The World of Warcraft expansion: Mists of Pandaria is coming soon, although as of this writing it’s still in early beta test and has lots of bugs. Still, all of the bugs will be fixed (or most, anyway) and the expansion will launch and the rush to 90 will start. (I predict 17 hours in-game time for the first person to hit level 90.)
The talent system is being completely revised, more so than when Cataclysm hit. All those 41 points spent (at 85) wil go poof, though some will be retained as spec specific abilities. Of course, everything might change between now and launch, but that’s where the fun is, right?
Subtlety Rogues, for example, will have ten unique talents and all Rogues will share some talents that were previously reserved for the particular specs. As to their primary abilities… Sub Rogues will get Backstab, Hemo, Find Weakness, and Shadowdance.
Will they still be the PvP machines that they were in Cataclysm? That remains to be seen, but some of the abilities do look well designed for ganking. The talents can be picked by any spec of Rogue, so some Assassination Rogues will be able to Shadowstep and some Sub Rogues won’t. (You can play with a Mists talent calculator here.)
Time will tell…
The Subtlety Rogue Spec
Each spec of each class has a set of four abilities specific to their specialization, which you’ll see in the talent panel. They also get several spec specific talents that are added into the abilities list. These are in addition to the group of abilities that all rogues will share and also in addition to the pool of talents that any spec can pick from.
It looks like each spec will have ten unique abilities. Since this is from early Mists Beta these talents may well change. Also note that there are no points to spend within any one abilitity or talent. Honor Among Thieves, for example, is no just like any other ability, you have it or you don’t. This means that you will have…
- The usual “all Rogues have these” abilities
- About ten abilities specific to your spec
- 6 total talent points to spend, at level 90.
It looks like each spec will have ten unique abilities. Since this is from early Mists Beta be aware that these talents may well change. Also note that there are no points to spend within any one abilitity or talent. Honor Among Thieves, for example, is just like any other ability, you have it or you don’t. The above talents are:
- Backstab: Works as before, must be behind the opponent and must have a dagger in the main hand. Note that this means that Combat and Assassination Rogues will not have access to Backstab
- Hemorrhage: Basic Sub strike, adds a bleed effect.
- Find Weakness: Bypass 70% of armor when attacking with Abbush, Cheap Shot, or Garrote. Lasts for 10 seconds.
- Shadowdance : Use Ambush and other “attack when stealthed” abilities out of stealth for 8 seconds. Ambush energy cost of reduced.
Other Sub Rogue specific abilities (not talents) are:
- Eviscerate - Fishing strike, uses your CPs to whack the opponent.
- Premeditation - adds two CPs to your target
- Energetic Recovery - while your Slice and Dice is active you gain 8 Energy every 2 seconds.
- Honor Among Thieves - Crits done by party members add a CP to your target.
- Sanguinary Vein - Your attacks do more damage to a target that has a bleed effect already on it.
- Sinister Calling - Increases total agility by 30%
- Mastery: Executioner
The Subtlety Rogue Talents
All Rogues get to pick one talent, from three choices, at each of levels 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90.
This means that you will have 6 talent picks and only six talent points, down from 41 in Cataclysm and 71 in Wrath of the Lich King. This will make it simpler for us and it makes the programming work a lot easier for Blizzard. No longer will you be able to spend varying amounts of points in any given talent. Now you will either have the whole thing or not have it. Simple.
Subtlety Rogues have traditionally been about PvP, though they do well in Cataclysm PvE. So let’s grab some talents for my 85 Rogue.
- Nightstalker, for the faster movement while stealthed. Faster movement is always good.
- Subterfuge allows your stealth to break 3 seconds after attack, rather than instantly.
- Shadowfocus allows abilities to use no energy while stealthed.
- Nerve Strike - After Kidney Shot or Cheap Shot fades the victim will still do 50% less damage for 6 seconds.
- Deadly Throw would also be a good choice for the slow and the silence effect, but the latter requires 5 CPs on your target to use.
- Combat Readiness lets you take less damage during the fight.
- Cheat Death for the survivability
- Leeching Poison - With LP each of your weapons strikes will heal you for a small amount.
- Elusiveness - Your Feint ability reduces all damage for 5 seconds
- Burst of Speed - I picked this for its ability to remove “movement impairing effects.”
- Shadowstep would be a pretty good choice, too, but escapes are nice. Step is now just a short range teleport, it does nothing to increase damage.
- Preparation finishes several cooldowns.
- Dirty Tricks reduces the energy cost of Blind and Gouge to zero AND those two effects no longer break from your bleed or poison damage.
- Deadly Brew applies Crippling Poison when any of your non-lethal poisons are applied.
- Paralytic Poison stuns your opponent (for four seconds) once 5 stacks are applied.
- Anticipation? Not sure here, basically it keep you from generating too many CPs before you use your finisher. It takes the extra CPs and applies them to the target after your 5pt finisher.
- Shuriken toss throws a Shuriken for damage and a combo point.
- Versatility removes the cooldown from your Redirect ability.
Subtlety Rogue Glyphs in MoP
Naturally there will be a lot of changes to specific glyphs. When Cata went live a few glyphs were burned (charred paper in your bags) and others changes name and effect. I expect the same thing will happen here.
So for a PvP Sub. Rogue, I’ll pick…
- Major Glyphs
- Garrote, for the longer silence
- Vanish - adds two seconds to the Vanish effect, which is “harder to detect” and “Doesn’t break from attacks.”
- Shadowwalk - this ability greatly improves your stealth for 6 seconds, the glyph adds improved stealth detection to that ability. Just the thing when you just know that there’s a feral skulking about.
- Minor Glyphs
- Decoy - Vanishing leaves behind an illusion of you for a brief time.
- Safe Fall - Fall extra distance without damage
- Blurred Speed - Walk on water while Sprint is active
New Rogue Abilities for Mists of Pandaria
Most of the old Rogue abilities are still around, but some new ones have been added. Also, rogues no longer have a throwing weapon, though they still have a “throw” ability and can pick up a deadly throw talent.
- Crimson Tempest - Blasts all enemies within 8 years for initial damage and an additional 30% of that as a bleed effect. The more Combo Points (CPs) on the original target the more damage is done.
- Expose Armor is no longer a finishing strike. It’s now a CP builder, like Hemo or Sinister Strike. It does no damage, but adds 1 CP and weakens armor by up to 12%.
- Feint reduces damage from Area Effect attacks by 50% for 5 seconds
- Shadow Walk - greatly increases Stealth effectiveness for 6 seconds and, if glyphed, also increases Stealth Detection.
- Shroud of Concealment allows you to conceal your party or raid, hiding them from sight.
- SwiftBlade’s Cunning - Increases the melee and ranged attack speed of all party and raid members by 10%, which should give Rogues some useful Raid utility.
- Shadowblades (level 87, 12 seconds, 3 min cooldown) Empowers your auto-attacks to deal pure shadow damage and Combo Point generating abilties to generate an extra point.
Also, some of the old talents have been moved into the general Rogue ability list and these are not unique to Sub.
- Master Poisoner – increases damage of poisons by 5%
- Relentless Strikes – Finishing strikes have a 20% chance per combo point to add 25 Energy
- Fleet footed – 15% movement increase, doesn’t stack with over movement increasing effects.