So I had this rogue for a while; got him to level 23 and ran into a wall. You know the I don’t like soloing wall. Where it takes an infernal time to get something done since the rogues class strength is sneaking and assassin and it’s good in groups, slow on your own.

Take any other class and you get my drift; maybe bard can relate – but when you start running into a bunch of stuff in a room and you get that one assassin in, you’ll notice that the rest of the brawl is not going to be a quick room cleaner like a blitzing fighter.

So I get this epiphany (more like a huh, what about…) and I TR him into a Shadar-kai, adding a few more ability points and now with more assassin. First off – the iconic class comes with an okay set of gear. 2 okay daggers and pretty much everything you’d need to start out. And since I’m doing an assassin, I can more or less skip all other rogue trees except the ‘sneak faster’ part from acrobat.

That’s not to say that a pure assassin is in anyway ideal, but you’ll have everything you need (almost) for all the skulking about stuff.

But there are some interesting parts of the Shadar-kai tree and the thing I detest the most about the ingame enemy critters – the swirly spikey chain thingy. You know the one where the assassin stands still and just whirl that thing around forever. There’s the shorter fewer seconds one – kinda like you swirl it a few times and stop. And then the 20 second one – where you’re like communicating with spirits like an Australian Aborigine except for that whoo whoo sounds (which would be cool tho). As long as you don’t move you can swirl that thing around and put down some major whoop. However it’s not like with the enemy critters where they slow you down. And quite frankly I don’t understand (and never will) why there are ingame critters that get special abilities that you can’t get yourself as a class.

I mean is the Shadar-kai players build some lesser type compared to the ones in the game? Why is it that you get that swirly thingy but not the stacking slow down? You get the bleed damage, you get stacking damage, but not slow down. Either it’s an oversight or they felt that it would be too badarse if players got the exact same ability.

But it is useful even if the cool down is a bit too much. And here’s the other thing about it; in the game the enemy assassins can use this ability over and over with very little cool down. Sure – there’s the boss kinds that can use it almost all the time, but at least the other assassins have a slight cool down between swirls. For the player class it’s 3 minutes. And too me that’s excessive for the premier ability of the class.

Half that would be better and it would still be a lot longer than enemy ones. But at least it would be more useful. Heck – be smart and make it 10 seconds every minute and a half and full 20 if you let it go 3 minutes.

But it is good – it can knock people over and it adds lots of damage over time. And it’s one thing that help clear rooms – especially since a regular rogue lacks that multi damage ability like other classes have ’em. This makes it easier for a rogue to solo larger engagements, even if we’re talking an rancid 3 minutes cool down.

And to highlight the usefulness I ran with a bunch of guild members the other day; we did Famine and Cabal on Heroic Elite. Having that swirl attack sure helped in pitched battles, and the shadow jaunt (another Shadar-kai feature) allowed me to escape by invisi myself for 6 seconds and then go into hiding again.

All in all the class itself is good as assassin with that small feature of a swirl attack that can hit everything around it for up to 20 seconds. And in a pinch it can mean the difference between rouge pâté or victory. Now this is of course heroic – and in heroic this works fine. Epic is different where enemies have thousands of HP. I can’t even imagine trying to go toe to toe with that idiotic encounter in tracker in stormhorn, with the giant with 50k HP. Or the Demon in the end of Web of chaos, second quests – it has something like 30-50k too. It would pancake this rogue before it could do well.

And once more we’re back to the fact that this class (rogue) is better off complementing a group than soloing for quick quest completions.  But the swirly thingy IS fun.

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