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Cataclysm Rogue Changes


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#41 saedo

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 08:26 PM

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.

#42 liftir

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 08:45 PM

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.

#43 Aldriana

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:25 AM

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.

#44 saedo

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:59 AM

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.

#45 Aldriana

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 02:20 AM

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.

#46 Raconzor

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 02:46 PM

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.

#47 Tinwhisker

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:03 PM

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.

#48 KraxisSingular

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:48 PM

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.

#49 Rahdik

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:58 PM

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.

#50 Tinwhisker

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 05:23 PM

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.

#51 Guest_aloehart_*

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 05:56 PM

just a note to prevent people from forgetting, blizz stated that recoup will be based on max health which will make it as effective at cap as it is while leveling. how effective this will be is yet to be seen but dont count out the ability yet.

the raid settings of cata may be drastically different from any previous raids in the game. this thought is further supported by them wanting to change the entire experience. so smoke bomb may very well be a vital part of a future raid. perhaps where there are multiple ranged adds or a ranged boss. placing a smoke bomb over your healers or ranged dps to let them do their job without being attacked. place the ice wall in front of it and some shrooms+traps and perhaps you can keep your ranged doing their job without being effected for a short while.


keep in mind that with the goal blizz has for cata that using even the most basic system currently in place as a basis to judge the changes is a mistake in itself. theres already a simple use for pve smoke bomb. kiting. if nothing else (dependent on weather friendly spells can still cross the smoke) it would be a good way to pull any ranged adds to the tank during a boss fight. giving the tank an easier time to control aggro of the fight.

#52 folderol

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 07:03 PM

Depending on what abilities are actually hindered by Smoke Bomb, it may also be a nice way to manage targets for boss or mob random secondary target abilities. If a well timed smoke bomb can prevent a part of the raid from being targetted, it opens up interesting possibilities to proactively control an encounter instead of reacting to a random choice.

For example, in the Putricide encounter, it could be used to prevent a green ooze from targetting part of the raid (characters at melee range of Putricide for example) and thus minimize the risks of tanking the boss near the ooze spawn point.

#53 Kumar

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 08:31 PM

It is clear that the new abilities do not alter Rogues in a raiding environment, their use seems geared more towards PvP. We need to know more about how the current talent tree is changing though. The mastery bonuses seem to be standard fare and we might end up with getting more passive damage increases from these bonuses than from talents. It will be interesting to see the changes to the current talent trees since Blizzard wants to reduce poison + white damage.

It is quite possible that Blizzard is very happy with how Rogues are performing and functioning in a PvE environment and do not plan to make the kind of mechanics changes we are seeing with other classes (e.g. Hunters and Focus, Warriors and Rage).

the raid settings of cata may be drastically different from any previous raids in the game. this thought is further supported by them wanting to change the entire experience. so smoke bomb may very well be a vital part of a future raid. perhaps where there are multiple ranged adds or a ranged boss. placing a smoke bomb over your healers or ranged dps to let them do their job without being attacked. place the ice wall in front of it and some shrooms+traps and perhaps you can keep your ranged doing their job without being effected for a short while.


While Smoke Bomb might prove useful in some situations in raiding, Blizzard is not going to create a boss fight that relies on an ability that is present with just one class. Blizzard wants to move away from cases when fights become way more easier with a particular class present.

#54 Joigahdenn

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 10:42 PM

I've seen quite a few posters admitting they feel Blizzard is being contradictory in giving Combat a haste mastery while also saying that they are trying to reduce rogue passive damage. An important point that seems to be [repeatedly] forgotten here is that haste will increase energy regen (I don't know how it will affect auto attack speed), which would increase the ratio of specials to passive damage. This is nothing new and has been known for a while, I just wanted to underline the point since it seems to be lost in a lot of this discussion.

#55 Comftblynumb

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 11:34 PM

Well honestly I feel, while ArP would be good for both trees(Combat and Sub) I do not see haste truly benefiting the Sub tree as much as Combat. The melee haste, minus the energy regen would be almost wasted on the Sub tree as auto attacks are so little of the damage. It seems a better fit for the "nukey" tree to have more punch on its attacks rather than auto attacking quicker.

As for Smoke Bomb I think a lot of us are scarred that it will change the way some boss encounters will have to be done. A rule in raiding seems to be making fights as simple for ranged dps as possible often shafting melee. I can only see this ability adding to this trend where it will be important for us to even stop dps to get up the Smoke Bomb for the ranged group.

#56 saedo

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 11:51 PM

For Haste, I'd actually guess that this mastery is what's replacing vitality and lightning reflexes.

I think with ArP being in the sub tree, they might be trying to prop up Eviscerate as the main finisher there. While, Assassination get Envenom, Combat gets Rupture. All in an attempt to make 3 close trees.

Just have to wait for the talent tree previews now to see what they got planned.

#57 Guest_aloehart_*

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 11:55 PM

While Smoke Bomb might prove useful in some situations in raiding, Blizzard is not going to create a boss fight that relies on an ability that is present with just one class. Blizzard wants to move away from cases when fights become way more easier with a particular class present.


while blizz isnt going to create a fight that hinges on having the ability im more than willing to bet that it will be useful at times in a raid situation. as i said it may just be used to kite in some ranged adds. its a situational ability so its not going to apply every time and it wont be required but it would help.


on the topic of haste in combat and arp in sub. sub had serrated blades and combat had vitality/adren rush. they arent giving the classes the bonuses based on what they need but what they had so they can remove as many passive talents as possible. my guess is serrated blades will no longer be in sub and vitality will no longer be in combat.


also so everyone here is aware

One more point: Fan of Knives was not nerfed. I'm not sure where that concept is coming from unless you are interpreting that from changing the weapon it's based on to the ranged weapon. We didn't talk much about numbers, so unless you see "We want this abilitiy to do less damage," then you're just jumping to conclusions. It's safer to assume that every number in the game is changing, but the relative roles of abilities and talents are staying the same unless we specify otherwise (not that we're listing every single talent tree change in these previews - far from it.)

We just want the ranged weapon to be more than a stat stick for rogues. Adding poisons to FoK is actually a pretty hefty buff. Yes, this means that bows and guns aren't of much interest to rogues (after leveling). But in this case we want Fan of KNIVES to be taken literally. :)

Now, having said all that, we suspect you will AE less often in Cataclysm. You'll CC more and you'll burn targets down one at a time more often. But that just means all classes will do less damage with AEs. That's not a rogue nerf.


a blue post in the rogue preview. so the current perception is that FoK wont lose its power since they can simply change the percentage to boost the power relative to how powerful thrown weapons are. so FoK simply got a buff in being able to have a seperate poison. while having the minor nerf of only using 1 poison instead of 2

#58 Milano

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 01:00 AM

It's kinda obvious that FoK will be somewhat weaker against high amount of mobs where the hardcap hits in since a smaller portion of it will be poison, which currently ignores this cap completely like ground dots and diseases. Though hopefully it'll make it easier to tune up the physical part to make it worth using to cleave a couple mobs. It's very rare that boss encounters are designed around large amounts of mobs anyway.

#59 StoicRoivaS

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 07:34 AM

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.


This was basically my line of thinking. I fully expect bosses to entirely ignore the smoke bomb, making this ability pretty meaningless in every pve situation outside of maybe some pulls that you want to easily LoS but can't (the aoe packs before Marrowgar, for instance). Here's a brief list of what it *could* do for us currently, which is just further reason to me why bosses would ignore it entirely.

Marrowgar: Tanks can't be spiked, rotate smoke bombs so a non-tank is never spiked.
LDW: Smoke bomb before MC and have the raid hop in as they dps adds down, no MC happens.
Saurfang: Have non-tanks hop in a cloud immediately before a mark, tanks always recieve mark.
Putricide: Smoke under melee clump, ranged are always picked for green slimes.
Princes: Smoke under a stacked ranged clump, empowered vortex applies to melee/tanks only
BQL: Entire raid stacks in a smoke bomb for air phases and not a single person get blood bolted.
Sindragosa: Ranged stacks in the smoke before unchained magic is cast, no one gets it.
LK: complete control of defiles, or even none at all.

And these are just the obvious first things that come to mind. Think of all the situations where a bit of planning would let you "pick" every "random" boss ability. Sure it might not seem like a huge deal to pick who gets the festergut spores, but when a boss with a similar mechanic is hard for a guild, that is going to be a meaningful option. We regularly raid with 5 rogues and have raided with as many as 7 in the past, so "rotations" for well spaced and well timed boss abilities is definitely not out of the question, but I'd really hate for it to come to that. I really can't see this working in any way on raid bosses. As far as the other stuff, I agree with what most pve rogues have already said here and elsewhere. These new abilities don't feel like they're going to change my raiding experience at all, and seem largely geared at pvp.

#60 Aldriana

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 08:47 AM

Almost all of those don't work/help. Please recall that most of those abilities can be targeted at melee, so if there's no legal targets at range (due to Smoke Bomb or whatever) they can still do it on melee. So:

Marrowgar: You could probably make him always spike melee... ok, who cares. You can achieve the same effect by just having everyone stand in melee range anyway.
LDW: I suspect you just wind up with them all running into melee and then casting it. Which again, doesn't help that much.
Saurfang: He always marks melee. Might make shaman healing it a little easier, but hardly game-breaking. Unless you're advocating having all the melee stop DPS and run out to a cloud, which is bad for other reasons. And somehow I suspect piling multiple marks onto the tanks would be an extremely bad idea, particularly in hard mode, anyway.
Princes: Empowered Vortex is not targeted but AoE, so would be unaffected. And if your ranged are struggling with Empowered Vortex, you have other issues.

And, honestly, the utility on some other fights seems... limited at best. Like, I can conceive of uses on Gunship, and before that Faction Champions, but, realistically... most random secondary target abilities you'd rather have on range than on melee *anyway*, so I don't see the ability to force them onto melee as being particularly strong. Even assuming it works. Which, in a lot of cases, it wouldn't.

Also, please note that raiding with 5 rogues is exceptionally unusual. I suspect the number of serious and semi-serious raid guilds that regularly run 2 or fewer rogues outnumber those that run 4 as a matter of routine. Typical is probably 2-3, and even that is something that Blizzard is unlikely to "require" via fight mechanics.




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