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Narcosleepy

Cataclysm Rogue Changes

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Is it just me or were there a bug in Vanilla with CP's being usable on dead mobs?

Or maybe this was back in the beta. That way you could always SnD on your way to the next mob while grinding....

It wasn't a bug as much as it was just the way it was. Any combo points left on a mob when dead were usable for quite a while. I used it strategically all the time when moving from mob to mob. It sucked when they "fixed" it.

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Ghostcrawler posted an update that seems to indicate that rogues will indeed go thrown weapon only:

Seems odd that ranged weapon usage gets even more limited in scope, it's going to make for more loot table dilution. Bosses are going to have to drop an agi based thrown only for rogues, an agi based bow/gun/xbow only for hunters, and tank stat based ranged only for warriors.

They'll probably continue to put most thrown weapons on vendors rather than clutter boss loot pools, warrior ranged stat sticks will probably go the same direction.

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I'm not aware of any spells or abilities that are prohibited at max level. It is cataclysm, so things are certain to change, but simply removing an ability that functions as a bandage after a certain level seems counter-intuitive to the "survivalism" they want to give rogues.

i think it's going still be there at higher levels but the amount healed will be to small to make any diference.

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An explanation for Smoke Bomb:

If you target a camo hunter or a rogue using Smoke Bomb, you will get an error message saying something like "Target obscured." You can see them and target them, but can't use your attacks. Imagine they are behind a pillar or something. You can try and get off an AE near them or you can move to melee.

This will hopefully settle the debate here - and from a mechanistic perspective, makes a lot of sense. We can then assume that in pve it will function similarly, and not mess with threat/aggro at all - as suggested previously.

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i think it's going still be there at higher levels but the amount healed will be to small to make any diference.

It's going to be a % of health and will scale with level and gear, as per:

While it's introduced as a low level ability it obviously scales with gear and base health upgrades (being based on max health and all) and be useful for more than just leveling.

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But will Recuperate be dispelled by shamans and priests or even stolen by mages?

I'd assume it will work the same as War/Druid frenzied regen things and be considered a physical ability. So no dispell/steal.

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For recuperate, since its "intended" for leveling, they may make it simply an out of combat ability so we don't get to dump CP into it all the time. Just something to do with left over CP after combat, rather than a rolling hot to continuously apply during a fight.

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It's likely similar to Gift of the Naaru, but self only. More for less downtime when soloing, and maybe a situational help with survivability thing.

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If you target a camo hunter or a rogue using Smoke Bomb, you will get an error message saying something like "Target obscured." You can see them and target them, but can't use your attacks. Imagine they are behind a pillar or something. You can try and get off an AE near them or you can move to melee.

What about missiles in flight? If a priest starts channeling something like mindflay or a mage just cast Pyro or any number of things and then they use the ability, what happens?

Did hunters just get their own broken version of Vanish? Did rogues get another Vanish that other players get to view first hand and complain about being broken (Smoke Bomb)?

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What about missiles in flight? If a priest starts channeling something like mindflay or a mage just cast Pyro or any number of things and then they use the ability, what happens?

If it's like the Line of Sight mechanic they want, then anything in flight will still hit. These currently go through walls still as you break LoS with them.

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Is it me or is anyone else seeing discrepancies between some of the intended Rogue changes and the goals that Blizzard have made for Cataclysm? Blizzard has stated that they want to get rid of boring passive talents/abilities like Mace Specialization and Close Quarters Combat. Ok, that sounds fine. But for rogues it seems that they are just moving these boring passive bonuses to our Mastery instead.

Assassination

* Melee damage

* Melee critical damage

* Poison damage

Combat

* Melee damage

* Melee Haste

* Harder-hitting combo-point generators

Subtlety

* Melee damage

* Armor Penetration

* Harder-hitting finishers

Every single one of these mastery bonuses is passive and frankly, uninteresting. In Cataclysm my Sinister Strikes are going to hit harder as a mastery bonus? Fun, too bad I have 3 talents in Combat tree that already do that. Let's compare our 3rd tier Mastery bonus to some other classes:

Death Knight - Blood

Healing Absorption: When you heal yourself, you'll receive an additional effect that absorbs incoming damage.

Warrior - Arms (Similar Mastery Bonus for Marksmanship Hunters and Elemental Shamans)

Bonus Swing: This is similar to the Sword Specialization talent that is currently in the game, but Bonus Swing will work on all attacks and with all weapons. You have a chance to proc a free, instant weapon swing that hits for 50% damage.

Priest - Shadow

Shadow Orbs: Casting spells grants a chance for Shadow Orbs to be created that fly around you and increase your shadow damage. This will help lower-level characters feel more like "Shadow priests" before they obtain Shadowform.

I realize that this is just a preview and at that, one that was sparse on details. But it seems to me like we are getting the same talents we already have, but recycled into a new form called Mastery. Perhaps Blizzard intends to change our talent trees dramatically so that the interesting new abilities and mechanics will come in the form of talents rather then Mastery bonuses. It's all just speculation on my part. The information Blizzard has given us is more than likely to change greatly by the time Cataclysm comes out. Atleast, that's what I'm hoping for.

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Given this LoS explanation of Smoke Bomb, if you're inside the AoE, can you use ranged attacks on things that are outside (e.g., can you kite ranged attackers in and out)?

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Is it me or is anyone else seeing discrepancies between some of the intended Rogue changes and the goals that Blizzard have made for Cataclysm? [ . . . ]

That was exactly the purpose. To take the uninteresting talents out of the trees and turn them in to mastery bonuses to allow them to add interesting talents.

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Yes I understand that. Blizzard has also said that the Mastery system will be put in place to give them another easy knob to use for tuning trees better. So I can understand the first two Mastery bonuses of a tree to be things like increased Melee Damage and increased Melee Attack speed, because those are both stats which are easily used to change a tree's performance.

I was pointing out the discrepancy between our third tier Mastery bonuses and others. Because at this point in time, it looks like we are going to have two different types of talent trees. One type that has boring Mastery bonuses but interesting talents and another that has interesting Mastery bonuses but boring talents. This may not be (and probably isn't) what Blizzard is going for but that's what it looks like at the moment.

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Yes I understand that. Blizzard has also said that the Mastery system will be put in place to give them another easy knob to use for tuning trees better. So I can understand the first two Mastery bonuses of a tree to be things like increased Melee Damage and increased Melee Attack speed, because those are both stats which are easily used to change a tree's performance.

I was pointing out the discrepancy between our third tier Mastery bonuses and others. Because at this point in time, it looks like we are going to have two different types of talent trees. One type that has boring Mastery bonuses but interesting talents and another that has interesting Mastery bonuses but boring talents. This may not be (and probably isn't) what Blizzard is going for but that's what it looks like at the moment.

Of the ones you listed, at least 2 of them aren't really a good comparison. Blood DKs is their new prot tree, so that's their tanking bonus. It's taking what already exists (they can heal themselves with certain attacks), and applying a "shield" like effect. So it's trying to copy the current druid bubble giving all tanks a (psuedo) shield.

The shadow priest one, is maybe only interesting as a graphic. It boils down to "increased shadow damage", which is just as uninteresting. Likely able to keep it up to practically make it passive, just need a ramp up time.

As for bonus swings... Since they want to take out all the uninteresting weapon specs of passive damage with maces/fists/daggers, and want to make sword/axe specs extra swings a talent that applies to any weapon... That would be the means of the more "interesting" talents. Only thing could be Arms able to double dip the mastery and the talent, it'll likely be tuned around for that.

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Of the ones you listed, at least 2 of them aren't really a good comparison. Blood DKs is their new prot tree, so that's their tanking bonus. It's taking what already exists (they can heal themselves with certain attacks), and applying a "shield" like effect. So it's trying to copy the current druid bubble giving all tanks a (psuedo) shield.

I don't see a fallacy in comparing a tank and DPS specs Mastery bonus in the matter that I did. I wasn't raising the issue of performance or utility of the Mastery bonuses. I was comparing a DK's Blood tank mastery bonus to that of DPS spec in terms of whether the Mastery bonus is a new idea to the spec and if it's an interesting mechanic. In comparing the specs this way, it does not matter whether they are DPS/Heal/Tank since I wasn't trying to ascertain the Mastery bonuses impact on the game in any way.

The shadow priest one, is maybe only interesting as a graphic. It boils down to "increased shadow damage", which is just as uninteresting. Likely able to keep it up to practically make it passive, just need a ramp up time.

From the Shadow Priest preview blue post: "Since the Shadow tree has a lot of passive damage-boosting abilities -- something we're trying to avoid in Cataclysm -- we will need to replace several of the tree's talents. One idea is to play off of the new Shadow Orbs mechanic (see Mastery section below), possibly allowing you to consume an orb to increase damage from Mind Blast or reduce Mind Spike's cast time."

It appears they have bigger plans for the shadow orbs than just being a passive "increased shadow damage" as you put it. For any DPS spec, the talents are going to "boil down to" increased damage in one way or another since that is the ultimate goal - to do more damage. If you classify everything that has the net effect of increasing damage done no matter what else is associated with it (whether it's an extra swing or shadow orbs) then you're saying everything is "uninteresting" in DPS no matter what.

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I guess my initial impression is that there's very little here that's going to change how a PvE rogue plays under most circumstances. I'll refrain from commenting on the PvP implications as I'm woefully unqualified to do so, but from a PvE perspective the changes - at least so far - have less effect on the way we play than the previous expansions did.

In TBC, we gained 4 new abilities:

  • Envenom - While this has grown into a fairly interesting and distinct ability (we'll get to this), at the time, Envenom was poorly differentiated from Eviscerate - it was a single-target damage finisher with more requirements and a different damage type. From a functional perspective, it was pretty much irrelevant in PvE - not because it didn't get used, necessarily, but because it was a direct substitute for Eviscerate - you'd use one or the other, and it really didn't matter which.
  • Deadly Throw - Basically irrelevant from a PvE perspective.
  • Shiv - Circumstantial, but allowed us to do things with poisons we couldn't previously. In particular, back when WP was stacking instead of binary (and spell hit was separate from melee hit), this was pretty critical in filling the role of healing debuff. More recently it's also become somewhat useful in terms of dispelling enrages and the like. So while it's certainly nothing we use on a regular basis... it expanded to some extent the roles a rogue could realistically fill.
  • Cloak of Shadows - Not really going to go into detail here, but suffice it to say the Cloak has been an invaluable part of the rogue arsenal since it came out, even in PvE - the ability to completely ignore large classes of debuffs has significantly increased the rogue's utility and survivability, and has affected our playstyle by enabling us to completely ignore certain mechanics that we'd otherwise need to manage more carefully.

So: 4 new abilities, 2 of which were (and are) at least somewhat relevant in multiple fights per instance on a regular basis.

Similarly, in Wrath:

  • Tricks of the Trade - Rapidly became an essential part of the rogue rotation on (almost) all fights, in addition to having major implications on one's ability to ramp up on new targets or after aggro resets.
  • Fan of Knives - Again, hard to understate. Not used on all boss fights, but incredibly useful on trash and does come up on boss fights as well. It's honestly a bit hard to imagine how different our raiding experience in Wrath would be without it.
  • Feint - Not technically a new ability, but a new function added that reinvigorated the ability, taking it from useless to a useful tool in our arsenal for several fights per instance.
  • Envenom - Significantly tweaked to significantly distinguish it from Eviscerate, and I'd argue plays no small part in creating the characteristic flavor of Mutilate.

Again: a number of very significant abilities that have become an essential part of our flavor. It's hard to imagine just how different raiding would be in the current expansion without these abilities.

So now, lets look at what's upcoming in Cataclysm:

  • Redirect - A convenience to be sure... but no more. So we ramp up a bit faster on new targets. It's nifty, and I'm not trying to trash it, but I don't see myself looking back in a year and reflecting on how different raiding as a rogue is than it would be without.
  • Combat Readiness - The set of fights in which we get hit by melee or ranged attacks that would be survivable even with this ability is pretty small. And it's usually a sign that something has gone horribly horribly wrong.
  • Smoke Bomb - The fundamental problem is that in the vast majority of PvE encounters, we're in melee range of what's doing the attacking. So a bomb that only hinders people at range... I mean, it may add a bit of raid utility, but personally I sorta hope that this *doesn't* become an essential mechanic in raids. Being brought so you can make life easier for the ranged camp once every 3 minutes doesn't sound particularly, well, fun. Also, the fact that it's on a 3 minute cooldown limits how influential it can be. It seems like sort of a circumstantial gimmick that won't really change our role on the vast majority of fights.
  • The healing thing - This is the only one that I can see becoming an important part of PvE play on a regular basis - the ability to self-heal incidental damage we may accumulate would significantly mitigate some of our disadvantages on any number of fights... assuming it's a decent sized heal. But the preliminary indication is that it's not really designed as a major source of raid healing at max level - I suspect this winds up, in practice, in sort of the "Shiv" department of "things you use every once in a while", but it's not like rogues are going to be solely keeping themselves up in raid damage situations.

In short... we have 4 abilities, none of which are anywhere near the FoK/Tricks/Cloak level of influence on our play. Which is not to say that that's necessarily a bad thing - it rather depends on what you think of the current status of the rogue playstyle - but it does feel like it's changing significantly less than we have at times in the past, and significantly less than some of the other classes will be. It is, of course, impossible to know what the net effect of all changes in the expansion will be, and it's entirely possible that other shifts in the game, the revamped talent trees, and so forth will spruce up the class a bit... but so far it feels like we're mostly getting tweaks rather than significant changes, at least from a PvE perspective.

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If we went by our previous previews of the last expansion, they've always seemed less than stellar.

BC: World of Warcraft Europe -> The Burning Crusade -> Spells & Talents Preview

New spells were: Deadly Throw, Envenom, Shiv, and Anesthetic Poison.

Talent wise: Mutilate, and Cloak of Shadows, which was originally a talent where Shadowstep is.

Wrath: Rogue - WotlkWiki - Wrath of the Lich King Information (couldn't find an equiv preview but...)

New spells: Dismantle, Fan of Knives, Tricks.

Basically both expansions had Assassination/Mutilate overhauls which dagger rogues would've gotten excited about. But other than that, in the previews, they were mostly tweaks for utility. FoK originally had its 10 sec CD which made our AoE, existent, but no where near up high (ie good at the time).

The point is, none of our new abilities at the time of the release of the preview seemed all that amazing. All of the ones we do like now were changed in one form or another. With maybe the exception of Tricks, but that still took a tier bonus before every rogue was on board with it.

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Admittedly, the influence and positioning of the abilities did change somewhat over time, but I still think those abilities were initially more interesting than what we're looking at. Yeah, FoK was a complete joke in the initial preview (it actually had a 30 sec ICD originally if I recall correctly), but it was at least clear that that was more a matter of tuning than fundamental mechanics - that is, it was clear that they were trying to give us at least some token AoE, even if the exact tuning needed some adjustment.

Similarly, Tricks from the moment it was announced was clearly going to be something we could use to help with tank threat and a short-term damage boost on other raid members. It might not have been clear just how widespread it would become, but it was at least another tool in our arsenal from day 1.

I don't honestly have the same impression about these changes. The PvE issues with Combat Readiness have little to do with the exact cooldown, damage reduction, and tuning and a lot more to do with the fact that we simply don't get hit in raids (with any expectation of living) very much. I don't see any amount of minor tweaking (short of turning us into a tanking class outright) that's going to make that notably useful in PvE. Similarly, Redirect is going to help us (some) on target-switching fights, but with the issues of Deadly Poison stacking, target switching is still appreciable overhead, and it's still not something we're going to be doing in a serious way on the majority of fights.

Like, the point is not whether the abilities are *good* or *bad*, per se - the point is that they don't appear to do things that are particularly useful for PvE. Which, I'd argue, is somewhat different than the initial impressions of at least the Wrath changes.

Which, again, is not necessarily wholly a bad thing - it means the class will play a lot like it currently does, which is good or bad depending on how you feel about the status quo. And it's certainly possible that, as previous expansions, there will be additional changes that prove somewhat more influential. And when and if such changes occur, we can discuss them on their merits. My point is simply that the changes so far seem aimed more at PvP and will have very little influence on life as a PvE rogue.

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Also not very excited about these changes, as a pure PvEer. One possibility I do think is interesting, however - if we assume that smoke bomb will be targetable rather than point blank, as in Distract, you my well be able to position the cloud such that the whole melee team is immune to some set of nasty single-random-target effects a boss is tossing around. Obviously the duration vs. cool down doesn't allow for consistent protection, but I can certainly imagine a fight where having 2-3 rogues with this ability (and possibly a glyph reducing the cooldown?) would ease pressure in some significant way.

The thing, as has been mentioned, that really really goes against their stated intent of reducing generic passive increases from talents, is hfb. Not strictly passive, but nearly so, while being clunky and uninteresting.

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Redirect isn't that great, as Aldriana said, the ramp-up for DP is the larger issue when switching targets. And realistically, when was the last time we had one add every minute or less often in a boss fight?

Combat Readiness could only be raid useful if we could activate it on any damage taken. Any direct damage to us is generally a one-shot unless Blizzard is going to make us "tanky" enough to take several hits from the boss (which isn't likely). Nice for any type of PvP and solo'ing but nothing raid-wise.

I have a feeling that Recuperation is going to be the equivalent of trading >20K damage for a Gift of the Naaru effect that has no spell power benefit. I'm thinking it's about as raid-useful as Cannibalize or Lifeblood (which get close to zero use). Convenient for solo'ing and maybe World/BG-style PvP but nothing else.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Smoke Bomb's ability to make half the raid or more immune, even temporarily, to any single target spell effects just won't be allowed. Anything of boss level will likely just ignore Smoke Bomb effects. This will be a great skill for any PvP but I just can't see it being allowed to work in raids.

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I have a sneaking suspicion that Smoke Bomb's ability to make half the raid or more immune, even temporarily, to any single target spell effects just won't be allowed. Anything of boss level will likely just ignore Smoke Bomb effects. This will be a great skill for any PvP but I just can't see it being allowed to work in raids.

That completely depends on what is considered single target in this case. If it only involves Enemy targeting Player X and does Bolt of Killing styled stuff (think all bosses that target a single random or specific non-tank player), then I can see it still be useable to some degree. But if it also includes stuff like BQL Bloodbolt in the Airphase, then it is most likely going to have some hefty encounterlimits and specific exceptions. Or it could end up being Party only to limit the raidwide value.

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At first I was a bit surprised to see Subtlety with an ArP mastery and Combat with a Haste. Subtlety has been notorious for energy issues (although mostly it was pre-nerf when all you dii was spam Eviscerate) and ArP has always been great for Subtlety.

As long as Subtlety gets a Vitality-like talent I can see the logic behind the choice. Combat does more damage with it's CP builder than Subtlety (though not as much now with the Hemo buff) so harder Sinister Strikes coupled with more ArP could have been a little overboard, and since Subtlety does more Finishers, 1 of them not being affected by ArP, the move of ArP to Subtlety makes more balancing sense.

Aside from those things I'm not too excited about Cataclysm yet. Our new abilities are less than impressive compared to other classes. Redirect can be very nice if it is reworked. I can't see it being useful other than refreshing SnD on your way to the new target.

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Or it could end up being Party only to limit the raidwide value.

It will be raid wide or nothing. Blizzard does not want, "Need to sit a bunch of people, we need all 5 rogues for Firedragoniator hard mode."

Redirect can be very nice if it is reworked. I can't see it being useful other than refreshing SnD on your way to the new target.

Which you don't actually need redirect to do anyway. The returned ability to use CPs from dead mobs for that purpose only devalues Redirect even further.

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