Guest Post: Confessions of a noob rogue

Alex Ziebart
A. Ziebart|10.09.10

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Guest Post: Confessions of a noob rogue
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Back in the dark ages of history, in vanilla World of Warcraft, I rolled a rogue. This was before battlegrounds, when dishonorable kills were a fear and world PvP was a rush, when men were men, mages sheeped for fun and warlocks ... well, let's just say that warlocks have a reputation that they've earned.

World of Warcraft was my first MMO, after coming from persistent worlds hosted by Neverwinter Nights. I played a rogue there, too, steeped in Dungeons & Dragons rules and the like. World of Warcraft was both nothing like and exactly like my roguish experiences before -- a sneak who dealt devastating damage with small weapons, no matter whether the target was gnome or giant, fearsome orc or fiery dragon.

In the midst of a Westfall investigation (tasked by SI:7 to infiltrate a tower), I noticed a few growing complaints in guild chat: "We have seven rogues in the guild but only one priest; would someone please roll a priest?" I told them I would, sent my rogue back to the character select screen, and rolled the character that would take up the entirety of my vanilla experience.

I took a hiatus during The Burning Crusade due to some computer problems and only came back just after Ulduar launched in Wrath of the Lich King. I looked at my rogue, but shook my head; a friend of mine said tanks were needed, so I rolled a dwarven warrior and once again never looked back. He was my first level 80, soon to be followed by a level 80 draenei hunter.

Finally, a few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to try the rogue class again. I've dealt with mana, dealt with rage -- now I wanted to see energy, the rogue's resource. I wanted to try it fresh, simply because I didn't even know what I had on Sharp's action bars, let alone how to play him. I wanted to see the game from level 1 again.

Sharp was reborn a Night Elf Rogue after 3.3 dropped. I was astounded. "What's this?" I asked. I was given dual wielding straight off the bat! Level 1, thin the area of wolves, gather some fel moss, quest, quest, quest. By level 5, I was Gouging, Backstabbing and Sinister Striking my way to victory. These mobs had no chance against my lightning-quick reflexes; I was Slicing and Dicing my way through them like the proverbial hot knife through butter.

That is, until I left the starting area and accidentally pulled three mobs.

Risky business

Back up a bit: My main is a warrior tank who's dual-specced with fury. My primary alt is a hunter. I've never had a problem with multi-mob pulls. Yeah, they can get a little hairy, but you use Intimidating Shout and fear them away, or you Whirlwind them to death, or you Shockwave them into submission; as a hunter, you simply freeze one, let the pet tank one and kite the other one around, making sure you don't gain the attention of any other murderous things in the area.

As a rogue, unless you have Vanish, you ... die?

No, rogues aren't as squishy as a mage or warlock, but a mage or warlock doesn't have to get up close to a hulking furbolg, stick sharp pieces of metal into its face and try to come out victorious.

It's all about timing

Not only that, but you actually have to time out your resources! Coming from a level 80 warrior with almost limitless rage generation potential, and having played a hunter with their bottomless pools of mana, I was surprised by how many times I heard: Not enough energy for that. I don't have enough energy. Stop pressing the button. I can't do that yet. I have no Energy. Stop being a douche.

It was around level 15 when I finally got the hang of timing out my strikes, making sure I had enough resources to use a finishing move or an interrupt (Gouge or Kick) that could save my polygonal behind. Downloading some addons that make tracking my combo points and energy generation helped a lot in that arena, as well.

Still, those playstyle problems didn't stand a chance next to the coolness factor of being a stealthy, invisible assassin, a shadow that no one sees until it's too late. I'm specced subtlety at the moment (and yes, I know combat is more efficient). But this will be my third alt that I've seriously worked on. (Having a level 10 druid so I could bear dance doesn't count.) I rolled my priest because he was needed; same with my tank. I want to play this rogue the way I envision him: a shadow.

The only thing a shadow fears? Accidentally messing up the Sap attempt against a target's traveling buddy. Vanish!

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