WOW Pickpocketing Guide

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4.5 Pickpocketing

Pick Pocket (Requires Stealth)

This ability allows the rogue to get some extra loot from an enemy NPC. The rogue must be stealthed and within 5 yards of his target to use this skill. If it is successful, a loot box will pop up, allowing him to choose which items to take; typically, this is a handful of silver, with a chance for odd monster-specific items. If the skill is resisted, the monster immediately detects the rogue and aggros. Failure rates depend on relative levels, but the base failure rate seems to be around 5%.

Many monsters have no pockets, and thus cannot be pickpocketed. Typically humanoid types will have pockets and beasts won't, but there are numerous exceptions. If a rogue attempts to pickpocket a monster who doesn't have pockets, the moster does not aggro. Enemy players never have pockets.
The items recieved from picking pockets are not subject to group looting rules, so you always get all the items and 100% of the money. The money and items picked up with this ability are extras, in addition to the monster's normal loot when it is killed, so a rogue picking pockets is not depriving his companions of loot. Each monster has only a few items in his pockets when he spawns; if one rogue goes through an area, picking all the monsters' pockets but killing none of the monsters, then the next rogue through the area will find that all the monsters pockets are empty. For this reason, it is considered polite to kill every monster whose pockets you pick, unless you are in an instance; that way, the monsters will respawn and the next rogue through the area can pick their pockets as well. Pickpocket can be used on targets that are in combat, as long as the rogue remains stealthed. (since patch 1.12)

Rod's take: Pickpocketing is a very lucrative ability. Coupled with grinding, It usually is cappable of giving you 50% more money than grinding alone. It is an a skill you must do from stealth but is non-positional. that means you CAN pickpocket from the front of a Mob so long as he is not a high enough level to detect you. Distract is you friend when wanting a mob that doesn't move. It will buy you the time necessary to pickpoket without being noticed. As of patch 1.12 you can find junkboxes with rogue reagents inside ( Flash Powder, Essence of Agony etc...). Also since patch 1.12 you can pickpocket from a mob in combat with someone else. Now you pickpocketing isn't ruined if a party member starts attacking someone a little early; now your party has to wait for you to finish pickpocketing to get your help on the mob. =P

Interesting Facts about Pickpocketing:

  • Pickpocket can be used on targets that are in combat, as long as the rogue remains stealthed.
  • It is possible to sap a mob and then Pickpocket it while it is sapped as long as you remain stealthed.
  • All manner of rogue reagents can be found in locked junkboxes (obtained from pickpocketing).