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Rogue Reasoning: Definitions

Hey there, and welcome to another installation of Rogue Reasoning. This week I am going to cover a couple of definitions that i feel many players seem to use incorrectly.

Gank, Ganker, or Ganking:
This is probably the most common word used to describe a Rogue’s actions in PvP. Usually, people complain using this term when you come up and kill them while they are questing or just hanging around PvP flagged. I don’t know about my other rogue brothers, but in my opinion if I see a flagged Alliance or vice-versa, I will most likely attempt to kill it, regardless of grouped buddies or guards in the area.

Let me tell you something, if you are at max level and you are killed by another max level, it is not Ganking, it’s PvP. If you get killed while you are at low health after a fight, or while fighting other mobs, or even if they have 2-4 buddies, that is still not Ganking, it is strategy. As I have posted before about this, fighting fair is a misconception. There are no fair fights to be had in the open world, so one must stack the deck in their favor.

Ganking only applies when the killer is at least 3 levels higher than the deader at max level, or 5 levels higher while leveling (values are subjective, but those are my approximations). In this case, feel free to complain of being ganked.

Ninja:
Ah, ninja, the role model for the rogue. In feudal Japan, ninja were trained in espionage, sabotage, infiltration, and assassination. They were the antithesis of the Samurai, who based combat on honor and respect. They did what had to be done in order to get the job done and win.

Sorry, tangent there, what I want to cover is what a Ninja is in Warcraft. With the new patch out, I have heard many complaints start up again about so called ninjas in PuGs. Let me start out by saying that my definition of Ninja dates back to Vanilla. Back then, a ninja would try to take every item or piece of gear he could to vendor or auction. Blizzard has made great strides since those days to cut back on this sort of problem and I feel that they have succeeded.

Let me put out my current definition of Ninja: One in a group who uses master loot in order to work around pre-stated or poorly worded loot rules.

What is not ninja: Needing for off spec in a Pug, needing on a BoE now (this is just stupid now that it goes soulbound in LFD)

This might surprise you rogues, since we are not on the taking end of off spec rolls since we only damage (but do it darn good), but I don’t label this ninja. Sure, I might be frustrated, but it is not the action of a ninja and I will not call it such. The only times I worry about ninja looting is when I Pug raids in current content or old world transmog runs now. Since I only ever go in guild or lead them myself (in the majority of cases), I have not called anyone a ninja except in praise for awesome roguish moves for a long time now.

In summary, please think twice before continuing the incorrect usage of these gaming terms as it dilutes the true nefariousness of these actions. Thank you for your time and please let me know your opinions as well in the comment section.

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Rogue Raiding: Yor’sahj the Unsleeping

This fight’s main challenge is posed to the raid leader and relies on his ability to make quick decisions on the fly for choosing slimes to kill. The overall abilities and strategies can be found *here*.

As a rogue, we are notoriously bad for target switching, so this boss can cause some issues. Combat rogues have the advantage for switching to a slime and back due to the faster cooldown on their Redirect and having a faster return of sprint to move back and forth.

You should pop your cooldowns fairly early in the fight before the slime’s spawn to get that extra dps in before having to switch targets. As soon as the slime’s spawn, pop sprint and get to it as fast as possible. I would suggest that you save redirect for when you return to the boss as opposed to on the slime *if* you are not combat specced, in which case you can probably use it both times.

Once the slimes connect with the boss, it is time to start popping Feint most likely. The red, green, yellow, and purple slimes all deal AOE damage which can be mitigated by Feint. Each individual slime needs to be addressed here, so I will split up what needs to be done for each:

Red-stack right on top of boss and you should not have to worry about popping feint if this is the only AOE slime going out.
Black- Lots of adds are going to spawn, Assassination shines here with FoK, but Blade Flurry does fairly well. Subtlety is pretty much out of luck here, but you should still be using FoK while there are still a good amount of adds alive.
Green- most likely you will need to be spread to max melee range in order to be far enough away from other people to avoid damage being spread. A simple /range 4 will let you know if you are too close to anyone. Feint if you are stuck in range with anyone in order to lower your damage taken, but you should not have to.
Yellow- if the healers are having issues, be sure to be popping Feint on CD for this slime to lower your damage. Hopefully you will get this one with black or red where you will be stacked in the mid for healer convenience, but it can be stuck with green occasionally.
Blue- You need to jump on that mana void as quick as possible to get it fairly low on health. Redirect back to boss after it gets low and let the range and healers finish it off. If Blue and Red slimes both hit, you will either need to let only range hit it or keep Feint up as much as possible while staying as close to the boss as you are able.
Purple – This slime should never be up, but in the off chance it does, I would listen to your healers “oh crap it’s going to pop” and hit feint when someone blows up to lower your damage taken.

Other than the slimes, just stay behind the boss and burn him hard. Rinse, Repeat, take loot.

Rogue Raiding: Warlord Zon’Ozz

If you ever played table tennis, aka Ping Pong, then you will have no trouble understanding the mechanics of this fight. The fight has fairly simple mechanics, all of which can be found in the Icy Veins guide *here* along with the overall strategy.

Now for the roguey bits:
The boss should start out turned towards the ranged so the ball is spawned between where the melee and ranged are usually, so be ready to position yourself at his back before the pull. You will have to rotate around after the spawn to get stacked with the other melee. Another big thing to remember is to save your main cooldowns for the Black phase of the boss because he will be taking increased damange.

The main damage in the Ping Pong phase will be when the ball hits your group. You can Cloak of Shadows the damage and feint will also reduce the amount of the AOE taking. Once it is time for the ball to hit the boss, you have a couple of options. The first is to just rotate around to stack on the tank and damage the boss from the front, although this will lower your dps slightly. Secondly, you can just rotate to his side that is farthest from the likely contact point and continue hitting him to your heart’s content (which is the choice a good rogue should always make).

After the Ping Pong Ball hits the boss, be ready to re-position yourself to wherever his back is when he moves to the center. This is the time to hit all your cooldowns and burn as much of his health as you can since he will be taking a substantial increase in damage proportional to the amount of times the ball was bounced. If your healers are having trouble keeping you up, popping Feint on its cooldown every time can help alleviate some stress by lowering your damage taken.
Repeat steps as necessary in order to wipe the floor with him.

Rogue Reasoning: Entitlement

Rogue reasoning is going to be my first attempt at a weekly feature, in which I will be giving my opinion on some rogue related issue from a rogue perspective.

Entitlement:
en·ti·tle·ment noun \-ˈtī-təl-mənt\
Definition of ENTITLEMENT
1a : the state or condition of being entitled : right b : a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract
2: a government program providing benefits to members of a specified group; also : funds supporting or distributed by such a program
3: belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges

Throughout my time playing Warcraft for the past six years, I have seen many examples of players raging, cursing and complaining about many different things, and the root cause of the majority of these issues can be whittled down to their sense of entitlement. I am not saying I am innocent of this, far from it, but it is still the basis of problems within a MMO culture.

Entitlement is a tricky little thing in that a Utopian society can sustain each individual’s desires. Unfortunately, World of Warcraft is far from Utopia. Much like the real world, there is a lack of resources to meet every single person’s needs, which creates a sense of competition. It is a simple fact that in this sort of environment, the survival of the fittest is the only rule in play.

I am sure you can think of a time that you were on a quest to loot some object and as you fought off the NPC guarding the item, some other person walked up and looted it while you were busy and then walked away. How about back when there were outdoor bosses and your raid had them down to 10% and were suddenly attacked by a cross faction group who stole your kill?

These are all examples of times when our anger stems from our sense of entitlement.

Now in WoW, we band together into groups, raids and guilds in which we give up certain things (split xp, gold, etc.) in order to gain better rewards, which is how society works in the out of game world as well. Blizzards limits competition by allowing rewards to be instanced and meted out by points which are individually gained, but what about the items out in the world that are free to all who chance upon them?

As a rogue, you are at a significant advantage when it comes to completing objectives out in the wilderness of Warcraft. Stealth in and of itself allows us to scout out situations, get the drop on our foes, and set up 0% failure scenarios. It’s a wonderful thing and one of the reasons I love being a rogue. This is also one of the reasons we are probably the most despised classes in the game. The sad truth that we must realize is that Blizzard designed a rogue with this play style in mind. Do what you must to win, if you cannot beat them head on, wait for them to be unprepared, wait for them to be weaker, wait for them to lose focus.

Rogues must learn patience and timing in order to be effective, and there is no better teacher than trial and error. Sometimes we have to fight dirty to win, letting our opponent get low on health before attacking or waiting until he is in another fight to make our move. Morally, these actions can get dicey, but Rogues are not meant to stand toe to toe and win, we use our abilities to set up victories.

Sadly, when we are in competition with someone, there must always be a loser. It is my opinion that the practice of rewarding failure is demeaning and makes an individual worse and not better. There needs to be a drive to push yourself to get better, to improve, and if you can get the same rewards doing 1/2 the work, why should anyone go 100%? Failure is the best teacher mainly due to the fact that you are less likely to forget your failings when they result in disappointing your sense of entitlement.

To summarize,
In a game played by millions, with each person working to complete their own objectives, what are you truly entitled to?

Answer: you are entitled to complete any action in game that is within your power, as long as you are able to outplay, outwit, or outmaneuver any other person competing towards the same or a opposite goal.

THAT IS IT.

Complaining about your failure does nothing. Instead, find out why you lost and work towards never letting it happen again.

Legendary Time Line

Taking a break from writing the step by step for the legendary to do some quick breakdown of how long each step will take.

To get first set of daggers, you must kill three bosses and pickpocket Hagara, then wait 12 hours and complete the first series of quests to get the first 2 daggers. After that you start collecting the gems from the legendary clusters. From analysis of the PTR, there is no difference in drop rate from regular to heroic that we know of.

You need 333 gems in total and a single cluster drops 5-9 crystals from PTR reports. The clusters drop at a rate of 1 per boss on 10 man and 2 per boss on 25. Taking an average of 7 gems, that would require 48 gems or 48 kills on 10 man and 24 kills on 25.

For this collection step, assuming your raid is considerate and lets you finish your quest before killing Hagara and the group starts downing all 8 bosses per week, it will take approximately 7 weeks to get the next set of daggers on 10 man and only 4 weeks on 25.

The next collection step requires 60 gem clusters in total. This will require 60 kills on 10 man and 30 on 25 which works out to about 7 more weeks on 10 man and 4 more weeks on 25, if your raid lets you get the net set of daggers without killing the extra bosses on the week you get the second set.

Of course, after this set, you must then kill Deathwing to finish the quest, which if your raid let you get the extra kills after you turned in quests, should be still I’ll possible the same week you finish the cluster collection.

So in total, it will take 14 weeks on 10 man and 8 weeks on 25 man to finish the quest line and get your legendaries AT MINIMUM!!!

This translates to us seeing the first legendaries the week of January 17th for 25 and the week of February 28th for 10 man.

How to: Get your Legendary Daggers! Part 1

As I am sure you all know, Rogues got some lovin’ in this patch in the way of legendary daggers. This guide is going to walk you through the quest line to get your daggers step buy step. I will be highlighting which parts require raid and which are just quests you have to complete on your own.

Step 1: In the beginning…. [Requires Raid]
The legendary quest starts right at the beginning of the Dragon Soul raid. Lord Afrasastrasz, who stands right at the entrance, has the quest, Proving Your Worth. This quest requires you to pickpocket a Cryptomancer’s Signet Ring from Hagara the Stormbinder.

Hagara just happens to be the fourth boss of the instance, so you will have to encourage your 10 or 25 man group to just push hard and kill those first three bosses to get started.

Hagara is hanging out in the Eye of Eternity which is reached through a portal at the top of Wyrmrest Temple in the raid. Be careful not to click on the pretty orb in the middle of the room before your group is prepared because, ahem, “IT’S A TRAP!!!” to quote Admiral Akhbar. Clicking on the orb will start a gauntlet of waves of different mobs to kill, 5 in total, with the last being a pseudo boss that will give you a taste of Hagara’s abilities. After all the waves are defeated, Hagara will lower herself into the center of the room.

After Hagara has become targetable, feel free to stealth on up to her and pickpocket.

The item can only be pickpocketed one at a time, but I found that it will respawn in her pocket after a wipe, so multiple rogues can get it in one lockout

Turn in the quest to Lord Afrasastrasz and pick up the next one, A Hidden Message.

Step 2: You got what was in her pocket, now you have to empty yours. [Solo]

The next step of the quest takes a bit of gold, and by a bit, I mean 10,000 gold. To charge the ring, you must go to an Etherereal in Orgrimmar, Thaumaturge Altha, who is located to the right just inside the door of the new Void Storage/Transmog/Reforge building. Simply speak to him, ask him to charge the ring, and pay him 10k to get started.

The ring takes 12 hours to charge, so I would suggest getting this step done right after your raid night ends or even hearth to org right after you get the item if your raid group won’t mind too much.

At one point on the PTR, you had to be online the whole 12 hours, but I have confirmed that the charging will now continue even while you are logged off.

Head on over to the Vermillion Redoubt in Twilight Highlands and hang out beside Corastrasza while you wait for your ring to charge. She will also give you the Singed Cipher that you will use the ring to decode. After the ring is charged, use it and you will get the item, Solved Cipher.

After you have solved it, talk to Corastrasza and get the next quest, To Ravenholdt.

Step 3: I had to eat a lot of cereal to get this darn decoder ring. [Solo]
You will be jumping onto Mostrasz’s back and flying to Ravenholdt. When you land, talk to Mostrasz and turn in the quest, then pick up the next one, To Catch a Thief.

After you have the quest, go stealth and you will see a red ring around you. This is your circle of detection, if any NPC is touched by the circle, you will be seen and have to start over at the entrance.

Make your way up to the keep then hang a right around the outside wall to the left of the training field. In the back you will find a coil of rope, use it to get to the top of the building. On top of the building, there will be a useable window to click on a bit forward and to the left of where you land. Once inside, go down the spiral staircase, jump up onto the railing and down into the middle of the room. Sidle down into the basement and you will be treated to a nice little cutscene where you meet little Wrathion.

Turn in your quest to him and then pick up the next one, Our Man in Gilneas.

Next step gets its own post, which should be up soon.

Rogue Raiding: Morchuk

After our first night in Dragon Soul, we managed to down the first four bosses and make some attempts on Ultraxion. What I am going to try to do here over the next few posts is go over each fight’s strategy for rogues especially to help maximize your dps and survivability. I will provide a link to an overall strategy for each boss as well.

Morchuk

This boss is basically just a big pushover, we managed to easily 1-shot him right off the bat.

Strategy:
-For the majority of the fight you will be able to be behind the boss and DPS your heart out.

-Boss casts stomp periodically which can be Feinted to reduce damage taken. It is a short cast time so you should use your boss timers to help in order to use Feint in time. It is not required that you should use feint, but it gives your healers a bit of a break.

-Resonating Crystals: you should not have to deal with these since ranged has a much easier time getting to them, but in case you do, try to wait for 5 seconds left, use feint on the boss and sprint over to the crystal to reduce explosion damage. If you don’t want to risk that, just run over and stand on top of the crystal to take the least amount of damage possible.

-Fragments and Black Blood Phase: basically get behind a stalagmite and just wait. Be careful that you don’t stand too close to the stalagmite because the blood seems to leak through and just under it, but not past. In some cases, 2 stalagmites will be close together near the boss, and you can stand between them and be able to hit the boss without being in blood. You can use your thrown weapon to keep your Deadly Poison stacks up as well.

Rinse and repeat for loot, and speaking of which, linked below is the rogue loot from the boss*.

*all the bosses share a ring and trinket loot set, but I will only post the boss specific loot pieces.

Rogue Database and Links

As my first order of business in getting this blog going is to put up my list of the Rogue resources I use myself.

PVE Links:

Elitist Jerks- Rogue Forum
-Great resource for Boss Mechanic discussions. People will talk about specific tricks and tips for boss fights that we can use to improve our performance.

Shadowcraft Spreadsheet
-Amazing spreadsheet put together by some EJ forum members. Lets you load your character from Armory and optimize gems and reforges. Also shows you projected DPS and gear upgrades as well.

PVP Links:
Arena Junkies – Rogue Forum

General:
Wow Insider Rogue Blog
-Weekly rogue posts from the WoW Insider team’s rogue columnist.

Official WoW Rogue Forums
-Has a few stickies that can be very useful

Here goes nothing…

Hi everyone and welcome to my attempted beginnings of a blog!

I am starting this blog after my realization that there is an apparent lack of active rogue blogs left floating around the web. I decided to try my hand at starting a blog myself to help entertain all my shadowy brothers who are bored while they lie in wait for their targets.

I plan on using this blog to talk about the rogue class in general, concerning PvP, PvE, and other rogue related matters. I will try to initially provide links to the current relevant rogue resources and materials to help out anyone who is looking for that stuff (I know that I use it a lot). I might even go into relevant events that transpire on my rogue as well.

To get started, I will tell you all a little about myself. I started playing WoW all the way back in Jan, 2006. WoW was my first foray into mmo’s and some friends on my hall encouraged me to try it out. Like the new player I was, the first character I rolled was a rogue. As some of you might know, back in the infancy of WoW, the rogue class was arguably the most popular to play at the time. Who didn’t want to be a sneaky, stabby ninja who could hide in plain sight?

Anyways, I hit level cap in a couple of months and got around to doing some of the instances and raids. I stuck with my rogue throughout the year, but with the difficulty of finding a spot on a crowded raiding squad with the overflow of rogues finally wore me down and I leveled up a hunter and started focusing on that character.

Fast forward to the fall of 2009… (big jump, I know)

After much raiding throughout Burning Crusade and my initial bits of Wrath of the Lich King, one of my good real-life friends convinced me to roll a new rogue with him to have some fun PvP-ing. At the time, my main was a Protection Paladin, but I decided to start up the rogue anyways. I created Koetsuji as an Undead Rogue on the Haomarush server right then, and little did I know how that act would affect how I played Warcraft.

As I was leveling, I began to fall back in love with being a rogue. Sneaking between patrols of mobs in a questing area just to sap the guard and steal treasure, Hitting vanish at 5 hp after taking out 9 of the 10 mobs you had on you, bandaging, then sneaking back to finish off the last one, and of course wreaking havoc on unsuspecting alliance who had the gall to think they could level in the same area as you. Needless to say, I started playing my rogue more and more as he approached level 80, and started to neglect my other characters.

Once I hit 80, I pulled out all the stops in order to gear my rogue. I ran regulars, heroics, quested, bought boe’s, ran BG’s until I didn’t think I could take one more round of the hate-spewing people found in the gutter that was battlegrounds at that time (not that it’s much better now). I was able to grab a spot on the raiding team fairly quickly in the guild I was in at the time,. Sadly, the guild lost some leadership just as ICC was released and attendance crumbled. Myself and 2 other of my good friends from the guild decided that we should try our hand at creating a guild and leading it ourselves. We formed with the intents of it being a small, 10 man casual raiding group.

But this blog is not about my guild, nor the many trials that it has gone through, so let’s fast forward again to the current state of things.

Quick summary: Took a break from January to June from WoW, came back, started raiding again, started writing blog, present.

Now that all of that is out of the way, let me just say that I hope that you all enjoy my writings and I will try to keep this updated as much as possible.