The Mythic Rogue: To Sit or Not to Sit?

[EDITOR’S NOTE 1/7/15: The “FOOT IN MOUTH EDIT” section immediately below was written by Aeriwen on Jan. 6 and added to the top of this post at his request.]

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TLDR: There was an error. Only about one rogue on average is being brought to mythic difficulty.
 
Moving into week 3, it was clear that the rogue numbers were still unusually high. After getting a correction from the developer of World of Wargraphs on his representation data, we now had second measure to check ours against. It shows that rogues with 1+ Mythic kills at 5.3%, and total rep at 6.2% (which is in close agreement with realmpop data), which indicates underrepresentation. After a bit of discussion on the #ravenholdt chat, vipbrj was able to correct the data. The error, which I admit should have been obvious, was that the data was missing healers and tanks from the calculations. I wish to thank Pathal, Fierydemise, and Vipbrj for their help in tracking down this error.
 
The numbers below are incorrect, and without healer and tank data from those weeks it isn’t possible to correct them. The article has been left intact for discussion purposes, but the numbers are wrong, and references to high representation are wrong. If you wish to read a fuller account, please see my posts on the official forums, and the edited OP.
 
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A little over a week ago I posted in the official WoW rogue forum about mythic rogue representation. There was, and still is, a bit of concern over the topic of rogues being sat in mythic. The previous post is here.

I began by demonstrating that at least some very high end guilds were employing rogues for progression. But that wasn’t the focus of the topic which I wanted to address. The meat of the argument was that the general mythic population was utilizing rogues at a reasonable representation. There were concerns with my data, notably by the most respectable Fierydemise, that the later fights were harder and require more optimization to complete at the present gear levels and thus rogues were likely to be more of a liability going further into the tier, as most have only touched the “easy” bosses at that time. The point is a notable one, and still a point of concern, as you will see.

The crux of our “disagreement” depends on what is the most important behavior to which we should be concerned. Should we look at only what the top guilds are doing exactly when they kill the boss the first time, or should we look at the entire population also? I argued that for most players, even mythic raiders, the general trend of the total mythic population is more representative of what a rogue should expect when playing mythic with his/her guild. That the whacky things that world first race guilds do is an exceptional behavior, and not the rule.

I will admit that I am a bit stubborn. I have this notion that most players do not have multiple highly equipped characters and that even on the hardest difficulty, people just tend to play with their friends, not a specific class. I am a bit sappy sometimes. I do not apologize for that.

So now it is a week later. I was able to capture the first week of data, and now we have another week to compare it to. If indeed rogues are being sat, we might see at least some movement if the trend is significant. Keep in mind, the data is still very low quality, particularly on the later fights. There aren’t many guilds that have cleared the any mythic content, never mind the later bosses, and less of them have uploaded the data to warcraftlogs. We have to be very careful about what we can say with the data at hand.

Here’s the data. The overall data shows that rogues have 8.8% (1998 total) representation in the first week and 9.2% (4899 total) the second week. Rogues total about 6.6% of the population of level 100 US characters according to realmpop. This, as a side note, continues the trend of apparent overrepresentation of rogues in high end content from MoP.

So, let’s dig into the fights. Numbers are rogues as percent and (total).

Brackenspore
1st week – 7.0% (59)
2nd week – 9.1% (390)

Butcher
1st week – 3.7% (1)
2nd week – 8.9% (66)

Bladefist
1st week – 8.6% (1396)
2nd week – 8.8% (2751)

Ko’ragh
1st week – 7.3% (6)
2nd week – 10.5% (92)

Mar’gok
1st week – no data
2nd week – 8.3% (1)

Tectus
1st week – 8.8% (25)
2nd week – 9.4% (287)

Ogron
1st week – 9.6% (515)
2nd week – 9.9% (1294)

We see that rogue representation APPEARS to have increased. I would caution that the numbers on all but bladefist were fairly small to begin with, which limits what we can say. And some of the later fights on the second week are still extremely low in numbers.

What it does SEEM to say is that rogues are being used fairly widely in mythic, at levels beyond our overall class representation. Someone is being sat. It is just not rogues who are doing the sitting.

We have some problems here though, besides the low sample size, which may just have swung in our favor due to random chance. There were slight buffs to each spec’s niche moving into the second week, which could have incentivized more people to play their rogues. It could also be that more rogues were ran in the second week because they weren’t used for the progression fight. We can’t really say without armory datamining. It could also lend credence to the idea that groups with rogues were behind because they lack the dps for kills the first week, and another week of gearing lead the groups to second week kills. The difference between swapping a strong dps like windwalker in instead of a rogue would result in a small difference in raid dps, much smaller than that of simple getting a week’s worth of gear for your entire raid.

One thing that I want to make sure to be clear, these are still very low number samples. And after talking with members of the high end raiding community, we may end up seeing the true impact on the next raid. The rogues that are geared up now and progressing right now may only be doing so simply because they haven’t had time to level and gear an alt to sub out their geared rogue. As the tier continues, more alts can be geared to reasonable levels before progression begins anew in January on the next raid. As such, representation may be a lagging indicator.

This is all firmly in the realm of speculation. No matter how well reasoned or authoritative the source. If it turns out that confidence in rogues does not meet expectations, we may see a drop as players switch to other specs for the next tier. But we also have conflating factors on the horizon as well. The new tier will likely bring out more tuning adjustment, as well as the very important tier bonuses and other itemization quirks to which all the classes are balanced against. For instance, the tier bonuses for combat are projected to be on the order of 5%. Where that stands in relation to other dps specs remains to be seen.

And to absolutely clear, there is no evidence, nor any speculation from high end raiders that you should be sitting rogues for the average guild. If you are in your average guild and killing tougher bosses maybe one or two a week and progressing through normal, heroic and into mythic, you need not be concerned. Your progression will happen naturally as the result of gear inflation and as your raid gets better experienced on the fights. The vast majority of rogues need not be concerned with getting sat unless you have a guild leader who thinks he’s a world first raider and treats the raid members as such. (This simply indicates that you should probably change guilds.) This is something that many high end raiders will say themselves. If you are in an average guild, don’t worry about it.

For next time, I’ll continue to look at representation as the tier progresses, but I’ll also take a look at recruitment trends.

What we do have now, is what appears to be solid representation, and according to the latest hotfixes, and the watchful eyes of the devs, a reason to be hopeful for the future. Take heart rogues, and have a happy holiday.

Happy Stabbing! 🙂

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