Rogues are a sneaky bunch, all throughout World of Warcraft: Classic to today. They embody the soul of a crafty thief and can be infuriating to fight against in PvP thanks to their stealth and vanishing antics. With their constantly replenishing energy bar and unique combo system of finishers, they have a broad range of playstyle options, and many players find their favorite class in the Rogue.
What Role Does A Rogue Fulfill?
Similar to Hunters, Rogues are a pure DPS class, but at melee range. They wear leather armor and dual wield a variety of weapons to deal a flurry of attacks to an opponent. They also have a number of useful abilities that allow them to specialize in helping out a team within a dungeon. Sapping an NPC will safely keep them out of action while the group tackles the rest of the opponents, while Kick can be used to interrupt powerful spell casters who mean to do harm to the tank. Unlike most classes, Rogues can slip in and out of combat easily thanks to Vanish, which means that if things go south, they need not see things through to the bitter end. Rogues can simply leave a fight, heal, and come back on their own terms.
Is Rogue Leveling Easy Or Hard?
Rogues can be one of the more difficult classes to level, perhaps only second to Warriors, who have it the worst. As Rogues have no healing in Classic, compared to the modern version of the game, they need to be able to deal with an opponent quickly or die in the process. Unfortunately, they are rather gear-dependent to grind mobs efficiently: not having the proper gear and weapons makes the process for more difficult than it should be. Unlike Mages, who can snare with freezing traps and blink away, or Hunters with their pets that scale regardless of gear, Rogues need to start and finish a fight up close and on their own.
Unfortunately, some of the previously mentioned Rogue skills do not help much while leveling. Vanish, for instance will absolutely save your life, but it also forces the mob to reset as if you had died: they will run back to their spawn route and be at full health in an instant. Evasion is great to avoid damage, but its long cooldown prevents usage with every mob pull. Preparation can be a saving ability that allows for abilities to be used in quick succession, but again its cooldown precludes it from being used to level.
Instead, Rogues must gauge their targets based on their gear, sap nearby threats, and then work efficiently to down an opponent.
PvE Potential For Endgame
In the endgame, Rogues have the potential to do some great damage, and their rotation is more interesting than that of most spell casters. This is mainly due to needing to watch and maintain certain combo abilities, so the rotation feels more dynamic than those used by other classes.
Of course, Rogues need to be mindful of where they stand. To Backstab, one needs to be positioned behind a target, but if there are mechanics that spawn pools of fire beneath your feet, it can spell a quick end to a player who is not paying attention.
Similar to the Mage class, Rogues can find success in any of the talent trees in the end game, though most successful builds incorporate a split into two trees primarily. Combat Swords, Daggers, and Hemorrhage builds are often the most effective, and will be dependent on which weapons one happens to have.
Rogues are surely able to hold their own in PvP and are able to destroy their targets if chosen carefully. Stealth allows for a type of approach not available to any other class and sneaking up on a Warlock to unleash burst along with control abilities like Gouge is a great way to flip the odds in a large battle ground. The same technique can be done against healers, or melee classes who suddenly find themselves in a 2v1 situation.
Stunlocking is something that will exist in Classic, much to the annoyance of some players. Later in the development of WoW, certain abilities that snare or root players receive diminishing returns in their effectiveness, but in Classic, this is not the case. This is why a Rogue will be able to use all of their annoying abilities to keep a player from moving about too much.
With that said, most players find it more effective to simply burst down their squishy targets while using a Rogue.
Racial Choices To Optimize
In terms of pure optimization, to maximize the potential of a character, the Alliance have a few options with Night Elves and Humans. Put simply, Night Elves for PvE have a higher base agility, which is the primary stat for a Rogue. Humans meanwhile have both Sword and Mace specialization, and at level 60, this translates to a higher hit chance. This is a massive point, for even at level 60, one of the barriers to defeating raid bosses is reaching a certain hit cap, else too many attacks miss the opponent altogether. If one plans to use Swords in late-game PvE, which is one of the strongest choices for the class, Humans become the optimal choice.
In PvP however, Dwarves have Stoneform to be rid of a Bleed, Poison, or Disease effects. This can be used to wipe away a pesky debuff and allow for a quicker return to stealth. Gnomes too are good for PvP thanks to Escape Artist, which prevents them from being immobilized. As they are also provided with a boost to engineering, they can be PvP beasts if one takes that as a profession.
For the Horde, Trolls are ideal in PvE thanks to their racial passive, Berserking. This increasing casting and attack speed based on the damage they have taken up to a massive 30%. Once again, Trolls are an excellent choice for PvE for this racial ability alone, same as for Mages and Hunters.
For PvP, the Undead are attractive thanks to Will of the Forsaken, which again simply prevent being controlled, but this time by Sleep, Charm, and Fear. Given that both Warlocks and Priests, two soft, squishy targets for a Rogue, can fear quickly, this is an attractive option if one chooses to focus a character more on PvP than on PvE.
Best Professions For The Rogue Class
Rogues are similar to Hunters in regard to the range of professions they can select, depending on their needs. First time players in WoW: Classic may want to take dual-gathering professions while they level to sell materials at the Auction House. Skinning and Herbalism for example while questing will always fill your bags with much needed crafting materials, which are always in demand.
Mining and Engineering can be a good choice, but it can be expensive to level up early on. However, Engineering offers great utility for PvP and is essential if one is using their Rogue primarily for that mode of play.
Skinning and Leatherworking can allow for one to make their own gear, though this is not always practical if one levels faster than they can keep the profession up. Although Rogues are not as efficient as Hunters in farming leather, this is still a solid choice for self sufficiency.
Finally, Herbalism and Alchemy offers long-term gold making potential. In the endgame, everyone needs consumables for PvE and for PvP, and there will always be demand for them at the Auction house. With the gold one makes from selling potions they can easily purchase gear they might need at level 60.
As Rogues have a more difficult leveling process than most other classes, they may not be as attractive to players leveling for the first time in Classic. However, they are certainly a unique and fun class to play, especially in PvP. There is also great satisfaction in being able to stealth past entire groups of mobs, none of which even know you are skulking by.