Continuing Shark Wee-I mean, Rogueing Week here at Escape Hatch:
So yeah, things got a bit wonky with the stat explanation on my rogue weapon post. Even I can barely understand what I'm trying to say there at this point. Tomorrow, I'll go into more detail on how rogue stats work at level 80, and hopefully clear this up once and for all. At least, until someone else on Elitist Jerks figures out that it's all wrong. But first...
Escape Hatch: The Home Game!
If you'd like to play along at home, all you'll need is this handy-dandy rogue dps spreadsheet, courtesy of Vulajin. Sadly, it's the only way to really know for sure whether a piece of gear is an upgrade or not, or what cycle or spec you should use. There are just too many interactions amongst all of the various rogue stats to make truly hard and fast rules about what is most effective for every situation. You can use this spreadsheet to find out what will work best for you and your current gear.
It seems daunting, but it's simple to use. The main part of the talents tab is straightforward; just insert your spec. Then check the right side and fill in your race and professions. Also make sure it's using the right combo builder (mutilate or sinister strike) and a good cycle. Start with one of these cycles, and experiment with others once you get a hang of the sheet:
For Mutiliate, you want to start with Xe/Yr(CttC) and set Envenom to TRUE. This means that once you have an initial Slice N Dice up, you alternate e (envenom) and r (rupture) while keeping Cut to the Chase (CttC) up. The X and Y represent how many combo points, at minimum, you have up when you use the finisher. You can set these in the X and Y rows just below the cycle cell. Start by setting X and Y to 4.
For Combat, start with an Xs/Yr/Ze cycle with Envenom set to FALSE. Set all three values to 5. This means you will do a 5-point SnD, then 5-point rupture, then 5-point eviscerate, then repeat. This tends to be a strong Combat rotation on raid bosses.
The buffs tab is also simple, just type "true" or "false" depending on what your raid makeup usually is. For now, ignore the version history, cycle, cooldowns, and dps tabs.
Head to the gear tab, which is the real meat of the spreadsheet. You only need to worry about the left side of this page for now. You can use a dropdown menu at each slot and select, by name, what gear your character is currently wearing. The spreadsheet will fill in all the statistics for you. You can also use dropdown menus to select gems and enchants. It takes a little while to fill this out, but its worth it. Make sure you save your work.
Now it's time to pay attention to the green box at the top of the page, which displays the results of all of the calculations the spreadsheet is doing in the background, based on known rogue mechanics modeling. You should be able to figure out on your own what most of the stuff in this box means. The thing you are really concerned about is: Total DPS. This is what your projected raid-buffed dps should be in optimal conditions. Usually, this estimate is higher than what I can actually acheive, so don't worry too much about that for now.
Take that Total DPS figure, and type it into the Saved DPS slot. This will allow you to monitor how your Total DPS changes, in comparison to your current stats, when you make changes to the spreadsheet.
Now, keep an eye on that Total, and play around. Change some points in your spec, switch your weapons, try different poisons on them, etc., and watch how it affects your projected Total DPS. You may be surprised. For instance, I found that the 130 dps offhand that drops in Heroic Oculus was actually a dps downgrade compared to the 120 dps offhand I got from Wyrmrest reputation, because the heroic sword has inferior dps stats (too much stam!) and was .1 second slower (which can make a lot of difference with current rogue mechanics). Looking even further, it turned out that the 1.6 speed epic, 143 dps heroic badge sword is not as good an offhand as the 1.3 speed, 130 dps blue dagger (Librarian's Paper Cutter) that I'm currently using. Glad I could save myself some badges!
Once you've got this set up, keep it updated as you get new gear. Then use it to easily compare items and figure out what is an upgrade and what is not, without all of the tedious math that I'm going to go through tomorrow to try to explain why you should go for certain stats over others.