[UPDATE 4/25: A Patch 5.3 datamine and subsequent tweets appear to show that Cloak and Dagger has indeed been tweaked — and that further ability changes may be coming as well.]
When they added Cloak and Dagger to our level-60 talent tier in Patch 5.2 (where it replaced Preparation, which became a baseline ability), Ghostcrawler and Daxxarri explained the move like thus-ish:
Combined with dropping out of combat to re-stealth, Shadow Dance, and the Subterfuge talent, we expect that it can be used to accomplish some pretty interesting things.
And boy howdy, were they right. The burst opportunity offered by CnD coupled with Shadow Dance helped catapult our Subtlety spec back into the PvP stratosphere, and served as one of the driving forces behind rogues’ sudden resurgence in competitive PvP over the past two months.
Perhaps inevitably, it also resulted in this:
Blizzfolk have stated, time and again, that they don’t want 1) everybody ignoring a talent in a given tier or 2) everybody taking the same talent in a given tier. CnD is the only talent worth considering for Sub rogues in PvP, and Sub is pretty much the only PvP game in town right now, so it’s not a surprise that the designers are considering a change.
I’m skeptical this is the way to go. The crowd-control nerfs already in store for rogues in 5.3 could impact their PvP viability, and the PvE trinket changes will already tone down some burst for those who use it. A nerf to CnD (which I’d figure would most likely involve adding a cooldown, though they could also alter its range or change the abilities it can be used with) at this stage feels like it might be overkill given that the full impact of the already-planned changes is unknown.
It’s also an oft-used Blizzard mantra that they try to nerf only as a last resort, because they generally feel so unsatisfying for players. What might be more interesting, if overpopularity of CnD is a concern, is to make a couple of improvements to the other movement abilities in that talent tier — reduce Shadowstep’s cooldown, perhaps, or allow Burst of Speed to break roots.
Of course, what Holinka could be implying with his tweet is that CnD may be changed to make it attractive to *other* specs in addition to Sub. Or to help make the other two specs a little more viable in high-end PvP — perhaps by allowing the rogue to restealth in the process of teleporting, or by adding Envenom/Eviscerate (or Mutilate/Sinister Strike) to the list of abilities it can be used for, though none of those ideas feel particularly well-balanced to me.
But I’m just a PvE player. What do I know of such things? If any of you out there are avid PvPers, I’d be eager for some edumucation on a reasonable approach to CnD’s overuse (and what can realistically be done about it in the short term).