Posts Tagged ‘Assassin’s Resolve’

Well, this’ll probably make a few people unhappy. :)

A new batch of hotfixes was just posted on WoW’s official site, and it includes a whole mess of balance changes to nearly every class.

These are the rogue bits:

  • Assassination: Assassin’s Resolve now increases the Rogue’s damage by 20% (down from 25%).
  • Subtlety: Sanguinary Vein now causes the Rogue to deal 35% additional damage to targets afflicted by Rupture, Garrote, or Crimson Tempest (up from 25%).
  • Subtlety: Tier-16 4-piece set bonus should no longer incorrectly activate from attacks other than Backstab.

I realize the Assassination nerf may instill within you a deep desire to wail and gnash your teeth, but before you grind those molars down to nubs, let me show you these:

One Spec to Rule Them All?

These are Raidbots’ DPS graphs (top 100 average; 25-man normal mode). That line up at the top is Assassination. On these three fights, it’s not even close — we’re talking a 10%-20% gap between Mut and the next-best spec.

Now, Raidbots’ trend lines and DPS averages always need to be taken with a healthy dose of salt, because any number of biases can potentially come into play that skew the data and make gaps look larger than they are. Our theorycrafter extraordinaire Fierydemise, for instance, offers that Mut’s quicker learning curve compared to most other specs/classes may be partly to blame.

But also keep in mind that the new raid has been out for two weeks now. Blizzard’s designers have access to a far deeper, far more informative array of data on raid performance than we do, and are notoriously (and understandably) reluctant to nerf specs after a patch has launched. It takes a *lot* for them to decide it’s worth it; clearly, in this case, they felt the cumulative evidence showed that Mut was blatantly overperforming — and that its overperformance was consistent, if not increasing, as more and more players began to progress through the new raid.

If the charts above hold true, the nerfs about to hit the spec (which likely won’t actually take effect until Tuesday’s restarts) won’t seriously affect its dominance on fights like Norushen. They’ll just temper it a bit.

Meanwhile, as you can also see in the above charts, Subtlety continues to be dragged through the mud in end-game PvE. The spec’s horrible performance overall may be less about its actual DPS potential and more about the fact that most raiders still won’t touch it with a ten foot e-pole, but regardless the designers clearly felt something had to be done to encourage folks to give Sub a shot. (Personally, I’m increasingly feeling like removing Backstab’s positional requirement would go much farther toward achieving that goal than any DPS adjustments would.) I’ve also seen a handful of complaints that rogues’ sustained damage in PvP feels a little low, so this may well help on that front as well.

Lastly, the final hotfix note refers to reports from players that the new Tier 16 four-piece set bonus for Subtlety — in which every Backstab has a chance to turn your *next* Backstab into an Ambush you can use outside of stealth — wasn’t just proccing off of Backstab, but off of all sorts of other abilities, including Fan of Knives and regular Ambushes. That issue should be cleaned up shortly.

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[Note: If you’re looking for a full breakdown of rogue changes in Patch 5.4, here’s where you wanna be.]

There are two rogue-specific changes in tonight’s update to Blizzard’s official Patch 5.4 PTR notes. Neither is a huge surprise, but both will affect our DPS (at least for the first few weeks after the patch goes live):

  1. The earlier buff to Assassin’s Resolve, the Assassination-only passive ability, has been reverted. It once again will increase Mut rogues’ damage by 25%, as it does right now in Patch 5.3. (If this looks familiar, it’s because the reversion was datamined yesterday.)Keep in mind that Mutilate and Dispatch are both currently slated for a huge buff in Patch 5.4 (+40% each). Ghostcrawler noted several weeks ago that Assassination was inexplicably performing lower than they wanted it to perform on the PTR; to fix that, they turned three knobs and watched to see whether it fixed the problem. Looks like it overfixed it, thus the AssRes reversion.

    Remember, peopleses: This is not a nerf. It’s the reversion of a buff that they found was not needed.

  2. The Tier 15 (raid gear) four-piece bonus is being heavily nerfed. When Shadow Blades is active, the cost of rogue abilities will drop by 15% instead of 40%. That’s a huge reduction — and a necessary one, at least for Combat. (Less so for the other specs, but this isn’t as big a nerf for them.)For weeks now, numerous rogues have posted to WoW’s official PTR forum warning that, because the current raid tier’s four-piece bonus is so incredibly powerful for Combat rogues, people playing the spec might have no reason to bother upgrading to Tier 16 gear in Patch 5.4. Though the designers initially disagreed, it looks like they ultimately came around — no doubt partly spurred by a separate finding that the Tier 15 four piece had an insanely powerful synergy with one of the new DPS trinkets being introduced in Patch 5.4, Assurance of Consequence.

    I’ll update this post once theorycrafters have had a chance to poke around and see what sort of impact this change is likely to have on raiding rogues when Patch 5.4 launches. But this will certainly hurt Mut and Sub’s DPS a little, and Combat’s more than a little — at least until they get their first two pieces of Tier 16 gear, which hopefully will happen within the first few weeks of the patch.

    Hopefully we’ll see some sort of explanation from Blizzard as to why they chose to nerf the set bonus for *all* specs rather than just Combat. My best guess is that, similar to the Assassin’s Resolve reversion, they discovered that Mut and Sub were looking a little too strong at current (pre-patch) gear levels, and this is how they chose to address it. That, or they figured the impact on DPS would be so small, and most rogues would upgrade to better gear so quickly, that it would be a minor and short-lived problem for Mut and Sub rogues in the new patch. (It’s also possible that the T15 four-piece simply can’t be programmed to work differently for each spec.)

As always, my full rundown of Patch 5.4 rogue changes is full and rundowny.

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MMO-Champion and Wowhead spotted a new Patch 5.4 PTR build this weekend, and it includes three apparent rogue changes — two of which agree with official patch notes and one of which isn’t currently mentioned in official notes at all. [UPDATE 8/20: As of today, it is now in the official notes.]

  • The datamined tooltip for Vitality (Combat passive) now matches the Aug. 14 update to the official patch notes. (Both now say the attack power boost will go up to 40% from 30%; an earlier datamine on Aug. 13 said it would only go up to 35%.)
  • The datamined tooltip for Assassin’s Resolve (Assassination passive) also matches the official patch notes. The damage increase granted by the ability will go up to 30% from 25%. (This change had not been datamined at all until this weekend, so it may have been implemented on the PTR after the official patch notes added it.)
  • The Glyph of Redirect, which is being added for 5.4, is getting toned down a little. Originally it acted exactly the same as our level-90 talent Versatility (which was axed in Patch 5.2), eliminating the cooldown on our Redirect ability. The datamine says it won’t get rid of the cooldown completely; it’ll reduce it by 50 seconds, effectively making the cooldown 10 seconds. I’m assuming this is to temper the power of the glyph somewhat in competitive PvP, where we’re already slated to get a whole mess of mobility, damage and survivability buffs. [UPDATE 8/20: This change was added to Blizzard’s official Patch 5.4 PTR notes on Aug. 20, so it’s legit too.]

I’ve updated my rundown of Patch 5.4 changes to include the multitude of new bits added over the past week. My fingers are NOT HAPPY WITH ME.

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(I updated this post around 11pm on March 6 to note the new, correct numbers; contrary to my normal m.o., this time the new stuff is on the top and the old stuff is on the bottom. So pretend it’s like reading an email thread.)

The first round of official patch 5.2 hotfix notes includes this juicy nugget of DPS goodness for Assassination rogues:

Assassin’s Resolve now increases the Rogue’s damage by 25% (was 20%).

That’s half as much of a last-minute buff to Mut’s passive damage bonus as Ghostcrawler had initially indicated (see my original post below), but still a substantial increase overall, particularly alongside the Dispatch and Envenom buffs that had already been slated.

The last-second nature of the introduction of the AssRes (how is everyone not calling it that?) buff, immediately followed by its partial reversion (down to 25% instead of 30%),  has led to a fair amount of confusion. It probably hasn’t helped that it looks like the bump from 20% to 30% and then back down to 25% led to some tooltip weirdness that presumably won’t be cleaned up until we download another patch (since tooltip text is typically stored on our local computers). Don’t be surprised if we see a “Patch 5.2a” download in a few weeks or so that cleans up little errors like this.

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(This is the original post, which went up on March 5 around 11:30pm ET)

Hey peopleses! I’m away on a work trip this week (it would, of course, turn out to be a patch week, wouldn’t it?) and don’t have time for… well, I don’t even have time for this post, really. But for anyone who missed it late last night, Ghostcrawler noted this in the official WoW forums:

Assassin’s Resolve now increases damage by 30%, up from 20%.

For those of you keeping score, that’s *three* separate Assassination-only buffs given to the spec during the latter part of the PTR testing process, apparently as the designers noticed that other specs (namely Combat) were starting to look a little too strong in PvE compared to Mut. A few weeks ago, Envenom and Dispatch both got damage bumps, which also brings a nice side benefit of increasing our active damage (thus also acknowledging, if not entirely fixing, an issue many Mut rogues in particular have been unhappy about for a while). This new tweak increases both passive and active damage across the board, and is almost certainly a much bigger overall DPS boost than those previous changes.

Happy patch, wacky ninjas! I hope to join you in diving into the new fun sometime next week.

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