Posts Tagged ‘Patch 6.0’

Deathmantle Set Rogue Cosplay at Blizzcon 2014

(Photo credit: Wowhead)

(As always, this is being cross-posted on Ravenholdt, which thinks you should be calling your mother more often.)

It was a very stealthy BlizzCon.

In the live raid competition between Method and Midwinter, we watched as a Midwinter rogue cast Shroud of Concealment to help the raid sneak past trash mobs — only to see the strategy turn against them. We spotted nary a rogue in the WoW Arena Championship match between Bleached Bones and Skill-Capped EU, and Firebat swept the Hearthstone World Championship grand finals without using his rogue deck — BUT WE KNOW HE HAD ONE, so that counts in our corner, even though it’s not directly related to WoW at all.

Plus we saw at least one cool example of rogue cosplay, with these two not only sporting what I think might be the Tier 5 (Deathmantle) raid set, but also my personal favorite rogue weapon, the Twinblade of the Hakkari.

But what most of you probably want to know is: Did designers answer any rogue questions during the Warcraft panel discussions?

Why, yes. Yes they did.

Although there were just two World of Warcraft panels at this year’s BlizzCon (and basically no new game info was presented), four rogue questions were addressed. Considering two of those questions were answered during a panel that expressly forbade class-specific questions, rogues represented particularly well, with many of our key class concerns briefly taking the spotlight. Our own Haileaus (!) even managed to refashion a question about rogue positional requirements into a general class-design query.

Rogue Q&A: Quick Recap

You can read full transcripts of each rogue Q&A exchange in the Ravenholdt version of this post, but here’s the gist:

  1. Suicidal Killing Spree. Some boss fights severely punish the use of KS and other abilities that teleport us to/behind the target. Ion Hazzikostas said they do alter specific fights to alleviate that when the boss doesn’t move, but for *mobile* bosses, they consider that risk of death to be a “tactical element” of the fight that is “taken into account” when balancing the class.
  2. Combo point UI. They stack on the rogue now, but the default WoW UI hasn’t changed. Kris Zierhut admitted that the designers tried different ideas, but simply couldn’t come up with a new UI approach that wasn’t “jarring” for people used to seeing CPs under the target frame. So instead, they’ll look at what add-on authors come up with and consider adapting that.
  3. Positional requirements. After a Day 1 panel session in which Zierhut explained that positional requirements had been removed from all druid spells because they were unreliable and not fun, Haileaus asked why that didn’t apply to abilities like Backstab and Gouge. Tom Chilton replied that they balance “how important the mechanic is” against “the overall feel and fantasy of the class,” and sometimes they feel the fantasy should win out.
  4. Balancing talent tiers. Another rogue player, while avoiding mentioning any specific rogue talents, asked about the balance of DPS talents vs. non-DPS talents in various tiers. Tom Chilton replied that it’s a very organic process — they gauge how many people actually use talents in each tier, improve or replace the ones nobody takes, and generally try not to tone down extremely powerful talents unless it’s absolutely necessary for game balance.

Again, hop over to Ravenholdt to see the transcripts of these Q&A excerpts.

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(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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This Warlords datamining update is cross-posted on Ravenholdt, the very bestest rogue class fansite in the history of ever.

A pair of new Warlords of Draenor beta builds — 18967 and 18973, for those of you keeping score at home — have brought a host of tuning adjustments for the rogue class (among others). Alongside these builds, a series of tweets from technical game designer Chadd “Cobra-thon” Nervig clarified, and explained some of the reasoning behind, several of the changes.

Let’s recap, shall we?

[NOTE: When this was posted on Ravenholdt, Celestalon replied via Twitter to state that some of the adjustments listed below are already due to be changed in an upcoming beta build. Tuning is fast, furious and fluid in these last couple of weeks before Patch 6.0.2 launches.]

Assassination’s damage appears to have been adjusted upward. Most of its key abilities have gotten roughly 5% stronger since last week, if the datamining is accurate:

  • Mutilate deals 210% weapon damage, up from 200%.
  • Dispatch deals 330% weapon damage, up from 315%.
  • The random-damage component of Venemous Wounds deals damage equivalent to 33.6% of our attack power stat, up from 32%.
  • Envenom damage has been boosted by 5%.

There is one downward shift that affects Assassination: Rupture’s damage has taken an 18% hit.

Combat’s damage appears to have been nudged downward, if the datamining is accurate:

  • Eviscerate’s damage has been reduced by about 18%.
  • Blade Flurry’s damage has been reduced by 25%; it copies 30% of our damage onto nearby targets, down from 40%.
  • Ambush’s damage has been reduced by roughly 18%; it deals 245% weapon damage, down from 300%.

These changes come one week after substantial buffs to Sinister Strike and Revealing Strike; taken together, we’re seeing a notable shift in the proportion of Combat’s overall damage that comes from combo point builders vs. finishers.

On Twitter, incidentally, Celestalon confirmed that the Eviscerate change is meant to bring Combat’s overall damage more in line with their goals, and noted that the Blade Flurry change was intended.

Subtlety’s damage also appears to have been reduced (again), if the datablah is bloo:

  • Last week’s buff to Backstab has been reverted, and then some: It’s now at 145% weapon damage, down from 175% — and also down from 156%, where it had been prior to *last* week’s changes.
  • As noted above, Ambush’s damage has been reduced by about 18%.
  • Also as noted above, Eviscerate damage has been reduced by 18% as well.
  • Also-also as noted (further) above, it looks like Rupture damage may have gotten an 18% cut. But I’m less confident about this one without direct beta testing or a Blizzfolk statement to confirm it, though obviously the number would be consistent with other cuts.

On Twitter, Celestalon affirmed that heavy slashes to Subtlety were intended; according to him, the spec was performing 15% better than the rest of the pack (except for feral druids, which he said had been similarly overpowered and were also toned downward in this week’s beta builds).

Finally, one all-spec change: Crimson Tempest has been… buffed? We think? Datamining seemed to indicate that the ability had taken an 18% damage reduction, but Celestalon stated that the ability was actually having its up-front and DoT damage *increased* by 50%. Maybe an erroneous tooltip change, given how many other rogue abilities had been chopped by 18% at the same time?

Regardless, if the datamined changes to all three specs are accurate, then the overall adjustments to DPS would be as follows, per Fierydemise:

Keep in mind that regardless of the impact of these particular beta builds, all of these adjustments are part of the designers’ ongoing effort to pull various levers in order to get the performance of all specs and classes within whatever their target range is. Although I often refer to these tweaks as “buffs” and “nerfs,” it’s probably better not to think of them precisely that way, given that balance has to be completely redone in the switch from Mists to Warlords. As with every expansion, the scales are being reset.

Quick closing note: Celestalon also tweeted quite a bit about Death From Above this evening, responding to Fierydemise’s blog post from earlier in the week. The easiest way to see the collection of these — and all of Celestalon’s rogue-related tweets — is to check out @Ravenholdt’s favorites list, which we update whenever we spot a new class-relevant tweet from a member of Blizzard’s WoW team.

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Inscrutable headlines ftw!

This is what happens when I put off updates for too long: THINGS. SO MANY OF THE THINGS.

A gaggle of notable rogue players are now running around willy-nilly in the Warlords of Draenor Alpha and learning all sorts of odds and ends about how our class appears to be playing so far. A couple of them — Rzn and Haileaus — are even streaming their Alpha bits all over the Twitchesphere. But for the purposes of this post, I will now pretend that this momentous occasion has not yet occurred, so that we can focus here on the same stuff we focused on in my earlier updates: “official” statements, clarifications on Twitter and datamining.

I realize this is all getting awfully unwieldy: Five separate update posts in addition to my initial rundown of class changes does not make for a neat, pretty picture. At the moment, the best all-in-one recap by far is over at Wowhead, where Perculia and Olivia Grace have teamed up to take most of the bits and pieces we’ve learned about Warlords rogues and tie them up into a neat package.

If you just want a look at what we’ve learned in the past two weeks (not including player observations from within the Alpha), here’s what went down specifically in relation to rogues in Warlords:

Datamining Teases Possible Raid Set Bonuses

Although we’ve been warned by WoW’s designers not to take these remotely seriously, the first datamined glimpse of possible set bonuses for Tier 17 raid gear and PvP gear — spotted by Wowhead and MMO-Champion on June 10 — range from dull (Combat/Subtlety two-piece) to interesting (Subtlety four-piece) and perplexing-because-it’s-likely-a-typo (Assassination’s two-piece appears to buff a hunter ability, which is about as insulting as you can get.)

Quoting Wowhead — and again, remember, this is datamining that WoW’s designers have warned us are almost entirely just placeholders right now:

No Assassination PvE four-piece bonus appears to have been datamined.

Spec “Attunements” Datamined

Another noteworthy rogue-specific tidbit from the June 10 datamining (the rest of which appear to mostly be tooltip corrections, typos and in-progress adjustments that aren’t worth trying to analyze) is this set of “Attunements” that passively boost the value of one of our secondary stats when we hit Level 90.

Again quoting Wowhead, our Attunements currently appear to be:

  • Mastery Attunement [Assassination]: You gain 5% more of the Mastery stat from all sources.
  • Haste Attunement [Combat]: You gain 5% more of the Haste stat from all sources.
  • Multistrike Attunement [Subtlety]: You gain 5% more of the Multistrike stat from all sources.

Don’t be surprised to see these change significantly as the WoD Alpha (and Beta) progresses. Something feels odd about a passive buff being granted to a single secondary stat, which feels like it would inherently increase that stat’s value relative to the others — something that goes directly against designers’ repeatedly stated goal for Warlords that they wished to keep secondary stats close to one another in value.

There has also been no official comment regarding whether we need to have first obtained a Shadowforge Key in order to unlock these attunements. (HYUK!)

On Combat Swapping Autoattack Buffs

In the last update, I noted that the Ambidexterity passive was being removed from Combat, which — as stated within the official patch notes — “was done to reduce the amount of damage coming from auto attacks.” Which is a lovely sentiment, but one that gets muddied a bit given that Combat is also getting a perk called Improved Dual Wield, which removes the 19% reduced hit chance we suffer by default for using a pair of one-handed weapons — and thus increases our autoattack damage. Rogue theorycrafter Fierydemise took to Twitter to call attention to this; technical game designer Chadd “Celtictron” Nervig parried the debate.

Sap Stays Sappy

PvP honcho Brian “Holinka” Holinka affirms that, despite upcoming adjustments to other forms of crowd control, Sap’s duration is not likely to change.

Band-Aids vs. Knives

Holinka also rebuffed a request to combine Slice and Dice with Recuperate, saying it’s a good choice to force players to choose between offense and defense. (Nevermind Leeching Poison. Speaking of which…)

Versatility Won’t Uber-Boost Leeching Poison

Lead game designer Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas noted that Versatility, the newly announced secondary stat that will enhance our healing and damage absorption in addition to our damage output, won’t allow Leeching Poison to “double dip.” (Because Leeching is a self-heal that is based off of the amount of damage we deal, it could theoretically benefit from Versatility twice unless the designers do something to stop it — which they apparently plan to do.)

Main Gauche Still Combat’s Main Man

Even though the Multistrike stat will give our attacks a chance to proc for additional damage, Nervig says the designers have no plans to change Combat’s mastery, Main Gauche — which also gives some of our attacks a chance to proc for additional damage. He notes that they’re open to revisiting the issue, however.

Pre-Potting Won’t Break Stealth

Nervig gave a straightforward answer to a request that drinking a potion would no longer break a rogue’s stealth: “Yes.”

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With all due respect to the dearly departed WoW Insider hunter column. ;)

Following the initial dump of the Warlords of Draenor alpha novel last week, WoW technical game designer and celery-gnawing glitter maniac Chadd “Celestalon” Nervig took to the twitwaves, as he is oft wont to do. And the interviewed-by-Olivia-Grace-waves, as he is not oft wont to do. And the live-interview-on-major-WoW-fansite-shows-waves, as he has never before been wont to do.

Across all of these various and sundry forms of interaction, Nervig answered a ridiculously large number of questions from players seeking clarifications and further info on the changes we have in store for us in Warlords.

Meanwhile, Warlords datamining began as the first alpha client hit public test servers, bringing with it brand-new waves of speculation and misinformation — as well as some intriguing glimpses of what may yet to come to pass for we wily ones.

So. To supplement my post last week summarizing (nearly) all of the rogue info in the first alpha novel — a masterfully organized, but depressingly ugly and text-heavy, tour de force of bullet points and explanations — I will now unceremoniously dump a scattershot list of (nearly) all the rogue-relevant odds and ends we learned over the past several days.
(more…)

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What can I say? I missed doing these recaps. :)

Balancing life, work, gaming, WoW Insider and a couple of other endeavors has proven to be… well, to be honest, about as much of a brutal challenge as I feared it might be (but held out hope that it wouldn’t), so this blog and my time on public forums have been a-mightily neglected by me as a result.

But man, I liked This Week in Rogueball. I mean, c’mon: The title alone is enough of a reason not to give up on it. And I found it as useful to compile a list of recent rogue community goings-on as the millionsthousandshundredsscorestwo of you who regularly read them found them useful to read. They helped me stay disciplined about keeping up to date on what the Webby world is saying about our class.

So! No promises, but I’m gonna try to start this up again and see how it goes.

Blizzfolk on Twitter

We saw a flurry of tweets over the past week from Ghostcrawler (a.k.a. Greg Street), our soon-to-be dearly departed lead WoW systems designer, and Celestalon (a.k.a. Chadd Nervig), a previously under-the-radar game designer who over the past two weeks has established himself as GC’s “replacement” as a question-and-vitriol magnet on primarily PvE-related WoW issues.

Hop over to the Tweets From the Shadows page to see the full conversations, but in short, here’s what they talked about:

  • Celestalon affirmed that there’s no massive “Warlock-style” overhaul planned for rogues in the new expansion (roughly the umpteenth time a designer has said that), but that they’re definitely focusing on making each rogue spec feel different to play.
  • Celestalon also confirmed that positional requirements are being removed from abilities like Ambush and Backstab in Warlords/Patch 6.0.
  • He dodged a question about improving rogue AoE damage, subtly implying that it’s unlikely to change.
  • Ghostcrawler reflected back on some rogue-related game design choices, like the move to make Subtlety a more viable PvE spec over the past few years and the ever-controversial-among-a-minority decision to keep combo points stacking on the target (rather than on the rogue directly).
  • PvP maven Brian Holinka suggested that DPS cooldowns like Shadow Dance, which actually change our gameplay while they’re active, are the models they want to hold up as examples as they ponder how to refine cooldowns gamewide for the next expansion. (This makes me suspect that more “boring” cooldowns like Vendetta may not be long for this world, at least not in their current form.)

In the Blogosphere

  • Also more of a “month in rogueball” thing, but OneRogue has been blogging roughly every week or two with personal perspectives on the class, as well as community updates similar to the one you’re reading now. He also recently launched a pretty detailed “Resources” section that links to some of our best go-to spots for class info.

Within the Fora

Actually, I’m still pretty brutally behind on the rogue conversations happening on the official WoW forums, MMO-Champion, ArenaJunkies and the like. If you saw any particularly useful or productive discussions, please give ’em shoutouts in the comments!

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I don’t think of myself as a person who has very strong opinions about the rogue class. I’m probably wrong about that.

I started this blog to inform. Not just you guys, but also myself — I actively use my site to look back on recent class changes and to remind myself of what Ghostcrawler and other designers have said about rogues over the past year. It’s surprised me how many times I’ve written rants — and how long they’ve been.

So when the superific Subtlety lover Haileaus started a new thread in WoW’s rogue class forum asking people to talk about their rogue experiences in the context of the next expansion, my only thought was: Ooh, this’ll be cool to report on. I wonder what people will say?

It took some prodding from Hail for me to realize that maybe it’d be helpful and constructive of me if I said some stuff, too.

So. Here’s what I posted. The quoted bits are the questions that Hail set forth in the thread’s original post to help give people structure for their feedback (an outstanding idea). If any of this confuses you, infuriates you or raises your curiosity, fire away in the comments or — preferably — over in that forum thread, which has become a really nice collection point for class feedback.

 

What is your ideal, glorified, rogue? This one can be a bit unrealistic, and doesn’t have to be one answer (You could, for instance, say 3 – 1 per spec), but basically, if you had a dream you were the perfect OP rogue, what would it be like?

Basically, Assassin’s Creed. Can’t remotely work in the context of an MMO, but the one-shot kill, the perpetual ability to deceive and misdirect, the grappling hook, the ability to weave through enemy territory by means other than simply hitting a stealth button and walking carefully. Ultimate mobility, control, burst and secrecy.

 

How do you feel about the current damage distribution (where the bulk of your damage comes from) for each spec? What would you like it to be like? Please make note of whether this is in PvE or PvP.

I heard a rumor that a lot of people have posted in this thread complaining about passive damage in PvE. I agree with that, but not because I’m much of a fan of seeing big numbers as a direct result of mashing buttons: If I know my target’s gonna lose 25% of its health in the next five seconds, it doesn’t matter a whole lot to me whether that’s 5% per second or 2%/2%/17%/2%/2%. The reason I dislike huge passive damage amounts is that it shrinks the gap between those who really put a lot of time and effort into playing their class better and those who don’t.

I haven’t got a clue what sort of passive-vs.-active damage ratio we need to have in order to make that “skill gap” something I’m happy with. (Heck, I’m not even sure what that ratio is now, so maybe my entire argument here is moot.) And I feel kinda douchey even saying this, because I realize it’s sort of an elitist thing to say. But if you’re gonna learn how to play your class/spec optimally, and if you’re gonna practice to ensure that you follow through on what you’ve learned, I think you should be rewarded by doing crazy-huge better on DPS charts than a person who only has the basics down.

 

What are your thoughts on each spec’s rotation?

They all exist. :) I’ve tended to think of rotations as inevitable means to an end. I’m used to the maintain-this, build-with-this, finish-with-this approach, and I’m used to that approach being punctuated by the use of major cooldowns. Do I like it? Meh. Do I dislike it? Meh. It’s the way it is, the way it’s been, and has never been what I love or dislike most about playing the class.

 

If you could pitch just one idea to the devs, what would it be?

Find a way to give us a Grappling Hook ability that allows us to teleport to any location — horizontally or vertically — within, say, 20 yards or so that’s within our line of sight. Yknow, without that being ridiculously imbalanced in PvP. :)

 

What is your favorite part about your rogue in MoP, and what has been your favorite historically?

How stealth (plus speed) gives me the ability to choose my battles and get where I want to go without having to take the long way around.

 

Least favorite?

How visually messy raid fights get from the perspective of a melee DPS. It is hard to see much of anything that’s going on around me due to all the visual effects.

 

What should rogues be able to do better than every other class/melee?

Avoid damage, move quickly and frustrate the enemy.

 

What should rogues be able to do worse than every other class/melee?

Self-heal and deal sustained single-target damage outside of a PvE raiding context.

 

What do you think about the class’s role in PvE/PvP? If you would like to see it change, in what direction?

It’s not our role in PvE that I have a problem with; what makes me unhappy sometimes is how uninteresting it can feel to be a melee DPS. This is entirely a personal preference, but I’ve never been happier in a raid fight than when I’ve felt I have brought something special to my group that helped them win. I haven’t had a chance to even raid outside of LFR this expansion, but in Cata, I loved being a soaker on heroic Morchok, and I loved being in the Ultraxion rotation as a person who popped Cloak every third Twilight to keep the raid alive.

My DPS rotation is a constant; it’s always there, and it always will be, and my DPS potential will always be a number. The tools in my belt that can make or break my raid group on a particular fight are what form the memories that stick with me as a WoW player.

 

What that rogues used to have do you miss?

Swirly b— oh. Right.

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