A Stunning Row: Level 75 Talents
Stuns. I have two thoughts that come to mind when considering stuns. While we were doing heroic Nazgim last night, I was getting very frustrated at my 8 sec Prey on the Weak-enhanced kidney shot being DR’d by shorter duration stuns that don’t buff raid dps on that target. Rogues are THE iconic stun class and they should return to that. There are too many stuns in the game and many of them have utility that eclipses that of a slight damage taken debuff and duration increase (if Combat). I think Rogues need some stun utility so I decided to dedicate level 75 to enhance the rogue’s control.
Since Nerve Strike produces its debuff on targets that have recently been stunned it seems to me to be a very interesting choice against Prey on the Weak. Dirty Tricks also enhances rogue control so it thematically fits there as well. The changes to this tier are all based on existing talents and as such do not need much discussion. Nerve Strike is expanded, but its power reduced somewhat. Prey on the Weak is left as-is, and Dirty Tricks is getting a pretty good buff.
Nerve strike’s first change is that it is expanded to include break-on-damage crowd control (sap, gouge, blind). The 25% damage on player target nerf is being reverted and brought back to 50% damage, but to reduce the power of Nerve Strike, the duration of the effect is limited to half of the duration of the original effect, with a cap at 10 seconds (so a 1 minute sap in PvE will only leave a 10 sec Nerve Strike). This means that unglyphed, 3rd DR cheap shot will leave nerve strike debuff at 0.5 sec. A full duration sap, blind, or RvS kidney shot will leave a 4 second nerve strike. Not only does the duration vary compared to now but it will NEVER last the 6 seconds it does on live in a PvP setting.
In terms of Dirty Tricks, it is being extended to offer an improvement to Kidney Shot and Cheap Shot. Kidney Shot’s biggest limitation currently is that it requires a lot of setup. You need to either redirect or build combo points on the target, then use Kidney Shot. The reason why my stuns on Nazgrim adds were suffering diminishing returns was because the 2 additional globals of setup I needed to do (redirect + revealing strike). So Dirty Tricks is extending the functionality of Kidney Shot allowing it to function as if it were a 5-point cast, but without either requiring or consuming your combo points. However, it no longer procs Ruthlessness or Relentless Strikes. It will benefit from Revealing Strike debuff though. It basically just turns into a 6/8 second stun with a 25 energy cost on a 20 second cooldown. Cheap Shot will now grant an additional combo point. And the rest of the effects stay as-is, only Sap is added to the Blind and Gouge effect.
I decided upon these changes to give the rogue a difficult choice on how to enhance his/her crowd control abilities. It comes down to peel vs enhanced damage vs removing the limitations of the abilities (break on damage, combo point setup, etc). Cheap Shot seemed fine as-is so I decided it needed a buff to keep it in line, hence the extra combo point (maybe make it grant 5 full combo points, I don’t know–that can be tweaked).