Hi, I'm Luna. I raid with Refined, currently ranked #14 worldwide for 25 man raiding. In previous tiers I have held multiple rank 1, top ten, and 95th percentile rankings throughout the world for rogues in multiple encounters. I feel like I can give a good overview on general class problems and then spec specific problems for my two specs, Assassination and Combat.
General class overview:
1. First and foremost, our single target damage across the board is low. At our best we are mid pack, at our worst we are barely above the non-vengeance tank. This is the single biggest problem with the class, everything else is minor in relation to simply being a viable class to bring to a raid. I believe that right now I am a liability to my raid because I am not able to compete with half of the other classes. I have had the thought before that, if I was my raid leader, I would be benching both myself and the other rogue who is part of our raiding core for just about any other class.
2. I feel like Blade Flurry should be a rogue ability for all specs, and not just limited to Combat. The ability cannot be balanced to be equal to the other two specs because it is so powerful; if you are a competitive raider and there is a cleave opportunity, you will ALWAYS be forced to spec Combat. Maybe it would require a rebalancing of some sort for the entire class, but if there is ever to truly be a choice in what spec we play for raiding Blade Flurry must be a class wide ability or be removed.
It really sucks that right now, I want to try PVPing are sub more often but I can't because I need to keep a Combat spec for a couple bosses in this tier and for doing dailies. Combat doesn't suffer from energy regeneration problems right now as much as Assassination does, so its ability to mow down similarly levelled mobs with Blade Flurry and cooldowns make it far superior to both other specs for general PVE and dungeons.
3. Energy regeneration for Sub and Assassination are not good, and it actually makes me feel frustrated to play the specs when I am literally waiting 5 seconds between attacks. I have more experience with Assassination than Sub currently, and I am sure that the developer team is aware that Assassination is regarded as the highest single target DPS spec right now. I am not sure that they are aware of how long we're waiting between combo builders and finishers as Assassination. It doesn't feel like the finishers are exciting enough in terms of damage or buildup; having to wait too long between reaching 5 combo points and using Envenom doesn't feel rewarding, it feels like an intermediary step between building combo points again.
4. I don't feel like there is enough difference between the specs in terms of playstyle. All of the specs play the exact same, where we use a generic combo point builder, get to 5 combo points, and use a finisher that either stuns or does damage.
I realize that there is a similiarity in how each damage spec plays for each class, but it is obvious when you watch a mage what spec he is playing. They apply their damage and control in different ways and that's what makes the class so versatile and different depending on what spec you're playing. If you watch a rogue in PVE or PVP he is doing the exact same thing no matter what spec he is, because our class abilities which generate combo points literally have no other effect than to lead to finishers.
Mutilate, Dispatch, Sinister Strike, Hemo and Backstab are literally interchangeable. I feel that the ONLY difference in the way that the specs play differently and deal damage are as follows:
Assassination: Slow ramp up, must use 2 finishers to start dealing noticable damage.
Combat: Can cleave.
Subtlety: Must be behind the target to use your best combo point builder.
Outside of those three very subtle differences in playstyle, a rogue can literally do the exact same thing as any spec and there will be no difference in the way that your gameplay is altered.
5. Our talent tree choices are not fun. When I play my alt Paladin, DK, Priest or Mage, I look at their talent trees and feel like the talent overhaul has added options and gameplay to each talent tier.
When I look at my rogues talents, I see a choice between two or three options that I innately had before. I feel like the talent overhaul for rogues is a complete failure because it did not add significant gameplay differences (outside of Prep/Step) depending on what choice you had made for each talent, it literally took away your previous choices and made you choose between them. We did not get any viable new or fun abilities or functionality out of the overhaul other than Anticipation.
Shuriken Toss is not a good talent, I honestly do not see myself ever taking it because our ranged damage with it is still so lackluster that it can't make up for the fact that we are not able to use our main damage dealing or utility abilities to our target.
Versatility seems like a band aid to the rogue class. It does not feel worthy of a level 90 talent to me at all, especially in the face of Anticipation which completely changes the way multiple specs operate. I know the developers have said that they believe that the combo point transfer limitations are a part of the "spice" of playing a rogue, but none of my other characters have their resources drained for switching targets. I wholeheartedly believe that this talent should be baseline for the class.
1. The energy regeneration for the spec right now is terrible. It's always been slow at the start of expansions, but it is especially bad right now. Waiting so long between using attacks is not fun.
2. Auto attack damage and poison damage is making up too large of a total percentage of our damage. On our kill of Fend the Accursed, which is very close to a Patchwerk fight, auto attacks and poisons alone did about 60% of my total damage by themselves. There is timing involved in using finishers and that adds a layer of complexity and a way to differentiate between player skills, but there isn't much difference between a good, great or amazing Assassination rogue when only 40% of your damage can be changed by a player's involvement at all.
3. Due to the above, Mastery will remain far and away the best secondary stat for Assassination as long as so much of our damage comes from automatically applied damage. Haste and crit will never begin to approach the power of Mastery for this spec, and moreso than before, future gearing in raids will revolve around which pieces have Mastery innately and which do not. Pieces without Mastery will not be viable for the spec and we may be forced to use older gear.
1. The biggest complaint I have about Combat is that its single target damage in raiding scenarios is not up to par. If not for the existence of Blade Flurry, the damage would be so subpar compared to Assassination and Subtlety that we would not spec it at all for raids.
2. The spec is way, way too dependant on cooldowns. Someone in this thread put it so succinctly earlier that I have to repeat; it feels amazing when all of your cooldowns are up, but it sucks to know your damage is horrid as you're waiting for your cooldowns to run down.
3. All that said, in general PVE, whether it be questing, grinding, or doing dungeons, the playstyle of the spec feels good. Energy regeneration is a tad low, especially when Blade Flurry is up, but in general the spec is good at delivering quick damage to multiple targets and has two cooldowns which work well. I say two cooldowns, because Adrenaline Rush and Shadow Blades are macroed together to do good burst damage. Killing Spree is the other.
I am a big proponent of random and rated battlegrounds. I have well over 100,000 honorable kills earned on my rogue alone, Battlemaster, Conqueror, 2200 RBG rating. I love doing battleground PVP and that is the focus of my PVP experience.
My experience of level 90 PVP in battlegrounds and duels can be summed up as: outmanuevered, outdamaged, outlasted.
1. Every single class has much more mobility than rogues right now. Our mobility without Shadowstep is horrible. Burst of Speed costs too much energy to be usable. Even with Shadowstep, the lack of Preparation for double Vanish or double Sprint makes us extremely vulnerable to roots and snares. Many classes can literally run circles around us.
2. I don't feel like we do enough damage, our yellow attacks as Assassination and especially Subtlety do not hit hard enough for the amount of resource that we are using. I am having an extremely hard time killing almost anything, and when I do not crit on my yellow attacks I do not feel like my abilities are doing anything at all.
3.When I am PVPing against several different classes, I feel like they are doing way too much damage in relation to how much damage I can do back to them. Having Preparation definitely helps, but it still leads to two problems. The first being the disparity between our survivability when our cooldowns are up and when they are not, and the second being a complete lack of mobility in all cases. If we are specced into Preparation we must use our valuable defensive cooldowns, Preparation, Vanish, Cloak of Shadows and Sprint to actually catch many classes; and the net effect is that if we catch them it is only for a few seconds, and our defensive cooldowns are not usable because we have already applied many or most of them just to catch up to the target in the first place.
In summary I feel like the problem with rogue PVP, aside from general damage which can be fixed, is the seperation of Prep and Step. The two synergized really well where we could get to our targets, have a good uptime, and have enough cooldowns to be able to have a competitive chance to play well against them.
The opposite is the reality now, without both abilities there is no synergy which allows us to do this. Either we are extremely vulnerable to roots and kiting without the ability to catch our opponents, using several cooldowns to attain low uptime or we are able to catch them but unable to fight competitively because of the differences in base damage and lack of cooldowns.
I don't understand why the developers have picked these two incredibly awesome talents to pit against each other as means of mobility; they are not the same type of talent. The core of Rogue PVP since 3.3 (and 2.4) has been about the synergy of these two talents together, and not just because they made us effective, but because they made us fun. We could catch our targets and compete with them in toe to toe combat. We could move around the battlefield very quickly! We could make a difference in our faction's objectives!
Without these two talents together our role in PVP was a stunbot, who burned every cooldown to try and kill someone with a couple of Envenoms. It makes me very sad that this is the role and playstyle that the Rogue is being relegated to, because without the combination of these two abilities Subtlety is no longer viable in PVP and we have no other option.
Well it took me about 2 hours to write this. It was my intention to be concise and non biased, and give you guys the best feedback about the aspects of the class that I do and don't like as possible. Sorry for the long post, but if we really have your ears right now I have to give you everything I have. I love this class, and I really hope that you guys will take the feedback of myself and the many other long time, loyal rogues to heart.
If I could make a summary about how I've felt about rogues starting out in Mists of Pandaria, I think my response would be "meh." I don't feel like we have gained anything new or exciting that changes the way we play, and I feel like rogues have gotten more stale with the recent changes because all of our specs play nearly identically to each other. At least at the end of Cataclysm I could choose between playstyle differences when I changed specs; I could play a timing oriented spec; a fast, use every gcd possible spec; or play a spec where I simply tried to keep up as many finishers as possible.
I would like to ask any of players who have read my entire post to please Thumbs Up it if you agree with many or most of the points I have made here. If we can show Blizzard that we are in agreement about many of the issues we are having, maybe they will give those posts a second read.