Is Assassination on its way to a nerf?

Posted by on Dec 22, 2009 in Commentary | 2 comments

I have this feeling that Assassination is going to get nerfed to make it on par with Combat.

A couple of months ago, rogues were at a good place. Combat and Assassination were more or less balanced. The damage output between the two specs were relatively the same. It all boiled down to your weapon preference and the fights themselves. For the former, you may have found yourself switching between specs depending on which weapon set was stronger—think better daggers versus better fists/maces/swords/daggers—or simply depending on whether you liked daggers or not. For the latter, knowing the fights themselves can be a determinant in your weapon choice. For example, Anub’arak in TotC is very AoE-friendly, favoring Combat in terms of DPS output. For single-target fights, Assassination pulled slightly ahead of Combat.

Those times are past. Assassination is clearly the leader in terms of single-target DPS. Combat is still very strong in terms of AoE so you’ll want to use it when it comes to trash pulls, but for boss fights, the daggers spec simply blows it away. On one side, you could say it’s fair. After all, why would you want to use Assassination if it only gave you a marginal increase? Now that daggers are doing so much damage, we should all be happy right? Maybe.

Consider this: in Icecrown Citadel, I’ve been switching between Combat for trash and Assassination for bosses. Why? Because it’s worth it. The AoE damage that Combat yields on trash 3k-4k greater than Assassination. I then go back to using daggers for bosses because the output is greater.

You may wonder why I’m having issues with this. The only reason is stated above: I think a nerf is on the way for Assassination and I do not want it. The DPS is great, but the effect is so marginalizing that I don’t think it’s sustainable. Is what we’re seeing a design that Blizzard intended to happen? Is “Combat for trash, Assassination for bosses” a mantra we’re going to go by right now?