The 3 branches of the rogue talent tree in World of Warcraft are combat, assassination and subtlety. The talents in each branch allow a World of Warcraft rogue achieve specific effects. Knowing which tree helps the rogue do what can help a player decide which strategies to use for his rogue character.
The Combat Branch
The combat branch of the rogue talent tree focuses on improving the rogue¡¯s ability to do as much as possible as quickly as possible. Unlike the assassination branch, where the talents rely on the rogue¡¯s position relative to the monster, the combat branch does this with only a few of the talents available in it. Instead it focuses on improving the weapon damage done by the character and speeding up his attacks.
The Assassination Branch
The assassination branch of the talent tree focuses on doing damage in large bursts, rather then increasing the rogue¡¯s damage over time. It still boosts the World of Warcraft rogue¡¯s damage considerably, but a player whose character specializes in assassination will do less damage over time than a character who specializes in the combat branch. Combat rogues are better suited to player versus environment combat and rogue who specializes in the assassination branch will do better in player versus player combat.
The Subtlety Branch
Rather than choosing to specialize in attack speed or burst damage, the player of the rogue character can opt to build up combo points against a mob as quickly as possible. If this is a strategy a World of Warcaft player favors, he should choose the subtlety branch of the rogue talent tree.
Combo points are awarded through combat maneuvers. The amount of combo points built up against a mob makes attacks called ¡°finishing moves¡± such as eviscerate and shiv more effective. The strategy of this tree is to get 4 or 5 combo points against a single mob in one or two moves.
It is possible for a player to combine branches of any World of Warcraft talent tree to achieve a particular strategy, but experimenting with strategies in the game is not recommended. A character is allowed to unlearn the talents he knows, but the process costs money and the amount increases each time a character uses this option. It is best to use talent tree calculators such as the ones available at IGN Vault and the WoWhead website.