Posts Tagged ‘TWIRB’

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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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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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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The first time I published this new weekly roundup, I proceeded to immediately skip a week. Let’s give this another shot. :)

To make up for lost ground, this recap of what’s up in rogue gameplay and the rogue community covers the past two weeks.

If you feel I missed anything or would like to see additional topics/sites/discussions included in TWIRB, please comment!

In the Live Game

  • Some patch happened or something, I guess? I don’t know, I don’t keep track of such things.
  • Overall, rogues are about the same in PvE post-patch, and are weaker in PvP. How much weaker — and what the result of that will be on rogues’ presence in arena ladders and RBG teams — has yet to shake out. (It’s only been a week and a half, remember.) There’s been a fair amount of new interest in Assassination (and, to a lesser extent, Combat) as specs worth exploring in PvP; more on that below.
  • There have been no reported hotfixes for rogues since the patch launched.
  • There have also been no confirmed bugs, although PvP chief Brian Holinka said they’d look into reports that Shroud of Concealment is failing to properly conceal allies.
  • As with every single patch in the history of patches, there has been a smattering of reports that stealth isn’t working as well post-patch as it was pre-patch. I haven’t seen any kind of consistency to these reports, so if something new *has* gone wrong, it’s likely something pretty obscure.

New PvP Guides & Blog Posts

In just the past few days, a bevy of capable PvP rogues has published or recorded a range of Patch 5.3-ready guides and tutorials:

Theorycrafting and PvE Optimization

Blizzfolk Get Roguey

  • The entire WoW design team answered a range of raiding-oriented questions from Icy Veins. Of particular interest to us (imho) are their comments on the melee DPS role in raids (my rant) and on the success of the Tier 15 four-piece bonus (my summary/analysis).
  • Elsewhere in Blizz interview news, Holinka and Ghostcrawler answered questions from ArenaJunkies’ Vanguards on the PvP changes impacting rogues in 5.3, including the Find Weakness nerf and why rogues were toned down overall.
  • Similarly, Holinka and Ghostcrawler joined the Legendary Webcast by video to discuss, among other things, the rogue PvP balance changes. (Read my summary of both the AJ and Legendary interviews.)
  • EU Community Manager Taepsilum responded to a Recuperate complaint thread in the official WoW forums to say he agreed that the self-heal “seems a bit underwhelming to me, and fitting it into the rotation doesn’t feel as rewarding as it used to during Cata,” and added that he’d bring the issue up with the dev team. (If this perked your ears, it should — we don’t see CMs directly express their views like this very often at all — but it doesn’t mean we should expect to see a change anytime soon. Taepsilum was just expressing his own opinion, and there’s no reason to believe the devs would necessarily agree — or have a solution they like better than the status quo.)

And that’s TWIRB. Or, well, TW(s)IRB; let’s see if I can stick to a weekly schedule with these.

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Time for a new experiment!

Here’s a quick roundup of stuff relevant to WoW rogues that happened, or was said, in the past week:

In the Live Game

  • It looks like sometime on May 16 they implemented a hotfix that inadvertently nerfed the crap out of the legendary meta gem for melee DPS. It was quickly reverted, but if you’ve got that gem equipped and your DPS weirdly dropped yesterday, now you know why.

Patch 5.3

  • PvP chief Brian Holinka reaffirmed that, despite the nerfs in store, he thinks rogues will still be better in Patch 5.3 than they were in 5.1.
  • Patch 5.3 PTR: Death knights (particularly Unholy) got a damage nerf — via a targeted nerf to *our* Tricks of the Trade spell. It doesn’t affect our DPS at all, but let’s be annoyed about it anyway.
  • We still have no launch date for Patch 5.3, by the way. It’s looking pretty likely that shit’ll go down next Tuesday (5/21) or the Tuesday after. Also, I think “shit’ll” just became my new favorite word. [Updated] Patch 5.3 is likely launching next Tuesday (5/21), by the way, as announced by Blizzard a few hours after I initially posted this. “Shit’ll” is still my new favorite word, though, and I’m sorry I struck through it. Forgive me, shit’ll!

Blizzfolk Interactions + Random Tidbits

  • We learned that you can’t use a Potion of Luck on a Vine-Cracked Junkbox in hopes of getting extra loot from it.
  • Holinka appeared to disagree with players who felt that Marked for Death was overpowered in PvP.

From the World Wide Ninjaweb

  • Encrypted Text this week provided a rundown of five particularly helpful rogue macros.
  • A few of us had a pretty cool conversation in the WoW rogue forum, for a couple of pages starting here, about how much rogues have changed (or haven’t changed) since Cataclysm.
  • Similarly, a forum thread on how people would redesign our three specs has been impressively cordial and constructive (for the most part), and is now five pages long.
  • I started a comprehensive collection of rogue-related Blizzfolk tweets that you all should visit every single day and share meals with it and hug it and tell it it’s very pretty.

And that’s this week in rogueball (TWIRB).

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