I remember the first time I was ever kicked from a guild. At the time, my main character was my very first rogue, who was a new level 60. I browsed around the realm forums for any guilds recruiting and found one that seemed to fit my schedule. I started raiding with them, and everything seemed to be going great. Well, it was going great, until I decided to argue with a hunter about weapons. The raid had a Core Hound Tooth drop for them in Molten Core, and a hunter had used his DKP to win the item. I saw him walking around Ironforge with it the next day.
I argued with him that a rogue should've had first priority for it, since it's one of our main weapons. His stance was that any weapon a hunter could use was a "hunter weapon," or else Blizzard would've made it so that they couldn't use it. His other weapon was an Azuresong Mageblade that he claimed boosted his Serpent Sting and Arcane Shot damage. It turns out he was a high-ranking officer of the guild, and our spat was grounds for a /gkick. Luckily for us, there are a few items in game that rogues can take claim of. These items were designed specifically with us in mind and have become instantly recognizable symbols of our class to everyone.
The ultimate rogue item: Red Defias Mask
I figured I might as well open with what's truly become one of the defining items for the rogue class. The Red Defias Mask has been found by nearly every new Alliance rogue as they worked their way through Westfall. It was actually one of the very first class-specific items put into the game and one of very few outside of our tier sets. Nobody else can wear the masks of the Defias rogues, so we get to claim them all to ourselves.
Drakedog, one of the most infamous warlocks in WoW's history, actually used a lookalike item, the Outlander's Facewrap, to try to copy our style in his videos. I've also seen alts of every flavor sporting the Blood Elf Bandit Mask, another similar-looking item that can't compare with the elegant simplicity of the original rogue bandana. I do find it funny that the Blood Elf Bandit Mask also drops in a prominent Alliance zone, leaving Horde rogues with quite the walk and/or swim to acquire either. I considered it a rite of passage on all of my Horde rogues to acquire both masks, proving my ability to sneak through the shadows into my enemy's very home for a trophy of victory.
More unconventional helmets: Bloodfang Hood and the Cursed Vision of Sargeras
I think we can blame Onyxia for the Bloodfang Hood's being on this list. While yes, it does look awesome, she provided a venue for just about any rogue to get an incredibly powerful helmet without any serious investment of time. I can't even begin to count the number of PvP videos I watched with rogues just showing off their new tier 2 helmets. It's distinct look has become synonymous with rogues at level 60, and many players still get flashbacks of fatal stunlocks from the years past when they see it.
The Cursed Vision of Sargeras was another iconic rogue headpiece, though this one had some lore to back up its fame. Illidan's bound eyes and blindness were well-documented parts of his history, as he traded his eyes for the ability to sense demons around him. Rogues have always identified with the demon hunter archetype, and everything about Illidan's motif simply screamed "rogue." His mask was no exception, as it was a powerful leather artifact that served the dual purpose of looking awesome and proving that a rogue actually was prepared. However, we aren't done collecting rogue loot from Illidan yet.
Our legendary: The Warglaives of Azzinoth
Just as a death knight with Shadowmourne has become the class of Wrath, rogues with Warglaives were the poster boys of The Burning Crusade. While yeah, warriors could use them, it simply wasn't ideal due to speeds and stats and the fact that rogues just look so much cooler with them than a warrior ever could. Rogues with glaives became a commodity, and guilds would compete to see how many sets they could complete.
The warglaives even carried us over the entire next tier of raiding, with the legendary-wielding rogues topping Sunwell's charts. Did you know that there was a legendary bow in the Sunwell? Nobody else knew that, either, as they were too busy staring at Azzinoth's lost weapons in our hands. The glaive model has also been kept pure by Blizzard, ensuring that there's no substitute for the original.
Old-school daggers: Perdition's Blade and the Barman's Shanker
I stole my first Perdition's Blade. There were two rogues ahead of me in line to receive the epic dagger from Ragnaros, which was easily the best of its kind. One of them was sick that week, and the other rogue was excited about finally getting his weapon. Unfortunately for him, he fell asleep at his keyboard during the Majordomo encounter, so I was the only rogue in Ragnaros' chamber when we killed him. The master looter gave the dagger to me, and I recall not wanting to enchant it for fear of ruining its innate fiery effect. The sight of this slow, epic dagger put fear into the heart of our enemies, for an Ambush-to-Backstab combo with it could drop even hardened targets.
Raise your hand if you farmed for your Barman Shanker back in the day, killing Plugger in the Blackrock Depths Grim Guzzler over and over again. Assassinating Plugger for this iconic dagger truly encapsulated everything that being a rogue was about. We had to sneak through dozens of enemies and magical traps. We had to use our advanced lockpicking to open doors and activate gears simply to even reach our target. Finally, we had to strike from the shadows, killing our target in plain sight and making it out without feeling the pain of the patron's wrath. And for our persistence, we were awarded a most powerful dagger. Its slow speed was actually so game-breaking for rogues that Blizzard had to introduce an entirely new mechanic, instant attack normalization, to keep us from dominating everything we could find. Unfortunately for Blizzard, that didn't stop us for long.
Check back every Wednesday for the latest strategies in Encrypted Text! Get ready for Icecrown Citadel with our rogue guide, part 1, part 2 (Plagueworks), part 3 (Crimson Halls) and part 4 (Frostwing Halls). Just hit 80 and need information? Try Combat 101 or Mutilate 101.