Mutilate

Ever since Mutilate’s positional requirement was dropped I wanted to utilize mutilate as my rogue’s main spec. Between not having great daggers and just the ease of leveling as a combat rogue I kind of left the idea of being a true rogue behind and embraced the brigand’sh ways of punching/smashing/slashing things in the face.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love the combat spec. The cooldowns you get as a combat rogue are absolutely incredible and extremely useful in AoE situations: pop blade flurry and let the fan of knives fly. For those situations alone I will not abandon combat. It’s just that with my current level of gear my combat spec cannot keep up with the obscene amount of poison damage produced from my mutilate build. At best my combat build puts out somewhere between 3k-3.4k dps on single target encounters but I was able to pull off 5.6k dps with lower ilvl weapons as mutilate.

Fortunately I can embrace both builds being dual-spec’d and switch as needed while continuing to gear up my rogue. I am salivating over the [Blood Weeper] that the Devourer of Souls drops which would be a fairly sizable upgrade for me. While I would love to get the Quel’Delar for my combat build, I am planning on giving the first battered hilt I win, should that ever happen, to my DK. I’m completely okay with letting my combat spec trail behind my mutilate build so as long as the deadly poison change isn’t reverted and/or nerfed to the ground.

There’s still some DPS to pull out of my gear with some small talent build tweaks which I could make and it appears that I should start focusing on picking up more +haste gear and less on armor penetration  if I stick with mutilate. That should make any physical dps’ers in my guild happy since I’ll happily pass on the ArPen trinket so they can have it.

Now I need to look at what gear I should be attempting to pick up with triumph badges and what I can pick up out of the normal and heroic versions of the Frozen Halls. Thank you Blizzard for making the iconic weapon for rogues useful again. ❤

Faceplant

Remember prior to 3.3 going live and everyone was /facerolling the heroic 5 mans in their uber premade gear? Everyone thought that EVERYONE was going to instantly gear up and start roflstomping through the first four bosses in Icecrown Citadel. “Welfare epics” was a phrase tossed around pretty liberally and the elitists were on the verge over quitting the game because the casuals were going to get a free ride into Icecrown and take their spots in raids. Yup, it was going to be as easy as walking teleporting into the instance and receive all the epic loots you could ever hope for.

Fear not, the new 5 mans are appropriately difficult in heroic mode. A fresh 80 is not going to be able to waltz into any of the heroic wings of the Frozen Halls and get free epic loots. At least not unless they’re carried by 4 exceptionally well-geared and experienced people. The difficulty curve of the 3 wings is steep enough to where you can’t faceroll your way through them. Take heroic Trial of the Champion and notch the difficulty up one at each wing and that should give you a pretty good idea of what you’ll be facing. If you thought heroic ToC PUGs were bad, just wait until you try to PUG the Frozen Halls.

Each of the bosses in the various wings of the Frozen Halls are not straight forward encounters and cannot be burned down without regard for mechanics like the regular heroics. You’ll need a good tank, good heals, and dps that are not brain-dead. Each of the encounters feels more like a raiding-lite encounter where positioning and mechanics cannot be ignored; wipes will happen.

Blizzard has also infused a metric-ton of personality into the first two wings of the Frozen Halls and the instances are gorgeous. Make sure you have your in-game music enabled when fighting Bronjahm, you’ll thank me later. Another word of advice: be careful in the Forge of Souls, you can fall off the cat-walks and should it happen, you’ll be making a flight-of-shame back to the instance.

Why Frostmourne isn't with the Lich King we'll never know.

Eventually I may bother writing up some strategies for the bosses, but at this point I’ve only encountered them once, and my epic-fail group couldn’t finish the Halls of Reflection (the pug’d in healer was terribad).  I spent a lot of time admiring the floor of the boss encounters as my poor rogue was having a case of faceplants. I think the only boss I didn’t die on was Scourgelord Tyrannus and Falric, but I shouldn’t count the time that I got roflstomp’d by my party when I was soul-linked on the Devourer of Souls. (Yes, stopping dps IS important =)

Outside of finally getting to check out the new 5-mans I have made two important discoveries: mutilate is producing obscene amounts of DPS and the dungeon finder tool is the best thing ever added to WoW, period. If anyone complains about the tool and/or doesn’t see the use for it, they’re not using it to the fullest potential. As has been stated elsewhere, you don’t have to PUG to use it. You can form a 5-man and then queue for either a specific or random dungeon. Once everyone selects their role and then selects Enter Dungeon you’re instantly teleported just inside the instance from anywhere in the world.

Better yet, should the need to repair or offload items for bag space arise, you can click on the dungeon finder icon on the mini-map and teleport out of the instance to wherever you were prior to entering. Once you complete that business, you can then click on the icon again and teleport back into the instance. It really is awesome and saves a lot of time. It is also very profitable if you use the tool to chain-run random heroics, especially if you have a great group. After the initial reward of two emblems of frost and 26 gold, each random dungeon after will reward two emblems of triumph and 14 gold.

So yes, other than spending wayyyyy too much time reconfiguring addons, I’m loving patch 3.3. I’m thinking I might just run through HoR on normal so I can at least see the end of the instance ^^;

Insomnia

Possibly TBC induced, but recently I’ve been finding myself having a hard time sleeping. At least I’m not the only one in this boat. Hell, even others have mentioned having similar experiences in having warcraft’esque dreams. It’s a surreal experience to say the least.

Anyways, in my insomnia I’ve reflected on some of previous entries relating to my plotting for TBC. Amazingly enough I’ve held fairly true to my plans. However I did finally decide that having my paladin take both blacksmithing and jewelcrafting would be overwhelming. I had her sitting at level 14 with both BS and JC at 1.

Definitely something I needed to remedy, and the solution was a simple one; have Aiom drop jewelcrafting in favor of mining and Mohkri drop skinning in favor of jewelcrafting. This has given me all the desire I needed to dust off my druid and powerlevel as much as possible.

As for my main characters it only took a couple of days before the lure of outland pulled my rogue away from Azeroth. Hellfire Peninsula feels like a meaner Durotar, but the quests are far more interesting, as are the rewards. Although my rogue wasn’t a raider, he was pretty well equipped and even has found a couple of upgrades from quest rewards.

I think I’ve respec’d my rogue twice already, once for shadowstep and most recently for mutilate. Shadowstep was really nifty and useful for pvp if used properly, but overall I felt like my dps suffered as hemorage sucks with daggers. I found myself spending too much time per battle and bandaging far too frequently. I did however enjoy stunning for backstabs, but again … I just felt like my dps was suffering too much.

That’s when I decided to try out mutilate …

Mutilate absolutely rocks. Opening with cheap shot usually gives enough time for a deadly poison proc to maximize mutilate. Often ending up with 5cps a mere 3 secs into a fight needless to say gives my rogue a lot of flexibility. Either a 5cp eviscerate (or envenom against a high armor target) or kidney shot for more control. Most importantly I can grind a lot faster without the need to bandage as frequently.

Actually no, most importantly I’m finding the game fun again. Almost too fun …