World of Warcraft is alive. The game is dynamic, always churning and changing. Guilds rise and fall, chapters of lore are closed, and new challenges are introduced. The balance of power shifts like a scale at sea. While the developers do their best to steer the ship through the rough waters of chaos, players are exploiting even the slightest imbalances to gain any advantage over their peers. The constant struggle to maintain order and balance has been fought for years, with neither participant yielding to the opposing side.
As the developers are tweaking class mechanics and players are finding new ways to break them, there is one force that silences everyone -- the legendary weapon. With their orange text and powerful attributes, legendary weapons are capable of raising a class out of the war zone of balance and elevating them to the pillar of dominance. The wielders of legendaries are above the laws of balance and fairness; they get to define their own reality. Rogues have been named as the next recipients of this power in the form of a pair of legendary daggers, the Fangs of the Father. I couldn't be more excited. Even in my glee, I still wonder: Why would the devs introduce weapons so powerful that they undermine their own attempts at balance?
Obviously legendaries aren't introduced to bring balance back to the classes, as the wielders of an orange weapon are going to outperform any of their counterparts. I've heard several people claim that the next legendary is headed our way as an attempt to revive the flagging rogue subscriber numbers, but the majority of rogues who quit the game weren't raiders and wouldn't have had access to the daggers anyway. The Fangs of the Father will require raiding to procure, and so it's likely that we'll have to kill Deathwing at least once before obtaining them.
Another common theory is that we're getting the legendary because it's our turn. Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street shot this idea down completely in his recent interview. He says that there's no pattern to legendary distribution and that classes don't "deserve" the legendary just because they think it's their turn. Still, it is true that rogues are the class that's been without a legendary the longest.
I don't think that any of the above reasons explain why we're getting the next legendary. Blizzard doesn't dole out legendaries based on whose turn it is, and it certainly isn't implementing the dagger to balance rogues or bring our population count up. The official story is that the developers felt like rogues had been underappreciated in Cataclysm, and this was an opportunity for them to make us feel special. The entire legendary quest will be rogue-specific, involving pickpocketing and steathing and other sneaky deeds.
I can't complain about being the chosen class of patch 4.3, as it's always better to be on the receiving side of buffs. We get a free pass to be as overpowered as we possibly can until the next expansion is released. While I'm glad that we're seeing some major love from the developers, I have an entirely different theory on why we're next in line.
The developers recently tried to turn down the acquisition rate of Dragonwraths, but they were met with an intense backlash that caused them to undo that change. Clearly, the devs wanted there to be fewer legendary staves out there, as every caster with one would dominate this tier and the next one. Casters were already dominant before obtaining a Dragonwrath, and now they're out of control. Reducing the number of casters who can possibly obtain a Dragonwrath was their first plan, which backfired. Now they're activating their backup plan: Give legendaries to the caster's natural predator, the rogue. The developers are putting legendary-equipped wolves into the caster chicken coop and letting us run wild.
In PVP combat, rogues have always been the anti-caster. Our blades are the sharp scissors to their soft paper armor. Our abilities like Kick and Cloak of Shadows have drawn us the ire of casters for years. As the flavor text for the Pyrium Spellward says, the best defense against magic users is killing them. By introducing these legendary daggers, the developers are empowering us to completely murder every caster we lay our eyes upon. I can't wait to play my first game of rogue/rogue 2v2 or rogue/rogue/druid 3v3 once I have my orange daggers. Caster comps like wizard cleave might be popular today, but I remember what arena was like in The Burning Crusade when facing a rogue with warglaives. You simply cannot stop an orange-wielding rogue on a mission.
Rogues are also the caster's natural enemy in raiding environments. We're one of but a few pure DPS classes in the game, and as such, we've always had a position reserved for us toward the top of the meters. Two of the game's pure DPS classes had access to Dragonwrath, and so it fell to either us or the hunters to be the ones to stop their reign of dominance. I don't know about you, but I don't trust hunters with anything, so I think it's appropriate that we were the ones tapped for this responsibility.
While it might seem like we'd be evenly matched against casters sporting Dragonwrath if we have legendary daggers of our own, that's not quite true. A tier 13 legendary will outperform a tier 12 legendary, and so simple math should place us ahead of any casters when we face Deathwing. I forsee rogue domination in all facets of the game until the end of Cataclysm, and I can't wait for our reign to start.
But I play combat!
Fear not, friends, for we aren't returning to the old ways of combat daggers and Backstab spamming. There's a specific tweak taking place that will allow combat rogues to use the daggers without taking a big DPS loss, tied to Sinister Strike. I can't wait to see the first parse from a combat-friendly encounter by a rogue with the legendary daggers. I already thinking Blade Flurry is game-breaking, but Blade Flurry with dual legendary weapons moves into seriously obscene territory. Combat rogues are going to destroy any two-target encounter with a pair of oranges dealing their damage to both targets.
What are these daggers about?
The story behind the legendary daggers involves the last pure dragon of the Black Dragonflight. Anne covered the details of the egg that hatched this dragon and what he represents, and suffice it to say that the black dragon that's hatched out of the egg is the last uncorrupted black dragon in Azeroth. He has his own plans on how to run things now, and he knows that rogues are experts at getting things done discreetly. In return for our assistance helping him establish his place in the world, we're rewarded with several pairs of increasingly powerful daggers, culminating in the final pair of legendary daggers, dubbed the Fangs of the Father.
We don't have any specific information about the daggers themselves, but we can assume there will be one slow dagger for our main hand and one quick dagger for our off hand. The proc is said to be specifically tied to rogues, so my guess is that it will be related to energy or combo points. Depending on how the ilevel scaling works with the introduction of the new Raid Finder difficulty tier, the daggers will be at least ilvl 417 and possibly higher. My hope is that their design and proc appropriately represents the darker aspects of the rogue, and I am anxious to see what the developers come up. What type of legendary proc would you like to see?
Ghostcrawler hints that the black dragon we're working for might actually be evil in the end, but we're rogues and we don't care. Legendary weapons are worth any price. Rogues will be back at the top of the DPS charts and our battleground kill/death ratio will be in the double digits. I would sell my grandmother to goblin slavers for one legendary weapon, and I would gladly surrender all of Azeroth for a pair of them. I hear Outland is nice this time of year, anyway. The only downside to the legendary daggers is that now I won't have any good questions to ask the rogue class panelists at BlizzCon this year.
Sneak in every Wednesday for our Molten Front ganking guide, a deep-dive into the world of playing a subtlety rogue -- and of course, all the basics in our guide to the latest rogue gear.