Posts Tagged ‘Cloak and Dagger’

(This is cross-posted on Ravenholdt, the most rogue-iest rogue site in historogue.)
Tuning changes for all classes have continued into the first week following the launch of the major pre-expansion Patch 6.0.2. The rogue, she is not immune from these post-launch hotfixes; our class received three small-but-critical adjustments over the past several days.
Wound Poison’s damage was reduced by 40% (Oct. 16). Looks like a big nerf; it’s more like a necessary correction. In PvE, Wound Poison had been looking really strong late in the Warlords beta/PTR — so strong, in fact, that for raiders it appeared better than Deadly Poison. Which would be really weird, since WP is not intended for use in raiding; many bosses are immune to the healing reduction debuff, which can create issues with Assassination’s Venemous Wounds ability.
Anyway, moot point now, since it looks like the WP damage nerf did the trick; ShadowCraft now indicates that using WP instead of IP results in a roughly 3% to 6% reduction in DPS, depending on spec (the gap is smallest for Subtlety, largest for Assassination).
Hemorrhage’s damage was increased by 20% (Oct. 16). Late in the beta/PTR, Backstab and Hemo received a series of changes that appeared to be aimed at ensuring that 1) Subtlety DPS in general wasn’t too much stronger than other specs/classes and 2) Backstab was clearly superior to Hemo. We saw a few players express concerns that the designers went too far with that second goal, and actually made Hemo too weak (a particular concern for people leveling or solo-playing in Sub spec). Looks like the designers agreed.
Cloak and Dagger got a bug fix (Oct. 17). Players quickly noticed, once Patch 6.0.2 went live, that Cloak and Dagger was once again usable by Subtlety rogues during Shadow Dance — a feature that was taken away during the Mists expansion because it was too powerful in PvP. The return of CnD-in-Dance was confirmed to be a bug, and a hotfix resulted that has taken away the ability for rogues in Shadow Dance to take advantage of the extended range-plus-teleport that CnD grants us on Ambush, Cheap Shot and Garrote.
These unexpected CnD changes have spurred a new round of discussion among players regarding what’s wrong with the entire Level 60 talent tier from a PvP standpoint — and what they’d like to see done about it.
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Sorry for two things: 1) the delay on this post (this hotfix is at least two days old) and 2) the fact that I pretty much have no clue what it’s about. I am posting it late at night (on the right coast, at least) in hopes that I’ll be able to alleviate my OCD-ish need to report this while still ensuring that almost nobody reads it.

The Oct. 7 update to the official Patch 5.4 hotfix notes (not to be confused with the Oct. 9 update, which is the day I’m writing this post, but not the day to which I’m referring, because that would make too much sense) included this:

Corrected an issue with Cloak and Dagger that could allow Rogues to bypass some targeting and line-of-sight restrictions.

Yep. So. That happened.

I was away from gaming and blogging for virtually all of the past week-plus, so you guys may have more clue than me what this was about. My educated guess is that it was meant to bring Shadowstep’s and CnD’s mechanics closer together. For instance:

  • In PvE: Meanwhile, on the Siegecrafter Blackfuse fight in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, one of the tasks us damage-dealers need to perform involves jumping into a pipe so we can be transported over to a conveyor belt where adds spawn. Adds spawn on the belt every 30 seconds, but we can only use the pipe once every 60 seconds (thanks to a debuff placed on us). A few of you clever roguetypes realized that you could use Cloak and Dagger (but not Shadowstep) to bypass the debuff and teleport directly to an add on the belt. I wouldn’t be surprised if the hotfix resolved that little issue as well.

If I’m wrong about any or all of this, please yell at me and cast aspersions in the comments.

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Last night, a new Patch 5.4 PTR build passed under the ever-watchful eyes of MMO-Champion‘s and Wowhead‘s data scrubbers. There were several rogue-related changes that, for the most part, matched up nicely with the official notes that Blizzard had updated a day earlier.

Here’s what matches up:

  • Backstab buff
  • Hemorrhage buff
  • Buffs to the entire level-60 mobility talent tier (Burst of Speed, Cloak and Dagger, Shadowstep)
  • Cheat Death buff

Here’s what doesn’t quite match up:

  • Eviscerate. The official notes say it’s getting a 10% nerf. The latest datamined tooltips suggest that its damage formula is being rejiggered so it relies more on our attack power and less on weapon damage. I’m inclined to trust the newly updated official notes more than the datamining, but suffice to say the jury’s still out on what exactly is happening with Eviscerate — and what compensation, if any, Combat would get if the nerf stays. Recent tweets from PvP commander Brian Holinka (one, two) drive home the point that this is still a pretty fluid situation.
  • Glyph of Cheap Shot. MMO-Champ has picked up a tooltip change stating that the glyph increases the duration of Cheap Shot by half a second instead of a full second. Wowhead isn’t reporting this at all. Keep in mind that Blizzard’s official notes for Patch 5.3 already include a nerf to the glyph from one second to half a second, so this is almost certainly just a tooltip correction, not a new nerf.
  • More possible new glyphs, maybe kinda. The last datamine spotted a gaggle of “not yet implemented” glyphs, including four interesting ones for rogues. A couple of those glyphs (but none of the rogue ones) have since found their way into the official patch notes, but most have not (and aren’t even available on the actual PTR), leading Wowhead’s content chief to wonder if they’re maybe not even part of this expansion. Regardless, yesterday’s datamining turned up another crop of  “new” glyphs, one of which is almost certainly for rogues and the other of which may or may not be.
    • Glyph of Improved Distraction: “Distract now summons a decoy at the target location.”
    • Glyph of the Headhunter: “Abilities that throw weapons will now throw axes regardless of your currently equipped weapon.”

All we can do is speculate about datamining that doesn’t match up with official patch notes. Personally, I prefer not to bother wasting time on this kind of speculation and would rather spend my time on other fun things until we see something official.

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After  a few quiet weeks on the Patch 5.4 PTR front, a new update to Blizzard’s official PTR notes brings with it a whole mess of rogue adjustments. Here are your headlines:

  • Subtlety’s combo point builders are getting buffed by around 15%. Backstab goes from 275% weapon damage up to 315%, while Hemorrhage goes from 140% weapon damage up to 160% with a slow weapon equipped and from 203% to 232% with a dagger.
  • Eviscerate is getting nerfed by 10%. A few things on this change:
    • This partly offsets the BS/Hemo buffs noted above, and provides a small nerf to Combat, as Fierydemise’s early calculations suggest. I’d be pretty surprised if this isn’t offset by buffs to Combat PvE in other areas as the PTR progresses.
    • This also reduces the burst power of Combat rogues in PvP who may want to use Marked for Death to score two quick Eviscerates. That may seem moot right now, but Combat may well make a resurgence in PvP next patch thanks to the ability to target-focus Killing Spree.
    • The net result of this nerf and the BS/Hemo buffs should be that Sub rogues become less bursty in PvP. Meanwhile, they should also have more uptime on their targets, because…
  • 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.
  • Cheat Death is getting buffed. When it activates, it’ll reduce damage by 85% instead of 80%.

Nothing official yet on the possibly-maybe-new rogue glyphs that were datamined last week. We also have yet to see any concrete word from Blizzfolk on their hopes and plans for our PvE Tier 16 set bonuses, which are still going through adjustments (as I also noted in last week’s datamining post). We’re still likely in the early stages of the Patch 5.4 PTR, though, so expect many more adjustments — as well as more complete explanations of class changes — in the weeks (and perhaps months) to come.

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In the run-up to Patch 5.3’s launch this week, Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street and Brian “Holinka” Holinka, among other senior WoW designers, have been making the round on various fansites to preview the patch and explain their thinking behind many of the changes in store.

The Arena Junkies interview with GC and Holinka, which posted over the weekend, includes a few highly rogue-relevant bits, as does today’s interview with Gary Gannon and Olivia Grace on a special episode of gamebreaker.tv’s Legendary. Notable roguey excerpts are copied below. (In the case of the Gamebreaker interview, the transcription is mine, since the source is a video. The AJ transcript excerpts will be copy-pasted as-is from AJ’s site.)

The Find Weakness Change: Making Spells Different in PvE/PvP (Arena Junkies)

(I ranted about this one early this morning.)

Sam: PvE and PvP changes seem to collide very often, do you guys believe that balancing both may require a lot of specific PvP and PvE only changes? An example would be Find Weakness in 5.3.

Brian: Yes, and when we do it. Find weakness is a great example where PvE needed a buff and it would’ve cost big problems to PvP. We keep it in mind and Frost bomb is another example. We try not to do it too often, it’s a lot of things to keep track of. We’re the designers and people on Arena Junkies are really passionate players that really keep up on all the changes, but a lot of players are not. To ask our general player base that your spell does this and it does half damage or 25% or something like that, it’s really not something we want to do too often. Especially hey we want eviscerate to hit 10% less on players. That’s really inconsistent and a tough thing. We usually do it when it’s really a significant thing such as Find Weakness is 50% less and Frost bomb is 40% less.

Greg: There’s also this persistent, I’ll just call it a myth, that if we just bite the bullet and make 2 versions of every spell suddenly we’ll have class balance nailed and it’ll never be a problem again. I’m pretty confident if we went ahead and split sub rogues into 2 abilities on every ability with different damage numbers you’ll still see players saying why they can’t just tune down this one ability that’s costing pvp burst problem. In other words players will still want us to make changes even if we have the numbers split up, I don’t think it’ll suddenly make players feel their class is viable in every situation

Why Rogues Are Being Nerfed (Arena Junkies)

Sam: In the history of changes a lot of nerfs and buffs are really large, which usually changes the “balance” of one class from one to another such as warrior and rogues last patch. Warriors were arguably the top notch class in 5.2 but kind of went to the bottom barrel. Rogues basically had the opposite happen to them. Do you guys think smaller changes would be more ideal or how would you look at it?

Brian Holinka: Obviously when we can we would like to make smaller changes. I think what you saw with rogues in 5.2 was that there were a lot of calls for their survival to be improved. So we made Prep baseline, took Cloak off, so they weren’t constantly unpeelable for 12 seconds, and moved it to a short CD. I think these were good changes, but what pushed rogues over the edge was we tried to create some talents to make them more attractive and give them variety. Shuriken Toss, Mark for Death, and Cloak and Dagger, those were all probably a little bit too much. 5.3 Rogues were really about reigning in those talent changes. We kept the survivability changes the same but we wanted to reign in the unpeelable Cloak and Dagger, the ranged play style of Shuriken Toss, and those were I think really smart changes. We didn’t also nerf Mark for Death and a bunch of other changes. The Find Weakness change was mainly for burst on higher armor targets. We thought that wasn’t appropriate. We made some changes in 5.2 that didn’t mean to be buffs, but for talent choices to be more interesting and we needed to reign those in.

Revisiting Rogue Talents for PvP: 5.2 and 5.3 (Legendary)

Gary Gannon: How do you feel the [PvP class] balance has been in 5.2?

[…]

Brian Holinka: I think there were some situations where we were trying to make some talents more interesting from 5.1 to 5.2. For example […] there was a rogue ability called Versatility, and it was not really seeing much play. So we created a new one called Marked for Death. In other situations, like, for instance: […] Preparation was another ability that we actually thought all rogues could benefit from having. So there we had to create a new one, Cloak and Dagger.

So, we were doing a lot of talent work, and in some places, we just overshot a bit. We felt like it made some classes a little bit too good and the talents were just a little bit too good, so we tried to rein those in.

We base our balance feedback on a lot of factors: We look at representations; distribution of ratings across all specs and classes; how people are faring within our team, how they’re playing; we talk to some of the very high level players on a very constant basis. We try and get a sense of where problems lie, and then we try and fix things that we feel are big problems for the overall gameplay of the game — where it just makes everybody’s life a little bit less fun — and we try and affect those.

There’s situations where maybe you can say this or that has made this class even more competitive, but there’s also situations where this talent is just one-shotting people. So we have to look at that, and we have to understand that it’s made the game less fun to play.

Our goals are basically: try and make specs and classes competitive; try and make the overall gameplay environment fun; and then, we wanna say, try and make some talents interesting, and try and make rotations interesting and fun to play. Sometimes we make changes that are a little bit out of priority there, but that’s generally what we try to do. And I think, going in from 5.2 to 5.3, that was a lot of our goal, was to kind of rein in some of the things that got out of control.

Though these three chunks were especially rogue-directed, large sections of both interviews are likely to be of great interest to any PvPing rogue, so be sure to read/tune in to them for a more complete discussion of upcoming changes — and some changes potentially in store for 5.4 and beyond.

 

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WoW Community Manager Rygarius is back from his vacation, and that means an update to the official Patch 5.3 PTR notes. On the rogue front, the update certifies three changes we already caught wind of last week, either via developer tweet or datamining:

For a full rundown of rogue changes coming up in Patch 5.3, you know where to look!

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Amidst the hue and cry over our latest rogue PvP nerf revelation (in Patch 5.3, Cloak and Dagger likely won’t work when Subtlety rogues try to use it during Shadow Dance), WoW PvP honcho Brian Holinka dropped this little nugget:

Holinka and Ghostcrawler have been tweeting like CRAZY over the rogue changes since word of this CnD adjustment got out; read my previous post for a (mostly) complete listing.

Between Twitter, datamining and official patch note updates, the Patch 5.3 rogue change revelations have been pretty rapid-fire lately, so just to recap where we think we’re at right now:

  • Cloak and Dagger will still be usable at 30 yards; the nerf to 20 yards will be reverted. However, rogues will only be able to use CnD while stealthed — this is why it can’t be used during Shadow Dance, because you’re technically not stealthed when ShD is active. (I’m assuming we will also be able to use CnD during Vanish or, for those of us who play a night elf, while Shadowmelded, but I haven’t seen any solid info on this yet.)
  • All the Shuriken Toss changes are still happening. (Energy cost doubles, damage doubles, damage bonus at range removed.)
  • The crowd control glyph nerfs (to Cheap Shot’s stun and Garrote’s silence) are probably still happening. (Aeriwen notes in the class forum that the Glyph of Cheap Shot tooltip hasn’t been updated with the nerf, but it’s still in the official patch notes.)
  • The Find Weakness PvP nerf/PvE buff is still happening.
  • We still haven’t heard a thing from anyone official about the datamined Revealing Strike buff.
  • The Recuperate PvP buff is still happening (though that’s not a rogue-only change; it’s part of the broader PvP Power adjustments the devs are implementing for 5.3).

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