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Rogues and their business: How to raid as a rogue
#1
Good Morning folks!

Welcome to your obligitory welcome post to being a rogue! Yar, it sounds snarky, but everyone of you who have reached 70 know what a big deal it is to be us. We are the sneaks of wow, frequently villified in BGs and often times spoken of in an ill wind when it comes to raiding. What am I talking about? Well, I won't get into the arguements for or against us, but I will say one thing. It...is...all...false. Rogues can still end up on top of both realms of game, but it takes alot of hard work and determination.

In all the ramblings of this silly rogue, you will learn one of the most important things a rogue has to learn. Obssession. If you want to rise above the din, you have to obsess about what you do. Scary idea, yes, but rogues are a class where time spent outside of game can improve how you do in game. What do I mean? well, if you are reading this..you already are starting. Read everything you can! And, to help with this..I guess I should stop this silly introduction.

There are going to be three sections to this, all of which detail some of the things necessary to become a good rogue! Those sections shall be as such

The Basics-- This is going to be the hardest thing to explain. Basically it covers timing and reactions.

Talents-- Self explanitory

Gear and others-- What everyone will probably go straight to anyways, but I have to make it tertiary!


And with this post, we begin! I hope I can make some sense out of it.
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#2
The Basics of roguing in a raid--

As I stated earlier in my introduction, there are certain things that are just ingrained into us during leveling. These simple skills, if ignored and forgotten, become the stumbling stone for our progression. Most of these are abstract talents that are hard to practice every day, but a few of them can just become muscle memory. We will start from the simplest task and go up.

Mobility-

Rogues need to be able to move in and out as easily. Whirlwinds, shatters, explosions...there are a whole load of abilities now that are meant to destroy melee DPS. If you haven't already, you need to try to get the hang of mouse look and circle strafing. The easiest way to do this is with a warrior friend. Duel them and try to not get hit at all. Bob in and out, circle around them. You can judge your progress by the amount of times you get behind them.

Another way to get this practice is actually playing first person shooters. Yah..I know, What does this have to do with wow right? Most first person shooters rely on being able to stick and move, just like us rogues. So you can go there and get alot of strafe practice.

Another thing is knowing certain tricks to get out of snares and such abilities. Cloak of shadows helps with most snares, but the occasion sprint (if improved) or vanish can save you too. You just have to be double quick on the stealth canceling when you vanish, otherwise you might still end up getting whacked, or blowing other peoples up.

Timing-

Being a rogue is all about timing. One skill out of sync, or if you aren't watching the attacker , and bad things can happen. What do I mean by bad things? Well...you lose DPS for starters. Whether it is immediately or further down the line, something will happen to your DPS cycle. At worse, you die. There are three things you need to know about timing.

Easiest thing is boss timers. Get one, now. Okey...have you gotten one yet? No? <cracks the whip> Seriously though, you NEED a boss timer mod. Whether its Deadly Boss Mods or Big wigs, you need something to help you watch for certain instakill abilities.

The second thing you need to be aware of is your own abilities timers. No, not just cooldowns, but what you have active at the time. For most rogues, its just Slice and dice, but assassination rogues have the dubious honor of having to keep Find weakness up too. The key is cycling. Learn your optimized cycle and stick to it. To help you, here are some basic starts

---Combat and Subtlety rogues---
Try to stick to a small Slice and Dice then large DPS Finisher. Your large DPS skill varies with your AP, but you can usually start a fight with a garrote, then swing a Sinister Strike in to build the point. Slice and dice, Sinister strike up..DPS Finisher, rinse repeat. For most combat rogues, follow a 2/5 combat cycle. If you have the 2 piece t4 bonus, you can do 1/5. If you don't have Imp Slice and dice, then it goes to 3/5/5. This is the old fallback which means basically 3 points to Slice and dice, 5 points to DPS finisher, 5 points to slice and dice.

---Assassination rogues---
You have an easier time generating points then most of us. And thats a good thing! The biggest bonus of being assassination is always having find weakness up to increase your burst damage. Juggling this on top of Slice and dice though, is a lil tricky. It usually breaks down into not opening with stealth. Yes, this is a pain in the butt, but to get the fastest points at he start, you need to hold back and open with a mutilate. Huge agro dump to start with means you need to watch threat meters too.. so be aware of it. Stick to a 3/4/5 repeating cycle. Remember where you are in your cycle too, don't lose track. If mutilate doesn't crit, shiv to generate the extra point. Shiv to fill in points too. In fact, shiv when you see the bearded lady dance the macarena while sing the theme to Fresh prince. Basically, when in doubt of points, shiv. Keep Find weakness ticking, keep Slice and dice ticking...and keep yourself ticking too.

There is another catch that I didn't throw into the prior posts. Energy watching. You will need to get a good groove down to keep tossing your skills in time for your cycle. An energy ticker addon helps a little bit, but you can do the same with muscle memory and internal timing. I'm not going to get into the 'Zen' of rogue dps, because honestly, I don't believe in filling you guys up with my own platitudes, but energy watching has to be something you just do. there are no tricks or practices, you just..get it. If you are having trouble finding it, get a timer. Watch how it ticks in combat and tap your toes every time you see energy tick. You will get it eventually.

Cool down management-- There are two schools of cool downs. You've got your burst cool downs and you've got your sustaining cool downs. Everyone has at least two cool downs that helps either of these. Some have more! But the easiest thing to remember, is if they don't have similar cooldowns, keep them seperated. How do you differentiate them? Simple. If it boosts weapon damage, Attack power, energy gain or Crit for ONE attack(Cold Blood): Its burst. If it does haste, crit for longer then one attack or threat dropping: Its sustained There is one ability that is clicky that falls into both. That is Armor penetration.

Talent wise, Its Adrenaline rush and cold blood for Burst. Blade Flurry and vanish for sustaining. I do not consider Shadow step a hard to manage CD, so I don't cover it.

Trinket wise, its a bit hard for me to list EVERY single trinket right now, but I will break it down for you in time.

Thats it for your basics.

Game over

Insert 2 credits to continue
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#3
Those Talented rogue type people

Rogues have undergone a lot of changes in the recent patches, most of them had absolutely NOTHING to do with raiding though. Raiding as a rogue has been pretty much the same thing since day one, reliant on sustained damage. With the shrinking of size of the raids, damage from rogues has varied as well, allowing for a little more burst to break through. In the end though, if you are able to do it over time, you are going to have higher results in the damage meters. Because of this, rogues tend to be gravitating toward cookie cutter combat builds. I will not go as far to say that you HAVE to be one of these specs, its just that these are definately more in line with raiding.

But before we even get into that, I want to discuss one thing that makes a difference for all rogues. That would be the huge discussion over finishers. Of course, the one you are going to use the most is Slice and dice, that goes without saying. But what do you do for extra DPS in a cycle?

Rupture vs Eviscerate- There has been no greater debate in rogue history then which of these two do you use. This is honestly has come down to one answer now...Whats your AP. Eviscerate, even with all damage% increasing talents, doesn't scale as well as Rupture. Even though you can break down barriers with armor penetration, it still ends up being subject to to much damage reduction. Rupture does not. It scales with half of your AP and ignores armor. Eviscerate only does .4. This doesn't look big here, but when you take into account damage reduction..it goes a long way. I will bold these next lines. If you are under 1500 ap, use eviscerate. If you are over, use rupture Easily said, easily done.

Envenom- Oh..you had to bring this one up, now didn't you? I've had some huge numbers when I was envenoming earlier in my career. According to max crit, my highest was 4050. Huge right? Well, lets break down what I needed to have on the target to make that. First off, I ate a shaman's Stormstrike. Yes, I was so good at being a rogue, I stole someone elses damage buff. They hated me for it... On top of that, I had find weakness up, 5 deadlies stacked, and 5 combo points. I also had said shaman in my group, giving me unleashed rage, a Beast hunter with ferocious inspiration...should I go on?

Envenom relies on way to many factors to make its damage solid. Yes, it ignores armor, yes it has a +20% damage boost from Vile poisons. But that damage also applies to the deadlies ticking. There is a limit to how much work a rogue can do to time when he can eat the ticks of poison so that he gets max DPS. It is often better to leave them tick to full, then reapply. Let envenom go by the wayside for no guys.

------------

Okey, now its time for talent specs that I recommend for raiding. You will notice one thing from all my posts. I take into account people using sub as a raiding spec. I don't suggest it. Sorry guys, sub is great! I love it too! But you aren't helping anyone by only being able to DPS in bursts. If you can find a way to make it more viable in raiding, (now that the HARP spec is nerfed) i would love to hear it. I will add it here!

Combat--The Cookie Cutter KINGS!
Combat maces/swords/fists You can move the points in Vile poisons to Imp eviscerate if you don't meet the AP requirements yet. If you want imp kick (it does have some uses) go ahead and drop nerves of steel. I like having it since it seems at least one boss an instance has aoe fear.

Combat Daggers I will be honest with you here stabbies. I love you guys alot! I don't see you very often anymore. the reasons? Swords+windfury=about the same damage as yinz. You are still very viable though!

Once in a blue moon, you see a hybrid SF combat build. the problem with this build is crit reliance. Unless you are daggers (in which case, you really want that 5 points in opportunity) you will have to spend alot of your gemming and gearing to get it higher. It takes away from hit rating. So far, parses have been unreliable at best. I don't recommend it.

Assassination builds--We do it better from behind!

Yup, Mutilate still is viable in some situations. It shines the brightest in small raid situations where you don't have to worry about poison immunity. There are two common builds

Dual Wield Spec Mutilate This is the one the majority of all mutilators take. Imp Slice and dice and DW spec help your sustained damage. DW spec also increases your mutilate damage.

Opportunity Mutilate When the Imp Sap change came out, everyone and their brother was doing this one. It relies on increasing your burst damage and armor penetration. It does not do well in long fights though, so it won't go much farther then kara saddly.
------
NEWS FLASH!--Attack on the Arachnid home world has ended with this post

Would you like to learn more?
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#4
How to gear and enchant

This is the easiest section for me to write. It has nothing to do with subjective points and all to do with numbers and gearing. Lets get down to it first with the AEP system

AEP means Agility Equivilence point. What that means is how much of one thing gives as much benefit as 1 point of agility would give. It is a simple table

1 Stamina=1agi
.1% crit=1agi
.13%hit=1agi
2ap=1agi
1experise=1agi
50ac=1agi

Think of this when you go to upgrade items, or if you have a question about enchanting.

When it comes to meeting socketing requirements, you can honestly disregard any bonuses gained. Lets break it down into 2 groups for this, seperated by colors for each sockets

Combat rogues
Meta Socket=Relentless Earthstorm Diamond(12agi/+3%Critical damage)
Red Socket= Glinting Flame spessarite/noble topaz (hit/agi)
Yellow= Rigid Golden Draenite/Dawnstome(hit)
blue socket=RigidGolden Draenite/Dawnstone(hit) OR Shifting Shadow Draenite/Nightseye (agi/stam)

You only want to match a blue socket if you need the blue gems for your meta.

Assassination rogues
Meta socket= Relentless earthstorm Diamond (12agi/+3%critical damage0
Red Socket=Wicked Flame Spessarite/Noble topaz (crit/AP)
Yellow Socket=Smooth Golden Draenite/Dawnstone (crit)
Blue Socket=Smooth golden Draenite/Dawnstone (crit) OR Jagged Deep Peridot/Talasite (Crit/stam)

As before, only match if you need to fill the meta

enchanting by slot

Head-Glyph of Ferocity(Revered Cenarion Circle)

Shoulders-There are two ways to go for this: Inscription of Blades or Inscription of Vengance
Blades is better for dagger rogues, Vengance for combat. Both require either Scryers or Aldor faction. 1st level is honored, then exalted

Chest-Exceptional Stats (+6 stats)

Cloak- Greater Agility (+12 agi)

Gloves- Superior Agility (+15 agi) or Assault is cheaper (AEP=13 agi)

Bracers- Assault (+24 AP)

Legs- Cobrascale Legpatch or Nethercobra legpatch

Boots- Dexterity (+12 agi)

rings (if you have it)- Stats

Main hand weapon- Mongoose or Executioner(combat only) See the Armor reduction post before chosing executioner though.

Offhand weapon- Mongoose

Fall backs for the weapon enchants are the +20 AGI.
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What should you aim for in raiding?

Combat stats should be-
Attack power greater than 1500
Hit rating greater than 200
critical strike % greater than 20%

Assassination stats should be-
Attack Power greater than 1500
Hit rating greater than 150
critical strike % greater than 25%

Everyone should aim for over 7k HP

These should be easy to get at 70 in dungeon blues and heroic gear.
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Consumables

For information on poisoning, see my poison guide.

--Stat food (you should have at least 1 stack of either of these)
Spicy Hot Talbuk (20 hit/stam)
Warp Burgers (20agi/stam)
Grilled Mudfish (20agi/stam)

--Potions you should have
Healing potions (2 stacks minimum)
Haste Potions (Very useful for DPS, but costly 1 stack)

--Elixirs or flasks
Relentless assault (pricey, 2 works)
Major Agility (1 stack helps)
There are no good Guardian elixirs for Melee....

--Other things you need
Vanity pet (everyone needs one, I like mojo)
A note from you Psychologist or MD stating you are able to perform
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