The patch notes themselves are deceptively simple:
- Improved Poisons: Bonus chance to trigger Deadly Poison from this talent increased.
- Murder: This talent now provides a flat damage increase of 2/4% against all targets, instead of only targets which do not appear in Icecrown.
- Preparation: The cooldown on this ability has been reduced to 8 minutes, down from 10 minutes.
- Filthy Tricks: The cooldown reduction this talent provides for Preparation has been reduced to 1.5/3 minutes, down from 2.5/5 minutes.
1. The changes to Deadly Poison.
2. The changes to Improved Poisons in the Assassination Tree.
Lets look at the Deadly Poison change first. If it goes live as written (and we have no reason to believe it won't) this is a buff to ALL the rogue trees and will cause ALL of us to be (for once) using the SAME poisons regardless of spec. That would be Instant on the Main hand and Deadly on the off. The reason for this is that no other poison gives out such high amounts of consistent damage as Instant there by most benefiting from the Deadly procs.
So now lets look at the second change. Improved Poisons INCREASES the chance for the effect of Deadly Poison to take place. THIS IS HUGE.
When these two changes first hit the Test realms and Assassination rogues began playing with it the difference in Dps was ASTRONOMICAL. To the point that Assassination's dps averaged 2000 points higher than THE NEXT LEADING CLASS. That's right. I am not just talking about over other rogue dps specs I am talking over other PURE DPS CLASSES. No one expected it to go live. For a single spec of a Dps class to have THAT huge an advantage over all others was inconceivable but is just what we are looking at.
So what does this mean for us?
If you thought being shot for Turkey Lurkey was bad it will be NOTHING compared to the general outcry of "Shoot any rogue you see on sight" these changes will invoke. While we may be designed to be the "premier dps class" that doesn't mean we should be the ONLY class pulling those kinds of numbers especially after having Blizzard say over and over this expansion "they like where rogue dps is at."
For the rogue community itself it has caused issues as well. Before the differences between Assassination and Combat dps were fairly minimal. As a result you could truly play what you enjoyed and focus on whatever weapons happened to come your way. The versatility is one of the reasons Combat is SO popular. You can have three rogues all speced combat but one using maces, another swords and a third fists with minimal competition for weapons. (Something we as a class are VERY reliant on for our dps.) With these changes EVERYONE is going to need to pick up daggers. While the enhancement shammys may enjoy the influx of maces and fist weapons those swords will become shards or Hunter stat fodder. Rather disappointing when they JUST introduced an epic quest chain for a SWORD.
Our standard specs are going to have to change as well. Assassination will now be sporting a 51/18/2 spec and those die hard combat rogues (or ones who don't happen to have the gear to switch) will be looking at something more like 20/51/0. While as a community rogues have over all rolled with the punches (I mean come on vanish has been broken for HOW long?) You would think that Blizzard would make a note of the fact that even WE are concerned with the direction these buffs are taking but according to Ghostcrawler this is SUPPOSE to be giving us more options. I don't see it, so far only two specs have come out as viable with these changes. TWO out of how many various options we had before? How is THIS giving us more versatility?
Another thing to note with these changes, where before rupture was considered a stable in your rotation until the very highest of gear levels it is now going to be usurped. While this is nice in the simplification of rotations many are going to need look at re glyphing. The Tricks of the Trade glyph will now be replacing the Rupture glyph in common usage or perhaps Fan of Knives. Also where combat rogues could skimp by with out having reached Expertise and Poison cap this will also no longer the case. Their importance will be such that once again individuals may consider gemming or enchanting for it. (However with the implementation of the Triumph badges in all dungeons and LFG system it really should not be TO difficult to reach these caps quickly with just gear alone.)
As for all the new gear that will be coming our way since the loot lists are still not complete I will save that for another day.