View Full Version : Demo Guide to Rogues & Rogue Skills

08-30-2007, 06:02 PM
This is written to stimulate discussion, not because I think I know everything about the game. I've only played the Demo so far, so things can change and also the experience at higher levels may be very different than I expect. I am generally a pretty good power gamer, though, and I'm very good at exploiting rules systems so I feel like this is a pretty decent "first impression". I'll edit this first post over time (with appropriate credit) based on other posts here. If nothing else, this will give the dev team one gamer's opinion of their Demo game balance.

Why Play a Rogue?
- Crowd control (Smoke Screen, Dazzle). Can freeze a mob and let the Rogue fight 1-on-1 or run.
- Skill chains can lead to big hits on individual targets.

Why Not Play a Rogue?
- Not as powerful as a Warrior in combat (much worse defense).
- Stealth not very useful (except to sneak by, but where's the fun in that?).
- No Healing
- No ranged attack

Direct Comparisons:
- Warrior fights better, but doesn't have the crowd control skills (Dazzle or Smoke Screen)
- Similar to melee priest in combat effectiveness, but trades healing/buffing for crowd control.
- Spellcasters (Mage/Priest) have ranged attacks, but must recharge to attack (mana or faith). The teleport stone is especially easy for Rogues to use in healing because of crowd control.

Key Skills:
- Smoke Screen (crowd control)
- Stealth (only for moving around, nearly useless for combat)
- Slice (to gain momentum, most Rogue skills are expensive to use)

Other Comments:
- Most Rogue combat skills require setup strikes and build on one-another. They might become very powerful at high levels if developed properly, but it's hard to say just from the demo. It also looks easy to screw up skill selection and end up with a lot of wasted skill points.
- NPC Rogues regenerate over time (like all followers). This dramatically reduces one of their weaknesses.
- NPC Rogues with the right skills can be great for raiding parties or for adventuring partners. Since the only real benefit vs. a Warrior is crowd control, and an NPC can spam Dazzle or Smoke Screen just fine, it doesn't make a lot of sense to play a Rogue yourself.
- NPC Rogues are prone to chasing monsters, thereby attracting a huge mob. Be careful.

Skill-by-Skill Review:
(mom = momentum, the Rogue equivalent of Rage)
Offense Skills:
1 Slice (-33%dmg, +10 mom, +4% dmg & +10 mom & -0.1 sec reuse time per point)
Good. Needed because most Rogue skills are so expensive and you need to chain them together to get max benefit.

1 Lethal Blow (+25% atk, +30% crit, +50% dmg, +10% crit & +15% dmg per point)
Great. Would be awesome if not so expensive to use (20 mom). Compare skill point cost with Death Blow. Only choose one.

2 Viper Venom (+5 dmg/sec for 8 sec, +?? dmg/sec per point)
Average. DoT can be stacked with other skills, but it's fixed # damage, so it won't scale well to high levels.

3 Rupture (+25% dmg, +40% DpWnds, +10% dmg & +20% DpWnds per point)
Poor. Requires Stealth, Minor Dist., or enemy Block/Parry/Deflection. Only skill that can be triggered by minor dist., but DpWnds bonus is useless and dmg bonus is small.

3 Precise Strike (+40% dmg, +20% crit, +5 mom, +25% dmg & +5% crit per point)
Great. Requires Stealth or Decent Dist. Helps build mom and gives good bonus dmg.

4 Jab (-25 Hate & -2% AllHate & +10% dmg & +5% crit per point)
Useless. Expensive to use (15 mom), and only re-directs one target. Should kill the target instead of making it attack your follower.

6 Death Blow (+25% atk, +10% crit, +50% dmg, +5% crit & +25% dmg per point)
Good. Good bonuses, but very expensive to use (20 mom). Projectile if blow causes death: (30-40 dmg +15-20 dmg per point). Compare skill point cost with Lethal Blow. Only choose one.

6 Critical Strike (+5 mom, +25% atk, +60% dmg, +20% dmg per point)
Average. Requires Major Dist. (Feint) or Critical Hit (Stealth can't trigger!). Other skills give equivalent bonuses for fewer skill points and less difficult triggers. Big benefit is that, if triggered, this doesn't cost mom.

6 Charged Strike (15-20 dmg + 5-10 dmg per point Frost Nova)
Average. Cold magic is nice for crowd slowdown, but high mom cost (20) and can use Smoke Screen for crowds. Dmg bonus is fixed #, not %, so won't scale well to high levels.

Deception Skills:
1 Dazzle (-15 atk & -15 def on enemies per point, cause minor dist., area effect)
Good. 15 sec duration. No reuse limit. Doesn't fully control the crowd, only weakens them. Sets up Rupture.

1 Stealth (-33% move, +50% crit, +40% dmg, +2% move & +25% crit & +20% dmg per point)
Average. Not useful for cmbt because only affects 1st few attacks of the fight, and most fights last much longer due to mobs or boss strength. Can be used to just ignore monsters and search for loot. Sets up Rupture, Precise Strike, or Daze.

2 Gouge (-20 atk & -30 def on enemies & +10% crit per point, cause decent dist.)
Average. 5 sec duration. Really only used to set up Rupture or Precise Strike.

2 Sleight of Hand (deflect 75 hate per point to other non-allies)
Poor. MUCH better than Jab, because might cause monsters to fight each other.

4 Daze (-40 def & -40 armor & freeze on enemies for 20 sec, cause decent dist.)
Poor. Requires Stealth, dmg on target breaks effect. Wastes "stealth" only to set up other attacks that could have been used immediately. Can be used as crowd control for 1 monster, but 1 isn't a crowd.

4 Dodge (+25 def & +25 dodge per point)
Average. Fixed bonus to defense is ok, but won't scale with levels or gear. Biggest benefit is that 3 skills in parallel can add to defense, keeping average skill cost down when compared to specializing in one skill (like Parry for Warriors, for example).

4 Evasion (+25 def & +25 evasion per point)
Average. Fixed bonus to defense is ok, but won't scale with levels or gear. Biggest benefit is that 3 skills in parallel can add to defense, keeping average skill cost down when compared to specializing in one skill (like Parry for Warriors, for example).

6 Feint (+100% crit & major distraction for 3 sec, +?? per point)
Good. Doesn't guarantee crit, but with high int. and other modifiers can be meaningful. Also, doesn't require a trigger and can set up other skills due to major dist. (particularly Critical Strike). But duration is short and mom cost high (15), so be ready to Precise/Crit Strike immediately!

6 Deflection (+25 def & +25 deflection per point)
Average. Fixed bonus to defense is ok, but won't scale with levels or gear. Biggest benefit is that 3 skills in parallel can add to defense, keeping average skill cost down when compared to specializing in one skill (like Parry for Warriors, for example).

8 Smoke Screen (-30 def per point, freeze all for 15sec, area effect, 60sec reuse)
Awesome. Damage on target breaks effect. Only drawback is that reuse time is longer than duration so you can't keep spamming it. Still, this will allow you to stop a mob long enough to either pick them off 1 at a time or run away and heal/prepare/whatever.

Concentration Skills:
1 Caltrops (-33% enemy move for 10 sec, -??% per point, area effect, 1min reuse)
Poor. Short duration crowd control that only slows them down. Why bother?

1 Disarm Trap (+5 disarm trap per point)
Poor. If a trap kills you, you deserve to die. Stay full of health and don't waste your skill points.

3 Poison (+20-25% poison dmg per point on each attack for 30 sec, 5min reuse)
Good. Would be great except for 5 min reuse time. Tough to stack this with everything else and get good use out of it in only 30 sec.

3 Burst of Speed (-9% atk speed per point for 30 sec, 5min reuse)
Poor. Suffers from same 30sec/5min problem as other concentration skills, but only gives equivalent 11% bonus dmg.

3 Blur (+15% def per point for 30 sec, 5 min reuse)
Average. Suffers from same 30sec/5min problem as other concentration skills, and short-term bonus to defense is not really worth it. If this cuold be stacked better (longer duration, shorter reuse), it would be Great.

4 Combat Reflexes (+3 dex per point => +12 def & +15 atk per point)
Good. This one is unusual. Bonuses are good, but can be exactly replicated by spending attribute points on Dex. Why not spend skill points on things that can't be gained in other ways? Still, the bonus is pretty good...

4 Dagger Mastery (+20 atk & +10%dmg & +3% crit per point)
Great. Only real problem is that it limits you to daggers, who's base damage won't be as good as swords, and it halves the available types of magic weapons you can take full advantage of.

4 Precision (+10% atk per point)
Great. Passive % bonus will track with levels and gear. Will never be wasting these skill point by not using them.

6 Deadly Aim (+5% crit per point)
Useless. Too expensive and would take !!310!! skill points to get a 2x chance of a crit. At extremely high levels with a lot of intelligence to increase the base chance, it might be worth a few levels because that might be more efficient than other things, but forget about it for most of your career.

6 Spot Vulnerability (+25 armor piercing per point)
Great. Passive. Reducing your enemies' effective armor is a good thing. Need a LOT more info on armor mechanics vs. levels to really determine if it's worth the skill point investment or not.

08-30-2007, 07:25 PM
Just one note that I've seen so far about the rogue stuff, the stealth bonus after you have been spotted lasts for 5 seconds. So you can get a bunch of attacks in with the higher damage and critical hit bonuses.

08-30-2007, 07:30 PM
Good point, thanks. I edited my write up a bit. I still don't think it's worth it, just use Feint and Precise Strike more.

Maybe the 5 sec window coupled with Speed Burst could lead to fun goodness? Hmm...

08-31-2007, 01:08 PM
Another small note: you mentioned rogues have worse defense than a warrior. I understand what you mean, but this statement is somewhat misleading.

Technically rogues should have higher defense than warriors, because they will in general have more dexterity and they get more defense per point of dexterity. Warriors will have more armor and health though, so overall they are better defensively than rogues (and this is what I believe you meant).

08-31-2007, 05:37 PM
Good point Shadow, thanks for the specific info! (and you're right about what I meant generally)