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Class Balance Q&A: Rogue

Alex Ziebart

Adam Panshin asked:

What are your intentions for Rogue poison design in Mists? The talent preview showed new poisons that could be taken, but without changes those will be limited to PvP use because it's too big a DPS loss to break the Instant/Deadly combo.

Watcher answered:

Our current intent is to allow players to use one damaging poison and one utility poison at a time in Mists. Currently, rogue damage is so dependent on dual-damage poisons that, as you note, running a utility poison entails a drawback that is often too large to justify the benefits. Allowing damage poisons to compete against each other, and utility poisons to do likewise, should result in more interesting choices. The logic is similar to what led to splitting up warlock Banes and Curses.

The poisons will effectively be on both weapons at once, and running Deadly should essentially duplicate the current functionality of dual Instant+Deadly, allowing you to focus on which secondary poison best suits your current situation.

Guest asked:

Rogues and Feral Druids currently spend a good portion of their attack time just sitting and Autoattacking because they have to wait for Energy regen. Is there anything that you guys are thinking about to help lessen the waiting?

Ghostcrawler answered:

Honestly, we would prefer if all classes worked like that. The Energy model is the one that is most tolerant for lag, player error, movement and just giving players a chance to stop tunneling so much on the target and pay a little attention to the rest of the fight. We don't like it when any class fills every GCD. It works okay for casters, as long as they aren't using all instant spells.

ZephPinky asked:

Hello, for assassination rogues, will there be a faster ramp-up time? (other than the mutilate change)

Watcher answered:

We would like to reduce the impact of ramping mechanics for all rogue specs in Mists. The combo point generation system that is core to the rogue class already causes them to prefer staying on a single target, with abilities like Redirect serving to create occasional exceptions to that general rule. Layering additional sources of ramping on top of that, such as Deadly Poison stacking, or Bandit's Guile for Combat rogues, compounds the problem without necessarily adding additional gameplay. Deadly Poison will likely no longer stack, and Bandit's Guile may become an inherent buff on the Rogue, maintaining the cyclical gameplay without making life quite as painful when you need to switch targets.

Finalfuntasy asked:

The new Vendetta talent allows the rogue to perform a ranged attack. What is the main aim of this ability?

Watcher answered:

The requirement to be in melee range to deal damage to an enemy is an inherent restriction of the Rogue class. We think that being able to essentially break the rules for a short period of time will allow for some fun gameplay. Obviously the final numbers will be important, but the intent is for a rogue to be able to operate at nearly full damage capacity against the marked target from range, while Vendetta remains active.

TrocarRogue asked:

Hey Xelnath, there's the same problem with rogues! All 3 of our level 90 talents are ones we already have (albeit tweaked a tad)!

Xelnath answered:

In the case of the Rogue - you're getting an ability you otherwise couldn't have obtained previously. In addition - the rogue 90 abilities are pretty amazing.

Furthermore - the increased control on Killing Spree allows you to control how frequently and how many times you teleport. That's far, far sexier than the original.

Jabor Al-Mannai asked:

during blizzcon you said that rogues and warriors will be able to throw their weapons. is it just going to be the throw ability we have now scaled by our main hand weapon dmg ?

Ghostcrawler answered:

Yes. Throw is a base rogue and warrior ability that uses your MH. You can also get Deadly Throw as a rogue talent. Warriors still have Heroic Throw.

Joshua Batman asked:

A big concern for me and a large part of the Rogue PvP Community has been that Preparation and Shadow Step were put into the same Tier of Talents, along with Burst of Speed. While Burst of Speed and Shadowstep are a great two talents to choose between, Preparation is a very powerful cooldown, and instead of feeling like it's making a hard choice between abilities, it feels like we're getting nerfed, because we already have Preparation and Shadowstep currently. Are there any updates to this situation and what was the reasoning behind grouping these abilities together?

Watcher answered:

We definitely understand why it's a source of concern, but ultimately the Subtlety tree offering the combination of Prep and Shadowstep is the core reason why it has become the de facto (and perceived mandatory) PvP spec. If we moved Preparation to a different tier, then the community is clearly saying they'd all take it, and that runs counter to our aims with the new talent system. And if we add a baseline class-wide ability that resets multiple cooldowns, then we may as well just adjust the underlying cooldown lengths directly and save people a keybind.

In defense of that rogue tier as it currently stands, if we know that rogues with Prep are sacrificing a high-uptime movement ability, then we have the flexibility to balance (i.e. buff) the class as a whole around that restriction. If rogues can (and thus will) take both abilities, then the class as a whole gets balanced around the survivability and mobility of having both.

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