[UPDATE 5/3: This change appears to have been reverted -- or will soon be reverted -- on the PTR, and replaced with a different CnD nerf.]
[UPDATE 4/29: Since first posting this, I've added two tweets to the bottom of the post -- one affirming there are no changes in the works for Shadowstep, the other warning that they may not be done quite yet with the Cloak and Dagger nerfs. I also tweaked the second paragraph to note that the change made it into the official patch notes; it was just a datamine from 4/25 until 4/29.]
Remember how last night I wrote that the Blizzard class design folks were thinking about a possible Cloak and Dagger change? Welp, looks like they’re done thinking, and are actually implementing one: According to the newest datamined info from the Patch 5.3 PTR (as found by Wowhead and MMO-Champion), the level-60 talent option has had its range reduced from 30 yards to 20 yards.
has yet to be confirmed in the official patch notes, but was confirmed in an April 29 update to the official Patch 5.3 PTR notes. Even before they became officially official (in an official way), though, PvP honcho Brian Holinka had tipped us off when he tweeted earlier they were considering a tweak to CnD so that other options in that tier might become a little more attractive to competitive PvPers.
If this is indeed the tweak Blizzard has decided on, it suggests that the designers’ main issue with CnD is not merely its burst potential when coupled with Shadow Dance, but specifically the synergy of that burst with the teleport. A decrease in the ability’s range equals a decrease in rogue mobility, and makes it likely that a rogue will have to do more than just pop CnD to resume unloading on a mage who just used Blink (which, as it happens, teleports the mage 20 yards away).
Of course, the range on Shadowstep thus far remains unchanged, which is part of the point: to make the level-60 talent tier a more interesting choice for PvPers.
It remains to be seen, of course, whether a nerf (in addition to the other three nerfs we know are already planned for rogue PvP in 5.3 — to Shuriken Toss, Glyph of Cheap Shot and Glyph of Garrote) to a wildly popular new talent is the best way to go about this, and what impact it has on rogue viability in high-end PvP in the next patch. Reaction in the official WoW rogue forum has been mixed thus far.
[UPDATE 4/25:] To those who might wish Shadowstep (or Burst of Speed) were getting a buff instead of CnD getting a nerf, Holinka has this to say:
[UPDATE 4/26:] And for those of you hoping this is the end of the road for nerfs, keep that breath held in tight:
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