Jan 242011

Interesting quote from Aldriana on the rogue EJ forums: (For those that don’t know, Aldriana is one of the most prominent WoW theorycrafters, and had an item named after him in WOTLK.)

I’d argue that the problem with Sub in 4.0.x has never really been the damage output. I mean, it was behind, and that was a problem, but it wasn’t so far behind that you couldn’t imagine people playing it. The problem with Sub is and always has been that the cycle is so monstrously painful to maintain. Rolling 3 selfbuffs/DoTs is a serious nuisance and very hard to get up on a target in the first place. Shadow Dance is a miserable DPS cooldown to need to use. The reliance on Vanish/Ambush type mechanics to boost DPS is a nuisance. The complete and utter lack of any filler points means you don’t get quite the same utility that you do from other specs. And so on.

In short: the problem is that Subtlety is miserable to play, not that the DPS is bad. Even if it were theoretically, say, 5% ahead, I wouldn’t play it – situational awareness is too important to need to be worrying about a complicated cycle and hard-to-use cooldowns and random fluxuations in CP intake. If they expect PvE Subtlety to catch on in any meaningful way, they need to make it so we can drop Recuperate, Rupture, or SnD from the cycle and have a more typical 2-DoT cycle. They need to make Shadow Dance either less important from a DPS perspective or less painful to use. They need to allow room in the tree to take a few points of filler – which won’t always matter, but sometimes will. They need to fix the way the spec *plays* if they want to see widespread PvE adoption of the spec. Tweaking the damage up or down a bit simply won’t do it for most players.

Sub seems very comparable to feral, actually. Sub has Recup/Rupture/SnD; we have Rip/Rake/Savage Roar. They have Shadow Dance and Vanish->Ambush as DPS cooldowns; we have Berserk/TF/FC->Ravage. We have to Mangle, also. Admittedly, Shadow Dance kinda sucks to use, but the survivability buffs that Subtlety brings are very nice. Is there something I’m missing, or are all the rogues just going Assassination because it’s easier? (I don’t want to be trollish, I’m honestly asking. I just read this post over the weekend and the first thought I had was “complexity never stopped the ferals!”)

Had a pretty productive week of raiding. Killed Maloriak (thanks for the suggestions, all) and will start actively working on Atramedes next week. I snagged Malevolence off of Halfus, which is my first Cataclysm raiding epic. (Yes, even in 25man, you can have bad loot RNG. We’ve been sharding 1h weapons left and right.) Followed that up with a GREAT 19.5k DPS parse on V&T, where everything just clicked. (WoL link). I wasn’t too excited about having the ranked Halfus parse, since the only way to get up there (now) is to play selfishly. This was clean, though.

Which reminds me of something. Someone asked me the other day “Why do you care about the numbers so much?” I see it as validation of the theorycraft. I’m wearing blue PvP gear, deliberately using a blue trinket…choices that a normal raider would not make, or if that was all that was available, claim “oh, I’m not geared enough to pull good numbers.” I used it and placed in the world top 200 for my spec. That feels great.

(Of course, before my ego gets too inflated, I should mention that I got tunnel vision and died in the fireballs on our first Halfus pull 30s prior to enrage. We wiped at 1%. Go me.)

 Posted by at 10:03 am

  19 Responses to “Subtlety, Great V&T attempt”

  1. Since hitting level 80 on my alt rogue, at some point during ICC in WotLK, I’ve enjoyed playing Sub because it was the most like feral, and the other two specs felt comparatively boring. It is a demanding spec, and I’d expect people who play it to enjoy it being so.

    One thing you forgot to mention – assuming it’s still true from the last I checked – a sub rogue also has to keep track of glyph’d haemo’s DoT.

  2. One little trick you can use on VT (and a few other cata bosses), is you can feral charge in melee range to get several ravages off during this encounter.

  3. I’ve played both feral and rogue at lvl 80 and lvl 85 (less experience with feral at 85). I think it’s not only about number of timers to track. Rake is relatively easy to maintain (just have energy for it and push the button), while rupture/snd/recuperate are all finishers that require combo points built up. You get more situations like SR/Rip coming in sync with each other. Granted, you can refresh rupture with eviscerate but in my experience there was just not enough energy/CP to do it all.

    It’s also about ramp up time, especially when changing targets and while low on energy. Ferals aren’t great in this department, but to me they felt better.

    I’ve always felt that subtlety was kind of impractical on complex fights, I had no problems like this with feral. It’s not that I can’t do more complex “rotation”, just it has much bigger potential of going wrong on complicated fights.

  4. Sub’s rotation is a bit more complex than Ferals, especially since Feral’s has been cleaned up towards the end of wrath/cata.

    Keep up Recoup (Similar to Savage Roar, only energy regen rather than damage.)
    Keep up SnD (A second Savage Roar)
    Keep up Hemo if it’s not being applied (Mangle)
    Keep up Rupture (Rip)
    Reapply Rupture through Evis (Blood in the Water, but throughout the entire fight.)
    ShStep on CDs aligned with finishers. (Similar to FC/Ravage or Tiger’s Fury/Rip)
    Tricks(Sub has a shorter Tricks CD and has a harder time aligning it with other rogues)/Vanish/Prep/ShDance (No real comparison.)

    Sub then has to deal with “randomly” getting combo points from HAT, which makes their combo point generation much jumpier and less fluid.

    If it’s damage was significantly higher or the buffs it provided were not so easily provided by other specs I could see rogue’s playing it but +/- 5% may as well just be getting unlucky.

  5. Aylie/Lounge, thanks for the info. It does sound quite a bit like early LK feral. I’ve heard some anecdotal info of rogues using it for certain heroic raids where they need extreme survivability, which caught my attention.
    (It’ll probably be my next class. :P I was an affliction lock until they gutted it in 3.0, then I switched to feral.)

    • So i was locking through your log and i noticed that you don’t delay your TF to Sync it with Rip and Rake.
      I thought that using Glyph of TF and don’t refresh Rip as soon as it expires, but rather wait till you can refresh it with the TF Buff active for 30% more dmg was the way to go.
      Was I wrong here? Is it better to get a higher Uptime of Rip and use the Berserker glyph?

      • Going for max TF uptime is the way to go. Don’t ever delay a TF unless you won’t be able to dump the energy.

        Glyphwise, I prefer the Berserk glyph because it syncs well with Tol’Vir potions, and it’s useful for Bear situations.

      • I guess it’s possible that what I’m about to say has been conclusively disproved, but…

        I don’t believe that TF counts for the full duration of a bleed, I think it scales instantly. I had the situation where I had a couple of seconds left on rip and maybe I was needing to change target or the boss was going or something, because I decided to clip it with a TF>Rip- I got a “A more powerful spell is currently active”.

        It is possible that my trinkets had both procced or whatever when I applied the first Rip, so it wouldn’t let me do the second… but 15%?

        Unless the more powerful spell check only tests for AP rather than how much damage it would actually do… I prefer to not bother about it and use TF on cooldown, but then it doesn’t matter so much for me since I have 750 reforged dodge on my dps gear :P


      • Meeble. Previously during the beta some guessed it would work like that but it does not. You can test it yourself by getting naked on hitting a pratice dummy. Start a rake and wait for the first tic, then hit TF. You will notice the tic value won’t change. Then try TF before rake and you will see higher values for the duration. When the bleed starts all your buffs are taken into account and stay with the bleed the whole time.

        The only exception to this is Mangle. If mangle drops off after a bleed is applied the next tics will have less damage. Same applies if you add magle after a bleed, the damage will go back up again.

  6. I personally have seen great dps increases with alligning TF and Rip. However windwalker, you stated it wrong. The situation where you delay a TF to use with rip usuaully wont happen. You will most often delay the rip by 2-4 seconds and then use TF on cooldown and refresh rip and rake (i prefer to ravage here also).
    I lke to make up for the 1-2 missing ticks of rip by using a ferocious bite after the rip because i have enough crit for the extra cps.

    • Jea, that’s what i meant. Delay Rip to get the 30% dmg Buff for it.
      However that leads to a Rip Uptime of under 80%, while in Alarons Log he is way over 90.
      And isn’t Glyph of TF still the way to go if you want a high TF Uptime. Even if you don’t use it to boost your Rip. The extra 3 seconds mean that in a fight thats longer than 5 Minutes, you will get one extra TF.

  7. This is our third week in a row defeating V&T (25N) and I hardly pass the 12-14k of dps. Thanks for the log , i have been looking mine for compare but it isn’t uploaded yet.

    Our strategy in T is everybody packed with the tank “in front” of T and always moving to the left with the breath, so it’s mangle spam and keeping rake&rip&roar up while moving every few seconds.

    Btw, I have problems or just dislike with omnitron (as cat, as N25 is farming mode). Most of the time the rl are calling to stop bleeding the target, any trick to get a better uptime of rip&rake?

    PD:Sorry for my english, it isn’t my mother tongue :)

    • For Alarron:

      First just wanna say thanks for a great blog, and also for posting the log. I don’t have another feral druid in my raid group, so it’s nice to have something to compare to. I did VT last night as well, and was excited when I saw the recount status at the end, thinking I’d be nr. 10 on the WoL rankings. I was unfortunately looking at 10-man raids. DOH

      Anyway here’s my log if you wanna take a look (ended up nr. 198, right behind you)


      I’ve been luckier with drops than you, but seeing your log and gear makes me want to switch my meta, as you get far more agi than me like that. I also need to start pot’ing, and that 50sec Tol’vir pot from Alch is making me jealous!

      For Ackward:

      As for Omnitron, I’m not sure dots actually trigger the shields, as I’ve been fairly careless with them towards the 50% mark and never noticed any problems. I do tend to die in this fight though: as soon as a tank goes down I’m always nr. 2 on the aggro list and die before another tank can pick it up.. (we run 3 tanks normally)

      • Grats!

        FWIW, Alchemy doesn’t affect the length of the pot, I just double-potted. (Double pot = pop a pot right before the tank pulls, which lets you use another 60s in.)

        I’ve heard that when the shields go up on Omnotron, all DoTs are wiped, but I haven’t confirmed that.

      • Aha, I thought that was it at first, but then I figured you having 50s uptime exactly meant the bonus worked for pots :)

        Will definitely try that next attempt.

        I realize we’ll probably get the meta requirements fixed next week, but do you think the mastery meta is actually better for now than the relentless meta?

      • Heh, I had really good timing by accident on the pre-pot. (I actually thought at first that I had waited too long.) I usually try to prepot 1-2s before the tankpull.

        The RED vs FSD (or CSD) meta debate is much more complicated. Say you have 10 gem sockets; you lose about 400 DPS by gemming them suboptimally, but you gain 300+ by activating the meta. You’ll have picked up some socket bonuses, however, which will push the RED ahead, but not by much. For a T11 geared feral, I figure it’s about ~100 DPS. Not worth it in my opinion.

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