How To Level a PvE Rogue Without Embarrassing Yourself

I was terrible at rogue.  I know this to be true because my previous attempts at rogue had damage so gawdawful bad, people in normally silent Dungeon Finder groups were openly questioning the validity of my very existence.  This time around, however, I have made decisions based on Goa’s expertise instead of the heirlooms I had available, and have accordingly arrived at a stage where (holy sheeyit) it looks almost like I know what I’m doing.  I’m not the worst DPS, you say?  AHAHAHAHA REVENGEEEE YOU THOUGHT I SUCKED BUT YOU WERE WROOOONG

In other words, I suddenly feel about 95% more badass and am therefore qualified to write this “guide” for the equally incompetent.

Step One: Mental Preparation
1. Begin the process of getting over your love affair with Pickpocketing.
It is sad to admit, but your love of Pickpocketing will only lead you to great frustration when it comes to leveling in dungeon groups.  Sheeyit dies too dang fast for you to actually Pickpocket and then Ambush.  Pickpocketing a few coppers and some gnome effigies is but a brief joy soon superseded by sorrow, thanks to the poor DPS you will do as a result.  Your goal is to find something that is hitting the tank, and attack it sooner than anybody else.  (p.s., ogres have pockets.  I hope you’re happy with that knowledge.)

2. Variety is the spice of life and all that jazz.
As DPS, one must prepare for a life of independence yet still be ready to work with others.  Ye must know your skills (or know someone who does, like Goa), since things like Kidney Shot are quite handy when leveling on your own, but are sadly useless against a variety of dungeon mobs.  DPS dungeon queues are quick and relatively painless up until about Blackrock, but once you’re in the 50s, you might as well quest until you hit 58.  Then you can queue for Hellfire Ramparts, where things pick up once more.  Once you hit the late 60s and start queueing for Utgarde Keep, you’ll probably want to quest until at least level 71 or so for your sanity.  Otherwise, it’s Utgarde Keep, Utgarde Keep, Utgarde Keep, and some more Utgarde Keep for you.  Ding, queue popped!  Oh, would ya look at that, it’s Utgarde Keep.

3. But I suck at melee!
Okay, yeah, you do, but this is one of just two classes you don’t have at 90.  You want one of everything, don’t you?  Don’t you?  Be the completionist that you are!

Step Two: Gear Preparation
You will need two heirloom daggers.  Other heirlooms are technically optional, but they’re great for making your nooblet damage-dealing look good in comparison to the DPS of other people.  “But Prinnie,” you say, “we’re in DIRE MAUL.  Does this sheeyit even MATTER?”  Fair question, fellow altoholic!  You see, doing decent DPS without even trying hides the fact that you don’t quite know what you’re doing yet.  Plus, looking good is good for your morale, and good morale is good for actually making it to the end of the leveling process.  By then, theoretically, you’ll actually know what you’re doing and you can ditch the looms.

Step Three: You Are a Mother-Trucking ASSASSIN
At level 10, for the love of Gawd, go with Assassination.  Seriously.  This is why you got two heirloom daggers, instead of one dagger and that agility mace you dumped in Void Storage after trying to level a confused enhancement shaman a year ago.  Speaking of assassins …

Step Four: At level 60, choose Cloak and Dagger
THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT STEP HERE.  Seriously.  It is especially useful if you, like me, are a compulsive looter who often gets left behind by chain-pulling tanks.  Stealth (or Vanish if you must), target some poor mob trailing behind the tank, and BAM!  NOW YOU’RE IN RANGE, MOTHER TRUCKERS!  Shadowstep (which does not require that you Ambush or otherwise do something painful to your target) does not cool down quickly enough to make it worthwhile in comparison.  This is especially true considering that YOU SHOULD AMBUSH NOW.  Yes.  Right now.

Note: try to let the tank hit the mob at least once before you hit Ambush.  Otherwise you’ll Cloak-and-Dagger yourself into being a temporary tank, and that hurts, sometimes badly.

At level 66, you get Fan of Knives.  If there are a handful of mobs near you (which there probably will be, since you’ll almost certainly end up with a chain-pulling tank), you’ll be Fan of Knivesing a lot.

Note: try to let the tank get sufficient aggro before you go Fan of Knivesing all over the place.  Otherwise, your fate is dependent on the group’s healer and your cooldowns.  Good healer?  You’ll be ok.  Got Vanish at the ready?  You’ll be fine.  Panicked at the sudden onslaught of damage and forgot about Vanish as a result, or was the healer busy texting since they didn’t actually expect you to do something stupid?  Welcome to Deathtown, party of rogue.

Step Four: A Glowy Button Appears
At level, uh, 70, enjoy the glowy stabbity button provided by Blindside.  Glowy buttons are the best.

I feel like there should be a step five, but I can’t think of one.

12 thoughts on “How To Level a PvE Rogue Without Embarrassing Yourself

  1. repgrind

    I absolutely refuse to give up picking pockets. I solve this by putting pickpocket and ambush on a macro together. This does require having auto-loot enabled but really, who doesn’t auto-loot?

      1. repgrind

        I will try to remember to log in to my rogue tonight and check it. I think it was pretty simple though, I want to say it’s just /cast pickpocket /cast Ambush

        1. repgrind

          That is all it is, but it’s Pick Pocket of course, not pickpocket. Also, since Pick Pocket is not on the GCD, both things DO happen simultaneously in this macro. Naturally I also keep a non-macro version on my stealth bar as well, because sometimes you just want to take stuff without the killing part.

  2. Leit

    I would basically never queue random between 69 and 79. Utgarde pops up waaay too often. Best setup seemed to be to take the easy couple of levels in Howling Fjord, which come quickly and give a bit of gear, then queue specific for each Wrath dungeon. There are seriously a ton of them, and if you have heirlooms and a little rested then you can power right through on the strength of the dungeon quests and whatever you feel like doing while waiting for queues.

    Only time it gets a little sticky is around 76, when you’ve probably run every other dungeon and can’t do the quests in Violet Hold yet, despite being able to get into it. Amphitheater of Angush helps a ton here if you can convince someone to fly out to the ass end of Zul’Drak. After that it’s plain sailing until 78/79, but the Argent Vanguard’s quests on the edge of Icecrown will ease that just fine – worth a ton of xp, and they’re quick.

    Plus by queueing specific you get to see the really cool dungeons that never actually show up when queueing random, like Halls of Lightning. Only thing you miss out on is a little bonus xp, which doesn’t make much of a difference above 70, and a handful of JP.

    You don’t hate Utgarde Keep until you’ve constructed an entire levelling pattern to avoid it…

    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      There inevitably comes a point where I queue specific. Last time it was because I got Violet Hold three times in a row with Ichiron (or whatever that water elemental boss is called) too. I *hate* that boss. “I WILL NOT BE CONTAAAAIIINED!” Yeah yeah, shut up, Ichiron. You have been contained and will be contained and are we done here yet?

      One of these days, I keep telling myself I’ll level by doing quest zones only. I keep getting lured into dungeons by the promise of easy EXP …

      1. Leit

        Violet Hold is sort of cool in Heroic, where you spend less time sitting around waiting. (assuming no lvl 90s) But in normal it’s painful, especially with time-wasting nonsense like the water elemental dude’s invincibility phases and the ethereal guy’s ridiculous speech before he engages. We get it, you’re a supercilious knob-polisher, GET ON WITH IT

        On the plus side, no better place to farm Borean leather if you don’t mind getting the useless scales.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s