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  1. Preface Thoughts, possible choices, decisions. The natural progression when deciding in which manner you want to play this game, that although old still have a special charm in it. Allow me to take you onto a journey that you will soon forget or dismiss: Why you should consider, or be pleased about, the decision of joining our ranks within the rogue class. My nickname is Soyoen, I have close to exclusively been playing as a rogue since the closed beta back in 2004 with a few breaks in between - this is my way to provide understanding of the rogue class in the original version of World of Warcraft. Table of content 1. The Rogue 1.1 Choosing the race 1.1.1 Alliance 1.1.1.1 Dwarf 1.1.1.2 Gnome 1.1.1.3 Human 1.1.1.4 Night Elf 1.1.2 Horde 1.1.2.1 Orc 1.1.2.2 Troll 1.1.2.3 Undead 1.2 Road to the level cap 1.3 The class at the level cap 1.4 Preparing for your first raid 1.4.1 Consumables for your first raid 1.4.2 Enchants 1.4.3 Addons 1.4.4 Keybindings 1.5 What can a rogue roughly expect to do in a set of boss battles 1.5.1 Molten Core: Gehennas 1.5.2 Molten Core: Ragnaros 1.5.3 Blackwing Lair: Vaelastrasz the Corrupt 1.5.4 Blackwing Lair: Chromaggus 1.5.5 Zul'Gurub: High priestess Mar'li 1.5.6 Zul'Gurub: Jin'do the Hexxer 1.5.7 The Temple of Ahn'qiraj: Princess Huhuran 1.5.8 The Temple of Ahn'qiraj: C'thun 1.6 Special consumables 2. The important basic mechanics 2.1 Getting rid of misses on yellow attacks 2.2 Rotations & cycles 2.2.1 Rotations 2.2.2 Cycles 2.3 Cooldown management 3. The important advanced mechanics 3.1 Weapon skill 3.1.1 What is it? 3.1.2 Why do I need to have knowledge about it? 3.2 Proc chance & Proc per minute 3.2.1 What is it? 3.2.2 Why is it important to have knowledge about? 3.2.3 Actual PPM 4. Min-maxing insights 4.1 Extra attacks and swing timers 4.1.1 How do they work? 4.1.2 Why is this important to know? 4.2 The task of damage dealers 5. RogueDPS Reborn spreadsheet The Rogue 1.1 Choosing the race Something as trivial as making the initial choice of what race you wish to play can have substantial effect on your ability to compete in end game content as a rogue, whilst impact your final gearing process. An initial statement on the matter is that Horde rogues will have higher DPS thresholds than their Alliance counterparts in raid environments, whilst still sporting superior racial abilities for PVP environments. 1.1.1 Alliance The experience as a rogue on Alliance in terms of PVE will greatly vary in contrast to that of Horde due to having access to blessings instead of totems. Threat will usually be a non-issue in raids and you will need to work a lot harder than other rogues in order to stand out in a raid setting. 1.1.1.1 Dwarf The Dwarves matches their counterparts in Gnomes and Night elves in terms of pure PVE performance. They also have access to Stoneform, which upon activation provides vital immunity against poison effects such as Blind, Serpent sting and likewise making Dwarves one of the top choices for players interested in mainly PVP. 1.1.1.2 Gnome Like the Dwarves you’ll find Gnomes on equal footing in terms of PVE performance. Instead of Stoneform the player will have access to Escape Artist, which allows the player to remove any immobilization or movement impairing effect and makes Gnomes one of the top choices for players interested in mainly PVP. 1.1.1.3 Human The Human race stands out in regards to the rest in pure PVE performance on Alliance due to their racial abilities providing weapon skill, which will be covered more in a later chapter. They also have access to perception, which greatly increases stealth detection upon activation. Humans are the top choice on Alliance if you are interested in hardcore raiding and min-maxing. 1.1.1.4 Night Elf Night elves will provide the greatest benefit in PVE performance of the non-human alliance rogues due to higher innate agility, albeit the differences are minor between the non-human races. In terms of PVP performance night elves have one extra stealth level from shadowmeld, which funny enough will provide greater benefit farming frozen runes in Naxxramas than what it will in a PVP setting. They do however have the best attack animations on Alliance. 1.1.2 Horde The experience as a rogue on Horde in terms of PVE is highly affected by totems and the shaman class in general. Windfury is a superb weapon buff that you will build your playstyle around, whilst constantly having to keep track of your threat levels among other things. In a raid setting it will be a lot easier to differentiate between rogues and a really good rogue with subpar gear can match an average or poor rogue with good gear. 1.1.2.1 Orc Orcs have access to Blood Fury which will prove useful in both PVE and PVP alike, whilst also sporting extra stun resistance that is godly for various PVP situations. This is the race you choose if you want to PVP on Horde and perform well in raids. 1.1.2.2 Troll Trolls have access to Berserking which will mainly be useful in PVE situations. Looking further they also have the best baseline stats for a rogue on the Horde faction, making them a perfect race if you are truly looking towards hardcore raiding and min-maxing. They are however very weak in PVP in contrast to both Orc and Undead, so choose with caution. 1.1.2.3 Undead The weakest of the bunch on Horde in terms of pure PVE performance, however still very useful in PVP and leveling with Will of the Forsaken and Cannibalize. Generally, the most popular race for rogues on Horde with the best attack animations in the game (Undead Female). 1.2 Road to the level cap The leveling experience as a rogue differ from the majority of the other classes, due to the stealth ability that enables you to skip through packs of non player characters (NPCs). You will quickly learn to mash that sinister strike or backstab button, and realize just how easy crowd control can ruin your day. As you approach level 24, I would recommend a talent distribution like the one that can be found in the picture below. The road afterwards would either be invested towards relentless strikes in the assassination tree, weapon expertise in the combat tree or opportunity and beyond in the subtlety tree. Backstab will be one of your most valuable abilities early on in the game as you can sidestep "through" NPCs, and as the NPC is always facing you, eventual delay will make you able to backstab the NPC if you quickly repeat the sidestep. On some server projects this is a lot harder to pull off but when you get a hang of it, in terms of spamming your backstab button, your leveling pace will pick up momentum. Key talents for leveling speed are Remorseless Attacks, Ruthlessness, Relentless Strikes, Improved Sinister Strike, Precision, Improved Backstab, Riposte, Blade Flurry, Weapon Expertise, Master of Deception, Opportunity, Ghostly Strike, Serrated Blades, Preparation and Dirty Deeds. Obviously some of these will be more suited for a more hostile environment whilst others focus more on a strict PvE environment. Notable leveling dungeons that feature good gear for rogues to ease up the leveling phase are: Ragefire Chasm, The Deadmines, Blackfanthom Depths, Gnomeregan, Scarlet Monastery, Razorfen Downs, Maraudon, and Blackrock Depths. 1.3 The class at the level cap When you have finally reached the level cap a new chapter begins in this version of World of Warcraft; the gathering of your preraid best in slot items. As time progresses and more items and quest chains are unlocked, it becomes easier to obtain great items to put you right into the social mess of raiding. Great rogues are always in demand but hard to find, and in this version of World of Warcraft rogues have one of the more action packed roles. In Dungeons up to 10 men you can expect to aid your group with crowd control and out of combat pack control with abilities such as sap, gouge, blind, and distract. When progressing up to 20 man raids you will still make use of the same abilities on certain packs, but it becomes more of a wipe recovery and/or avoidance maneuver - with that said if you manage to pull out key distracts and/or likewise that enables your raid group to survive a potential wipe then you have created good value for the team. In 40 man raids your job is more one dimensional; Maximum damage per second (DPS) at all times WITHOUT screwing up kicks, rotations, positioning, and likewise. As Ghostcrawler once said: "the class is ultimately very mathy", and makes for a perfect fit for eventual players who want to tryhard and pull out some extra chunks of DPS. The rogue class is easy to learn, hard to master and one of the most rewarding classes in a PVE environment - especially if you are playing Horde with access to windfury totems. 1.4 Preparing for your first raid 1.4.1 Consumables for your first raid Looking away from obtaining your best in slot preraid gear you will need to prepare a few other things in order to ease up your ability to perform. Mongoose potions, Juju power, and winterfall firewater are all great ways of boosting your DPS. However for your very first raid it shouldn't be the focal point as protection potions and likewise may provide greater aid to your raidgroup by easing up the job of the healers. If money is low and you can only sustain defensive potions I recommend looking at DPS boosting potions one tier below mongoose potions. 1.4.2 Enchants Something you most definitely should have on your gear when entering your first raid are enchants, and more specifically the weapon enchants in terms of crusader on your main hand weapon slot combined with either crusader or agility on the offhand. This is due to crusader providing so much more as a single enchant then most other ingame at the main hand weapon slot and is thus very worthwhile to acquire, especially if you team up with another rogue/druid in order to farm Archivist Galford for righteous orbs. Aside from this, all enchants that provide agility would do good before your first raid BUT crusader on the main hand should have priority. 1.4.3 Addons There will be a set of required addons to use for your first raid, usually your guild has their own KTM threat meter and a few other addons they require you to use. I however will give you what you really need to hit the ground running, the list below will provide you with good possibilities of creating a very functional and clean raiding UI. Some of the addons may requires ACE2, prat is also a very useful addon but not completely in my taste. BearCastBar: Swing timers combined with a new Cast bar. Superb for Windfury users. BigWigs: Boss addon that is commonly used to track certain abilities, combine with NECB. NECB: Addon that tracks enemies and has a built in boss addon, combine with BigWigs. Bongos: Easy to use for setting up your bars. Buffalo: Tracking buffs and debuffs, easy to use and nice looking. Chronometer: Every rogues favorite CD/SND tracker. Classic Snowfall: Instant button pushes. ShaguPlates: Improve the ingame nameplates to actually look good. EnergyWatch_V2: Combine with LUNA. KTM Threat meter: To keep track of the threat on intensive fights. LunaUnitFrames: The best unit frames addon in vanilla. SimpleMinimap: Improving the visuals on the minimap. Stunwatch: Keeping track of stuns and likewise in dungeons & 20mans. SWStats: Your favorite raiding addon. Tinytip: UI Improvement. XLoot: Improves loot window. 1.4.4 Keybindings The following abilities and consumables are recommended to be easy accessible when you start raiding: Sinister strike, Slice'n'dice, Eviscerate, Backstab, Kick, Evasion, Sprint, Vanish, Adrenaline rush, Blade flurry, Distract, Feint, Thistle tea, Greater X protection potion, Free action potion, Instant poison, and Bandages. My recommendation is that you make a priority list for yourself of what you value the most as everyone has a different way of playing, and then doing the binds in whichever order suits your needs. I've highlighted some abilities in the list above that are actually crucial in vanilla content. 1.5 What can a rogue roughly expect to do in a set of boss battles 1.5.1 Molten Core: Gehennas The boss fight against Gehennas is a easy fight to learn and hard to get right due to its duration. At the maximum level you will use a free action potion before the first aoe stuns come out from the two adds, while pulling out a perfect rotation to cleave the adds down in combination with the boss. In speedruns it can be common to pull the next pack before the boss is dead, so minimizing the damage taken from rain of fire is crucial to your raid groups speed. 1.5.2 Molten Core: Ragnaros In the last fight within the Molten Core you face of against Ragnaros, the key to perform well on this fight is to time eventual knockbacks. On some servers this is a harder thing to achieve, without the movement speed buff from the boots enchant it should take approx 3.3-3.6sec to run clear from the aoe blast. If the DPS in your raid group doesn't cut it and the sons of flame make an appearence it is your job together with a tank to deal with the non controlled sons. 1.5.3 Blackwing Lair: Vaelastrasz the Corrupt This is the best fight in the game for any and every rogue, unless your tanks doesn't do enough threat per second - in which case it kinda blows. "Infinite" amount of energy will make backstab the go to build on this encounter, and if you are usually using swords I recommend using the build posted in the picture below. On this fight you are guaranteed threat issues and will especially if Horde, utilize feint to reduce your threat in the beginning 20-25s of the fight. Remember: Even if vanish doesn't clear your threat on KTM or likewise, it is still cleared. 1.5.4 Blackwing Lair: Chromaggus One of the longer fights pre AQ and Naxxramas, on this fight you need to perfect the rotations you are using whilst utilizing both grenades and likewise to maximize your damage during the nature and fire weaknesses. To this you also need to make sure you gain the best possible uptime between the breaths without risking eating one, in short it's a game of uptimes. 1.5.5 Zul'Gurub: High priestess Mar'li Aside from the obvious of providing a good chunk of DPS, you will need to provide kick assistance on the drain life ability whilst making sure that no adds grow to large. In contrast to the bat boss within the same raid, kicking isn't as important here but it will speed up your raid speed by a bit if your raid DPS is low. 1.5.6 Zul'Gurub: Jin'do the Hexxer Against Jin'do the Hexxer your main job is to kill the totems, totems, and totems. Whenever the totems stop dying you will shortly experience a wipe so your job is crucial on this encounter. Looking further into the encounter you can ease up the skeletons spawning with Stratholme Holy Water to ease up the job for other players within your raid group. 1.5.7 The Temple of Ahn'qiraj: Princess Huhuran Welcome to AQ40, you will now stack tons of nature resistance in order to "soak" the aoe damage Huhuran spits out every now and then. Make sure to bring extra protection potions as you'll need them for lateron in the raid. 1.5.8 The Temple of Ahn'qiraj: C'thun At C'thun your role is to kill your assigned eye tentacle whenever it spawns whilst keeping your distance to the players around you. To ease up the work of healers and likewise you will drink a green liquid goo every 2 minutes (Greater Nature protection potion). 1.6 Special consumables There are several consumables that will help boost your ability to perform well in raids, top tier rogues love to keep thistle tea on a constant cooldown whilst having a stocks of both free action potions and restorative potions. Engineering items such as grenades (Dark Iron BomB / Thorium Grenade / Dense dynamite) and Goblin Sapper Charge make for good use throughout raids. We can of course not forget the special JuJu items such as Flurry that can give a decent boost on longer encounters. The important basic mechanics 2.1 Getting rid of misses on yellow attacks Something that you can't avoid is the unavoidable dodge chance every boss have which sits at the baseline of 5% and can scale up depending on the difference between your weapon skill and the defense skill of the NPC. What can be taken care of though is the chance to miss on yellow attacks. Acquiring between [7-9] in hit including talents will make sure that you never miss a yellow attack, of course weapon skill does have an impact on the amount of hit required. 2.2 Rotations & cycles 2.2.1 Rotations Using correct and adaptable rotations is a very effective way to increase your DPS without obtaining better gear. Rotations are in most senses fluid: Knowing when the time is right to use SND over Eviscerate and vice versa, how to handle excess combo points coming in from ruthlessness or adapting after relentless strikes fail to recover the energy cost of a finisher is vital for your performance in both dungeons and raids. The moment you stop planning ahead is often the moment you start performing worse, personally I much prefer the rotations I’ve put forward in the RogueDPS Reborn spreadsheet which you can find at the end of the post. 2.2.2 Cycles DPS cycles used by different specs and rotations has been widely debated over the years in the rogue vanilla community. From what I've seen there have been several individuals over the years stating that the dagger spec theoretically has the best possible DPS output. This is far from the truth, but yet in some cases the actual truth: For if you are playing a night elf, gnome or dwarf your endgame BIS weapons will both be daggers. Yet every other race, Alliance or Horde, will instead prefer Gressil and The Hungering Cold. Using daggers is not in any way vastly subpar throughout the game, it just needs correct itemization and talent choices in order to truly shine. As Horde though, you’d have to fight hard in order to abandon the Windfury procs from slower high damage weapons such as Swords. 2.3 Cooldown management Managing your cooldowns throughout raids and dungeons will be crucial for both your performance and the speed of the raid. My only advice to how to improve this is to plan your raid ahead. Think about at what packs you want/can use cooldowns and when you need to save them for later usages. Zul'Gurub is a very good example when it comes to how valuable cooldowns can be to have at the ready due to the constant fear of asspulls. However, looking at the other end of the spectrum in terms of min-maxing, you will need to identify bottlenecks throughout the dungeon/raid where your cooldown usage will prove to provide more benefit to the raid than on other locations. The important advanced mechanics 3.1 Weapon skill 3.1.1 What is it? I've mentioned weapon skill several times in the topic and I have yet gone into detail to what it really is and why you need to have some basic knowledge of it. To make this as easy explainable as possible: You are a fourth grader (max level) in the South Park elementary school whilst PC Principal (level 63) is the boss you need to take down. Now obviously there are some physical differences between you and Mr. PC Principal, and those differences affect your chance to have a successful punch at the boss. Aside from that; since Mr. PC Principal has awesome physique 40% of your blows doesn't quite hurt him as much as they should if you were hitting, say, Kyle. 3.1.2 Why do I need to have knowledge about it? Those 40% blows are called glancing blows in World of Warcraft and have a reduced damage output when attacking NPCs with a higher defense skill than you have weapon skill. You can reduce the damage reduction by collecting items or talents that increase your weapon skill, or if we connect it to Mr. PC Principal by sending in a Horde of pregnant Mexicans. The weapon skill system is substantial to your DPS, but luckily rogues get +5 on pretty much every weapon skill by talents which ease up everything by a ton. This makes it so that instead of your glancing blows hitting Mr. PC Principal for ~65% of your original weapon damage, they now hit him for ~85% with ~15% left to "collect" by amassing weapon skill into your favor. There are a couple of formulas that are currently being used by different private servers: Old Nostalrius used Athan's formula which was compiled with thousands of hits by Athan et al. back in the day and provided a solid empirical ground to stand on, Kronos are currently using a low end/high end variant where glancing blow damage can't exceed normal damage by amassing Weapon Skill (LE/HE, Limit 0,9999...) which could finally be confirmed by looking at small amounts of data from NPCs 4 levels above the player, other servers use either the LE/HE version with a limit around 95% of normal damage or a very simple linear formula. The LE/HE formulas lose their gain past 308 weapon skill, the linear formulas lose their gain past 310 weapon skill, Athan's formula loses it's gain past 315 weapon skill: Gear/Talent according to relevant formula. 3.2 Proc chance & Proc per minute 3.2.1 What is it? Many items in this version of World of Warcraft have certain chance to do a special event in terms of a damage spell, extra attack, attack speed bonus, or likewise. Sword specialization is a good example of a static proc chance, the same applies for hand of justice. There are other items however that doesn't list a certain proc chance like Vis'kag the Bloodletter, or Ironfoe. These items are calculated using a proc per minute (PPM) type of system which uses the following calculation: (PPM) / (60/Weapon speed) = Proc chance. 3.2.2 Why is it important to have knowledge about? Because things aren't as obvious as they sometimes seem to be, PPM type of systems doesn't work well enough in this version of World of Warcraft to control how many times an item can proc for someone playing the rogue class. The reason for this is that a majority of our attacks are instant attacks that work to artificially boost our PPM rate by providing more attacks than thought of. This brings me into the next topic. 3.2.3 Actual PPM Actual PPM is how many procs you gain under a minute after you've been using attack speed altering effects, alot of instant attacks whilst getting a few windfury/sword specialization/hand of justice procs. Ebon Hand, as example, has a PPM set at 2,0869 (assuming Blizzard values), with the actual PPM rising to almost the double in the main hand. I need to state clearly that PPM and actual PPM are two different entities of gaining understanding around the rogue class, hence why I included it here to give you something to think about. Min-maxing insights 4.1 Extra attacks and swing timers 4.1.1 How do they work? To answer this we need to differentiate between procs from main hand attacks, offhand attacks and instant attacks. Main hand attacks that proc an extra attack will not have any impact on the swing timer, period. Offhand attacks that proc an extra attack will have the extra attack performed by the main hand whilst resetting the main hand swing timer. Instant attacks that proc an extra attack will see the attack performed from the main hand and reset the main hand swing timer, patch indications of this can be found from 2.1.1 and 2.1.2 but obviously there are other earlier sources available as well. In the picture below you will find an example of the alleged proc sequence of extra attacks: 4.1.2 Why is this important to know? The value of extra attacks will be greatly reduced if you do not play your part and play this knowledge to your advantage. If you conduct an instant attack late into the main hand swing timer and acquire a proc, you will lose much of the benefit of that free extra attack as the main hand swing timer will reset. If you instead time your instant attacks to the moment after your swing timer resets you will gain much more benefit from said extra attacks. It is therefore of vital importance when min-maxing to know when your swing timers will reset, when you can expect a proc to occur, and how you can act to make sure this information benefits you the most. This is especially true to Horde players and windfury users as they are subject to more extra attacks, many of which that for a short moment of time will increase the AP of the character – oh how I do love the vanilla design sometimes. 4.2 The task of damage dealers In essence the role of any damage dealer is to save time for the entire raid and if you do happen to die at regular pulls when no one else is dying, you are very quickly becoming less valuable for the raid to maintain. Being a damage dealer is in the general case not as appreciated as being a great tank or a superb healer: Because how can any individual understand, experience and acknowledge that you alone can save the raid 2-5 seconds per minute depending on your performance? The effect of your hard work becomes easier to materialize when you compare a group that performs poorly to a group that performs well: You do not need to only improve yourself, but others around you as well. In the end a raid can have great tanks and superb healers, but they will still remain in Molten Core for over two hours if their damage dealers are not (which is often the case). The opposite is surely true as well: A raid can have great damage dealers but poor tanks and healers, so they will remain in Molten Core for quite some time. RogueDPS Reborn spreadsheet I have for the majority of my time within the vanilla rogue community maintained my own sheets that I based around attribute input to make things a bit easier to get a grip on. In the beginning of 2015 I thought about releasing my sheets but decided that the user experience with some of them would simply be horrible. I went on and made a new sheet from the ground up taking the best bits from my previous sheets and one entry from the classical RogueDPS sheet that I cleaned up and modified to make it easier to overlook, which since late 2016 has been redesigned to deal with the implementation of the Seal Fate talent. Since the release of the spreadsheet I've seen over 12000 unique downloads from mediafire alone and I have continued to improve the spreadsheet since. It is my pleasure to introduce to you RogueDPS Reborn, which can be found in the link below, may it serve you well when arguing over wellfare epics Mediafire: http://www.mediafire.com/download/yfrdb4a34sxius3/RogueDPS_Reborn_by_Soyoen.xlsx Ending words If there is something that I want you to take with you from what I've posted above, or on your coming journey as a rogue then it is this the following; Be happy that you decided to roll a rogue, respect the rotations and any race works for a rogue who got the will to try hard enough. Finally, I've revamped parts of the guide and added a new chapters, I remain excited for the classic wow and look forward to discussions of mechanics as the its reality move closer to eventual release. All the best champs Soyoen
  2. Max level in Vanilla: 4 days 21 hrs (the guy that later made Joana's speed leveling guides) Max level in Legion: 5 hrs 28 mins Hah!