Inquiring Ghostcrawlers want to know.
@Aulper7 Maybe Slice and Dice should only be one spec?—
Greg Street (@Ghostcrawler) January 07, 2013
My early, off-the-cuff thoughts are in line with several of those in this WoW rogue forum thread: This could be a pretty cool idea, particularly if it’s Combat that ends up being the Slice and Dice spec.
In end-game Assassination PvE, SnD already has the odd distinction of being extremely important (it’s the first thing you spend your combo points on) yet simultaneously being an afterthought for 99% of most raid fights (since Envenom refreshes it, it rarely expires). That’s not a combination that makes it very interesting to use. The spec also already has a periodic buff effect attached to it: Envenom, which could arguably use a tweak as well to make its proper usage reward skilled players more than it currently does.
Meanwhile, the Rupture/Sanguinary Vein combination already gives Subtlety a not-particularly-exciting quasi-passive damage increase similar to SnD. The removal of SnD from the equation could arguably risk angering some Sub rogue players by further simplifying the spec’s rotation, but Sub has balance issues as it is because raid fight mechanics often make it so challenging to play up to its theoretical potential, so SnD removal could be a small quality-of-life boost.
In the context of the specs as they currently play, Combat is the Goldilocks of the group: SnD fits just right. It needs to be manually refreshed more frequently than for the other specs, making it a more active and integral (and thus interesting) part of the rotation. Combat does already have another quasi-passive damage-increasing buff in Revealing Strike, so that level of redundancy continues (there’s also Rupture, but I’d argue its benefit is too minor and potentially situational for it to be included in this conversation). But it’s also a good fit with the spec’s (admittedly weak) theme of the swashbuckling, toe-to-toe fighter who wields a variety of weapons in blah blah blah you get the idea.
Obviously, an absolute crap-ton of adjustments would need to be made in order to phase SnD out of two specs without misbalancing them: In addition to impacting melee damage, it also impacts Mut rogues’ poison damage and Sub rogues’ energy regen (via Energetic Recovery). And since the bulk of the idea behind this change would be to increase the proportion of rogue damage that’s actively dealt to a point where it feels satisfying and meaningful to push direct-damage buttons, the dev team would have to be super-careful to achieve that goal without making rogue burst absolutely ridiculous in PvP situations. Figuring all this out would be a pipe dream for the next expansion, at best — and it wouldn’t be guaranteed to solve the most common gripes surrounding the class.
But, off-the-cuff, it seems like a cool idea. :) There’s probably a lot I haven’t taken into account here. Just wanted to finally get this blog entry out; I’ve been sitting on it for the past day while I got the other GC tweet threads from the weekend out. And, you know, ostensibly worked at my day job, or some junk.