Playing with Others

I promise that I’m not trying to get all savant-like with this rogue leveling project, but there are pointers that I feel I should share along the way. I should also mention that I’m waning a little on my laurels to not go crazy with the dungeon finder tool. I don’t have a ton of free-time and attempting to level via questing with two rogues is proving to be a bit … painful.

Fret not, I only plan on abusing the dungeon finder tool with my troll rogue and not with my dwarf. I’ve done the horde leveling experience numerous times, so I don’t feel obligated to trudge through quest after quest with him. This change will also allow me to blog not only about the differences in rogues specs, but entirely different leveling methods as well.

Anyhoo, I figured that since my troll will be spending more time in dungeons that I should expound upon some more tools at the rogue’s disposal, limited as they might be.

While you might feel like your sole job is to deal as much damage as possible, it isn’t the only thing you bring to a party. By the time you’re able to utilize the dungeon finder tool you’ll have three secondary utility abilities at your disposal: sap, kick, and gouge. You’ll get more useful abilities down the road, but for now I’ll focus on kick and gouge since I’ve pretty much covered sap.

It's hard to get a good screen of kick ;_;

Kick is very easy to understand: it interrupts spell-casting and can silence if you put points into improved kick. It’s straight-forward and you should use this as much as possible, especially against enemy casters attempting to heal. Kick can also interrupt certain boss abilities/spells so keep that in mind.

Gouge serves a very similar purpose as it can interrupt spell casts, but it can incapacitate any enemy for a very short duration. There’s only two down-sides to gouge which cause it to be overlooked: it costs 45 energy and the enemy needs to be facing you. While enemies shouldn’t be facing your rogue, a smart rogue will quickly dart in front to gouge and interrupt a cast when kick is on cooldown.

This only leaves the 45 energy cost as a potential limiting factor for being able to use this ability in a pinch. Rogues that are able to successful utilize gouge are generally employing a technique known as energy pooling.

You may have heard of energy pooling before, but if you haven’t it’s not a complicated technique to describe. At the most basic level energy pooling is only using energy when you need to and not as it becomes available.

Huh? Why wouldn’t I want to use my abilities as soon as I can spend the energy to use them?

There are times when it is more beneficial to store your energy and to release it when it is the most beneficial. This could be to keep enough energy to kick/gouge spellcasts, or to wait until your SND is about to drop off to refresh it with 1/2 combo points (as opposed to 3/4) and then expend your energy quickly afterwards.

It might seem complicated, but it isn’t really. There’s only one thing to keep in mind if you’re going to be pooling your energy: don’t let it cap out. Anytime your energy caps out you are losing DPS on abilities that you could have used and you’ll look just as noob’sh as the rouge constantly energy-starved.

Sometimes it will be impossible to prevent your energy capping out, especially if you get knocked down, controlled, etcetera but generally you should always be spending your energy with purpose, not mindlessly. In other words, sometimes it can be more beneficial to spend your energy for utility and not damage.

Okay, but what are some situations where utility trumps damage?

Interrupting spell-casts is the easy answer, but there are many different flavors of this basic situation. It could be to prevent an enemy healer from landing a heal, or to prevent a nasty spell/ability from going off. Generally you would rather interrupt a heal over a damage spell, but there are times where preventing damage can be more important. However, there is one situation early in your dungeoneering where your ability to interrupt will be invaluable: druids of the fang casting slumber in Wailing Caverns. There’s nothing worse than being nullified as a factor for 10 seconds in a fight, so make interrupting their slumber spells a high priority if you’re unlucky enough to get WC.

And with that may you always spend your energy with purpose.