Feedback: Rogues

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!


Please remove Slice and Dice or make it Passive.
It does not feel good to waste combo points in our opener (or in general) on a mandatory buff that we should just have baseline.

It is my one main wish for the rogue rework.


Nah doesn’t need to be removed, just needs to be passive buff or activates when you use your main combo spender like Envenom etc.


For the general class tree, can we have Blind be made baseline and move Cut to the Chase from Assassination’s tree to where Blind was in the Class Tree with the effect:

Envenom/Dispatch/Evicerate and Rupture/Between the Eyes activates Slice and Dice for the duration based on the combo points spent. If Slice and Dice is already active extend it’s duration by 3 seconds per combo point spent.

This would literally solve everyone’s issues with Slice and Dice.

Can we just have Crimson Tempest replace rupture or have it be a passive which applies its affect to rupture?

Assassination at times feels quite bloated, especially when we take Echoing Reprimand and Sepsis/Serated Bone Spike.

This just feels like a bad change and might make it a dead talent. I would much rather have this moved up in the tree instead of a capstone talent if it’s going to be taken nearly 100% of the time.


Have it reduce your lethal poison’s deal 80% of normal damage (much like Unholy DK’s Superstrain).

And for the Blindside talent, any chance this could possible transform Mutilate into Ambush? Much like Shadow Priests with their Mind Flay/Mind Spike into the insanity version? This would be a nice QoL feature.


If Outlaw is still 14 key-binds just for a rotation, (this doesnt even include utility abilities) the spec will continue to be keyboard consuming nightmare.
This isnt La Campanella here.

As far as RtB goes. change grand melee. (again)
no RtB buff should force you to use a cleave ability in a single target encounter. RtB should be something useful regardless of the encounter.


It would be nice to see which talents were removed from specs entirely. Some of the wording makes it unclear. For example, both Sub and Assa have a note that say “Shadowstep is now a baseline ability” but Outlaw has no mention of it. Is Outlaw losing Shadowstep again?*

*There are a few other mentions of specific spells being moved from the general class tree to only one spec tree (like Find Weakness being moved to Sub), so I’m assuming that means it’s getting removed from Outlaw via the general class tree. Which is fine, but it’d be nice to see which talents I’m losing on Outlaw without having to look through all of the Assa and Sub notes to try to figure it out. Maybe just add notes for which things got moved in the initial notes for the class.

^EDIT: This is clearer now that the PTR is live

One note that I’ll say I’d like to see for Outlaw, especially for PvP situations, is giving Killing Spree a CC immunity while it’s channeling like Bladestorm gets. Nothing fun about burning a big cooldown and immediately getting knocked out of it by a 2 second AoE CC, or the fact that Binding Shot just hard counters it if the hunter takes 2 steps away from the arrow and forces you to trigger it. Especially if this is going back to being a higher damage ability and not just a glorified defensive.

As for the new Slice and Dice talents, as much as Grand Melee sucked originally, it was nice to not have to worry about SnD for a little bit while it was active. I think a cool talent for Outlaw would be, instead of pausing the duration during certain buffs (which doesn’t help with the maintenance for those other buffs and just adds to the spinning plates effect), maybe there could be a talent that increases the duration of an active SnD buff when you spend CP. So it doesn’t generate SnD if you didn’t get the buff rolling already, but spending CP and keeping momentum means it’ll never fall off during combat. Just gets rid of an extra chore and, let’s be real, an arbitrary CP dump that does nothing but take away from the flow of gameplay.

This talent also confuses me.

  • New Talent: Underhanded Upper Hand (Passive) – Slice and Dice does not lose duration during Blade Flurry. Blade Flurry does not lose duration during Adrenaline Rush. Adrenaline Rush does not lose duration during Stealth. Stealth abilities can be used for an additional 3 seconds after Stealth breaks.

I’m guessing it’s a capstone talent for how much it does. But how does it interact with Subterfuge, which already lets you use stealth abilities for 3 seconds after stealth breaks? Is Subterfuge going away for Outlaw? Didn’t see it mentioned as being moved at all.

^EDIT: It seems to extend Subterfuge to 6 seconds

Also completely unrelated to balance, but can Pistol Shot please be 30y range like both of the other rogue spec’s ranged abilities? It’s wild that Outlaw doesn’t have any damage abilities longer than 20y range when both Poisoned Knife and Shuriken Toss (and Heroic Throw on Warrior) are 30y range. I remember times in Shadowlands where I legit had no way to pull a flying mob I needed for a quest because it never flew into my 20y range, but I could tag it on literally any other character. I think Outlaw is the only spec in the game without a damage ability that reaches further than 20y which is wild for a spec with a literal gun.

Those are my initial thoughts without actually seeing the structure of the new talent tree, so we’ll see where it goes from there. Overall I like a lot of the changes and I’m especially excited to not have to waste as many talent points on necessary nodes. I’ll probably have more thoughts when I see the actual trees.

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Well it doesnt look like Outlaw will be any better as far as key-binds go, It actually looks like there will be even more things to track and feels like its being pigeon-holed into a M+ spec.

BtE changed to a buff is long overdue.
Killing Spree might actually be good again.
Why in the world did you INCREASE the damage Dread Blades does to yourself?
Improved Adrenaline Rush is a good change.
Ghostly Strike off the GCD is also long overdue.

there are some good changes there and i hope there are more to come, but seriously, i’ll stick to Sub.


A small thing but it’s a hang up of the past that profoundly irritates me: can poisons have unlimited duration? Poisons falling off after an hour serve zero purpose, except to make us press buttons every hour.

I have a weak aura that flashes “PRESS THE POISON BUTTONS” in red when there’s 15 min left on the buffs, and I press the buttons. Perhaps it’s just me but I don’t see the gameplay value there.


It’s still in the class tree. The spec tree nodes were made baseline. Also, the PTR is up!


It would also be nice if Arcane Intellect, Battle Shout, Power Word: Foritude etc were just Aura buffs that were always active with no duration. Means you don’t need to keep telling the player to buff them after a wipe or death.


Glad that some of the outlaw stuff like grapple are made as a baseline, but that kind of makes the spec even more clunky. We are already juggling several hotbars of abilities at what feels like 300 APM just for basic stuff when most other classes have 5 buttons and free utility and will out DPS rogues who are meant to really be high damage and low utility.

Personally, I was hoping for just complete reworks on the subclasses, eg: outlaw would make a good subclass that could function similar to Fury with using guns/bows and a dagger in a fashion similar to Sylvanas, and the other specs could focus on doing physical stuff with daggers and the other using poisons and potions to deal magical/dmg types as a more utility spec. either way they are way to over complicated for how much damage they actually do.


General rogue
Superior mixture - this talent should not be in the game. 72% snare without shiv is dumb
Mind numbing and atrophic should be lower in the tree. Not being able to select imp wound poison for pvp without having to take one of those points feels like a dead talent selection.
marked for death - this talent is a bit too strong with CDR from outlaw and sub. It doesn’t have the same comparison for assassination.

Airborne irritant - kind of a cool M+ aoe interrupt talent. Feels off being the talent node that blocks deft manuevers

Crackshot- very VERY good for pvp. feels awkward but so strong

ghostly strike - off the GCD is amazing and doesn’t feel bad because it has the cooldown

killing spree - honestly ridiculous and I love it. Can’t even read the entire combat log with it. Can’t imagine what it’s like with hero and stacked haste.

That being said, this is going to be the most complex outlaw rotation I’ve ever played and I feel like I need way too much reaction/input to play it right.


On Outlaw, as mainly a PvPer:

For a first iteration available to the public, this is a banger. Crackshot seems like a brilliant addition to Bushlaw, and bringing Killing Spree back keeps options open.

Also thank you for dumping or reducing the cost of the majority of the generic dps talents.

All I can really ask for right now is for Grand Melee to be changed, again. It’s clunky in PvP, can’t really be capitalized on with CTO, and I hear it’s iffy in PvE for similar reasons.


Why am I not hearing anything about ranged dual wield pistol outlaw option??? :triumph:


Do targets hit with Serrated Bone Spike instantly die when they hit 35% HP if you’re running Sudden Demise, since it effectively has an unlimited duration while you’re in combat? I’m gonna assume not, for obvious reasons, but that would be what a literal reading of the tooltip would suggest.


One disappointing part of modern sub rogue is that we don’t get instant feedback on how hard our finishers hit. It was great fun seeing a big number from an eviscerate crit back in the day.

The problem is that eviscerate damage is split into a physical and shadow damage portion. Also, secret technique is split into many different instances of damage.

Given that the rework intends on giving us less frequent moments of higher damage, is there scope to at least get eviscerate showing up as 1 big damage number for that instant feedback on how hard we hit? It sounds insignificant, but players enjoy these hard hitting moments. I’m sure glacial spike wouldn’t be as popular if it was split into 5 separate damage instances for each icicle.


Not sure how much the updates will change this. With the reshuffled class tree, it’s likely more people will spec into the second charge of dance which most builds avoid on live.

Haven’t tested much but the new shadowblades is kinda fun. And I was only have joking before when I said that dreadblades would make more sense for Sub. Goremaw returning is welcome too, though our action bars could get full quick if taking Flag and ER too.

An yea, now that shadowblades is basically an improved dreadblades, I don’t get why dread still has the health cost attached to it. Let alone why the curse was buffed.

The changes to Shadow Tech could probably use some more transparency on the default UI. Watching the stack counter on the buff panel to track potential combos is kinda wonky. Maybe the banked combo points could be purple or something on the resource frame? Obviously we could always do this ourselves with adddons, but it would be nice to not need one for this.

  • Indiscriminate Carnage has been redesigned – Garrote and Rupture apply to 2 additional nearby enemies when used from Stealth and for 3 seconds after breaking Stealth. Passive Talent.

This needs the stealth requirement removed.

  • Indiscriminate Carnage – Garrote and Rupture apply to 2 additional nearby enemies. Passive Talent.

There you go, AOE issues fixed. The stealth requirement is going to kill that talent.


Or, at best, seems like it would kinda make dance mandatory. Assuming dance counts as stealth for that.

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35% treshold for Sudden Demise feels a bit too much. This talent feels extremely overtuned