Posts Tagged ‘Patch 5.3’

After a series of vacations and international trippin’, Ghostcrawler returned to his regularly scheduled Twittercast this week, addressing questions and feedback on a wide range of WoW gameplay topics. On the rogue front, he responded to lamentations that the rogue class is being ignored, gave one of his most detailed hints yet about how he’d like to make our specs more different, and addressed concerns about Combat rogues in end-game PvE.

“Pretty Happy With Rogues”

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this statement cause some garment-rending; it can easily be interpreted as flippant or dismissive. But keep in mind the many, many, many things Ghostcrawler has said recently about rogue class issues, including this exchange last night:

[NOTE 8/7/13: Since this initial exchange, GC has had some additional back-and-forth on Twittsville; I’ll write a new blog post about it soon and link it from here, but in the meantime you can see the full “thread” over on my rogue tweet page.]

What this amounts to is:

  • As Blizzfolk have stated many times (most famously last summer, when GC called rogues the “best designed class”), they like the way our resource system works (earn combo points with small things that use energy, spend them on bigger things that use less energy); that’s not on the table for an overhaul, and they’ve got no plans to make each spec “work” differently in that respect.
  • As Blizzfolk have also stated many times during Mists, they understand — and agree with — the common complaint that specs have become too similar, and they plan to address it. Just not in the middle of an expansion, since that would likely confuse the thousands upon thousands of rogue players who may not be thrilled to see their gameplay suddenly turned upside-down.
  • Yes, Blizzfolk are actually listening, and yes, they actually care, and yes, they actually discuss and debate about these issues. There just isn’t necessarily a simple or obvious solution to the problem, no matter how many of us may believe we personally know exactly what the simple, obvious solution is.

Combat Spec in 5.4: We’re Not Done Yet

(The “ST” in that tweet stands for “single target,” not “Shuriken Toss,” in case you were confused. :) )

This question, and GC’s response, pretty nicely encapsulate the conversation many raiding rogues have been having about how our three specs have performed throughout most of this expansion. Assassination has shined basically from the moment Mists launched; it’s pretty consistently been the top-performing melee DPS spec, and on many fights it’s been right up there with the top specs overall.

By comparison, Combat and Subtlety have both languished in end-game obscurity. Combat had its moment in the sun on the first raid fight of the expansion (Stone Guard), where its two-target cleave absolutely blew all other DPS out of the water — so much so that the designers realized it was finally time to change the way the ability worked. So they did. Since then, its special niche largely removed, the spec has been selected by relatively few high-end raiders.

Subtlety, meanwhile, perennially suffers from two main issues in raids: One, the spec has the widest “skill gap” — meaning the difference between playing it well and playing it poorly is larger than for the other two specs. And two, the positional requirement of Backstab, which two prominent PvE rogues (Fierydemise, Haileaus) recently blogged about.

With the tuning phase of the Patch 5.4 PTR likely to begin within the next few weeks, we should start to see theorycrafters picking apart the numbers and calculating how competitive Combat and Subtlety will be, on paper, to King Mut in the upcoming raid tier. There are a lot of variables at play here: DPS potential isn’t just about simulations, it’s also about how our funky new Tier 16 set bonuses will work, and about our wacky new trinkets, and about how many of the Siege of Orgrimmar raid fights are designed in a way that’s more “friendly” to one spec than another. So don’t expect any quick or easy verdicts.


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As I’ve started writing these TWIRBS up more regularly, I’m surprised to see just how much worthwhile stuff is written/said/noted about rogues even during weeks like the one we just had, where basically nothing of note actually happened with the class.

PvPers Go Hmm

Meanwhile, on the Patch 5.4 PTR

  • NEW CLASS CHANGES: A new PTR build was datamined, and fansites spotted a whooole mess of changes — except to rogues. :) The only rogue-specific adjustment was to the tooltip of our Tier 16 raid set bonus (instead of “When you generate a combo point from Revealing Strike, Honor Amongst Thieves, or Seal Fate,” it now reads “When you generate a combo point from Revealing Strike’s effect, Honor Among Thieves, or Seal Fate). I’m relatively sure isn’t actually a change — I think it’s meant just to clarify the tooltip. (I also think the tweak didn’t clarify it very well at all. If they’re trying to say the bonus will proc whenever we use a combo point-generating ability on our target while the Revealing Strike debuff is active… well, why not say that? :) )
  • NEW SHINIES: So, like I said, nothing new for rogues specifically. But we did get our first glimpse of how our legendary(!) cloaks will work (see the datamine for more), and we also got a first look at five interesting DPS trinkets that will drop in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid. I mention them briefly in this post over on Elitist Jerks, but I think I’ll do a blog entry about them as soon as our theorycrafting geniuses have had a chance to take a closer look. (In the meantime, you can look in on a pretty decent discussion that unfolded in the WoW rogue forum about the trinkets.)

PvE Theory-Ish Stuff

  • TIER 16: Last week’s WoW Insider column analyzes the upcoming Tier 16 set bonuses, and explores why Blizzard may have chosen the specific types of bonuses they have.

The Legendary Quest Chain

Fun Stuff

  • FAN FICTION: The Godmother returns with another chapter of her new tale about a dwarf hunter who has been through hell and back again (as all of our characters have, in terms of game lore). A rogue is one of the key characters in this wonderfully written story. (To be fair, I should disclose some bias: I’ve been helping a bit with getting these chapters ready for prime time. But I wouldn’t be doing so if I didn’t think it was great stuff to begin with. And I don’t even like WoW fan fiction!)

And that’s the week in rogueball. Don’t forget to stop in at the newly renamed Tweets From the Shadows page to see the latest twitterings from Blizzfolk on rogue-related subjects.

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Well, it’s been a quiet week in Lake Roguebegon, my hometown. As the initial kerfuffle over a new patch on the PTR (and the Killing Spree of our dreams) simmered down to a quiet murmur, we eased into a gentle lull — a gentleness quickly pierced by the cries of forumgoers asking why it’s so damn quiet all of a sudden. Dang kids, walking all over my lawn.

Despite the lack of big news this week, I somehow managed to make this week’s TWIRB the longest one yet. Yep. I’m just that good.

PvP Guides (and Wish Lists) Expand

Over on his blog, LastRogue started a series of “Know Your Enemy” entries providing tips on the most important things to keep in mind when you find yourself facing traditionally bothersome foes. He started off with runthroughs on Feral druids and Discipline priests.

EvasionX, whose Youtube guides on Subtlety gear optimization and Subtlety openers I mentioned in a previous TWIRB, has now added a macro guide featuring recommendations for Shadow Dance, stealth and targeting enemies in arena matches. According to his WoW forum thread, he’s planning a “part two” macro guide soon, as well as videos on Assassination PvP, which has become much more popular since Patch 5.3 launched.

Ayume, an accomplished veteran PvPer who’s 2100+ in 3v3 as a Sub rogue this season, posted a thoughtful runthrough on ArenaJunkies of the buffs and nerfs he feels rogues need in order to be worth playing in competitive arena. (The post even got a thumbs-up from WoW PvP chief Brian Holinka — though that doesn’t mean he actually agreed with any of Ayume’s points, just that he thought it was a well-written post worth reading.)

Patch 5.4 PTR Developments

Following my steadfast prediction that we’d see a wave of additional rogue changes come through during Week #2 of the Patch 5.4 PTR, we in fact saw nothing new for rogues at all in the second PTR build. Meanwhile, the second version of the official PTR notes added only a confirmation that the Glyph of Recuperate was getting a buff (from .5% to 1%) — a change that had been datamined last week but took a little while to find its way into the official notes.

Remember: We are still very early in the life of what is likely to be quite a long PTR, and Ghostcrawler drove that point home this week by saying it’ll be several weeks yet before they even *start* to work on damage tuning and balancing out the numbers.

Fictionally Speaking

Prolific WoW blogger The Godmother did something quite a bit different — and quite a bit awesome — on her blog this week: She wrote a story. It’s Part One of an epic tale about a disillusioned Dwarf hunter, and it’s very much worth a read if you have even an inkling of interest in fan fiction. And I’m not just saying that because the other main character in the first chapter is a rogue dispatched by SI:7 to find the hunter. ^_^

And finally, the extraordinarily entertaining webcomic The Daily Blink closed its curtains this week after three and a half years of awesome. It leaves behind a trove of memorable, iconic strips, including the classic buff/nerf lever comic (in which rogues had no lever at all) and some classic pokes at the rogue class, including:

Such a smartly done comic; its creators were masters at capturing the essence of the game’s culture and making fun of it without pissing off the very people it was making fun of. That takes crazy talent. Chris Hanel and Mike Owen (who left the comic last year) deserve huge props for making The Daily Blink happen and putting so much love and creativity into it.

And that’s the week in rogueball. Drop a comment if there’s anything I missed!

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We’ve got several rogue-related odds and ends worth noting over the past week. Pappy Rogue has you covered! (Please don’t actually call me that. I just felt the need to make a stupid tie-in to Father’s Day. Success!)

In the Live Game

  • Y’know all those wacky stealth issues that many rogues have been reporting lately? PvP cap’n Brian Holinka offered a possible workaround for the problem on Wednesday — and then followed that up with a tweet this weekend that “a hotfix was pushed out to help with most of the stealth bugs.” Go forth and test!
  • I’ve seen several anecdotal reports of Combat weapons dropping for Assassination rogues in LFR and heroic scenarios. If your loot spec is set to Assassination, you *should not* be seeing any axes, fists, maces or swords drop from LFR bosses or coin rolls (i.e., extra rolls you get by using a Mogu Rune of Fate or an Elder Charm of Fortune), as well as from heroic scenarios or any quest from the current expansion. If you’re getting a non-dagger drop despite your loot setting, please post to the WoW bug-report forum with a detailed description of where you were, what quest/boss/scenario you were in and what dropped.

PvE Thoughts: Combat Rogues, Tier 15 and the Global Cooldown

As the curtain begins to fall on Patch 5.3, some of the more geniusy among us have been looking back on our Tier 15 set bonuses and looking at their impact, especially on Combat rogues.

PvP Thoughts: All Eyes on Assassination

In the wake of 5.3’s rogue nerfs, which most heavily impacted Subtlety PvPers, Assassination is getting ever-more attention as a viable PvP sec.

I’m Pretty Sure That’s All…

  • Holinka also noted the designers’ feeling that when it comes to PvP class balance, rogue survivability is not a priority — that their ability to use stealth (when it works right) and to control their enemies is their niche, not their ability to outlast incoming damage.

And that’s the week in rogueball. Make sure to scope out the Roguetwitpendium (which I really need to come up with a better name for) to see the latest Blizzard rogue-related tweets; most of the time I won’t bother to write full bloggy posts to highlight them.

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Let’s take a quick break from the Patch 5.4 madness for this important little nugget from WoW’s PvP mastermind.

[tweet] [tweet]

These tweets refer to the stealth issues folks have been reporting since Patch 5.3 hit. We got a confirmation from Holinka last week that the issue is related to zoning into a new area. While we wait for a permanent (fingers crossed) fix to the problem, Holinka’s advice above should provide a handy workaround.

At least, a handy workaround if you’re in battlegrounds or arenas. If you’re out in the world on a PvP realm — or if, say, you’re about to start a Challenge-mode dungeon in which you need to use Shroud early — you may want to periodically hit your stealth button in order to “keep it fresh,” since the same problem may be occurring whenever we pop into or out of cross-realm zones, instances, etc. (I have no confirmation of this at all; it’s just a hypothesis.)

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Can you feel that? On the breeze? There’s a touch of Patch 5.4 PTR in the air — and potentially a few quality-of-life nods to our adorably murderous class.

While we wait for the PTR — and the first set of datamines and official patch notes — let’s take a quick look at what’s happened in rougedom over the past week.

In the Live Game

Hints of Change

(As a quick reminder, my ever-updated complete rogue Blizztweet collection will usually highlight these odds and ends before they find their way into full blog posts — assuming I ever write a full post about them, which I won’t bother doing in many cases, because I am lazy.)

Ninjas in the Blogosphere

And that, as they say, is TWIRB.

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Think obvious bugs in WoW — like, say, the fact that stealth has been behaving oddly since Patch 5.3 launched — should be easy to find and fix? Take a look at this:

Firstly: Man, I duno who that Kumquat loser thinks he is, but he sure made a lot of stupid assumptions about stealth bugs in the new patch.

Secondly: Holy sleuthing, Batman! The new problems people have been experiencing with stealth recently appear to be linked to zoning into a new area? How many of you would have guessed *that* was the cause of a bug like Shroud of Concealment taking three seconds before it actually concealed a rogue’s party members?

I’m getting weirdly nerd-giddy over this, I realize. But keep in mind that the entire reason I started this blog is because I enjoy learning about virtually everything there is to know about what’s going on with our class. Getting to the bottom of what causes certain problems to occur — and how to fix those problems — fascinates me.

This is a potent reminder that sometimes, especially in a game as complex as WoW, the cause of a bug may not even be remotely close to what it might seem or what one might guess. And figuring out to fix that bug — without breaking something else in a completely unpredictable and hard-to-track way — can prove to be an extremely complicated challenge, as it clearly has in this case.

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