Shadow Panther's Basic Tips for Improving Your Rogue
On the Rogue Forums, I'm well known for copying and pasting the same advice over and over. So, I've decided to use this web page as a repository of some of the most useful advice that I give on a regular basis.
Tip #1: Main Hand Weapon
Your main hand weapon is your most important piece of gear and should always be upgraded first.
Tip #2: Main Hand vs. Offhand Weapons
The general rule of thumb is that you want a hard hitting weapon in your main hand (for maximum special attack damage) and a fast weapon with good DPS and stats in your offhand (for increased poison applications, proc effects, etc.)
Tip #3: S2 MH >>> S2 OH >>> S2 Armor
If your MH < 90 DPS skip the S2 OH and wait for the S2 MH! If you're desperate for a good offhand, save up your BG Honor points for an S1 OH.
Tip #4: Build Two Sets of Gear - A set for PVE and a set for PVP
Instead of trying to create a hybrid set that works for both types of situations, you should make two sets and use a wardrobe mod to switch between them. You should socket/enchant your PVE set with Hit/Agility/AP and socket/enchant your PVP set with AP/Stamina/Health/Resilience.
Tip #5: Daggers are not optimal for leveling
If you're Sinister Striking with daggers, don't. Sinister Strike is for non-daggers. Backstab is for daggers. However, when you're solo leveling, it can be tricky to pull off multiple Backstabs because of the positional requirements (monsters will always face you when solo, unless you Gouge/Stun them). That is why Swords/Maces are the preferred weapons for solo leveling. You don't have to worry about positioning, just smash away with Sinister Strike.
Tip #6: When you're leveling, concentrate on fighting Humanoid mobs whenever possible
Humanoid mobs can be pickpocketed (level up that Lockpicking skill!), they can be disarmed (Riposte minimizes damage you receive, reducing downtime), and they drop plenty of cloth (endless bandage supplies are great for leveling.) They can also be Garroted and Ruptured, unlike Undead and Elemental mobs.
Tip #7: PVE Rogues should not use 4 Crit / 8 AP gems in their red sockets
8 Agility gems provide 4.42 Crit Rating and 8 AP (as well as Dodge and Armor) and are always better than 4 Crit / 8 AP gems for PVE. Rogues socketing their PVE gear should pretty much avoid just about any gem with "Crit".
Tip #8: Be smart and efficient when getting geared up
Don't run instances over and over for a small chance at gear you might have to compete for when you can just purchase or quest for comparable or even better items. Fel Leather gear > Assassination gear for PVE and doesn't require countless 5-man PUGs or even Leatherworking.
Tip #9: Aldor vs. Scryers
In the past, the Aldor vs. Scryers choice had a big impact on some of your gear options, but with Arena Season 3 here now, easily accessible Season 1 Arena gear make the Aldor vs. Scryers choice less important. The Sword vs. Dagger debate doesn't mean much when you compare those weapons to the superior S1 weapons.
Tip #10: Leveling 60-70
A 60 GM/HWL main hand will make your leveling experience from 60-70 much smoother and can be earned within a few days. Shadowrend Longblade and Warden's Hammer, while being some of the best weapons you'll find in early Outlands, are still just the equivalent of Brutality Blade/Vis'kag. If you don't feel like PVPing, or want to save your Honor points for later, then your next best main hand option is Fist of Reckoning.
Tip #11: Leveling 65-70
When you get to level 65-66, the best non-GM/HWL weapons you'll find will be some easily accessible Fist Weapons. Consider picking up Mag'hari Fury Brand/Nexus-Claw for your main hand and Void-Talon for your offhand and switching to Fist spec for your last five levels.
Tip #12: Leveling up your weapon skills
There's an easy way to level up all of your weapon skills. Buy some low level versions of each weapon from a weapon vendor. Get fast weapons and buy several of each, so you don't have to worry about repairing them. Do the same for ranged weapons, getting plenty of ammunition. Now, head out to the entrance of Shadow Labs where you can fight the endless stream of enemies for hours, leveling up all of your weapon skills at once, without worrying too much about being attacked. This process will go even faster if you equip some cheap Intellect gear to help you skill up faster.
Tip #13: Ring of Ghoulish Delight is not a good ring for PVE
It just isn't. It's a decent starter ring for your PVP gear, but that's about it.
Tip #14: Felsteel Longblade (Failsteel Lawlblade) is not a good sword for your main hand or offhand
Failsteel Lawlblade doesn't hit hard enough to be a good main hand and is way too slow to be a good offhand. Don't waste your gold on it when you can get the superior S1 weapons by farming BGs for a week or two. In any case, you should be saving up your Arena points for an S2 MH (don't blow them on the S2 OH!)
Tip #15: Using Gladiator/Veteran's/Vindicator's gear as Starter PVE gear
In general, PVP gear is not optimized for PVE and vice versa. However, the presence of customizable sockets and the sheer amount of stats on S1 Gladiator's gear (Agility, Crit, AP) can sometimes make up for the lack of built in Hit Rating, which is an important stat for PVE. For this to be the case, you would need to socket/enchant those items with PVE gems/enchants (Hit/Agi/AP). Many people socket/enchant their Arena gear with PVP gems/enchants (Stamina/Health/Resilience) which would just devalue their use for serious PVE. In the past, I've never recommended Arena gear for PVE, because you should be saving your Arena points to get S2 weapons before getting any armor (and always the MH before the OH). However, with Season 3 here now, farming BGs for S1 gear is an easy solo way to get good PVE starter gear *as long as you socket and enchant those items with PVE gems/enchants*. The same concept can be applied to Veteran's/Vindicator's gear.
Tip #16: Hit Rating is not the end-all, be-all stat for raiding Rogues
Hit Rating is a very good stat, that certainly helps increase your raid DPS, but it isn't the only stat. If you have access to an item that gives little or no Hit Rating, but gives you more DPS through Agi, AP, Crit, Haste, Expertise, and/or Armor Penetration, then get it. You can use the PVE Armor chart on my site to give you a general indication of the relative DPS output of items when planning out your PVE upgrades.
Tip #17: Fists vs. Maces vs. Swords in a Shadowstep PVP build
There is virtually no difference when comparing S1/S2/S3 Fists to Maces to Swords in a build that lacks weapon specialization. However, you might decide at some later point to respec, so having Maces gives you that option for extra stuns if you switch to a Combat heavy PVP build. Or, if you feel that you might respec to a raiding build later on, then you should lean towards Fists and/or Swords.
Tip #18: Using PVP specs/gear for PVE or PVE specs/gear for PVP
For the most part, PVP specs will never excel in PVE and vice versa, however you will sometimes find overlap in Combat-heavy or Mutilate builds. By that same token, you'll want to get together two separate sets of gear - - one for PVP and one for PVE - - because much like Talent Specs, one does not usually excel in the realm of the other.
More tips to come...
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