A pair of new Warlords of Draenor beta builds — 18967 and 18973, for those of you keeping score at home — have brought a host of tuning adjustments for the rogue class (among others). Alongside these builds, a series of tweets from technical game designer Chadd “Cobra-thon” Nervig clarified, and explained some of the reasoning behind, several of the changes.
Let’s recap, shall we?
[UPDATE: Celestalon replied to this post by noting that some of the adjustments listed below are already due to be changed in an upcoming beta build. Tuning is fast, furious and fluid in these last couple of weeks before Patch 6.0.2 launches.]
Assassination’s damage appears to have been adjusted upward. Most of its key abilities have gotten roughly 5% stronger since last week, if the datamining is accurate:
- Mutilate deals 210% weapon damage, up from 200%.
- Dispatch deals 330% weapon damage, up from 315%.
- The random-damage component of Venemous Wounds deals damage equivalent to 33.6% of our attack power stat, up from 32%.
- Envenom damage has been boosted by 5%.
There is one downward shift that affects Assassination: Rupture’s damage has taken an 18% hit.
Combat’s damage appears to have been nudged downward, if the datamining is accurate:
- Eviscerate’s damage has been reduced by about 18%.
- Blade Flurry’s damage has been reduced by 25%; it copies 30% of our damage onto nearby targets, down from 40%.
- Ambush’s damage has been reduced by roughly 18%; it deals 245% weapon damage, down from 300%.
These changes come one week after substantial buffs to Sinister Strike and Revealing Strike; taken together, we’re seeing a notable shift in the proportion of Combat’s overall damage that comes from combo point builders vs. finishers.
On Twitter, incidentally, Celestalon confirmed that the Eviscerate change is meant to bring Combat’s overall damage more in line with their goals, and noted that the Blade Flurry change was intended.
Subtlety’s damage also appears to have been reduced (again), if the datablah is bloo:
- Last week’s buff to Backstab has been reverted, and then some: It’s now at 145% weapon damage, down from 175% — and also down from 156%, where it had been prior to *last* week’s changes.
- As noted above, Ambush’s damage has been reduced by about 18%.
- Also as noted above, Eviscerate damage has been reduced by 18% as well.
- Also-also as noted (further) above, Rupture damage has gotten an 18% cut.
On Twitter, Celestalon affirmed that heavy slashes to Subtlety were intended; according to him, the spec was performing 15% better than the rest of the pack (except for feral druids, which he said had been similarly overpowered and were also toned downward in this week’s beta builds).
Finally, one all-spec change: Crimson Tempest has been… buffed? We think? Datamining seemed to indicate that the ability had taken an 18% damage reduction, but Celestalon stated that the ability was actually having its up-front and DoT damage *increased* by 50%. Maybe an erroneous tooltip change, given how many other rogue abilities had been chopped by 18% at the same time?
Regardless, if the datamined changes to all three specs are accurate, then the overall adjustments to DPS would be as follows, per Fierydemise:
@SvelteKumquat Nudge somewhat undersells it, its -15% for sub, -8% for combat and +3% for assassination on single target.
— Fierydemise (@Fierydemise) October 2, 2014
Keep in mind that regardless of the impact of these particular beta builds, all of these adjustments are part of the designers’ ongoing effort to pull various levers in order to get the performance of all specs and classes within whatever their target range is. Although I often refer to these tweaks as “buffs” and “nerfs,” it’s probably better not to think of them precisely that way, given that balance has to be completely redone in the switch from Mists to Warlords. As with every expansion, the scales are being reset.
Quick closing note: Celestalon also tweeted quite a bit about Death From Above this evening, responding to Fierydemise’s blog post from earlier in the week. The easiest way to see the collection of these — and all of Celestalon’s rogue-related tweets — is to check out @Ravenholdt’s favorites list, which we update whenever we spot a new class-relevant tweet from a member of Blizzard’s WoW team.