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The Rogue Compendium [v2.1, Cata!]Follow

#1 Oct 19 2010 at 6:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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Introduction

As some may remember (fondly, of course), for most of TBC, I had provided an updated FAQ detailing most of the data that rogues would need to get into PvE and know their class. As a lot has changed since then, I'm once again updating my Compendium for the rogue population.

Credit once again has to be given to Nooblestick, the original father of the Rogue FAQ. Even though I've taken his data and essentially changed it until it's no longer recognizable from his original thread, I had to get the original information from somewhere, and he's responsible for that info. Also, most information I've learned about rogue mechanics comes from EJ. Credit goes to the rogues over there for being bigger math nerds than I am.

So if some of this stuff seems eerily familiar, don't fret; you've seen it before and I'm not claiming ownership of said info.

Table of Contents

  1. Race/Weapon Choice
  2. Talents
  3. Mechanics
  4. Gemming for PvE
  5. Important Links/Macros

Last updated on: 12/1/10
  • Edited Race/Weapon post.
  • Edited Talents post.

  • Edited, Dec 1st 2010 2:06pm by Theophany
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    #2 Oct 19 2010 at 6:19 PM Rating: Good
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    Races (Written by Nooblestick, with additions from myself.)

    The actual stats on each race don't really matter. At 60, the difference in stats will be negligible compared to the gear you're wearing, and even more so at 70, and even more at 80 and 85. We will instead be comparing racial abilities and traits.

    Alliance

    Night Elf
  • Elusiveness
    Passive; Increases your stealth by five points (this is equal to one extra level in stealth). Also increases speed while stealthed by 5%.

  • Nature Resistance
    Passive; Decreases the chance you will be hit by Nature spells by 2%.

  • Quickness
    Passive; Reduces the chance you will be hit by melee and ranged attacks by 2%. The non-magic version of the nature resist one. (Works as chance to miss instead of dodge now, so will not proc overpower on enemy warriors for example.) Double as effective as it used to be.

  • Shadowmeld
    Ability; a slightly less-powerful Vanish on a 2 min cooldown. You cannot move while Shadowmelded, but you can use openers. In PvE, threat is wiped while Shadowmelded, but restored on exit.

  • A decent race to pick for Rogue. Their racial ability can be very useful.[/li]

    Human
  • Every Man for Himself
    Ability; functions like a PvP trinket, but also shares cooldown with the PvP trinkets. 3 min cooldown.

  • Mace/Sword specialization
    Passive; expertise with maces and swords increased by 3.

  • Diplomacy
    Passive; reputation gains increased by 10%.

  • The Human Spirit
    Passive; 3% increased spirit.

    Another decent race to pick as a rogue (the best for PvE on Alliance). The increased weapon skill and diplomacy are nice for PvE. Every Man for Himself is worthless in PvP, as trinkets are on a 2 min cooldown.

  • Gnome
  • Escape Artist
    Ability; removes all movement impairing effects. 1:45 cooldown. Very nice PvP tool. Quick cooldown makes for very effective use in BGs.

  • Traits:
    Expansive Mind (+5% Intellect), Arcane Resistance (2% chance for Arcane spells to miss), Engineering Specialist (+15 Engineering Skill), Sortblade Specialist (+3 expertise with daggers and one-handed swords).

    Not the best race for a Rogue, but a good race in general. Escape Artist will save you in PvP more often than you think.

  • Dwarf
  • Stoneform
    Ability: 8 Second immunity to poisons, diseases and bleed effects, as well as 10% increased armor. 3 minute cooldown. Nice to use before a Vanish so you don't get knocked out instantly due to Warrior/Rogue DoTs.

  • Traits:
    Gun Specialization (+1% crit), Frost Resistance (2% chance for Frost spells to miss), Mace Specialization (+3 expertise with 1h and 2h maces), Explorer (+15 Archaeology skill).

    Probably has the third most useful abilities and traits for Alliance Rogues. Stoneform is hawt.

  • Worgen
  • Darkflight
    Ability: 70% speed increase for 10 secs. 3 minute cooldown. Nice racial in addition to sprint's lowered cooldown.

  • Traits:
    Viciousness (1% additional crit), Aberration (Diseases and Curses durations reduced by 15%), Flayer (skinning increased by 15, no knife needed, and time reduced), Two Forms (changes between Worgen form and human form), Running Wild (mount; worgen drops to all fours and runs faster).

    Overall the best race for alliance rogues, probably the best for PvP on alliance.

  • Horde

    Orc
  • Blood Fury
    Ability; increases Attack Power by 6 + (your_level -1) * 4 for 15 seconds. 2 minute cooldown. That's 242 Attack Power at level 60, 282 at 70, 322 at 80, and 342 at 85. Decreases all healing effects by 50% for 15 seconds. 2 minute cooldown. This adds a very large amount of damage while it's active, and is a very powerful ability in PvE. Also useful in PvP, but to a lesser extent.

  • Traits:
    Hardiness (15% reduced stun duration), Command (+5% pet melee damage), Axe Specialization (+3 expertise with axes)

    A good choice for a Rogue. Blood Fury makes you a PvE powerhouse. The best PvE choice for a Rogue (tied with Goblins).

  • Undead
  • Will of the Forsaken
    Ability; removes all Fear, Sleep, and Charm effects. 2 minute cooldown, shared 30 second cooldown with PvP trinkets. An extremely useful PvP ability. If PvP is your primary focus, this alone should be enough to make up your mind, as classes that can Fear repeatedly often give Rogues the most trouble.

  • Traits:
    Underwater Breathing (breath lasts 233% longer than other races under water), Shadow Resistance (2% chance for Shadow spells to miss), Cannibalize (consume a nearby Humanoid or Undead corpse to restore 35% of your health over 10 seconds).

    Tied for the best PvP choice for a Rogue, out of every race (tied with Goblins, in my opinion). WotF is slightly less powerful now that it shares a 30 second cooldown with PvP trinkets, but still insanely helpful in PvP.

  • Troll
  • Berserking
    Ability; increases attack speed by 20% for 10 seconds. 3 minute cooldown. Not a bad ability, but if you're just looking for a damage increase ability, Orcs are better.

  • Traits: Da Voodoo Shuffle (reduces the duration of all movement impairing effects by 15%. Trolls be flippin' out mon!), Regeneration (10% increased health regeneration, 10% health regeneration allowed in combat), Beast Slaying (5% increased damage against beasts), Throwing Weapon Specialization (+1% crit), Bow Specialization (+1% crit).

    Not really a very good Rogue race compared to the others available. Trolls were designed more with Hunters in mind.

  • Blood Elf
  • Arcane Torrent
    Ability; silences all enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds and restores 15 energy.

  • Traits:
    Arcane Affinity (+10 Enchanting Skill), Magic Resistance (2% chance for ALL spells to miss).

    With the nerf to WotF, Blood Elves are tied with Undead (and Goblins) in terms of PvP value.

  • Goblin
  • Rocket Jump(Barrage)
    Abilities; tied to the same 2 min cooldown, you can either choose to fire rockets at your enemy (similar to the rocket gloves Engineering enchantment), or to use Rocket Jump and launch yourself forward. Very useful racials for PvP, decent for PvE.

  • Traits:
    Time is Money (1% haste, unsure if this will also effect energy regeneration), Best Deals Anywhere (always get a 20% discount at vendors as if you were exalted), Pack Hobgoblin (call your Hobgoblin servant, allowing you to access your bank every 30 mins), Better Living Through Chemistry (+15 Alchemy skill).

    Tied for the best race for rogues in PvP, tied for the best in PvE; you also get the bonus of being the coolest race in WoW.

  • Weapons

    Pretty simple on what to do with weapons. For Assassination and Sub, use daggers. For combat, use whatever you want, as long as you're not using a dagger main hand.

    For all specs, use a slow MH (1.8+ for daggers, 2.4+ for everything else) and fast (sub-1.5) OH, and use Instant MH, Deadly OH.

    Edited, Dec 1st 2010 2:02pm by Theophany
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    #3 Oct 19 2010 at 6:20 PM Rating: Decent
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    Talents (Written by myself)

    Rogues, perhaps more than any other class, rely on their specs to define their game play.

    To that end, changing even one point in a build can have dramatic changes in a build. In this FAQ, I'll cover some of the main builds for PvE. But first, let me answer a few questions.

  • Are these all of the good builds?

    No. These are the "cookie cutter" builds of the rogue class. That's not to say that there aren't other builds that work, but these work the best.

  • Why isn't (random build) here?

    Because it's not a cookie cutter build. It may do well for you, but it's not a common build, and you'd probably do at least as well as you currently do with a bit of practice with one of the builds in this thread.

  • Why are these builds the best?

    Many rogues (including myself) have spent countless thousands of gold in respecs to move even one point in these builds. We've determined the best talent specs, point-for-point, for each kind of build for a rogue.

  • What's the best leveling spec?

    It's arguable, but IMO it's one of these: Mutilate, Sub, or Combat. That said, almost any build can be used to level. I prefer to always have Nightstalker, as moving faster in stealth is incredibly useful when questing.

  • Now, on to the PvE specs.

    Keep in mind that specs are still new, ergo we don't have a 100% grasp on what talents are the best.

  • Assassination

    Rotations are pretty easy; keep Rupture up and Envenom as needed to keep up your SnD. Once you're under 35% boss HP, start using BS for massive damage. Make sure you're using 4-5 combo point finishers; DO NOT max your combo points for every finisher, as this will reduce your DPS. If you don't get a crit on your Mutilates and are sitting at 4 combo points, DO NOT mutilate again; use Envenom or Rupture.

  • Combat

    Combat. The old stand-by of rogue PvE; fortunately for all of us, it no longer requires specific weapons, as long as you have slow/fast and don't use a dagger MH. For your rotation, essentially keep up SnD full-time and use Rupture and Evis for every other finisher. Dropping Rupture seems to be a ~1% DPS drop, so it's not a big deal if Rupture drops off for a second or two.

    RvS (Revealing Strike); is it any good? Sources say that it's about a 100 DPS drop when you drop it from the rotation. Use it at 4 CPs in easy fights, but I'd drop it completely in complicated ones.

  • Subtlety

    New is that Sub is actually a viable build (at this point) in PvE. Essentially you're going to be keeping SnD and Recuperate up, and then using Evis to roll your Rupture. BS is your main combo point generator, and at this point it seems that Hemo is not viable at all, unless you lack the 30% bleed buff (very hard, as warriors and ferals both have it).

    Sub lags behind Assassination and Combat by a good 5-10% DPS, at this point in testing.

  • These are of course not all of the builds rogues will ever use. I will keep this updated, and of course when the level cap is raised to 85, I will replace these builds with their 85 equivalents.

    PvP builds will be discussed either at a later date, or in the PvP forum.

    Edited, Dec 1st 2010 2:00pm by Theophany
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    #4 Oct 19 2010 at 6:20 PM Rating: Decent
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    Mechanics (Otherwise titled "Hit Capping, Expertise, and you." Written by myself.)

    WotLK/Cata preface: when I refer to "hit cap" now, I refer to the poison hit cap. Since poisons are considered spells, they use the spell hit cap. Our special cap is far below poisons, and you should cap for poisons, ergo you will always meet the special hit cap.

    Since there are so many questions about hit rating, expertise, glancing blows, etc on the forums, I figure I'll write a little article about them to broaden our understanding of how these mechanics work. (Keep in mind this is for level cap only.)

    So, on a mob, there are 5 outcomes of WoW's "one-roll" system:

  • Crit
  • White hit
  • Glancing Blow (25%)
  • Miss (28%)
  • Dodge (6.5%)
  • Parry (6.5%)
  • Block (5%)

  • Now, here's where we need to break up the mechanics very simply.

    Let's assume you're a rogue in my raid. You meet the hit cap, therefore you cannot miss. You've pushed the miss chance off the table.

    So the table now looks like the following:

  • 25% Glancing
  • 17% White hit
  • 40% crit
  • 6.5% Dodge
  • 6.5% Parry
  • 5% Block

  • Now, let me explain glancing blows. Glancing blows are there, always. There's no way to remove them, there's no way to decrease the chance they happen, they're just there. Always 25% on a raid boss (level 83). This brings in the term "crit cap". Crit cap basically means how much crit you can get before it's worthless and crit strikes start being pushed off the table. What I mean by that is that using our table up there, you've still got 17% of your hits that will be normal white hits. If you get to 57% crit, you're at crit cap. If you get to 58%, you're past crit cap, and now you've got 1% crit falling off the hit table, which is wasted itemization.

    You really should never have to worry about the crit cap because of something that we also have to take into account: ROGUES ALWAYS ATTACK FROM BEHIND. I don't give two sh*ts about what the encounter is, but if you're on a boss, you're attacking from behind. There are a few exceptions, but your raid should know it's your first time on a boss and let you know NOT to attack from behind say on Onyxia.

    Here's why. This is what our attack table looks like attacking from behind. Same boss, same mechanics, nothing has changed; we JUST MOVED BEHIND.

  • 25% Glancing
  • 28.5% White hit
  • 40% crit
  • 6.5% Dodge

  • Know what the difference is? Instead of that 11.5% parry/block chance, you've now got 11.5% more white hits that 1) aren't glancing, and 2) are doing damage to the mob. Do you see now why rogues always attack from behind?

    Now, some more knowledgeable posters may be screaming, "WHAT ABOUT EXPERTISE?!" Yeah, I'm getting to that.

    As far as Expertise goes, Expertise rating transfers to Expertise at 7.688690185546875 rating per point. 26 expertise will give you 6.5% negated dodge, giving you an attack table that looks like this:

  • 25% Glancing
  • 35% White hit
  • 40% crit

  • That's now 35% pure white hits. You can see why this is advantageous.

    So, there's the end of this little tutorial. Let me sum up by giving you the "front" and "behind" attack tables, along with relevant hit caps.

    From the front:
  • 25% Glancing
  • 48.5% crit/white hit
  • 6.5% Dodge
  • 15% Parry
  • 5% Block (on mobs that can)

  • From the rear:
  • 25% Glancing
  • 68.5% crit/white hit
  • 6.5% Dodge
  • 0% Parry
  • 0% Block

  • For these values, the first is the spell hit cap, the second is the white hit cap (that you will never hit).

    Hit cap with 3/3 Precision: 289/646
    Hit cap with 2/3 Precision: 342/707
    Hit cap with 1/3 Precision: 394/769
    Hit cap without Precision: 446/830
    26 Expertise in rating: 200
    23 Expertise in rating (for races using appropriate weapons): 177

    Edited, Oct 19th 2010 7:07pm by Theophany
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    #5 Oct 19 2010 at 6:20 PM Rating: Decent
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    PvE Gemming: (Written by myself.)

    Meta: 21 Agi/3% crit damage (Relentless Earthsiege Diamond)
    Red: Agi
    Yellow: Agi/haste
    Blue: Nightmare Tear, then Agi/hit

    A note about gems: gem for socket bonuses unless they're not DPS-related. AP, Agi, crit, etc socket bonuses are good to have, now that we can socket blue gems and still effectively get DPS.

    PvE Enchanting:

    Weapons: Mongoose
    Head: Ebon Blade enchant (50 AP/20 crit)
    Shoulder: Hodir enchant
    Cloak: 22 Agi + Flexweave Underlay (if Engi)
    Chest: 10 stats
    Bracer: 50 AP
    Glove: 20 Agi + Hyperspeed Accelerators (if Engi)
    Leg: 75 AP/22 crit
    Boot: Tuskarr's Vitality if you're Combat/Sub, 32 AP as Assassination

    Engineers: due to changes in 4.0.1, we can apply tinkers in addition to our normal enchants, so reasonably you should have Flexweave Underlay (cloak), Hyperspeed Accelerators, and Nitro Boosts on your gear. All will be situationally useful, and there's no reason not to have them.

    Enchants will of course change as the cap goes to 85.

    Edited, Nov 29th 2010 2:48pm by Theophany
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    #6 Oct 19 2010 at 6:27 PM Rating: Decent
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    Important Links: (Written by myself.)

    PvP:

    Zam PvP forum
    The PvP forum is where most of the PvPers on this site hang out, so come over and check it out. Post if you have questions.

    Arena Junkies - Rogue
    A PvP resource, though a distasteful one. Most of the posters there treat it's as if it's a WoW and 4chan hybrid. It's irritating, but they have quite a few knowledgeable posters, so it's a resource. Smiley: rolleyes

    PvE:

    Elitist Jerks
    Everything you need to know about Rogue PvE can be found here. No other links needed.

    New links that you would like added can be PM'd to me.

    Rogue Macros: (Written by myself.)

    Rogues don't use many macros, but the few macros we do use can make our lives a whole heck of a lot easier.

    Here are some macros that I use (mainly in a PvP environment) that make my life easier:

  • The Infamous Pickpocket Macro:

    Simple enough; this macro pickpockets on a Cheap Shot, Ambush, whatever.

    /cast Pick Pocket
    /stopcasting
    /cast Cheap Shot

    Make sure to turn auto looting on in the interface menu when using this macro.

  • The Throwing/Shoot Macro:

    This macro, simply put, will throw when you've got a throwing weapon equipped, and will use shoot when you've got a bow/gun/xbow equipped.

    /cast [noequipped:Thrown] Shoot;
    /cast [equipped:Thrown] Throw

    That's it. This macro will also work for priests etc with wands, as they can't really equip throwing weapons. Smiley: grin

  • The Spam-Sap Macro:

    This is a macro you can spam and it will continually try to target a target within sapping distance, and then sap that target. This will only work on players. I may change it in WotLK when we can sap anything, but I seriously doubt it. I still keep my normal Sap bound, but it's like the + key on my num pad.

    #showtooltip Sap
    /cleartarget
    /targetenemyplayer
    /cast Sap

    The /targetenemyplayer line specifically targets only enemy players, not NPCs. It will never target anything that is not player-controlled, i.e. pets.

  • The Blind Macro:

    This macro is one of the more useful macros, but you need to use your brain to use it. What this macro does is uses Blind; it first checks to see if you have a focus target (use /focus or bind a key through the Key Bindings interface, or use Gladius to set it), and if you have a focus target, it will use Blind on that target. If you don't have a focus target, it will Blind your current target.

    #showtooltip
    /cast [target=focus, harm, nodead, exists] Blind; Blind

    And yes, you need both Blinds in there.

  • The Equip Swap Macro:

    This macro changes your weapons. Simple enough, no? Though this isn't really needed anymore with the equipment manager, it's still somewhat useful.

    /equipslot 17 Vengeful Gladiator's Quickblade
    /equipslot 17 Merciless Gladiator's Quickblade
    /equipslot 17 Vengeful Gladiator's Shiv

    This will rotate through those offhand weapons in that order. This becomes a very useful macro in arena, when you need to equip a seperate offhand with Mind Numbing or an extra offhand with Wound Poison.

    For equipping pieces of gear, you can usually just use "/equip".

  • That's all for now, let me know if there are other macros you'd like to see added.

    Edited, Oct 20th 2010 11:28am by Theophany
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    #7 Nov 29 2010 at 1:47 PM Rating: Decent
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    Overlord Theophany wrote:

    Engineers:[...] Nitro Boosts, and a Frag Belt on your gear.


    Nitro boosts are now a belt-slot tinker.
    #8 Nov 29 2010 at 4:45 PM Rating: Decent
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    jiggeryqua wrote:
    Overlord Theophany wrote:

    Engineers:[...] Nitro Boosts, and a Frag Belt on your gear.


    Nitro boosts are now a belt-slot tinker.

    Fixed!

    Edit: Also it should be noted that the 3% crit meta is broken unless you're using a lot of hit gems. I've personally switched to crit/run speed and switched my boot enchant to Assault (32 AP or whatever) until they fix it.

    Edited, Nov 29th 2010 2:49pm by Theophany
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    #9 Dec 01 2010 at 4:05 PM Rating: Decent
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    Race/Weapon post updated with further information about race choices (i.e. Goblins have finally been tested and parse about on-par with Orcs as the best PvE choice for Horde, and Worgen are parsing as the best race choice for Alliance PvE) and weapon/poison choices.

    The talent post has also been updated with a combat leveling build, and each of the raiding specs has been updated with more info.
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    #10 Dec 02 2010 at 6:38 AM Rating: Good
    If I knew anything about Theorycrafting, I'd do so for combat for you, but I'm a noob so I can't.
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    90 Rogue - Aresella
    90 Shaman - Aislynn
    90 Warrior - Alazara
    88 Mage - Gízmo
    85 Druid - Araxi
    85 Hunter - Xeliara
    85 Priest - Alaxandra
    85 Paladin - Kallísto
    30 Monk - Faewyn
    #11 Dec 02 2010 at 6:55 PM Rating: Decent
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    xNocturnalSunx wrote:
    If I knew anything about Theorycrafting, I'd do so for combat for you, but I'm a noob so I can't.

    Combat is actually is fairly well set for theorycrafting via EJ. A lot of rogues over there are combat and love it, so they don't lack for rogues to model combat and assassination.

    What they really need is numbers for Sub, which is exceptionally hard to model, as it has a lot of variables to account for.
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    #12 Dec 02 2010 at 8:54 PM Rating: Good
    Yeah, I tried it once for PVE while in dungeons. I just couldn't get it. Gave up after that. I probably need to tweak my mut spec though now that I'm dual specced... I just don't know how to play her that way... and I don't have daggers lol
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    90 Rogue - Aresella
    90 Shaman - Aislynn
    90 Warrior - Alazara
    88 Mage - Gízmo
    85 Druid - Araxi
    85 Hunter - Xeliara
    85 Priest - Alaxandra
    85 Paladin - Kallísto
    30 Monk - Faewyn
    #13 Dec 03 2010 at 5:00 AM Rating: Good
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    I like Sub, it reminds me of feral DPS and as such makes me feel at home.

    If I'm not tracking at least four things at once I'm not comfortable DPSing.

    Keeping a house of cards up in a hurricane is what I am used to and why I like Sub PvE DPS.
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