Insta-Stealth, Ahoy!Posted: March 17, 2011
Blizzard just released updated 4.1 PTR patch notes! The latest notes show Rogues are indeed getting their Stealth buffed in 4.1 (contrary to prior datamines that showed them reverting the change). Here’s the juicy stuff:
Stealth base cooldown has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 10, and the movement penalty from being in Stealth has been removed.
Nightstalker now reduces the cooldown of Stealth by 2/4 seconds, and instead of negating the movement penalty from Stealth, it adds a 5/10% movement speed bonus (stacking with other effects) while Stealthed.
This constitutes a major shift in Rogue playstyle. It’s much more than just a quality of life improvement.
First, a bit of history. Since WoW’s inception, you needed to invest 8 points (of 71 allocated at level 80- a full 11%) into Stealth-enhancing talents for Stealth to reach its full potential. Otherwise, you’d be easily detectable and move like a sloth.
For PvPers, being found by your opponent 10 yards away and trudging (painfully slowly) up to them while they backpedaled and /lol’d at you wasn’t going to cut it. These talents were non-negotiable. PvE Rogues were silly to take these talents since Subtlety was a joke, Combat didn’t reach Stealth-enhanced talents (such as Overkill), Assassination wasn’t relevant until mid-3.3, and there were far better DPS-increasing investments. Not to mention Sprint closed gaps like a champ.
Now in Cataclysm, Rogues are speccing Assassination for PvE and Subtlety for PvP. Stealth is back in style. If it’s gimp in any way, you can be certain the Rogue community is yelling about it this expansion more than ever. Those moans are finally being addressed by the above patch notes.
Now if you’re specced 2/2 into Nightstalker you’ll move faster in Stealth than out of Stealth and can toggle Stealth as fast as your GCD will let you. Plus the ability’s cooldown is gone. This’ll be a lovely change for PvE, but an absolute game-changer for PvP.
I can’t even count the amount of times in raids I’ve stealthed to get an opener on a boss pull or trash pack just to have mobs dragged across the room faster than I could chase them. These situations were sometimes due to my own poor positioning, but for the times when the tank or ranged DPS messed up, it was an unnecessary punishment. I’d be watching my teammates run ahead of me spamming their ranged abilities at the target, and all I could do was skulk in the shadows behind everyone and pray I caught up before some boss ability / target swap forced me to peel before I even stabbed the thing. Oh, and since all of Assassination’s openers require you to be behind your target, sometimes I’d have to slowly strafe around the boss to its back. Not fun.
In Battlegrounds it’s become a regular occurrence where I’ll Vanish to re-open on my opponent (with a clutch Gouge silence, Ambush finish-off, or NO-U-DON’T-HEAL Cheap Shot) just to have them run the opposite direction and increase the gap exponentially. If Sprint or Shadowstep wasn’t up, welp, wasted cooldown. To add insult to inury, half of my opponents would have some ability that would force me out of Stealth at range. There’s few things more embarrassing than Vanishing, donning what appear to be gravity boots, and grasping out futilely with your daggers only to be feared, shouted, or AoE’d back into play and subsequently smashed. And if I was trying to get the jump on an unsuspecting running target, cue the Benny Hill music! Hell if I was ever catching them.
Well, NO MORE! Now we’ll run faster in Stealth than out of it. And we can re-enter it as soon as we leave combat (or immediately if we’re out of combat).
What does this mean? Well, I foresee Rogues (Nightstalker-specced or otherwise) remaining in Stealth in all situations. Stealth’s penalties are gone. Talenting into Nightstalker actually makes Stealth preferable to being out-of-Stealth. Rogues, by and large, will probably become much more scarce around the world of Azeroth once this patch releases. (I give my condolences in advance for the players who need to turn Rogues into turkeys next Thanksgiving. That’ll be a feat.)
- Current Stealth – 10-second cooldown; 70% movement speed while stealthed
- 4.0.6’s (Current) 2/2 Nightstalker – 4-second cooldown; 85% movement speed while stealthed
- 4.1’s (Upcoming) 2/2 Nightstalker – 0-second cooldown; 115% movement speed while stealthed
So our class will no longer be the hard-to-see-but-lagging-behind class we’ve been known as the majority of this game’s existence. We’ve finally achieved parity with other classes in combat engagement. So expect us. We will be in the shadows, waiting… and outrunning you.