Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some feedback from the very helpful Timeless (EU Norkal) on the below has alerted me to the preference for Envenom over Eviscerate for a Mutilate finisher. Also it appears (thanks Daemona of EU Destromath) that Windfury has been reworked and no longer requires dropping the OH poison. Good and bad - good because I don't need to worry about it so much, bad because it means I had the benefit of it in ZA, increasing my potential DPS quite a bit, and still only pulled 1176!

So given that Eviscerate is gone from the rotation, do I use Cold Blood on Mutilate or Envenom?

evaluating Mutilate/HfB, continued

By way of example, here is my WWS report from my very first ever venture into Zul'Aman. Should probably start with a caveat - I suck at the moment. I haven't been raiding much, have a totally new build, and a new Nostromo to get used to. So, expectations suitably lowered, let's proceed...

OK So this report is from the following bosses: Nalorakk, Akil'zon, Halazzi (including a wipe), and finally a shot across to Karazhan to drop Attumen. 5 fights, 51/4/6 HfB.
  • I violated the first commandment twice, both on Halazzi (although one was a wipe, so that doesn't really count). Slap on wrist.
  • first of all: the chart (bosses only, trash doesn't really count). Damage out looks good, second only to Gank who is a pretty awesome rogue (10/51/0 Combat Swords). 1176 DPS which is well below my theoretical maximum from the spreadsheet of 1980. Of course that is unattainable with ramp up times etc, but I should do better than 1176. Damage in looks OK for melee DPS, below the tanks and above the ranged classes. Gank does a better job at avoiding being hit. Heals, looks like I did a good job of taking care of my own healing, but if I was better at avoiding getting hit I wouldn't need it so much! Still, I'm glad I wrote that /userandom healing macro to spam.
  • On to boss fight individual stats. Swing at 36% is low, that is because I'm still getting used to keeping SnD up with Eviscerate/Rupture. 20% of my Swing misses, so I could use some more +hit. Only 13 Eviscerates and probably roughly the same number of Ruptures seems a bit low. Flipping to Gains, Buffs & Debuffs explains that to some degree - 12 SnD gains in 5 boss fights! So I let it drop at least once in each fight, which diverted combos to reinstating it. Back to Abilities - 5 (4 + 1 crit) Envenoms looks ok (assuming at the end of the 4 successful fights, plus a mis-hit extra). The single Backstab is a remnant of Combat Daggers muscle memory :) Eviscerate crit % is very low at 11%, I should probably save Cold Blood for Eviscerates as they do kickass damage when they crit.
  • Back across to Gains, Buffs & Debuffs: Gained HfB 16 times! 0 is the number I'm looking for there, as it should be active before the fight begins. So I let it drop on average thrice in every fight. Not good at all, that's 180 energy in each fight, or three Mutilates - which means 7 or so combos, so all in all it's 12k or so damage per fight, just from letting it drop (about 7% of my damage on Nalorakk). It also means I spent a period of the fights (no idea how long) doing 9% less damage than I could have been. 5 gains of Lust for Battle, 3 of Ferocity and only 2 of Drums of Battle mean I'm not using trinkets and drums nearly enough. I don't have Haste potions, so that's missing, as is Thistle Tea which I haven't used in awhile. Probably should get back into the tea.
  • External buffs: Windfury is totally absent, 8 Unleashed Rage and only one Battle Shout? Flip to the shammy shows he was dropping Windfury, so I should have dropped my offhand Instant to grab the Windfury buff.
So there's a lot of fun stuff there, and a few good lessons for me.
  • Keep HfB and SnD up!!! HfB drops cost me about 7%+ off my possible DPS.
  • Keep trinkets and drums going
  • Cold Blood -> Eviscerate Mutilate/Envenom, see the next blog post
  • Look out for Windfury no longer required, see the next blog post
  • Get the Tea going again

Saturday, October 25, 2008

evaluating a 51/x/x HfB rogue

Vulajin at Elitist Jerks has long held the title of author of the most useful post for a raiding rogue. However with the release of 3.0.2 and the ascendancy of Mutilate/HfB for raiding, it does need some updating. He's stated that it won't be updated until Wrath is released and people are raiding at 80 on regular servers, so here's a starter summary. I don't pretend to be an expert in mathcraft or even general roguery outside the specs I play, but I do raid a bit and have seen every raid in WoW/BC except BT. Additionally, the only toon I raid on is my rogue.

The Commandments are still very applicable, with an amendment for HfB. A 3-stack HfB gives you a flat 9% DPS buff. Renewing it before it expires costs you 30 energy. Bringing it up afterwards costs you 90 energy. No debate, keep it up at all times.

  1. Don't die.
  2. Don't do anything that risks wiping the raid.
  3. Maximize your time on target.
  4. Don't let your energy cap out.
  5. Don't let SnD or HfB drop.
  6. Use one of the spreadsheets to figure out your best cycle; this will usually be the highest Rupture uptime cycle that doesn't violate rule 4 or 5.
  7. Use your cooldowns.
To be continued...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Well Hyjal is still as much fun as I remember. Tonight I was there for guild-first kills of Anetheron and Kaz'rogal. Both great fights.

2 wipes on Azgalor beat us but it was a great way to start getting used to my new build. Combos just keep coming, it's incredible. It's tough remembering to keep up Hunger for Blood and I'm slowly adjusting to the new hotkeys for my trinkets, Deadly Throw and pots/bandages. The decision tree for combos is interesting though - 1) SnD if it's down, 2) Rupture if it's down or going to expire, 3) HfB if it's down or going to expire, 4) Eviscerate. The free SnD refresh from Cut to the Chase is brilliant - but you do feel like allowing SnD to expire without getting an Eviscerate off is a waste of combos in getting SnD back up. Same with allowing HfB to drop. There is a real emphasis on not allowing those timed abilities to drop, because there is a real energy/combo penalty if you do. Yay ClassTimer.

2 of my brothers just started playing - Ploddy (Draenei Hunter) and Ponendus (Draenei Pally). A brother of mine a huntard. Ugh!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Going Down

Well as soon as I saw this Going Down achievement I thought I'd better get it.  Of course, a Rogue does get some resistance to falling damage, and I could get a pally to bubble me or something, but I really wanted to do it myself.

After one failed try off Aldor Tier from the top (obviously an enormous source of amusement to the nice person who rezzed me) I figured it out.  Start from the bottom of the elevator, let it take you up to about halfway, then run off.  One of three things will happen:
  • You'll run off too low.  No achievement, try again.
  • You'll run off too high.  And die.
  • You'll run off in the right zone, take a huge whack of falling damage, live and get the achievement the hardcore way.  Like me.


Neat site:

Friday, October 17, 2008

more songs

Once I'd finished Evasion Tank FTW I listened to some more Dos Gringos and have some more lyrics in development for the following songs:

Watch this space. Obviously there's a lyrics warning on those songs. The clue's in the title.

Evasion Tank FTW

So I just got back from New Zealand.  I've had one hour's sleep since 6am Thursday (Brisbane time).  And due to the entirely inconsiderate person next to me, who had a bladder with the strength of a piece of wet toast, I had three hours to contemplate my navel with a flat laptop battery and no reading material on the flight.

So, I turned to my iPod.  The first song that came up (serendipitously as it turns out) on random was called "Twelve Inch Penis" by Dos Gringos.   If you're not into aviation you probably won't get a lot of the references, but it's basically about trying to pee in an F16 cockpit.  High class stuff.

Stay with me, this will make sense eventually.

So I was listening to that and my mind turned, as it sometimes is wont to do, about how awesome playing a rogue is and how much I hate PUGs.  So, I put one and one together and got 11.  I wrote WoW lyrics to the tune of the song I was listening to.  I call it "Evasion Tank FTW", or alternatively "The Ballad of the Raiding Rogue".  I like the first one better.

Evasion Tank FTW by me
Sung to the tune of "Twelve Inch Penis" with thanks to Dos Gringos for also being awesome.

There I was, pugging a boss
and we could tell he was getting a little cross
from all the damage we were getting on that day
Now an undergeared tank is bad enough
but it's even worse when you're missing buffs
just a plus stam and Salv would really ease the pain

'Cause if you pull aggro on Magtheridon man, it's over

Now about four minutes into the fight
I started to get nervous 'cause things were looking tight
with healers calling OOM and the hunters just standin' around
then a mage Ice Blocked, I knew he was in trouble
and a couple ret pallies started poppin' their bubbles
then the off tank he fell stone dead to the ground

And there's little old me in my leather armour

So we finally got him down to 20 percent
when the main assist said his gear was bent
I mean who the hell raids without getting repairs?
So I thought real hard about my rotations
popped a healthstone and a healing potion
watched the tank die and the druids go bears

And I cursed the shammy's name for forgetting Windfury

So I knew that I'd need a little help
to keep from bleeding all over myself
and if I stressed any longer well I'd give myself cancer
So in my hour of great despair
I offered up a little prayer
to Jesus, hoping that he might answer

And to paraphrase a bit, this is what I said

Oh Lord won't you give me
just one more cooldown
just one Adrenaline Rush will do
cause I'm stuck with these dumbos
and I need just a few more combos
and I swear I'll hearth as soon as I am through

Now things started looking pretty darn bleak
when Mags knocked the warlock into next week
and one shotted a shadow priest with a flick of his tail
The hunters feigned death but it didn't help 'em
Mags gave them both a pretty solid beltin'
and they QQ'd and died with a pitiful wail

Fucking huntards

Now it was too much to hope for a Power Word Shield
so I feinted and vanished and bandaged and healed
and jumped back into the fight with a look of dismay
And I never really thought about what was ensuin'
when I realised that there was nobody left pew-pewin'
and I paused for a second, and began to pray

Dear Lord, you gotta give me this one

Oh Lord won't you give me
just one more cooldown
just one Evasion will do
cause I'm stuck with these dumbos
and I need just a few more combos
and I swear I'll hearth as soon as I am through

Now just as Mags landed a crushing blow
my energy bar, it started to grow
and before I knew it, it was at least a foot long
Cold Blood jammed down for unlimited crits
and Evasion made me impossible to hit
and I couldn't help whistlin' a cheery song

Now I know you've figured out what happened next...

Well that was pretty much the end of my woes
since I poured DPS like a fire hose
and dodged every claw with a wink and a grin
24 bodies lining the pavement
watching this epic rogue with amazement
whispering "evasion tank for the win!"

This could be you if you learn2play, noobs

I finished off Mags with a Mutilate crit
looted and hearthed from that demonic pit
and ignored everyone before they could aggrieve me
I thought about boasting in guild chat
but something fairly obvious held me back
a fairly good chance no-one would believe me

Think I'll just quietly let the legend grow

Oh Lord won't you give me
just one more cooldown
one Cloak of Shadows or two
cause I'm stuck with these dumbos
and I need just a few more combos
and I swear I'll hearth as soon as I am through
yeah I swear I'll hearth as soon as I am through!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

raiding with Mutilate

Basically, the trick is this:

  • Keep Hunger for Blood up at all times, even when not in combat. Hotkey!
  • Keep up SnD as usual.
  • Keep your drums and trinkets up as usual.
  • Keep your DoTs up - Deadly Poison and Garotte/Rupture. Garotte is still the best opener if threat is a problem.
  • Watch your threat. Feint, Vanish and if all else fails, Evasion, are there if you need them.
  • Combos should be spent on SnD, Rupture, and then something that does damage. I've not decided yet if Envenom or Eviscerate are the best way to go - probably Envenom at the end of the fight, Evis + Cold Blood otherwise if you have a threat buffer. Remember that both of these will refresh SnD if you have 5/5 Cut to the Chase (which you should in a 51 point Mutilate build).
  • Of course, keep an eye out for opportunities to use Kick.
  • On trash, keep one eye on your squishies and intervene with a blind/gouge. You can quickly build 3 combos for a Kidney Shot with a Cold Blood/Mutilate (assuming you have 5/5 Seal Fate) - with the added advantage of a huge crit that will definitely attract their attention! It might be worth Shivving them first to get the 50% damage bonus from Mutilate.

There you go, easy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

the patch

Well it's certainly worth a look. After a long long time in Combat Daggers, Cat is now 51/5/5 Mutilate. Even on the first night using the spec (I've never used Mutilate at all) she still pulled a clear second on the meter in a quick-pace 2 hour Kara clear tonight. I'm feeling it's a good spec!

Her current spec is pretty close to the draft cookie cutter 51/3/7 Mutilate.

  • Mine takes 1/1 Vigor, 2/2 Quick Recovery and 2/3 Master Poisoner, but
  • Cookie takes 2/2 Murder and 3/3 Turn the Tables instead.
  • Cookie drops 2 points in Dual Wield Specialisation to pick up the missing 2 in Relentlesss Strikes.
I'm not sure about the cookie cutter decisions. Murder might be useful in levelling, but is it better on boss fights than say the 2/3 in Master Poisoner? 4% increased damage against certain bosses, vs 2% extra crit chance against all but poison-immune bosses? Would like to see the mathcraft on that.

I can see the attraction of Turn the Tables over Vigor. But Quick Recovery looks good for boss fights, where you're often taking splash damage - 20% less mana used on you. 4% crit chance on finishers is not that super when you're probably going to be rotating SnD and Rupture (which don't crit) with maybe Envenom and Eviscerate which can crit. But one of those will get the benefit of Cold Blood, so hanging onto 80% of the energy on failed finishers (which mean they can be immediately repeated) seems a good bet.

Giving up 13% of your offhand damage to get an additional 8% chance to get 25 energy on a finisher doesn't seem worth it to me. Again, the mathcraft will decide.


Right, I plugged the numbers into the Rogue DPS Spreadsheet in Cat's current gear.  On the Assassination tree talents, it's a no brainer.  Cookie cutter is clearly better than the build I chose.  Mea culpa.

On the Combat and Subtlety talents, we were both wrong.  The optimum build is actually 4/5 Dual Wield Specialization and 4/5 Relentless Strikes.  However, there's only about 10DPS in it over all three builds.

Looks like I'm up for a respec!

Friday, October 10, 2008

a nice way to level

Merry is 41 now and finally out of STV.  Jeez that place gets irritating after awhile.  The changes to XP rates and having a mount at 30 made it a lot less painful, but even so something about STV makes me want to donate to PETA.
My 3 favourite spriest spells: Levitate (for shortcuts), Mind Control (for snigger value and fighting groups) and Shadowform (cool looking and a nice buff).
Questing with Ben and Michael (both shammies) is way better than the lonely soloing I did with Cat.  Plus, as Ben's main is a tailor and Cat is a LW, we can keep each other in decent gear.  Rock on the sugar daddies/mamas.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Who'd have guessed.  I actually enjoy priesting.  It is a PITA to solo, but very easy to pick up a group and group healing is a load of fun (even though she's specced shadow).  Pushing 32 now and bouncing back and forth between STV and Desolace.  Ugh... STV.