The veil of NDAs surrounding the Cataclysm has fallen, and the community at large is now privy to all of the juicy details of what Blizzard has in store for us. I have been reviewing the changes that rogues can look forward to, and I've been excited so far at what I've seen. While I still want to get the opportunity to test Smoke Bomb's exact mechanics first hand, I am still waiting with many of you for a beta invitation. I have high hopes for the spell, but I've been satisfied browsing our new abilities on Wowhead.
One spell that I'm really excited about is Recuperate. We only originally knew that it would be a self-healing finisher, and that was about it. Now that all of the specifics are released, I'm even more excited to acquire this spell. Rogue survivability, outside of our cooldown-induced periods of invulnerability, has been a hot topic for rogues since diminishing returns were put into the game. With our stunlock losing a few seconds in Cataclysm, being able to survive an active opponent will become even more important.
First of all, and probably best of all, Blizzard is giving us Recuperate at level 12. This means that every rogue will have access to this spell as they're leveling up, and it will continue to scale as they gain more stamina from levels and gear. When we look at the gritty details, we're looking at a serious amount of healing done. Right now, it's tuned to grant us 30% of our maximum life over 30 seconds, which is pretty substantial. My rogue is sitting at about 25,000 life right now, without any buffs at all. That means a full five-point Recuperate would restore 8,333 life, or about 833 life a tick. While that's relatively weak when compared to a proper HoT from a healer, it's currently three times as effective as using Heavy Frostweave Bandages on cooldown.
Synergy is what takes Recuperate from being simply a new spice all the way to becoming part of the class' flavor. The key boost comes in the obvious form of Improved Recuperate, which buffs the spell by a hefty 66%. What's great about Improved Recuperate is that it's positioned so early in the combat tree that any spec can easily pick it up. The end result is that each tick restores 5% of our maximum life, with 50% of our life being restored in 30 seconds. If you consider the implications, it means that our opponents must have the capability of dealing twice our life pool in damage, in less than 60 seconds, if they have any hope of killing us. It would the up the ticks for me to nearly 1,400 each, which is far more substantial than it was previously.
The interaction with our other talents doesn't stop there, either. Mutilate rogues can pick up Quick Recovery, which boosts the spell by yet another 20%. We can also use Deadly Momentum to keep it up permanently while leveling, which means I'll be investing a few points in DM on the way to 85. One thing to note is that DM works for both Slice and Dice and Recuperate at the same time, so you can keep up both if you move fast enough! Any rogue can also boost his energy regeneration by 20% if he talents into the subtlety talent Energetic Recovery, and with DM to keep it active, that's a passive energy boost he can savor while leveling up.
Combat rogues are sturdier than ever
Combat rogues can put points into Sturdy Recuperation to take 8% less damage while Recuperate is active. This is even more amazing when you consider that combat rogues pick up 12% of free avoidance from talents alone, and we can gain an extra 50% armor from our items via Reinforced Leather. We're talking about a serious about of passive damage reduction here, combined with great avoidance and powerful abilities to keep us alive. Recuperate is not just the new finisher on the block; it's going to become our best friend very, very fast. When coupled with Feint and our other damage avoidance abilities, rogues are going to become the persistent pests that can take some powerful punishment before perishing.
The key is that every rogue is receiving Recuperate, and that the talents to boost it are relatively early in any given tree. Trying to hide the talents at the bottom of a tree or restricting Recuperate to one build wouldn't address the issues that the class has a whole, and so the broad stroke approach was clearly the way to go. Rogues may be able to go back and solo old content now, we just have to figure out whether the incoming damage is lesser or greater than the amount our Recuperate will be restoring. PvP rogues will finally have some of the self-sufficiency that we've always been looking for.
We were the only class without a heal
Enraged Regeneration, Death Strike, Holy Light, Chain Heal, Spirit Bond, Rejuvenation, Renew, Drain Life and glyphed Evocation -- that's a partial list of heals that the other classes of WoW have had at their disposal in Wrath. We've been left praying that a healer's gazing eye causes them to mouse over the raid frame with the yellow text in it and grace us with a cast or two. Our survivability without cooldowns was at an all-time low, and in the interest of bringing us back to longer fights, it was time for a change.
Unfortunately for everyone else, Blizzard likes to save the best for the rogues. When they decided to give us AoE, we were granted Fan of Knives and gained complete dominance in any AoE situation. When it was time to give another class Misdirection, Tricks of the Trade made its way into our toolbox. It was so awesome that they had to go back and re-do the original just to bring it up to par. Now, when they looked to give us some healing capabilities, we've got the most powerful heal of any pure class; Blizzard was even kind enough to bake in enough talent synergy to propel it to stardom. While I'm certain that Recuperate is going to see some rebalancing in the months before Cataclysm's release, I am still excited to see that the developers are serious about making sure rogues stay alive.
Are you a rogue looking to up your game? Check back every Wednesday for the latest strategies in Encrypted Text! Get ready for Icecrown Citadel with our guide for rogues, part 1 and part 2 (Plagueworks), part 3 (Crimson Halls) and part 4 (Frostwing Halls). Just hit 80 and need information? Check out our rogue lessons: Combat 101 or Mutilate 101 for all you need to know to get started.