poison.

  • Combat

  • Throwing Specialization: This talent no longer causes Fan of Knives to interrupt spellcasting.

  • Subtlety

  • Honor Among Thieves: A 1-second cooldown is now enforced on how often a rogue can gain combo points from his party via this talent.

There’s a Bad Moon on the Rise….

A Bad Night…

 

So have you ever had an “off night” in raiding? Sure we hardcore would like to claim that we’re always perfect, never bad and never make a misstep. One thing I’ve learned in raiding is that almost everyone can have a bad day now and then.

 

What’s a bad night in raiding you might ask? Well, if it’s a bad night overall for the guild it means maybe you have a non-optimal composition, the guild is floundering on farm content you’ve been clearing for weeks, or just everyone happens to be in PMS mode for no reason. If you, as an individual raider, are having a bad night when the guild is doing well it can make you start scouting out Ebay prices for your toon. Sadly, I know my rogue was worth WAY more around the end of August when T6/Sunwell gear reigned supreme. I jest, I couldn’t sell…and that brings us to …. A LIST! (yeah, I know..surprising right?)

 

I’m Only Bad on Tuesdays Raid Mistakes

 

-Your fps is in the floor, and your router continuously crashes.

Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to hold a steady connection. It can fluster you leading to more problems.

 

-You failed at a boss mechanic that you usually nail when the rest of the guild succeeded.

Heigan Dance Dance Revolution anyone? Heigan is the new Teron/Archimonde/M’uru – you feel absolutely retarded when you fail dancing his fissures. Also while we’re on Naxx – Frogger? I rest my case. Of course, you always have the one lucky guy that never, ever messes these up that everyone secretly hopes fails soon.

 

-You come back after a break and have missed the learning/progression nights.

Most good raiders it takes one time through or less to feel comfortable in an instance. Not being present for the learning attempts can make you feel out of your element.

 

Ah well. Usually as long as you aren’t “That guy/gal/whatever” repeatedly, your raidmates will forgive you. Although prepare for it to be brought up three years from now when loot for the latest legendary is being decided, “Hey guys, remember that night that _____ failed at the Heigan dance, Thaddius jump, and Frogger! Way to fail!”

 

As ever, Happy “bad free” Raiding!

 

Wrath, Levelling, and Endgame…oh my!

Level 80. Hello end game, nice to see you again. Thursday will mark my second week in Northrend. I’ve levelled to 80, and the guild has cleared New Naxx (it’s really old Naxx, but for 25…or whatever).

I’m trying not to go emo disappointed like so many of my fellow raiders over raiding difficulty. We are the people who learned Sunwell when it launched and had an insane amount of difficulty. Truth be told, I’m not sure I want that kind of intensity forever. Sure, I love the end game and I enjoy a challenge but…I can’t keep it up forever the clock it is ticking away…anyway. End game rant some other time. Yeah it’s time for a list.

1. Quest chains.

Nicely paced, and gave a good flow to the levelling process. You couldn’t really skip ahead to other zones, but the levelling pace could be as fast as you were willing to push.

2. Dragonblight

So many things made the zone my favorite. This zone truly brought back the epic, fantasy feel to World of Warcraft. This zone alone restored some of my wonder with the game. (the baby bear pet on their birthday didn’t hurt either).

3. Wrathgate, The Battle for Undercity, and EPIC QUESTS

All of these things take place through the Dragonblight zone. I don’t want to spoil this for those that may not have seen it. It is totally amazing. This was some of the most fun I have ever had playing any game.

4. I’m annoyed I dropped skinning for herbalism in TBC.

Guess what the currency is for some LW patterns? Yep, skins. /facepalm

5. Icecrown zone

Only second to Dragonblight in epic feel and questing fun. As a lore lover, I adore this story immersion it’s truly fun and a joy.

AFK….levelling

Like most members of raiding guilds, all my free time is being spent in a push to 80. No vacation time left for me this late in the year, so I’m running about middle of the pack as far as levelling goes.

When I do ding 80, in the next 2-3 days, I can’t wait to share my Northrend experience (yep, lists incoming!)

I will confess that raiding isn’t my only reason for getting my main up to speed quickly…..like a lot of people, I’m dying to work on my Death Knight. 🙂

Stay Warm! Happy Levelling!

Countdown….T minus 3 days and counting…

I’ll have my pre-ordered copy of Wrath of the Lich King, WoW’s second expansion, in my hot little rogue hands on Wednesday night at midnight. Sadly, I don’t have the vacation time available to take the 13th off. However, the weekend and I know the next three days are a flurry of last minute preparation for me and many others. I’ll share my checklist below. How are you preparing to meet Arthas?

1. High level alt with Herbalism, a key to the new Inscription profession, transferred from old server.

Check. Eight levels to go in 3 days. Hmm. Probably won’t make it, but I may make the level 68 cutoff that is necessary for Northrend levelling.

2. Classic and Outland Raider achievements completed.

Well, mostly. Still need AQ20, 40, and ZG. Cleaned up getting credit for MC, BWL, and Onyxia with the guild this weekend. Outland is complete as of 10/15.

3. Farm a lot of gold for levelling enchants, gems, and profession levelling.

Farming gold is not one of my strong points in the game, but I’ve got a bit set aside. Is it enough to level one toon from 70 to 80, one from 62 to 80, a Death Knight from 55 to 80, and the professions for three characters? Only time will tell.

4. Spend banked and resetting Arena points.

Isn’t going to happen. I have 1268 points. The Brutal that I’m able/need to get, I have. Ah well, I could buy the crappy gems, but I’ve got a store of epic gems purchased with my bank of badges of justice.

5. Say goodbye to Outlands – Final level 70 raids.

We already had our final level 70 Mt. Hyjal and Black Temple raids. I guess, as a hardcore raider, I should say we had our final Sunwell on 10/13, but I’m not that cynical. Final Sunwell Plateau is Tuesday. I don’t feel a need to say goodbye to level 70 Serpentshrine Caverns and Tempest Keep. Vashj can still kiss my nether regions.

The Burning Crusade was overall a fun success I’d say. What a journey it really was. Blizzard went from long attunement quest chains to dropping those attunements and adopting a “come one, come all” philosophy as far as raids were concerned. The face of the game has changed, is changing. Can’t wait to see what Northrend brings…..

For the Alliance! For the Horde! Death to the Lich King! GoGo level 80. 🙂

Vanish – The History

Vanish. Supposedly our best and most coveted ability, and yet….it rarely works as the Rogue community believes it should. Does this mean working as intended?

 

Today from the Rogue forums, a history of Vanish and the trials and tribulations of WoW Rogues using this ability. Post crafted by Janissary of <Clan Relicforge> Argent Dawn server. A level 70 Dwarf Female Rogue which is a rogue type as rare as working vanish. 😉

 

Post can be found here, but is copied in full and original form for preservation below:

 

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=12354236856&sid=1

 

A Scientific Theory of Vanish:

The History, The Bug, The Mechanics, and the Fix

Table of Contents
Intro
Disclaimers
Timeline
The Fallacy of Blaming Vanish’s Unreliability on Latency
How Does Vanish Actually Work?
So Then What Really Happened in Patch 1.10?
So Can it be Fixed?

Intro
So, I know rogues have been whining about vanish for quite a while. I don’t think anyone knows how it works, how it’s “supposed” to work, or even how it used to work. To some extent, it’s all still fairly speculative. However, this post is an attempt to provide a compendium of all known and suspected information we have on Vanish.

Disclaimers

  I’m going to try to avoid the “players vs blizzard mentality.

  I am not a programmer.

  A lot of what I say in this post is speculative and not proven.

  A rogue has been my main since fall 2005. Prior to this i played a priest. This means that my rogues post-date the OLD vanish bug, but as I understand it, it was basically the same as the current one.

Timeline
So before we start talking about vanish, here’s a timeline. Vanish basically has three distinct periods. It started out bugged, then got fixed, and the broken again. To clarify this, I’ve assembled a timeline of relevant patch notes.

November 2004
Vanish Status: Bugged
WoW launches. Rogues vanish ability often fails to stealth the rogue, especially when in melee. Rogues call it simply “Vanish Bug”. It is the subject of much rogue QQ. I’ll be referring to this as the “Old Vanish Bug”.

December 18, 2004 Patch 1.2
Vanish Status: Bugged
Root and snare break added to vanish.
http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/patch-12-18-04.html


Q u o t e:
Vanish will now break root and slow effects.


May 5, 2005 Patch 1.4
Vanish Status: Bugged
The patch where the PvP honor system debuts. In this patch, the strength of the “improved stealth” buff vanish granted was increased.
http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/patch-05-04-19.html


Q u o t e:
Vanish – Increased stealth bonus.


June 7, 2005 Patch 1.5
Vanish Status: Fixed
The first two battlegrounds, WSG and AV, go live. The Old Vanish Bug is fixed. Starting with this patch, complaints about vanish virtually, well, vanish. It was with the battlegrounds that i got sick of playing my priest and decided to make my rogue alt my main. During this time, I never, ever, ever had any trouble with Vanish. If it failed, it was always because i was DOTted, or got demo shouted, but never did it just “not work”.
http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/patch-05-06-07.html


Q u o t e:
Vanish – Should be a lot more responsive when used to avoid incoming attacks.


October 10, 2005 Patch 1.8
This was the green dragons patch. A bug relating to ice armor is fixed-vanish now removes the slow debuff it causes.
http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/patch1p8.html


Q u o t e:
Vanish – Fixed a bug where the Chilled effect caused by Ice Armor/Frost Armor was not removed properly when vanishing.


March 28, 2006: Patch 1.1
This is was the patch that put in weather effects, tier .5 armor, chainable flight paths, and the so called “Shadowmeld nerf”.

This was also the patch that “broke” vanish again. That is to say, starting with this patch, Rogues noticed that vanish frequently failed to put them in stealth, particularly when they were in close quarters combat with another melee class. “Auto attacked out of stealth” became a common phrase on the rogue forums.
http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/patch1p10.html

Here is everything stealth and vanish related from the patch notes:


Q u o t e:

  Stealth and Invisibility effects will now be canceled at the beginning of an action (spellcast, ability use etc…), rather than at the completion of the action.

  Applying Rogue poisons will no longer break Stealth.

  Channelled spells are cancelled when a rogue vanishes.

  Fixed a bug which prevented Vanish from working properly under certain
conditions.


So it is from this patch, in March 2006, where you start to see rogues complaining about vanish again. You get videos like this one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jN-tY_eHCg from june 2006, in which rogues are getting pulled out of vanish by level 1 players auto attacking them. There are others as recent as a few weeks old on youtube.

Also from that point on, you don’t see much about vanish failurs in patch notes anymore. Here are the subsequent mentions of vanish in patch notes since march 2006.


Q u o t e:

  1.11 – Vanish: Canceling your Stealth aura while Vanish is running will now cause Vanish to be canceled as well.

  1.12 – Vanish now removes effects that allow the caster to always remain aware of their target (currently Hunter’s Mark and Mind Vision).

  1.12 – Reduced the number of messages in the combat log when using the Vanish ability.

  1.12 – Fixed a bug that made Combo Points disappear from your target when using Vanish.

  1.12 – Neutral guards are now able to see through the rogue Vanish ability.

  2.06 – Resisted spells will no longer break “Stealth”/”Vanish”.

  2.06 – “Vanish” will now properly un-target the Rogue from the attacker when the attacker is in the same party.

  2.2 – Pets will no longer chase players that Vanish.

  2.43 – Vanish now correctly wipes threat on Kil’jaeden.

  2.43 – Abilities that can be used while stealthed, without breaking stealth, can now be cast without breaking Vanish when used at the same time.

  2.43 – Vanish: This ability will no longer sometimes cause the UI to display Shadowmeld as active when it has been cancelled.

  3.0 – Evasion, Sprint and Vanish cooldowns reduced to 3 min.

  3.0 – Vanish no longer requires the reagent Flash Powder.


As you can see, after March 2006, there are no references made in the patch notes about fixing the Vanish Bug which rogues have been experiencing since 1.10. In fact, for a very, very long time, the CMs ignored the issue entirely on the forums as well.

Now, to Blizzard’s credit, Vanish is actually better now than it was in March 2006. There have been some “stealth bugfixes”. Auto attacks will no longer *ALWAYS* pull you out of stealth. Although they often still do. Today, if you talk to a PvP rogue, they will probably tell you that vanish works for them somewhere between 40% and 60% of the time.

Eventually, however, blue posts do begin to turn up, first saying that it will be looked into, then saying that the unreliability of vanish is due to latency, and that it is unavoidable.

 

The Fallacy of Blaming Vanish’s Unreliability on Latency

Now, I’m highly inclined to give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt. I do not think they were trying to give rogues a “stealth nerf” (no pun intended). I do not think they’re trying to screw us or lie to us, and it would be against their interests as a company to screw rogues over. That said…

There’s one huge flaw in the latency explanation. Blaming the unreliability of vanish on latency utterly fails to account for the fact that vanish worked very well from June 2005 through March 2006. Obviously internet lag did not cease to exist during those 10 months, so there HAS to be something else going on with vanish than JUST lag.

Which brings us to…

How Does Vanish Actually Work?

Up until now, everything I’ve said in this post is fact. Now I’m going into theory… and I might be wrong. If you have any experiences that are inconsistent with my theory, please let me know and I’ll consider revising it. Anyway…

I’ve seen a lot of rogues say that vanish “used to” give 1-2 seconds of total immunity to incoming spells when used, which acted as a lag buffer and made vanish reliable, and that blizz shortened or removed this in 1.10 I see two flaws with this theory. One is that post 1.10, vanish could still be used to negate “in air” spells, and can to this very day. I remember using vanish to avoid Maexxna’s web ability in Naxxramas in vanilla WoW. Even Pally bubbles couldn’t immune that spell, but a perfectly timed vanish could. This leads me to believe that vanish uses a different type of immunity mechanic than anything else in the game. The other reason I don’t believe in the “total immunity” theory is that even during the 6/05-3/06 period, you could still get destealthed a fraction of a second after vanishing by a demo shout or an aoe spell, so you clearly weren’t truly immune.

Personally, I believe that the immunity function of vanish was (and still is) something to do with “in flight” spells ONLY.

Now obviously, lag is a factor. Many times we’ve been given an explanation entailing a rogue client telling the server “vanish me!” at the same time a warrior client says to the server “mortal strike the rogue!” and the server must decide who was there first. Again however, it would seem that this is an oversimplified explanation. If the vanish call gets in first, then there should be no rogue to receive that mortal strike. If the mortal strike gets there first, then the rogue should take damage from it but still vanish successfully shortly afterward. However, this is not what rogues are experiencing. What we see is vanish playing its animation, telling us we’re stealthed, and then immediately fading WITHOUT us taking any damage. I’m really not sure why the hit that breaks the vanish gets lost by the server… but I’d much rather be taking that hit and then disappearing than avoiding that damage itself and having vanish fail.

Obviously, it really isn’t that simple, because depending on how much of vanish’s functionality happens client-side, you could still have the issue of a hit coming in from the server after the client think’s it’s successfully pulled off a vanish. However, this STILL doesn’t explain why it worked beautifully for 10 months.

So Then What Really Happened in Patch 1.10?

Logically, there are a limited number of possibilities.

1. Remember when blizz added a server side debuff check to dispel abilities before they could cast? Ostensibly this saved casters some mana on wasted dispels, but it also created a little bit of lag on the casting of those spells. Now imagine Blizzard changed the way Stealth/Vanish code worked intentionally for similar reasons, and unintentionally caused vanish to be less reliable as a result.

or…

2. It’s got nothing to do with change from client to server decision making, they just accidentally borked it while they were messing around with stealth code for other things.
2a. And they just haven’t nailed it down yet
2b. And they decided that vanish may have been too reliable so they left it the way it was–not completely broken, but considerably more susceptible to lag than it used to be.

or…

3. They just wanted to be jerks and nerf us without ever admitting it was a nerf.

I think if rogues are honest, they can rule out 3. It doesn’t serve blizz any purpose to lie to us about vanish, especially now, over 2 years later.

My theory is that damage is decided by the server, but vanish *used to* be decided by the client, and this took precedence over any incoming damage reported by the server after the client vanished. In other words, if a rogue vanished at the same time as a warrior hit MS, the warrior client would say to the server “please roll the RNG and give me a MS on this rogue” the rogue client would say to the server “Screw him, I’m vanished!” Of course, this would be a security issue, as anything that happens client-side in an online game is infinitely easier to hack and abuse. My theory is that in 1.10 vanish got moved over to a “request” to the server. “Please vanish me,” says the rogue client to the server. “Nope, you’ got MS’d” says the server.

So this is what I think happened

WoW 1.5 Vanish
1. Rogue Client denies any incoming spells that are in-air from client’s perspective. (The special vanish immunity)
2. Rogue Client immediately plays vanish animation, consumes reagent, starts cooldown, etc
3. Rogue Client asks server to put rogue in extra-powerful stealth, denies any incoming damage from server.
4. Rogue Client asks server to drop rogue out of combat.
5. No blanket immunity
6. No explicit command to detarget–stealth does that for you

WoW 1.10 Vanish
1. Rogue Client requests server to deny any incoming spells that are in-air from the SERVER’s perspective
2. Rogue Client immediately plays vanish animation, consumes reagent, starts cooldown, etc
3. Rogue Client asks server to put rogue in extra-powerful stealth, damage incoming from the “lag window” causes vanish to fail.
4. Rogue Client asks server to drop rogue out of combat.
5. No blanket immunity
6. No explicit command to detarget–stealth does that for you… unless it never applies, in which case the enemy continues hitting you like you’d never done anything at all.

So Can it be Fixed?

Designing online games, and deciding whether decisions will be made client side vs server side is a tradeoff. Client side decisions make the game more responsive and lighten the load of processing the server must do. However, they can be spoofed by hacking programs. Think of aimbots in the old Counterstrike. If the server is listening for the client to say “i just fired and missed” or “i just got a headshot on MrKillr007”, then all a hacker has to do is write a program that sends the “i just got a headshot” packet to the server. The solution, of course, is to simply have the client say “I just fired a rocket at 3 degrees elevation and 44 degrees northeast while standing at x coordinates” and then have the server decide if that bullet actually hits anything. Client side is faster and less laggy, Server side is more secure. Most games do a little of both, making some things, like blinking eyes and jumping, client side, and others, like bullet trajectories, server side.

So, if vanish is too abusable to be client side, can blizzard ever fix it like it was?

Not really, but they can get very close, if they think creatively. My theory is that blizzard put moved the in-air spell break and damage ignoring from client side to server side, but kept the animation and cooldown trigger client-side so that the ability still feels “instant”, even though it really isn’t. The time between the client playing vanish and the server actually putting you in stealth is the window in which vanish currently fails. I bet Blizz made this change because somebody was abusing a client-side command for damage immunity with one of those WoW hack programs, so they moved it server side.

There are a couple ways to fix it though. The simplest would be to do to vanish whatever it is that Feign Death already does. I’m not sure how they’ve got Feign working right now, but as far as i can tell it reliably forces a player to detarget the hunter 100% of the time. What FD does NOT do is stop in-air spells or protect the Hunter from damage of debuffs in any way. Is FD a client-side decision? Is it still client side because FD’s detarget is less abusable by hackers than Vanish’s in-air spell immunity? If so, could we get the detarget code FD uses added into vanish?

Another possible solution would be to immediately refresh the vanish cooldown if the vanish debuff disappears without the rogue actually being hit by anything or using an opener, allowing rogues to immediately attempt to vanish again. I can see how this might annoy non rogues though, who would see it as a buff, not as a bug fix.

Another solution, assuming both damage and vanish perform server checks, would be to NOT have the ability actually cast until it’s “won the race” with any damage spells. This would make it exactly the same as the dispel checks, and it would put create lag between pressing the button for vanish and actually vanishing. Please DON’T do this as it would be infinitely frustrating because vanish needs to be a “twitch” ability to make any sense.

Finally, you could make it so that for a split second after vanish activates, stealth will not break from any damage or debuff, although the debuffs/damage would still go through. The trick here would be to get the time short enough that it keeps vanish from failing all the time, but not long enough to be unfair to anyone trying to pull the rogue back out of stealth with an AoE or whatever.

 

All of these hinge around giving the client back the authority to do SOMETHING on it’s own… something too innocuous to be an attractive target for exploits, but not so innocuous as to be useless. Personally, I think the infusion of FD detarget code is the one that makes the most sense.

I’m hoping with some other player feedback we can refine this and distill to the point where we can take it to blizzard. Cuz i just wrote a very, very long post, but really all i want is to be able to vanish and have it work