Destruction

It has been awhile since I’ve blogged specifically about my in-game exploits in Azeroth so it is about time I did so. Even after close to 5 years with WoW I still find enjoyment out of the game, and it has been incredible to share that experience with my wife. Specifically I’ve taken a step back from the usual “daily” grind at max-level and gone back to the roots of the game with leveling alts.

Back when TBC came out I was certain that I was going to level a paladin to 70 and tank with her but as time passed she gathered more and more dust to the point where I didn’t give a second thought to picking back up my tankadin. Having a consistent partner to quest with has made it very desirable to dust my tankadin off, especially when that partner can pick up the slack in DPS when you’re focusing specifically on being a tank. It’s a blast to tell my wife “get ready to rain down fire” while I mount up and gather up a pack of 6-8 mobs and then watch as they keel over.

As this blog title may suggest, my wife is a warlock and recently we decided that she should try out switching from affliction to destruction. Affliction just wasn’t giving her the big numbers that she was desiring, and since I’m the tank, there really wasn’t a reason for her to not switch over to the bursty damage of destruction. Conflagrate is freaking awesome, and it’ll be even more awesome once one of my guildies gets the glyph sent to my wife’s ‘lock.

Originally my tankadin was all-out protection spec’d, but while we were questing through Stranglethorn Vale I decided I needed a little more oomph and tossed 11 points into retribution for Seal of Command. While this has delayed my Avenger’s shield, it has helped out immensely with the play-style that we occasionally exercise in burning down large groups of mobs. There was one occurrence where we were “joined” by a draenei shadowpriest riding away from the pirate cove in Tanaris and collected a large group running after us. As we approached the cave tunnel I decided “what the hell” and dropped a consecrate and tanked about 8 pirates while my wife rained fire down from the heavens on them. There’s nothing more fun than doing silly stuff like that and living to tell the tale.

Currently we’re sitting just shy of level 46 and hoping to hit at least 58 before our RaF runs out. We haven’t made the most out of the RaF program as our playtime can be quite limited and considering how long it has been since I’ve actually leveled a character in our level range questing hasn’t been silky smooth. I have tried to make sure that we’ve quested through zones that will be substantially changing in Cataclysm so that my wife will be able to reflect on how Azeroth used to be.

Tanking the Rag.

Speaking off old world Azeroth, the bug to level my own ‘lock sent me on a journey to pick up the +22 INT enchant to toss on the heirloom staff. My rogue is an enchanter but he had never reached revered with the Thorium Brotherhood in order to pick up that particular enchant. Fortunately he was honored with them, but had long dropped skinning & mining so it was up to my DK to venture into Molten Core for TB farming.

In a large coincidence two of my guildies were already farming MC but were having a difficult time of it so I got an invite to come join them on my DK who happens to be a mining and skinning expert. We ended up clearing most of MC as a trio which was extremely fun. At first I was DPS’ng on my DK, but considering that I do have tanking gear on my DK, I ended up tanking the entire raid. By the time we were closing in on Ragnaros, we were joined by 6 other guildies which sped things up considerably. I’m sure we could have cleared all of MC as a trio, but it was great to get more friends in on the action and not have it drag on for hours.

By the end of the run we had acquired enough lava cores, fiery cores, dark iron ore, and core leather that even after splitting it with one of my guildmates whom was also working on TB rep I had enough to get my rogue revered with the Thorium Brotherhood. Success! I’ll be heading back into MC with my DK to continue helping my guildmate grind out TB rep although I think we’ll leave Magmadar up for lots and lots of core leather.

As an aside, leveling a lock with the heirloom shoulders, chest, and staff with +22 INT on it made leveling smooth as butter: level 10 in 2 hours!

Decisions

Twenty-three months have passed since I blog’d about what potential talent builds I’d pick up for TBC. I figure it would be fun to reflect on those ideas and look forward to my current ideas for WotLK with my rogue. Back in August ’06 I laid out 4 talent spreads, 2 combat specs, a mutilate spec, and a pvp spec. Unfortunately I don’t have “snap-shots” of those builds, so I’m at a loss for what my “pvp idea” was, but suffice to say, rogue talents have gone through some changes since then.

In the end I mostly stuck with a combat build (20/41/0) since it provided lots of solo-oriented and group/raid talents. Of course instead of utilizing swords, I’m a mace-rogue if only because my buddy Trogdor assisted me with forging my Dragonstrike. Then once I got serious about pvp, mainly because raiding is pretty much not a possibility, I’ve stuck with your “cookie-cutter” lol-step build (20/0/41).

I’m still contemplating taking 3 pts out of cheat death for master of subtlety considering at 299 resil, cheat death only occassionally makes a difference as I usually die a (split)second later. Getting an extra 10% damage for 6 seconds could give me that extra burst damage I need in the arena when I’m able to properly open on someone: (Premed > Cheap Shot > (Imp) Expose Armor > Vanish > Cheap Shot > Hemo > Kidney Shot)

Speaking of arena combat, so far my 3v3 team with priest buddy and his brother’s hunter is slowly coming together. We’re still ranked really low (1449 rating as of our last outting) but overall our gear is pretty bad (I have about 100 resil on my other teammates) and we haven’t completely fleshed out our teamwork and plan-of-attack based on enemy composition. With that said, we’re doing well considering and for the most part going 50/50 with most of our matches.

We’re on the threshold of getting our first piece of season 3 gear; if we manage a 1554 rating we’ll have 1500 pts on Tuesday. I was hoping to hold out and pick up the s4 pants, but considering I’m still wearing the ghetto-pvp pants (rep pvp gear) picking up the s3 pants will provide a substantial increase to my stats overall. I’m also only a mere 8k honor away from picking up the +80 AP trinket which will bring me well over 1600 AP and make me a little more effective.

After that, I’ll more than likely upgrade my s1 head to s3 head and socket a relentless earthstorm diamond in it as opposed to a powerful earthstorm diamond. I’m also hoping to run a kara or two, or three, to get those leather boots that Moroes drops for even more socketing fun and to finally slap an enchantment on my feet. (I’m still boot-enchantless >.<)

So while there is still a lot of gear upgrades for me to obtain for pvp, the realization of just how much better my rogue is geared now prior to WotLK compared to how he was geared prior to TBC is incredible. It also has definitely affected my WotLK plans, and I’m pretty sure I’ll start WotLK on my rogue with a (16/4/41) build and dump those extra 10 talents points into the combat tree as I level leaving me with 16/14/41 build.

Going with that hybrid leveling build should provide substantial mob-killing power and give me some tricks like lol-step to make leveling fun. My current spec is actually faster at killing mobs solo than my combat-mace spec. So I’m fairly certain that it’ll remain faster as I continue to gear up prior to WotLK. Yet I don’t plan on keeping that hybrid spec once I do hit 80 as return to the pvp scene, or possibly start raiding.

While it’s hard to truly gauge what pvp will be like at 80 I’m either leaning towards 30/0/41 or 58/8/5. Going with 30/0/41 gives me the same pvp-flexibility I’m accustomed too right now while adding in seal fate for faster combo point generation. The mutilate build seems like it’d be tons of fun, even though it’d lack mobility. It would also hinge the acquistion of pvp-daggers (or if the removal of “Required: Daggers” is not a bug, maces will be lots of fun to mutilate with =).

If I do decide to put more focus on grouping and raiding, I’ll probably go with either Combat Maces (20/51/0) (Or combat swords) or try being a positional rogue with Combat Daggers (17/50/4).

Whichever spec I end up with mainly depends on weapon acquistion as I level, but if Blizz does impliment the ability for us to carry 2 specs, obviously I’ll carry one of the two pvp specs and a combat spec. I’ll probably continue to refine these specs as the trees are tweaked, and/or more information becomes available to what the new end-game/pvp will be like.

Potency

Another day, another batch of BC talent updates/changes. This time my rogue gets to be excited about diving deeper into the lackluster combat tree past AR. Combat Potency in theory should be a great talent to drop 5 points into. It synergizes exceptionally well with everything the combat rogue is about. It may also make surprise attacks worthwhile in conjunction with shiv giving us an anytime threat reduction with anesthetic poison coating your OH plus a combo point and a 20% chance to lessen the cost of shiv by 15 (w/ 5pt Potency).

Theorycraft is looking good on this one, especially if you’re a lucky rogue with a Thunderfury. MUST … GET … NEVIKFURY >.<

Indecision

Let me preface this entry by stating that there really hasn’t been much to write about for the past month or so. Well at least nothing interesting enough. Yet here I am more than a month finally with something to share. Or maybe just to throw something at the wall to see if it sticks and to reference later. So let’s get to it.

Just a couple of days ago, Blizzard finally gave us a peak at what talents and spells/abilities lie in store for 6 of the nine classes. I’ve been musing over the rogue preview and there’s a lot to like … but there’s also a lot to “meh” about. Regardless I’ve been trying to figure out where my rogue is gonna go once the expansion does hit. Should I keep him sword-spec’d? Respec for daggers? Drop SS for Hemo? So many questions and fortunately I should have time to make up my mind. In the meantime, here’s a couple builds I’m thinking about:

Combat Swords + Poisons
This is a tweaked version of my current setup. I absolutely LOVE Adrenaline Rush and Blade Flurry and would love to keep them. Gives me a ton of stable DPS without too much spike damage to worry about. Keeps in line with Nevik’s focus on procs.

Combat Swords + Prep
Preperation + Adrenaline Rush? Yes please. However I think the sacrifices to get Prep might not be worth the consistant proc damage from poisons. It’d absolutely kick ass on boss fights if the increase to feint’s threat reduction could keep my onslaught from pulling aggro. I still haven’t ruled it out.

Seal Fate
This would be a huge change in playstyle for my rogue, but could provide a lot of burst damage. But burst isn’t as good for PvE as it is for PvP, but if I were planning on pvp’ng, I’m missing a lot of the key PvP talents. So yeah, this was just an idea …

PvP Idea
Unsure about Mutilate as it doesn’t receive bonus damage like backstab does, but 2 CP for 60 energy is a good tradeoff. It also provides lots of CP production for plenty of finishing moves and if played right, could be quite a force to reckon with.