Optimal PvE Specialization

As my rogue, of which I've enjoyed the most out of any class so far, nears level 90, I still haven't been able to come to a consensus on this subject.

Sometimes all three specs for a class are toe-to-toe, and sometimes only one is viable, whereas the other two are typically useless in most situations.

I've been looking around for quite a while, and I've gathered completely mixed results.
"Sub is the best."
"Assassination is the best."
"No, Combat is the best."

I've heard Sub and Assassination are toe-to-toe and Combat is behind, etc. Perhaps this is a redundant and repeated question, however I have not come across very many similar questions, or rather ones that had proper answers.

So, I bring this to you, rogues. What would your say be? Do all three have their different benefits, and/or is there one that, at the moment, surpasses the other two?

Again, apologies in advance if this a question that has been done-to-death; I'm generally curious,
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90 Undead Rogue
11590
combat is the best specs for rogues atm, offering high single target damage and the ability to cleave when needed. If you have a set of daggers it might be optimal for you to switch to assassination for fights like feng, garajal,etc (aka patchwerk single target type fights).

Without a doubt subtlety is the worst spec for rogues in pve atm. At my gear level it gets competitive, but why play such a hard spec when you can play assassination with a much easier rotation and get BETTER damage.
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21 Night Elf Druid
16355
12/08/2012 12:11 AMPosted by Sneakyhobos
combat is the best specs for rogues atm, offering high single target damage and the ability to cleave when needed. If you have a set of daggers it might be optimal for you to switch to assassination for fights like feng, garajal,etc (aka patchwerk single target type fights).


No.

Combat is only better for a cleave fight such as Stone Guard, Garalon, and Ambershaper otherwise you should spec Assassination making sure you have 7.5% hit and reforging everything to mastery. Make sure you have reforges for both specs and gem for assassination only changing reforge when you switch to combat (you can use an addon like reforgesaver to help with this).
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90 Undead Rogue
15335
You haven't said if you are trying to pic a spec for PvP or PvE. If you only want to play one spec for PvE, play combat because it can cleave and has better cds. It is already close to what Assassination does and will probably surpass it in full heroic raid gear at the end of this tier. In a casual raiding environment where you probably aren't playing close to the mathematical potential of the class you won't be able to tell the difference. If you want to switch between two specs based on the fight then run Combat and Assassination. You can play Combat with Assassination reforges or vice versa without too much of a hit, it won't really matter unless the rest of your raid's dpsers are bad enough to require you to reforge between fights. In that case just get a yak mount and step out to reforge while the raid pulls trash if you need to switch specs between bosses and your raid is one where need to be serious about min/maxxing. Optimal reforging and gemming is something people pay a lot of attention to and stress over, there are probably more questions here about that than anything else, but it really only adds maybe 1-2k dps.
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90 Undead Rogue
11590
combat is the best specs for rogues atm, offering high single target damage and the ability to cleave when needed. If you have a set of daggers it might be optimal for you to switch to assassination for fights like feng, garajal,etc (aka patchwerk single target type fights).


No.

Combat is only better for a cleave fight such as Stone Guard, Garalon, and Ambershaper otherwise you should spec Assassination making sure you have 7.5% hit and reforging everything to mastery. Make sure you have reforges for both specs and gem for assassination only changing reforge when you switch to combat (you can use an addon like reforgesaver to help with this).


At low gear level(463-470) assassination definitely pulled ahead in single target by a lot(10k+, trust me I remember), but at my gear level(499) the difference is literally 1-2k dps and that is without human error. Combat is the best overall spec for pve, there really is no reason not to be until next tier and agility makes subtlety break away single target and we will be double speccing and switching based on the fight.

This is me sitting on sha as much as possible, my assassination got sent to the platform twice and my combat literally the week after with mostly the same gear got sent over three times. I ranked 14 for combat and 17 for assassination and the difference is minimal, 93k as assassination and 91.5k as combat.

Combat: http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/i6xtsleszzw347qw/sum/damageDone/?s=676&e=1293#Sneakyhobos
Assassination: http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/zwkmlgcniwihka2h/sum/damageDone/?s=163&e=805#Sneakyhobos
Edited by Sneakyhobos on 12/8/2012 1:45 AM PST
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90 Undead Rogue
11905
You haven't said if you are trying to pic a spec for PvP or PvE. If you only want to play one spec for PvE, play combat because it can cleave and has better cds. It is already close to what Assassination does and will probably surpass it in full heroic raid gear at the end of this tier. In a casual raiding environment where you probably aren't playing close to the mathematical potential of the class you won't be able to tell the difference. If you want to switch between two specs based on the fight then run Combat and Assassination. You can play Combat with Assassination reforges or vice versa without too much of a hit, it won't really matter unless the rest of your raid's dpsers are bad enough to require you to reforge between fights. In that case just get a yak mount and step out to reforge while the raid pulls trash if you need to switch specs between bosses and your raid is one where need to be serious about min/maxxing. Optimal reforging and gemming is something people pay a lot of attention to and stress over, there are probably more questions here about that than anything else, but it really only adds maybe 1-2k dps.


He did say it. In the title.
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90 Orc Rogue
15170
12/08/2012 01:34 AMPosted by Sneakyhobos
At low gear level(463-470) assassination definitely pulled ahead in single target by a lot(10k+, trust me I remember), but at my gear level(499) the difference is literally 1-2k dps and that is without human error. Combat is the best overall spec for pve, there really is no reason not to be until next tier and agility makes subtlety break away single target and we will be double speccing and switching based on the fight.


This is pretty much exactly how I feel about it.

Combat can do great single target, cleave, has the best burst CD's, and with Restless Blades/Sprint and Shadowstep, the best mobility. It will outscale Assassination by end of tier/beginning of next even on single target, and Sub will start to come into it's own again.
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90 Pandaren Rogue
0
WoL still shows assassin higher then comat in non cleave situations by like 10% or more. just look at the rankings. i only looked in 10m so im not sure it applies to 25m.

i know that it isnt completely accurate since there are other factors involved like gear levels and amount of people playing each spec.
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90 Orc Rogue
15170
It's about 1% more on average.
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90 Troll Rogue
21085
Sha of fear logs are useless, basically if you parse you rank and rank pretty high.

As for combat vs. assassination, at the very top end assassination and combat are reasonably competitive however there is a pretty substantial damage fall off for combat vs. assassination a top ranked combat parse and a top ranked assassination parse may be similar but a mid ranked assassination parse will blow a mid ranked combat parse out of the water. Obviously there are some complicating factors but this certainly complicates the statement that assassination and combat are reasonably competitive.

I won't give my full scaling rant here but suffice it to say I don't expect combat or sub to inherently scale better then assassination, at least not based on the limited argumentation I've seen so far.

For a new rogue player my suggestion would be main spec assassination and swap your reforges for combat fights.
Edited by Fierydemise on 12/9/2012 9:22 AM PST
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90 Night Elf Rogue
10400
12/08/2012 10:41 AMPosted by Fierydemise
a top ranked combat parse and a top ranked assassination parse may be similar but a mid ranked assassination parse will blow a top ranked combat parse out of the water

Couldn't this just mean that more top players are playing Assassination than Combat?

I've been looking around for quite a while, and I've gathered completely mixed results.
"Sub is the best."
"Assassination is the best."
"No, Combat is the best."

They're all right. :)

In all but the most competitive of DPS-dealing situations (read: cutting-edge raid progression fights or challenge-mode dungeons in which your raid group needs every last drop of damage you can put out), any spec is completely viable and fine to use.

The most important aspect of doing good DPS in any spec is playing that spec well. You can run as Assassination because people tell you it's great, but if you suck at it, your DPS will reflect it. On the flip side, you can run as Subtlety even though people tell you it's bad, and if you're great at it, you'll still top meters.
Edited by Rfeann on 12/8/2012 10:59 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
0
12/08/2012 10:41 AMPosted by Fierydemise
I won't give my full scaling rant here but suffice it to say I don't expect combat or sub to inherently scale better then assassination, at least not based on the limited argumentation I've seen so far.

Have you put it anywhere else?

I'm curious to read why you think assassination will scale on par with other specs this expansion.
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90 Orc Rogue
15170
12/08/2012 10:41 AMPosted by Fierydemise
a top ranked combat parse and a top ranked assassination parse may be similar but a mid ranked assassination parse will blow a top ranked combat parse out of the water.


I don't understand this sentence. I think you meant to say a mid-ranked Assassination parse will blow away a mid-ranked Combat parse, yeah?

Anyhow, Assassination does do better at lower gear levels, no doubt. At higher gear levels, the difference is pretty insignificant on even single target fights. Respeccing, regemming, and reforging to do a theoretical 1k extra DPS never seemed worth it to me. One mistake or lag spike would cost more in DPS.

As far as scaling, I don't see this being any different than any other expansion. If you look at Assassinations damage breakdown, poison of course tops it. However, Mutilate is usually 6-7th in damage done. A weapon upgrade just doesn't benefit Mut all that much in comparison to the other specs, because most of it's damage isn't physical.

I think Assassination is higher than it normally would be beginning an expansion due to the new Mastery raid buff, which gives a ton.
Edited by Blacksad on 12/8/2012 11:13 AM PST
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90 Troll Rogue
21085
I think you are correct about the mastery buff really helping assassination out early expansion however mastery isn't a terrible stat for combat anymore, by the time this tier is up I wouldn't be surprised to see it passing agi and value as well.

The fact that assassination scales worse with weapons doesn't inherently mean assassination scales worse. It is entirely possible for a spec with weak weapon damage to scale better then a spec with strong weapon damage, I'm not sure it is the case here, I haven't really looked at all the scaling factors involved but it certainly isn't impossible.
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http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/#s000
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90 Troll Rogue
21085
Some numbers from shadowcraft on the scaling issue for thought. I understand that combat and assassination numbers are not directly comparable, I compare combat numbers only to combat numbers or ratios (which are be definition normalized) to ratios.

This disables all raid buffs except those that are provided by the rogue. Gear sets may not be completely optimal but should be relatively close.

combat 463-46176
mut 463-50797

combat 497- 70538
mut 497- 74686

combat BiS- 83680
mut BiS- 87289

combat dps/ilvl 463-497- 716.5
mut dps/ilvl 463-497- 702.6

combat dps/ilvl 497-BiS- 1095.2
mut dps/ilvl 497-BiS- 1050.25

combat ratio-1.53
mut ratio 1.5

If combat scaled substantially better then mutilate we would expect to see the ratio of combat dps/ilvl at Bis-497 vs combat dps/ilvl 497-463 as substantially greater then the assassination ratio. We do see the value as slightly greater however not the extent that we would expect for a substantially better scaling spec.
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The responses seem to reflect that Assassination and Combat out-weigh Subtlety at the moment.

I went on different websites, and it seems that the highest rogue DPS comes from the Combat spec, rather than Assassination. I'll have to try both of them in that case, and check which one I have a more preferable and fun time with. Thanks everybody!
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90 Human Rogue
13000
The truth is that the spec you play better will out perform a spec you play worse.

Outside of cleave.
Edited by Aeriwen on 12/8/2012 10:03 PM PST
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90 Troll Rogue
21085
The truth is that the spec you play better will out perform a spec you play worse.

Outside of cleave.

I think for most people, at least those starting out, that spec will be assassination, its a very simplistic spec in its own right and compared to combat played correctly it looks even easier.
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90 Undead Rogue
11590
I fully expect subtlety to outscale everything with even more agility next tier, I don't know why assassination would scale that well because mastery is only going to be giving less point for point as we go forward from here.

Sha of fear logs are useless, basically if you parse you rank and rank pretty high.

but a mid ranked assassination parse will blow a top ranked combat parse out of the water.


Yup everyone is pulling 90k+ with their eyes closed on sha as a rogue at this point in the game.../sarcasm. Take a shot if you would like, but it was my closest comparison for means of this discussion, instead of just stating whatever I want with nothing to show its validity.

and that second statement, just isn't true. Seeing as the dps difference is quite small even on your average top 100 parse for fights like garajal on wol. the difference, unless you are dieing to enrage isn't even worth wasting your raids time to switch for and that is assuming you can play both at equal skill levels.

12/08/2012 11:36 AMPosted by Jinthiel
http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/#s000


the problem with this is that no one plays subtlety seriously because we know it is inferior this tier. If progression hits a wall or we have a normal/farm raid over christmas I might give it a shot.
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