This just in from today’s round of official Patch 5.2 hotfix notes:
Blade Flurry now has a range of 8 yards, up from 5 yards, and will only hit targets that are within the Rogue’s line-of-sight.
For anyone out there who’s still as steamed as a well-pressed shirt over the fact that Blade Flurry in Patch 5.2 does much less damage in two-target fights than it used to… well, no, actually, for those of you who are still angry about that, shut your faces already, because BF is still the strongest of the three specs on two-target fights, it now has solid DPS potential against 3 to 5 targets, and the originally planned nerf was partially reverted THREE TIMES to ensure that BF would still be a strong ability.
But I digress. For anyone out there who IS still annoyed over the BF changes, this tweak will hopefully turn that frown upside-down. Five yards is melee range; as Chase Christian pointed out just this week on WoW Insider (and many rogue players have noted in forums), that’s just small enough to make it extremely difficult to use BF to its maximum effect in most raid situations. The 60% bump in range may be all Combat rogues need to be competitive with Assassination in less-than-6-nearby-target situations (which accounts for most raid situations in which rogue AoE is helpful).
But why turn the dial up to 8 yards instead of 10? Not entirely sure. I don’t know other classes’ abilities well enough to compare all the ranges, though iirc warriors’ Cleave is only 5 yards. [Edit: As Señor Christian notes, warriors' Bladestorm also has an 8-yard range.]
(Actually, now that I think on it: Eight yards, as it so happens, is the same range that Fan of Knives used to have during the previous two expansions. We also used to have a glyph that extended the range from 8 yards to 12. In Mists, though, the glyph went away — FLASH TRIVIA: What glyph replaced it in WoW’s database? Hint: It’s lethally kinetic — and FoK’s range became 10 yards.)
I assumed that if Blade Flurry were going to be buffed, it’d be buffed to match FoK’s range. But this may well just be a case of the class design team taking an abundance of caution: They’ve already seen the kind of backlash that one Blade Flurry nerf caused, and they likely don’t want to overbuff it now only to have to dial it back down again in the future if 10 yards proves to somehow be too strong. However, don’t be surprised if you see another uptick to 10 yards in Patch 5.3 if Blizzard doesn’t see Combat DPS improve on multitarget fights as much as they’re hoping.
One closing note, on the line-of-sight change: <shrug>. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even realize BF ignored LoS in the first place. My best guess is it has to do with a desire to avoid potential issues in arena PvP, where a rogue could potentially chill next to a pillar and beat on one target in front of them, while also transferring some of the damage to an enemy caster on the opposite side of the pillar. How thick are those pillars, anyway?
Ew. That question sounded dirty. Like comparing a person to a sleeping bag filled with tent poles.