These Daggers Tho: A talk with Made It Up Studios’ Martin Veznaver

If you’ve been hanging out on Twitter, you may have seen previews of Martin Veznaver’s Assassination Artifact Weapons in process. This pro-maker has created an absolutely stunning real life prop version of the green Heart Stopper skin. Now that the daggers are complete, he has agreed to chat with us about them and about what he does.

Obviously, you have some familiarity with the game – do you rogue?

Yeah, Rogue was the first class I ever played on WOW, I got into playing around the time of Wrath of the Lich King. I have always been a fan of stealth growing up playing games like metal gear solid and splinter cell so the rogue class definitely jumped out at me when creating my first toon, there’s something very enjoyable about lurking in the shadows and dealing DPS like only a rogue knows how. Unfortunately, I don’t really get the opportunity to play anymore, but I love that my work allows me to remain part of such a great community.

What do you enjoy most about the game?

I definitely consider myself a bit of a collector so My favourite part of the game is the ability to track down and collect rare weapons, mounts and gear. I remember flying around storm peaks for longer than I care to admit getting my Time lost proto drake. That aspect of the game gives me a real buzz.

They look so fetching!

Are these daggers your first WoW project?

Yes, these daggers are my first project from WOW but certainly won’t be my last, I always love seeing what the developers will bring us with each new expansion and really love the aesthetic of the gear, it also offers me a really fun challenge in that I have to figure out how to create the magical aspect of each item and how it will be replicated in a real world prop that you can physically hold.

Why these daggers?

I was really inspired by some of the material that was released for Legion and was drawn to the artifact weapons and in particular, the sets that were available for rogues. Most of the sets piqued my interest but I settled on the Heart Stoppers as they look diabolically badass.

What inspired you to choose them?

I wanted to set myself a bit of a personal challenge, both with my technical ability but also push the boundary into using some materials that I haven’t worked with before. However, in hindsight, it was a large undertaking as the finished daggers have 42 individual parts that each had to be hand sculpted. The design of these blades instantly stood out for me, I love the fan of knives style fins, the completely unnecessary spiked pommel hanger and the poison phial that crowns each blade. The whole design screams rogue.

Thanks to Wowhead’s model viewer for the in-game version.

They look so real – what are they made of?

The finished daggers are cast in two types of Polyurethane resin; one clear and the other that cures opaque white. There is also some glass and of course as a rogue weapon it needed some leather. The parts are then sprayed with automotive paints to emulate the appearance of various metals.

 

How long did it take you?

Quite embarrassingly this build took me a grand total of 2 years start to finish.

And now, the same in real life…

This was a personal project with no client commissioning it to be made, so repeatedly had to be pushed to the side as other paid work came in. At the time that I started, I only had a selection of power tools and hand tools to work with so each piece was meticulously hand sculpted (no 3D printing was used in the creation of this project.) Since then I now have 3D printing capability in the studio so some of the time-consuming aspects of prop making can be sped up.

Tell us a bit about your process and materials.

For the basis of this project, each piece starts the same way. Initially, the artwork is processed in graphics software so that I can reduce it down to a simple line drawing of the full sized dagger.

This linework is drawn out full size so I have reference to build to and can also cut out paper templates which I use to cut each piece out of MDF (medium-density fibreboard). The cut pieces are then shaped using saws files and abrasive papers to get the shape that I require. MDF is very porous and does not like to hold a sharp edge, so each part is stabilised with CA glue (super glue).

The glue is allowed to fully cure and then each part is then sanded smooth and primed with automotive primer. Each of these pieces becomes my mould master which I use to create a silicone mould so that I can replicate each part over and over again in Polyurethane resin. The PU plastic parts are then primed assembled and painted with automotive paints to match the original artwork or customers requirements.

Click here to see the build step-by-step

For the basis of this project each piece starts the same way. (Wowhead model viewer)

Initially art work is processed in graphics software…

…so that I can reduce it down to a simple line drawing of the full sized dagger.

This line work is drawn out full size so I have reference to build to and can also cut out paper templates which I use to cut each piece out of MDF.

The cut pieces are then shaped using saws files and abrasive papers to get the shape that I require.

MDF is very porous and does not like to hold a sharp edge, so each part is stabilized with CA glue (super glue)The glue is allowed to fully cure and then each part is then sanded smooth and primed with automotive primer. Each of these pieces becomes my mould master which I use to create a silicone mould so that I can replicate each part over and over again in Polyurethane resin.

Image 1: An oversized piece of styrene is cut to form a base for the mould, oil based clay is laid down around the half way point of the part to be moulded. Image 2 & 3: A retaining wall is built up around the part using styrene and super glue. Image 4: Registration marks are added using the back of a paintbrush, which will ensure both halves of the mould line up properly later on in the process. Image 5: Silicone is measured, mixed and then poured into the lowest part of the mould and left to find its own level. Image 6: The silicone is left to fully cure, with this silicone it is 6 hours. Image 7: Once fully cured the retaining walls are removed the part gets flipped over and any residual clay cleaned from the part. Image 8: Retaining walls are rebuilt to form the second part of the mould and everything gets sprayed with mould release to prevent the freshly poured silicone sticking to the previous layer. Image 9: Pour spouts and air vents are added using dowels, these will form risers for air to escape later in the process eliminating air entrapment. Image 10: A second batch of silicone is measured mixed and then poured over the part. Image 11: The silicone is left to fully cure. Image 12: Once fully cured the retaining walls are removed. Image 13: Pour spouts and air vents are removed and the two halves of the mould separated. Image 14: Finally the mould master can be removed from the newly formed mould. Image 15: The mould is closed back up, and two plates are cut to match the top and bottom of the mould. Elastic bands are applied to keep everything together and then resin is poured into the mould to replicate the part. This process was completed for each part of the dagger.

The PU plastic parts are then primed assembled and painted with automotive paints to match the original artwork or customers’ requirements.

Making props is obviously something that you are superior at. Is this what you do as a profession or is it just a hobby?

For as long as I can remember I have always been making things, I find it very relaxing and enjoy the challenges and skills that each new project requires to complete. Initially, it was my hobby but has grown into my full-time profession and I founded Made It Up Studios, I take on private commissions for everything from replica film and game props to industrial commissions for bespoke pieces used in events and advertising. If you can’t find what you are looking for in the shops, chances are that I can make it for you. I love the diversity of work that I get asked to create.

A couple of months ago I was in New Zealand at Weta Workshop. Seems like the kind of place you’d fit right in. Any aspirations to go in that direction?

Funny you should ask that, it is actually my dream to move over to New Zealand and join the talented team at Weta Workshop, I would love to work in the film industry, so if anyone from Weta is reading this please hire me.

How do you learn all of the skills that you need for your projects? Do you take classes or figure it all out for yourself?

I have been formally trained to use all of the machinery that I use on a daily basis, but the majority the skills needed are learned along the way, I love tackling a new project that will require me to learn a new skill I feel very lucky to be part of this industry of makers, there are some incredibly talented makers and content creators out there that share their techniques so that others can start making things for themselves.

You mention that you are trained on the machinery that you use. I imagine that you must have more traditional skills as well: leatherworking, metalsmithing, sewing, etc. As a silversmith and former cosplayer myself, I can appreciate the amount of work that each of these skills take. Do you pick up skills like these as you go along, or do you have a solid foundation of traditional skills that you can use to supplement the more modern casting, 3D printing, etc.?

The 3D printing aspect is a very new development in the methods that I use for prop making and has been self-taught, the training needed for creating 3D models digitally however I learned at university studying Design for Industry. The software capabilities now are far superior but the overall method remains very similar. The high school that I attended was a technology college, so we had the opportunity to study everything from electronics, textiles, product design and graphic design which I have continued my learning keenly over the years and went on to study 3D Design at college; the wealth of skills I picked up there come in extremely useful when designing and building props. It is very rare to produce something and only use one medium, I find that on most builds the line blurs between disciplines so it is fortunate that I am as comfortable using a sewing machine as a band saw or sculpting tools. I find that most skills are transferable and make learning new techniques easier, I quite often have to tackle a new problem and learn a new skill in the process, which is one aspect of my work that gives me a huge sense of job satisfaction.

What’s next? Any more daggers on the horizon?

I hope so, I love creating real-world objects from iconic games and films. I accept commissions from individuals and companies and can be contacted through my website www.madeitup.co.uk or by email martin@madeitup.co.uk

Fantastic, thank you for talking to us and showing us these amazing daggers. I can’t get over how great they look. Also, I was going to ask Horde or Alliance…but I guess it’s For the Horde!

Follow Martin on Twitter: @Madeitupstudios
Check out some of his (amazing!) other projects on his website: www.madeitup.co.uk

Weta, don’t pass this guy up!

 

Read More...

Rogue WeakAuras

Playing any class at more than just a basic level requires keeping track of timers, procs, charges, and more. It is next to impossible to do this without help and there are several addons that are designed to do this for you. One of the most popular is WeakAuras.

WeakAuras is highly customizable and quite complex but once you have installed the base addon, if you aren’t up to creating your own UI, you can import a WA set created by someone else. Because everyone has different preferences, you may have to try out more than one to figure out what works best for you. Below are links to WAs created by rogues for rogues.


Gray_hound’s WA is an all inclusive package that serves all three specs and switches automatically when you change spec.


Notter’s collection is Assassination oriented but includes both other specs as well.


If you enjoy Infexious Gaming’s videos, you may want to check out his WAs.


Potato has  set for each spec.


Mystler also has a nice selection.


If you want to search for more options or specific WAs, Wago.io is a searchable database collection designed specifically for sharing WAs and other similar addon elements.

Read More...

Sim Yourself

“Sim yourself.” More often than not, this is the reply that you’ll get when you ask about the best gear to equip or how stats scale for your character. But what does it mean to sim yourself? Why do we care? And, most importantly, how do we do it?

Because of the way that World of Warcraft is dealing with gear in Legion (e.g., a random chance that a new gear drop will be immediately upgraded in various ways), there are so many variables possible that in most cases there is no single Best in Slot. The gear and attributes that are best for you depend entirely on what else you have equipped and what content you are planning to take on. What this means is, if you are interested in optimizing your DPS for the content that you are playing, you will need a method for figuring out exactly how what you have interacts with any new gear that you might acquire so that you can pinpoint which setup will work best for you.

One of the most effective ways of doing this is by using a program called SimulationCraft, often abbreviated SimCraft or even SimC. It’s available as a downloadable program as well as an in-game add on. Once you get used to simming yourself, it’s not difficult – but it does take a little setting up. Another add on called Pawn is very handy for applying what you learned from your sim.

This is a quick and dirty guide to simming yourself to get the most out of your gear.

The first thing that you need to do is download and install SimulationCraft from its official website.

The next thing is to install and enable the SimulationCraft add on, which is available from Curse.

Note: If you don’t want to use the add on, SimCraft can import your data from the Armory. To do this, follow the instructions on SimulationCraft. Be aware that this is often a less optimal method because not only is the Armory occasionally out of date, but also you will need to log in and out of game to update it, which is less convenient than using the add on.

Open SimulationCraft and select the Simulate tab.

Open World of Warcraft, and make sure that your character’s spec, gear, and talents are set the way you want them. In your chat box type /simc.

This will open a box of highlighted code. On your keyboard, press C while holding down Ctrl to copy the code (if you are on a Mac, press while holding down ).

Return to SimulationCraft and paste (with Ctrl V, or ⌘ V on a Mac) the code into the Simulate window. Note: you can opt to either 1) paste your code after the code that is automatically in the box, or 2) delete the default code and replace it with your pasted code.

Select the Options tab and then the Scaling tab.

Check Enable Scaling.

We are rogues, so under Stats to Scale, select Agility, Crit Rating, Haste Rating, Mastery Rating, and Versatility Rating.

Click Simulate! in the bottom right corner.

It will probably take a little time for your simulation to run; the more powerful your computer, the quicker it’ll be. When it is done, you will see a screen that looks like this:

Scroll down a little. You will see your talents and artifact build along with a whole lot of other lovely data, but there are two things that are of immediate interest.

The first is your estimated DPS. This is just an estimate based on what you have equipped. Can you pull this number in a boss fight? Can you pull more? It doesn’t matter! The only reason that we care about this number is to use it as a baseline.

The second is your Scale Factors. This tells you your Scale Ranking, which is basically what stats are most important with your current build.

As you can see, according to this sim my stat priority at the moment is:

Agility >  Versatility > Crit ~=Mastery > Haste

Those priorities are completely customized to me. By comparison, if you look at a reputable rogue DPS guide like Stjern’s, it will tell you:

Agility > Mastery > Versatility > Crit > Haste

His stat priority is a place to start. With my gear and how I am optimized, my stat priority has now changed. This is exactly why no one can tell you what is best in slot for you without a sim.

When you get new gear, equip it, sim yourself again, and check out that estimated DPS. If it goes up, the new gear is probably an upgrade.

Pawn is an add on that works with your sim data to compare items in-game and give you an idea whether or not a piece of loot is an upgrade or not.

Install and enable Pawn, which is available on Curse.

Open World of Warcraft and you will see a Pawn button on your Character pane.

Now go back to your SimulationCraft results and find the Pawn string, which is right after your Stat Ranking. Highlight and copy the Pawn string, including the open and close parentheses and everything in between.

Back in game, click the Pawn button to open the Pawn window. Select the Scale tab.

 

Click Manual.

You should see a screen with more options. Click Import.

Paste the Pawn string from SimulationCraft into the text box and click Okay.

This will show you your new stat weights. Go back to the Scale tab and make sure that Show this scale in tooltips is checked.

Close the Pawn window. Now, when you look at gear in your bag, you can immediately tell whether or not it is an upgrade based on your sim.

If you prefer to watch and listen rather than read, Infexious has you covered.

Now you have the basics.

All of these tools, and the theories behind them, were created by the WoW theorycrafting community. Theorycrafters use math to analyze game mechanics. This can give us insight into the way the game works, which in turn allows development of these tools and best practices for playing your class and your spec.

And this SimCraft tutorial is just the beginning. If you want to learn how to hot-swap gear to compare sims, learn how to sim relics, or just learn more about SimCraft and theorycrafting, here are a few resources.

For quick simulations you can also use the Raidbots bot in the Ravenholdt Discord. Just type !sim -h in Discord for instructions. For an online solution, check out the Raidbots website.

Read More...

Advanced Assassination guide for 7.1.5 / Nighthold Raid

This blog was originally posted on roguedpsguide.com by Yazuki

Introduction

Feb 3rd: Kingsbane double application bug has been fixed and we have been compensated with a 4% damage buff. Our DPS remains the same as before the bug fix for most people while Rogues with CoF+Boots might see a slight decrease.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a beginner guide, this is meant for people who already have a general understanding of how the spec works and want to further improve themselves

Message from the author

Hello, my name is Yazuki I currently raid for the US 8th guild Encore and plan on constantly updating this guide in order to help as many people out as I can. You may be wondering why I’m putting in the effort to write a guide when there’s already so many guides available, well that’s because most guides are outdated or what they’re saying is simply just incorrect. I’ve noticed this because a lot of people approach me asking for help and the first thing I usually notice is that they’re doing something wrong that they believed was correct because a guide said so or someone told them it was the optimal thing to do. This guide will assume you already know the basics of assassination like our toolkit, optimal way to level your artifact, etc. Instead it will go more in-depth into how it’s played at the competitive level. If you are new to the class or spec I urge you to follow the other great guides on our website like Stjern’s Rogue Legion overview guide. My goal is to provide a guide that if you follow correctly will give you the confidence to play your class to the fullest potential.

I only recently started taking raiding seriously on my Rogue for BRF in Warlords of Draenor and since the beginning of Legion, but I’m confident in how to play the class optimally because every tier I’m able to achieve rank 1 parses on multiple fights. Notably being #1 in the world for Emerald Nightmare and #2 in the world out of rogues for Trials of Valor. With the release of Heroic NH this past week I’ve gotten rank 1 on more than half the fights however logs are now private so refer to my stream vods if curious on how the fight is played out. This isn’t meant to brag but moreso to erase any doubts you have that this guide would provide any false or suboptimal advice.

If you wish to talk to me I am always answering questions and plan on streaming all of my Mythic progression over at twitch.tv/yazuki. Raid schedule is currently Mon-Thurs 9-12 EST so head on over during those times and I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

Spec Overview

Assassination is a spec that excels at single target damage over a long period of time with strong multi-target cleave on up to 3 targets as long as uptime on them is high. The most important part of playing this spec optimally is having your raid leader understand the pros and cons of the spec and taking full advantage of it. This means assigning other classes who excel at AoE to AoE and letting Sin rogues do what they excel at which is murdering the boss or priority adds.

Pros:

  • One of the best single target DPS specs in the game
  • Relatively short DPS cooldowns allow for control of damage on priority targets
  • Very strong multi-target cleave on up to 3 targets
  • One of the highest survivability classes along with mobility
  • DPS doesn’t suffer much from doing mechanics due to damage coming from bleeds

Cons:

  • Extremely poor target swapping due to the ramp up nature of AP
  • Has no reliable AoE due to having no control over Poison Bomb procs
  • Becomes heavily RNG reliant at the highest level of play due to Poison Bomb/Blood of the Assassinated procs

Important 7.1.5 Changes

  • Critical strike chance nerfed by 5%
  • Agonizing Poison proc rate buffed by 10% and base value nerfed by 0.5% per stack
  • Rupture damage normalized (Higher CP no longer increases the damage done only duration)
  • Kingsbane fixed to now scale with Vendetta (AP also applies 2 ticks of poison for KB, unsure if intended) [Hotfixed recently]
  • Elaborate Planning nerfed to 12% damage buff
  • Deeper Stratagem nerfed by 5% on finisher damage
  • Master Assassin Relics nerfed to 8/6/4 seconds Vendetta cooldown reduction
  • Alacrity reduced to 10 stacks max with each stack providing 2% haste instead of 1%

Talents

So with the changes in 7.1.5 there are several differences in what talent we consider to be optimal now, however the playstyle of the spec remains relatively the same if you played with Agonizing Poison before the patch.

Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

With the nerfs to Elaborate Planning it is no longer the optimal talent this tier. Instead Master Poisoner is now the superior talent in every situation. It is important however to understand why that’s the case because at a glance, 12% increased damage still sounds incredibly strong.

Master Poisoner scales with:

What this means for us is that just keeping 5 stacks of Agonizing Poison on the target alone gives us a permanent 6-7% increased damage buff with our current mastery levels which is further increased by Surge of Toxins. Along with the fixes to Kingsbane making it an important ability in our rotation, this talent is by far the superior choice.

Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Nightstalker is the best talent in this tier because the first spell cast from Stealth deals 50% more damage. What this means is that on the opener and every 2 minutes afterwards you’re able to Vanish-> Rupture to take advantage of it.

Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

With the 7.1.5 changes to Deeper Stratagem and Rupture on top of losing 5% Critical strike chance, it no longer makes sense to take it. Instead we take Vigor as it is an overall better dps gain.

Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Entirely fight dependent but the clear choices here is either Elusiveness or Cheat Death. Leeching Poison is strong on fights where healers struggle with throughput and there is little burst damage but that is extremely rare nowadays.

Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Thuggee is the only talent that’s useful this tier in a raid situation, as it resets the cooldown of Garrote if the effected target dies. The other two talents require you to stun the target and in most raid encounters, mobs are immune to stun so they aren’t useful.

Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Taking all the important 7.1.5 changes into consideration Agonizing Poison is the optimal talent to take in practically all cases despite being nerfed by 0.5% per stack. Some people will argue that Exsanguinate is still better but the truth is all the changes hurt the spec meanwhile Agonizing Poison benefits greatly from it. We can compare how the two fare with 7.1.5 changes to see why this is the case.

Agonizing Poison:

  • Favors stacking Mastery which is further encouraged because of Master Poisoner synergy
  • Rupture normalization along with increased application rate alleviates the main issue with AP build which was its rather poor target swapping
  • Kingsbane is now an important DPS cooldown which is made even stronger because each application of Agonizing Poison currently increases stacks by 2 instead of 1 like Deadly Poison or Wound Poison would [Hotfixed recently]
  • The 5% Critical Strike nerf isn’t as important due to Master Poisoner and Vigor being our optimal talents now which relies less on Combo Point generation via Seal Fate
  • Largely unaffected by the 0.5% nerf per stack

Exsanguinate:

  • Favors stacking Critical Strike and Versatility which doesn’t synergize well with Master Poisoner despite it being superior to Elaborate Planning
  • Deeper Stratagem nerf hurts the playstyle of having a huge empowered Rupture go off for quick burst windows
  • Has rather weak scaling as it can’t take advantage of the new and improved Kingsbane
  • 5% Critical Strike nerf is a huge nerf to the spec because most of the damage came from bleeds which doesn’t scale with our Mastery: Potent Poisons.

After comparing the two you can see why Agonizing Poison is the superior talent choice this tier. With Exsanguinate the only way to scale bleed damage is through Elaborate Planning and Deeper Stratagem which are now inferior talents. So while the spec may be good for players who recently hit 100, the spec suffers greatly due to poor scaling and is the main reason why it is no longer taken for raids.

Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Until they make any further changes to the other two talents, Venom Rush is the only viable talent this tier.

Playing the spec

In order to play Assassination optimally the first thing you need to understand is the spec isn’t one where you just spam all your abilities off the GCD. Instead of the fast paced play-style of Outlaw, Assassination requires you to think ahead and pre-plan everything if you want to achieve optimal dps. This is largely due to the fact that we have a limited energy pool which can’t keep up with the rate at which we can spam abilities.

Abilities

Understanding how our abilities work and interact with eachother is extremely important because once you understand the fundamentals of the spec, everything else will eventually fall into place and you’ll understand things easily like why some talents work while others don’t or why you use this opener instead of that opener.

Vendetta : Our most important DPS cooldown which is used almost every time on CD unless there is a priority add or burst phase coming up soon. With the combination of Master Assassin relics and Convergence of Fates, your CD is on average 1 minute which lines up nicely with Vanish.

Surge of Toxins : The trait which determines when we use our finishers and the amount of CP you should use them at. Despite what the tooltip says this trait actually scales with CP at 2% each meaning it’ll increase poison damage by 2% at 1 CP and 10% at 5 CP which means it is important to use your finishers at high CP to take advantage of this. It is important to note that Surge of Toxins does indeed scale with Agonizing Poison and it’s effects is further increased by Master Poisoner making it a vital part of our rotation.

Rupture / Garrote : our two bleeds which should have near 100% uptime. These make up a huge portion of our damage and every time the bleed ticks it’ll refund energy through Venomous Wounds. It should be noted that while these abilities get snapshotted by the Nightstalker buff meaning the damage buff stays throughout the duration regardless of you leaving stealth, everything else is updated dynamically. This means that your bleeds will do increased damage when you activate Vendetta and then return to their normal damage after it expires.

Envenom : Our standard finisher and the main ability used to keep Surge of Toxins uptime high. The buff it provides increases poison application rate by 30% which is essential to stacking Kingsbane very high. With our 4 pc set bonus Envenom is able to compete with Rupture for overall damage contribution. It is important to note that Envenom scales with our Mastery: Potent Poisons and Agonizing Poison but is unaffected by Master Poisonerand Zoldyck Family Training Shackles despite it being poison damage.

Kingsbane : Our artifact weapon ability which becomes a big portion of our damage contribution with the fixes introduced in 7.1.5 along with the current bug(?) where Agonizing Poison applies 2 stacks of Kingsbane per application rather than 1 stack like Deadly Poison or Wound Poison does. Having near 100% Envenom buff uptime during Kingsbane is essential.

Bag of Tricks : AKA Poison Bomb is one of the main reasons why Assassination damage can be so streaky especially during fights with multiple targets. This ability hits incredibly hard and scales with basically everything that amplifies our damage as it counts as a poison, however it’s potential is gated behind an RPPM system. The proc rate of this trait is approximately [1 + Haste] procs per minute and there aren’t really any ways to control when it procs so there’s no reason to try to play around it.

Blood of the Assassinated : The 2nd most RNG trait providing huge bursts of damage as it essentially doubles your Rupture damage for 10 seconds on the target with a 35% chance to proc. As of now there is currently no benefits to try and “fish” for Blood of the Assassinated procs so there’s no reason to try and play around it when it does proc.

Rotations

Opener

Pre-pot during pull timer -> Garrote -> Mutilate -> Rupture -> Mutilate to 5 CP -> Vanish -> Rupture -> Vendetta -> Mutilate -> Kingsbane -> Immediately Envenom for the buff

  • The main reason for casting Rupture twice is because you always want to take advantage of the Pandemic effect which carries over up to 30% of the dot’s max duration onto the next application for Nightstalker empowered Rupture.
  • Envenom is immediately cast after Kingsbane and Mutilate in order to take advantage of the poison application buff.

Single target rotation

Maintain Rupture and Garrote on the target with near 100% uptime. Cast Mutilate as your CP generator. If Rupture has less than 6 seconds remaining on the duration then reapply the debuff, otherwise cast Envenom. (Important note: Do NOT overwrite a Nightstalker buffed Rupture or Garrote, the buffed damage doesn’t carry over. Wait until the last tick to refresh it.) Every finisher you use will apply the Surge of Toxins debuff scaling higher with more CP usage. Ideally all finishers will be used with 4 or more CP to take advantage of the Surge of Toxins debuff.

Your main goal will be to clip your Surge of Toxins debuff with every Envenom cast, this means casting Envenom at the last possible second before Surge of Toxins runs out so that Envenom is boosted. Envenom isn’t directly effected by Surge of Toxins, but by the buffed up Agonizing Poison effect so it’s very important that you clip it every single time. If you’re familiar with the Elaborate Planning playstyle it’s very similar, you’re just replacing tracking the Elaborate Planning buff with the Surge of Toxins debuff.

Anytime you’re energy starved and unable to consistently clip your debuff with a 4+ CP Envenom, just let it fall off and pool your energy until 150+ and then rinse and repeat the cycle. It’s better to let it drop off and pool your energy than to constantly struggle to clip the debuff and potentially miss out on a lot of extra damage. Rupture re-applications don’t follow the same rule as Envenom does for clipping because the damage from dots is updated dynamically instead of snapshotting so don’t worry about it too much.

Cooldown usage

Vanish should be used on cooldown to empower your Rupture and preferably lined up with Vendetta. There are certain scenarios where delaying Vanish to be used with Vendetta is worth it:

Vendetta is almost always used on cooldown as well, especially if you have Duskwalker’s Footpads or Convergence of Fates because every second you delay it is wasting them. There are a few exceptions to this similar to Vanish:

  • You have Zoldyck Family Training Shackles and you know the boss won’t live for another round of Vendetta so you delay use until sub 30%
  • There is a huge window of burst where it is worth holding onto
  • Kingsbane is on CD for 10 seconds (Important: Vendetta has a 20s duration while Kingsbane is 14s so you can cast it while Kingsbane has 6 seconds on CD and still get the full benefit)

Kingsbane is mostly used on CD and in the most ideal scenarios lined up with Vendetta and a full energy bar. Keep in mind because of its relatively short CD you can very easily lose out on extra casts of it throughout the fight because of delaying which makes it not worth it. The only times worth delaying Kingsbane is:

  • Vendetta is coming off cooldown in the next 10 seconds

Multi target rotation

Important to note: Surge of Toxins is a debuff therefore it applies to only one target. Make sure to always choose one main target to cast and clip your Envenom on if you have limited energy. I recommend using Garrote to keep track of your main target.

Two targets

Very similar to your single target rotation, just maintain bleeds and poisons on both targets. It’s fine to use a 3+ CP Rupture as your initial one.

Three targets

Mutilate is now replaced with Fan of Knives as your CP generator. Maintain bleeds and poisons on all 3 targets, same thing as two target cleave.

More than three targets

Same as before with three target cleave, but instead of maintaining Rupture on every single target you just want to have enough bleeds going that you don’t run out of energy spamming your Fan of Knives and Envenom. At this point you just pray for Poison Bomb procs because that is where all your AoE damage is going to come from.

Stat weights / Enchants+Gems+Consumables

Stat weights

Agility > Mastery > Crit=~Versatility > Haste

  • Keep in mind there are no longer any special breakpoints especially for Crit because MP/Vigor/AP build is a lot less reliant on CP generation.

As always stat weights are never set in stone and always changing depending on your gear. It is strongly recommended that you sim yourself after every upgrade in order to get the most accurate results. If you are unsure how to sim yourself there are plenty of detailed guides on how to properly sim yourself.

This is an example of what you should expect your stat weights to look like in Mythic gear with NH 4 piece set. For anyone interested in the Pawn string to import for their own use, ( Pawn: v1: “Yazuki”: Agility=17.81, CritRating=13.31, HasteRating=7.84, MasteryRating=15.20, Versatility=12.51 )

Enchants and Gems

Keeping in mind our stat weights, we want the following enchants

Neck: Mark of the Hidden Satyr (Mark of the Trained Soldier may sound great here because it’s 600 Mastery but through sims it’s shown to be a lot worse.)
Cloak: Binding of Agility
Ring: Binding of Mastery

Gems: One Saber’s Eye of Agility with the rest being Masterful Shadowruby

Consumables

Flask: Flask of the Seventh Demon

Potion: Potion of the Old War or Potion of Prolonged Power

Food: Nightborne Delicacy Platter with Barracuda Mrglgagh being a cheaper alternative.

BiS List for Nighthold w/ Relics

Relics

Despite the nerf to Master Assassin relics, our relic priority remains largely unchanged. This is due to the fact that Convergence of Fates introduced in Nighthold and Master Assassin has amazing synergy when paired together.

The dps sims will look like something like this for relics:

4 pc + CoF:

  1. Master Assassin
  2. Toxic Blades
  3. Gushing Wound

CoF only

  1. Master Assassin
  2. Gushing Wound
  3. Toxic Blades

4 pc only

  1. Toxic Blades
  2. Gushing Wound
  3. Master Assassin

No 4 pc or CoF

  1. Gushing Wound
  2. Master Assassin
  3. Toxic Blades

Things to take note of:

  • Toxic Blades is a purely single target trait and despite it simming well, is going to always be the worst trait due to the nature of raids and progression never being about pure single target dps.
  • Gushing Wound excels in multi target cleave fights as you’ll be able to keep Rupture up 100% of the time
  • Master Assassin allows more casts of Vendetta which is essential to raids during progression as there are a lot of priority adds which usually require burst.

Taking everything into consideration Master Assassin remains the best choice even without a Convergence of Fates. It is also the easiest relic to aquire as of 7.1.5 because 2 drop in Nighthold and the 3rd drops in Trials of Valor meanwhile, there are only 2 Toxic Blades relics and 1 Gushing Wound relic that drops from Nighthold and Trials of Valor.

If you are lucky enough to loot Duskwalker’s Footpads it is recommended that you use 2 Master Assassin 1 Gushing Wound with Convergence of Fates so you can easily line up your Vendetta with Kingsbane With the latest hotfixes nerfing Kingsbane double application, I recommend using 3 Master Assassin relics instead and just using Vendetta on CD while still following the rules for delaying Kingsbane.

BiS list for Nighthold

Keep in mind that there is never going to be a 100% correct BiS list due to the RNG nature of warforging along with the Legendary system. This list is mostly used to give you a rough idea of what bosses you want to spend coins rolling loot on.

Shadow Relic: Breath of Dusk drops off High Botanist Tel’arn
Iron Relic: Infused Chitin Fragment drops off Skorpyron
Blood Relic: Phylactery of Unwilling Servitude drops off Helya
Helmet: Doomblade Cowl drops off Grand Magistrix Elisande
Necklace: Zealous Timestone Pendant drops off Chronomatic Anomaly
Shoulder: Mantle of the Torn Sky drops off Star Augur Etraeus
Cloak: Doomblade Shadowwrap drops off Trilliax
Chest: Doomblade Tunic drops off Krosus
Bracers: Bracers of Impossible Choices drops off Grand Magistrix Elisande
Gloves: Gloves of Synchronus Elements drops off Spellblade Aluriel
Belt: High Shadow Councilor’s Wrap drops off Gul’dan
Pants: Doomblade Pants drops off Gul’dan
Boots: Grove-Tender’s Moccasins drops off High Botanist Tel’arn
Ring 1: Spellblade’s Gemmed Signet drops off Spellblade Aluriel
Ring 2: Ring of Exclusive Servitude drops off Tichondrius
Trinket 1: Convergence of Fates drops off Grand Magistrix Elisande
Trinket 2: Draught of Souls drops off Gul’dan

Tier pieces would be ranked Helm > Cloak > Pants > Chest > Shoulder > Gloves.

Thank You

If you’ve made it this far in the guide I really appreciate you taking the time to look over it as this is my first guide and I want to be as thorough as possible with it. Any suggestions for future guides are greatly appreciated, just leave a comment below or message me whenever I’m streaming at twitch.tv/yazuki.

Read More...

Patch 7.1.5 Preliminary Talent Builds

This blog was originally posted on roguedpsguide.com by Akshay Dev

Legion Patch 7.1.5 has just been deployed across all regions. We have created the optimal preliminary talent builds for single target DPS. This gear set includes pre-Nighthold gear.

These are the talent builds that you will use for Nighthold progression. We expect the builds to change once set bonuses come in to play.

More detailed information can be found in the guides.

Assassination (Poison)

For Single Target, Master Poisoner is now the more optimal level 15 tier talent to choose. This is due to a nerf to Elaborate Planning from 15% to 12%. Mastery will also be more valued with the scaling of this build. Although EP buff maintenance is no longer a part of the play-style with this build, the artifact trait Surge of Toxins has the same duration and plays roughly the same, it is triggered by envenom; its duration is a static 5 seconds like EP, however its effect’s strength scales with the number of Combo Points spent on the envenom.
Gear build used for sims

Assassination (Bleed)

For Single Target, the change from the live standard Exsanguinate build is the selection of Vigor over Deeper Stratagem. This is primarily due to the Deeper Stratagem nerf from 10% additional finisher damage to 5%, as well as the change in Rupture’s scaling design; the DoT value of Rupture has been standardized and no longer scales with CP, hence negating the additional potency of a 6cp Rupture from live over a lower-cp funded one. Increased combo point expenditure on Rupture now only makes it last longer, with the average damage done over it’s duration remaining unchanged.
Gear build used for sims

Outlaw

For Single Target, the standard build still applies, with Ghostly Strike still being the best level 15 tier talent, however Quick Draw is still the optimal tier talent over Ghostly Strike for Greenskin’s Waterlogged Wristcuffs wearers.
Gear build used for sims

Subtlety

The talents for subtlety remain largely unchanged for single target. For the level 15 tier of talents, however, Weaponmaster is now the go-to. The reason for this being a DPS gain over Master of Subtlety is due to the extra energy regen from WM procs counteracting the Master of Shadows nerf from 30 to 25 energy.
Gear build used for sims

Note: The 60 talent tier is just personal preference. None of the talents provide any DPS increase

DISCLAIMER: The geared is not 100% optimal

All of these results are derived from Aethys’ simulations on his spreadsheet and are updated for patch 7.1.5.

Simulations provide a good example of how a spec plays over the course of a patchwerk fight, however in-game experience has additional factors such as mechanics affecting uptime, and ability RNG (Especially with abilities like Roll The Bones) may vary from the ideal situations that sims present.

A range of data from in-game testing as well as logs on various fights on Warcraft Logs can reflect the realistic execution of the ideal situation that simulations present.

Read More...

Master Assassin (MA) trait and relics stealth nerfed in 7.1.5!

by FrozenSoviet

This article is up to date for 7.1.5 as of 1/26/2017 and if any further tuning happens, I will try to update it asap.

In 7.1.0, each rank of the Master Assassin trait decreased the cooldown of Vendetta by 10 seconds.
In 7.1.5, has changed the last three levels. They now are each decreased by 2 seconds.

  • 7.1.0 with 6 levels: 10/10/10/10/10/10 (total 60s reduction)
  • 7.1.5 with 6 levels: 10/10/10/8/6/4 (total 48s reduction)

Let’s go ahead and talk about the changes and how it will affect your relic choices. First, here is some terminology:

Some questions that keep popping up include:

  • Are GW relics better than MA?
  • Are 3 MA relics still BiS?
  • If I have the legendary boots how many MA relics should I choose?
  • How good are envenom relics with rogue 4pc? Do they beat GW or MA?

We’ve done some preliminary simulations and there are some interesting results. In general, the value of MA relics compared to GW relics increases if you have the Convergence of Fates trinket or the Duskwalker’s Footpads boots legendary. Additionally, Envenom relics value increases once you get the rogue 4pc. Below are some simulations for those interested in looking at the data.

TL;DR: The gap between relics has closed significantly with the change and the relics are almost equal now, so higher ilvl upgrades of either relic type are much better than before, even though certain relic combinations do pull ahead slightly if all relics are equal ilvl.

All sims are done using Nighthold mythic gear, with 4pc and CoF equipped.

  • No legendary boots or CoF: 3xGW is BIS.
  • No legendary Boots: 3xMA is BIS.
  • With legendary boots: 3xMA or 2xMA 1xGW relics are BiS.

Note, TB relics are slightly stronger than GW relics when playing poison build with 4pc, but only on pure single target. GW relics are better overall because they are almost identical single target while being better multitarget.

Without Legendary boots

With Legendary boots

Note these are single target simulations only, as you add more targets, gushing wound pulls ahead of MA relics in most cases as rupture can affect multiple targets but Vendetta only affects one.

Read More...

Rogue Class Hall: Hidden in Plain Sight

 

Why yes, Rfeann it sure is.

Our Class Hall has a fair amount going on and one of the awesome little things that we rogues can do is occasionally benefit from the vault of treasures that Marin Noggenfogger so enjoys to nap on. Marin guards the Uncrowned Vault with pure goblin pragmatism, but there are ways to get him to part with a treasure.

The first thing that you need to do is talk to Winstone Wolfe and have him research The Vault. Once your research is complete, you will be able to acquire two different items that will allow you to pry a little something for yourself from those greedy goblin fingers.

One of those items is the Vault Ticket. This ticket has a chance to drop when you successfully complete a Class Hall Mission.

The other is Marin Noggenfogger’s Lucky Coin. This coin can be pickpocketed from various mobs throughout the Broken Isles.

Bring Marin a ticket or a coin, and he will allow you to pick one of three items for your very own. Look around. The items all appear in the vault and are highlighted as interactable. Some sit on their own, others are in containers like the Large Plundered Sack. Many items are single-use or have charges and include such wonders as Smoky Boots, Pack of Battle Potions, Thistle Tea, and Poisoned Throwing Knives. You can also get gold, Artifact Power, and if you are especially lucky, a toy (Suspicious Crate) or a transmog hat (Uncrowned Shadowcraft Cap).

But back to why we are talking about this in the first place. Sometimes, you will be able to get one or more Key to the Palace of Lei Shen. You may see a Sparking Set of Keys hanging on the wall, or you may get some from the aforementioned Large Plundered Sack. But why, like Rfeann, you might ask, are we able to get a formerly unattainable item from a long ago expansion? Well here’s the fun part.

Unlike in the old days, you don’t need to go all the way to the Isle of Thunder to enter the Troves of the Thunder King scenario, you can just run downstairs and hand your key to Taoshi who will send you right in. While you are there, just like in the before times, grab chests and/or work your way to the end of the scenario in the given time. At the end you will be able to open one or more Lei Shen’s Burial Trove chests depending on how many Buriel Trove Key you managed to pick up. Those chests have a chance to contain Tome of Otherworldly Venoms, and that unlocks a hidden appearance for your Subtlety Artifact Weapon, Fangs of the Devourer.

A few notes:

  • If you have keys left over from Mists of Pandaria, you can use them
  • You do not have to be level 110 to have the item drop
  • You do not have to be in Subtlety spec or have your loot set to Subtlety to have the item drop

So there you have it. A new and exciting use for Key to the Palace of Lei Shen. But there are still old uses: y’know, gold, and I know at least one rogue who’s going to use this to try to get those achieves he missed back in Mists of Pandaria!

A few more notes:

  • Currently you need to give Marin a ticket for the day before you can benefit from the coins. Hopefully this is a bug and will be fixed.
  • If you have Marin off on a mission, no worries, he’ll be available to assist you with your vault ticket if necessary. You’ll have to wait to give him a coin though.
  • There have been reports that the Suspicious Crate may actually spawn independently of Marin – so keep an eye out. It apparently appears on the rug directly in front of where Marin naps.

 

Read More...

Ravenholdt T-Shirts: the European Edition

Ravenholdt T-shirtWe have a European source for Ravenholdt t-shirts!  Our wonderful logo artist, Doug Shuler, designed a simple version of the logo which is available on a unisex black shirt. 

We decided to go with a Streetshirts promo to offer these due to the simplicity of the process relative to the items and styles that they offer. What this means is that if you want one you will need to order it by 22 July 2016.

Get yours here: Ravenholdt T-shirt

If we get a good response and we are happy with the quality and the process, we may offer a second run. We might also consider offering the logo on other items, such as a hoodie. Please let us know what you think and what might interest you.

We may also do another US run before Blizzcon. US people, let us know if you are interested.

Read More...

Rogue Transmogs: The Leathers Collection

Tyrgarde2_1

Tyrgarde has treated us to two transmog sets along similar lines. He suggests that you decide which to wear depending on your race.

Leathers of a Respectful Savage

The first version will have you running instances from various expansions as well as making purchases in your Garrison.

“This one looks good on Worgen, Undead, and Trolls. Races with “normal” feet will maybe want to change the boot transmog. Seems odd running around in your bare feet. I didn’t have a theme in mind when I started it. I had the shoulders and wanted some other pieces to match colors, nothing too special for this set. The black cloak with trim adds a bit of something to the set.”

Helm: Opportunist’s Leather Helm – purchased from Fedryen Swiftspear, Cenarion Expedition Quartermaster, in Zangarmarsh.
Shoulders: Dark Phoenix Spaulders – Tier token from Majordomo Staghelm OR Shoulderpads of the Forgotten Gate – Baleroc. Both in Firelands Normal.
Cloak: Cloak of Darkness – Leatherworking.
Chest: Heroes’ Bonescythe Breastplate – Archavon the Stone Watcher in Vault of Archavon.
Shirt: anything red or brown
Hands: Thunderlord Gloves – BoA transmog piece purchased from War Mill or Dwarven Bunker in your Garrison.
Belt: Bloodfang Belt – Vaelastrasz the Corrupt in Blackwing Lair.
Legs: Heroes’ Bonescythe Legplates – Archavon the Stone Watcher in Vault of Archavon.
Feet: Thunderlord Sabatons – BoA transmog piece purchased from War Mill or Dwarven Bunker in your Garrison.
Weapons: Quickening Blade of the Prince – Kael’thas Sunstrider in Heroic Magisters’ Terrace. A good alternative is Bloodvenom Blade – Deathbringer Saurfang in 25 Normal Icecrown Citadel.

 

Tyrgarde2_2   Tyrgarde2_3   Tyrgarde2_4

 

Tyrgarde1-4

Leathers of Resumed Battle

This version shares pieces with the above set, but switches out a few key items for a slightly different look.

“When I make a transmog set, I try to match up a few colors together that’s on an item. So this one has a few dashes of red, some light brown and grey. Looks particular good on a race with a straight back, Blood Elves, Human, Female Orc. But still looks okay on any hunched over race.”

Helm: None
Shoulders: Spaulders of Resumed Battle – Noth the Plaguebringer or Gluth in 10 Normal Naxxramas.
Cloak: Cloak of Darkness – Leatherworking.
Chest: Heroes’ Bonescythe Breastplate – Archavon the Stone Watcher in Vault of Archavon.
Hands: Heroes’ Bonescythe Gauntlets – Archavon the Stone Watcher in Vault of Archavon.
Belt: Girdle of Unconquered Glory – Hans’gar and Franzok in Heroic Blackrock Foundry.
Legs: Heroes’ Bonescythe Legplates – Archavon the Stone Watcher in Vault of Archavon.
Feet: Boots of the Worshiper – Grand Widow Faerlina or Gluth in 10 Normal Naxxramas.

 

Tyrgarde1-1   Tyrgarde1-2   Tyrgarde1_3

 

 


  If you have a transmog that you just love and would like to share, please send the following to fans@ravenholdt.net for a chance to be featured:

  1. a list of the items that you used for your transmog. If you can, include where you acquired each piece.
  2. one or two nice high-res screenshots. These should be reasonably close up and not too dark. No stealth pics please!
  3. tell us a bit about what you were going for with your look. Do you have a name/title for your transmog?
  4. if you would like to be credited, please include a link to your armory and your Twitter handle if you have one.

Please note that we may not be able to feature every submission and those that are selected may not be posted immediately. We look forward to seeing more of what you wear!

Read More...