I'll be honest, I'm posting cause my living situation is such that I cannot play right now but I thought I'd check in on our forums. I've been playing since april of 2006 with this toon Nightshine and I have 5 level 85 alts currently and have made over 750k gold on my toons together. I live in the US. Great game we have isn't it?
The center of your comments was around DPS and why it might vary during play at various times. I have pondered that myself many times. I share your concern about a wide variance of damage at times during the rogue rotation. My rogue is combat and has been for a long time. I've tried sub and assasination trees. I have more time on assasination than sub. In general the same stuff applies. My rogue too, in combat spec, also vary dps, at times exactly between the two numbers you mentioned. After some consideration and some observation I do have a few ideas about DPS.
What causes DPS to vary is in my opinion related to rotation, cool downs, buffs, gear, dot stacks, and this one gets forgotten about, other peoples gear, class and so forth. You can do your best with rotation and such but if your gear sucks and others don't, your dps will vary MORE than the difference of your gear. So, imagine you got a lower GS than anyone else and you are trying to measure DPS, very difficult to scale against better gear of three other DPS. So, your slightly lower GS makes a bigger difference because stuff just plain dies too fast. You can adjust your rotation for that like not trying to stack poison when your are undergeared but that dont matter very much.
Trinkets and any cool downs, spacing them out evenly, not blowing all at once, helps too. I see you have a strength trinket and im sure you are going to get an agility trinket as soon as you can. The trinket will not affect your wide variance of DPS. Buffs from hunters, dk's, pallies, druids, ect make a considerable difference too so pay ettention to what buffs are up. The best buff for a rogue in raid is the strength and agil buff of like 500 or so, from DK and hunter pet, warrior might have it too. If that is up your damage will be more and combined with other like the druid buff you got way better dps than if those are not up.
Rupture and poison stacks are not needed when you are racing to kill mobs with other players with better gear. Remember the #1 scaling ability the rogue has is main hand weapon damage. If what you are doing is not delivering the most main hand weapon damage than you need to think about why. Combat is main hand wep, assanation (assuming you can stack poison enough) envenom will matter equally due to the poison stacks instant app but only if you got time to stack it to 5 and get some instant apps. If your not getting 5 stacks on an envenom spec, in an undergeared situation, wound will apply more and get more damage lol. In sub, your burst is always a big series of backstabs or ambush combos. I used to like cheap shot, backstab, shadowdance, ambush,cheap shot as needed and get up to 5 ambushes on one target, do that on a non resilience target you will get over 20k. If those cool downs are not up you will get way lower dps.
Burst damage is not really the same as sustained DPS so dont confuse the two. My combat rogue bursts near 25k and sustained is around 16k or so. Blade flurry on mobs cannot be beat. Focus on main hand weapon damage.
Edited by Nightshine on 12/7/2011 1:56 PM PST