So, as I'm sure you've noticed, I haven't posted in a while. RL has kicked my butt for about the last three weeks. My wife came down with the flu in the end of March, then we got about 24" of snow which shut everything down for a few days, then I got the flu and had to stay home sick for a week. This week's just been crazy catch up for the 8 days I ended up missing all together. Finally got to the point where I have time to post, so hear goes. (of course as I type this my wife called to let me know she's going to the doctor to see if she has pneumonia, wonderful)
So, anyway, I was able to play some WoW while I was out. The two snow days I managed to get from level 64 (IIRC) to 66. Picked up Cloak of Shadows, which is just lots of fun. For those who don't know, it's a 1 minute cooldown ability that will remove all magical debuffs (basically anything but a rend) from me and increase my magical immunities by 90% (I think) for 4 seconds. Ignoring the amazing utility from a PvP perspective (haven't PvP'd in a while), it's a great PvE ability. It's nice to be able to effectively 'cleanse' myself while grinding, otherwise I'd have a lot more downtime as I waited for things to run their course.
Last weekend, when I actually felt well enough to spend a good amount of time in game, I hit 67 and made myself a few items: Fel Leather Gloves and Primalstorm Breastplate. I could have/should have down the Breastplate at 65, but hadn't gotten around to respeccing my LW (used to be Tribal, pre-BC). Both are pretty nice, though I wish the Breastplate had sockets. I just think I like everything more with sockets :P. I also bought a Mask of Veiled Death of the AH for around 25g, pretty nice. The lack of AGI is always conscerning, but it makes up for it with crit and AP, which is all AGI gives you anyway (well, that matters, I don't count dodge and armor as important for a rogue).
Wednesday night I was able to get groups together to finish Durn the Hungerer and The Ring of Blood, as such I replaced both of my weapons. My Shadowrend Longblade and Footman's Longsword with Mag'Hari Fury Brand and Hungering Bone Cudgel. That's about +10 DPS on my mainhand and +8 on my offhand. I just have to work now at getting my fist and mace skills up. Sitting at 319/290 right now, so I've my work cut out for me :P
If you check out my Armory Profile right now, you'll see where I'm at stats wise. As I type I'm sitting at 967 AP, 21.5% crit, +12.36% Hit (with 5/5 Precision), and 6.6k HP. You'll also notice that I've adopted a bit of an odd spec. At 67 I'm 11/21/26 instead of my prior experiment with 5/11/42. That old build put well over 1100 AP with 5/5 Deadliness and 5/5 Sinister Calling. Coupled with Shadowstep made for a very fun build. However, I really felt the lack of 11 points in Assassination. Relentless Strikes is simply a must have talen, and I don't think any build without those 11 points is worth doing, which is sad really. So I wanted to grab 11 points in Assassination and could have pulled them from Combat, but I liked the solid white damage combat gives, okay, not the way I had it, but you get my drift. So while researching builds I saw several references on Elitest Jerks about an 11/21/28 build. It gives the key 11 points in Assassination, solid talents in Combat through Blade Flurry, and a lot of the utility of deep Subtlety. I lost Shadowstep (/cry), Sinister Calling, Dirty Deeds, Master of Subtlety and Premeditation. It was a difficult adjustment process, but I picked up 5/5 Precision, 5/5 DW Spec, Blade Flurry, and Relentless Strikes. So far I think the trade off is worth it.
I'll discuss a couple of oddities of my build. First, I have 2/2 Imp. SS and Hemo. Typically they are viewed as mutually exclusive talents because very few talent build that have more that 5 points in Combat have 25 points in Subtlety, so you either get one or the other. Now, pre-BC you could get very slow (2.8, 2.9) one-handed weapons, as Hemo is non-normalized, it was effectively and extra 40-50% DPS contribution from AP for 5 less energy (if you had 100 DPS from AP, you'd net 40-50 more damage from AP per attack). This led to a lot of scenarios where Hemo could offer higher damage per energy than Imp. SS, if not simply more damage. However, in BC there are no rogue weapons slower than 2.7, making it much more difficult to overcome the +98 damage a max rank SS gives you. That being said, Hemo does offer faster combo point generation, and the Hemo debuff (which should not be ignored), so it does have it's uses.
Against like level mobs I'm usually hitting one 5-CP finisher and 1 3-CP finisher (on average). On my openers I have 2-3 CP (CS with Initiative), Hemo till 4 CP, Ghostly Strike for my 5th (about this time they break the CS, so I benefit from the increased dodge) then Eviscerate when I have the energy. Now generally speaking they've lost a lot of their life and it's unlikely I'll get back up to 5-CP so I switch to SS, which nets me higher damage per hit. I haven't sat down and done the math, but I think there is room in this build for both, so I grabbed both.
I've also spent 4 points reducing all my cool-downs significantly. Vanish, Sprint, and Evasion are at 3 minutes and blind is at 90 seconds. Coupled with Preperation, I'm never unable to use abilities as needed. I need to set Vanish/Sprint/Evasion up on /castsequence macros:
- /castsequence reset=180 Vanish, Preperation
- /castsequence reset=180 Sprint, Preperation
- /castsequence reset=180 Evasion, Preperation
- /cast Blind [target=none]
I anticipate getting back into PvP at 70. Anything other than the most casual raiding is out of the question for me, so PvP will again occupy my time I'm sure. Though the with Blizz releasing more PvE 5-man content in 2.1 I could be busy with that. Needless to say I haven't really touched any of the end-game PvE content yet, so who knows what the future holds. If I do get back into PvP in a significant manner, I'm not sure if I'll keep my current spec. Shadowstep for non-Arena PvP (which is what I see myself doing) is great. Allows you to pick and choose your targets in a manner previously only dreamed of. However, if I'm still doing significant PvE, I think my current build offers more pure PvE DPS. Gosh, who knows, I could end up going back to daggers, though at this point I'm hoping not to...