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SableShadow
10-21-2007, 02:04 PM
Heya.

Some thoughts on rogue Enhancements and Feats, both assessment of current and ideas to improve.

Deception, Subtle Backstabber, and removal of the Diplomacy animation.
Spot on, Devs, spot on! The earlier inclusion of Sneak Attack Accuracy and Sneak Attack Training were recognition of issues with rogue damage, but didn't address the core issue, which is agro management. These three items, though, were a great step forward.

Specific ideas going forward:

The section below has been heavily rewritten.


1) Buff Bluff

Specifically, extend the monster vulnerability period of Bluff to two seconds instead of none seconds. Currently, Bluff has a single target effect and a rooting animation but only permits one sneak attack hit during the period of effect.

Adding a vulnerability duration would make the animation worthwhile when a rogue has to deal with something solo (kill the caster in the enemy backfield, chase down a monster headed for the cleric, etc).

Diplomacy got a huge buff in Mod 4 simply by removing the animation; the animation, though short, rooted the character and made diplomacy generally inferior as a combat option compared to simply swinging like mad or jumping over to another section of the melee.

Since both Bluff and Diplomacy are on the same timer, they should have similar value...which can be achieved by just tweaking up the duration of the Bluff effect to a couple seconds. Add the same duration tweak to Improved Feint; it costs two feats to get Improved Feint, and while it's an AoE with an attack as it's animation, you still only get one sneak attack out of it at the moment. This would let you work in a full round of attacks.


2) Cunning Blow.

This feat adds the "of Deception" suffix effect to any equipped weapon.

So, if you have Cunning Blow, all of your attacks get 'of Deception' as a suffix to them regardless of other weapon suffixes. Use the same rules as Improved Crit does to Keen weapons (+6 BAB but require sneak attack just as Hamstring does). Deception fires much less often than Improved Crit, but you get it on all your weapons, so make the requirements the same.


3) ~0 ...fly through the air with the greatest of ease... O~
Way of the Thief-Acrobat

Bump up the duraction of 'Showtime' from the Way of the Thief-Acrobat to 6 seconds per rogue level instead of the current static 20 seconds. The times that a +10 stacking buff to Jump and Tumble are useful are complicated bits of terrain negotiation and during extended combats, not while doing single jumps. Complicated terrain negotiation takes twitch and time; adding to the duration (36 seconds at level 6 rogue, 1 minute at level 10 rogue) makes it a bit more practical at the higher levels, as you could fail, try again, fail, try again and still have your buff up and running.


4) Venom, do thy work!
Way of the Assassin

Bump the duration of the Way of the Assassin poison lines to 6 seconds per rogue level. Given the low DCs of the poison checks, and the current 20 second window for poison application, rogue Speed boost gives a much better DPS output than Way of the Assassin. Having envenomed blades for up to a minute and a half makes poisoning a much more reasonable option, since one use of poisons will have impact on an entire encounter rather than just a couple of the monsters. Also, let the venom work on any boss monster that is vulnerable to sneak attack; with DCs of 14, the poison is just not going to stick that often, and the poison effects are more of a debuff than anything else. Extended boss fights would be a place for an Assassin to really shine...we can Curse, Destruct, Enfeeble, and Exhaust everything up to and including living raid bosses. Let's add poison debuffs into that mix.


5) Blade of the Elements/Machines/Dead

Add an Enhancement line analogous to the Bard "Music of x" Enhancements; bards with these can fascinate elementals/constructs/undead...let these "Blade of x" Enhancements permit sneak attack on these creature types, or, say, 1/2 sneak attack on these creature types.

Anyone else out there with specific ideas the devs can look at for the rogue class?

LogannX
10-21-2007, 02:29 PM
Some great points and ideas especially on the rogue specialty enhancements.. I disagree with aggro management being made any easier. I like working for it and having to pay attention.

Id like to see faster sneaking reduced to 2 enhancements or made a bit cheaper. I specd for it once to see how it was and I loved it but 10 points is just too much to pay for it.

All my other issues with our class revolve around the players attitudes not anything developers could ever do.

Sarkk

SableShadow
10-21-2007, 07:04 PM
Keep in mind that perhaps the hardest facet of learning the rogue class is agro management; more tools for that (not stacking tools, mind...those that are good at it don't get any better) means the skill is more accessible to more players, in turn leading to better damage dealing rogues, and in turn, dispelling player attitudes with regard to the class.

Ashet
10-21-2007, 09:29 PM
I love playing a rogue, my main is a rogue, but the only item in my wishlist is that they make rogues useful again. As a class in Gianthold and Necropolis they are obsolete.

Which is a shame. When I started playing PnP, there were only 4 classes. Fighter, Cleric, Thief, and Mage. I don't understand why Turbine has ignored one of the 4 iconic classes.

Borror0
10-21-2007, 10:18 PM
As a class in Gianthold and Necropolis they are obsolete.

Blanket statement.

They are insane DPS in Gianthold. They can do The Crucible no problem.
In Necro, they get less DPS but there are still a few sneak-attackable mobs left and right. There are also a few locks (like in Vol) to make it worth it to have a party memberr with rogue skill.

The solution does not come from making Trap-smitting needed. That would be bad design and not fun for non-rogues. Solution lies in making a bit less squishy (I mean, c'mon, the standard fighter's got 350 HP. We are supposed to only have a difference of 2 HP/level on average!) and in giving more ways of aggro management. Not easier, more.

Hvymetal
10-21-2007, 11:19 PM
Blanket statement.

They are insane DPS in Gianthold. They can do The Crucible no problem.
In Necro, they get less DPS but there are still a few sneak-attackable mobs left and right. There are also a few locks (like in Vol) to make it worth it to have a party memberr with rogue skill.

The solution does not come from making Trap-smitting needed. That would be bad design and not fun for non-rogues. Solution lies in making a bit less squishy (I mean, c'mon, the standard fighter's got 350 HP. We are supposed to only have a difference of 2 HP/level on average!) and in giving more ways of aggro management. Not easier, more.Agreed Borror0
Never ever had a problem getting a group for my rogues in gianthold. Lots of good things for rogues there.

The necropolis rogues are merely running into the same problems as the other melees, especially crit specced ones which seems to be the flavor the last couple of months. With the same weapons a well built rogue is just as effective as almost any other melee vrs undead, just happens that casters are better against undead. A lot of groups I see forming have maybe 1 or 2 melees in them the rest arcanes or clerics. Thats a lot of classes competing for relativly few spots.

SableShadow
11-05-2007, 09:18 PM
Original ideas heavily rewritten; figured I'd just edit this one rather than start a new thread.

I'm not heavily attached to any of the ideas above, though I'd dearly love a Deception Feat and I think the Way of the Thief-Acrobat and Way of the Assassin really need some work. Might this be a step in the right direction?

Tanka
11-05-2007, 10:56 PM
We are supposed to only have a difference of 2 HP/level on average!
4 HP. :p

Anyway, more on topic, most people build rogues to be glass cannons with a Con of 10 and rely on Con items to get by. Not gonna work in any realistic situation, to be honest. An aggro magnet like a rogue is gonna need at least 200 HP (Heavy Fort is a given) in high-end content. Anything lower is suicide, plain and simple.

(Says the man with a glass cannon, 8 Con, 75 HP L11 rogue that he keeps banked for VoN5. *cough*)

GuitarHero
11-06-2007, 12:13 AM
aye, i admit, i was a bit peeved about a whole Mod full of undead and constructs, but a few lines of enhancements that would give us even a portion of our sneak attack would be phenominal. Heck, maybe even a specialty dedicated to sneak attacking the un-sneak attackable would be cool.

LeLoric
11-06-2007, 12:26 AM
How bout a finessable weapon that allows for blinding mobs, we have sirroco and phosphor but both are heavy weapons. There are blinding shields and everbright weapons but the dc is pretty low. Not only does blinding allow for sneak attacks but its also like having displacement on. Beneficial for all the parties but especially deadly in the hands of a rogue.

Maybe an enhancement or feat that allows us to throw a blinding dust to do the same thing.

GuitarHero
11-06-2007, 12:49 AM
Maybe an enhancement or feat that allows us to throw a blinding dust to do the same thing.

or maybe consumables, for stuff like the ninja vanish thing that bugbear assassins have that i don't, or a "Noisy Cricket" for drawing mobs to a direction other than the one you are in. the possibilities are endless.

LeLoric
11-06-2007, 01:02 AM
yeah add those to the free agent favor rewards since the tools there dont mean **** anymore

SableShadow
11-06-2007, 08:59 AM
4 HP. :p

Anyway, more on topic, most people build rogues to be glass cannons with a Con of 10 and rely on Con items to get by. Not gonna work in any realistic situation, to be honest. An aggro magnet like a rogue is gonna need at least 200 HP (Heavy Fort is a given) in high-end content. Anything lower is suicide, plain and simple.

(Says the man with a glass cannon, 8 Con, 75 HP L11 rogue that he keeps banked for VoN5. *cough*)

*shrug*

Brenna's base con is 10, +2 tome, use a +4 item all the time. Standing at 175 HP. In my experience, you're overstating your case.

A rogue's gotta learn to manage the agro, though.

Please slide any debate on existing rogue capabilities over to my rogue's guide thread (in sig); I'd like to keep this thread mostly about items we can request from the devs about improving the class. To me, improving the class means adding tools to make it more accessible to the casual/semi-casual player, which mostly means ways to manage agro. SB IV and the diplo changes were *huge* in this regard, and I'd like the devs to continue to extend this logic into other areas of the class.

So I'd like to keep the thread focused on ideas to give rogues more tools, thus making the class more accessible to the casual and semi-casual rogue player; please check out the rogue's guide in my sig and slide any debate over there. :)