So what all do they have planned for us THIS expansion?
New Rogue Abilities
Redirect (available at level 81): Rogues will be getting a new ability to help them deal with changing targets. Redirect will transfer any active combo points to the rogue's current target, helping to ensure combo points aren't wasted when swapping targets or when targets die. In addition, self-buff abilities like Slice and Dice will no longer require a target, so rogues can spend extra combo points on those types of abilities (more on this below). Redirect will have a 1-minute cooldown and no other costs.
Combat Readiness (level 83): Combat Readiness is a new ability that we intend rogues to trigger defensively. While this ability is active, whenever the rogue is struck by a melee or ranged attack, he or she will gain a stacking buff called Combat Insight that results in a 10% reduction in damage taken. Combat Insight will stack up to 5 times and the timer will be refreshed whenever a new stack is applied. Our goal is to make rogues better equipped to go toe-to-toe with other melee classes when Evasion or stuns are not in play. This ability lasts 6 seconds and has a 2-minute cooldown.
Smoke Bomb (level 85): The rogue drops a Smoke Bomb, creating a cloud that interferes with enemy targeting. Enemies who are outside the cloud will find themselves unable to target units inside the cloud with single-target abilities. Enemies can move inside the cloud to attack, or they can use area-of-effect (AoE) abilities at any time to attack opponents in a cloud. In PvP, this will open up new dimensions of tactical positional gameplay, as the ability offers a variety of offensive and defensive uses. In PvE, Smoke Cloud can serve to shield your group from hostile ranged attacks, while also drawing enemies closer without the need to rely on conventional line-of-sight obstructions. Smoke Cloud lasts 10 seconds and has a 3-minute cooldown.
Changes to Abilities and Mechanics
We're also planning to make changes to some of the other abilities and mechanics you're already familiar with. This list and the summary of talent changes below it are by no means comprehensive, but they should give you a good sense of what we want for each spec.
- In PvP, we want to reduce the rogue's dependency on binary cooldowns and "stun-locks,"
and give them more passive survivability in return. One major change is that we'll put Cheap Shot on the same diminishing return as other stuns. The increase to Armor and Stamina on cloth, leather, and mail gear will help with this goal as well.
- In PvE, even accounting for active modifiers like Slice and Dice and Envenom, a very large portion of the rogue's damage is attributable to passive sources of damage. Yes, they are using abilities for the entire duration of a fight, but we want to reduce the percentage of rogue damage that comes from auto-attacks and poisons. More of their damage will be coming from active abilities and special attacks.
- We would like to improve the rogue leveling experience. Positional attacks and DoT-ramping mechanics will be de-emphasized at low levels and then re-introduced at higher levels for group gameplay. We are also providing rogues with a new low-level ability, Recuperate, to convert combo points into a small heal-over-time (HoT).
- To complement the change to combo points, non-damage abilities such as Recuperate and Slice and Dice will no longer have target requirements and can be used with any of the rogue's existing combo points, including combo points remaining on recently killed targets. This will not affect damage abilities, which will still require combo points to be present on the specific target you want to damage. To coincide with this, the UI will be updated so that rogues know how many combo points they have active.
- Ambush will now work with all weapons, but will have a reduced coefficient when not using a dagger. When opening from Stealth, all rogues will be able to choose from burst damage, DoT abilities, or a stun.
- As we've done recently with some of the Subtlety abilities, we want to make sure more rogue abilities aren't overly penalized by weapon choice. With a few exceptions (like Backstab), you should be able to use a dagger, axe, mace, sword, or fist weapon without being penalized for most attacks.
- Deadly Throw and Fan of Knives will now use the weapon in the ranged slot. In addition, we hope to allow rogues to apply poisons to their throwing weapons.
- We are very happy with Tricks of the Trade as a general mechanic and as a way to give rogues more group utility, but we don't want it to account for as much threat transfer as it does now.
New Talents and Talent Changes
In Cataclysm, the overall feel of each of the rogue's talent trees will change, as we would like each tree to have a clearly defined niche and purpose. The talent details below are meant to give you an idea of what we're going for.
n will be more about daggers, poisons, and burst damage.
- Combat will be all about swords, maces, fist weapons, axes, and being engaged toe-to-toe with your enemies. A Combat rogue will be able to survive longer without needing to rely on Stealth and evasion mechanics.
- The Subtlety tree will primarily be based around utilizing Stealth, openers, finishers, and survivability. It'll be about daggers, too, but less so than Assassination.
- In general, Subtlety rogues needs to do more damage than they do today, and the other trees need to have more tools.
alization talents (for all classes, not just rogues) are going away. We do not want you to have to respec when you get a different weapon. Interesting talents, such as Hack and Slash, will work with all weapons. Boring talents, such as Mace Specialization and Close Quarters Combat, will be going away.
- The Assassination and Combat talent trees currently have a lot of passive bonuses. We plan to dial back the amount of Critical Strike Rating provided by these trees so that rogues still want it on their gear.
Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses
Melee critical damage
g combo-point generators
The initial tier of rogue Mastery bonuses will be very similar between the trees. However, the deeper that a player goes into any tree, the more specialized and beneficial the Masteries will be to the play style for that spec. Assassination will have better poisons than the other two specs. Combat will have very steady and consistent overall damage. Subtlety will have strong finishers.
Can I say "interesting"? A few things really stood out to me from this proposal. (Yes I will always refer to them as "Proposed Changes" because we all know how they may WANT to do something but then discover it doesn't work "as intended" and things fall to the claws of certain crabs we know.
Redirect: The name kinda threw me. My first thought was "They trying to turn us into hunters?" Then I read further. To have the option of switching targets WITH OUT wasting combo points REALLY appeals. The cool down on it seems a little steep though. Hopefully we will get a glyph to shorten it like we did for Killing Spree.
Combat Readiness: Sounds like another "OH CRAP" button for those times your tank takes a powder. That and of course Pvp, the cool down on it seems reasonable as well.
Smoke Bombs: LOVE IT, sounds like I have an engineer in my pocket. This will be VERY interesting to see how it finally looks, but to have SOMETHING that can pull ranged TO YOU....YUMMY!!! My only concern is that it may suffer from the same issues as Vanish...but we won't talk about that.
Other Things of Note:
Cheap Shot on global cooldown diminishing returns. Saddening but not surprising. Have to bring rogues on par with the rest of the world I suppose.
Removing weapon's penalties on moves such as Ambush sounds intriguing, will be interesting to see how that actually pans out. The removal of Weapon's specialization will definitely make life easier, being as I am a person who has to have ALL my weapon's skills maxed out it will save me a lot of time.
The changes to the leveling experience also have me intrigued. I has already decided to level a Goblin Rogue come Cataclysm so I can't wait to see how things will work in the end. Not having to set up EVERY attack will certainly speed things up even more.
Changing combo points so they won't be wasted when we have to switch targets....OH WHY HAS IT TAKEN SO LONG FOR THIS?!?!? For combat especially this is going to be huge. Tie into that the fact that Slice and Dice won't require a specific target to engage and this should equal a NICE dps increase. The UI changes regarding this will also be interesting to see as I have used a mod for so long I am not sure I even remember what the standard UI looks like....
Having Fan of Knives and Deadly Throw using our TROWING weapons just makes sense. The only problem I see with this is that it will effectively remove Bows, Crossbows and Guns from our loot lists. (Hunters may rejoice now.) I hope they decided to allow us to poison them up too.
The incoming nerf to Tricks of the Trade makes me sad....it is about the only way I keep aggro on lesser geared tanks in Heroics. I can see it...I guess....still makes me cry a little inside.
The Mastery proposals threw me a little. Combat gets Haste and Subtlety gets Armor Pen? Does this mean that Combat might FINALLY get to do something OTHER than Armor Pen? Can't wait to see this in its final form as well. At the moment it sounds like we will be able to follow a single Mastery Tree with out really suffering, what a novel concept!