A brief history of the rogue

12.0 A brief history of the rogue forums by Wodin

A couple people asked me to repost the response I made to a troll a while back, so here it is(in slightly polished form). This narrative represents my recollection, and is obviously filtered through my own biases and admittedly entirely untrustworthy memory.

In the beginning, there was light. Actually, there was patch 1.4, the first time rogues had any serious interaction with a blue poster. This poster was Tyren. Tyren was quite active, posting both his own experiences and a bunch of feedback request threads asking questions about specific facets of the class(poisons, stealth, finishers) and what players were interested in. These megathreads quickly reached 20+ pages, and had just about everything from wildly overpowered suggestions to complete crap or other classes trolling on alts asking for nerfs. Pretty much every decent idea for tweaks or scaling you've seen pop up on these forums was posted somehwere in those threads. However, the fallout of all this feedback was less than pretty. Tyren came back with a response that many people summarize as "learn 2 play" but was in reality more than that. The post actively mocked the community, suggested that the sane majority giving feedback were in favor of things like 2H swords and mail armor, and noted that various issues that were raised(Garrote being worthless, the various trash talents, lack of finisher scaling) weren't worth the developers time, and that the various bugs with the class weren't worth fixing. Even better, the end of the era was marked by Mute releasing the first(third :rolleyes: ) World of Roguecraft video, and Tyren posting that the developers were using videos like that as a feedback resource. The background that discovered that it was, in fact, faked, but those revelations were quietly ignored. But between the sarcastic response, the lack of further tweaks to the rogue class, and Tyren graduating from the forums, the interaction with the rogue community ended, and with it the first era. At this point, the rogue forums entered the deadzone.

In the deadzone, the feedback posts were left stickied, a new sticky called "We're not overhauling the class" was added, and Blizzard posters stopped reading the forum. Why do we know they stopped reading, you ask Because someone created a thread called "(EXPLETIVE) THE DEVS." This thread, created in an odd situation that allowed profanity to slip into a thread title, lived until it broke and was no longer viewable. I seem to recall 55 pages, but I'm an old man and my memory isn't what it used to be. This post was always on the first page, and served as a constant reminder that rogues were being ignored. At the same time, the druid and hunter patches went in, the ability to dodge ranged attacks was granted and removed on test, warlocks were given death coil, Fury warriors were given a much better Bloodthirst(it was originally 30% AP), and weapon normalization was rammed down our throats. Note that the only posts during the normalization process were a single sticky globally duplicated in melee forums, and response took place outside in wow-general. As balance changed, so did the overall base of knowledge about the game. Rogues had the "pleasure" of seeing the warrior community realize that maybe a spec that actually scaled with gear would be better for DPS, and thus the onset of "rogues in plate." The introduction of significant amounts of DPS plate in Blackwing Lair allowed them to indulge a DPS spec on the raid level, and DPS warriors quickly scaled past rogues on non-threatcapped encounters. But really, nothing interesting happened.

We then enter the interesting era of CM interaction, the Caydiem era. While everyone remembers the fallout, nobody seems to remember her initial reception, which was very good. The general vibe the community gave off was somewhat cynical, but fairly open. I will cheerfully admit I was fairly bitter even back then, but Caydiem actually responded and did a decent job of allaying most of my fears about the whole deal. We actually had a CM posting in our forums, and it was pretty nice. Then she started the "let's talk shop" thread, wherein we learned that it was perfectly alright to run around bandaging on Shazzrah and that sap is a preferred CC tool in ZG. But she was getting things like Blind being dodged and parried fixed, so that was a net positive. At that point, a bitter person quitting the game posted the names of her characters, and Thott/warcraftrealms searches revealed that much of what she said wasn't completely the whole truth. In retrospect, what gear her characters had and what experiences they'd had really didn't matter all that much, since she still could have done her job(transporting information to the devs) just fine. For all we knew the profiles weren't even her real gear. But the "rogue community," correctly or incorrectly, felt betrayed and deceived. A lot of people were banned for posting information about her characters and gear, and blue posts once again left the rogue forums.

We then entered a second deadzone, which lasted up until Drysc/Coreiel were hired and "fed to the wolves" by being sent to post here. During this deadzone, we saw hunters break 3K with self-buffed aimed-shot crits thanks to gear, warlocks break 6k with shadowbolt crits, mages break 4k on Pyro crits, and feral druids(the really insulting bit) break 2500 on ravage crits. Other classes attained and shattered the numbers that got rogues "adjusted" back in the day, with no consequences or balance changes resulting. Needless to say, that was fun and rogues really appreciated that. And through it all, the constant trolling from other classes and "nerf rogues" sentiment remained.

And that brings us pretty much up to today, where the current reaction by the rogue community is pretty much that of an abused animal. Even if you were handing us a juicy steak on a platter, we'd probably take your hand off for it, because we've been conditioned to expect seeing that steak yanked away and not replaced. Does this excuse the heated reaction rogues typically have to blue posts Probably not. But Drysc seems able to take the heat, and has been reasonable and decent enough that attacks on anything other than the information he's posting are generally met with the attackers being told to perform anatomical impossibilities. So there is some progress.

And with that, I'll deviate to some personal advice for any trolls who feel the need to complain on the rogue boards. Be honest. Post on your main, and if you claim to have a rogue alt please back that claim up with a post from the alt. The reason many people will request that you have experienced the game at 60 is that it's when the game starts to radically change for the rogue class, and you might have a very different experience as your opponents start to acquire epic gear. For this reason, you'll probably find your opinion is more valued the more developed the server your rogue is on(due to the quality of gear on those servers). And of course, basing your credibility on statements that are obviously false is building a house on sand.

The rogue community has many excellent individuals, and it's possible to create beneficial discourse with the right attitude. Complaints that you died in BRM because you didn't have your armor self-buff up, a succubus out, or were too distracted to bother refreshing PW:S or Mana Shield are going to be met with a ridicule. Questions and feedback where it's obvious you've done your homework will generally be met with a good response.

As far as other things, both rogues and the CMs are aware of the dating porcupine problem that currently exists with developer feedback, and baiting us about that will just get people angry. Class design and game-balance decisions are made for reasons that none of us have access to, and insinuations by either rogues or other posters that they're being made based on the positive or negative attitude of the class community is an insult to the hard work that the class design team and all of the other developers have put into WoW. They've built a great game, and that's why people feel so strongly about it.

With those points in mind, welcome to the rogue forums. Help us write a happier history going forward.