Rogues receive a few tweaks here and there with Cataclysm, but nothing game-changing. Like many of the other classes, we’ve got a slimmed- down talent system, new glyphs, and a couple of new abilities to learn past level 80. While rogues do receive a number of new defensive abilities, which imply longer battles with larger health pools, our primary role continues to be dishing out the damage.
NEW ROGUE ABILITIES
For high-level rogues, players pick up a few new abilities like Combat Readiness, Redirect, and the highly anticipated Smoke Bomb. In a world (of Warcraft) where every class has some sort of stun move, having Combat Readiness to use instead of Evasion is huge. This ability lets you absorb damage rather than avoid it. Likewise, rogues have a new ability, called Redirect, that allows the rogue to transfer combo points from one target to another. Currently, this ability is rather cumbersome and hard to use. The current version lacks visual cues, but rogues have been asking for this ability for quite a while, so hopefully it will be fine-tuned shortly.
What rogue hasn’t heard about Smoke Bomb yet? This ability is acquired at level 85 and is everything we hoped it was going to be With Smoke Bomb, rogues now have the ability to create a line-of-sight obstruction. The enemy can still target the rogue, but can’t cast spells into or out of the smoke. Likewise, this ability can be used on enemy healers. Put a smoke bomb around their target and all of the sudden the healer can’t save them! The possibilities are endless.
Last but not least, all rogues will be picking up the new, healing finishing move called Recuperate. This ability gives you the option of spending combo points to apply a heal-over-time (HoT) to your rogue. For a few additional combo points, the ability can be further enhanced to the point of being arguably overpowered. On the beta servers, rogues are facing elite enemies a few levels above them without batting an eyelash. This will most likely change before release.
With the talent trees redesigned, a amber of fluff talents have been removed. For example: that + to critical strike talent that everyone used to use is gone. Instead, all rogues receive a boost to critical strike. Is it really an option if you must take it? All three trees have been stripped of the fat and players will now receive class-defining abilities as soon as they select a specialization at level 10. This means Assassination rogues will be Mutilating right off the bat, Combat rogues will be using Blade Flurry, and Subtlety rogues will be able to Shadowstep. This is a huge change for low level Rogue play!
For your raiding rogues that aren’t really interested in rolling a new character, our place in raids remains much the same. We have some new tricks to absorb damage, so expect return of the 360 degree boss cleaves other AoE moves that will force us to spend combo points on Recuperate for healing purposes. What really remains whether Blizzard will be able to bring Subtlety raid damage up to par with the other two trees without homogenizing them too much. We can always hope right?