Neverwinter Trickster Rogue Beta Impression and Guide
Speaking of the global booming title Assassin Creed series, it is no doubt that Assassin or Rogue is a must-play class in any MMO. With its high DPS and stealthy skills, players find it fascinating to defeat enemies with multiple skill combos in various ways. For the second public beta weekend of Neverwinter, participants have options to play as one of the four classes: Guardian Fighter, Devout Cleric, Control Wizard and Trickster Rogue. They are typically playing 3 roles in all the traditional MMOs like World of Warcraft and among them, Rogue presents raw melee DPS, along with some crowd control skills. Actually, it is easy for Rogue to deal the most damages during dungeon battle in Neverwinter.
What's the feature of Trickster Rogue in Neverwinter? On the character creation stage, the official offers a simple introduction to this class in this action MMO.
The master of stealth and misdirection, the Trickster Rogue maneuvers across the battlefield and strikes from the shadows with paired daggers. The Trickster dodges in and out of melee, inflicting massive damage on foes with a flurry of deadly blows.
Actually, this description is too generalized to figure out the true feature of Trickster Rogue when everyone read it at first sight. After playing for dozens of hours of Rogue in Neverwinter, I notice some key points inside this sentence back then.
Stealth is common sense for a Rogue class in any game. In Neverwinter, it plays an even more important role for Trickster Rogue. This ability is acquired early on in game and mapped to the [Tab] key by default. Purple stealth energy will appear beside your character and it is supposed to last 5 seconds during stealth mode.
When the Stealth is active, it will drastically reduce the threat of Trickster Rogue and increase the damage dealing by your encounter skills. During these 5 seconds, the energy bar will keep decreasing and players can attack the enemy without breaking the stealth status. When the energy meter comes to the end, Rogue will appear again and the energy will slowly replenish, which is considered the cool-down for this powerful skill. Therefore, it is vital for a professional Rogue to decide when and how to use this power. It can really make a difference between life and death.
At level 5, the second skill slot will be unlocked and a new encounter skill Bait and Switch lies there. This skill enables Trickster Rogue avoid attack immediately from the dangerous area, jump backwards, and drop a decoy in the previous place. All the enemies near the decoy will attack it instead of Rouge. It's another skill for you to lower your threat in fierce combat.
On a base level, this power is another critical survival skill to defeat enemies, especially when a large group of mobs running towards you. It seems extremely similar skill with Stealth with a different mechanic but the same result. Actually, the unmovable decoy is more useful than you think. Each time the decoy is hit, Trickster Rogue will gain Action Points, which allow you to cast Daily Powers frequently. It's efficient especially during soloing. For team co-op in dungeon, the decoy is more like an associate tank to share the damages with Guardian Fighter.
It is another inherent power of Trickster Rogue. With [Shift] key or double-tap any of the direction movement keys (i.e. [WASD] keys by default), you can dodge the incoming damages from opponent attack. Actually, the mechanic is pretty much like the dodging in Guild Wars 2. If timed correctly, you will negate any incoming damages and the "Resist" will pop up and float upon the character, indicating you are safe and sound.
Every time when you dodge, the energy meter will be consumed by 50%, meaning you are able to continuous dodge only twice. However, the energy will replenish quickly, allowing you to dodge frequently during battle. It's useful out of battle as well, improving your movement speed at times. Considering no mount is introduced in the game at this stage, it's the best way to move a bit faster than walking.
A bunch of encounter powers/skills will be unlocked while leveling. Up to 10 encounter powers of Trickster Rouge is able to learn when reach level 60. I list all the powers of Trickster Rogue at level 60 so you guys can check it later on at the end of this article.
Players have only three slots to slot the encounter skills: [Q], [E], and [R]. And two slots for At-will skills. During the battle you cannot switch your skills in the slot, so as a Trickster Rouge, you have to make wise choice before the battle. But how? To pick 3 out of 10, you are facing 120 combos to choose. However, if you divide your encounter skills according to two situations, it would be easy to build your own combos wisely.
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- Against Single-target
The first caters single-target DPS and can be applied to boss fight or rushing down a specific target quickly. My combo chain here is:
Cloud of Steel (right-click) > Bait and Switch > Deft Strike >Stealth > Lashing Blade > Sly Flourish (left-click) > Bait and Switch > Stealth
Toss a barrage of blades at your target with Cloud of Steel, the damage of this skill is medium though. I do hurt your enemy from distance. When they are close, using Bait and Switch to distract your target with a decoy, then Deft Strike teleports you behind your target, dealing decent damages. The decoy won't last long under fierce attack and Stealth will make you out of the combat safely. Stealthily walk to the back side of the target, casting Lashing Blade, dealing massive damages including a 50% damage bonus if used from stealth. And Bait and Switch is almost finishing cooling down. Keep in mind that you got another survive skill, dodge. Use [Shift] power to dodge before the CD time of Bait and Switch.
- Against Multi-target
This one is handy to burn down a bunch of weak mobs speedily, which becomes really useful in adventuring zones and 5-player dungeons.
Cloud of Steel (right-click) > Bait and Switch > Stealth > Blitz > Path of the Blade > Bloodbath > Stealth/Bait and Switch
The initial skills are all the same with the previous one. By setting up a decoy will enable you sneak into the blind point of the mobs. Besides, your Action Points will stack quickly in this way to cast Bloodbath. Use Blitz to throw a fan of blades out directly in front of you, slowing down all targets hit for 3 seconds so your decoy will last longer. Path of the Blade is an AOE skill with moderate damage. Then, finish the battle with Daily Power, Bloodbath, flashing around the battleground, dealing massive damage to groups of enemies.
Summoning a companion to fight on your side is another reason to choose Trickster Rogue. Starting from level 15, you can active companion in your character sheet. I saw a lot of rogues are using Cleric Disciple companion to heal their character with Healing Word, which can heal Rouge over time slightly. The most obvious disadvantage to play Rogue is that you don't have any skill to heal, so choose this healing companion seems intelligent. However, for me, I prefer one to enhance your DPS like a Wolf. If you can finish your enemies fast enough you don't need any healing. And I don't think the small amount of healing power will be beneficial in solo, because some camp fires and potions way more useful.