Another cross post from the official forums.
Talked with Vigilate in #ravenholdt about this earlier so its no surprise we agree but seeing sub AoE in action tonight on a fight like Beastlord where there are almost always 5+ targets made me rethink what I said previously about the sub AoE rotation. The sub AoE rotation doesn’t feel bad but looking at the damage meters (obviously acknowledging that the tuning pass hasn’t happened yet), it feels really weak.
The key problem is none of our AoE abilities hit hard enough. FoK and CT do not do enough damage, quick dummy numbers as sub put FoK at around 800 damage with CT at around 1.8K (mastery stacking gear set up for assassination), To put these numbers in perspective, FoK is dealing less damage than an OH white swing while CT is comparable to an OH white swing. Things aren’t as problematic for assassination due to the power of poisons but with subtlety, which has to rely solely on FoK and CT shows very clearly how weak they are.
In addition to raw number tuning the subtlety AoE and ST target rotations have basically nothing to do with each other. You keep up SnD and rupture because of massive cp overflow but otherwise you are just spamming FoK->CT->FoK->CT ad infinitum. All of the mechanics that define subtlety on single target, vanish, shadow dance, find weakness, fit into the AoE rotation about as easily as an elephant in a phone booth. A simple solution to this would be a new AoE opener which applies FW to all targets it hits or even simpler FoK applies FW to all targets if cast from stealth or during shadow dance. This doesn’t have the complexity of a single target FW but it allows sub’s AoE rotation to integrate more smoothly with its primary mechanics.
In addition to the FW issue sub suffers from the “s word”, stat scaling on AoE is messy. Given the low number of FoKs per CT while AoEing subtlety has substantial energy overflow degrading the value of haste. More problematically, the new sub MS mechanic is entirely non-functional on AoE when backstab is replaced wholesale by FoK. I understand that stat weights will change in different situations but to have the mechanic that makes MS interesting as subtlety’s attuned stat be entirely non-functional on AoE seems wrong. A simple fix would be to allow FoK MSs to proc additional bleed ticks just like backstab. Since FoK and backstab have the same energy cost this is unlikely to cause odd side effects in the single target rotation. Combine this with the previous idea of AoE FW and potentially a damage buff to FoK and CT and subtlety could have a solid AoE burst niche, in line with its single target burst niche.