Rogue UI – My Favorite Addons

 

I love a large, clean middle of my screen. The better to find and stealth kill you, my dear. Unfortunately, I’m playing on a 5 year old laptop. The graphics upgrades to the game have not been friendly to my tired machine.

My solution has been to whittle down my addon usage to only “necessary” additions. By necessary, I really mean what I must have to be able to stand to do what I enjoy in game. As a 10man raider and avid arena player, I need clear space, quick information, and room for many keybindings.

Best change implemented in recent Cata patches for me was definitely moveable target and player frames. This allowed me to live with ditching Pitbull and Grid and move to using only the Blizzard standard raid and party frames. The name of the PvE game in Cataclysm is interrupts in Tier11 content as well as the 4.1 Troll heroics. Being forced to look at the top left corner of my screen for a spellcast in addition to watching my environment for danger and managing my cooldowns/buffs was enough to drive a gnome girl mad.

And so, the list:

1. Dominos – I absolutely cannot stand having the standard, unresizeable large standard bars. I have everything in my arsenal bound to various hotkeys. I’ve been using these abilities for 6 years plus, so I definitely don’t have to stare at them. Dominos is lightweight and extremely customizeable for all your action bar needs.

2. PowerAuras – With PA, you can show buffs & debuffs on your character with various “auras” that you can size, resize and place left, right, up, down or all around your character.

3. FuBar & Plug-ins – I use DurabilityFu & MoneyFu.

4. Omen – Threatmeter. A dead rogue does ZERO dps. Also helpful for realizing when it’s your turn to pop evasion and tank it up.

5. Skada – Damage meter, how you died, % of damage by abilities, etc.

6. Deadly Boss Mods – My favorite raiding boss timer addon since BC. I’ve tried some of the others, but I always end up using my steadfast DBM.

7. GnomishInterruptor – Announces successful interrupts to your party for easy rotation management (or finding out who failed at their blast nova on Nef). Not updated for 4.1 as of Tuesday, unfortunately. 😦

All of the above are easy to find by a quick visit to wow.curse.com.

 

UI Raid Style

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

UI -full keybinds

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4.1 – Stealth Buffed? Wtf?

Never in my wildest rogue dreams would I imagine Blizzard granting the following:

“Stealth base cooldown has been reduced to 6 seconds, down from 10, and the movement penalty from being in Stealth has been removed.”

A buff to our most hated ability? We must be dreaming. After a week of battleground and arenas in my Sub spec, I can say the buff to stealth is fun but it just feels evil.

My other favorite class gain in 4.1?

“Tricks of the Trade now has a 100-yard range, up from 20.”

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Now I don’t have to run 40 yards from my assigned Al’Akir spot to reapply TotT if my guildies get chatty when we should be pulling. 🙂

A full list of the Rogue specific changes can be found here:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2657803#rogues

Internet Anonymity – Conduct in a Virtual World

On Thursday, the GM of my guild kicked over 400 members. Unfortunately, I was at work and didn’t see the actual drama unfold which involved some abuse of GMOTD (guild message of the day) as well as a general guild “catfight” over lack of monetary distribution and failure to provide access to game content on the guild level.

The result was the mass kick of around 400 people from a guild that hit 25 only 3 weeks ago. The drama may have ended there after a few days of server wide trade chat complaining and possibly a call out on the server forums (does anyone even use the new style?). However, our leader’s rage was not assuaged by the kicking. He wrote out his feelings in a diatribe posted on the main page of our site. It didn’t take long for the letter to be linked both on the general WoW forums as well as MMO Champion. It was one of those shots heard round the internet, or at least heard around the WoW community. “The incident” has now made its way to my twitter feed, and been linked by several blog sites.

I have experienced a myriad of emotions over the issue. On one hand, I’m on the last leg of my journey through Azeroth. It takes more and more effort to pull away from RL (real life) things that are currently holding my attention and log on for my scheduled 10 man or arena matches with my WoW buddies. On the other, I’ve truly enjoyed my time with these guys. Of the 10 of us, I’ve played with 8 off and on in hardcore 25’s since Sunwell in late-BC, and I’m married to the other one. Sure, it can be challenging raiding with a bunch of dudes. They can be assholes sometimes, and they enjoy “ribbing” each other. We all enjoy the occasional beer or 20 on a raid night sometimes to the detriment of the content being worked on. A regular bunch of WoW “joes” rambling through 10 man content.

Anyway, the whole thing really did grow out of a joke. At first, we didn’t give them guild chat access, but that felt cruel so we turned it on. Created a bank tab, created some forums, answered silly questions, prevented people from typing in all caps in chat. As time wore on, we, the original raid team, finished 12/12 raid content to the point that we could do it in one 3 hour session instead of 2 nights. The gold was rolling in from our sales of BoE epics from Tier 11 content (NOT from the guild perk). There was an increase in gold begging, run begging, silly question asking. We booted repeat or extreme offenders and kept chugging along. We started running an alt run on the other night, and started pulling in a few of our well liked guild members.

I’d like to state now for the record that we NEVER, EVER, EVER took herbs, gold or any kind of mats from any of these people to support our raiding activities. This misconception in the whole thing makes me laugh and irritated. Anyone who would think this has never been on a raid team. Of the 10 of us, we have 8 people with 6 alts with epic flying earned long before Cataclysm ever launched. We didn’t need to steal money from these people. Learn to AH.

Alt runs weren’t enough for them. We promoted officers from their ranks as he stated. Gave them forums. Posted our strats in strat threads. Hosted rated battleground nights (that 3 people out of 400 showed up for). The push to 25 came, and with much begging, pleading and cajoling the 8 of us willing to run heroics to push our level managed to split up and get some of the running with us. For the most part, indifference.

After 25, our GM had pretty much had enough as had most of the founding members. Guild chat was a mess, the natives were hitting 85 and were restless, but were too lazy to do anything without hand holding. I used to be extremely patient with newer players, with jerky players, with anyone, but after seeing the garbage that this game community is capable of producing, I say YOU WANT THEM TAKE THEM.

The day after we hit 25, we kicked all inactives of a week or more, we did an analysis of who we thought made good guild members and who were unsalvageable, and we compared that to who we believed actually contributed to our vast viral community. We created two ranks. For PC (politically correct, even though you probably think most of us incapable of that by now) purposes, we’ll call the ranks “Staying” and “Going.” Those of the “Going” rank were informed that they were at the mercy of the leadership’s rage and might want to consider a new homestead.

This all came to a head this past Thursday night, there was an abuse of GMOTD privileges, a general “You don’t do anything for us” outcry from the masses, and an answering “fine get out” kick from our GM.

Was the language of the dismissal letter inappropriate? Yes. Should we have never let things get this out of control? Yes. Did I disagree with turning on guild chat and perpetuating this from the beginning? Yes.

I feel like I should feel more sorry and don’t, and to be perfectly honest that doesn’t make me want to quit this guild. It makes me even more tired of what this game and its community have become.

I will not miss being called a jerk for not passing out epic flying money, being called mean for refusing to teach someone how to play or telling them to stop “grats”ing every, little thing. I am just as happy to get my quiet, mellow environment back. I just didn’t go all beserker rage and get linked by a person who was in the guild for one week after we hit 25.

Five years ago, I’d have been mortified to be associated with the whole thing. Now the disgust goes both ways. The message for the masses? Be careful, and don’t join guilds from /2.

Oh and for the people on our server saying they don’t want to run with us? We don’t PUG crap ,so we don’t care if you don’t want to run with us. GLHF.

Peace and good luck building communities out of the social waste area.

I do read back through this and think….where did this cynical, dbag come from….the difference in my own outlook is astounding.

Push It To The Limit: Heroic & Raid Gearing

Below are three easy suggestions for helping your rogue get raiding ready in Cataclysm. Do not expect to hold on to your Icecrown Citadel non-heroic and heroic level epics. You will start finding upgrades as early as Uldum around level 83 while leveling.

1. Reputation

All Cataclysm factions are easily grindable through the use of Faction Tabards. These scraps of cloth are purchasable from Quartermasters for the various factions at the Friendly reputation level. There is a small selection of 333 gear available at Revered and 346/359 gear available at Exalted from various factions. Some other reputation necessities for rogues include the shoulder enchant from Therazane reputation in Deepholm and the helm enchant from Ramahken in Uldum. Rep reward gear is also very useful for hitting the 329 item level score that is required for your character to enter heroic instances.

2. Justice Points and Heroic Dungeons

All of those JP you have banked from the end of Wrath can give you a head start on your new PvE outfit. If you can pick up one or two pieces of gear, it can save you massive amounts of grinding time. The Thrash Blade 1.4 speed off-hand dagger is a great starter for Assassination rogues.

3. Conquest Points

One win on a 2v2 Arena team currently = ~268 Conquest Points

5 X 268 = 1340

The conquest point cap per week for a new team/lower rating is currently set at ~1343 Conquest points. So 3 weeks of arena will currently net you a main hand and off hand weapon of greater than 420 dps.

As always, you can also check out the rogue forums over at Elitist Jerks (www.elitistjerks.com) for the latest in theorycrafting such as stat weights, rotations, gemming, and general practice.

Happy New Year!

 

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. 😉

Rogue Q&A and a Patch Day!

The most burning questions in every rogue’s heart have been…sorta, kinda…answered!

The Rogue question and answer session with chatty developer Greg Street, aka Ghostcrawler, is now available in our main class forums.

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=19045815077&sid=1

Some highlights:

1. Blizzard’s theory on Rogues and the new 1-handed axe usage introduced in Patch 3.2

Rogues are supposed to be the masters of melee weaponry and there’s extensive support in classical literature for brigand/swashbuckler/lightly armored warrior types using axes (pen and paper RPGs, pirates, Native Americans with tomahawks, gladiators). If a rogue would pick up a broken bottle to use as a weapon (the infamous Barman Shanker) it seems likely they’d use a good axe. As a result, shamans and death knights should see more axes in the game overall. (Though remember, the 3.2 patch largely focused on the new Isle of Conquest BG, so we don’t have a ton of new raid bosses to itemize. That will change in 3.3.)”

2. The current state of Rogue PvE damage (as we’re told L2P sort of, lol)

“In dungeons they’re absolutely right — one of the disadvantages of scaling so well in a raid scenario is that you need to start at a lower baseline. They’re better than they used to be for dungeons due to a mostly reliable Sap, but they’re still not great compared to a caster or melee hybrid. In a raid they’re great, and the problem exists between the chair and the keyboard if they’re not contributing damage effectively in that scenario.

3. The infamous need for a fix to the Vanish ability.

“No, Vanish isn’t working properly and breaks when you breathe on the rogue funny. There are two problems with fixing it. One is that technically it’s just not easy. We would need to change the ways spells are resolved on the server side. Now that is something we can do, but the outcome would be taking a powerful ability and making it more powerful. We need to solve the frustration part of the ability, but not also greatly buff rogue survivability or damage potential when doing it. The solution we like the most is something like Vanish puts you in stealth for 1 second minimum no matter what else happens.”

4. A theory on possible changes to the basic class design (This one makes me worry about an incoming kidney shot, cheap shot, gouge nerf. I don’t want to be a tank, that’s what my warrior alt is for.  :P)

“The current rogue design could be described as fragile, but rarely takes damage, since it’s possible to apply so much crowd control. Chaining crowd control and countering crowd control is a huge part of PvP that’s fun for a lot of players and we don’t want to remove that. On the other hand, we often run into problems with the rogue where we can’t diminish or change the DR on crowd control because then the rogue just takes damage and dies. An alternative model is a slightly more tanky rogue than can survive more damage (perhaps only when cooldowns are up or something), but can’t keep someone locked down so long. Also note that this would improve the rogue level-up experience as well. It’s effective and occasionally fun but can get pretty slow and tedious to have to approach every opponent from within stealth. Sometimes you just want to stab a relatively non-challenging mob to death and move on.”

Read and enjoy while in it’s entirety at the link posted above while Patch 3.2 is downloading today. I would like to reiterate how thankful I am that my guild does not schedule raids on Tuesdays. I do wish I’d taken up that 500g bet that a Resto Shaman friend was willing to put up during last night’s raid that the patch would arrive today though.

PvE to PvP Transfers Open

Let the hate begin

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=9679913975&sid=1

Are PvE to PvP server transfers fair? Ironically, finding well-progressed PvE guilds on PvE servers is a very difficult thing. Will all PvE servers die a slow, under-populated death?

Who knows for sure? However, I’m sure I will find some prime forum funnies material over the next few days.