Of HATs and Combo Points

Feeling a bit displeased with the current state of my spec and a percieved lack of anything to make up for what the patch took away, I was adviced to do some trying around with different talent specs now while I wait for Wrath of the Lich King abilities, itemization and talent points to try to recover what I lost. So, for the first time in over a year at least, I specialized in Combat.

Combat was long Nhani’s primary spec tree – it wasn’t until 2.4(.. I think?) was on the horizon, with its promise of making Shadowstep usable out of stealth, that I took my first stumbling steps into Subtlety and then pretty much stayed there; finding a whole rogue tanking niché within the tree and deciding that I loved that possibility. So there was something rather nostalgic with the very temporary foray I took back in Combat.

There’s really three things I noted very early on – for starters, just how badly I’ve been missing out on combo point generation by being an oddity spec. Going something more traditionally rogue gave me far more oomph to play with. It came at a cost however – I felt much more fragile, even if the loss wasn’t all that extreme. I just felt exposed not being tank spec really. There was some strange, subjective glass-cannon feeling to it. Third.. I really missed Shadowstep.

Blade Flurry was great to have again – I’m going to miss it until I reach level 75 or so and can reclaim it in all its glory. Unfair Advantage I’ll simply have to look at lovingly and then forget – I love the talent, but it’s deep into the wrong tree. If they move it to Subtlety I’d be all over it. Dazing things occasionally with Sinister Strike was just plain amusing, things could never really run away in fear, which was fun. Killing Spree on the other hand was.. odd. I really like the idea behind it, and the first time I used it it seemed awesome. Subsequent uses however just felt gimicky, so it was a fleeting amusement.

I’d miss the energy and combo point generation, but really.. I had a second spec to try.

I specced 3/3 Honor Among Thieves

I expected it to be useful, but it’s just blown my expectations completely out of the water. It’s random, definitely, but it’s oh so much fun. I can go from 0 to 5 combo points on a target without ever touching it, just having it targetted while others fight elsewhere. During the second phase of Kael’thas (in Magister’s Terrace), the ranged damage dealers selflessly gave me four combo points to use while I was simply floating around aimlessly. And with luck, it can offer a full five set of combo points very quickly.

I’m not sure what kind of limits there is on it, but they seem really relaxed too. I should probably try to see if I could make some experiments on it later and see just how far it can be pushed, because at this point it seems like it’s quite far: Three others and I decided to bash up Stratholme for fun and an achievement, and I ended up locked out of the square outside the Slaughterhouse (with all the abominations) due to a system crash. I was sitting outside the gate, in stealth, waiting to see when the thing would care to open up while having a nearby ghoul targetted. I got HAT procs through the gate, from my party members fighting enemies that were out of Line of Sight, and I’m pretty sure even was out of view range.

I’m really curious about just how far HAT can go – if it’s something insane like zone-wide then I could imagine something as crazy as free combo points randomly during PvP in battlegrounds or whatever, even if your group (in the battleground) is spread out to Elune knows where. Combine this with the fact that Deadly Throw is a finisher and you have a potential recipe for amusement.


1 Response to “Of HATs and Combo Points”

  1. 1 Yian
    October 19, 2008 at 06:45

    Further proof as if any was needed, that hat’s are awesome.

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