Monday, March 21, 2011

So long and thanks for all the fish

Traditional goodbye post.  This is likely the last time I will update this blog.  I had fun while it lasted, amassed tons of gold, downed every raid/dungeon boss in the game, was in server first guilds, was in casual guilds, raid leader to casual nobody.  Now what little time I play in the game I play with my best  friend and wife.    This game is utterly boring for me now, and honestly I don't see it getting better.  I'm just done with it.  What is amazing that it took 5 years of pretty insane amounts of time.  I think i have 300 days played amassed or something like that.  That is a scary amount of time to devote to, well just about anything.

I am playing a bit of Rift and am doing other PC/console games, and working like crazy.  So, little time for wow.

Cataclysm impressions

Decided to do one last post before shutting the blog down.   I wrote up my Wrath impressions here.  While wrath was very good for advancing the story, after reading part way through the Catalcysm novel and playing to 85 on a toon and doing some end-game content, as well as leveling a few toons through the new zones, I think I am finally qualified to have some weight behind my words.

Cataclcysm is Blizzard's jump the shark moment.  The moment where everything went downhill, where people bled off, never to return.  Why?

Well lets think about what Cataclysm offered and how it compared to what we had in Wrath.

New zones!    Yes, there were 5 new zones.  The water zone of Vasjir was very interesting to play through once.  The phasing technology allowed the story to drive through, and the fact that the zones were just one big quest line allowed Blizzard to really deliver on telling a very comprehensive story about the zone and your role in the story.  So, that's great.  Once.

However, the real problem, as everyone knows by now, is that blizzard also simultaneously killed off any interest in leveling again.  Its like reading a book or watching a movie.  You know exactly what quests you are going to do, exactly what zones, etc.  No jumping around like with other expansions or other games.   You were on rails, and woe to you if you dropped quests/couldn't find quests.    Further, it completely killed group play.  My wife and I tried to level in sync, but one twist of fate had us locked on different sides of a phasing system, she could not complete the quest while I could, and we were stuck, and that is that.

Professions.  Absolutely uninspiring.  Sorry, blizzard failed with this.  The only highlight is the daily fishing/cooking quest, which conceivably would allow you to level your fishing without completely going crazy.    Otherwise, professions remain unchanged since Wraith.  Sure, the 510+ recipes have to be obtained by unlocking twilight highlands at 84, and are obtained through getting various reagents.  But otherwise it's the same thing.  There are only 2-3 BOE epics, no BOP epics that I am aware of.   Engineering got some love by creating special engineering 'gems' and having stackable engineering enchants.   This profession still remains quite fun.   Also, Alchemy is really powerful now due to the huge demand of truegold (BOE epics are very sought after), and of course the legendary 2 person dragon mount vial of the sands.  However this requires a huge archiology grind.   (oh, the new secondary profession.  I never touched it).

End game.  More heroics!  This time there are 7 new dungeons, and 2 'retuned' heroics, dreadmines and SFK., down from 12ish in wraith/BC.    Heroics are hard like hell in Cata, and the community has essentially destroyed any love casual gamers may have for end-game dungeons.  I know i won't touch them with a 10' pole, and many feel the same.  It's a shame.

Raids.  I would not know, i never got into one.  I assume they are equally as difficult as heroics.  At least people are not burning through content, it is supposedly quite tough.  I do know i could never get a guild team off the ground, partly due to me not caring enough, partly due to the fact that our guild is really not meant to do raids in this expansion.  We are far to casual.  Whereas in Wraith we could actually do quite a bit of the raids without working too terribly hard.

PVP.  Don't know. From what I heard the new battle grounds are the same.  I tried to get into the new wintergrasp, and was locked out because of the imbalance.  Which sucks for the high-pop side of the server. It was fun to utterly demolish alliance in WG day after day, we would field 50-60 to their 10.

Old zones:  This is the best part of the expac.  The new quests are fantastic.  The goblin zones are superb.  I am serious about this, the 1-60 content is really outstanding now.  You can do dungeons when you want, you can do these great quest lines.  If anything it goes too quickly, i average an hour a level until level 60.

TL;DR.  I think Blizz missed the boat here.  The huge audience of casual players have found little to occupy their time, given the extereme competition from other games, it's no wonder that blizz is bleeding subs.  The main reason is probably boredom, like me.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

rogue faq

Rogue FAQ

This is ripped entirely from the official forum and is created by Jolsen.  I'm sticking this here because it's about to be deleted and I want to come back to it.

This was originally posted by Assassinette on Stormrage-EU
And i thank them for all their hard work.

Part I - Leveling Build and Gear
Part II – Stats ( <-- Hit Rating issues explained)
Part III – Instances & Early Raiding
Part IV - Early 80 Gear
Part V - Other stuff to know & take care of
Part VI – Fake FAQ ( <-- Expose Armor & Tricks of the Trade)
Part VII – Real FAQ & Profession Tips

First of all: This is up to date as of Patch 3.2.
It is intended for new people & PvE, meaning (solo) leveling and your first instances and raids.
If you've seen the TBC version, this is more of the same, with up to date numbers and up to date knowledge. I won’t give or explain a lot of options – however I am trying to provide what you need to know, no matter which tree you prefer; and while there usually is a single best way to do stuff, there are a lot of ways that are good enough. I’m also avoiding Math or Theorycraft, as this isn’t about demonstrating the argument, but instead providing its conclusion; if you want to take a look at those, this is the wrong place to search for them. The whole thing is backed up by the experience and knowledge of a lot of rogues, which usually means doing it wrong and knowing better afterwards, and while I try to include any decent hints or improvements that make sense, as well as weeding out mistakes that are pointed out, and keeping it up-to-date, you’ll need to be argue better than “because I say so” – I’m the only one who gets to do that.

I posted this for reasons of my own, profit from it or not, it's your choice. If you do follow it more or less, make sure you follow the underlined parts. I still don’t care for sticky, so I won’t be ‘cleaning this up’ for that sake or making it more polite. Also note that there invariably is a point where a rogue will grow out of this guide and get a better & more concise idea of what they want to do and how to achieve it - at that point, you're past the scope of the guide. It states "Newbie" in the title for a reason. The guide also isn’t a discussion of class balance or even tree balance - it's here to give an understandable and short(ish) answer to gear/spec/stat and whatever other questions a newcomer commonly has. It's not an encyclopedia, and doesn't want to be one.

Part 0 – Rogue Rules

• Don't Stand In Green !*!!™!
This rule is also commonly known as "PvE is hard, sometimes there's a fire, and you have to move™" or "A dead rogue does 0 DPS™".
It doesn't matter whether it's green, yellow or red; it doesn't matter whether it's a gas cloud, acid on the floor, rain of fire from the heavens, cleaves or whirlwinds.
If you can anticipate it, don't get caught in it; if you can see it, move out. Avoid dying, and don’t wipe the raid because you’re overtaxing healers – both essentially mean you’re wasting the raidslot that was given to you.

• Whatever Works (Best)™
Any other answer is wrong and usually given by people with either no clue, or an active interest to have you perform badly.
The best build is the one that best fulfills what you want it to do; if boss-DPS is what you want to do, then the best build is the one with highest potential DPS, and the best Stat is the one that gives you most DPS; if sailing though heroics is what you want, then shifting your attention to multi-targeting abilities to help clear trash ASAP might be the better choice. There is no single magical answer that covers all situations, and it’s your task to find a way/spec/tactic/gear that works well in the environment you chose to be.
You don’t get to complain about sucky boss-DPS when you go there with a PvP build, unenchanted quest+greens and no consumables; you don’t get to whine if you entered a fight without prior knowledge, and died because of it; you don’t get to #%%*% about being inappropriate, when other – better - choices are available.

Edits: v.3.1 - 2009.08.08.b
*Typos, Formatting; Fixed some numbers as per Furyterras post, Added Enchanted Tear (Kadavret).
*Dec. 11th 2008 - Part 7 updated with lockpicking 350+ advice; Version History started (Nesariel)
*Dec. 13th 2008 - Wyrmscale Leg Armor removed; Nerubian Leg Reinforcements added ( Anarkid, Slicey )
*Dec. 18th 2008 - Clarified HAT bug
*Dec. 25th 2008 - Added Questions Build, Stats and fake FAQ (mutilate leveling marked for review)
*Dec. 28th 2008 - SnD, Rupture, HfB add-on question added to FAQ ( Shyrouken )
*Dec. 30th 2008 - Muti Leveling Build reviewed ( Derathox ), Professions Reviewed ( Kytsla, Kyphosis ), HAT section reviewed (removed rupture suggestion in build/glyph, wording changed)
*Jan. 3rd 2009 - Missrate for Autoattack adjusted to 27% as per recent EJ confirmation, suggestion to not spec while intoxicated added (+considering to add it to the rogue rules in post #0).
*Bantime – Jan 27th 2009 – Intro rewrite, language changes in all sections, formatting/wording reviewed; leveling poison suggestions, how-to for leveling; sub leveling options (Sh√°dowless-US); Riposte in Combat (Satsujinki-US).
*Jan. 28th 2009 - Leveling enchants ( Haitur, Anachronism )
*April 26th 2009 - Update for 3.1
*April 30th 2009 - 18/51/2 added, MP vs. TTT expanded, short EA & ToTT remarks added; HaT teammates reviewed (pets seem broken ><), AP vs. Agi expanded ( Badlady )
*July 27th 2009 - misc small changes (update to best weapon combo & stuff like that)
*August 5th 2009 – Update for 3.2 & professions changed (Aldriana/EJ);
*August 8th 2009 – Energy Pooling detailed (Silentknight); Expertise updated with Dwarf & Orc Racials; formatting changes, Recent Updates added (Waxymud)
*August 10th 2009 - Muti build descriptors changed, TopHat mod for HaT builds,

Thanks to all who point out errors, suggest improvements, ask new questions and to everyone who keeps answering questions (correctly) :P

Part I - Leveling Build and Gear

While leveling you want Agility and Stamina on your gear. That will give you Hit Points (so you don’t die), Attack Power & Critrate (So the mob dies faster). You can also get AP, Hit Rating and Crit Rating directly on gear, although such items are rather rare at low levels. Try to avoid Strength, as it's a fairly weak stat for damage compared to the others. For random “Greens of the XXX” that means “…of the Monkey”, “…of the Tiger”, "...of the Thief" or “…of the Bandit” gear.

Blue quality items are normally better than green ones, and they last some levels before becoming outdated. If you have an easy way to get Blue quality gear, do.
That means for example if you can’t easily get Cruel Barb from Deadmines, take an afternoon of & sit through a couple of WSG matches to get the PvP level 18 sword. For items, search on on where & when to get them.

First up, a couple of things that should be obvious:
- Daggers are for Ambush, Backstab or Mutilate --- Sinister Striking, Riposte or Hemo with fast weapons such as daggers is incredibly bad damage (as in low damage, not “bad-ass awesome”).
- If you want to use SS, Riposte or Hemo get a sword/mace/fistweapon (preferably with a speed slower than 2.20)
- If you want to use daggers, get a build that at least supports them (that means Opportunity, Puncturing Wounds, Lethality, and maybe even imp. Gouge so you can actually get behind the mob)
- Be advised: at low levels with backstab builds, the playstyle requires you to be behind an untanked mob (which by default faces you), and that means using Cheap Shot, Kidney Shot, Gouge or Blind to get there - some of abilities aren’t available to you at low level. Missing with those, or having them parried or blocked quickly becomes very annoying. The playstyle is not very accessible, requires you to pay attention even in trivial fights, and is slow to level with – there’s virtually no advantage do doing it; in addition to decent non-dagger weapons being easily accessible, while decent daggers are a lot harder to come by.

Weapons you should get: (needs review for axes)
~ 18: Cruel Barb or level 18 WSG (Warsong Gulch) PVP Reward sword
- High 20ies: The Butcher, Zealot Blade, Level 28 WSG Sword – if absolutely not doable: Jade Serpentblade in early 30ies
~ 40: Vanquisher Sword + Sword of Omen / Sword of Serenity
~ 48: Thrash Blade
~ 58: Head to Outlands and find something there, it’s better than whatever you’ve got.
Throughout TBC and Wrath content, keep upgrading with quest rewards or instance drops as you get them. There isn’t any key piece you need to get, although blues of your level will still make your life easier. They’re not as much of a game changer as they were at lower levels, and as opposed to vanilla-WoW instances, TBC/WOTLK dungeons can’t be easily soloed by top level characters so those drops take more time to get. Unless you have a specific reason for staying at a certain level, don’t waste your time getting something that would be replaced soon anyhow.
At this point I’d also like to point out crafted & reputation weapons.
Fang of Truth ( ) is an easily available offhand for level 78, and unless you have better, Savage Cobalt Slicer ( ) at 74 is cheap to make and will last to 80. It’s not so much that you need to have them, but they’re easily available, so there’s little reason for you to wield anything worse once you get to those levels…
… other than being a dagger-rogue, at which point Saronite Ambusher ( ) and Saronite Shiv ( ) are worth looking into.

- Q: OMG, this is hard, I keep dying all the time!
A: The very first few levels (1-20), as well as Hellfire Peninsula will feel a bit harsh, with high incoming damage, reflective damage, no multi-targeting options and/or no escape options. Stick with it, it will be easy outside of that.

- Q: Questing or Grinding?
A: Questing, unless you like techno music.

- Q: +10% Experience Bind-to-Account shoulders worth it?
A: Yes. BtA gear is equivalent to blues of your level up to 80 and saves you from having to replace gear - if you have the BtA weapons, you can skip getting the blues from the list above. You'll have at least 3 decently filled slots and they're bought with Stone Keepers Shards in Wintergrasp, for which there's little use otherwise (PvPish gear & Jewelcrafter patterns). You could also get the Badge BtA items instead which are slightly better, but there’s usually a better use for those badges.
PS: Shoulders first, then the weapons.

- Q: Which enchant for leveling weapons?
A: Crusader or Lifestealing - they're effective, possibly cheap, can be put on BtA weapons, and increase damage as well as healing you on proc.
If you're not using BtA weapons, I'd suggest Fiery (or Greater Potency at later levels) enchant which should be a lot more affordable than Crusader, Lifestealing or Mongoose (which can't be put on BtA weapons)

Leveling Builds

The different links are suggestions, and while there is almost certainly a build better suited at each level, I’m trying to not make you respect every other level.

Combat Leveling:

Combat leveling (non-dagger!) is the sledgehammer of rogue leveling builds: no finesse, but it gets the work done; you essentially face mobs & smack them until they die. You do not have a lot of control or escape options, but you don’t need them – if you’re on a PvE realm, drunk most of the time, watch TV while leveling, need to focus your attention anywhere else, are comatose, lack arms, or all of the above at the same time: level as combat.

You open up by either stealthing up to a mob and garotting/cheapshotting, or just running over and starting to Sinister Strike it; you can use Slice&Dice after the first 1-2 Combopoints, or just keep smacking until you’re at 5 and then use either Kidney Shot (to reduce incoming damage) or Evis (or at any time before that, if you think Evis will kill the mob). Repeat until mob is dead, preferably use the stunning options if it hits hard. Use Riposte whenever it's available.

At certain levels you will acquire new cooldowns:
- Bladeflurry copies the damage you do to your target to another mob closeby. If it’s up, pull two mobs, fire BF & do your thing.
- Adrenaline rush doubles your energy regeneration for 15 seconds, meaning you can spam abilities & finishers a lot more – in conjunction with Evasion & Bladeflurry, this means you can pull a pack of mobs and kill them all.
I suggest you actually use your cooldowns – it’s what they’re here for.

Poisons to use: Dual Instant at the beginning, dual Wound Poison when you get the ability at level 32 (it does more damage due to proccing more than Instant Poison – this remains true unless you spec into Improved Poisons in Assassination).

Here’s your build at level: (self-evident completion as far as I can see)
At 40 you respec to:
47: (Weaponspec points go to the appropriate weaponspec ofc – if you switch weapons a lot, you can skip them unless required to advance to the next tier of talents, or get fillers like endurance or improved sprint instead)

Sub Leveling (30+):

Let’s be clear – combat kills more mobs in less time; but Sub leveling is better suited if you PvP every now and then, and may be the better option on a PvP realm with actual world pvp (haha!) happening. It deals less damage, but has improved stealth, mobility, reduced cooldowns on escape options, Prep and stronger openers.
One of the problems the tree has it that it doesn’t have talents backing up a main attack well until you’re quite far in. If you want to level as sub, I’d still recommend following the Combat guide until you’re level 30, and respect then – it won’t take long, and will prove to be much less of a headache then leveling up with improved stealth and stronger garrotte being your only strong points.
Note: the builds are non-dagger build, Hemo replaces Sinister Strike as your main attack.

Poisons to use: Same as Combat.
At 50 respec to:

Assassination Leveling (50+):

At 50, you get to make a choice: Stay with the non-dagger options above, or start using daggers. I specifically did not put up a dagger build earlier than 50, because itemization isn’t good, mob avoidance is highly annoying, and it’s aggravating to play compared to builds that don’t have to stand behind a mob – which by default will face you when soloing.

With mutilate, that changes. Mutilate builds are hard hitting, high DPS, tough poisons, tons of combopoints, neat extra toys, and have the option of heading halfway into subtlety and pick up some of the PvP goodies there. If you want daggers, this is the way to go; if you sometimes PvP, it’s a lot better than combat for that too – it “feels” a bit slower than combat, but exchanges the in-your-face killing of mobs with keeping them from hurting you; it’s weakness is multimob pulls and being more vulnerable when you actually get hit.

The typical way to kill a mob is approaching in stealth, Cheap Shot, Mutilate, Kidneyshot, Mutilate, Evis – for “hard” mobs wait a bit before the Kidneyshot and pool energy so you can Mutilate twice while the mob is KSed (as you get +9% damage from imp. KS). If possible, pay attention that the mob actually is poisoned for the first mutilate, although that will typically happen before Cheapshot runs out.

Poisons to use: Instant and/or Wound
The spec does include 2/2 Deadly Brew, which makes your instant poisons proc crippling on the target, and that counts as poison debuff for the +50% damage bonus Mutilate gets.
If you’re on a PvE Realm, you could put the 2 points from Deadly Brew somewhere else and always use dual Wound, but having your target crippled by default is nice as it stops them from getting away at low health. Either way will work, which poison deals more damage depends on your actual Attack Power. It’s very close either way, but at decent gear Instant should deal more damage, while wound provides the benefit of high procrate and a healing debuff in case PvP happens (everyone knows holy priests scour the landscape looking to pick a fight with a rogue! *cough*).
You can also use Deadly & Envenom: dual deadly is certainly a possibility, but mobs may not live long enough to stack 5 Deadly on them.

Then get get 4 more fillerspoints (mod, camo…) or Master Poisoner, and we're changing topics.

Note: the above suggestion is leaning towards PvE – if you’re on a PvP realm, I’d suggest only picking up Dual Wield Spec in combat, not going past 41 in Mutilate, and making your way down to Prep & Dirty Deeds in Subtlety (picking up MoD, Camo, DT and Elusiveness).

- Q: Why not imp. Slice & Dice, I heard it’s great?
- Q: Why not Focused Attacks, I heard it’s great?
A: It is, if you’re raiding - they're not that good for leveling however.
Normal mobs die too fast to get decent use out of these talents, as they require time on target to actually do anything. You can use S&D against normal mobs, but that doesn’t require you to have the talent for it. Concerning FA, your Crit Rating is nowhere near what it needs to be to make FA worth it. Both of those are steady DPS talents good for longer fights in decent gear and when buffed – quite the opposite of what you’re likely to experience when leveling.

- Q: Why Remorseless / imp. Evis., I heard they’re crap?
A: They are, unless you’re leveling.
Decent burst can kill normal mobs, or at least hurt them a lot. Having a very decent crit chance on your first Mutilate, or hitting a bit harder with Evis as combat will make a lot of difference in how fast mobs go down. When raiding, the problem is that you need a Killing Blow to activate Remorseless (unlikely in a raid), and that Evis is your 3rd ranked finisher (as combat) so you won't do it all that much.

- Q: Can i take X filler instead of Y?
A: Yes.
Fillers (=every talent that doesn’t directly increase your damage by a significant amount) are at all times your personal choice, and your performance isn’t massively affected by taking one over the other. Some prefer better stealth; some prefer faster sneaking, some like sprint to break a root, while others want their evasion cooldown reduced… There’s really no argument people can make that makes one filler a lot better than another at all times, they all have a niche they fill well. I personally rank Dirty Tricks high because it makes sapping/blinding trivial, Camo above MoD because I’m a movement speed junky and don’t get seen in stealth by mobs in first place, and finally Elusiveness above all of them because I use blind, vanish & CloS a lot.

- Q: Why not deep subtlety with daggers?
A: For leveling you want something reliable and non-positional. Yes, you can literally 2-shot mobs with ambush-cs-ambush (requires Shadow Dance) or ambush-trinketspam-evis at high levels, but it usually requires stealthed approach, and some cooldowns to be up, which slows your leveling down, and forces you to start using shiv/hemo or gouge to get control of a fight again if the mob doesn’t die. You can do it; but it’s not a good way of leveling unless there are other considerations that take priority (most of which are PvP related).

- Q: What spec when I level with another person?
A: 0/0/0 is good enough for that. On a more serious note, I depends who you’re leveling with: if it’s a priest you want him to have the killing blow for Spirit Tap making Remorseless Attacks pointless; if it’s someone who has aggro most of the time, backstab builds become an option (also works with 2 rogues – the mob can only face one of you at the time). I’d suggest getting something that’s mobile (shadowstep/fleet footed) and doesn’t rely on a stealthed approach however.
Part II – Stats

Before we get into early raiding, here's what you need to know about your class: There are 6 Stats that will increase your DPS in one way or another:

- Attack Power (AP),
- Hit Rating,
- Crit Rating,
- Expertise,
- Haste and
- Armor Penetration

Agility provides 1 AP, 0.012% Crit, some armor & dodge (both irrelevant); Strength provides 1 AP per point.

For these stats "higher is better" applies at all times - there is no situation in which having a lower score is better than having a higher score. 2 notes however: Hit Rating & Expertise have a cap, which means that at one point you will stop missing, rendering more Hit Rating useless; and one point at which mobs won't be able to dodge you anymore (mobs *can* dodge from behind, players can't), at which point more expertise is useless. A cap isn't necessarily something to aim for, it's just something to not surpass if you can at all avoid it (as you’d be wasting stats at that point).

The second part is as important: There are no magic numbers.
There is no fixed value in any stat that you have to have. Always take the item which gives you more DPS, no matter what the actual stats on it are (with the footnote that exceeding a hit/expertise cap won't provide more DPS). You do not have to reach any Hit Rating magical cap, and trying to do so while gimping your other stats means you’re being an idiot (that means you could just stop being one any time you wish btw).

Rating conversions can be found at the page ( ), or you can download RatingBuster which will put them into the item tooltip in-game ( ).

Expertise helps against parries and dodges.

Bosses are assumed to have 6.5% chance to dodge your attacks when you attack them from behind. That means you need:
• 26 expertise (214 expertise rating) to cap
• 16 expertise (132 expertise rating) to cap if you have 2/2 Weapon Expertise
• 13 expertise (107 expertise rating) to cap for a Human Rogue with 2/2 Weapon Expertise wielding sword or mace
• 11 expertise (91 expertise rating) to cap with 2/2 Weapon Expertise for Dwarf Rogues wielding maces; and Orcs Rogues wielding Fist Weapons or Axes
• (23 expertise (190 expertise rating) to cap for a Human Rogue wielding sword or mace but with 0/2 Weapon expertise)
• (21 expertise (173 expertise rating) to cap with 0/2 Weapon Expertise for Dwarf Rogues wielding maces; and Orcs Rogues wielding Fist Weapons or Axes)

•Hit Rating
Hit Rating now affects spells as well as melee, that means Hit Rating not only reduces the chances your attacks are missing, but also reduces the chance that your poisons are missing. You're assumed to miss 8% of your special attacks against bosses, 17% of your poison application, and 27% of your melee autoattack while dualwielding (this affects both mainhand and offhand attacks). A Draenei in your party reduces those numbers by 1%.

Following numbers assume 5/5 Precision:
• 722 Hit Rating to cap dual-wield melee autoattack
• 689 Hit Rating to cap dual-wield melee autoattack, in presence of a Dranei
• 315 Hit Rating to cap poisons application
• 237 Hit Rating to cap poisons application, with Improved Fairy Fire or Misery on the target
• 210 Hit Rating to cap poisons application, with Improved Fairy Fire or Misery on the target, and in presence of a Draenei
• 99 Hit Rating to cap Special attacks
• 66 Hit Rating to cap Special attacks, in presence of a Draenei

Rules of thumb:
- Don't drop below special attack hitcap (66 or 99); beyond that stack Whatever Works Best™, which will usually be Agility or straight AP. There is no “1 true list” of stat ranking, technically you could break it down to ~40 primary and secondary/derived stats for the 3 raidbuilds, and they all rank somewhere between ~1 AP and ~2 AP, depending on what exactly your build is, what your other stats are (ie: your gear) and what exactly happens in a fight.

Generally speaking (without considering builds!):
- Strong Stats: Hit Rating (Specials Cap) > AP ~Agility
- Average Stats: Expertise ~ Hit Rating (Poison Cap) > Crit Rating ~ Armor Penetration ~ Haste Rating
- Weak Stat: Hit Rating (above Poison Cap) – yeah, it’s really kind of crappy

There’s deviations depending on which build you actually use however:
• Combat:
- Expertise is weaker (Rank around Crit Rating) due to combat not being prone to cycle or timing disruptions as much as Mutilate or HaT are, but still average
- Armor Penetration is stronger (Rank after Agility as strong Stat) due the proportion of autoattack-related damage which is the backbone of Combat builds. When approaching BiS gear levels, ArP has the potential to become your strongest DPS stat if you build around it (& carefully select your gear).
• Mutilate:
- Hit Rating until Poison Cap is very strong due to the percentage of poison related damage. You really don’t want too many poison resists if you can avoid them
- Armor Penetration is weak for the same reason: Poisons – they don’t have their damage reduced by armor
- Expertise is strong since attacks that don’t connect can mess with timing and cycles – which is A Bad Thing ™
• HaT
- Expertise is very strong – a large portion of your damage comes from Eviscerate, and you need it to connect when you execute it. A Parry or Dodge can lead to wasted Combopoints or a wasted Global Cooldown, something you really want to avoid

 Q: How much hit?
A: Past 99, spreadsheet it; Take obvious DPS upgrades - Your stats will be whatever they are.
A: Past 99, spreadsheet it; Take obvious DPS upgrades - Your stats will be whatever they are.
A: Past 99, spreadsheet it; Take obvious DPS upgrades - Your stats will be whatever they are.
For things where you have the choice (enchants, gems) yet again: Find out what your best stat is, and stack that - if you find out your best stat is Hit Rating, then obviously go for it. Chances are, it’s not; if you stack Hit Rating although another stat is better, you’re an idiot.

- Q: What should my Stats be while leveling?
A: Don't worry about them.

- Q: What should my Stats be for Naxx10?
A: Level 80 and Don't spec while drunk.
Again: There are no magic numbers. Higher is better, but please be polite and don't show up in greens when blues and epics are readily available before you ever set foot into a raid. Yes, Naxx is that easy, it’s not a joke. You won’t lead damage meters at the end of the day without decent gear, but 80 & sober is enough to beat it. Knowledge of tactics and communication are a lot more important than gear.

- Q: Ok, so i miss more and get dodged more by bosses... Any other stats that are adversely afffected?
A: Your Crit against bosses is 4.8% below your crit chance against level 80 targets (which is what you see on the character sheet) [Needs a review whether this is still true in 3.1 – for now, assume it is]

- Q: Agility and AP seem to be very strong across the board.
A: Indeed, 2 AP and 1 Agi tend to be very strong stats. AP usually tends to be a midge stronger than Agi at early gear levels, Agi a bit stronger than AP @T7/T8 levels - nowhere near close to be worth re-geming/enchanting, just something to keep in mind when the next upgrade drops.

- Q: Is there a scenario where Hit Rating is the best Stat past 99?
A: Yes. Hit Rating makes a come-back for Mutilate builds at high gear levels (Best in Slot T7 or better)

- Q: Ok, let’s say I’m around 200 Hit Rating – how much DPS would I lose by gemming +16 Hit instead of +16 Agi or +32 AP?
A: Check on your spreadsheet, but at entry-raid gear roughly 0.3-0.5%.
Not much? Now consider 6 sockets & 4 enchants you bungle up in the same manner, having wrong poisons on the wrong weapons and we’re suddenly >5%, more than what we’d gain if glancing blows disappeared overnight; and you’re losing it for no reason whatsoever.

Part III – Instances & Early Raiding

• For all builds: KEEP SLICE AND DICE UP. It's a selfbuff that makes you do ~15-20% more damage; there is no possible way to do decent DPS without Slice & Dice. Start it early (after the first 1-2 Combo Point), and keep it going.
• Your finisher priority for all builds is Slice & Dice > Rupture > Evis/Envenom. You only get to Rupture if S&D is running, you only get to Evis/Envenom if Rupture & S&D are running. Obviously this priority applies to situations where Slice & Dice as well as rupture can run for the full duration.

You can currently take all three trees into Raids, Assassination, Combat and HAT, and do decent damage with them:

• Combat 15/51/5 – - uo to Naxx gear
• Combat 18/51/2 – - Ulduar+ gear levels
- Engage your brain: Combat builds have a filler point (likely to be endurance if you don’t use CQC) & Weaponspecs - obviously pick the spec for the weapons you're using. The two example builds use Hack & Slash, for no other reason than to demonstrate that it's possible to pick deep-tier sword-axe or mace-spec, and not only CQC.
- The spec is solid on bossfights and allows you to switch between most non-dagger MH weapons easily. It's probably the most useful spec for heroics too, due to multi-targetting abilities and being quick to start cycles. Combat is easily handled, solid DPS and provides +4% physical damage to everyone in the raid, which means that one rogue/raid should be combat.
- Weapon loadout is Slow non-dagger Mainhand, Fast offhand.
- Poisons are Wound Mainhand and Deadly Offhand.
- Glyphs: Sinister Strike, Rupture, Killing Spree
- Cycle for 15/51/5: 5s/5r/5e
- Cycle for 18/51/2: 4s/5r/4e
e = more than ~12 seconds left on S&D? Use Evis, else pool energy and use S&D. Start SnD as fast as possible (after the first 2-3 combopoints). The cycle will be tight at starter gear levels and you may not always be able to squeeze in the evis, but it’s a problem that solves itself as gear gets better. The cycle difference 555 vs 454 is obviously due to 3 points less in Relentless Strikes
- PS: Use your cooldowns!

• Mutilate 51/13/7 – - slightly higher DPS
• Mutilate 51/7/13 option – - 3 sub filler points
- Engage your brain: If you’re running Naxx, 2/2 Murder doesn’t do much since everything’s undead. You’re welcome to use the points in FF, QR or Vigor there, but once you face enemies Murder works against, it’s a good DPS talent and shouldn’t be left out.
- Mutilate is competitive in raids, but a tad harder to handle than Combat. If you want to use daggers, this is the way to go however. In Heroics, it’s slower to get started into DPS cycles so you won’t actually be dealing awesome damage with it.
- The important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want S&D to drop, but keep it going via Cut to the Chase. Don’t let HfB drop either, although that’s much less problematic since you don’t have to stack it up anymore – if it does drop, get it back up as soon as possible.
- HfB Note: Your target needs to be bleeding for you to be able to apply HfB, hwoever it does not need to be your bleed. Another Rogues Rupture will do fine, same as the bleeds from Druids, or Deep Wounds from a warrior.
- Weapon loadout is Slower Dagger Mainhand / Faster Dagger Offhand (DPS beats speed considerations however – slower weapons hit harder on Mutilates, but faster ones get more FA procs more often)
- Poisons are Instant on Mainhand / Deadly on Offhand. Some finishers have a chance to proc the mainhand poison, which is why you want instant there, and with Improved Poisons Instant beats Wound for DPS.
- Glyphs: Hunger for Blood, Mutilate, Rupture
- Cycle: 4+n/4+r
You'll have to improvise a bit. The point is that at 4+ combopoints, you check that everything that needs to run is running and won’t run out soon: if HfB is about to drop, refresh it; if S&D is about to drop refresh it via envenom, if those are doing fine make sure Rupture is running (ie: rupture if it isn’t), otherwise envenom.

• HAT –
- Engage your brai... who am i kidding, just spam Evis ;)
- HAT is highly reliant on your party members critting often; arcane mages, non-resto druids & shammies, holy pallies & fury warriors are good teammates as long as alive and not OOM. When your teammates die, your DPS will be terrible, and you’ll have to provide the Combopoints yourself.
- As every raid has its own "zomgwtfqqb" people, you might want to install TopHAT, a mod that tracks crits/sec of the people actually there. It may very well be that you have an awesome class X player who crits more in relation to others than class averages would suggest he does -- if that is the case, you want him in your group.
- Note about Stats: Evis is your primary form of damage with this build, it *needs* to connect, which means you need to cap special attack hit rating, as well as expertise. Beyond that Agility/AP/Crit seem best.
- Note about the builds: If you have low Hit Rating, you can shift points away from imp. S&D to precision, as mentioned above you want 8% to make sure Evis doesn't miss. When you have that 8%, you can use the points on imp. S&D instead to significantly reduce how often you need to refresh it. For the non-DPS talents in Sub, pick those you want - the suggested ones are the ones i prefer, but a filler remains a filler (rather unimportant for DPS).
- Weapon loadout is Slow Mainhand / Fast Offhand. You will have to Hemo every now and then which means you want your MH to be slow, and you want a quick offhand to stack up deadly poison faster; however DPS considerations are more important than speed IMO.
- Poisons are Wound Mainhand / Deadly Offhand
- Glyphs: Eviscerate (!), Slice and Dice, Rupture
- Cycle: Keep Slice & Dice running, keep Rupture Running, Spam Evis.
- Cycle Notes: Do not waste Energy, do not waste Combopoints.
That means: Do not get so low on energy that you wouldn't be able to evis, you don't want to waste combopoints. You don't want to waste energy either, so if no CPs are being generated by your party, you can bridge that period by using Hemo. This should be rare, and note that a 2-point Evis will actually be better DPS than a Hemo with a dagger. Neither CPs nor Energy should cap out at any time. The short version is: anytime you have 2+ CPs, you can use Evis, but if it’s possible to wait a few seconds without wasting energy & get a higher CP Evis, do that.
- [currently investigating nvHaT, if you've got feedback on it, post :) ]
- Q: What about Fan of Knives?
A: Whenever there are 3 or more targets, use it.

- Q: Master Poisoner vs. Turn the Tables?
A: Master Poisoner is better, but the same debuff is provided by Ret Pallies & Shamans, and they don't stack. However the talent has been changed to provide an additional chance to proc deadly poison after you envenom, which is something you do want.
I’d go for MP, although the two of them are very close from a Raid-DPS point of view. Also be aware that 1 point in TTT might be better theoretical DPS than the 3rd point in MP - whether you follow though on that is your choice, again the difference is very small at best.

- Q: Cycle, 5s/? huh, wait, what???
A: A cycle is the repeating use of some skills, which is calculated to help you do more DPS than just randomly pressing skills.
It indicates which finishers to use with how many combo points, so "5s" would be a 5 combo-point Slice and Dice, "5r" a 5 point Rupture. As an example: 2s/5r means "get 2 combo points, Slice and Dice, get 5 combo points, Rupture; repeat from the beginning".
There are a few considerations that get worked into them, among others time & energy efficiency, DoT uptime, etc... A low point S&D gives you more S&D time/combopoint, but Relentless Strikes 5/5 gives you back 25 energy whenever you use a 5 point finishers making a 5-point S&D energy neutral; 2s/5r gives you better Rupture uptime than 5s/5r/5? but relies on stacking bleed-modifiers (2t7, a feral druid, Blood Spatter and Serrated Blades) to be competitive.
The cycles suggested here work in a majority of situations and are fairly stable - that doesn't mean that you won't have to adapt (bad luck with CP or FA not proccing...), or work around the specifics of some fights; but they are the core of how you’re DPSing.
Captain Obvious Note: You get combo points with your builds main attack, that means Sinister strike for Combat builds, Mutilate for deep Assassination builds, and others critting with HAT.

- Q: That spec isn't the same i ended up with while following the leveling builds!
A: Leveling specs are leveling specs, these are raidspecs. They are by definition not the same.

- Q: What’s with this Energy Pooling?
A: In essence, it’s about delaying an instant attack a bit to take advantage of short-duration buffs or keep a stable cycle; and is most important for Mutilate builds.

• Mutilate builds run with 3 concurrent timers: Hunger for Blood, Slice & Dice (refreshed via Envenom by 5/5 Cut to the Chase) and Rupture (which cannot always be overwritten). If all 3 are running short and need to be refreshed, you may end up in a tight spot and be in danger of having one of the 3 drop, something that is generally considered A Bad Thing™. This is something that could have been avoided if you had delayed refreshing Slice & Dice for 4-5 seconds on the previous cycle, because then you’d only be faced with HfB & Rupture running out now, while having a couple of seconds of grace before you need to worry about S&D.
The very same argument can be made with pooling energy while waiting for rupture to tick out, instead of overwriting it and losing 1,2,3 ticks of one that’s already running, reducing its Damage/energy spend, and again potentially getting you into trouble 1 or 2 cycles down the road.
The general idea is to take decent advantage of running timers, instead of spamming instants just because you happen to have the energy, thus making them more efficient in terms of DPS/ComboPoint and DPS/Energy, and avoiding getting into tight situations where S&D, Rupture or HfB drop.

• The other part is taking advantage of the short term buffs from Envenom and Master Poisoner. When you Envenom you have an increased application rate for Instant and Deadly Poison for a time if 1 second + 1sec/combopoint spent on the envenom. Master Poisoner increases that change by an additional 45%. Let’s say you envenom as soon as you have the energy for it; autoattack will proceed as normal (with increased chance to apply poisons), but it will be 5-5.5 seconds before you can do one mutilate which also has a chance to apply poison. If you had envenomed with a nearly full energy bar, you could have done 2 mutilate attacks and stacked up deadly poison faster,a s well as extra IP procs.
Towards the end of TBC there was a trinket which gave you 145 Crit Rating for 10 seconds after any finisher. The difference e between getting in up to 3 mutilates when you pooled, as opposed to 1-2 when you didn’t, is obvious.
While there’s no WOTLK gear at this time that makes pooling as obvious a necessity as that trinket, it is nevertheless good practice – there’s little reason to not do DPS you could be doing, especially when there’s no extra effort, resources or time needed to make it happen.

Part IV - Early 80 Gear

• MAEP Lists such as need to be taken with a grain of salt, as the Stat weights he assumes can’t possibly correspond to yours: what a stat is worth, depends on what your spec and stats are at this time – the is no fixed number that is always correct. It is however a decent guideline, and better yet: You can use the list to find out what gear is actually in game & what you can realistically get in first place, and then use a spreadsheet to find out which part is the best for you. You can also download his list, and put in your own stat-weightings which together with the list being very up-to-date is the real strong point of It’s a decent resource for rogues – make use of it.

• Spreadsheets: and - use them to find out if an item is an upgrade for you. While it's true that some items are simply better than others, which one exactly is best for you is something you can easily & precisely find out for yourself, instead of relying on general forum opinion which is usually not based upon your gear in first place.

• If you're bored, you can manually input stats into spreadsheet & see how they change DPS, and use that to figure out stat-weighting for your gear; which you can then in turn use to modify the shadowpanther list. Yes, I'm bored a lot.

Personal Opinion:
- If you can get drops easily, do; meanwhile:
- I suggest you first use your Emblems to buy everything other than the T7 pieces, that means ( ), Neck ( ), Trinket & Belt ( ).
- Use Faction/Daily rewards where possible: for chest ( ), Boots ( ) and Wrists ( ), or better yet Argent Tournament stuff.
- Shoulders ( ) & Cloak ( ) are crafted and not too expensive.

- If you go Mutilate, buy a Librarian's Paper Cutter from the AH ( ), and get a Dagger of the Rising Moon/Spinal Destroyer from the Argent Tournament (25 Tokens); a Broken Stalactite from Sons of Hodir (Revered) or a second LPC. Not ideal, but it will do.
- If combat, use the swords from faction reputation until Greed ( ) drops for you, then buy a Librarian's Paper Cutter as offhand & spec accordingly (CQC)
- If you're rich, Krol & "Vulajins" swords are a good combo, that being the Krol Cleaver ( ) and Avool's Sword of Jin ( ).

Q: Why other stuff before Tier armor?
A: Because Tier Tokens drop reliably

Q: Emblem of Conquest gear any good?
A: It’s decent, and it’s not like EoCs are useful for much else… unless you’re OCD about pets and mounts and banners and stuff like that :P

Q: Which badge item first?
A: Whichever gives you most DPS/Badge compared to what you’re currently wearing

Q: Is Item A or Item B better?
Q: Which Weapon should I use?
Q: What gives more DPS?
A: Spreadsheet it.

Q: I can not use the spreadsheet, what should i do?
A: head to

Q: What is the best Weaponcombo in game right now?
A: Mutilate: Gouge of the Frigid Heart / Twin Spike MH + Bladetwister OH; dual Zerker enchants
A: Combat H&S: Hellscream Slicer/Stormpike Cleaver MH + Void Saber OH; dual Zerker enchants
A: Combat CQC: Golden Saronite Dragon MH + Bladetwister OH; dual Zerker enchants

Part V - Other stuff to know & take care of
- You're getting most of them, and buffs in the same category don't stack anymore - party composition is not something you need to worry about at this point.
- A notable exception is the draenei's Heroic Presence (1% Hit) which is limited to party only.

Consumables: (Use your consumables. They don’t help if sitting in your backpack is all they do)
- Buff Food - Whatever gives you the most DPS - Spreadsheet it (most likely an 80 AP food).
- Battle Elixir - Flask of Endless Rage
- Potions - Bring enough Runic Healing Potions (and Potion of Speed if you need an edge)
- Bandages - Heavy Frostweave. Bring enough of them.
- Smoke Flares – For extra cookie points, bring smoke flares to mark stuff, for example safe spots in each of the 4 zones during the Heigan encounter. You'll save lives (except the life of that one guy who lags a lot, and always says weird thing in /g – he’s toast, nevermind him).
- Poisons - bring whatever Poisons you use, and bring enough of them. (You might actually need Anesthetic poison if your hunters are busy (or simply suck, always a possibility))

Doublecheck your spreadsheet & compare enchants and gemming for your gear & weapons; know what drops where, and if it’s an upgrade.

- Weapons: Berserking. If you're too cheap for that, Mongoose.
- Hat: Arcanum of Torment (Ebon Blade Revered)
- Shoulders: Greater Inscription of the Axe (Sons of Hodir Exalted); Master's Inscription of the Axe for Inscribers
- Cloak: Major Agility; Swordguard's Embroidery if You're a tailor, Flexweave Underlay if you’re an engineer.
- Chest: Powerful Stats; Super Stats if you’re cheap
- Bracers: Greater Asssault ; Fur Lining if You're a Leatherworker
- Gloves: Crusher or Major Agility; Hyperspeed Accelerators if you’re an Engineer
- Belt: Eternal Belt Buckle, buy it off the AH or a Blacksmith - they add an additional colorless socket
- Pants: Icescale Leg Armor; Nerubian Leg reinforcement if You're a Leatherworker - same stats, but cheaper to make
- Boots: Icewalker; Nitro Boosts if you’re an Engineer
- Rings: Assault (Enchanters only)

- Meta: R.E.D. - that's a Relentless Earthsiege Diamond. It requires at least 1 red, 1 blue and 1 yellow gem to activate. Orange gems count as BOTH red+yellow, Purple counts as red+blue, Green counts as yellow+blue, and Prismatics count as all three.
- Red Socket: AP and Agi Gems – there’s an epic +20 agi gem you can get from fishing daily quests, grab one of those.
- Yellow Socket: Agi/Crit, AP/Hit or Agi/Hit orange gems; only use yellow +Hit gems if you're under the special attack hitcap (99)
- Blue Socket: AP/Sta or Agi/Sta or Enchanted Tear (+6 all Stats)
- Small note: If you have very low expertise, consider expertise gems too - getting unlucky with dodges can break your cycle, which costs more DPS than Spreadsheets indicate.

Required Glyphs:
- Combat: Sinister Strike, Rupture, Killing Spree
- Mutilate: Hunger for Blood, Mutilate, Rupture
- HAT: Slice and Dice, Eviscerate, Rupture

Part VI - Questions Answered (with fake questions for now):

- Q: Will Vanish be fixed?
A: No.

- Q: Should i use keybinds?
A: Yes.

- Q: Will Rogues keep getting nerfed?
A: Yes.

- Q: What about my special bastard build?
A: No.

- Q: Combat/dag...
A: No.

- Q: What about x/y/ 0
A: Any build that ends in "/0" is abysmaterribad.

- Q: Where should i be standing?
A: If possible, behind the mob.
Standing in front will make you lose damage via parry & block, critcap your autoattack, and kill your tank faster (a mob instantly attacks again when he parries one of your attacks).

- Q: How much Hit Rating do i need to be hit-capped (ie: never miss)?
A: As a non-human against skull-level bosses, with 5/5 Precision: 755

- Q: How important is being hit-capped?
A: Not at all. If you’re hit-capped or anywhere near it, you gimped other stats for it, which lowers your total DPS.
Additionally, if you're at hitcap vs. bosses, it means you're over the cap for trash, wasting DPS there.

- Q: What about expertise?
A: It's a good DPS stat, try not to go over the cap though, as that's wasting itembudget..

- Q: I thought you always miss 1% of your attacks, no matter what?
A: You thought wrong.

- Q: I thought the misschance for specials was 9%?
A: New evidence suggests it is 8% (again).

- Q: Why was "Because I Can™" removed from Rogue rules?
A: Because people failed to engage their brains while applying it.

- Q: Where should I be on the Damage-meter?
A: #1

- Q: Axes aren’t roguelike!!!
Neither is bad DPS.

- Q: Your own gear/enchants/glyphs don't follow your advice
A: Do as i say, not as i do :P

- Q: Isn't all that stuff pretty much the same as the stuff on Elitist Jerks?
A: Mostly it is, with slight deviations.

- Q: Where can i read up on tactics of fights so i don't die to an ability i could easily have avoided
A: The pages about bosses usually have at least rudimentary tactics; will usually have a pretty decent description of the fight as well; lastly has all the tutorials and tactics you need.

- Q: What about Expose Armor?
A: If you're running without someone else doing the major armor debuff (that being a Warrior using Sunder Armor), Expose Armor takes the place of most important finisher, pushing S&D to 2nd, and so on. You'll lose personal DPS (since you now have to provide a debuff, instead of profiting from someone else doing that), but Raid-DPS will be a lot higher with the armor debuff being up. Ideally the task of doing it should fall to warriors (preferably the main tank), but if there aren't any present it goes to HaT Rogues (spam finishers anyway), Combat Rogues (very predictable cycles) and lastly Mutilate Rogues (in that order).

- Q: Tricks of the Trade?
A: Use it on cooldown.
It redirects aggro (and increases damage of whomever it's cast upon), which means you can attack sooner as well as help tanks get aggro on groups (via Fan of Knives), or help them if there are aggro-resets in an encounter. If Tank aggro is not an issue, use it on a DPSer for the damage increase.
Technically Hunters are decent receivers for it due to having a decent aggro dump, however they're often not in range which is why i prefer of TToTing in a circle with the other rogues, which makes it more or less threat neutral and is an decent DPS boost.

Part VII - Questions Answered (Real ones)

- Q: What is a good standard cycle on a mob?
On short fights, it's hard to get into cycle, so you'll have to wing it.
- Keeping SnD running is your first consideration. If that's running, your best finisher if it can run for the full time is Rupture. However on standard mobs (short fights) that's not always possible, so Evis/Envenom might be the better answer.
- Use Stuns (CS/KS) with consideration: if your tank is rage starved to begin with, you might not want to use them - if he's not or the healer has trouble keeping him alive, CS/KS become good openers & finishers.
- My own opener of choice is "SS/Muti -> SnD" most of the time, as i have the luxury of having good tanks which enables me to engage the mob as fast as i can get to it, and sneaking in to get a garotte off takes too much time for my liking.
- On longer fights, DPS cycles change and actually become something you could call 'cycle', see above for details

- Q: Real Rogues use... ?
A: Whatever Works Best™
Having the hots for 2.20 speed daggers doesn't interest anyone if your DPS is subpar. Using swords when the maces you own are twice as good, just because you don't think maces are roguelike, only proves you're not thinking straight. Whatever Works Best is the single correct answer to that question, anyone claiming something else does not have your highest DPS as top priority, and as such can safely be ignored.

- Q: The absolute best thing you can invest money into when leveling is...?
A: First aid; get a higher level character to make you some normal runecloth bandages, level your first aid so you can use them (much lower skill req than making them) and laugh at your health going from 5% to 100% in four ticks. It is extremely cheap and fast, and it means when you are dying on a mob you can gouge/bandage to full and pawn it.
- credited to Mistopheles! :o)

- Q: how do i best level lockpicking from 350-400?
A: The Avalanche, Sholazar basin.

- Q: is there an add-on that shows hfb, snd, rupture ?
A: Lots: Discodice, Cutup, NeedToKnow and ClassTimer all do the above.

Q: What about professions?
A: There is no easy answer to this. Every profession has certain advantages over the others, and you need to pick which one you want most. As most of the game happens at maximum level, here’s the professions during leveling sidenote: a (or two) gathering profession is generally a good idea, Leatherworking can help with gear and Alchemy will provide you with more potions that you can realistically use – the other professions benefits during leveling are minor IMO; unless you can keep your tradeskill level-approriate, something that will generally require outside resources in materials or money. There’s nothing that keeps you from changing professions when you hit 80 however, and getting one better endgame benefit when you get there.

One thing up front: don't mix up gathering & producing professions as income source. If you collect herbs & sell 5 flasks for 450g, you didn't make 450g with alchemy; you made the difference between AH herb prices & AH flask prices with Alchemy, and the rest with herbalism. Chances are, the gathering profession makes you more money than the crafting profession (especially as a lot of crafters are lazy and/or need raw materials in large numbers, such as JCs or Scribblers).
Note: When I say “X more AP”, it may mean AP, or it’s equivalence in other stats.

• Gathering: Herbalism comes with a Heal over Time, Mining with +60 Stamina, and Skinning with 40 Crit Rating. None of those are awesome Raid-Professions, but they're decent moneymakers if used correctly (that means knowing what people want to buy and knowing where to get that).
• Alchemy: Your Pots & Flasks have better effect and longer duration. For Flask of Endless Rage this currently means 260 AP (instead of 180) and double duration; giving you +80 AP & saving ~60g/raid. Convenient, as well as good for your cash flow.
• Blacksmithing: 2 additional BS-only sockets (in addition to the Belt socket everyone can use); worth ~80 AP if you stick epic gems into them (or the equivalent in whichever other stat you chose).
• Leatherworking: LW-only wrist +130 AP enchant (80 AP more than the standard); the LW-only leg enchants are the same Stats as the BoE ones, but a lot cheaper to make. LW also has patterns for gear you can easily make yourself, and which is decent at raid-entry level.
• Enchanting: 2*40 AP Ring Enchants (80 AP more than nothing). Disenchanting is still a decent moneymaker, so is selling enchant-scrolls - if you're smart about it.
• Inscription: 120/15 AP/Crit Shoulder enchant (80 more AP than the standard in slot). I'm told that - contrary to public opinion - you can actually make money with this profession too :p
• Jewelcrafting: You get to use 3 Jeweler’s gems, which are better than standard ones (either 34 Agi or 68 AP epic gems – compared to 20stat or 40AP standard epics gems). Total benefit is 84 AP worth of points/stats. Jewelcrafting is also a very strong moneymaker.
• Engineering: Flexweave Underlay can now compete with agi/cloak enchant (in fact, it’s better, and has a parachute); Nitro Boosts are now close to Icewalker (+built in sprint); and Hyperspeed Accelerators remain the best glove enchant. Overall Engineering remains weaker than the ~80 AP advantage other professions give (unless you start chugging bombs), but it’s not useless anymore, and timing the Hyperspeed Accelerators right can lead to nice DPS spikes.
There are few ways to make money with this profession, most of which have to do with providing engineering mats others need for certain quests – that market is obviously quite limited, but there are few who actually bother exploiting it.
• Tailoring: Swordguard Embroidery procs 400 AP for a duration of 15 seconds, and has an uptime of a bit over 30% - it’s a bit like a berserker enchant for your cloak. The advantage over the standard 22 agi/cloack enchant is worth a bit over 80 AP, which makes tailoring fall in line with most other professions. However beside the enchant, being able to make your own bags (which are cheap to buy), flying carpet and enhanced cloth drops, there is little else tailoring provides.

• The Hardcore Option: At this time Jewelcrafting + Blacksmithing.

What's better than replacing 3 gems with 3 better gems? Replacing 1 gem only, keeping 2 old ones and getting 2 new better ones on top while getting rich off daily quests to buy all the enchants, patches & flasks you need.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New guild, resto stuff

Resto 4.0.1 stuff

Joined TAO yesterday.  Will try to down LK.  Not sure after that.  See whats better.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

DK screenies

I really like my DK, the gnome playstyle is so fun, and now that she's an engineer, its just a great combo.

Anyway here are some recent screenies.

My Gnome in her roflcopter! Took a while to get that made, not cheap either.

My gnome on a zepplin, how appropriate!

Speaking of gnomes, this is my favorite scene in WOW; its in Trial of Champions raid instance, a gnome summons Lord Jaraxxas, who crushes the gnome "Trifling gnome, your arogance will be your undoing!". Then you have to battle Lord Jarraxas.

And now some non-gnome screenies.

My Aunt Julie running my little priest through deadmines. Thanks Julie!

My guild facing Rotface (Icecrown boss) for the first time.

My guild after a successful gunship encounter (Icecrown Citidal again). This is a very fun and novel fight in which you jump from ship to ship and battle mobs as they come out. Also very easy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

State of professions in Wrath

Just a brief overview of what I think of the professions.

Inscription. I love this profession, I have it on 3 toons now, 2 of which are maxed. Yes, getting to max level takes a very very long time (as far as doing the NR inscription research, it will take months to learn everything). However, this is such a huge gold maker you make over a thousand gold an hour on both of my servers. Leveling is good too, you get access to buff scrolls and recall scrolls, so you have 2 hearths every 30 min. Overall very fun profession.

Jewelcrafting. Well, this is pretty horrible to level up. I must say I was surprised as the absolute lack of useful items while leveling. There are a handful of leveling rings/necks that are nice, but usually they are too little too late. However, at end game JC really shines, especially with the epic patterns. The dailies are an absolute pain though, this makes this profession far harder to truly master than others.

Engineering. I just leveled this a few days ago. I love it, i think it would be good for leveling. So many fun options, and great recipes abound. In BC/wrath there are some nice leveling items, including an ilvl200 helm available at level 72.

Tailoring. Easy to level, but you burn through gold. You'll get it back with bags though. Pretty good at endgame, esp BC and wrath have some nice leveling gear. I'd like to see even better gear though.

Leatherworking. Pretty much like tailoring, but more painful! If you dont have skinning or access to a skinner, in some spots its very difficult. A few hidden gems in this prof, and generally pretty hard to make money with (although each prof has nice end game items, the markets are obvious and saturated).

Alchemy. Fun again. So fun, after dropping 450 alchemy on one toon (pre-epic gem xmute), i picked it up again on another toon. The xmutes make this an easy 100g a day gold mine, and everything else is good. There is one spot that is a lose leader, but my 2000g investment I recouped most of it within a few days. I love the discovery aspects of it too, and the specialization is not yet worthless. Woot. This can rival JC or inscription for profit.

Enchanting. Its one of those long slogs. In BC it gets good, but before that, this is a huge gold sink, even w/ leveling. There isn't nearly enough greens while leveling for this to be breakeven. The armor/weapon vellums go a long way though, and due to those this can be profitable, but its a ton of work. Still, there are a handful of enchants that always sell (mongoose, +4 chest, etc). Enchanting in BC was horrible because of all the rep requirements and most of the good recipes were rare random drops from instances. Can you say kill me now? Since the 100% drop rates of BC raid bosses, it makese getting mongoose pretty easy. This issue didn't occur in Wrath, and instead almost everything is bought from a vendor using enchanting materials as currency. I think this is a great move and I finally feel that my max level enchanters are useful, if only for equiping alts. Also this was a major source of profit due to the saronite shuffle, before economies were brought to their knees.

Actually pretty fun and useful. I haven't gotten this past 150 but already I can see some use out of it with the sharpening stones and rods. However this is significantly more expensive to level than other professions in terms of material and time. From 1-75 you need some 200 copper ore, which is not really realistic given the faster leveling times. This costs are going to have to go way down for cataclysm. For end game, I can see it being a money maker. If i had a nickel for every 'need BS for saronite swordbreakers' i'd be a rich man.

As a game with 3 gathering professions, all of these are good money makers and I wouldn't change it. If you start in a new realm with nothing but a level 1 and herb/skin, by the time you are level 10 you should have enough to buy 4 netherweave bags, by level 20 easily enough to afford your mount, and by level 60 easily enough to afford your flying mount. In northrend as of now herbing makes 500-1000g per hour (less now bc of the frost lotus prices decrease). This is in line with the top end professions such as inscription. So it's quite lucrative for these professions as it is, and if you thrown in the inate bonuses (stam/healing, etc), these are very solid and very easy to level professions. The one thing I can see is that in the mid-zones ie level 20-60 keeping up the professions can be hard, since you fly through everything so quickly.

Wrath, my initial global thoughts.

Well, this is an overall review of the expansion.

Professions. Alot of them were reworked to make leveling less challenging/costly. I think the stuff in NR (375-450) was all very good. Engineering finally felt useful, all my professions had great buffs. Now they need to go back and fix 1-300. I also hate the fact that there are basically no recipes, everything is vendor trained. Boring!

Classes. Well, the DK was just awesome, a wonderful, easy to level tank, fun to play with PVP, great for PVE soloing, even replacing the hunter as far as easy. Yet the DK is pretty hard to master, I've played one since it came out and I'm still learning. The other classes feel fine, I only play hunter/dk/druid so far. Hunter changes were definately fun. And the great hunter revamp will probably be as fun.

Druids were just awesome, the preiment raid healer, decent boomkin, challenging cat dps...the bear form just needs a ton of work IMO. Its the hardest yet simpliest to play of all tanks. Aggro generation is just far behind the other three tanks, and you have to massively outgear the dps to avoid getting mobs stripped from you. The other tanks don't really have that issue as much. Either player skill needs to be reinforced, or the other three need AOE threat nerfs, or bears need better AOE threat. Don't get me wrong, its a huge leap forward, but its still far short of what the community expects now.

My expectation is for cat. that the pure role classes like hunters always do more dps than say a druid, and the priest is better than the druid for healing. That doesn't feel like its the case right now, and that's a shame.

Leveling: Really pretty good in wraith, better than BC ,much better than vanilla. I look forward to more.

The LFD thing: Just awesome, its a huge huge boost for blizz to get ppl to do group content easily.

Badge gear: For the most part pretty good, it was nice to get stuff in the beginning to be able to do naxx, and it was nice to not outgear ulduar. Honestly I would like further boosts to trivial content like naxx now. What if the bosses dropped 4-5 badges each, that would make people want to do it again. The weekly raids are a nice step foward, but I like that at the end of BC everyone was still doing kara/ZA then doing their weekly MH/BT raids. That said naxx is way longer than kara, whats up with that?

I'd say much more raids, much shorter. I'd rather have 10 3-4 boss raids than 3 10 boss raids, which is what we have now. The major issue for most players is time. TOC works because its short and if people fail on the first boss, then leave group. But ICC, if you are in the PUG raid you are tempted to go for hours and hours to clear as much as possible. Its just too long to PUG.

Raid releases in general; pretty much everyone agrees that Ulduar was too long in coming and TOC was too soon behind it, which killed it for everyone. I will never see the end of ulduar, i dont have the time right now and only a handful of people are running it for rusted protodrake runs. TOC was nice and short, but the different levels and the long time between that and ICC means that people were sitting on their butts for a long time. ICC is great so far and most people haven't gotten to Arthas. If cat comes in 3 months it would be an appropriate time, but my feeling is that it's not coming until december. How is iCC going to feel in 10 months? Pretty moldy I bet.