Filling a Gap: Level 60 Talents
Ok, so by now I’ve described the revisions of the first three rows of talents as you level. Cannibalizing the level 45 talents for level 30 left level 45 with a hole, which I filled with what used to be the level 60 talents. Now that we’re still at level 60, all we’ve done is move the hole down a row. So, let’s fill it.
By now your character is at the original level cap of the game, so gameplay at this point needs to be more robust. By now rogues have Cloak of Shadows, Relentless Strikes, all of our openers, all of our poisons, our alternate combo point generators, and Combat even has a dps cooldown in the form of Adrenaline Rush. Lets look at the list above for just a moment though and reflect on what it means to be a rogue, what makes a rogue what (s)he is. When people think of rogues they think of stealth, well, we covered that at level 15. They think of a tool for every situation. Well we handled the survivability toolkit at level 30 and the mobility toolkit at 45. You may notice that one of the major iconic rogue abilities that is missing is poisons. Yup, level 60 is going to enhance our poisons since we now have all of them.
When I was considering how to address rogue talents, I found myself realizing that there is no talent row dedicated to poisons, which are so integral to the class. Paladins have a healing tier (level 45), Warlocks have a pet tier (level 75). Damnnitall, rogues should get a poison tier, and we’re going to do it at level 60. But in order for one of my proposed talents to be appealing, we’re going to need to make a baseline change to the way non-lethal poisons work. I propose all poisons (lethal or not), have a base application chance of 30%. You will see why I am suggesting this nerf in a bit.
One of the problems with rogues right now is that for enrage dispels, we’re just inferior to both hunters and druids, and there is a reason. They can both spam their enrage dispel. We must wait on a cooldown with Shiv. The reason is because Shiv has an additional effect to enhance your non-lethal poison’s effect. It would be ridiculously overpowered if it were spammable. In PvE, I sometimes find myself annoyed that I can not dispel that stacking enrage effect faster than it stacks. To this end, I propose this double duty function of Shiv be removed. Rogues should get a dedicated enrage dispel that costs energy, does a small amount of damage, and is spammable. Either that or give us anesthetic poison back (as a non-lethal–an idea I rather like) if you want to curtail button bloat. This opens shiv up to be more flexible to make it a talent.
So the first level 60 talent I propose is shiv. Shiv is powerful, but it’s no longer an enrage dispel, so we can feel free to nerf it to a 15 second cooldown, leaving it to otherwise modify our current non-lethal poison. This is largely unchanged. The other thing we’re doing here is making shiv free.
The second one is an idea I’ve seen floating around forums, so I will steal it and place it here. We’ll call this one Deadly Brew and make the current PvP 2-set no longer function as it is. I’d say move the current glove effect to be the PvP 2-set and change the glove effect to something to the effect of increasing the duration or reducing the energy cost of Gouge. So the poison tier’s version of Deadly Brew will not be exactly like the pvp set. This version of it allows you to choose any two non-lethal poisons of your choice. Are you a PvE rogue and want to run Leeching to help your healers and Mind Numbing to slow the casts of that pesky healing add? Well, choose Deadly Brew and make it happen!
For the third option I was looking for a way to do something useful or be an interesting choice, and I thought we should reuse the name Serrated Blades for this. For this talent, we buff our non-lethal poison application chance to 100%. Want to be that annoying guy in BGs who snares you if he sneezes at you? Here’s how. Need a group of adds in PvE that need to be slowed NOW? Fan of Knives, Crippling Poison, and Serrated Blades are your answer.
This is why I decided to reduce the default application chances of non-lethal poisons to match the lethal ones (along with it being more intuitive that all poisons have the same application chance). If the utility poisons were left at 50% Something that buffs that to 100% wouldn’t be appealing. Consider you have 15 adds that all need to be slowed. One Fan of Knives will get 7-8 of them on average. Another Fan of Knives will get 3-4 of the remaining ones, and so on. You aren’t guaranteed to have all of them poisoned. In fact the chance of slowing them all with the first 35 energy spent is only 0.003% That’s at 50%. At 30% application chance the probability of slowing them all drops to about 1 millionth of 1%. But not if you take Serrated Blades.
Do note that Paralytic Poison coupled with Serrated Blades would be absurdly overpowered so either paralytic poison is either removed entirely or explicitly excluded from Serrated Blades.