The Final Nail

I don’t like to admit defeat, but there comes a time when I just have to face reality and accept it: my rogue leveling project is virtually dead. Other than a brief one-night stand with my rogue on Jubei’thos, I haven’t logged into either project rogue in weeks. I have too much going on and not enough free time to dedicate to the project. The free time I do have has once again been stolen by something else, something major, something worth setting aside the project for … Cataclysm.

It was two weeks ago today that I was logged in on my death knight smelting a metric ton of cobalt for my rogue when I received an email notifier on my phone. At first I thought it was merely a phishing scheme because surely I wasn’t going to be getting into the Cataclysm beta. No way. No how. That is, until I decided to check the validity of the email by opening up my browser and manually entering Battle.Net’s URL into the navigation bar.

Do not be alarmed, it's just a place-holder login screen.

Wait. No. This can’t be. I’m in the … beta … ?!?

After the shock wore off I came to realize that my rogue leveling project as I intended it was dead. It was at that moment that I almost began cursing Blizzard for tossing me an invite that I couldn’t ignore, I was going to get a taste of Cataclysm and become absorbed in it.

Thankfully before I lamented too heavily on being lured away from the live servers, I came to another realization: I could level a worgen rogue on the beta servers … and that’s just what I set out to do. But before I could actually create my worgen rogue, I had to download the beta client and that meant making room for it by uninstalling the Final Fantasy XIV open beta client.

Oh SquEnix, I wanted to like XIV … too bad it’s too much like XI.

Being rather impatient, I decided to give the streaming downloading client a good … testing by loading the game prior to a full install. I knew I was going to be met with a less-than-desirable experience upon the initial load, but why wait? I could play NOW and there was nothing that was going to stop me.  Fortunately for me the client is rather smart by prioritizing the information you need rather than locking you down until it decides to download it.

Fear the stylishness of flexing in a top hat.

Thus the worgen rogue, Nevikjames, was born. No, I wasn’t able to get Nevik on the beta servers and I was rather annoyed by that fact. So if you happen to have a toon named Nevik on Lost Isles, would you kindly rename yourself with a re-customization? ^^;

I’ll save my in-depth impressions of the worgen starting experience for another entry, partially because it’s now been 2 weeks so it isn’t all that clear and I’m probably going to start another worgen rogue for comparison sakes. Suffice to say I am very impressed with the immersion and story-telling with the starting zones. By the end of worgen starting experience I found myself in an odd position, I actually hated Sylvanas!

What? How is that even possible?

I know, crazy right? I have to give Blizzard props on what they’ve accomplished with just the worgen starting experience. I was so enthralled and taken by the story that the shock of what Sylvanas pulls made me immediately create an undead hunter to get our side of the story. I haven’t gotten the hunter into Silverpine yet, but now that I got my worgen rogue running wild I’ll probably spend some time on the hunter when I get the chance.

Anyhoo, I’ll close out this entry with a thought and slight concern about my general feel of the new assassination rogue leveling experience: Mutilate is sooooooooooo incredibly OP at level 10. Most encounters last 2 seconds: ambush, mutilate, dead mob.

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And Then the Next Thing I Knew …

… it was 4 am in the morning and I had successfully managed to pull wife aggro. Erp!

Yes folks, it can happen to you too if you manage to consume 12 beers in one evening. It’s been quite awhile since the last time I had an all-night WoW-bender and not for a lack of enthusiasm for the game. It’s just that I’m getting older and I value sleeeeeeeeeep all that much more now that my daughter is in kindergarten and has adopted a new “up at 8am, or earlier” routine, even on the weekends.

That and I’ve found a more reasonable sense of balance in the time that I dedicate to the game, to my wife and daughter, and my other assorted projects. So needless to say, pulling a WoW-bender just doesn’t occur all that often anymore. Sure there are plenty of times where I might think I want to forgo enough sleep to get something done in-game, but as I said, I’m getting older and those thoughts are usually dismissed quickly when I think of my comfy bed and pillow.

Okay, so what got in to me?

Well, it all started earlier in the week when I received a DM from Fimlys asking me if I would like to be interviewed for episode #101 of the Twisted Nether Blogcast. Needless to say I was honored, excited and just a wee-bit nervous. Okay, okay! Yes, actually I was extremely nervous and knew that I was going to need some liquid courage to take that edge off so I could relax and be myself on the podcast.

Things went along swimmingly during the interview (other than Comcast HSI hiccuping once) and I managed to safely keep my beer inside of its container throughout the show. Sorry Ril … you really will never live that down. It was after the interview was finished where things started to go awry.

It started off slow, but after watching some Avatar: The Last Airbender before bed with the wifey, I wasn’t quite ready to retire for the evening thanks to having a sour stomach from all the ‘za and beer I had consumed. So off I went to my cave and proceeded to log in to WoW for a quick jaunt through a dungeon or two with my troll rogue on Jubei’thos.

Two dungeons became four, which then became six and so did the number of beers fueling this crazed gaming-bender. My grasp on time faded completely and it wasn’t until my poor pregnant wife came in around 4 am that I realized what I had done. With egg on my face, I managed to quickly finish out the last dungeon run I was in and avoid further aggravation before retiring for the night.

My night ended on a high note, aside from the mild wife-aggro, with an incredible run through the Blackfathom Deeps with some friendly quality players. Being as drunk as I was, it wasn’t hard to strike up a conversation and share my euphoria from being on the Twisted Nether.  At the end of the night we all parted as friends and I promised to blog about the experience.

Well unfortunately I was just a tad too inebriated to recall much, but at least I did take a couple of screenshots so I wouldn’t forget their names … but unfortunately most of them were poorly framed ^^;

Our bear tank, Blackcow from Chromaggus, was pure win and would always move through the mob packs so that they would turn their backs for my benefit. Other than myself filling the role of DPS, we had Bárnabyjones from Saurfang laying out some great warlock dps and ParalizeJr from Jubei’thos providing AoE-hotness as a mage can. Last, but definitely not least, we had MiseryQT also from Jubei’thos making sure no one died on our run.

Thanks to this collection of fine folks my faith in the Vengeance battlegroup has been restored. I can get great groups and have a blast in the dungeon finder tool. Now if only I could spend more time on Jubei’thos to continue dinging my troll rogue. Oh! That reminds me, I probably have some unspent talent points to distribute … ^^;

215 Bottles of Dwarven Ale …

I try my best, but it seems even with a focused topic to blog about I’m still vulnerable to the gaps in posts that has always plagued my blog. Yadda, yadda, ya between work, miscellaneous projects and having a youngin’ that has started her academic career in Kindergarten, I haven’t quite had a balanced sense of energy to devote to each direction my fickle interests take me in.

Blame it on the “jack of all trades, master if none” trait of my astrological sign, or just the fact that I’ve been getting a little too much into roleplaying a dwarf outside of the game to remember to set aside some time to jot down some words for you to read. Sorry about that. At least here I am, sitting and typing words for ye. So let’s get on with it …

I remember when I first envisioned this grandiose plan to record my experiences with leveling two rogues of varying spec that I would do so with a decent amount of balance. As you might recall in my last entry my troll rogue was trailing behind and I had planned on ditching questing with him and focus on chain-running dungeons with the LFD tool. Yah, that was the plan but somehow when I logged in to the game, instinctually I’d hop on my dwarf.

Naturally my interest was higher in playing the dwarf as I’ve only ever quested through the Alliance quests once before with my draenei mage so everything still felt new to me. Fair enough you would think so as long as I didn’t complete neglect my troll right? Well that was back when the disparity between the two was only eight levels, now it is sixteen. Yikes! Once I left Redridge for Duskwood I was done for.

Despite many of the quests in Duskwood had me traversing the landscape over and over and over and … er, well you get the idea … I couldn’t stop myself from spending all of my time completing quests for the folks in Darkshire. It also helped tremendously that I had gotten over the rogue hump and had access to almost all of the abilities I’ve come to love and rely on. I was decimating stuff even running around with daggers, an ambush here, a rupture there and with vanish at my disposal I had everything I needed to stop dying.

You see, there’s this funny thing called godliness when you pull shit off that you shouldn’t otherwise be able to. It’s quite addictive and when you get a taste for it, it’s hard to stop craving it. Mind you that neither of my rogues are decked out in heirloom gear, though an occasional run through an instance to obtain blue quality gear does help. I almost was able to solo Gath’Ilzogg (level 26 elite) and his pet Singe (level 24 elite) at level 24 with every trick I had. Had my rogue had access to the heirloom daggers with crusader I would have surely been able to …

Anyhoo, like I said it’s hard for me to stop myself when I’m on a roll and this little boulder of a dwarf was a’rolling. There was no way I was going to stand in front of it in some vain attempt to stop it. No, I would have been squished … metaphorically you could say. No, I was aboard the USS Nevïk and the only way I was going to be able to get off was to wait for it come to a stop. Fortunately near the end of Duskwood things did slow down and as you might surmise, things have stopped at least temporarily as I work on catching up with herbalism after dropping mining.

HERBALISM?!?

Yes, really. Herbalism. It’s something that I initially overlooked since I’m so familiar with mining and for some reason thought that mining was the better way to go for income. I don’t know how I didn’t think of herbalism to begin with as it is also quite a money-maker and has the added benefit of Lifeblood, a heal-over-time ability which covers an inherit weakness in the early rogue leveling career. I can only reflect on what could have been when attempting to solo Gath’Ilzogg had my dwarf been able to lifeblood …

Okay, well with that it’s time for me to put my little one in bed and call it a wrap for this update. And oh yah, my dwarf is now level 32, running around Westfall … picking flowers. Good times.

Troggs, Troggs, Troggs

If there’s one word to describe my questing experience in Loch Modan it would be: troggs. They were everywhere and everyone needed them to be exterminated and by the end of it all, I really hoped I’d get some quests to scavenge through boar poop instead of being sent out to kill more troggs.

As you can see troggs are exceptionally ugly. Ugly enough that I’m sure their own mothers wouldn’t love them. But worse than just being ugly, they’re damned scaredy uggs and flee when they sense their end is nigh. This wouldn’t be such a hassle in of itself, but troggs like to congregate en masse, so unless you’re able to kill them quickly after they bolt you get to deal with their friends.

At the end of an exceptionally painful string of trogg-killing quests at the southern end of Loch Modan, I was tasked to deal with 3 named troggs: Brawler, Gnasher and Grawmug. “No problem” I thought until I realized that the trio happened to be +2/3 levels higher than my poor dwarf rogue was. Undeterred he strode in to the cave, managed to get a sap off and was able to down Brawler before being overwhelmed by not only the other two, but a wandering skullthumper who happened to be in the right place at the right time.

A quick trip back from the spirit healer and Gnasher and Grawmug got to share in their brethren’s admiration of the rocky cave floor. Success! After the ensuing trip back to the bunker my dwarf was sporting some stylish pants and headed eastward to deal with another problem at an excavation site; more troggs. Oids!

After regaining my composure after some choice words in troggish, (after being among them for so long, you tend to pick up on their slang) I remembered that there was an elvish structure further east that would hopefully offer oodles of quests to fill my dwarf’s sparsely-filled quest log. Unfortunately it appeared that the inhabitants of this inn provided little in the way of work and once again my dwarf set off in hopes of tasks he was well-suited to fulfill.

I did come across a gnome-pilot that had crashed near the lake’s edge and he tasked my dwarf with finding his missing belongings that, you guessed it, fell into TROGG camps on the northern island. Seriously Blizzard?! More troggs? Seriously? Of course this gnome’s tools fell onto an island teaming with troggs with the dead-set precision to be in the middle of four different trogg camps.

Seriously Blizzard?!

Fortunately for my sanity, the troggs on this island were either lower leveled, or even with my dwarf after slaughtering so many troggs. What are a few dozen more? Despite my growing hatred towards all troggs everywhere, I did enjoy the ease at which my rogue was systematically dismembering the troggs within the camps. But once I was done with that, I had run out of enough quests to keep trudging along in Loch Modan no longer worthwhile.

That’s when the idea struck me.

I had forgotten that after hitting level 15, I could queue for a random dungeon and earn a satchel of useful goods! Eureka! So I placed my dwarf into the queue and toddled off back to Ironforge since he had a couple of breadcrumb quests leading him to Stormwind via the tram of debauchery. Tell me, do my fingers look infected to you?

Following a lengthy sterilizing of everything, I was just barely able to make it to “The Shiv” before being prompted to join a dungeon group. “Finally I’ll get to see the Stockades” I thought. Nope, DENIED. Boringfire Chasm. Ragefire Chasm is a weird little jaunt where the “final” boss is the first you meet and therefore NO ONE ever bothers to finish the rest of the instance.

Oh well, better than killing more troggs … I suppose.

Anyhoo, my first experience with an Alliance pug went well enough that I decided to jump into the queue once more as I painstakingly ran across Elwynn Forest on my way to the Redridge Mountains. Sure enough I got another prompt and as if Blizzard was mocking me, once again it happened to be RFC.

/facedesk

After back-to-back RFC runs you’d think I’d stay away from the dungeon finder tool, and I did … until I got to Lakeshire. That itch needed to be scratched and I wanted to see the Stockades so badly that I compulsively queued up again. I picked up a few quests and unexpectedly I was prompted to join another dungeon, this time … Wailing Labyrinth.

If you’ve never run Wailing Caverns before it is an expansive instance with twisting maze-like tunnels spanning multiple levels, bosses up the wahzoo, and capped off with a role-playing event where you have to escort Naralex from the BEGINNING of the instance to a water-filled cavern in the middle.

Remember kids, skills are NOT bind-on-pickup.

This instance is usually a pug-killer because very seldom does anyone know where they’re going, what they need to do, and it takes FOREVER to finish the darn thing to get credit. Hell, even if you run through the instance with your level 80 it still takes forever because it is so easy to get lost and lose track of who you need to kill to unlock the event with Naralex.

But back to my dwarf.

I joined the dungeon part-way through where the group had just made it to the first large cavern after what appeared to be a wipe. Oids. Eventually the group was ready to go again and we eventually stumbled our way into an accidental boss pull while we were still working on a group leading up to the boss.

I can’t really explain it, but after NOT wiping and falling apart after the first boss we managed to limp our way through the rest of the instance. I suppose the group was just as much into sado-masochism as I am (blame it on my beta-testing background) and we survived two complete wipes without anyone nerd-rage quitting the group. I even managed to score some sweet blue-quality shoulders for my dwarf and I repaid everyone’s efforts with some sharp wit during the RP event with Naralex.

What can I say? Maybe I’m the glue that held that rag-tag team together. At least we finished the marathon of a dungeon and had some laughs in the end even if they were from delirium. I’m just glad that my dwarf has a metric-ton of quests to complete in the Redridge Mountains to keep me away from WC for awhile.

Adjusting to Limitations

As I’ve reacquainted myself with the early doldrums of the rogue leveling experience I have come to accept the fact that without twinkage, I can’t just run around like a demi-god with my baby rogues. I just don’t have all the tools at my disposal yet that make the rogue such a versatile class to play as. I catch myself hitting my buttons for vanish and blind when things turn south and then realizing “Oh yah, don’t have that yet” while admiring the dirt.

But you know what? I’m glad that I’m relearning things that I’ve come to take for granted about my class so that I can share with you what it means to be a rogue. Things such as paying attention to the paths of mobs, knowing how to approach a pack of aggressive mobs, and which mobs to sap to avoid accidental adds. You need to be aware as a rogue because you are not a demi-god early on and being blind to important little details will send you back to spend quality time with the spirit healer.

Let me elaborate on this a little bit more …

If you’re approaching a pack of enemies, you need to keep in mind the potential aggro radiuses of all the enemies directly around you. If they’re of the humanoid persuasion you should sap the closest potential add of your intended target. This allows you to open on your kill target without causing a cascading aggro pull of two or more enemies, something you definitely do not want happening as a fledgling rogue.

You could always avoid attempting to clear these higher density packs, but this is a skill that you want to learn as a rogue. You may be asked to use your sap while in a dungeon and if you practice clearing packs, you’ll be better prepared to rise to the occasion when it calls. Sure, you’re going to make mistakes and eat some dirt, but with each accident you’ll learn the nuances of aggro mechanics.

Another thing I have come to take for granted is keeping slice n’ dice up while leveling. It’s instinctual for me as a level 80 rogue, but back in vanilla I severely underestimated just how powerful slice n’ dice is. In other words, it is far more beneficial to keep SND up, than it is to waste time building up for a 3-5pt eviscerate. Now I’m not saying to not use eviscerate, but there are two things working against you if you neglect SND for using eviscerate exclusively:

1. Eviscerate can and will miss, wasting energy and time that you could have been swinging faster and 2. Not keeping SND up reduces the chances for critical white hits while you’re building up combo points.

Remember that Slice n’ Dice is a percentage haste increase and can never miss. Keeping SND up directly correlates into a percentage increase in your damage output, so use it!

Now let’s say that you have plenty of time left on your SND (for the sake of argument I’ll say 8 seconds or more) or your target is rapidly approaching death, this is when you should choose to use eviscerate to finish the job.  Occasionally you may also run into situations where you will have 3 or more combo points and while your SND maybe about to drop off, it wouldn’t make sense to refresh SND with that many combo points. This is one time where I wouldn’t frown or shake my head for allowing SND to fall off.

So, okay. I think I’ll conclude the guide portion of this blog entry and move into a little bit of what my troll and dwarf rogues have been up to, more bone-headed deaths! Okay, I’m kidding … a little 😉 As you might suspect, I’m still catching myself being a little too over-confident with my baby rogues and that’s prompted my getting up on my soapbox and preaching about all things rogue.

My dwarf rogue hit level 14 the other night and has quickly grown tired of collection quests where the items are low-chance drops on scarce mobs in Loch Modan. He must have killed three times as many boars as bears and spiders for that painful quest, but at least the leather he got from skinning them were worth it. Well, alright that’s not really true, the economy on Winterhoof isn’t great and light leather barely goes for more than 1.5g a stack.

As for my troll rogue, he’s just shy of level 14 and desperately desiring a mount to travel across the barrens faster. How in the world did I tolerate running around for 45 levels in vanilla? (Yes, I didn’t have enough gold to get my first mount until level 45 ;_; noob I was!) However, after skipping over to Ratchet the ensuing pirate killing quests have revived his hopes for rapid advancement.

I really hope the old rogue lockpicking quest with Polly, the HUMONGOUS parrot in the hold of the pirate ship is still intact. I loved that quest …

Polly yells: SQUAWK!

Polly says: MmmmmMmmmm… Enormous chemically altered cracker….
Polly says: What the squawk? Squawk squawk, squawk? SQUAWK!

Eating Crow

Remember how one of the points of blogging about my experiences with leveling rogues was to debunk the difficulty of trying to solo with the class? Well, I should have added the caveat that it’s easy with good gear. Until you start getting some decent daggers from quests or the auction house, leveling is oh so painful. I almost lost count of how many boneheaded deaths I suffered if I accidentally pulled more than one mob, especially if one of them is a ranged or spell-casting mob.

So yah, I have to eat my own words … a little.

Anyhoo, things were going really slowly with my dwarf rogue since he was wielding really underpowered daggers. So slow that I even picked up blacksmithing to just create two copper daggers until I realized the materials required to make them were horrifically not worth it. But there was a glint of hope on the far eastern side of Dun Morogh with a decent dagger upgrade from an easily completed quest.

That’s when things turned around.

I felt like a god again even though I barely had many of the tools that my main rogue has. It became worth it to stealth up to mobs and stab them in the back, especially on a crit. Then once I got sap, slice n’ dice, and sprint the heavens parted and the great Titan Aman’Thul reached down and blessed my little rogue. Okay, that’s just a slight exaggeration, but it was as if the game had completely changed from one of painful drudgery into one of great joy.

I guess I had blocked those painful memories of my first few days on Azeroth and I can’t imagine how I got through it stabbing things with ONE dagger from level 1 to 10. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see what leveling like a rogue will be like post-cataclysm with each spec’s mainstay ability; having mutilate at level 10 just seems downright overpowered. But for now, I’m having plenty of fun now that my dwarf has escaped the cold lonely landscape of Dun Morogh and into the loving arms of Loch Modan.

Sure I’ve passed through Loch Modan before, but never have I truly appreciated its beauty. Other than a brief stint with my draenei mage, my exposure to the zone has been limited to my horde toons running/riding through on their way to the Badlands to pick up the flight point at Kargath. This is exactly why I decided to start this project now, I want to experience as much of Azeroth as possible before everything is changed forever.

Sure I could have rolled a class that I haven’t played before or gotten far with, but then I’d be distracted from the experience by the learning of how to play the class. Going with rogues frees me to enjoy the experience as I already know how to play a rogue, well at that even. So even though my overconfidence has led to a few embarrassing deaths, I’m having a blast in the Eastern Kingdoms running ale to and fro.

As for the logistics of where my dwarf rogue is at level and talent-wise, he’s sitting at level 12 with all 3 points into malice for an extra 3% to crit. I could have gone with points into opportunity for an extra 20% backstab damage, but at this level an extra 20% isn’t going to mean much. Besides it would also delay when I’d be able to pick up mutilate and that’s not something I want to delay any longer than need be.

I’m really looking forward to hitting level 18 when I’ll be able to pick up ambush and open proper on enemies. Garrote becomes available at level 14, but I’m not sure if it’ll be worth using over backstab considering how long the average fight is lasting. I suppose I’ll have to run the numbers, but not tonight. I’m just glad I finally got sap and slice n’ dice as they’re invaluable for the leveling process.

Things are looking great for my dwarf, now I just need to get my baby troll rogue some daggers and repeat the process over on Jub Jub. Until next time, for the stabby stab!

Sub-Prime Rogue

Before I get into the meat of this entry, I wanted to address a few things game-plan related to my rogue leveling project. First thing you’re going to notice is that I’ve decided to ditch the one-word titles for my entries and this will extend to any blog entry I decide to write in the future, or at least until I change my mind again. It was getting difficult to come up with unique one-word titles and in some ways, it was getting a little pretentious. So yah, the titles of my entries will be slightly more descriptive now.

Secondly, my current plan is to take both rogues to the end of vanilla content and share my experiences along the way. I’m not going to attempt to create the be-all, end-all rogue leveling guide, I just want to share and encapsulate the experience. Sure there will be tips scattered along the way, (PROtip style … okay I kid) which should hopefully be beneficial to both WoW noobs and perhaps even grizzled veterans like myself.

Now without further adieu, let’s get on with it …

Sub-Prime Rogue

But first, a brief introductory paragraph …

Leveling as a rogue in the old world content is something that I haven’t done since World of Warcraft first came out. My very first character in WoW was a rogue, and I pretty much identify myself as a rogue player. In vanilla I leveled as a combat rogue. In TBC I tried leveling as an assassination rogue with the introduction of mutilate, but quickly went back to combat because at the time mutilate still had positional requirements. I also dabbled quite a bit in rogue PVP with a subtlety spec near the end of TBC. Then came WotLK and my attention turned back to PVE and once again I tried leveling as an assassination rogue but abandoned it for combat.

As you can see my leveling experiences as a rogue have almost exclusively been with the combat tree. Leveling as combat is very straight-forward and provides plenty of abilities to make the leveling process easy. There are no worries about positional requirements and you’ll have a larger selection of weapons to utilize along the way. So for most players I would heartily suggest going with the combat tree, especially if you’re still relatively new to WoW.

There’s only one down-side to leveling as a combat rogue, you don’t feel very roguish. That’s why I have decided to try out both assassination and subtlety for leveling. I really want to get that last taste of leveling through the old world content not as a brigand, but as a rogue.

Over the past couple of days I’ve created my two project toons: Nevïk the dwarf rogue on Winterhoof, and Nevik the troll rogue on Jubei’thos. As of today, both toons are approaching level 10 and their very first talent point. In the absence of talent points to spend, my experiences on both toons have been nearly identical so there is little need to differentiate between the two.

There is, however, one big difference with my experiences as a rogue from my vanilla days: you start off with two daggers, a throwing weapon, and the ability to stealth. While stealth is pretty much useless in these early levels, having a throwing weapon has allowed me to engage at range instead of blindly running up to a mob and slapping them to death. Well you could use backstab as an opener from stealth once you reach level 4, but once you start encountering red/aggressive mobs your stealth is far too weak to get into position.

You’ll get gouge at level 6 and that makes things a little more interesting for the rogue: engage the mob at range and then use gouge when it is melee range to setup an easy backstab. Sliding behind a mob to backstab screams rogue and it is a lot of fun to do when your gouge does connect. Just remember that if you’re attempting to set this up after engaging at melee range you’re going to want to wait to gouge until you have at least 65 energy, otherwise you will not regenerate enough energy to execute a backstab before the gouge wears off.

Another thing to keep in mind is that unless you get really lucky with weapon drops (or have heirloom daggers) or have plenty of gold to waste on “throw away” weapons you’re going to want to be fairly careful about the battles you engage in. Rogues are not great at handling multiple mobs at once in these early levels (well … most classes aren’t for that matter) and you will die if you don’t pay attention to the environment around you.

It is also highly advisable that you avoid caves if you’re not twinking your rogue with heirlooms or gear from the auction house. Caves present too many possibilities for pulling extra mobs and you will spend a lot of time admiring the ground, and there is nothing fun about that, nor multiple corpse runs.

If you are dead-set on spelunking, head over to WoWhead and look into ways to outfit your rogue with better weapons. Weapons are the cornerstone of your rogue’s leveling ability, so the sooner you improve your weaponry, the better your experiences will be. Don’t be afraid to buy a white-quality dagger from the vendors either. Making incredible amounts of money (at least comparatively to the old days) is as easy as picking up mining and/or skinning at the second town/outpost you reach. You will, however, have to make a trip into a capital city to put the bars/ores/skins up on the auction house, but the amount of gold you’ll get from selling just ONE stack will cover all of your training expenses for a very long time.

And finally I have one more little piece of advice to share: make sure to pick up first aid and go fight some humanoid npcs for linen cloth. Even though your health will regenerate exceptionally fast out-of-combat in these early levels, you will occasionally run into situations where your survival can hinge on landing a gouge and getting two ticks of healing from a bandage.

That’s all I have for now; there isn’t much to rogue leveling at these pre-talented levels. Even then, I wouldn’t expect a big impact from my talent choices until I get closer to level 20 when I’ll finally get a few more tools in my rogue kit. My next RLP entry will likely cover both my assassination and subtlety rogue, but if my experiences with leveling differ enough, I may split them into two separate entries.

For the stabby stab!