(NOTE ADDED 1/2/13: Despite the post below, when the Patch 5.2 PTR was made available on 1/2, Hit and Run was indeed occupying the level-60 talent tier spot left behind by Preparation, not Cloak and Dagger. Awaiting word from Blizz on what’s up.)
With Preparation slated to become a baseline talent for all rogues in the upcoming patch, something needed to replace its former position in our level-60 talent tier. The new toy that will make it onto the PTR is Cloak and Dagger, which allows you to use Ambush, Cheap Shot and Garrote from up to 30 yards away — and will teleport you just behind your target, Shadowstep-style (but not precisely the same as Shadowstep, which remains another option in that talent tier), in the process.
But there was apparently some pretty healthy debate among the class design team about what that slot would be filled by — so much so that another proposed talent, Hit and Run, was programmed and tested internally. And was picked up by MMO-Champion and Wowhead in their first datamine of the PTR, leading to a big ol’ hunk of confusion when the official patch preview notes were released and there was no Hit and Run to be found.
According to the datamine, Hit and Run was supposed to allow a rogue to designate a spot on the ground and then be teleported to it for 10 seconds, after which they’d return to their original spot. Sounds kinda cool (how many rogue players have asked for a targetable Shadowstep over the years?), but as Ghostcrawler said in a recent tweet:
@JohnAbes The early playtesting was not kind to that talent. The dread word "clunky" was used.—
Greg Street (@Ghostcrawler) December 22, 2012
It’s a cool little insight into the kinds of discussions the class design folks have, as well as the sheer number of possible changes they chew on, debate, and even internally test without us ever knowing about them. Makes me wish they shared more of these stories with us; I’m a total nerd, I know, but I find “how we came to X decision” stories fascinating in WoW, and I think if we got a glimpse of more of them, there’d be a lot less complaining that Blizzard doesn’t put enough thought into its design decisions or that they are “ignoring” the userbase. Or, at least, it’d be easier for people like me to show them they’re wrong. :)
To those who celebrate, have a warm and wonderful Christmas Day!
(Thanks to Timat for giving me a heads-up on this tweet; my Spidey sense that tingles whenever GC tweets about rogues must’ve been overloaded by patch notes at the time. Yeah, that’s it.)