Letting go of my Rogue prejudice

Just about as long as I’ve played MMOs, I’ve harbored a serious grudge.  No, not against elves; that’s just common sense hatred against our oppressive know-it-all overlords.  I’m talking about Rogues.  Man, I’ve really disliked me a Rogue or two in my day, and not just because you can misspell their name to become a cosmetic product.  It’s because of this:

rogueThe World of Warcraft Rogue.

In my career playing WoW, no class ended up rubbing me the wrong way than Rogues.  It wasn’t just that they were pretty popular way back when, but that they were a griefer’s dream come true.  A stealth/stunlock class that would come out of nowhere, make you unable to do squat, and kill you.  And because such a class naturally attracted every tool in the world, the kill would then be teabagged and corpse camped.

When I played Alterac Valley or spent some time on an RP-PvP server, I came up against Rogues time and again, and it was never a complimentary experience.  I rejoiced if I could down one of the buggers, but you know what they say: They’d be back and in greater numbers.

So I developed and nurtured a hatred toward Rogues that extended to their kind in all MMOs.  I’d never roll a Rogue, a Thief, or any of their ilk.  I saw their mechanics as unimaginative and (in the case of stealth) slow and boring.  My eye would twitch if I saw a guildie roll a Rogue and I’d quietly scratch them off my Christmas card mailing list.  I’d groan in exasperation if I ended up pugging a group that had a Rogue or two boasting their super-awesome DPS.

The odd thing is that I think that somewhere along the line, I’ve gotten over this grudge.  No, I’ll never like WoW’s Rogues, but I’ve ended up trying other titles’ Rogue-likes and kind of liked them.  SWTOR’s Operative was a lot of fun (Rogues with a rifle, baby) and I like the twist that LOTRO put on the Rogue for the Burglar.

This realization hit me this week as I’ve come back to Neverwinter for another go and actually picked up the Trickster Rogue class.  It wasn’t even a class in consideration when I first started playing, because Rogues.  But the Guardian Fighter and Devoted Cleric ended up boring me, so I thought I’d give something a little different a try.

And strangely enough, I’m really, really enjoying it.  I don’t use stealth that much, but I’m digging how the TR flings daggers lightning-fast and is a blur of pain in the midst of an enemy group.  It’s not a complex hybrid class like I usually prefer, but right now Neverwinter doesn’t have anything like that.

If nothing else, it’s nice to make things die quickly  instead of slow-and-steady like I’m used to.  And it’s nice to bury a grudge.

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8 thoughts on “Letting go of my Rogue prejudice

  1. I will just say this. RARE was the rogue that could stealth and stunlock a character to death. Only the best of the best could do that… and they deserved to, because that’s the essence of the class. They also died very quickly.. so it was a tradeoff.

  2. I’ve never really been fond of rogues either, preferring a straight up fighter (or battle-cleric type of fighter) or a standoffish mage. But the TR in Neverwinter hooked me too. Something I found interesting about it is that in the early levels you still can play it more or less as a straight up fighter while getting used to it, but in the final 15-20 levels the way the mobs are tuned you then have to convert to a more stealth-y type of game play to not only survive but to do the necessary damage to kill the mobs as well. All in all, a very fun class for me. 1st time I’ve really enjoyed a rogue-type character.

  3. Your reaction to Neverwinter’s Trickster reminds me of my Great Weapon Fighter. I’m not normally fond of warrior classes, but something about my female half-orc swinging that greatsword around was was just awesome. My new mesmer also wields a greatsword.

    But yeah. WoW griefer rogues can die in a fire.

  4. By contrast, I’m a longtime rogue-lover. It started in WoW, and now I play a rogue or its equivalent in most every MMO I’ve tried.

    I will say, though, that I’m not so much a fan of the stealthy assassin archetype. It’s more that I like playing agile, glass cannon melee characters, and in most MMOs, the rogue is the only option for this. If monks or classes like TERA’s slayer were more common, I probably wouldn’t bother with rogues. As it is, I usually spec my rogues more as a brawler with minimal reliance on stealth.

    Ironically, the trickster rogue in Neverwinter didn’t really grab me. I’m not sure if I had trouble mastering the action combat mechanics for melee or what, but it didn’t quite click with me. I wound up playing a control wizard instead.

  5. After getting stunlocked and killed on my Holy Priest all the time in WoW, I hate them too. However, luckily, my hatred is confined to WoW. As annoying as Operatives get in TOR at least the stunlock isn’t just something their class can do.

  6. I’m with Tyler in that I’m not a fan of the stealthy assassin archetype (I can’t do better than that phrase so I’m totally lifting it). On the other hand, I’ve played rogue-type characters in other games (single player) and never really connected with them so I brought that bias into WoW… I created a rogue to be my permanent L1 auction alt, never to be played. Other toons were created and leveled past him, he remained stuck in time. Years passed.

    At some point mounts became available at L20 and I eventually realized that might be worthwhile. Hm, spend a few hours leveling in order to be able to get around town faster (my AA also does regular gofer duty, buying supplies for my toons that are out in the field). That seems worth the pain. So I spend a few hours leveling and, well, learn a few things. Stealth? Completely optional. Combat spec? Warrior-style rogue. Having to attack from behind? Maybe for some rogues but not for my li’l warrior-style dude. I stab things in the EYE (or the crotch, I guess, mostly… Gnome…). Don’t I have some Agi leather heirloom gear from my druid floating around? Hm, this is kind of fun. More leveling, mostly for the L40 mount and maybe flight at some point. Deadly Momentum? That’s a neat talent, encourages you to kill ALL THE THINGS. QUICKLY. AoE looting? Hell, I can actually keep DM going most of the time. This is really fun.

    A few months later it became my main raiding toon which lasted for a while. It’s since been usurped by my monk (“Monk – the better warrior-style Rogue”) but is still fun to play. I was also my first-ever melee dps raiding main toon… I didn’t just raid a class I never expected to play, it also broke a long-standing rdps/tank streak that I had going. None of my other mdps toons did that.

    Just don’t make me stealth.

  7. Awww… you make me miss the first WoW character I ever created: an undead rogue. I think a good follow up question is, “Which MMO has the best rogue and why?”

  8. GW2 thieves can be super annoying and douchey as well.. especially the thieves who camp the JPs in WvW.. and the ones from French servers seem to be particularly bad. I had one harrass and bait me.. down me.. step back, dance.. I rallied, down me again.. laugh, sit on me whilst downed.. I rallied and he did it all over again. So I just gave up and died. Luckily some on our server got together to run the guy off.. but yeah, seriously what is it with rogues and trolls? :P

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