Friday, July 6, 2007

Blue Watch: Rogues in Arena

Parry! Dodge! Spin! has moved! This version of the blog is no longer being updated, but all posts and comments are over at the new location! Please go to for the new location!

While not really a PvP Rogue, Phaelia pointed me towards post from Vaneras where he was "nice" enough to address some Rogue concerns regarding Arena on the Europe forums today :

Poster: Vaneras at 2007-07-06 08:31:12
Subject: Re: the truth about rogues in arena
Q u o t e:
I love playing rogues, i like being stealthy and whearing black. I like pwning mages with almost no health.

But in arena, some things arent "right"

so heres a summery of all the things I think arn't "working as intended" or arn't"Balenced"

1. the famous vanish bug. all know about.
2. pets running after you in stealth
3. bad scalling of finishing moves. my sin strike crits for almost the same as my evisc...
4. stealth... whats up with everyone seeing me?
5. certain classes getting out of our stuns, saps, blinds using trinkets or anti rogue abilitys.
6. imp gouge -> stealth, i loved that what happend to that.
7. Blind being able to miss, but costing 1g (on my server)
8.CloS not working while in fear or trap... (that would make life so much easier)
9.Lack of armor on leather.
10. resileance screwing up or "nukability"

i'm sure there are so much more things that could need improving.

I dont think rogues are a nerfed class, they just need some working on. No class is perfect and everyone has an anti class. But at the moment every class is our anti class

I think that this little top ten sums up the things that have recently been posted on these forums pretty well.

Some of the things we have commented on before, especially in regards to Vanish. Vanish isn't bugged and it is in fact working as intended, however it is affected by latency, which is what people perceives as being bugged. There are currently no plans for changing the way that Vanish works, which I most certainly know that you don't want to hear. However that does not mean that the developers will dismiss these concerns, because if they find a proper way to address this issue, then such a solution will be implemented.

But in regards to Rogue performance in the Arenas in general, this is something that the developers are looking into. I do not have much more info on this available at this moment in time, but we will keep you informed as soon as we know more about the developers plans to improve the Rogue situation in Arenas.

Many of you have posted good ideas for ways to improve performance and the Rogue class in general, and I would just like to thank you all for that. Keep letting us know what you think, and please keep posting your suggestions :-)

Um.. K. So, Vanish doesn't work because my highspeed DSL connection isn't fast enough? *shakes off disbelief* Lame response, Blizzard.

However, it does give me a dark, murky feeling inside (as close to warm, fuzzy as we get her at PDS) to know that Blizzard is thinking about the plight of the Rogue.

But then again, half of the OP's concerns seem strange: the cost of Blind, Cloak of Shadows not breaking fears or traps, people getting out of our stuns, amount of armor on leather?

Maybe this is a joke, but it doesn't seem very funny.

  • Blind is free. Get a clue and pickpocket. I destroy Blinding Powder routinely to make room for more sell loot. Maybe you should try some PvE, Mr. Arena Rogue, and you'd have plenty of Blinding Powder.
  • Cloak of Shadows is an ability you use. It's never broken us out of stuns or fears, or other situations where you lose control over your character. Next, you'll want it to break you out of sheeps and charms.
  • People getting out of our stuns? Wahh. It happens to all classes. Stop crying about it. (Expect Mages, those f!%#rs shouldn't be able to use Blink if they are stunned. Complete BS.)
  • The amount of armor on Leather? Are you looking to tank? Do you not realize that we have Dodge and other damage reduction/avoidance abilities?

So, while I appreciate a Blue replying to Rogue concerns, I fear this is a two-sided joke.

Edit: or better yet, don't waste Blizzard's time on issues that aren't really significant.


Continue reading 'Blue Watch: Rogues in Arena'

Favorite Add-Ons: July 2007

Parry! Dodge! Spin! has moved! This version of the blog is no longer being updated, but all posts and comments are over at the new location! Please go to for the new location!

One of my favorite aspects of World of Warcraft is the customizability of the interface. In my opinion, it is one of the most revolutionary implementations of the concept. Sure, some games in the past allowed for some customization of some graphics, allowed you to add a few unit types, or even AI, but with the ability for scripting and changing major aspects of the interface, World of Warcraft has taken this to a new level. I find myself playing any type of game now and wishing I could download something that would replace the default UI or add some management to the game like WoW allows.

Without any further ado, here are my favorites:

ACE2 and FuBar are the infrastructure that most of these add-ons use and I recommend installing both to make the management of your add-ons easier. Also, Niagra is another useful mod that allows you to see graphically the configuration options of many mods.

Addons with the ! are essential!

Links may lead to a page where you'll have to find the add-on from the listed downloads. I did this rather than link to the most current download as it may not be available in the future.

Graphical Modification

These mods are simply here because they make the game more fun to look at. You could probably skip these if you wanted, without sacrificing any ease of play or functionality:

  • AG_UnitFrames: allows you change the way your unitframes appear. What is a unit frame? Well, the area in the corner that has your character name, character portrait, health and mana/energy/rage. It's also your target, target of target, party and raid displays. AG_UnitFrames allows you to change the entire appearance of these unit frames, their placement, the way health and mana is displayed and even allows you to use 3D models for the portraits. While I could play without this mod, I'll stop using it when you pry it out of my cold dead fingers.
  • CloseUp: allows you to zoom and move your character model in the dressing room and your character screen.
  • moveFrames: allows you to move all the default UI windows by dragging them by their title bar and remembers where you moved them when reopended.
  • simpleMiniMap: allows you to move your minimap and change its shape and size.
  • InFlight: shows you how the minutes and seconds remaining on your flight between flight points.
  • SW Stats: a damage/healing/skill use meter that allows for quick setup and swapping of meters.
  • Deadly Boss Mods: thee add-on for warnings on boss abilities.
  • SCT: scrolling combat text. While WoW now includes one, this one is configurable in ways the built-in functionality doesn’t even come close to.
  • AtlasLoot: Along with Atlas, allows you to see maps of instances and lists all the drops that you can get from specific bosses.
  • nQuestLog: replaces the quest tracking of the built-in interface. The best feature is the additional quest information, usually including map coordinates for NPCs and drops, that you can get by pressing Alt over the quests in the tracking window.
  • Cartographer: Tracks mining/herb and other respawns on maps.
  • eCastingBar: Replaces the player casting bar, target casting bars, etc.
  • ! Natur's Enemy Castbar: Completely different from eCastingBar, this tracks the buffs and debuffs used on specific mobs, as well as your own abilities’ respawn times and even instance respawns of mobs.
  • ! Ratingbuster: Breaks down all stats on gear into all appropriate bonuses and compares them against your current gear. I’ll be detailing this soon in another post.

Added Functionality

  • BuyEmAll: changes the shift-buy interface to allow for more flexibility in purchasing items from vendors.
  • FreeRefills: automatically buy essential consumables like water, reagents, etc.
  • ! ItemRack: equipment swapping management. Group sets of equipment together and with the click of a button switch to another set you’ve set up.
  • WIM: an IM-like interface for whispers along with a chat history.


  • Bartender3: a replacement for all the buttons and button bars.
  • AutoBar: a bar that organizes all your consumables into one bar.
  • ! Arkinventory: There’s a reason why I saved this for last. This mod is undeniably my favorite. ArkInventory is a mod that replaces your inventory interface with one window with all of your inventory grouped together in groups you specify. With the recent replacement of the categories with rules, it has come to the next level, one that I haven’t even tapped into its full potential. I’m not going to go too far in-depth on this one. Look for one of my next posts which will detail this essential.

Continue reading 'Favorite Add-Ons: July 2007'

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Loot Ninja!

Parry! Dodge! Spin! has moved! This version of the blog is no longer being updated, but all posts and comments are over at the new location! Please go to for the new location!

I'm not usually going to post all my upgrades, but since I did get FIVE in one night, I figured I'd post them anyway. On July 3rd, in one night, we started Karazhan and killed every boss from Attumen to Netherspite, with the Chess Event as a nice digestif at the end.

First, I finally got the Worgen Claw Necklace from Attumen. I think I'm the last person on the server to get it.

Worgen Claw Necklace
Binds when picked up
+20 Agility
+21 Stamina
Requires Level 70
Equip: Improves hit rating by 17.
Equip: Increases attack power by 42.

Next, none of the other bosses wanted to drop any rogue loot until Netherspite. There, I picked up the Skulker's Greaves and Mithril Band of the Unscarred.

Skulker's Greaves
Binds when picked up
319 Armor
+32 Agility
+28 Stamina
Red Socket
Red Socket
Blue Socket
Socket Bonus: +4 Dodge Rating
Durability 90 / 90
Requires Level 70
Equip: Improves hit rating by 28.
Equip: Increases attack power by 64.
Mithril Band of the Unscarred
Binds when picked up
+26 Strength
+24 Stamina
Requires Level 70
Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 22.

And then in the chess event, I received the Girdle of Treachery.

Girdle of Treachery
Binds when picked up
205 Armor
+18 Agility
+37 Stamina
Red Socket
Red Socket
Socket Bonus: +3 Agility
Durability 40 / 40
Requires Level 70
Equip: Increases attack power by 58.

But even though Karazhan ended at 1 a.m., I was talked into going to Heroic Mechanar until 3:30 a.m. There I picked up the Assassin Fire Opal.

Assassin's Fire Opal
Binds when picked up
+6 Critical Rating and +5 Dodge Rating
"Matches a Red or Yellow Socket."

So, yes, it was a very good night.

Continue reading 'Loot Ninja!'

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

What is Rogue?

Parry! Dodge! Spin! has moved! This version of the blog is no longer being updated, but all posts and comments are over at the new location! Please go to for the new location!

To begin, I am not a fan of PvP. I am a PvE Rogue. There are some that say you can't be a good Rogue without being good at PvP and PvE. They are wrong.

When I first started World of Warcraft, the very first character I made was... a Warlock, but that was back in the beta and it was undead. I didn't enjoy how weak and frail I felt. When I made a character on my normal account, one of my first was a Rogue. As I began to play my Rogue, nothing else has ever seemed as fun.

So, here's the question: What is "Rogue"? What does it mean to be a Rogue? What should be the purpose of a Rogue? Why should you play one?

While I have loved my Rogue since I started playing her, I have struggled with this question.

According to the World of Warcraft website:

ogues are a lightly armored melee class capable of dealing massive damage to their enemies in a flurry of attacks. They are masters of stealth and assassination, passing by enemies unseen and striking from the shadows, then escaping from combat in the blink of an eye. Rogues can also craft poisons that damage or cripple their enemies, reducing their effectiveness in battle. Groups will find Rogues valuable, for not only do they deal massive damage, but they can open locked doors or chests, and disarm hidden traps as well.

Hmm.. Well, it is true. Rogues are all of those things. Here's my take:

  • Versatility. Rogues have a lot of options in a fight. Sometimes all those options aren't appropriate, but they are still there and depending on how a fight goes, sometimes they may suddenly become useful.
  • Survivability. While we aren't tanks and we aren't healers, we can survive bad encounters like no other, and, if we decide to, we can plan "bad encounters" as well, taking on several mobs at once through Blade Flurry, Evasion and Adrenaline Rush. We can lock up our opponents with Cheap Shots and Kidney Shots. We can escape through Gouge, Vanish and Sprint. We shrug off magical effects with Cloak of Shadows. This isn't always the case. We can't always survive every encounter, but it does seem like we were made to avoid death in our own way.
  • Damage. It's worth repeating. A properly skilled and properly geared Rogue should challenge any other DPS for one of the top spots. With all the aggro-reducing abilities such as Feint, Vanish and a natural reduction on damage to aggro, Rogues can sit up near a mob dishing it out without getting it back. This helps out a lot with our contribution to groups.
  • Planning. If a Rogue plans out an encounter, he can usually own the encounter. With stealth and several openers, a Rogue can choose to stun lock an opponent, often without taking more than one or two hits from them. Not to mention using Sap to take out another mob that might make a normal pull impossible for another class without crowd control.
  • Distinct class identity. Rogues are a staple of fantasy. We have virtually all the trappings of Rogues from roleplaying games, such as Dungeons and Dragons. We can pick locks, pick pockets, sneak, backstab, use poisons, etc. Some of these seem less useful in play, but other times you are thankful you have them.
  • Energy and Combo Points. These are so integral, sometimes I don't even think of these. I often hear that we are superior to other damage classes in that we don't have to rely on mana for our abilities, we have an infinite supply of Energy. That is true. However, in a single fight against any single mob or against trash pulls in an instance where the group can and will drink after every pull for their mana users, this fact becomes a lot less important. Imagine as a mage you have mana pool of 10000. You also have a mana regen of 2000 every two seconds. Every ability you use costs you about 3500-6000 and each time you use one you get one point that is most useful when you score five points against an opponent. Damn. That sounds cool. Nevermind. Still, as you can see, it's a different paradigm about how a class works in WoW and that alone is fun and cool.

So, Rogues rock. But almost all of that information applies to Rogues working alone. Working together with another player or in a group, Rogues are able to contribute a lot. Our crowd controlling abilities aren't flashy like a Mage or a Hunter, they are a lot more subtle and can be a lot more pervasive than other classes'.

  • Sap. With Improved Sap rolling into normal Sap, every Rogue can now contribute a non-renewable crowd control at the beginning of every pull with humanoid combatants.
  • Off-tanking. With a naturally high Dodge, Evasion, stuns and interrupts listed below, a Rogue can very effectively off-tank a casting mob and often lock-up other types of mob long enough for an armored character to pull it off after using Feint or Vanish. We can also use Blind to take a mob out of the fight for a short time.
  • Stuns. Rogues can't heal, but they can help both the tank and the healers by stunning the mob focused on the tank. Mobs that are stunned won't be damaging or using their special abilities on the tank and the healers won't have to heal as much.
  • Interrupts. We have at least four forms of interrupt. We can Cheap Shot (stun), Kidney Shot (stun), Kick (interrupt), Gouge (stun) and Blind (crowd control). Most mobs have special abilities that are "casted" and, therefore, interruptable. Ensuring that mobs don't get off their special abilities is one of the main roles of a Rogue.
  • Damage. It's not important enough that we can do all of the above. What we really contribute is our damage. After all the name of the game is kill-them-before-they-kill-you. Dead mobs can't hurt us and the faster the mobs die the less healing needs to be done to the group.
  • Poisons. In boss fights, we shine. We have a lot of poisons and Rupture that can continue damaging our opponents even after we have to move away to bandage, or, Elune forbid, die.

I've really enjoyed soloing as a Rogue. Afterall, Rogues are INCREDIBLY soloable, but a Rogue really proves their worth in a group. It allows the Rogue to shine by using their key abilities over and over.

However, this is what WoW has done right for most classes, almost all of the things I've listed can be applied to other classes or those classes have something similar.

In the end, what is Rogue? After a lot of searching, I've realized the answer isn't important. I can't see playing any other class and I'm quite content in my role and contributions to groups.

If there is an answer, it must be zen: Rogue is Rogue.

p.s. This doesn't mean I wouldn't mind a more inherent evasion ability against area of attacks, but, for now, I'll live.

Continue reading 'What is Rogue?'