With the launch of Cataclysm imminent it’s probably a good time to quickly go through how the other Warcraft classes have been changed, and how that will affect rogues. This isn’t a full guide to handling each class in PVP, just a quick overview of what you’ll be encountering in battlegrounds (and maybe world PVP) on the way to level 85. This morning I’ll be covering Death Knights, Druids, Hunters and Mages – the remaining classes will follow shortly.
With Blood being the dedicated tanking spec, we’ll yet again be facing a mix of Frost and Unholy Death Knights. The way things are looking at the moment it’s likely to be Unholy spec for Arenas (due to the controllable pet) and Frost for Rated Battlegrounds/5v5 (potentially crazy AoE from Howling Blast).
On top of their new patch4.0+ spells, DKs will be getting Necrotic Strike and Dark Simulacrum. Dark Simulacrum is looking evil, but no direct threat to rogues (unless next patch they start stealing our Shadow Steps!).
The healing absorption this gives can stack, theoretically giving upto 9 applications per Death Knight. At the moment the absorbs are in the region of 5k damage – my initial reaction to this was “oh crap, up to 45k damage absorption from 9 strikes?!”. However, it’s important to remember that health pools will be dramatically bigger than in WotLK.
Expect to see many more Death Coils flying around, especially since the following ability relies on them.
This gives a large boost to the DK’s pet’s damage. The new abilities this grants them aren’t too scary, pretty much extra damage and the ability to Huddle without stopping attacking.
One of my favorite changes to DKs this patch is that Death Grip can now be countered with Cloak of Shadows. We now finally have a chance of not getting pulled off the edge of Dalaran Sewers.
If you’ve been wondering why you haven’t seen many trees around recently, this is why. ToL is no longer a stance/form that can be switched to at will – instead it functions like a Warlock’s Metamorphosis. On the good side this means that Druids will no longer be able to start an arena match in an unsappable form, but it means that they no longer have to drop form to cast Cyclone. The mechanic has also been changed to prevent them from being banished in tree form.
This new ability is yet another reason why Assassination specced rogues are suffering with mobility issues (as if losing Preparation wasn’t enough!). A 40% movement buff to your target is not what you want to happen when you’re slowed.
A glyph to turn Entangling Roots into an instant cast spell with an annoyingly short cool down. This is really painful to encounter, especially when the druid is feral and throwing around instant cyclones.
With buggy pets that follow you through vanish (still), the fatally annoying Flare ability and what feels like a massively improved stealth detection, hunters are still pretty much the anti-rogue DPS class in my eyes. Their already considerable arsenal has been enhanced by the following new abilities.
Wing-clip on steroids, this will snare you for five seconds. Your only defense is to get lucky and never get parried.
Unless the hunter is using Trueshot Aura, this stealth ability is going to make it quite tricky to guess an arena team’s comp when the gates open. This differs from Shadowmeld as it is not castable in combat. The hunter is totally immune to being opened on while Camouflage is active.
While I’d have loved this to have been some sort of X-Files reference, all this new aspect does is allow the hunter to run around casting Steady Shot and Cobra Shot (which have been altered to give a hunter Focus).
Volley has been removed from the game, so hunters do have one less way of knocking you out of stealth. Unfortunately their improved stealth detection does seem to counter this loss.
Flare has been changed so that it doesn’t take effect until it lands, which should (with a bit of luck) enable you to shadowstep+kidney shot the hunter in between two consecutive flares.
Season 8 hinted at the end of mages only PVPing in Frost spec, and Cataclysm seems to reinforce that idea with the increased viability of Arcane spec mages. At level 80 Arcane Barrage is hitting hard enough to one-shot PVE geared players and the instant-cast nature of the spell makes it very appealing in PVP.
Mages get yet another snare in Cataclysm. While it is somewhat balanced around people being able to avoid it, this could be very tricky when slowed, polymorphed or feared. The ability to protect areas of a map with a giant freezing trap will really shine in Rated Battlegrounds. Additionally, the ability to preceed the tooltip with ‘Anal’ will keep trade-channel spammers amused for hours.
This anti-pillar humping spell is no longer available on demand, so running out of LoS will be slightly more effective vs mages in Cataclysm.
Blizzard have introduced another Heroism/Bloodlust mechanic as the new level 85 mage spell. Luckily, it won’t stack with the Shaman spells.
A slow-moving ball of fire or frost, depending on spec. This can be talented with Fire Power to detonate when it expires.
That’s all for now, hope it was of some use – a quick summary of Paladins, Priests, Shamans, Warlocks and Warriors will be landing later tonight (if there’s time before Catacylsm’s launch) or tomorrow morning.