The final raid patch of the Mists of Pandaria expansion launches this week. Come along on a magical ride as we take a look at the official rogue-related changes, as well as some analysis/context (in italics) and a few other odds and ends that are worth mentioning about our class in Patch 5.4.
The list below amounts to a huge array of damage, mobility and survivability buffs for rogues. Almost everything in here bodes well for our class in the upcoming patch, whether we’re into PvP or PvE.
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Changes Affecting More Than One Spec
Glyphs, Glyphs, Glyphs
PvE Gear: Tier 16 Raid Set
PvP Gear: Season 14
Changes Affecting More Than One Spec
- Ambush is getting buffed by 12%.
- This is probably meant to ensure that Sub rogues don’t decide to use their newly buffed Backstab instead of Ambush as an opener (Haileaus first identified this as a potential issue).
- This change was added to the patch notes the night before 5.4 was scheduled to launch.
- Eviscerate is getting nerfed by 10%.
- This is only part of the story; Combat and Subtlety are both getting buffs in other areas to compensate (see the sections for those specs below).
- Fan of Knives is getting a 25% damage buff.
- Recuperate is getting buffed in two ways.
- The ability itself will heal us for 4% of our maximum health per tick (40% total if used at 5 combo points), up from 3%.
- The Glyph of Recuperate will boost Recuperate by 1%, up from .5%.
- Evasion is getting a significant buff: It’ll increase our dodge chance by 100% instead of 50%. To keep this from being too powerful in PvP, the duration will be reduced by a third, to 10 seconds instead of 15. (To make up for that, the cooldown will also be reduced by a third, to 2 minutes instead of 3.)
- From a PvE standpoint, this is flat-out super for questing and soloing.
- From a PvP standpoint, it looks like the general view is that this is a fair change.
- The cooldown and duration changes were added in early August, after a number of PvPers (rogues included) expressed concern that 15 seconds of 100% dodge may be a little too strong.
- Paralytic Poison is getting a buff: The 4-second stun will kick in on the fourth stack of the poison, rather than the fifth.
- Our PvE Tier 15 four-piece bonus is getting nerfed.
- During patches 5.2 and 5.3, the bonus on Throne of Thunder raid tier gear made it so that when Shadow Blades was active, it reduced the cost of our abilities by 40%. Once patch 5.4 hits, that reduction will only be 15%.
- I’ve written a blog post with more on this change, but the gist is that it’s meant to deter Combat rogues from refusing to replace their gear with the new Tier 16 items that’ll be introduced with Patch 5.4.
- Mutilate is getting a ~40% buff. Instead of dealing 200% damage from both weapons, it’ll deal 280%.
- Dispatch is getting a ~40% buff as well. Instead of dealing 460% damage from our main-hand weapon, it’ll deal 645%.
- The changes to Mutilate and Dispatch are both intended to offset unexpectedly weak DPS from Assassination on the PTR.
- Non-dagger weapons should stop dropping for Assassination rogues in LFR and heroic scenarios, fixing up an especially frustrating bug.
- Assassin’s Resolve will not be changed.
- Yeah, I know, it’s weird to note that something isn’t being changed. But for the record, it *was* going to have been being changeded, until it wasn’t; from Aug. 14 until Aug. 27, official patch notes said that the ability would boost all damage by 30%, up from 25%. The change was eventually reverted, probably because the Mutilate and Dispatch buffs noted above were enough to put Assassination’s DPS where WoW’s class designers wanted it.
- Killing Spree (Combat) is getting a major improvement.
- If we have Blade Flurry off, all seven of KS’s attacks will be dealt to our current target (or, if we happen to have no target selected when we hit KS, it’ll lock us onto the closest “eligible” target instead).
- If we have Blade Flurry on (i.e., if multiple targets are within range), KS will behave the way we’ve always known: By teleporting us hither and yon from target to target while it’s active.
- In an earlier blog post, I (and a few commenters) touch on why this is such a cool idea.
- Sinister Strike is getting a buff — and it may also get just a little less spammy at high gear levels.
- The ability itself will deal about 66% more damage than it had in Patch 5.3. (Instead of dealing 145% weapon damage, it’ll deal 240%.)
- However, the energy cost is increasing by 25%, from 40 energy to 50 energy.
- The game designers hope this combination will make SS more powerful while reducing the feeling that Combat spec forces you to mash buttons too quickly.
- PTR history wonks: SS has been buffed twice during the PTR; early on, its damage had been increased by 31%.
- Revealing Strike is getting a 28% damage buff. Instead of dealing 125% weapon damage, it’ll deal 160%.
- Vitality is getting a buff.
- The attack power boost we get from this passive ability will go from 30% up to 40%; its energy-regeneration portion remains unchanged.
- Datamining has the AP boost going up to 35%, not 40%; as always, trust the official notes over the datamining unless you hear otherwise.
- Ruthlessness, a new passive ability, will be added to the game.
- The ability grants Combat rogues a 20% chance per combo point to get a combo point “refunded” whenever they use a finishing move. This means that, if you cast Eviscerate with 5 CPs, you’re guaranteed to get one CP back.
- This meant to offset the slower combo point generation caused by the higher energy cost for Sinister Strike I noted above.
- We’ll learn the spell at level 32. (It’s passive, so we never have to put it on our action bars.)
- If this spell looks oddly familiar to you, that’s because it’s come back from the dead: It was a talent in the Assassination “tree” before the Mists talent overhaul, back when there was such a thing as a separate talent tree for each spec.
- The Glyph of Adrenaline Rush will go away forever, and its effect will be “baked in” to the cooldown itself.
- This means that for all Combat rogues, whenever AdRush is active, they’ll see an 0.2-second reduction in the (normally one-second) global cooldown of Eviscerate, Revealing Strike, Rupture, Sinister Strike and Slice and Dice.
- The developers likely did this because it felt like a required glyph for many Combat rogues, especially raiders.
- Backstab is getting a buff.
- It’ll do about 38% more damage than it had in Patch 5.3. (Instead of dealing 275% weapon damage, it’ll deal 380%.)
- Backstab has gotten two rounds of buffs during the PTR; in the first round it was buffed around 15%.
- Hemorrhage is getting a buff of around 14%.
- It goes from 140% weapon damage up to 160% with a slow weapon equipped and from 203% weapon damage up to 232% with a dagger.
- Sanguinary Vein is getting a buff.
- This passive ability, which increases the damage we deal to bleeding targets, will boost our damage by 25% instead of 20%.
- Our entire level-60 mobility talent tier is getting buffed.
- Burst of Speed’s energy cost will be cut in half, from 30 energy to 15. (Remember that the cost was 60 at the start of the expansion.)
- Cloak and Dagger’s range will increase from 30 to 40 yards. (The stealth restriction looks like it’s staying put.)
- Shadowstep’s cooldown will drop from 24 seconds to 20.
- Nightstalker (level-15 talent) is getting buffed.
- Damage-dealing abilities we use while stealthed will get a 50% damage increase, up from 25%.
- Theorycrafting: Snail posted some early calculations on the DPS difference between the new Nightstalker and our other level-15 abilities.
- Cheat Death (level-45 talent) is getting buffed. When it activates, it’ll reduce damage by 85% instead of 80%.
Glyphs, Glyphs, Glyphs
Every class in the game is seeing a whole mess of glyph adjustments and new glyph additions in Patch 5.4.
These Glyphs Are Being Eliminated:
- Glyph of Adrenaline Rush, which has been pretty much a requirement for every PvE Combat rogue at end-game. The AdRush glyph’s effects will become baseline for all Combat rogues, as I noted earlier in the Combat section.
- Glyph of Debiltation, which has been used by extremely few people (either in PvP or PvE).
- Glyph of Crippling Poison, which basically nobody ever uses.
- Glyph of Sap, which basically nobody ever uses.
These Existing Glyphs Are Changing:
- Glyph of Shiv is getting a buff: It’ll reduce Shiv’s cooldown by 3 seconds instead of 2.
- Glyph of Recuperate is getting a buff, as I noted way up near the top of this page. The glyph will boost Recuperate by 1%, up from .5%.
- Glyph of Blind is getting a very specific change that’s more of a bug fix than a buff.
- In Patch 5.4, if you’re specced into the Dirty Tricks talent and you have the glyph equipped, your poisons and bleeds will to continue to damage your enemy while it’s Blinded.
- (In the live game now, if I’m recalling this properly, Glyph of Blind currently wipes out those DoT effects because that’s what it’s meant to do; it doesn’t care that Dirty Tricks is already ensures that Blind won’t break due to those effects.)
- This is a handy fix both for PvP and for PvE soloing/questing (including Brawler’s Guild fights).
These Glyphs Are Being Added:
- Glyph of Hemorrhaging Veins: “Your Saunguinary [sic] Veins ability now also increases damage done to targets affected by your Hemorrhage.”
- Glyph of Recovery: “While Recuperate is active, you receive 20% increased healing from other sources.”
- Glyph of Redirect: “Reduces the cooldown of Redirect by 50 seconds.” (Initially, this glyph removed the cooldown completely; it was changed in mid-August.)
- Glyph of Sharpened Knives: “Your Fan of Kinves [sic] also damages the armor of its victims, applying 1 application of the Weakened Armor effect to each target.”
- Glyph of the Headhunter: “Your Throw and Deadly Throw abilities will now throw axes regardless of your currently equipped weapon.”
- Glyph of Improved Distraction: “Distract now summons a decoy at the target location.”
PvE Gear: Tier 16 Raid Set
The new set bonuses look… interesting. They’ve been through one substantial tuning pass so far (they were originally more powerful than they are now). And they’re a wee bit complicated to explain.
- Our two-piece bonus grants us a buff called “Silent Blades.” The buff reduces the energy cost of our next Ambush, Backstab, Dispatch, Mutilate or Sinister Strike — let’s call that ABDiMuS for short. The buff stacks up to five times (though Mut and Combat rogues will extremely rarely, if ever, see it go past one stack), and it’s consumed when we use ABDiMuS. How the buff procs and the size of the energy cost reduction vary by spec.
- Assassination: Get a Silent Blades stack every time Seal Fate procs. Each stack decreases the cost of your next ABDiMuS by 6.
- Combat: Get a Silent Blades stack every time you get an extra combo point from using Sinister Strike while Revealing Strike is active on your target. Each stack reduces the cost of your next ABDiMuS by 15.
- Subtlety: Get a Silent Blades stack every time Honor Among Thieves procs. Each stack reduces the cost of your next ABDiMuS by 2.
- Our four-piece bonus also behaves differently depending on the spec we’re in.
- Assassination: Each time you use an ability against a target with Vendetta on it, our mastery increases by 250 for 5 seconds, stacking up to 20 times.
- Combat: Our Killing Spree deals 10% more damage every time it strikes a target.
- Subtlety: Every time we use Backstab, there is a 4% chance that our *next* Backstab will automagically transform into an Ambush. The Ambush temporarily replaces Backstab on our action bar, and can be used outside of stealth. (Note: The first incarnation of this bonus had every fifth Backstab automatically turn into an Ambush.)
- Set bonus theorycrafting:
- Fierydemise brings us an early sense of the value of these bonuses for Mut and Combat rogues when compared to our other set bonuses in this expansion (he used the ShadowCraft back-end for his calculations).
- Snail also started a thread on the WoW rogue forum with a very early assessment of the how strong the bonuses are for Subtlety.
PvP Gear: Season 14
- Our first look at the Season 14 “Grevious Gladiator” rogue PvP gear is available.
- The PvP set bonuses will remain the same.
Several datamined changes may just be tooltip fixes, bugs or mysterious/unexplained oddities.
- There’s a datamined tooltip change to Find Weakness (Subtlety) in which the sentence “Bypasses less armor on players,” has been added to the end of the tooltip. This may just be a clarification of the way the ability already works in the game.
- There’s a datamined series of tooltip changes that appear to show our legendary daggers — yeah, the ones from Cataclysm! — getting a significant increase to the stacking agility buff (for all three stages of the daggers). I’ve got absolutely no clue what to make of this, but there’s plenty of conjecture to go around.
Much more to come, of course, as additional info becomes available and additional resources worth linking to appear. I’ll be keeping this page updated throughout the PTR and through the launch of Patch 5.4 (which likely won’t be until late summer, I’d expect).
- FAQ and Overview of What’s Changing for Raiding Rogues (by Fierydemise)
- EP values for Tier 16 set bonuses compared to Tiers 14 and 15 (by Fierydemise)
Older Discussion/Feedback Threads
- General discussion of changes (Elitist Jerks rogue forum)
- General discussion of changes (WoW rogue forum)
- Tier 16 set bonuses: compilation of questions/concerns (WoW PTR Discussion forum)
- Tier 16 set bonuses (MMO-Champion rogue forum)
- Tier 16 Subtlety bonuses (WoW rogue forum)
- Ramifications for PvP (ArenaJunkies rogue forum)
- Killing Spree change (WoW rogue forum)