1. #1

    Let's improve: Bandit's Guile

    Bandit's Guile, introduced in the Cata patch, accompanied the rather severe reduction of combat's potential. Combat previously was balanced around armor pen, which was entirely removed. Bandit's Guile is a ramping mechanism. Originally, it was tied to a specific mob, making it entirely unreasonable to change targets very often.

    Bandit's Guile is not at all supported by the UI.
    http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/bandits-guile-helper
    Is the best addon I'm aware of. It gets confused on stuff like vanish->ambush (and sometimes fan I think), but is generally reliable. There's probably a way to do it in power or weak auras. The big thing is that other addons don't easily show you your progression through the color.

    Phase one- blank. Your rogue at rest is at blank 0. As soon as you sinister or revealing, you enter blank 1, then blank 2, then blank 3. At this point, your next sinister or revealing enters green 0- A 10% damage buff. Most rogues try to transition out of blank as rapidly as possible. The largest relative gains are getting to green from blank. You should generally try to avoid finishers besides slice and dice in blank, using anticipation to bank points so that you can spend them in green.

    Phase two- green (10%). While you can stay in any of the blanks indefinitely (the hidden "bandit points" don't expire), once you are in green, you have a 15 second buff. Pressing it to go to the next green stage refreshes the buff. In green you have 10% damage. Rogues normally try to progress out of green pretty quickly too, but while blank feels like a penalty, green is not as bad. Once you go through green 0, 1, 2, and 3, your next sinister or revealing pushes you to yellow.

    Phase three- yellow (20%). If you had infinite energy, it would make sense to simply progress through the insights as rapidly as possible (you'd still press finishers), with your goal being not spending much time outside of red. However, energy is not infinite, and during times when adrenaline rush (the big energy generator), shadow blades (this also makes much more energy with a +19% chance of white attacks to hit), and killing spree (does good damage while preventing you from spending energy, so it pools) are all down, you won't be able to progress your BG stack every global. In that situation, you should consider pooling while in yellow. With finite energy and red having a fixed duration, you have to choose whether to lengthen blank, green, or yellow, and yellow is the obvious winner. Once you progress through yellow 0,1,2,3, you move to red.

    Finishing phase- red (30%). Nothing you can do will extent red, which begins timing out the moment it appears. Sims and calculations have found that the intuitive thing (saving cooldowns such as engineering gloves) for red insight is not always much benefit, and sometimes is a loss versus simply using them on cooldown. The burst potential of this phase is adequate, but there's not a lot of control over when it happens- it's normally best to transition into it with a goodly number of energy and combo points and go to town.



    I haven't seen much analysis of what to do in an aoe situation- for instance, pressing fan of knives while in yellow 0 will give you combo points, but not advance BG. If an aoe situation happens, one could imagine a situation where it would be better to ignore the adds for a moment while building to green or yellow, and then use that during the phase- and if long enough, throwing another sinister or revealing to progress into green 1 or yellow 1. Possibly even there is a time where it would be better to focus on getting to yellow 3, pool to max, transition into red, and then blow cooldowns. With combat's aoe so anemic this hasn't really been that well considered.


    In cata, this mechanic made combat not a spec on several fights. An situation involving "get on the add" was normally handled by the rogues just NOT doing that, or being one of the other specs. Destroying a yellow 0 stack was terrible. As partial compensation, redirect was buffed to move the stack around, and also buffed to be affected by restless blades. Even after the massive unnerf (in MoP, your stack is on you, not the mob), redirect remains in a buffed state for combat.


    1)- If we're going to keep this mechanic, Blizzard owes us a UI element.
    2)- If we're going to keep this mechanic, it would be good to give us some method of messing with it. If there's a phase where raid dps matters and you can build up to it by hitting stuff that mostly doesn't (say, spine of deathwing), you could meaningfully enter at yellow 2 or yellow 3 every single time if you cared to- but this isn't very rewarded. DPS leading up to that phase has to be SUPER unimportant, because the only combo generator you can use except your deliberate timed ones is fan of knives (formerly shiv), meaning that you have very little control over it.
    3)- It would be nice to see a dps trick that is blind to it. For instance, a version of sinister strike that does not advance bandit's guile could be interesting, if perhaps too technical for some of the playerbase. You would obviously use this over sinister in red, and depending on how powerful it is, you may choose to use it in yellow for awhile. I see why we don't have it, but it's not out of line as an idea.


    Another option would be to delete it. But before you say that, think about whether it could be made interesting. As it is, I think it's much better than in cata. I do feel that having to go through so much ramp up, the actual burst out of red with all cooldowns should exceed what other dps classes provide- and it very super much does not. Ret paladin talents allow them substantially more burst than combat, as do feral/moonkin talents, as do shaman talents. There's nothing bursty about combat, even with all the ramp up. With a 4% AP boost (25 to 30 percent) on the line for 5.2, combat may be the only spec to be (or may be a dead spec) for most fights- but either way, it's all about sustained on live or on fictional 5.2.
    Last edited by Verain; 2012-12-30 at 08:47 PM.

  2. #2
    I'd really rather it be reworked that you could move guile states using a CD, or toggle between generating more CD and switching to guile states more quickly, which, while it would probably be unbalanced, would be more compelling than BF on/off switch.

    Short of that, I wish it would go away. Passively increasing damage over time and resetting is A mechanic... but... yeah.

  3. #3
    it'd be cool if it worked in reverse, to reward target switches (as they are common in raiding, pvp) and lessened.

    This would of course also be nice at the beginning of the fight with trinkets proccing, potions, potentially lust, etc.

    The reasoning (if it were needed) is that you immediately recognise a weakness in your foes' armour or movements, and as the foe recognises what you're exploiting, begin to defend it, until you find or create the next weakness.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Xeast View Post
    it'd be cool if it worked in reverse, to reward target switches (as they are common in raiding, pvp) and lessened.

    This would of course also be nice at the beginning of the fight with trinkets proccing, potions, potentially lust, etc.

    The reasoning (if it were needed) is that you immediately recognise a weakness in your foes' armour or movements, and as the foe recognises what you're exploiting, begin to defend it, until you find or create the next weakness.
    This actually makes a ton of sense.

    Combat fatigue - "You tire after relentless combat, decreasing attackspeed/damage/whatever by 20% until you can continue at your full potential. Fighting another enemy renews you with vigour."

    It gives that sense of cleave back and single target can be balanced around. But implementing this half way through an expansion, not going to happen.

  5. #5
    All of the following would be needed to make Bandit's Guile (in it's current state) an interesting/workable mechanic:

    1. A Blizzard-made UI enhancement. This should've happened when they put in Blizzard-made Power Auras. Basically "Bandit's Guile tracker" add-on but as apart of the UI.

    2. An ability to reduce the amount of Bandit's Guile you have.
    ---Only usable when you have Bandit's Guile
    ---Reduces your stack by a full state
    ---CP-generating ability
    ---It does a ton of damage (think the Rogue equivalent of Chaos Bolt).
    ---Usable twice during Red state BG.

    That's about all I think that needs to be done to make it a cool mechanic. Otherwise, it'd be better removed and the rest of our damage buffed.
    Carp - Illidan-US
    I wish I wish I was a fish.
    Rogue - Warlock

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Xeast View Post
    it'd be cool if it worked in reverse, to reward target switches (as they are common in raiding, pvp) and lessened.
    IIRC, Blizz's stance on this is that rogues, by design, are meant to have 'target switching' as a weakness of the class. This is the entire reason why Redirect even exists. Though maybe Blizz has decided to start moving the class away from that design, it certainly seems like they are experimenting with it in 5.2.

    That being said, Bandit's Guile could use some improvement.
    One of the obvious things I can think of, is the ability to 'start' the whole cycle should be somewhat in control of the player (even though its based off of revealing/sinister, its still not like rogues can 'hold off' on using those abilities so as to hold off on building the stack). I suggest this so that, if nothing else, to allow for better lining up of things, specifically with vulnerability phases/fight mechanics.
    Nothing sucks harder than building to a red stack then suddenly having to switch away or having to move due to fight mechanics.

    Its just seems too RNG-y for my tastes.
    "Zom is like that ace in the hole you keep for when shit hits the fan and you need a clutch. Unleash him when the need is most dire and watch how in just a few globals all your problems fade away. Mostly because they all just got melted."
    - High Warlord Daemon, PvP Officer, rBG Lead

  7. #7
    Scarab Lord AceofHarts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zomgDPS View Post
    IIRC, Blizz's stance on this is that rogues, by design, are meant to have 'target switching' as a weakness of the class. This is the entire reason why Redirect even exists. Though maybe Blizz has decided to start moving the class away from that design, it certainly seems like they are experimenting with it in 5.2.

    That being said, Bandit's Guile could use some improvement.
    One of the obvious things I can think of, is the ability to 'start' the whole cycle should be somewhat in control of the player (even though its based off of revealing/sinister, its still not like rogues can 'hold off' on using those abilities so as to hold off on building the stack). I suggest this so that, if nothing else, to allow for better lining up of things, specifically with vulnerability phases/fight mechanics.
    Nothing sucks harder than building to a red stack then suddenly having to switch away or having to move due to fight mechanics.

    Its just seems too RNG-y for my tastes.

    even with the recent changes to every class in reducing there ramp up time, rogues still have one of the longest, if not the longest ramp up time of any class in the game.

  8. #8
    In all honesty the best way to improve would be to remove it, and buff damage from SS and Evis. It is a clumsy awkward mechanic.

    Sadly though, removing it would just make the class more bland than it already is, I really think blizzard have designed themselves in to a corner with rogues.

  9. #9
    Maybe also change BG to have fewer states. 4 states with a total of 16 non-finisher moves required to get to maximum power FOR 14 SECONDS completely gimps Combat for PvP.
    Carp - Illidan-US
    I wish I wish I was a fish.
    Rogue - Warlock

  10. #10
    The Patient Linneth's Avatar
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    I would personally make it a UI element, and refrain from making it a simple damage increase. I would add some conditions that would spice up the rotation. For example, during moderate insight, your rupture does 100% more damage. During Deep Insight, using Eviscerate ignores armor and if the target is already afflicted by rupture when you eviscerate, it doubles its ticking frequency. This way you would want to rupture twice during moderate insight, once at the start of it so you benefit from its 100% improved damage, and again at the end so you go into Deep Insight with a powered up Rupture. Then, you want to use Eviscerate as its damage is improved because it ignores armor, and on top of that, it makes Rupture deal once again double damage (the "lore" reason behind this is that your striking a bleeding foe with all your might where he is bleeding, worsening the wound) by making it tick every second instead of every 2 seconds.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Linneth View Post
    I would personally make it a UI element, and refrain from making it a simple damage increase. I would add some conditions that would spice up the rotation. For example, during moderate insight, your rupture does 100% more damage. During Deep Insight, using Eviscerate ignores armor and if the target is already afflicted by rupture when you eviscerate, it doubles its ticking frequency. This way you would want to rupture twice during moderate insight, once at the start of it so you benefit from its 100% improved damage, and again at the end so you go into Deep Insight with a powered up Rupture. Then, you want to use Eviscerate as its damage is improved because it ignores armor, and on top of that, it makes Rupture deal once again double damage (the "lore" reason behind this is that your striking a bleeding foe with all your might where he is bleeding, worsening the wound) by making it tick every second instead of every 2 seconds.
    This I like. Might be a bit OP the way you suggested it, but adding conditions to it is more fun than LOL HIT 4 MORE TIMES.

  12. #12
    I do like linneth's idea, but it still seems too passive. if it buffs both evis and rupture it will effect your rotation, but not a huge huge amount.

    I'd like to see something consume it.

    Make BG a stacking buff, say, every SS that you do causes you to ignore x% of your targets armor for x seconds. so... lets just assign numbers to play around with.

    Each SS or RS you land causes you to ignore 1% of your enemies armor for the next 15 seconds (of course, it refreshes when you build a stack) capping at 50.
    Sweet, sitting on that would be very very nice. 50% armor pen? heck yeah (of course as you get higher you'd prioritize evis over rupt). but wait!
    Blade flurry and killing spree both depend on this mechanic. you can pop BF and KS any time you want, they have no CDs.
    KS consumes 2..3..5ish? stacks to teleport to your target and attack them with both weapons, costing no energy and doing double damage and leaving the +20% damage buff on you for the next 2 seconds, stacking to 5. this means if you wanted to you could do 5 KS's in a row, consuming 25 stacks, each KS hitting 20% harder as well as your auto attack damage, poisons and so on. you could keep going but the buff wouldnt get higher.

    blade flurry i'd likely be lamer with and say it having BF on copies ALL damage with 0 energy cost reduction, but consumes one stack of BG per second, and while BF is on you cannot gain any stacks of BG (probably need some kind if CD before you can gain more stacks so you dont just turn it off every time youre going to SS and on for everyhting else).

    This would give combat very nice burst, and BG and BF a much more active mechanic. Im sure the numbers would have to be balanced, of course, but i can already think of times during fights where i'd want to sit on the buff vs using the things that consume it. i'd like to make it somehow where there would be a reason to blow it more quickly as well.. hmm.. KS refreshes RS? or rupt?

  13. #13
    Should probably change it to a nice proc which combat could use. Bandit's guile procs so you need to get off a finisher in 3 seconds no matter how many combo points you have, say. Procs make players react and are good, very good.

    That said, I think they like BG because it doesn't hurt the rogues who don't understand it very much but the better rogues can milk it for extra juice. And it limits PvP damage. I think they could do the same thing with a proc, though and it would be more active, obvious, and fun.

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