2009
03.30

Monday To-Do List

So, when is 3.1 coming?

Like how I just jumped right into that?

Well, if you’ve been following along with me for awhile now you’ll know that I estimated that we would see 3.1 the second week in April. Now I didn’t realize it at the time but this actually gave me a bit of leeway. You see, this week marks the beginning of April so the thought would be that 3.1 would drop next week, however, since tomorrow (tuesday) is, in fact, March 31st, one could argue that next Tuesday (April 7th) is the first “WoW week” of April since Tuesday is patch day.

So what does this all mean? Well my friends, it means that if the patch drops on April 7th or on April 14th I can spin it so that I am technically correct (the best kind of correct). Fun, huh?

Last Week’s Results

  • Blog-related
  • Got the video out, got the post out. That’s two, one more and I’m on fire (is that a dated reference yet?).

This Week’s List

  • Blog-related
  • I’ve got another video coming, not sure on what yet. People have been asking about Skinner and eePanels so those seem to be likely candidates. Also I’ve got a large Ask Zaltu column in the works so stay tuned for that.

2009
03.27

Changing things up a bit this week!  Instead of talking about a particular mod, I’m going to be discussing the standard rotation for Combat rogues.

Special thanks to my buddy Kerp for showing up in the video. Would everyone please do me a favor? Make a level 1 alt horde side on Scarlet Crusade – US and send Kerp a whisper, I’m sure he’ll love that.

2009
03.26

So you’re a level 80 rogue and you want to get in on this whole “raiding” thing everyone seems to be so keen on? Well, great! If you ask me more raids need the sound of spamming Fan of Knives. Don’t let people trick you, it’s really not annoying, I swear.

So what do you need before you can step into the doors of Naxx? Well, truth be told, there is no hard and fast rule on what you must have gear-wise in order to go but you shouldn’t be in your leveling greens.

While there is no set in stone rule, I will say that you should do your best to hit the “yellow hit cap” of 99 hit (with 5/5 Precision) and be working your way toward the “poison hit cap” of 237 (with Misery or Improved Fairie Fire)

Below I’ve compiled a list of several items for each slot that you can obtain to help you get ready for Naxx. I’ve included items you can get for reputation, items from heroics, items from emblems of heroism, and crafted items. The items are not in a particular order except that the first item listed is my choice for “best in slot” pre-Naxx10.

So, work on your reputations and make friends with a leather worker!  Here we go!

Head

Mask of the Watcher – The Oculus (Heroic)

Shroud of Darkness – Violet Hold (Heroic)

Helm of Cheated Fate – Gundrak (Heroic)

Hood of the Furtive Assassin – Halls of Lightning (Normal)

Neck

Pendant of the Outcast Hero – Emblems of Heroism

Necklace of the Chrono Lord – The Culling of Stratholme (Normal)

Necklace of Arcane Sphere – The Violet Hold (Heroic)

Shoulders

Trollwoven Spaulders – Crafted

Spaulders of the Careless Thief – The Nexus (Heroic)

Sprinting Shoulderpads – Ahn’kahet (Heroic)

Back

Ice Striker’s Cloak – Crafted

Shrod of Reverberation – Halls of Lightning (Normal)

Embrace of Sorrow – Halls of Stone (Heroic)

Chest

Heroes’ Bonescythe Breastplate – Emblems of Heroism

Darkheart Chestguard – Knights of the Ebon Blade (Exalted)

Custodian’s Chestpiece – Azjol-Nerub (Heroic)

Wrists

Dragonfriend Bracers – Wyrmrest Accord (Exalted)

Drake-Champion’s Bracers – Oculus (Trash Drop)

Bindings of the Tunneler – Utgarde Keep (Heroic)

Hands

Heroes’ Bonescythe Guantlets – Emblems of Heroism

Gilt-Edged Leather Gauntlets – Utgarde Pinnacle (Heroic)

Charged-Bolt Grips – Halls of Lightning (Heroic)

Rings

Hemorrhaging Circle – Gundrak (Heroic)

Band of the Kirin Tor – 8500 gold

Mobius Band – The Culling of Stratholme (Heroic)

Bjarngrim Family Signet – Halls of Lightning (Normal)

Waist

Trollwoven Girdle – Crafted

Jorach’s Crocolisk Skin Belt – Emblems of Heroism

Sharp-Barbed Leather Belt – Uthgarde Keep (Heroic)

Batrider’s Cord – Drak’Tharon Keep (Heroic)

Glitterscale Wrap – The Oracles (Revered)

Legs

Gored Hide Legguards – Gundrak (Heroic)

Mind-Expanding Leggings – Kirin-Tor (Revered)

Ravenous Leggings of the Furbolg – Utgarde Pinnacle (Heroic)

Boots

Boots of the Neverending Path – Argent Crusade (Exalted)

Boots of Whirling Mist – Halls of Stone (Heroic)

Gorloc Muddy Footpads – Gundrak (Heroic)

Ranged

Drake-Mounted Crossbow – Utgarde Keep(Heroic)

Lillehoff’s Winged Blade – Emblems of Heroism

Zombie Sweeper Shotgun – Argent Crusade (Revered)

Trinkets

Mirror of Truth – Emblems of Heroism

Meteorite Whetstone – Utgarde Pinnacle (Heroic)

Sphere of Red Dragon’s Blood – The Nexus (Heroic)

Incisor Fragment – Drak’Tharon Keep (Heroic)

Weapons

Combat – Mainhand

Greed – The Culling of Stratholme (Heroic)

Reaper of Dark Souls – Knights of the Ebon Blade (Revered)

Ymiron’s Blade – Utgarde Pinnacle (Normal)

Combat – Offhand

Librarian’s Paper Cutter – BoE from Halls of Stone, check the AH often

Grasscutter – Emblems of Heroism

Fang of Truth – Wyrmrest Accord (Revered)

Mutilate

Librarian’s Paper Cutter – BoE from Halls of Stone, check the AH often

Lightblade Rivener Kirin-Tor (Honored)

Titansteel Shanker – Crafted

Dagger of Betrayal – Utgarde Keep (Heroic)

Now you don’t need to collect all of these before you can start raiding (you actually need very little if you can find a group that can carry you…but who wants that), however, if you really want to get into raiding you should be running a lot of Heroics anyways because not only are they fun, but they’re good practice.

Happy Stabbing.

2009
03.23

Aeltyr of And Two Rogues tapped me to answer the question of how I got my name. These little memes or tags or whatever they are being called from day to day can be fun and a nice simple way for the community to interact with each other. You see, the WoW blog community is like a family. I kind of consider myself to be the weird uncle. Not the creepy touch you “down there” uncle but the odd no one knows who exactly he’s related to or how he got there uncle. Also he smells vaguely of ham. Personally, I don’t understand why that’s a problem because ham is pretty damn delicious and it’s one of those awesome anytime of the day foods. Wow, I’d really like some ham right now…what was I talking about? Oh yeah, my name. So it was probably about 10 years ago and I sat down with the intention of writing a short story. I stared blankly at the flashing cursor in the empty Word document for awhile before suddenly typing the word “Zaltu”. The rest, as they say, is history (The story ended up in the unfinished pile – damn that pile is big). Riveting, no? How about we do that list thing?

Last Week’s Results

  • Fishing
  • Even though my fishing skill is now maxed I still don’t like it. But I did it anyways, aren’t you proud of me?

  • Blog-related
  • 3 in a row! Considering my typical attention span, I’m damn proud of myself.

This Week’s List

  • Blog-Related
  • A new video this week. I haven’t decided just what it will be yet though. It’s either going to be Parrot or a non-mod related video involving rotations. Mystery! Intrigue!
    I’m also planning on writing a guide for gearing your rogue Pre-Naxx.

What’s everyone else up to?

Oh yeah, and I tag my guildies over at World of Snarkcraft and Eresin (even though she’s a Hunter and that technically makes us mortal enemies she has kitties on her blog and I like kitties…what…shut up).

2009
03.20

Here I am, back again for another round of video goodness. Today’s topic, Bartender4.

I’ve been doing a lot to try an see if I can improve the video quality as a whole (sadly, I think it came out worse this time) but I have a couple ideas up my sleeve and I’m learning new things everyday so I have high hopes.

2009
03.19

So the T8 gear for all classes has been revealed thanks to the diligence of the awesome folks over at MMO-Champion. Check out what we’ll be getting my rogue brethern and sisteren:

T8.25 Rogue Gear

Go ahead – click the link.  Marvel.  Wipe the drool from your chin and come back, I’ll wait.

Soaked it all in? Excited? Squirming a bit in your seat? Maybe a lot? Well settle down spaz, I’m pretty excited too so let’s talk about this.

The first thing you might notice is, no ugly blue sockets. Hurray! Blue is a terrible socket color for rogues and, more often than not, a socket bonus is just ignored for the sake of a superior gem color choice. Granted, yes, we are still going to have to have one bluish gem in our gear to meet that meta requirement, but I can still be happy about this nonetheless.

Now let’s talk about the set bonuses.

(2) Your Deadly Poison causes you to gain 1 energy every time it does damage

This, to me, is another giant swing to crush the IIV Mutilate setup (IIV being Instant poison on the Main Hand, Instant poison on the Off hand and Eviscerate as a finisher) with the added “benefit” of making Combat rogues step away from Wound/Wound. But how good is this set bonus really?

Assuming deadly poison is up all the time (which for the ease of math it basically is), you’re looking at regening 1 energy every 3 seconds. Assassination Rogues regen about 12 energy per second and Combat rogues around 15 (do to Vitality) so we’re looking at about 2.2% energy increase for Combat and abount 2.7% energy increase for Assassination which in turn would increase Yellow damage (damage from special attacks) by said percentages. Not too shabby.

(4) – The damage dealt by your Rupture can now be critical strikes

Whoa. Stop the presses. I had to read that several times before it really sunk in. Rupture is a decent chunk of our damage (about 8%) and if rupture can now crit for x2 damage like other specials (assumed) at our crit rate (easily reaching 50% in a raid setting, easily more in new gear) this quickly falls into “way too powerful for a set bonus” range. This seems far more like a talent to me. Granted, the wording is a bit ambiguous and by “can be critical strikes” they mean that Rupture has a static chance to crit that isn’t based off your own crit rating. If that’s the case, then things seem a bit more balanced otherwise, we’ll probably be seeing rogues killing Arthas in their T8.

New video tomorrow, happy stabbings!

2009
03.16

Monday To-Do List

Hello again my friends. So, to jump right into things, it appears that I was right when it came to Rupture-less Mutilate. Last week I said that I didn’t feel like a rupture-less cycle for Mutilate was intended and that Blizzard would do something (who knew what) to make sure it didn’t come to pass.

Turns out that something was to remove the proposed Glyph of Envenom and make changes to Master Poisoner.

The glyph has vanished into thin air and Master Poisoner now increases the chance to apply Deadly Poison. This is a pretty solid change in my opinion as it in one fell swoop fixes the issue with spamming Envenom (hopefully) while still allow deadly poison to stack quicker and gives rogues a reason to pick of Master Poisoner. As of now, most raiding rogues forgo it because the increase crit is most often supplied by another class (mostly Ret Paladins).

The lesson here? Is it the fact that I’m awesome? No, we already knew that. Is it the fact that every now and then I guess right? Nah, blind squirrels and all. The lesson, once again, to keep your salt shaker handy at all times during PTR days because things can literally change at a moments notice.

Let’s do this list thing, shall we?

Last Week’s Results

  • Blog-related
  • Success, in fact, double success. I’m reminded of that saying about the blind squirrel again.

This Week’s List

  • Fishing
  • I need money and I need AGI food. So I need to spend a few hours fishing this week and kill two birds with one stone or stone like device.

  • Blog-Related
  • A new Friday Morning Mod video! This week, Bartender4. I’m going to attempt to increase the production value greatly this time around but using new video editing software (Window’s Movie Maker is very much, “for the lose”).

The lists have been shortish these past couple weeks. Seems that always happens after awhile. Of course, there will be plenty to do come 3.1!

What’s everyone else up to this week?

2009
03.13

So last week’s reaction was pretty positive and, as I sat back and looked over it after a few days, I was pretty pleased myself. Therefore, I shall continue the Friday Morning Mod until such a time that a multitude of people have told me to shut my face or I am distracted by something shiny. Although the latter is much more likely than the former.

I had to switch over to blip.tv instead of youtube due to the video running a bit longer than 10 minutes. However, it appears as if their quality is better anyways.

Download ag_UnitFrames

2009
03.12

Another “Ask Zaltu” so soon? Is it déjà vu? A glitch in the matrix? The former is probable and the latter is most definite. Really, I just want to answer this question as soon as possible as I really find the concept to be fascinating. Also, I’ll be whatever I wanna do. Let’s do this, shall we?

Reader EntrepeNinja asked:
So, I know you’re more combat oriented, but I’d be interested in your thoughts on the new 3.1 glyphs, specifically the thought of a “Rupture-less” rotation in the mutilate tree- meaning Glyph of Envenom keeping Deadly stacks on allowing HfB and Envenom spams without needing Glyph Rupture, or Glyph Slice and Dice. Also with the addition of a Mutilate Glyph, and a Hunger for Blood glyph- what could this mean for the rotation and glyph choice of an assassin rogue?

So 3.1 is shaping up to be quite the interesting patch for rogues and we may even see our brethren and sisteren clawing our way back to the top of the heap where we belong (only time will tell on that one). Yes, I am more combat oriented (and since I am a betting man, I’m betting on Combat being the #1 rogue DPS spec come 3.1 but that’s another post) but that doesn’t mean I don’t keep up with all the latest Mutilate news.

Glyph of Envenom. This is a wonderful glyph and I expect that it will be used by every Assassination rogue. With the damage of deadly poison from attack power changing from 8% to 12% and the ability to essentially have a full stack of deadly poison on at all times this glyph is pure win.

So, that takes care of the fact that Mutilate rogues have been without a decent 3rd glyph. But what about the other two slots? Currently, most will be using Slice and Dice and Rupture but come 3.1 they are going to have two other viable choices: Mutilate and Hunger for Blood.

Mutilate brings the energy cost of the skill down by 5. Combine that with overkill and the 4-piece T7 bonus and you end up with Mutilates that cost 42 energy for 6 seconds (60 – (60 *.05) – 10 – 5). This, while nice, doesn’t seem to warrant the loss of either of the other two standard glyphs. Think about this, you are full energy of 100 (no vigor and for the sake of simplicity of the example you are opening from stealth with Mutilate, rather than Ambush or Garrote). At 42 energy a piece you can easily Mutilate twice in a row (after the 1 second global cooldown, obviously) but at a cost of 47 energy, you can still Mutilate twice in a row. The 5 energy saved in the long run just isn’t a lot when you consider that you regenerate 10 in the one second global cooldown (not including Focused Attacks procs).

Hunger for Blood (HfB) gives a flat 3% increase to the damage increase the ability already gives, bringing it up to 18%. Now, many people think HfB is broken and I for one agree. A flat 15% increase from one talent point? One, as a 51 point talent it’s boring, and two, it reeks of a design team desperate to improve PvE viability while keeping PvP burst down.  I fear that this may lead to the mentality of, “Oh, Assassination rogues need a PvE buff? Well, let’s just add more % to HfB and go to lunch”. I’m going to set that argument aside for now because this is the way it is right now, hopefully not forever, and you live in the moment. Now, any PvE assassination rogue that doesn’t grab this glyph is a fool – plain and simple. Get it, love it, ask Blizzard kindly for a more interesting 51-point talent but in the mean time enjoy your extra 3%.

So which glyph do you replace for HfB, Slice and Dice or Rupture? I’m not sure there is a right decision here yet but I’m going to go out on a limb and pick one. Drum roll, please…Slice and Dice. I say this because I don’t believe the “Rupture-less” Mutilate cycle that is currently being dissected on the theorycrafting forums is going to pan out. I’ll elaborate on this as I explain how I think these changes are going to affect the state of Mutilate.

I feel that introduction of the Envenom Glyph is the death of IIV Mutilate (IIV stands for Instant Poison on the Main Hand, Instant Poison on the Off-hand and the use of Eviscerate) with IDN (Instant Main Hand, Deadly Offhand, use of the Envenom) being the Mutilate set up of choice. My reasoning for this is the same as why I don’t think a rupture-less cycle will pan out. The reason being, I don’t think that IIV or a Rupture-less cycle are intended.

Think about this: Assassination rogues rely on a target being poisoned to do their highest damage, and the new Hunger for Blood requires a target to be bleeding, so both of these set ups require the presence of another rogue to apply poisons – and another class to put up a bleed. Yes, the inclusion of another rogue is likely and many other classes have bleeds (Hunters are getting a new one in 3.1) but we’re falling down a slippery slope that I don’t believe Blizzard wants with their whole “bring the player not the class” mentality. Will these builds be viable if the stars align? Possibly, but if a perfect raid/group setup is what rogues need to reach their full DPS potential then I feel that Blizzard will feel that they have failed.

Maybe I’m being optimistic but I think that Blizzard is really going to hit a homerun with this patch, particularly when it comes to rogues. I think there are a few things that we haven’t been told about that are really going to snap things into place. Fingers crossed that I’m right.

2009
03.11

Here we go again with another episode of “Ask Zaltu”. Wherein everyone’s favorite sexy and awesome rogue (that’s me by the way, did I mention I’m also modest?) answers your burning questions. As a side note, you should probably get that burning checked out, that can’t be good.


I’m picking up my lvl 62 rogue after nearly a 9 months break.

Do you have or know of a good guide for Subtlety spec’d rogues? I’m looking for weapons suggestions and a good talent build suggestion now that my new copy of Wrath wiped everything clean.

Basically I need to get myself in top shape to level quick and get out of the crappy Burning Crusade area.

Thanks!

First off, welcome back to the world of roguery! We missed you.  Why did you leave us? I can honestly tell you I do not know much about leveling as subtlety (though I have heard it is fun!). When I think of subtlety the first thing I think of is HAT.

The standard level 80 HAT spec.

For leveling, focus on the Subtlety tree. I would also recommend putting two points in Improved Ambush and picking up Shadowstep. Shadowstep + crit Ambush will take a huge chunk off those mobs early. As for leveling and weapons, all I can say is just to do all the quests and use the best daggers you can come across and you’ll be more than fine. When you hit 80, head to the auction house and pick up a pair of Librarian’s Paper Cutters and start enjoying life.


I was wondering if there is a particular ui you recommend for a combat rogue and a shot rotation also. I have a level 80 night elf rogue, but I am still pretty newbish. Especially in pvp, I get very nervous when I’m being attacked and I tend to forget where my buttons are, so a silly girl friendly one would be great. Any advice you have would be mega awesome and appreciated :D

Now my first inclination is to make a joke about how there are no girls on the internet, but that joke is old and cliche at the moment (it will have retro appeal soon enough, I’m sure). Also, I know several girls who play (and quite well) of which I am very much afraid. As such, I will refrain from any sexist jokes (oh boy do I have some good ones too) for fear of having my pretty face cut.

First off, happy to see a lady rogue, we need more of them. When it comes to combat rogue rotations, I recommend you read my previous post on combat specs, that should give you a good basis from which to start.

As far as calming your nerves in PvP, I recommend remembering that you will die a lot at first and that’s OK, everyone starts somewhere. I also recommend using keybindings for your abilities. Bartender4 is an excellent bar mod that makes keybinding a breeze (I plan to make it the subject of my 3rd Friday Morning Mod).

Oh and if you’re looking to make your UI pretty, you can’t go wrong with Skinner.

Got a question for Zaltu, the rogue who randomly and for no reason will talk in the 3rd person? Leave a comment or drop him a line.