I think pretty much all of us have classes and races in RPGs that we don’t like playing. And I’m sure we have many reasons for these: playstyles, looks, lore, better alternatives, and so on. But there are those classes you avoid, not because you have a problem with their mechanics so much as the fact that you just hate what they are and what they stand for.
For me, this has always been World of Warcraft’s Rogues.
The weird thing is, I have no problem with rogues, thieves, scoundrels, and similar types in other games. In RIFT, I think I’ve played a Rogue more than any of the other three archetypes. I’m not huge on stealthing and backstabbing, to be honest, but I get why people think that this class concept is cool. After all, assassins and thieves make up a huge population of fantasy novel heroes. They dress cool, they strike hard and fast, and they get to fill the Batman role quite nicely.
So what’s my beef with WoW’s Rogues? Why, to this day, have I never rolled one, despite suffering from extreme altoholism?
For me, it really goes back to the first couple of years of the game and the PvP scene. When battlegrounds were first introduced with 2005’s Patch 1.5, many of us who were starved for content were lured into these instances. I did my fair share of Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin, and Alterac Valley, sometimes to have something to do, and sometimes because I was chasing some rewards. And I did a stint on a PvP-RP server because friends lured me there.
My time in these PvP settings taught me one lesson the hard way: Rogues are everywhere and they are raging jerks who are out to spoil your day. Having a class that can literally pop out of nowhere, stunlock you, and slice you to ribbons in seconds did nothing but raise my blood pressure and make me wish that I could just press a button and wipe out the entire Rogue population in the game. I’m sure I was killed by many classes, but the Rogues always seemed to be the ones that would corpse camp, that would delight in ruining your day, and that would /spit on you before dashing back off.
I made it my mission to try to strike back against Rogues, but this only was ever successful if they were in combat against someone else. In a one-on-one fight, I lost, because it started and ended on their terms.
And you know how it is — when you develop a bias against something, it’s incredibly hard to let that go. I haven’t touched PvP much since 2007 in that game, and yet I still find myself growling under my breath whenever I see a Rogue. I have no idea if they’re jerks or not, they’re probably lovely people who can’t get enough of dual wielding daggers.
I haven’t thought about it head-on for a long time now. The other day I was musing why my dislike of Rogues differed from, say, Elves. It wasn’t the creation of the writers and developers that angered me, but past actions by players that are forever associated with this class in my mind. And for better or for worse, it’ll probably stay that way. At least there are plenty of other classes to enjoy if I want alternatives.