Two weeks ago, this column discussed how to prepare to raid on your rogue. Now it's time to discuss how to maximize your gear for raid DPS.

There are a lot of factors that go into balancing your rogue's stats. Agility, attack power, hit, crit, strength, weapon skill, and haste rating all increase your DPS, your most important contribution to the raid, while stamina, dodge, and to some degree resilience affect your survivability. All these factors make it somewhat difficult to figure out whether or not a piece of gear is an upgrade. Will losing this hit rating be worth gaining this attack power? How exactly will increased agility affect my DPS? And does dodge ever really matter?

Luckily, a few smart technorogues have come up with systems that take some of the guesswork out of this -- the Agility Equivalence Points system, and its big brother, the Rogue DPS Spreadsheet.

First, let's take a look at what a single point of stats do for you at level 70.

  • Strength gives you one point of attack power.
  • Agility gives you one point of attack power, two points of armor, .025% chance to crit, and .05% chance to dodge.
  • Stamina gives you 10 health.
  • Attack power gives you ... well, one point of attack power. Fourteen points of attack power equal one more point of damage per second.
  • Crit rating gives you increased chance to crit. 22.1 points of crit rating equal 1% more chance to crit.
  • Hit rating increases your chance to hit a target. 15.8 points of hit rating equal 1% more chance to crit.
  • Weapon skill rating is horribly, horribly complex. Basically, increased weapon skill increases your chance to hit and crit a mob that's higher level than you. European CM Crezax says that against boss level mobs, each point of weapon skill over your level's natural "max skill" will give you 0.8% lower chance to miss,
    0.4% lower chance to get dodged, 2.4% lower chance to be parried, and a 0.8% higher chance to crit.
  • Haste rating is also complicated. It only affects white damage. 10.5 points of haste rating will make you attack 1% faster.
  • Armor penetration is so rare that it's hard to calculate its exact effect on your performance, but it's a very good thing and, like haste rating, is generally found on extremely good epics.
  • Dodge rating gives you 1% chance to dodge an enemy attack for every 18.9 dodge rating points.
  • Resilience gives you 1% less chance to be critically hit and 2% less damage from critical hits. This is not useful for raiding rogues, as you're doing something wrong if you're tanking a mob. On that note ...
  • If your gear contains very high Defense, Parry or Armor ratings, your guild probably has one or more angry feral druids, prot warriors, or prot pallies plotting your eventual death. While these attributes can technically help you, you really don't need them in raiding PVE. Give the King's Defender to the plate tanks and the Treads of the Den Mother to your bearish friends.

Now, if you're like me, you're probably curled up in a fetal position in the corner at the thought of trying to figure out how all these affect your DPS. Dammit, if I wanted to play a game with math, I'd look for an adult version of Number Munchers! Luckily, other rogues have done the hard work for us.

The Agility Equivalence Points System is Ming's brainchild, and despite one's personal feelings towards the rest of Ming's body of work, this is pretty good. AEP is an effort to convert all of the different rogue stats to a single rating system. I used to keep Zodar's AEP charts open when raiding so I could make gear decisions. If I'd been smart enough to do that after BC, I wouldn't have passed on Drape of the Dark Reavers.

The old AEP formula, preserved for posterity on WoWWiki, is 1 Agility = 1 Stamina = 2 Strength = .1% Crit. = .2% Dodge = .13% Parry = .13% To Hit = 2 Attack Power = 5 Weapon Skill = 4 Any Resistance = 5 Health/5 Sec. = 50 Armor. There were mods that automatically calculated an item's AEP for you, and added it to your item tooltip. But itemization has changed in TBC, and Ming and Zodar figured that it was time to rework the formulas. Now there are three types of AEP. Ming's PVP-oriented AEP goes by simple "AEP" on, while there are two new AEP calculations for PVEers: DAEP for raiding, and MAEP for total maximum PVE damage ignoring survivability. These formulas are:

DAEP: 1 Agi = 2 Sta = 2 Str = 1 Hit = 1 Crit = 2 AP = 100 Resil = 1 Haste = 1 Wp Skill = 66.6 Def = 100 Dod/Par/Arm/Resist = .143 B Gem = .133 R/Y Gem = .05 Meta Gem

MAEP: 1 Agi = 20 Sta = 2 Str = 1 Hit = 1 Crit = 2 AP = 100 Resil = 1 Haste = 1 Wp Skill = 66.6 Def = 100 Dod/Par/Arm/Resist = .25 B Gem = .133 R/Y Gem = .05 Meta Gem

Are you still not satisfied with this system? After all, hit rating declines in worth as you reach the hit cap, which messes up the whole thing. Wouldn't you like a personalized AEP analysis based on your gear and spec that also comes with a recommendation for damage cycles? Oh, and it also lets you quickly compare the actual effect of changing an item, enchant, buff or gem on your overall buffed and unbuffed raid DPS?

The Rogue DPS Spreadsheet lets you see what effect changing anything in your gear or changing your own buffs will have on your raid DPS. It also calculates a personalized AEP formula based on your needs. The wonderful rogues Chalon, Pf and Ellos, with the help of the Elitist Jerks forumgoers, have maintained the spreadsheet through the years. There is nothing I can say to describe what a great tool this is, and its minor drawbacks (some missing gems and gear) are overpowered by the vastness of its awesomeness. You'll need Microsoft Excel to run it, though you can use a limited version by downloading Open Office. Ever since Phil mentioned this in the last post's comments, I keep it constantly open in the background when raiding. What buff would help more on this boss? Do I want Might or Kings? If I can't Rupture, what's the second-best choice? It's like a Magic Eight Ball for rogues.

Anyway, those are some of the tools that can help you become a better raider, even though all the tools in the world won't protect you from stupid mistakes (i.e. going AFK in Tempest Keep before Al'ar and coming back dead because a pat respawned near you, which totally didn't happen to me Monday night.) Raiders, what advanced recommendations do you have for rogues?

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.

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