In this thread, please discuss ongoing changes to the Rogue class in the Guardians of the Dream PTR.
In Guardians of the Dream, we’re updating all four Rogue talent trees to bring them up to current standards. A sweeping pass was needed to make significant adjustments to address notable concerns, like: moving the first gate from row 3 to row 4 to match all other classes; improving pathing and increasing interconnectedness on every tree; removing 3-point nodes; and reducing the percentage of minor DPS talents taken in the Class tree to make room for more flavorful and robust utility options.
We also want to use the opportunity where so many things are changing to rework or redesign some talents that needed the update, and also just to make some new talents to experience and (hopefully) enjoy.
Please see our updated development notes for all of the changes to Assassination, Outlaw, and Subtlety.
Assassination is known for having strong single target damage, but has two areas of concern we hope to address in Guardians of the Dream. First and foremost, their AoE has been notably weak and left them far behind the pack for M+ and certain raid encounter types. Secondly, Assassination’s damage performance does not improve at a similar rate compared to most specs when players improve their play and coordination to take on bigger challenges, like when moving from Heroic to Mythic level raiding. We hope the changes here will raise the floor of Assassination’s AoE, especially before reaching and needing capstone talents to do so, and that it will feel like a distinct Assassination-like way to deliver AoE damage and not just copy/paste of another spec’s gameplay.
As for the second concern, it’s very important to us that we not completely rewrite the book and threaten to undermine what makes Assassination appealing for so many players from both fantasy and gameplay perspectives. That said, the changes aimed at addressing this issue are more subtle. We intend to create more room for players tackling high-end content to use their resources and encounter knowledge to get improved performance outcomes, while not increasing the number of hoops players at all levels need to jump through to get results similar to the past.
Outlaw’s talent tree has produced some fun gameplay so far in Dragonflight, but it has significant issues with rigidity, lack of pathing options, high tension between early tree DPS and utility nodes, and far above average number of unskippable core skills. Some of those skills have returned to Outlaw baseline, creating room for improved pathing and interconnectedness.
We’ve also reworked or redesigned some existing talents and introduced some new options, with the hope that it will expand the gameplay space and options available to popular Outlaw builds.
Subtlety and its talent tree have been in a similar position as Outlaw. The gameplay outcome has been mostly good during Dragonflight so far, but many talents are underused, and rigid pathing with insufficient connections have restricted talent options. We have changed, redesigned, and added new talents alongside improvements to pathing and interconnectedness that will hopefully add up to feeling like there is more gameplay diversity and flexibility in the tree. And while we noted that gameplay outcomes thus far in Dragonflight have been ‘good’, there have been some negative trends we hope to address.
To start, Subtlety’s Energy and combo point resource economies have been overflowing, which creates a cascade of issues. Uptime for key cooldowns (predominantly Shadow Dance) has also been higher than expected, forcing overall damage tuning to result in a relatively flat damage profile, especially for a spec that is often known for having moments of increased intensity and burst within those frequent cooldown windows.
So, in addition to the more general improvements and additions for talents, there are some changes that affect Subtlety’s Energy and combo point flow that will reduce the floor of their steady downtime rate, and increase the relative value of effects that temporarily offer more resources. It will require tuning and iteration to get to the amounts of total resource generation and damage output in a good state, so any gameplay feedback you would like to share on these topics is welcome.
Let us know what you think!