Posted 05 February 2009 - 07:37 AM
Well, my initial comment is that how this works out in practice is going to depend a lot on the details. If HFB works out to be a straight 15% DPS boost in PvE, that's basically a 6% buff over current - perhaps a bit more, depending on what the energy cost looks like. Meanwhile, Combat is getting 10% haste (sort of - more on this in a minute), which, is probably an overall buff of comparable magnitude (~6%), plus some improved cooldowns - KSp and AR. So depending on *how much* they're reducing the AR cooldown, and the exact details of new HFB, Combat could gain anywhere between 1 and 5% on Mutilate... which, depending on how they do at addressing some of the other issues and what itemization looks like in the next patch, may or may not work out about right. It's too early to say for sure.
I would assume they're going to buff Mace Spec to be competitive to the other weapon specializations, but, again, without exact numbers, it's hard to say for sure.
Now, all that said: this is certainly an early drop, and there are certainly more changes coming, but in terms of immediate issues that spring to mind:
First, Combat is even more overcrowded than it already is. Mixed-weapon builds already can't take every DPS talent in the tree, and we're getting another 3 points of DPS talents, such that even single-weapon builds only have 1 point free, and mixed-weapon builds now are over by 4. Now, it could be that they're trying to force us out of mixed-weapon builds to make it easier for them to balance. Or perhaps they're planning on merging talents elsewhere - I don't know. But it is something to watch.
It also seems to me that 10% haste for 3 talent points - that also gives dodge, which isn't precisely uselss - is a pretty powerful talent relative to a lot of what's out there. Unless I quite miss my guess, it's going to prove to be one of the strongest talents out there on a point for point basis - on a par if not superior to things like Relentless Attacks and DW Spec. I wouldn't totally dismiss the notion of Mutilate builds going 51/18/2 - it's not at all clear that such would be inferior (though we'd need to run the numbers to be sure). And it does seem to be a bit of a break from their typical model where 1 talent point ~= 1% DPS. So that strikes me as a likely candidate for some tweaking.
I'd also note that I'm not sure the increased cooldown-reliance of Combat is necessarily a good thing. Like, for pure average-case DPS, it will be fine, but I suspect the heavy reliance on burst cooldowns is going to make combat rogues very good for some fights and very bad for others, which isn't precisely ideal either. For, say, Patchwerk, it doesn't matter so much - but there are fights where it would.
Also note that there's still a few conspicuous omissions - little done to increase the value of haste (as they've asserted), little done to address the value of ArPen (likewise), nothing done re: the cost of Master Poisoner, and nothing done with debuff application as Mutilate. Thus, I think we can expect fairly significant additional changes, and until we see all of them it's going to be hard to get a feeling for what the whole picture looks like.