Here we are, the TBC Classic beta is finally here, and again, it’s a nice failure from Blizzard in terms of communication! (or is it?) But yeah the TBC Classic Beta started this week on Tuesday 23rd of March.
As usual, the first beta keys were offered to the most influential players around, which are actively streaming WoW content, and a lot of you may have watched a few players experiencing the first hours of Beta just like Venruki, Asmongold, Payo, etc.
For those who didn’t get a chance to get the beta key, or who didn’t have time to follow all the streamers’ tests, I thought that it would be good to give you a small overview of what we know so far, what we tested, on a rogue perspective, and what we are still waiting to see.
Of course, this is a Beta, and this means that bugs are likely (or supposedly) to be fixed before the release.

Short summary of the tests done in this first report :

  1. Dynamic combat timer
  2. Combat Mode for the healer
  3. Static Diminishing returns
  4. Leeway / hit box
  5. Engineering goggles (trainer)
  6. Drums
  7. Weapon swapping & global cooldown
  8. Combo points when switching target
  9. Shadowstep interaction
  10. Shadowstep on ledges
  11. Shadowstep (+Cheap Shot) inside a Flare (Hunter)
  12. Vanish breaks
  13. Vanish Blind

General observations

Let’s get started with some general observations about the game itself and its environment. There are multiple features that private servers tended to customize during the past years to bring what they’d think to be the best experience of TBC. Diminishing return customization, combat timing, vanish fix, and so on. Yes, it is mostly PVP-oriented, but this is what I am. A PvP addict.
So what do we know so far?

 

Do we have a static combat timer?

The answer is NO. The combat timer is dynamic.

→ What does that mean?

This means that the off combat timing is not going to be always the same and that some situations like doing a Sap right after a Cyclone, or at the end of Kidney Shot, might be possible sometimes, and sometimes not.

→ Is that a good thing?

After years of experience on TBC, it is to be considered as healthier than a static combat duration. But from a rogue perspective, it adds a bit of RNG to track your opponent’s combat status, and some strategies could also be affected by the fact that it is random. 

Let’s say that this is a fair deal for everyone to have it this way.

 

Did they create the healer combat mode?

The answer is NO.

So far, it appears that the combat timer for healers is not different from the common combat timer when performing an action on an enemy player or NPC.
For those who don’t know, there are many videos, from TBC but also further expansion, in which we can see the combat status being delayed a little bit (for example in this video: Tehseus)

This allowed for example to drink immediately after a healing cast if the healer was out of combat before the end of his cast. From a rogue perspective, this opens some doors to land saps, this why this is interesting to follow how Blizzard plans to design this feature.

 

Do we have a static diminishing returns timer?

The answer is YES.
So far the timer is set at 15sec.

Such things would be improving the quality of life as a rogue player because that would mean that you will be able to do another CS/KS a bit earlier than if the DR was set at 18 seconds.

→ Is this going to be fixed?

No clue so far, we could expect the same reasoning that the dynamic combat status.
I personally think that it is healthier for the competitive PVP to be static at 18sec rather than being dynamic between 14sec and 19sec because it would mean that a lot of unexpected DR would happen… which would bring more RNG in a game that is already cursed by this problem.

A static combat timer set at 15sec means easier control management from a rogue perspective, which is good. But people would complain even more about the OPness of the class. Let’s wait and see.

 

Leeway / Range of attacks

At this moment, we know that people can be hit through pillars, not to mention the insane hitbox of Tauren players. Here are two videos that are taken from Rivah’s Twitch to illustrate these two facts.

Are the engineering goggles available on the trainer?

No, they’re not. (confirmed by Rivah, Mir, and other players)

Does that mean it is likely not to be available at launch? Probably, yes. It’s time to move on and think about using another helm if you were still expecting this item to be available, hehe.

 

What about the drums?

So far, we know that Blizzard designed a “second rank” of drums. They’re called Greater Drums.
For example Great Drum of Speed (Greater drum of speed 2mn cooldown, 50 charges)

For the moment, we don’t know if they’re designed to be applied to the entire raid (which is in the interest of the community, since everyone wants to get rid of the drum meta that forces an entire raid to pick this profession)

Wowhead made an article about the superior drums and I recommend keeping track of this one because it might be updated as soon as Blizzard will give us more information about them.

Update 03/28: A blizzard blue post:
https://us.forums.blizzard.com/en/wow/t/why-greater-drums-just-add-tinnitus/916808/630
Update 04/02: someone tested the superior drums on the beta: reddit post + twitch clip

Rogue perspective

As I am myself not getting access to the beta (for now), I have mostly asked our fellow rogue streamers, such as Mir, and Perplexity to do these tests, if not done yet, to collect some information about our beloved class.

Weapon swapping / Global

For now, weapon swapping correctly triggers a global on the Beta yes, 

According to Mir’s test performed on day 1, swapping your weapon creates a new global cooldown even if done during an ongoing global, but it doesn’t queue up another global.
This means that, just like the private servers, the most efficient way is still to swap your weapon during a global.

Switching target without losing combo points 

The answer is NO.

Let’s say you have two enemies named X and Y.
On Classic, if you build combo points on X and switch your target to Y, you lose your combo points on X.
On TBC, targetting Y doesn’t remove your combo points from X until your start building combo points on Y.
For the moment, on the BETA, you’re losing your combo point, as you can see in that video from BiosparksTV.

Shadowstep situations

Shadowstep interaction

On the Beta, Shadowstep sometimes does not correctly put the player behind his target (in front of him). If you check this video from Mir’s perspective you can see that.
Also, a lot of times, but not every time (and, it seems quite random) the Shadowstep puts the player very far behind the opponent, even if he’s not moving.

Can we step someone on the ledge of the bridge without falling down?

The answer is YES …and NO.

Basically, you fall down on some ledges but not all of them.
For example, on Blade’s Edge mountain arena (not the actual arena instance, but the zone) you successfully remain up top if you’re using Shadowstep on somebody on a ledge.
But on other random ledges out in the world, sometimes, you fall off.

→ Is this good news?

Of course yes. Because so far a lot of players on private servers are completely building strategies around countering the opener with such positioning, to prevent instant Shadowstep + Cheap Shot openers, and buy some time to do their actions. (or allowing their partners to react and do AoE for example, let’s say as Warrior Druid mainly.).

Such abuse has no chance to happen on TBC Classic, and this will become healthier for a lot of rogues.
For the record, the proper scripting of this ability is pretty much to allow you to Shadowstep only if the game can give you a proper position on the same ground. If it is not possible, it can slightly move you on the side of your target, but otherwise the Shadowstep ability cannot be used (error message). So let’s expect this to be correctly scripted.

 

Can we step someone on a fly mount?

It cannot be tested right now, because no one has fly mounts so far. (Beta is blocked at level 64)

 

Can we Shadowstep + Cheap Shot inside a Flare? 

The answer is YES.

Vanish situations

Vanish breaks

Just like in Classic, your stealth breaks when you’re spamming an ability on an enemy right after your Vanish. So basically you pop back out of Vanish without landing your ability.
This “bug” happened on TBC retail back in the days as you can see in that video from Neilyo.
This is a thing that needs to be fixed because this would affect the entire gameplay of rogue not to be able to play instantly when vanishing.

For example, Vanishing +Cheapshot an enemy rogue that opens your partner requires to be done as fast as possible (especially if you don’t want the enemy rogue to react on your incoming opener with a Vanish) and this is quite not possible for the moment on the Beta. Or simply landing a quick vanish sap right after another control.

In the worst-case scenario, you could eventually get sapped on this.

Can we vanish Blind or similar instant abilities? 

The answer is NO.
It says to the player who’s trying to Blind that his target is invalid.
Let’s pray to see it fixed.

And that’s it for these first days of beta tests on WoW TBC Classic. What can we say? Part of the bugs listed here are really scary, especially when it comes to the way vanish is currently working, …and the leeway… but we have to keep in mind that the purpose of a Beta is to notice all these problems, and hopefully they will fix most of them in the next few weeks.
There are multiple things waiting to be tested such as Perception (detection range, cone, ticking), Vanish mode, poison procs on abilities such as Cheapshot or Expose on a sapped target, Shadowstep on Interception, etc.
If you think I forgot something already known for now, make sure to let me know by joining our discord server and ping me in the #feedback channel.
Also, if we gather more information in the next few days/weeks, I will create a second article.
See you very soon.

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