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Analysis of stated 3.1 rogue changes

Michael Sacco

All right, rogues. So by now some of you have likely read our list of 3.1 changes for our bloodthirsty class, and if not, you should! Right now! Make no mistake, these are some very cool changes, and even if this is the whole list (it's not), I'm pretty happy with how things are shaping up--not just for rogues, but for all the classes mentioned so far.

If you haven't read through them yet or if you're not a big theorycrafter, you can take a moment and read through our analysis of how 3.1 will (so far) affect you, the rogue.

Let's have a look!

Hunger for Blood – instead of a self-buff, this ability can only be used when there is a bleed effect on the target. However, it has no stacks and grants a 15% damage bonus.

This saves you a ton of energy and GCDs, first of all. The big change here, though, is that it's no longer an incredible annoyance to keep up. Hunger For Blood is a nice ability that shouldn't require you to watch it like a hawk at all times to make sure you have three stacks, and that's exactly the change made here. Good work, Greg.

On a side note, I've seen some commenters on our 3.1 changes post actually say that this was a nerf for PVE rogues. I've got a reply for you. If you seriously think that keeping one stack of HfB up is harder than three, I don't know what to tell you. This also a full 6% more total damage than the current Hunger for Blood, too. I'm sure you can deal with putting a bleed up every once in a while. If you can't, though, you may be happy to know that Ghostcrawler's clarified that the target can have anyone's bleed effect, not just one of yours, for HfB to activate. That said, there are still unanswered questions -- does this buff you or debuff the enemy? Is it still 30 seconds? I'm sure we'll get these answers later on, but maybe someone should ask on the forums?

Adrenaline Rush – the cooldown on this ability has been lowered.

They haven't said by how much, but this is (of course) a Good Change.

Lightning Reflexes – reduced to 3 ranks. In addition to 2/4/6% dodge, this talent now also grants 4/7/10% passive melee haste.

Finally! Finally, I can take some points in the middle of Combat without feeling like I've thrown those points away. 10% haste is a direct 10% increase to your white damage, which is (of course) a large amount of your damage. I love this change.

Killing Spree – while this ability is active, the rogue does 20% additional damage.

No complaints. Killing Spree is a cool ability that needed a damage buff and this is a straighforward answer. Ghostcrawler touched on it a bit in this post.

Savage Combat – now causes 2/4% physical damage done.

This doubles the physical damage bonus granted by Savage Combat, which is 2% more physical damage for your entire melee group. Great utility.

Mace Specialization – this talent now grants haste in addition to armor penetration.

Again, doesn't say how much haste, but any haste is good. I don't think this will be a tipping point to speccing maces for most people, but it's a welcome change for mace-specced rogues.

All in all, I'm pretty impressed with the changes so far. The developers seem to have listened to complaints (specifically mine, about how many wasted points Combat has) and taken them to heart. Ghostcrawler's stated that as 3.1 draws closer we'll see more changes, large and small. We'll keep you updated as he keeps his promise.

Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.