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Caps, caps, caps (but not that kind of CAPS) May 14, 2010

Posted by Bezurk in General, Rogue.
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(EDIT: Armor Pen has been sorted)

Rogues live and die by ’em… Hit caps, Expertise caps, Armor Pen caps (even crit caps if you are stupidly well geared) – why so many? It’s always baffled me that rogues are so dependent on reaching these targets before they can flesh (Forsaken excluded)  out other stats, like Agility and Attack Power. Now, a new 80 Rogue is pretty much screwed trying to reach those – the only vaguely attainable one is the special Hit cap  in the early stages of gearing rogues, although expertise ‘could’ be reached by getting the Trollwoven crafted gear, although it sucks compared to easily available gear now for a lot less effort.

Here’s a run through of all of the various ‘caps’ Rogues need to be aware of:

Hit cap. There’s 3 of these for Rogues:

– The 8% hit cap, which guarantees your specials will hit (or more accurately, not miss, as they can still be dodged / parried without expertise: more on that later). This is 99 hit rating with Precision, and 263 without.

– There’s the 14% cap, which allows your poisons to always hit (they are resisted rather than missing – I don’t know if Spell Penetration affects this, as it lowers spell resists and poisons deal Nature-based damage). This is 315 hit rating with Precision – and is 479 without. Important note: Not only does Precision increase your chance to hit, it also increases poison’s chance to hit.

– Finally there’s the hard cap of 27% – this is 754 hit rating with Precision. In high-end gear it may be possible, but it will ‘gimp’ and neglect other stats so much that this isn’t worth bothering with. Just aim for the poison cap and you will be fine.

Expertise Cap. The soft cap (so you are never dodged) is 27 – however, 26 is also viable as you only leave a 0.06% chance to be dodged. The hard cap is about 56 – but this is assuming you stand in front of your target, which as a good rogue, you will never do, right? So ignore that one. Another note: Combat get 10 Expertise from talents. Assassination doesn’t, so you will need to gear / gem more for Expertise.

Armor Penetration: The Armor Penetration cap (to ignore 100% armor) is 1400. This does include trinket procs and the like, so if you can get something like the Needle-Encrusted Scorpion, which procs for 687 rating (with a ~10% proc chance on a crit, ~50 second internal CD for the number crunchers) means you would need 713 ArP from gems / gear to make up that cap. Currently, it seems that it’s the important one for Combat Rogues as most of their damage is physical (ie not from poisons). Assassination: Ignore this, not much good to you 🙂

Haste: Apparently there is a haste cap of around 32%, but rogues are naturally limited by energy regeneration anyway (as opposed to mana) – but more haste means more energy, via OH procs in Combat (Combat Potency)

Crit cap: This is a funny one. Dinaer at Forever a Noob did a great post explaining this a few months ago.  Crit cap post – This explains it really well, far better than I could put it.

By and large, that covers a rogue’s caps – get your poison cap, your expertise cap, and for the most part you’re sorted.

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Combat or Assassination? May 13, 2010

Posted by Bezurk in Raiding, Rogue.
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The eternal question. For much of 3.3 (until it took a mega nerf, especially to Hunger for Blood) any Rogue that knew their pointy sticks inside out would say ‘Assassination ofc’ (or in one case, Rogues are OP you moron). Now, it’s not so clear cut. Here’s a few reasons:

– Weapons. Within both ICC 10 and 25, both weapons that are optimal for Combat are available within the Lower Spire (10: OH axe Marrowgar, MH axe Gunship, 25: OH axe Gunship, MH sword Deathbringer), but, for Assassination, all bar one dagger in 25 man (Heartpierce on Deathwhisper) is available a ways into ICC, and not into PuG-friendly territory. Rogues, being so weapon dependent, can /cheer or /cry depending on their spec.

– Gear itemisation. Most pieces of gear have Armor Penetration on – a bad stat for Assassination rogues due to their reliance on poisons and Envenom ignoring armour. While not the worst stat around, it seems to be unavoidable at the moment. Combat sees far more benefit from ArP due to more reliance on Physical damage.

– Buffs and Nerfs. Quite quickly, HfB went from providing 15% additional damage to 10%, then only 5%. Combat, not having this ability, did not suffer so dramatically. Also, Rupture was buffed to crit on its ticks, and Assassination’s goal is to have Envenom up as much as possible (without Envenom clipping) which Rupture does not help with. For the Combat Rogue not gemming and stacking ArP on every piece of gear, Rupture sees a decent benefit from this.

All of these lead to the question – my conclusion is that Combat is easier to gear, and will provide the initial higher DPS, but in a guild with progression in ICC, Assassination will catch up. Assuming similar gear levels and the best itemisation as possible… it’s close. Mostly, I believe it will come down to which spec you are most comfortable playing in. If you like to go down the ‘ORC SMASH’ route then Combat’s the way – if you prefer the more typical image of the, well, assassin, then – here’s a shocker – Assassination is the way.

Subtlety doesn’t exist when you PvE, only in PvP.