Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dreaming of Hat

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about "Do you play the spec that you enjoy or the spec that gets the job done?" The feeling seems to be in some quarters that if you can't play your preferred spec then that character is no longer "fun to play" and should be abandoned. It is a hard concept for me to understand. Personally if you were to ask what my favorite Rogue tree is I would with out hesitation reply Subtlety. However I have for almost two years now played predominately Combat.

The reason for this was that until Lich King was released if I wanted to do any raiding Combat was the only spec that could "get the job done" for me in the dps department. Let us be honest here, until recently I found my Combat spec rather boring. The reason being the spell rotations were extremely static. Yeah the numbers were great so I lived with it but it was still boring.

Rogues or at least the people who PLAY Rogues seem to have this theme, a hard core dedication to their class. They in general will do whatever it takes to play that class, no matter what spec is demanded, what weapon, gear etc needs to be farmed just so they can continue to be those sneaky sneak ambushers. Pre BC the Realms were full of rogues, the buzz was how they needed to be "thinned out a little" and this was done in a subtle way worthy of the class they were culling.

They put a lot of the Rogue gear DEEP in the dungeons and raids making it difficult to obtain. If you wanted to play a rogue and you didn't have certain trades such as Leather working getting gear was HARD work. Rogues I had known for years began to fall away, re rolling as shamans. In addition to this Blizz was at that time also working on the idea that all classes should be putting out similar amounts of damage so Rogues were seeing their spots in raiding guilds often filled by those aforementioned Shamans or Feral druids who could offer buffs. It was disheartening to say the least.

Then came Beta and the buzz in the Rogue community was Blizz was bringing back Mutilate in a BIG way. Apparently they were tired of the fact that when people envisioned a Rogue they thought "Daggers dripping in poisons" but when you did an armory search just about EVERY ROGUE was sporting duel swords and if they weren't it was considered a "fluke".

Now I will be honest here, of all the specs Mutilate is my weakest. That isn't to say it isn't a fun spec to play. I ran it leveling from 70-80 on Live to try to get a better understanding of it. One of the great things about it is the flow. It is a fluid spec, for Mutilate my finisher cycle would be something like 3-5s/5r or the more complex 3 finisher cycle which looks like 3-5s/4-5r/4-5e. The majority of Mutilate Rogues run the standard 3-5s/5r rotation and with the right talents and even fairly easy to obtain weapons you can put out a nice amount of dps with it.

The biggest problem with Mutilate is that it is a very unforgiving rotation. If you mess it up you have to start from square one all over again. So with bosses that require a lot of movement, stun, etc it can really hurt you. In addition to that out side of Fan of Knives you have no AoE moves available to you. I also discovered that I personally had a difficult time concentrating on my spell rotation along with maintaining my other duties while in a guild raid so I ended up going back to combat.

There is a spec thought that I would LOVE to is spoke of on Rogue forums at present with great love. (Though at one time it was viewed with great suspicion.) High dps? In the SUBTLETY TREE? Yes, it CAN happen HOWEVER it isn't easy. This build is called HAT the title comes from the Subtlety 41 point talent Honor Among Thieves and at one time there was a bug that if you had 5 rogues with this build the numbers you could get could make ppl cry because they would each proc the other's Hat.

Hat's has two great weaknesses that I have been able to see.

First, how much damage you get out of the build is entirely dependent on who all you have in your raid or group. Ideally the Hat Rogue loves to see Raids with at good mix of classes that pack on the crit and crit often.

Another issue which some rogues have when switching to this build is learning how to manage their energy effectively. As a person who ran a Subtlety/Combat spec back in the day with Subtlety/Mutilate was all that you saw, this part of Hat really doesn't have me as concerned.

The biggest thing holding me back from trying this spec now is the lack of consistent group make up in our guild's raids to support it. Perhaps with the up coming patch and the promised Duel spec I can give it a try.

1 comment:

  1. I think my problem with playing a rogue (my main before WOTLK was, as most people know, Rhowynne, but toward the end of BC I was getting no joy what-so-ever out of playing her, and started looking for other options. It was sad, really, but it had gotten to the point of choose a new main, or quit playing altogether. Thankfully, I was able to find my niche when Wrath was released, and I got the chance to re-roll my deathknight from Beta. Someday, I may revive my rogue, but for now, she's enjoying a nice long vacation.