On Being a Rogue and the Things It Makes Me Do

I’m in love and I feel guilty about it.

I’ll explain, but we’ll have to step back in history a bit.  When I started Sera, it was largely out of frustration.  I’d been playing on an RP-PvP server and my solo character (not a good idea on a PvP server) was a mage.  Mages are very squishy.  Extremely squishy.  Maximally squishy.  I was tired of getting ganked.  I needed revenge.  Who is best at ganking the gankers?  A rogue!  And so, Sera was born.

That PvP beginning has flavored everything about her.  Her spec, the one I used for leveling, has always been focused on disabling the opponent and surviving the fight.  Maximum DPS suffered so that maximum survivability could benefit.

Also, there was the RP element to it.  I have this potentially elaborate back story to the character that involves her combat training having references to "dancing with luck" or dancing with her opponent.  Her RSP title is "Luck Dancer."  This has been a theme.  So when I saw that the capping ability on the Subtlety tree was Shadowdance, it just… fit.

So, here I had a good mechanics reason and a good role-playing reason for her spec.  Those elements combined with the fact that I seemed to be doing just fine kept me content.  I never had any desire to even really look at what all those Mutilate and Combat proponents were talking about.

And then…

And then, right before I dinged 79, I also had enough money on me for my second spec.  I wanted a second spec primarily for the achievement.  Also, I’d been hearing enough about how Subtlety wouldn’t work for instances, that I was willing to entertain the idea of a second spec just to make sure I was pulling my expected DPS weight — but only in dungeons!  That was the plan.

I asked for advice (Thanks DK!), checked out a couple of recommended specs, and when I went to train after reaching level 79, I also bought the second spec.  I set it up as suggested, with a few points shifted elsewhere.  I went to Icecrown to do my Argent dailies and try it out.




The difference in damage output is … startling, initially, and amazing as I got into the groove of it.  And Killing Spree is the most fun rogue ability ever.  Seriously?  I get to dart around from target to target?  Or all around a single target?  And probably take him to near dead in the process?  And with a glyph, I can do this every or every other fight?!  Seriously!  I tear through cloth casters like they’re paper!  Paper!  I took down three mobs in one fight.  They were clothies, but I used to struggle with two!  I know it’s about to get a nerf.  I can see why.  No one should do this much damage in quest greens and blues.

I feel guilty about enjoying it so much.  My intent was to switch to Combat spec only for instances and to stay in my much-loved ever-reliable Subtlety the rest of the time, but I cannot get over how much fun I’m having or how much quicker some of these fights go.  And so I think the Subtlety spec is going to get refined to be more clearly for PvP and may get shelved when I am not in a battleground.

I will miss you, Preparation, and your help in escaping.  I will miss you, Cheat Death, because you have saved me many times.  I will miss you, Premeditation.  I will miss how much more quickly the combo points come (as that is the one thing that my Subtlety spec very clearly wins at).

Maybe this love affair won’t last.  Maybe I’ll get disillusioned after the newness wears off.  That’s how these things are supposed to go, isn’t it?  In the meantime, I will be crying (Joy?  Sorrow?  Both?) while I am going: Cheap Shot! Blade Flurry! Slice and Dice! Killing Spree! Dead mob!