Thoughts on Blade Flurry

Posted by on Jan 30, 2011 in Commentary, Rogue, wow |

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the patch notes you’ll know that Blade Flurry is about to become a toggleable skill in the upcoming patch, causing Combat rogues to get a permanent cleave. While I admit that it was a notable change, what made it even more interesting was last night’s main hand axe drop, giving me a weapon that I could use for that spec.

Long-time readers of this blog know that back in WotLK I ran Combat for 5-mans and trash pulls then switched to Assassination for boss fights. That switch involved changing specs and weapons only, which isn’t something you want to do in Cata due to the implementation of Mastery. Assassination rogues prioritize hit and mastery while those who prefer Combat reforge to hit and expertise. This leads to the conclusion that if we want to swap between the two specs, we need two sets of gear.

I’ve yet to come to a decision. I could wait until the patch is implemented to see how Blade Flurry performs damage-wise before I start working on getting the gear or I could throw caution (and gold) to the wind and prepare myself beforehand. In case you’re saying that I should check the spreadsheet, I already have. I’m looking at a 3K DPS decrease given that most of the Combat items will be ilvl 333. I’m okay with that. The spreadsheets are for single-target boss fights anyway. Cleaving a second target isn’t accounted for. Not yet anyway.

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Happy Holidays

Posted by on Dec 25, 2009 in Commentary, News, Rogue |

Happy holidays to everyone! I hope that you guys got your Merrymaker title by now. Icecrown is on its second week and we’re all going to have to catch up with the content once the holidays are over.

I find it odd that I’m actually nursing a toothache right now. I first felt it a couple of weeks ago and when I finally consulted my dentist, I was told that an extraction was necessary. I’m fine with that. However, she was going to go on vacation which meant that we would have to postpone the procedure until Monday. In the meantime, she gave me painkillers to medicate through the problem.

So here I am, spending Christmas with a tooth that’s nagging me worse than any mother-in-law would do. If the pain becomes unbearable, I reach for my pills. This isn’t exactly the way I pictured my holiday to turn out.

Back to rogue matters: make sure that you check the EJ forums regularly as 3.3 progresses. A recent example of why it’s important is Instant Poison’s rise to becoming the main hand poison of choice, even if you’re running Combat. I tested this on my last 25-man raid and the results were very, very clear. I was even asked by two of the people we PUGged in how I was doing that much damage. Funnily enough, the point I was trying to bring up in my last post was raised.

PUG rogue: What’s your rotation? (Note that out of personal pride I never ask this from a fellow rogue. I feel like I’m not doing my job if I’m getting out-DPSed and I don’t know why. I don’t mind getting asked though, like in this case.)

Me: SnD, HfB, Mutilate, Envenom, Mutilate, Envenom.

PUG rogue: Oh. You changed specs.

Apparently, he was asking about my rotation as Combat. By the time he asked, we just downed a boss so I was in my Assassination spec. I then told him that I go Combat on trash and use whatever cooldowns are available during the fights, which is exactly what I wrote about last time.

So, how have your fights been? I like the changes because rogues are doing so much damage right now. Still, either Blizz nerfs Assassination or they buff Combat. I’m hoping for the latter. Our hunter is starting to complain though. He made a comment about how poisons are “cheap damage” at the moment. It’s actually a little funny. Back when Ulduar was relevant he was saying my damage was “all from Fan of Knives”. If it isn’t one thing it’s another, I guess.

Enjoy the holidays, folks. See you after the break.

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Is Assassination on its way to a nerf?

Posted by on Dec 22, 2009 in Commentary, Rogue | 2 comments

I have this feeling that Assassination is going to get nerfed to make it on par with Combat.

A couple of months ago, rogues were at a good place. Combat and Assassination were more or less balanced. The damage output between the two specs were relatively the same. It all boiled down to your weapon preference and the fights themselves. For the former, you may have found yourself switching between specs depending on which weapon set was stronger—think better daggers versus better fists/maces/swords/daggers—or simply depending on whether you liked daggers or not. For the latter, knowing the fights themselves can be a determinant in your weapon choice. For example, Anub’arak in TotC is very AoE-friendly, favoring Combat in terms of DPS output. For single-target fights, Assassination pulled slightly ahead of Combat.

Those times are past. Assassination is clearly the leader in terms of single-target DPS. Combat is still very strong in terms of AoE so you’ll want to use it when it comes to trash pulls, but for boss fights, the daggers spec simply blows it away. On one side, you could say it’s fair. After all, why would you want to use Assassination if it only gave you a marginal increase? Now that daggers are doing so much damage, we should all be happy right? Maybe.

Consider this: in Icecrown Citadel, I’ve been switching between Combat for trash and Assassination for bosses. Why? Because it’s worth it. The AoE damage that Combat yields on trash 3k-4k greater than Assassination. I then go back to using daggers for bosses because the output is greater.

You may wonder why I’m having issues with this. The only reason is stated above: I think a nerf is on the way for Assassination and I do not want it. The DPS is great, but the effect is so marginalizing that I don’t think it’s sustainable. Is what we’re seeing a design that Blizzard intended to happen? Is “Combat for trash, Assassination for bosses” a mantra we’re going to go by right now?

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