3.3 Rogue FAQ (If you're new-ish here, read this before posting) - Updated 2/3/10
Note: Updated sections are in blue.
I figured I'd perform a service for the community and compile an list of the most common questions that people seem to be having regarding the patch. Also because I'm tired of reading the same stupid stuff over and over.
Note that, because the answers are now compiled in an easily-found location, anyone who asks a question answered herein will now get an extra infraction point for being stupid. And, if you're so foolish as to do so during patch week, I'm going to add 2 more for wasting my time. So yes, asking anything explicitly answered here during patch week is 4 points. You have been warned.
I'm generally not going to provide the full reasoning behind these answers, either; if you wish to know the reasons, rest assured that the discussions are out there, and, as such, you should search for them rather than asking. I'm not going to have a lot of patience for that, either. Also, as a global caveat, the answer is to most of these questions can be summarized as "use the spreadsheet(s)". If, however, you can't or won't use the spreadsheet, these are some rough guidelines to get you pointed in the correct direction. Please note that most of these assume that you're gearing up in Icecrown - if you're gearing up in Ulduar, some answers may be different.
So, without further ado, the 3.3 Rogue FAQ:
Q: What's the highest-DPS Mutilate spec?
A: In general, some close variant of 51/18/2. The only points that are really negotiable are the ones in Fleet Footed. The traditional 51/13/7 build isn't an unreasonable option, but current modeling indicates that it's at least a bit behind.
Q: Why 2/5 Relentless Strikes instead of 2/2 Opportunity?
A: Because it's better.
Q: Why Fleet Footed?
A: Run speed is handy. And since the preferred cycle is Envenom-only, you don't need Blood Spatter, so there really isn't anything in the way of DPS talents to take - Vigor isn't bad, but it isn't a clear upgrade, either. The main reason I'd consider doing otherwise is if you mostly run 10 mans and below where you don't have anyone to keep up bleeds for you for purposes of HFB. In this case, I can see sticking with Blood Spatter.
Q: Why Glyph of Tricks of the Trade?
A: Similar logic. Save the circumstances dictated above, we don't need Glyph of Rupture anymore, and there really aren't any other glyphs that boost single-target DPS. The other notable option would be Glyph of FoK.
Q: Fast weapons or slow weapons?
A: You need at least one fast weapon for Deadly Poison. The other can reasonably be either fast or slow - weapon DPS matters far more than speed.
Q: Which dagger goes MH?
A: The higher-DPS one.
Q: What if they're of equal DPS?
A: The short answer is that it doesn't matter very much - both options will be within a tenth of a percent of DPS. Usually it will be better to have the fast weapon MH, but there are situations - the most common one involving use of Tiny Abom - where that may not be the case.
Q: Wait, what? The fast one MH?
A: Yep. Basically, the extra poison procs you gain just barely outweigh the loss of Mutilate damage. See this post for numbers.
Q: So DP sometimes goes on your MH?
A: Yes. DP goes on the fast weapon, whichever hand it's in. If both weapons are the same speed, DP goes on the MH.
Q: Which stats are good for Mutilate?
A: AP and Haste are the money stats; these are what you want to be stacking. Making the spell hit cap and the expertise cap are also highly advisable. At high gear levels, it is possible to run into crit cap issues - sometimes quite severely. Hence, it is not uncommon to need some hit both on gear and in sockets to mitigate this problem. This also makes crit (and to a lesser extent, agi) somewhat less desirable as a stat (as it means you need to socket more hit to cover it). None of the usual rogue stats are truly awful for Mutilate, but ArPen is the weakest.
Q: What's the recommended cycle for Mutilate?
A: 4+ Envenom seems generally strongest. Keep HFB up, SnD at the beginning of the fight, go nuts with Envenom.
Q: What's the highest DPS Combat spec?
A: Typically, 20/51/0.
Q: What's the deal with 4/5 Improved and 1/3 Vile?
A: That's what usually comes out on top in existing modeling. Feel free to check a spreadsheet to verify that that's correct for you.
Q: Which glyph should I drop if I want GoFoK or GoTotT?
A: Eviscerate. Sinister Strike and Killing Spree are both huge DPS increases - Eviscerate is relatively minor by comparison.
Q: Which weapon spec is best?
A: As a general rule, Hack and Slash. Mace spec appears to still be lacking in viable OHs, and CQC tends to have trouble with the crit cap. This is not to say that you can't put together a viable weapon setup with Maces or Fist/Dagger; it's simply that it's harder.
Q: What should I look for in weapons?
A: For a MH, you want something slow (2.5-2.7) and as high-DPS as possible - DPS matters more than speed. For an OH, you want something as fast as possible - 1.4 is best, and failing that 1.5. Since two-weapon specs are basically dead, you thus want two weapons of the same specialization that satisfy this as well as possible. For more information, see your local friendly spreadsheet.
Q: Which stats are good for combat?
A: At high gear levels, ArPen usually takes over; until you get there, it can be almost anything. I've seen Agi, AP, Hit, and Haste all take the top position depending on the exact details of your gear setup - check a spreadsheet to find the answer that's right for you. But by late ICC gear levels, the rule of thumb seems to be enough Exp and Hit to fix any crit cap issues you may have and then stack ArPen. In some gear setups you might find it advantageous to use a haste gem or two.
Q: What's the recommended cycle for combat?
A: SnD if it's about to drop, 5pt Eviscerates otherwise.
A: IP MH, DP OH. If you need to keep wound poison up, use it MH with DP OH, but be aware that this costs a good 500+ DPS in most cases.
Q: Is combat daggers viable?
Q: Really? But my friend told me it's good, and...
A: Still no.
Q: Okay, what about HAT?
Q: But what about the 4/5 T10? Doesn't that make it viable again?
Q: You're no fun.
A: That's not a question. But, sorry.
Q: Okay, which of those specs does the most damage?
A: For tank and spanks, Mutilate by an eyelash. However, for more interrupted and/or multi-target fights, Combat usually edges ahead. Personally, I feel that both specs are more or less viable, but Combat probably is somewhat more flexible. My personal recommendation would be that, optimally speaking, a raid guild wants to have more combat rogues than Mutilate rogues, but still have some of each.
Q: How good are the T9 set bonuses?
A: Given that we're dropping rupture from all our cycles, the 2/5 pretty much sucks. And the 4/5 ain't great either - it's not totally useless, but it's certainly much weaker than the T7 or T8 4/5 bonus.
Q: How good are the T10 set bonuses?
A: The 2/5 is *awesome*. It's certainly the strongest 2-piece we've had since at least T6, if not ever. Whatever else happens gearwise, there is no question that you want the 2-piece bonus, regardless of spec. The 4-piece is pretty weak as combat, and sort of middling as Mutilate; whether it's worth bothering with is going to be largely a function of what other options are out there.
Q: But I tested on a target dummy and got different answers! WTF!?
A: Was the target dummy fully raid debuffed, and you fully raid buffed? Did you perform multiple trials totaling at least an hour to reduce variance? I didn't think so. That's why you got different answers.
Q: What's this crit cap thing you keep talking about?
A: Due to the mechanics of the hit table, there is a theoretical maximum of how much crit you can benefit from on white attacks. In particular, if your chance to crit, chance to miss, and chance to be dodged add up to more than 76%, you are crit capped and thus not making full use of the crit on your gear.
As an illustrative example: let's say our miss rate is 10%, and we are expertise capped. If our crit rate is over 76-10=66%, we are crit capped. So if our tooltip crit with full raid buffs is, say, 65%, we're okay... unless there's a crit debuff on the mob (Master Poisoner, etc.). If we have this crit debuff, our true crit rate is then 68%, meaning we are "wasting" 68-66=2% crit on white attacks.
It is most common to have problems with this during agility or crit procs (Dark Matter, Death's Verdict/Choice, etc.) but by late ICC it is quite possible to be passively crit capped. If you're crit capped - either through procs or passively - you will often (though not always) find it advantageous to socket expertise (up to the cap) and hit so as to raise the cap to the point where you are no longer wasting crit.
Q: ...I'm confused. Try again?
A: It's sort of a confusing subject, admittedly. My first and best suggestion is to get a spreadsheet and play with it. Regardless of what you think about spreadsheets normally, this really is one of those times when you need the more sophisticated analysis they provide - it's really not something you can eyeball.
Q: Are the Onyxia weapons any good?
A: In a word? No. They're roughly comparable to more conventional stated-weapons about one tier lower. So if you have, say, an ilvl 245 weapon from ToC, and a 245 weapon from Ony, the one from ToC will be quite a bit better.
Q: Is weapon swapping any good?
A: Not really. There may be uses for it still, but the DP change in 3.3 kills what made it ubiquitous in 3.2.
Q: So I heard that Black Magic works off poisons, and haste is a good stat for us, so I was wondering...
A: ...if it was any good? Short answer: no. Long answer: nooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
If you have comments/questions/corrections/things to add/whatever, feel free to let me know. But if you're wrong or obviously stupid, I will make fun of you, so please try to make sure you know what you're talking about before making such suggestions.
6/2/09: Combat answers adjusted to reflect the implementation of an ArPen cap.
6/20/09: Mutilate spec recommendation adjusted based on updated theorycraft.
8/20/09: Miscellaneous updates.
12/06/09: Updated for 3.3.
12/12/09: Assorted updates.
12/18/09: Updated explanation of weapon poisons.
1/5/10: New info on Mut weapon speeds/poisons; updated stat priorities.
1/14/10: Miscellaneous updates.
2/3/10: Updated based on recent crit cap findings.
I'm not going to have time to continue to update this moving forward, so will probably unstick it and let it fall off the first page at some point so as not to present misleading information. If you're interested in taking over in maintaining some sort of similar FAQ-type most - with the intent of actually updating it to keep current with game changes and evolving theorycraft - send me a PM and let me know.
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