Seeing Blue: solving problems of player perception beyond 10.1.5

TL;DR - Classes that end up iced by the devs end up iced by the community. Where’s our bluepost?

Also: This post is not necessarily meant to be an indictment of any specific developer or the renovations already brought to Rogue in Dragonflight. I love playing this class, and I want our designer to succeed.

This final week before the launch of 10.1.5 is probably a good moment to soapbox at our future a little. It’s a holiday week in the states. It’s the onset of summer’s full swing. Other games like D4 and FFXVI have been rolling along in ways that pull the attentions of subscribed players. People in our community have likely accomplished close to or all of what they were hoping for out of the early season - or not, and they’re breaking until new content and changes arrive. It’s a familiar moment of pause as we get to think about what comes next.

It’s also a unique time with regard to our class outlook. Though, you probably wouldn’t intuit that without being a close audience to our class server on Discord. For some time, players have clamored about the glaring omission of Rogue changes suggested in both the May 11th preview for Fractures in Time and the subsequent rework-level changes afforded to all classes named (and various others unnamed) in that same preview. That is openly known here online. However, if you have been following the rogue Discord closely, you’d also learned the following: the aforementioned Rogue changes have been delayed because reasons, seemingly until 10.2, but only maybe.

Fair enough. But where is our bluepost?

There are many posts on the forums about how Dragonflight has been problematic for rogues, but few seem to get at the biggest specific challenge we’ve weathered this tier - the lack of bluepost acknowledgement amid aggressive changes. We’ve watched our representation in Mythic languish. We’ve watched our applications in M+ LFG slam against the brick wall of bimonthly Afflicted weeks. We’ve eyerolled in the mire of our traditional gripes, in addition to the continued mire of veiled (and overt) nerfs across all aspects of our alleged remaining niche. We’ve dealt with a lot of this before. It’s been a time.

However, what hasn’t been contextualized well enough is how marginalized our class has become within the stagnant definition of what people think we are in the absence of clearer communication and design.

For example, let’s talk about M+ - The devs are big on talking about designing for all levels of play, as opposed to just designing for the very topmost of players. Yet, rogues (particularly Sin and OL) are stuck in the incredibly awkward position of being at odds with current design (Afflicted? Hello?) while also being judged by the evergreen standards of the topmost static groups that don’t need to sweat their comp if they decide to include a rogue and specifically plan around their success. We’re constantly found in LFG situations where keyholders pass over our applications while also mocking any claim that we’re underrepresented in keys. Rogues were great for very specific reasons for a long time, and you can always find a rogue in the highest-timed keys. That, in addition to frequent sloppy tier-listing by streamers, has stuck with people as an indication that nothing’s wrong with our class.

“You’re a rogue,” they say, declining our application for a lust/hero class that can trivialize affixes with a totem. “You’re overpowered and have absolutely no problem getting invites.”

That reaction doesn’t really account for how the game has changed over time, and it isn’t exclusive to M+. Though, M+ LFG is where you find the most extreme examples of these biases form up. Rogues have been frozen in time in the minds of folks that simply don’t know better and/or don’t want to admit that, when building a key in 10.1, they’re either building with redundant hybrid benefits in mind or building with excessive damage in mind - or both at once. In almost every LFG situation, there are better options than Rogue, a fact that is clearly supported by S2 RIO data.

And all of this is a problem of communication that is only really made worse by silence, which is what we have now. Regardless of the reasons for delays, depriving class communities of insulating bluepost updates has always led to the rest of the playerbase to assume that devs design in isolation and that the class in question is being ignored for a player-positive reason. What’s worse, if the bluepost silence is only ever broken by hyperbolized, articulated posts like the following, which is taken from the January 27th writeup on the then-imminent Ret rework,…

…then we not only have the former problem, having people assume that maybe we’re being ignored by our devs for good reasons, but also a new problem and new bias that has people incorrectly thinking that we’re still something we merely used to be. We have immutably S-tier mobility. We always have. Nothing needs to change, even if we do end up with dev attention. Wrong.

Blueposts matter. The game has clearly changed plenty over time, and, outside of having the RNG slot machine of spec FOTM balloon one of our kits every season, rogues have perennially struggled to keep up in WoW Nouveau™, due in no small part to the willingness - or lack thereof - of officials to explain their decisions when they make them. The inclusion and then omission of Rogue in the plan for 10.1.5 has made it clear that so much of that starts with how designers and managers choose to acknowledge certain classes when things come up. Optics matter. Player perception matters.

For now, it seems like we get to slide into 10.1.5 without an official mention for what might have happened, why we didn’t have more communication, and what we can expect following a really rough half-tier. It doesn’t seem like we’re getting a clear answer for why Afflicted was designed the way it was, why certain specs had to sit RIO gains for weeks at a time while others were able to feast. We remain unanswered in our role-immobility in a game landscape that has the roles of other classes expanding outward to meet new challenges. In an expansion billed as a sea change in how devs connect with communities, we get more of the constant Priest → Shaman’ing in every class update.

Forget tuning. Forget reworks. Forget niche. The only buff we need in 10.1.5 is blue acknowledgement.


It was like this all during beta too. These forums are useless for Rogues.


I know it. Though, it’s a reasonable enough frustration because of how thoroughly other classes are being acknowledged in and out of their unofficial discords in ways that feel super data-driven/FOTM-y. Rogues aren’t alone in this frustration obviously, but they are the most egregious classwide example this tier. I’ve basically come to expect every bluepost to either blithely leapfrog Rogue with a quick Priest → Shaman, to hit us with a nerf annotated for other class communities to read and be reassured by, or to wordlessly aura buff with something that only partially compensates for something better that’s been taken away from us.

Anyway, the calculus for who gets a rework is undoubtedly complicated, but reasonable communication should always be a piece of cake. A breakdown in communication is only ever caused for the sake of convenience, by necessity, out of ignorance, or some/all of that at once - and none of those outcomes are particularly super.


Well written post. /sign


i’d say because we have so little interaction or responses from devs and the bizarre nerfs they keep giving us, i have little faith the “rework” is going to do much good aside from just be a bunch of more nerfs.

I mean, we cant even get the morons to fix Blackjack for us and it took MONTHS for them to fix nighstalker


Was it ever even really fixed?

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Not even sure. I don’t know how to test it myself. For all I know, it might not be

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If any Hunter, Warlock, or Paladin was in the state of any current Rogue spec - it would be non-stop buffed until viable. It would grind the game to a screeching halt of non-stop 24/7 general discussion spam about how non-viable their specific specs are - despite the other two performing well.

To even remotely pretend Dev attention is equally distributed is insulting as a player.

And that’s infuriating to me.


I hear you. Though, I will say; hunter is definitely in similar(ish) rough shape with regard to where they are currently and how much design reconsideration/communication they’ve received in Dragonflight. The only meaningful distinction I’d make is that they’re a lust class, which is just a severe advantage. Otherwise, they’re soaking some of the same role-immobility/spec-FOTM woes we are.

I hope the rework is good if there is one. I’ll settle for an end to the weirdly veiled hypernerfs in the meantime. This tier has shown that Blizzard has become very good at disguising unilateral nerfs as broad, universal strokes that are purportedly only meant to simplify across the board (eg. the CC nerfs heading into 10.1)


Thank you for recognizing our plight. Right now, MM is a slot machine, BM is extremely talent dense ( takes 4 points to get multi shot and beast cleave) and Survival has 8 nodes that all read increase the damage of x ability so its rough. Rogue is in an equal spot and needs quite a lot of love in the gameplay department and talent departments as well.


Totally. A close friend of mine is also suffering the hunter wipeout. It’s very real. One specific painful observation has been seeing the pre-patch Sentinel Owl development slog, watching it end up in a spot where it’s just sort of whatever because its original group benefit was considered too niche and powerful, but now having to sidestep and watch Augmentation ride in with severe group benefit. Noice.

Rogue and Hunter could be rescued (pun?) in a snap by having a role-mobile aug-like spec option added - or even just having some design review for how current their utility and defensives are in the landscape of what’s happening in keys and raid. The very limiting niche of BeiNg AbLe To bounce around to whatever spec is best any given season is total sour milk at this point.

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I honestly think that there is nothing wrong with rogues. Outlaw just got buffed and I don’t know why they buffed Sub a little more lol? The only spec that I really feel bad for and desperately needs love is Assassination because it remains untouched (Other than the awful rework or should I say rename? from Vendetta to Deathmark which literally did zero contribution to damage) and their talent tree is really messed up. Its either you pick a full AoE build which sucks compared to other classes and other rogue specs, or pure ST which is only good for Raiding. M+ wise, Assassination is the least played spec of literally all class specs because of how frustrating both class and spec talent trees are laid out and how they really under perform when you look at their overall damage and that is with being fully gear optimized. You just can’t have a mix of both ST and AoE with that spec.

You know, perhaps to your point, there’s actually plenty about current Rogue that I do enjoy, and some of what I enjoy puts me in the minority of what players like about the class. However, I think looking at middling compensatory aura buffs (most of which are net-negatives anyway, so whatever) as an indication that there isn’t much wrong about the class is an iffy take. Tuning notwithstanding, there are even much bigger, big-picture problems, and I’m hoping it’s sorted out sooner rather than later.

As I mentioned - outside of very niche, topend groups that plan around the successes of their rogues, the class is largely ending up outpaced by objectively better options, particularly in M+. RIO data tells the tale pretty clearly, and it’s just grim. I personally think and have expounded about the idea that an area poison cleanse in the class tree would go a long way with very little balance impact. We’ll see…


I too really enjoy the class, and I am pretty much a one trick Assassination rogue player since Vanilla. It is pretty exciting what this class has come to. But sadly, I feel that our damage output is just not enough to push really high keys. Coming from a Rogue who is currently 3rd and 14th (Yes I have 2 Rogues) on RIO Assassination Rogue Rankings. I want to keep this spec alive as much as the other 2 specs. Hopefully we get something good eventually. Perhaps a lesser cooldown on ID because 45 seconds just seems too long.

What I personally want, is to have Echoing Blades back. That is the only thing that I see that could pretty much be comparable or equivalent to Black Powder/Secret Technique and Blade Flurry AoE damage.

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I actually use Arterial Precision and Indiscriminate Carnage together in my main m+ build along with Tiny Toxic Blade it works pretty nice with Cold Blood as well. You feel a little burst in your damage when you Cold Blood - Shiv 5 targets. It just a little build that I made which no one really plays.

It didn’t. It got compensated for a nerf elsewhere.

Edit: At least in theory, just did a couple of mythic runs and my lord it’s actually decent… ST is still simmed as an overall loss though.


Yeah, I’ve been curious to try out that setup. It seems cool. I desperately wish enrage effects were scarier, because that would actually make a difference in player perception, and it would make our combination of cleave soothe and cleave silence ridiculously good. I’m sure that there is some remote, niche topend of play where enraged mobs are a guaranteed wipe, but, for so much of the playerbase, enrage effects simply amount to, “Huh, they’re big now,” so no one is shopping for Shiv with “LFM Soothe” – but they are shopping for folks with “LFM dispel/MD”

If every enrage in keys were as scary as the Houndmaster cast going off in Halls of Atonement, Shiv would be valuable, no doubt about it.