Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rogues are useless

With the risk of offending all rogues, I will re-state the title of this post: rogues are useless. I have tried to enjoy my rogue since The Burning Crusade and I'm still trying to find something redeeming about him. I'm sorry to say this but I simply cannot. Up until recently I felt like I really had to continue leveling but now I'm having second thoughts. Let me tell you why.

Just so you don't think that I'm pulling this rogue hate out of my ass, you should know that I have a level 75 rogue that I was planning to bring to 80. This whole discussion also strictly refers to the PvE aspect of the game so don't tell me that rogues shine in PvP. I know that. They've murdered my hunter more times than I can count, every time I've had the misfortune of stepping in a battleground.

What attracted me to a rogue in the first place was the usual stuff: a stealthy, shadowy character who strikes from the shadows blazing fast with his twin daggers of death coated in lethal poison. At one point during World of Warcraft's evolution, rogues were a force to be reckoned with. Well, rogues and mages. And warlocks. From what I can remember, back in WoW Classic, these classes were the holy trinity of DPS-ing. And for good reason. Each of the 3 was a glass cannon. Powerful damage but not a lot of survivability. Hunters were below them because they had pets, of course.

I'm getting close to my issue with rogues. To a great extent, these 3 classes are still top damage dealers. The problem, however, is that out of the 3, rogues are the only melee class. From what I have experienced so far as a rogue, this is a big problem. Rogues are the weakest melee DPS class, in terms of survivability. At least that my impression so correct me if I'm wrong.

Let me run through a list of DPS classes that I am familiar with and perform a short analysis on each of them as well as a comparison to rogues.

Hunter - Pure DPS class. A hunter is my main and I've been playing him for a very long time. I'm confident in saying that I know most of the ins and outs of the Beast Master class. No one can deny that a hunter is one of the easiest classes to level and play with. Hunters have pets which tank for them while the hunter shoots at the target from range. Not only does the hunter seldom come in melee contact with his prey but he is better armored than rogues and cloth spellcasters.
Hunter 1 - Rogue 0

Retribution Paladin - Hybrid class but Ret is the DPS aspect of paladins. I have a Prot-Ret paladin so I have an idea of what I'm talking about. A Ret paladin, especially after Ret has been buffed considerably, is vastly superior in terms of survivability and damage compared to a rogue. Besides, a paladin wears plate, can heal himself, can AoE and can bubble. Beat that rogues.
Ret Pally 1 - Rogue 0

Death Knight - Hybrid class although all trees can be configured for DPS. I have a Blood-DW Frost death knight and I was ecstatic every time I played him, from 55 all the way to 80. Death knights are a plate-wearing, death-dealing class with those amazing instant hits with big weapons. Blood is also incredible for leveling and survival.
Death Knight 1 - Rogue 0

Warlock - Another pure DPS class. Warlocks were among the original "holy trinity" of DPS and as far as I'm aware, they still are. I've only ever played as Affliction although I have a second spec as Demonology, which I only played for a couple of hours. I've always loved Affliction and it has been a pleasure to level my warlock to 80. Not only does a warlock have a pet which helps to a certain extent, but he can heal himself and he never runs out of mana. I can't count the times when I pulled 5-6 mobs by accident, just to beat them all with ease. Can a rogue do that? Mine certainly couldn't. All he can do is vanish into the shadows like a coward.
Warlock 1 - Rogue 0

Shaman - Hybrid class but 2 trees are meant for DPS. I've only tried Enhancement and I loved every aspect of it. Well, after level 40 at least. I thought an enhancement shaman is like a rogue (because of dual-wielding) but much, much better. He wears mail, has totems which are amazing buffs, can heal himself, and can deal easily with several mobs at once.
Shaman 1 - Rogue 0

Mage - Pure DPS class. The archetypal glass cannon of WoW, the mage nonetheless is very powerful. I only tried a mage up to level 28 but come Cataclysm I plan to level a Worgen mage. Although a mage is more fragile than a rogue, the class can easily handle several mobs at once but most of all, it is a ranged class. In a group, a mage doesn't have to take a pounding by fighting close to the enemy.

I haven't played the other classes so I can't speak for them, but what kills me about my rogue is that he needs to heal himself after every couple of fights, while leveling and questing. A couple of days back I decided to use the new LFG tool to join a random PUG, in the hopes that I would get some good XP from a dungeon run, as well as find some better equipment. Needless to say, I almost died on the first pull and then died on the second pull. Realizing that I would go nowhere with this, I promptly left the group, swearing never to step in another dungeon with the rogue.

I'm not sure what to make of all this. Do I suck so bad at playing a rogue? It is definitely a possibility. However, it still seems to me that rogues are out of place in the PvE game. There's no purpose to them. Want lots of DPS? Choose any other class that can DPS. Want more survivability? Choose any other class that can DPS. Want both DPS and survivability? You know the drill by now: choose any other class...

Perhaps I'm too bitter about this but I find leveling my rogue very slow and annoying. The only redeeming qualities about this class are the stealth which allows you to skip some mobs and areas, and pickpocketing which is the one aspect that I really enjoy. OK, if I stretch my imagination, there's also Sap and Safe Fall. Are these enough to make a class fun to play? Not in my book.

So what is wrong with my rogue? You tell me. I believe I have a good spec. Currently I'm playing as Combat with fist weapons, slow main hand with "fast" off-hand. I have researched specs and I have studied what Elitist Jerks have to say about rogues. Here's my spec if you are curious:

My play style is a bit weird, since I'm trying to survive, more than anything. For that reason, I always open from stealth and from behind with Cheap Shot to keep the mob stunned for a few seconds, followed by Slice and Dice, a couple of Sinister Strikes followed by a Kidney Shot to put them under again, then a few more Sinister Strikes, finally ending with an Eviscerate. If this is an idiot's rotation, then just tell me, but also tell me a better way to do it and remember: I'm only trying to level; I'm not playing in a dungeon or raid. For that reason I don't use skills that add bleed effects and such. I do use poisons, of course.

And so, my dear readers, the only conclusion that I can reach, after such a long time of struggling with my rogue, is that they suck and there's no purpose for them in PvE, and I dare you to prove me wrong. The only place they shine is PvP and it seems to me that this is all there is to this class. Amirite?


Anonymous said...

My rogue was the last class I got to 80 (I have 1 of each class at 80). I do think that they take more skill than most classes, because there are so many things to watch out for. I didn't really enjoy playing my rogue until I talked to a few of the good ones on my server to see what they do. What you're doing is right. Rogues don't really shine at aoe until they get fan of knives, but you _can_ pull multiple things. blade flurry is amazing for cleaning up multiple mobs. Just be careful with the pulls. sap works on more than humanoids now too.

frogi said...

Before the time where it was Rogues, Mages and Warlocks. It was just Rogues that ruled PVP, they could kill everything. Then they got a nerf and Warlocks became the daddies.

I've played a Rogue once, I got bored at level 23. The thing that got me was a feeling of "I'll sneak up and kill something, but if the plan goes to shit. I'll sprint away!" Damn coward class.

Merry Christmas Sarth!

Unknown said...

I have a 70 rogue that just sits in Dalaran to.

Marty said...

I love the rogue class, I have 2 of them, 65 and 72... but... They aren't as fun as they used to be. I love the concept, I even loved playing one, and sometimes I'll remember how much I loved it, and log onto one and get incredibly bummed at how not fun they are... :(

Darth Solo said...

Well well... it seems that I've getting similar vibes. I believe I have made a decision of sorts. I will stop obsessing about leveling my rogue. I wanted to bring him to 80 so I could learn Blacksmithing. But then I thought what's the point, since I can drop Skinning on my Death Knight and learn Blacksmithing, in addition to Inscription that he already has. Problem solved.

Marek said...

Playing a rogue solo can definitely be much more difficult than other classes, because they really have no heal and wear leather.

However, they have a number of utility moves that help them survive, like Evasion, Vanish, Gouge, Blind, etc.

The key to playing a rogue is to be very aware of your surroundings, because you are right in the middle of the Melee and are squishy, so things like Whirlwind can take you down fast.

Looking at your spec, I see you are spec'd into Close Quarters Combat, I don't know what weapons you have equipped, but you should be Slow Fist in your MH and fast Fist/Dagger in the OH. If you have different weapons than that, you are not equipped/spec'd right. If you are using Sword/Axe (Always slow in MH, Fast in OH), you should be 5/5 in Hack 'n Slash instead. Don't Mix Sword/Dagger, Axe/Dagger, Fist/Sword, Fist/Axe, or anything with Maces and don't ever go MH Dagger in Combat Spec. This is because your main combo generator "Sinister Strike" is based on the damage of your MH weapon, slower weapons do more damage and the CD of your Sinister Strike has nothing to do with weapon speed.

Also, your rotation should involve starting combat, cheap shot is fine, followed by getting a 2-3pt SnD up ASAP. The next focus should be on getting a 5pt Rupture going, keeping SnD and Rupture up all the time. If you end up with 5 combo's and SnD and Rupture have plenty of time, slip in an Eviscerate.

In the Assassination Tree, get the points out of Improved Eviserate and Into Blood Spatter, Rupture is going to be much important to your damage than Eviscerate.

Lastly, for your current gear levels, focus on Wound Poison on your MH and Deadly Poison on your OH. You need to be at T9+ gear levels before looking at ruptureless cycles and the new 20/51/0 combat spec using IP/DP.

I would also glyph Rupture and Sinister Strike right now, adding Killing Spree once you are level 80, as the reduced CD is really only important for longer raid boss fights.

The benefit to a rogue is that you have a lot of utility, when you are speced right and play right, you can deal out huge amounts of damage and not more than once I've saved the boss kill after the tank dies by evasion tanking the last 10 seconds.

The rogue is not a solo monster due to the healing/leather issues, but they can run through a number of environments stealthed, can hide out when they need, and do great amounts of burst and sustained damage, help manage threat, do crowd control, etc.

Darth Solo said...

@kelson thanks for the great tips. I use fists in both hands for my Combat spec. Slow MH, fast OH.

You see, I don't understand the use of Rupture while leveling and for solo play. Rupture gives a DOT effect and it is a finishing move, in addition. Which means you have to generate some combo points before it can be useful. For normal mobs I would never reach the point where Rupture can run through it's full course, not even half that in fact. That's why I prefer Eviscerate. If I were to do instances, I would definitely use it because I know the pros do that so it must be right. For an elite, however, it makes sense because the fight is much longer and there's ample time to go through your full rotation and build sufficient combo points in order to make this effective.

Anonymous said...

I just hit 80 on my rogue a month ago... and I can honestly say there hasn't been one instance since I hit my current gear level where I haven't been top DPS. That's all I have to say. The new ruptureless mutilate spec with IP/DP mh/oh is a BLAST! As far as leveling is concerned... I think you need to do what smart people do and do lower level quests. For example... I did every single possible quest in Tundra and Fjord.. and I actually dinged 80 while in Grizzly Hills. You quest A LOT faster by doing this, and the xp loss is very minimal as long as you stick to Northrend.

Marek said...

I can see how you would use Evis if the fight will not last long enough for the Rupture to run the full duration. I would often use rupture when leveling to drop a DoT on one mob then turn to another and start building combo points, to kick off a rupture there also, etc.

If you are running instances, Rupture should be a key part of your play. If you are going to just go burn down some non-elites, just Sap the first, Cheap shot the second, get your rotations going, and if you start getting in trouble, kick off evasion and blow your CDs (Blade Fury, Adreneline Rush, Killing Spree) Wait for KS until after AR runs out so you don't energy cap.

As I mentioned before, the main thing when running an instance as a rogue is to be aware of what is going on around you, what damage you are taking, what your threat level is, effective use of CloS or Feint for AoE damage mitigation or dropping a poison affect, etc.

Also for dungeons, on the pull, use Tricks of the Trade on the Main Tank so they get a DPS boost and take all the threat you generate for a bit of time. Let the tank build a bit of aggro before you jump in full force if not using ToTT and you should be just fine.

Darth Solo said...

@LEADxUSxTOxWAR you might have a point there. I'm in Grizzly at 75 but I did complete all the quests in Borean, Dragonblight and a few in Howling. Maybe I should go back to Howling and do all of them...

@kelson I've given up on instances with the rogue man! As for Tricks, I just turned 75 so I'll train that as soon as I can.

Gyldenfeax said...

I hope you don't delete your rogue because at 75 he or she can still get to 450 in any profession and probably will be able to in cataclysm as well. And questing in zones 2-3 levels below you is the way to go. You never miss, crits come thick and fast and multiple mobs pose little threat.

Skaut said...

I guess that makes me a coward then because I love my rogues. I have one at 80 and now one at 69 that I am currently working on(that I just posted about the other day). And I basically play my druids as rogues, they just don't have the vanish ability.
I have never gone with any cookie cutter specs. I always have enough points in subtlety to get Master of Deception and Camouflage, and enough in Assassination to Vigor, and then go Combat Swords for most of the rest. Most of my points are put into places to focus on regenerating more energy and faster. I always open with Cheap Shot, at 4 points(as they become unstunned) I hit Kidney Shot to restun, and can usually get a 4 or 5 point Evis in as they become unstunned from that. If they aren't dead by then, they are close and with Ruthlessness in Assn., you almost always have a combo point sitting waiting after a finishing move to do with whatever you want.
And I've never really PvPed with any of my rogues. But then I hate PvP on any character. And I don't do dungeons with them, because I just don't do dungeons.

Yes, my rogue cannot survive in areas where my Paladin was dominating. But I just see it as a challenge.

Darth Solo said...

@Gyldenfeax in the end that's what I ended up doing. From Grizzly Hills I went back to Howling Fjord and I quested a while there after I got back drunk from the Christmas dinner, until about 2 a.m. Mobs really are easy kills so I'll just finish all the quests there and hopefully gain another level before I move back to Grizzly.

@Scout without doubt there are advantages to playing a rogue but are those enough to make it fun? I'm just saying that there are more fun classes out there which have none of the disadvantages of a rogue.

Mike said...

@ Darth I have to agree with you. I played a Vanilla Wow to 60 in Vanilla WOW and ended up leveling another to 68 in BC. Ever since Wrath came out though, I've found him to be very lacking. I used a classic Combat spec throughout, but find the pace to be very slow taking on one, maybe two mobs at time and having to bandage, cannibalize or eat after every couple of mobs. When Wrath came out, I started a DK and never looked back. No comparison from a melee solo perspective. You can just blast away with no downtime. Much more fun. I've also gone back to one of my old Paladins and am having quite a bit of fun with him with the changes they made in Wrath and am leveling a Fury Warrior, currently a 41, with some heirloom gear, both have minimal downtime and lot's of variety.

They have been one of my favorite classes in the past with the stealth abilities and the ability to take mobs down quickly, but compared to these three melee classes, rogues just aren't cutting it right now. Hopefully, Blizzard will give them some attention in Cataclysm and bring them back up to par.

Darth Solo said...

@Mike at least you have cannibalize. My rogue is well supplied though. I keep sending him extra food that I find with my level 80s, as well as scrolls and buff food. He also has the heirloom shoulders and chest to speed things up and, of course, a flying mount which makes a big difference. In terms of fun/minute, all my other classes are way ahead of the rogue.

SirFWALGMan said...

Your in the final run! Just do the last 5 levels. I actually like leveling my characters more than "dailies" at 80. I did get a rogue to 80 and then became bored of him and went back to my mage before settling on my DK.

Mfer said...

@ Kelson - No, Rupture is pretty much worthless now, for any spec... Low end gear, sure, but with the new LFG, low end gear goes away fast. Basically, Evis/Envenom beat it in most any situation now.

@ Mr. Darth Solo - Rogues are awesome when well played... I have healers who love me because in pugs, if a mob leaves the (bad) tank for the healer, I immediately jump on it and either gain aggro or Kidney Shot it long enough that is is no longer a threat to them.

Kick is one of the best interrupts in game, short lockout, but extremely short cooldown. Combined with Gouge and KS, we can keep pretty much anything from getting a cast off...

Blade Flurry/Evasion along with a trinket activation means LOTS of dead bodies around me at once, once every 2 minutes I kill 15-25 mobs at once. Being Undead, I then eat them. Shmorgasborg!

And playing both a Mage and Rogue in raids, I find living to be MUCH easier as a Rogue... Feint on Marrowgar, and never stop dps, even during WW. Tricks of the Trade means bad tanks already have good threat, no waiting to open up.

And finally, I evasion-tanked Icehowl from 10% - dead last night, tanks all got gibbed, and I was top threat... We thought it was a wipe, but nooooo!

Darth Solo said...

@Mfer well, hmm, that's all good but it's mostly for dungeons and I won't be doing a dungeon again on my rogue. It seems I should have chosen an Undead for cannibalize. Unfortunately most of my characters are Alliance.

Skaut said...

Maybe my idea of fun is different. In fact, I suppose it is since I do not find grouping with people I do not know fun.

I do find Rogue very fun. I like being invisible, choosing my fights. It really is who I am as a person, which is why Rogue is probably my favorite class. Breezing through content with my Paladin or Hunter is fine for awhile, but to me that can get boring. Being all alone, sneaking into an area surrounded by mobs, being able to wait for the right moment in case there are other players in the area-knowing that they do not know now I am there-I like that.

I just got my Gnome Rogue to level 70. Now I have an Undead Rogue at 46 and Human Rogue at 34 waiting to be leveled up. And I intend to level Worgen and Goblin Rogues when Cataclysm comes out-I already have names saved for them!

Maybe it's just me then.

Unknown said...

Darth Solo, check out the "rogue pocket guide" on in the rogue forums. It's mostly geared towards instances/boss fights/raiding/etc... but it's still pretty helpful.

I have an 80 rogue myself and I definitely agree it can be frustrating at times. In fact I've been playing an elemental shaman for the past month and I'm loving the "sit back and blow stuff up" mode of play. It's a lot easier and much less stressful.

That being said, I'm starting to miss the intense melee madness that is playing my rogue. You really do need to keep on your toes more than other classes, but its more interesting and I think it teaches you how to be more aware of what's going on during fights. Like: stay out of the poison cloud, run away from the blade whirl, interrupt that caster class that's about to blow you up, etc...

As far as playing solo, leveling and stuff, you just need to learn some effective strategies. I think you might be making it TOO complicated with the quest mobs. Really, just cheap shot, sinister strike, sinister strike, eviscerate and the mob should be about dead. All that other stuff is great for instances but its too hard to keep up and use effectively when you have so much downtime questing.

Darth Solo said...

@Scout I think it's just you :) Seriously, I get what you mean. I went through a period when I was really in love with my rogue, from about 40 to 70. As I said, I love the stealthing and pickpocketing part a lot.

@Nick I'm back in a lower level area and I'm doing much better. I even feel a bit overpowered. I guess that's the trick with rogues. You can't just blast your way through everything like with other classes.

Anonymous said...

Never played a rogue but I will say, they do the heck of a lot of dps whenever I group with them in heroics, often beating even the AoE mage.

Darth Solo said...

Yeah, that's what pisses me off too. But they also die. I've seen a few rogues die in heroics while my hunter didn't have any problems.

Anonymous said...

You really have no clue dude how can you comment on the survivability and PVE usefulness of a rogue when u havnt even reached 80 and have yet to use one in a raid. Leveling is simply the prologue to the real game ENDGAME.

Lets have a quick look at a rogues box of tricks which might aid in keeping him alive. let me count the ways.

Evasion - Increases a rogues dodge chance by 50% and increases the chance for range attacks to miss by 25%

Cheapshot - Stuns a target for 4 seconds

Sap - Incapacitates a target for up to 1 minute

Blind - Blinds the target causing it to wander disorientated for up to 10 seconds

Gouge - incapacitates the target for up to 4 seconds.

kidney shot - stuns the target for up to 6 seconds

cloak of shadows - removes all existing harmful spell effects and increases the chance to resist spells by 90% for 5 seconds

vanish - Allows the rogue to vanish and exit combat.

distract - distracts the attention of an opponent

feint - reduces threat by a small amount but the real benefit is the fact that it reduces damage from aoe attacks by 50%,

Dismantle - removes weapons, shield etc from the enemy for 10 seconds

Tricks of the trade - (A must for Instances) The threat from all your attacks for 6 seconds will be transfered to the target of your choice.

How many moves that aid survivability do you want. Learn how to CC and how to EFFECTIVELY use a rogues countless defensive moves and you will find that your survivability will skyrocket. And until you learn to play keep your comments focused on a class you actually know anything about.

Darth Solo said...

Anon dude, you missed the point of my post. Rogues are simply not for me. I have much better classes that I like and I'm actually good at, but the rogue unfortunately doesn't appeal to me anymore. I don't raid so the raid advice doesn't apply to me but as I already said, I tried a 5-man at level 74 or so and I died at the first pull. I suck at rogues and that's that.

In summary, rogues suck - for me.

Anonymous said...

I had a Mutilate Rogue, double dagger up to 53 and grew bored with him. I am working on a level 44 Subtlety Rogue with Hemo and love it much better. Sneak around much better, open with sap (extended close to 2 mins), premed (2 combo points), pickpocket, then ambush. Have 5 combo points right off the bat. I usually Evis then hit with the Hemo. Enjoy it much better now I am wandering into Scarlet to hit some bosses. We'll see how I do.

Darth Solo said...

Funny thing is that back in the day priests were considered far weaker than rogues but now my priest kicks ass compared to my rogue. Anyhoo, I've long abandoned my rogue at level 76. If they don't increase the character slots in Cataclysm, he's the first to be deleted when I need to re-roll other classes.