Thursday, November 12, 2015

Rogue Class Blog Information

Well, here we have it: the 11th Class Blog, leaving only the still-in-development Demon Hunters as the only remaining class.

Rogues are getting some pretty big redesigns to make sure they're reinforcing the spec fantasies. The most profound redesign is a toss-up between the actual re-naming of Combat to Outlaw or the fact that only Assassination will be using Poisons (given the themes of the other redesigns, I suspected this would be the case.)


Of all the specs, this looks like it's changing the least. It will still focus on poison and bleed damage - and in fact it becomes the only spec to have either of those things.

Garrote will, I believe, be the default finisher, though I think that may be accomplished seemingly by not having Ambush - though I can't confirm that.

Mutilate is still the 55-Energy 2-CP generator it has been. There's no requirement to use Daggers, but with Artifact weapons, that won't be an issue, I think. And I'm sure that if people start using their Outlaw artifacts as Assassination, if that's even possible, Blizzard will fix it quickly.

Envenom looks largely the same, as does Rupture.

Seal Fate is the same, though it can now trigger off of either dagger with Mutilate.

Venomous Wounds also looks about the same.

And Mastery: Potent Poisons looks the same, though with a baseline of 70% extra poison damage.

The main missing thing here is Dispatch. I don't know if they're getting rid of it - which is possible - or if it's simply not mentioned. After all, Deadly Poison isn't on this list and it's certainly sticking around. But it looks like Assassination will still play largely the same, which I'm cool with.


GONE! (That's their little joke.)


Outlaw has a few of the old components of Combat, but the by-far coolest thing is that in addition to attacking with slow weapons, you also get to pull out a pistol and shoot at your targets. Hunters will be jealous. They'll still have stealth, but it's less focused on stealth, with Ambush as your only opener.

Saber Slash is your main combo builder, costing 50 Energy, dealing moderate physical damage, generating one CP and having a 35% chance to strike a second time, granting an additional CP and making your next Pistol Shot free.

Pistol Shot is a 40 Energy ranged attack (20 yards) that deals moderate damage and slows the target by 50% for a few seconds.

Slice and Dice remains - no surprise there.

Run Through looks to be your big damage finisher, costing 35 Energy and with a generous 8-yard range, described as a lunging attack causing damage per Combo Point.

Combat Potency seems to work the same.

Ruthlessness is I believe unchanged, though to confirm, it gives your finishing moves a 20% chance per combo point to generate a combo point.

Mastery: Main Gauche seems to be the same as it was.

Sample Talent: Quick Draw:

Free uses of Pistol Shot granted by Saber Slash now generate an additional combo point and do 50% more damage.

Ok, you had me at Pistol Shot. I really like the pirate theme to this spec, and the proc-based gameplay is always my scene (though this makes me worry a bit for Dispatch in Assassination.) This feels much more on-flavor, and I hope to see some buccaneer tier sets for Rogues to reflect this.


Subtlety is doubling down on its stealth-based combat, with a redesigned Shadow Dance and a cool new replacement for Ambush.

Shadowstrike is a new stealth opener that apparently includes a Shadowstep by default. I do wonder a bit about fights like Kologarn - any fight where getting behind an enemy would be a really bad idea. But it does feel pretty damn Ninja.

Backstab's positioning requirement is no longer mandatory! Instead, you'll get a 30% damage bonus to it when you're behind the target. This should make Subtlety soloing more reasonable.

Nightblade is your new "maintenance" finisher that deals Shadow damage over time and slows movement by 50%. I don't know if Sub will still have to maintain Slice and Dice, but this would definitely replace Rupture, which, as a bleed, is assassination only.

Eviscerate remains as your big damage finisher.

Shadow Dance has been redesigned as a passive. Now, your finishing moves have a 20% chance to drop you back into Stealth, which will not break from damage or your autoattacks for 3 seconds. It will also summon a Shadow Decoy to confuse enemies when it goes off. In PvP, it'll allow the use of stealth abilities without putting you in stealth.

Shadow Techniques is a new passive that gives your auto attacks a chance to generate combo points - kind of a re-working of Honor Among Thieves.

And Mastery: Executioner remains the same, though it no longer affects Slice and Dice, which actually seems to imply that SnD is now Outlaw-only.

Sample Talent: Relentless Strikes:

You gain an additional 40 Energy when you enter Stealth - not bad with Shadow Dance putting you in Stealth all the time.

I'm liking this - much less emphasis on juggling Finishing Moves, which never felt like it really fulfilled any real fantasy, and more striking-from-the-shadows ninja action. I'm on board.

Rogue Analysis:

I'm pretty happy with all of this. Some people might have wanted more changes to Assassination, and I'm sure there will be old-school Combat Rogues who feel like their world has been shattered. There is still a pretty universal "maintain one finisher, use one as a big damage ability" theme, which is maybe a little homogenous, but I think the other mechanics are pretty distinctive.

And with that, the Class Blogs are done, barring an eventual Demon Hunter one. Last weekend, Blizzard said that the Legion beta was opening in "weeks" but I don't know exactly what they mean by that - weeks could technically mean literally any amount of time from then longer than 14 days. But I'm hoping they get it out by the end of November, and I'm sure we'll have a ton more information to look over once those are out.

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